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

MS. Hamilton 14

Summary Catalogue no.: 24444

Sermones de sanctis, etc.; Michael de Massa, Super Passionem; Jacobus de Voragine, Legenda Aurea. Germany: A 1405, B 15th century, first quarter, C 14th century, second half

Physical Description

Composite: three parts
Secundo Folio: eleuatum
Extent: 235 (154 + 26 + 55) fols. (foliated 1–234, 57 is double)
Dimensions (leaf): 300 × 210–15 mm.
Musical Notation:

Offsets on the lower board from a fourteenth-century (?) liturgical manuscript with musical notation; fragments of the same manuscript in the binding.


Early (?) fifteenth-century binding of plain pigskin over boards; remains of title written on the upper cover; clasp lost; bosses on the upper and lower boards lost.

Accompanying Material

See above (musical notation); fragments of other manuscripts used for repair and quire-strengtheners.


Provenance and Acquisition

Neuzelle, Cistercian abbey (?): suggested by the placenames in part A, by the fact that Neuzelle was a source of other manuscripts in the Hamilton collection, and (as noted by Watson) by the existence of another manuscript from Neuzelle (Swann Galleries, New York, sale 1133 (8 March 1979) no. 198; present location unknown) written also in 1405 by 'Johannes Faber de Pyzna'.

Not identifiable in the 1836 sale catalogue of Friedrich Gottlieb Julius von Bülow.

Sir William Hamilton, 1788–1856

Presented to the Bodleian Library by his sons and received in 1857.

MS. Hamilton 14 – Part A (fols. 1–153)


Language(s): Latin

(fols. 1ra-151ra)
Sermones de sanctis

The same collection apparently found (in shorter form?) in Gotha, Chart. A 24c, and BSB, Clm 12293, (E. Wunderle, Katalog der mittelalterlichen lateinischen Papierhandschriften ... Gotha'schen Stiftung (2002), p. 83).

Three sermons for each feast, except as noted: SS Andrew, Barbara, Nicholas, Conception BVM, Lucy, Thomas, Stephen, John the Evangelist, Innocents, Fabian and Sebastian, Agnes, Vincent, Conversion of Paul, Purification BVM, Blaise, Agatha, Dorothy, Peter in cathedra, Matthias, Gregory, Annunciation, George, Mark, Philip and James, Invention of the Cross, John ante portam latinam, 'x milium militum', John the Baptist, 'de sancto petro tantum' (one sermon), Paul (one sermon), Peter and Paul (two sermons), 'de commemoratione sancti pauli' (one sermon), Margaret, 'de divisione apostolorum', Alexius, Mary Magdalen, James, Anne, Peter in chains, Laurence, Assumption BVM, Bartholomew, Augustine, Decollation of John the Baptist, Felix and Aduactus, Nativity BVM, Exaltation of the Cross, Matthew, Maurice (one sermon), Wenceslas (one sermon), Michael (four sermons, the fourth 'uel de animabus'), Jerome, Luke (two sermons, followed by 'vita S. Luce' (cf. BHL 4973, PL 95.1530–5, but abbreviated and ending differently), 11000 Virgins ('sequitur passio pro iijo sermone'), ... (text lost between fols. 130 and 131), All Saints (three sermons, followed by 'sermo iiijus de omnibus sanctis et de animabus', followed by three sermons 'de animabus'), Martin, Livinus (one sermon), Elizabeth, Cecily (end of the final sermon missing between fols. 148 and 149), Katherine.

The incipits of the first three and final three sermons as follows:

(fol. 1ra)
⟨De S. Andrea⟩
Incipit: Venite post me […] Locum(?) habent antedicta hec verba fratres karissimi non solum dixit dominus ad beatum andreas cuius festum hodie sollempnizat ecclesia, et ad fratrem suum beatum petrum, sed dicit ad quodlibet hominem

Cf. Schneyer, Wegweiser, p. 513 (Clm 12293, fol. 121)

(fol. 1vb)
Rubric: Sermo secundus
Incipit: Vias domini custodiui […] In sermone predicti[sic] karissimi dictum est de quibus nos debemus(?) recedere
(fol. 2vb)
Rubric: Sermo tercius
Incipit: Dixi ascendam in palmam […] Ista verba nobis proponantur ad informacionem principaliter, sed beato andree ad veneracionem secundario
(fol. 149ra)
Rubric: De sancta katherina
Incipit: Que parate erant […] Licet verba predicta fratres karissimi dici possunt de qualibet virgine sancta, tamen per quandam excellenciam assumi possunt de sancta katherina
(fol. 149rb)
Rubric: Sermo secundus
Incipit: Inveni graciam in oculis tuis […] Verba predicta fratres karissimi sunt Ruth ii. ad boos et bene conueniunt beate katherine quomodo ad christum
(fol. 150ra)
Rubric: Sermo tercius
Incipit: Quam pulchre sunt gressus tui […] In quibus verbis christus dei filius commendat amabilem suam sponsam fidelem animam a tribus. Primo a pulchritudine operis
Explicit: ubi ex eius ossibus oleum manat et cunctorum debilium membra sanat

The final sermon followed by eight lines of verse:

Incipit: Nunc concludamus et toto corde rogamus | Te collaudamus te semper glorificamus | O Katherina
Final rubric: Sermo sanctorum tripliciter hic variorum | Per anni cursum perlecta per lege cursum
Colophon: Expliciunt dicta sermonum de sanctis per circulum anni per manus Johannis fabri sub anno domini Mo CCCCo v feria secunda carnis privij circa horam vesperorum

Followed by two notes: (1) that the third sermon for St Matthew may be used for the feast of the dedication; (2) why continence is easily endangered, quoting Bernard of Clairvaux ep. 182 (PL 182.261). Rest of fol. 151rb blank.

(fols. 151va-152ra)
⟨Vita brevis sancti Quirini⟩
Incipit: Rome natalis sancti Quirini martiris, cuius miracula pro nunc in ecclesia Mulkenicz a multis hominibus bonis sunt visa. Item quidem sanctus quirinus cum esset ad huc gentilis sub trayano imperatore
Explicit: ligwam(?) est mortuus
(fol. 152ra-b)

Note of indulgences granted by fourteen bishops, including 'our bishop' Witko (Witigo of Kolditz, bp. of Meissen 1312–1342, or perhaps Witigo de Wur, bp. of Meissen 1266–1293), and note of local miracles performed by St Quirinus, mentioning 'Stargrat', 'Stregow' (Strzegow), and 'Mulkenicz' (Mulknitz), one miracle dated 1391.

(fols. 152rb-153ra)
⟨Passio decem milium martyrum⟩
Incipit: Adrianus et antonius Romani imperatores audientes quod gadareni et eufratenses eis rebellare cepissent
Explicit: et provenerunt ad regna celorum
(fols. 153ra-b)
⟨Vita brevis sancti Laurentii⟩
Incipit: Erat quidam rex gentilis in hyspania residens qui vixerat longe tempore cum vxore sua
Explicit: dei ab eo discessit

Fol. 153v blank.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Paper, folded in folio. Watermark(s) indistinct, but include bull's head with six-leafed flower


1(10), 2(12)-10(12) (fols. 11–117), 11(14–1?: 14 lost between fols. 130 and 131?) (fols. 118–130), 12(12) (fols. 131–142), 13(12–1: 6 torn out after fol. 148) (fols. 143–153). Catchwords, quires numbered in roman on the bottom centre of the final verso (often lost through trimming)


2 cols., c. 42–7 lines. Ruled space c. 230 × 160 mm. , 15 mm. between columns.


Fols. 15a-151rb: cursive by Johannes Faber (colophon, fol. 151ra). Fols. 151va-153rb: additions in cursive by another hand.


5-line puzzle initial in red and blank, fol. 1r; elaborate red-and-black initial, fol. 25v, 88v.

2-line red initials sometimes with simple penwork decoration in the same colour.


Origin: 1405 ; Germany, perhaps Mulknitz or area as suggested by the additions on fols. 151va-152rb

MS. Hamilton 14 – Part B (fols. 154–179)


(fols. 154va-179va)
Michael de Massa, Super Passionem
Incipit: Angeli pacis a mare flebunt Sic scribitur ysaie 33º. In sacra scriptura reperitur fletus cordialis amoris
Explicit: ad dulcedinem celestis fruicionis amen
Final rubric: Explicit passio venerabilis magistri michahelis de massa ordinis fratrum

Fol. 154r blank, except for cancelled opening passage of the text. Fol. 179vb blank.

Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Paper, folded in folio. Watermark: bell (Glockenkörper ohne Schulter, Glockenmund einkonturig, ohne Joch, mit Klöppe), similar examples in WZIS concentrated in the early fifteenth century


14(12) (fols. 154–165) 15(14) (fols. 166–179)


2 cols., c. 44–45 lines. Frame-ruled in ink, ruled space c. 225 × 140 mm. , c. 15 mm. between columns.


Cursive, one hand.


Six-line coloured initial with simple silhouette decoration.


Origin: 15th century, first quarter ; Germany

MS. Hamilton 14 – Part C (fols. 180–234)


(fols. 180ra-234vb)
⟨Jacobus de Voragine⟩, ⟨Legenda aurea⟩ (imperfect)
Rubric: De aduentu domini
Incipit: Universum tempus presentis vite in iiijor distingwitur

Graesse, cc. 1 (treated as one unit with the prologue), 2 (sections 1–9), St Barbara (see below), 3 (ending 'omnibus generatur', Graesse p. 29); Conception of the Virgin (see below), 4–8, , 9 (sections 1–12), 10–11, 12 (without the prologue), 13 (ending 'rediit ad locum suum', Graesse p. 86), 14–17, 19, 21, 22–26, 28, 31 (with the preceding paragraph 'De festivitatibus'), 32–36, 37 (section 1 only), 38–39, 210 (207, Dorothy, varied), 42–44, 45 (ending 'populo demonstratur', Graesse p. 187), 46 (sections 1–17), 47, Gertrude (see below), 49–51, 53–58, Passio S. Georgii (see below), 59 (ending shortly after the beginning of sect. 2), 61, 63 (ends imperfect, fol. 233vb 'die fuisset sepultum. Plura et ||', cf. Graesse p. 283 near bottom). Fol. 234r-v contains part of c. 67, St James the Less, 'sicut in calcaneis ... monicionibus conuerterentur', Grasse pp. 296–9.

Often shorter than the text printed in Graesse. Many chapters are followed by a paragraph of 'merita' summarizing or giving additional reasons for a saint's veneration, e.g. (fol. 184rb) 'sancta barbara habet sibi omnes seruientes a subita morte custodire...', (fol. 186va) 'Sancta lucia habet contra fluxum sanguinis opem ferre...'.

The following texts are not printed by Graesse:

(fols. 183va-184ra)
Rubric: De sancta barbara
Incipit: Temporibus maximiniani imperatoris erat vir quidam nomine dyoscorus
Explicit: in habitaculum modicum in quo et sanaciones plurime celebrantur in laudem et gloriam omnipotentis dei cui et honor […]
BHL 913
(fol. 184ra-b)
Rubric: Miraculum
Incipit: Legitur quod quidam christiani ciuitatem in qua beata barbara nata fuit passa et sepulta manu armata cepissent
Explicit: conscripsit ad honorem beate barbare virginis gloriose

Begins as BHL 929 (abbrev.), followed by a miracle of a beheaded merchant (resembling BHL 940 only very broadly).

(fols. 185ra-vb)
Rubric: De concepcione marie
Incipit: Eo tempore quo Wilhelmus dux nortmanorum potentissimus prostrato anglorum rege
Explicit: post hanc vitam requies eternam. Amen.
⟨Ps.-Anselm⟩, ⟨Miraculum de conceptione beatae Mariae⟩

PL 159.323

Incipit: Liber generacionis Iesu […] Maria ut plerique estimant interpretatur illuminatrix uel stella maris
Explicit: ab omni tristicia seculi sunt(?) liberati in eterna beatitudine regnare cum christo mereamur

PL 114.859, a passage from Walafrid Strabo, Homilia in initium evangelii sancti Matthaei

Followed by a note that whoever fasts on the vigil and feast of the conception is delivered from all evil, etc.

(fol. 214vb)


Incipit: Gerdrudis virgo, venerabilis nobilibus ac religiosis orta parentibus
Explicit: filium suum ministrare constituit

Apparently as in Fribourg L 743 fols. 123v-124, BHL inedits.

(fol. 228va)

Passion of St George

Incipit: Tempore illo rex Dacianus qui erat christianorum persecutor posuit tribunal suum
Explicit: nona die kalendae may in christo ...

Perhaps as Frankfurt am Main SUB Praed. 43, fols. 64v-65, BHL inedits.

Language(s): Latin

Glosses or notes in German, fol. 195v.

Language(s): German

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Paper, folded in folio. Watermarks: scourge/geissel (Stiel mit einem Knauf, Riemen zweikonturig); lion rampant


16(8)-21(8) (fols. 180–227), 22(8–1, apparently missing 7 between fols. 233 and 234) (fols. 228–234). Quires numbered in roman on the bottom centre of the final verso.


2 cols., c. 37–46 lines. Frame-ruled in ink, 235–240 × 175 mm.


Cursiva antiquior, one hand


Three- to five-line puzzle initials in red and black, fols. 180r-192r; elsewhere one- to three-line red initials.


Origin: 14th century, second half ; Germany


‘Liber Ny(cola)i presbiteri in Wylog Wolframsdorf \Willentyn/ ’ (fol. 180r)

Additional Information

Record Sources

Description by Matthew Holford (Oct. 2020). Previously described in the Summary Catalogue.

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)


Last Substantive Revision

2020-10-29: Draft description for Polonsky German project.