Though parts have been lost, the remaining decoration in R.10.5 suggests that this was a very fine Flemish psalter. It belongs to the ‘Tweede’ group produced in Ghent from 1270 and has distinctive bracket-like borders. A line of Middle Dutch (si di en zot zi di een ries) copied by the original scribe can be found at the end of Psalm 79. The manuscript had probably come to England – possibly to Tynemouth, a cell of St Alban’s Abbey – by the 15th century, at which time a Litany was added to the end of the manuscript.
O.9.13, Vulgate Bible
This is a Vulgate Bible which means that it is the translation made by St Jerome in the 9th century. Jerome is depicted in the initial ‘P’ at the beginning of the manuscript. He is shown tonsured, wearing a cowl and writing. The descender of the letter also has a monkey playing the fiddle and, at the bottom, an owl. One of the flyleaves also has a crude map of the Holy Land which depicts the positions of the tribes.
O.2.44, Composite Manuscript
Composite manuscripts comprise a number of different elements – sometimes with no apparent relation to each other – which at some point have been bound together. O.2.44 contains six separate manuscripts one of which (part 4) is a fourteenth-century medical text containing line drawings including a physician with a raised knife (above), a skeleton and sections of the head.
O.1.30, Richard Fishacre, Commentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard (excerpts)
This manuscript, owned at some point by the Cistercian Abbey of Fountains in Yorkshire, contains work by the Dominican friar Richard Fishacre (d.1248). His commentary on Peter Lombard’s four books of Sentences was a controversial text opposed by the then Bishop of Lincoln Robert Grosseteste. The bishop was worried about the possibility of works of speculative theology taking precedence over scripture. Fishacre’s work was, however, defended by Pope Innocent IV and became the basis of theological study at the University of Oxford.
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