Works by St Ambrose

Durham Cathedral Library MS B.II.6

A manuscript from the foundation gift of Bishop William of St Calais to his new priory at Durham, containing a group of works by St Ambrose and two by St Augustine. Like so many of these post-Conquest manuscripts, it seems to have been written in Normandy but also shows signs of additions before the end of the 11th century written by scribes based at Durham Priory.

Opening page of DCL MS B.II.6

This image of the top part of f.1r shows many of the typical annotations added to Durham Priory Library books. The top left “[L]iber Beati Cuthberti de Dunelmo” is in a near contemporary hand to the manuscript identifying the book as belonging to St Cuthbert (that is figuratively by virtue of belonging to the library of his church), whereas the inscription “Liber Ecclesiae Cathedral. Dunelm” is added after the dissolution of the Priory and is a sure sign that the book was in the Chapter Library. The inscription top right “Ambrosius de patriarcha Joseph de c0mmuni libraria monachorum dun...” tells us not just the content of the manuscript but where it was kept in the 15th century - the “2a 2i Q” below this inscription giving a late shelfmark, while the two capital Es (top left corner and below the “h” of “Joseph”) are the shelfmarks used in the 14th century catalogues.