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

MS. Fr. f. 5

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


Romance of Melior

Fragment, two leaves, of otherwise unidentified romance, concerning the knight Melior, and a queen falsely accused of the murder of her husband. For diplomatic and critical editions, and reproductions of all four pages, see Sharon L. Collingwood, Melior: fragment d'un texte du XIIIe siècle (M.A. thesis, University of Western Ontario, 1985).

The leaves bound in the wrong order (presumably so that the only decorated intial appears on the first page

(fols. 9r-v, 8r-v) '|| Q(ue) lor afaire bien fauoit | Tout maintenant ke il les uiot | ... | Q(ue) iusqua quarantime ior | La feront metre en vne tor | [fol. 8r-v:] 'Sen iusqua ior ne puet auoir | P(or) proiere ne por auoir | ... | La nef troua cest ens entreis | En poc dore fut tres passeis | En ingle terre droitement | ... | Ensi le laisserent ester | Dusqua demain aleniorner | ... | Qua tort li a esteit sus mis | Li teaitres auant sallit ||'.
Language(s): Old French

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: viii (paper) + 2 + xx (paper) leaves.
Dimensions (leaf): 62–3 × 110 mm.
Dimensions (ruled): 132–3 × 90 mm.
Foliation: Foliated in pencil: 1–29, preceded by an unnumbered marbled endleaf; the two medieval leaves, now bound in the wrong order, were previously foliated in pencil at least twice.


Ruled in leadpoint with 27 lines, the top pair and bottom pair extending beyong the vertical bounding lines; three bounding lines to the left of the column, with the first letter of each line centred on the middle ofd these, and a single bounding line to the right of the column.

Written in gothic script with 26 lines per page (written below top line).


Gothic script.


One two-line initial in red flourished in blue (fol. 8r).


Bound in French(?) 19th(?)-cent. brown leather over pasteboards, the spine tooled and lettered in gilt: 'CHANSONS | DE | GESTES | - | FRAGMENT'; marbled endpapers; watermarks with three fleurs-de-lys flanked by palm-branches.


Origin: 13th century, middle (?) ; French (?)

Provenance and Acquisition

17th(?) cent.: inscribed in Latin twice in the lower margin (fol. 8r).

Bought, 1932.

Record Sources

Draft description by Peter Kidd, late 1990s.

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (1 image from 35mm slides)


Last Substantive Revision

2017-07-01: First online publication.