Skip to main content

MS 93: Collection of didactic, pastoral, and meditative devotional treatises, 15th century

Identifier: MS 93


This manuscript dates from the first half of the 15th century, and is a collection of didactic, pastoral, and meditative devotional treatises, as well as some fragments of works by late 14th-century English theologian, John Wycliffe. Generally, devotional texts were an important element of medieval piety, as they provided guidance for individuals to deepen their faith through study, meditation and prayer. This volume is perhaps best described as a medieval instructional manual.
ff. 1r-10v: Versions of the 'Ten Commandments'
ff. 11r-15r: 'The Seven Deadly Sins'
ff. 15r-16r: 'The Five Bodily Wits'
ff. 16r-18r: 'The Five Ghostly Wits'
ff. 18r-22r: 'The Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost'
f. 22r-v: 'Six Maners of Consent to Sin'
ff. 22v-25v: 'The Eight Blessings of Christ', an abridged version of John Wycliffe's sermon
ff. 25v-27r: 'The Three Goods'
f. 27r-v: 'The Seven Sacraments'
ff. 27v-28r: 'Four Needful Things'
ff. 28r-36v: 'The Four Cardinal Virtues'
ff. 36v-38r: 'The Sixteen Conditions of Charity'
ff. 38r-79v: The Twelve Chapters of Perfection, an English translation of the Latin text Emendatio Vitae, by Richard Hampolle
ff. 79v-80v: 'The Seven Bodily Works of Mercy'
ff. 80v-81v: 'The Twelve Articles of the Faith'
ff. 81v-82v: 'The Eight Tokens of Meekness'
ff. 82v-83v: 'The Sixteen Tokens of Love'
ff. 83v-85r: 'The Four Errors'
ff. 85r-87r: 'The Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost'
f. 87r-v: 'The Magnificat'
ff. 87v-90r: 'Of Lords and Husbandmen'
ff. 90r-95v: 'Meditation I of St Anselm'
ff. 95v-100r: 'The Strathel of Sin'
ff. 100r-102r: Biblical passages from 2 Peter, 2 Corinthians and James (2 Peter i, 5-9; 2 Cor. vi, 1-7; Jas. iv, 1-17)
ff. 102r-103r: Biblical passages on the Last Supper (Matt. XXVI, 26-29; Luke XXII, 14-16; 1 Cor. xi, 23-24)
f. 103v: Gospel of Ascension Day (Mark xvi, 16-20)
Writing A good English 15th century hand.
Illumination Filigree capitals


  • 15th century


Language of Materials

Middle English

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to all. The manuscripts can be consulted in the Centre for Research Collections, Edinburgh University Main Library.


1 bound MS volume

Custodial History

An English MS., but bears no indication of local provenance. It has been paged by a 17th century hand, and bears two signatures, Thomas Awdeley 1668(f. 2), and J. Amex (ff. 1 and 100). The latter is Joseph Ames, bibliographer and antiquary. He annotates the lections from f. 100 as follows: I take to be Wicklif's Translation. J. Ames. The volume was evidently bound as now, with the first folio misplaced, when Ames got it, as his name appears on f. 1. The previous owner, Thomas Awdeley, may have been a descendant of Lord Chancellor Awdeley (1488-1544).

Previous title

Title given to the manuscript in Catherine Borland’s catalogue: Meditations on the commandments, the sacraments, the cardinal virtues, etc.

Previous reference

Laing 140


C.A. Martin, Edinburgh University Library MS. 93: An Annotated Edition of Selected Devotional Treatises with a Survey of Parallel Versions. Edinburgh Univ. PhD. 1978.

Physical Facet

Material: Vellum

Binding: 17th century

Collation: a6, b8-d8, e 7 (wants 8), f8-m8, n7 (wants 8), o3 =103.


15.88 cm X 10.48 cm


Secundo folio: men &thornat preyen
Foliation and number of lines to a page: ff. 103, 22 lines to a page.

Repository Details

Part of the Edinburgh University Library Special Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379