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

MS. Hamilton 31

Summary Catalogue no.: 24461

A John of Wales, Postilla in Apocalypsim; Germany, 15th century, second quarter or middle B Agostino Trionfo on Hebrews and James; Germany, c. 1430–1440


On the upper pastedown in fifteenth-century hands (1) a theological quaestio; (2) a note of the volume's contents, not mentioning item 3, and attributing item 1 to 'quodam fratre ordinis minorum'; (3) ex libris (see provenance). On the lower pastedown are another fifteenth-century ex libris, pen trials, and a subject-index (partly alphabetical) to art. 1 in four columns.

Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Composite: two parts, together early.
Extent: 1 (original paper endleaf) + 235 (179 + 56) + 1 (original parchment endleaf) folios
Dimensions (leaf): 295 × 205 mm.


Ruled and stamped binding with cut-leather decoration (the Virgin and Child) on the upper board: attributed by Hermann Herbst to Tider Woltmann and subsequently by Ilse Schunke to the workshop of the Braunschweig cathedral binder, active c. 1433–1440; see F. A. Schmidt-Künsemüller, Corpus Der Gotischen Lederschitteinbände Aus Dem Deutschen Sprachgebiet (1980) no. 416, with references. The stamps are Schwenke-Schunke Rosette 49, but also a rosette not listed in Schwenke-Schunke, but associated in EBDB with Woltmann (s014638). Clasps lost; cornerpieces and centrepiece lost. Contemporary labels on the upper board with contents and pressmark. Tabs.

Accompanying Material

Fragments of a twelfth-century liturgical manuscript in the binding and used as quire-strengtheners.


Provenance and Acquisition

Erfurt, Carthusian abbey: ex libris, fifteenth-century, on both pastedowns; another, fol. 118r; ex libris, 17th century (?), fol. 1; pressmark C 91 on label on the upper cover; listed under that pressmark in the late-fifteenth-century library catalogue (Mittelalterliche Bibliothekskataloge Deutschlands und der Schweiz, II: Erfurt, ed. P. Lehmann (1928), p. 292).

Friedrich Gottlieb Julius von Bülow, 1760-?1831: identifiable as 177 in the catalogue of part 3 of his sale, 10 Oct. 1836.

Sir William Hamilton, 1788–1856

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

MS. Hamilton 31 – Part A (fols. 1–179)


1. (fols. 1ra-179rb)
⟨John of Wales⟩, Postilla in Apocalypsim
Incipit: Spiritu magno vidit vltima […] Cum in sacra scriptura doctrina reuelata beato Johanne in apo. sint abscondita quinque per ordinem videnda sunt videlicet dei reuelantis dignatiua et dispensatiua bonitas, beati Johannis ad intuendum secreta celestia ydonietas, archanorum reuelatorum alta profunditas, modi reuelacionis congrua qualitas, et ultimo eiusdem perutilis commoditas
Explicit: (fol. 4vb) et suscipientis auctoritatem. Et hec sufficiant quantum ad hodiernam leccionem.
Incipit: (fol. 5ra) ⟨P⟩ostquam ostensum est que sit presentis operis materia istius prophecie prefulgentia et eminencia hic 3º inquirimur qua visione Johannes viderit ista misteria
Explicit: (fol. 8va) Postea accedens ad narracionem distinguit septem visiones quibus terminatis iste liber consummatur. Et his nos consummemus
Incipit: (fol. 8va) ⟨A⟩pocalypsis Iesu Christi etc. Premissis causis principalibus huius doctrine sanctissime Sequitur euisdem diuisio et exposicio summalis
Incipit: (fol. 8vb) Dicit ergo apocalypsis iesu christi. Et est sermo grecus qui interpretatur reuelacio eo quod in ipsa status presentis et future ecclesie designatur
Explicit: non malicie sed ignorancie asscribat et corrigat quidquid viderit corrigendum. Benedictus sit altissimus in secula seculorum. Amen.

Rest of fol. 179rb blank; fol. 179v blank.

Stegmüller, Bibl. 2961, this ms. listed; cf. also 2962, 2963, 4518; J. Swanson, John of Wales, A study of the works and ideas of a thirteenth-century friar, Cambridge 1989, 230 no. 17. Mostly anonymous in the manuscripts, sometimes also attributed to William Melton; less commonly to Nicholas Lyra or Nicholas Gorran, William Alnwick, or Vitalis de Furno (Stegmüller, Bibl. 8312,2).
Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Paper, folded in folio. Watermarks: bull's head with six-leafed flower, cf. Piccard xii.274–86; bull's head with six-leafed flower, one mark resembling WZIS DE8085-PO-647551 and its twin somewhat resembling Piccard xii.317; bull's head with six-leafed flower, cf. WZIS DE4860-Ms954_2; bull's head with seven-leafed flower (?) (indistinct); bull's head with seven-leafed flower, eyes and nostrils, and circle below (not in Piccard or WZIS but cf. WZMA).


1(12–1: 7 canc. after fol. 6), 2(12)-15(12). Catchwords.


2 cols., c. 36–39 lines. Frame-ruled; ruled space 225 × 145 mm. , 15 mm. between columns.


Hybrida by one hand.


Four-line coloured red initial, fol. 1ra.

Occasional three-line initials flourished in the ink of the text, e.g. fols. 87r, 160v.

Elsewhere spaces for two- to three-line initials, unfilled. No rubrication, although running-heads and marginal comments are occasionally in red ink.

Additions: Marginal notes, extensive in places.


Origin: 15th century, second quarter or middle (watermarks, script) ; Germany

MS. Hamilton 31 – Part B (fols. 180–235)


Language(s): Latin

2. (fols. 180ra-231va)
Agostino Trionfo, Commentary on Hebrews
Incipit: Hebraei sunt et ego […] Secundum beatum Ambrosium illum merito sanctitatis debemus extollere
Final rubric: Explicit epistola pauli ad hebreos postillata per reuerendum magistrum augustini de ancona ordinis fratrum heremitarum sancti augustini et completa est per scriptorem in die sancti Mychaelis annos supra dicto in conuentu Ayrynensi

Rest of fol. 231va blank; fol. 231vb blank.

Stegmüller, Bibl. 1527, this ms. listed.
3. (fols. 232ra-233rb)
⟨Agostino Trionfo⟩, ⟨Postilla seu lectura in epistolas canonicas (James, imperfect)⟩
Incipit: Sapientia hedificauit sibi domum […] Cuiuslibet sciencie professor in principio sui studii tria tenetur dicere et pertractare
Incipit: (fol. 233rb) Non est ita ordo etc. Istis epistolis beatus Ieronimus premittit quendam prologum
Explicit: qui istas epistolas||

Breaks off imperfect.

Stegmüller, Bibl. 1528

Fols. 234r-235v blank. Fol. 236r-v (parchment endleaf) blank.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Paper, folded in folio. Watermark: grapes, (?) Piccard Frucht i.418 and 522 (Wesel 1429)


16(12)-19(12) (fols. 180–227), 20(12–4: probably 6–11 canc. after fol. 234)


2 cols., c. 53–57 lines. Frame-ruled, ruled space c. 225 × 140 mm.


Cursive, one hand.


Spaces for initials unfilled.


Origin: c. 1430–40 (watermark) ; Germany

Additional Information

Record Sources

Description by Matthew Holford, Nov. 2020. Previously described in the Summary Catalogue.

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)


Last Substantive Revision

2020-11-13: Description finalized for Polonsky German.