MS. Ashmole 41
Summary Catalogue no.: 6921
Summary Catalogue no.: 8099
Middle English composite manuscript in two parts, A The Prick of Conscience, B miscellany of religious verse and prose (both s. xv1)
Catchwords in first part only, on folios 11v, 19v, 27v, 35v, 51v, 59v, 67v, 75v, 83v, 91v, 99v, 107v, 115v, and 123v, in scrolls. Leaf signatures occasionally visible in both parts but predominantly trimmed.
Late seventeenth-century calf binding over pasteboards, with raised bands and gold-tooled laurel wreath on spine, typical of Elias Ashmole's collection. Restored in December 1955.
A more specific binding date can be suggested from the flyleaves. The watermark on the rear flyleaf can be identified as Churchill, 'Foolscap' 348 (1935), dated to 1672 from a manuscript in Worcester Cathedral Library by Churchill. The same watermark appears in Folger Shakespeare Library, C 185, Cabala, Sive, Scrinia, Sacra, printed for G. Bedell and T. Collins in London in 1663.
Provenance and Acquisition
The difference in condition and size of the two parts of the manuscript suggests they initially circulated separately and bound together much later. Provenance for each part has been recorded separately.
The manuscript was later owned by Elias Ashmole, who signs his name in the upper margin of folio 1r and adds a note to the verso of the flyleaf opposite: ‘This treatise de Stimulo Conscientiae was written by Richard Rolle alias de Hampole, a hermite, who dyed on Mich'as day 1349, and was buryed in Hampole Monastery neere Doncaster in Yorkshire. Vide Baleum fo: 431.’. It is likely that Ashmole aquired the two composite parts separately and combined them into one volume when he rebound them in the 1660-70s, as it was his practice to compile multiple booklets.
The manuscript was bequeathed to the Ashmolean Museum by Elias Ashmole in 1692, in one volume, as part of his donation of 1,100 printed books and 600 manuscripts.
The manuscript was kept in the Ashmolean until 1860, when the collection was transferred to the Bodleian Library .
Digital Bodleian (1 image from 35mm slides)
Last Substantive Revision
2023-02-10: Charlotte Ross Revised with consultation of original.