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Poems and treatises by Thomas Hoccleve, with one by John Lydgate, written in about the middle of the 15th century

MS. Bodl. 221
Held at the Weston Library

  • Request

Poems and treatises by Thomas Hoccleve, with one (art. 7) by John Lydgate:

  1. (fol. 1) A Complaint, with prologue, in verse. At end of latter (which beg. 'After that herveste') 'Here endith my prologe and folowith my Complaynte'. The text beg. 'Allmyghty God, as liketh his goodenes'; at end 'Here endith my Complaynte and begynnes a Dia-logge.'
  2. (fol. 6v) at end: 'Explicit Dialogus & incipit fabula ...': the dialogue, in verse, beg. 'And endith my complaynte in this manere. One knokkid': in the 3rd line the author's name occurs as 'hoccleue.'
  3. (fol. 15v) at end: 'Here endith the tale of a gode woman which was sum tyme Emprice of Rome, and now sueth a prolog of the moralization of the same tale' and later 'here ... begynneth the moralization': the tale beg. 'In the Romayn actes writyn is thus', the prologue to the moralization beg. 'My frende aftir I trow a woke or two': the moralization, in prose, beg. 'The Emperoure that I spak of.' This tale and that in art. 6 are from the Gesta Romanorum.
  4. (fol. 30) 'Here endith the moralisyng of my tale, and begynneth the moste profitabill and holsom crafte that is to kun lern to dye': beg. 'Sethen all men naturally desireth.' Only part 1 is here: the place of the 2nd and 3rd part is taken by art. 5.
  5. (fol. 42v) 'Here ... begynneth a prologe of the ix lesson that is red on all halow day', beg. 'Thoo other thre partis', three stanzas: then 'Here ... begynnyth the Lesson', in prose: beg. 'Lo thus is seyde of the cite', a paraphrase of St. Augustine's sermon which forms the ninth lection on All Saints' day. This is really a sequel to art. 4.
  6. (fol. 44) 'Here begynnyth the prolog of of Jonathas': beg. 'This boke to haue endid had I thoght': the author is more than once called 'Thomas': on fol. 45 'Here ... begynneth the tale' of Jonathas: beg. 'Some tyme an Emperoure': at fol. 52v 'Here ... begynnyng [sic] the moralite', in prose: beg. 'This Emperoure obove expressid.' Up to this point this MS. follows the order and contents of the Durham MS. of Hoccleve (III. 9).
  7. (fol. 53v) John Lydgate's Dance of Death, with no title or colophon: beg. 'O ye folkes hard hertid as a stone': the author or rather translator's name occurs in the last stanza. Fols. 57-58, 60-70 are badly mutilated in the lower part.
  8. (fol. 62v) Hoccleve's De regimine principum, with no title: beg. 'Mvsyng opon the restles besynes': imperfect at end, twenty-seven stanzas and one line being lost after 'Into thi cofre warme is thine office': see also note in art. 7 above. The author's name occurs in a sidenote on fol. 110 as 'Thomas Occleue.'

There are many marginal notes, rubricated and contemporary, in Latin. Prof. Skeat's list of contents is at fol. i, written in 1890.


  • Creation: written in about the middle of the 15th century


131 Leaves

Language of Materials

  • English


MS. Bodl. 221

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. V, no. 27627.

Custodial History

On fol. 129v. is 'John Kinderley' (16th century), and on fol. 1 'Litigates poems . R. Myddelton Massey' and a record by Hudson of the gift of the book, as in some other volumes of this set.

Physical Facet

On paper and parchment, with some coloured capitals, injured


12 3/8 × 9 1/8 in.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom