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Legal and miscellaneous pieces, some of which (especially added documents) relate to Coventry, written in the 13th cent. with some additions

MS. Douce 139
Held at the Weston Library

  • Request

Made up of several MSS., comprising:

  1. (fol. 6) Forms of briefs in Latin
  2. (fol. 58), Various English statutes and treatises including the re-issue of Magna Charta in A.D. 1253: some are in French, the rest Latin. On fol. 1v is a list of the death-days of English kings from Edward the Confessor to John, and of bps. of Coventry and Lichfield, 1057 - 1159: and on fol. 2 is a list of the bps. of Lichfield and of Coventry to 1257. On fol. 5 is a short English song (beg. 'Foweles in ϸe frith') with music, of the second half of the 13th cent.: cf. fol. 157. [On fol. 5V is a dancetune. Its latest editor, Wooldridge (O. Eng. popular music, i, p. 215), supposed ff, s and 179 to have once formed a cover to the intervening leaves--a mistake I am to blame for. I should now date them c. 1270. E.W.B.N.]
  3. (fols. 116v - 124v, 130 - 139) The Statute of Gloucester (A.D. 1278), in French verse: beg. 'Cum nostre seynur le roye Eadward': wanting at least capp. 14 - 15
  4. (fol. 125) The laws of Edward the Confessor in Latin, imperfect at beginning: beg. 'Deo primitus & regi postea.' A short piece 'De succession regum Anglie' from Rollo duke of Normandy to Stephen follows at fol. 128
  5. (fol. 139v) Various English statutes, etc.
  6. (fol. 154v) Various English statutes and charters. On fol. 179v is a French song (beg. 'Au queer ay vn maus ke my destreynt souent') with music, of the second half of the 13th cent.

An old foliation to ccxxxi shows that thirteen leaves are lost at the beginning, and eighteen elsewhere. Some leaves containing Coventry charters once at the end of the volume were removed by Douce and given to 'Mr. Sharpe of Coventry.'.

'Henry Ferrers' (16th cent., fol. 116). The arms on the binding are, quarterly first, an eagle displayed: second, a saltire and chief: third, on three piles in point an inescutcheon bearing a lion rampant within a bordure verdoy: fourth a lion rampant and chief. The tinctures being uncertain it may be doubted whether Douce is right in stating that sir Robert Cotton owned the book.


  • Creation: written in the 13th cent. with some additions


203 Leaves

Language of Materials

  • Latin
  • French


MS. Douce 139

Other Finding Aids

Falconer Madan, et al., A summary catalogue of western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford which have not hitherto been catalogued in the Quarto series (7 vols. in 8 [vol. II in 2 parts], Oxford, 1895-1953; reprinted, with corrections in vols. I and VII, Munich, 1980), vol. IV, no 21713

A facsimile of part of fol. 157 will be found in the 1840 catalogue.

Our best descriptions for medieval items in this collection are in Medieval Manuscripts in Oxford Libraries under MSS. Douce.

Physical Facet

On parchment


9 7/8 × 7 3/8 in.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom