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

MS. Radcliffe Trust e. 4

Summary Catalogue no.: New Summary Catalogue 51843

Medical recipes and a charm


1. (fols. 1–5)
Medical recipes
Rubric: Here begynnyth medicinis þat gode lechis han foundyn. and drawen out of bokis Galeyn Asclepeus and Ypocras. for þey were the best lechys in the world

First recipe:

Incipit: Who so hath wrake or turment in his hed. mak lye of verueyne oþer of betoyne. oþer of fillye. oþer of wormod

Fol. 3v breaks off in mid-recipe and a new hand begins a new recipe at fol. 4r, suggesting the loss of at least one central bifolium.

(fol. 5)

Last recipe for a specified complaint:

Incipit: For wormys in a mannys wombe. tak þe jus of sowþerinwode and of wormod of rue. and lityl jus of saueyn and dryng with a stale ale

Followed by two non-specific recipes, but possibly also for that complaint, of which the second:

Incipit: R'. id masis. ob' saffron'. ob' likoris. sawetrappe an handful
Explicit: and ȝyf the syke to drynk euyn and morwen leuk hoot wt tryacle

For the appearance of the same title with various similar but fluid collections of recipes, see M. S. Ogden, ed., The 'Liber de Diversis Medicinis' in the Thornton manuscript, E.E.T.S. Orig. Ser. 207 (London, 1938 for 1936), pp. xxxiv-v.

Language(s): Middle English
2. (fol. 5v)
Charm to heal open wounds
Incipit: Medecine en contre thescun play ouert fetez. un plate de plan (?). si tenu. come vous purrez
Explicit: ita liberet hunc famulum dei vel hanc famulam .N. ab omni dolore at malo Amen. et paciens se abstineat a cibis et aliis malis
Language(s): Anglo-Norman and Latin

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: Anoþer tak
Form: codex
Support: parchment, the leaves irregularly shaped
Extent: viii + 37 leaves (fols. i-viii, 6–37 are 20th century paper flyleaves and padding
Dimensions (leaf): 214–8 × 119–47 mm.
Dimensions (written): 172–90 × 105–18 mm.


1(6)(wants 6)(probably also missing at least one central bifolium)


36–42 long lines, traces of hard point ruling for vertical bounding lines only


Two cursive hands, fols. 1–3v, 4–5v


Marbled paper covers and parchment spine (from a reused document), perhaps 18th-century English, but the whole binding was completely reworked in the 20th century; lettering stamped down spine, probably 20th century, 'MEDICINE'.


Origin: 15th century, second half ; English

Provenance and Acquisition

Scribbles, 16th century, by one hand, fol. 5v, including the name 'John'.

Clipping from a mid 19th century English bookseller's catalogue, fol. 1r, advertisting the MS. as item 585 at 3s. 6d., with Rodd 4/11 41 pencilled alongside (presumably Thomas Rodd's catalogue of 1841, cf. MSS. Radcliffe Trust e.30 [item 584] and others).

Radcliffe shelf-mark 'G.161.E.19' (front pastedown)

Transferred from the Radcliffe Science Library, 1928

Record Sources

Typescript description by Bodleian Library staff

Last Substantive Revision

2017-07-01: First online publication.