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

Christ Church MS. 146

Wycliffite New Testament; England (?Midlands), s. xvin.


Language(s): English. ‘Language probably of E Nhants on the Hunts/Beds border’ (Angus McIntosh, M. L. Samuels, et al ., A Linguistic Atlas of Late Mediaeval English, 4 vols (Aberdeen, 1986) 1:152, no linguistic profile given).

1. Fols 1–10
Rubric: Here bigyneth a reule that tellith in whiche chapitres of the bible

The table of lections for the year, both temporale and sanctorale, ed. FM, 4683–98. Fol. 10v is blank but ruled.

Fol. 10v is blank but ruled.

2. Fols 11ra-200va
Rubric: Here bigynneþ þe prolog of Matheu
Incipit: Matheu þat was of iude as he is set first in ordre of þe gospellers
Rubric: [fol. 11rb] Here bigynneþ þe firste chapitre of mathewe
Incipit: The book of þe generacioun of ihesu \crist [marg.]/ þe sone of dauid þe sone of abraham
Explicit: I come sone amen come þou lord ihesu þe grace of oure \lord [marg., later]/ ihesu crist be wiþ ȝou alle Amen
Final rubric: Here eendiþ þe apocalips of ion
New Testament, later Wycliffite version

Ed. FM 4. In FM’s listing of manuscripts, this was number 92 (1:li); they dated it (surely too late) to ‘c. 1440’. The text is complete (Laodiceans does not appear), with all the prologues commonly found in later version Wycliffite bibles.

The order of contents is thus: [fol. 1ra-rb] FM 4:2 (cf Stegmüller, Bibl. 590 & 589), [fol. 1rb-34vb] Matthew, [fol. 35ra-rb] FM 4:86–87 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 607), [fol. 35rb-49vb] Mark, [fol. 49vb-50ra] FM 4:141–42 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 620), [fol. 50ra-75rb] Luke, [fol. 75va-vb] FM 4:233–34 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 624), [fol. 75vb-95rb] John, [fol. 95rb-va] FM 4:303 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 677), [fol. 95va-105rb] Romans, [fol. 105rb-va] FM 4:338 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 685), [fol. 105va-115rb] I Corinthians, [fol. 115rb] FM 4:373 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 699), [fol. 115rb-121vb] II Corinthians, [fol. 121vb] FM 4:396 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 707), [fol. 121vb-125ra] Galatians, [fol. 125ra] FM 4:408 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 715), [fol. 125ra-128ra] Ephesians, [fol. 128ra-rb] FM 4:420 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 728), [fol. 128rb-130va] Philippians, [fol. 130va] FM 4:429 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 736), [fol. 130va-132vb] Colossians, [fol. 132vb] FM 4:440 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 747), [fol. 132vb-134vb] I Thessalonians, [fol. 134vb] FM 4:448 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 752), [fol. 134vb-136ra] II Thessalonians, [fol. 136ra] FM 4:453 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 765), [fol. 136ra-138vb] I Timothy, [fol. 138vb] FM 4:464 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 772), [fol. 138vb-140vb] II Timothy, [fol. 140vb] FM 4:472 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 780), [fol. 140vb-141vb] Titus, [fol. 141vb] FM 4:477 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 783), [fol. 142ra-rb] Philemon, [fol. 142rb-va] FM 4:480 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 793), [fol. 142va-150rb] Hebrews, [fol. 150rb-va] FM 4:507–508 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 640), [fol. 150va-177rb] Acts, [fol. 177va-vb] FM 4:594–95 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 809), [fol. 177vb-188ra] Catholic Epistles, [fol. 188rb-189rb] FM 4:638–40 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 839), [fol. 189rb-200va] Apocalypse.

The scribe regularly corrects his text in two scripts, that of the main text and a smaller, thinner script (cf. fol. 83 and 83v, for instance); he also divided the chapters into sections, marked by a letter in the margin, but those are not used in item 4.

3. Fols 200va-31va
Rubric: Here bigynnen þe lessouns and pistlis of þe oold lawe þat ben rad in þe chirche bi alle þe 3eer þe firste friday lessoun in aduent
Incipit: \isaie lj. capitulo/ þe lord seiþ þese þingis Heriþ me ȝe þat suen þat þat is iust
Explicit: to preie for deed men þat þei ben vnbounden fro synnes
Final rubric: Here enden pistlis and lessouns of þe old lawe

A lectionary for the full year. It follows immediately after item 2.

4. Fols 231va-38va
Rubric: Here bigynneþ a table of certeyne maters of þe newe testament tellynge in what bokes and in what chapiters of þe bokes þei stonden
Incipit: Maters of þe gospel of mathewe j. capitulo Off þe generacioun of crist How ioseph spouside marie
Explicit: commeþ soon and meed wiþ hym To 3eelde to ich man vp hise werkis
Final rubric: Here eendiþ þe table of þe newe testament

A table of contents by chapters. The break between items 3 and 4 is merely a space of two lines. Fol. 238vb is blank.

Fol. 239–242: all blank.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: Wedenesday
Secundo Folio: & axe 3e (fol. 12)
Form: codex
Support: Parchment (FSOS?)
Extent: Fols: iv + 238 + iv (numbered fols 239–42). Only very first and last flyleaves added parchment; all others and pastedowns integral.
Dimensions (leaf): 197 × 125 mm.


110 2–2012. Catchwords in red boxes, sometimes with penwork decoration. All leaves in the first half of each quire originally signed with a letter and roman numeral, many cut away; in this system, quires 2–20 = a-t.


In double columns, each column 147 × 43 mm. , with 6 mm between the columns, in 41 lines to the column.

Full pricking frequently visible in the upper halves of leaves to about fol. 130; bounded and ruled in black and brownish ink.


Written in gothic textura semiquadrata.

Punctuation by double point, virgula, punctus interrogativus, and occasional point.


Headings in red. At the openings of the books, five-line gold leaf lombards with navy flourishing and floral designs; at the openings of the chapters, two-line blue lombards with red flourishing. The text is divided by blue paraphs preceding red-slashed capitals. Chapter numbers in red within the column. Running titles in the text hand and ink, often red-slashed, a few in red, identify the book. See AT no. 440 (44), dating c. 1440.


Brown leather over wood, s. xviex, early rebacked. Blindstamped with two rolls: Oldham’s HM.f (2) surrounded by his HM.h (11). Both are London stamps, and Oldham reports (53) another book, datable 1572, with both. Sewn on five thongs taken straight into the board, as in Pollard’s Figure 4, but not staggered. Short leather straps with large ornate brass clips and clasps. The seating of the upper one, upper board, with three nails, is probably original, but the remainder, the clips themselves, the seating of the lower, and the clasps in the lower board all appear repairs. Signs that there was a chain-staple in Watson’s position 6, presumably a ChCh intervention (see Appendix I).


Origin: England (?Midlands); s. xvin

Provenance and Acquisition

There are erased indications of earlier ownership: ‘To his frynde’ (fol. 242 upside down, s. xviin); fol. 242v has an inscription in the same hand, a pentrial, and two Latin verses (another pair occurs on the rear pastedown), along with erased ownership inscriptions, incl. ‘Thomas [two of the erasures with surname]’ and ‘Iohn har’, both s. xviex. The two annotations, s. xvi (fol. 108v: ‘nota’; fol. 131v: ‘Good’), appear to be in another hand.

Donated by Thomas Ballow: ‘Liber Ædis Christi ex dono Thomæ Ballowe Artium Magistri et eiusdem Collegij Studentis Octob. 21o 1629o’ (fol. ivv). The Donors’ Register (MS LR 1) for 1631 [sic] (p. 74a) records Ballow’s gift of a printed copy of Sextus Empiricus (Geneva, 1621) and ‘Nouum Testamentum Mss Anglo-Saxonice’. He was the son of the William Ballow (who gave our MSS 90 and 91) and he matriculated at Christ Church in 1621. He received degrees of BA, MA, and DD in 1624, 1627, and 1661, respectively. After an appointment as Whyte Professor of Moral Philosophy 1630–34, he served in a number of parishes: as vicar of Sutton with Seaford (Sussex) 1639 (from which he was sequestered in 1645), as vicar of Westley Waterless (Cambs.) 1649, as canon of Chichester 1660, and as rector of South Stoke (Oxon.) 1663–79 and of Felpham (Sussex) 1669–70 (AO, 64). Ballow’s Sextus Empiricus is no longer in Christ Church’s collection; it was presumably considered surplus to requirements when another copy of the same edition arrived in Wake’s gift (incidentally, that copy, now Wn.2.6, was once in Queen’s College, having been donated by Christopher Potter (1591–1646) in 1634; it presumably became surplus to their requirements when another copy was given to them by their major donor, Thomas Barlow).

At the front pastedown are two former ChCh shelfmarks, the earlier being that of the 1676 Catalogue, ‘A.12’, cancelled (see Appendix I) and replaced by the New Library’s ‘G.10’, written by Edward Smallwell (see Appendix IV). He also adds, at fol. i, a note, ‘The New Testament of Wickliffe’s Translation Vide E.4’, cross-referring to our MS. 145 (where there is a similar note by him). At the same flyleaf, a paper slip glued in noting that ‘This MS of Wiclifs NT corresponds almost verbatim with the copy printed by Lewis & Baber [(London, 1731)]’ and signed ‘TVS 1827’, that is Thomas Vowler Short, Censor (1819–29) and Librarian (1822–29) of Christ Church, and later bishop of St Asaph (on whom, see A. R. Buckland, rev. M. C. Curthoys in Oxford DNB, and, for an image of his handwriting, see Curthoys, 206). He was presumably interested in the Wycliffite volumes in the collection while he prepared for publication A Sketch of the History of the Church of England to the Revolution 1688(Oxford, 1832).

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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