DCL MS. A.IV.36Simeon of Durham, Geoffrey of Coldingham, Historical works
Held by: Durham Cathedral Library: Durham Cathedral Manuscripts

Chronicle of Durham Priory based upon Simeon of Durham and continued by Geoffrey of Coldingham until 1199 which spent several centuries outside Durham after the dissolution before returning in the mid 20th century.

Digitised: https://n2t.durham.ac.uk/ark:/32150/t2m0p0966894.html

Physical description of manuscript


Extent: ii+126+ii f
Size: 205 mm x 142 mm


Modern pencil foliation: iii-v, 1-123.

Secundo folio: prolatum est

I3 (a bifolium followed by a singleton); II8; III6; IV-XIV8; XV7 (8 with 2 cancelled); XVI8; XVII6 (2 cancelled [from between 118/119], plus a final singleton, fol. 123, a former endleaf).


23 lines


Written in textualis semi-quadrata by four scribes: (b)- start of (e); remainder of (e); (f); (a) added in 14th century in a later hand.

Corrections and annotation

Marginal annotation added to (e) by Thomas Swalwell (d. 1539) and William Wylom (d. 1556).


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 England, probably Durham, end 12th century.


Durham Cathedral Priory (1395 cloister catalogue: M pressmark)
Robert Horne, dean of Durham 1551-3 and 1559-60, bishop of Winchester 1560-80
Given by Horne to Matthew Parker on 11 August 1568 (inscription on 121v: ‘Hunc librum dedit Mattheo Cantuariensi Robertus Wintoniensis, vndecimo Mensis August. 1568. Quo tempore dedit M. Cant’ R. Winton’ historiam impressam Matthei Westmonaster’’)
John Parker, son of Matthew (no. 49 in his list of books: S. Strongman, ……Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society 7 (1977)
18th century, H. Wijn (signed notes on ii verso; ‘Ex museo H Wijn’ on iv recto)
Bought at Leyden by Luchtman (pencil note inside front cover)
Thomas Thorpe, Catalogue of Upwards of Fourteen Hundred Manuscripts (1836), no. 242 (‘Thorpe 1836’ on pencil inside front cover)
Thomas Phillipps: Phillipps MS 9374
Acquired with the residue of the Phillipps collection by Messrs. Robinson. W. H. Robinson, A Selection of Precious Manuscripts, Historic Documents and Rare Books catalogue 81 (London, 1950), no. 43
Dean and Chapter of Durham.

Manuscript contents
(a)     f.ivr-vv
Modern title: Table of contents for (e)-(g)
Date: [14th century]
Language: Latin

Added in 14th century.

Edited: Rollason 2000, p.324-33.
(b)     f.1-4r
Modern title: Summary of Libellus de Exordio
Incipit: Regnante apud northanymbros christianissimo rege et postea martire Oswaldo
Explicit: sed antiquum deo renouante restituit
Language: Latin
Edited: Rollason 2000, p.258-64.
(c)     f.4r
Modern title: Preface to the Libellus de Exordio
Incipit: Exordium huius hoc est Dunelmensis ecclesie
Explicit: apponere non negligat
Language: Latin
Edited: Rollason 2000, p.2.
(d)     f.4r-4v
Modern title: List of the bishops of Lindisfarne, Chester-le-Street and Durham
Incipit: Aidanus, Finanus, Colmanus
Explicit: Rannulfus, Gaufridus, Willielmus iius, Hugo, Philippus
Language: Latin

Ends with Philip of Poitiers (end of 12th century).

Edited: Rollason 2000, p.4.
(e)     f.4v-90r
Modern title: On the origins and progress of the Church of Durham
Original title: Libellus de Exordio Atque Procursu istius, Hoc est Dunhelmensis Ecclesie
Author: Simeon of Durham - approximately 1130
Incipit: Gloriosi quondam regis Northanhymbrorum et preciosi martyris Oswaldi
Explicit: in dunhelmum congregati fuerant monachi annus agebantur
Language: Latin
Language: Old English

Includes Bede’s death song (in Old English), plus Symeon’s translation, on 25v.

Edited: Rollason 2000, p.16-256.
(f)     f.90r-107r
Modern title: Continuation of the Libellus de Exordio
Incipit: Tribus dehinc annis ecclesia uacante pastore
Explicit: episcopus sollempniter susceptus est
Language: Latin
Edited: Rollason 2000, p.266-310.
(g)     f.107r-121v
Modern title: Liber de statu ecclesie Dunhelmensis
Author: Geoffrey of Coldingham, active 13th century
Date: [end 12th century]
Incipit: Erat moribus insignis, statura, et canicie uenerabilis, hospitalitatis obsequio deditus
Explicit: uel arthurus fratris sui gaufridi filius assumeretur ad regnum
Language: Latin

The oldest copy of the text, here stopping in 1199 (not 1213 as elsewhere)

Edited: Historiae Dunelmensis Scriptores Tres, p.266-310.

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. A.IV.36 - Simeon of Durham and Geoffrey of Coldingham, Chronicles
Digitised in February 2017 as part of the Durham Priory Library Recreated project. There is a narrow strip of parchment (less than 1cm wide) bound in between f.103 and f.104, visible in f.104r. It is too difficult to photograph underneath this strip (it cannot really be moved out of the way), but the Digitisation Assistant could see no writing or other markings underneath it.


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]).

Historiae Dunelmensis Scriptores Tres: Gaufridus de Coldingham, Robertus de Graystanes et Willielmus de Chambre   OCLC citation, ed. J. Raine, Surtees Society 9 (London: J. B. Nichols and Son, 1839)

Symeon of Durham, Libellus de exordio atque procursu istius, hoc est Dunhelmensis Ecclesie, Tract on the origins and progress of this the Church of Durham   OCLC citation, ed. D. Rollason (Oxford: OUP, 2000)

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