London, British Library, Cotton Tiberius A. xiii

Present Location

Tiberius A. xiii

Medieval Provenance

General Information






Cartulary of Worcester Cathedral Priory, in two distinct sections: Liber Wigorniensis(fols 1-118) from s. xi1; and Hemming's Cartulary (fols 119–200) from s. xiex, consisting of five separate sections which may have come from separate church documents (Ker 1948, pp. 55-57; Herold 2008, pp. 172-78; Tinti 2002, p. 238).

Three English texts compiled by Hemming from s. xiex are with the cartulary: fol. 177rfols 180v-81v and fol. 190.

Manuscript Items
  1. Itemfol. 109v


    Title (B.16.23.4): Worcester: Dues

    Incipit(fol. 109v) III ór 7 leofric I pennig

    Text Language: English

    Date: s. xi1


    Ker 1957, p. 250


  2. Itemfols 115-16


    Title (B.3.4.21): Anonymous Homilies [for unspecified occasions, published]: Napier 1883 [1967], no. 1

    Incipit(fol. 115r) Adam se æresta man ƿæs gesceapen

    Text Language: English

    Date: s. xi1


    Ker 1957, p. 250


  3. Itemfol. 177r


    Title (B.16.23.3): Worcester: Payment to 
    William I

    Incipit(fol. 177r) Ðis mycel is gegolden of þære cyricean Ƿilliam cyninge

    Text Language: English

    Date: s. xiex

    Hand: Hemming


    Ker 1957, p. 250


  4. Itemfols 180-81


    Title (B.17.12): Chronicles and Historical Texts: 
    Wulfstan II of Worcester

    Rubric (initial): (fol. 180v) Her gesƿutelað hu Ƿlstan biscop becom to biscoprice

    Incipit(fol. 180v) Beforan gestihtende ure drihtene

    Text Language: English

    Date: s. xiex

    HandKer 1948, Part II, SC 3


    Ker 1957, p. 251


  5. Itemfol. 190


    Title (B.12.11): Admonition on Excommunication: A curse

    Addition(fol. 190) ˥ ic bidde ˥ eac on godes noman halsige þæt ælc mann hine sylfne georne ƿið þisne curs ƿarnige. ˥ þissere stoƿe þæt ælc mann hine sylfne georne ƿið þisne curs ƿarnige. ˥ þissere stoƿe hold sy. ˥ getreoƿe. ˥ se þe elles do. hæbbe him ƿið gode gemæne. sƿa sƿa þes curs sƿutelað

    Text Language: English

    Date: s. xiex

    Hand: Hemming


    Ker 1957, p. 251

Object Description


Form: Codex

Extent: Parchment. The Liber Wigornensis consists of 117 leaves; Hemming's Cartulary consists of 80 leaves plus three smaller pieces of parchment.

  • c. 190 mm x 108 mm (dimensions of fols 119-200 - size of written space)

Foliation and/or Pagination: Now foliated 1-109, 111-142, 144-52, 154-200.

Late medieval foliation: 'i' to 'xcvi' (fols 1-96), misses fol. 97, 'xcvii' to 'cviii' (fols 98-109), 'cix' to 'cxvi' (fols 111-18), 'cxviii'- 'cxli' (fols 119-42), 'cxliii' to 'cl' (fols 168-75), 'cli' to 'clvii' (fols 194-200), 'clviii' (fol. 176), 'clix' to 'clxxx' (fols 144-52, 154-66), 'clxxxi' to 'clxxxxvi' (fols 178-93). The pieces of parchment now numbered fols 110, 143 and 153 were not numbered when Hearne 1723 was produced, so the foliation he follows is one, then two, then three behind the foliation now in use.


  • Quires: Part 1 (up to fol. 118): 1-38, 46, 5-138, 148 (8 missing, blank, after fol. 109), 158. Part 2 consists of ten quires but 'their exact collation is not certain' (Ker 1948, p. 56): 1-38 (fols 119-42), 4-6 (fols 144-52, 154-66) unknown, 78(fols 168-75), fols 176-77 unknown, 8-98 (fols 178-93), 10 (fols 194-200) unknown.


All the leaves were burnt round the edges in the fire of 1733. They are now separately mounted, which makes it difficult to determine the original quiring.


  • Herold 2008 argues that the leaves were originally bound in a different order to their present one, perhaps within the pages of an older cartulary. They have been in their current arrangement since at least the fifteenth century, as can be seen from the table of contents, s. xv, on fols 165-66.

Layout description:

  • 28 long lines.

Hand Description

  • Number of hands: 3 main hands for Hemming's Cartulary, 2 for English items
  • Summary: Ker comments that there are three main hands, but is not certain that only three scribes were employed (1948, p. 57). He describes the hands as 'round and fairly large and belong[ing] to the period of transition from the flat and linear roundness usual in English manuscripts of the middle and third quarter of the eleventh century to the more pointed roundness of early twelfth century' (1948, pp. 49-50). The record of Worcester: Payment to William I is in the same hand as fols 119-25, possibly the hand of Hemming. The text about Wulfstan II of Worcester is in the same hand as fols 178-89v (Ker 1957, p. 251).
  • Hand: main text
    • Scope: major
    • Scribe: Ker 1948 Part II SC1
    • Description: Fols 125v-133, 135-41v, 169/13-175v, 176v, 194-200.
    • Summary of the characteristics of the hand: 'Very like that of the Alveston charter issued by Bishop Wulfstan in A.D. 1089 and now preserved at Worcester' (Ker 1948, p. 57).
  • Hand: main text
    • Scope: major
    • Scribe: Ker 1948 Part II SC2; Hemming
    • Script: English Vernacular Minuscule
    • Description: Fols 119-25. Item 3 and 5. According to Ker, this hand is 'old-fashioned' and 'less professional looking' than the other two hands (1948, p. 57). The text written by this scribe has been altered, probably by Ker 1948 Part II SC1.
    • Summary of the characteristics of the hand:
    • Ker 1948 says that a is 'nearly Caroline', but Caroline a with a short and straight loop at the top occurs only occasionally. a is mostly in Insular form with a single compartment. It is slightly rounded and triangular at the top.
    • æ is distinctive in Old English.
    • Distinctive round d in Old English.
    • d is very low with a little flick which often creates a slight concave.
    • Insular e is often horned; long tongue in final position.
    • ę is occasionally used.
    • The descender curves slightly to the left at the end; the tongue of f is longer than the shoulder and curves up very slightly at the end.
    • The headstroke of insular g -- when there is one -- 'is often slightly concave', as Ker 1948 says. The downstroke of the letter is sometimes connected to the headstroke at the very left end, and shapes a round top. The bottom lobe is always closed.
    • Insular h sometimes have distinct serifs to the right, and sometimes small feet to the right. The ascender is wedged.
    • minim sometimes have a distinct serif to the right, and sometimes small and flat feet.
    • p has a round lobe, and its descender finishes with a straight-line serif, which turns up to the right.
    • r is in insular form with a straight descender and a straight right foot with a serif to the right.
    • Three kinds of s: insular s with a straight descender and a small head. The right end of the head curves downward; Caroline long swith a head which curves gently (often finishing without curving downwards) and a descender curving to the left. The head often joins the descender at its half way down. The double ss are mostly spelt with two long ss. and the long s at the end of a word sometimes has a distinct curly head.
    • t has a round back, and 'the headstroke of t is often slightly concave', as Ker 1948 notes.
    • The ascender of þ is often wedged, and sometimes forms a serif to the left at the top. The descender is shorter than the ascender, and straight.
    • ð has a round lobe, and its ascender goes up to the left at an angle of 45⁰, extending much further than the left end of the lobe. The top of the ascender is straight, and the crossbar has a small serif pointing upwards to the left end and downwards to the right end.
    • y is dotted. The descender is straight at an angle of 45⁰, and sometimes long with a small flick to the right.
    • ƿ often has a triangular lobe, with a pointed corner at the top right, but the shape of the lobe is sometimes round and elongated. The lobe meets the stem below the writing line. The descender is without a serif, and sometimes curves slightly to the left and tapers.
    • ascenders are longer than descenders, except on d. Ascenders of bhl often have small wedges at the top;
    • descenders are relatively short and straight.
    • accents are sometimes found on vowels.
    • Punctuation: The positura is a triangle of dots above a comma. Reproduced in Hearne 1723, e.g. p. 371.
    • Other manuscripts: This hand also wrote:
  • Hand: main text
    • Scope: major
    • Scribe: Ker 1948 Part II SC3
    • Description: Fols 144-52, 154-63v, 168, 169/1-12, 78-89v. Item 4. A 'handsome hand' (Ker 1948, p. 57). At least fols 180v-89 were written after the death of Bishop Wulfstan in 1095 (Hearne 1723, p. 404). Nearly all of fol. 178v has been erased and rewritten, squeezing 31 lines into the space of 20. The overwriting is probably by Scribe 1 (Ker 1948, p. 57).
Binding Description

Rebound in nineteenth century, with each leaf separately mounted.

Additional Information

Administration Information

Manuscript described by Elaine Treharne with the assistance of Takako Kato, Hollie Morgan and Sanne van der Schee (2010; 2012).


Digital surrogate: (accessed 18 July 2018)

EM Project facsimile

Ker, N. R., 'Hemming's Cartulary: A Description of the Two Worcester Cartularies in Cotton Tiberius A. xiii', in Studies in Medieval History Presented to Frederick Maurice Powicke, ed. by R. W. Hunt,

Images of fols 85v, 121r in W. A. Pantin and R.W. Southern (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1948), pp. 49-75, pl. i-ii

Keller, Wolfgang, Angelsaechsische Paleographie, Palaestra 43, 2 vols (Berlin: Mayer & Mueller, 1906), pl. xi. Facsimile of fol. 159.




Written in Worcester.




Belonged to Robert Cotton in 1621. Acquired by the British Museum along with the rest of the Cotton collection.




Barrow, Julia, 'The Chronology of Forgery Production at Worcester from c. 1000 to the Early Twelfth Century', in St Wulfstan and his World, ed. by Julia Barrow and N. P. Brooks (Aldershot: Aldershot, 2005), pp. 105–22

Bates, David, ed., Regesta Regum Anglo-Normannorum: The Acta of William I (1066–1087) (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998)

Baxter, Stephen, 'Archbishop Wulfstan and the Administration of God's Property', in Wulfstan, Bishop of York: The Proceedings of the Second Alcuin Conference, ed. by Matthew Townend (Turnhout: Brepols, 2004), pp. 161-205

Birch, Walter de Gray, 'The Anglo-Saxon Charters of Worcester Cathedral', Journal of the British Archaeological Association, 38 (1882), 24-54

Davis, G. R. C., Medieval Cartularies of Great Britain: A Short Catalogue(London: Longmans Green, 1958), no. 1068

Finberg, H. P. R., The Early Charters of the West Midlands, Studies in Early English History, 2, 2nd edn (Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1972)

Gameson, Richard, The Manuscripts of Early Norman England: c. 1066-1130(Oxford: Oxford University Press for the British Academy, 1999), no. 402

Gneuss, Helmut, 'Addenda and Corrigenda to the Handlist of Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts', Anglo Saxon England, 32 (2003), p. 366

---, 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)

Hearne, Thomas, Hemingi chartularium ecclesiae Wigorniensis. e codice MS penes Richardum Graves, etc. (Oxford, 1723)

Herold, Jonathan, 'The Earliest Records of Worcester Cathedral: single-sheet actaLiber Wigornensis, Hemming's Cartulary and the St. Wulfstan Cartulary (a.k.a., the Nero-Middleton or St. Oswald's Cartulary)', in Early Medieval Record Keeping: Exploring the Preservation of Medieval Memoranda, ed. by Jonathan Herold (2008;

---, 'Memoranda and Memoria: Assessing the Preservation of Acta at Eleventh-Century Worcester' (unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Toronto, 2008)

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

Keller, Wolfgang, Angelsaechsische Paleographie, Palaestra, 43, 2 vols (Berlin: Mayer & Mueller, 1906)

Ker, N. R., Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Anglo-Saxon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957; repr. 1990), item 190

---, 'The Handwriting of Archbishop Wulfstan', in England Before the Conquest: Studies in Primary Sources Presented to Dorothy Whitelock, ed. by P. Clemoes and Kathleen Hughes (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971), pp. 315-31

---, 'Hemming's Cartulary: A Description of the Two Worcester Cartularies in Cotton Tiberius A. xiii', in Studies in Medieval History Presented to Frederick Maurice Powicke, ed. by R. W. Hunt, W. A. Pantin and R.W. Southern (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1948), pp. 49-75

Keynes, Simon, 'Anglo-Saxon Charters: Lost and Found', in Myth, Rulership, Church and Charters: Essays in Honour of Nicholas Brooks, ed. by Julia Barrow and Andrew Wareham (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008), pp. 45-66

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

Napier, Arthur Sampson, ed., Wulfstan: Sammlung der ihm zugeschriebenen Homilien nebst Untersuchungen uber ihre Echtheit, Sammlung englischer Denkmaeler in Kritischen Ausgaben, 4 (Berlin: Weidmannsche Buchhandlung, 1883)

Robertson, A. J, Anglo-Saxon Charters, 2nd edn (1939; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1939)

Thorpe, Benjamin, Diplomatarium Anglicum Ævi Saxonici: A Collection of English Charters, from the Reign of King Æthelberht of Kent, A.D. DC.V. to that of William the Conqueror, with a Translation of the Anglo-Saxon by Benjamin Thorpe (London: Macmillan, 1865)

Tinti, Francesca, 'From Episcopal Conception to Monastic Compilation: Hemming's Cartulary in Context', Early Medieval Europe, 11.3 (2002), 233-61

---, 'Si litterali memorie commendaretur: Memory and Cartularies in Eleventh-century Worcester', in Early Medieval Studies in Memory of Patrick Wormald, ed. by Stephen Baxter, and others (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009)

---, Sustaining Belief: The Church of Worcester from c. 870 to c. 1100(Farnham: Ashgate, 2010)

Turner, C. H., Early Worcester MSS: Fragments of Four Books and a Charter of the Eighth Century Belonging to Worcester Cathedral (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1916)

Watson, Andrew G., Catalogue of Dated and Datable Manuscripts c. 700-1600 in The Department of Manuscripts The British Library, 2 vols (London: The British Library, 1979), nos 550-51

Wanley, H., Librorum Veterum Septentrionalium Catalogus (1705)

    Wormald, Patrick, The Making of English Law: From King Alfred to the Twelfth Century (Oxford: Blackwell, 1999)