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

MS. Ashmole 189

Summary Catalogue no.: 6666

Summary Catalogue no.: 6777

Summary Catalogue no.: 6778

Summary Catalogue no.: 6779

Summary Catalogue no.: 6780

Physical Description

Composite: four parts

MS. Ashmole 189 – I (fols. 1-69)


1. (fols. 1-67)
The Wise Book of Philosophy and Astronomy
Incipit: Here begynnythe the boke of Astronomy and of phylosophy contrivyd and made by þe wysest phylozophers and astronomyars þt euer were sy the þe world was be gonne þt ys for to sey in þe lond of greke. Inglysche menne fulle wys and wele vnderstandyng of phylozophy and astronomy þt studyed and compyled þys boke owt off greke in to Englysche gracyously. And ffyrst þys boke tellyth how many hevennys þer be and afterward he pronouncythe and declaryþe of þe course of þe gouernaunces of the pl.
Explicit: she shalle neuer forsake þt foly. Explicit
Language(s): Middle English
2. (fols. 67v—68v)
Rubric: To knowe what tyme is good for any body to go fro home to spede his nede or nat.
Incipit: Fyrst take hede
Language(s): Middle English

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment


Origin: 15th century ; English


“Iste liber constat Roberto Daniell

John a Parke dwellynge in mylke strete [London]”

“y Gylbart Banystur.”

MS. Ashmole 189 – II (fols. 70-109)


Language(s): Middle English with some Latin

Astrological treatises
(fol. 72)
Incipit: Here is thechynge ande the informacion of the golden table begynnes þt Pictagoras the noble philosepher that labored alle the worlde a boute to seke and wynne wytte wysedome wounders and merwayles. And he cam to a kynges house þt hyght Apolonus
IMEP p. 5 no. 8; followed by other texts on prognostication, English items listed IMEP p. 5 nos. 9-12.
(fol. 84)
Rubric: To know þe rysinge and þe goynge downe of þe Son euery moneth in the yere as it folowyth
Incipit: In Januario hora octava
(fol. 84v)
Prognostication: Lunary
Rubric: The experimentys of the lunesons
Incipit: The furst mone is good to begyn alle thynges
(fols. 86v-101v)
Astrology: days of the week and planets
Rubric: Nowe wyll I shewe þe vij. days of þe weke and declare þe vij planettes. And as þey doþe reygne. For euery planett raynet in þe furst houre of hys owne daye in þe mornyng tyll þe sonne ryse or a lytle after
Incipit: As one sonday

IMEP, p. 5, no. 14, including two lunary texts at fols. 91r-93, IMEP nos. 15-16.

(fol. 102)
Prognostication by thunder
Rubric: Off the thonderes
Incipit: If it thondere in January

This article, which filled up 2 vacant leaves, seems to be in the handwriting of the Prior of Muchelney (see below, Provenance).

Religious poems.

The refrains and first lines are—

1. (fol. 104)
Rubric: Quid ultra debuit facere, þt lorde þt dyed for þe and me
Incipit: Cryste made manne yn þs maner of wyse
(9 st. of 4.) DIMEV 999
2. (fol. 104v)
Incipit: Regem regum a mayde hath borne
(7 st. of 3, with short Latin refrains.) DIMEV 4451
3. (fol. 105)
Rubric: Salvum me fac Domine
Incipit: Fadyr and sone and holy gost
(6 st. of 3.) DIMEV 1279
4. (fol. 105v)
Rubric: Parce mihi Domine
(Same beginning and same length.) DIMEV 1278
5. (fol. 105v)
Rubric: Alma redem⟨p⟩toris mater
Incipit: Swete lady nou ȝe wys

(12 st. of 3.)

DIMEV 5082
6. (fol. 106v)
Rubric: Lullaye
Incipit: Thys yonder nyȝth y sawe a syȝte
(5 st. of 6.) DIMEV 5729.5
7. (fol. 107)
Rubric: Alleuya alleluya Deo patri sit gloria
Incipit: Salvator mundi Domine, Fader of hevene yblessyd þu be
(4 st. of 3.) DIMEV 4474
8. (fol. 101v)
Incipit: Omnipotentem semper adorant, Operacyons hevenly and yerthly all
(18 st. of 4.) DIMEV 4254
9. (fol. 109)

The virgin Mary’s doleful exhortation.

Incipit: Thou synfulle man of resone, þt walkest here up and downe
(3 st. of 7.) DIMEV 5851
10. (fol. 109)
Short charter of Christ
Incipit: Wette ye alle that bene here

(41 l.) With indulgence of 26030 years and 11 days.

DIMEV 6769
Incipit: God þt þt ys myghtfulle, Spede all ryghtfull, Helpe alle nedefulle, Have mercy one alle synfulle
DIMEV 1604
12. (fol. 110)
The Fifteen O's of Christ
Incipit: O Jh’u cryste of everlastynge swetines

(8 st.) After each follows “Amen, pater noster, Ave maria.”

DIMEV 3941

The last begins and ends thus—

Incipit: O Jh’u þu verey vyne and fecundiall y foundene—Amonge thy seyntes to prayse þe wt þe priese palernalle

Followed by four verses

Incipit: Plango meum

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment


Origin: 15th century ; English


Richard Wraxall (?): on the upper corner of the second page is a distich, written in a cypher of Arabic numerals for the vowels; which may be read thus— ‘Qui scripsit certe Ricardus nominatur aperte | Quod si queratur recte Wraxall cognominatur.’ On the middle of the last page but one is the following inscription, in the same hand (without cypher): “Dominus Ricardus Coscumbe prior de Muchelney est possessor huius libri.”

Fols. 70-115: Muchelney, Somerset, Benedictine abbey of St Peter and St Paul: "Dominus Ricardus Coscumbe de Muchelney est possessor huius libri" on fol. 115r, s. xv/xvi. (MLGB3: evidence from an inscription of ownership by an individual member of a religious house (which may not, however, be evidence for institutional ownership)). Coscombe occurs as prior in 1522: Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 3, 1519-1523, ed. J S Brewer (London, 1867), no. 2610.

MS. Ashmole 189 – III (fols. 116-200)


(fol. 116)
Astrological-medical compilation
Language(s): Middle Dutch (Flemish dialect) and Latin

For a full inventory see L. S. Chardonnens and J. G. M. Kienhorst, ‘Newly Discovered Notebooks of a Sixteenth-Century Flemish Astrologer Physician’, Queeste: Journal of Medieval Literature in the Low Countries, 25.1 (2018), 1–31. Includes:

(fol. 137)
Petrus Hispanus, Thesaurus Pauperum (recipes extracted from)
Incipit: Pro dolore capitis
Final rubric: Explicit tractatus qui intitulatur Thesaurus Pauperum magistri Petri Hispani quondam Pape

Chardonnens and Kienhorst, no. 24.

Language(s): Latin with some glosses in Middle Dutch (Flemish dialect)

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment


Origin: 16th century, first half ; Flanders (see Chardonnens and Kienhorst)

MS. Ashmole 189 – IV (fols. 201-215)


1. (fols. 201-202)
Astrology: horoscopes by Richard Trewythian

See Sophie Page, 'Richard Trewythian and the Uses of Astrology in Late Medieval England', Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 64 (2001), 193-228, who identifies the hand as Trewythian's.

(fol. 201)
Rubric: Questio pro furto 26 die mensis februarii anno 1427 imperfecto, hora 9. 10. minuto et bora Jovis; quis habet? ubi est res?
(fol. 201v)
Rubric: Questio utrum res est in villa illa vel non. hora 10a. et hora Jovis 14 die mensis marcij anno Christi 1427 imperfecto
(fol. 202)
Rubric: Figuræ quatuor super eclipsibus et conjunctionibus anno 1427 occurrentibus
(fol. 202v)
Rubric: Nativitas filii [blank] die martis et hora veneris videlicet hora prima post mediam noctem tempore eclipsis lune 11 die septemb
Rubric: Figura nativitatis Agnetis Crulle filia[e] Johanne Crulle post mediam noctem [30 Apr. 1432]
Rubric: Figura nativitatis Lucie filie Johanne [blank] hora fere 8 ante prandium 19 die Aprilis anno Christi 1432
Language(s): Latin
2. (fols. 203-209)

Ecclesiastical and astrological. Continuation of the tables of Nicholas of Lynne for three cycles: 1463-1482-1501 (van Dijk).

Language(s): Latin
(fol. 209v)
Ps.-Robert Grosseteste, Practica astrolabii (fragmentary)
Incipit: Astrolabii circulos et membra
Thomson, Grosseteste, 243
Language(s): Latin
3. (fol. 210r-v)
Verse prognostication from the day on which Christmas falls
Rubric: Thursday
Incipit: And crystmas day one thursday be
Explicit: Sum whatte may falle in every londe. Explicit.
DIMEV 3245
Language(s): Middle English
(fol. 211)
Terms of association
Incipit: An hare in his forme
Explicit: a Bittore vntached

Full text given IMEP p. 6, no. 18. Fol. 211v blank.

Language(s): Middle English
4. (fols. 216-213)
Secreta Secretorum (?)
Incipit: That age ys hote and moyst

Fols. 212-218 misbound: the order should be 216 —7—9—3—8—2—4—5

Cf. EETS 276 pp. 10-17, as noted IMEP p. 6 no. 19.

Language(s): Middle English
5. (fols. 213v, 218r-v, 212r-v, 214r-215v)
Storia Lune
Rubric: The xxxti daies of the mone
Incipit: Lordynges lasse and more: Lystnethe alle to my lore | And I shallow tell byfore: What tyme so a childe be bore | of that children what skal hym byfalle: to his endyng and happys alle. | And what bytokenethe your dremyng: that ye metyn yn your slepyng. | Good or yvelle or vanyte: Alto gyder hyre shal ye. | And also what tyme ys good: A man or womman to be lete blood. | Al thyng that ys to done than: As saithe the Jew to the xp’ en man. | To teche yow I haue ythoughte: What tyme ys good and what ys noughte

The ninth page ends thus, in the judgements on the 23d day of the moon’s age:

Explicit: Stele no thyng y counseil the; yf thow do ahonged shalt thow be

Fols. 212-218 misbound: the order should be 216 —7—9—3—8—2—4—5

DIMEV 3247

Preceded by 13 lines of verse (DIMEV 5154, beg. 'That man ys best yn mynde, and wel ymade yn kynde') forming a link with the preceding text.

Language(s): Middle English

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: paper


Origin: 15th century ; English

Additional Information

Record Sources

Description adapted (Oct. 2022) from 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), with additional reference to published literature as cited.


    Online resources:

    Printed descriptions:

    L. M. Eldredge, The Index of Middle English Prose IX: Manuscripts ... in the Ashmole Collection (Cambridge, 1992) [IMEP]
    S. J. P. van Dijk, Latin Liturgical Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, vol. 3: Rituals and Directories (typescript, 1957), p. 202

Last Substantive Revision

2022-10: Revised to include full details from Quarto catalogue.