BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
Beinecke MS 163 England, s. XV^^med; XIV
Wagstaff Miscellany (in Lat. and Eng.)
I.1. ff. 1r-14v Apud Romam fuit quidam imperator qui dioclicianus
vocabat uxorem duxit et ex illa vnum filium genuit...[ends with the
tale bearing the rubric Narracio filij imperatoris:]...Ipse nos ab
omnibus insidijs malefactorum defendat et det nobis et ad finem
venerabilem attingere valeamus. Amen. Explicit Whittokysmede [? rubric
has been partially effaced].
Historia septem sapientum Romae; Beinecke MS 163 begins in a manner
similar to G. Blomquist, ed., Schacktavelslek och Sju vise
(Stockholm, 1941) pp. 265-92.
2. ff. 14r-15v Medical recipes, charms and prognostications, in
English and Latin, including: A medicine for a ffelon approvyd, Optima
medicina pro palesye probatus est, Bona medicina pro ouibus que
patiunter the pokks the Rede evyll and the clayfykes, Medicina bona pro
flewme, Prouerbium bonum secundum antiquos.
3. ff. 15v-16r Coniuracio contra latrones. Almyghty god in trenite
fadir and sone and holy gost...Ihesu lorde grannte me this as wysse as
thu art in hevyn blisse Amen. [followed immediately by Latin prayers:]
Saluator mundi salua me qui per crucem tuam...; Ihesus nazarenus Rex
iudeorum fili dei miserere nobis....
For the charm against thieves see IMEV, no. 242.5; C. F. Buehler,
"Middle English Verses against Thieves," Speculum 33 (1958) pp. 371-72;
J. D. Vann, III, "Middle English Verses against Thieves: A Postscript,"
Speculum 34 (1959) pp. 636-37.
4. ff. 16r-23r De modo [tenendi] parliamentum. Hic describitur modus
quomodo parliamentum Regis Anglie et Anglorum suorum tenebatur
temporibus Regis Edwardi filij Ethelredi Regis...[ends abruptly with
the rubric:] Cancellarius per mandatum Regis respondit quod protestacio
illa irrotulari debet in parliamento [corrected from parliamentum]
autoritate parliamenti cum autem sicut fuit tempore suo et temporibus
progenitorum et modo ampliori etc.
N. Pronay and J. Taylor, eds., Parliamentary Texts of the Later
Middle Ages (Oxford, 1980) MS c of Recension A, pp. 67-72, 197-201; the
final two portions of the text are in Middle English.
5. f. 23r-v Medical recipes, in English, including: A meddyson ffor
a Wonde tht suellyth or tht ys ffusterd, A mettyson for the hert
suellyng, Ffor to Restore the lyuyr, Ffor the Wynde yn the Stomake,
Ffor the dropsy, A good Salve, Ffor the eyes.
6. ff. 24r-28v Incipit liber distincionum [?] secundum Aristotulum.
Ianuarius. Qui natus fuerit in signo aquarij est honoratus in vno
tempore sanitatem in alio tempore infirmitatem...[ends in December:] et
venus mali vero dies mars mercuria veste nigra vtatur. Explicit.
Thorndike and Kibre, 1209.
7. f. 28v Dies nabugodonosor Regis omnis enim populus tradebat ei
sompna que videbat ut solueret Daniel propheta...luna xxx^^a infra tres
dies videns quod sompniasti. Expliciunt lune distinccionum.
From the interpretation of dreams attributed to the prophet
Daniel, cf. Lyell Cat., p. 89 and Thorndike and Kibre (under Daniel).
8. f. 29r-v Nota. Ryght as poverte causeth sobrenesse/...[IMEV,
2820]; Nota bene. The Wyse man his sone forbede...[IMEV, 3693]; De
versibus Salerni. Anglorum Regi scripsit tota scola salerni/...[S. De
Renzi, ed., Collectio Salernitana (Naples, 1852) v. 1, p. 445, lines 1-
5; followed by selected verses on eating, drinking and digestion].
9. ff. 30r-31v O scacci camera locus est mirabilis ille/...In qua si
danda desint chekemata patebit. Explicit.
R. L. Poole, "Verses on the Exchequer in the Fifteenth Century,"
English Historical Review 36 (1921) pp. 58-67.
10. f. 31v Medical recipe, in English, Ffor the palsy.
11. f. 32r-v [Index to art. 12:] De generatione et natiuitate et
nutritura pullorum/ De laquiacione...De nutritura.
12. ff. 32v-49v [Preface:] Cum inter cetera animalia vsui hominis
deputata equs sit nobilius...[text:] De generatione et
debet gingi a stallone assidue studiose et diligenter custodito...a
carne separato cum spatula cato imponatur ita foramen catonis in medio
Giordano Ruffo, Marescalcia equorum.
13. f. 49v Medical recipe, in English, in a later hand: For an hors
that hath the malanndyr.
14. ff. 50r-55v Carefully organized selections on the care of
horses, beginning: "Take a lyne and leye hit to the louest here above
the hoof and so alonge up to the legge" and including advice on the
following topics: For to knowe hov tht a colt schalle preve in
Wexying, For to knowe a hors and for to knowe Wyche propirteys tht be
best tht longeth to a hors old or yonge, A sadde Sorell is best next, A
ppulle grey is next best;...For to tame a Wilde hors, For to teche a
hors Ambyll, For to make a hors to folowe his maister, For make a
hors to seme yonge, For to make a horse ffatte;...For a kanker yn the
Wedeissond, For the morning of the chyne.
15. f. 55v Medical recipes for horses added by a later hand, in
English, including: For to breke the Glaunders, For the wynys, A
medyson to breke a boche [sic] w^^tyn vj yorsse, A medyson to hele the
paynnys that growyth in a horsse hellys, A meduson ffor the Glandurs.
16. ff. 56r-57r [Index to art. 17:] Here bygynnyth the chapters of
divers makyng and dygtyng of potagis and flesch...Canabens/ Canabens
with bacon/...Hote mylke of almondz/ Colde mylke of almonndz.
17. ff. 57r-76v Take caules and stryp hem from the stalkes and betes
borage anans vyolet malues parsely...[ends in section with rubric Colde
mylke of almondys:] till they be hard and serve hem forth yn another
disch with the mylke. Explicit.
According to C. Hieatt, who intends to edit these recipes, the
text in MS 163 corresponds most closely to those in London, B. L.
Sloane 7 (ff. 93v-111v) and 442 (ff. 6r-25v), but neither of these is
as full. This list of ca. 185 recipes includes some devoted to:
Caboches, Hare in cyve, Conyngys in clere brother, Chykens in bruett,
Pyke in sauce, Salmon rostyd in sauce, Creme boyled, Perys in composte,
Peyrs in syrypp, Colde bruet of rabets, Quayle rostyd, Storgeon, Perche
18. ff. 76v-82v Here may men se the vertues of herbes which ben hoot
and which been coold and for how many thinges they be gode. Quynte foyl
and .v. leef...[text concludes with two recipes For the scabbes, the
second of which is:] Vngatur ungento salso in palmis...et debebitur
For an edition of the text from a different manuscript tradition
see P. Grymonprez, ed., Here Men May Se the Vertues off Herbes [Oxford,
Bod. Lib. 483] in Scripta 3 (Brussels, 1981); H. Hargreaves, "Some
Problems in Indexing Middle English Recipes" in Middle English Prose:
Essays on Bibliographical Problems, eds., A. S. G. Edwards and D.
Pearsall (New York, 1981) pp. 91-113. This same treatise also appears
in Yale Medical Library MSS 27 (unfoliated) and 40, ff. 62r-66r.
19. ff. 82v-99r Collection of medical recipes, beginning with the
head and continuing downwards, followed immediately by remedies for
20. ff. 99r-101v Incipit liber de diuersis aquis [brief table of
chapters on f. 99r:] De aqua preciosa herbarum/ Aqua preciosa de
radicibus herbarum/...For to make aqua vite yn the beste maner. Tractus
mirabitur aquarum quem compuit petrus hispanius...[text begins:] Aqua
mirabilis ad visum conseruandum...and all thes thynges wittnesseth
Petrus Hispanus, Tractatus mirabilis aquarum; Thorndike and Kibre,
119. Text begins in Latin and changes to English after the recipe Ad
partum mulieris; thus only the final section is in English.
21. ff. 101v-102v Miscellaneous medical recipes, in English,
including: A fayr medysyn agenst pestylence, A fayre medyson agenst the
axcesse, A medysyne ffor the bryst yevyll, A medson prouyde ffor the
schakyng off the axsys, A medyson ffor the laske [two recipes], For the
22. ff. 103r-112v Here begynnyth the Boke of astronomye conciued and
ymade of the wyseste philosoferes and Astronomyers that euyr were...hir
good dayes ben moneday thursday and Fryday tuysday and Saturday euyll.
This treatise on astronomy is a common one, often found in
collections of scientific writings (e. g., it appears in London, B. L.
Royal 17 A. xxxii). There is also an abbreviated version in San Marino,
Huntington Library HM 64 (ff. 52r-61v) which is apparently similar to
that printed by J. Krochalis and E. Peters in The World of Piers
Plowman (Philadelphia, 1975) pp. 3-17 [from Cambridge, University
Library Ll. 4. 14].
23. f. 113r Tot vides gentes que sunt auersa loquentes/ Per totum
mundum nescio...Fama repleta malis per vicibus volat alis.
Unidentified poem, in 34 verses.
24. ff. 113v-115r Various short selections (e. g., the 10 ages of
man, 15 signs of judgment day, 4 elements of the world, 7 joys).
25. ff. 115r-122v Augustinus in libro de fide ad petrum dixit
miraculum est quid arduum vel insolitum super facultatem
hominis...[mentions the date 16 Dec. 1323, the city Alesti, and Frater
Johannes Gobi] residuum penitentis sue compleuit in purgatorio.
Requiescant anime fidelium in pace.
De spiritu Guidonis; for the English version see G. Scheich, ed., "The
Gast of Gy," Palaestra 1 (Berlin, 1898), i-lxviii and 1-230. The Latin
version also occurs in Zurich, Stiftsbibliothek MS Car. C 110, ff. 59r-
66v, and San Marino, Huntington Library HM 28174, ff. 144v-151r.
26. ff. 122v-124r Wine recipes, in English, including: For Wyne tht
begynneth to boyle agen, For Wyne tht is longe and ffatte in the
mouthe to make hit shorte, For Wyne tht is to Grene, For Wyne tht
Wolle notte hold colour, For Wyne tht is ffoysted, For Wyne tht
saveryth of the vessell as it Were rotyn, For to make of reede Wyne
White, For Wyne tht hath lost his myght wyth travayle, For to amende
wyne tht is sowre. Followed by a short passage beginning "Mundus modo
ponitur totus in errore/ Ratus non diligitur a suo genitore/...".
27. f. 124r-v Medical recipes, in English, including: Water for the
yes, An nother for the Clensing of the yes [and another], Fayr medycyne
agenst pestylence, And Fayr medycyne agenst the axcesse.
28. ff. 125r-134r Thu that art a gentilman/ And gentilmanys game
wylt lere/...[second part, beginning on f. 131v:] Now of gosehauk
kepying I have gou tolde...I pray to god bothe nygth and daye/ Alle
fauconerys he saue fro drenkelyng Amen. Explicit modus occupandum [?].
[followed by a "medicen for the pooke" in another hand.]
A poem on hawking: IMEV, 3693; B. Danielsson, "The Percy Poem on
Falconry," Stockholm Studies in Modern Philology 3 (1970) pp. 5-60.
29. ff. 134v-178v [Index:] Here bygynnyth the table of the chapytres
that bethe conteynyd yn the boke of huntyng the weche ys callyd maister
of game...the hare and of hys nature/ of the hert and of his
nature/...[prologue, f. 135r:] To the honoure and reuerence of gou my
worshupfulle and drede lorde h....[text, f. 138v:] The hare is comyn
beste ynow and there fore me nedyth not to telle of here...comyn
strakying as ys aboue deuysed ordeigned and also pleyndly ynow I seyde
and rehersed. Laus tibi sit christo ihesu liber explicit iste.
Explicit. [Horn signals marked in red on ff. 171r-178r.]
Edward, Duke of York, Master of Game; W. A. and F. Baillie-
Grohman, eds., The Master of Game by Edward, Second Duke of York
(London, 1904). For a modernized edition of the Prologue see J.
McDonald, The Origins of Angling (New York, 1963) Appendix A, pp. 251-
30. f. 179r Medical recipe, in English, "for tympanyetes".
31. ff. 179r-183v Confessio. I knowlich me to my lorde ihesu cryst
and to his blessid moder oure ladi seynt marie and to all his seyntis
and to the prest my gostly fader of all thatt ych haue trespassed...ye
shul nott excuse your selfe butt lame you and telle the naked trowthe.
For similar forms of confession see P. S. Jolliffe, ed., A Check-
list of Middle English Prose Writings of Spiritual Guidance (Toronto,
1974) pp. 69-73; P. Revell, ed., English Prayers and Meditations: A
Descriptive List of Manuscripts in the British Library (New York, 1975)
nos. 346-48. This confession appears to be an abbreviated version of one
found in Beinecke MS 317, ff. 42v-50v.
32. f. 184r Medical recipe, in English: "To make oyle Exceter [?]"
for various remedies.
33. f. 184v Miscellaneous notes and verses, in Latin; including:
Meum est propositum in taberna mori...[lines 1-6 only; L. Laistner, E.
Brost, W. Bulst, eds., Carmina Burana (Heidelberg, 1974) pp. 116-19];
Qui uult esse bonus frater bibat semel bis ter quater...[Walther,
34. ff. 185r-186r Lists corresponding to those in The Booke of
Hauking huntyng and fysshyng, attributed to Dame Julianna Berners
(London ). "The Companyes of beastes and foules" followed by
"Termes to speake of brekyng or dressyng of diuers beastes and foules,
etc.". See also the modern edition of W. L. Braekman, "The Treatise of
Angling" in the Boke of St. Albans (1496) in Scripta 1 (Brussels,
1980), and R. Hands, English Hawking and Hunting in the Boke of St.
Albans (Oxford, 1975).
35. f. 186r-v Seven lines of English verse on hunting: "An herte if
he chased he woll desyre/..."; "A meddyson for th^^e stoune yprouyde";
nine lines of Latin poetry [incomplete?] concerning the Judgment of
Paris: "Pallas Iuno Venus nemorosem vallibus Ide/..."; four-line
English devotional prayer: "Sitte [?] hathe wonder that reason nat
telle canne/..."; ten-line poem in Latin: "Sunt tria que vere faciunt
me sepe dolere/..." [Walther, Initia 18886]; recipe for a sick horse
[without heading]; recipes "For a hefy purgacyon" and "A medicine for
II.36. ff. 187r-193r [written perhaps a century earlier than the
rest of the text] Lists of emperors, kings, and archbishops and their
sees. They appear to have been compiled in 1288 (the date 20 November
1288 occurs on f. 193r), but the date of writing is probably mid-14th
century. Composed of 10 leaves (-5, 9, 10) added later.
37. f. 193v Yhesu lorde tht maydyst me and wt thy precyus blode hast
bousthe ...helpe me lady and all myne and shelde vs all fro hell pyne.
Hymn of Richard de Caestre; IMEV 1727.
Parchment composed of 2 parts, both of uneven quality, ff. 193.
I. ff. 1-186. 291 x 200 (217 x 135) mm. Written in ca. 31-44 long
lines or lines of verse; frame ruled in hard point. I^^8, II^^6, III^^10
(-1, after f. 14; lower part of 8, f. 21, cut off), IV^^6 (-1, after f.
23), V-VI^^4, VII-VIII^^6, IX^^10, X^^8, XI^^6, XII^^8, XIII-XIV^^6,
XV^^10 (lower part of 10, f. 102, cut off), XVI^^6, XVII-XVIII^^8, XIX^^4,
XX-XXI^^6, XXII^^8, XXIII-XXVIII^^6. Catchwords below written space at
right, with blue or red line on 2 sides. Quires V-VIII signed below
catchword by original scribe (signed as II-VIII, with the present quire
VI marked iiij at beginning and v at end). Written in Anglicana, by 2
main scribes, with abundant notes and texts added in margins and blank
spaces by other hands. On ff. 179r-181r the scribe begins in Anglicana
formata but lapses into a more cursive grade. Initials (3- and 2-line),
underlining, rubrics and slashes at ends of sentences in red. From ff.
103r-140v, 3- and 2-line initials in blue with red penwork and long
flourishes; on ff. 30r-31v (on the exchequer), checkerboards in blue,
red and black in upper and lower margins. Water stains on ff. 1-2, only
affecting a few words of the text.
II. ff. 187-193. 255 x ca. 165 (209 x ca. 155) mm. Written in 3
columns of ca. 35 lines; ruled in lead, single or double vertical
bounding lines at left side of each column, single horizontal bounding
lines, no guidelines for text. One quire of 10 (-5, 9, and 10, after
ff. 190 and 193). Written by one scribe in an uneven 14th-century
Anglicana. Three-line initial on f. 187r not filled in. Outer column of
f. 187 cut off.
Binding: s. xvi-xvii. Limp, flush boards are made up of fibrous,
felted material [paper?] sandwiched between two layers of vellum, which
extend across the spine. This case is glued and tacketed to the
bookblock with three tackets consisting of at least six threads each.
Stitches go through the spine linings around three threads at head and
tail. Covered with tawed skin, originally pink, the turn-ins glued over
the pastedowns. The cover extends in fore-edge and envelope flaps. Some
rodent damage on the upper board and part of the envelope cut away.
Discoloration and traces of adhesive on three outer edges of envelope
According to J. J. Smith the Middle English in Beinecke MS 163
lies somewhere between "'colourless' regional writing" and "writing
with a regional basis which includes forms from Chancery Standard" (see
M. L. Samuels, "Spelling and Dialect in the Late and Post-Middle
English Periods," in M. Benskin and M. L. Samuels, eds., So meny people
langages and tonges: Philological Essays in Scots and Mediaeval English
Presented to Angus McIntosh [Edinburgh, 1981]); a number of non-
standard, dialectically restricted forms suggest the Southwest Midlands
as a probable area of provenance. Part I of the codex written in England
in the 15th century. The name "Whittokesmede" occurs in red on ff. 59r and
101v, and has been effaced from f. 14v; the same hand wrote "Explicit" at
the end of several sections. The final quire, written probably in the 14th
century, was bound in with the first 186 ff. in the 16th or 17th
century. Early provenance unknown, but the codex shows signs of heavy
use: there are extensive early additions and marginal notations (e. g.,
regarding the efficacy of the recipes). Probably belonged to Henry
Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland (1564-1632), of Petworth House; sold
by his descendant, Lord Leconfield (Sotheby's, 23-24 April 1928, no.
84). Bought by Edwards. Belonged to David Wagstaff (bookplate); gift of
Mrs. David Wagstaff in 1943.
secundo folio: quod si eam
Bibliography: De Ricci, v. 2, pp. 1902-03, no. 9; Faye and Bond p. 36,
A. A. Horwood, "Manuscripts of the Right Honourable Lord
Leconfield, at Petworth House, Co. Sussex," Great Britain, Historical
Manuscripts Commission Report No. 6 (London, 1877) item 8, p. 289.
E. T. Silk, "The Wagstaff Collection of Classical and Mediaeval
Manuscripts," Gazette 19 (1944) pp. 1-9.
Barbara A. Shailor