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Reference code
15th century
Level of description
Extent and format
Vellum; ff. vii + 214.
Contemporary binding. Leather, brown, blind-stamped (some modern repairs). Modern dark green slipcase. From a Canterbury binder (cf. G. D. Hobson, English Bindings before 1500 (1929), 15; J. B. Oldham, English Blind-Stamped Bindings (1952), 24-5, pl.xx). MS Bodley 648 (see above) is from the same binder and belonged to Christ Church, Canterbury. See also MSS/0287.
Scope and content
Miscellaneous historical items, verse, etc. Mainly Latin with a little French and English. The following summary is based on Ker, MMBL, I (1969), 301-2:-

(1) 'Cum sanctus Methodius captus fuisset'. Revelations attributed to Methodius, Bishop of Patara, ending as BL Royal MS 8 F.viii, art.8. fols.1-6;

(2) 'Post peccatum Ade'. On the Oil of Mercy and the Wood of the Cross. cf. Royal MS 8 D.iv, art.5. fols.7-12;

(3) 'Liber Isodori de obitu Patriarcarum'. Not the De ortu et obitu patrum of Isidore of Seville. Summary of biblical history from Adam to the Resurrection. fols.13-36v;

(4) Lives of SS Peter, John the Evangelist, Silvester, Rumwold, Katherine and Margaret. fols.37-76v;

(5) Chronology of (a) popes to the death of Benedict XII (d. 1342) and (b) archbishops of Canterbury to William Courtney (d. 1396). Item (b) also in Bodl.Lib., MS Bodley 648. fols.77-101v;

(6) 'Incipit chronographia tripartita beati Morpleti constantinopolitani episcopi ab adam vsque ad imperatorem fredericum'. Summary history from Adam to the Emperor Henry VI, son of Frederick Barbarossa (d. 1190). fols.105-18;

(7) (a) 'Incipit descripcio Orbisterrarum'. Also in MS Bodley 648. fols.122-5; (b) 'Parum est orbem totum delucidasse', ends 'et Albeon vocauerunt'. fols.126-8v; (c) 'Brutus itaque filius siluii', ends 'Explicit Brutus abreuiatus'. fols.129-35; (d) 'De tribus germanie populis'. An English history to the Battle of Shrewsbury (1403). fols.136-87;

(8) Lists of English counties with bishoprics, religious houses, hospitals and castles of England, similar lists relating to Scotland and Wales, and the Summa villarum. Also in MS Bodley 648. fols.189-201v;

(9) List of consecrated kings, chronology and resting places of English kings, Arthur (said to have been crowned in 516) - Edward I. Also in MS Bodley 648. fols.202-4v;

(10) Founders of thirty-six cathedrals and religious houses before the Conquest. Also in MS Bodley 648. fols.204v-5;

(11) Prophecies in verse and prose. All in MS Bodley 623 (further details in Ker, I, 302):- (a) Gildas. 'Gens normannorum consensu fulta priorum' (eight lines). fol.206; (b) Bede. 'Scoti cum Britone' (four lines). H.Walther, Lateinische Sprichwörter (5 vols., 1963-7), no.17635. fol.206; (c) John of Bridlington. 'Taurus Cornutus' (fifteen lines). Walther, ibid., no.19034. fol.206; (d) Galfridus Eglyne. 'Asinus coronatus turbabit regnum'. Cf. J.Bale, Index Britanniae Scriptorum, ed. R.L.Poole, M.Bateson (Oxford, 1902), 95-6. fol.206v; (e) John of Bridlington. 'Amodo de tauro taceo' (eleven lines). Part of Bridlington's prophecy. T.Wright, Political poems and songs, I, 203 (Rolls Series, 14, 1859-61). fols.206v-7; (f) 'Magister Donakaman dicit. Gallum mutabit' (fifteen lines). fol.207; (g) ' Magister Iohannes de Muris hec dicit. Taxi tunc a patria'. fol.207;

(12) 'Quidquid agas sapienter agas'. Fifty-six sets of verses, mostly couplets, the first ten on death. The first as Walther, ibid., no.25242. fols.207v-9;

(13) 'Infans. In Cunis iaceo' (fourteen lines on the seven ages of man). fol.209v;

(14) 'Falsa mulier. Nec michi nec tibi' (six lines on the judgment of Solomon). fol.209v;

(15) 'Que oil ne voit, cor ne desire' (twenty-two French proverbs and one English, with Latin versions). The English proverb is 'Stille suge' (cf. Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs (2nd ed., 1948), 620). fols.209v-11;

(16) Miscellaneous notes including arithmetic, daily and yearly wages, Henry II, rain on St Swithin's day, and (fol.213v) a prayer in English 'Ihesu lord that madest me' (eight lines; C.Brown, H.R.Robbins, Index of Middle English Verse (1943), no.1727), followed by Latin notes conc. an earthquake in England, 23 Apr.1449. fols.211-13v;

(17) Itinerary from Walsingham, Norf., to Broomfield, Essex. fol.214 (pastedown).

Red pen decoration in margins (eg. fols.77v-95v, 136v-58v) and small blue initials throughout.
Ramsay, John (fl 1530-38), Augustinian canon and prior, Merton Priory
Allan, George (1736-1800), antiquary and topographer
Previous reference number(s)
Archival history
Owned by John Ramsey, OSA, canon of Merton priory, Surrey; partially erased inscription, fol.213v. Ramsey was prior of Merton, 1530-8, and is known to have owned six other books (Ker, MLGB (1964), 282). Owned later by Robertus Wyse (fols.iii,1). Presented by George Allan, FSA, 1798 (fol.vii verso). Minute Book XXVII, 3 May 1798, pp.88-9. cf. MSS/0002.
Latin; French; English