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Texts on astronomy

Latin texts in prose and verse, the bulk of the contents relating to astronomy. There are numerous coloured sketches and diagrams.

Aratus, Solensis

Explanatio in Psalmos

The Explanatio in Psalmos attributed to Haimo of Halberstadt (ff. 1-68 verso), here imperfect by the loss of a quire at the beginning: ']ipse semper est rex iudeorum ... et corpore spirituali et subtili'. The text, corresponding to Migne, Patrologia Latina cxvi, cols. 237-693, begins in the commentary on Psalm 15 and, unaccountably, breaks off at the foot of the first column of f. 68 verso, where the remaining column would have sufficed to complete the commentary on Psalm 150. Written in England, the manner of writing in omissions and the 'dragon initials', but not the script, are suggestive of Canterbury or Rochester.
Written by one good hand. Punctuation by point and punctus elevatus; hyphens. Ink brown. Omissions are regularly made good by writing in small in the margin with a signe-de-renvoi, sometimes by the scribe, sometimes by another hand, sometimes, otiosely, by both (cf. N. R. Ker, English Manuscripts in the Century after the Norman Conquest (Oxford, 1960), p. 50). Nota marks are by the scribe. Spaces for tituli, at least up to f. 45, were originally left blank, perhaps to be filled in in red; they were later filled in in ink, by the scribe, in capitals. Between ff. 21 verso and 45, tituli, written small, now partly cropped, appear in the outer margin.

Liber Landavensis.

  • File
  • [c. 1120]-[1942x1959], 2007.
  • Part of Gwysaney Manuscripts

The Gospel of St Matthew and a compilation, [c. 1120]-[c. 1133], of copies of charters, saints' Lives and other records and literary material relating to the medieval diocese of Llandaf. The text of the earliest charters appears to date from c. 500, and additions have been made up to c. 1619, but the bulk of the historical, legal and hagiographical material was copied and compiled under the auspices of bishop Urban (consecrated in 1107), with the purpose of using the historical and legal record to provide his newly-styled diocese of Llandaf with antecedents that would assist his efforts to convince the papacy of the ancient primacy of the bishopric over its neighbours, Hereford and St Davids, and also to define its position in relation to the metropolitan claims of Canterbury.

Lucas Glosatus

The Vulgate text of St Luke's Gospel preceded by the usual prologue (F. Stegmuller, Repertorium Biblicum Medii Aevi, Madrid, 1950-61, no. 620) (ff. 1-121 verso). Lucas, syrus natione, et antyochenus, arte medicus ... (f. 2) quam fastidientibus prodesse. Quoniam quidem multi conati sunt ... et benedicentes deum. The prologue has interlinear glosses by the scribe of the text, some of them giving variant readings. The text has marginal and interlinear glosses by the scribes of the text. These are the Glossa Ordinaria with a good number of additional marginal glosses (comparison with the Glossa Ordinaria in PL 114) all, so far as has been ascertained, deriving from Ambrose and Bede. There are further glosses on the text and on the Gloss in several contemporary smaller glossing hands, probably including both the main scribes, interlined and in the outer margin. Text flanked by gloss, varying number of columns. 35-38 lines (hands A and B), 44 lines (hand C, except when he has to match A or B), the text on alternate lines. Written above the top line. Ruling in plummet includes three sets of three lines at top, middle and bottom of the written space drawn across the full width of the page.
Written in good textura by three hands: A, ff. 1-17, 37-41 , 43 recto-verso; B, f. 17 verso; C ff. 18-32 verso, 42 recto , 44-121 verso. C writes a textura prescissa except when matching A or B. The Gloss is written in a smaller textura by each of the scribes, additional glosses in small glossing hands. Omissions by A have been made good by C. Ink is black-dark brown. Syntax letters and marks appear a few times (e.g. ff. 1 recto-verso, 11 verso).


A Bible, written in France, [13 cent., first ¼]. Texts: 'Hic incipit epistola beati Ieromini ...' [Friedrich Stegmüller, Repertorium biblicum medii aevi (Madrid, 1950-80) 284] (ff.1-2); Stegmüller 284 repeated (ff. 3-4); and The Bible (ff. 5-352). The OT, compared with the order established about 1230 in Parisian Bibles (see for instance N. R. Ker and A. J. Piper, Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries (Oxford, 1969- ), I, 96-97) lacks the Prayer of Manasses and 2 Ezra. The unusual NT order is: Gospels, Acts, Catholic Epistles, Pauline Epistles and Apocalypse. For the OT, prologues are lacking for 2 Chronicles, Ecclesiastes and Wisdom (the Paris prologues for the latter two are added by another hand in the margin), that for Tobit is Stegmüller 349, while the series for the Minor Prophets, Amos to Machabees, is Stegmüller 512, 516, 522, 525, 527, 529, 532, 535, 540, 544 and 551. The only prologues in the NT are, for the Gospels, Stegmüller 590, 607, 615 and 624, for Acts 640; for the Catholic Epistles (James) Jacobus ecclesie ierosolimitane post apostolos curam et regnum suscepit ... uel inuisibiliter percutiat; and for the Epistle to the Romans, Stegmüller 662. The hand which added the prologues in the margin of the OT also added in the margin the standard prologues for the Pauline Epistles up to Philippians.
The text was corrected throughout, before decoration (see f. 104); it was annotated and further corrected by several thirteenth-century hands. Some of the larger omissions, neatly made good in the margin by the scribe, have their text otiosely repeated, in circles, by a contemporary hand. Between 2 Chronicles and Esther, chapter divisions were revised by one of the correcting hands, in conformity with the Paris Bible, most notably in Esther, where nine chapters become sixteen. The text is lightly glossed throughout, by pen and plummet, by the same thirteenth-century hands. Cited by glosses, apart from the Fathers, are Bede (ff. 281 verso, 323), Raban (f. 270), Hugh of St Victor (ff. 5, 245 verso, 258, 323 verso), Richard of St Victor (f. 160) and 'Ray[mund]' (f. 166).


An early-thirteenth century collection of distinctiones from the Mostyn library. The distinctiones are theological and scriptural and, to a small extent, merely grammatical. They are set out in the characteristically medieval schematic pattern. Quotations in the distinctiones are mostly from Scripture; there are also however some from the Fathers, from the Liturgy and, among the pagan writers, Boethius, Virgil, Ovid and Lucan. The compilation appears in part at least to be an original one. It is the work of one hand, an English one, well written and prettily decorated in red and green.

Giraldi Cambrensis Hiberniae

The 'Topographia Hibernica' and 'Expugnatio Hiberniae' of Giraldus Cambrensis, with initial capitals, etc., in red and green.

Lewis Johnes' Book,

  • NLW MS 23985A.
  • File
  • [13 cent.], [16 cent., first ¼]-[17 cent., first ¼].

An imperfect copy, lacking title-page, and all following f. cxxxvi, of an unidentified early sixteenth-century printed edition of the Latin Decretales of Gregory IX. The text ends at the beginning of c. 1, X, De fideiussoribus, III, 22. Preceding the Decretales are sixteen originally-blank paper leaves, and a vellum leaf containing a fragment of a medieval Latin text, in a XIII cent. hand, originally used as a front pastedown, now raised and left as a fly-leaf. The covers bear blind-tooled rolled decorations of Oldham's 'heads in medallions' type, similar to his HM. h (29), identified as a London production of 1533-44; see further J.B. Oldham, English Blind-Stamped Bindings (Cambridge, 1952), 54 & plate L.
The volume was owned at the end of the sixteenth or beginning of the seventeenth centuries by 'Lewis Johnes', who added his name on ff. 16, xlvv, xlvi and inside rear cover. He also added pen trials and Welsh poetry to the sixteen preliminary blank leaves. The poems include an early cywydd attributed to Siôn Tudur (c. 1522-1602) (ff. 9 verso-10), a text seemingly first attested in Cardiff MS 2.114 of 1564-5, see Enid Roberts, Gwaith Siôn Tudur (Caerdydd, 1980) I, 672; an incomplete cywydd, attributed elsewhere to Gruffudd ab Ieuan ap Llywelyn Fychan (c. 1485-1553) (f. 12); and a series of 37 englynion of gnomic type, each beginning with 'Eira mynydd ...' (ff. 5 verso-9). These englynion are not among those appearing in Oxford Jesus College MS 111 (Llyfr Coch Hergest), col. 1028-9 (see Kenneth Jackson, Early Welsh Gnomic Poems, Cardiff, 1935, 22-6), and their form and contents suggest that they are later-dating imitations of the genre, seemingly unattested. The name of Lewis Johnes (or Jones), again in a late sixteenth- or early seventeenth-century hand, also appears in the first part of NLW MS 5283B (pp. 7, 98, 119, 126, 161, 166 and 170), a collection of cywyddau, mostly written in his hand, which begins with the above-mentioned poem attributed to Siôn Tudur. Johnes' legal connection, exemplified by his ownership of the Decretales, may also be reflected in the legal script which he adopts when writing his name on pp. 98 & 126 of this manuscript, a volume which also bears the names of Evan Johnes (p. 166), Hughe Johnes (p. 55) and Harry Jones (pp. 13, 43, 88, 140), possibly kinsmen.

Confirmation by Geoffrey de Mandevilla, Earl of Gloucester and Essex, with assent of Isabel his wife, Countess of Gloucester, to ...,

Confirmation by Geoffrey de Mandevilla, Earl of Gloucester and Essex, with assent of Isabel his wife, Countess of Gloucester, to Margam Abbey, of the gifts of the Countess, as set forth in No. 113 above, of which this is the corresponding document prepared on behalf of the Earl.

Witnesses: Henry, Bishop of Llandaff; Urban, Archdeacon of Llandaff; Nicholas Poinz; Henry de Umframvilla; John de Saint Quintin; Walter de Sullie; Ralph de Suuinesheued', then Sheriff; Richard Flamang; Gilbert de Turbervilla; William de Cantilupo; Reimund de Sullie; Ralph Maylock; William Le Sor; Ralph de Clivedun.

Round seal, green wax, 1? inch diameter: a shield of arms of early shape; quarterly. + Sigill: GALFR... De Mavndevil.

Confirmation by Ysabella, Countess of Gloucester and Essex, in her free widowhood, to Margam Abbey, of all the gifts and ...,

Confirmation by Ysabella, Countess of Gloucester and Essex, in her free widowhood, to Margam Abbey, of all the gifts and confirmations made to the Abbey by Robert, Earl of Gloucester, her grandfather, and William, Earl of Gloucester, her father, set forth in No. 113 [1214x23 Feb. 1216]. (See Printed Vol. I, p. 39, etc.).

Witnesses:- Henry de Furneaus; William de Tiches': Dominus William, Canon of Kainesham; Nicholas, Prior of Margam; John, Monk of Neath; Ernald, conversus of Margam; Martin the hostiarius; John de Swinesheved.

Imperfect seal of the Countess, dark green wax, similar to that described in Vol. I, p. 39 (printed).

Confirmation by Richard de Clare, Earl of Gloucester and Hertford, to Margam Abbey, of the lands and privileges granted [by ...,

General confirmation by Richard de Clare, Earl of Gloucester and Hertford, to Margam Abbey, of the lands and privileges granted [by his predecessors], viz. the lands in the fee of Kenefeg, New-Castle, the land of Peytevin, etc. (cf. No. 113 [1214x23 Feb. 1216]), with additional grants; and that the monks are to have a court of all pleas and forfeits in their lands, but not of felony. And in felonies, the land and chattels of the felons condemned to death which may be due to the Earl are granted to the monks.

Witnesses: Patrick de Chauus, Roger de Sumery, Nicholas Poinz, Geoffrey de Fanucurt, Stephen Bauceyn, Ralph de Beuchamp, John La Ware, Walter de Sulya, Gilbert de Umframuill, John de Reigny, Adam Wallensis. Latin.

The green silk bobbin remains, but the seal is wanting.

The text is given in G. T. Clark's Cartae, No. DCCCLVII.


A gift in frank almoign by Brother Hugh of St Asaph to the Hospital of Jerusalem in Carno, of part of the benefice of the parish church of Tregynon, which he had from Meyler Kryc, and the remaining part as shall become vacant for Christ’s poor in the said house of Carno, witnessed by Richard, dean of St Asaph, and others, 1238; leases by Richard Pryse of Gogerddan, of Tythin Y Llyest Dduy and Tythin Howell Bedo Kethin, in the township of Derlwyn, Carno, 1584-1586; and a bond by Ievan ap Henry of Carno to Richard Pryse, 1590

Llyfr Du Caerfyrddin

A collection of Welsh poetry, compiled by one scribe during the mid-thirteenth century, containing verse composed at various times during the period between the eighth and thirteenth centuries.
The volume includes triads (p. 27), religious and vaticinatory poetry, eulogies, elegies and numerous poems relating to the Myrddin Legend.

Leges Hywel Dda

A Latin text of the Laws of Hywel Dda, being one of the earliest, by a single scribe and dating from the mid 13th century.
The notes on a piece of paper pasted onto the inside the end cover which is now partly perished have been transcribed by Gwenogvryn Evans. There is also a loose piece of paper of modern date at the end of the manucsript with Latin words and numbers on both sides.

Breuddwyd Macsen Wledig,

The manuscript is made up of five fragments. The main texts include the Credo, with a commentary; the prophecy of Merlin, with a commentary; a version of Macsen Wledig; triads; and Bonedd y Saint.
F. iv is from a musical manuscript.

Llyfr Aneirin

  • NLW Llyfr Aneirin (Cardiff MS 2.81)
  • File
  • [13 cent., second ½]

A manuscript of the second half of the thirteenth century containing 'Y Gododdin', a series of awdlau lamenting warriors slain in battle at Catraeth, and believed to have been originally composed by Aneirin at the end of the sixth century (pp. 1-24). The awdlau are followed by four poems known as the gorchanau: Gorchan Tudfwlch (pp. 25-26), Gorchan Adebon (p. 26), Gorchan Cynfelyn (pp. 26-28) and Gorchan Maeldderw (pp. 28-38).
The manuscript was written by two scribes: scribe A (pp. 1.1-23.5, 25.1-30.11) and scribe B (pp. 23.6-24.21, 30.12-38.22). The hand of scribe B is also responsible for Peniarth MS 14, pp. 1-44 and Peniarth MS 17; see Ingo Mittendorf, 'Sprachliche und orthographische Besonderheiten eines mittelkymrischen Textes aus dem 13. Jahrhundert (Gwyrthyeu e Wynvydedic Veir)', in Akten des Zweiten Deutschen Keltologen-Symposiums, ed. S. Zimmer, R. Ködderitzsch and A. Wigger, Buchreihe der Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie, 17 (Tübingen, 1999), p. 129. Daniel Huws suggests the Cistercian abbey of Aberconwy as a likely location of the scriptorium; see Medieval Welsh Manuscripts (Cardiff and Aberystwyth, 2000), 75.


Quit-claim by Howel and Thomas, sons of William ap Houwell, to Sir Robert de Penres, kt...,

Quit-claim by Howel and Thomas, sons of William ap Houwell, to Sir Robert de Penres, kt, of land formerly held by William ap Houwel at Reuroz, in the fee of Landimor. Witnesses: John de Penres, Richard de Penres, William de la Mare, Philip Scorlage, Robert Moxel. [Latin]. Dated at Penres (Penrice), 10th March, 10 Edw. I [1282]. Two small seals, creamy white wax, indistinct: 1. Head of St. John Baptist in a dish. * CAPVD . IOH’...... (11mm). 2. A seeded fleur-de-lis, legend illegible (9mm).

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