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Durham University

Special Collections

DUL MS Cosin V.V.15 (A) s. xv med.; (B) s. xiv in.; (C) s. xiii2; (D) s. xv med.

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.

20/6/90 AJP revision of AJP

An assemblage of four sections, of which (D) was presumably made to complete (C). The earliest firm evidence that all four sections had been brought appears to the contents-list of c. 166X, f. iiv, but (A) has possible associations with St Albans abbey, so linking it with (C-D).

2 (paper, s. xvii) + 86 with single leaves (paper, s. xvii) inserted after ff. 43 and 49 + 2 (paper, s. xvii); foliated i-ii, 1-88, omitting inserted paper leaves. Membrane (THICKNESS; quires 5 and 7 with fleshside outermost and quire 8 with hairside outermost, otherwise indistinguishable; natural flaws in (B)), 137 x 98-103 mm., outer edges of (B) cropped. Discolouration and staining, from exposure, on outer pages of quires 1-2. Staining from water on upper part of ff. 37v-43v; rust-marks, from an inserted object (?), f. 43.

Collation: (A: ff. 1-16) 1-28; (B: ff. 17-43) 316, 412 wants 12 (blank ?); (C: 44-77) 56, 616, 712 [originally preceded quire 6]; (D: ff. 78-86) 810 wants 1 (blank ?) before f. 78. Catchwords on quires 1 and 3, also f. 30v (314). Quires lettered at the foot of the first recto, s. xvii med. (?), A-H.


No evidence of pricking. Written space 115 or, quire 2, 108 x 83 mm.; no visible frame or ruling. 24-28 long lines.

Written in anglicana of somewhat documentary aspect, with a often single compartment, proficiently, by one hand.

Decoration not executed: spaces for thirteen 2-line initials to chapters, but none at start.


Pricking in outer margins, largely cropped away. Written space 103-107 x 77-80 mm.; ruled in brown. 26-28 long lines.

Written in anglicana, proficiently, by one hand, perhaps with a break at f. 29/6.

Decoration: text-capitals filled with pale green, ff. 26, 29-30 or, f. 43v, lined with red. Paraphs, ff. 20, 25v-28 and 30, in green. Initial, f. 19, 2-line red.


No evidence of pricking. Written space 120-123 or, quire 6, 110-115 x 69 mm.; ruled in greyish brown. 24-28 long lines.

Written in proto-anglicana, somewhat currently, by one hand.

Decoration, not executed in quire 6. Text-capitals filled with palish red. Marginal apparatus highlighted in palish red. 1-line space for initial, f. 44.


No evidence of pricking. Written space 113 x 65 mm.; framed in faint grey. 25 long lines.

Written in secretary, proficiently, by one hand.

Decoration not executed: unfilled spaces for 2-line initial to each plant.



ff. 1-16 Incipiunt meditaciones motiue ex sacre scripture ... Memento miser homo quod cinis es et in cinerem reuerteris et vt hoc clarius consideres ... ... Et sic memento mei deus quia amore tuo langueo. Explicit.

William of RYMYNGTON/RIMINGTON, Meditaciones tres. Ed. pp. 284-304 in R. O'Brien, 'The 'Stimulus peccatoris' of William of Rymyngton', Citeaux: Commentarii Cistercienses 16, (1965), 278-304. This copy is not among the fourteen listed (pp. 279-280), and does not appear to descend directly from any of the five collated.

(added, s. xv2) f. 16

(a) f. 16 Nouerint vniuersi presentes nos abbatem et conuentum conscescicce et dedisse Wyllelmo Couerdayll vnam clausuram in tenemento nostro de Newsum [no more].

(b) f. 16 Thys byll indeyndytt the iiij daye of May betwyx Robert Johnsson of Wyttby ... and John Androw of Newcatell ... hawyng vnto Robert Androw ...

(c) f. 16 erased names, see below.

(d) f. 16v scribbles and name, see below.


(a) Opening phrases of a grant by an unnamed abbot and convent; Fountains abbey held the vill of Newsham, 15 miles east of Coverdale (Surtess Soc. 130), while St Albans abbey had a cell at Tynemouth, which enjoyed the appropriated tithes of Tynemouth church, including those of Newsham near Blyth, where there may have been a glebe tenement.

(b) Opening phrases of indented bill; one William Andrew was received as a monk of St Albans in 1470, see Registra quorundam abbatum monasterii S. Albani, qui saeculo xvmo floruere, ii, ed H. T. Riley, ('Rolls Series' [28vib]; 1873), 90.

(added over erasure, f. xv2) f. 16v Non est consilium qui proclamatur ad crucem | Itt hys noght concyll that ys cryytt ad cros | Whar by I sayt.


(added on blank page, s. xv ex.) f. 17 Ryghte welbeloved Father and mother I haue me commended to you ... ... per me thomas wylson nameles in stead off blamles.

Copy of letter asking his parents' blessing and requesting them to get confirmation from his 'cussinge' of a matter discussed with him.

(added on blank pages, s. xv2)

(a) f. 17v R Manipulum j de ysepo et j de enula campana et j de raphano ... ... in vase vitrio siue terreno custodiatur et vsui serua.

(b) f. 17v R Cauelle bene electe ... ... cububarum et s. nucis mustatis (?).

(c) f. 18 Ista sunt vitanda scilicet crapula ... ... frigiditas manum pedum et capitis.

(d) f. 18v D. la sol ... ... G vt

(a-c) medical recipes; (d) letters and syllables of the tonic solfa scale.

ff. 19-43v Fili karissime in primis te doceo quod deum diligas ... (f. 20) ad ipsum videndum amandum et laudandum sine fine amen. Ce est le liure ke apeut a viure parfitement. si est numee le Mireur saynt Eadmund Le Confessur. En Le honur nostre treduz seignur ... fauele de hors. (table of contents) Coment homme deit garder sun estat. Quei est viure ... (f. 21) honurablement. Amiablement. vmblement. e ataunt finist Le escrist. et le sermon Coment homm dayt garder son estat. Moz del apostole pertinent a nous gent de Religione ... ... ke nus est apparilee amen par sa duce pite. (in red:) Fylyplest amen.

Edmund Rich, Le merure de seinte eglise. Ed., without Latin introduction and prayers, H. W. Robbins, Le merure de seinte eglise by St Edmund of Pontigny, (Lewisburg, [1925]). This copy is M36 in the list of eighteen copies of the French version, pp. viii-ix. Robbins described it in a letter of 10 October 1923 as a 'complete and careful copy of A-text (similar to Arundel) with unique Latin introduction and prayers not found elsewhere, but condensed (B-text) chapter on Sacraments', i.e. cap xiv, pp. 40-44.

(added in space, s. xiv2 or, (e), s. xv1) f. 43v:

(a) Vir uideas quid tu iubeas dum magnus haberis | Respicias ... | Dat varias fortuna vias non ergo miseris.

(b) Mittitur in disco mihi piscis ab archiepisc | Po. non declino quia missio fit sine vino.

(c) Nunc rediit uuta per tempora longa petita | Si foret in vita badda rediret ita.

(d) Fles fleo flet quare quia vis volo vult patriar'.

(e) Ille nocet qui vera docet velut insidiator | Ille placet qui vera tacet velut assimulator.

(a) Walther ICV, no. 20431, listing twelve copies, two in England (B.L. MS Add. 38131 (s. xiii) f. 82v, and Oxford Bodleian Library MS Rawlinson A.384 (s. xiii) f. 116).

(b) Walther ICV, no. 11136; the version Cronica fratris Salimbene de Adam OM, ed. O. Holder-Egger, (Monvmenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptorvm 32; 1905-1913), p. 84 has 'Me non inclino' for 'non declino', and, among the six copies listed, the three in England, Cambridge Pembroke College MS 258 (s. xiii) f. 43v, Cambridge Trinity College MS O.2.45 (s. xiii) p. 13, London British Library MS Cotton Vespasian B.xiii (s. xiv) f. 132, also read 'inclino'.

(e) Walther PSL, no. 11456, from clm 28547 (s. xii) fol 177.

(C & D)

ff. 44-49v, 66-77v, 50-65v, 78-86 [H]erbarum quasdam. dicturus carmine uires. | Herbarum matrem. dedit artemesia ... ... dolore | Et Nichil et oculis mihi crede salubrius istis ... <Una Diagrydij, sic apta Solutio fiet>.

[Odo of Meung], Macer Floridus: de viribus herbarum. Pr. L. Choulant, Macer Floridus de viribus herbarum, (Leipzig; 1832). Here, taking Quire G before Quire F, the order in which the plants are arranged differs from Choulant: 1 - 7, 40, 34 - 37, 51, 42, 45, 43 - 44, 8 - 33, 38 - 39, 63 - 65, 53 - 54, 47 - 50, 52, 55, 58, 60 - 61; 41, 46, 59, 55 - 57, 62, 66 - 77, i.e. 55 Gaisdo repeated, presumably because the last part, from no. 41 (f. 78) onwards, was added much later, and so from a different exemplar. The arrangement here has little in common with that of the Middle English version, ed. G. Frisk, A Middle English Translation of Macer Floridus de viribus herbarum, (Uppsala; 1949). The original scribes provided English names for most plants in the margin. In several places omitted lines are supplied in a post-medieval hand (ff. 46v, 51, 57, 58v, 59v, 60, 61v, 64r & v, 65, 69v, 70, 74v, 86).

f. 86v (added on blank page, s. xv2, (b-d) in one hand and ink, and (a-d) possibly all in the hand of the ownership inscription of Nicholas Kyrkeby at the head of the page)

(a) Baylle me ye payne purly mordy dox | Feyon bon chere Make gudgeyr | Key ley Vnde vous vout' nane | <..> wynsch beyn beyn ye schype.

(b) I Clam in Arbore Na mare I <d> r Ihesu.

(c) Cryste Is and Was and Aye schall bee and thus A Angell lerydd mee <&> my bede os I laye.

(d) This was schewyd vnto sayn Sedmon that holy hyrdman of sayn Hylde the wylke hyrdman was mayd a monke be sant Hylde be the inspiracion of the holy goste Amen Sedmon for they song sake and for the mylde stone I confyrme the a monke In this abbaye in the name of the Treenite of heue[n] Deo gratias.




(d) On Caedmon, see Bede, Historia ecclesiastica iv, 24; his dream is somewhat freely summarized here.


In (B) by expunctuation, interlineation and over erasure, ff. 30v, 33v.

Written in England.

Secundo folio: illicita (f. 2); neis de virorum (f. 20); In primo calor (f. 45).

'Macer de virtutibus harbarum. Et pertinet Fratri Nicholao Kyrkeby de sancti Albano', f. 86v; he was 34th among 46 monks of St Albans present for the abbatial election in 1465, precentor between 1476 and 1478, one of two monks sent by the abbot of St Albans to conduct a visitation of the cell at Tynemouth; precentor and 'Magister Capelle' in 1480, see Registra quorundam abbatum monasterii S. Albani, qui saeculo xvmo floruere, ii, ed H. T. Riley, ('Rolls Series' [28vib]; 1873), 28, 146, 186, 231.

'Wyllmus Johnson Thomas Bawell', f. 16, 'Ryght Reverand and Worshyppyll fadder and Modyr ... Thomas dei gratia ... Wyllelmus Johnson Iesu haue Mersy of Hyme and Praye For hyme', f. 16v, in the same hand as item [f. 16] (a,b), s. xv2. Item [f. 16] (b) mentions a Robert Johnson of Whitby (N. Yorks.), and, with Item [f. 16] (a), may have connections with Tynemouth and St Albans abbey, see above.

List of contents, by George Davenport, f. iiv.

Binding: as MS V.V.14.