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

MS. Eng. th. c. 57

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


John Pecham, Constitution Ignorancia sacerdotum (pr. Wilkins, Concilia, II.56, 57)
Language(s): Latin
'Ignorantia sacerdotum' (manual of instruction of priests)

Abbreviation of Disce mori, with a unique prologue. For a description of the contents see P. Hodgson, Rev. of English Studies, XXIV (1948), pp.1–11. There are marginal emendations throughout in a 17th cent. hand.

Incipit: Ignorancia sacerdotum etc. ffor asmoche as after pat I nameless had red
Explicit: this vertu of vertues perseverance, the whiche God graunte us. Amen.
Language(s): Middle English
Johannes de Rupescissa, Vade mecum in tribulatione
Incipit: Ex medullis evangelice caritatis
Rubric: Liber prophecie Iohannis de Rupe[s]cissa qui vocatur Vade mecum in tribulatione

Pr. E. Brown, Appendix ad fasciculum rerum expetendarum, London, 1690, pp.496–508. The dates are altered from the 14th to the 15th century. At the end there are added a note to show that the prophecies of David and of Merlin agree with the treatise in predicting disaster in 1464 or 1465, as in Brit. Mus. Royal 8.E.VII, art.4.

Language(s): Latin
Rubric: Prophecia Merlini
Incipit: Lilium regnans in nobilissima parte mundi

Cf. Ward, Cat. of Romances I.316

Language(s): Latin
Rubric: Augustinus de resurrectione mortuorum
Incipit: Iam vero de resurrectione carnis non sicut quidem
Language(s): Latin
Rubric: Collatio b. Augustini in X preceptorum[sic] ad decem plagas

Pr. P.L. 39 col.1783–6

Language(s): Latin
Rubric: Incipit sermo eiusdem in depositione defuncti
Incipit: Tempus quod inter hominis mortem
Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: falsa testificatio
Form: codex
Support: Parchment of average quality; the outer margin of fol. 39 cut away; the last original leaf (fol. 157), cut in half vertically.
Extent: i (modern parchment) + 157 + ii (modern parchment) leaves.
Dimensions (leaf): 310 × 220 mm.
Dimensions (written): 200 × 125 mm.
Foliation: Foliated in 18th-century(?) pale brown ink, in arabic numerals: 1–156, probably by the hand that added numerous marginal comments; an error on fol. 40 suggests that the outer margin of fol. 39 had already been cut away by this date; the first three and last three leaves (including the modern endleaves) foliated in modern pencil: i, 1–2, 157–159.


1(8) (1 canc.), 2(8)–17(8), 18(8) (7 and 8 canc.), 19(8), 20(8) (3 and 8 canc.), catchwords; quires 8–18, written in the second hand, are signed a-l


35–37 long lines. Frame ruled.


Three hands: 1) fol.1–55v; 2) fol.56–154; 3) fol. 153v (prophecy), fol. 154 (sermon), fol. 156


Blue initials with red flourishes.


Original binding. Sewn on seven split leather thongs (beginning to break at the upper joint), with kettle-stitching, and a headband (the tailband missing); bound in oak(?) boards, gently rounded at the edges (the fore-edge half of the upper board is missing, and replaced by a modern repair); the thongs entering the boards at the outer edge, and passing immediately through the board into a series of equidistant horizontal channels in the inner face; held in place by wood pegs (one missing); the boards also have shallow oblique channels as if for end-bands, but these were apparently never used, and have no peg-holes; score-marks and the surface quality of the wood on the inner face of the boards suggest that there was once a covering material with turn-ins, of which no other visible trace survives.


Origin: 15th century, second half ; English

Provenance and Acquisition

'W. Browne 1555' inscribed thus in ink in a neat hand on fol. 156v, and similarly 'W. Browne' in the upper margin of fol. 1r.

Unidentified owner, 17th(?) century, responsible for a number of marginal annotations in English.

Sir R. Leicester Harmsworth, Sotheby's 15 Oct. 1945, and following day, lot. 2114, bought by Maggs for £68

Bought by the Bodleian from Maggs Bros., 1945

Record Sources

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

Last Substantive Revision

2017-07-01: First online publication.