London, British Library, Royal 15. B. xxii

Present Location

15. B. xxii

Medieval Provenance

General Information






Fols 5r-70v Ælfric's Grammar the Latin preface begins 'Ego Ælfricus ut minus sapiens' and the English preface starts 'Ic ÆIfric þolde Þas lytlan boc'ends at 'leoðcræfte' (Zupitza 1880, p. 295/19). Some of the Old English translation of the Latin words are written as interlinear glosses. This is a practice, as noted by Ker 1957, found in CTC R. 9. 17.

Digital Surrogate

Manuscript Items


  1. ItemFols 5v-70v


    • Title (Ker 1957, p. 335

      B. Ælfric's Grammar [partial]: Supply leaf with remainder of the text of Ælfric's Grammar

      Incipit(fol. 71r) Se cræft is s ƿa ameten þæt þær ne mot beon furðon an | stæf ofer getel ac beoð ealla þa uers geemnytte be anum | getele. gif hit aht beon sceal.

      Explicit( fol. 71r) Fif penegas ge | macigað ænne scillinge. ˥ xxx penega ænne mancus

      Text Language: English and Latin


      Doane 2007

    Object Description


    Form: Codex


    • 262 mm x 175 mm (dimensions of all - size of leaves)
    • 203 mm x 124 mm (dimensions of all - size of written space)

    Foliation and/or Pagination: Foliated in ink x + 67 + v. Foliated in pencil, including the first medieval parchment folios of the first quire: i-iii + 1-72.


    • Quires: Fols i-iii: s. xix, paper flyleaves. 11+6 four medieval leaves left blank, 2-88, 92 two singletons, 102. The last bifolium was added to finish the text.
    • Signatures: Quires 2-4 are signed respectively: .i., .ii., .iiii., .iiii. at the centre of the foot of the first recto of each quire.

    Layout description:

    • The text is written on 26 long lines. The frame is ruled on the hair side, double bounding lines in both margins, scored on the hair side, few folios at the time. In Quire 1, the blank folios are also ruled.

    Hand Description

    • Number of hands: 1
    • Hand: main text
      • Scope: Sole
      • Scribe: Ker 269
      • Script: English Vernacular Minuscule
      • Description: Fols 5-70v. Insular minuscule for English and Caroline for Latin are employed by the scribe, alternating scripts according to the language of the text which is copied. This is a small rounded hand, well proportioned and with regular characteristics, which shares some similarities with Faustina A. x (fols 3-101), perhaps through training.
      • Summary of the characteristics of the hand:
      • s: the high, long form has a pronounced, curved, hook-like top.
      • The serif on minims are prominent.
      • ascenders: are wedged in dl and b; pointy, and slightly curving to the left in ð and upright and tapered in d.
      • descenders: prominent with well-defined feet and small serifs.
      • Date: s. xi2
    Decoration Description

    Capitals and tinted letters in red.


    s. xvi: Fol. 71r. A sixteenth-century hand added the missing final lines of the grammar (Zupitza 1880, pp. 295/19-296/16). According to Ker, these lines were taken from CUL Hh. 1. 10 (Ker 1957, p. 335). This page is a folio folded into two and added at the end of the manuscript to make up fols 71 and 72. It includes allegations from the 'parish church of Chelms-ford, co. Essex, 3 Dec. 1540, before Edward Popley, surrogate, against William Latham, of Sandon, co. Essex, for immorality' (British Library Catalogue).

    s. xiv: Fols 2v and 3 contain Greek numbers and alphabets in a later medieval hand probably s. xivex.

    Binding Description


    Additional Information

    Administration Information

    Manuscript described by Orietta Da Rold with the assistance of Hollie Morgan and Sanne van der Schee (2010; 2012).


    Digital surrogate: (accessed 18 July 2018)

    EM Project facsimile

    Microfiche in Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts in Microfiche Facsimile (Tempe, AZ: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2007), vol. 15: Grammars; Handlist of Manuscripts

    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, plate 91






    The manuscript is noted in red, which led scholars to believe that it may have been in the possession of Archbishop Parker. Marks appear on fols 5, 31 and notes in red pencil include: fol. 1v, 'hic liber scriptus ante conquestum', and on fol. 71 'finis'. 'Cor. Coll' is on fol. 5. Royal 15 B. xxii seems also to have been used by Parker as an exemplar to correct Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 449, it may be possible that Parker owed both manuscripts (Ker 1957, p. 335; Warner and Gilson 1921, p. 335; Wanley 1705, p. 182).

    The manuscript belonged to Lord Lumley, whose name is on fol. 5r. There is also a reference to Casely's Catalogue on fol. 5r (Casley 1734 and Doane 2007).


    Transferred to the British Museum with the other Royal manuscripts by George II in 1757.




    Cameron, A., 'List of Old English Texts', in A Plan for a Dictionary of Old English, ed. by R. Frank and A. Cameron (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1973), pp. 25-306

    Casley, David, A Catalogue of the Manuscripts of the King's Library (London: printed for the author, and sold by him at the said libraries, now in the old dormitory of Westminster school; and also by Robert Gosling; and John Brindley, 1734)

    Doane, Alger Nicolaus, '303. London, British Library Royal 15 B. xxii: Ælfric's "Grammar"', in Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts in Microfiche Facsimile (Tempe, AZ: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2007), vol. 15: Grammars; Handlist of Manuscripts, pp. 47-49

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

    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 Medieavl and Renaissance Studies, 2001), item 494

    Ker, N. R., Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Anglo-Saxon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957; repr. 1990), item 269

    Manuscripts Catalogue (British Library,; accessed in 2010)

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

    Wanley, Humfrey, Antique literature septentrionalis liber alter (Oxford: Sheldonian Theatre, 1705)

    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

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