A catalogue of Western manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries and selected Oxford colleges

MS. Bodl. 623

Summary Catalogue no.: 2157


Summary of Contents: Prophecies chiefly relating to English history, with calendarial and other pieces, of which the chief are as follows, a full list being in the Old Catalogue:
1. (fol. 3v)
Calendar (London)

Preceded and followed by calendarial tables and diagrams (cf. fol. 34), partly dated 1465, cf. fols. 16v, 38: at fol. 1v is a graded list of festivals, and at fol. 2 is a list of 'dies in quibus parochiani tenentur & obligantur offerree[sic] secundum vsum ⟨et⟩ constitucionem Londonie per annum'. The calendar contains an 'Obitus Johannis Hide' on Oct. 10 in the original hand, and an added 'Obitus Johannis Wark' on April 26. Other calendarial matter is at fol. 98v.

Language(s): Latin

On fol. 16 is a Latin indulgence by Thomas Spofford bishop of Hereford (d. abt. 1450).

Language(s): Latin
2. (fols. 18, 75)
Prophecies relating to English history

A collection of Vaticinia or prophecies about English history, such as (fols. 22, 23, 83, 84v, 95) Merlin: (fols. 24v, 78v, 94) Bede: (fols. 22, 25v) Edward the Confessor: (fol. 35) an Italian Sibyl: (fol. 36v) a list of 24 vaticinia, which occupy foll. 75–97, such as John of Bridlington (fol. 77), Gildas (fol. 86), 'Robertus scriba, doctor Bridlington' (fol. 91v), 'Versus ... editi de magistro Donakamen [?]' (fol. 93).

Language(s): Latin
3. (fol. 37)
Chronological and historical notes to 1470

A chronology of the world from the Creation to 1464, Britain coming in with Brutus: there are notes of dates of prophecies: from 1315 there are notes of public facts in London and elsewhere, such as 1437 'Pons Londonie cadens in Temisia', 1445 'Poule stepul a fiere'. At 1453 is 'Alicia nupta Johanni Niccolle': the last (added) entry is at 1470.

Language(s): Latin
4. (fol. 71)

An argument for the claim of the king of England to be king also of France

Incipit: Legitur in libro Numeri
Language(s): Latin

Some English is on fols. 97v, 98, and elsewhere

Language(s): Middle English

Theological notes at fols. 33v, 99v, etc.

Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: ii + 102 leaves
Dimensions (binding): 5.875 × 4.25 in.


Origin: 1465 ; English, London

Provenance and Acquisition

Owned by 'Richard Laynam off Wimborne Mynster' abt. 1500 (cf. fol. 100)

'Georgius Stanleus', 16th cent. (fol. 13).

Probably acquired between 1613 and 1615.

Record Sources

Description adapted (July 2020) from the Summary Catalogue (1922).

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (9 images from 35mm slides)


    Printed descriptions:

    S. J. P. van Dijk, Latin Liturgical Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, vol. 3: Rituals and Directories (typescript, 1957), p. 193

Last Substantive Revision

2020-07-21: Description revised to include all information in Summary Catalogue.