The James Catalogue of Western Manuscripts

Shelfmark R.3.20
Manuscript Title

John Lydgate, Poems etc

Alternative Title

Poems by Lydgate etc

James Number 600
Century 15th
Physical Description

33 lines to a page. Written by John Shirley (? 1456) the well-known translator and scribe. See Dict. Nat. Biog. Other MSS. written by Shirely are (1) Sion College MS. (2) Bodleian: Ashmole 59. (3-5) Harley, 78, 2251, 7333. (6) Additional MS. 16165. See Skeat's Chaucer, I. p. 25 etc.


Given by Willmer

Donor Wilmer, George (c.1583-1626), Alumnus Of Trinity (Matric 1598)
Size (cm) 29.5 x 22.5
Folio 374 pp.
Material Paper
Language Middle English

18-238 248 (wants 4: parchment). The paper quires are numbered from xiiij to xxxvi on the last leaf of each: some of the numbers are cut off.

IIIF Manifest URL
Online Since 24/08/2022


1. p.1 Balade of oure ladye by Lidegate (added)
On hooly hilles whecche beoth of gret renoun.
Many of the poems in this MS. have long titles which I disregard for the most part. I give this one as a specimen.
Loo my frendes here beginneþ þe translacyoune out of latyne in to englisshe of Gloriosa dicta sunt de te etc. translated by Lidegate daun Iohn þe Munk of Burye at þinstaunce of þe Busshop of excestre in wyse of Balade beholdeþe and redeþe I prey yowe.
Ends. When gloryous thinges be sayde and song of þee.

2. p.8 A seyinge of daun Johan
Þer beþ foure thinges þat makeþ man a fool.
Seven lines.
p.9 Yit of þe same (seven lines)
p.9 Subtilis duplicitas Italorum etc.
p.9 Ceste le dit de saynt Beede
Il est assauoir que troys jours sount en lan
(days bad for bleeding etc.).
dictum de senioribus.
Italici Olilant (?)
Theotonici clamant etc.

3. p.10 The deuise of a peynted clothe. Lydgate
(Bycorn and Chichevache: see R.3.19.)
O prudent folkes take þe heed.
Ends. Lynkeld in a double cheyne.

4. p.15 Balade of gode counseyle translated out of latyne. Lydegate
Consider weel with euery circumstaunce.
Voydeþe youre hering frome alle þ t deeme amysse.

5. Benedic anima mea domino in English.
p.19 O þou my soule gyf laude on to þe lord
Whane þou shal deme vs stonding to fore þy face.

6. p.25 A Roundell which my lord [William Pole] of Suffolk made after his comyng oute of prysoune
Doye je chauntier plouvrer ou ryre
Tant que mon male plus empire.

7. p.25 Balade of goode counseyle, Lydegate
Lyffte vp þe eyghen of youre aduertence.
Howe þis worlde is a thorughfare ful of woo.

8. p.32 Roundell made by my lord of Suffolk whylest he was prysonnier in Fraunce
Lealement a tous jours mais
si serrount noz playsirs parfais.

9. p.23 Another
Fface vo coer tout ce que ly plera
Tiel demouray sans pensir ca ne la.

10. Another.
Puis, qualer vers vous ne puisse
Je vous requere tant que je puis.

11. p.34 Balade of Love. Lydegate
Fresshe lusty beaute joyned with gentylnesse
Which haþe alle vertues sette in hir ymage.

12. p.35 Balade by the Earl of Suffolk when prisoner
Je vous salue ma maysttresse.

13. p.36 Roundel by the same
Quel desplaysier quel courous quel destresse.
14. p.37 Ballad by the same
Dieux nous dona petit de vie.
15. p.37 Ballad made at Eltham in Cristmasse. Lydegate
Bachus whiche is god of þe glade vyne.
16. p.40 A desgysinge before þe kynge at cristemasse in þe Castel of Herforde
Most noble prynce with support of your grace.
17. p.48 Balade de bone counseyle (7 lines)
Yif hit befalle þat god bee list visyte.
18. p.49 Balade in French
Rande toy a quoy tu le ? sauras.
19. Ycy comonce vn balade ffrauncoys fait par le plus grand poetycal p.49 Clerk du parys
Le monde va en amendaunt.
20. p.50 Balade of þe same sentence by Lydegate
Þis worlde is ful of stabulnesse.
21. p.52 Balade... du regyment du corps
Qui veult son corps en sante maintenir.
22. p.53 Gaude virgo mater Christi by Lydegate
Be gladde mayde moder of Cryst Jhesu.
23. p.55 Desguysing... at London... of dame fortune, dame Prudence, dame Righteoysnesse and dame Fortitude
Loo here þis lady þat yee may see.
24. p.65 A counseyle how to be wedded
Sit deo gloria laus et benedictio
Johanni pariter Petro Laurencio.
(Poems of Walter Mapes ed. T. Wright, Camden Soc. p.77.)
Pene difficiles et multipharie (l. 204).
25. p.71 Howe þampull and þe floure de lys came first to þe kynges of ffraunce... 'to fore þe kyng Henry þe sixte' at Windsor
Most noble prynce of Cristein prynces alle.
26. p.74 Devyse of a steyned halle of þe lyf of Saint George, by Lydegate for 'harmorieres of London'
O yee folk þat heer present be.
27. p.81 Balade fait a parys quant les burgoygnouns bouterount hors les armynaux
Celuy quy dit en deaux mos gracyeux.
28. p.82 Desputacion entre Salamon ly saage et Marcoulf le foole
Salamon dit. Marcoulf respount.
Mortalite et guerre} De putayne sourd maulx
Sount exil de terre} Et guerres mortaulx
Et destreuizemens } Et perils des gens.
29. p.86 Prouerbes de les xvij sages
Platon. Joesnes hommes qui vist en cremour.
30. p.89 Balade de bone counselle
Tant de perilz sont a suir la court.
31. p.90 Balade selonc le mounde qui courte mountenant
Qui ses besoignes veult bien faire.
32. p.91 Balade ryal de saine counsylle
Les biens mondains et toulx les accessoires.
33. p.92 Balade de bone sentence
Puis que je suy fumeux plain du fumee.
34. p.93 Balade counseyllant les amans
Amours est bien par son noun appellez.
35. p.94 Balade moult bone et ryal
Ma doulce amour et dame souueraine.
36. p.95 La respounce sage et moult courtoyse
Vous me priez sy amoureusement.
37. p.96 Balade amoreux
Je me merueil du desir que mesprent.
38. p.97 Balade gaye et gracieux
Puisque desir me fait estre amoreux.
39. p.98 Balade que fist faire le due de Bavier
A vous dame humblement me complaine.
40. p.99 Balade merveylleuse
Vous qui fuistes en jeunesse moult cointe.
41. p.99 Balade morale
Jai irequentemaiiit compagnon galant.
42. p.100 Balade moult veritables
Jai veu et hante longement.
43. p.101 Balade moult bon a sauoir.
On parle de maladie.
44. p.102 Balade bone a regarder
Je fortune de ce mounde emperier.
45. p.103 Balade moral et de bone counseylle
Que vault tresor qui na joye ne leesse.
46. p.103 Balade credible tout a rebours de les mos
Je voy les estas amender.
47. p.105 Balade voulgaire
Que fais tu Clerk que veux tu que je die.
48. p.106 Compleynte of Anelida... englisshed by Geffrey Chaucer In þe best wyse and moost Rethoricyous þe moost vnkouþe metre, coloures and Rymes þ t euer was sayde etc.
So thirlleþe with þe poynt of Remembraunce.
See Skeat, Student's Chaucer, p. 116.
49. p.111 An holy medytacion
Affter þe stormy tyme cessing þe rayn.
50. p.116 A lytel traytis made by Thomas Ocoleue of ye office of þe priue seel
Cupido vnto whas commaundement.
Skeat, Chaucerian and other pieces, p.217.
Furnivall, Hoccleve's Minor Poems, E. E. T. S. 1892 p.7.
51. p.130 Dallyaunce betwene Mars and Venus... made by Geffrey Chaucier at þe comandement of... duc John of Lancastre
Gladeþe ye fooles of þis morowen gray.
Þus eondeþe here þis complaint whiche some men sayne was made by my lady of york doughter to the kyng of Spaygne and my lord of huntyngdon some tyme duc of excestre.
52. p.139 A balade translated out of frenshe... by Chaucier Geffrey, frenshe made Sir Otes de Grauntsomme knight Savosyen
Þer nys so hye coumfort to my plesaunce.
hit is sayde þat graunsomme made þis last balade for venus resembled to my lady of york aunswering þe complaynt of mars.
'Compleynt of Venus,' Student's Chaucer, p.125.
53. p.142 A balade made by Chaucier of þe louer and of dame fortune
Þis wrechched worldes transmutacyoun.
'Fortune,' l. c. p.119.
54. p.144 Balade þt Chaucier made on his deeth bedde
Flee fro þe press and dwelle with sooth fastnesse.
Margin: nota per Shirley.
'Truth,' l. c. p.122.
55. p.145 Balade made at þe reuerence of our lady by daun Johan Lidegate... in wyse of chesing louer at saint Valentynes day
Saynt Valentyne of custume yeere by yeere.
56. p.149 Balade gyuen vnto þe kyng henry (þe vi) and to his moder þe queene kateryne sittyng at þe mete vpon þe yeris day in þe castell of hertford, made by Ledegate
Þis hardy foole þis bridde victoryous.
57. p.152 A womans complaint, Lydgate
Alias I wooful creature.
58. p.154 Balade by Lydgate to K. Henry vi. Þis same yeere of his coronacioun
Moost noble Prynce of cristin prynces alle.
59. p.158 Balade by Lydgate... at þe reuerence of my lady of Holand and of my lord of gloucestre to fore þe day of þeyre maryage
Thorugh gladde aspectis of þe god Cupyde.
60. p.165 A deuoute salme of þe sautier which Lydegate... translated in þe chapell at Wyndesore at þe request of þe dean whyles þe kyng was at evensonge
Benedic anima mea etc.
0 þowe my soule gif laude vn to þe lorde.
61. p.171 A lettre made in wyse of balade by daun Johan, brought by a poursuyaunt in wyse of mommers desguysed to fore þe Mayre of London Gestfeld vpon þe twelffete night of Cristmasse ordeyned Ryallych by þe worthy merciers Citeseyns of London
Moost mighty lord Jubyter þe greet.
62. p.175 A lettre made in wyse of balade by ledegate... of a mommynge whiche þe Goldesmythes of þe Cite of London mommed... to þeyre Mayre Gestfeld vpon Candelmasse day etc.
Þat worþy Dauid which þtat sloughe Golye.
63. Þe lyffe of þe holy virgyne Seynte Margarete translated oute of þe legent... by lidegate... at þe Request of my lady of huntyngdon some tyme þe Countasse of þe March [anno 8 henr. 6 added by Stowe].
p.178 At þe Reuerence of Saynte Margarete
64. p.105 Þe translacion of þe ympne Criste qui lux es et dies by Lydgate in wyse of balade
Cryst þat art booþe day and light.
65. p.197 Þe seven salmes translated oute of latyne in to englisshe by an hooly and gret Clerk þat was reclused in þe West of England (added: whosse name was ffrater Thomas bramptone sacre Theologie doctor frater minorum pauperculus confessor de latino in anglicum Anno dni M. CCCC. XIII ad dei honorem et incrementum deuocioni)
Prol. As I me lay alloone in bedde.
Domine in furore etc. Lord wilt þou not me shaame and sheende.
66. p.233 Þe complaynt of Cryst 'made by a maystre of diuynite'
Þis is Crystes owen compleynt. Frome man to man he dere haþe bought.
Printed E. E. T. S. Political, Religious and Love Poems p.181 from the Lambeth MS. 853.
67. p.235 A dyetarie for mans heele
God þat al þis worlde haþe wrought.
68. p.261 Inc. liber Aristo(te)lis de secretis secretorum siue de regimine principum vel Regum seu dominorum
Prol. Domino suo excellentissimo... Guidoni de Valencia... Philippus.
p.263 Primo de capitulis. (List of chapters)
p.264 De prologo cuiusdam doctoris in comendacione Aristotilis
Deus omnipotens custodiat Regem nostrum.
De prologo Iohannis qui transtulit librum istum
Iohannes qui transtulit librum istum librum (sic) filius Patricii.
p.266 De epistola missa ad regem Alexandrum videte
Ffelici gloriosissime Imperator.
Ending p.337: monarcha in septemtrione. Loo þus endeþe here þappistel of þe regiment of prynces þe whiche daun Aristotiles weel avised etc.
69. p.337 A seying of þe nightingale ymagyned and compyled by Lydegate
In Iuygne whan Tytan was in þe Crabbes hed.
70. p.348 An ordenaunce of a processyoun of þe feste of corpus cristi made in london by daun John Lydegate
Þis hye feste for to magnefye nowe.
Ends p.356
Where aungels sing everlasting Osanna.
Margin. Shirley kouþe fynde no more of þis copye.
71. p.356 Balade Ryal made by oure laureat poete of Albyon in hees laste yeeres
Sume tyme þis worlde was so stedfast and stable.
(Student's Chaucer, p.123.)
72. p.357 Balade by Chaucier (on his dethe bede)
Flee frome þe prees and dwelle wt soþe fastnesse.
(l. c. p.122.)
73. p.358 Balade by Chaucier
Þe first fader fynder of gentylesse.
(l. c. p.122.)
74. p.359 A comune prayer
Dominus consecret papam et gregem, 4 lines Latin, 2 English.
75. p.359 Seven balades made by Lydegate of þe sodeine fal of certain princes of ffrance and England nowe late in oure dayes
Beholde þis gret prynce Edwarde þe secounde.
The other princes are Richard II, 'Kyng Chorlles' of France, þe duc of Oriyaunce, Thomas duc of Gloucestre, John duc of Bourgoyne, þe duc of Yrlande.
76. p.361 Balade, seven lines
Yee þat desyre in herte and haue plesaunce
Olde storyes in bokis for to rede
Gode matiers putte hem in remembraunce
And of oþer ne take ye none hede.
Besechyng yowe of youre godely hede
Whane yee þis boke haue over redde and seyne
To Johan Shirley restore yee it ageyne.
(Note, added by Stow(?). 'This John Shirley wt his wyfe was buryed in ye hospitall of seynt bartelmew by smethefeld and ther remaynethe a fayr monument of hym.' In Stow's Survey of London, ed. Thorns (1842, p.139), Shirley's epitaph is given. Stow adds, concerning Shirley's copies of Chaucer and Lydgate, 'I have seen them, and partly do possess them.')
77. p.361 Pandare to Trojlus, seven lines.
A whestone is no kerving instrument.
From Chaucer's Troilus i.91
A Latin couplet.
Qui servit nequam mercedem non capit equam
Omnia qui querit perdere dignus erit.
78. p.362 Balade made by þe Munk of Bury whiles it is seyde Verbum caro factum est
Þe deuoute people whiche kepe an observaunce.
79. p.363 Complaynte for my lady of holand
A note in Stow's hand about her is in the margin.
A solytarye soore compleyning.
80. p.367 Chaucier's wordes a geffrey vnto Adame (his owen scryveyne)
Adame . scryveyne if euer it þee byfalle.
(Student's Chaucer p.118.)
81. p.368 A prouerbe, seven lines
Disceyte deceyueþe and shal bee deceyued.
Latin couplet
Dampno quid peius . vuulnus . quid vuulnere . morbus.
Quid morbo . mors . [et] quid morte . nephandus amor.
82. p.368 Balade of Bochas by Lydgate 'ymagyned by him within þe tyme of his translacion of Bocas by the commandement of my lord of Gloucestre'
Þis Tragedye gyveþe a gret warnynge.
83. p.371 Ista sunt nomina ordinis S. Georgii de Garterio Anno quo Sigismundus Rex Romanorum fuit in Anglia tempore Regis Henrici Quinti
(·) Rex Romanorum.
(26) Dns Willelmus haryngton.
Panem. pannum rodit fur fur fur sus tinea mus.
84. p.372 A devoute prayer made by a devoute recluse to be sayde anone affter þe levacion of þe sacrament . whane þe preste is at masse
Lord God Almighty fader and sone and holy goste.
(in prose)
85. p.373 Roundell
Fresshest of colour and moste amyable.
86. p.373 Þis is medecyne parfite... proved by þe nobul duc of lancastre
Johan for þe maladye of þe stone
Take saxifrage nettelstede comyn etc.


Connolly, M., John Shirley : Book Production and the Noble Household in Fifteenth-Century England (Aldershot, 1998)

Ainsworth, P., and G. Croenen, ed., Patrons, Authors and Workshops : Books and Book Production in Paris Around 1400, Synthema 4 (Louvain, 2006)

Kelemen, E., Textual Editing and Criticism (New York, 2008)

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