MS. Rawl. G. 18
Summary Catalogue no.: 14751
Psalter with additions including English and French verse and music; England, 13th century, first half
Psalms –150 in the biblical order, without titles, imperfect at the beginning (starting at 2: 8), laid out with each verse beginning on a new line. Punctuated throughout, with punctus used to mark the ends of verses and minor pauses, and punctus elevatus used to mark metrum. There are textual divisions at psalms 26, 38, 51, 52, 68, 80, 97, 101 and 109 (see ‘Decoration’). Subdivisions within psalms are not indicated, apart from psalm 118 subdivided into twenty-two 8-verse units. One leaf is cut out after fol. 13 (missing text 25: 1–26: 1).
A gloss is added in the margins on fols. 1r–10r and 80v–82v in a 15th-century hand, probably the same as the hand that added a quotation from Proverbs on fol. 107v.
The numbers of psalms, notes about the missing verses and psalms (due to cut-out leaves, see ‘Decoration’), corrections and restorations of faded capitals (fol. 11v) are added in the margins in a late 16th- or early 17th-century hand.
Weekly canticles, without titles:
- (1) Confitebor tibi domine (Isaiah 12)
- (2) Ego dixi (Isaiah 38: 10–21);
- (3) Exultauit cor meum (1 Samuel 2: 1–11);
- (4) Cantemus domino (Exodus 15: 1–20);
- (5) Domine audiui (Habakkuk 3);
- (6) Avdite celi (Deuteronomy 32: 1–44).
Daily canticles, prayers and creeds, without titles, some with notes on their source added in the margins in a late 16th- or early 17th-century hand:
- (1) Te deum laudamus (fol. 96r), ending imperfectly because of the loss of a leaf after fol. 96;
- (2) Magnificat (fol. 97r);
- (3) Nunc dimittis (fol. 97r);
- (4) Athanasian Creed (Quicumque uult ...) (fol. 97r).
In a 13th-century hand; for the use of a woman for restoration of eyesight (‘ .. Sana domine oculos famule tue sicut sanasti oculos tobie . . .’).
Added in another 13th-century hand
In a fourth 13th-century hand
Including one for the use of a woman (‘... exaudiuit deus uocem ancille sue susanne’) added in a fifth 13th-century hand.
Notes in Latin, in two different 15th-century hands
‘Alii diuidunt propria & ditiores fiunt. alii rapiunt non sua et semper. in egestate sunt prouerbia. 11.’ (Proverbs, 11: 24)
Ruled in plummet with two sets of double vertical and horizontal bounding lines extending the full height and width of page, and a third set of single bounding lines in the upper, left and right margins; written above the top line; 24 lines per page; written space: c. 70 × 44 mm.
Formal Gothic book hand; brown ink.
Music, fol. 105v.
Music for two voices, fol. 106v.
Pages left blank for large illuminated initials (?) at liturgical divisions: psalms 26 (?) (leaf cut out after fol. 13), 38 (fol. 22v), 51 (fol. 30v), 52 (fol. 31v), 68 (fol. 40v), 80 (fol. 51r), 97 (fol. 61r), 101 (fol. 63r) and 109 (?) (leaf cut out after fol. 71). The first verses of psalms are also omitted. The initials were pasted on leaves left blank and later removed. Blank pages have discoloration, traces of glue and bleed-through left by the initials, including green borders and traces of text (e.g. ‘AS’ on fol. 22v, the last letters of ‘meas’); ‘VS’ on fol. 40v (the last letters of ‘deus’)).
3-line alternating red and blue initials with contrasting blue or red penwork at the beginnings of psalms, canticles, litany and prayers.
1-line plain, alternating red and blue initials at the beginnings of verses and periods.
Dark brown leather over pasteboard, 17th century (?). Blind roll design, forming a rectangular frame, with floral decoration and corner-pieces on the upper (almost obliterated) and lower covers. Rebacked in the Bodleian in 1951: ‘R.H. 12 7 51’ on the lower pastedown. Sewn on four cords, four raised bands on spine, framed with blind fillet lines. Gilt lettering on spine ‘MS. RAWL. || G. 18’. Offset from the deed (see ‘Text’), which must have been once used as a wrapper pasted around the covers and pastedowns. Edges of textblock speckled red.
Provenance and Acquisition
Formerly one volume with MS. Lat. liturg. f. 11 (calendar), q.v.
Made in East Anglia (?): evidence of the calendar and litany.
In the 13th century belonged to a woman (fol. 102r), possibly a nun of Burnham Abbey (?): obit of Idonea of Audeley (d. by 1324) in the calendar, 29 May, MS. Lat. liturg. f. 11.
John Thamys, Principal of St Edmund Hall, Oxford (1438–1458) (Emden, 1974, pp. 1858–9): ‘Istu(m) libru(m) (con)tulit M(agistr)o T(hom)e Lee M(agist)er Joh(ann)es Tha…’, added c. 1450 (?), fol. 107v.
Thomas Lee, Principal of St Edmund Hall (1459–1469) (Emden, 1974, pp. 1123–4).
Thomas Rawlinson (1681–1725), see ODNB: lot 264 in his sale, March 1733/4. Paper label with ‘264’ on the deed (see ‘Text’) which was once part of the binding.
Richard Rawlinson, 1690–1755, see ODNB: bought at the Thomas Rawlinson sale. Bookplate of Richard Rawlinson on the upper pastedown. His (?) number ‘555’ on the deed.
Bequeathed to the Bodleian in 1755
MS. Rawl. G. 18 – Part 1
Digital Bodleian (5 images from 35mm slides)
Last Substantive Revision
2021-10-26: Description revised to incorporate all information in Solopova catalogue.