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Composite manuscript containing three texts, mid/late 14th-early 15th century

Identifier: MS 182

Scope and Contents

This manuscript is composed of three sections bound together out of order, in different hands. The different texts are listed below and detailed separately.

ff. 1r-2v; 4r-v; 26r-v: Fragments of a commentary on a variety of court cases in French.

ff. 3r-v; 5r-24v: A text in Latin headed Flores Dictaminis Petri de Vineis et primo de querimonia Frederici Rubrica ( Flores Dictaminis by Pietro della Vigna).

f. 25r-v: A collection of canonical maxims from Boniface VIII's De Regulis Iuris.

Each text is described separately, under their respective entries.


All the three texts, which make up the MS, are written in late 14th century/ early 15th century cursive hands; however, whereas the hands copying the Flores Dictamini and the legal commentary, respectively, are similar to each other in style, the hand of the proverbs is quite different. This might be the hand of the privy seal clerk Robert Frye, who had a close involvement with the current MS 183.


  • Creation: mid/late 14th-early 15th century

Language of Materials

Latin and French

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

For much of its existence, MS 182 was bound together with another manuscript, now EUL MS 183, a collection of contemporary copies of letters, mostly from the reigns of the English kings Richard II and Edward III (see the separate catalogue entry for MS 183), and it is highly likely that the original owner of the combined manuscript was Robert Frye, the royal clerk who was probably instrumental in the creation of MS 183.

Another early owner appears to have been a man by the name of Thomas Nicholls, as we learn from an entry on the verso side of the final folio of MS 183 (f. 154v). Judging by the hand-writing and by the rather elaborate sign added to the name itself, Thomas Nicholls may well have been a late medieval notary.

At a later stage, the combined manuscript was foliated, probably at some time during the 16th or 17th century, with the current MS 182 being given the folio numbers 1-26, and the current MS 183 being given the folio numbers 27-154.

The next indication of ownership of the combined manuscript is an inscription in the top right-hand corner of MS 182, f.1r, reading ‘Arthr Taylor 1818’. This is likely to have been the antiquarian Arthur Taylor F.S.A. (1790-1870) who may have acquired the MS in that year.

According to a small hand-written note which is still kept inside the front cover of MS 182, the combined MS was offered for sale at an auction at Sotheby Wilkinson & Hodge in November 1871 as part of ‘a portion of the Library of the late Arthur Taylor Esq. F.S.A.’ where it appears to have been acquired by the Edinburgh antiquarian David Laing (1793-1878) whose hand-written name, together with the description ‘Dec. 1871’, appears on a piece of vellum which is attached to the inside front cover of MS 182. Upon his own death in 1878, David Laing left his entire very considerable manuscript collection to the University of Edinburgh - where his collection is still known as ‘the Laing Collection’.

After its acquisition by the University of Edinburgh, the combined manuscript was given the designation Laing 351 and it was included, under that designation, in the Historical Manuscripts Commission’s report to Parliament on the Laing Manuscripts, which was published in 1914.

However, by the time Catherine Borland published A Descriptive Catalogue of the Western Mediæval Manuscripts in Edinburgh University Library only two years later in 1916, the two parts of the manuscript had been separated, re-bound and re-numbered, appearing now as MS 182 (Laing 351) and MS 183 (Laing 351a).

Previous title

Title given to the manuscript in Catherine Borland’s catalogue: Petri de Vineis Flores Dictaminis, etc.

Alternative reference

Laing 351.


Borland, Catherine, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Western Mediaeval Manuscripts in Edinburgh University Library (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1916), pp. 269–70.
Historical Manuscripts Commission, Report on the Laing Manuscripts preserved in the University of Edinburgh, presented to Parliament by Command of His Majesty, vol. I (London, 1914), p.1

Physical Facet

Material: vellum.

Binding: the binding of the manuscript is early-twentieth-century (W. H. Smith, 1915), cardboard with a leather covering.

Collation: a2, b1, c1, d8, e8, f1, g3, h1, i1, and there are catch words linking ‘d’ to ‘e’, and ‘e’ to ‘f’.


27 cm x 19.5 cm x 2 cm


Secundo folio: Shars

Foliation and number of lines to a page: ff. 26, 43 and 53 lines to a page. The MS was foliated twice, once in brown ink, probably in a 16th or 17th century hand, and again after it had been (re-)bound in the early 19th century, this time in pencil (see hand-written comment on the inside front cover of the binding). The current order of the folios within the MS conforms to neither of these numbering systems, with the Flores Dictamini consisting of what are currently the 3rd and the 5th – 24th folios, the legal commentary on what are currently the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 26th folios, and the proverbs occupying the 25th folio.

Processing Information

Contents of descriptions created by Louise Gardiner. ArchivesSpace resource created by Aline Brodin in 2019.

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