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

Christ Church MS. 90

Commentary on Daniel; England, s. xv3/4


Language(s): Latin

Fols 1ra-123vb
Incipit: Intelligencia opus est in visione daniel x.a Sicut dicut Augustinus contra faustum libro 22.g loca scripturarum de quibus calumpniantur heretici presentata. . .
Incipit: [fol. 2rb] Danielem prophetam etc. Sicut dicit papias argumentum est quod in principio libri breuiter causam pandit . . .
Incipit: [fol. 2vb] Anno tercio ioachim regis iuda etc. Sicut dictum est liber iste est liber visionum danielis
Explicit: comedit actus 9 Cum accepisset cibum confortat⟨u⟩s est Porro angelus||
Commentary on Daniel

Anonymous, the text apparently unique, and not to be associated, as Stegmüller, Bibl. does at Stegmüller, Bibl. 4801 (3:385, cf. nos 4820, 8042), with ps.-Aquinas (in fact probably the work of Johannes de Muro OFM, d. 1312), In Danielem prophetam expositio, ed. in Aquinas’s Opera 31 (Paris, 1876), 195–281.

The text breaks off in Dan. 14:38; in the lower margin of fol. 123v, below the explicit, the donor to ChCh (the same hand writes this note as that of donation at fol. 1: see provenance) writes: ‘Deest vna vel altera pagella, cæterum ne parti reliquæ sacrilegæ manus inferantur admonitum te volumus studiose lector illo Virgiliano hemistichio Parce pias scelerare manus’ [ie Aeneid, 3:42].

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: id est gracie
Form: codex
Support: Parchment (FSOS)
Extent: vii (numbered fols -, -, i-v) + 124 (numbered to 123, but an unnumbered leaf after fol. 67) + vi (numbered fols 124–27, -, -)
Dimensions (leaf): 362 × 260 mm.


1–158 168 (-5 to -8, the last two visible as stubs). Catchwords in various styles, in scrolls (quires 1–7), boxes and half-boxes; the first style with a decorative wash, many red-touched. All leaves in the first half of each quire signed with a letter and roman numeral, after fol. 40 in red; in this system, quires 1–16 = a-q.


In double columns, each column 240mm x 75–80mm, with 16 mm between columns, in 50 lines to the column.

Signs of full pricking in some leaves, mostly quire-sized groups (fols 8–24, 57–64, 66–71, 96–103); bounded and ruled in brown ink, with vertical borders and the double horizontal bounding lines for top and bottom lines of text all extending to the edge of the page.


Written by as many as nine scribes, all s. xv3/4:

A = quires 1–3, fols 1ra-24vb: anglicana with r sometimes short and with secretary a

B = quires 4–7, fols 25ra-56vb: secretary

C-F = quires 8–9, apparently copied by four scribes in short stints: C = fols 57ra-61vb/15, bastard secretary with frequent anglicana g; D = fols 61vb/16–66vb/2, secretary with anglicana r; E = fols 66vb/3–67bisra, fere-textura with anglicana g; F = fols 67bisrb-71vb, secretary with anglicana r. In the bottom corner of the inner gutter of fol. 57, a note to instruct the new scribe on the format to be followed: ‘l. linie [sic] in columna’. At fol. 69, page format changes to 245 mm x 75 mm and 83 mm, with 16mm between columns, between 39 and 42 (most often 40) lines.

G = quires 9–10, in the second page format but without ruling, bounded only, fols 72ra-87vb: bastard secretary

H = quires 11–13, with a return to something closer to the earlier page format but with a variable number of lines, between 38 and 47, and written above (or through) top line, fols 88ra-103vb: secretary with anglicana g (a substantial change in ductus and size in fol. 92rb)

I = quires 14–16, fols 104ra-123vb: secretary with frequent anglicana d

Scribes B-H punctuate by point only; scribe A, by medial point and occasional punctus elevatus; scribe I’s work is generally unpunctuated (occasional medial point after lemmata). Through the first two stints, a good many double virgulae, instructions for a parapher, unfilled or red-slashed.


No headings. At the three early openings, three- and five-line blue lombards with red flourishing, two- and three-line examples at chapter openings. The text is divided by red-slashed majuscules at the heads of sentences and by alternate red and blue paraphs. Biblical lemmata and authorities underlined in red. The chapter numbers added in an informal script in the upper corner of each recto.


Quarter-bound, the present leather spine a late (s. xx?) replacement; the wooden boards bare and chamfered. Sewn on eight thongs, the outer pairs pegged in one hole, the four central ones taken straight into the board, as depicted by Pollard, fig. 6, the technique of s. xv. At the leading edges of both boards, slots for two pairs of straps and clasps. Nailholes from chain staples in Watson’s positions 4 and 5, the latter a ChCh mark (see Appendix I). No pastedowns now present, a ChCh bookplate inside the upper board. At the front, two heavy modern paper leaves (unnumbered), preceded by their stubs, the first stub pasted down, and five leaves of medieval parchment waste (the first, fol. i, previously a pastedown in this binding); at the rear, four similar medieval leaves (the last, fol. 127, again previously the pastedown in this binding), and two heavy modern paper leaves (unnumbered), followed by their stubs, the second again pasted down.

Accompanying Material

The medieval flyleaves, fols i-v, 124–27 have been taken from a formulary, with legal and epistolary models for various occasions in both Latin and Anglo-Norman, written in anglicana, with occasional secretary a and exaggerated secretary descenders and heavy strokes on f and s, s. xvin, with a few additions in other hands. Between the flyleaves, some small scraps of plainchant music, presumably intended to reinforce binding; around these, some red paint stains the leaves.


Origin: England; s. xv3/4

Provenance and Acquisition

It is difficult to ascertain whether the Formulary actually provides information useful for determining provenance, especially in a context which includes (fol. 124rv) what looks like the jocular ‘John Doe’ name ‘Ratte Cappe’, who appears in a series of deeds with ‘Watte Stile’, first introduced as ‘Cetisin et orfeure de londrez’. Cf. H. E. Salter’s comments, Snappe’s Formulary and Other Records, OHS 80 (1924), 3.

However, a substantial number of documents included here suggest an Oxford provenance and the copying of records from just after 1400. Fol. ii, in particular, includes a number of deeds from a monastic house, in some cases specifically Oseney; on fol. iiv the reference is more specific, ‘frere Iohan Abbe del monst’ Doseney’, of three recorded fourteenth- and fifteenth-century figures with this name most likely John Bokeland, abbot 1373–1404. Fol. iiiv is an anonymised deed involving ‘N abbas Mon’ Oseneye’ and lands in St. Peter’s parish, Oxford (near New College and St. Edmund Hall). Fol. ivrv includes a sequence of Oxford student begging letters and more general appeals for support; one refers to a friend ‘Iohan Doun’, another mentions ‘Thomas Compton’’, and a third includes ‘mon senur le Counte de Warwyke’. This last may be connected with the fragmentary incipit (fol. i), defaced from having been once pasted down, ‘¦¦et de notre cosyn Richard comite Warr’’, followed by an illegible reference to a dated parliament; this can only refer to Richard Beauchamp, earl 1401–39. His wife Elizabeth certainly had some connection to Oseney c. 1410; see MS 151 below. Several deeds on fol. 124v record promises to make payments in Oxford. Fol. v includes a faded addition mentioning Eastleach (Glos.).

But other items are more dispersed. As already implied, there are a number of London deeds, e.g. one regarding a tenement in ‘lumbardistrete’, one of the parties a ‘Ciuis et mercator london’’ (fol. iii). And there is a smattering of West Country materials, perhaps important in terms of subsequent ownership: fol. iv includes a complaint from the king’s vills of Weymouth and Melcombe (Dorset), and an indenture added at the foot of fol. vv involves William Payn, rector of the church of ‘Clouely’ (Clovelly, N Devon; Payn was incumbent from 1362 until his death in 1396) and John Stanton (the family of that surname held the manor of Clovelly from the fourteenth century; see Harry Clement, Clovelly Church and its people(Braunton, 1992), 13).

MLGB3 assigns the book, as well as our MS 91, to Crediton (Devon), the collegiate church of the Holy Cross. This is on the basis of two erased inscriptions which, in 1947, Neil Ker read under ultraviolet. The first is at the top of fol. vv (the last front flyleaf, with the formulary), he deciphered as ‘decano Crediton’; annotations through the manuscript are in the hand of John Lyndon, dean of the collegiate church of Crediton in the mid-fifteenth century (on whom, see MS. 91, provenance). The second inscription, on fol. 1 (the upper margin), Ker read as ‘Guilihelmi Muggi liber ex dono Magistri Georgii Mason’. See further A. P. D., ‘Mugge-Mason MSS’, Bodleian Library Record, 2 (1944), 91–92, for the descent of Crediton books from George Mason, the last Dean of the church, to William Mugge, presumably a relative of Walter Mugge, a canon of Crediton who took the Oath of Supremacy in 1534, as well as further comments on their descent to William Ballow. Ballow, an Oxfordshire man, first attended St John’s College, according to the donation note in the Bible he gave to that college in 1598, now their MS 48 (Ralph Hanna, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Western Medieval Manuscripts of St John’s College Oxford(Oxford, 2002), 66–67; Andrew Hegarty, A Biographical Register of St John’s College, Oxford, 1555 – 1660, OHS, ns 43 (Woodbridge, 2011), 189–90). He migrated to Christ Church, matriculating in 1587/8 and received his BA and MA in 1591 and 1594, respectively. He was a proctor in 1604, a BD and DD in 1605 and 1613, respectively, and was licensed to preach in 1606. He was in the service of the Lord High Chamberlain in 1605, rector of Milton Bryant (Beds.) from 1604, a canon of St. Paul’s from 1611. He was again at Christ Church as a canon from 1615–18, when he died, aged about 45 (AO, 64). He was buried in Oxford’s cathedral (John Le Neve, Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae, 3 vols (Oxford, 1854), 2:518).

It was William Ballow who gave this manuscript to ChCh; it is presumably his hand that wrote in the lower margin of fol. 1: ‘Hunc codicem manuscriptum Ædi Christi in gratiam studiosorum ibidem Guilielmus Ballowe [over erasure: in artibus magister] testificandi amoris sui ergo dono dedit 5º. Octobris an: Domini 1601’. As well as this manuscript, he donated at the same time our MS 91, and he later gave to ChCh 40s for book purchases, recorded in the Donors’ Register, MS LR 1, p. 27ab, under 1614. In addition, he was an early donor to the Bodleian Library, giving fifteen manuscripts in 1604, the year he was Proctor, and five the following year; of these, five were Crediton books (R. W. Hunt, A Summary Catalogue of the Western Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford 1 (Oxford, 1953), 89 (nos 392–405) and 91 (nos 466–69)). For Ballow’s son, Thomas, as a donor to Christ Church, see our MS. 146.

This book bears the New Library shelfmark ‘F.1’ (fol. 1, lower margin). There is no sign of it having had an earlier shelfmark and, indeed, it is absent from the 1676 catalogue, though it does appear in the Old Archives catalogue as B.16 (see Appendix II).

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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