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

MS. e Mus. 52

Summary Catalogue no.: 3510


Only a summary description is given here of the Middle English items, which are more fully described in the Index of Middle English Prose (IMEP).

(fols. 1 (misbound after fol. 8, itself misbound after fol. 44), 2r-7v, 8 (misbound after fol. 44), 9r-33v)
Bernardus Provincialis, Commentarium super Tabulas Salerni (English translation)

Unpr.; IMEP art. 1; eVK2 1383.00. For the Latin text see eTK 0982I, 1001A, 1369A.

Language(s): Middle English
(fols. 33v-42v)
Johannes de Rupescissa, Quinta essentia (English tr., ‘The Book of Quintessence’)

IMEP art. 2; 'a' version, eVK2 6696.00, 8196.00, . Largely as pr. The Book of Quinte Essence, EETS OS 16 (1866).

Language(s): Middle English
(fol. 43r-v)
Recipe for a 'balsam', IMEP art. A7, eVK2 4191.00
Language(s): Middle English and Latin
(fol. '44–47' r-v)

Text on correspondences of stars, stones, plants, and characters, in five columns.

J. Evans, Magical Jewels of the Middle Ages and Renaissance (1922), pp. 108–9, 246–9 (edition); titled by her ‘the Book of Enoch’. Followed by a further paragraph on the treatment of the stones (not printed by Evans) apparently referring to the year 1357 and ascribed to 'Arnold’ famulus H(er)met(is)'.

A single folio, foliated 44–47 to account for missing leaves according to an early foliation.

Language(s): Latin

Three folios (fols. 45–47 of the original foliation) are missing at this point. The original fols. 8 and 1 are bound after fol. '44–7'.

(fol. '48–49' r-v)

Imperfect at beginning. IMEP arts. 3, 4, 5, all printed in full.

Language(s): Middle English

For verdigris (as pr. Archaelogia 32, p. 188, 'Mappa clavicula').

Incipit: Si vis facere viride grecum accipe ollam eneam nouam
Language(s): Latin
(fol. 48r-v)

For dyeing leather green; IMEP art. 6, in full.

Language(s): Middle English

For colours, lime and oils, four recipes, IMEP art. 7, in full.

Language(s): Middle English

A single folio, foliated 48–49 to account for missing leaves according to an early foliation. eVK2 5785.00

(fol. 50r)
Rubric: An Acte for the approbacion of phesicion & Surgyons

3 Hen. VIII, c. 11, ; largely as pr. Statutes of the Realm III. 31–32.

Language(s): Middle English
(fols. 50v-54r)
Medical recipes,

50 recipes, IMEP art. 8, eVK2 5453.00, 5540.00

Language(s): Middle English
(fol. 54v)

Table of weights and measures

IMEP art. 9

Language(s): Middle English
(fol. 55ar)
Medical recipes

IMEP arts. 8, 12.

Language(s): Middle English
(fol. 55av)

Notes on weights and measures

IMEP art. 13

Language(s): Middle English
(fol. 55av)

IMEP art. 14, in full

(fol. 55av)

DIMEV 4354 (NIMEV 2742), first five lines only.

IMEP art. 15, in full

(fols. 55br-v, 56r-v)

Table of weights and measures, with note on writs and their return

IMEP arts. 9, 11, A8

Fol. 55b is a part leaf.

Language(s): Middle English and Latin
(fol. 56r)

Recipes (?), added late 16th century (?).

Language(s): Middle English
(fol. 57r)

Mnemonic texts relating to the calendar

IMEP art. A9

Language(s): Latin and Middle English
(fol. 57r-v)
Arithmetical problems

IMEP art. 16; the fourth is eVK2 7650.00 and the fifth eVK2 3307.00.

Language(s): Middle English
(fol. 58r-v)

Cisiojanus verses, IMEP art. A10

Language(s): Latin with Middle English rubric
(fol. 58v)

Text on fast days and Easter Sunday, IMEP art. 17, in full; eVK2 3171.00

Language(s): Middle English
(fol. 58v)
Arithmetical problem

IMEP art. 16; eVK2 2144.00

Language(s): Middle English
(fol. 59r)
Arithmetical problem

IMEP art. 16; eVK2 2144.00

Language(s): Middle English
(fols. 59r-61r)
De arte piscandi

IMEP art. 18; pr. W. L. Brakeman, The Treatise on Angling in the Boke of St Albans (1980), 33–8; eVK 7491.00

Language(s): Middle English
(fol. 61r-v)

IMEP art. 19; eVK2 5082.00

Language(s): Middle English
(fols. 62r-64v)
Lapidary (‘The Book of the Lapedarye Stones’)

IMEP art. 20; eVK2 6612.

Language(s): Middle English
(fols. 65r-67v)
Explicit: IMEP arts. 21, 22, 23; eVK2 4533.00
Language(s): Middle English
(fols. 68r-75v)
Culinary recipes

IMEP art. 24; eVK2 5322.00, ; for an inventory of all the recipes, and an edition of those not known from other sources, see C. B. Hieatt, A Gathering of Medieval English Recipes (2008), pp. 45–61

Language(s): Middle English
(fol. 76r)

Originally blank; prophetical text attributed to John Ball added, later 16th century.

Incipit: Sir John Ball. the tyme shall com the mone shall oure lede the sonne
Explicit: as ball sayth then shall be mery England
Language(s): Middle English
(fols. 76v-78v)
Culinary recipes

IMEP art. 25; eVK2 5045.00

Language(s): Middle English
(fol. 79r)
Alchemical recipes

IMEP art. 26; eVK2 5626.00; with two Latin recipes.

Rubric: Oyleum Tartari sic fit
Incipit: R. Tartarum bonum et pone in pannum lineum super foramina bobarti
Rubric: Oyleum tartari sic fit
Incipit: R. de cineribus clauellatis quantum volueris et dissolue in aqua
Language(s): Middle English and Latin
(fol. 79v-80v)

IMEP arts. 21, 22, 23; eVK2 7521.00.

Continues from fol. 67v

Language(s): Middle English
(fols. 80v-81r)
John Lydgate, Dietary

Written as prose.

Language(s): Middle English
(fols. 81r-82v)
The Book of Quintessence (extracts; ends imperfect)

IMEP art. 27; eVK2 1327.00, 8099.00.

Language(s): Middle English

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: kepe hem
Two codicological units: an original book (now imperfect, fols. 1-'48–49') and later supplement (now also imperfect, fols. 50–82).
Form: codex
Support: Paper. Fols. 1-'48–49': folded in quarto, the distance between chainlines varying from 33 to 40 mm. (eight chain lines per folio), usually no watermark visible; fols. 4–5, watermark indistinct. Fols. 50–82: folded in folio. Watermark: glove with six-pointed star, three-part cuff, 92 × 25 mm. , on a chainline, c. 38 mm. between chainlines, somewhat resembles Piccard 17–4-1300 (Greenwich, 1506).
Extent: i + 80 + i
Dimensions (leaf): 295 × 205 mm.
Foliation: i, 2–7, 9–43, '44–7', 8 (misbound), 1 (misbound), '48–49', 50–54, 55a, 55b (part leaf), 56–82, 83


Fols. 1–40: catchwords, leaf signatures; original collation 1–5(8). Fols. 56–79 probably a quire of 24. Collation of fols. 41-'48–49', 50–55b, 80–2 uncertain.


Mostly in one column, c. 32–40 lines. Written space c. 220 × 150 mm. , but varies.


Two main hands (?), both combining secretary and anglicana forms: (1) fols. 1–42v, 15th century, middle or second half (?); (2) fols. '44–7'r-v, '48–9'r-v, 50r, 55ar-v, 55br-v, 56r, 56v-75v, 76v-82v (probably all one hand), late fifteenth or early sixteenth century (partly after 1511, fol. 50r). Additions in several other contemporary or later hands, fols. 43r-v, 50v-54r, 55ar, 56r, 76r.


Fols. 1–42v: initials in red, running heads in red, underlining in red.

Volvelles, unfinished, fols. 75v, 76r.

Elaborate manicules, fols. 65v, 80v, etc.

Rubrics sometimes in red.




Origin: 15th century, middle or second half - 16th century, early (partly after 1511) ; English

Provenance and Acquisition

‘in alleyr man’ berry at the good man’ bate ys good aquafortis’ (fol. 55ar, 16th century)

‘by me henry Roffe is my nam and wethe my pen I wreete the same […] ’, 16th century, fol. 79r.

In the Bodleian by 1655, when referenced by Barlow.

Record Sources

Description by Matthew Holford, July 2019. Previously described in the Summary Catalogue.


    Printed descriptions:

    P. J. Horner, Index of Middle English Prose 21: Manuscripts in the Hatton and e Musaeo Collections, Bodleian Library, Oxford (2014), 39–55.

Last Substantive Revision

2019-07-29: Description revised.