London, British Library, Royal 1. A. xiv

Present Location

1. A. xiv

Medieval Provenance

General Information




A copy of the Gospels in English. Royal 1 A. xiv is textually related to Hatton 38 either by being its exemplar or by sharing a common copy of the text. Both manuscripts relate, textually, to Oxford, Bodleian, Bodley 441. For an excellent discussion of the textual tradition of the Old English Gospel see Liuzza (1994, pp. xliii-lxxiii).

Digital Surrogate

Manuscript Items
  1. Item: Fols 3r-32r/18


    • Title (B. Gospels: Mark

      Rubric (initial): 'Initium sancti evvangelii secundum marcum. Ecce mitto | angelum meum ante faciem tuam. qui preparabit | uiam tuam ante te;'

      Incipit: 'Her ys Godspelles angin; halendes cri | stes godes sune'

      Explicit: 'Hyo þa fulfoed bodeden sƿa ƿid sƿa al. Þas | hlafordes ƿeorces ˥ his bispelles fulfellende mid | felgenden tacnen. Amen'

      Text Language: English

      Other versions of the text: CUL Ii. 2. 11; Bodley 441; CCCC 140Hatton 38 and Beinecke 578.

      Note: Verse 16:14-20 (explicit) textually different from the one edited in Liuzza 1994 , but the same as Hatton 38.


      Liuzza 1994 , pp. 63-97.

      Liuzza 1995 , pp. 18.


    • Item: Fols 33r-82r/15


      • Title (B. Gospels: Matthew

        Rubric (initial): 'Liber generationis iesu christi filii dauid filii | abraham.'

        Rubric (initial): 'Her anginð; matheus boc þas | halgan godspelleres.'

        Incipit: 'Soðlice ƿel is to understanden þæt | æfter matheus gerecednysse her his on cneor | nesse boc'

        Explicit: '˥ læreð þæt hyo | healdon ealle þa þing. þe ic eoƿ be bead ˥ ic | heo mid eoƿ ealle dagas oððe ƿeoruld enð unge.' | Amen

        Text Language: English

        Other versions of the text: CUL Ii. 2. 11; Bodley 441; Otho C. i (text partly missing due to fire); CCCC 140Hatton 38.


        Liuzza 1994, pp. 3-62.

        Liuzza 1995, p. 18.


      • Item: Fols 83r-133v/18


        • Title (B. Gospels: Luke

          Rubric (initial): 'Nu ðe ƿillað her eoƿ areccen'

          Incipit: 'lucas boc Ðas halgan godspelleres. for ðan | ðe ƿytodlice manega þohte þare þinge race geendebyrden'

          Explicit: 'Soðlice he gelædde hyo ut on bec hanian ˥ he | bletsade hyo his handa upahafenum. ˥ hit ƿæs ge | ƿarden'

          Text Language: English

          Other versions of the text: CUL Ii. 2. 11; Bodley 441; CCCC 140Hatton 38.


          Liuzza 1994, pp. 98-156.

          Liuzza 1995, p. 18.


        • Item: Fol. 133v/14 following from the main text


          • Title (B. Gospels: Luke [Alternative verse 23:51-53]

            Addition: 'þæt he hyo ge blestode. he ƿente fram he | om ˥ he smat in to heofene. And hyo þa gebidden | de gecynden in to ierusalem mid muchelere blis | se. ˥ ƿæren efre in þare temple heriende and blet | siende god. AMEN .'

            Text Language: English

            Note: Verse 23:51-53 is written at the end of the gospel by a later hand. It is textually different from the one edited in Liuzza 1994, but the same as Hatton 38, in which it is included by the main hand who copied the manuscript.

            Hand: Scribe 2.


            Liuzza 1994, p. 156, 24:53.

            Liuzza 1995, p. 18.


          • Item: Fol. 134r/19 on the ruled blank recto


          • Item: Fol. 134r/22 on the ruled blank recto


            • Title (B.27.4.12.EM): Additions

              Addition: 'Sancte GREGORIES se mid grecum crissostomas ys haten'

              Text Language: English

              Hand: Scribe 3.


              Liuzza 1995, p. 18.


            • Item: Fols 135r-173r


              • Title (B. Gospels: John

                Rubric (initial): 'In principio erat erat uerbum'

                Rubric (initial): 'Her onginð þæt | godspell þe Iohannes se godspellere ge | ƿrat on pathmos þam eigtlande.'

                Incipit: 'On anginne ærest ƿæs ƿord'

                Explicit: 'Ƿitodlice oðre mane | ga þung synt þe se hælend ƿorhte gif ða ælle'

                Text Language: English

                Other versions of the text: CUL Ii. 2. 11; Oxford, Bodleian, Bodley 441; CCCC 140Hatton 38.


                Liuzza 1994, pp. 157-202.

                Liuzza 1995, p. 18.


              • Item: Fol. 148r/2 right margin


                • Title (B. Gospels: John [Completion of John 7:22]

                  Incipit: 'gif ymbsnyðenysse tache man on restdaige'

                  Text Language: English

                  Hand: Scribe 4.

                  Note: The scribe completed verse John 7:22.


                  Liuzza 1995, p. 17.

                  Liuzza 1994, p. xxxviii.


                • Item: Fol. 173v/5 following from the main text


                  • Title (B. Gospels: John [Completion of John 21:25]

                    Incipit: 'ƿritene be heom sylfe ƿæren. ac syo ƿerld be clyp | pen ne mihten þa ƿriteres þe hit ƿriten scolden on bokeN .'

                    Text Language: English

                    Note: The end of verse 21:25 is written at the end of the gospel by a later hand. These verses are textually different from the one edited in Liuzza 1994, but the same as Hatton 38.

                    Hand: Scribe 2.


                    Liuzza 1994 , p. 202, 21:25.

                    Liuzza 1995 , pp. 18.

                  Object Description


                  Object Description:

                  Form: Codex

                  Support: Parchment

                  Extent: iii + 175 + iv leaves

                  • 218 mm x 145 mm (dimensions of all - size of leaves)

                  Foliation and/or Pagination:

                  Foliated, i-iii and 1-175, [176-178]


                  • Quires: Fols 1-227: 12, fols 1-2; 2-48, fols 3-26; 58 (wants 7 and 8), fols 26-32; 6-108, fols 33-72; 1110, fols 73-82; 12-178, fols 83-130; 184, fols 131-134; 19-238, fols 135-174; 241, fol. 175.
                  • Signatures: Fols 40v: i and 40r: ii
                  • Catchwords: Fols 10v, 18v, 26v, 40v, 48v, 56v, 64v, 106v, 114v, 124v, 130v, 150v, 158v, and 166v, some are trimmed due to binding.
                  • Diagram: All quires are now individually mounted on paper stubs. Fols 32v, 82v, 134rv, and 174rv are blank. Quires are occasionally made up of single sheets. In Quire 10, 3 and 6 are single sheets, as well as 2 and 7 in Quires 15 and 16. Diagrammatic representation of the quiring structure.


                  The parchment is thick, rough and with a number of holes.

                  Layout description:

                  1. Layout:
                    • Layout type: LO24
                    • Columns: 1
                    • Written Lines: 22-25
                    • Locus: Quires 1-22: fols 3-174
                    • Dimensions: 155 x 105; ruled
                    • Overview: Ruling in pencil on the hair sides, writing on top line. Single bounding lines. See diagram.

                  Hand Description

                  • Number of hands: 4
                  • Summary: One main hand copied the complete manuscript. However, a twelfth-century hand completed and corrected the gospels on several folios: fols 32r, 82r, 133v , 173r and 173v, one more hand of s. xiii on fol. 134r and another one on fol. 148r (See: Ker 1957, p. 316; Liuzza 1994, pp. xxxviii-xli)
                  • Hand: main text
                    • Scope: major
                    • Script: English Vernacular Minuscule
                    • Description: The general aspect is upright, somewhat uneven in detail, rather elongated laterally with large bowls and relatively short ascenders and descenders, giving the overall page a rounded look, despite, on closer analysis, the rather fractured nature of graphs. Word-spacing and interlinear spacing is generous. Latin is distinguished by the Caroline forms of fgr, and s.
                    • Summary of the characteristics of the hand:
                    • The a is Caroline, with a rounded bowl and bow, the former often touching the preceding letter.
                    • æ is generally uneven, sometimes dropping below the line.
                    • c is interesting, with its pointed top and angular, flat upper stroke.
                    • d is round-backed and the same size as ð. On occasions, it has a distinctive flick to the right at the top.
                    • is somewhat angular with an extended tongue in final position.
                    • Insular f with extended midstroke.
                    • The angular g has two forms: a typically insular 5-shape, the tail beginning in the middle of the headstroke, and sometimes, a 3-shape, with the tail beginning from the right. The tail might occasionally close with a hairline stroke.
                    • Insular h has both feet to the right, though very sporadically Caroline h is used with an exaggerated right foot descending below the line.
                    • The lower leg of the infrequent k is raised.
                    • l often has a serif to the left at the top.
                    • minims usually have serifs.
                    • r is the insular shepherd’s crook.
                    • Long s, which flicks to the left, and high s both have an angular shoulder.
                    • þ has relatively large and rounded bowl, especially in relation to the straight, short, ascender and descender.
                    • ð varies between the upside-down Arabic 4-shape and the large rounded bowl, with a cross-stroke that flicks distinctively to the right at the top.
                    • ƿ has a large pointed bowl.
                    • x has a long, extended left foot reaching under the preceding graph.
                    • Straight-limbed, dotted, y with serifs to the left of both upper limbs.
                    • A is flat-topped with marked square feet.
                    • Æ is occasionally formed by an enlarged spurred E, uncial in shape with extended vertical serifs.
                    • Рis either the rounded form (and has dotted terminals to the backward-leaning cross-stroke sometimes), or D with a line through the vertical.
                    • E is uncial and has an extended tongue.
                    • N has a marked mid-bar.
                    • Uncial S is flat-topped.
                    • T has a curved stem.
                    • ascenders are straight, and occasionally finished with a wedge or a serif to the left.
                    • descenders are usually tapered.
                    • downstrokes can be uneven.
                    • Abbreviations: Tironian nota has an angular tapering descender, though it sometimes finishes with a flick to the right on, or just below, the line.
                    • Punctuation:
                    • Straight macron.
                    • Punctus on the line.
                    • Ligatures:
                    • st ligature on many pages (but not fol. 98r) and many of the letter forms written in a semi-current manner, giving the appearance of ligature: ggfott. This is never the case with minims, however, which are carefully individual.
                    • Correcting technique: Correction by subpunctus and rule-through.
                    • Date: s. xii2
                  • Hand: additions
                    • Scope: minor
                    • Script: English Vernacular Minuscule
                    • Description: A upright hand with similar chracteristics to Scribe 1, with letter-forms of squarish proportion. This hand corrects at least fols 32r, 82r, 133v , 173r and 173v.
                    • Summary of the characteristics of the hand:
                    • Caroline a with a large lobe.
                    • A rounded lobe of the b with wedged straight ascender.
                    • d has a thick, tapered back stroke which curves to the right.
                    • Small closed e.
                    • Caroline f.
                    • Insular g with a flat head and a well formed descender which curls towards the left.
                    • Gothic type of h with wedged ascender and wedged feet to the shaft and the right limb.
                    • minims are traced singularly, regular in shape and with pronounced feet to the left.
                    • Insular r.
                    • Gothic type of s with a curved head-stroke and well defined feet.
                    • t with straight head stroke and straight shaft which curls to the right.
                    • þ is formed by a straight, wedged ascender.
                    • descenders are tapered to the left.
                    • Abbreviations: Tironian nota: straight back with a median stroke half way through the back, and a curled head. The descender ends with a feet to the right just below the line of writing.
                    • Date: s. xii2
                  • Hand: additions
                    • Scope: minor
                    • Script: Gothic
                    • Description: This scribe wrote on the blank recto of fol. 134r. It is a compact Gothic hand.
                    • Summary of the characteristics of the hand:
                    • Diamond shaped g with open descender, but also insular g.
                    • Gothic s with a curved head-stroke and well defined feet.
                    • y is dotted and the descender curves to the left.
                    • Ligatures: st.
                    • Date: s. xii/xiii
                  • Hand: additions
                    • Scope: minor
                    • Script: Gothic
                    • Description: This scribe wrote on fol. 148r, adding a marginal annotation. An upright and thick looking gothic hand with letter forms not very well defined.
                    • Summary of the characteristics of the hand:
                    • Diamond shaped g with closed looped descender.
                    • Closed upper lobe a.
                    • y is dotted and the descender curves to the left.
                    • Date: s. xiiiex
                  Decoration Description

                  Initials decorated: Decorated initials to mark main items in red and green; both colours are used in the larger initials at the beginning of each gospel. There is a three-line capital in red on fol. 83r. All other larger capitals take up two lines.


                  Fourteenth-century glosses in Latin on fols 144-6v. Fol. 174rv contain scribbles and records of accounts of later medieval period.

                  On fol. 3r: Lord Lumley and Cranmer.

                  Binding Description

                  Rebound in 1967.

                  Fols 1, 2 and 175 are medieval binding-leaves from a twelfth-century missal. Fol. 1 was pasted down. Texts refers to the services for the Vigil of the Nativity, fol. 175rv, Christmas fol. 2rv and Stephen and John fol. 1v (see Liuzza 1994).

                  Additional Information

                  Administration Information

                  Manuscript described by Orietta Da Rold with the assistance of Helena Cooper, Owen Roberson and Hollie Morgan (2010; 2013).


                  Digital surrogate: (accessed 18 July 2018)

                  EM Project facsimile

                  Liuzza, R. M., and A. N. Doane, Anglo-Saxon Gospels, Anglo-Saxon manuscripts in microfiche facsimile (Binghamton, NY: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 1995)

                  Roberts, Jane, Guide to Scripts Used in English Writings up to 1500 (London: British Library, 2005), p. 130, plate 28




                  On fol. 3r there is a medieval press mark 'D xvi Gra IIII', which refers to the pressmark used by the library of Christ Church, Canterbury.


                  It is probably the 'textus iv evangeliorum anglice' listed in Cambridge, CUL Ii. 3. 12, which started to be compiled ca. 1170 (James 1912, p. 51).


                  Belonged to John Lumley (c.1533-1609) and is listed in the catalogue of his collection, 1609. Lumley passed the manuscript to Henry, Prince of Wales (1594-1612). His collection became part of the Royal library. Presented to the British Library by King George II in 1757 as part of the Old Royal Library (British Library Catalogue).




                  British Museum Bible Exhibition 1911: Guide to Manuscripts and Printed Books exhibited in Celebration of the Tercentenary of the Authorized Version, (London: British Museum, 1911)

                  Bright, James Wilson, ed., The Gospel of St John in West-Saxon: Euangelium secundum Iohannem, with a glossary by Lancelot Minor Harris (Boston, MA and London: Heath, 1906)

                  Brown, Michelle P., The Lindisfarne Gospels: Society, Spirituality and the Scribe (London: University of Toronto Press, 2003)

                  ---, Painted Labyrinth: The World of the Lindisfarne Gospels (London: British Library, 2004)

                  ---, 'Preaching with the Pen: the Contribution of Insular Scribes to the Transmission of Sacred Text, from the 6th to 9th Centuries', in University of London Annual Palaeography Lecture (School of Advanced Study, Institute of English Studies, University of London, Centre for Manuscript and Print Studies, 2004).

                  Chambers, R. W., 'The Lost Literature of Medieval England', The Library, 5 (1925), 293-321

                  Förster, Max, 'Abt Raoul d'Escures und der Später "Sermo in festis S. Mariae"', Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen, 62 (1922), 43-48

                  James, Montague Rhodes, Matthew Parker, and A. Rogers, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, 2 vols (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1912)

                  Jayne, Sears, and Francis R. Johnson, eds, The Lumley Library: The Catalogue of 1609 (London: Trustees of the British Museum, 1956)

                  Kenyon, F. C., ed., Facsimiles of Biblical Manuscripts in the British Museum, 20 (London: British Museum, 1900)

                  ---, Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1958)

                  Ker, N. R., Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Anglo-Saxon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957; repr. 1990), item 245

                  Ker, N. R., and Andrew G. Watson, Medieval Libraries of Great Britain: A List of Surviving Books, Royal Historical Society Guides and Handbooks, 3 (2nd edn, 1964; London: Offices of the Royal Historical Society, 2nd edn, 1987)

                  Liuzza, R. M., ed., The Old English Version of the Gospels: Text and Introduction, EETS, OS 304 (London: Oxford University Press, 1994)

                  Manuscripts Catalogue (British Library,; accessed in 2010)

                  Morrell, Minnie Cate., A Manual of Old English Biblical Materials (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1965)

                  Quaritch, B., 'Thomas Cranmer Archbishop of Canterbury, 1489-1556', in Contributions towards a Dictionary of English Book- Collectors (London: Quaritch, 1892)

                  Roberts, Jane, Guide to Scripts Used in English Writings up to 1500 (London: British Library, 2005)

                  Scrivener, Frederick Henry Ambrose, A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, 4th edn (London: George Bell & Sons, 1894), vol. 2

                  Skeat, Walter W., ed., The Gospel According to Saint John: in Anglo-Saxon and Northumbrian Versions, Synoptically Arranged, with Collations Exhibiting all the Readings of All the MSS (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1878)

                  ---, The Gospel According to Saint Luke: in Anglo-Saxon and Northumbrian Versions, Synoptically Arranged, with Collations Exhibiting all the Readings of all the MSS (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1874)

                  ---, The Gospel According to Saint Mark: in Anglo-Saxon and Northumbrian Versions, Synoptically Arranged, with Collations Exhibiting all the Readings of all the MSS (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1871)

                  ---, The Gospel according to Saint Matthew: in Anglo-Saxon, Northumbrian, and Old Mercian versions : synoptically arranged, with collations exhibiting all the readings of all the mss, A new edn (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1887)

                  Thompson, E. M., Wycliffe Exhibition in the King's Library (London: Clowes and Sons, 1884)

                    Warner, George F., and Julius P. Gilson, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts in the Old Royal and King's Collections (London: British Museum, 1921), vol. 1