Skip to main content

Chronicles and lives of saints relating to and for the most part compiled at Durham priory, Written in the 2nd half of the 14th century at Durham in part by 'Petrus plenus amoris'

MS. Fairfax 6
Held at the Weston Library

  • Request

Chronicles and lives of saints relating to and for the most part compiled at Durham priory.

1. (fol. 1) Lives of st. Cuthbert, consisting of:

  1. Fol. 1. 'Incipit prefatio de ortu beati Cuthberti de historiis hibernensium excerpta et translata': beg. 'Cum per annos plurimos', printed for the Surtees Society (1838) in Miscellanea Biographica, p. 63
  2. Fol. 8. the metrical Latin life by Bede, for other MSS. of which see Hardy, Materials, i. 299: beg. 'Alma deo cara primo celestis ab evo'
  3. Fol. 13. the prose life by Bede in forty-seven chapters, of which chapters 32-47 are excerpted from Bede's Ecclesiastical History (iv. 30) and of which chap. 47 is a later addition (cp. Hardy, op. cit. i. 317): prol. beg. 'Domino sancto ac beatissimo', text beg. 'Principium nobis scribendi de vita beati Cuthberti'
  4. Fol. 43v. the life by Reginald, monk of Durham (fl. 1150), printed by the Surtees Society from another MS. (see Hardy, op. cit. i. 307-8): text beg. 'Venerandus confessor Cuthbertus non mortis dolore' (fol. 47v)

II (fol. 136). Lives of other saints, of the abbots of Wearmouth, and of Bede, as follows:

  1. Fol. 136. st. Oswald, by Reginald, monk of Durham (for whom cp. I. d supra and II. c infra), hence printed as Appendix III to Symeon of Durham (Rolls Series, no. 75), i. 326: text beg. 'Veteres celestis depositi thesauros libet effodere' (fol. 136v)
  2. Fol. 160. st. Aidan, derived from Bede (cp. Hardy, op. cit. i. 246-7): beg. 'Est insula que vocatur Hii'
  3. Fol. 162. st. Eata, printed in Miscell. Biog., p. 121, from the York MS.: beg. 'Anno ab incarnacione domini nostri Jesu Christi DCXXXIII'
  4. Fol. 164. st. Ebba, by Reginald of Coldingham, monk of Durham (cf. I. and II. a supra), not known to exist in other MSS., beg. 'Ad vos clamat'
  5. Fol. 174. the five abbots of Wearmouth, by Bede (cf. Hardy, op. cit. i. 413), beg. 'Religiosus Christi famulus'
  6. Fol. 179. the anonymous life of Bede (op. cit. i. 450-1), beg. 'Inter catholicos sacre scripture'
  7. Fol. 185. st. Godric (op. cit. i. 390-1) (beg. 'Venerabilis confessor dominus Godricus'
  8. Fol. 199. st. Bartholomew, hence printed as Appendix II in Symeon of Durham (Rolls Series), i. 295: text beg. 'Post transitum venerandi patris Bartholomei'

III (fol. 207). Historical collections relating to Durham, consisting of:

  1. Fol. 207. 'Libellus de iniusta vexatione Willelmi episcopi primi Dunelmensis, per Willelmum [ii] regem' containing a paragraph (beg. 'Aderant ibi tunc') at end (fol. 212) not in the other MS., at Durham University: text beg. 'Anno ab incarnacione domini millesimo, interfecto a suis parochianis Walchero'
  2. Fol. 212v. the chronicle of the church of Durham in 184 chapters, probably compiled by Robert de Greystanes in 1336, with a brief continuation in another hand to 1571 in 27 chapters
  3. The first 96 chapters are from Symeon of Durham, with differences as noted in the Rolls Series (i, pp. xvi-xvii) where this MS. is collated as Ff. Chapters 97-107 are the continuation of Symeon to 1144; chapters 108-31 by Geoffrey of Coldingham, and chapters 132-83 by Greystanes himself
  4. Chapter 184, on Richard de Bury, has been attributed to William de Chambre (fl. c. 1375), for whom see the B.Q.R. 1933, p. 325
  5. Chapters 108 to the end are printed from the York MS. as Tres Scriptores (Surtees Society)
  6. The chronicle is in a hand of the 3rd quarter of the 14th cent. down to the passage concerning de Bury (fol. 281v), which is a 15th-cent. addition: beg. 'Gloriosi quondam regis' (fol. 214)
  7. It is preceded by the 'Breve summarium': beg. 'Regnante apud Northanhymbros' (fol. 212v), the 'Exordium', and table of contents (fol. 213)

At fol. iv of this MS., of which MS. Laud misc. 700 has been described as a transcript, is an early 16th-cent. list of bishops of Lindisfarne and Durham to 1437 with late 16th-cent. additions to the time of Cuthbert Tunstall, followed by 17th-cent. notes of names, without dates, to Thomas Morton. At fol. vv is a similar list of priors of Durham, with additions to 1519. There is a table of contents (fol. viv) contemporary with the first hand, that of 'Petrus plenus amoris' (cp. fol. 1), who wrote to fol. 159v.


  • Creation: Written in the 2nd half of the 14th century at Durham in part by 'Petrus plenus amoris'


299 Leaves

Language of Materials

  • Latin


MS. Fairfax 6

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. 3886

Physical Facet

On parchment, in double columns


13 1/2 × 8 1/2 in.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom