Skip to main content

Old English canons and constitutions, Written in the early 11th century at Worcester

MS. Junius 121

  • Request

Old English canons and constitutions, perhaps written by 'Wulfgeatus scriptor Wigornensis' (fol. 101), as MSS. Hatton 113-114. The latest document is the Council of Winchester, A.D. 1076, but this is on a sheet which may have been added (fol. 4). The contents are:

  1. Fol. 1. canons, including (fol. 2v) the Council of Winchester and penitential canons printed-the latter from this MS.-in Wilkins, Concilia, i. 366-7
  2. Fol. 5. Rubrics to the Polity (fol. 9), Penitential (fol. 69), and Confessional (fol. 87)
  3. Fols. 55v-6 are a translation of the Regula canonicorum (lib. i, cap. 145) of Amalarius of Metz, for which see Karl Jost in Anglia, lvi. 267
  4. Fol. 101v. the canons of Aelfric, with a gap of some leaves after fol. 110v, edited by Fehr, Bibliothek der angelsächsischen Prosa, ix. 1-32, followed by other pieces by Aelfric, ed. Fehr, 146-221 (fol. 111), and Assmann, Angelsächsische Homilien u. Heiligenleben, pp. 4-12 (fol. 124)
  5. Fol. 130v. homilies, of which fols. 136v-7v are printed by Napier, Wulfstan, xii (16), and fols. 138-48v, 157-60 by Thorpe, Homilies, i. 600, ii. 438

On fol. 1 is a trope to Benedicamus, with notation in neum-accents (late 11th cent.). Fol. vi contains the Nicene creed in the Worcester 'tremulous hand', as described by C. H. Turner, Early Worcester MSS. (1910), pp. lvi-lvii, which has inserted Old English glosses (13th cent.) throughout this volume. These are printed by S. J. Crawford in Anglia, vol. 52, with a facsimile.

There is also a contemporary list of Latin hymns and their authors, beg. 'Robertus rex Francorum Victime Pascali', and a table of contents by Dugdale (fol. iii).


  • Creation: Written in the early 11th century at Worcester


161 Leaves

Language of Materials

  • Multiple languages
  • English, Old (ca.450-1100)
  • Latin


MS. Junius 121

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. 5232

Custodial History

This MS. was perhaps not originally part of the Junius collection (Wood's Life and Times, ed. A. Clark, vol. iii, p. 239 and note). According to Wood it was bought from Scott the bookseller by Fell, who probably gave it to the Bodleian between the date of Junius's bequest (1675) and his own death (1686). Now MS. Junius 121.


  • Of these fols. 5v-7v, 69v-87 have been collated by Josef Raith in Bibl. der angelsächsischen Prosa , xiii (1933), which see (pp. xiii-xv) for a fuller list of contents; fols. 9-34 are printed by Thorpe 422-36, 395-402, 436-8; fols. 56v 9v are printed ib. 438-40; fols. 65v-7v ib. 402-3, 410-11; fols. 42-55v by Feiler in Anglistische Forschungen , iv. 54-81; fols. 59v-61, 64-5v by Napier, Wulfstan , nos. xxviii (55) and xxvi (51); and fols. 67v-9v by R. Spindler, Confessionale .
  • MS. Harl. 441 in the British Museum is a transcript of this MS. by Edmund Gibson.

Physical Facet

On parchment, binding, blind-tooled brown leather, 17th-cent. English work, with illuminated initials


11 1/10 × 6 1/2 in.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom