Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Hatton 115 (5135) Homilies

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Christine Franzen


385. Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Hatton 115 (5135)


[Ker 332, Gneuss 639]

HISTORY: Hatton 115 is a collection of miscellaneous homilies and pieces of instruction and admonition in five booklets. None of the pieces is tied to a particular occasion within the church year. Pope (1967-1968: 53) believes that all the pieces in the first three booklets (ff. 1-139a) are by Ælfric; Godden (1979: lxvii) remains doubtful about the piece on baptism (ff. 59v-60r). The origin of the manuscript is unknown, and it does not resemble other Worcester manuscripts of the same date in script or layout (see McIntyre 1978: 18 and 208). Ker (Cat., 403) notes that the hand of the main scribe is very like that of London, British Library, Cotton Faustina A. x [193], of unknown origin. But by about 1200, if not earlier, Hatton 115 was part of the Worcester library; note 'XXII' on f. 1r (dated 12/13c by McIntyre, 208) vs. 'XXI' in Hatton 114 [384b], and extensive glossing and annotation by the tremulous hand of Worcester (first half of the 13c). An erased 16c inscription on f. iv recto, 'Liber ecclesie Wygorn', and the entry in Young's catalogue (Atkins and Ker 1944: no. 317) indicate that it remained there until some time after 1623. Before August 1644 it was borrowed by Lord Hatton, along with the other manuscripts now known as the Hatton collection, and removed from Worcester. The heading 'Saxon Homiles tom: 2' (f. v recto) is in the same hand as headings in other Hatton manuscripts (cf. Hatton 114 '1' and 116 '3'). Upon Lord Hatton's death on 4 July 1670, Hatton 113 [384a], 114, 115, and 116 [386] were retained by his son who gave them to the Bodleian Library in 1675. The same four manuscripts, along with Bodleian Library, Junius 121 [391], were lent to Francis Junius (1589-1677) via Dr. Thomas Marshall, and returned to the Bodleian in 1678 after his death as part of the Junius collection, hence the earlier, erroneous shelfmark, Junius 23. At some point before a seventeenth-century hand wrote 'Deficit .2. fol' in the bottom margin of f. 82v and a different hand added 'De virginibus' in the upper margin of f. 83r, six leaves were apparently removed from between ff. 82 and 83. These leaves contained the end of item 24 below, a complete Confessor-homily, and the beginning of item 25 below. One of the missing leaves, probably the third of the six, survives as Lawrence Kansas Y104. See Colgrave and Hyde 1962: 68.

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