The James Catalogue of Western Manuscripts

Shelfmark B.4.1
Manuscript Title

Glossed Epistles of St Paul

Alternative Title

Epistolae Pauli Glosatae.

James Number 115
Century 13th14th
Physical Description

Text 26 lines to a column, gloss 54 lines. Magnificently written. Head-lines in blue flourished with red. A historiated initial to each Epistle (see contents).


Given by Whitgift.

From St Augustine’s Abbey, Canterbury.
On f.1 in very large letters is
Epistolae Pauli Glosate. W. de Wilmintone.
d. III. Grad’ Secundo
De libraro Scī. Aug.’ Cant.’ (xiv).

And at the bottom of f.4 in a neat xvth cent. hand
Ep’le pauli glosate Will’mi de Wylmynton d. 3tia gra. 2o. de librario S. Augustini Cant’. Below, are two letters, I think cc.

At the top of the same leaf is a small shield done in ink xvith cent.? Sa. a cross, arg.

In the old Catalogue of St Augustine’s Library the MS. is thus entered: (f.8, col.2) 23 Epistole pauli glosate Willelmi Wylmynton cum B. 2. fo. in glosa imposuit1. d.3.g.2., 1I do not find any leaf beginning with this word.

Second Folio de xpo
Religious House Canterbury, Kent, Benedictine Abbey (St Augustine's)
Donor Whitgift, John (1530/31?–1604), Archbishop of Canterbury, Master of Trinity
Size (cm) 38 x 25.5
Folio 294 ff.
Material Parchment
Language Latin

a4 (wants 1?) 112-2212 2314 | b12 c2? (wants 2).

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ff.1, 2 have a great many notes in a small hand of cent. xiii. They are chiefly "Distinctions" and relate to virtues and vices.
On f.3a the notes are in faint pencil, in a rather larger hand: they are of the same character.
On f.3b is a list of the Pauline Epistles in pencil.
f.4 Prologue
Principia rerum [in] inquirenda sunt prius ut earum noticia plenior possit haberi.
-in accione gracie finem tenet epistola. Premittit autem salutationem dicens (f.5).
Gloss. Paulus -qui sunt rome. Hucusque enim pendet littera.
Throughout there are marginal notes in the hand which appeared on ff.1, 2.
f.71b Ad Corinthos. I
f.121 " " II.
f.148b Ad Galatas
f.170b Ad Ephesios
f.186b Ad Philippenses
f.197 Ad Colossenses
f.206b Ad Thessalonicenses I.
f.214 " " II.
f.218b Ad Timotheum I.
f.230b " " II.
f.237 Ad Titum
f.241 Ad Philemonem
f.242b Ad Hebraeos
Ending f.281. -et alia dei munera sit cum omnibus uobis. Amen.
f.281b is blank.

II. f.282 There follows in another hand of cent. xiv a
Tabula super Epistolas Pauli
Abba idem est quod pater.
Ending: Z. nichil habet. Explicit.
f.294a is covered with notes, like ff.1, 2.

The subjects of the pictured initials are as follows:
1. Prologue, decorative.
2. Ad Rom. Saul in mantle, and gold spurs, falling in a heap from a dapple-grey horse (head to R.), above a hand out of a cloud, holding flames. Ground, blue with gold stars.
3. Ad Cor. 1. Saul, with closed eyes and hands up, lies on his back. The horse stands with head to R. A hand out of a cloud holds a scroll inscribed saule saule quid me persequeris.
4. Ad Cor. 2. Saul nimbed stands with hands joined. Ananias nimbed, with book, touches his eyes (or blesses him).
5. Ad Gal. Paul preaches to a bare-headed man with rather a long nose.
6. Ad Eph. A messenger in tunic receives a scroll from Paul, who is seen half-length in the window of a battlemented building.
7. Ad Phil. Two men let down Paul praying (full face) in a basket from over battlements.
8. Ad Col. Paul with long cross-staff preaches to four seated people.
9. Ad Thess. 1. Paul on one knee beaten by two men: one on tip-toe, one with arm raised and stick not seen.
10. Ad Thess. 2. Paul speaks to a hooded man.
11. Ad Tim. 1. Stephen kneels, face R. Stoned by two hideous men. Saul, a boy, sits on the ground with the clothes, and encourages them.
12. Ad Tim. 2. Paul preaching: four people seated by the wall of a building. Above them Eutychus falls headlong out of a window.
13. Ad Tit. Paul with book (on R.) and blue nimbus, Silas (on L.), old and bald, with gold nimbus, sit full face, each with one foot in the stocks: these are red and have no visible fastenings.
14. Ad Philem. Paul on L. stands and pours gold out of a long purse with strings, which he holds by the bottom, into a fire. A man (Philemon) stands on R. with his hand to his face as if distressed.
15. Ad Heb. An executioner with his sword raised over his back, and his L. hand on the head of Paul, who kneels on R. facing L.

This series of subjects corresponds closely with one which occurs in a Bible of cent. xiii at Sidney Sussex College, no. 96 in my Catalogue: a description will be found on pp. 112, 113 of that work.


Ker, N. R., Medieval Libraries of Great Britain, Royal Historical Society Guides and Handbooks 3, 2nd edn (London, 1964)

Morgan, N., Early Gothic Manuscripts II: 1250-1285, A Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles 4.2 (London, 1988), p. 170.

James, Catalogue, pl. XIV.

de Hamel, C., Glossed Books of the Bible and the Origins of the Paris Booktrade (Woodbridge, 1984), p.36 [given by William of Wylmynton to St Augustine's, Canterbury]

James, M. R., The Ancient Libraries of Canterbury and Dover (Cambridge, 1903), p. 516.

Barker-Benfield, B. C., ed., St Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury, Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues 13, (London, 2008), 3 vols., pp. lxxix, 376, 381, 446, 679, 1814, 2030.

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