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Early 12th-century manuscript of the church history of Hegesippus

Identifier: Adv.MS.18.3.9

Scope and Contents

From verse 53.1 ‘armis’ (page 411, 12 Usani) to the end is lost.

The manuscript has an inscription (overwritten) of the Rochester type at the foot of folio 2, ‘… Hoo[?] [*]’, and is written in the Rochester variety of the Christ Church script (cf. ‘Medieval libraries of Great Britain’, pages 161, 298; ‘English manuscripts in the century after the Norman Conquest’, page 25 and what follows).

Headings are in red or red and purple. The first two words of the text of most books are in red or purple capitals. Initials to each book have been cut out.


  • Creation: Early 12th century.


1 Volumes (ii (paper) + 171 + ii (paper) folios.)

Language of Materials



Collation: 1-21⁸, 22 (3 leaves). Signatures in roman numerals in the centre lower margin of the last verso of gathering 3 and in the centre upper margin of the first recto of gatherings 7, 12, 19, 21-22. Pricking with a triangular awl in the outer margins, from first recto to last verso of each gathering. Ruling with a hard point on the flesh side, across the unfolded sheet. 1 column. 31 lines. Ruled area 200 x 130 millimetres.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Vellum. Binding of brown sheepskin, tooled blind and in gilt, circa 1640 (rebacked 1931); the pastedowns consist of four pages (19, 22, 66, 71) of ‘The Oyle of Gladness’ by William Whately (London, 1637) (STC 25314). Secundo folio: `1 [de B]ello Parthico’.

Custodial History

The manuscript is recorded in the library catalogue of Rochester Priory 1122-1123. See ‘English Benedictine Libraries’, page 483. [Pressmark = GBE36] The ex-libris of Sir James Balfour is on folio 2, dated 1630 (Denmilne number 39 on folio i), and the volume was number 9 in the sale of his books in 1698. Former pressmark: A.1.16. The manuscript was bought by the Advocates’ Library in 1698.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

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

Existence and Location of Copies

Microfilm available: Mf.Sec.MSS.463.


Hegesippus. ‘Historiae’, edited by V Usani, ‘Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum’, lxvi, (1932).

Ker, N R. ‘Medieval libraries of Great Britain’, 2nd edition (London, 1964 ).

Ker, N R. ‘English manuscripts in the century after the Norman Conquest’ (Oxford, 1960).

‘English Benedictine Libraries’, edited by R. Sharpe [et al.], ‘Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues’, 4 (1996), Catalogue B77, number 53.

Physical Description

0.00 linear metresii (paper) + 171 + ii (paper) folios.190.00 x 273.00 millimetres


190.00 x 273.00 millimetres

National Library of Scotland Catalogue of Manuscripts
National Library of Scotland
28 01 2015
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Local Descriptive Rules
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the National Library of Scotland Archives and Manuscripts Division Repository

Archives and Manuscript Division
National Library of Scotland
George IV Bridge
Edinburgh EH1 1EJ
0131 623 3700