Appendix: The Library

The Grey Friars of London. Originally published by Aberdeen University Press, Aberdeen, 1915.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.

'Appendix: The Library', in The Grey Friars of London, (Aberdeen, 1915) pp. 231-235. British History Online [accessed 15 April 2024]

In this section


Leland's list of manuscripts in the Library of the Grey Friars (fn. 1) was not intended to be exhaustive; his ordinary practice in his lists was to give only historical works, and works by English writers. We cannot, therefore, draw from this list any positive conclusion as to the character of the Library possessed by the friars. Still it is instructive enough. Out of fifty works all but the first five deal with scholastic philosophy and theology. No less than 29 are known writings of English Franciscans, whilst the two volumes assigned to Wynchelsey certainly, and the one assigned to Sutton possibly, belong to the same category. Eight of the remainder are works of Dominican writers, and only five are of a miscellaneous character. Probably the list is a fair sample in so far as we might naturally expect philosophical and theological treatises to predominate, and the writings of English Franciscans to be strongly represented.

A few additions can be made to the list. In the first place it does not contain either the Commentaries of Nicholas de Lyra in two volumes, or the "Lectura domini Hostiensis" (Henricus Bartholomeus de Segusia), which were purchased in Wynchelsey's time. (fn. 2) Another volume which does not appear in Leland's list is now Royal MS., 4 D. iv., at the British Museum; this manuscript has on p. 1 the note, "ll. 29, (fn. 3) Postilla Bertrandi super Evangelia. Iste liber est de Conuentu fratrum Minorum London." Its contents are as follows:—
1. Postilla Bertrandi super Evangelia. ff. 1–226. By Bertrand de Turre.
2. Johannes Wallensis, De Viciis, ff. 226–243.
3. Ejusdem Penitencia, ff. 244–262.
4. Egidius Romanus, De Regimine Principum, ff. 262–348.

This is the only volume from the Greyfriars Library which has so far been identified.

From the Register itself it seems that the Library must have possessed a copy of Thomas of Eccleston, De Adventu Fratrum (fn. 4) (probably with supplementary matter similar to that in Cotton., Nero, A. ix., which belonged to the Franciscans of Hereford), and probably also the Chronica of Friar Richard of Durham (fn. 5) (whatever this may have been). Stow speaks of "an old book written by one friar Jones, in the Greyfriars Library"; he quotes from it an account of the feast at Goldsmith's Hall in 1503; so it was probably historical. These last names indicate that Leland's list was not exhaustive even of historical works, and works by English writers. (fn. 6)

In bibliotheca Franciscanorum Londini.

Vita S. Edwardi martyris, ignoto autore.

Historia Ivonis Carnotensis, (fn. 7) inc. Assyriorum igitur rex.

Sigeberti (fn. 8) monachi historia.

Chronica Martini. (fn. 9)

Alexander de S. Albano (Necham) de naturis rerum. (fn. 10)

Lincolniensis (fn. 11) super Libros Dionysii de Hierarchia.

Floriloquium (fn. 12) Fratris Joannis Walensis.

Nicolaus Trivet super libros Augustini de Civitate Dei. (fn. 13)

Sermones festivales Holkoti, (fn. 14) inc. Erunt signa in sole.

Collectiones Wallensis (fn. 15) super Mattheum, inc. Tria insinuantur.

Collectiones eiusdem super Leviticum, (fn. 16) inc. Immolabit vitulum.

Sermones festivales fratris Thomas Winchelse, (fn. 17) inc. Omnis qui audit.

Alexander de S. Albano, (fn. 18) cog. Necham, super Cantica Canticoum, sive in opus epithalamicum, inc. Humilitas vera.

Holcot super librum sapientiae. (fn. 19)

Notingham super unum ex quatuor, (fn. 20) inc. Da mihi intellectum.

Lathbiri (fn. 21) super Librum Trenorum.

Wallis (fn. 22) super Psalterium, inc. Beatus qui custodit.

Adam Wodham (fn. 23) Franciscanus super Cantica Canticorum: vir scholasticus.

Costesey (fn. 24) super Psalmos usque ad Psalmum Nonne Deo 168.

Pastoralia (fn. 25) fratris Joannis Wallensis, doctoris Parisiensis.

Postillae Alexandri de Hales super Job, inc. Dicitur in Psalmos.

Expositio Wallensis (fn. 26) super Valerium ad Rufinum de non ducenda uxore, inc. Loqui prohibeor.

Opera Reverendi inceptoris Ockam Franciscani. (fn. 27)

Expositio super Porphyrium.

Super Praedicamenta.

Super libr. Periermenia.

Super libros Elenchorum.

Defensorium logices.

Tractatus eiusdem qui vocatur: Dominus potest facere omne quod fieri vult, non includit contradictionem. (fn. 28)

Tractatus eiusdem de decem generibus.

Opinio Wiclivi de Universalibus.

Winchelsei (fn. 29) super Logicum stilo scholastico.

Rhetorica Aristotelis, Latine.

Wiford (fn. 30) de sacramento altaris, inc. Ratione solemnitatis.

Liber Rogeri Bacon Franciscani de retardatione accidentium senectutis et senii e conservatione quinque sensuum, (fn. 31) inc. Cogito et cogitavi.

Antidotarium eiusdem. (fn. 32)

Hic liber erat excisus, cum alio eiusdem autoris, ex cujus erasi tituli vestigiis suspicor fuisse de Universalibus.

Cowton (fn. 33) super Sententias, inc. Sic dicit beatus Ambrosius.

Bradwardein (fn. 34) de Caussa Dei.

Quolibeta Joannis Okam (fn. 35) inceptoris.

Idem de sacramento altaris.

Idem super Sententias.

Ware (fn. 36) super libros Sententiarum.

Peccham (fn. 37) super Sententias.

Questiones Peccham de vanitate mundalium.

Itinerarium (fn. 38) eiusdem, non insulsus liber, inc. Confitebor tibi domine.

Suttoni (fn. 39) questio de unitate formae.

Ockami quaestio de pluralitate formae. (fn. 40)

Quaestiones Pecchami (fn. 41) de sacramento altaris.

Holcoti lectura super Sententias. (fn. 42)

Fizaker (fn. 43) super Libros Sententiarum.

Ricardus de Media villa (fn. 44) super Sententias, inc. Abscondita produxit.


  • 1. Collectanea, iv., 49–51.
  • 2. See p. 170 above.
  • 3. "29" is the press mark; "11" (perhaps used for the capital L) the case letter; so there were at least 11 cases, and at least 29 volumes in a case; of course both cases and volumes may have been more numerous.
  • 4. See pp. 3, 16 above.
  • 5. See p. 196 above.
  • 6. Survey of London, ii., 342.
  • 7. Ivo of Chartres. The short chronicle generally ascribed to Ivo of Chartres, probably by Hugh of Fleury; see e.g. MSS. Merton College, 88, Magd. Coll. (Oxford) 84.
  • 8. Sigebert of Jembloux.
  • 9. Martinus Polonus (Martin of Troppau), Chron. Pontificum et Imperatorum.
  • 10. A popular work, interesting for mediaeval notions of natural science: printed in Rolls Series.
  • 11. Grosseteste.
  • 12. Walleys was a Franciscan, for his Floriloquium Philosophorum see Little, Greyfriars, 145.
  • 13. Trivet's commentary was printed five times in the fifteenth century.
  • 14. Robert Holcot the Dominican, see Dict. Nat. Biog., xxxvii., 114.
  • 15. Thomas Walleys the Dominican, id., lix., 122.
  • 16. In MSS. Merton College, 196, and New College, 30, the incipit of Thomas Wallensis, super Leviticum, is " Masculum (et) immaculatum".
  • 17. See pp. 169–71 above.
  • 18. Tanner, Bibl. Brit., 540, gives several MSS.
  • 19. Printed in 1480, and many times afterwards.
  • 20. A Concordance of the Gospels by William of Nottingham the Provincial see p. 193 above.
  • 21. John Lathbury (fl. 1350), a Franciscan; see Little, Greyfriars, 236.
  • 22. Thomas Walleys, whose commentary on the Psalms was printed at Venice in 1611.
  • 23. Or Godham; see id., 173.
  • 24. Henry de Costesey (ft. 1336), a Franciscan; see id., 234. (See M. R. James, Cat. of MSS. in Christ's Coll., Cambridge, no. 11.)
  • 25. Formerly in Harley, 632; see id., 150.
  • 26. John Walleys The incipit is that of the work itself, so does not help to identify the commentary.
  • 27. On William of Ockham's works, see Little, Greyfriars, 225–234, and Hofer's articles in Archivum Franc. Hist., vi.
  • 28. Leland distinguishes this from the Defensorium Logices, with which Tanner identified it. But it is known only from this reference (Little, Greyfriars, 233).
  • 29. Probably Thomas Wynchelsey; see p. 170 above.
  • 30. William Woodford; see Little, Greyfriars, 247.
  • 31. See the Bibliography in Roger Bacon, B.S.F.S., iv., 93, 94; and in Roger Bacon Commemoration Essays.
  • 32. The second part of the previous work; see B.S.F.S., iv., 94.
  • 33. Robert Cowton (fl. 1300), a Franciscan whose Commentary on the Sentences was very popular; see Little, Greyfriars, 222.
  • 34. Thomas Bradwardine (d. 1349), archbishop of Canterbury; his De Causa Dei was edited by Sir Henry Savile in 1618.
  • 35. Probably an error for William or Nicholas Ockhan; see Little, Greyfriars, 158, 227, 228.
  • 36. William Ware (fl. 1250), Franciscan; there are numerous MSS. of his Commentary. (Id. 213.)
  • 37. See Bibliography in Peccham, De Paupertate, B.S.F.S., ii., 2.
  • 38. The Canticum Pauperis; see Bibliography, u.s., p. 6.
  • 39. Possibly Henry Sutton the Guardian; see p. 55 above; but more probably Thomas Sutton, the Dominican; see Quetif and Echard, Script. Ord. Præd., I., A. 64; but the work is not otherwise known.
  • 40. Said to be "contra Sutton"; but it is an unknown work; see Little, Greyfriars, 233.
  • 41. See Bibliography, u.s., pp. 2, 3.
  • 42. Printed 1497, 1510, 1518.
  • 43. Richard Fishacre (d. 1248), Dominican; see Dict. Nat. Biog., xix., 53.
  • 44. Richard Middleton (fl. 1283), Franciscan; his Commentary was printed at Venice, 1489, and twice afterwards; see Little, Greyfriars, 214.