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'Commentarji de rebus Admirallitatis', Written about the middle of the 15th century

MS. Arch. Selden B. 27
Held at the Weston Library

  • Request

'Commentarji de rebus Admirallitatis', a title given by Selden (Vindiriæx Maris dausi, 1653, p. 9): a collection of maritime laws, in French, similar to the Black Book of the Admiralty. The contents, which have been printed in The Black Book of the Admiralty, vol. i, Rolls Series, 1871, are as follows:

  1. Fol. 1, De l'esleccion de l'admiral
  2. Fol. 5v, 'Comment l'admiral soy doit gouuerner et reuler par mer et par terre'
  3. Fol. 9, The oath to be taken by jurors of the maritime inquest, in English, followed by an inquisition into customs of English maritime law, (fol. 10), the Laws of Oleron, (fol. 19) and additional ordinances, (fol. 26), in French
  4. Fol. 28v, An inquisition in French taken at Queenborough on Apr. 2, 1375, and similar returns (fols. 32-40)
  5. Fol. 40v, A Latin treatise on procedure in the Civil Courts, beg, 'Licet circa ciuilia iudicia multa concurrant'
  6. Fol. 1 is the cover of a register of the expenses of the 'hospicium Johanne regine Anglie' Apr. 4, 1434 - Apr. 4, 1435
  7. A note on fol. 65, 'The liberties of the Cinquports', is signed H[a]rewarde, see below: cf. fol. 64v


  • Creation: Written about the middle of the 15th century


73 Leaves

Language of Materials

  • French
  • Latin


MS. Arch. Selden B. 27


Old Selden mark = B. 11

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. II, no. 3341

Custodial History

'1550. Loyalte na hount. E. Clynton i. e. Edward lord Clinton, high admiral of England 1550 - 4 and (partly as earl of Lincoln) 1557 - 85. '1579. Liber Gulielmi Hareward supremę Curiæ Admiralitatis Angliæ Registrarii',who probably added the marginal rubrics. The letters 'C H' are on fols. 14, 14 and elsewhere, no doubt (as Selden suggests) the initials of Charles Howard lord Howard of Effingham, earl of Nottingham, high admiral 1585-1618.

Manuscript 3355 acquired by the Bodleian Library

Physical Facet

On parchment, with illuminated border,capitals, etc.; binding, red leather on boards, clasps lost


9 7/8 × 6 3/4 in.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom