The Durham Tertullian MS (Lost)

A manuscript of the Apologeticum arrived at Durham with its first Norman Bishop in 1081, and remained there to the time of the last medieval catalogue in 1416.  It is no longer at Durham, so it's fate is unknown.  The first words of the second folio are given in the catalogue; but these do not seem to be present in the text of the ApologeticumVarious points could usefully be checked so I've highlighted these.

1095 : Carileph's List - MS. A. ii. 4 - (Botfield pp.117-8)

The Benedictine Monastery of St. Cuthbert at Durham was founded after the Norman conquest.  William of St.Calais (also known as William of St. Carileph, or Carilef), who had been Abbot of St. Vincent's in Normandy, became Lord Chief Justice of England and Bishop of Durham from 1081-1096.  He built the current cathedral, disbanded the Congregation of St. Cuthbert and created a Benedictine Abbey.  He also  gave a set of 39 books to the library, plus liturgical works, 19 of which are still there.  The 11th century list of these, from the mortuary taken on his death on 6th January 1095, has been preserved bound into one of his MSS, MS. A. ii. 4, 'Bibliorum pars posterior, as folio 1.

[From where did he get his books?]

(From Hughes, plate opposite p.55).  The text is written on the upper portion of the leaf.  Another reproduction is in Gullick. p72.7

The text reads as follows: (my transcription with some abbreviations 
expanded, and compared with the Botfield transcription and 
the Turner one)

Ista sunt nomina librorum quos domnus Willelmvs 
eps sco cuthberto dedit. | Bibliotheca. idest vetus & 
nouu testamentu induob; libris.  Tres libri augustini super 
psalteriu .i. de civitate dni .i. epistularum eiusdem .i. super euan-
gelium iohannis. |  Ieronimus super .xii. prophas.  Epistolae eiusdem.
Idem de ebreis nominibus.  |  Moralia gregorii in duab, parab;.
Liber pastoralis.  .ii. Registri. xl. omeli. | Beda super marcv et
Lvca.  |  Rabbanus super matheum.  |  ii. libri sermonu &
omeliaru.  |  Decreta pontificu.  | hystorie pompeii trogi.
| Prosper de conteplatiua & actiua uita. |  Origenes super uetus
testamentum.  |  Julius pomerius.  |  Tertullianus. | Sidonius sollius 
panigericus. |  breuiariu. y | ii. antiph. i. gradale. | ii. libri
inquib; admatutinas legitur. | Vitas patru. | Vita egip
tiorum monachorum.  |  Diadema monach. | Enchiridion augustini.
| Gregorius super ezechiele.  | Beda super cantica canticorum.  | Dialogus.
| Paradisus. | R Hystoria anglorum. | Ambrosius de ioseph. de
penitentia. de morte fratris.  |  Libri confessionu sci augustini.
| .iii. missales. | Martyrologiu & regula.

This is the first mention of a Tertullian at Durham.


Later catalogues of the library show that this Tertullian remained at Durham.

Early 12th century - MS. B. iv. 24 (Botfield p.1ff)

This catalogue contains 352 books, including all except 9 of Carileph's.  An addition in a later hand adds 9 'libri Thomae Prioris' who died in 1162.  Botfield p.31 lists under:


A. Pompeius Trogus.  ii fo., "pulsaque cui"
C. Pompeius Trogus et Justinus de Re Militari; et Tropius de Romana Historia. ii fo. "Cum hoc opus".
D. Prima pars Agellii Noccium Acticarum.  ii fo., "Unde ea nos accepimus".  [Accomodatur J. Whixlay]
E. Secunda pars Agellii, cum Tabula.  ii. fo., "Eciam mox barbam".
A. Apologeticum Tertulliani, cum Excerptis Canonum. ii fo., "genitus eloquencia". etc

The initial letters were/are written on the fly-leaf of the book; the first words of the second folio are given.  The remark in brackets is in a later hand.

The "genitus eloquencia" phrase does not seem to appear in the Apologeticum.  Gullick also notes this and adds that it is unlikely to appear in the Canons either.7 

1333-1345 - Bishop Richard de Bury (Hughes p.111ff)

This literary Bishop was the reputed author of the Philobiblon, dating to 1344.  This shows knowledge of the Apologeticum (Sabbadini R., Scoperte, Vol II, p.8).

1391 - MS. B. iv. 46 (Botfield p.34-38)

This catalogue was made when Robert de Lanchester retired as Librarian and handed over the books to William of Appleby.  It is divided into two sections; I of 428 books, and II of 64+23 psalters.

[I don't know what this contains, but I understand it does contain the Tertullian]

1395  - MS. B. iv. 46 (Botfield p.46 ff)

Contains 387 books.  Written by William of Appleby.

[I don't know what this contains]

1416 - MS. B. iv. 46 - Infrascripti Libri praepunctuati inventi fuerunt in Cancellaria Dunelm. per J. Fyshborn in festo Beat. Mauri Abbatis anno Domini millesimo IIIIc decimo sexto.  (Botfield p.85ff)

Probably written earlier than 1391, but used as a checklist during the removal of the books from the Spendiment and Cloister to the new erected book-room over the parlour.  Books still in the library are marked 'praepunctuati' with a stop.  Hughes .p60.  Botfield p.109 gives the following:


.  A. Pompeius Trogus.  ii fo., "pulsaque cui"  [In libraria]
.  C. Pompeius Trogus et Justinus de Re Militari; et Tropius de Romana Historia. ii fo. "Cum hoc opus".
.  D. Prima pars Agellii Noctium Atticarum.  ii fo., "Unde ea nos accepimus".  
.  E. Secunda pars Agellii, cum Tabula.  ii. fo., "Eciam mox barbam". [In quaterno albo]
.  A. Apologeticum Tertulliani, cum Excerptis Canonum. ii fo., "genitus eloquencia".
.  a. Orosius de Ormesta Mundi.  ii fo., "Infestissima" etc

The starting dots indicate that the book was found.  The comments in brackets are notes as to where the books are, or why they are not in the new book room.  The Tertullian entry is identical.

1421 - ? - Registrum Secundum of the Prior and Convent of Durham (Botfield p.123)

This is an inventory of 18 books made by John Fishburn in 1421, with notes by a later hand like Deficit, Extat.

[I don't know what this contains]

The great houses were nationalised in 1539.  Durham Monastery itself was surrended in 1541 (Hughes p.118).

1536-ish - John Leland - Collectanea etc

Leland reports that Bishop Cuthbert Tunstall (1530-59) found the Greek books of his predecessor Shirwood at Auckland Palace (Hughes p.116 note, Leland Commentarii de Scriptoribus Britannicis, 1709, II, p.262).

[I don't know if the printed works or the list of MSS in the British Library contain any reference to the Durham books other than this - I must check these.  Also from where were the autographs of Leland's books obtained, since they were only published long after his death?  Are there letters somewhere?]

1633-1676 - MS. B. IV. 47 - Elias Smyth (Hughes p.66)

This contains a list of MSS and printed books in the library in his time.

[I don't know what this contains]


1.  Hughes (H.D.), A History of Durham Cathedral Library, Durham County Advertiser (1925), xlii+134+24 plates.  Checked Catalogues are dealt with in pp55-68.

2.  Turner (C.H.), The Earliest List of Durham MSS, Journal of Theological Studies, XIX (1918), pp121-132.  Reference from Hughes is not complete, p. 22, note and p.55 note.  Notes on the books and details of which still exist are included.  The Tertullian is described on p.128. Checked. There seems to be some confusion with what I have noted above: 

26.  TERTULLIANUS.  There seems to be no copy of Tertullian in Cat. II [given as pp.1-10 of Botfield] and it must therefore remain doubtful whether the copy of the Apology recorded in Cat. 1391-1416 (Surtees, pp.31, 109: under 'Libri diversi poetarum') 'A. Apologeticum Tertulliani cum Excerptis    Canonum', fol. 2 'genitus eloquencia', can be the book given by bishop William.  As however this latter copy contained also Excerpts of Canons, it is just possible that it is the book catalogued as 'Excerpta Canonorum' simply, no. 10 in Cat. II.  In any case it is not in the library now.  Two sixteenth-century editors of Tertullian, Gelenius and Pamelius, used English MSS of Tertullian which have now disappeared.

3.  Catalogi Veteres Librorum Ecclesiae Cathedralis Dunelm: Catalogues of the Library of Durham Cathedral, Ed. James Raine, preface by Beriah Botfield.  Publications of the Surtees Society, Vol. 7 (1838).  Carileph's catalogue is pp. 117-8, with a list of extant volumes and their shelfmarks.  Mostly Checked

4.  Mynors (Sir Roger A.B.), Durham Cathedral manuscripts to the end of the twelfth century /, Oxford 1939, x, 91 p., [57] leaves of plates: facsims. (some col.) ; 46 cm. Not checked.  

5. Ker (N.R.), Medieval Libraries of Great Britain : a list of surviving books, supplement to the second edition ( Royal Historical Society: Guides and Handbooks series, 15) London 1987, gives a complete list of all surviving Durham Priory books. There are 49 Durham books at the
British Library. Not checked

6.  D. Rollason et al (ed.), Anglo-Norman Durham (Woodbridge, 1994) and D. Rollason (ed.), Symeon of Durham (Shaun Tyas, 1998).   Checked

7.  Gullick (Michael), The Scribe of the Carilef Bible: A New Loook at some Late-Eleventh-Century Durham Cathedral Manuscripts, pp.61-83 in Brownrigg (Linda L.)(ed.), Medieval Book Production: Assessing the Evidence, Proceedings of the Second Conference of The Seminar in the History of the Book to 1500 Oxford July 1988, Los Altos, California (1990).  Checked.  p.72 has a plate of the Carilef list, p. 73 discusses the related Oxford MS Bodl.Add.C.284, and notes on pp.80-81.

This page has been online since 16th August 2000.

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