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Durham University

Special Collections

DUL MS Cosin V.iv.8 Medical recipes in English. s. xv in.

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.

14/8/91 AJP revision of AID; 11/10/91 checked AJP

[1: paper, s. xix] + 1 (paper, s. xvii) + 32 + [1: paper, s. xix]; foliated i, 1-32. Membrane (of varying thickness, average 0.013 mm.; smooth; quires 1-2 with fleshside outermost, 3-4 with hairside) 157 x 120 mm. All edges cropped, head by at least 5 mm., and foot by 12 mm., see turn-ins (ff. 15, 26, 29). Staining on ff. 24-26 and 32. Added matter on ff. 31v-32 washed out.

Collation: 18-48. Catchwords boxed in red. Quires numbered with small roman numbers in lower left corner of first recto, ij - v, on f. 17 boxed as catchwords.

Written space 110-120 x 90-95 mm.; framed in grey or brown. 24-26 long lines. Double rule in many upper and lower margins, utilised only for catchwords by main hand and for quire-numbers.

Written in anglicana, with single-compartment a, or, for rubrics, larger, with double-compartment a, proficiently, by one hand, not distinguishing y and . Additions in anglicana, by several hands, ff. 30/10 - 31/1, 31, 31v, 32.

Decoration: initial of each recipe touched with red, ff. 1- 30.


1. ff. 1-20v [missing beg.: Here comenceth a tretise Yei be gode. And alperfirst of wateres wille I neuene ... Take a vessele ...] all aboute e nauyll & lat it lig iij days ... ... Emplastre ... lay erto & at will hele it.

`a tretise of oyles and of wateres medycynable how ei sall be made and for what maledy ei be gode', according to the title to the same collection of recipes in BL MS Sloane 213, ff. 91-106v, and Cambridge, Trinity Coll. MS O.2.13, ff. 100-112. Here 162 complete items remain, the first found almost halfway through Sloane, on f. 98va, and Trinity, f. 105. Here, f. 16, there is a charm For fallyng euele (Take ye blode of ye litil fynger ...) not found in Sloane, which contains three charms in French not found here, as Mr T. M. Smallwood tells us.

2. ff. 20v-21 Heere be e parlous dayes of blode latyng And e gode daies to blede on for diuerse eueles And e parlous daies of birth of childre and of etyng of gees/ at is for to wit In e first iij dayes t I tell ... ... e iij day in e begynnyng of Februare.

On favourable and unfavourable days, as B.L. MSS Sloane 213 ff. 106v-107, and 2270 ff. 375v-76v (s. xvi).


(a) ff. 21-22 For to make drynk of amitiage. Tak an handfull of bugle anoer of strebery withes ... For to make sane on short maner ... For to make gode entrete ... and for cankyrs.

(b) f. 22r-v A charme for e wicked wight. In nomine patris ... per virtutem sint medicina mei pia crux ... ... amplius aliquo illorum vexetur. Amen.

(c) ff. 22v-30 For scabbes on mans hands or of womans. Tak and sethe e horhowe and celidoyne ... ... and he sall sone be hole probatum est multociens.

(a) 3, and (c) 42, medical recipes, as B.L. MS Sloane 213 ff. 107-9, which lacks the last item here "For e dymygrayne. Tak primerose rotes ...". Two extra lines at f. 24v foot and eight words in f. 29 top margin supplied in pale ink, perhaps by the hand of the added item 6.

(b) Not in MS Sloane 213; pr., from B.L. MS Add. 33996, in F. Heinrich (ed.), Ein mittelenglisches Medizinbuch, p. 166, with a following Latin prayer.

5. (added, s. xv) f. 3 foot Tayk gromyll and the cropp of yuen ...

Recipe, last line cropped.

6. (added, s. xv, by one hand and ink, perhaps as item 8, which, with items 6-7, has spellings `fore' and `ande')

(a) f.30r-v Fo[r] to charme a wounde with oyle ande wolle. Thre gude brethere 3ede to ye mounte of olyuet ... ... with thre Pater noster and iij Aue marias In nomine patris et filij et spiritus sancti amen.

(b) Anoer. Take a dyschefull of fayr water ande say es wordes ... and att ai be alway wete.

(c) ff.30v-31 Fore ye Jawnesse at es called e Golsought. Take an appill ande other it ouerthwerte in sunder ... at noer man ne beste ete it noughte.

Charm-rituals; (a) and (c) occur in verbally variant forms in MS Cosin V.iv.1 ff. 28v and 27v, as Mr T. M. Smallwood tells is.

(a) A Latin version pr. Heinrich, p. 162, from B.L. MS Add. 33996.

7. (added, s. xv in.) f. 31 (a) Pro colica passio [sic]. Take a quartron of anneys sede ande a quartron of comyne sede ... (b) Fore wynde ande fleume in the stomake ... (c) To staunche ye flyxe are if yat a mannes nature waste ...

Medical recipes (3).

8. (added, s. xv in., perhaps in a smaller version of the same hand as item 6) f. 31v (a) Fore to make gode composte. Tak hony ande clarifie it clene ... (b) To make wardoues or Coynes in Cyrope ...

Medical recipes (2). Very badly faded but mostly legible under ultra-violet light.

9. (added, s. xv in., each in a different ink) f. 32 (a) Medecyne fore the wynde and flewme in ye stomake ... (b) Fore ye Cietica Passio ... (c) For to make whiett trett ...

Medical recipes (3). Parts of (a) and (c) only legible under ultra-violet light. (a-b) have the same spellings as noted above.

10. (added, s. xv ?) f. 30v Pen drawings of (a) crowned monogram of amalgamated gothic textura letter-forms, cruciform in the centre, with foliage extensions; (b) to the right towards the foot, smaller crowned monogram or shield.

Both are badly faded but more distinct under ultra-violet light.

Written in England; the language of the original texts, ff. 1-30, is assigned, LALME, i, 87, to the West Riding of Yorkshire.

Secundo folio missing.

`Iste liber constat Richard(o Helmyslay)', s. xv med., f. 32, in the space between items 9(b) and (c), with the bracketed portion possibly over erasure; Helmsley is in the Vale of Pickering, N. Yorks., and a Richard Helmsley occurs in Cambridge Univ. Lib. Res. b.162, a printed Missale Ebor., given to Byland Abbey (N. Yorks.) by the executors of Martin Colins, dean of York (d. 1509).

Marginal pen-trials in a secretary hand, s. xvi med./ex., include `Anthone Withom', `Anthone witham', ff. 9, 11v, 13v; and `Thomas withom', f. 16; `EW' in italic, s. xvi/xvii, f. 31v; for a Withom family at Manfield, N. Yorks., see REFS

`Chirurgicall Receipts', by George Davenport, f. i verso; no ownership inscription by him visible, but recorded in his list of manuscripts REF ? Ex-libris, as usual, by Rud, f. 1.

Binding: covered with brown calf, s. xvii ex., with a pair of blind fillets round edges of sides and vertically on each side c. 35 mm. in from spine, and with Hugh Hutchinson's tool no. XXX blind in right-angles and his edge-roll; original smooth spine with thirteen pairs of horizontal fillets. `IV 88' in ink in the fifth compartment down, s. xvii/xviii. A new pastedown and conjoint free endleaf added at front and back, s. xix med. Hinges broken.