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Miscellany. Collection of verses, medical recipes etc.

Reference code
Miscellany. Collection of verses, medical recipes etc.
second half 15th century
Level of description
Extent and format
Paper; ff. iv + 101.
Half leather binding, brown, with marbled boards. Vellum leaves, fols. ii, iii (binding fragments) consisting of two imperfect bifolia, 14th century, containing excerpts from Jofroi de Waterford's French translation of the Secreta Secretorum (inf. Dr Anthony Hunt, FSA). At fol. iv a fragment of a letter written at Calais, late 15th century, from R. Shipden to a member of the Wygston family (connected with the Cely family, cf. Mura, 6, 141-2). 'Thomas S(u)mner(?) boke', fol. 42. 'finis quoth Bartho(lo)mew Belleheade', fol. 67v. Various annotations by Thomas Warden discussed by Mura, passim. Reference to William Langton, 1529, fol. ii.
Scope and content
Political and religious verse, medical recipes, etc. Written in England by a number of different hands. Karen E. Mura, 'Thomas Wardon's Book' (PhD thesis, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1990) identifies nine scribes. See Ker, MMBL, I (1969), 304-6, for further details. The contents were disarranged by the 16th century; fols. 76-101 were originally at the beginning; leaves lost after fols. 42, 77 (a quire lost), 87, 95, 97. Summary contents:-

(1) Flyleaves:- Recipes (fols. 1-2v) including two medical recipes attributed to John Dave (fol. 1), and advice against the plague, 1480 (fol. 1v) by Master John de Wymus(?) (possibly John Spierinck, cf. Ker, I, 306), doctor in the service of Margaret of Burgundy; list of masses and memoria of St Giles, etc. (fol. 3r, v) and note (fol. 3v) of an image of Christ sent by the Grand Turk to Innocent VIII (1484-92). Ker, item 25; Mura, 73-7;-

(2) Pseudo-Aristotle, Secreta Secretorum. fols. 4-29. References in Ker, item 14; Mura, 84-91;-

(3) Latin verses, fol. 29r, v. Ker, item 15; Mura, 34-6;-

(4) '.loffice de Conestable et mareschall' (by Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester). fols. 30-40. Ker, item 16; Mura, 38-41;-

(5) Edward III's gift of Aquitaine to the Black Prince, etc. fols. 40v-2. Ker, item 17; Mura, 41-2;-

(6) Letter (imperfect) from the Grand Turk to the Pope after the fall of Constantinople, 1453. fol. 42v. Ker, item 18; Mura, 42;-

(7) Lydgate's Dietary (twenty stanzas), fol. 43r, v. C. Brown, H. R. Robbins, Index of Middle English Verse (1943), no. 824. Ker, item 19; Mura, 43;-

(8) Chronicle to the accession of Richard II (see BL Stowe MS 67, 140). fols. 44-9v. Ker, item 20; Mura, 43-7;-

(9) Political poem, beg. 'The trew processe off englisch policie'. fols. 50-67v. Ker, item 21; Mura, 48-53;-

(10) 'Febribus infecto..', political prophecy, in verse, by John of Bridlington (T. Wright, Political Poems, I (Rolls Series, 1859), 128-211). fols. 68-71. Ker, item 22; Mura, 53-5;-

(11) Prophecies. fols. 71v-3. Ker, item 23; Mura, 55-7;-

(12) Payments to Thomas Wardon, 1448, 1449. fol. 73v. Ker, item 24; Mura, 57-8;-

(13) Recipes for wine, gunpowder, etc. fols. 74-6v. Ker, item 1; Mura, 59-60;-

(14) Directions for masses, prayer to staunch blood (fol. 77v). fols. 77r, v, 100v-1v. Ker, item 13; Mura, 60-1;-

(15) Extracts on health, food and drink mainly from the Flos Medicinae Scholae Salerni. fols. 78-80v. Ker, item 2; Mura, 61-2;-

(16) 'Hic incipit Godefridus super palladium de agricultura..'. Treatise on fruit trees, English translation. fols. 81-6v. Ker, item 3; Mura, 63-4;-

(17) 'Her begynneth the tretice of Nicholas bollard..'. Treatise on arboriculture. fols. 86v-7v. Ker, item 4; Mura, 64-5;-

(18) Latin-English vocabulary of herbs, with recipes, fols. 88-90v. Ker, item 5; Mura, 65;-

(19) John of Bordeaux on pestilence. fol. 91. Ker, item 6; Mura, 67;-

(20) Recipes. fols. 91v-2v. Brief note by Thomas Wardon inserted, fol. 91v. Ker, item 7; Mura, 68;-

(21) Plague treatise by John of Burgundy, fols. 93-6v. Ker, item 8; Mura, 70;-

(22) Bloodletting. fol. 96v. Ker, item 9;-

(23) Plague tract by John of Jacobus. fol. 97r, v. Ker, item 10; Mura, 71;-

(24) Political poem, 'To have in mynde..'. fol. 98r, v. T. Wright, Political Songs, II (Rolls Series, 14, 1859-61), 267-70, from this copy. Ker, item 11; Mura, 72;-

(25) Prophecies for 1482-4. fol. 99r, v. Ker, item 12; Mura, 72.
Previous reference number(s)
Related units of description
The following articles refer to parts of this manuscript:

Trevor Russell Smith, ’The Cronica bona et compendiosa and Shorter Fourteenth-Century Histories of England’, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, 97.2 (2021), 19–42 [fols 44r–49v (MS 16.13, Cronica de Anglia et rebus in ea gestis et de regibus eius)]

Trevor Russell Smith, 'The Earliest Middle English Recipes for Gunpowder', Journal of Medieval Military History, 2020