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

MS. Eng. hist. b. 208

Summary Catalogue no.: Not in Summary Catalogue (late accession)


Ordinances concerning the ceremonial to be observed in an earl's household

Evidently compiled for the Percy family, earls of Northumberland (see The Bodleian Library Record, vol. VIII (1968), pp.93–98). The ordinances are in sections numbered 1–11, 13–18, 20–21, 23–24, and most sections relate to procedure at special occasions such as christenings, marriages, Twelfth Night and Maundy Thursday.

Language(s): English

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: paper, watermark ring, cf. Briquet nos. 690, 695, 697.
Extent: iii + 97 leaves
Dimensions (leaf): 393 × 257 mm.


Expert Tudor secretary hand


Strap-work initials


Contemporary binding of blind-tooled calf over wooden boards, signed ‘A.Q.’, with remains of metal clasps, and contemporary label ‘The booke of All maner of Orders Concernynge an Erles hous…’ in metal frame on lower cover. Arms of the 4th Duke of Newcastle added in gilt on upper cover.


Origin: early 16th century (after 16 Henry VII, fol. 15) ; English

Provenance and Acquisition

Interspersed among the ordinances are numerous notes and pen trials of the late 16th cent., all apparently written in the West Riding of Yorkshire. These include (fol.6v) a memorandum headed ‘It(em) the con(en)an(t)s(?) of the lese of my tena(nt)s(?) of houghtone’’ [probably Glass Houghton]; (fols. iiv rev., 96) signatures of William Gascoigne [of Thorpe-on-the-Hill in Rothwell]; (fols. iiv, 1, 3v and passim)medical notes, and (fol.1) a note in the same hand ‘Mr Hand of Clare Haull [?Francis Hand of Clare Hall in Halifax]. good cosyn Gascoygne…’; (fols.28–29, 31v–32, 39v–40, 80, 86v rev.)verses and sayings in one hand (many of them deleted) including (fol.28v) ‘My prime of youthe is but a froth of cayres’ [by Chidiock Tichborne, 1586] and (fol.84) a saying concluding ‘Thus [3 words deleted: ?saythe Mr. ?] scoller to Christofer Froddinggame late disseased’; (fols. 15v–68 passim) pen trials, apparently by Charles Willestrop [of Wilstrop] whose name occurs frequently, including (fols.42, 55) verses beg. ‘These sydes inclose the fordge’ and ‘Upon brotherton marche in the yere of wonder 1588’, the latter dated 9 April 1589, and the following names: (fols.18, 28, 30, 31, 40) Nicolas Cawnerlye; (fol.19) Henricus Huntingtonus, 1589 (cf.fols.29, 31); (fol.28) To: Bossiuille; (fols.30) Richard Rowe, Wm. Cirtonne, Margerie Medlye, 1589; (fol.31) Henrie Rowlie; (fol.37) Elysabethe Tethour; (fol.49) Francis Daunde; (fol.58) Jhonn Wyllestrope; and other notes and names in different hands: (fol.iiv) ‘To the ryght worshipfull and my lovinge Mr. edmonde clapom’, (fol.iiv rev.) ‘…per me Jarueisium mearinge finis amen for lacke of a good pen…’ (fol.1) James Wentworth, (fol.7) William Rayrewether, (fol.15) ‘William mearing doth mean to go to houghton…’;(fol.35) William buctroute of aberforth [Aberford].

Lot 122 in sale of Fairfax library of Leeds Castle, Kent, London, 10th January 1831.

Lot 1218 in sale Clumber Library (7th Duke of Newcastle), Sotheby's, 14–16 February 1938.

Bookplate of the 12th or 13th Lord Fairfax of Cameron.

Purchased, 1962.

Record Sources

Typescript description by Bodleian library staff

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (1 image from 35mm slides)

Last Substantive Revision

2017-07-01: First online publication.