The first of four cartularies produced at Durham Priory in about 1400. The recording of all existing charters in book form as cartularies indicates a sustained campaign at this time to organise the records of the Priory, creating a coherent reference to the property and privileges enjoyed by Durham Priory and her dependent cells. The first cartulary contains documents issued by popes, kings, archbishops, bishops and some local property records. As most original papal charters were destroyed after the dissolution, this is an especially useful record of those grants.
Durham Cathedral Archive Cartulary 1, f.194r (detail)
This text is the start of a charter grant by King John in 1208 confirming the rights of the knights and free tenants of the diocese of Durham – the people known as the “haliwerfolc” (the holy man’s [i.e. St Cuthbert] folk).
The fourth but only surviving volume of this 1481 edition of John Duns Scotus’ Quaestiones in quattuor libros Sententiarum was printed in Venice. This is a heavily-used copy, with evidence of having been closely studied by several monks of Durham Priory, then passing out of the library into the collection of Sir Thomas Tempest before being re-acquired by Durham Cathedral in the 20th century.
A heavily annotated page from DCL Inc. 21b, Duns Scotus’ Commentary on Peter Lombard’s Sentences
A post-Conquest manuscript, written in Normandy and amongst those presented to Durham Priory by William of St Calais. This work contains the commentary on the minor prophetic books of the Old Testament, written by St Jerome at the end of the 4th century.
As usual the most useful provenance information is to be found at the head of the first page of text. Here we have the early 15th century inscription “Explanacio Jeronimi xij prophetarum . de communi libraria monachorum dunelm’”, telling us that the book was kept in the cloister library at that time. The inscription is preceded by a letter G that appears to have been altered to a T – in the late 14th century catalogue of the Cloister Library the shelfmark is G, but the later and fainter shelfmark in the top right corner is “Pi T”. The earliest inscription is on the second line, “Liber Sancti Cuthbertj de Dunelmo”. The other two inscriptions were written after the dissolution.