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

MS. Rawl. G. 18

Summary Catalogue no.: 14751

Psalter with additions including English and French verse and music; England, 13th century, first half


(fols. 1r–91r)

Psalms [1]–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.

(fols. 91v–96r)

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).
Notes on the biblical sources of canticles are added in the margins in a late 16th- or early 17th-century hand, e.g. ‘jsai. 38’ (fol. 91v), ‘1 Sam. 2. 1’ (fol. 92r).

(fols. 96r–98v)

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).

(fol. 98v–102r)

Litany including Alban, Oswald, Edmund, Elphege, Blaise, Thomas and William (last) among the martyrs; Taurinus, Dunstan, Cuthbert, Julian (of Le Mans (?)), Bonitus and Neot (last) among the confessors; Honorina, Etheldreda, Mildred and Osyth among the virgins.

Followed by collects (fols. 101r–102r), including one for a bishop:

  • (1) Deus cui proprium est misereri semper et parcere suscipe ...
  • (2) Mentem famuli tui episcopi nostri quesumus omnipotens deus lumine tue ueritatis illustra ...
  • (3) Omnipotens sempiterne deus qui facis mirabilia magna solus ...
  • (4) Pretende domine famulis et famulabus tuis dexteram celestis auxilii ut de toto corde ...
  • (5) Ure igne sancti spiritus renes nostros ...
  • (6) Actiones nostras quesumus domine aspirando preueni ...
  • (7) Adesto domine supplicationibus nostris et uiam famulorum tuorum in salutis tue ...
  • (8) Ecclesie tue domine preces placatus admitte ut destructis aduersitatibus uniuersis ...
  • (9) A domo tua quesumus domine spirituales nequitie repellantur et aeriarum discedat malignitas tempestatum ...
  • (10) Deus a quo sancta desideria recta consilia et iusta sunt ...
  • (11) Deus qui inter apostolicos sacerdotes famulos tuos pontificali fecisti ...
  • (12) Animabus quesumus domine famulorum famularumque tuarum oracio proficiat supplicancium ut eas ...
  • (13) Deus qui es sanctorum tuorum splendor mirabilis atque lapsorum subleuator ...

Language(s): Latin
(fol. 102r)
Added prayer

In a 13th-century hand; for the use of a woman for restoration of eyesight (‘ .. Sana domine oculos famule tue sicut sanasti oculos tobie . . .’).

Language(s): Latin
(fols. 102r–105v)
French religious poem

Added in another 13th-century hand

Incipit: Leuer sus ma alme
Dean & Boulton no. 915
Language(s): Anglo-Norman
(fols. 105v-106r)
Poem accompanied by music
Incipit: Worldes blis ne last no þrowe
IMEV 4223, added in a third 13th-century hand, edited by Napier (1891), Brown (1950) and Luria (1974).
Language(s): Middle English
(fol. 106v)
Latin hymn, with music for two voices

In a fourth 13th-century hand

Incipit: Mellis stilla maris stella
Chevalier 11429
Language(s): Latin
(fols. 106v–107r)

Including one for the use of a woman (‘... exaudiuit deus uocem ancille sue susanne’) added in a fifth 13th-century hand.

Language(s): Latin
(fol. 107v)

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)

‘Dauid propheta cantauit carmina leta Ter quinquagenos cantauit ordine psalmos Versus bis mille sexcentum sex canit ille’ (WIC 19209)

Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: Postula a me (psalter, fol. 1r)
Secundo Folio: Domine deduc me (psalter, fol. 2r)
Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: 1 + i + 107 + i leaves
Dimensions (leaf): c. 164 × 110 mm.


(fol. i) paper fly-leaf, conjoint with the upper pastedown, with a parchment deed attached | (fols. 1–7) I (8−1) missing 1 | (fols. 8–14) II (8−1) missing 7 | (fols. 15–62) III–VIII (8) | (fols. 63–71) IX (10−1) 10 cancelled | (fols. 72–95) X–XII (8) | (fols. 96–104) XIII (10−1) missing 2 | (fols. 105–107) XIV (4−1) 4 cancelled | paper fly-leaf, originally conjoint with the lower pastedown. There are four stubs after fol. 13, but the quire structure and analysis of the text suggest that only one leaf is missing.


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.

Musical Notation:

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.

Penwork line-endings.


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.


Origin: 13th century, early (probably before 1221); additions, 13th century ; English, East Anglia (?)

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



Once part of the binding: grant of lands at Stapleford Abbot's in Essex by Mrs. Grey, daughter of Thomas Bull. The name of the notary is ‘Richard (?) Wylford’, with his notarial sign. Removed from cover 5/7/1901 (see E. W. B. Nicholson’s note on fol. i recto). Fol. ii is a paper fly-leaf.

Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment


Origin: 16th century (temp. Henry VIII) ; English

Additional Information

Record Sources

Description adapted (Oct. 2021) from Elizabeth Solopova, Latin Liturgical Psalters in the Bodleian Library: A Select Catalogue (Oxford, 2013), pp. 92–7. Previously described in the Summary Catalogue.

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (5 images from 35mm slides)


Last Substantive Revision

2021-10-26: Description revised to incorporate all information in Solopova catalogue.