Christ Church MS. 344 = Christ Church Archives, D&C vi.c.4
Documents relating to the early history of Oxford Cathedral and of Cardinal College; England, 1542 (I), s. xvimed (II, III), with item 6 dated 1529
Table of contents, s. xix, in the hands of the foliation.
fol. iv – iv: blank
Light brown reversed calf over millboards with plain rectangular design, with some dark patches perhaps suggesting it was originally gold tooled, s. xvii4/4. Sewn on six thongs. At top of spine, written in black ink: ‘Char-|ters’. Below that, in upper-most compartment of spine, a red leather slip with in gold letters: ‘Charters &c.’ In next compartment down, the remains of a paper slip. In its material, design, red slip and note in pen, this binding is very similar to our D&C vi.c.1 and 2 (= MSS 340 and 338), and thus can be attributed to Richard Sedgley and tentatively dated to the 1680s (see D&C vi.c.1, binding).
At both front and back, a parchment pastedown, added to the binding at a later date. Each pastedown provides a complete folio, the two folios being consecutive, from one Lectionary, written in textura (England, s. xv1), 413mm x 282mm; written space: 262mm x 240mm, in double columns of 47 lines (110mm wide); full ruling in red. The text provides readings for the feasts of 23rd and 24th July (St Apollinaris and Christina) and shows signs of post-Break with Rome ‘cleansing’ of the text by the erasure of ‘pape’ in the title of a Homily of St Gregory.
Provenance and Acquisition
Top of front pastedown, in pencil (s. xx1): ‘Belonging to the Chapter of Christ Church, Oxford’. Patently, the volume was constructed by bringing together documents of relevance to the foundation’s history, and held in the Chapter House. Two of the documents – items 3 and 5 – were already bound together before this codex was created: an entry in the Disbursement Books from the summer of 1598 records the taking up to London ‘of our brode booke containing our dotacion and foundacion’ (ChCh Archives, xii.b.41, fol. 58). Presumably, the collection of documents as it now stands was brought together at the time of the present binding, when other manuscripts held by the Cathedral were receiving similar attention. The parchment pastedowns, however, were most likely added later; their origin is unclear: they do not relate to any of the fragments preserved in our MS 378.
This manuscript is identifiable in the 1771 catalogue of books in the Chapter House as number 6, ‘A Book of Charters and Donations of Henry the Eighth and Queen Mary. Fol.’: ChCh Archives, D&C iv.a.1, fol. 12, and see the Headnote to Chapter House Manuscripts.
For enquiries relating to this manuscript please contact Christ Church Library.