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Durham University

Special Collections

DUL MS Cosin V.III.12 E. de Evesham, Quadrilogus de T. Becket; etc. s. xiv1

These incomplete draft descriptions of medieval manuscripts in Durham University Library are copyright, and may not be quoted without the permission of the University of Durham Library.

Owing to inconsistencies with the source software, accented characters appear in varying compound forms. This has not yet been rationalized.

28/11/89 AJP revision of AJP

Apart from the addition of item 7, this manuscript represents a collection of Becket materials found in at least seventeen other manuscripts, see A. Duggan, Thomas Becket: a textual history of his letters, (Oxford; 1980), pp. 205-206, 164. Among the eleven medieval copies in England there is one which matches this copy in all the particulars noted below save for the omission in the Constitutions of Clarendon clause 9 (f. 41): B.L. MS Arundel 15, a late thirteenth-century manuscript, in which the medieval indications of ownership have been cut away.

2 (paper, s. xx) + 4 (paper, the first the original cover with Dutch marbled overlay, s. xvii) + 42 + 4 (paper, the last the original cover as at front, s. xvii) + 2 (paper, s. xx); foliated, i-vi (vi-vi were i-iii before present binding), 1-48. Membrane (0.12 mm.; some natural edges and flaws, repaired (stitches gone) ff. 12, 21, 38 and 41; quires with fleshside outermost), c. 250 x 175 mm., upper and lower edges cropped; a roughly rectangular piece, c. 75 x 130 mm., torn away at the outer lower corner of f. 42.

Collation: 1-28, 312, 410; 54. Catchwords on quires 1-4.

Knife-point slits for frame; no evidence of pricking for ruling. Written space 218-228 x 140-150 mm.; framed in sharp brownish gray; c. 42 long lines.

Written in anglicana, of documentary type, proficiently, by one variable main hand, with f. 39 lower half in a second hand.

Decoration: some text-capitals touched with red, sometimes preceded by a vertical stroke in red. Chapter-headings and names of sources underlined in red, also, except ff. 4v-8, 12v-16, 21v-29, and 33v-38, lined through in red. Paraphs to chapter-headings, etc., in red. Initials: to chapters, 2- line, in red.


1. (quires 1-4) ff. 1-38v || monasteria Reges pro voto per annos tenent Et quasi christo proscripto ... ... tamen iuxta verbum domini dies suos non dimidiarent.

Elias of Evesham, Quadrilogus de vita et morte T. Becket, cum gestis post martyrium, lacking I,1-15... at start, in the earlier recension, known as Quadrilogus II, ed. MHTB iv, 295/3 - 424; three main versions of this recension have been identified, with three other copies of the second (B) found here, see A. J. Duggan, "The Lyell version of the Quadrilogus Life of St Thomas of Canterbury", Analecta Bollandiana 112 (1994), 105-38 at 112 n. 30. The amount of text missing at the beginning corresponds to the amount of text on the first 7.5 folios, suggesting the loss of a quire of eight leaves. The lists of capitula to Books II and III are placed at the beginning of each book (ff. 9v-10, 23r-v), with those for the Gesta post martyrium included in Book III, as envisaged in the prefatory letter, see MHTB iv,426. There are no chapter divisions in the text between I,15/16 or III,6/7, and the list of capitula also omits III,7; III,14 is divided in two at p. 390/22, while III,13 heading has 'Milites' for 'carnifices', but the list of capitula does not match in either case. Sources are identified in a few chapter-headings and in the text: Alan [of Tewkesbury], Bened[ict of Peterborough], H[erbert of Bosham], John [of Salisbury], William [of Canterbury].

2. ff. 39-40v Cathalogus eruditorum beati Thome. Qvoniam in historia hac de eruditis thome Martiris gloriosi facta est mencio vt ipsorum nomina in eterne benediccione sunt. ... ... fuerit cause dei et ecclesie tales secum et tantos patronos conquisiuit.

Herbert of Bosham, Catalogus eruditorum T. Becket; ed. EVDT i,156-163, and MHTB iii,523-530. This copy is closer to the former, e.g. in omitting 20), dividing 21)/22) later, and replacing 23) and 24) with a short final section; this copy follows neither in its opening of 9) 'Post hunc Radulfus cognomento de Serra ...', and of 19) 'Erat adhuc de martiris societate vnus. quem quidem ...'.

3. ff. 40v-41v Causa exilii et martiris beati Thome. Hvic etiam libello interserere studuimus funestum ... Anno ab incarnatione domini .Mo.Co.lxiiijo ... ... Singulis vero dampnatis ... cum patre suo ibidem presente.

Causa exilii T. Becket; ed. EVDT i,163-167, which lacks the preamble to the Constitutions of Clarendon, found here in a version consistently closest to MS Ag in C&SI ii, 877-878. The text of the Constitutions themselves has no clear affinity with any of the MSS collated C&SI ii,878-883; the papal responses are indicated at the beginning of each clause as in MSS Ab and Ac, rather than the end as in EVDT, but the verb forms in Clause 11 are as MSS Ag and Aw.corr and EVDT, and in Clause 9 there is an omission by homoeoteleuton 'erit placitum ... advocaverit'.

4. ff. 41v-42 Alie constituciones Hee sunt constituciones quas constituit Rex Henricus in Normannia. proscripto beato Thoma. ... ... per suas parochias diuulgauerunt sine licencia Iusticiarum Regis.

Henry II, Constitutiones adversus ecclesiam 1169; ed. EVDT i,167-169; MHTB vii,147-149 (Ep. 599); C&SI i,930-937 'Alan of Tewkesbury's Text'. This copy is closer to EVDT than any of the MSS collated for C&SI, e.g. in Clause viii it only differs from EVDT's divergent wording with redire] remanere, praescriptum] prefixum, Regis] domini Regis, but in Clause ii alicuius conversionis] EVDT: Laicus professionis homo, this copy: alicuius professionis homo.

5. f. 42 Thome Cantuariensi archiepiscopo quidam amicus suus salutem. Sciatis hunc esse ... ... omnibus beneficiis priuentur. Vale.

Epistola ad T. Becket; ed. MHTB vii,146 (Ep. 598).

6. f. 42r-v Littere de canonizacione beati Thome (a) Alexander papa Capitulo Cantuariensis ecclesie Gaudendum est ... ... orationibus impetrare; (b) De eodem ad omnes prelatis Anglie Redolet anglia fragrancia ... largely torn away ... ad deum intercedat; (c) De eodem Amerano episcopo Quia vice beati Petri ... ... magna deuocione obseruari.

Alexander III, Bullae tres de canonizatione T. Becket; ed. MHBT vii,545-550 (Epp 784-786), here without dating clauses.

7. f. 42v (added, s. xiv ex.) Omnes vna gaudeamus christo laudes ... largely torn away ... claritatis Amen.

Part of a hymn or sequence (?), unidentified.

Correction and Annotation:

Corrections, s. xiv ex., by interlineation or erasure, e.g. ff. 3v, 5, 12, 15v, perhaps in the hand of item 7. Chapter-numbers added in margins and to chapter-lists, s. xiv/xv. Title to item 1 added s. xvi, in an italic hand, f. 9 top, partly trimmed away. A note, 'Mattheus Paris. Fol. 134', f. 40v, refers to the edition by M. Parker (London 1571).


Written in England.

Secundo folio lost.

Markings, indications of contents, etc., s. xvi2, by a distinctive sprawling hand with a distinctive form of B, see ff. 1, 36 and 40-41, also found in Bodleian Library, MS Laud misc. 491, which belonged to Durham Cathedral Priory but contains binding fragments suggesting that it passed to St Albans Abbey or its cell at Tynemouth, although it later belonged to Leonard Pilkington, canon of Durham.

'Geo. Davenport. 1670' f. iiiv; his notes of content, ff. ivv, 9.

Binding: plain brown calf, s. xx in., by Bramhall & Menzies.


C&SI: D. Whitelock, M. Brett, & C. N. L. Brooke, Councils & synods with other documents relating to the English church, I: A.D. 871-1204, (Oxford; 1981).

MHTB: J. C. Robertson, Materials for the history of Thomas Becket, ('Rolls Series' [67]; London, 1875-1885).

EVDT: C. Lupus, Epistolae et vita divi Thomas martyris et archi-episcopi Cantvariensis, (Brussels; 1682).