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

MS. Laud Misc. 442

Summary Catalogue no.: 880

Bede, Commentary on the Canonical Epistles; Germany (Middle Rhine), 9th century, beginning


(fols. 1-166r)
Bede, Commentary on the Canonical Epistles
Rubric: Incipit in epistulam Iacobi expositio Bedae presbiteri
Incipit: Iacobus Dei et Domini nostri Ihesu Christi seruus XII tribubus quae sunt in dispersione salutem. Dicit de hoc Iacobo apostolus Paulus
Final rubric: Explicit expositio Baedani presbiteri in epistula Judae apostoli. Amen.

fols. 117v, 166v blank.

Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: ii + 167 leaves
Dimensions (leaf): 320 × 230 mm.
Dimensions (written): 220-230 × 155-160 mm.


Written in 21 long lines.


Anglo-Saxon minuscule.

Carolingian minuscule.

Three hands, corresponding to three codicological units, all probably written at the same time: I, fols. 1r-91v (this hand also writes the first two lines of fol. 92r); II, fols. 92r-117v; III, fols. 118r-166v (Bischoff, no. 3863).


Initials. (P&A iii. 11)

Uncial titles in capitals with red and yellow highlights. (Bischoff, no. 3863)


Brown tanned calf over laminated pulpboard for Abp. Laud, 1637–1639.


Origin: 9th century, beginning ; German, Middle Rhine

Provenance and Acquisition

Dating and localization after Bischoff. Bischoff (Libri Kyliani, pp. 50-4) associated this manuscript with two others (Würzburg, UB, M. p. th. f. 146; Würzburg, UB, M. p. th. f. 175), linked by the third hand of the present manuscript; he associated this group in turn with another group of two manuscripts (Vienna, ONB, Lat. 2223; and Karlsruhe, Landesbibliothek Hs. 340). The Karlsruhe manusucript was written by a deacon Reginmaar for a female congregation ‘ad lapidum[sic] fluminis’, which has been identified by some scholars with the nunnery at Karlburg am Main; for a critical discussion of the identification and the issues involved, see H. Hoffmann, ‘Schreiberinnen im karolingischen Würzburg?’, Deutches Archiv 66 (2010), 5-18. Otherwise the medieval provenance of the manuscript is unknown.

William Laud, 1573-1645, 1638.

Part of his third donation to the Bodleian, 1639.

Record Sources

Description adapted by Tuija Ainonen and Matthew Holford (March 2020) from the following sources (with additional physical description and with reference to published literature as cited):
B. Bischoff, Katalog der festländischen Handschriften des neunten Jahrhunderts (mit Ausnahme der wisigotischen), vol. 2, Laon-Paderborn (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag 2004) no. 3863
Otto Pächt and J. J. G. Alexander, Illuminated Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library Oxford, 3 vols. (1966-1973) III, no. 11 [date, origin, decoration]
H. O. Coxe, Laudian Manuscripts, Quarto Catalogues II, repr. with corrections, 1969, from the original ed. of 1858-1885 [contents, acquisition]

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)


Last Substantive Revision

2020-02-19: Description revised for Polonsky digitization project to include additional information from printed descriptions.