Skip to main content

A poem by Robert Burhill, of Corpus Christi college, Oxford

 Single Item
MS. e Mus. 132
Held at the Weston Library

  • Request

A poem by Robert Burhill, of Corpus Christi college, Oxford, entitled 'Britannia Scholastica, siue de Britanniæ rebus scholasticis, libri decem. 1. Heroicus [i.e. aetas heroica], 2. Provincia [Romana], 3. Heptarchia, 4. Alfredus, 5. Neotus, 6. Elfleda, 7. Parallelismus [inter academias Oxon. & Cantab.], 8. Itinerarium [memorabilia plurimorum Angliæ locorum unde fit concursus studentium], 9. Benemeriti, 10. Foxus [Collegii Corporis Christi fundator]. Ad præstantissimum atque optimè de Oxoniensi Academia meritum, Thomam Bodlæum ...': with epistle dedicatory to Thomas Bodley, preface to the reader, and list of contents: the poem beg. 'Prima meæ carmen, Schola, ni piget, Angla iuventæ'.

This is a curious poem on the history of education in England from the earliest times, in 1,252 hexameters, with marginal notes. This may be an autograph of the author, whose name is at the end of the dedication. A fragmentary earlier version is MS. Lat. misc. f. 30.

As an appendix to this work there is added at fol. 173 'Antiquitates Insulæ Britannicæ, ad varia huius Britanniæ Scholasticæ loca meliùs intelligenda', a prose piece with the divisions Nominum rationes, Britannica, Saxonica. At fol. 205 are indexes of personal matters connected with the author and his book, of speeches, of subjects (two), of historical events and persons since the Conquest, and of 'Sententiosa' (philosophical adages, etc.).

This poem may perhaps be regarded as connected with the opening of the Bodleian, as it is dedicated to Bodley and often refers to him and his new library, though only in rhetorical terms (see fol. 214).


  • Creation: Written about A.D. 1602 by R. Burhill


221 Leaves

Language of Materials

  • Latin

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. e Mus. 132, fols. 1-2]

Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.


MS. e Mus. 132

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 18186


A poem by Robert Burhill, of Corpus Christi college, Oxford

Biographical / Historical

Robert Burhill (bap. 1572, d. 1641) was a Church of England clergyman.

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. 3507

Custodial History

Manuscript acquired by the Bodleian Library (17)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The author probably gave this copy to sir Thomas Bodley in 1602, who no doubt placed it in the Library at once, since it occurs in the manuscript catalogue of that date.

Physical Facet

On paper, the ink has much run through the paper, and parts of fols. 89-107 are injured


9 3/8 × 7 in.

A poem by Robert Burhill, of Corpus Christi college, Oxford
EAD version 2020 by Alice Whichelow
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom