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

MS. Lawn medieval 1

Geoffrey Babio, sermons, etc.; England, 12th century (?middle)


(fols. 1r-78r)
Geoffrey Babio, Sermones

Almost all listed in Schneyer II.150-9; several of the other items are transmitted in other manuscripts with sermons of Babio.

(fol. 1r)
Explicit: in eterna tabernacula, iuuante deo. Qui cum patre

Babio 7, ending only, the rest lost.

(fol. 1r)

Babio 8

(fol. 2v)
Incipit: Diligenter attenditis frates karissimi, omnes sacerdotes domini non solum episcopos
Explicit: operibus misericordie ad eterna premia feliciter peruenire, prestante d.n.i. […]

Cf. Ps.-Augustine, serm. 287 (PL 39.2287), but here in a longer form.

(fols. 4r-18r)

Babio 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, (fol. 12r) 16, 17, 18, (fol. 16r) 15

(fols. 18r-19v)
Rubric: \Sermo de passione Christi/
Incipit: Cum appropinquasset Iesus Ierosolimus etc. Dictum, aliquid de passione Iesus Christi, que in hoc euangelio continetur, ad istoriam ueteris testamenti in qua eius mors et passio figuratur, est recurrendum. Legimus Jacob patriarcham xij habuisse filios sed unum de ceteris diligebat
Explicit: dampnabitur in Gehenna
(fols. 19v-60v)

Babio 22, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, (fol. 38v) 52, 53, 64, 59, 65, 60, 61, 62, 68 (= Ps.-Augustine, Serm. 393 De poenitentibus), (fol. 48r) 35 (incomplete due to loss of a leaf after fol. 48), 36 (beginning incomplete for the same reason), 37, 38, (fol. 52v) 50, 51, 67, 55, 57, 56

(fols. 60v-61v)
Rubric: \Sermo ad sacerdotes/
Incipit: Super muros tuos Ierusalem constitui custodes […] Ierusalem fratres super muros dominus custodes posuisse per prophetam testatur
Explicit: congrege nobis commisso amalech et principes eius mereamur superare. Prestate[sic] domino etc.

Also with sermons of Geoffrey Babio in Yale University Library, Marston MS. 135 fols. 72r-73v

(fols. 61v-70v)

Babio 58, 66, 63, 72, (fol. 68v), 46, 47

(fols. 70v-71r)
i. (fol. 70v)
Incipit: De hoc quod omnes diuites dicuntur fures. Preterea aliud est fratres karissimi de diuitibus
Explicit: Ite ergo maledicti […]
ii. (fol. 70v)
Incipit: Est et aliud contrarium genus hominum qui libenter dant
Explicit: peccata committere
iii. (fols. 70v-71r)
Incipit: De sacrificio. Hec solum raptores
Explicit: domum reconciliationis destruis
iv. (fol. 71r)
Rubric: De ultione rapine
Incipit: Ecce habetis auctoritatem
Explicit: obliuio erit pauperis […]
v. (fol. 71r-v)
Rubric: De ultione sacrilegii
Incipit: Sed quia mentionem
Explicit: regales ad nuptias iuuante domino nostro etc.

Items ii-iv are associated with Geoffrey Babio serm. 47 in some manuscripts; item i also occurs with sermons of Babio in Cambridge, St John's College MS. 42 (12th century, ?Worcester): see J. E. Cross, 'Wulfstan's "De Anticristo" in a twelfth-century Worcester manuscript', Anglo-Saxon England 20 (1991), pp. 203-220, arts. 28, 31-4.

(fols. 71v-77r)

Babio 48, 49, 70

(fols. 77r-80r)

On baptism

Incipit: Nunc uobis dicemus qualiter debeat infans pugnari[sic] sicut antiqui solebant facere, quamuis nunc aliter faciunt presbiteri nostri. Primum debet interrogare sacerdos eum quem debet presignare an renuntiet diabolo
Explicit: que facta est .vij. donis spiritus sancti
Language(s): Latin
(fols. 77v-79v)

Additions in several 13th-century hands on the lower margins of fol. 77v-78r, and on the originally blank 78v-79v include:

Fol. 77v: verses (WIC 15245)

Fol. 78v: theological notes (i) quoting Chrysostom, Augustine (ii) on the fourteen signs of Domesday (iii) on the dies dominicus.

Fol. 79r: a medical recipe in French and Latin; form letters, one to 'fratri et concanonico domino N. de N.'; further theological notes

Fol. 79v: verses and proverbs (inc. WIC 6345); further theological notes; medical recipes in French.

Most of these items are transcribed in Lawn's catalogue.

Language(s): Latin and French

Physical Description

Secundo folio lacking.
Form: codex
Support: parchment (occasional flaws in the text area; early repairs, e.g fol. 48), HSOS
Extent: iii (early modern paper) + 79 + iii (early modern paper)
Dimensions (leaf): 260 × c. 170 mm.
Foliation: i-iii, 1-82 in modern pencil. 15th(?)-century foliation in arabic starting at 9, missing 57 due to loss of a leaf, and skipping 66.


[one quire missing], 1(8)-6(8) (fols. 1-48), 7(8-1, first leaf missing with loss of text) (fols. 49-55), 8(8)-10(8) (fols. 56-79)


1 col., 36 lines; ruled in 'crayon' with single vertical and double horizontal bounding lines; written above top line. Ruled space 205 × 120 mm.


Protogothic; one hand (?) except for the additions.


2- or 3-line arabesque initials, sometimes with elaborate marginal extensions, in red, green-and-red, red-and-blue, green, and blue

Marginal sketch of intertwining forms, fol. 38r.


17th-century: blind-tooled calf over pasteboards; sewn on four bands. Three stamps of a Tudor rose in gilt on the spine.


Origin: 12th century (middle (?)) ; English

Provenance and Acquisition

Extensive evidence of early readers: annotations throughout in several contemporary and later hands, mostly in Latin, occasionally (e.g. fol. 48v) in French.

Gwysaney library: shelfmarks ‘7’ (front pastedown; cf. HMC 6th Report App. 419), ‘11’ (front pastedown, cf. the 1740 catalogue), ‘35’ (spine, cf. the 1778 catalogue). (For the numbering in the 1740 and 1778 catalogues see 'The Gywsaney manuscripts', National Library of Wales Journal 7/4 (1952) 326-343 at 329-30.)

Sotheby's 15 June 1959, lot 206; bought by Maggs.

Bought from Maggs by Brian Lawn (1905-2001) in the same year.

Bequeathed by him to the Bodleian.

Record Sources

Description by Matthew Holford, June 2021.


    B. Lawn, Catalogus Bibliothecae Lawnianae (privately printed, 1994)

Last Substantive Revision

2021-06: Description fully revised with reference to the manuscript and Lawn's catalogue