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

MS. Eng. th. f. 39

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

Devotional tracts and sermons; English, c. 1400


Edition by E. P. Wilson, 'A Critical Text, with commentary, of MS. English theology f. 39 in the Bodleian Library' (Oxford B. Litt. thesis, 2 vols., 1968; MSS. B. Litt. c. 177–8)

Treatise (Wycliffite) on idolatry
Rubric: Of maumetrie
Incipit: ⟨F⟩or as myche as bi sleith of pe devel
Explicit: in pe chirche of god not to be hengid
Language(s): Middle English
Treatise (Wycliffite) on miracles
Rubric: Whiche ben trewe myraclis and whiche be false
Incipit: Merveilis or miraclis ben to be considered
Explicit: in to ever lastyng leuyng
Language(s): Middle English
Treatise (Wycliffite) on miracles
Rubric: How men shulden gon on pilgrymage
Incipit: Siþen ich man in þis world is a pilgrym
Explicit: but þei þat folwen þer feiþ
Language(s): Middle English
Religious treatise (Wycliffite)
Rubric: A short rule of lif for ech man in general and for priests and lordis and laborers in special

pr. Arnold, English works of J. Wyclif, III. 204–8

Language(s): Middle English
Thomas Wimbledon, Sermon Redde rationem villicationis tue
Rubric: þis sermoun folwynge vas seid at Poulis in Londone þe yeer of oure lord 1389
Incipit: Redde racionem … Mi dere frendis yee shuln undirstonde
Explicit: graunte us þerwiþ to parte
(Wells, Manuel, 6th Suppl., p.1449), pr. from MS. Hatton 57 by K. F. Sunden, A famous Middle English sermon, Göteborg, (diss.) 1925
Language(s): Middle English
Treatise (Wycliffite) on idolatry
Rubric: þese ben þe eighte condicions of mamētrie pat men usen aboute ymages',
Incipit: [þ]e first condicioun stondiþ in nempnynge
Explicit: and setten ther glorie in ther symulacris
Language(s): Middle English
Treatise on papal luxury and simony
Incipit: [þ]yus it is written in þe ferþe book of flouris ob [sic] Bernard
Explicit: bi falsheed and lesyng of þe sori gost
Language(s): Middle English
Religious treatise (Wycliffite)
Rubric: A sho[r]t rule hou it is not leveful to no man to make a prest a tutour other an executour of his temporal goodis
Incipit: ⟨S⟩eynt Ciprian seiþ þat now late þo⟨ur⟩ counseil of bishopis
Explicit: prestis in here worldlich offis
Language(s): Middle English
Religious treatise (Wycliffite)
Rubric: Hou men shulden flee curious arai in tyme of praiere
Incipit: [W]hat seist þu. þu comest to pe chirche doynge obsecratioun
Explicit: and devourid of þe devel
Language(s): Middle English
Treatise on simony
Incipit: Owre lord spekip bi þe holi apostle synt Petir

ends imperf. on fol.48v.

Language(s): Middle English

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: comaunde to
Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: iv + 52 leaves
Dimensions (leaf): 145 × 100 mm.
Dimensions (written): 110–5 × 65 mm.
Foliation: Foliated in red in a contemporary hand.


1(8)–6(8), wanting one or more quires at the end.


30 long lines.


Spaces for initials left blank.


17th cent. English calf binding


Origin: c. 1400 ; English

Provenance and Acquisition

'Harward', 17th cent. (fol. 1)

3rd Earl of Dysart (1648–1726) (but see also Edward Wilson, 'The Book-Stamps of the Tollemache Family of Hemlingham and Ham', The Book Collector, 16, 1967, 178–85), on whom see E. D. H. Tollemache, The Tollemaches of Helmingham and Ham, Ipswich, 1949, 94–9, with a confused account of the library at p. 176

Tollemach library, Helmingham Hall, Sotheby's 6 June 1961, lot 9

Quaritch, 1961

Record Sources

Typescript description by Bodleian Library staff.

Last Substantive Revision

2017-07-01: First online publication.