Bible, written in France. Edit




  • 2nd half of 13th century. (Creation)


  • 0.00 linear metres (Whole)
    6 modern flyleaves + i (paper) + 441 folios.



  • Physical Description

    0.00 linear metres6 modern flyleaves + i (paper) + 441 folios.240.00 x 330.00 millimetres

  • Dimensions

    240.00 x 330.00 millimetres

  • Scope and Contents

    The order of contents (from folio 3) is that usually found in French bibles of the period, with the common set of 64 prologues (see ‘Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries’, pages 210-212). The biblical books are followed (folio 412) by the interpretations of Hebrew names beginning ‘Aaz apprehendens` (see ‘Repertorium Biblicum medii aevi’, number 7709). Leaves containing II Maccabees 8, verses 22-10, verse 30 and 14, verse 5 - Matthew 1, verse 11 are missing.

    There are illuminated initials throughout: up to and including Nehemiah (folio 147) they are on gold grounds, and thereafter on blue or pink; they frequently extend into the borders in foliage or grotesques. Initials preceding the prologues and the interpretations of Hebrew names contain spiralling stems, masks and animals and from folio 152 onwards almost all the initials include rabbits or dogs. Historiated initials, usually of eight or nine lines, begin the first prologue and each book except the Psalms (where an initial depicting the Trinity precedes Psalm 109) and Matthew (where a leaf is missing). Initials to Psalms 1, 26, 38, 51, 52, 68, 80 and 97 are in a different style consisting of green, blue, red and yellow foliage on brown grounds. There are some marginal sketches. Small initials throughout the volume are in red or blue with contrasting penwork. Running titles except Psalms, Lamentations and interpretations of Hebrew names, in red and blue.

    The colophon (folio 411) reads ‘Laus tibi sit christe quoniam liber explicit iste.` There are contemporary corrections and marginalia, including drawings, throughout and a list of the books of the bible on folio 1 (originally a flyleaf). Additions in late 16th and 17th century hands include pen-trials, prayers and verses in the margins, and two poems headed `Thomas twentiman composuit anno domini 1564’ (folio 2 verso) and entitled `The Riche man complaneth of deth` (six 6-line stanzas beginning `0 death that art both sharpe and sour’) and `The par man that fereth death` (seven 4-line stanzas beginning `Wo worth the dead thu dowely zeid`).

  • Arrangement

    The manuscript is too tightly bound to make out the gatherings, but the probable collation, reconstructed from quiremarks and signatures, is 1², 2-7¹⁶, 8-10¹², 11-12¹⁶, 13¹², 14-22¹⁶, 23¹⁶ (-7, 9), 24-27¹⁶, 28¹² (-12?), 29¹⁶, 30¹⁴. Quiremarks in Roman numerals survive on the last leaf of most gatherings from 2 to 27, and as letters of the alphabet on the first leaf of gatherings 2 to 22. There are remains of signatures a-h in red or brown ink or as pen strokes on most gatherings.

    2 columns of 58 lines, written below the top line. Ruling in ink.

  • Existence and Location of Copies

    Microfilm available: Mf.Sec.MSS.375.

  • Bibliography

    For a description of this bible by Sir Robert Sibbald, written before 1698, see Adv.MS.33.3.16, folio 171.

    W Anderson`s catalogue of manuscripts in the Advocates` Library, 1837, F.R.217.

    Two of the verses written as marginalia are in the ‘Index of Middle English verse’ (New York, 1943) and Supplement (1965), by C Brown and R H Robbins: numbers 1509 (‘In my defence`, folios 150 and 177 verso) and 1440.5 (`Gif thow would luif`, folio 177 verso).

    Edgar, Robert. ‘An Introduction to the history of Dumfries’ (Dumfries, 1915).

    Ker, N R. ‘Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries’, ii (Oxford, 1977).

    Stegmuller, F. ‘Repertorium Biblicum medii aevi’ (Madrid, 1950).

  • Conditions Governing Access

    Normal access conditions apply.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    Normal reproduction conditions apply, subject to any copyright restrictions.

  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    Vellum. 19th century binding of black morocco with metal clasps.

  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Presented, 1925, by the Faculty of Advocates to the nation on the foundation of the National Library of Scotland.

  • Custodial History

    According to tradition the manuscript belonged to the cathedral of St Giles, Edinburgh. W Anderson`s catalogue of manuscripts in the Advocates` Library states that `Biblia sancte Egidie de Edinburgh` was written on the back in a modern hand. The manuscript has since been rebound and the inscription lost. The names Rowlande Skepton (folio 13), Robert Robsoun (folio 54 verso) and Johne Armestrang (folios 109 verso, 150) appear in late 16th or 17th century hands. There are ex-libris and monograms (folios 1, 410 verso, 412) of Cuthbert Cunynghame, Dumfries, 1601. This may be the notary Cuthbert Cuninghame of Conheath, or the bailie of Dumfries (see ‘An Introduction to the history of Dumfries’, pages 191-192). There are numerous ex-libris and notes (folios 159 verso, 163 verso, etc.) by Thomas Mcburnie, 1601, who was probably a notary in Dumfries (see ‘An Introduction to the history of Dumfries’, page 203). Cipher of Sir James Balfour of Denmilne (folio 410 verso) and Denmilne no.2 (folio 2). The manuscript was bought by the Advocates’ Library in 1698.