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

MS. Lat. hist. d. 4

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

Historical collections, A: Italian, 14th cent.; B: English, 13th-14th cent

Physical Description

Composite: two manuscripts written in the 14th century, brought together by the mid century. Fols. 1–48 || fols. 49–244 || flyleaves.
Secundo Folio: fluit mare
Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: vi + 227 leaves (fol.i–vi, 225–6 are original flyleaves; fol.227 was a pastedown)
Dimensions (leaf): 265 × 192 mm.


Pächt and Alexander iii. 588:

Historiated initials.

Added marginal drawings.

Initials, red flourished in brown or red, in the same style throughout.


Contemporary binding of wooden boards covered with white leather, with a chemise; traces of two clasps fastening to catches on outer edge of back board, and of chain fastening to bottom edge of upper board.


Provenance and Acquisition

Pressmark 'C. 59' and 'Liber monachorum sancti Edmundi de empcione fratris Willelmi de Colcestr' in quo continentur subscripta. Videlicet ...' followed by a list of contents (fol. vi verso).

'C. 59' and 'Liber monachorum sancti Edmundi' (fol. 1r) written by Henry of Kirkestede, the 14th-century librarian of Bury St. Edmunds.

Dr. Charles Taylor (d. 1836).

Bought from his executors by Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792–1872) , MS. 11257.

Sotheby's 30 Nov. 1965, lot 16, with pl. of fol. 1. Bought.

MS. Lat. hist. d. 4 – Part 1


Martin (Polonus) of Troppau, Chronicon pontificum et imperatorum

A copy of the latest version, C, ed. L. Wieland, MGH. Scriptores XXII, 1872, pp.397–474 (and see pp. 383, 386–90). The chronicle of popes is followed by the continuations for 1277–85 pr. ibid., pp.476–82.

Rubric: Incipit cronica fratris Martini domini pape penitenciarii et capellani
Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Dimensions (written): 181–95 × 143–9 mm.


1(8)-6(8) some catchwords


2 cols., 36–7 lines.


Origin: 14th century, first half ; Italian

MS. Lat. hist. d. 4 – Part 2


Summary of Contents: Historical collection, the original part (fols. 50–62, 66–67v, 72–205v) written before 1314, with additions in several slighly later 14th-cent. hands.
William of Malmesbury, Gesta Pontificum

Extracts, made ‘pro sola et una fraternitatis caritate’, see fol.58v.

Rubric: Incipiunt cronice de archiepiscopis at episcopis Anglie. Composite secundum W. Malmesburiensem monachum
Language(s): Latin
(fol.50v, 51)
Lists of the archbishops of Canterbury to 1313, the deans of St. Paul's, London to 1314, and the bishops of London to 131

Added by the original hand, with continuations to 1323 (St Paul's) and 1354 (bishops of London).

Language(s): Latin
Leges Edwardi Confessoris

Prologue and cap.1–32, 36–39, in edition of W. Liebermann, Gesetze der Angelsachsen I, 1903, pp.627–55, 666–70.

Rubric: Incipiunt leges sancti Edwardi per Willelmum conquestorem regem Anglie approbate et confirmate
Language(s): Latin
Descriptions of Britain
Incipit: Insula Britannie cui quondam Albion nomen fuit per milia passuum octingenta

Preceded by:

Passage on the reasons for the downfall of the Britons

Incipit: Legitur in libro Gilde

The description of Britain is not taken from Gildas.

Rubric: Comendacio Britannie
Incipit: Britannia sicut legitur inter insulas omnes
Rubric: De mirab⟨il⟩ibus Britannie
Incipit: Ventus egreditur

34 wonders ending (fol.67) with no.4 of the list in the edition cited below, and omitting no.27.

A slightly shorter version of these three items is in MS. Rawl.D.358, fol.97–101, 15th cent., with ex-libris of John Whetamstede, abbot of St. Albans. A version of the second and third items is printed in Ralph of Diceto's Abbreviationes Chronicorum, in his Opera HistoricaI, ed. Stubbs (R.S., 1876), pp.10–15. No.4 of the third item is in the longer version cited by Stubbs.

Language(s): Latin
Account of founders of English monastic houses before the Conquest

Pr. in Ralph of Diceto, Opera Historica II, ed. Stubbs (R.S., 1876), pp.210–12.

Language(s): Latin
Ps.-Methodius, De initio et fine saeculi
Rubric: Incipit prophetia Methodii et memoriale temporum
Incipit: Sciendum namque est nobis fratres

The commonly found brief recension of the revelations of Ps.-Methodius.

Language(s): Latin
Vincent of Beauvais, Speculum historiale

Extracts, not all consecutive, from lib. XXXII, parts of caps. 105–6, 108–112, 115–24.

Rubric: Pronosticacio de futuris temporibus secundum fratem Vincentium Belvacensem
Incipit: Sciendum est quod vii etas
Language(s): Latin
(fol. 76)
'Matthew of Westminster', Flores historiarum (to 1306)
Rubric: Incipit prologus in librum qui Flores hystoriarum intitulatur
Explicit: (fol.202v) dimidium postulati

Closely related to MS. Lambeth 1106, probably from St. Paul's, London (see Luard's edition (R.S.1890), vol.i, pp.xxvii–viii and passim) but often even more abbreviated than Lambeth. After 1298, like most of the other MSS., both MSS. follow the E(‘Merton’) text rather than Ch(Chetham), from which they derive in the earlier part. Many of the longer insertions in Lambeth are included, and at 1291 (fol.186v) the ‘Ordinatio regni Scocie’ is in the form addressed to the dean and chapter of St. Paul's. The bull of Gregory X, 1273, on Peter Scot, found as a separate item in some MSS. of the Flores (e.g. MSS. Fairfax 20, fol.6v; B.M. Cotton Claud. E. VIII, fol.10), inserted in Lambeth at 936, is here inserted at 1185 (fol.152). Apparently peculiar to our MS. are: (fol.159v, 1213) John's charter of submission to the Pope in a fuller form than in the other MSS., with witnesses, etc.; (fol.162, 1216) copies of three further charters of John; and:

(fol.187v, 1292)
Historical account of the rights of the King of England over Scotland
Incipit: Ad maiorem evidenciam iuris et dominii
Explicit: Egipciis in mare rubeo

Perhaps the same as the separate piece in MS. BM. Cotton Claud. E.VIII, fol.260v. Cf. Robert of Avesbury, De gestis Edwardi tertii, ed. E. Maunde Thompson, (R.S. 1889), pp.286–90.

Language(s): Latin
Language(s): Latin
(fol. 202v)
Annales Paulini

Beginning only (1307–8). Pr. from MS. Lambeth 1106 by Stubbs, Chron. Edw. I et II (R.S.1882), pp.255–66.

Final rubric: Explicit cronica Rad. Baldok
(i.e. Ralph of Baldock, bishop of London 1304–1313; cf.Emden, B.R.U.O.iii 2148 no. cxxv). This rubric added by a 'shaky' hand.
Language(s): Latin
(fol. 205v)
Adam of Murimuth, Continuatio Chronicarum

Extract: 1309 to mid 1334, ed. Maunde Thompson (R. S.1889), pp.14–74. Written in a different hand.

Explicit: iuxta partes Tholosanas oriundus
Rubric: Ex Cronicis Ade Merimoz can. Lond.

Rubric added by 'shaky' hand.

Language(s): Latin
Chronicle of England, 1335–40

Continuing the preceding item, but not taken from Murimuth. Written by a hand of the mid-14th cent. which also added on fol.65 two missing chapters from the Flores for which spaces had been left on fol.80v, 81.

Language(s): Latin
(fol.219–224v, followed by stubs of cancelled leaves)
Annals, 1341–63

Leaves ruled up for further additions, two years to a page, for years 1341–63, by Henry of Kirkestede, who made entries only for 1341 (death and election of prior of Ely), 1342, 1360 (death of abbot of Bury), 1361 (death of prior and 18 monks of Bury in plague; destruction of tower in gale, etc.).

Language(s): Latin

Items added on plank or inserted leaves by three 14th-cent. hands

Historical pieces

(fol. 49)
List of papal legates to England, 1206–1317
Language(s): Latin
(fol. 62v
Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia regum Britanniae

Extract: Bk. XII.iv–xix, pp.518–535 in ed. of Griscom. 1929.

Rubric: Extracta de cronicis Galfridi de Munemuta de historia Britonum…ex quibus elicitur cause ruine Britonum
Language(s): Latin
(fol. 70)
List of papal bulls addressed to Kings of England, apparently arranged by subject, starting with Scotland

The earliest is of Honorius III (1216–1227) and the latest of Boniface VIII (1294–1303).

Language(s): Latin
(fol.65, in hand of item 6d above)
Ps.-Hildegard of Bingen, Insurgent gentes
Rubric: Revelacio beate Hildegardis
Incipit: Insurgent gentes

The prophecy on the friars falsely attributed to Hildegard: see F. Vernet in Dict.Th.Cath. VI, col. 2470–1; preceded by a note on Hildegard's dates.

Language(s): Latin
Prophetical verses
(fol. 71)
Incipit: Regnum Scotorum fuit inter cetera regna

44 lines. WIC 16547

Rubric: Visio Caldewini de Maneriis
Incipit: Rex ego sum Malgo nuper extinctus modo vivo
(fol. 71v)
Incipit: Anno mille c ter x bis sexto dabit Eter

4 lines. WIC 1139

Incipit: M. semel et ter. C bis decem sex superadde

5 lines

Incipit: Phebus palescit virtus lune quia crescit

4 lines.

Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Dimensions (written): 195–206 × 133–9 mm.


7(14), 8(8) (originally a bifolium, 4–5 (fol.66–7) with 1–3, 6–8 later wrapped round it), 9(4) + 1 added at beginning, 10(8)–25(8), 26(10)–27(10), 28(4) (2–4 canc.) catchwords


c. 41–49 long lines (mostly 45–6).


Initial Q with a face of a bearded man, and sprays with acorns and oak leaves extending into margins.

14th cent. annotations to fols. 76–217 include many crude marginal pen drawings apparently made by the shaky hand.

Accompanying Material

Fol.iv, flyleaf, is a reject leaf from the present MS. of the Flores. On fol.iv verso, continued on fol.71, the shaky 14th cent. annotator wrote brief annalistic notes up to the year 1326. Fol.iv and v (blank) are a bifolium. For the other flyleaves and end pastedown (fol.i–iii, vi, 225–227, fol.iii verso, vi–vi verso originally blank) see below.


Origin: 1313–1316, with later 14th century additions ; English, London (?) or Bury St. Edmunds (?)

MS. Lat. hist. d. 4 – Part 3


(fol.i–iii, vi, 225–227, fol.iii verso, vi–vi verso originally blank)
Commentary on Aristotle, De generatione et corruptione (cap. vi-xi). The leaves were originally in the order i–ii, missing leaf, 227, 226, 225, iii, vi (blank).
Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment


2 cols., 44–62 lines


Origin: English ; 13th century - 14th century

Additional Information

Record Sources

Typescript description by Bodleian Library staff.

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (2 images from 35mm slides)


Last Substantive Revision

2017-07-01: First online publication.