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

MS. Lat. th. d. 40

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


Aelred of Rievaulx, Speculum caritatis
(fol. 1)
Rubric: Epistola Bernardi clarevallis ad Aeilredum [sic] abbatem
Incipit: Est quidem sanctorum virtus
Rubric: Incipit prefacio abbatis Aeilredi in librum qui inscribitur de speculo caritatis

list of chapters of Book I

Rubric: Incipit liber qui inscribitur de speculo caritatis. Cap. 1
Explicit: et misericordem iudicem intercedat (fol. 71ra)
Final rubric: Explicit liber tercius qui inscribitur de speculo caritatis beate memorie domni Eildredi [sic] abbatis

A separate list of contents precedes each book. There are no chapter headings. Some contemporary corrections. Ed. A. Hoste, C.H. Talbot in Aelredi Rievallensis opera omnia I (Corpus christianorum. Continuatio medievalis I), 1971, pp.3–161. Our manuscript belongs to the ‘English’ family and is closest to L (MS.Lambeth Palace 397, 12th cent., from Lanthony).

Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: diuturna
Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: i + 72 leaves (fol.i, 72, are original parchment flyleaves)
Dimensions (leaf): 240 × 176 mm.
Dimensions (written): 186–9 × 140–1 mm.
(fol. 1–24)
Dimensions (written): 186–9 × 123–6 mm.
(fol. 25-end)


1(8)–8(8), 9(6) (+ 1 (fol.70) added after 5) catchwords on fol.8(v), 16(v), 56(v)


2 cols. with lines ruled straight across

fol. 1–24, 26 lines ruled in brown ‘crayon’

fol. 25–48 (i.e. quires ruled by or for scribe b), 31–34 lines ruled in grey ‘lead’

fol. 49–71, 32 lines, apart from fol. 69v–70, 30 lines, mostly ruled in brown

Pricking in both inner and outer margins on fol. 1–24, 49–64


Three scribes, all writing above top line, (a) fol. 1–20ra mid 1.12; (b) fol. 20ra mid 1. 12–48v; (c) fol. 49–71ra


Penwork initial; initials red or green, with pen flourishing in green and/or red.


Original white leather over thick, slightly bevelled, wood boards; lower part of spine slightly damaged, tab at top of spine. Remains of strap for a fastening(?) fixed to centre edge of upper cover. It probably attached to a pin in the lower cover, although no trace of this is now visible. Two nail holes near the top of the lower cover - perhaps for a title label. Trace of a post-medieval label on the spine. Medieval book-marker formed of a thick strip of white leather, about 15mm. wide, cut into four narrower strips, left joined at the top.


Origin: c. 1200 ; English, Haughmond, Augustinian abbey (?)

Provenance and Acquisition

Augustinian abbey of Haughmond, Shropshire: 'Liber iste est ecclesie sancti Iohannis apostoli et ewangeliste de Hagemon' (fol. i (flyleaf))

Bought from Quaritch in 1975 with the help of an anonymous donation given ‘to commemorate the keepership of Dr. R.W. Hunt.’

Record Sources

Typescript description by Bodleian Library staff.


Last Substantive Revision

2017-07-01: First online publication.