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

MS. Ash. Rolls 38

Summary Catalogue no.: 7079

Former shelfmark: MS. Ashmole 23


Genealogical chronicle of the Kings of England to Edward II (with later continuation to Richard II)
Language(s): Anglo-Norman

Physical Description

Form: roll
Support: parchment
Dimensions (roll): c. 3550 × 270 mm.


Good miniatures (coloured drawings), borders. (Pächt and Alexander iii. 535)

Coloured miniatures and diagrams, parts of text in red.

Miniature of King Edward I on the throne (damaged). Circular diagram showing the kingdoms of Heptarchy. Borders, framing the roll on either side, are illustrated with portraits and scenes from the lives of various rulers, kings and queens, begining with Brutus and Cormeus, and ending with Edward I and Edward II. Pen drawings of grotesques and folliage fill larger spaces between the lines of text.


Origin: c. 1307, with later (14th century (?) additions ; English

Provenance and Acquisition

Text ends with the death and burial of Henry III in 1271, but genealogy continues in the same hand to Edward I and Edward II. The first picture is captioned 'Edwardus Rex pater istius regis', and others include one of the same king, Edward I, captioned 'Edward le bon Rey' and one of Edward II, crowned, captioned 'Edward qui ore est'. From this it may be deduced that Edward I was dead when the pictures were done but since the number of his regnal years is not filled in (nor are those of Edward II) in the text, it seems that he was alive when the text was written. A date close to 1307, the year in which he died, is certain.

Elias Ashmole, 1617–1692.

Bequeathed by him to the Ashmolean Museum.

Transferred to the Bodleian Library in 1860.

Record Sources

Description adapted (2018) from Watson and Pächt and Alexander (see bibliography), incorporating additional description of decoration by Elizabeth Solopova, c. 2000. Previously described in the Quarto Catalogue (W. H. Black, A descriptive, analytical, and critical catalogue of the manuscripts bequeathed unto the University of Oxford by Elias Ashmole Esq...., Quarto Catalogues X, 1845).

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (2 images from 35mm slides)


Last Substantive Revision

2017-07-01: First online publication.