Manuscripts and Special Collections

About The Texts


Texts featured in 'Wives, Women and Wimples'

About half of the texts come from the Wollaton Library Collection, with the remainder from various other medieval collections held by The University of Nottingham. 

The links on this page take you to a description and commentary relating to each text as it features in 'Wives, Women and Wimples', a full digital image of the text, and (for written texts), a transcript and a summary in modern English. 

Texts from the Wollaton Library Collection

WLC/LM/1, Incomplete breviary (service book including musical notation). Created 1175-1225 (Latin)

WLC/LM/4, Incomplete copy of Robert of Gretham, Mirur , containing a series of verse sermons for Sundays and feast days. Composed c.1250, book created 1250-1300 (Anglo-Norman)

WLC/LM/4, Incomplete copy of William of Waddington, Le Manuel des péchés , a work of moral instruction in verse. Composed 1220-1240, book created 1250-1300 (Anglo-Norman)

WLC/LM/6, Heldris de Cornuälle, Le Roman de Silence . A story, about Silence, a girl disguised as a boy. In a book of French romances and fabliaux, created 1200-1250 (French)

WLC/LM/6, Gautier le Leu, La Veuve . A tale about a widow, in a book of French romances and fabliaux, created 1200-1250 (French)

WLC/LM/7, Incomplete copy of  L’Estoire del Saint Graal , the first story in the 'Vulgate Cycle' of Arthurian legends. Book created 1200-1250 (French)

WLC/LM/8, John Gower, Confessio Amantis . A collection of narratives drawn from ancient history and classical myths and legends, within the frame of a confession made by an ageing lover (Amans) to a priest of Venus. Composed c.1393, in a book created c.1425 (English)

WLC/LM/8, John Gower, Traitié pour essampler les amantz marietz . A poem on the theme of marriage. Composed late 14th century. In a book created c.1425 (French)

WLC/LM/9, Speculum Vitae . A devotional poem giving guidance on the elements of the Christian faith. Written mid 14th century, in a book created 1400-1425 (English)

WLC/LM/9, John Gaytryge, The Lay Folks' Catechism . Verse text giving guidance on the elements of the Christian faith. Composed c.1357, in a book created 1400-1425 (English)

WLC/LM/11, Prayer book. Created after 1450 and bound in the 1470s (Latin)

WLC/LM/37, Fragment of a unique English Life of St Zita, written 1450-1475 (English)

WLC/LM/38, Fragment of the Life of St Bridget, from the South English Legendary. Composed late 13th century, this fragment was written 1300-1325 (English)

Texts from other collections

MS 250, The Wollaton Antiphonal. A service book including musical notation, created c.1430

Archdeaconry Collection, AN/PN 352/20, Penance of Margery Billage of Car Colston for fornication with William Sommer.  (1591) 

Mellish Collection, Me D 4/5, Lease of property in Skegby, Nottinghamshire, from Matilda (Maud) de Nevill to John le Bret (undated, c.1300-1325)

Mellish Collection, Me 3 D 2, Grant by Aubrey [de Vere, 1st] Earl of Oxford (c.1175)

Middleton Collection, Mi A 6. Household expenditure account of John Levissey, servant to Sir Henry Willoughby (1521)

Middleton Collection, Mi 5/168/23/1, Extract from bill of complaint relating to the abduction and forced marriage of Jane Sacheverell (1485)

Middleton Collection, Mi D 4792, Marriage settlement between Philip Boteler and Isabel Willoughby (6 January 14 Henry VI [1436])

MS 66/1, Extract from an extent of the manor of Langar and Barnstone, Nottinghamshire (c.1340)

Newcastle Collection, Ne D 742, Agreement in French relating to dower, between Joan, widow of Ralph Cromwell, and their son Ralph (2 May 1417)

Newcastle Collection, Ne D 1903, Copy of an agreement made prior to the marriage of Henry Stanhope and Jane Rochford   (28 Sep. 1476)

Newcastle Collection, Ne D 4632, Will of Sir William Cantelowe of London  (21 Feb. 1462)

Newcastle Collection, Ne D 4716, Extract from a gift from Maude Brewes to Geoffrey and Agnes Bristowe of five shops and a garden in St Clement Danes, London  (8 March 1388)

Parkyns Collection, Pa D 29, Extract from a deed by Joanna, daughter of Nicholas de Rudyngton and widow of Stephen de Boneye (29 July 1380)

Parkyns Collection, Pa D 35, Extract from a grant of land in Bunny, Nottinghamshire  (3 June 1405)

Parkyns Collection, Pa L 2, Extract from bill of complaint of Elizabeth Whitfield, née Swillington  (second half of 15th century)

East Midlands Collection Periodicals, Lincoln Record Society 21.  Visitations of Religious Houses Vol III, A.D. 1436-1449 , ed. A. Hamilton Thompson (Lincoln Record Society Volume 21; Lincoln, 1929)

Medical Chir. Society Over.X WZ250.D46 DIS. Extracts from John Disney, A view of ancient laws against immorality and profaneness ... (Cambridge : Corn. Crownfield, 1729)

Special Collection JN147.T4. Extract from Magna Carta (1215), from Richard Thomson, An historical essay on the Magna charta of King John … (London : Printed for John Major ... and Robert Jennings ..., 1829)

Special Collection PR1105.P4/30.  Pleasant Quippes for Upstart Newfangled Gentlewomen: A Glasse to Viewe the Pride of Vaineglorious Women by Stephen Gosson (1596)

Items from other institutions' collections

Nottingham Castle Museum: Alabaster statue of St Zita


Catalogue records for medieval material held by The University of Nottingham

Documents are described on the Manuscripts Online Catalogue on the Manuscripts and Special Collections website, and in printed catalogues in the Manuscripts and Special Collections Reading Room.

The online catalogue can be searched or browsed by going to the online catalogue's Search Catalogue records search form.

To search across one or many catalogues, enter your search term/s into the form. The  AnyText field allows you to do a free-text search across multiple text fields.

To search for medieval material, you can qualify your search term/s by also entering your required date range into the DatesOfCreation field, e.g. 1066-1500; 1200-1300; 1485.

To browse the descriptions for a particular collection, as you would a printed catalogue, enter its reference number (e.g. WLC for the Wollaton Library Collection) into the DocumentRef field, click 'View' to see the full details for a particular record, and then 'Click here to view this record in context'.

The following collections contain significant amounts of medieval material:


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Manuscripts and Special Collections

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