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14th-century manuscript of Books 1-5 of the 'Consuetudines Normanniae', the laws and customs of Normandy from the 13th and 14th centuries.

Identifier: Adv.MS.28.6.2

Scope and Contents

14th-century manuscript containing Books 1-5 of the 'Consuetudines Normanniae', the laws and customs of Normandy from the 13th and 14th centuries. The Summary Catalogue of the National Library of Scotland suggests that the manuscript was written in France. Dolezalek has suggested that England may be the place of production.

The manuscript is the work of one scribe and is written in a small gothic bookhand in double columns of 31 lines each.

On folio 1r is a misattributed title, 'Leges Ludovi[ci] Regis', probably because several statutes of Louis VII are inserted.

Folio 70, which presumably was previously a paste-down, is a vellum bifolium from an unidentified theological work. It is written in double columns and spaces have been left for rubrical additions, which have never been carried out. The text visible in this fragment appears to relate to the doctrine of the Real Presence, mentioning the Last Supper and appears to be a commentary on another work, also unidentified, which seems to take much of its language from the Bible. Pope Urban IV (1264) may be referred to in column 1 of the verso. There is no similar endpaper at the front of the volume.

A rubric occupies the centre of the head of each folio recto and verso: on each verso, the capital ‘L’, for ‘Liber’, in red; on each recto, the Roman numeral for the particular book. The numerals for books ‘I’ and ‘V’ are in blue. The pen strokes forming the numerals for books ‘II’ to ‘III’ are alternately red and blue.

Initials throughout are alternately blue and red, and have extended pen flourishes in blue and red. Paraphs are blue and red alternately. Rubrics and underlining are in red. On folio 34v is a manicule.

Each folio has been lined and ruled recto and verso.

Pricking is visible for the horizontal and vertical lines.

Quire signatures in red ink are occasionally visible in the form of letters and strokes on the recto sides.

There are scribal notes and catchwords in the lower margin, most of which have been lost due to cropping.

There is evidence of contemporary and modern repairs to the vellum.


  • Creation: 14th century.


Conditions Governing Access

Normal access conditions apply.

Conditions Governing Use

Normal reproduction conditions apply, subject to any copyright restrictions.


1 Volumes ; 20.2cm x 14.4cm x 3cm

Language of Materials



i + 70 + ii, as well as a paper flyleaf to the front and an uncut paper flyleaf to the rear (attached to folio ii).

Collation as recorded by Catherine Borland: a¹⁰, b¹¹, c¹⁰, d¹⁶, e⁸, f¹⁴

Custodial History

There is a scored-through inscription in the upper margin of folio 1r possibly for an individual named John.

The volume was in the possession of Sir James Balfour of Denmilne. Balfour's inscription and Denmilne number, '23, are present on folio 1r; his device is found on folio 69r.

The manuscript was bought by the Library of the Faculty of Advocates at the sale of Sir James Balfour's goods in 1698. Ownership inscriptions for the Library are present on the recto of folios i, 1, and 2.

The previous shelfmark assigned to the manuscript by the Library of the Faculty of Advocates is present on the recto of folios i and 1, 'A.6.3', since superseded.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Deposited, 1925, by the Library of the Faculty of Advocates.


Borland, C. R. 'Catalogue of the Mediaeval Manuscripts in the Library of the Faculty of Advocates at Edinburgh', 4 volumes (Unpublished manuscript, 1906-8), Volume II, folios 376-377. NLS Reference: F.R.196a/2.

Cunningham, I. C. 'Sir James Balfour's Manuscript Collection: The 1698 Catalogue and Other Sources', Edinburgh Bibliographical Society Transactions, Volume VI, Part 6, pages 191-255.

Dolezalek, G. 'Manuscripta Juridica', online resource provided by Max-Planck-Institut für europäische Rechtsgeschichte:

'Folio Catalogue of Manuscripts: Law' (Unpublished manuscript, Edinburgh [?18??]), folio 25. NLS Reference: FR.185.

'Summary Catalogue of the Advocates' Manuscripts' (Edinburgh, 1971), page 83, number 1011; page 103, number 1319.

Physical Description


The binding is of 18th-century brown leather. The front and back boards have gold-tooled borders. The three edges of the boards are tooled in gold. The spine has raised bands, gold- tooled floral designs, and a gold-tooled title which reads: 'LEGES LUDOV. REGIS'. On the tail end of the spine is a Library sticker with shelfmark '28/6/2'.

The paper flyleaves are watermarked with a 'Maid of Dort' Pro Patria design, obscured by the binding.

National Library of Scotland Catalogue of Manuscripts
National Library of Scotland Archives and Manuscripts Division
Description rules
International Standard for Archival Description - General
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
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Edinburgh EH1 1EJ
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