The James Catalogue of Western Manuscripts

Shelfmark O.2.40
Manuscript Title


Alternative Title


James Number 1144
Century 15th
Physical Description

31 lines to a normal page. In a current hand.


Part of the Gale collection, given to T.C.C. by Roger Gale in 1738. B. 4. No. 70. From Kirkby Bellers. The flyleaf is a bit of a printed sheet headed pro Anno xcii (1492) with days "pro fleabothomia" and "pro laxatiuis sumendis." On the verso astronomical notes, one for the year 1494.

Religious House Kirby Bellars, Leicestershire, Augustinian Priory
Donor Gale, Roger (1672-1744), Antiquary
Size (cm) 22 x 15.5
Folio 163 ff.
Binding See notes on inside back
Material Paper
Language LatinMiddle English
IIIF Manifest URL
Online Since 26/07/2017


1. On ff.1-7a are prognostics, beginning imperfectly.

2. f.7b Two pages headed in red Willelmus Womyndam
De pluuiis tonitruis choruscationibus et ventis etc.
Scias hoc immediocriter
-et hyemps ilia humida etc.
In large letters
Malueram amittere omnia a me posessa quam carere libro isto quod Willelmus Womyndam (f.8b)
On f.9a is only
certitudinaliter anglice certynly.

3. f.9b Secreta philosophorum
Iste liber quem pre manibus habemus.
f.12 is an inserted leaf with a diagram of a hand (chiromantic) on the recto, and on the verso a fragment of the Kyrie and Lord's Prayer in English with notes on a four line stave.
At the top of f.48b etc. in red are inscriptions.
Will. Womyndham Canonicus de Kyrkeby.
Yll mowth he spede: where yt he go
That leuyth this boke: to frende or to foo. Amen.
The text proceeds continuously to f.54a where it ends abruptly: there are a good many diagrams.
On f.54b is a long note in English on the taking of Granada signed by Womyndham beginning:
The kynge of spayn ye fyrst day of ianuar causyd ye saracynnes to ’eld vp to hym ye cyte of Garnard ye ’er of oure lorde m. cccclxxxxj. Details of the spoils are given.
Ends. This was preched at poulescrose ye byschope of canturbury and ye byschope of london and of Chester there beyng present. Also ye mare wt ye aldermen and a gret parte of ye pepul of london bothe spirituall and temporall etc.
quod Wus Womyndham.
ff.55-58 now follow f.62. They contain a continuation of the Latin text. ff.59-61a have much later scribbles, or are blank.
On f.57b is a diagram of a head. On f.58b are macaronic verses
on the friars (21)
Freers freers wo ’e be ministri malorum
For many a mannes soule brynge ’e ad penas infernorum.
On f.61b begins a text
Si quis igitur mutaciones prescire uoluerit.
On ff.63-68b are Kalendar-tables for each of the twelve signs.
On ff.69-102 are a series of square diagrams, six on a page, shewing the position of the signs. Some are blank. Others, on ff.100-102, have notes of years 1430, 1474, 1497 etc.
f.103 Next follows a series of rhymes in English
Sepcies in die cadit iustus Parab. 24 o. Aug. de peccatis venialibus.
Fyrst whan a man or wooman drynk more
Any tyme here then myster wore
Whan yu may helpe thorwgh wytte or skylle
And wyl not helpe bot holdes hym stylle etc.
Ends f.103b
Thorwght thowte or ded or speche in vayn
And yche a syn ys worthy peyn.
Decem remedia contra peccata venialia ut patebit inferius 104
We fynde wryttyn .x. thyng sere
That venial synnes for doys here.
Rygth so many veniall synnes small
May make a dedly syn all.
ff.104b, 105a headed in red Will. Womyndam Canonicus de Kyrkeby.
De prima domo dicit Tholomeus etc.
Other extracts and notes follow, as (f.107 follows f.116):
f.108b Luna regina celestis milicie vocatur
f.109 Divisions of time
f.109b Latitudes of 13 English towns
Villa S. Johannis.
Newcastle, Berwick, York, Lincoln, Northampton, Chester, Oxford, Colchester, Canterbury, London, Exeter, Winton.
De itenere.
f.110 Volens aeris scire naturam
f.110b Johannes de Burgundo on the plague
f.110b Figures of planets
f.111 Alkyndus de pluuiis (extract)
f.112 Translacio luminis est quasi p̅l̅t̅a̅ lenis etc.
f.114 As ye mone ys changed from Saturne etc.
On f.115b
Si liber perdatur per nomen inueniatur.
Quod Willelmus Thorp Canon. de Kyrkeby.
On f.107 (after f.116b)
Euer cursyd be that man
That callyth me thorpe for Womyndham.
f.117 in English verse
Phylysores and clarkes of planets all
By certeyn skylle hevens they call.
But ye planetts be not lade so
For in here circul abowte thay go.
On f.120b
Seruicium pueri et mulierum necnon monachorum
E(s)t et semper erit neuer thanke et finis (in fine) laborum.
qd Wodeford.
Miserere miserator quia vere sum peccator
Huius clamor velut reus miserere mei deus.
qd W. Wymondham.
On f.121 diagram of complexions etc.
On f.144b manner of finding out secrets by means of the Hebrew and Chaldee alphabets headed
O quam bene dilexi regulas istas in vita mea quod Womyndam quia semper reperi eas veras et nunquam falsas. A. chr. m. cccc. lxxxxij.
On f.150 are extracts from Haly Abenragel.
On f.152 sqq. a tract in English on separaciones applicaciones etc. planetarum, with names in cypher.
On f.154b
Anno christi m. cccc. lxxxij. liber iste scriptus erat a fratre Willo. Womyndham Canonicus(!) huius loci viz. de Kyrkeby super Algam.
On f.155 sqq. Extracts from Haly and the Cantiloquium Tolomei.
ff.158-163 contain medical notes.


Britton, D.,'Manuscripts Associated with Kirby Bellars Priory', Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society 6 (1972-6), 267-84

James, M. R.,'Catalogue of the Library of Leicester Abbey', Transactions of the Leicester Archaeological Society 19 (1935-7)

Jenks, S., 'Astrometereology in the Middle Ages', Isis 74 (1983), 185-210

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

Klemm, T., Bildphysiologie: Wahrnehmung und Körper in Mittelalter und Renaissance (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2013), pp. 41-2 (incl. plate of f. 57v)

Lewis, R. E., and A. McIntosh, A Descriptive Guide to Manuscripts of the Prick of Conscience, Medium Aevum Monographs n.s. 12 (1982), 149-50

Mooney, L. R., The Index of Middle English Prose Handlist 11: Manuscripts in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge (Cambridge, 1995), pp. 99-101 and 159

Robinson, P., Catalogue of Dated and Datable Manuscripts in Cambridge Libraries, 2 vols. (Cambridge, 1988), no. 367, pl. 337 [datable 1482-1497, written at Kirby Bellars in England]

Sudhoff, W., 'Die Lehre von den Hirnventrikeln in textlicher und graphischer Tradition des Altertums und Mittelalters', Studien zur Geschichte der Medizin, 3 (1913), pp. 149–205, esp. 195-198

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