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

MS. Fr. c. 3

Summary Catalogue no.: 31073


Language(s): Old French

1. (fol. 1r–v)
Alphabetical index of subjects in the Miroir des dames
Incipit: Abstinence
Explicit: vengeance et punicion selon iustice cliiij finis

Folio numbers in the index do not correspond to this manuscript, but its exemplar.

2. (fols. 2r–107r)
Le miroir des dames

Anonymous prose translation from the first quarter of the fourteenth century of Durand de Champagne, Speculum dominarum (c. 1300).

Prose tract instructing a queen, possibly Jeanne d’Evreux, on proper Christian conduct.

Incipit: Raisonnables dignement faictes creez et formez a lymage et ala semblance de la benoite trinite
Explicit: dieu tout puissant qui en trinite parfaicte vit et regne pardurablement amen
Final rubric: Cy fine le mireour des dames plaise a dieu qui leur prouffite aux ames

This text is acephalous. It lacks 1 folio and 132 lines.

3. (fol. 108r)

Added title for the text

Rubric: Cy comance le liure intitule le miroer des dames celon ce que dit vng mestre en filosophie nommie vegecius que quant

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: ii (medieval parchment flyleaves) + 110 leaves
Foliation: Medieval foliation in Roman numerals, beginning on the first page of the text at ‘fo ii’. Index marked as fol. 1 in modern pencil.


Mostly in gatherings of 8 leaves.


Two columns of 48 lines each. Ruled in red ink.


One scribal hand for index, text, and rubrics. Written in secretary script with no marked insular features. Rubrics and proper names written in red ink.

Second, later hand for folio numbers and title on final flyleaf


Based on the number of lines missing from the beginning of the text, the manuscript had space for an opening image thirty lines high and two columns wide, probably depicting a friar presenting a book to a queen found in most other copies.

Decorated throughout with English-style penwork of the mid-fifteenth century. Blue capitals with red flourishes.


Origin: Post 1435, mid-15th century, ; England. Both the index and the text use Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 324 as an exemplar, one of two other copies of the Miroir des dames known to have been in medieval England. MS 324 was likely owned by John, Duke of Bedford (1389–1435). The other is London, British Library, Royal MS 19. B. xvi, owned by Henry VII. One of thirteen surviving copies of the Miroir des dames.

Provenance and Acquisition

William Constable (1721–1791), of Burton Constable Hall, Yorkshire, with his armorial bookplate.

‘Bought by the Bodleian 5 March 1891 … at … Sotheby’s (no. 1370 in Cat.).’

Record Sources

Description by J.R. Mattison (July 2021). Previously described in the Summary Catalogue.

Last Substantive Revision

2021-07-22: Andrew Dunning Encoded description by Mattison.