Oxford, Bodelian Library, Hatton 116 (5136) Ælfric, from "Catholic Homilies" I, other Homilies, "Life of St. Chad"

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Jonathan Wilcox


386. Oxford, Bodleian Library, Hatton 116 (5136)

Ælfric, from "Catholic Homilies" I, other Homilies,

"Life of St. Chad"

[Ker 333, Gneuss-]

HISTORY: The single scribe is dated to the first half of the 12c by Ker, who characterizes the hand as "a type found commonly in West of England manuscripts of s. xii" ( Cat., p. 403). The contents, predominantly by JElfric, provide a clue to place of origin. They are, first, a collection of homilies for saints' days from an augmented version of the first series of Catholic Homilies (a similar sequence occurs in Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 188 [37]), then a collection of homilies on general themes (a similar sequence occurs in Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 178 [35], with which Hatton 116 shares a distinctive form of two homilies, items 19 and 20, one of which is also shared by London, Lambeth Palace Library 487 [317]). Pope (1967-68: 68-69) infers that Hatton 116 draws the second part of its text from an ancestor of Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 178, itself a manuscript of unknown place of origin but with a Worcester provenance and concludes cautiously of Hatton 116, "Its relation to R [ Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 178] suggests that it was written in the neighbourhood of Worcester, but not necessarily at Worcester itself " (1967-68: 70). Subsequently, Hatton 116 was certainly at Worcester by the 13c, for it received extensive glosses throughout by the "tremulous hand:' It was still at Worcester in 1622-23, since it was included in Young's catalogue of the Cathedral manuscripts, no. 320 (Young, ed. Atkins and Ker 1944).

The manuscript belonged to Christopher, Lord Hatton, in 1644 (Ker, Cat., p. 406). The present binding, dated by Ker to the 17 /18c ( Cat., p. 406), associates the manuscript with Oxford, Bodleian Library Hatton 113+114 [ 384a/b] ( a related pair of manuscripts) and Oxford, Bodleian Library Hatton 115 [385], with which it was acquired by the Bodleian from Sir Christopher Hatton in 1675 (Madan 1922: 968). This association may explain the inscription on p. 1, "Saxon | Homiles | tōm 3" in what Ker characterizes as "an uneducated title-writing hand which occurs in other Hatton manuscripts" (Cat., p. 406). Page 1 is headed 'D' and the manuscript is referred to by this siglum in 17c cross-references in other Hatton manuscripts (Ker, Cat., pp. 403-4). Occasional early modern annotations within the manuscript also reflect this association: at p, 327/14, there is a note in an early modern hand, with a cross-reference to 'C. 131. b' (= Hatton 115, f. 131v). Another such cross-reference occurs at p. 373, at the beginning of item 22, DE SEPTI.FORMI SPIRITU, where 'A. 23: is written in the margin, alluding to another copy in Hatton 113, f. 27r, while a note in the margin of p. 374 indicates Ælfric's authorship and points to the preface of "On the Old Testament:' An annotation at the end, at the foot of p. 395, is by Thomas Barlow.

The manuscript formerly bore the Bodleian designation Junius 24, as remains in the ink inscription on p. i ('MS Junii | 24' struck through in pencil [not on film]) and in the ink designation, '24; written at the head of p. 1 beside the 'D'. It is number 5136 in Madan 1922, as is noted by a sticker on the inside front cover with the designation 'S.C. 5136'. The current classification, 'MS. Hatton | 116; is also cleanly inked on the inside front cover. The Bodleian Library's mark of ownership is stamped on the lower margin of pp. 1, 116, 207, 333, and 375, and in the center of pp. 396,398,400, and 402.

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