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

MS. Holkham misc. 40

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


1. (fols. 1r-)
The Mirror

Prose English translation of Robert de Gretham, Miroir. Pr. by K. M. Blumreich, The Middle English "Mirror" : an edition based on Bodleian Library, MS Holkham misc. 40 (Arizona Studies in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance 9, 2003).

Incipit: (preface) Many men hyt ben þat inwysse to heren
Incipit: (text) Cum appropinquasset Iesus Iherosolimam ... Ihesus cam ner a cyte
Language(s): English
2. (fols. 126v-127v)
Nicene Creed and Lord's Prayer (English translations, accompanied by homiles on the same)
Language(s): English
3. (fols. 133r-)
Catholic Epistles (English translation)
Rubric: Here beginnin þe pistles of þe yeer
(fols. 141r-)
Pauline epistles (English translation)
Language(s): English
(as pr. A. C. Paues, A Fourteenth Century English Biblical Version, pp. 18–122).
Language(s): English
4. (fols. 162v-)
Gospels (earlier Wycliffite version) (with prologues; the text divided up for reading at mass, with rubrics showing on which day each is to be read.)
Language(s): English

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: mirrour makeþ
Form: codex
Support: Parchment, of mediocre quality with numerous rough edges and flaws.
Extent: iii (paper) + 257 + iii (paper).
Dimensions (leaf): 285 × 190 mm.
Dimensions (ruled): 220–30 × 140–5 mm.
(fols. 1–162v)
Dimensions (ruled): 210–20 × 130–40 mm.
(fols. 162v-257)
Foliation: Modern pencil: i-iii, 1–260; late medieval foliations in black ink in roman numerals in the middle of the top margin I-CIII (fols. 1–104), with XXVIIII followed by XXIX thus out of step after fol. 29; and in arabic numerals from 104–179 (fols. 105–180).


1(8)-32(8) catchwords quires signed a-z and then a-j on the first leaf


38 written lines per page; in 1 column (fols. 1–16v)

45 written lines per page; in 1 column (fols. 17–25)

45 written lines per page; in 1 column (fols. 25–133)

45 written lines per page; in 2 columns (fols. 133v-162v)

37–8 written lines per page; 1 column (fols. 162v-257)


Written by at least four main scribes: (1) fols. 1–16v; (2) fols. 17–25; (3) fols. 25–162v; (4) fols. 162–257


Plain red initials.


Typical Holkham binding of ligh brown straight-grained morocco; the spine lettered in gilt 'THE MYRROUR | & GOSPELS' and 'MS. | MEMB. | 672'.


Origin: English ; 14th century, late - 15th century, early

Provenance and Acquisition

John Forest, rector of Ramsden Bellhouse, Essex, 1592: inscribed 'Iohannes Forestius rector de Rameston in comitatu Essex est proprius et indubitatus possessor huius libri 1592' (fol. 7r).

Sir Edward Coke (fol. 1r); item 212 in the catalogue of his books, ed. W. O. Hassall, New Haven, 1950.

Bookplate of 'THOMAS WILLIAM COKE', and signed by him (fol. i verso); formerly Norfolk, Holkham Hall, MS. 672.

Record Sources

Draft description by Peter Kidd, late 1990s, updated 2016


    Published descriptions:

    Elizabeth Solopova, Manuscripts of the Wycliffite Bible in the Bodleian and Oxford College Libraries (Liverpool, 2016), cat. 26

Last Substantive Revision

2017-07-01: First online publication.