Cambridge Corpus Christi College 265 "Wulfstan's Commonplace Book': a Canon Law Collection, including the OE "Directions for a Confessor " and A-S Law IV Edgar; Liturgical Texts; Hugo of Fleury, "Historia Ecclesiastica"

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Peter J. Lucas


45. Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 265

"Wulfstan's Commonplace Book': a Canon Law

Collection, including the OE "Directions for a

Confessor " and A-S Law IV Edgar; Liturgical Texts;

Hugo of Fleury, "Historia Ecclesiastica"

[Ker 53, Gneuss 73 (Part A only)]

HISTORY: A challenging composite manuscript, consisting of Part A, Booklets 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 (pp. 1-268), a mid-1 lc collection in part known as "Wulfstan's Commonplace Book", Part A, Booklet 2 (pp. 269-442), a later 11c and early 12c collection mainly of liturgical material added on to the first booklets, and Part B (pp. 443-550), a 12c copy of Hugo of Fleury's "Historia Ecclesiastica''. The contents offer considerable difficulty in some details, particularly in Part A, which contains an early version of"Wulfstan's Commonplace Book' ' (for the earliest and formative definitions of the tradition, see Bateson 1895 and Whitelock 1942; but cf. Wormald 1999: 218 and Orchard 2012: 696). The so-called "Commonplace Book'' is in fact a nimbus of numerous manuscripts in which Wulfstan, bishop of London (996- 1002), Worcester (1002-1016) and York (1002-1023) collected, excerpted, edited and revised canon law, letters, liturgical texts, penitential guidelines, and other doctrinal material in the early 11c for the education and regulation of the A-S church and state (on which see esp. Sauer in Szarmach 2000: 339-93, as well as Jones 1998: 71-79 and Elliot 2012: 1-11). Many of the individual texts included are themselves chrestomathic tissues of multiple texts, making for difficult-for the modern scholar, if not for Wulfstan himself- division of textual units in the "Commonplace Book''. Four manuscripts primarily reflect the "Commonplace Book'; the three others being Oxford, Bodi. Lib. Barlow 37, London, BL Cotton Nero A.i [202], and Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 190 [38], though several other manuscripts reflect the tradition as well (see Elliot 2010: 8-9). Part A, Booklet 2 is a collection of liturgical and paraliturgical texts, including excerpts from Amalarius of Metz' "Liber Officialis" (9c), the Romano-German Pontifical, and Bernold of Constance's "Micrologus" (c. 1085). Part A appears more or less to be the result of stages of growth over several generations, with the primary core being the "Commonplace Book" written by a single scribe (pp. 3-208), subsequently added to by numerous other scribes, with some of these later additions closer to the l l/12c segments of booklets 1.2 and 1.3 and Part B than the initial collection of the "Commonplace Book''. Part B is a separate addition of the later 12c consisting of Hugo's "Historia" ( c. 1109), attributed to lvo of Chartres as in other MSS. The compilation of the "Commonplace Book" along with the numerous additions means that altogether (including over 100 grouped sub-items) there are in the region of 400 items or sub-items, a few of which have yet to be identified. All parts have been attributed to Worcester on grounds of script (Ker, Cat.; Bishop 1971: 20; Dumville 1992: 137-38), as several of the hands are typical of Worcester style in the 11 c and 12c, though the first scribe of pp. 1-208 does not show strong Worcester traits (Jones 1998: 75). Furthermore, decorated initials are similar in style to other initials in known Worcester manuscripts (Budny 1997: 1.602). Early Worcester provenance is clear from an added formula for the profession of a monk written in a hand of the second half of the 11c on p. 1 that ends 'dom[i]no | presule uulstano presente', probably a reference to Wulfstan II, bishop of Worcester (1062-95) (Ker, Cat.). Moreover, the manuscript was sporadically glossed in OE by the Worcester scribe and scholar, Coleman, Wulfstan II's chancellor and author of a now lost OE life ofWulfstan II (Ker 1949; on Coleman, see also Stoneman 1987: 78, Johnson and Rudolph 2010: 1, Scragg 2012: no. 87). The manuscript, combining originally separate books, Parts A and B, must have been together from early times, as the contents of Part B are included in the 13c, contents-list on p. 2. The manuscript almost definitely remained in Worcester through the later medieval period, where it was annotated in the 13c and notes on contents jotted in the 15c. There is considerable evidence of use, perhaps in Worcester, from the 16c. Annotations in the hand of John Joscelyn (1529-1603, Parker's Latin Secretary) occur on pp. 175, 177, and his attention-mark in the form of a triquetra on pp. 37 (beside the heading for Item 9) and 176. Joscelyn may have consulted this, along with several other manuscripts, in Worcester in the mid-1560s (Budny 1997: 1.603-604). The annotation on p. 177 reads 'quida(m) papista hie ablraserat tres lineas I sed restituu(n)tur e I veteri libro Exolniensis bibliothecae I in quo etia(m) hie I habetur tractatus'. It refers to an erasure of material (subsequently replaced with different text) that Joscelyn was able to restore from another former Worcester book (CCCC 190), as indicated in the Testimonie of Antiquitie (1566), A5r (see further below, "Contents': item). There is a reference to where this erasure occurs in Parkerian red crayon on p. 2; the erased text concerned the nature of the eucharist, a matter of supreme importance to Archbishop Matthew Parker and the new Church of England. Parker owned, annotated, paginated, and perhaps rebound the manuscript. Membrane tags have been attached no doubt by the Parkerian team, to ease finding what they wanted. The Parkerian red crayon appears in both underlining as well as in the pagination. Part A was foliated a second time, subsequent to Parker's foliation. 'K.2' on p. 1 is the number of the book in the list of those bequeathed in 1575 to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge by Parker. Humfrey Wanley consulted the MS for his "Librorum Vett. Septentrionalium" (1705). The manuscript may have been rebound or refurbished in the mid-18c by the college, and apparently rebound again in 1952 (Budny 1997: 1. 604). Modern quire numbers in pencil occur at the bottom right-hand corner of relevant recto leaves. The present binding dates from c.1980 and was done by George Bolton, according to a note interleaved in the book by R.I. Page, former Parker librarian (Budny 1997: l. 604-05). [Note: Despite the previous descriptions and analyses by Wanley 1705: 109, James 1912: 2.14-21, Andrieu 1931-61: 1.99-101 (pp. 228-442 only), Sauer 1978: 45- 50, Sauer 1980/2000 (Part A only), Budny 1997: 1.599-608 (Part A= pp. 1-330 + 341-442), and Cross and Hamer 1999: 41-8 (Part A, Booklet 1.1, parts only), Lionarons 2010: 19 (notice on homiletic material), this description offers some new information, and hopefully provides a firm basis for further advances.]

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