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

MS. Arch. Selden. B. 23

Summary Catalogue no.: 3351


Letter book and form book of William Swann, LL. B., Canon of Chichester

Swann was as an official at the papal court and appears to have been there in some sense as the representative of English interests.

The years covered by this volume are chiefly 1406-1413.

All kinds of legal matters, disputes, appeals, and the like are here represented, with a large number of letters. Swann copied out the documents which passed through his hands (sometimes procuring scribes to do so), but many of the letters are to him personally, bespeaking his goodwill.

Some letters are from Swann and corrected in his hand (e. g. fol. 43v); some are forms only (e.g. fols 70-75).

Perhaps London and Chichester are more mentioned than other places, but the contents cannot be summarily treated. The only Oxford document is at fol. 58v, an appeal to the University on behalf of pope Gregory XII from cardinal Johannes Dominici, archbishop of Ragusa, September 15, 1409

Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: paper
Extent: 154 leaves
Dimensions (binding): 12.375 × 9.25 in.


Imperfect. A leaf or leaves are wanting at the beginning.


Origin: c. 1408–1413

Provenance and Acquisition

On fo1. 153v is the autograph 'Magister Willelmus Swan Anglicus Roffensis dioceseos clericus est huius libri dominus verus ac patronus'

John Selden, 1584–1654

Acquired by the Bodleian in 1659

Record Sources

Description adapted (September 2023) by Stewart J. Brookes from the Summary Catalogue (1922)

Last Substantive Revision

2023-09-22: Description revised to incorporate all the information in the Summary Catalogue (1922)