Composite manuscript produced in Scotland and compiled in the late 15th century, probably circa 1500, by James Gray, priest of the diocese of Dunblane and secretary to William Scheves, Archbishop of St Andrews.
The manuscript is a commonplace book and consists of a variety of religious, historical, legal, and literary material.
There are several hands evident throughout the manuscript. Anderson states that folios 1r-24v are written by very similar hands, and could possibly be ascribed to only one hand. Stevenson suggests that the longer vernacular poems can be confidently ascribed to James Gray, with the other vernacular works in a hand of the first half of the 16th century. The other hands present appear to all be contemporary with the late 15th and early 16th centuries. There are several 18th-century marginal annotations throughout the work referring to pages in the 'Critical Essay' of Thomas Innes.
The contents of the manuscript are as follows:
Religious material, detailed further below. Folios 1r-15v.
Legend of St Serf. Folio 1r.
Prayers. Folio 1v.
Blessing of Holy Water. Folios 2r-3v.
Prayers for collects at Mass and Canon of the Mass. Folios 4r-10v.
Masses of various saints, for the Pope, and for the dead. Folios 11r-15v.
Historical and miscellaneous material, detailed futher below. Folios 16r-26v.
A recipe for ink. Folio 16r.
'Sex mundi aetates', or the Six Ages of the World. Folio 16v
'Cronica Brevis', a genealogy of the kings of Scotland, from Adam to King James IV. Folios 17r-19r.
Series or catalogue of the Pictish kings. Folios 19v-20r.
Continuation of the series of the Scots kings from Kenneth MacAlpin until Malcolm Canmore, including what Innes terms a 'Chronology of some of the chief religious transactions in first ages, much of it uncertain dates' on part of folio 21v . Folios 20v-21v.
Continuation of the Scots kings from Malcolm Canmore until King James IV. Folios 22r-22v.
Short Chronicle account of the deaths in battles in Scotland?. Folios 23r-24v.
A later, 16th-century, added note concerning the birth and baptism of James duke of Rothesay, the son of King James V. Folio 25r.
A later 16th-century addition of a note concerning the birth and baptism of James VI. Folios 25v-26r.
Folio 26v is blank with pentrials.
Legal material, detailed further below. Folios 27r-70v.
Style book for a public notary, with copies of styles and forms of letters. Folios 27r-61v.
Acts of parliament during the reigns of James I-IV, concerning the encroachments of the court of Rome in Beneficial matters, and against drawing money out of the kingdom. Folios 62r-66v.
Style book for a notary public. Folios 67r-70v.
Literary and miscellaneous material, detailed further below. Folios 71r-80v.
Robert Henryson, 'The Annunciation', in Scots. Folios 71r-72v.
A minute of a grant to be made to the pope in favour of Mr John Chisholm, Chancellor to the Cathedral Church of Dunblane, to be coadjutor to Mr George Newstone in the office of Archdeacon of Dunblane, and to be his successor on his demise. Folios 73r-74v.
Verses beginning 'This is goddis awne complaint / fro man to man that he has boucht...'. Incomplete. Folios 75r-76v.
Verses beginning 'In me als lang / as ȝouthhed Rang...'. Incomplete, cropped at end. Folio 76v.
Another three stanzas added by a later hand, of the the missing stanzas from 'This is goddis awne complaint..', above. Folio 77rv.
Verses beginning 'To the maist peirlas prince of pece / With all my power I þe pray...'. Folios 78r-79r.
Verses beginning 'Man haue mynd and þe Amend / Of all thi mys quhill at þou may...'. Folios 79r-80v.
18th century notes on the manuscript and a table of contents by Thomas Innes. Folios 81r-83v.
Folio 84 is blank, recto and verso.
The decoration of the manuscript is not consistent. Some sections have litterae notabiliores stroked with red, as well as underlining in red. In other sections the large initial letters are in red. There are plain pen-flourished initials throughout.
Parts of the manuscript have been lined in red, but this is also inconsistent.
There are three sets of foliation running throughout the manuscript. A 16th-century foliation running 2-75, beginning on folio 2r and ending on folio 80r. This early foliation skips at folios 3 and 43, and has two folios numbered as 19. A pencil set of foliation then attempted to rectify this misfoliation, but also made errors. This has since been scored through and replaced by another set of pencil foliation.