DCL MS. A.III.19Jeremiah and Lamentations, glossed
Held by: Durham Cathedral Library: Durham Cathedral Manuscripts

Jeremiah and Lamentations, glossed

Digitised: https://n2t.durham.ac.uk/ark:/32150/t1mm326m1968.html

Physical description of manuscript

Parchment: generally stout and slightly suede-like but smooth and even-toned; occasional sheets with more pronounced follicle marks (e.g. 87+94). Arranged HF, FH. A parchment tab was formerly attached to f.69.

Extent: ii+165+i f
Size: 370 mm x 244 mm


Modern pencil foliation, includes medieval flyleaf and duplicates 18 and 108.

Secundo folio: Ieronimus priusquam

medieval flyleaf a singleton, now glued to quire I at the gutter. I-IV8, V6, VI-XIII8, XIV10, XV-XVIII8, XIV8 (leaves 2 and 7, f.145 and 150, are singletons), XX8, XXI5 (=8 with leaves 6-8 cancelled or lost).

Catchwords: Contemporary catchwords on quires X-XX, placed at the lower left on the first nine of these quires and at the lower right on the last two.
Signatures: Contemporary signatures (small Roman numeral, lower margin centre) on quires I-XVIII

Condition of manuscriptThe outer edges of the leaves are damp damaged, most severely those of f.161-164; additional liquid stains on certain leaves, e.g. f.2, 152, 153. Faint offsets of text in the margins of many pages.

Written area: 222 x 144 mm. The columns vary in number (1-3) and width, page by page. 1-3 cols with 22 lines of text and 43-46 of gloss.
Lines: 44 (space, 5+ mm; height of biblical text minims, 4+ mm; height of gloss minims, 2+ mm). The biblical text is written on every other line, up to a maximum of 22 lines per page. The gloss is written on every line, up to a maximum of 44 per page (starting above top line).
Pricking: awl; survives in all four margins (contrary to what has been reported in the past, prickings for the horizontals were supplied in both side margins). Prickings were supplied for the pairs of verticals that flank the text-block, either for three further pairs of verticals or for two pairs and one central single vertical within the text-block, for one vertical in the outer margin, and for all 44 horizontals. Ruling: lead. Planned for third phase /complex glossed book design – i.e. a solid text-block composed of the scriptural text written every other line in a column that varies in width from page to page, the gloss, written on every line, being integrated within and around it. Double verticals (guided by prickings) flank the text-block area as a whole; further pairs of verticals were inserted within the text-block to create columns as required (these were only occasionally guided by the extra prickings in the upper and lower margins; more frequently they were positioned independently of them); a single vertical (guided by prickings) subdivide the outer margin. The first and last horizontals were generally extended.


Written by two scirbes: f.2r-62v; 71r-143v (quires I-VIII, X-XVIII), biblical text and gloss. Protogothic. f.63r-70v; 144r-164v (quires IX, XIX-XXI), biblical text and gloss. Transitional between Protogothic and Textualis, the former being predominant in the biblical text, the latter in the more compressed context of the gloss. Both scribes ‘hang’ their biblical text from the head-line ruling, but place their gloss closer to the foot ruling. Contemporary correcting hands: (i) works throughout; (ii) f.3v, 124r, 128r, 160r, 163v (the hand that corrected DCL MS A.III.17 etc.); (iii) appears only on f.150r.


Channel-style decorated initials, coloured in pink, orange, green and blue with white highlights, set against panels of gold and colour, head the Preface and the biblical incipit of (a), and the biblical incipit and the start of each subsequent chapter in (b). They range in height from 4 to 12+ gloss-lines, the largest being the biblical incipit to (a), followed by the Preface to (a), chapter 2 in (b), then the biblical incipit of (b). The biblical incipit to (a) is followed by a line of golden display capitals set on an orange panel, the text in question including an uncorrected spelling error (‘Ueba’ for ‘Uerba’). Alternately red then blue capitals, flourished in the other colour, 3+ lines high, head each prefatory text for (b), with a particularly large example for the gloss preceding chapter 2 (f.132v). Alternately red then blue capitals, 1-2 lines high, are used for the rubrics (letters of the Hebrew alphabet) for each section of (b), start each sentence within the biblical texts throughout (a) and (b), and head each block of marginal gloss throughout (except on f.145v-164v – most of the second stint of scribe 2 – where an ordinary black capital was used). The coloured capitals for the gloss are accompanied by a paraph in the other colour (except on f.65v-70v, most of the first stint of scribe 2). Guide letters for the capitals survive in outer and inner margins.


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

Written in Northern France, later 12th century.


Inscription: Liber Sancti Cuthberti de dunelmo de dono Magistri Roberti de Adigton′ ¶ Ieremias glo., early 13th century, f.1r, top left, in the same hand as parallel entries DCL MS A.IV.4, f.1v, and probably DCL MS A.III.2 f.1. See also DCL MS A.III.16. One of a group of books donated by Robert Haddington.
Pressmarks: .D. changed to .B., 14th century, f.1r, top, extreme left. .B. - crossed through, 14th/15th century, f.2r, above column 2. Ieremias, start of 15th century, f.2r, above column 1. pa pe [F – crossed through] G, 15th century, f.1r, top, added immediately after Ieremias glo.. Pi [G - deleted] I, 15th century, f.2r, top right.
Catalogued in Spendement catalogue.

Manuscript contents
(a)     f.2r-122r
Modern title: Jeremiah, glossed
Incipit: ad benefaciendum promptus est ad puniendum dissimulator
Explicit: et retrudit in carcerem inferni ubi gemunt in perpetuum dampnati
Language: Latin

Prefaces; glossed (marginal and interlinear) text; standard Parisian chapter numbers were added to the margins in lead, 13th/14th century. Additional annotation in lead on certain pages.

Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 487
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11808.1
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11808.2
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11808.3
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11808.6
(b)     f.122v-164v
Modern title: Lamentations, glossed
Incipit: . Constat multa esse genera fletuum
Explicit: que de partum fontibus hausi, ego gillibertus altisiodorensis ecclesie diaconus
Language: Latin

Prefaces; glossed (marginal and interlinear) text. No subsequent annotation of the text.

Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11809.1
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11809.2
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11809.3
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11809.4
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11809.5
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11809.6
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11809.7
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11809.8
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11809.9
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11809.10
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11809.11
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11809.12
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11809.13
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11809.14
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11809.15
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11809.16
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11809.17

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

Digitised material for Durham Cathedral Library MS. A.III.19 - Jeremiah and Lamentations, glossed
Due to the binding, there are some images throughout the volume with marginalia and text not visible in the image because they are too far into the gutter. A sponge stabiliser has been used under many of the pages. There are two f.18r and f.18v. The second is crossed on the manuscript and has had a cross (x) added to the foliator. f.100: There are two small holes near the gutter in the 8th and 9th lines of the text. Black fabric has been placed underneath on the verso, but not the recto, as it makes the holes even harder to see as the surrounding text is black. There are two f.108r and f.108v. The second is crossed on the manuscript and has had a cross (x) added to the foliator. There is a parchment stub a few millimetres wide between f.144 and f.155. It is obscuring some text in the gutter on f.144v which can be seen slightly in the gutter of f.145r.


Catalogi veteres librorum Ecclesiae cathedralis dunelm. Catalogues of the library of Durham cathedral, at various periods, from the conquest to the dissolution, including catalogues of the library of the abbey of Hulne, and of the mss.   OCLC citation, Surtees Society 7, (London: J.B. Nichols and Son, [1838]).

de Hamel, Christopher, Glossed books of the Bible and the origins of the Paris book trade   OCLC citation, (Woodbridge, Suffolk, England: Boydell Press, 1984)

Mynors, R.A.B., Durham Cathedral manuscripts to the end of the twelfth century. Ten plates in colour and forty-seven in monochrome. With an introduction [including a list of all known Durham manuscripts before 1200]   OCLC citation, (Durham: 1939)

Stegmüller, Friedrich, Repertorium biblicum medii aevi   OCLC citation, (Madrid: 1950-1980)

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