Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Hatton 20 (4113) Alfred: "Pastoral Care"

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Christine Franzen


377. Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Hatton 20 {4113)

Alfred: "Pastoral Care"

[Ker 324, Gneuss 626]

HISTORY: The inscription to 'Wiogora ceastre' and the reference to Bishop Wrerfero of Worcester on f. lr confirm that this is the copy of the translation of Gregory's Cura pastoralis referred to in London, British Library, Cotton Tiberius B. xi as having been sent to Wrerfero. The Cotton manuscript also mentions at the same point two others that have not survived which were sent to Archbishop Plegmund and Bishop Swioulf. Their dates indicate Hatton 20 must have been copied between 890 and 897, quite possibly in Winchester. That the translation may be attributed to King Alfred is generally agreed. Hatton 20, complete except for one leaf, and the Cotton manuscript, now just charred fragments apart from the Kassel leaf (Kassel, Anhang 19) [146], are the only two surviving copies dating from King Alfred's lifetime.

The manuscript was certainly in Worcester in the first half of 13c when it was glossed by the tremulous hand; other earlier annotations, noted below, also seem to confirm its presence in Worcester. In the mid 16c John Joscelyn, Archbishop Parker's secretary, annotated and used it for his word lists in London, Lambeth Palace 692. Curiously it is not listed in Young's catalogue of Worcester manuscripts done in 1622-1623 (Atkins and Ker 1944) though all of the others which later formed the Hatton collection are. But it seems to have been borrowed by Christopher, Lord Hatton, along with the rest of them, sometime before August 1644. It was used by Dugdale around this time for his OE-English dictionary in Bodleian Library, Dugdale 29; a note in his hand in pencil is on f. ii recto. Hatton 20 was also used by Junius whose transcription from the Cotton manuscript supplies the missing text for a leaf which had fallen out after f. 41 since Joscelyn's time. After Hatton's death in 1670 it was sold along with several other of the Worcester manuscripts in Hatton's possession to the London bookseller Robert Scot from whom the Bodleian Library obtained it in 1671. Known as Hatton 88 until about 1790 (see f. 1r).

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