Skip to main content

MS 186: Composite manuscript containing the Scotichronicon and various genealogical texts, 1510

Identifier: MS 186


MS 186 is a composite volume, containing the Scotichronicon by Walter Bower and a number of short genealogical texts, all by the same hand.

Ff. 1r-332v: Scotichronicon, by Walter Bower

Ff. 332v-333r: 'Epistola bernardi'

Ff. 333v-336r: 'brevis recapitulatio' [A short summary] of Bower's Scotichronicon, (described under the entry for 'Scotichronicon')

Ff. 336v-337v: 'Genealogia regis Jacobi secundi'

Ff. 338r-v: 'De romanis pontificibus'

Ff. 339r-v: 'De romanorum Imperatoribus'

Ff. 339v-341v: 'Sedes episcopales'

Ff. 341v-342v: 'Tabula monasteriorum Scocie'

Ff. 342v: 'Vicecomitatis Scocie'

Ff. 343r: 'De Novem nobilibus' (in English)

Ff. 343r: A note on the origins of the Stewart family

Ff. 345r: A pictorial family tree of the Scottish royals, from Malcolm (Canmore) III to James II

Ff. 346r: A Pedigree of the Kings of France from Louis IX to Henry V, with text and a very rough family tree

Texts will be described separately, under the titles and folios listed above. However, the five lists contained on ff. 338r-342v will be described in a single entry.


The whole manuscript is by a single, very neat uniform hand showing strong French influence, with headings in a Gothic hand and very black ink.


Ornamental capitals touched with red, and smaller initials, either plain blue and red, or blue and red filigree. There are some roughly drawn heads in the geneaological tree.


  • Creation: 1510

Language of Materials

Latin and 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

The name of the scribe and date of writing are given in a colophon at the end of the genealogies on f. 346r: Et finitur liber xvto die mensis maii, hora octava post meridiem A.D. m°vcx°, etc. Rob[er]t[us] Scot. Unfortunately an inscription giving the name of the original owner has been cut out of the lower margin of f. 1. An erased inscription on f. 346 by the hand responsible for the foliation is also not decipherable. The name 'David' occurs on f. 131r. The record of its gift to the Edinburgh University Library by William Colville, 'Primario', 1670, is inserted by William Henderson, Librarian, on a fly-leaf at the beginning.

The inscription by William Henderson, on the fly-leaf, reads: Hic liber Manuscriptus in Pergaminis (empt. ex libris magistri Jo. Sibbald Perthensis 106lib. 13sh. 4d) cui Titulus Scotichronicon continens Acta et Gesta Regum et Procerum Populi Scoticani nec non Pontificum et rerum Ecclesiasticarum Britanniam quod attinet rationem Libris sedecim comprehensum, quorum quinque priorum auctor erat Jo. Fordenus, reliquorum autem undecim auctor erat McCulloch. Donatus est Academiae Edinburgenae a Domino Guilielmo Colvillo ejusdem Academiae Primario a.d. 1670. ['This book handwritten on parchment, (taken from the books of Master Jo. Sibbald of Perth, 106 pounds, 13 shillings, 4 pence) called Scotichronicon, contains the History of the Kings and Leading Nobles of Scotland, as well as the Papal and Ecclesiastical affairs of Britain. With regard to the sixteen books included, the first five were authored by John Forden [sic], and the remaining eleven were written by McCulloch. Donated to the University of Edinburgh by William Colville, of the same University, in 1670.]

The reference to 'McCulloch' here as author of the final eleven books of the history is difficult to explain, unless there has been some confusion with Magnus McCulloch, the copyist of two manuscripts of John Fordun and of MS 205 in the Edinburgh University Collection (see the Catalogue entry for MS 205).

Previous title

Title given to the manuscript in Catherine Borland’s catalogue: Forduni Scotichronicon.

Previous reference

D. b. II. 18.

Physical Facet

Material: Vellum

Binding: Original, oak boards, covered stamped leather, the stamp of a fleurs de lys surmounted by a crown being repeated, 5 brass bosses on each board, brass corners and clasps, the clasps and bosses modern, rebacked.

Collation: a10,-L10, M6=346.


41.28 cm X 25.40 cm


Secundo folio: sicut scribit

Foliation and number of lines to a page: ff. 346, lines to a page vary between the texts. They are described separately.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

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