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

MS. Lat. misc. f. 51

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

Works by Nicholaus Kratzer; England (London), 1537


(fol.1, written in an inverted pyramid, lines alternately red and brown) ‘Contenta libelli. Canones horoptri baculi editione Nicholai Kraceri. Epitoma specierum arithmetice in tabulis’.
Nicolaus Kratzer, Canones horoptri baculi
Rubric: Index capitum

List of 18 chapters. Fol.2v is blank

Rubric: Descriptio et declaratio baculi
Incipit: Mundus qum [sic] omnium rerum conceptio summa sit
Rubric: Declaratio partium baculi. Caput primum
Incipit: Baculus iste secundum latum in partes tres divisus est.

Cap. 18 ends(fol.22v): horam et minuta estus maris invenies

Rubric: Tabula fluxus et refluxus maris

Table of tides for London

Explicit: Finis descriptionis baculi

Fol.23v–24v are blank. Illustrative diagrams on fol.10v, 11v, 12v, 13v, and on fol.17, circular diagram: ‘Figura epactarum’. In the examples the year given is almost always 1538. The text is quite different from Kratzer's Canones horoptri in MS. Bodley 504, which was probably sent as a present to King Henry VIII, New Year 1528/9.

Language(s): Latin
Nicolaus Kratzer, Epitoma specierum arithmetice in tabulis
Incipit: Qum [sic] in studiis nostris arithmeticam carere non possumus(introduction)

Followed by tables of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and of multiplication and division combined, each with explanatory notes and examples.

Explicit: (fol.51)per que post divisionem superabunt.
Colophon: Anno domini 1537, regni vero illustrissimi regis HENRICI octavi 29, Petrus de Meghen monoculus me scripsit, anno etatis sue 71.(Fol.51v in red, partly written in inverted pyramid)

Fol.52–53v are blank.

Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: de quatuor (table)
Secundo Folio: -gnitione (text)
Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: i + 53 leaves
Dimensions (leaf): 172 × 117 mm.
Dimensions (written): 108 × 64–68 mm.


1(4) (including front pastedown), 2(8)–3(8), 4(8) (+ 4 original leaves inserted after 6), 5(8)–6(8), 7(8) (including end pastedown); quires 2 and 3 have quire signatures a–b


18 lines ruled in pencil with vertical bounding lines in ink


Written by Peter Meghen, in a humanistic hand


The manuscript is decorated with a series of delicately painted small initials in a style showing Italian influence. They are in gold on red or blue alternately, decorated in white, sometimes with figures, or flowers and foliage, sometimes merely stippled to give an effect of shading. There are 3-line initials on fol.3 (the decoration includes two naked figures apparently supporting the initial itself) and fol.4 (with decoration of flowers and leaves); fol.25, 2-line initial with figures of three men. There are further 2-line initials for chapters of the first work and subdivisions of the second, and a few one-line initials for examples, etc.


Original binding in pasteboard covered with worn black velvet, traces of two ties.


Origin: 1537 ; English, London (?)

Provenance and Acquisition

There is no early evidence of provenance, but the binding and the conjunction of dates (1537 in the colophon, 1538 in the examples) suggest that, despite the lack of a preface, this manuscript, too, may have been intended as a New Year's gift for King Henry VIII. Kratzer (1487 - after 1550) was astronomer to Henry and had been in his service since at least 1519 (see J.B. Trapp, H. Schulig Herbruggen, ‘The King's Good Servant’. Sir Thomas More 1477/8–1535, Exhibition catalogue, National Portrait Gallery, London, 1977, nos.187–8 with bibliography). For other manuscripts copied by the scribe Peter Meghen from Brabant (who also copied MS.Bodley 504), see J.B. Trapp, ‘Notes on MSS. written by Peter Meghen’, The Book Collector XXIV (1975), 80–96. This is his latest dated manuscript.

In the upper outer corner of the pastedown, in ink, is ‘H’ (? 18th cent.).

Bought at Christie's sale, 15 February 1978, lot 113.

Record Sources

Typescript description by Bodleian Library staff.

Last Substantive Revision

2017-07-01: First online publication.