The James Catalogue of Western Manuscripts

Shelfmark R.15.21
Manuscript Title

John de Foxton, Liber Cosmographiae

Alternative Title

John Foxton, Liber Cosmographiae

James Number 943
Date Cent xv (1408).
Century 15th
Physical Description

Double columns of 41 lines.


Given by Whitgift. From Knaresborough. The colophon on f.77a says:Et memorandum quod Johannes de ffoxton Capellanus dedit hunc librum ministro et confratribus domus Sci Roberti iuxta Knaresburgh ad seruiendum ibidem et si quis hunc ab eo loco alienauerit uel accommodauerit in perpetuum anathema sit.

Religious House Knaresborough, Yorkshire, Trinitarian Convent
Donor Whitgift, John (1530/31?–1604), Archbishop of Canterbury, Master of Trinity
Size (cm) 27 x 19.5
Folio 6 + 31 + 82 ff.
Material Parchment
Language Latin

a6 | 110 28 314 (11 canc.) 48-138.


Foliated and paginated. Missing folios v, xiii and xiv

Manuscript available online since 30/01/2014, images updated 11/01/2024

IIIF Manifest URL
Online Since 11/01/2024


Six fly-leaves blank.
1. f.ii Ad honorem dei et virginis gloriose hoc kalendarium insti(tu)tum est ad meridiem uniuersitatis quod supppsitum est per · 16 · minuta hore precise precedere meridiem
f.iii Table of lunar and solar cycles Tables for the months
f.xii Prognostications for nativities on each day of the month: in red
2. Kalendar in red and black, with table of eclipses, each dated with a year. The dates run from 1356 to 1461.
The Kalendar is of York:
June. S. William Abp. in red.
July 9. S. Euerildis.
Aug. S. Hylda.
Oct. 19. SS. reliquiarum Ebor.
Oct 25. Transl. S. Joh. Beuerlac.
f.xxvib Tables to show the signs in which the sun or moon is every day
f.xxvii Planetary tables for every hour in the day
f.xxviib Table of the gradus lune for every day
Expl. Kalendarium.
f.xxviii Inc. tabula libri subsequentis secundum litteras Alphabeti
Aqua et eius proprietas. C. 4, D. 1.
Zona meridiana. C. 91, G. 3.
Expl. tabula. Inc. prologus (f.xxxib).
3. f.1 Liber Cosmographiae
Ad honorem et gloriam d. n. J. C. et Beate marie V. necnon et omnium sanctorum ad simpliciumque noticiam... hic liber... institutus est. Qui non immerito Cosmographia nominatur etc.
Ends with a request for indulgence from readers and prayers for the author
orantes pro Iohanne fortissime xpō tonante. Cuius nomen non pono... potest tamen intelligi si lector bene videat. uide quod bonum est in oculis eius retribuat scrutans corda et renes deus.
Expl. prologus. Inc. C. primum.
The author's name is to be deduced from the words fortissimo x tonante. It is evidently Foxton.
In principio creauit deus celum et terrain et mundum et uniuersa que in eis sunt. Mundus igitur dicitur 4 or elementa.
There are diagrams of the spheres, and also a number of full-page pictures of very good and careful execution, consisting of full-length figures showing the various temperaments.
The first is on f.12b.
Prima ymago (The Sanguine Temperament). Nude red-haired man, ruddy all over. A sword in R. hand, a white bird on R. arm, a gold cup in L. hand, a sprig of a plant on his breast.
There is in each case a distich above, and on L. a list of the physiognomical characteristics of the temperament.
f.13b Secunda ymago (The Phlegmatic)
White-haired pale man, hand to head, eyes closed, book in L. hand, vomiting.
f.14b Tercia ymago (The Melancholic)
Black-haired, swarthy man shewing two gold discs. A crow on his R. hand: he plunges a knife into his breast.
f.15b Quarta ymago (The Choleric)
Yellow-haired, yellow man girt with sword: a spray of roses and other flowers in his mouth.
On ff.20a and b two diagrams of hands.
On f.23 tables of prognostics of seasons under different planets.
Other tables, for bleeding, etc.
f.28b Quinta ymago
A picture like that in R.15.18, of a man with the twelve signs of the Zodiac perched about him. It shows the seasons for bleeding.
f.31b Sexta ymago. The first planet: the Moon
A youth in half-brown half-blue furred tunic: a gold crescent on his head: girt with a napkin, holding a gold ewer with lid in each hand. A crab on his breast and a gold full moon at his middle.
f.35b Septima ymago. The Sun
A young man slightly bearded, in flowered tunic with hanging sleeves: on his breast a sun in clouds and a lion. He stands in fire.
f.37b (Octaua ymago. Jupiter)
A youth in dark red tunic, ungirt, semée of eagles. He holds a gold horn to his lips, and a gold tumbler. On his breast is a gold sun. He stands in the branches of a plant with a gold root, in which are two Fishes. His L. thigh is pierced with an arrow.
f.41b (Nona ymago. Saturnus)
In green cap and white loin-cloth: a gold star on his breast. On his R. arm two children; he is eating the head of one. In his L. hand a serrated sickle. Between his legs Capricorn and a hand holding a gold ewer (Aquarius).
f.44b (Decima ymago. Mars)
In plate armour, with collar of chain-mail and red surcoat, star on his head. Aries on his head. Scorpius at his middle. Raised sword in R. hand, L. hand to his forehead. On R. a crowd of seven wounded youths.
f.47b (Undecima ymago. Mercurius)
In green tunic and hose. A crown of clouds, half blue half dark brown. Gemini on his shoulders joining hands. Virgo's bust on his breast. He is young, and holds a purse in his L. hand.
f.50b (Duodecimo ymago. Venus)
A king slightly bearded, crowned, in white robe semée with flames. Taurus stands on his shoulder. Libra is at his middle. A sword across his mouth. In his R. hand a gold ewer reversed, in L. a lantern. Star on his breast.
c.97 is headed Aristotiles ad Alexandrum and consists of extracts from the book De secretis secretorum.
c.98 is from the Pseudo-Methodius de initio et fine seculi.
c.99 on the ages of the world.
c.100 a short chronicle of England
rediit Sweyn rex dacie et knut filius eius cum magna classe et recuperauerunt partem terre Borialem et post mortem Edmundi Irenside totam terram in quatuor regum temporibus exercuerunt tirannidem in eadem usque · s · ad homber . quando insurgente contra eos plebe commissum est prelium super ’orkswalde usque Beuerlacum ubi adhuc sunt signa tumulacionis eorum.
Ends with the rebellion of 'Lewlinus'
Et ideo heredibus suis Walleam forisfecit.
c.101. Conversions of various countries.
Ends with foundation of Carlisle Priory 1102.
c.102. Monachism -to the interdict under John.
c.103. (1) Martyrdom of St Alban.
(last) a.d. MCCCXXX natus est Edwardus quartus qui cepit regem ffrancie et fugauit regem hyspanie.
c.104. Battles, (1) Near York in which Harold of Denmark fell.
The last is Tadcaster 1407.
Miscellaneous events are then noted. The last two are "a.d. mccclxi inceptum est nouum opus chori ecclesie Ebor. per Joh. Thursby Archiep."
and the death of Edward III (1377): ending
coronatus est Richardus nepos eius cum undecim esset annorum.
Expl. liber cosmographie qui terminabatur a.d. moccccviij.
Colophon follows.
f.77b is blank.
4. The ages of the world.
f.78 Secula generacionibus constant
Followed by a table of events from Adam to
A(n)no sisebusti iudei in hyspaniam christi (sic) efficiuntur v.dccc.xxxi.
5. f.80 Extract from Martinus Polonus
Quoniam scire tempora summorum pontificum.
Sicuti igitur dicit orosius (about Babylon)
-et plura alia mirabilia de ipsa scribit orosius.
6. f.80b In a later hand
De quicunque reges bene si vis noscere regas
Anglos vel leges hec venerando leges.
On kings of Britain from Brutus to the coronation of Richard II, 1377.
f.82 is blank.


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