The James Catalogue Of Western Manuscripts


  • Shelfmark: O.2.1
  • Manuscript Title: Liber Eliensis.
  • Alternative Title:   Liber Eliensis
  • James Number: 1105  View Printed Catalogue Entry
  • Date: Cent. xii late.
  • Physical Description: 29 lines to a page. In a beautiful hand.
  • Binding:   In wooden boards covered with vellum
  • Provenance: From Ely Cathedral Priory. On the margin of f.1 of the Historia is the mark [a crucifix with an extra, wider crossbar beneath the usual one] which occurs in other Ely MSS.
  • Religious House:   Ely, Cambridgeshire, Benedictine Abbey and Cathedral Priory
  • Donor: Part of the Gale collection, given to T.C.C. by Roger Gale in 1738. B. 408. No. 114.
  • Size (cms): 23.5 x 17
  • Support: Vellum
  • Language: Latin; Old English; Music
  • Century: 12th century
  • Folio: 256 + 2 ff.
  • Collation:  2 flyleaves | 18 26 | 38-118 l210 138-158 | 1616 (14-16 canc.) l78-228 2310 (+ 10*) 2410 2510 268 278 272 | 2810 298 308.
  • IIIF Manifest URL:
  • Online Since:     08/16/2013
  • For the text of this MS. and O.2.41, see D. J. Stewart's edn. of the Historia Eliensis, printed for the Angliana Christiana Society 1848, and also N. E. S. Hamilton Inquisitio Comit. Cantabr.

    The two flyleaves and also ff.229, 230 are from a music book (xiv) with music on a five-line stave. Among the words set are
    Regina clementie, Stilla mellis, O maria singularis stella non erratica, Salue sancta parens Christi, Virgo decus castitatis, Agmina militie celestis.

    f.1a is blank.
    f.1b Kalendar in black
    Each month occupies two pages. The left-hand page has the feasts and in a second column a number of obits of Ely monks, benefactors, etc.
    A note at the top of f.1b says: hic describitur nota monachorum et laicorum benefactorum nostrorum.
    The right-hand page is blank save for the entry of the days of the month and is doubtless intended for the reception of further obits.
    Among the feasts I note:
    Feb. 1 S. Brigide V.
    6 Vedasti et Amandi.
    11 Eufraxie V.
    13 Ermenilde matrone.
    21 Erkangote V.
    Mar. 17 Withburg V.
    20 Guthl(aci) C.
    Ap. 11 Guthlaci anachorite.
    19 Ælphegi C. et M.
    29 Transl. S. Ædm(undi).
    30 Ærchenw(oldi) Ep.
    May 15 Albani M.
    19 Dunstani Arch.
    June 13 Transl. S. Yuonis C.
    17 Botulfii Abb.
    22 Albani M.
    23 Ædeldrede V.
    July 6 Sexburge V.
    7 Æðelburge V.
    8 Withburge V.
    28 Samsonis Ep.
    31 Neoti presb.
    Aug. 1 Ædelwoldi.
    5 Oswaldi M.
    16 Ærnulfi C.
    26 Commem. S. Guthlaci C.
    28 Augustini magni et Ærm(enilde?).
    Sept. 11 Transl. Ædelwoldi.
    At Sept. 24 is an obit inserted in red.
    Ob. fr. Johannis de Crawden prioris Elyensis.
    This is I think the only obit not in the original hand.
    Oct. 8 Commem. Ædelwoldi Ep.
    11 Ædelburge V.
    17 S. Æðeldrede V. (with Octave).
    Nov. 20 Ædmundi R. and M.
    On the right-hand page a xvith cent. hand has written the names of the bishops of Ely as far as Nicholas West and of the Priors as far as John de Buckton.
    Dec. 29 St Thomas occurs in the original hand.
    f.13b is blank.
    On f.14 in a xiiith cent. hand are lists of Abbots of Ely.
    Bishops to Hugo de Balsam.
    Kings of England from Edgar to Hen. III. (continued later to Edw. IV.).
    Bishops to Johannes de Ketene (Hotham and Montacute added) and Priors to Henr. de Bauns and J. de Hemingt(on).
    There is also a sketch of a king seated full face.
    On f.14b is a pencil drawing unfinished, consisting of four tall round-headed arches; in the L. one is a Bishop: above, Sanctus Ethelwoldus Ep. In the next a king throned, with sceptre. Rex Edgarus. The other two are empty.

    2. f.1(15) Inc. prologus de historia eliensis insule
    Cum animaduerterem excellentiam.
    There is a very pretty initial C in blue, scarlet and green.
    Prologue ends: inuocares deum. Expl. prol.
    f.2(15)b Inc. de sytu Elyensis insule
    Omnes preclari et nobiles.
    Liber I. ends on f.43 (57)
    per silentium reparentur. Expl. liber primus de hystoria Elyensis insule in uitam beatiss. v. Ætheldrythe et quomodo fabricauit illic ecclesiam siue a quibus destructa fuit.
    Proemium lib. secundi in hystoria elyensis insule et quomodo ecclesia est restaurata uel a quibus ditata.
    In precedente monstratum est opere
    -plene denuntians.
    Expl. proemium sequentis operis.
    f.43(57)b Inc. capitula
    The 106 Capitula end on f.45(59).
    f.46(60) Text. Quomodo ecclesia de ely per S. Ædelwoldum restaurata fuit
    Nunc quoque restat scribendum.
    Ends f.106(120)b
    Uniuersorum inbecillitati. Expl. lib. II. de hyst. Elyensis insule constans de temporibus abbatum.
    Inc. prologus libri .III. de eodem tempora et euentus episcoporum denuntians.
    Iam nunc tractandum instat
    -illic consecrati.
    Expl. prol.
    f.107(121) Inc. Capitula
    f.109(123)b Inc. lib. tertius in hystoria elyensis insule constans de duorum temporibus episcoporum etc. (rubric of 8 lines)
    Post mortem igitur Ricardi Abbatis.

    The very miscellaneous contents of the whole of the rest of the volume are entered among the Capitula of liber III.
    They include a chapter on the Passion of St Thomas of Canterbury (f.175(189)b). This is followed by two blank pages.
    On f.177(191)b begins what the Capitula call
    Descriptio terrarum ecclesie sancte Æðeldrythe in uolumen protensum.
    ff.177b-178b are in the first hand, have no title and contain a brief survey of the hundreds (17).
    On f.179(193) the hand changes and we have the Inquisitio Eliensis
    Hic subscribitur inquisitio terrarum, etc. (Hamilton p.97).
    On f.204(218)b
    Hic inbreuiatur quot carucas S. Ædeldreða habet etc.
    (ib. p.168).
    In double columns.
    Ending f.209(223)b
    In buclesham. II. lib. homines XIIIJ. acr. (ib. p. 189).
    210 (224)a is blank. On the verso, in the first hand,
    Ad illud placitum quo pontifices Goffridus et Remigius consul uero Walthewf etc. (ib. p.192).
    f.213(227)b -et tria animalia
    On f.213b-214b a xvith cent. hand has written the dates of foundation of a number of English monasteries and a list of Abbeys by dioceses.
    ff.215, 216 (229, 230) are from the music book (v. supra).
    ff.217(231) Inc. proemium in uitam b. Sexburge regine.
    Plerique secularis scientie periti
    -non retardet aurigam. Expl. proem.
    f.217(231)b Inc. uita b. Sexburge abbatisse
    Insignis christi sponsa.
    Ends f.228: per omnia secula seculorum. Amen.
    Expl. de S. Sexburga.
    f.228 Inc. uita b. Ermenilde
    De Beata et deo digna Ermenilda
    -cum deo patre et spiritu sancto.
    Expl. de S. Ermenilda.
    f.230b Inc. de S. AErcongota uirgine
    Anno dominice incarnationis sexcentesimo quadragesimo
    -cellaria esse uiderentur aperta (f.231).
    About half a page is blank here.
    f.231b Inc. genealogia b. Werburge uirginis
    Filia regum et sponsa christi
    -probabilem in domino finem.
    f.232 Inc. vita ipsius
    A tenero igitur eui flore
    -in omnia secula regnat et dominatur. Amen.
    f.236 Inc. uita S. Æðelberge uirginis
    Anno igitur dominice incarn. sexcentesimo quadragesimo
    -die nonarum iuliarum. Expl. de S. Æęelberga.
    f.236b Inc. prologus in uitam b. Wihtburge uirginis
    Orientale orientalium anglorum sidus
    -nec lingua nec manus. Expl. prologus.
    f.237 Inc. uita eiusdem
    Veteres narrant hystorie nostre gentis.
    Ending f.240b
    amplius roborarentur in fide ac deuotione.


Trinity College Library, Cambridge 2019