Manuscripts and Special Collections

'Le Manuel des Péchés' by William de Waddington, and Robert of Gretham, 'Mirur' (WLC/LM/4)

WLC/LM/4, f. 100r

Anglo-Norman French, c.1250-1300. 171 ff

The volume contains two Anglo-Norman French texts bound together, both in the same hand. The entire book is written in double columns of 42 lines. Throughout the text are decorated four-line capitals in red and blue penwork extending into the borders with a six-line initial A at the opening of the 'Mirur'. 

Dating is based on the most recent catalogue description: second half of the 13th century (Reference: The Wollaton Medieval Manuscripts).

The first of the texts is an incomplete copy of the Anglo-Norman French text 'Le Manuel des Péchés' by William of Waddington (here given as Waldingdune). William of Waddington (in the West Riding) composed his 'Handbook of Sins' c.1220-1240 to instruct the laity in their preparation for Confession. It gives advice on the consequences of sin and advocates living a moral life, using examples taken from the Bible, the lives of the saints, and other well-known stories. The first 2,181 lines of this text are missing. Robert Manning's 'Handlyng Synne' is an English verse of this text, written in 1303.

The second of the texts is a copy of the Mirur, described under WLC/LM/3. 

Image shows f. 100r

View catalogue record

View zoomable images of the following folios from WLC/LM/4, together with transcriptions and translations of selected parts of the text, on our Wives, Widows and Wimples online learning resource:


Further Reading

  • Historical Manuscript Commission, Report on the Manuscripts of Lord Middleton Preserved at Wollaton Hall, Nottinghamshire, compiled by W. H. Stevenson (London:, 1911),pp. 220-1.

  • Thorlac Turville-Petre and Dorothy Johnston, Image & Text: Medieval Manuscripts at the University of Nottingham (Nottingham: Djanogly Art Gallery, University of Nottingham Arts Centre, 1996), p. 10.

  • Catalogue description by R. Hanna, in Ralph Hanna and Thorlac Turville-Petre (eds), The Wollaton Medieval Manuscripts: Texts, Owners and Readers (Boydell and Brewer, 2010)

Published edition: F. J. Furnivall, (ed.). Robert of Brunne's handlyng synne, and its French original. 2 vols (Early English Text Society, Original Series, 119, 123). 1901; 1903. The text of the French original is not from WLC/LM/4, but from another manuscript.

Secondary literature:

  • E. J. Arnould, Le Manuel des péchés (Paris, 1940), p. 393.
  • Ruth J. Dean and Maureen B.M. Boulton, Anglo-Norman Literature: a guide to texts and manuscripts (Anglo-Norman Text Society Occasional Publications Series, 3) (London, 1999), no. 635, pp. 349-351

Next page: WLC/LM/6 


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