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

MS. Lat. liturg. d. 40

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


Psalter (cutting)

On the original recto side are parts of Ps.25 verses 3–6 inc. ‘[mise]ricordia tua’, expl. ‘manus meas. et’. On the verso side initial ‘D’ to Ps.26 ‘Dominus illuminatio mea’.

Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: A cut out fragment folded horizontally.
Dimensions (leaf): 125 × 99 mm.


The ms. was evidently written in one column. The ruled lines are 10 mm. apart and there were probably about 20 lines to the page.


Fine historiated initial. (Pächt and Alexander iii. 548, pl. LV)

The initial ‘D’ is a gold letter on a square ground with panels of white, salmon and blue with diaper patterns in salmon and white. The bowl of the letter is divided by a thin blue irregular band with white dots into an upper and lower compartment. Above stands on the left the blind man (labelled ‘cecus’), in the centre three disciples (‘discipuli domini’), and on the right Christ. The scene represented is the healing of the blind man as narrated in St. John ch.ix, as is made clear by an Eagle which flies out as if from the stem of the ‘D’ with a scroll in its beak. The scroll reads ‘Secundum Johannem. Praeteriens Ihesus’. In the upper scene the leading disciple carries a scroll with the words, ‘Rabbi. Quid [sic] peccavit, homo (?) aut parentes ejus ut cecus nasceretur?’ (John IX.2). Christ also carries a scroll ‘Nihil peccavit neque parentes ejus. Sed … (cut off)’ (John IX.3). In the lower compartment are two scences. On the left Christ heals the blind man (labelled ‘cecus’). A scroll reads: ‘Fecit Jhesus lutum ex sputo et linivit oculos ceci ut videret’ (paraphrase of John IX.6). The last scene shows the blind man (labelled ‘cecus’) testifying to his restored sight to the people - three men labelled ‘populus’. They carry a scroll which reads: ‘Quomodo aperti sunt oculi tui ut videres’ (John IX.10). The blind man's scroll reads: ‘Ille homo qui dicitur Jhesus linivit oculos meos et video.’ On the original recto side there are decorated line-endings with leaf and animal heads. The illumination is of very high quality and belongs with a group of English early 14th century MSS. of which the Tickhill Psalter, New York Public Library, is pre-eminent. The group were probably produced in the Midlands.


Origin: 14th century, beginning ; English

Provenance and Acquisition

Inscribed in the 17th century, 'Swelinck [...] | Sett.4.5.6.[...] | Voc.': perhaps used as a wrapper for parts of Sweelinck's settings of the Huguenot Psalms

Bought by the Bodleian from Mr. J. Spurling in 1964.

Record Sources

Typescript description by Bodleian library staff, revised by Peter Kidd, late 1990s.

Last Substantive Revision

2017-07-01: First online publication.