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Van der Weyden, Descent from the Cross
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Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Eng. th. C. 58

Described by: Ryan Perry from microfilm analysis and ref. to Sargent.
Revision Date: June 1st, 2010


Religious compilation including a revised section (Passion) from the Mirror of the Blessed Life.

Condition of the MS

The manuscript has lost at least one quire from its opening (the third quire has a visible quire signature marked 'd') and an unknown number of concluding gatherings. There are also missing leaves within the extant gatherings. The leaves show evidence of much handling, and the corners and edges in particular are considerably darkened.

Number of Items


Title(s) of Pseudo-Bonaventuran Text(s)

Mirror of the Blessed Life.





Secundo Folio




Languages of the MS

English with Latin marginal apparatus.

Detailed Description of Contents

  • 1. Mirror of the Blessed Life, fols 1-10; the extract begins imperfectly 161:20 (chapter 40, Christ in the garden) and ends with the conclusion of chapter 47 (the burying of Christ). The compiler has cleverly edited the text, removing 165:20-169:40 from his text, but adding a few words to make the transition from 2 separate points in Love's text appear (almost) seamless. It is possible that a damaged exemplar necessitated this action.
  • 2. A Revelation of Purgatory, fols 10-12v, ends imperfectly. (See Harley ed.; Horstmann, 383-92)
  • 3. The Three Kings of Cologne, fols 13-20, begins and ends imperfectly. (Horstmann ed., 20:10-114:20)

Estimated Date of Production

3rd quarter C15.

Writing Support



Foliated in pen C16? in the usual way.

Dimensions of Page and Writing Space





1 column, 40 lines approx., frames and lines ruled lightly in pen.

Rubrication/ Ordinatio

A Revelation of Purgatory has fascinating running headers, alternating between, on the verso, "Rede vndyrstande what is to drede", and on the recto, "The bettyr lyf thow myght Lede".



Number of Scribal Hands


Style of Hands

Cursive, uncalligraphic script based on Anglicana.

Estimated Date of Hands

Poss. 3rd quarter C15.

Scribal Annotation

The section from the Mirror receives it's usual sort of marginal apparatus. The purgatory also has some side notes.

Notable Dialect Features

again: ayen, ayheyn(e)

against: ayhenst, ayenst

asking: axyng

before: befor(e), tofor(e)

burying: burying

busy: besy

father: fadyr

if: yef (dot maps 209 and 212)

her: hyr, hir

much: moche

then: then(e), than

their: har(e) (dot map 57)

work: worche

yet: yhet, yhit (very unusual see dot map 247)

him: hym

them: ham, hem

should: scholde, schulde

she: scho

when: whan

would: wolde

Localisable on Google Earth
(click markers to view sample dialect forms)


Annotation and Marginalia




Names recorded, signatures, ex libris marks

Bookplate of John Borthwick, 'Crookston' on front pastedown. On a slip (pasted?) onto , "upon the couer of the old English Life of Christ ....Iste liber constat wilelmo Squyer".



References and Other Resources

Hardy, A Revelation of Purgatory
Horstmann, Yorkshire Writers vol.1.
Horstmann, The Three Kings of Cologne.