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

MS. Fairfax 16

Summary Catalogue no.: 3896

Miscellany of poetry by Chaucer, Hoccleve, Lydgate, and other writers

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: i (modern paper flyleaf) + 340 + i (modern paper flyleaf) leaves
Dimensions (leaf): 230 × 165 mm.
Foliation: Modern foliation.


Composed of five contemporaneous booklets, which John Norton-Smith argues as an example of commercial book production: 1–28 (fols. ii, 1–13) | one (fol. 14), 3–248 (fols. 15–183), two (fols. 185, 186) | 25–268 (fols. 187–201) | 27–398 (fols. 202–305) | 408 (fols. 306–313) | 41–438 (fols. 314–329), 436+1 (fols. 330–337; 4th added), 444 (fols. 338–340). Signatures are visible in some booklets, with unique patterns: fols. ii–186 signed a–y; fols. 187–201 signed [*a]–b; fols. 202–305 signed [*a*]–[*n]; signatures thereafter cropped. Catchwords at the end of most quires, written in several styles. Up to fol. 110v, the catchwords have no border and occur in the middle of the lower margin. At fol. 118v the catchword is enclosed in a red ink scroll and positioned below the text towards the right as is the one at fol. 126v. Thereafter, some have a red border but most do not.


Written in long lines, 37–40 per page, 155 × 95 mm.


Written in a secretary hand from the middle of the 15th century, the original text seemingly copied by a single scribe, with a separate rubricator and flourisher providing ornaments.


Fine miniature, border, initial. On fol. 15r, a single three-quarter border tied in to a 7-line capital. Attributed to the Abingdon Missal Master (school of William Abell).

Fine drawing (retouched) of 16th century, end, fol. 9r. (Pächt and Alexander iii. 974, pl. XCI)

Rubricated in the hand of the scribe. Occasionally, as on fol. 115r, enclosed in a red parallelogram. Marginal headings and running heads in red ink preceded by blue paraphs.

Flourised initials in blue with red penwork extending up and down the margins to begin new items.

Red tipping of many upper case letters mainly at the beginning of lines.


Rebound, 2015–16, by Arthur Green and Sabina Pugh at the Bodleian conservation workshop. The boards from the former binding are housed with the volume.

Light brown split calf over laminated pulpboard, 19th century; repaired 1949.


Origin: Likely written in the 1440s, possibly completed 1450: inscribed, ‘Anno 1450’ (fol. 1r). ; English

Provenance and Acquisition

John Stanley (d. 1469?) of Hooton, Cheshire: coat of arms incorporated into border and illustration (fol. 14v). Also owned MS. Harley 6163.

Possible pressmark from the late 15th century, ‘15’ (fol. ii verso).

Inscribed, ‘for the care | anne(?) wer | and in the ’ (fol. ii verso); ‘dame(?) Anne W(er)(?) scripsit’(fol. 340v).

Inscribed, ‘John | dvinsins sola’ (fol. 12v), 16th century.

Series of mottos, names, and dates in the style of an album amicorum (fol. 333v): ‘Banish ever ill | Robert Wingfield | 14 October 1612’; ‘Assai sa che tacer sa | Oliver Nicholas | 8bris 14to 1612’ ‘Arma virumque cano | Ferdinando Knightley | Eodem die’.

Inscribed, ‘Thomas Moyelle’ (fol. 321v); possibly to be identified with Thomas Moyle (d. 1560).

John Stowe: marginalia in his hand (e.g. fols. 2r, 2v, 20v, 47r, 63r, 64r, 67r, 82v, 133v, 141v, 142r, 147r, 149r, 187r, 309r).

Charles Fairfax (1597–1673): his inscription (fol. 1r), ‘I bought this att Gloucester | 8 Sept. 1650 C. Fairfax | intendinge to exchange it for a better booke | Note þᵗ Joseph Holland hath an other of these manuscript.’

Thomas Fairfax (1612–1671): bequeathed to the library on his death.

MS. Fairfax 16, fols. 1–13


Language(s): Middle English and Latin

(fol. 2r–v)

Table of contents, added in a contemporary 15th-century hand.

(fol. 2v)

Additions to the table of contents in a 16th-century hand.

(fols. 3r–8v)


(fol. 9r)

Two drawings from the 16th century.

Courtesan (?), in pencil and crayon.

Orrery, inscribed ‘cor mundanum’.

(fols. 9v–14r)


MS. Fairfax 16, fols. 14–186


Language(s): Middle English and Latin

(fol. 14v)

Full-page illustration of the 'Complaint of Mars and Venus'

(fols. 15r–20v)
Rubric: Complaynt of Mars and Venus
(fols. 15r–19r)
Geoffrey Chaucer, Compleynt of Mars
Incipit: GLadeth ye lovers on the morowe gray |Loo Venus rysen amonge yow rowes rede
Explicit: that neuer did but gentilesse |kytheth therfor on her summe kyndenesse
DIMEV 1518
(fols. 19r–20v)
Geoffrey Chaucer, Complaint of Venus
Rubric: The compleynt of Venus
(Scribal, in margin beside first line.)
Incipit: Ther nys so high comfort to my plesaunce |When that I am in eny heuynesse
Explicit: To folowe worde by worde the curiosite |of graunson floure of hem that maken in fraunce
DIMEV 5590
Final rubric: Here endith the complaynt of venus and Mars
(fols. 20v–30r)
John Lydgate, The Complaint of the Black Knight
Rubric: Complaynte of a louers Lyfe
Incipit: In May when fflora the fressh lusty quene |the soyle hath clad in grene rede and white
Explicit: exiled be that I may not ateyne |recure to fynde of hym aduersite
DIMEV 2541
(fols. 30r–35r)
Geoffrey Chaucer, Anelida and Arcite
Rubric: The compleynt of Analida the quene vpon fals Arcite
Incipit: Thou fers god of Armes Mars the rede |that in the frosty contre called Trace
Rubric: (fol. 32r) The compleynt of feire Anelida And fals Arcite
Explicit: and with her ovne honde she gan hit write |And sent to her theban knyght Arcite||
DIMEV 5823

Ends incomplete after 30 stanzas, with note for continuance, ‘So thirled with the poynt & cetera’ in display script at end.

(fols. 35v–39v)
John Clanvowe (?), The Book of Cupid
Rubric: The Boke of Cupide god of Loue
Incipit: The god of love a benedicite |How myghty and how grete a lorde is he
Explicit: Terme of lyve love hath withholde me |So lovde that with that songe I awoke
Final rubric: Explicit liber Cupidinis
DIMEV 5299
(fol. 40r)
Geoffrey Chaucer, Truth
Incipit: ffle fro the pres and duelle with sothfastnesse |suffice the thy good thogh hit be smale
Explicit: Weyve thy lust and let thy goste the lede |and trouthe shal the delyuer hit is no drede
Final rubric: Explicit le bon counseill de G. Chaucer
DIMEV 1326
(fols. 40r–47r)
Thomas Hoccleve, Lespistre de Cupide
Rubric: Littera Cupidinis dei Amatoris directa subditis suis amatoribus
Incipit: Cupido vn to whos comaundement |the gentil kynrede of goddis an hy
Explicit: the yere of grace Ioyful and Iocunde |A thousand and foure hondred and secounde
Final rubric: Explicit littera Cupidinis dei amatoris directa suis subditis
DIMEV 1092

‘hocclyffe’ (added by Stowe, f. 40); ‘T. hocleve’ (added by Stowe, f. 47)

(fols. 47r–50r)
Ragmanys Rolle
Rubric: Here begynnyth Ragman roell
Incipit: My ladyes and my maistresses echone |lyke hit vnto your humbyble wommanhede
Explicit: and in the rolle last as in wrytynge |I rede that this game ende in your hood
Final rubric: Explicit Ragman roell
DIMEV 3618
(fols. 50v–62v)
La Belle Dame sans Mercy
Rubric: Balade de la bele Dame sanz mercy
Incipit: HAlffe in a dreme not fully wel awakyd |The golden slepe me wrapt vndir his wing
Explicit: And in their trouth purpose hem to endure |I pray god sende hem bettir aventure
Final rubric: Explicit la bele dame sanz mercy
DIMEV 1761
(fols. 63r–82v)
John Lydgate, The Temple of Glas
Rubric: The temple of Bras
Incipit: FOr thoght constreynt and grevous hevynesse |ffor pensyfhede and for high distresse
Explicit: I mene the benigne and goodly of hir face |now go thy way and put the in hir grace
Final rubric: Explicit the temple of Bras
DIMEV 1403
(fols. 83r–119v)
Geoffrey Chaucer, Legend of Good Women
Rubric: The prologe of ix goode Wymmen
Incipit: A thousande tymes I haue herd telle |ther ys Ioy in heuene and peyne in helle
Explicit: And til she was kaught and fetred in prison |This tale ys sayde for this conclusion
(fols. 120r–129v)
Geoffrey Chaucer, Parlement of Foules
Rubric: The parlement of Briddes
Incipit: THe lyf so short the crafte so longe to lerne |Thassay so harde so sharpe the conquerynge
Explicit: That I shal mete somme thyng for to fare |The bet and thus to rede I wol not spare
Final rubric: Explicit tractatus de congregacione volucrum die sancti Valentini
DIMEV 5373
(fols. 130r–147v)
Geoffrey Chaucer, The Book of the Duchesse
Rubric: The booke of the Duchesse
Incipit: I Have grete wonder be this lyghte |How that I lyve for day ne nyght
Explicit: As I kan best and that anoon |This was my sweuene now hit ys doon
Final rubric: Explicit the boke of the duchesse
DIMEV 2181
(fols. 147v–148r)
Balade with Envoy to Alison
Incipit: O lewde boke with thy foole rudenese |Sith thou hast neyther beaute ne eloquence
Explicit: Of grace I beseche alegge let your writynge |Now of al goode syth ye be best lyvynge
DIMEV 3954

Copied as an envoy to fols. 130r–147v.

(fols. 148r–154r)
On the chaunse of the dyse
(fol. 148r)
Rubric: Balade vpon the Chaunse of the Dyse
Incipit: FIrst myn vnkunnynge and my rudenesse |Vnto yow alle that lysten knowe here chaunce
Final rubric: Explicit Balade vpon the chaunse of the dyse
(fols. 148v–154r)
Rubric: Chaunces of the Dyse
Explicit: For hasarde hath with maystry quytte me soo |My while that I ioylesses now leue in woo
Final rubric: Explicit the Chaunce of thee Dyse
DIMEV 1318

Balade (3 stanzas, f. 148) treated as separate work from Chaunces (56 stanzas, ff. 148-154).

(fols. 154v–183v)
Geoffrey Chaucer, Hous of Fame
Rubric: The house of ffame
Incipit: GOd turne vs euery dreme to goode |ffor hyt is wonder be the Roode
Explicit: Thus in dreaming and in game |Ended this litel booke of Fame
Final rubric: Here endeth the booke of Fame
DIMEV 1620

Last 12 lines and explicit added by hand of 17th century; original hand ends, ‘But he semed for to be / A man of grete auctorite’ (f. 183v).

(fols. 184r–185v)
The X Commaundments of love
Rubric: The x Commaundements of Love
Incipit: Certes ferre extendeth yet my reason |This mater as yet should be to discryue
Explicit: For true seruice him to auance |And call him into your remembrance
Final rubric: Explicit the x commandements of Love

Added by a hand of the 17th century.

(fol. 186)


MS. Fairfax 16, fols. 187–201


Language(s): Middle English and Latin

(fols. 187r–188v)
Geoffrey Chaucer, Compleynt unto Pite
Rubric: Balade
Rubric: Complainte of the deathe of pitie (added by John Stow, fol. 187)
Incipit: PIte that I haue sought so yore agoo |with hert soore and ful of besy peyne
Explicit: Thus for your deth I may wel wepe and pleyne |With herte sore and ful of besy peyne
Final rubric: Explicit
DIMEV 4375
(fols. 188v–191r)
Geoffrey Chaucer, ABC hymn to the Virgin
Incipit: ALmyghty and alle mercyable quene |To whom al this worlde fleeth for socour
Explicit: Brynge vs to that paleyce that ys bilte |To penytentys that been to mercye able
(fols. 191r–192v)
Geoffrey Chaucer, Balade of Fortune
Rubric: Balade de vilage saunz Peynture. Par Chaucer
Incipit: This wrechched[sic] worldes transmutacioun |As wele and woo now pouerte and now riche honoure
Explicit: Prayeth his beeste frend of his noblesse |That to some beter estate he may atteyne
DIMEV 5803
(fols. 192v–193r)
Geoffrey Chaucer, Lenvoy de Chaucer à Scogan
Rubric: Lenvoy de Chaucer A Scogan
Incipit: To broken been the statuteȝ hye in hevene |That creat weren eternaly to dure
Explicit: Mynne thy frend there it may fructyfye |ffare wel and loke thow neuer eft love dyffye
DIMEV 5965
(fols. 193r–193v)
Geoffrey Chaucer, Complaynt to his Empty Purse
Rubric: The complaynt of Chaucer to his Purse
Incipit: To yow my purse and to noon other wight |Complayn I for ye be my lady dere
Explicit: And ye that mowen alle myn harme amende |haue mynde vppon my supplicacioun
DIMEV 6044
(fols. 193v–194r)
Geoffrey Chaucer, L’Envoy de Chaucer a Bukton
Rubric: Lenvoy de Chaucer A Bukton
Incipit: My maister Bukton whan of Criste our kyng |Was axed what ys trouthe or sothefastnesse
Explicit: God graunte yow your lyfe frely to lede |In fredam for ful harde it is to be bonde
DIMEV 3640
(fol. 194r)
Proverbial couplet on the golden mean
"Better is to suffre and fortune abyde |And hastely to clymbe and sodeynly to slyde"
(fols. 194r–194v)
Geoffrey Chaucer, Lak of Stedfastnesse
Rubric: Balade
Incipit: Some tyme the worlde was so stedfast and stable |That mannes worde was obligacioun
Explicit: Drede god do law loue trouthe and worthynesse |And wedde thy folke ayeyne to stedfastnesse
DIMEV 4990
(fols. 194v–195r)
Geoffrey Chaucer (attrib.), Against Women Inconstant
Rubric: Balade
Incipit: Madame that throgh your newfangelnesse |Many a seruaunt haue put out of your grace
Explicit: Alle lyght for somer ye wote wel what I mene |In sted of bliw thus may ye were al grene
DIMEV 3312
(fol. 195r)
John Lydgate, Fall of Princes Bk. II, lines 4432–8 (a single stanza)
Incipit: Deceyt disceyveth and shal be deceyved |ffor by deceyt who is deceyvable
Explicit: ffor whoo with fraude fraudelent ys founde |To a defrauder fraude wol ay rebounde
DIMEV 1108
(fol. 195r)
John Lydgate (attrib.), Four things that make a man fall from reason
Rubric: Quatuor infatuant honor etas femina vinum
"Wurship wommen wyne vnweldy age |Maken men to foune for lakke of ther resoun |Elde causeth dulnesse and dotage |Worship causeth chaunge of condicioun |Excesse of wyne blyndeth discrecioun |And bookes alle that Poetes wroot and radde |Seyn women moste maken men to madde"
DIMEV 6798
(fol. 195r)
A single-stanza rhyme royal, occurring separately and in combinations
Incipit: The worlde so wide thaire so remuable |The sely man so litel of stature
Explicit: That made is of these foure thus flyttyng |May stedfast be as here in his lyving
DIMEV 5534
(fols. 195r–195v)
Tyed with a Line First stanza only.
Incipit: The more I goo the ferther I am behinde |The ferther behinde the ner my wayes ende
Explicit: Is thys ffortune not I or infortune |Though I go lowse tyed am I with a lune[sic]
DIMEV 5411
(fol. 195v)
Geoffrey Chaucer (attrib.), Two proverbial riddles with questions and answers
Rubric: Proverbe of Chaucer
"What shul these clothes thus many folde |loo this hoote somers day |After grete hete cometh colde |No man caste his pilch away |Of al this worlde the large compace |yt wil not in my Armes tweyne |Whoo so mochel wol embrace |litel therof he shal distreyne"
DIMEV 6251
(fols. 195v–197r)
The Complaint Against Hope
Rubric: Complaynt ageyne Hope
Incipit: As I stoode in studyinge alloone |Astonyed in studye wel colde
Explicit: Than I doo that I with eyen se |hope in hope out thus kan ye foles fede
Final rubric: Explicit
(fols. 197r–198v)
Geoffrey Chaucer (attrib.), An Amorous Complaint (Compleint Damours)
Rubric: Complaynt Damours
Incipit: I whiche that am the sorwfullest man |That in this worlde was euer yet lyvinge
Explicit: And yet wol I euer more hir serue |And loue hir best al thogh she do me sterue
Final rubric: Explicit
DIMEV 2312
(fols. 198v–199r)
Thomas Hoccleve (?), Virelai to Henry V for money
Rubric: Balade
Incipit: Victoriouse kyng oure lorde moste graciouse |We humble legemen to youre highnesse
Explicit: lat nat the strook of Indigence vs mate |Excellent prince Mirour of prowesse
DIMEV 6143
(fols. 199r–199*v)
John Lydgate, Beware of Doublenesse
Incipit: This worlde is ful of variaunce |In euery thing whoo taketh hede
Explicit: Sette on youre brest your self tassure |A myghty shelde of doublenesse
Final rubric: Explicit
DIMEV 5793
(fols. 199*v–200v)
John Lydgate, A Prayer for King Henry VI and his Queen and the People
Rubric: Ab inimicis nostris defende nos criste
Incipit: Most souereigne lord o blessed crist ihesu |ffrom oure enemyes delyuer vs and oure foon
Explicit: And ay preserve vnder thy myghty honde |hym and hys moder thy peple and thy londe
Final rubric: Explicit
DIMEV 3563
(fol. 201r)
Incipit: fflee fro the pres and dwelle with withfastnes[sic] |Suffise vn to thy good though hyt be smalle
Explicit: Weyve thy lust and let thy gooste the lede |And trouthe shall the delyuer hyt is no drede
DIMEV 1326

MS. Fairfax 16, fols. 202–305


Language(s): Middle English and Latin

(fols. 202r–300r)
John Lydgate (attrib.), Reson and Sensuallyte

Freely translated from Les Echecs amoureux (lines 1–4873)

Rubric: Reson and sensuallyte compylid by John lydgat (add by hand of 16th century, f. 202)
Incipit: TO alle folkys vertuouse |That gentil ben and amerouse
Explicit: Ther stood a povne of gret renoun |Callyd delectacioun||
DIMEV 5964
(fols. 300v–305v)


MS. Fairfax 16, fols. 306–313


Language(s): Middle English and Latin

(fols. 306r–312v)
Rubric: How A Louer prayseth hys Lady
Incipit: WHen the son the laumpe of heuen ful lyght |Phebus with hys eye ful gret round and bryght
Explicit: Let other amende hyt that better kunne |ffor kunnyng in me was neuer kunne
DIMEV 6455

MS. Fairfax 16, fols. 314–340


Language(s): Middle English and Latin

(fols. 314r–316v)
John Lydgate (attrib.), Venus Mass

A parody of the mass: a series of love lyrics in varying forms for Introibo, Confiteor, Misereatur, Officium, Kyrie, Gloria, and Oryson

Incipit: Wyth all myn hool herte entere |To fore the famous Riche Autere
Explicit: And make ther Ioye to Renewe |Swich as wyl neuer be chaungable
DIMEV 6716

With headings for the various parts of the mass, e.g. ‘Introito’ and later ‘Confiteor’ on fol. 314r; continues with ‘The Epystel in prose’; on fols. 316v-317v.

(fols. 318r–329r)
Collection of twenty anonymous ballades and complaints, sometimes known as the Fairfax Sequence
(fol. 318r)
Rubric: Balade
Incipit: TO fle the sett of alle mysgouernaunce |I am truly wyth hole in sych a palace
Explicit: Wherfor I must obbey her womanhede |Constreynd of hert wyth stedfast loue and drede
DIMEV 5975
(fols. 318r–318v)
Rubric: Balade
Incipit: And os for yow that most ar in my mynde |Loke in what wyse the wyll I be demened
Explicit: But of my wo sumwhat I wold ye wyst |I can no more do wyth me what yow lyst
(fol. 318v–319r)
Rubric: Balade
Incipit: O lord god what yt is gret plesaunce |ffor me to thynke so goodly and so fayr
Explicit: I know her not olyue that in thys case |Is bettir worthy ther to haue a place
DIMEV 3964
(fols. 319r–319v)
Rubric: Compleynt
Incipit: Now lyst fortune thus for me to purueye |That I ne may vn to your speche attayn
Explicit: Myn hert ys ther os yt wyl not remeue |And so I lyue almost out of byleue
DIMEV 3780
(fols. 319v–320r)
Rubric: Compleynt
Incipit: Knelyng allon ryght thus I may make my wylle |As your seruaunt in euery maner wyse
Explicit: I can no more but alle my faythfull tryst |It lythe in yow demene me as ye lyst
DIMEV 3007
(fols. 320r–320v)
A lover’s address to his mistress
Rubric: Lettyr
Incipit: Ryght goodly flour to whom I owe seruyse |Wyth alle myn hert & to none othir wyght
Explicit: That lord a boue that syteth in his empire |He send yow ioy of alle that ye desyre
DIMEV 4498
(fols. 320v–321r)
Rubric: Compleynt
Incipit: O wofull hert prisound in gret duresse |Which canst not playn nor opyn thy dysese
Explicit: And trysteth well that in ryght goodly wysse |She wyll reward the for thy seruysse
DIMEV 4095
(fols. 321r–321v)
Charles d’Orléans
Rubric: Compleynt
Incipit: O thou ffortune whyche hast the gouernaunce |Of alle thynges kyndly mevyng to and fro
Explicit: ffor thys thou doost of very wylfulnesse |Why wyltow not wythstand myn heuuynesse
DIMEV 4071
(fol. 321v)
Rubric: Compleynt
Incipit: O cruell daunger all myn aduersarye |Of whom alle louers aught sore to complayne
Explicit: Vpon this to make apoyntement |That fro hens forth alle partyse may be plesyd
DIMEV 3865
(fol. 322r)
Rubric: Compleynt
Incipit: Now must I nede part out of your presence |Whiche causeth me to lyue in gret dystresse
Explicit: I wyl be truly hers in euery place |Besechyng her accept me to her grace
DIMEV 3784
(fols. 322r–322v)
Rubric: Compleynt
Incipit: What shuld me cause or ony wyse to thynk |To haue plesaunce or Ioy in any kynde
Explicit: But I that am not worthy to be blamyd |Me thynke yt wrong thus for to be dyffamed
DIMEV 6253
(fols. 322v–323r)
Rubric: Compleynt
Incipit: Walkyng allone of wyt full desolat |In my sprytes turmentyd to and fro
Explicit: And syth I ment but treuth os in this case |haue routh on me and take me to thy grace
DIMEV 6152
(fols. 323r–323v)
Rubric: Supplicacion
Incipit: Besechyth mekly in ryght lowly myse |Now in hys nede your suget and seruaunt
Explicit: Wherfore do now a charytable dede |To hys entent this lytill byll to spede
(fols. 323v–324r)
Rubric: Lettyr
Incipit: Myn hertys Ioy and all myn hole plesaunce |Whom that I serue and shall do faythfully
Explicit: Of verey trouth as thou canst wele remembre |At myn vpryst the fyst day of decembre
DIMEV 3509
(fol. 324r)
Rubric: Compleynt
Incipit: The tyme so long the payn ay mor and more |That in what wyse It may be long enduryd
Explicit: Lat me not dye syth I so long haue serued |ffor god yt knowyth I neuer so deserued
DIMEV 5504
(fols. 324r–324v)
Rubric: Compleynt
Incipit: What schall I say to whom schall I compleyn |I wot not who wyll on my forus rewe
Explicit: But for to thynk how my sorous renewe |Thus to endure yt is a wondir thyng
DIMEV 6250
(fols. 324v–325r)
Rubric: Lettyr
Incipit: My best bylouyd lady and maistresse |To whom I must of verey ryght obey
Explicit: Wrytyn in hast of verrey trouth to say |At [blank space left] vpon our lady day
DIMEV 3582
(fols. 325r–325v)
Rubric: Compleynt
Incipit: Not far fro marche in the ende of feueryere |Allon I went vpon myn awn dysport
Explicit: That trouth shall reynge and the gouernaunce |And hertys trew to lyue in thair plesaunce
DIMEV 3706
(fols. 325v–327r)
How þe louer is sett to serve þe floure
Incipit: Myn hert ys set and all myn hole entent |To serue this flour in my most humble wyse
Explicit: ffor alle that euer thou hast sayde byfore |Haue mynde of this for now I wryte no more
DIMEV 3505
(fols. 327r–329r)
The Parliament off Cupyde gode of love
Rubric: Parlement
Incipit: O ye louers which in gret heuynes |Haue led your lyfe by many a straunge way
Explicit: Off your maters sych tydynges yow to sende |That fro hens forth we take non hevynesse
DIMEV 4111
(fols. 329v–330r)
Prose list of heraldic regulations
Rubric: A remembraunz off þe articles perteyning to þe ordyr off rodys
Incipit: First ye schal swere to owre souerreyn Lord the kynge
Explicit: to kepe with alle youre powere. So help you god and holydome.

Added in a secretary bookhand of the late 15th century; in a second hand from fol. 330r.

(fols. 330v–332v)
John Lydgate, Verses on the Kings of England
Rubric: The regnynge of kynges After the conquest by the Monke of Bury
Incipit: The myghty William duke of Normandye |As bokes olde maken mencyoun
Explicit: Of vertuouse lyf & chose hym for his knyght |Longe to reioyce & regne here in his right
DIMEV 5731

Added by a contemporary hand; after last line, concludes, ‘Summa annorum a tempore Willelmi ducis normanorum vsque ad tempus henrici sexti CCC xxvᵗⁱ’ (fol. 332v).

(fols. 333r–340v)

Blank, with some added inscriptions and geometric designs (fol. 339r).

Additional Information

Record Sources

Description by Andrew Dunning (February 2022), based in part on John Norton-Smith, Bodleian Library MS. Fairfax 16 (London: Scolar Press, 1979); the Digital Index of Middle English Verse; the Summary Catalogue; and supplementary sources.


This item is on display in the exhibition "Chaucer Here and Now", Bodleian Libraries, Weston Library, 8 December 2023 – 28 April 2024. It will not be orderable between those dates or for a short period before or afterwards.

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)
Digital Bodleian (15 images from 35mm slides)


Last Substantive Revision

2022-02-21: Andrew Dunning Revised with consultation of original.

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