BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPTS
Beinecke MS 317 England, s. XV/XVI
Devotional Writings (in Eng. and Lat.)
1. f. 1r [Mostly illegible; title:] De modo psallendi. [text:] Dum domino
psalli [?] psallendo tu tria serues...perfecto fine fruatur.
Walther, Sprichwoerter, no. 4128 (beginning Cum domino...); 11 lines.
2. f. 1r Gaudet epar spodio. mace cor. cerebrum quoque musco...Dicit borago
gaudia semper ago. [in margin:] Medicina...pro regimine sanitatis. Borago.
Richard Rolle; Walther, Sprichwoerter, no. 101906; 4 lines.
3. ff. 1v-3v The needes and graces of the masse beholde/...[text:] The first
vertu is ful good/ That day thou shalt not lakke thi foode/...Almyghty god
graunte yn trynyte. Amen.
The thirty-four virtues of the mass, numbered with Roman numerals in the
margin; each virtue presented in a stanza of 4 lines, with the entire work
preceded by 16 lines of prefatory material and followed by 16 + 14 lines.
According to G. Keiser the text is similar to IMEV 3573.
4. ff. 3v-4v Yette moreovire ynto the confirmacyoun of thise vertues
aforeseid. hit is redde yn the first book of holy scripture how some tyme
Melchisedech bothe prest and kynge...as it appereth euydently to euery man it
redynge or herynge.
Prose commentary on art. 3, with paraphrases in English and some quotations
in Latin of material taken from the Bible and Church Fathers.
5. ff. 5r-21v Here begynnyth the prologe ynto the lyf of Seynt Ierom drawen
yn to englysh as hit is take of the legende aurea. Vnto the hygh
pryncesse Margarete duchesse of
Clarence by Syr. N. N. brothire and prest of the Monastery of Syon [following
six words cancelled: the which is comynly callyd Shene]. Rigth noble
and worthi lady and my ful reuerend and dere gostly doughtire...and desertys of
this O gloryows seynt Ierom. Amen. Here endeth the lyf of the holy doctoure
Symon Wynter, amplification of the Life of St. Jerome, drawn from the
Legenda aurea and from the apocryphal correspondence between Sts. Cyril and
Augustine, and supplemented with revelations of St. Birgitta. The scribe in
this manuscript has also added material concerning the story of St. Jerome and
the lion taken from the Legenda aurea (ff. 20r-21r). In the upper margin
of f. 5r has been added by a contemporary hand the name of the author, Symon
Wynter; in the lower margin, by another hand: "This book to hym that lovyth
god and the helth of his owen soule is bettyre than eny erthly tresoure. And so
wolle he say that redyth or heryth hit. ffor with out the knowlych of the
that is wryten in this booke, no man may fle evyll and do wele. the which is
don for love or drede. or payne or ioye. vt patebit." This passage was then
struck out and the statement added: "Beware of fals englysshe." This life of
St. Jerome is also preserved in three other 15th-century manuscripts:
Cambridge, St. John's College MS N. 17 (s. XV^^2/4); London, Lambeth Palace
Library MSS 72 and 432 (both s. XV^^3/4); it was printed by Wynken de Worde in
1499 [?] (STC 14508). The text of London, Lambeth Palace 432 was edited
by C. Horstmann, "Prosalegenden," Anglia 3 (1880) pp. 328-60.
6. f. 21v Iste est qui ante deum magnas virtutes operatus est...Oremus. Deus
qui nobis per beatum Ieronimum confessorem sacerdotemque....
Seven lines, in Latin, of prayers to St. Jerome; Horstmann,
op. cit., p. 360.
7. ff. 21v-22r As a gret clerke shewyth in his bokys Of all the creaturys
th^^t god made yn heuyn and yn erthe...the souereyn and specyall cause and skyll
why he made theym was his owen goode wylle...[f. 22r] et specialiter in libro
quod Gowere composuit in lingua materna de omnibus predictis qui liber vocatur
in lingua materna. The pater noster boke vt ibi plenus patebit intuenti.
Lay Folks' Catechism, continued in art. 10; see A. Hudson, "A New Look
at the Lay Folks' Catechism," Viator 16 (1985) pp. 243-58; Beinecke MS 317
is listed in group B: "Manuscripts which have a significantly reworked text."
A sign toward the end of the text refers the reader to a note in the lower
margin: "Of thise vij thynges before rehersyd for a more playn declaracyoun of
hem to euery mannys vndirstondynge the which euery crysten man is bownde to
lerne and kunne to his powere vpoun the payn of dampnacyoun loke yn the
viij^^te lef after this [art. 10] at such a sygne." Added beneath by another
hand: "de istis vide in Speculo beati Edmundi archiepiscopi."
8. ff. 22r-27v Here folowyth the medys and grace that is gevyn vnto theym
that devoutly heryth the masse. That blyssyd childe yn bedlem born/ that
suffred his brayn be thirlyd w^^t thorn/...The childe th^^t best ys brynge vs to
blys. w^^t hym to byelde. Amen. Explicit modus audiendi missam cum
indulgencia eiusdem. Deo gracias.
The Virtues of the Mass; IMEV 3268.
9. ff. 27v-30r Ferthirmore yn confirmacyioun of the medys and merytes of
that deuoutly here theire masse. Seynt bernarde sayeth. That to here a masse
deuoutly...that of nougth made all thynge. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen.
A further prose commentary on the Mass. The final portion of text, beginning
on f. 29v (Thyse be the tokenys and condycionys of a vycyows preste...), has
been crossed out.
10. ff. 30v-34r Attendite popule meus legem meam etc. Good men and women
as a gret clerke tellyth yn his bokes etc. vbi supra. Now good men and women
as gret clerkes shewen and techen be here bokes ther longeth to the feyth xiiij
artycles of the which vij longeth to goddys godhede and other vij longeth to
Ihesu crystys manhode...blys to the which blys he vs brynge qui cum patre et
spiritu sancto viuit and regnat deus in secula seculorum. Amen.
The conclusion of the Lay Folks' Catechism begun in art. 7, including
texts on the 14 Articles of the Creed, 10 Commandments, 7 Sacraments, 7 Gifts of
the Holy Ghost, 7 Deadly Sins, 7 Principal Virtues, 7 Deeds of Mercy.
11. f. 34r Hec in constitutionibus prouincialibus. capitulum Ignorancia
sacerdotum. Euery synfull man and woman yn this worlde that assendyth theire
lorde god...vt [?] aduertenti.
12. ff. 34v-35r [In upper margin:] I have gretly displesyd god and all the
seyntes of heuyn I wot wele. [text:] Here folowyth a fourme of a generall
confessyoun that euery crysten man and woman is bownde to kunne and knowe and
therfor whan a man comyth to his gostly fadir...To the which blys he vs brynge
th^^t of nougth made all thynge. Amen. Amen. Amen.
13. f. 35r-v Grando nix et aqua tria sunt res est tamen vna/ Sic in personis
trinus deus est tamen vnus/ Tres sunt non tria sunt Idem sunt non idem sunt.
Unidentified verses, followed by notes, in outline format, on the Mass (in
14. ff. 36r-42r Incipit tabula super 4 libros dialogorum beati gregorii
pape. Abire. Nisi ego abiero paraclitus non veniet ad vos. li^^o 2^^o ca^^o
Alphabetical subject index to Gregory's Dialogi; all references are by
book and chapter numbers and the letters a-d.
15. ff. 42v-50v Confessio generalis ac specialis. Exhortati^^m [?].
Miserere mei domine quoniam infirmus sum sana me P^^o 6^^to. Beholde how the
seek soule of mankynde sore woundyd knawynge his freelte dystresse and peryll
cryeth to oure moste mercyful lorde...mercy of oure most mercyfull lord Ihesu
cryste now and euer Amen. Explicit forma generalis confessionis ac et
specialis prout patebit [one word illegible].
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. This confession appears to be an expanded version of one found in
Beinecke MS 163, ff. 179r-183v.
16. ff. 50v-51r These been the sorowes of oure blissed lady and the
rewardes for worshippynge of...Seynt John the euuangelyste after the
assumpcyoun of oure
lady bysily prayde and feruently desyred to knawe the glorye and the ioye that
oure blissed lady...that a man receyveth whan he receyvyth the sacramente of
Vision in which the Virgin Mary reveals to John the Evangelist her five
17. ff. 51r-56v Deo gracias. Penitens veniens ad confessionem stando vt
genuflectendo humiliter dicat. Benedicite. Respondeat benigne confessor.
dominus exaudiat nos et det nobis suam graciam....
Many Latin notes, in several hands, tightly squeezed together, including
sections labelled Augustinus in confessionibus; de ascensione; de
temptacione. Folios 53-55 are mutilated; f. 56 is torn in half with the
upper portion missing. On f. 54v appears "Aue maria mayden ymmaculate/ Eram
plena et humylyte/ dominus tecum bothe erthely and late/...ventris tui Ihesus
on vs have mercy"; and some proverbs, in Middle English and Latin, beginning:
"By a lytel hoole beholdeth man his frend/ Per specular modicum speculatur
amicus amicum/...(cf. B. J. Whiting, Proverbs, Sentences and Proverbial
Phrases...[Cambridge, 1968] p. 284, H 414).
Paper (watermarks: unidentified bull's head, small in size, buried in
gutter), ff. iii (paper) + 56 + ii (paper), 215 x 145 (ff. 1r-4v: 170 x 84 mm.,
single vertical bounding lines in hard point; ff. 5r-21v: 172 x 125 mm.; format
varies considerably thereafter). Ca. 45 lines of verse or long lines.
Binding too tight to permit accurate collation; ff. 14-15 is a quire center
as is 34-35.
Written primarily by a single scribe in Secretary script, with additions and
corrections of s. xvi.
Edges frayed and upper portion of most leaves stained, with loss of text.
Binding: s. xix. Brown calf, blind-tooled. Title, in gold, on spine:
"Life of St. Jerome. M. S." Remains of early place mark on f. 22.
Compiled and copied at the end of the 15th or beginning of the 16th century in
England, perhaps at the Charterhouse at Sheen, or at Syon Abbey, where
according to the heading in MS 317 (art. 5) the Life of St. Jerome was
composed by Symon Wynter at the request of Margaret, Duchess of Clarence; see
G. Keiser, "Patronage and Piety in Fifteenth-Century England: Margaret, Duchess
of Clarence, Symon Wynter, and Yale University MS 317," Gazette 60 (1985)
pp. 32-46. The codex shows evidence of much use, s. xvi, including notes
dated 1530 (f. 19r), and 1539 (f. 3r): "M^^t holmes of the gard born at lyrpole
in lankashyre/ the thursday after saynt George." From the collection of Richard
Towneley (1628-1707; armorial bookplate, dated 1702, inside front cover). The
significance of an engraving of Cowdray House, Sussex (by George Quinton),
tipped in as first front flyleaf, is unclear. Belonged to Sir Thomas Phillipps
(no. 1052, inside front cover and stamp on f. i recto) and to Professor Charlton
Lewis, Yale 1886. Given to Yale in 1964 by Charlton M. Lewis, Jr., Grace Lewis
Case, and Penelope Lewis Rainey, in memory of their father, Professor Charlton
Barbara A. Shailor