Trinity College, Cambridge MS. O.9.1

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Production Practicalities and Reception Issues:

  • Pressmark / Name of  Book: TCC MS O.9.1
  • Matheson no(s).: 117, 83.
  • Date(s): C15
  • Type of book: miscellany
  • Manuscript or print?: MS
  • No of items: 8
  • Contents: item 1: notes on the seasons, pardons, Aue uerum corpus in Latin, fols. 1ra-1vb; item 2: Life of St. Katherine, English prose, fols 9r-24r, ends imperfectly, ‘how Maxcence was punnysshed for this foly/ and for other’.; item 3: the Life of St. James the Apostle, English prose, fols 24v-29v; item 4: Life of the Virgin, Purification of our Lady, Annunciation of our Lord, Assumption of our Lady, English prose, fols1vb-8v, 30r-48v (the Assumption of our Lady is finished on fols 1vb-8v); item 5: Brut chronicle, fols. 49r-225v; item 6: notes on the provinces of Ireland and their wonders, and administrative divisions in England, fols. 100v-101r; item 7: extract from a London Chronicle for mayor John Olney, fol. 226v; item 8: The sayings of various church fathers on the holy sacrament, fols. 228r-229r; item 9: beginning of pardon of Corpus Christi, fol. 229v; item 10: copy of an indenture dated 26 December 17 Edward IV (1477) between Walter Lokington and John Cokerych, wardens of the Fraternity or Guild of the Assumption of Our Lady, in St. Margaret’s church, in the close of St. Peter’s, Westminster, and James Fytt, citizen and tailor of London, leasing lands to him in the parish of St. Mary Aldermary, fols. 230r-231r.
  • Writing support: parchment
  • Watermark?:
  • Book Construction: Folio, Quarto etc.
  • Collation:
    • No of leaves: 231 fols. + i? (fols. 228-231 may have been original C15 flyleaves).
    • Blank leaves: bottom ¾ of 100r; 100v originally blank; 101v, 102r, bottom ½ of fol. 225v, 226r, 227r originally blank, 227v, 228r-231v prob. originally blank, prob. original flyleaves.
    • Quires: i-xii8 xiii8 (+1); xiv-xxviii8
    • Foliation: modern, top right corner.
    • Composite MS? yes
    • Booklets?: yes: 1: items 1 and 4, fols. 1-8; 2: item 2  fols 9-24 (decorative features in this item [borders and initials] appear to be consistent with those in item 5 (the Brut); 3: items 3 (begins on blank last verso of booklet 2) and 4, fols. 25-48; 4: items 5-8 (item 6 is poss. partly on an inserted fol. [i.e. 101r]; items 7-10 are on flyleaves), fols. 49-231.
    • Catchwords? (on which fols?): 16v, 56v, 64v, 72v, 80v, 88v, 96v, 105v, 113v, 121v, 129v, 137v, 145v, 153v, 161v, 169v, 177v, 185v, 193v, 201v, 209v, 217v.
    • Quire signatures? (where?): quires signed on leading edges j-iiij; there are  2 sets, both C15: 1) commences at fol. 2r (a ii); 2) commences at fol. 49r (d i); quires also have modern Arabic numbering on first fol.
    • Damage?: outer margin of fol. 103 torn away with some loss of text and decoration; section of middle outer margin and fol. of 228 cut away with some loss of text.
  • Page layout:

a. ruling: (ink or drypoint?) item 1: frames and columns, prob. in lead; items 2, 3, 4, 5,7, 10: frames, prob. in lead; items 6, 8, 9: no ruling visible from film.
b. columns: item 1: 2; items 2-10: 1.
c. lines: item 1: 31; item 2: 31-34; items 3,4: 32-34; item 5: 33-42; item 6: chaotic; item 7: 26; items 8, 9: chaotic; item 9:46-49.

  • Ink:
  • Dimensions:
    • front board:
    • Folio / page: 305mm x 215mm approx.
    • Writing space: 210mm x 140mm approx. (varies slightly between items).
  • Binding:
  • Decoration?: panel of 7 miniatures showing the life of Edward the Confessor, fol. 102v, poss. English. This panel is one of only two illustrated accounts of Edward's life, the other being Trinity College, Cambridge, MS. B.10.2. (See Scott, Later Gothic, II, 139).
  • Artist?:
  • No. of Scribes: A: fols. 1ra-1vb; B: fols. 1vb-8v, 24v-48v; C: fols. 9r-24r; D: fols. 49r-225v; E: fols. 100v-101r; F: fol. 226v; G: fols. 228r-229v; H: fols. 230r-231r.
  • Named scribes?: no
  • Hand date; style; version; holograph, autograph?: A: C15 Anglicana Formata; B: C15 Secretary with Anglicana features: predominantly single-ascender ‘d’, bur looped form occasionally, Secretary ‘w’ and ‘v’, single-compartment ‘a’, Secretary ‘g’ with a descender that usually loops up to form double compartment, long and ‘2’-shaped ‘r’; C: C15 Secretary with Anglicana forms: double-compartment ‘a’ and ‘g’, looped-ascender ‘d’, ‘2’-shaped and ‘r’-shaped ‘r’, the ‘2’-shaped form having a descender, Secretary ‘w’ and ‘v’; D:  C15 Anglicana: double-compartment ‘a’ and ‘g’, looped-ascender ‘d’, predominantly Anglicana ‘w’. although Secretary form is used at the beginning of the text, long and ‘2’-shaped ‘r’; E: C15 Secretary: double-compartment ‘a’ and ‘g’, looped-ascender ‘d’, Secretary ‘w’ and ‘v’, long and ‘2’-shaped ‘r’; F: C15 Secretary with Anglicana features: single-compartment ‘a’, looped-ascender ‘d’, Secretary ‘g’, ‘w’ and ‘v’, long and ‘2’-shaped ‘r’; G: late C15/early C16 Secretary: single-compartment ‘a’ and ‘g’, looped-ascender ‘d’, ‘2’-shaped ‘r’,  H: C15 Secretary with Anglicana features: single-compartment ‘a’, predominantly single-ascender ‘d’, but also uses looped-ascender form, Secretary ‘g’, ‘w’ and ‘v’, long and ‘2’-shaped ‘r’.
  • Hand, rubrication in other MSS?:
  • Compiler?: prob. scribe B.
  • Rubrication, sigla: item 1: 1-line caps. Poss. in red or blue; paraphs in text, poss. in red or blue; side notes, poss. in red or blue; some headings and keywords underlined, poss. in red or blue; item 2, fol. 9r: full border with foliage and sprays, prob. in colours, poss. English; 5-line cap, poss. in gilt, on background prob. in colours; heading, prob. in red; fol. 9v:  ascenders of top line letters ( the ‘k’ of ‘kyng’) split and elongated into top margin;  fol. 16v: catchword rubricated in box; item 3, fol. 24v: 3-line cap, poss. in red or blue on background of pen dots, poss. in red or blue; heading, poss. in red; rest of item: 2-line solid caps, prob. in red; ‘narratio’ divisions in half-boxes, poss. in red, with headings and line markers, prob. in red; paraphs in the text, poss. in red; item 4: 3,4,or 6-line solid caps for new texts, prob. in red or blue; headings, prob. in red or blue; 2-line solid caps, prob. in red; ‘narratio’ divisions in half-boxes, poss. in red, with headings and line markers, prob. in red; paraphs in the text, poss. in red; fol. 48v: one descender in bottom line looped with dots and dashes into bottom margin (comp. LP MS 306); fol. 8v: heading in box, poss. in red; explicit in half-box with geometric pattern below, poss. in red; item 5, fols. 49r: full border with bar on inner margin with foliage and sprays, prob. in colours, poss. English; 5-line cap, poss. in gilt, on background prob. in colours; 3-line solid cap prob. in blue with red pen flourishing into margin; 5-line solid cap, prob. in colours, on background, prob. gilt; heading, prob. in red; fols. 75v, 102r, 106v, 112r, 113r, 119v, 123r, 132r, 146r, 173r, 182r, 187v, 201r: ‘C’-shaped border with bar on inner margin with foliage and sprays, prob. in colours, poss. English; 3, 4 or 5-line cap, poss. in gilt, on background prob. in colours; rest of item: 2 or 3-line caps of 2 types: a) solid, poss. in gilt on background with sprays into margin, prob. in colours; b) solid, poss. in blue with red pen flourishes into margin; chapter headings, prob. in red, (up to fol. 73r); chapter numbers, prob. in red as side notes; catchwords in a variety of ornamental scrollwork boxes, including beasts, and crowned hearts; ascenders of top line letters extended into margin and looped over, sometimes split and decorated more elaborately;    John Page’s Poem (fols. 195v-197r) set out as verse; items 6, 7, 9: not rubricated; item 8: headings and line markers; item 10: 3-line solid cap on fol. 230r.
  • Biobibliographical information: marginalia, glosses, signatures, compiler/ scribe / owner / authorial identification:
    • 1r: modern pressmarks; ‘W Walter’, C18; bookplate of TCC.
    • 49r: ‘Caxton’, C19?
    • 100r: ‘pertenit ad William’, C15.
    • 102r: ‘pertenit ad William’, C15; ‘William Barret’ (twice), C15.
    • 227r: pen trials, C15, C16; maxim signed ‘john ffo[x?y?] his a knave’, C16; ‘god saue the quene’, C16; ‘elizabeth’, C16; ‘thomas odingloue’, ‘thomas’, C15-16; crude pen drawing, poss. of human figure.
    •  229v: inverted: ‘Jone mapestone’, (twice); inverted: indenture between ‘Jone Mapestone and George maye the xiij year of oure Lorde’, C16; crude pen drawing of a woman; ‘Summa totall xxx yere cc and xl dayes explyseth indullgencya vrbani’, (prob. Scribe G).
    • 230v inverted: numbers and beginning of a letter, C16; [barret?], C16.
    • 231r: sums.
    • 231v: ‘amen that it not’, beginning of a will, in Latin, of ‘william barret de Sholton in comitatus Shaffordii scolar tenvi & farniter oblegari Robertus eggo de e[r?]dano villa in comitatu predicto [etc]’, C16; ‘william barret of cood’, C16, pen trials, crude pen drawing of arms: 3 balls surmounting a chevron.
  • Glosses and underlining:
    • Maniculum on fol. 17r.
    • C15-16 glosses on fols. 71r, 77v, 194r.
    • C18-19 glosses and / or underlining on fols. 84v (Latin) 132r, 148r, 167r, 169r-v, 172v, 173r, 174v, 175v, 176v, 178r-179v, 180v, 181v, 184r-v, 185v, 187r-v, 198r, 199r-v, 202r, 203r, 212r-v, 215r, 217v, 225r-v, 226v.  
  • Immediate Ownership(s) / Patronage: Poss. guild of the Assumption?
  • Later ownership(s): prob. William Barret, C16.
  • Affiliations: (geo-)political, institutional etc: Guild of the Assumption of Our Lady, Westminster.
  • Language(s); translation activities:
  • Dialect:
  • LALME vol., page, LP, grid no.:
  • Locality: region; household (secular/religious) urban / rural: Guild of the Assumption of Our Lady in St. Margaret’s church, in the close of St. Peter’s, Westminster in 1477; Sholton, Staffs. in C16.

Intertextual relations:

  • Textual descent: Matheson ‘Common Version’, group CV-1430JP:C, and ‘Extended Version’, group EV-1419:C. See Matheson, PB, pp. 151-52; 197-98.
  • Evidence of exemplar: poss. change of exemplar at fol. 195r (preceding John Page’s Poem), see PB, p. 151.
  • Intra-textual relations to texts in same MS: The opening of the Life of St Katherine, (item 2, fol. 9r) mentions: ‘the credible cronicles þt in the tyme of Dioclisian and Maxuman’, poss. a reference to the opening lines of the Brut.
  • Extra-textual to other books, texts, traditions: St Katherine not based on the 1438 Golden Legend, but items 3 and 4 are prob. from this tradition, see IMEP xi, pp 136-137.
  • Decoration: Kathleen Scott argues that the illustrations in the St. Edward panels are comparable to the work of the 'Quadrilogue Master', whose illustrations are preserved in Oxford, University College MS. 85. The borders in TCC MS. O.9.1 are also comparable to the style of those in University College MS. 85, although are perhaps not executed as expertly; Scott has linked this style of border illustration to a further 12 MSS., some of which, like TCC MS. O.9.1 can firmly be linked to London (see Scott, II, 319). One of these Mss., CUL MS. Dd.9.18, also contains a Life of Saint Katherine, which should be compared with the text in TCC O.9.1 for genetic correspondence. See the Select Bibliography, for mss. linked to this manuscript through decorative features, (these mss. are marked with an asterix)
  • Translation, language:

Credits and acknowledgments:

The description of this MS is from microfilm work by J O’R, supplemented by James (no. 1413) and IMEP. Revised and expanded by Ryan Perry. Textual descent based on Matheson, PB.

Select Bibliography for this MS:



Corpus Christi College MS 182
CUL MS Hh.6.9
*CUL MS. Dd.9.18
*Trinity College MS. O.14.16
*Trinity College MS. R.17.2
*BL Harley MS. 4775
Society of Antiquaries MS 223
*Skinners' Company, Book of Fraternity of Our Lady's Assumption
*Corporation of London, Guildhall Records Office, 'Cartae Antique', Nova Statuta
*Rylands MS. Eng. 2
Bodl. MS Laud. Misc. 571
*Bodl. MS. e.Mus.42
*Bodl. MS. Lyell 33


University of Chicago Library MS 254
*Newberry Library, Vault case MS. 33.3
University of Illinois MS 116
New York
*Pierpont Morgan M. Library MS. 126
*Rosenbach Museum MS. 439/16
Princeton University Library Garret MS 150.
San Marino
Huntington MS HM 133

*Vatican Rossiana MS. 275


Einenkel, Eugen, ed.  The Life of Saint Katherine: from the Royal MS. 17 A. XXVII.  London: 1884.  (A metrical rather than prose Life, with many differences to the text in this manuscript).

Secondary Texts:

IMEP, vol. XI, pp. 136-138.

James, Montague Rhodes, The Western Manuscripts in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge. A Descriptive Catalogue,3 vols (Cambridge: Cam­bridge University Press, 1901-1903).

Kurvinen, Auvo, ‘Two Sixteenth-Century Texts of the Life of St. Katherine’, Davis, Norman and C. L. Wrenn, eds., English and Medieval Studies Presented to J. R. R. Tolkien,(London: Allen and Unwin, 1962), 272-73.

Scott, Kathleen A. Later Gothic Manuscripts, 1390-1490, 2 vols. London: Harvey Millers, 1996. I, 73, n.35; II, 139, 319.


The quire signatures run in parallel, one set commencing at the beginning of the ms with ‘a’, the other at fol. 49r with ‘d’; the second set therefore runs ahead of the first (e.g. fol. 107r is signed both h j and l j). It appears that the ms was re-compiled and re-signed in the fifteenth century: a booklet consisting of quires iv-vi (fols. 25-48) was probably inserted between the original quires signed ‘b-c’ (item 2) and ‘d-z’ (item 5) and another booklet (quire i, fols. 1-8) added to the front of the book, where the end of item 4 is copied. Fol. 102 (containing the ms’ only painted panel on the verso) was prob. also added to the quire of 8 (quire xiii has an extra fol.) the leaf having been imported from another source (e.g. illumination workshop during the original construction of the quire). There is a hiatus in the text at this point, although no change of exemplar is suggested, and 4 originally blank leaves, two of which (100v-101r) now contain item 6, prob. added later in the C15. Fol. 100r is ¾ blank, and the text recommences on fol. 103r, with an illuminated border to the fol. The blank leaves may either have been intended for painting as Matheson suggests (PB, p 198), or may represent an interruption to the copying of the text to incorporate the painting on fol. 102v.

The compiler of the MS is probably Scribe B, who obtained, or salvaged the two booklets containing St. Katherine and the Brut (probably part of an earlier compilation with the Brut at its heart). Whether Scribe B broke up the original MS or only had these quires of it is uncertain. It would appear that B inserted his own quires after St. Katherine, then realising that there was not have enough space to finish the Assumption, added another booklet of salvaged quires, containing item 1, but mostly blank, where the remainder of the text was copied. The scribe then left a note on fol. 48v to indicate where the remnant of the text was to be found. Comp. BL MS Egerton 650, where a similar scribal practice occurs.

The compilation of the ms to include the Assumption, and the indenture at the end of the MS linking it with the guild of the Assumption in London may be significant, since the Assumption may represent local interest. Whether the original Brut MS was sponsored by the guild is uncertain, but the MS as a whole may have been compiled in this milieu.

The C16 indenture on fol. 229v names John Mapestone, not John Maþessone as stated in IMEP.

The borders of the Brut text were executed after the text was written, they leave spaces for the ascenders of the top line.
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