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Ancient manuscripts summary listing 351- 400

March 2014: the descriptor [good/fair/poor/unusable] in square brackets following a manuscript's title indicates its current physical condition as assessed by Oxford Conservation Consortium in January-July 2014. Those in poor condition will not normally be produced for researchers, and those rated unusable not produced at all, until conservation treatment has been carried out in order to prevent further damage during consultation. Poor or unusable manuscripts may also not be fit to photograph safely, including by staff. If you do want to consult or request images from a manuscript that is not currently in a state to produce or photograph safely, please let us know - active research interest is of course a key factor in determining our conservation priorities.

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Digital images of the college's medieval manuscripts are placed online as they are created, usually on demand. Images are linked to from individual entries on these catalogue pages. The digitisation programme is shaped by researchers' requests rather than e.g. starting with MS 1, so if you require images for your research from a manuscript only partially photographed or not yet represented in the Flickr collection, please get in touch to have it added to the 'to-do' list.

351. Biblia Vulgata (C13). 13th century. Parchment. 407 ff. 11 1/2 x 8 inches. 2 columns of 47 lines. [condition: good]

352. Sir John Banks, Attorney-General, versus John [Williams] lord bishop of Lincoln and others, in the Star Chamber in July 1637, for subornation of perjury. (C17) [condition: good]

353. Welsh. [Anthology of Welse Verse] Kywyddeu Kymraec. (ca 1540-50) Images online here and here. [condition: good]


  • Jones, ED. 'Llyfr amrywiaeth Syr Siôn Prys.' Brycheiniog VIII, 1962. 97-104.
  • TH Charles-Edwards, ‘The Welsh bardic grammars on Litterae.’ GrammaticaGramadach, and Gramadeg: Vernacular grammar and grammarians in medieval Ireland and Wales. Ed. Deborah Hayden and Paul Russell. John Benjamins, 2016. Ch 8, pp 149-160.
  • Paul Russell, ‘Poetry by numbers: The poetic triads in Gramadegau Penceirddiaid.’ GrammaticaGramadach, and Gramadeg: Vernacular grammar and grammarians in medieval Ireland and Wales. Ed. Deborah Hayden and Paul Russell. John Benjamins, 2016. Ch 9, pp.161-180.

354.The Memorandum-book of Richard Hill, citizen and grocer of London (born shortly before 1490). images here and here. Images of transcript here [condition: poor]


  • Furnivall, Frederick James. Caxton's Book of curtesye: printed at Westminster about 1477-8 AD and now reprinted, with two ms. copies of the same treatise, from the Oriel ms. 79, and the Balliol ms. 354. No. 3. Pub. for the Early English text society, by N. Trübner & co., 1868.
  • [Richard Hill]. Songs, Carols and Other Miscellaneous Poems: From the Balliol Ms. 354. Ed. Roman Dyboski. Early English text society, 1908.
  • Chambers, E. K., and F. Sidgwick. "Fifteenth Century Carols by John Audelay." The Modern Language Review 5.4 (1910): 473-491.
  • Browning, D. C. Balliol College MS 354. B. Litt. Thesis. Balliol College, Oxford University (1935).
  • Greene, Richard L. "The Traditional Survival of Two Medieval Carols." ELH 7.3 (1940): 223-238.
  • Robbins, Rossell Hope. Secular lyrics of the XIVth and XVth centuries. Clarendon Press, 1955.
  • Kilbride, K. M. (1933), MAN BE MERRY. New Blackfriars, 14: 1012–1018. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-2005.1933.tb03125.x
  • More, T. The Complete Works of St. Thomas More, Volume 1, ed. Anthony S. G. Edwards, Kathleen Gardiner Rogers and Clarence H. Miller (New Haven, 1997), cxv–cxvii; the dating of the Balliol manuscript is discussed on p. xxvii; the edited text (based primarily on Balliol 354), is on pp. 31–43.
  • Parker, David Reed. The Commonplace Book in Tudor London: An Examination of BL MSS Egerton 1995, Harley 2252, Lansdowne 762, and Oxford Balliol College MS 354. University Press of America, 1998.
  • Wray, Alison. "Singers on the trail of ‘authentic’Early Modern English: the puzzling case of/æ:/and/ε." Transactions of the Philological Society 97.2 (1999): 185-211.
  • Gillespie, Alexandra. "Caxton's Chaucer and Lydgate Quartos: Miscellanies from Manuscript to Print." Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society 12.1 (2000): 1-25.
  • Rogers, Janine. "Courtesy Books, Comedy, and the Merchant Masculinity of Oxford Balliol College MS 354." Medieval Forum 1 (2002)
  • Gillespie, Alexandra. "Balliol MS 354: Histories of the Book at the End of the Middle Ages." Poetica 60 (2003): 47-63.
  • Orme, Nicholas. Medieval children. Yale University Press, 2003.
  • O’Donoghue, Bernard. "‘Cuius Contrarium’: Middle English Popular Lyrics." A Companion to the Middle English Lyric (2005): 210.
  • Ogilvie-Thomson, Sarah J. The Index of Middle English Prose Handlist VIII: Manuscripts Containing Middle English Prose in Oxford College Libraries. Vol. 8. Boydell & Brewer Ltd, 2007.
  • Edwards, A. S. G., and M. T. W. Payne. "A New Manuscript of Thomas More's ‘Fortune Verses’." The Review of English Studies 60.246 (2009): 578-587.
  • Thompson, JJ. 'The Memory and Impact of Oral Performance: Shaping the Understanding of Late Medieval Readers.'  Readings on Audience and Textual Materiality. Ed G Allen, C Griffin, M O'Connell. Routledge, 2015. pp.9-22.
  • Richardson, Malcolm. 'Ends and Beginnings in London Merchant Epistolary Rhetoric, c. 1460–1520.' Public Declamations: Essays on Medieval Rhetoric, Education, and Letters in Honour of Martin Camargo, ed. by Georgiana Donavin and Denise Stodola, DISPUT 27 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2015) pp. 125–145., accessed 29 September 2015.
  • Chen, A. "Consuming Childhood: Sir Gowther and National Library of Scotland MS Advocates 19.3.1." JEGP, Journal of English and Germanic Philology 111.3 (2012): 360-383. Project MUSE. Web. 18 Aug. 2016. <>.
  • Foster, M. "From Courtesy to Urbanity in Late Medieval England." Parergon 29.1 (2012): 27-46. Project MUSE. Web. 18 Aug. 2016. <>.

355. Nicholas Crouch (see MS 334), Diary for the years 1634-1672, with his College account for 1634-89 (reversing the volume). (mid C17) [condition: good] Images online More about Crouch's MSS.


  • Pritchard, Allan. "According to Wood: Sources of Anthony Wood's Lives of Poets and Dramatists." Review of English Studies (1977): 268-289.

356 - 361. Late C17, Six thin paper books, formerly separate and unbound, now bound together in 19th -century purple calf. [condition: good] The volume appears to have been through-foliated in the current binding, though only the first and last folio numbers of each text are noted. For the purposes of correct sorting of digital images, foliation has been completed. Blanks separating texts, and content pages/previous cover leaves of each text, are not included in the earlier foliation and have now been given the number of the preceding numbered folio with suffix x, y etc. 173ff. images online

  • 356. ff. 1r-27r of the volume. Treatise on the authority and interpretation of the Holy Scripture [so Coxe], beg. 'Since the longest life of man on earth is nothing in comparison...' Preceded by 5 4 blanks and a cover page, ff.000A-E. 27ff followed by 1 blank, 27x.
  • 357. ff. 28r-35v of the volume. On a right rule of faith [so Coxe], beg. 'The peremptorie holding of some thinges that are not explicitely in the scripture...' 8ff followed by 2 blanks, 35x-y.
  • 358. ff. 36r-77r of the volume. A dialogue concerning the men that may be and shalbe saued betweene Eusebius nd Timothie, beg. 'Euseb. God saue you Timothie, how faire your body and your soule...' 42ff folowed by 3 blanks, 77x-z.
  • 359. ff.78r-136r of the volume. Dialogue between a Master and Scholar, on the honour due to God etc. [so Coxe], beg. Scholer: I pray you master tell me what God is. Master: He is the maker of all thinges... 58 ff followed by one cover page, 136x.
  • 360. ff. 136r-166v of the volume. Petri Fonsecae e Societate Jesu Commentarius in primum librum Metaphysicorum Aristotelis Prooemium. De Aristotelis parentibus etc. Aristoteles, omnium consensu, Author noster... Mynors indexes these as 'lecture notes'. 31ff.
  • 361. ff. 167r-173v of the volume. Samuel Woodford [1636-1701; see ODNB], original draft of a letter to John [Williams], bishop of Chichester, dated Hartley Maudit 20 August 1700, on inaccuracies in current editions of the Book of Common Prayer. With several memoranda. 7ff followed by 3 blanks, 174-176.

362. (1) Historical transcripts relating to Herefordshire, mainly taken (with some change of order) from the Liber Feodorum of AD 1302 in the Public Record Office, i.281-340. (2) Modus tenendi Parliamentum. (3) Herefordshire, a list by parishes of the feudal tenures under Queen Elizabeth I, beg. Hundredum de Graytree in com. Hereford./ Parochia de Rosse/ Manerium de Rosse tenetur de domina Regina in capite per seuicium militare... (C17, not late. Bound with MS 363) [condition: good] images online

363. Rex v. Bishop of Chester, a note of the case at Lancaster Assizes in August 1722. (Mid C18, bound with MS 362.) [condition: good] images online

364. Hebrew. Pentateuch (the beginning lost), Ruth, Canticles, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, Esther and the Haftaroth. (Dated AM 5063 = AD 1303.) [condition: good]

365. Arabic. Halbat al Mujallī, a commentary by Abu 'l-Yumn Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Amīr Hājj al-Halabī on Munyat al-musallī, a well-known treatise on prayer by Sadīd al-Dīn al Kāshgarī (Dated Safar 1125 = February.March AD 1713) [condition: good]

366. Amharic. Contents not described. Inside the front cover is: 'Amharic MS, purchased of Abyssinian Monks at Jerusalem, and presented to the College, 1880, by Rev GJ Chester.' [condition: fair]

367. Antidotarium. (C11) [condition: good] images online here

368. Persian. Sa'dī, Būstān. (Colophon dated 7 Dhu 'l-Qa'da 801 (11 July 1399, but this appears to be an 18th century transcript.) [condition: good]

369. Persian. Hafiz, Dīwān. (Apparently 18th century) [condition: good]

370. Persian. Sa'dī, Gulistān. (Dated 28 Rabī' ii 958 = 5 May 1551) [condition: good]

371. Armenian. 'Armenian Songs' (wth a few in Turkish), a list of 84 titles is inserted in the MS. (C18, first half) [condition: poor]

372. Armenian. 'Book of Prayers.' (C18 or 19) [condition: poor]

373. Armenian. 'Breviary or Book of Hours.' (C18 or 19) [condition: fair]

374. Turkish, in Armenian characters. 'Service-book for the Mass.' (C18) [condition: fair]

375. Armenian. 'Treasury of Truth, comprising (1) brief collection of Christian teaching, (2) translation of Cardinal Borromei's will, copied by the hand of George son of Haji Feduhi AD 1766' with 'a collection of prayers and hymns to the Virgin, etc.' (C19) [condition: good]

376. Arabic Koran. (Probably C16) [condition: fair]

377. Hebrew The Book of Esther, with the prayers on a separate slip of parchment wrapped round the stick. (C17 or 18) [condition: good]

378. Ethiopic. Prayers of the Virgin Mary. [condition: fair]

379. Letts' Colonial Rough Diary and Almanac for 1893, kept from 1 January to 18 May, while on a mission to Uganda, by Captain Melville Raymond Portal (Commoner of the College 1875-9); at the end is a telegram announcing his death from fever on 27 May. [condition: fair]

380. Thirty Sermons by the Revd Henry Fisher Fellow and benefactor of the College (MS 401). According to a note in the front cover, they were written as his statutory lectures for delivery in the College chapel, where he was parelector in 1713, and repeated in the Devonshire churches of Hemyock, Uffculm and Kentishbeer, and the Dorset churches of Bere Regis, Winterbourne Kingston, and Turners Puddle, at various dates down to 1762. transcript of contents pages by RABM, 1928. [condition: good]

381. An Old-English Glossary, compiled in his own hand by Henry Sweet (Commoner of the College 1869-73) and dated on the title-page 1 August 1878. [condition: good]

382. Hebrew. Old Testament, with additions - Neubauer (see MS 364) no 2542. (AM 5251 = AD 1491) images online here [condition: fair]

383. Octavien de St Gelais, French translation of Ovid's Heroides. (Late C15) images here. [condition: good]

384. Book of Hours (Use of Sarum) (C15) [condition: fair] images of miniatures only here.

385. Pali. 1-9. A Kamma-vācā, one of the common catechetical manuals of Buddhism (published by O Frankfurter, Handbook of Pali 1883, 141-50.) 10-21. Another, imperfect at end (apparently the text published from an Eton College MS by GLM Clauson, Journal of the Pali Text Society 1906-7, 1-8). [condition: fair]

386. Pali. Part of the Vinaya-pitaka, a canonical work on monastic discipline, being the Pācittiya and Sekhiya, which complete the Bhikkunī-vibhanga (edited by H Oldenberg, Vinaya-pitaka iv, 1882, 1-207.) [condition: fair]

387 - 392 Original holograph texts of the later poems of Robert Browning (honorary fellow of the College 1867), written out on quarto paper with a varying amount of subsequent correction, and used as printer's copy. Contents:

387. Robert Browning, Balaustin's Adventure (published 1871) ff.1-104; f 105 blank; Prince Hohenstiel-Schwangau, Saviour of Society (published 1871) ff 106-175; Fifine at the Fair (published 1872) ff.176-264. 6 blank + 264 ff.[condition: good] digital images available on request

388. Robert Browning, Red Cotton Night Cap Country (published 1873) ff.1-141; The Inn Album (published 1875) ff.142-245. 6 blank + 245 ff. [condition: good] digital images available on request

389. Robert Browning, Aristophanes' Apology (published 1875) ff.1-199; The Agamemnon of Aeschylus (published 1877) ff.200-264. 6 blank + 264 ff. [condition: good] digital images available on request

390. Robert Browning, Pacchiarotto: and How he worked in Distemper (published 1876) ff.1-113; La Saisiaz: The Two Poets of Croisic (published 1878) ff.114-191. 6 blank + 191ff. [condition: good] digital images available on request

391. Robert Browning, Dramatic Idyls (published 1879) ff.1-51; Dramatic Idyls, second series (published 1880) ff.52-105; Jocoseria (published 1883) ff.106-183. 183ff. [condition: good]

392. Robert Browning, Ferishtah's Fancies (published 1884); Parleyings with certain People of importance in their Day (published 1887). 238ff. [condition: good] digital images available on request

393. Original autograph letters and papers relating to Robert Browning. Condition: good - contents disbound, conserved and fasciculed by OCC, summer 2014.

  • thirty letters of the years 1887-9, for the most part written jointly by the poet and his sister Sarianna to his son Robert Wiedemann Barrett Browning, jointly with his daughter-in-law Fannie;
  • 9 letters from Sarianna to Fannie;
  • 2 letters from Benjamin Jowett to RBB Browning after his father's death, and 1 from him to Miss Browning, giving the history of a suggestion that her brother should stand for the Oxford Professorship of Poetry;
  • 2 letters and a 'newspaper' in Italian written by RBB Browning when a small child.

Detailed listing here.

394. Original letters written to the novelist George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), or to Charles Lee Lewes, on the death of George Henry Lewes (28 November 1878). [condition: good]

395. Original letters written to Claude Montefiore (commoner of the College 1878) during the years 1877-93. The writers are: Mark Pattison (2), Arnold Toynbee, Matthew Arnold, Leonard Montefiore, Thomas Hill Green, Benjamin Jowett (13). There is also a printed burlesque poem, composed by George Nathaniel (Marquess) Curzon for a meeting of 'The Souls', 9 July 1890. [condition: good] Detailed listing here.

396. Guard-Book containing five leaves of an early C14 noted Sarum Breviary, written in two columns of 28 lines with large red and blue flourished capitals (ed F. Procter and C Wordsworth (Cambridge 1882), i, col. dclxxiii and following.) Images online here. [condition: good]

397. Anonymous commentary on the Inferno and Purgatorio of Dante, rather roughly written in Italian in a C17 hand. [condition: good]

398. Anon, A short Historical Account of the Church of God from the Beginning of the World to the present time divided into seven Ages.[condition: poor] images online

399. Brierwoodi Notae: notes on logic, in Latin. (early C17?) [condition: good] images online

400. Liber Statutorum Collegii de Baliolo, a pocket-copy of the College Statutes, neatly written on parchment in the early 17th century, with additional entries responcting College livings down to the early 18th century. [condition: fair]

MSS 1-50

MSS 51-100

MSS 101-150

MSS 151-200

MSS 201-250

MSS 251-300

MSS 301-350

MSS 351-400

MSS 401-450

MSS 451-475

- Anna Sander

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Updated 15.xi.17
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