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Ref No IE TCD MS 69
Former Shelf Marks Lyon: A.4.4
Bernard: 500
Foley: H.32
c1670: N.1.11
Ussher: HHH.26
Title Psalter in Latin and English; miscellanae of English texts
Creation Dates [1300-1599]
Extent And Medium Parchment, i + 124 folios
Level Of Description Collection
Admin Biographical History Scribe I also copied text in Princeton, Scheide collection, MS 143 (photo in The Phillips sale catalogue c1971 at which it was purchased. Scribe II is surveyed in 'LALME'.
Scope And Content This codex contains works almost exclusively in English (sometimes with section headings consisting of a scriptural extract in Latin). The book also includes the following:

Folio i: (1) added in the 16th century, Hymn to St Sebastian, in Latin, ends incompl.: Ad inclitum Cristiane militie ducem Sebastianum carmen. Christi miles aue Sebastiane, Princeps militie dei potentis.

Folios 1-55v: (2)-(3) Psalter in Latin with English translation (other copies of this version in British Library Add. 17376, Princeton Scheide MS 143, and Cambridge Magdalene Pepys 2498; ed. K.D. Bülbring, 'Early English Text Society', orig. series, 97, (London, 1891), with use of TCD MS 69), each verse in Latin is followed by the translation in English. This psalter offers ‘the earliest version in English prose of any entire book of Scripture’ (Bülbring t.c. v): 1-51v (2) The Psalms: Beatus qui - omnis spiritus laudet dominum; (the translation) Blyssyd be [...]e man - ech goste hery our lord. 51v-55v (3) Old Testament and New Testament canticles and Quicumque uult: Confitebor tibi domine - saluus esse non poterit; (the translation) Y schal schryue to 1e lorde - he may no[...]t be safe. 55v Explicit psalterium translatum in Anglicum, Iohanni Hyde constat.

Folios 51v-55v: Canticles in Latin and English followed by the Athansian Creed.

Folios 55v-78r, omitting 65v-72r: The Apocalypse in English.

Folios 78r-79v: A Tale of Charite. This is a sermon extracted from the 'Middle English Mirror', a translation of Robert of Gretham.

Folios 79r-82v: Exposition of the Decalogue.

Folios 82v: The Seven Commandments of the New Testament.

Folios 82v-83: A Description of Jerusalem (Latin). About the Holy Land and vicinity: Quicumque loca sancta regni Ierosolomitani scrire desiderat incipiat ab Ebron - est mons Oleueti (!).

Folios 83v-104v, 65r-72v, 105r-123v: The Prick of Conscience (East Midlands Recension) (Index 3429. See also 1193, 3428).

The Middle English sections of MS 69 have been described by John Scattergood in his catalogue of Middle English in the Library of Trinity College Dublin (in progress) and the Latin portions have been treated in M.L. Colker, 'Trinity College Dublin Library: Descriptive Catalogue of the Medieval and Renaissance Latin Manuscripts', (Dublin, 1991).
Phyiscal Description Dimensions: 258 x 185mm on average.

Layout: Written space varies with items and appears to have dictated by the ruling of the quires. On average it appears as follows:

Folios 1r-56v, 230 x 150mm, 46 lines
Folios 57r-64v, 230 x 165mm, 54 lines
Folios 73v-83r, 230 x 165mm, 54 lines
Folios 83v-88v, 230 x 165mm, 54 lines
Folios 89r-123v, 210 x 160mm, 45 lines
Folios 65r-72v, 210 x 160mm, 45 lines

The layout for the prose texts was changed, therefore, after quire vii at folio 57. This layout continued into the poem on folio 83v with the difference that the poem is copied into two columns. This larger layout was abandoned after quire xi at folio 89r, and the rest of the manuscript, including the misplaced quire (folios 65-72), was copied in a less crowded way. Faintly rules in brown or grey plummet. Closely trimmed but prickings visible on many leaves.

The product of two major programmes of writing and rubrication, though the second programme follows immediately upon the first at folio 83v and uses the page layout of the first until the end of the gathering (folio 88v). But subsequent gatherings, including that misplaced, are done according to a more spacious format. Scribe II appears to have received some loose quires the last one of which was ruled but not written completely. In the binding one of Scribe II's quires got displaced.

Script: Two main hands with some later additions. Hand I, which wrote folios 1r-64v and 73r-83r, is a squat leftwards leaning anglicana formata of the late 14th century, the first word of each psalm in upright bastard anglicana. Brown ink or grey. Rubrics and marginal numbers by the same hand, as are corrections over erasures. 'A Description of Jerusalem' (folios 82v-83r) was perhaps a filler: browner ink and crowding at the bottom of folio 83r. Hand II, which wrote folios 83v-123r and 65r-72r, follows on from Hand I. A practiced but uneven textura of the late 14th century, with rounded feet. A good mid-15th-century anglicana has supplied a missing line at the top of folio 96v 'And y wyl schewe what help ys most certayne'. And a 16th-century hand has copied the opening of a hymn to Saint Sebastian on the front flyleaf:

As inclitium Cristiane militie ducem
Sebastianum carmen
Christi miles aue Sebastiane
Princeps militie dei potentis

And in a more elegant 16th-century hand on the same flyleaf:

Translatio Psalmorum David: Apocalipsis dei
mandatorum cum commentis et additio
duorum librorum dictis stimulis conscientie
per Johannem Hynde.

On folio 124v, in a 16th-century hand, appears the complet:

of humymylyte and laulynes comy the grace
but whare as pryd and enuy ys vertu hathe
no place ('Index' 1631.5)

Repeated in a later hand. Henry Savile's cypher appears on the first and last pages.

Punctuation is light throughout, only the 'punctus' generally.
Custodial History According to the note on folio 55v, John Hynde owned the book. It was also at some time in the possession of the bibliophile Henry Savile of Banke (1568-1617). According to A.G. Watson, this manuscript was among the thirty or forty which, on Savile's death, 'went to Archbishop Ussher and were left by him to Trinity College Dublin, where they now are' ('The Manuscripts of Henry Savile of Banke', (London: the Bibliographical Society, 1969), pp. 11-12).
Collation Analysis i(1+8) (folios 1, 2-8), ii(8)-xv(8) (folios 9-120), xvi(4) (folios 121-124); but quire ix (folios 65-72) displaced. Quire and leaf signatures in black in i and iii, and leaf signatures in red in ii, but not otherwise. Perhaps catchwords on folios 56v and 64v, but more likely supply the prose copyists run on syllables, which also appear, for example, on folios 73v-77v. Also used on rectos, as at 61r-62r for example. In the poetry, catchwords on quires xiii, xiv, xv.
Decoration No illustrations, but two programmes of decoration and rubrication. Rubricator I (folios 1r-64v, 73r-123v) has a red first 8-line initial with a perfunctory pen-filling and flourishing (folio 1r), and a similar 4-line initial touched with yellow on folio 55v. Psalm initials of 2-, 3-, 4-line extent in simple red Lombardics. Similar initials for the other texts. ¶ mark and 1-line versals in red. Yellow touching for Psalm openings, verses of the Apocalypse, and minor divisions in the other texts. Similar touching in elaborate top-line ascenders. Rubricator II (folios 65r-72v, 83v-123v) has large blue initial Lombardics (2- to 5- lines) at major divisions in the text, with somewhat rough red flourishing. At minor divisions 1- or 2-line blue Lombardics or ¶ sign. Yellow touching of line initials. Chapter headings and Latin quotations in red. Red Crosses in top left corner of folios 62r and 63r, to help to correct miswriting of loose bifolia.
Binding Note Rebound in tawed pigskin by Ray Jordan for the Conservation Department of Trinity College Dublin in January 1986, replacing the 19th-century full calf binding. The original sewing seems to have been for five thongs.
Access Conditions Please contact
Copyright Please contact
Language Middle English
Public Note Use this link to access the digitised version of the item in the Library's Digital Collections repository:

For TCD MS 69 cf. also J. Forshall and F. Madden, 'The Bible in the Versions of John Wycliffe', (Oxford, 1850), 1:v; Karl D. Bülbring, 'The Earliest Complete English Prose Psalter' in 'Early English Text Society' OS 97; J.F. Hinnebusch in 'Scriptorium' 57 (1997), 159; Robert Ray Black and Raymond St Jacques, 'The Middle English glossed prose psalter', 'Middle English Texts', Volume 45-45, (Heidelbert, 2012).
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