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

Christ Church MS. 147

Wycliffite Pauline epistles; England, s. xvin.


Language(s): Middle English

1. Fols 1–155
Rubric: Heere biginneþ þe prolog on þe pistel to galathies
Incipit: (prologue) Galathies been grekis þei token firs
Final rubric: Ierom in his prolog in þe pistil to galaþies seiþ þus
Incipit: (text) Poul þe apostel not of men ne bi man | [fol. 1v] but bi ihesu crist
Explicit: [fol. 154v] of italie greetun ȝou wel þe grace of god | be wiþ ȝou alle Amen
Pauline Epistles, later Wycliffite version

Galatians-Hebrews only, in the usual order (lacks Laodiceans), with the expected prologues; ed. FM, 4:396–506. The order of contents is thus: [fol. 1] FM 4:396 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 707), [fol. 1–17v] Galatians, [fol. 18] FM 4:408 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 715), [fol. 18–35v] Ephesians, [fol. 35v] FM 4:420 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 728), [fol. 36–48] Philippians, [fol. 48v-49] FM 4:429 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 736), [fol. 49–60v] Colossians, [fol. 60v-61] FM 4:440 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 747), [fol. 61–71] I Thessalonians, [fol. 71r-v] FM 4:448 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 752), [fol. 71v-77] II Thessalonians, [fol. 77v] FM 4:453 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 765), [fol. 77v-92] I Timothy, [fol. 92] FM 4:464 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 772), [fol. 92v-102] II Timothy, [fol. 102r-v] FM 4:472 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 780), [fol. 102v-108v] Titus, [fol. 109] FM 4:477 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 783), [fol. 109–111v] Philemon, [fol. 112r-v] FM 4:480 (cf. Stegmüller, Bibl. 793), [fol. 113–155] Hebrews.

There is only a single line written on fol. 155, the rest of the page being blank.

Fol. 155v – 157: originally blank, but the leaves bounded and ruled.

Added texts (all in a single subprofessional bastard anglicana, s. xv2):

a. Fol. 155v

Proverbs 1:1–6, in the Wycliffite later version, ed. FM, 3:2.

b. Fol. 156v
Incipit: if þou haue þe crike take þine owne water . . .
Incipit: wytte haþ wondir þer resoun tele cane . . .

A medical recipe and a brief note.

c. Fol. 157

A translation of John 1:1–5, in a slightly shortened rendition of the Wycliffite later version, ed. FM. 4:234.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: me fro my
Form: codex
Support: Parchment (FSOS)
Extent: Fols: 157
Dimensions (leaf): 195 × 135 mm.
Dimensions (written): 126 × 80 mm.


18 (the bifolia fols 2+7 and 3+6 bound in reverse order) 2–78 88 (-1, a cancelled stub without text loss) 9–198 206. Catchwords in red scrolls (none at fol. 111v). Signatures originally on all leaves in the first half of each quire, a letter and an arabic numeral, the great majority cut away; in this system, quires 2–9 = b-I, and quires 16–17 may be p-q. There may be a production boundary at the end of quire 14 (fol. 111v), where Philemon ends and Hebrews begins on the following folio.


In long lines, 15 lines to the page.

Occasional signs of full pricking in outer margin; bounded and ruled in black ink.


Written in gothic textura quadrata.

Punctuation by point and double point.


Headings in red, including numeration of the chapters. At the openings of the books, three-line blue lombards with red flourishing (floral designs, a few heads). At the openings of prologues and chapters, similar two-line examples. The text is divided by red-slashed capitals (a very few red and blue paraphs early). Running titles, in a small contemporary hand, identify the books.


White leather over wooden boards, s. xv. Sewn on five thongs (the front board nearly free and only one thong still attached to its groove, one completely lost); the thongs are taken straight into the board, the upper and lower pairs pegged in a single hole, as in Pollard’s Figure 6. Three metal staples over a depression in the upper board to affix a strap, but no remains of its clasp on the lower board. No pastedowns, a ChCh bookplate pasted to the inside of the upper board. Attached to the binding is a thin book-mark of blue cloth (presently at fol. 36).


Origin: England; s. xvin

Provenance and Acquisition

There are a few signs of early and later readership: (a) a couple of notes explaining terms (fol. 1v, 22 (s. xv?); (b) a note (s. xvi) at the foot of fol. 5v noting displacement of text, as discussed above (see collation); (c) three short lines, the beginning of glossary (fol. 157v, another gloss written on the turn-in of the lower board, s. xvii); (d) the date ‘ANNO MMDCXVI [sic]’ in pencil (fol. 157v). Next to that confused date, in the margin and in another hand, there is ‘Liber Cathedralis Eclesiæ Christi Oxon’ (fol. 157v, s. xvii). How it came to ChCh is unclear: it is not listed in Thomas James’ Ecloga, so presumably arrived after its publication in 1600; it is also not mentioned in the Donors’ Register (MS LR 1). It was certainly in the Library collection by 1676 when it was listed in the catalogue, and its shelfmark there, ‘A.8’, appears at the turn-in of the leather cover to the upper board (see Appendix I); this has been cancelled and replaced beneath with the New Library’s ‘G.12’ (though in the catalogue it is G.11; on this, see Appendix IV). At the front board, a slip of paper, kept in place by being threaded through two of the thongs, records the contents of the manuscript and notes that there ‘are some slight differences in spelling between this & the MS. of the whole New Test. G. 10’, alluding to our MS. 146; this note in a script of the mid-nineteenth century, but clearly pre-dates Kitchin’s numbering of the manuscripts.

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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