Dublin, Trinity College 174 (B. 4. 3.) Lives of Saints

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Peter J. Lucas


116. Dublin, Trinity College 174 (B. 4. 3.)

Lives of Saints

[Ker 103, Gneuss 215]

HISTORY: A composite manuscript written by many hands dealing mainly with the lives of saints commemorated September to December, comprising two booklets, the second of which itself comprises up to seven mini-booklets. The contents are listed on f. ii recto, Booklet A, comprising items 2-20, in a hand of 11/12c, Booklet B, comprising items 22-41, in a hand of the early 12c. The whole manuscript was, as Ker notes, "no doubt, at Salisbury from about the time of the first establishment of canons there by St. Osmund," bishop of Salisbury (1078-1099). On f. i recto there occurs a scribble/annotation in English of 11/12c 'of searbyrig ic eo<m>'. The manuscript was still at Salisbury when it was catalogued as no. 160 "Vita et miracula S. Andreae" in Patrick Young's catalogue of 1622 (Ker 1985: 195, 202-3). It remained in the library of the cathedral church of BVM until it was borrowed by James Ussher (1581-1656), archbishop of Armagh, whose signature acknowledging receipt dated 30 September 1640 follows a memorandum kept at Salisbury: "Bookes borrowed out of the Library of the Church of Sarum for the use of the Lord Primate of Ireland: and delivered by Dr. Baylie dean of that Church unto his Grace .... The fifth beginning thus. Incipiunt capitulae de libro Miraculorum sancti Andreae. And ending-Qui nos ad principium huius diei pervenire fecisti, tua nos" (Ker 1985: 181). Ussher did not return this book to Salisbury; supposedly it was lost in the looting of his home at Chelsea in 1643 (Ker 1985: 182-83). MS 174 was the fifth of six books borrowed by Ussher at the same time. Four of them, including MS 174, were companion volumes, listed by Young in 1622 as "Vitae et passiones Martyrum 4or vol. fol" and numbered 157- 60. The other three, formerly Oxford, Bodleian Library, MSS Fell 1, 3, 4 (SC 8687-89), now Salisbury, Cathedral Library 222, 223, and 221 respectively, mainly cover saints for July to October (222), and January to June (223, 221). These three manuscripts were originally returned to (B. 4. 3) Dean Baylie, who was also President of St John's College, Oxford, by William Bell, a fellow at St John's, 14 November 1650 (i.e., ten years later). MS 174 was apparently used for the Bollandist edition of item 11 (published 1675, the whole collection having begun to be published 1643), which may account for its being separated from the others; cf. the annotation 'Bolland' (17c) on f. i recto (item lb). It came to Trinity College through Ussher. From a study of Salisbury manuscripts ca. 1075-ca. 1125 Webber (1992) has established that this manuscript was one of a number written by the early Salisbury canons. She divides these manuscripts into Group I and the slightly later Group II. Her Group I scribes ii and v and Group II scribes 10, 14, 15 contributed among others unspecified to this manuscript.

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