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

MS. Bodl. Rolls 5

Summary Catalogue no.: 2986


Genealogy of the kings of England to Richard III

A genealogical history of the Kings of England deduced from Adam.

The preface begins 'I suppose hit be no unfrutefull occupacion nor exspendyng of the tyme'. The text begins 'Adam the first man was made of the slyme of the erthe' and ends with the battle of St. Albans in 1454; but the pedigree is continued to Richard III, and the issue of Edward IV has been added in a 16th century hand

Language(s): Middle English
Chronicle of the Percy family to 1485

At membrane '11' a descent of the Percy family is introduced in the left margin of the roll as a separate column illustrated by a chronicle which begins: 'After the pompe and pride of this world Sir William Percy was nobly borne', and ends in the year 1454, but the descent is continued down to Henry Percy, 5th earl of Northumberland, who succeeded to the earldom in 1485

The chronicle of the Percy family contains notes of the foundation of Whitby abbey and of benefactions to it by the Percys, and is derived from a Latin work produced in 1458 by Thomas Pickering, precentor and afterwards abbot of Whitby

Language(s): Middle English

Physical Description

Form: roll
Support: parchment
Extent: A roll of fifteen membranes (of which one is modern) and one piece of leather
Dimensions (roll): 360 × 21-23 in.


Pächt and Alexander iii. 1121, Pl. CV

Good miniatures (drawings)

Good diagrams

Good initials

Fine penwork interlace initials

Summary Catalogue: illuminated capitals and coloured circles in the pedigree, a few heraldic shields in colour, etc.

Pen and ink portraits of the kings of England are introduced in medallions, and on membranes '1'-'6' there are drawings of towns, including Leicester, Bath, Edinburgh, Carlisle, York, Doncaster, London, Colchester, etc.


In a cloth box 3 in. square x 18 in.


Origin: c. 1485 ; England

Provenance and Acquisition

Bequeathed in 1617 by Henry Savile of Banke, as appears from p. 165 of no. 8620 (Langbaine's Adversaria)

Record Sources

Description adapted (September 2023) by Stewart J. Brookes from the Summary Catalogue (1922). Decoration, localization and date follow Pächt and Alexander (1973)

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (46 images from 35mm slides)


Last Substantive Revision

2023-09-06: Description revised to incorporate all the information in the Summary Catalogue (1922)