Oxford, Bodleian Library, Hatton 116

Present Location


Medieval Provenance

General Information




A collection of homilies datable to the second quarter of the twelfth century (perhaps about 1140 or so). Begins with a homily on St Chad (pp. 1-18), which is unique. Fols 18-152, 179-252, 279-90 are homilies for saints' Days from 24 June to 30 November, from Ælfric's First Series of Sermones Catholici. Pages 253-78, 290-395 are catechetical and mainly Ælfrician, and most also occur in Hatton 115. Glosses in Latin and English throughout are in the Tremulous Hand.

Object Description



Support: Pages i-vi, 403-8 are paper leaves of the date of binding. Pages 399-402 are parchment end-leaves taken over from the medieval binding (see above).


  • 260 mm x 180 mm (dimensions of all - size of leaves)
  • ca. 195-203 mm x 135 mm (dimensions of all - size of written space)

Foliation/Pagination: Pages iii+201+v, paginated i-vi, 1-84, 84a, b, 85-160, 160a, b, 161-408. Another pagination, 1-396, of s. xvi (?), is on rectos only.


Quires: 1-1012, 11-128 (pp. 237-52, 279-94), 1312 + one leaf before 1 (pp. 253-78), 1414, 15-1612, 178, 1810 wants 7-10, probably blank, after p. 398. Quire 12 (pp. 279-94) has been bound wrongly after Quire 13 (pp. 253-78).

Note: 20 long lines (21 on pp. 255-78, 295-395) with blind-ruled double bounding lines. Pages 96-8 are blank, except for scribbles in the Tremulous Hand and some musical notes.  

Hand Description

Number of Hands: 2

Hand: main text

Scope: sole

Script: English Vernacular Minuscule

Ker reference: Ker 333 SC1

Description: Pages 1-395. 'A handsome, round, large hand of a type found commonly in West of England manuscripts of s. xii' (Ker 1957, p. 406). This Worcester hand is rounded, but degrees of angularity are also creeping in. The general aspect is slightly backward-leaning. The bodies of the letters are large in relation to the ascenders and descenders. LUNA dates the manuscript to the second half of the twelfth century, but that is almost certainly too late, since the manuscript is blind-ruled. Worcester manuscripts (which this is) are crayon-ruled from about the 1130s and 40s. Treharne (2000) dates this hand and manuscript to s. xii2/4 (pp. 25-26). That dating is re-confirmed here, probably closer to the middle of the century than earlier, even though the ruling is blind. Palaeographical affinities can be found with the Worcester manuscripts, Worcester Cathedral Libary F. 82 and F. 83, both datable to s. xiimed. Small extracts of these manuscripts appear in Thomson 2001 (pl. 42 (a)-(f)). See Ker 1957, p. 406; Treharne 2000, pp. 25-26.

Summary of the characteristics of the hand:

  • a is Caroline, where the bow sometimes touches the preceding letter.
  • The e of æ is very slightly taller than the top of a.
  • Insular, rounded d is used in English, but with relatively high back, slightly shorter than that of ð; straight-backed d with an oblique serif to the right is used in Latin.
  • f is Caroline and sits on the line, with the mid-stroke often touching the following letter in ligature. The head of f is occasionally slightly flattened.
  • g is Caroline with a closed bowl, and is thus eight-shaped, one of Ker's (1957) defining characteristics of s. xiimed hands. From its top bow, it often ligatures with the following letter.
  • h is Caroline.
  • p has a well-defined horizontal foot (again, typical of mid-twelfth-century hands).
  • r is consistently Caroline, with a curved serif.
  • s is Caroline, with a determined onset stroke. Its head is occasionally slightly flattened.
  • The cross-bar of the t is often pierced by the stem, a feature seen in mid-twelfth-century script.
  • þ has a large bowl, and a descender that is slightly short in relation to the rest of the graph.
  • The ascender of ð is higher than other ascenders, and the cross-bar curves up on the right.
  • ƿ has a large pointed bowl, and short, straight descender.
  • y is rounded, sits just on the line, or slightly below, and is consistently dotted in the middle of the v-shaped limbs.
  • ascenders end in oblique serif rising from the left to the right or have a wedge.
  • descenders are generally short and straight, with the exception of p, which has a straight foot across the descender. Occasionally, descenders curve gently to the left.


  • Punctuation in the form of a semicolon at the end of a sentence occurs regularly up to p. 19, but seldom after that.
  • The punctus is frequently used, and sits on the line.
  • Hyphens are used throughout at line ends, and at placed at a slight angle.


  • Abbreviation marks are curved at the right, ending in a blob.
  • The abbreviation for 'that' consists of a þ with the abbreviation mark to the right of the ascender.
  • 'Men' is abbreviated to M (often uncial in shape) with a macron above it.
  • 'leofestan' is usually abbreviated simply to l with a line through it.
  • 'Drihten' is abbreviated with a macron over the t.
  • The ˥ is formed with a 45º angle between headstroke and descender, and usually with a pronounced upward tick to the left of the headstroke.The tail tends to curve just below the line to the left.


  • The st ligature is used but not consistently.
  • The or ligature where the r is 2-shaped is used but not consistently.

Litterae Notabiliores:

The Litterae Notabiliores are closely related to those seen in other Worcester manuscripts of this date, and slightly earlier. They are red, pen-drawn, and display little roundels in the leg or the bowl. glosses and alterations


Hand: glosses

Scope: minor

Scribe: Tremulous Scribe

Script: English Vernacular Minuscule

Description: There are several layers of glosses by the Tremulous Hand.

Date: s. xiii1

Decoration Description

Initials and titles in red. Titles in rustic capitals or minuscules.


The collect 'Deus qui dedisti legem Moisi in summitate montis Sinay. et illic / per angelum tuum corpus Katerine uirginis. mirabiliter / collocasti. tribue quesumus. ut eius meritis et intercessione ad montem qui Cristus est ualeamus peruenire.' and antiphon 'Ecce crucem domini. fugite partes aduerse de tribu Juda radix David. Alleluia.' were added slightly later in s. xii in the five lines remaining blank on p. 395. A note in Thomas Barlow's hand identifies the collect with that in Roman and Sarum service-books for 25th November, St Katherine's Day, specifically concerning her reception by angels. The antiphon was used as an exorcism or healing formula. It is interesting to note this addition for St Katherine in a manuscript associated with the region that produced the early thirteenth-century manuscript, Oxford, Bodleian Library, Bodley 34, containing the Katherine Group of saints' lives and other texts.

Binding Description

Bound in s. xvii/xviii uniformly with Hatton 115. The rust-mark from a nail which held the strap of an earlier binding in position shows on pp. 391-402.

Pages 399-402 are two waste leaves, a bifolium of a copy of a Summa of the Decretum of Gratian, s. xiiex, used as a pastedown and flyleaf.

Additional Information

Administration Information

Manuscript described by Elaine Treharne with the assistance of Hollie Morgan and George Younge (2010; 2013).


LUNA (http://bodley30.bodley.ox.ac.uk:8180/luna/servlet; accessed 23 July 2018)



Written in the West of England, almost certainly at Worcester. Whilst the manuscript shows characteristics common with manuscripts produced at Worcester, McIntyre 1978 points out that the style is regional, not just belonging to a single scriptorium (pp. 36-37). It must be borne in mind, however, that there are also many shared features with manuscripts produced in other centres in the West of England (Treharne 2000, p. 27).


At Worcester in the first half of the thirteenth century, as it was glossed by the Tremulous Hand. Remained in Worcester until at least 1622, as it is mentioned in Young's catalogue.


Belonged to Christopher, Lord Hatton in 1644 and was acquired by the Bodleian Library in 1678.




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

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