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

Christ Church MS. 140

John Foxe, Syllogisticon; England, s. xviex

Physical Description

Composite: main MS || fol. 73 (wrapper)


Present binding of stiffened leather covered, apart from spine, with grey paper, s. xx. This replaces the previous binding which is in situ as fol. 73 and was a parchment wrapper (= part 2 of MS.).

Christ Church MS. 140, Part 1 - main MS.


Language(s): Latin

fol. iiir-v: blank

1. fol. iv
Rubric: SYLLOGISTICON hoc est ARGVMENTA SEV PRObationes & Resolutiones in vtramque partem hinc inde ê Theologorum libris desumptae, atque in nudas Syllogismorum formas redactae De re et material Sacramenti Eucharistici. Cum Epistola ad Papistas hortatoria per Jo. Foxum.

Title-page to following work, imitating the layout of the printed book. At bottom left, in secretary script, the publication details from the title-page: ‘Londin. excudebat Jo: Daius. cum gratia et privilegio regineae maiestatis’.

fol. ivv: blank

2. fol. 1–66
Incipit: (preface) [address centred and shaped cul-de-lampe] Eximio Theologo Ioan. Hardingo Collegii Χαλκορριυς .i. Titulo Ænei Nasi apud Oxonienses praefecto Io. Foxus S.
Incipit: (text) Salutem in Christo Domino. Quod publice et vniversim
Explicit: [fol. 65v] foveatque ad aeternam salutis nostrae satietatem. Amen. [followed at fol. 66 by the ‘Tabula in Sextum Caput Ioan.’, placed at right-angles to text]
John Foxe, Syllogisticon

London: John Day, [1560 × 1565] [STC 11249]. The main text of ‘argumenta et probationes’ is preceded by the dedicatory letter to John Harding (fol. 1r-v, with lower half of fol. 1v blank), and the ‘EPISTOLA HORTATORIA AD PONTIFICOS ET ROmanae Ecclesiae Sectatores [corrected to ‘Sectarios’] quos vulgo papistas appellant. Epistola hortatoria Ioannis Foxi.’ (fol. 2–10, with fol. 10v blank).

This copy listed by Peter Beal as FxJ 15 in his on-line Catalogue of English Literary Manuscripts 1450–1700 [last accessed 10th December 2015].

On the work, see V. Norskov Olsen, John Foxe and the Elizabethan Church(Berkeley CA, 1973), 136–41, and on its place in the author’s career, Elizabeth Evenden and Thomas S. Freeman, Religion and the Book in Early Modern England(Cambridge, 2011), chapter 2 (esp. 33).

fol. 66v-75: blank, except for fol. 73 which is the former wrapper (see binding).

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: disputationes (fol. 3)
Form: codex
Support: Paper (watermarks English royal arms, surmounted by an imperial crown and within the Garter; pot with ‘OO’)
Extent: Fols: ii + 76 + iii (numbered: i-iv, 1–75, a foliation which omits one after each of fol. 68, 69 and 70, each uncut at top and so conjoint with its preceding numbered folio). All but the first flyleaf at back (ie fol. i-ii and 74–75) are thick paper added with the binding; the first ‘flyleaf’ at back, fol. 73, is a parchment leaf, formerly the manuscript’s wrapper, tipped into place (see binding).
Dimensions (leaf): 208 × 144 mm.
Dimensions (written): 160–70 × 95–100 mm.
(very variable)


14 (fol. iii-iv, 1–2) 2–74 84 (lacking last, now a cancelled stub after fol. 28) 9–174 188 (with two inserted after second as fol. 68 and fol. 68bis, uncut at top). The last quire ends at fol. 72: it is followed by the tipped-in former wrapper, now fol. 73, and by the bifolium, fol. 74–75, which is of a piece with the binding. Simple horizontal catchwords to each page; no quire signatures.


Written in one current and uneven italic script, with no ruling and becoming more cramped towards the end of the volume, so that the number of lines varies from 27 to 34.


Italic script.


This copy was designed for private edification and not to be pleasing to the eye. There are frequent corrections, with words crossed out with double strokes, and occasional marginal additions. Throughout, in imitation of the printed work from which it is transcribed, the text-block of each page is surmounted by running headers in capitals.


Origin: England; s. xviex


Kitchin dated this manuscript ‘saec. xvii’ while Peter Beal, in his on-line Catalogue of English Literary Manuscripts 1450–1700, estimates ‘mid-16th century’, which is more appropriate given the script. However, given the first watermark, which is known as one of John Spilman’s, it must date after the establishment of his mill in c. 1588 (Allan Stevenson, ‘Tudor Roses from John Tate’, Studies in Bibliography, 20 (1967), 15–34 (27n); H. R. Woudhuysen, Sir Philip Sidney and the Circulation of Manuscripts 1558–1640(Oxford, 1996), 327).

There is no internal evidence to reveal the creator of this manuscript who, because of the paper stock, must have been working, at the earliest, at the very end of the 1580s. Early in its life, a reader, who adds the publication details at the foot of fol. 1 (and so has a copy of the printed book on the desk), adds marginalia in a secretary script. These are often Biblical citations (eg fol. 11, 18v [vertical], 21, 40v, 63v) but on occasion note the use of Church Fathers (eg fol. 29v-30).

The only certain moment in the history of the volume is provided by a note at the centre left of fol. iii: ‘Edward Gregory’ (s. xviii). There were two Housemen of that name, father and son. The elder was born 1677 or 1678, matriculated 24 May 1694, took his BA in 1698, was ordained deacon the following year and priest on 16 March 1701, becoming vicar of Wotton-under-Edge in Gloucestershire in 1708. It was in that year and place that his son was born; he matriculated on 3 July 1724 and took his BA in 1728, being ordained deacon the same year and priest in 1730, at the same time as he was instituted Rector of St Olave’s, Chichester (AO, AO mod., CCEd). Judging from the likely date of the script, it is perhaps more likely that it is the son who signed the manuscript.

It would, however, be legitimate to doubt whether the manuscript came to ChCh directly from him: it does not appear in the New Library catalogue or show any sign of having been given a shelfmark placing it in that arrangement or in the Wake Archive. This might suggest a late date of arrival, possibly post-1800, as additions were still being made to the New Library catalogue up to the turn of the century. The Donors’ Register (MS LR 1) does not shed light on this and we are left with the only certainty being that it had arrived in time to appear in Kitchin’s 1867 catalogue (50).

Christ Church MS. 140, Part 2- fol. 73 (former wrapper)


Ps.-Bonaventure (attrib. Iohannes de Caulibus), Meditationes vitae Christi

What served as the outer side of the wrapper was previously the verso of the folio, providing the opening of ch. 24, while the inside, once the recto, provides the end of ch. 21 and the start of ch. 22.

Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Formerly the wrapper for the MS (see Binding above). What would have acted as the spine is rubbed and attached to it is the nineteenth-century tab with the present shelfmark.
Support: Parchment.
Dimensions (leaf): 304 × 197 mm.
Dimensions (written): 248 × 131 mm.


The presence of a horizontal catchword shows this was the last folio of a quire.


35 long lines; the page is lightly ruled in plummet, with double horizontal borders at top and bottom extending to the edges (space between lines: 7mm; height of minims: 3mm)

There is pricking close to the edge of what would have been the outer margin.


Textura rotunda with shaded ascenders


The chapter titles are rubricated and there are running headers on each page: ‘vita domini Ihesu’.


Origin: s. xvin

Additional Information

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.

See the Availability section of this record for information on viewing the item in a reading room.