Collection of medical receipts in English and Latin (Leech-Books, IV)

Early 15th century
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Collection of medical receipts in English and Latin (Leech-Books, IV). Public Domain Mark. Source: Wellcome Collection.

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Collection of medical receipts in Middle English and Latin


1. ff. 1r-7r Medical receipts in English

f. 1r [For payne in the tothe ?] ... also hot as thow may souffre it to thy cheke at euen. Item. Tak the rote of the rede dokke ... f. 7r [For the ston] ... or tak and drink sed of spurge tempered with wyn or ale.

2. ff. 7v-10v Medical receipts in Latin

f. 7v [C]ontra cancrum probatissimum experimentum accipe absinthium ... f. 10v [Ad faciendas margaritas] ... et purifica eas et sicut [?] ut margaritas.

3. ff. 11r-61r Medical receipts in English and Latin

f. 11r Theise ben the veynes to leten onne a man blod. for diuerse eueles. In the arme ben veynes ... f. 15r [For alle newe woundes and to knowe] ... and it schal purge and heole the wounde. f. 15v Ad reuma capitis. R[ecipe] plenam manum ordei ... f. 61r [Ad dolorem wulnerum] ... et parum mellis et farinam tritici et fac emplastrum etc.

4. ff. 61v-70r Glossary of herbs

f. 61v [A]brothanum ameroyne sothernewode ... f. 70r zynziber [Added] zucaro uel zucura.

5. f. 70v Note 'De virtute rute', followed by a receipt in French 'Por feblesse et maladies des oils'.


Early 15th century

Physical description

1 volume 70 [78] ff. 4to. 19 x 14 cm. On vellum. 18th century panelled calf binding. The first 8 ff. are wanting. The fly-leaf at the beginning is mutilated, margins cropped in binding. There are two main scripts. The first, ff. 1-7, 11-61, a semi-current rounded gothic 30-36 lines to a page; the second, ff. 7v-10, 61-70, a smaller and less formal hand 35-40 lines to a page. Some capitals, paragraph marks, and underlinings in red. In the lower margin of f. 2r is a small pen-drawing of a face, with red spots (freckles); on f. 12r a drawing of a plate used as a 'Charme of leed good for woundes' (f. 11v). There is an early foliation 9-76, which is incorrect after f. 72. A revised foliation 1-70 has been inserted in pencil at the lower corner of the rectos.


The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking.

Acquisition note

Purchased at Sotheby's (Dunn Sale) 14/2/1913, Lot 574.

Finding aids

Catalogue description modified in 2014. For original description, see S.A.J. Moorat, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts on Medicine and Science in the Wellcome Historical Medical Library (London: Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, 1962-1973).


Anglo-Saxon letter forms in Moorat's catalogue description (such as contraction marks and thorn and yogh symbols) have been replaced with Latin characters.

Ownership note

Phillipps MS. 4047, with a pencil note by him 'From Tayler' written inside the upper cover. Below this is a pasted-in Ex-libris of George Dunn ( -1912), who has a note in pencil on the fragment of the fly-leaf 'G.D. Sep. 1900'. Sold at Sotheby's (Phillipps Sale) 7/6/1899, Lot 865.

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Accession number

  • 31654