Cambridge, Trinity College, O.2.1 Ely Kalendar, "Historia Eliensis lnsulae," "Inquisitio Eliensis," Lives of Ely Saints

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Michael Wright
Stephanie Hollis


87. Cambridge, Trinity College, 0.2.1 (1105)

Ely Kalendar, "Historia Eliensis lnsulae," "Inquisitio Eliensis,"

Lives of Ely Saints

[Ker 93, Gneuss--]

HISTORY: Made at Ely Cathedral Priory. The book is prefaced by an Ely Kalendar, the obits of which locate the date of the manuscript to 1173 (canonization of St. Thomas Becket) x 1189 (death of Bishop Geoffrey Ridel, for whom no obit appears) (Robinson 1988: 100); the main content is the earliest copy of the "Historia Eliensis Insulae," or "Liber Eliensis" (Blake's "E"; for the character of this work, see the "History" section of Ely Cathedral 1/1 [127], Blake's "F"); this is followed by an "Inquisitio Eliensis" and lives of Ely saints. The "Liber" is concluded by a passio of St. Thomas Becket which provides a terminus post quem of 1173. Blake (1962: xxiii-xxiv) suggested that much of the "Liber" may be in the hand of its compiler, whom he thinks could have been Richard, prior of Ely from 1177 to sometime between 1189 and 1194; since there is no mention of Bishop Nigel's successor, Blake would put the terminus ante quem at 1174 (1962: xlviii).

F. [IIr] has the following class marks: 'n" 114', 'B. 48' (cancelled), 'O. 16. 38' (cancelled), 'O. 2. 1 '. F. lr has a variety of annotations, some of which may be evidential for the history of the MS. In right hand margin a mark resembling a cross of Lorraine which James (1900-1904: 3.79) says occurs in other Ely MSS. In top margin in hand of 16c 'Caius Antiq(uus) Cantabri. p. 1611. 5'. In hand of 17c 'V. Histor: Eliens | in Cott. Bibi. | Nero A .... .' [sic, 5 dots], presumably a reference to the work known as "Chronicon Abbatum et Episcoporum Eliensium" in London, British Library, Cotton Nero A. xv and A. xvi. In top right hand comer, two further annotations, cancelled and then rubbed out; a third in the series is visible, 'v. p. 86 I. 3'. In the right hand margin, above the library mark, in a 17c hand, 'Extat inter I Acta Benedicti | norum, per | Lucam Dache I rium, sed im I perfecte'. In top left hand comer, a mark 'F EB B'. Robinson (1988: 100) notes the added obit of 'Ioh<an>is de Crawden<sis> p<ri>or<is> Elyen<sis>' (1321-1341) at 24 September. Belonged to Thomas Gale. Given to Trinity College by his son Roger Gale in 1738.

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