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

MS. Holkham misc. 15

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

Pontifical; Spanish (archbishopric of Tarragona (?)), 14th century


Language(s): Latin
2. (fols. iii recto -)

List of capitula

3. (fols. 1r-)

ordo ad catecuminum faciendum', blessing of font, baptism, confirmation, 'De reconciliatioen apostate'

4. (fols. 16v- )

Consecration of lower orders, priests and bishops.

5. (fols. 45r- )

Blessings of a church and of communion vessels, re-consecration of a church, benediction of the people.

6. (fols. 92r-)

Blessing of candles at the Purification.

7. (fols. 95r-)

De penitentibus

8. (fols. 98r-)

Ceremonies of Lent

9. (fols. 108r-)

Ceremonies of Holy Week.

10. (fols. 149v-)

Baptism of the infirm.

11. (fols. 151r-)

Dedication of a church.

12. (fols. 154r-)

Consecration of an abbot or abbess.

13. (fols. 158r-)

Consecration and coronation of a king and queen.

14. (fols. 165r-)

Benedictio principis sive palatini comitis

15. (fols. 166v- )

De legitimis coniuiis

16. (fols. 168r-)

Wedding ceremony

17. (fols. 178r-)

Order of holding a council with (fols. 183r-) forms of excommunication and reconciliation of an excommunicate

18. (fols. 213v-)

Visitation of the sick, and extreme unction with litany.

19. (fols. 219r- )

Forms for admission of a secular as a canon regular, and for the profession of a novice.

20. (fols.227r- )

Benedictio veterum monachorum

21. (fols. 229v-)

Consecration of nuns.

22. (fols. 237v-)

Blessings of a paten, chalice, corporalia, and a cross.

23. (fols. 240r-)

Office of the Dead.

24. (fols. 246v- )

Exorcism of oil.

25. (fols. 247r-)

Ordination of an abbess.

26. (fols. 250r-)

Consecration of a portable altar.

27. (fols. 255r-)

Forma reconciliationis cimiterii

(added in a rather later hand)

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: deserviat et
Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: ii (paper) + 258 + ii (paper)
Dimensions (leaf): 270 × 105 mm.
Dimensions (ruled): 172 × 105 mm.
Foliation: The main text (fols. 1–254) with original foliation in red ink in roman numerals; some leaves with the remains of a late-medieval (?) foliation in ink in arabic numerals (e.g. at fols. 229–230); the whole volume foliated in modern pencil: i-iv, 1–258.


1(10)-4(10), 5(8), 6(10)-17(10), 18(8), 19(12), 20(10)-23(10), 24(8), 25(10), 26(10)


18 lines per page, written below top line; 29 lines per page, below top line in the added list of contents (fols. iii-iv); in 1 column; litanies in two columns.


Fine gothic liturgical bookhand.


A fine human head occupies one of the small initials (fol. 229v); many other initials include fine 'dragon' heads, some of them with a human limb grasped in their mouth.


Typical Holkam binding in black leather; the spine lettered in gilt 'LIBER | PONTIFICALIS | AD | CATECHUMENUM | FACIENDUM', and 'MS. | SÆC. XIII.' and, at the bottom, '50'.


Origin: Spanish, archbishopric of Tarragona (?); 14th century

Provenance and Acquisition

In the order for the consecration of a suffragan bishop the oath of obedience is taken to the archbishop of Tarragona (fol. 44v).

Marginal notes throughout, in a variety of hands, including one (fol. 24r) in a 15th century Italian hand.

Given by B. de Lignamine to the Canons of S. Giovanni in Verdara, Padua, in 1455: inscribed 'Librum hunc donavit reverendus B. de Lignamine Patavus episcopus Concordianensis congregationi canonicorum regularium Lateranensium ita ut imprimis sit ad usam dictorum canonicorum Christo militantium in monasterio sancti Iohannis in Viridario Padue. Quare omnes Deum pro eius anima devote precari meminerint MCCCºLV' (fol. 254v) (Hassall, 1970, 23, 23 n. 6).

Thomas Coke, probably bought in 1717 (ibid.).

Bookplate of 'THOMAS WILLIAM COKE' (1754–1842), and the signature 'Thos Wilm. Coke', both on the upper pastedown; formerly Norfolk, Holkham Hall, MS. 50.

Record Sources

Draft description by Peter Kidd, late 1990s

Last Substantive Revision

2017-07-01: First online publication.