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

MS. Eng. misc. e. 558

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


(fols. 2r-9r)
Lapidary in prose.

Translation of the second Anglo-Norman prose lapidary, c.I–XXXV, in Anglo-Norman lapidaries, edited P. Studer and J. Evans, Paris, 1924, pp.118–36. The translation is different from that pr. in English mediaeval lapidaries ed. J. Evans and M. S. Serjeantson, E.E.T.S. Orig. ser. 190, pp.119–30.

Incipit: Here begynnyth the lapidarie the whiche tellith the vertues of xxxvi precious stones as hit appereth here after. Hit is redde in bokes that Evax the kyng of arabye sent a booke to Nero
Explicit: she shulde be set in fyne golde.
Language(s): Middle English
(fols. 9v-10r)

Two added paragraphs, on Crapaudines and Eddirtonges, closely related to section XLVII of the Peterborough lapidary (ibid, 79) and section XXXIII of the Sloane lapidary (ibid., 130); fol. 10v is blank.

Incipit: the crepandes and Eddirtonges or ony other precyous stones that god hathe yoven vertues be not putte in the noumbre of the forsaide xxxvi stones
Explicit: she woll be sette in fyne goolde
Incipit: the eddyrtonges ben of dyuerse coloures & shape lyke tonges
Explicit: & gravell In grete bretayn that nowe is callede Ingelonde

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Paper, watermarks bunch of grapes (nearest Briquet 13037), ring (Briquet 689).
Extent: ii (modern paper) + 10 (paper) + viii (modern paper) leaves.
Dimensions (leaf): 220 × 145 mm.
Dimensions (written): 160 × 100 mm.
Foliation: Foliated in modern pencil: i, 1–18.


Fols. 2–10 either: I(8+1) (9th leaf added, fol. 10), or I(10–1) (first leaf canc., before fol. 2); leaf signatures: fols. 2–9 with original(?) leaf signatures in arabic numerals in ink, the lower right corner, apparently: a, 2–8; modern pencil leaf signatures, 1–5, are also in the bottom right corner of the recto of the first half of the quire.


Damp stained


Frame-ruled in brown ink, with single horizontal and vertical bounding lines extending to the edges of the page, for 29–33 lines of text per page. 28–33 lines of text.


Written in a competant anglicana script.


Headings in red, supplied only as far as fol. 6r, somewhat larger and more formal than the script of the main text; the first rubric with calligraphic ascenders and other flourishes.

Red initials, supplied only as far as fol. 6r; guide-letters visible.


Sewn on four(?) bands, with kettle-stitching; and bound in early 19th-century 'diced russia' leather with a single gold fillet framing each cover; the edges of the boards and turn-ins roll-tooled; fine marbled endleaves; the binding of MS. Eng. hist. d. 138, another Mostyn MS., is very similar; rebacked, with the shelfmark 'MS. ENG. MISC. e. 558' in gilt running upward from the base of the spine; the repair signed by the Bodleain bindery in blue ballpoint in the bottom left corner of fol. 18r: 'W 20–11-63', and the job number written in pencil on fol. i verso: '63/1211'.


Origin: 15th century, second half ; English

Provenance and Acquisition

Unidentified English owner, 15th/16th century: inscribed (fol. 10r) 'he that vrot(?) thys boke he has not the soore(?) yn the head', below another, mostly illegible line, and a tiny sketch of a human head.

Mostyn Library (Mostyn Hall, Flintshire), MS. 225; Edward Lloyd-Mostyn, 2nd baron Mostyn: with his circular armorial seal bookplate, with shield, helm, crest, and mantling, and the motto 'a domino - Auxilium meum'; and inscribed in ink with Mostyn numbers: 'MS. | No. | 225' (fol. i verso), and '(113)' (fol. 2r) (see 'Notes on the manuscripts of the Right Honourable Lord Mostyn at Mostyn Hall', Fourth report of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts (George Edward Eyre and William Spottiswoode, London, 1874), 347–63, at 359); and the shelfmark 'H | 4 c'

Mostyn sale, Sotheby's 13 July 1920, lot 68, bought by Tregaskis for £10 10s.

Given to the Bodleian by F. E. Norris, 1963.

Record Sources

Typescript description by Bodleian Library Staff, revised by Peter Kidd, late 1990s.

Last Substantive Revision

2017-07-01: First online publication.