DCL MS. B.IV.26Monastic documents
Held by: Durham Cathedral Library: Durham Cathedral Manuscripts

Composite volume of material relating to monastic life: A) Statutes of the Priors of Durham; B) Tabula to the Rule of St Benedict; C) Rule of St Benedict; D) Gregory IX, Statutes for Benedictine Monks; E) Innocent IV and Eugenius IV, Dispensatory Bulls; F) Benedict XII, Constitutions for Benedictine Monks; G) Otto de Monteferrato, Constitutions, etc.; H) Ottobuono Fieschi, Constitutions; William of Pagula, "Abbas uel prior"; I) Bernard of Clairvaux, De precepto et dispensatione; J) Tabula to I; etc.; K) Acts of Benedictine Provincial chapters, etc.

Digitised: https://n2t.durham.ac.uk/ark:/32150/t2mn296wz14t.html

Physical description of manuscript


Extent: v+244+1 f
Size: 235 mm x 156 mm


Foliated i-iv in modern pencil) + 244 + i (modern parchment, unfoliated). Early modern ink foliation of the main body of the book, runs: 1-71, 71 (again) - 243

Secundo folio: tidie post

Standard Tuckett binding, mid 19th century full brown calf over thick wooden boards (Charles Tuckett, binder to the British Museum, rebound many Durham manuscripts in the 19th century)

Manuscript history

A composite volume of 11 parts: (A) f.1-11; (B) f.12-39; (C) f.40-63; (D) f.64-67; (E) f.68-69; (F) f.70-142; (G) f.143-144; (H) f.145-182; (I) f. 183-198; (J) f.199-206; and (K) f.207-243 – plus medieval flyleaves. The core of the book comprises B, C, F, and H, produced in the later 14th century as independent fascicules but to similar formats. Their original independence is indicated by the endleaves (originally blank) of B, C and H, by sets of quires signatures proper to F (a-h) and to H (+a-+c), and by the series of leaf lettering (a-q) that runs all through Part I alone. Parts B, C, F, and H brought together by 1380, indicated by the content of each appearing in the content list on f.14r. The addition to this core of Part I indicated by a set of numerical quire signatures (1-18, 22-23) that runs throughout B, C, F, H and I. These signatures also indicate that a further section of three quires (19-21), which then stood between Parts H and I, is now missing. What they contained is unrecorded, having evidently been removed or lost before the content list on f.11r was created.


Inscription: “In isto uolumine continentur … Liber sancti Cuthberti ex procuracione fratris Rogeri De Alwerton”, mid 14th century, f.14r (Roger of Allerton, monk of Durham c. 1342-1381).
Inscription: “Iste liber assignatur librarie infra Capellam prioris per Iohannem Wessyngton priorem”, early 15th century, f.1r, upper margin.

Manuscript contents
SECTION: (flyleaves)     f.i-iv
Original title: Liber sententiarum
Author: Peter Lombard, Bishop of Paris, approximately 1100-1160
Date: mid 13th century

Two surviving bifolia from a French or English copy.

Language: Latin
SECTION: (A)    
Modern title: Statutes of the Priors of Durham
Date: 13th - 16th century
Language: Latin

f.1-8r. Statutes of the Priors of Durham, 1153-1260; f.8v-9v. Added documents; f.10 Questions to a postulant

SECTION: (B)    
Modern title: Tabula to Rule of St Benedict.
Date: later 14th century
Language: Latin
SECTION: (C)    
Modern title: Rule of St Benedict
Date: later 14th century
Language: Latin

Also includes the letter of William of St Calais to the Monks of Durham and Note on the election and the monastic constitutions of Pope Benedict XII (1334-42), plus the concessions of Clement VI (1342-52)

Modern title: Statutes for Benedictine Monks
Author: Gregory IX
Date: late 13th century
Language: Latin

Also includes documents relating to York

Modern title: Dispensatory Bulls
Date: after 1439
Language: Latin

Issued by Innocent IV and Eugenius IV

Modern title: Constitutions of Benedict XII for Benedictine monks and related documents
Date: later 14th century
Language: Latin
Modern title: Constitutions
Author: Otto de Monteferrato
Date: 14th century
Language: Latin

With gloss of John Acton

Modern title: Constitutions
Author: Ottobuono Fieschi
Date: mid 14th century
Language: Latin

Also William of Pagula's "Abbas vel prior"

Original title: De precepto et dispensatione
Author: Bernard of Clairvaux
Date: mid 14th century
Language: Latin
Modern title: Tabula to De precepto et dispensatione
Date: 14/15th century
Language: Latin
Modern title: Acts of Benedictine Provincial chapters
Date: not before 1426
Language: Latin

Microfilmed in 1985/86 by the Hill Monastic Manuscript Library, St John's Abbey and University, Collegeville, Minnesota. Copies held by them and Durham University Library.

Digitised material for Durham Cathedral Library MS. B.IV.26 - Benedictine texts
Digitised December 2016 as part of the Durham Priory Library Recreated Project
Index terms