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Medical Compendium in English

15th century
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About this work


Medical compendium compiled in the Westmorland area.

1. ff. 1r-28v The 'Boke of maschalse'

Incipit: 'The boke of marschalse here it schall begyn...Iff þat þou hafe stede folse to kepe...'

Explicit: 'Explicit per dominum Johannem Marshall vicarium sancti Michell de Appelby'

A treatise on horse breeding and veterinary medicine, with a verse prologue. The explicit refers to John Marshall, Vicar of St Michael, Appleby, Westmorland, fl. 1440-60.

2. ff. 29r-40v Herbal

Incipit: 'Ruw is hot and dry and dos goode to þe stomak...'

3. ff. 41r-58r Treatise on the sicknesses of women

Incipit: 'Here begynnys the sekenes off women whylk is callyd the moder. Also we salt understande þat women has lesse hete in þe body pan men...'

4. ff. 58v-61v Phlebotomy treatise

Incipit: 'Ffor blode lettynge. Seth þe authoritie of ypocras þe noble phisiciane...The vayne in þe myddest of the for hede serves for hede ache and for þe mygrayn...'

5. ff. 62r-67v Trotula, Tractatus de egritudinibus mulierum, adapted, in Latin with some English

Monica Green has identified this text as being an adaptation, in Latin with some lapses into English, of the Tractatus de egritudinibus mulierum, one of the constituent texts of the so-called "Trotula ensemble" (Monica Green, 'A Handlist of Latin and Vernacular Manuscripts of the so-called Trotula texts', Scriptorium 51 (1), 1997, pp 80-104. The beginning of the work is wanting.

6. ff. 68r-75v Collection of culinary recipes for meat, fish and vegetable dishes

Incipit: 'Hic incipit modus iusquendi qualiter cocus se habebit in coquinis circa cibaria diversa preparanda. Swan. To slee all maner of birdes to roste þame and to sause þame...'

7. ff. 76r-88v Recipes for drinks, salves, unguents, etc.

Incipit: 'Here may thou lere diverse manner off makyng of salves, drynkes, siropes, plasters, oyntementes, and gude entretes...'

8. ff. 89r-91v Tract on making aqua vitae

Incipit: 'Aqua vite and þe makyng þeroff. Take distillatorio cum vino ponantur et ad lentum ignem distilles.'

9. f. 91v On the making of oils

Incipit: 'Her beginnys þe makyng off oylys. Oleum masticis ...'. The end of the work is wanting.

10. ff. 92r-95v Treatise on uroscopy. The beginning and end of the work are wanting.

11. ff. 96r-120v Recipe collection

Incipit: 'Ictericia. Item ad [?] mundificare cutem cum aceto albo tepido et decoctione capille veneris eupatorii et ordei ...'


15th century

Physical description

1 volume

1 volume 220 × 155 mm., 120 ff. + ii vellum flyleaves. Ff. 1, 8-9, 16, 22-23 are vellum.

Collation: 1 16, 2 16 wanting 1-2, 15-16 (15-16 probably blank), 3 12, 4 12, 5 12 wanting 10-12 probably blank, 6 10 wanting 7-10 probably blank, 7 14 wanting 9-14 probably blank, 8 16, 9 4, 10 15, 11 10. Quires missing between 8 and 9 and 10 and 11.

Medieval binding of leather-covered wooden boards sewn on three double thongs pegged into the boards. Clasp missing.

Acquisition note

Christie's 3 Dec. 1986, lot 349. Purchased from Dr David Segal 1989.

Terms of use

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Finding aids

Richard Palmer, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts in the Wellcome Library for the History & Understanding of Medicine: Western Manuscripts 5120-6244 (London: The Wellcome Library for the History & Understanding of Medicine, 1999).

Location of duplicates

This material has been digitised and can be freely accessed online through the Wellcome Library catalogue.

Ownership note

Flyleaves from a rental for Appleby and the surrounding area (Milburn, Kirkby Thore, Murton Newbiggin etc.). Possibly a rental of lands belonging to the church of St Michael, Appleby since most places named are within that parish. Signatures, 15-17th centuries, of Lancelot Denton (f. 22r.), Georgius Harrison, Thomas Gent and Mary Williamson (ff. 22v.-23r.), Recardus Hygins (with a prayer to St Patrick, f. 23v.), Edward Johnstone (ownership inscriptions, f. 96r.-v.).


  • English
  • Latin

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