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Western Medieval Manuscripts : Walter Atwell's Book of Readings

Western Medieval Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'> This composite manuscript consists of five parts that were probably produced separately from each other. While the first and last parts (f. i and ff. 101a-101bis) are fragments from other manuscripts, the three parts in between them (Part 1: ff. 1-52*; Part 2: ff. 53-[96a]; Part 3: ff. 97-101) all contain legal texts that were all or largely copied by Walter Atwell (fl. c. 1520) of the Staple Inn. While the material aspects and layouts of these three parts suggest that they were initially produced by Atwell as separate units, a table of contents that Atwell added to describe the manuscript as whole on f. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(247);return false;'>101v</a> leaves no doubt that he joined the three parts together during his lifetime.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'> This manuscript also contains a number of medical recipes and texts added in Atwell’s hand. Among these are Latin texts that are attributed to the Oxford physician John Cokkys [Cokkes] (d. by 1475) but have not been studied before as part of the corpus of his surviving works. The manuscript features a medical mnemonic on strangury, diarrhea, and dysentery (f. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(146);return false;'>52v</a>) attributed to "Cokkes" and an apothecary recipe for purging the humors that is attributed to "Magistrum Johannes Cokkes". </p><p style='text-align: justify;'>It had also gone unnoticed until now that Atwell added the very same mnemonic and apothecary recipe attributed to John Cokkys to <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>London, British Library, Harley MS 5144</a>f. 1v ("per Magistrum J Cokkys"), another volume with legal texts (Year Book for the reigns of Henry IV and Henry V). </p><p style='text-align: justify;'>These discoveries add to the known corpus of Atwell's medical works, which was principally known to consist of a number of Middle English recipes in <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ashmole MS 1432</a> and medical lectures in Cambridge, King’s College, MS 16 (for a short biograpy of Cokkys, see Hammond (1965), pp. 134-136).</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Clarck Drieshen<br /> Project Cataloguer <br /> Cambridge University Library</p>

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