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Volume / Number: 2 / 260

CLA 260
  • London United Kingdom British Library Add. MS 89000
Script Uncial
Date VII ex–VIII in (676 - 725)
Origin and Provenance

Written in the Northumbrian monastery of Jarrow or Wearmouth, in the centre which produced the Codex Amiatinus, during the abbacy of Ceolfrid (690–716). Found in the tomb of St Cuthbert when it was opened in 1105. Whether the MS actually belonged to St Cuthbert or, as some say, to Bede cannot now be determined. Recent scholarship, in rejecting the manuscript’s traditional link with Dr Thomas Lee (alias Sir Thomas Leigh), designate Thomas Allen of Oxford as a former owner on evidence found in Rawlinson D. 280. A later owner, the Earl of Lichfield, gave it to Thomas Phillips, priest, who presented it to the English Jesuit fathers at Liège in 1769, whence it migrated with the fathers to England. Text cognate with that of Amiatinus and Δ-group (see CLA 2.148c).

CLA Vol. 2
TM Number TM 66346
Support Parchment
Contents Testamentum Novum, Evangelia (Io).
Name Gospel of St Cuthbert. Stonyhurst Gospel.
Script Commentary

Script is a graceful and characteristic uncial found in the Ceolfrid Bible (Codex Amiatinus) and in the Gospel fragment attached to the Utrecht Psalter—a type apparently reserved in both MSS for the Capitula; our scribe seems identical with the Capitula hand in the Utrecht leaves. As a type it is less stately and more natural than the script used for the main text of the Amiatinus, the characteristic letters being G with the straight shaded tail and N with the three strokes of the same thickness and the cross-stroke beginning well below the head-line; i-longa initially occurs here and there; the forward-leaning form of S conjoined to the preceding letter is seen at line-ends; the capital form of Q is found in the beginning of sentences and clauses. A cross made of four points occurs in the margin of foll. 20v, 27, 28v, 51 to mark the Liturgical lessons, apparently a Northumbrian usage (cf. CLA 2.150). The tooled leather binding is considered to be contemporary.


CLA first-edition provenance (The MS fell into the hands of the Lee family during the suppression of the monasteries under Henry VIII, and one of them, the third Earl of Lichfield, gave it to Thomas Phillips, priest, who presented it to the English Jesuit fathers at Liège in 1769) changed to follow second edition. ☛Formerly Clitheroe, Stoneyhurst College Library without number. ☛Gneuss, no. 756. ☛McGurk, Gospel books no. 37. ☛B. van Regemorter, ‘La reliure des manuscrits du S. Cuthbert et de S. Boniface’ Scriptorium 3 (1949) 45–51.

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Last modified 19 April 2022