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Durham University

Special Collections

DUL MS Cosin V.III.7 J. Mandeville, Peregrinatio; etc. s. xv ex.

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.

21/11/89 AJP revision of AID + AJP

Of the two supplements, items 5-9 and 10-12, the first was written by a second scribe on leaves ruled uniformly with the main part of the manuscript; the second supplement is the work of the main scribe, William Ebesham, who was also responsible for copies of items 11-12 in or after 1480, in Manchester, John Rylands Univ. Library, MS Lat. 395, ff. 128 and 126.

[1] + 3 (s. xvii) + 102 + 3 (s. xvii) + [1]; foliated, i- iii, 1-105, by R. A. B. Mynors, c. 1945-50.

Membrane for outer and inner bifolia of quires (smooth; natural flaws in f. 7; fleshside outermost), commonly a little narrower than paper. Paper (quires 1-7: quarto, with watermark of a pot (cf. Briquet 12477-8), identical with that in Cambridge, Magdalene College, Pepys MS. of Caxton's Ovid (translation dated April 1480) and his edition of Gower (completed September 1483); Dr P. Needham points out that from the dimensions, 225 x 165 mm., (even though trimmed) this stock of paper must have been of the median size (larger than the standard chancery). Quire 8: folio format (heavily trimmed), with watermark of a bull's head, very like Piccard II, x.435, used in Basle, Strassburg and Ulm in 1483-84). Staining from damp on ff. 1 and 100-102.

Collation: 114, 216, 3-714, 8 two. Quires 1-7 numbered in roman at top right of first recto, erased on quires 1-4.

No evidence of pricking. Written space 150 (quire 1) or 153 x 105 mm.; ruled (quire 1), or framed, in ink. 35 long lines (quire 1), or 29-33, or, ff. 95-99, 24.

Written, except ff. 95-99, in a distinctive secretary of variable currency, sometimes with forms from anglicana, by an identifiable scribe; only the first heading in red, in a bastard (mixed) script. Ink darker at the start. ff. 95-99 in a rounder script of broadly similar type: 24 lines on a full page.

Decoration: text-capitals stroked with red, or, items 8-12, filled with yellow. Side-notes, chapter-heads, scriptural lemmata, etc. underlined in red. Paraphs and braces in red. Initials: (i) to items 2-7 and 10, and item 1 chapters, etc., 1-, 2- or (f. 95) 3-line, in red; (ii) to start of item 1 Incipit, as (i), with ink flourishing touched with red; (iii) to start of item 1 Quia, 3-line, blue, with infilling and square surround in red.

No running-titles.


1. ff. 1-84v Incipit liber Peregrinacionis domini Iohannis Maundevile Militis/ prologus. Quia plures desiderant audire de Terra sancta idest de terra Promissionis ... cum Comitatu bono Benedictus deus. Capitulum Primum. Nunc ergo in nomine domini qui voluerit mare transire ... ... nullum malum obesse potest. Qui in trinitate perfecta viuis & regnas per cuncta secula deus. Amen. ¶Explicit Itinerarium ... de Mirabilibus Mundi.

John Mandeville, Itinerarium, translated from the Insular version of the French, in 88 chapters; one of six copies of the shorter text, identified by R. A. B. Mynors, but including a unique account of Mandeville's visit to the pope, see M. C. Seymour, The Bodley Version of Mandeville's Travels, EETS 253 (1963), pp. 174-5. This copy and Cambridge, Jesus College, MS 35 share chapter divisions not in the others, but are independent: see M. C. Seymour, A study of the interrelations of the English versions of Mandeville's Travels, (D.Phil. thesis Oxford, 1959), I, 48- 50, II, iv-vi, and, less fully, EETS 253 (1963), xiv-xix.

2. ff. 84v-87v ¶De composicione chilindri et de officio eiusdem et quadrantis. Post composicionem chilindri et officium eiusdem alterius Instrumenti orologij. videlicet quadrantis composicionem inuestigamus ... ... et tali gradu altitudinis est stella in eadem hora. Et sic terminatur composicio quadrantis cum suo officio.

De compositione quadrantis: Thorndike & Kibre col.1062, with an incipit too short to distinguish the several treatises starting with the first few words. Incipit and explicit agree with those of B.L. MS Arundel 292 ff. 109v-112 (Norwich, s. xiii/xiv), where it follows De composicione chilindri, Thorndike & Kibre col. 776.

3. ff. 88-93v Liber Vigecij. de Re Militari. Docet Vigecius in libro de Re Militari quod Ideo acta predecessorum nostrorum commendantur scripturis ... ... Vnde festum eiusdem Exaltacionis per vniuersam cristianitatem vsque ad tempus presens feliciter celebratur/.

Historia regum Hierosolymitanorum; an account of the First Crusade and the eight kings of Jerusalem, ending with a passage on the Holy Cross, ed. pp. 228-242 in C. Kohler,`Histoire anonyme des rois de Jérusalem (1099-1187) composé peut-être à la fin du xiième siècle', Revue de l'Orient latin 5 (1897), 213-253, from Oxford Bodleian Library MS Laud 722 and B.L. MS Burney 76. This copy generally agrees with Laud (e.g. pp. 233 n. 32, 237 n. 9, 238 n. 1, 240 nn. 1, 7, 28 and 36, 241 n. 7, 242 n. 6, before correction, pp. 229 n. 31, 230 n. 2), but agrees with Burney in omitting p. 230 n. 15, and in having important additional passages, pp. 230 n. 11, 237 n. 3; it lacks some of Laud's errors, (e.g. pp. 230 n. 25, 236 n. 13 'superauit', 240 n. a 'in aduentu G-'). The section on the kings (ff. 90-92v) is almost identical to the corresponding part of the anonymous Historia Gotfridi, Recueil des historiens des croisades: historiens occidentaux V, (Paris, Acadmie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, 1895), 516-519, which is treated separately in four Continental copies, ibid. pp. cxxxii-cxxxv.

4. f. 94 Liber Iudith | Arphaxat Rex edificat/ per nabuchos deicitur | ... ... tibi seruiet omnis Creatura tua etc.

Liber Judith versificatus; not in Stegmller, Repertorium Biblicum. Each of the sixteen chapters is summarized in a quatrain of alternately rhyming lines, laid out as a couplet, the last two quatrains without rhymes and metre.

f. 94v blank but frame-ruled uniformly.

5. ff. 95-96

Pater noster principium

alpha et oo rex gencium } Primo dierum omnium |

Mundo dedit Inicium

... ...

Sed nos a malo libera

Reformata sunt sidera } Eterna christi munera

Iam Patent super scelera


Oratio dominica versificata; not in Chevalier, Bloomfield or Leroquais. Seventeen monorhyming quatrains, the last, or possibly first, line consisting of a cue to an office hymn, set out to the right.

6. ff. 96-97v Aue virgo virginum que virgo [for verbo] concepisti | Aue lactans ... ... Amen sit per secula seculorum amen.

Hymnum acrosticum ad B.V.M.; Chevalier, no. 2271. Seventeen monorhyming quatrains, each having a successive word of the Ave Maria at the start of the first three lines.

7. f. 97v O rex henrice Vivens virtute pudice | ... ... Et laudes domino per te semper tribuantur. | Ora pro nobis dei electe ... Omnipotens eterne deus qui electis tuis multa mirabilia operaris ... Et cum illo in vita perpetua gloriari per christum dominum nostrum Amen.

Memoria regis Henrici sexti; pr. M. R. James, Henry the Sixth: a reprint of John Blacman's memoir (Cambridge; 1919), pp. xiii-xiv. Windsor and Westminster are mentioned, not Chertsey, whence Henry's body was removed to Windsor in 1484; his cult was more openly promoted after the accession of Henry VII in 1485, with pressure for a further translation to Westminster.

8. ff. 98r-v Concepcio hominis | ¶Heu mea peccatis concepcio facta videtur | ... ... Et cupidus factus. sic transibit labor ille | Explicit Prelium mortis et Vite

Prelium mortis et vite; Walther, Versanfänge, no. 7767, listing two copies, both in England, s. xv. Eleven pairs of internally and end-rhymed verses each under a heading (the ages and end of man).

9. ff. 98v-99 ¶Disputacio inter monacham & clericum/ | Monacha | Me tibi teque michi genus etas et decor equant | Cur non ergo ... ... Clericus | ... Est maius summum. zelotopare deum

De clerico et moniali; Walther, Versanfänge, no. 10852, listing twelve copies, including two in England, s. xiv. Ten pairs of lines.

10. ff. 99v-102

Si vis esse cenobita } Vt sis re & nomine |

Huius vite vitam vita

... ...

Ipsum corde ore ora } tibi sit Auxilium

Vt in tue mortis hora

Bernard, pseud., Exhortatio de vita monastica; PL 184, 1327- 1330; Chevalier, RH, no. 18905; Walther, WHICH, no. 18079, listing 25 copies, only one (of German origin) in England. 71 stanzas.

11. f. 102 Augustinus de Laude Psalmorum ¶Canticum psalmorum animas decorat Inuitat Angelos in adiutorium ... ... Si deuote mente perscruteris/ Gaude homo cum perpendis talia etc.

Basil of Caesarea, trans. Rufinus, Omelia 1 -- in Ps. i, extr. A brief text, ultimately deriving from Basil, PG 31, 1725-1726, associated with Augustine, PL 36, 64-66, and widely used in medieval commentaries on the Psalms, see index-references at Stegmller x, 147 'Canticum ...'; the version here is close to that in the preamble to Pseudo-Remi of Auxerre, Super Psalmos, PL 131, 142.

12. f. 102v ¶Per quem Encheridon transfertur in psalterium. Ieronimus patre Eusebio natus est pannonie. In grammatica donatum habuit preceptorem ... ... octauo & octouagesimo etatis sue anno in domino requieuit etc.

De scripturis S. Hieronymi, i.e. an abbreviation of the anonymous Vita Hieronymi, BHL no. 3869: PL 22, 175-184.


Original side-notes to item 1, infrequent after f. 52v (cap. 61). Isolated marginal note, s. xv/xvi, f. 82v


Written in England, mainly by William Ebesham, possibly for Westminster abbey or one of its monks, c.1483-85: Ebesham, a free-lance scribe resident at Westminster at least in 1468, 1475-9 and in 1497, wrote several books for the abbey and its monks before 1474, after 1485 and between those dates, two still in and one formerly in a binding from Caxton's workshop, see Doyle (1957).

Secundo folio: fuerat ab

'Fuit hic codex G. Davenport' according to T. Rud, Cat. Vet. p. ??, perhaps based on an inscription lost when the binding was repaired, s. xix med.; no. 13 in Davenport's catalogue of manuscripts, c. 1670, Oxford Bodleian Library MS Tanner 88, ff. 72-75v.

Binding: sides of s. xvii leather edged with a double blind fillet and divided vertically by two pairs of blind fillets c. 35 mm. from spine, in a style identifiable with that of Hugh Hutchinson of Durham; spine replaced, s. xix med.; one clasp.


A.I.Doyle, `The work of a late fifteenth- century English scribe, William Ebesham', Bull.J.R.L. 39 (1957), 298-325, and pl. VIb, showing the upper half of f. 70.