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presented to the cloister or library of a religious house. The prior and convent of Rochester declare, that they will every year pronounce the irrevocable sentence of damnation on him who shall purloin or conceal a Latin translation of Aristotle's Physics, or even obliterate the title. Sometimes a book was given to a monastery on condition that the donor should have the use of it during his life: and sometimes to a private person, with the reservation that he who receives it should pray for the soul of his benefactor*. The gift of a book to Lincoln cathedral, by bishop Repingdon, in the year 1422, occurs in this form and under these curious circumstances. The memorial is written in Latin, with the bishop's own hand, which I will give in English, at the beginning of Peter's BREVIARY OF THE BIBLE. “I Philip of Repyndon, late bishop of Lincoln, give this book called Peter de Aureolis to the new library to be built within the church of Lincoln: reserving the use and possession of it to Richard Fryesby, clerk, canon and prebendary of Miltoun, in fee, and to the term of his life: and afterwards to be given up and restored to the said library, or the keepers of the same, for the time being, faithfully and without delay. Written with my own hand, A.D. 1422°.” When a book was bought, the affair was of so much importance, that it was customary to assemble persons of consequence and character, and to make a formal record that they were present on this occasion. Among the royal manuscripts, in the book of the SENTENCES of Peter Lombard, an archdeacon of Lincoln has left this entry. “This book of the SENTENCES belongs to master Roger, archdeacon of Lincoln, which he bought of • MSS. Reg. 12 G. ij.
the seyde Kateryne to have hit and to [At the end of a MS. of the Golden occupye to hir owne use and at hir owne Legend in Mr. Douce's possession is liberte durynge hur lyfe, and after hur the following bequest: “ Be hit remem- decesse to remayne to the prioresse and bryd that John Burton citizen and mer. the covent of Halywelle for ev more, cer of London, past oute of this lyfe the they to pray for the saide John Burton xx day of Novemb the yere of oure and Johne his wife and alle crystene Lorde Mill'. cccclx, and the yere of soyles. And who that lettithe the exkynge Henry the Sixte after the conquest ecucion of this bequest be the lawe xxxix. And the said John Burton be- standeth.”—PARK.) quethe to dame Kateryne Burton bis * MSS. Reg. 8 G. fol. iii. Brit. Mus. dougter, a boke callyd Legenda scor.' u It is in Latin.
Geoffrey the chaplain, brother of Henry vicar of Northelkington, in the
presence of master Robert de Lee, master John of Lirling, Richard of Luda, clerk, Richard the almoner, the said Henry the vicar and his clerk, and others: and the said archdeacon gave the said book to God and saint Oswald, and to Peter abbot of Barton, and the convent of Barden W.” The disputed property of a book often occasioned the most violent altercations. Many claims appear to have been made to a manuscript of Matthew Paris, belonging to the last-mentioned library: in which John Russell, bishop of Lincoln, thus conditionally defends or explains his right of possession. “ If this book can be proved to be or to have been the property of the exempt monastery of Saint Alban in the diocese of Lincoln, I declare this to be my mind, that, in that case, I use it at present as a loan under favour of those monks who belong to the said monastery. Otherwise, according to the condition under which this book came into my possession, I will that it shall belong to the college of the blessed Winchester Mary at Oxford, of the foundation of William Wykham. Written with my own hand at Bukdene, 1 Jun. A.D. 1488. Jo. LINCOLN. Whoever shall obliterate or destroy this writing, let him be anathemax." About the year 1225, Roger de Insula, dean of York, gave several Latin bibles to the university of Oxford, with a condition that the students who perused them should deposit a cautionary pledge'. The library of that university, 9 B. ix. 1.
ter Comestor's SCHOLASTICAL HISTORY, * Written in Latin. Cod. MSS. Reg:
“ Cautio Thomæ Wybaurn excepta in 14 C. vii. 2. fol. In this manuscript is Cista de Chichele, A.D. 1468, 20 die written by Matthew Paris in his own mens. Augusti. Et est liber M. Petri, hand, Hunc Librum dedit frater Mat- &c. Et jacet pro xavis. viii d.” Mus thacus Parisiensis-Perhaps, deo et eccle- Brit. MSS. Reg. 2 C. fol. i. In a siæ S. Albani, since erased.
PSALTER cum glossa, “ A.D. 1326, Iste y Wood, Hist. Antiq. Univ. Oxon. ii. Liber impignoratur Mag. Jacobo de 48. col. 1. It was common to lend Ispania canonico S. Pauli London, per money on the deposit of a book. There fratrem Willielmum de Rokesle de ore were public chests in the universities, eline et conventu Prædicatorum Londoand perhaps some other places, for re- nie, pro xx s. quem idem frater Willielceiving the books so deposited; many of mus recepit mutuo de predicto Jacobo which still remain, with an insertion in ad opus predicti conventus, solvendos the blank pages, containing the condi- in quindena S. Michaelis proxime ventions of the pledge. I will throw toge- tura. Condonatur quia pauper." Ibid. ther a few instances in this note. In Pe. 3 E. vii. fol. In Bernard's HOMELIES
before the year 1300, consisted only of a few tracts, chained or kept in chests in the choir of St. Mary's church. In the year 1327, the scholars and citizens of Oxford assaulted and entirely pillaged the opulent Benedictine abbey of the neighbouring town of Abingdon. Among the books they found there, were one hundred psalters, as many grayles, and forty missals, which undoubtedly belonged to the choir of the church: but besides these, there were only twenty-two CODICES, which I interpret books on common subjects. And although the invention of paper, at the close of the eleventh century, contributed to multiply manuscripts, and consequently to facilitate knowledge, yet even so late as the reign of our Henry the Sixth, I have discovered the following remarkable instance of the inconveniencies and impediments to study, which must have been produced by a scarcity of books. It is in the staON THE CANTICLES, “ Cautio Thome was “bonis refertissima libris.” Script. Myllyng imposita ciste de Rodbury, Brit. p. 247. See also Leland's account 10 die Decemb. A.D. 1491. Et jacet of St. Austin's library at Canterbury, pro xx s.” Ibid. 6 C. ix. These pledges, ibid. p. 299. Concerning which, comamong other particulars, shew the prices pare Liber Thoma Sprotti de libraria S. of books in the middle ages, a topic Augustini Cantuarice, MSS. C. C. C. which I shall touch upon below. Oxon. 125. - And Bibl. Cotton. Brit.
Registr. Univ. Oxon. C. 64. a. Mus. JUL. C. vi. 4. And Leland,
Wood, Hist. ut supr. i. 163. col. 1. Coll. iii. 10. 120. Leland, who was liLeland mentions this library, but it is brarian to Henry the Eighth, removed just before the dissolution of the monas a large quantity of valuable manuscripts tery. “ Cum excuterem pulverem et from St. Austin's Canterbury and from blattas Abbandunensis bibliothecæ : " other monasteries at the dissolution, to Script. Brit. p. 238. See also J. Twyne, that king's library at Westminster. See Comm. de Reb. Albionic. lib. ii. p. 130. Script. Brit. ETHELSTANUS. And MSS. edit. Lond. 1590. I have mentioned the Reg. 1 A. xviii. For the sake of conlibraries of many monasteries below. nection I will observe, that among our See also what is said of the libraries of cathedral libraries of secular canons, that the Mendicant Friars, Sect. ix. p. 128. of the church of Wells was most magniinfr. That of Grey Friars in London ficent: it was built about the year 1420, was filled with books at the cost of five and contained twenty-five windows on hundred and fifty-six pounds in the year either side. Leland, Coll. i. p. 109. in 1432. Leland, Coll. i. 109. In the year which state, I believe, it continues at 1482, the library of the abbey of Lei- present. Nor is it quite foreign to the cester contained eight large stalls which subject of this note to add, that king were filled with books. Gul. Charyte, Henry the Sixth intended a library at Registr. Libror. et Jocal. omnium in Eton college, fifty-two feet long, and monast. S. Mar. de pratis prope Leces- twenty-four broad : and another at triam. MSS. Bibl. Bodl. Laud. 1. 75. King's college in Cambridge of the same fol. membr. See f. 139. There is an breadth, but one hundred and two feet account of the library of Dover priory, in length. Ex Testam. dat. xii. Mar. MSS. Bibl. Bodl. Arch. B. 24. Leland 1447. says, that the library of Norwich priory
tutes of St. Mary's college at Oxford, founded as a seminary to Oseney abbey in the year 1446. “Let no scholar occupy a book in the library above one hour, or two hours at most ; so that others shall be hindered from the use of the same b." The famous library established in the university of Oxford, by that munificent patron of literature Humphrey duke of Gloucester, contained only six hundred volumes. About the commencement of the fourteenth century, there were only four classics in the royal library at Paris. These were one copy of Cicero, Ovid, Lucan, and Boethius. The rest were chiefly books of devotion, which included but few of the fathers: many treatises of astrology, geomancy, chiromancy, and medicine, originally written in Arabic, and translated into Latin or French: pandects, chronicles, and romances. This collection was principally made by Charles the Fifth, who began his reign in 1365. This monarch was passionately fond of reading, and it was the fashion to send him presents of books from every part of the kingdom of France. These he ordered to be elegantly transcribed, and richly illuminated; and he placed them in a tower of the Louvre, from thence called la toure de la libraire. The whole consisted of nine hundred volumes. They were deposited in three chambers; which, on this occasion, were wainscotted with Irish oak, and cieled with cypress curiously carved. The windows were of painted glass, fenced with iron bars and copper wire. The English became masters of Paris in the year 1425. On which event the duke of Bedford, regent of France, sent his whole library, then consisting of only eight hundred and fifty-three volumes, and valued at two thousand two hundred and twenty-three livres, into England; where perhaps they became the ground-work of duke Humphrey's library just mentionedd. Even so late as the
year b “ Nullus occupet unum librum, vel was not opened till the year 1480. Ibid. occupari faciat, ultra unam horam et p. 50. col. i. duas ad majus : sic quod cætcri retra
See M. Boivin, Mem. Lit. ii. p. 747. hantur a visu et studio ejusdem.” Sta
Who says, that the regent pretut. Coll. S. Mariæ pro Oseney. De sented to his brother in law Humphrey LIBRARIA. f. 21. MSS. Rawlins. Bibl. duke of Gloucester a rich copy of a transBodl. Oxon.
lation of Livy into French, which had • Wood, ubi supr. ii. 49. col. ii. It been presented to the king of France.
1471, when Louis the Eleventh of France borrowed the works of the Arabian physician Rhasis, from the faculty of medicine at Paris, he not only deposited by way of pledge a quantity of valuable plate, but was obliged to procure a nobleman to join with him as surety in a deed, by which he bound himself to return it under a considerable forfeituref. The excessive prices of books in the middle ages, afford numerous and curious proofs. I will mention a few only. In the year 1174, Walter prior of St. Swithin's at Winchester, afterwards elected abbot of Westminster, a writer in Latin of the lives of the bishops who were his patrons, purchased of the canons of Dorchester in Oxfordshire, Bede's Homilies, and Saint Austin's Psalter, for twelve measures of barley, and a pall on which was embroidered in silver the history of Saint Birinus converting a Saxon king”. Among the royal manuscripts in the British Museum there is COMESTOR'S SCHOLASTIC HISTORY in French; which, as it is recorded in a blank page at the beginning, was taken from the king of France at the battle of Poitiers; and being purchased by William Montague earl of Salisbury for one hundred mars, was ordered to be sold by the last will of his countess Elizabeth for forty livresi. About the
e See Bury's PHILOBIBLON, mention- Birinus was connected. He was buried ed at large below. De modo communi- in that of Dorchester, Whart. Angl. candi studentibus libros nostros. cap. xix. Sacr. i. 190. And in Bever's manu
* Robertson's Hist. Charles V. vol. i. script Chronicle, or his Continuator, p. 281. edit. 8vo.
cited below, it is said, that a marble ce& William Giffard and Henry dc notaph of marvellous sculpture was conBlois, bishops of Winchester.
structed over his grave in Dorchester h Registr. Priorat. S. Swithin. Win- church about the year 1320. I find no ton. ut supr. MS. quatern. « Pro mention of this monument in any other duodecim mens. (or mod.) ordei, et una writer. Bever. Chron. MSS. Coll. Trin.. palla brusdata in argento cum historia Oxon. Num. x. f. 66. sancti Birini convertentis ad fidem Ky | MSS. 19 D ü. LA BIBLE HYSTOnegylsum regem Gewyseorum: necnon RIAUS, ou Les HISTORIES ESCOLASTRES. Oswaldi regis Northumbranorum susci. The transcript is of the fourteenth cenpientis de fonte Kynegylsum. Gewy- tury. This is the entry, “Cest livre seorum is the West Saxons. This his- fust pris oue le roy de France a la batory, with others of Saint Birinus, is re taille de Peyters: et le bon counte de Sapresented on the antient font of Norman resbirs William Montagu la achata pur workınanship in Winchester cathedral : cent mars, et le dona a sa compaigne on the windows of the abbey-church of Elizabeth la bone countesse, que dieux Dorchester near Oxford : and in the assoile.—Lequele lyvre le dite countesse western front and windows of Lincoln assigna a ses executours de le rendre pur cathedral. With all which churches xl, livres.