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

Christ Church MS. 108

Vulgate Bible; England, s. xiiiex.


Language(s): Latin

1. Fols 1ra-360vb
Incipit: Frater ambrosius tua michi munuscula perferrens
Rubric: [fol. 3ra] Incipit liber Bresith quem nos Genesim dicimus
Incipit: | [fol. 3rb] In principio creauit deus celum et terram
Rubric: [fol. 286rb] Incipit prologus Ieronimi presbiteri iiij. euangelistarum ad damasum papam
Incipit: Beatissimo pape damaso ieronimus Nouum opus me facere cogis ex ueteri
Rubric: [fol. 287rb] Incipit evangelium secundum Mathevm
Incipit: Liber generationis ihesu cristi filii dauid filii abraham
Explicit: et omnes sanctos Salutant uos de italia Gracia cum omnibus uobis amen
Vulgate Bible

With substantial deviations from Ker’s standard order (MMBL, 1:96–97): it lacks the Prayer of Manasses and III Ezra; Tobit follows Esther; thereafter the order is Maccabees, Psalms, the prophets (with Baruch following Daniel), Job (fol. 253ra), and the Solomonic books (with Ecclesiasticus, including the prayer of Solomon, preceding Wisdom). In the New Testament, the Gospels are followed by Acts, the Catholic Epistles, Apocalypse and, finally, the Pauline epistles (with I & II Thessalonians preceding Colossians).

There is also considerable variation from Ker’s set of standard prologues, with an unusually large number absent: Stegmüller, Bibl. 327 to II Chronicles, Stegmüller, Bibl. 547 and 553 to I Maccabees, Stegmüller, Bibl. 507 to Hosea, Stegmüller, Bibl. 511 to Joel, Stegmüller, Bibl. 515 and 513 to Amos, Stegmüller, Bibl. 524 to Jonah, Stegmüller, Bibl. 462 to Ecclesiastes, Stegmüller, Bibl. 468 to Wisdom, and Stegmüller, Bibl. 589 to Matthew. There are also a number of substitutions (to Obadiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Job, Apocalypse, and Romans), and there are several extra prologues (to Daniel, Job [at end], Matthew and Romans).

The contents are thus as follows: [fol. 1ra-3ra] Stegmüller, Bibl. 284 and 285, [fol. 3rb-17va] Genesis, [fol. 17vb-29ra] Exodus, [fol. 29ra-37ra] Leviticus, [fol. 37ra-48va] Numbers, [fol. 48va-58vb] Deuteronomy, [fol. 58vb-59ra] Stegmüller, Bibl. 311, [fol. 59ra-66ra] Joshua, [fol. 66ra-73rb] Judges, [fol. 73rb-74ra] Ruth, [fol. 74rb-vb] Stegmüller, Bibl. 323, [fol. 74vb-84rb] I Kings, [fol. 84va-92rb] II Kings, [fol. 92va-102ra] III Kings, [fol. 102ra-111rb] IV Kings, [fol. 111rb-vb] Stegmüller, Bibl. 328, [fol. 111vb-120vb] I Chronicles, [fol. 120vb-132va] II Chronicles, [fol. 132va-vb] Stegmüller, Bibl. 330, [fol. 132vb-136ra] I Ezra, [fol. 136ra-140va] Nehemiah, [fol. 140va-vb] Stegmüller, Bibl. 335, [fol. 140vb-144vb] Judith, [fol. 144vb] Stegmüller, Bibl. 341 and 343, [fol. 145ra-149ra] Esther, [fol. 149ra] Stegmüller, Bibl. 332, [fol. 149ra-152rb] Tobit, [fol. 152rb] Stegmüller, Bibl. 551, [fol. 152va-162vb] I Maccabees, [fol. 162vb-170rb] II Maccabees, [fol. 170rb-188va] Psalms, [fol. 188vb] Stegmüller, Bibl. 482, [fol. 188vb-202va] Isaiah, [fol. 202va-vb] Stegmüller, Bibl. 487, [fol. 202vb-220ra] Jeremiah, [fol. 220ra-rb] Stegmüller, Bibl. 492, [fol. 220rb-233vb] Ezekiel, [fol. 233vb-234ra] Stegmüller, Bibl. 498 and 494 (presented without a break), [fol. 234ra-239vb] Daniel, [fol. 239vb] Stegmüller, Bibl. 491, [fol. 239vb-241va] Baruch, [fol. 241va] Stegmüller, Bibl. 500, [fol. 241vb-243va] Hosea, [fol. 243va] Stegmüller, Bibl. 510, [fol. 243va-244rb] Joel, [fol. 244rb] Stegmüller, Bibl. 512 (incomplete), [fol. 244rb-245vb] Amos, [fol. 245vb] Stegmüller, Bibl. 516 and a prologue beginning ‘Arguunt illi qui populum domini persequentes eum uirtute . . .’, [fol. 245vb-246ra] Obadiah, [fol. 246ra] Stegmüller, Bibl. 521, [fol. 246ra-va] Jonah, [fol. 246va] Stegmüller, Bibl. 525, [fol. 246vb-247vb] Micah, [fol. 247vb] Stegmüller, Bibl. 527, [fol. 247vb-248rb] Nahum, [fol. 248rb] Stegmüller, Bibl. 529, [fol. 248rb-vb] Habakkuk, [fol. 248vb] Stegmüller, Bibl. 532, [fol. 248vb-249va] Zephaniah, [fol. 249va] Stegmüller, Bibl. 535, [fol. 249va-250ra] Haggai, [fol. 250ra] Stegmüller, Bibl. 540, [fol. 250ra-252rb] Zechariah, [fol. 252rb] Stegmüller, Bibl. 544, [fol. 252rb-253ra] Malachi, [fol. 253ra-va] Stegmüller, Bibl. 344 and 349, [fol. 253va-260vb] Job, [fol. 260vb-261ra] Stegmüller, Bibl. 350 and 457, [fol. 261ra-267ra] Proverbs, [fol. 267ra-269ra] Ecclesiastes, [fol. 269rb-270va] Song of Songs, [fol. 270va-282ra] Ecclesiasticus, [fol. 282ra-286rb] Wisdom, [fol. 286rb-287rb] Stegmüller, Bibl. 595, 601, 596 and 590, [fol. 287rb-296vb] Matthew, [fol. 296vb] Stegmüller, Bibl. 607, [fol. 296vb-302vb] Mark, [fol. 302vb-303ra] Stegmüller, Bibl. 620, [fol. 303ra-313ra] Luke, [fol. 313ra-rb] Stegmüller, Bibl. 624, [fol. 313rb-320vb] John, [fol. 320vb] Stegmüller, Bibl. 640, [fol. 320vb-330va] Acts, [fol. 330va-vb] Stegmüller, Bibl. 809, [fol. 330vb-335ra] Catholic Epistles, [fol. 335ra] Stegmüller, Bibl. 834, [fol. 335ra-339va] Apocalypse, [fol. 339va-340va] Stegmüller, Bibl. 647, 670, 674 , 651 and 677, [fol. 340va-344rb] Romans, [fol. 344rb-348ra] I Corinthians, [fol. 348ra] Stegmüller, Bibl. 699, [fol. 348ra-350rb] II Corinthians, [fol. 350rb-351vb] Galatians, [fol. 351vb] Stegmüller, Bibl. 707, [fol. 351vb-352vb] Ephesians, [fol. 352vb] Stegmüller, Bibl. 728, [fol. 352vb-353vb] Philippians, [fol. 353vb] Stegmüller, Bibl. 747, [fol. 353vb-354va] I Thessalonians, [fol. 354va] Stegmüller, Bibl. 752, [fol. 354va-vb] II Thessalonians, [fol. 355ra] Stegmüller, Bibl. 736, [fol. 355ra-vb] Colossians, [fol. 355vb] Stegmüller, Bibl. 765, [fol. 355vb-356vb] I Timothy, [fol. 356vb] Stegmüller, Bibl. 772, [fol. 356vb-357va] II Timothy, [fol. 357va] Stegmüller, Bibl. 780, [fol. 357va-vb] Titus, [fol. 357vb-358ra] Stegmüller, Bibl. 783, [fol. 358ra] Philemon, [fol. 358ra-rb] Stegmüller, Bibl. 793, [fol. 358rb-360vb] Hebrews.

2. Fols 357bisra-62vb
Rubric: Incipiunt interpretaciones nominum hebreicorum secundum id[sic] quae in biblioteca scripta sunt et a beato Ieronimo translata de hebraica ueritate in latinum
Incipit: Assur a quo denominati sunt Assyrii interpretatur gens uel arguens
Explicit: Zenam commocionem eius uel commouens eum uel ipse requiescens Zebub musca Zabulus aduersarius
Jerome, Interpretationes nominum Hebræicorum

CPL 581, ed. Paul de Lagarde, CC 72 (1959), 59–161 passim (Assur = 60/21, Zenam = 159/28), presented in triple columns. Rearranged in alphabetical order, but under ‘A’ disposed in Jerome’s order, that of the biblical books.

Added text on the rear flyleaf:

a. Fol. 363
Rubric: [the first line of the heading cut away] ... de libro et Registro eorundem tempore Sixti pape quarti
Incipit: Eam vero partem literarum eiusdem clementis predecessoris in qua sepulturam in Ecclesiis fratrum dicti ordinis liberam esse voluit
Explicit: ac ecclesiarum Rectores Iuste laudabiles et honeste in posterum obseruentur Ita est fideliter extractum et accopiatum per me Iohannem dei nucij notarium publicum propria mea Manu et cum signo Manuali

In cursive script with anglicana ‘r’, s. xvex. Sixtus was pope 1471–84, and the text refers to Clementinæ 3.7.2 (CJC, 2:1161–64) on friars’ privileges.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: In promtu
Secundo Folio: de et (fol. 4)
Form: codex
Support: Very thin parchment (HSOS?)
Extent: Fols: i + 366 (numbered fols 1–360 [item (1)], 357–62 [item (2)]) + ii (numbered fols 363 and 364). Flyleaves paper apart from first at rear (fol. 363) which is medieval parchment (probably a pastedown from an earlier binding).
Dimensions (leaf): 232 × 165 mm.


18 24 3–3012 31–328 332. No catchwords; rare evidence of leaf signatures, rubricated at top right of the opening rectos of quires, formed of a symbol for the quire and a letter for the leaf (eg fol. 301 etc). There is also an early modern pagination ‘a 1–8’ in the first quire.


Heavily mildewed with some loss of corners of early folios, but text always legible; a good many folios have repairs in modern paper or are mounted individually.


In double columns, each column 152 × 45 mm. , with 7 mm between columns, in 60 lines to the column, written below top line.

Bounded and ruled in brown ink and pencil, with additional double borders (4mm wide) on all sides (inner line of each 12mm above writing area, 33mm below it, 7mm from its inner edge and 25mm from outer); in addition, the central reservation divided by a further vertical line.


Written in gothic textura rotunda, probably a pair of scribes alternating sections.

Punctuation by point and punctus elevatus.


Headings in red, with much running and offset, given the damage from damp. At the openings of the books, nine- and ten-line red and blue lombards with flourishing of the same; at the openings of the prologues, two- or three-line red lombards with blue flourishing. Chapters indicated by alternate red and blue lombards in the margin, one-line alternate red and blue lombards in the text (usually, but not always, unflourished). The text is divided by red-slashed capitals. Running titles in alternate red and blue lombards indicate the books.


Brown leather, with a plain stamped frame outline over millboards, dateable to 1628 (see provenance). Sewn on four thongs. Edges all red speckled, a shelfmark ‘Th.B.1’ painted in black on fore-edge. Paper pastedowns, a ChCh bookplate on the front pastedown.


Origin: England; s. xiiiex

Provenance and Acquisition

The manuscript provides no early information of its whereabouts; there are a few pentrials, mostly biblical bits and two names: ‘Thomas’ (fol. 363v; s. xv), and ‘margaret an’ (fol. 156; s. xvi1). A note on the front pastedown, ‘1628. Ex dono Honoratissimi Comitis de Corke’, shows the book was given by Richard Boyle (1566–1643), created earl of Cork in 1620. For his colourful career in Ireland, see Toby Barnard in Oxford DNB. The gift is not recorded in the Donors’ Book but the explanation of how Boyle – himself a Cambridge man, having attended Corpus Christi College – came to donate a volume to ChCh is provided by his notebooks, where, under 27th October 1628, he records: ‘I sent my manuscript byble to my unckle, Doctor Weston, to be as my gift given to the library of christchurch colledg in oxford, and paid 3s and 6d for byndyng [The Lismore Papers,1st ser., 5 vols, ed. Alexander B. Grosart (sl, 1886), 2:284].’

John Weston (1551/2–1632), DCL (1590), canon of ChCh from 1591, was Boyle’s uncle by marriage, being the brother of Alice, mother to Boyle’s second wife, Catherine Fenton (AO). John was also son of Robert Weston (d. 1573), sometime lord chancellor of Ireland, on whom see Andrew Lyall in Oxford DNB. When Boyle sent this gift to Oxford, he himself was not in Ireland but in and around London; the plain binding which he provided for this manuscript must, then, have been made in the capital in the autumn of 1628. During his visit, his papers suggest, he was keen to show both family piety and to nurture associations which could be helpful to his tempestuous political career; this gift presumably served both these purposes. Perhaps he also had in mind the future education of one or more of his seven sons, the youngest of whom, Robert (1627–1691), was of course later to become the outstanding Oxford scientist, while the eldest, Richard (1612–1698), who was to be 2nd earl of Cork, did apparently study briefly in Oxford in 1629–30 (Toby Barnard in Oxford DNB). It was only, however, with the 2nd earl’s sons, Charles and (another) Richard, that there is a definite educational presence of the family at Christ Church, both matriculating in 1656 (AO, 163). The first of these was to be a donor of a printed book to the library (see Appendix II, C.2.1).

The book also bears old ChCh shelfmarks: that of the 1676 catalogue, ‘A.11’ (front pastedown, cancelled, and fol. i), and that given it with the move to the New Library, ‘G.5’ (front pastedown). At top right of fol. i, a cancelled mark, ‘Th. B. 1’, agreeing with that on the fore-edge and presumably relating to the pre-1676 sequence, though this does not appear in John Hinton’s 1665 catalogue (on which, see Introduction, ‘Age of Catalogues’).

Record Sources

Ralph Hanna and David Rundle, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Western Manuscripts, to c. 1600, in Christ Church, Oxford (Oxford, 2017).


For enquiries relating to this manuscript please contact Christ Church Library.

Last Substantive Revision

2017-07-01: First online publication.

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