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

MS. e Mus. 76

Summary Catalogue no.: 3679


(fols. 1r-127r)
Prick of Conscience

The interpolated or 'eight-book' version, for which see Ann Killian, “Menacing Books: The Prick of Conscience and the Rhetoric of Reproof,” Yearbook of Langland Studies 31 (2017), 5–41.

Robert E. Lewis and Angus McIntosh, A Descriptive Guide to the Manuscripts of the “Prick of Conscience”, Medium Ævum Monographs, New Series 12 (Oxford: Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature, 1982), 106–7 (MV 73).
Language(s): Middle English (dialect of Essex, with probable SW Midland relicts, eLALME LP 6080) with some Latin
(fol. 127v)

Condition of a bond of William Ayer to Geoffrey Skole (or possibly 'Skold') relating to tenements in the parish of 'Brumfyld' [Broomfield] in Essex, not dated; 16th century addition.

Language(s): Middle English

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment (FSOS), several leaves with irregular edges
Extent: i + 127 + i + i leaves
Dimensions (leaf): 285 × 185 mm.
Foliation: i, 1-129 every fifth folio in 19th-century pencil.


1(8)-15(8) (fols. 1-120), 16(seven, structure uncertain); catchwords (in red ink on fols. 8v, 48v)


Mould damage, severe in places; fols. 121-7 remounted on paper.


Ruled in ink for one column of 40 lines; ruled space 205 × 125 mm.


One scribe, mixed hand: anglicana with some secretary forms.

Musical Notation:

Notation on a three-line stave added in the margin of fol. 47r.


Five-line puzzle initial T in red and blue, flourished in red and blue, fol. 1r, extending into a partial penwork border; elsewhere initials in blue, flourished in red, usually of 2-3 lines.


Quarter-leather binding with marbled boards (18th century?); fragment of an earlier vellum binding (?) on the front pastedown.


Origin: 15th century, first half ; English

Provenance and Acquisition

Perhaps written in Essex (cf. dialect), and with some evidence of Essex provenance to the 16th century. Fol. 45r, ‘Purgatorium quod Ric. FizNychol’, 15th century (?): for Richard FitzNichol of Halstead, Essex, active c. 1430, see Cal. Inquisitions Post Mortem XXIV.179 and Feet of Fines for Essex IV 1423-1547, no. 81.

Fol. 43r, ‘Walter Ly(?)..linge his writing hand you shall see and understande […] ’ , 16th century

Document related to Broomfield, Essex, added in the 16th century, fol. 127v.

Acquired by the Bodleian before 1680; 'olim 213', fol. 1r.

Record Sources

Description (Nov. 2021) by Matthew Holford. Previously described in the Summary Catalogue.

Last Substantive Revision

2021-11: Description fully revised.