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Short treatises connected with the office of Heralds, the order of the Garter, etc., written chiefly in the 15th cent. in England

MS. Douce 271
Held at the Weston Library

  • Request

The chief are:

  1. (fol. 4) '... Le liure de la fondacion & ordonnance de lordre et compagnie de la Jartiere', the foundation charter of A.D. 1349
  2. (fol. 14) '... Le liure de la creacion et fondacion des heraulx': beg. 'Selon les ditz des philosophes.' Other pieces deal with oaths, ceremonies, privileges of officers, etc., all in French
  3. (fol. 48) A treatise on moral virtue, in French: beg. 'Inicium Sapiencie timor Domini ... A ceulx dit il qui Dieu doubtent.'.

There are many 16th century additions, chiefly in English, largely in the hand of sir Thomas Wall, Garter King of Arms (d. 1535/6, whose signature occurs several times (fols. iiv, 64, 77): but an entry on fol. 1 seems to be the signature of sir Christopher Barker when Norroy (1526-36). Among these additions are various oaths and regulations, and:

  1. (fol. 63) creations of Knights of the Garter in Hen. VI's time
  2. (fol. 64v) 'Eneas [Sylvius] de Herauldis', an English tr. of a letter to John Endurbache by pope Pius II, when bp. of Siena (A.D. 1450-56)
  3. (fol. 73v) forms of address to be used by the king in writing to foreign potentates, in French (abt. A.D. 1520-40)
  4. (fol. 75) 'The names of the officers at arms as they goo in ordre accordingly to ther auncianette, A.D. 1536, a valuable list.

The binding bears the arms and motto of Sir Edward Walker as Garter King of Arms (1645-6, 1660-77).


  • Creation: written chiefly in the 15th cent. in England


78 Leaves

Language of Materials

  • French
  • English


MS. Douce 271

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 21845

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

Physical Facet

On parchment with pen-and-ink drawings at fols. 4, 27v


7 7/8 × 5 7/8 in.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom