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Poetical and prose works of king James i of England, written in the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th century by king James i

MS. Bodl. 165

  • Request

Poetical and prose works of king James i of England, written with his own hand:

  1. (fol. 1). Lepanto, a poem on the battle, with a preface and an analysis of it (beg. 'I sing a great & mercifull uorke'): and six Latin hexameters at the end (beg. 'Iamque opus exegi'). The poem and preface are printed in His Maiesties Poeticall Exercises (Edinb., n. d.).
  2. (fol. 16). The Furies, a poem, with two prefaces (in prose and verse) and invocation. It ends with 'In Port Ulissis brou. Finis Furiarum, quas ego furiis agitatus furiosus traducendas suscepi.' The poem, verse preface, and invocation, are printed as above.
  3. (fol. 36). 'Phœnix', forty 7-line stanzas: printed in The Essayes of a Prentise (Edinb. 1585).
  4. (fol. 43). A poem on Women, in ten 6-line stanzas: beg. 'As falconis are by nature fair of flicht.'
  5. (fol. 46). A love poem of fifty-eight lines, beg. 'If mourning micht amende my harde unhappie case.'
  6. (fol. 47).'Ane Admonition to the maister poete to leave of greit crakking ...', a poem addressed to 'Sanders', i.e. Alexander Montgomerie:beg. 'Geif patient eire to sumething i man say': in twelve 8-line stanzas, and a sonnet (beg. 'Remember of my protestation nou').
  7. (fol. 51). A poem on the relation of subjects to their king, in five 8-line stanzas: beg. 'Gif all the floudis.'
  8. (fol. 52). A love poem, in seven 8-line stanzas: beg. (the beginning probably wanting) 'Bot be the contraire i reiose.'
  9. (fol. 54). A philosophical poem of sixty-eight lines: beg. 'This lairgeness & this breadth so long, this hienes so profound.'
  10. (fol. 57). A poem on his own destiny, in thirty-eight lines, beg.'True is that saying used of old among philosophes wyse.'
  11. (fol. 58). A sonnet on Bacchus, supplementing the twelve similar sonnets printed in the Essayes of a Prentice (1585): beg. 'O michtie sunne of Semele the faire.'
  12. (fol 58v). 'The ci Psal.' a poetical rendering of the 101st Psalm: beg. 'Thy mercy will j sing & justice eik.' This is quite different from the version in the printed editions (1631 and later).
  13. (fol. 60). Parts of a wedding masque (?), consisting of invocations of, or verses by, gods, goddesses, nymphs, etc.: beg.'Yf euer j (ô michtie goddis) haue done you seruice treu.'
  14. (fol. 65). A Meditation upon 1 Chron. xv. 25-29: printed in the prose Workes of the most high... prince James (Lond. 1616).
  15. (fol. 70). A Meditation upon Rev. xx. 7-10: printed as above.
  16. (fol. 75). A draft of a letter to Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas, mentioning his Uranie and inviting him to visit the writer, in French: beg. 'Alexandre le grand.'
  17. (fol. 76). Part of chapts. 1-3 of bk. i and chapt. 1 of bk. iii of the Damonologie: beg. 'Quhat thinke ye of thir strainge neuis.'

The greater part of this volume was edited by R. S. Rait, M.A., in 1901. Articles 4-13 and 16 had never before been published: and the rest differ much in orthography and to some extent in expression from the early editions.


  • Creation: written in the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th century by king James i


83 Leaves

Language of Materials

  • Scots
  • English
  • French


MS. Bodl. 165

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. 27843.

Custodial History

The volume bears Dr. R. Rawlinson's bookplate.

Physical Facet

On paper; bound in limp vellum with gold ornaments, including the royal arms, 17th century, covered with green baize


12 3/4 × 8 3/4 in.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom