London, British Library, Cotton Faustina A. x

Present Location

Faustina A. x

Medieval Provenance

General Information


154A, 154B




Made up of two parts:

Part 1, fols 3-101: fols 3-100 contains Ælfric's Grammar and Glossary , beginning on fol. 3 'gif hƿa þas boc'. Portions of the text are missing due to loss of leaves (fols 82-87). The glossary begins on fol. 92v. The text was corrected in s. xi/xii, and heavily annotated in several hands towards the end of the twelfth-century in Latin, Anglo-Norman and English. The Latin annotations are mainly marginal; the Anglo-Norman and English are glosses to words added at this time, especially to the glossary (see Zupitza 1880 and Ker 1957, p. 194, for a transcript Hunt 1991, pp. 101-11). Running titles are in Latin. Fols 100v-101v contain a proverb and two maxims in Latin and Old English from the eleventh century (see Zupitza 1880, p. 285 and Dobbie 1942, p. 109); a proverb: 'Ad traem dixit pereant tot buffo magistri. þa tadda cƿ to þar éiþa Forƿurþa sƿa fola maistres' written in the second half of the twelfth-century, and some Latin grammatical dialogue and maxims (Ker 1957, p. 194; Doane 2007, pp. 4-6).

Part 2, fols 102-51: Æthelwold's translation of the Rule of St Benedict in Old English: 'Her beginð seo forespræc muneca regules' (fols 102-48), beginning 'Gehyr þu min bearn geboda þines lareowes'. Fols 104v-06r contain a table of 74 chapters which only occurs in this copy of the Old English version. Chapter 7 of the Rule is divided into two parts, both in the table and the text, which are numbered VII and VIII. Annotations to the number of the items are written out: 'an tƿa þreo feower fif' by a contemporary hand, and 'sex sofana æhta nigon tin' by a late twelfth-century hand. Each chapter in the text is preceded by its title. In the table of contents and the titles of the chapters the forms are masculine, but in the text are many examples of feminine gender which have been erased and rewritten as masculine (see Schroer 1885-88). According to Ker 1957, the manuscript was 'evidently a version for nuns [that] has been altered for the use of monks' (p. 195). Some words and sentences are glossed occasionally in Latin. The lower parts of fols 115v and 116r, which were originally blank, now contain two recipes for eyesalve; a charm 'ƿiþ utsiht'; three charms in Latin; and later twelfth-century English recipes (see Cockayne 1864-66, iii, p. 292). Fols 148-51v contain the only surviving copy of An Account of King's Edgar's Establishment of Monasteries originally composed in the tenth century, and here beginning 'geard mid þæm leoman þæs halgan geleafan'. Fols 148-49 contain a number of marginal and interlinear annotations, most of which are marked for insertion in the main text, and most of which come from Ælfric's Homily on St. Gregory from the First Series ofCatholic Homilies (see, Godden 1979, ix, pp. 71-80, and Ker 1957, p. 195, Swan 2000, pp. 76-78, and Swan 1993, pp. 160-64 for a discussion of the textual sources of the annotations and their relationship to the main text, and pp. 318-21 for a transcription of the annotated section of the main text and the marginal annotations).

Digital Surrogate

Manuscript Items
  1. Itemfols 3r-92r


    • Title (B. Ælfric Grammar and Glossary: Grammar

      Rubric (initial): (fol. 3r) hic i[n]cipunt excerptiones de arte gra[m]matica anglice

      Incipit(fol. 3r) [...] gif hƿa þas boc aƿritan ƿylle þæt he hi gerihte ƿel be ðære bysne forðan ðe ic nah geƿeald þeah hi hƿa to ƿoge gebringe þurh lease ƿritera ond hit bið ðonne his pleoh na min. mycel yfel deð se unƿritere gif he nele his ƿoh gerihtan

      Explicit(fol. 92r) þe ƿæron gedone on ealdum dagum ond us dyrne ƿæron si þeos boc ðus her geendod


      Doane 2007

      Zupitza 1880, 3-296


    • Itemfol. 92v


      • Title (B. Ælfric Grammar and Glossary: De Numero

        Incipit(fol. 92v) In leden spræc synd menigfealde getæl on englisc nis nan þæra geƿunelic buton þrim anum

        Explicit(fol. 92v) libra on leden is pund on englisc fif ƿenegas gemaciað ænne scylling ond þrittig penega ænne mancus


        Doane 2007

        Zupitza 1880, 296


      • Itemfols 92v-100v


        • Title (B. Ælfric Grammar and Glossary: Glossary(fol. 92v) deus omnipotens þæt is god ælmihtig se ƿæs æfre unbegunnen

          Explicit(fol. 100r) Ƿe ne magon sƿa þeah ealle naman aƿritan. NE FURÐON GEÐENCAN


          Doane 2007

          Zupitza 1880, 296-332


        • Itemfol. 100v


          • Title (B. Ælfric Grammar and Glossary: Added Texts: Latin-OE Proverbs

            Incipit(fol. 100v) pomum licet ab arbore igitur unde reuoluitur tamen prouidit unde nascitur. Se appel næfre þæs feorr ne trend deðhe cyð hƿanon he com

            Explicit(fol. 100r) þæs þe ece ne byð


            Doane 2007

            Dobbie 1942, 109 and p.cxi n.2


          • Itemfol. 100v


            • Title (B. Ælfric Grammar and Glossary: Added Texts: Latin-OE Proverbs

              Incipit(fol. 100v) ad traeam dixit pereant tot buffo magistri þa tadda cƿæð to þar eiþa forƿurþa sƿa fola maistres


              Doane 2007


            • Itemfols 101r-v


              • Title (B. Ælfric Grammar and Glossary

                Incipit (Latin): (fol. 101r) prima declinatio quot litteras terminales habet

                Explicit (Latin): (fol. 101v) datiuus et ablatiuus inbus correptam


                Doane 2007


              • Itemfols 102r-04v


                • Title (B. Benedict, Rule : Preface

                  Incipit(fol. 102r) Her beginð seo forespræc muneca regules. GEHYR ÐU MIN BEARN geboda þines lareoƿes ond anhyld þinre heortan eare

                  Explicit(fol. 104v) ond gefean mid him agan moton


                  Doane 2007

                  Schröer/Gneuss 1964


                • Itemfols 104v-06r


                  • Title (B. Benedict, Rule : Capitula

                    Incipit(fol. 104v) Her onginnaþ þæra mynstra capitulas. i. an Be muneca cynne

                    Explicit(fol. 106r) xliiii Be þeam þæt ælc rihtƿisnysse gemen on þissum regule nis geset Her endeiaþ þa captlas


                    Doane 2007

                    Schröer/Gneuss 1964


                  • Itemfols 106r-10r


                    • Title (B. Benedict, Rule : Chapter 1

                      Incipit(fol. 106r) De generibus monachorum uel uita. Be muneca cynne Syx synt muneca cynerna þara synt þreo þa se lestan

                      Explicit(fol. 110r) ac mid worda andetnesse


                      Doane 2007

                      Schröer/Gneuss 1964, p.134-39


                    • Itemfols 110r-41v


                      • Title (B. Benedict, Rule : OE Benedictine Rule, CHs. 2-61

                        Incipit(fol. 110r) Hwylc se abbod beon sceal Se abbod þe þæs ƿeorþe is þæt he mynstres ƿealde

                        Explicit(fol. 141v) Ne do þu oþrum þæt þu nelle þæt þe sylfum gedon sy


                        Doane 2007

                        Schröer/Gneuss 1964


                      • Itemfols 141v-42r


                        • Title (B. Benedict, Rule : OE Benedictine Rule, Ch. 63

                          Incipit(fol. 141v) BE MYNSTRES sacredum ond hyra þenum. lxii Gif hƿylc abbod geþafaþ þæt mæssepreost oþþe diacon

                          Explicit(fol. 142r) ac heora goda hlisa gearƿeorþige þa þe hy to þære mæssan þenunge gecuron

                          Note: This version of Ch. 63 is unique to this manuscript.


                          Doane 2007

                          Schröer/Gneuss 1964


                        • Itemfols 142r-48r


                          • Title (B. Benedict, Rule [Chs. 64-74]

                            Incipit(fol. 142r) Be ealles geferes endebyrdenesse. lxiii. Ælc endebyrdnes on mynstre sceal beon gehealden

                            Explicit(fol. 148r) gemundun þæt age ƿorþe. ece lif to lean ond [...] ƿynuncg mid god eallum þam þe þysum regule filigeaþ. Her geendaþ þæs regules bec federys healices ond þæs eadigan abbodes benedictes. in naman godes ures helendes crystes


                            Doane 2007


                          • Itemfols 115v-16r


                            • Title (B. Charms, written in blank space between the 'Seventh' and 'Eighth Steps of Humility': Eyesalve recipe and charm (OE)

                              Incipit(fol. 115v) Ðeos eah sealf mæg wiþ ælces cynnes broc on eagon

                              Explicit(fol. 116r) ond nim þær gode eahsealfe


                              Doane 2007


                            • Itemfol. 116r


                              • Title (B. Charms, written in blank space between the 'Seventh' and 'Eighth Steps of Humility': OE eye-salve recipe

                                Incipit(fol. 116r) Sy ge menged togædere hunig tear

                                Explicit(fol. 116r) nim þær gode eah sealfe

                            • Itemfol. 116r


                              • Title (B. Charms, written in blank space between the 'Seventh' and 'Eighth Steps of Humility': Charm for diarrhea (nonsense Latin/OE with OE instructions)

                                Incipit(fol. 116r) Ðis man sceal singan nigon syþon wiþ utsiht on anhreren bræden æg þry dagas + Ecce dol gold ne dit dudum bethe cunda bræthe cunda

                                Explicit(fol. 116r) noe uis terre dulge doþ. pater noster oþ ende ond cƿeþ symle æt þam drore huic ðis


                                Doane 2007

                                Storms 1948, p. 307, no. 82


                              • Itemfol. 116r


                                • Title (B. Charms, written in blank space between the 'Seventh' and 'Eighth Steps of Humility': Charm for Chills

                                  Incipit (Latin): (fol. 116r) + Contra frigora omnibus horis scribis in carts et cum licio ligas ad collum egroti hora deficiente

                                  Explicit (Latin): (fol. 116r) + Eugenius stephanus protacius sambucius dionasius chesilius et quiriacus ista nomina scribe et super se portat qui patitur


                                  Doane 2007

                                  Storms 1948, pp. 40-41, no. 40


                                • Itemfol. 116r


                                  • Title (B. Charms, written in blank space between the 'Seventh' and 'Eighth Steps of Humility': Charm for Fever (Latin)

                                    Incipit (Latin): (fol. 116r) + contra febres in nomine sancte et indiuidue. trinitatis in effeso ciuitate chelde ibi requiescunt. vii. sancti dormientes

                                    Explicit (Latin): (fol. 116r) et de omni populo inimici. Amen.


                                    Doane 2007

                                    Storms 1948, p. 40, no. 39


                                  • Itemfols 148r-51v


                                    • Title (B.17.11): An Account of King Edgar's Establishment of Monasteries

                                      Incipit(fol. 148r) [...] middangears mid þæm leoman þæs halgan geleafan mildheortlice ƿearð gefylled

                                      Explicit(fol. 151v) Þæt la ne geƿeorþe þæt minra æftergengenna ænig þa yrmþe geearnige [...]


                                      Doane 2007

                                      Whitelock, Brett and Brooke 1981, ll. 142-54

                                    Object Description


                                    Form: codex

                                    Extent: Fols 1-151

                                    • c. 220 mm x 145 mm (dimensions of all - size of leaves)
                                    • c. 187 mm x c. 103 mm (dimensions of Part 1: fols 3-101, size varies, but all slightly larger than part 2 - size of written space)
                                    • c. 175 mm x c. 95 mm (dimensions of Part 2: fols 102-51 - size of written space)

                                    Foliation and/or Pagination:

                                    Fols vi + 149 + v, foliated (i-iv), 1-151, (152-56).

                                    Fols (i-iv), 1, 2, (152-6) are post-medieval parchment and paper. An old foliation of perhaps s. xii occurs at the foot of the rectos of fols 3-36, 41, 51, 61, 62, 71, 81, 89 as follows: ii-xxxxv, xl, l, lx, l, x, xx, xxx. They are written in a similar hand to Royal 15. B. xxii, but appear in the right corner of the rectos.


                                    • Quires:

                                      Collation of fols 3-151: 18 wants 1 before fol. 3, 2-108, 118 wants 1 before fols 82 and 8 after fols 87, 128, 136 wants 6, probably blank, +1 leaf after 4 (fol. 100), 148, 1512 wants 3-5 after fol. 111, 1610, 1712, 186, 19 five (fols 147-51). A leaf is missing after fol. 81 and after fol. 87. Ker 1957 (p. 196) notes that 'fols 104-07 are two bifolia formed by folding in half two leaves of a larger manuscript which was ruled but not written on: the old ruling runs vertically down the page'.

                                    Layout description:

                                    • Written in 28 long lines (27 in Quire 16), frame in dry point and double bounding lines on both side of the frame. External pricking to guide the ruling of the lines.

                                    Hand Description

                                    • Number of hands: 4
                                    • Summary: One main hand for Ælfric's Grammar and Glossaryin part 1, and a different hand for the Rule of St Benedict and the account of the revival of monasticism in part 2; two different hands for the charms and recipes (fols 115-116), plus several hands for glosses in French, English and Latin, mainly in part 1 (Ker 1957, p. 196), but also at fols 148-51v.
                                    • Hand: main text
                                      • Scope: major
                                      • Script: Insular Minuscule
                                      • Ker reference: Ker 154 scribe 1
                                      • Description: Fols 3-101. A round and regular insular script with occasional Caroline features, which does not distinguish between Caroline and insular letter forms. This hand also shares some similarities with Royal 15. B. xxii, perhaps through training.
                                      • Summary of the characteristics of the hand:
                                      • a is Caroline in the combination æ.
                                      • Long s is regular initially and medially but not finally.
                                      • The cross-bar of ð is usually nearly horizontal and sometimes inclines slightly downwards from left to right. Tall tapered ascender curving to the left
                                      • descenders: tapered descenders with a serif which turns to the left, except p, which ends with a flat foot.
                                      • Abbreviations:
                                      • The common mark of abbreviation is cup-shaped.
                                      • Other manuscripts:
                                      • Date: s. xi2
                                    • Hand: main text
                                      • Scope: major
                                      • Script: English Vernacular Minuscule
                                      • Ker reference: Ker 154 scribe 2
                                      • Description: Fols 102-51 (except lower parts of 115v and 116v). A regular, angular hand mixing insular and Caroline features.
                                      • Summary of the characteristics of the hand:
                                      • a Caroline.
                                      • descenders: tapered descenders with sharp, short serifs to the left.
                                      • ascenders: flat, upright ascenders which thick strokes.
                                      • Punctuation:
                                      • hypens curl upwards.
                                      • Date: s. xii1
                                    • Hand: main text
                                      • Scope: minor
                                      • Script: English Vernacular Minuscule
                                      • Ker reference: Ker 154 scribe 3
                                      • Description: Fols 115v lower half and 116r lower half. A similar hand to the main hand of the Rule of St. Benedicton fols 102-51.
                                      • Date: s. xii1


                                    • Hand: main text
                                      • Scope: minor
                                      • Script: English Vernacular Minuscule
                                      • Ker reference: Ker 154 scribe 4
                                      • Description: Fol. 116r top and right-hand margin. Another hand including English and Latin additions.
                                      • Date: s. xii2
                                    Decoration Description

                                    Fols 3-101, red initials, titles in red rustic capitals, some capitals tinted in red.

                                    Fols 102-51, green and red initials.

                                    Binding Description

                                    Rebound in nineteenth-century; nail-mark from a former binding on fols 149-51.

                                    Additional Information

                                    Administration Information

                                    Manuscript described by Orietta Da Rold and Mary Swan with the assistance of Hollie Morgan and Johanna Green (2010; 2013).


                                    Digital surrogate: (accessed 18 July 2018)

                                    EM Project facsimile

                                    Doane, Alger Nicolaus, Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts in Microfiche Facsimile, Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies (Tempe, AZ: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2007), vol. 15






                                    Part 1 was probably written in the same scriptorium as Hatton 115 (Ker 1957, p. 196). Parts 1 and 2 have probably been together since the twelfth-century: the annotations on fols 92v and 103 are by the same hand (see also Hunt 1991, p. 111). The contents of the manuscript suggest a south-east origin; perhaps Rochester or Christ Church, Canterbury (Treharne 1998, pp. 232-33). The manuscript probably travelled 'to Worcester in the twelfth-century, and was reorganised there' (Swan 2007, p. 39).


                                    Acquired by the British Museum along with the rest of the Cotton collection.




                                    Cockayne, Oswald, Leechdoms, Wortcunning, and Starcraft of Early England, 3 vols (London: Her Majesty's Stationary Office, 1864-66; repr. Wiesbaden: Kraus, 1965)

                                    Doane, Alger Nicolaus, Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts in Microfiche Facsimile, Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies (Tempe, AZ: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2007), vol. 15

                                    Dobbie, Elliott van Kirk, ed., The Anglo-Saxon Minor Poems, The Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records, 6 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1942)

                                    Hickes, George, Linguarum Vett. Septentrionalium Thesaurus Grammatico-Criticus et Archaeologicus, 5 vols (Oxford: Sheldonian Theatre, 1705)

                                    Gneuss, Helmut, Handlist of Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts: A List of Manuscripts and Manuscript Fragments Written or Owned in England up to 1100 (Tempe, AZ: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2001), item 331

                                    Godden, Malcolm, ed., Ælfric's Catholic Homilies: The Second Series; Text, EETS, SS 5 (London: Oxford University Press, 1979)

                                    Hunt, Tony, Teaching and Learning Latin in Thirteenth-Century England: Volume 1, Texts; Volume 2, Glosses; Volume 3, Indexes(Cambridge: Brewer, 1991)

                                    Ker, N. R., Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Anglo-Saxon(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957; repr. 1990), item 154

                                    Laing, Margaret, Catalogue of Sources for a Linguistic Atlas of Early Medieval English (Woodbridge: Brewer, 1993), p. 76

                                    ---, Manuscripts Catalogue (British Library,; accessed in 2010)

                                    Luscombe, D., and C. Burnett, 'A New Student for Peter Abelard: The Marginalia in British Library MS Cotton Faustina A. X', in Itinéraires de la raison: Études de philosophie médiévale offertes à Maria Cândida Pacheco, ed. by J. F. Meirinhos, Textes et Études du Moyen Âge, 32 (Louvain-la-Neuve: Fédération Internationale des Instituts d'Études Médiévales, 2005), pp. 163-86

                                    Menzer, Melinda J., 'Multilingual Glosses, Bilingual Text: English, French, and Latin in Three Manuscripts of Ælfric's Grammar', in Old English Literature in its Manuscript Context, ed. by Joyce Tally Lionarons, Medieval European Studies 5. (Morgantown: West Virginia University Press, 2004), pp. 95-119

                                    Planta, J., A Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Cottonian Library, Deposited in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1802)

                                    Robinson, J. A, The Times of St. Dunstan (1923)

                                    Scragg, Donald, Alexander Rumble, and Kathryn Powell, C11 Database Project (Manchester Centre for Anglo-Saxon Studies,; accessed in 2009)

                                    Storms, G., ed., Anglo-Saxon Magic (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1948; repr. Folcroft, PA: Folcroft Library Editions, 1975)

                                    Schröer, Arnold, ed., Die angelsächsichen Prosabearbeitungen der Benediktinerregel, rev. with a supplement by Helmut Gneuss, 2nd edn (Bibliothek der angelsächsischen Prosa 2; Kassel 1885-1888; Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1964)

                                    Swan, Mary, 'Ælfric as Source: The Exploitation of Ælfric's Catholic Homilies from the Late Tenth to Twelfth Centuries' (unpublished unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Leeds, 1993)

                                    ---, 'Ælfric's Catholic Homilies in the Twelfth century', in Rewriting Old English in the Twelfth Century, ed. by Mary Swan and Elaine M. Treharne (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), pp. 62-82

                                    ----, 'Mobile Libraries: Old English Manuscript Production in Worcester and the West Midlands, 1090-1215', in Essays in Manuscript Geography: Vernacular Manuscripts of the English West Midlands from the Conquest to the Sixteenth Century, ed. by Wendy Scase (Turnhout: Brepols, 2007), pp. 29-42

                                    Treharne, Elaine M., 'The Dates and Origins of Three Twelfth-Century Old English Manuscripts', in Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts and their Heritage, ed. by Philip Pulsiano and Elaine M. Treharne (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1998), pp. 227-53

                                    Whitelock, Dorothy, M. Brett, and Christopher N. L. Brooke, eds, Councils and Synods with Other Documents Relating to the English Church: A.D. 871-1204, 2 vols (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981)

                                    Wright, Thomas, Anglo-Latin Satirical Poets, Rolls Series, 59 (London: Longman, 1872)

                                      Zupitza, Julius, ed., Ælfrics Grammatik und Glossar: Text und Varianten, 2nd edn (1880; Berlin: Weidmannsche Verlagsbuchhandlung Max Niehans Verlag, 1966)