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English translation of adaptation of 'Legenda Aurea', written in A.D. 1438

MS. Douce 372
Held at the Weston Library

  • Request

At end:' ... Here endith the Lives of Seintis that is callid in latynne Legenda Aurea, and in Englissh the Gilte Legend, the which is drawen out of Frensshe into Englisshe. The yere of oure Lorde M.CCCC. and xxxviij bi a synfulle wrecche ...' This work by Jacobus de Voragine begins in this English translation with 'knowliched that he was ouercome', in the Life of st. Anthony, and ends with ' The Life of Adam and of Eve. cap° c lxxxj°' (fol. 157) and 'The fyve wilis of Kinge Pharao' (fol. 160v).

The book is badly mutilated and has lost many leaves: mutilated are fols. 14, 29, 40, 41, 48, 62, 80, 101, 105, 116, 122, 128, 155, 157, 163, and margins only of fols. 22, 34, 49-50, 58, 63, 71, 74, 77, 97, 100, 112-3, 141, 143-4, 146, 158: losses are after fols. 26, 31, 32, 33, 34, 73, 76, 125, 127, 134, 140, 145, 146, 156, and probably elsewhere. A modern index of saints etc. is on fol. 165. A full description of the MS. is in C. Horstmann's Altenglische Legenden, neue Folge (1881), p. cxxx.

'[B]e hit remembryd that John Burton citizen and mercer of London past oute of this lyfe the xx. day of Nouember the yere ... Mill'. cccc. lx ... and the said John Burton bequethe to dame Kateryne Burton his douȝter a boke callyd Legenda Sanctorum ... and after hur decesse. to remayne to the Prioresse and the Couent of Halywelle [Holywell, in Shoreditch] for euermore, they to pray for the saide John Burton and Johanne his wife ...' ' E. Trotter' (17th cent.) is on fol. 8.


  • Creation: written in A.D. 1438


170 Leaves

Language of Materials

  • English


MS. Douce 372

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 21947

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

Physical Facet

On parchment, with illuminated capitals, etc., mutilated


16 3/4 × 12 1/8 in.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom