The James Catalogue of Western Manuscripts

Shelfmark R.14.9
Manuscript Title

Composite Manuscript including I. A 12th-century chronology, II. Dares Phrygius, History of the Trojan War etc III. Alexander Neckam, De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii fabula etc IV. Tract on the Crusades V. Part of a collection of Papal rescripts VI. Bestiary

Alternative Title

Six Volumes In One Including A Bestiary

James Number 884
Century 12th13th14th15th
Physical Description

Six volumes in one. In various hands. Double columns, lines vary.


Given by Nevile. Most likely from Horsham St Faith's (Text 1). The composite manuscript was probably bound together by Thomas Nevile.

Religious House Norwich, Benedictine Cathedral PrioryHorsham St Faith, Norfolk, Benedictine Alien Priory
Donor Neville [Nevile], Thomas (c. 1548–1615), College Head and Dean of Canterbury
Size (cm) 27.5 x 19.5
Folio 106 ff.
Material Parchment
Language Latin

I. a4 b8 II. c8 III. D12 E10 G12 IV. H12 (wants 1, 12) I12 (wants 10-12) V. K6 VI. L12 M8 (5-8 canc.) N4?

IIIF Manifest URL
Online Since 19/05/2017


I. A 12th-century chronology

1. A chronology of Cent. xii. Hardy, III.34.
The first leaf is text, the rest in tabular form.
f.1 Prima etas. In exordio sui continet creationem mundi.
Ends with the date of the Passion:
in primo mensium die uigesima . tercia mensis . sexta
sabbati . hora sexta Luna xiii. Anni ab incarnatione Domini.
1. Annis quingentis decies itemque(?) ducentis
f.2 Vnus defuerat . cum deus ortus erat
In double columns. Entries rather sparse throughout.
It goes down to 1241, but the original hand ends 1196, as I think.
The entries shew special interest in Norwich, Ramsey and Horsham St Faith's.
990. Dedicatio ecclesie S. Trinitatis.
1040. Ob. Apelwinus (sic) Dux · Fundator ramesiensis ecclesie.
1051. Inuentio S. Yuonis Archiep. sociorumque eius.
1058. Facta est donatio S. Gabrielis.
1093. Hic suscepit Herbertus Ep. pontif. ecclesie
1096. Fundamenta S. Trinitatis Norwic. ecclesie posita
1105. Walterus (i.e. Robert Fitzwalter) cum uxore sua Sibilla iuit Romam. et fundauit ecclesiam beate Fidis (i.e. Horsham Priory).
1119. Ob. Herbertus ep. Norwic.
1133. Ob. Auelina.
1138. Ob. Rodbertus fundator ecclesie S. Fidis de horsaham.
1145. Eb(r)ardus ep. a Norwico Fontenentem recessit. et ibidem uitam finiuit.
1147. Willelmus ep. Norwic. factus est. Ob. Johannes Vicecomes.
Ob. Sauericus prior successit Isarnus(?).
1172. Hoc anno combusta est eccl. Norwic. vto id. Junii.
Ob. Henricus prior cui successit Tancredus.
(Sauericus and Henricus seem to have been Priors of Horsham).
1174. W. Ep. Norwic. Wills de caneto. Ecclesia b. Fidis combusta est v. kal. Mai.
1188. Ob. Hugo de creissi Villa Norwic. combusta est ix Kal. Ap.
1191. (later) Transitus b. Gileberti de Sempringham.
1200. (same hand) Ob. Hugo Lincoln. Ep. cui successit Willelmus.
The last entry is
1209. iii kal. Non . factus est terremotus per angliam.
f.10b blank.
2. f.11 A sermon cent. xii
Fasciculus mirre dilectus meus mihi etc.
Verba sunt ecclesie de commendatione sponsi.
Ends f.12b -in secula seculorum laudabit te.

II. Dares Phrygius, History of the Trojan War etc

Cent. xiv, xv, double columns of 56 lines, pale ink.
1. f.13 Daretis frigii entellii hystoria de uastacione troie incipit a cornelio nepote salustii: de greco in latinum sermonem translata . inc. prologus. Cornelius nepos salustio crispo suo salutem
Dum volumina multa legerem
-ad pollicitum reuertamur.
Peleas rex fuit in peloponneso opido.
Ends f.18b dares frigius mandauit litteris etc.
Expl. bellum . troie.
2. f.18b In a later current hand
Sanctissimo in christo patri domino B(onifacio) diuina prouidencia Sancte Romane et uniuersalis ecclesie summo pontifici Edwardus d. g. Rex Anglie.
-vestris si placet paternis affectibus commendanda (f.20b).
Hardy III.374: printed in the Concilia under the year 1294. It concerns the Scotch question. (Harduin's Concilia vii. 1176.)
The name Alexander Stapyll (xv) is at the bottom.

III. Alexander Neckam, De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii fabula etc

Single lines, 54 to a page. Cent. xiv, neat.
1. f.21 Inc. mithologie Alexandri Nequam et alio nomine Sintillarium appellatus
Fuit vir in egipto ditissimus nomine Sirophanes.
f.25 Liber II.
Ends f.37b pro inde pingitur semi-homo semi-equ(u)s.
Expl. Methologie Alexandri nequam. Amen.
This is otherwise called the Mythologia of Albericus or Albricius.
2. f.38 Allexander Nequam super Marcianum de nupciis Mercurii et philologie
Marciani minei felicis capelle de nupciis philologie et mercurii fabula incipit. Titulus iste demonstrat quis sit auctor huius operis.
Ends f.63a habens electorum . q.d. scis quid scriptum et quid scribendum sit.
Expl. Allex. Nequam super Marcianum de nupciis Mercurii et Philologie.
f.63b is blank.

IV. Tract on the Crusades

Cent. xiv, on bad vellum, 64 lines to a page.
Begins imperfectly.
...adorabant . ad tantam indignacionem prouocabant dominum quod usque in hodiernum diem exilio perpetuo condempnate etc.
It is a tract on the Crusades.
C. 3. qualiter arabum homar discipulo(/us?) Machometi occupata est terra sancta.
C. 4. De Machometo.
Ends in C. 47 de obsidione Cayri Alexandrie Damiatte.
-tam galearum quam aliarum nauium classe Damiatam
ciuitatem egipti (f.73b).
f.74 A gap follows here up to C. lxxxvi, which begins imperfectly (on the dragon)
impellendo. Est autem cristatus ore paruo et tristis (!)
arteriarum fistulis quibus spiritum attrahit.
C. lxxxvii de auibus.
Sunt preterea in partibus orientis aues mirabiles qui nunquam alibi reperiuntur.
Ends with C. lxxxxviij. De hiis qui acciderunt post captionem acho et post recessum Regis francie et Regis anglie usque aduentum Regis Jeiosolime.
-auxilium inuocabant a deo et sancta domina ecclesia de die in diem expectantes.
Expl. liber de mirabilibus mundi.

V. Part of a collection of Papal rescripts

Cent. xii, 42 lines to a page, in a good pointed hand.
f.82 A fragment of a collection of papal rescripts
Begins imperfectly
indulgentiam sedis apostolice decimas exigere et extorquere presumunt.
The next is headed:
Infra septa monasterii nullus uiolentiam inferat · quodsi fecerit excommunicetur.
Some are addressed to English Bishops.
The last is
Wigorn. episcopo.
Ueniens ad apostolice sedis clementiam M. W. de flamenuilla sua nobis insinuatione monstrauit.
(Refusal of the monks of Worcester to pay tithe on property in the parish of S. Mary de Marton.)
Ends imperfectly
sepedictos monachos tertiam partem ecclesie iam dicte.
See the Appendix to the Lateran Council xlvi.3 - xlviii.i.

VI. Bestiary

f.89 A Bestiary
Cent. xiii, double columns of 45 lines. In a fine hand, illustrated with many small square and oblong miniatures in gold frames of the most admirable finish. The grounds of the miniatures are either dark blue, or pale red, or brown red, with dotted and diapered patterns.
The work is English.
The text begins
Et enim iacob benedicens filium suum iudam ait catulus leonis est iudas filius meus.
It ends imperfectly in the section on the Frog.
Rane a garulitate eo quod circa genitales [strepunt paludes etc.]. This is added in a neat xvith cent. hand ending
lacertorum ut lubigo et hoc similia.
Expl. liber Bestiarum.
The Pictures are as follows
1. Initial E with two dragons.
2. In 3 tiers, a. hunter following lion with spear towards a mountain.
b. lion sleeping with open eyes.
c. lion roaring over cubs.
3. In 2 tiers a. hunter spearing antelope whose head is hid in reeds.
b. antelope stands drinking from a river (Euphrates).
4. Ship with two sailors, a strange winged beast in the sea flapping its wings.
5. Two white birds (charadrii) on a sick man's bed, one looks at him, one not.
6. In 2 tiers, a. Pelican killing its young in the nest.
b. Reviving them with its blood.
7. Nycticorax, a black bird.
8. Below, an eagle diving into the sea. Above an eagle flying.
9. Phoenix on a flaming pyre.
10. Hoopoes picking the old feathers out of their parents' wings.
11. Ants (red) and corn (green).
12. Two sailors in a ship falling asleep. A siren with harp in the water on R.
13. Ibex falling headlong from a cliff upon the points of its horns.
14. Hedgehogs: one in an apple tree, the other on its back below (collecting apples on its prickles).
15. Ibis with human leg in its beak.
f.16. Fox lying on its back with open mouth, birds settling on it: one with its head in the fox's mouth.
17. Unicorn with its head in a maiden's lap, speared by a hunter.
18. Hunter with horn and two dogs pursues two white beavers.
19. Hyena (greenish brown) devouring a shrouded corpse in a sarcophagus.
20. Hydrus (long blue beast) eating its way through the body of a hairy crocodile.
21. Wild goat on a cliff; a traveller with hat and bundle looks at it. (It can discern a traveller from a hunter at once.)
22. An ass.
23. Caprea. White with long horns.
24. Onager mutilating its young
25. Ape carrying off two young, one in its arm, one on its back. Man with horn and sword follows.
26. Fulica, a white bird sitting on foliage.
27. The panther, a fat white beast with stripes. A group of animals on each side gaze at it (attracted by its smell).
28. Dragon, fine with long curly neck: winged and two-legged.
29. Aspidochelon, a blue whale in water.
30. Partridge: a young one on its back: others follow it to L.
31. Weasel, a young one coming out of its ear.
32. Deaf adder (dragon); one ear against a hill, tail in the other: a man with staff pointing down at it.
33. Grey blue unicorn.
34. Ostrich looking up at the sun and leaving her eggs.
35. Three trees with turtle-doves upon them.
36. Stag eating a blue snake.
37. Salamander (lizard) in a tree: a man below eating an apple falls dead.
38. Four pairs of doves, blue and white.
39. Doves in a tree on R. Two others on L. fly down into a dragon's mouth.
40. A wingless two-legged dragon: blue and red.
41. Two elephants: both have pinkish heads: the body of one is light scarlet, of the other buff.
42. Two mandrakes, green shaggy men with leafy hands and feet, growing head downwards.
43. Shepherd watching 4 sheep.
44. On L. white tiger looking at a round silver mirror. Hunter on horse on R. with a cub in his bosom.
45. Leopard (heraldic).
46. Lynx: urine turned to stone.
47. Griffin with red wings.
48. Bonnacon with bull's head and horns curling in. Hunter with spear on R.
49. Satyr with toed feet, and large ears.
50. Black bear licking its young.
51. Leucrota, with large teeth and hoofs.
52. Crocodile, a brown prick-eared/horned lizard, four-legged.
53. Manticora: the head not human.
54. Parandius, a scarlet stag.
55. Eale, pink with long horns.
56. Wolf on L. biting his paw (in anger because he has trod on a stick), on R. a fold with cattle in it and a dog in the door.
57. Four dogs of different kinds.
58. A king on L. with sword. Three dogs attack three men on R. (A Garamantian king rescued by his hounds.)
59. A murdered man with throat cut, a dog fawns upon him. On R. the dog flies at the throat of a man with a club (the murderer).
60. A man in peaked hat sitting on a throne. A group of beasts before him, whom he names.
61. Brown sheep with long horns.
62. A blue ram.
63. A white lamb.
64. A blue he-goat.
65. A boar.
66. A bull (hornless).
67. A red ox.
68. A camel with two humps.
69. A dromedary (blue) with none.
70. A blue horse.
71. A cat.
72. A mouse.
73. A mole.
74. A vulture with flesh in its beak.
75. Two cranes.
76. A parrot (blue).
77. A stork.
78. A swan.
79. A halcyon with large beak.
80. A goatsucker (Cinomolgus) in a tree: a man below with a sling, aiming at it.
81. A magpie.
82. A hawk.
83. Ercinee aues; a hawk of some kind.
84. A nightingale (blue).
85. Four bats.
86. A crow.
87. A raven.
88. A swallow.
89. A quail.
90. A peacock.
91. A cock.
92. A duck.
93. Tree on L., red hive on R. and bees.
94. Basilisk. Cock with serpent's tail.
95. Viper, four-legged with green horned head, eating the head of her husband, and two young ones breaking out of her side.
96. Winged and horned serpent.
97. Amphisbena: dragon with a small head on its tail.
98. Boas, fat: blue and white with red head.
99. Lacertus, winged serpent.
100. White (bluish) arabian serpent.
101. 'Seps.'
102. 'Dipsos.'
103. Lizard, 4-legged: long ears.
104. Another (stellio).
105. Horned serpent coming out of its skin.
106. Spiders (5), blue and red, not unlike mice.
107. Two fish.


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