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

Christ Church MS. 97

Rupert of Deutz, De divinis officiis; England (?St Albans), s. xii ex/xiii in.


Language(s): Latin

1. Fols 1ra-92rb
Incipit: Eaque per anni circulum ordine constituto in diuinis aguntur officiis et attentum auditorem
Rubric: [fol. 1rb] de diuinis officiis liber ius. incipit
Incipit: Septem canonicas horas diei non licet a quoquam qui in conspectu dei
Explicit: temptationes spiritualium uiciorum quorum quanto occultior pugna tanto difficilior uictoria
Rupert of Deutz, De divinis officiis

Ed. Hrabanus Haacke, CCCM 7 (1967), 5–418. Haacke describes our manuscript at xxx and groups it with related A copies at xlvii-viii. A good many marginal notes and annotations, including nota monograms and leaf-shapes, probably by one early reader, working at more than one sitting.

The text is succeeded by six blank lines before the start of the next item.

2. Fol. 92rb-vb
Incipit: In septuagesima cantatur et legitur pentateucum Moysi usque ad passionem domini
Explicit: in ira quoniam quod dauid prophetauit hoc paulus concorditer predicauit

A further series of instructions, in this case for biblical readings by season; cf. the different added liturgical readings supplied in some manuscripts at the end, ed. Haacke, 418–19n, without notice of the additions here.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: Vigilias
Form: codex
Support: Parchment (HSOS)
Extent: Fols: 92 + i (the raised rear pastedown)
Dimensions (leaf): 245 × 170 mm.


1–118 124. No catchwords; each quire except the last signed with a roman numeral (i-xius) at the centre of the very foot of the last verso, several mostly cut away.


Writing area presented in double columns, each column 178mm x 50mm, with 8mm between columns, and 45 lines to the column.

Frequent signs of full pricking; bounded and ruled in black ink (with extra pair of horizontal lines extending to edges above and below l. 23 of each folio).


Written in gothic textura quadrata, above top line.

Punctuation by point and punctus elevatus.


Headings in red. At the openings of chapters, two-line arabesque initials, usually alternate red and light blue, occasionally green. Running titles identify the book number, added by a hand that provides the same service to our MS 115.


White leather over unbevelled wooden boards, s. xii or xiii, with worn (the padding gone) half-moon shaped tabs at top and tail. Sewn on two thongs taken through the side of the board, as depicted by Pollard, fig. 2, with additional head and tail thongs twisted to parallel the other two. Four small nails to hold a strap at middle of outer edge of the upper board (a fragment of the strap in the wood), a hole from the anchoring nail in the centre of the lower board. A repair in the upper board, upper leading edge (perhaps undoing the effects of a chain staple); holes, with part of one nail, from a chain staple in Watson’s position 5. R. W. Hunt, ‘The Library of the Abbey of St Albans’ in M. B. Parkes and Andrew G. Watson ed., Medieval Scribes, Manuscripts and Libraries: Essays Presented to N. R. Ker (London, 1978), 251–77 at 261 notes this mark and the very similar one on MS 115 but does not explicitly claim they are evidence of medieval chaining; in fact, comprehensive comparison with other ChCh manuscripts shows that this mark dates from early in its time in this institution. No front pastedown (a ChCh bookplate glued to the board); the rear pastedown old parchment, now partially raised. No flyleaves. Christopher Clarkson studied the binding in June 2011; among his observations was the fact that ‘the lower board-sheet has marks that show edges of an envelope pocket, evidence of a chemise’ [copy of his report held in the Library].


Origin: England (?St Albans); s. xii ex/xiii in.

Provenance and Acquisition

The volume belonged to St Albans abbey from an early date: ‘Hunc librum dedit domnus fabianus Supprior Beato albano Quem qui ei abstulerit uel ab eius ecclesia alienauerit anathema sit’ (fol. 1, upper margin, s. xiii). Thus identified by MLGB3 as a St Albans book; it also appears in Thomson’s listing of St Albans books as no. 57 (1:111); he suggests (1:63) that it may have been made in-house. At 1:46–47, 54, 63 Thomson presents what is known of the donor, Fabian. Apparently Italian, he came to St Albans with three Englishmen who had been studying in Salerno about 1160; he was subprior in 1214 and died at an advanced age in 1223. He also gave the abbey library BodL, MSS Finch e.25 (a New Testament) and Rawl. C.31 (sermons of William of Newburgh and glosses to Comestor) (Thomson, no. 45 and 51 respectively).

The book most likely remained in the abbey library until the Dissolution: ‘Iohannes Beriman Qui diligit iniquitatem odit animam suam [Ps. 10:6] / ambrosius de ecclesiasticis officiis de almariolo’ (s. xvimed, written around the note of Fabian’s donation; the Ambrose reference [perhaps the attraction of Ambrose’s ‘De officiis ministrorum’?] is also written on the raised rear pastedown); and ‘Ihon Berimone ow[n]eth this boke’ (fol. 1, lower margin, cancelled). He also owned MS 115 (see in that description), and certainly possessed yet another St Albans manuscript, BL, MS. Harl. 865, on which see both C. E. Wright, Fontes Harleiani (London, 1972), 291–92 and the on-line description provided by the British Library Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts [last accessed 22th August 2012]. This strongly suggests that he was close at hand to take possession of some of the monastery’s prestigious collection soon after the Dissolution, though he is not among the St Albans monks listed as pensioned by Sir Henry Chauncy, The Historical Antiquities of Hertfordshire, 2 vols (1826; rep. Dorking, 1975), 2:287, and the evidence of MS 115 may suggest he was not the first post-Dissolution owner. In this context, the efforts of the last abbot, Richard Boreman (may Beriman be related to him?) and of others to preserve something of the monastic community and possibly to revive it during the Marian restoration of Catholicism may not be irrelevant: see J. G. Clark, ‘Reformation and Reaction at St Albans Abbey, 1530–58’, English Historical Review,cxv (2000), 297–328.

After Beriman, the book appears to have been on the market, for it was bought by Samuel Purchas: ‘Samuel Purchas emit’ (fol. 1, lower margin, after cancelling the Beriman inscription). Purchas’s name and the title (the latter not in his hand) are also written on the turn-in of the upper board. Purchas (1577–1626) received his BA from St John’s College, Cambridge in 1596/7, followed by an MA in 1600; he was incorporated at Oxford as BD in 1615; he was rector of St Martin-within-Ludgate 1614–26 and a fellow of King James’s College, Chelesa 1621–24; the travel history for which he is best known, Purchas his Pilgrimage, was first published in 1613 and repeatedly revised (AC, 3:407; AO, 1221; David Armitage in Oxford DNB). The Donors’ Register, MS LR 1, pp. 53b-54a, records, for the year 1617, Purchas’s gift of this manuscript (as item [5]) and other volumes:

Mr Samuel Purchas rogatu reverendi in Christo patris ac patroni sui Domini Joannis Episc: Londinensis dedit

  • [1] Purchas Pilgrimage

    Arch. Inf. C.2.14, a copy of the second edition (1614) with an inscription at verso of front pastedown in the donor’s hand: ‘Samuel Purchas Author. Rector ecclesiae Sti Martini Ludgate London (ex Collatione Rev. P. D. Joan. Episc. London) Bibliothecae Æd. Chi. in Acad. Oxon. Hunc librum D. L. una cum Operibus Mars. Ficinj & 2 MSS.’

  • [2] Marsil: Ficini operum tomus jmus fol. Basil: 1576

    Hyp. P.44, signed by Purchas at top of title page.

  • [3] Eiusdem tomus 2dus fol: ibid.

    d.4.18, with Purchas’s annotations at pp. 1978–79

  • [4] Petri Damiani Monachi Lib: Dominus vobiscum. August: de libero arbitrio et Bedam de tabernaculo ac vasis &c: M:S. 4to

    MS 115.

  • [5] Ambrosium de eccles: officijs de Almariolo m:s: 4to
  • [6] Purchas his Pilgrimage 3 edition fol: London. 1617

    Not in situ.

As the opening words explain, he was encouraged to donate to an institution with which he had no prior connection by the bishop of London, John King, formerly Dean of Christ Church. On the patronage of Purchas by King (who, incidentally, introduced Purchas to Pocahontas), see L. E. Pennington ed., The Purchas Handbook. Studies of the Life, Times and Writings of Samuel Purchas 1577–1626, 2 vols, Hakluyt Society, 2nd ser., 185 & 186 (London, 1997), with the author’s gift of [1] above noted at 486.

Our manuscript includes, on the turn-in of the cover to the upper board, the old ChCh shelfmarks: ‘A.3’ (cancelled), referring to the 1676 Catalogue (see Appendix I) and, in Edward Smallwell’s script, ‘G.3’ (see Appendix IV).

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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