MS. Digby 36
Summary Catalogue no.: 1637
An abbreviated and re-organized version of the canonization dossier of St Gilbert of Sempringham, supplemented with Gilbertine liturgical material. In its original form, as represented by British Library, MSS. Cotton Cleopatra B. i (s. xiii in) and Harleian 468 (s. xiii med/ex), the dossier comprised: (a) Gilbert's Vita, including miracles performed in his lifetime; (b) letters relating to the rebellion of the lay brethren of the order, which broke out c. 1164-5; (c) the ordo canonizationis; (d) visions and revelations of St Gilbert; (e) letters relating to the canonization; (f) two collections of miracles. For a full edition of the dossier see The Book of St Gilbert, ed. R. Foreville and G. Ker (Oxford, 1987). The present manuscript is discussed at pp. lxvii-lxxi, with the suggestion that it was compiled for personal devotion.
Added table of contents, on paper, c. 1500 (?). The compiler of the index added roman numbering to the pages (i-xxj) and subsequently the chapters or sections of the MS.
BHL 3529 (prologue), 3530 (vita)
Ed. Foreville and Ker, pp. 2-133, with variation in rubrics as set out ibid., pp. 350-2, and omitting two miracles.
Ruled, blank except for numbering 'lxxiiij' (fol. 51v), 'lxxv' (fol. 52r), not corresponding to any entries in the table of contents.
Ed. Foreville and Ker, pp. 168-79, with variation in rubrics as set out ibid., p. 352.
Ed. Foreville and Ker, pp. 179-97, with variation in rubrics and order of text as set out ibid. pp. 352-3.
This section combines the collections distinguished as 'formal' and 'informal' by Foreville and Ker and printed op. cit., pp. 264-335; the miracles occur here in an abbreviated from, in a different order and with omissions, as set out ibid., pp. 353-4.
Ed. Foreville and Ker, pp. 198-263, here in the following order: Prologue (pp. 198-9), , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .
Ed. Foreville and Ker, pp. 134-67, here in the following order: , , , Appendix 6, , , , Appendix 6, , , , , .
Pr. from this MS. in The Gilbertine Rite, ed. R. M. Woolley, 2 vols., Henry Bradshaw Society 59-60 (1921-2), I.115-26.
Fine borders, initials. (P&A iii. 1043, pl. XCVII)
Two to four-line champ initials (generally gold with rose infill on blue ground, or vice versa) extending into spraywork, forming full or partial borders, mostly in rose, red and blue, at major text divisions (fols. 4r, 7r, 38r, 52v, 57r, 59v, 63v, 77v, 97v, 110v, 115r). The initial on fol. 7r contains a coat of arms (see provenance) and that on fol. 63v contains a lion mask.
Generally two-line initials in blue with red flourishing at minor text divisions.
Space left for a 3-line initial, fol. 63r.
Other initials touched in red.
Decorated descenders in some lower margins (fols. 7r-v, etc.)
Rubrics in red.
Provenance and Acquisition
Fol. 7r, shield of arms in the initial: barry of eight, sable (or argent?) and gules. Unidentified; possibly intended for the arms of the Gilbertine order (barry of six argent and gules differenced by a prior's staff in gold: Herald and Genealogist 2 (1865) pp. 192, 345).
Probably no. 36 in the list of manuscripts seen by Thomas Talbot, perhaps in or around York, in the late sixteenth century: A. Watson, The Manuscripts of Henry Savile of Banke (London, 1969), pp. 78-82.
Fol. 4, shorthand: 'John Netlton. Hnry Savil', i.e. John Nettleton of Hutton Cranswick, d. c. 1597 (Watson, op. cit., pp. 7-9), and from him to Henry Savile of Banke, no. 106 in his catalogue (Watson, op. cit.)
Possibly owned by John Dee: a Jupiter symbol resembling his, fols. 1, 4; cf. R. J. Roberts and A. G. Watson, John Dee's Library Catalogue (London, 1990), DM110.
Donated by him to the Bodleian, 1634.
Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)
Last Substantive Revision
2017-07-01: First online publication.