RepositoryLambeth Palace Library
Alt Ref NoMS 78
Extentff. 2 + 310
Date15th century (pre 1448)
DescriptionSpeculum paruulorum.
Prol. Cum essem paruulus non tantum annorum numero quantum moribus et
- et reuelat ea paruulis.
Ut autem contenta in hoc uol. promcius occurrant
- nostrorum quinque sensuum defectus misericorditer reparauit.
When young he gave himself to reading. What? Not deep theology, or philosophy,
or idle tales, but devout narrative.
'prout in uitas patrum collacionibus et institutis eorundem in gestis romanorum et in
cronicis et in aliis tractatibus' quia igitur quamplurima legi in alienis codicibus et mutu-
atis ... quamplurima vero in cedulis quasi dirutis et uetustate consumptis que paruo tem-
poris successu ni cicius excerpta fuissent ad paucorum noticiam peruenissent' - he has
collected them into a volume.
He then meets the possible criticisms of those who will say 'Manhu . i . quid est hoc?'
The name of the book is to be Speculum paruulorum.
It is to be in five parts in honour of Him who bore the Five Wounds for us.

Inc. tabula prime partis de sacramento altaris secundum Innocencium tercium (papam).
120 capp.
Lib. secundi 168.
Lib. tercii 84.
Lib. quarti 163.
Lib. quinti 212.
f. 10b blank.
ff. 11-14 contain some preliminary prayers and considerations.
Cum mane de lectulo surrexeris ... cogita quot homines in illa die uel nocte in diuersis
periculis perierunt etc.
Gracias ago tibi d. I. C. qui me miserum
Other morning prayers, and prayers to the Cross follow.
After f. 12 is a gap of at least two leaves. Text resumes in an
account of Seven Impediments to devotion in Church.
Notes follow on Horae Canonicae, consequences of inattention in
prayer. Then follows Gesta Romanorum, c. 164 (Oesterley), Five
Fools: cf. Ward-Herbert, Cat. of Romances, III, 204, 37.
Extract from the life of S. Antidius, carried to Rome by a demon.
The main text begins f. 15. Partial border of English work in gold
and colour.
The first book is the treatise of Innocent III on the Mass.
Tria sunt in quibus precipue (CCXVII. 773)
- censui prescribendum. Amen. Expl. opus Innoc. pape
de sacrosancto altarii officio.

Lib. II. begins with Utile compendium super hac parabola . . . . . f. 46b
Homo quidam fecit cenam magnam
Many chapters consist of similar matter, short sermons and the
like. Others are stories: the plan is not easy to seize.
C. 3. Mors est communis omnibus hominibus, unde uersus
Unde superbit homo (Vado mori),
ending: omnia transibunt preter amare deum.
C. 4 is headed by a rubric apologizing for the number and length of
the stories. Then follows G. R. 143, Trumpet of Doom: cf.
Ward-Herbert (Cat. of Rom , III), 26, 2.
C. 7. Welshman, going on pilgrimage for another man, spends in
beer the penny given him for an offering.
8. Three men at king's feast take upper places. Two are turned
out by the marshal; the third, who makes no excuse, left in his
9. Three truths spoken by prisoner to king. W.-H. 203, 33;
G. R. 58.
10. Hermit and Angel, cup stolen, etc. G. R. 80.
12. Bede, impenitent monk.
13. Gesta anglorum. Man and woman plot adultery in deserted
house. Devil comes to each in form of the other, tears them to
pieces and puts their heads over the door and their limbs in the
The next chapters are from Greg. Dial. and Vitae Patrum.
20. Erat quondam in lumbardia quidam homo bone opinionis.
Hidden sin. Host disappears. Man refuses to deny Christ.
22. Vit. Patrum. 23. Devil visits bishop as lady: detected by
S. Andrew.
26. Cassian. 27. Eraclius and bewitched daughter.
Tales from well-known sources follow.
37. Impenitent layman temporibus Kenredi (Bede, H. E. v. 13.)
45. S. Wulfran and quidam dux Fresiorum (Radbod).
53. Fishermen temp. S. Theobaldi in autumpno frustum magnum
glaciei pro pisce prendiderunt: it contained a man's spirit.
61 ff. on the Commandments.
75 sqq. The Deadly Sins.
78, etc. Fables. Fox and crow, etc.
85. Fridolin, W.-H. 198, 41; G. R. 283.
88. S. Dunstan. 89. S. Vitalis of Savigny.
f. 79. Miracle of crucifix in Cornwall which bowed.
f. 80. King's four lazy sons.
81. Abbot, knight and smith captured by Sultan. Smith moves a
mountain by faith.
83b. S. Swithin. 85b. S. Elphege. 86b. S. Wynwaloc.
87b. S. Judoc. 88. Abbot Gilbert: monk carried off by devils.
S. Goar.
91. S. Dunstan. 92. S. Bernard. 92b. S. Edmund C.
93. S. Edward C.
94b sqq. The Eucharist. 95. S. Edmund C.
95b. The Two Merchants. (W.-H. 207, 55; G. R. 171.)
96b. S. Dunstan. 97. S. Wulfric. 97b. Gerald, a Carthusian.
99. S. Birinus.
102b. Richard I. Image of Christ replaces His Mother's crown.

Lib. III. begins f. 103. With the exception of about seven
chapters near the beginning, it is wholly from the Gesta Romanorum,
but not in any recognizable order. References are given here to
Ward-Herbert (W.-H.), Cat. of Romances, and Oesterley (G.R.):
1 Redde, W.-H. 198, 42; G. R. 20.
3, 4 from Gregory, Homilies.
6, 7 Miracles of the Virgin.
9 Ingratus and Guido, W.-H. 196, 31; G. R. 119.
10 Archer and Nightingale, W.-H. 209, 73; G. R. 167.
11 Lion and Emperor, W.-H. 194, 23; G.R. 216.
12 Jonathas, W.-H. 207, 54; G.R 120.
13 Ravisher denounced, W.-H. 211, 91; G.R. 280.
14 Vengeance deferred, W.-H. 210, 78; G.R. 277.
15 Chaste Empress, W.-H. 197, 40; G.R. 249.
16 Three tasks, W.-H. 209, 76; G.R. 70.
17 Justitia-Pax, W.-H. 205, 42 ; G.R. 55.
18 Wax image, W.-H. 200, 7; G.R. 102.
19 Plaice, W.-H. 197, 35; G.R. 194.
20 Three caskets, W.-H. 196, 32; G.R. 251.
21 Percute hic, W.-H. 191, 6; G.R. 107.
22 Statues robbed, W.-H. 197, 38; G.R. 8.
23 Gold ball for fool, W.-H. 191, 5; G.R. 74.
24 Three widows, W.-H. 206, 52; G.R. 75.
25 Gregorius, W.-H. 208, 69; G.R. 81.
26 Poison-maid, W.-H. 211, 92; G.R. 11.
27 Foster child carried off, W.-H. 194, 25; G.R. 189.
28 Ariadne, W.-H. 204, 39; G.R. 63.
29 Aglaes, W.-H. 193, 16; G.R. 60.
30 Guido and Tyrius, W.-H. 209, 70; G.R. 172.
31 Lame and blind, W.-H. 192, 9; G.R. 71.
32 Tree-legacy, W.-H. 191, 2; G.R. 196 (262).
33 Jovinianus, W.-H. 202, 29; G.R. 59.
34 Leprosy induced, W.-H. 202, 26; G.R. 132.
35 W.-H. 202, 25; not in G.R.
36 Soft words, W.-H. 201, 22; G.R. 130.
37 Wife and sons lost (Placidus), W.-H. 203, 30; G.R. 110.
38 Boar without heart, W.-H. 205, 45; G.R. 83.
39 Cockcrows (English rhymes), W.-H. 206, 53; G.R. 68.
40 Three gallants trapped, W.-H. 203, 31; not G.R.
41 Shooting at father's corpse, W.-H. 206, 50; G.R. 45.
42 Dead man's seal, W.-H. 202, 28; G.R. 128.
43 Five services, W.-H. 204, 34; G.R. 17.
44 Dog and serpent, W.-H. 203, 32; not G.R.
45 Hundred shillings, W.-H. 193, 13; G.R. 73.
46 Honey (Unicorn), W.-H. 204, 38; G.R. 168.
47 Pig in sack, W.-H. 205, 41; G.R. 129.
48 Laziest, W.-H. 194, 21; G.R. 91.
49 Father sheltered, W.-H. 201, 20; G.R. 124.
50 Pound of flesh, W.-H. 205, 48; G.R. 195.
51 Focus, W.-H. 192, 12; G.R. 57.
52 Seven years' troth, W.-H. 193, 14 ; G.R. 193.
53 Cords, W.-H. 193, 18 ; G.R. 22.
54 Lordship to churls, W.-H. 195, 26; G.R. 131.
55 Basilisk, W.-H. 194, 22; G.R. 139.
56 Fire-alarms, W.-H. 201, 24; G.R. 274.
57 Fire and water ready, W.-H. 197, 29; G.R. 282.
58 Arms from tomb, W.-H. 192, 7; G.R. 134.
59 Socrates married, W.-H. 191, 4; G.R. 61.
60 Golden fish-hook, W.-H. 193, 17; G.R. 85.
61 Foster child and eagle, W.-H. 194, 25; G.R. 189.
62 Prison-talk, W.-H. 192, 8; G.R. 86.
63 Bloody shirt, W.-H. 192, 11; G.R. 66.
64 Virgins' lamp, W.-H. 210, 79; G.R. 278.
65 Well water: bird, W.-H. 195, 28; G.R. 276.
66 Father cured, not stepmother, W.-H. 194, 24; G.R. 112.
67 Girdle of forgetfulness, W.-H. 207, 59; G.R. 10.
68 Fountain revives dead, W.-H. 197, 36; not G.R.
69 Gauterius, endless joy, W.-H. 209, 72; G.R. 101.
70 Nightingale killed, W.-H. 201, 23; G.R. 121.
71 Crucified lion, W.-H. 195, 29; G.R. 200. Two Moralizations.
72 Wise man follows fool, W.-H. 192, 10; G.R. 67.
73 Leprosy given in spite, W.-II. 200, 6; G. R. 151.
74 Fair and ugly, W.-H. 195, 27; G.R. 77.
75 Wine casks, W.-H. 196, 33; G.R. 72.
76 Sentence irrevocable, W.-H. 208, 66; G.R. 140.
77 Emperor's shirt, W.-H. 206, 51; G.R. 64.
78 Princess seduced but avenged, W.-H. 208, 62 (G.R. 113).
79 Blind mother, rescued father, W.-H. 207, 60; G.R. 14.
80 Facundia, W.-H. 204, 35; G.R. 62.
81 Scars shown, W.-H. 193, 15 (G.R. 87).
82 Zaleucus, W.-H. 206, 49; G. R. 50.
83 Hurled from rock, W.-H. 211, 88; G.R. 3.
84 Ostrich-chick, W.-H. 191, 3 (G.R. 256).
Naturally it is the Anglo-Latin collection that is used here.

Lib. IV begins f. 179 with the Vision of Tundal in 17 chapters.
Then follows the Visio de Spiritu Guidonis. The Purgatory of
S. Patrick (from Henry of Saltrey).
The Wandering Jew (John) narrated by Gilbert de Messingham.
He describes the Cross.
Three Jews returning from Calvary discuss which was the
greatest suffering endured by Christ.
Histories of Judas and Pilate (Legenda Aurea).
Stories of torments of Hell (Mount Bebius), St Bernard, talking
in Church. Marriage: "many man syngyth hwan' he hom brengyth
a new weddyth wyf" etc. Udo of (Hildesheim). (29) Vision of
Christ pursuing a sinner who is running to Hell.
30. Watch kept all night in Church by a sinful knight: attempts of the devil to
distract him.
39 etc. of drunkenness. 43, a drunken man comes home and sees four children
instead of two: kills his wife and them.
66. Dancers on Christmas Eve in diocesi tullii.
69. Fr. Ioseph hospitalarius at Acre: a magician makes a skull tell concerning
the state of England.
71. Old woman of Berkeley.
74. Fool pretends to be dying and converts his master.
79. Devil comes to confess to Robert Grosseteste.
80. From life of S. Kentigern. 84. Why Bede is called Venerable. On f. 223b,
col. 2, is some English. Also on 225b.
A good deal of this Book is occupied by Sermons, some of which contain
stories: in one (f. 234) 4 Esdras is quoted.
145. Death of Odo, Bp of Winchester. 146. Fable of birds and rose which is to
be given to the most beautiful. The owl stole it at night.
152. Two quarrelsome neighbours at Beverley.
157. From Alex Neckam de naturis rerum.
163. Of four philosophers Myth ys ryth, etc.

Lib. V begins f. 246 with a miracle of S. Maurilius.
2. S. Columkill listens to a bird for 400 years.
3. Fisherman's wife has seven sons at a birth. Bishop prevents him from
drowning them.
4. Anchoress in Thanet appealed to by a ghost prevents a bad lawyer from
being buried in its grave.
5. Rich man at York: voice tells him his money is not his own but belongs to
Swartebrand of Norwich. He puts it in a lead vessel and casts it into the sea.
Drawn up by anchor of merchant's vessel it is taken by them to Norwich and
given to S. Former owner comes to poverty: sheltered by S. who hears the
tale, and gives him money in a red purse. As he sleeps by the road, a hawk
seizes it and carries it back to S. who gives him other money and he regains
6. Saracen wizard makes dragon carry back captive clerk to his home.
7. Daughter of an Emir delivers 20 Christians: becomes a nun at Acre.
8. Tale told by Robert of Torham of a crucifix in Holy Land which stopped a
nun from going out to meet a knight.
9. A knight in finibus suhhamtonie to whom the Virgin appeared.
11. Vision told by pilgrim to Canterbury from the North: he saw the Virgin save
the soul of Sir Richard de garwintun of Kent who, though violent, was devoted
to the Virgin and called her his huswif.
14. Distance of sun planets etc. from earth.
17. Dimensions of Noah's ark.
21. Description of Charlemagne.
21 etc. of S. Thomas of Canterbury, partly from Gervasius.
27. Of Abp Simon Sudbury, printed by Wharton, A.S. i. 49.
29. Of Charles V of France in 1396 giving a thorn from the Holy crown to Abp
Arundel. The reliquary in which it was kept at Canterbury 'in uno sumptuoso
iocali habente tres propagines de berillis decencius prodeuntes.' Besides the
thorn there were in it a relic of the seamless coat, and of the vesture and blood
of S. Thomas.
30. The visit of the Greek emperor to Canterbury in 1401 and his gift of the relic
of the seamless coat to Prior Chillenden.
31. Of the relic of the shroud of Christ brought by a merchant of Germany in
1405, in pursuance of a vow made in a storm at sea. It was received by Prior
Chillenden and Bp Merk of Carlisle preached a sermon.
33. Account of the martyrdom of S. Thomas given by Henry [Hugh?] de Morville. Note
of the Wandering Jew from the same source.
34. Vision showing how S. Thomas obtained that the names of the monks of
Christchurch should be written in the Book of Life.
35. Jew named Jacob converted and christened John.
42. Judas, from St Brandan's life.
45 [44?]. Contains English verses.
67-69. Against swearers. English verses:
Al day we preche: al day we vse to teche
Good lyf to eche: and stroye the othys of wreche
Y that lygge in brennyng baynys
Euere y swere be goddys naylys etc.
Latin verses: Lament of the Virgin and sentence of God
Heu dilecte mihi nate
.................................... lingua dat iurancium
Cicatrices tot ingrate
Cf. a window at Heydon, Norfolk, described by Blomfield, VI. 253, and a
mural painting at Broughton, Bucks.
f. 277. English rhymes: long slepers and ouyrlepers etc.
281. Christ walking with his disciples finds a purse of money and warns them not
to touch it: two of them do and it causes their death.
281b. Of a ioculator called Umfridus. 282. English rhymes about Fortune. The
lady dame fortune ys boþe frend and foo.
283b. Of a bailiff in Norwich diocese.
284b. Of a clerk Oliver in time of Henry III.
289 sqq. Of S. Dunstan.
298 sqq. Of chess (c. 144 = G R. 166).
Ends imperfectly (after several sermons) in c. 169.
The subjects of the lost chapters may be gathered from the Table.
Among them were:
175 De carta d. n. I. C.
176 De VII peccatis et eorum diuisionibus in lingua anglicana. Of the
Commandments, works of mercy, bodily and ghostly.
186. De quodam fratre ordinis minoris salopie.
187. De quodam milite suspenso temp. frederici imperatoris.
191. De philippo rege francie.
197. De duobus leprosis in uita S. brigide.
198. De regina assiriorum.
199. De compassione b. marie sec. damassenum.
200. In quo cicius deuincitur potestas diaboli in uita S. edmundi.
201. De 7 horis diei contemplacio bona.
201. De tito filio vespasiani.
203. Contemplacio de sacramento altaris.
204. De uirtute et affectu misse.
205. De quodam captiuo per uirtutem misse liberato.
206. Quomodo tres rurales saluati sunt in quadam tempestate per uirtutem sacramenti.
207. De institutione fest. omn. SS. et commem. animarum.
208. De uisione cuiusdam abbatis.
209. Quidam miles saluatus est auxilio fidelium animarum.
210. Item de alio milite hospitalitatem amante et de quodam mortuo.
211. De miseria hominum.
212. Quidam rex quesiuit questiones de quodam philosopho.
Here the Table ends.

It might be worth the while of a student of exempla to analyse
the whole collection carefully. I have not attempted this; but
what I have given will probably be a sufficient indication of the
character of the work and the sources employed. Very probably it
will be found that Odo of Cheriton, Convertimini, and other well-
known collections have been copiously used. I see very little that
is unfamiliar. The few chapters that deal with Canterbury are
most likely the only original things in the book.
FindingAidsCatalogue description based on M. R. James, 'A Descriptive Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of Lambeth Palace: The Mediaeval Manuscripts' (Cambridge, 1932)
Also in Julia Boffey and A.S.G.Edwards, 'New index of Middle English verse' (The British Library, London, 2005)
Also noted on the Digital Index of Middle English Verse:
See also Teresa Lane, ‘Canterbury manuscripts in Lambeth Palace Library’, available at:
PhysicalDescriptionVellum, 13 1/4 x 8 1/2, double cols. of 38 lines, very well written.
Calf binding, pr. 4s.
Collation: 2 flyleaves 1(8) 2(2) 3(6)? (gap after 2: four leaves remain) | 4(8)-15(8) 16(12)-20(12) 21(8) 22(12)-24(12) 25(10) 26(12) 27(8) (+ 1) 28(12) (10 canc.) 29(12)-32(12) 33(10) (wants 7-10).
CreatorNameWilliam Chartham (?): see Custodial History.
CustodialHistoryFrom Christ Church Canterbury. On the flyleaf in a fine hand of Roman type is:
Liber compositus et perquisitus dompni Willelmi chartham monachi huius ecclesie. Anno domini M° cccc° xlviij°.
Added: nunc pertinens ad Johannem Sarysbury a. d. m° v(c) xx°.
Below on a scroll: Prudens lector caue, and below this:
Folia uertere non ea frangere sit tibi cure
Inspice verte. lege. bene respice. claude. recede.
On the verso: liber d(ni) Will. Chartham, and an erasure over which is written: nunc Johannis Sarysbury a. d. m(c) v(c) xx°. Sarysbury's monogram is scribbled here and there. At top of f. 1 erased is: De claustro eccl. Christi Cant.
It is too late to be in our catalogues.
W. Chartham entered the monastery in 1403 and died in 1448 (Searle, Christ Ch. Cant., p. 185, col. 1): he is noticed in Stone's Obituary (ib. p. 42) as dying on Feb. 14. In 1420 he was magister ordinis (ib. p. 186, col. 2).
John Sarysbury entered in 1512 and was a member at the dissolution (ib. 194, col. 1). His name also occurs in MS 159.
This seems to be the only copy of this compilation, and there is every reason to suppose that it is the work of William Chartham himself.

Sheldon catalogue (Lambeth Palace Library LR/F/5, LR/F/6, MS 1047) shelfmark: B. 19
Former Cambridge shelfmark: I. [delta]. 1 (see published catalogue by M. R. James and Concordance IV in N. R. Ker, 'Archbishop Sancroft's Rearrangement of the Manuscripts of Lambeth Palace', in E. G. W. Bill, 'A Catalogue of Manuscripts in Lambeth Palace Library MSS. 1222-1860', Oxford, 1972).
Later shelfmark: fol. 90
CopiesMicrofilm: Lambeth Palace Library MS Film 1305b

Available from World Microfilms Publications:
"Lambeth Palace Library: The Mediaeval Manuscripts" Section V. Theology. Reel 6 (with MS. 74)
RelatedMaterialSee Custodial History.
PublnNoteSee Description field.
Pickering, O. S. (Oliver S.), ed "A third text of 'say me viit in Þe bromLambeth" Swets & Zeitlinger, (1982). [Lambeth Palace Library Z664.L2 5.01]
Philippa Bright, The Anglo-Latin Gesta Romanorum (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 2019) [Lambeth Palace Library SA8323.E5].

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Related name records
NA2825Canterbury Cathedral Priory; 997-1540; Benedictine religious house997-1540
GB/109/18540Chartham; William (fl. 1403-1448); monk of Christ Church, Canterburyfl. 1403-1448
GB/109/16771Innocent III (c. 1160-1216); Pope (1198-1216)c. 1160-1216
GB/109/18812Hugh de Morville (-c. 1173); murderer of Thomas Becket-c. 1173
GB/109/18859Pontius Pilate (fl. 26-36); Governor of Judeafl. 26-36
GB/109/18911Salisbury; John (fl. 1511-1540); Benedictine monkfl. 1511-1540
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NA1867Church of St Peter and St Paul/Heydon/Norfolk
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