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Medieval Medical Recipes : Medical Texts

Medieval Medical Recipes

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Cambridge, Gonville and Caius MS 159/209, like many others included in the Curious Cures in Cambridge Libraries project was once owned or used by Roger Marchall (c. 1417-1477). The manuscript is a composite volume, comprised of several smaller Parts, and one larger Part, a late-13th or early-14th century copy of Lanfranc of Milan's <i>Chirurgia maior</i> which occupies roughly three quarters of the volume (pp. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(119);return false;'>111-444</a>). The other texts in the volume that accompany the <i>Chirurgia maior</i> are, for the most part, short popular medical treatises, and include the <i>Practica medicinae</i> and the <i>Regula urinarum</i> of Bartholomaeus Salernitatus, the <i>Practica breuis</i> attributed to (?Iohannes) Platearius, and, somewhat incongruously, copies of several letters and grants by various bishops of Durham and popes all relating to the foundation and management of hospitals in and around Durham in the north east of England. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'>There are several pieces of evidence that indicate that the copy of the <i>Chirurgia maior</i> was once a discrete and separately-bound codex before it was bound with the rest of the material in what is now Gonville and Caius MS 159/209. In the first place, pp. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(119);return false;'>111-444</a> have their own separate foliation sequence in red ink, beginning with '.fo.<sup>m</sup> p.<sup>m</sup> ('folium primum', i.e., 'first leaf') on p. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(119);return false;'>111</a>, and continuing all the way to what is now p. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(455);return false;'>445</a> which is marked 'fo. 168'. In addition, the quires in this Part have their own discrete signature sequence in ink on the first recto of each quire, beginning with quire 'a' on p. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(119);return false;'>111</a> and continuing through to quire 'Q' on p. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(441);return false;'>431</a>.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>All of the Parts of the manuscript must have been together by 1477 at the latest, as Roger Marchall (d. 1477), a former owner of the volume and perhaps the person responsible for its composite arrangement, added a table of contents to the volume on p. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(8);return false;'>ii</a> which includes entries for texts in all of the Parts. Marchall added a table of contents to several other manuscripts that he owned and used, and there is evidence that he may have been responsible for the creation of several of the composite volumes in his collection. The nature of the composite Parts included in this volume is of interest for the study of the production and use of books in 15th century England. While the text of the <i>Chirurgia maior</i> seems to have been complete when it was selected for inclusion in the newly-planned composite volume, some of the other texts seem to have been acephalous and/or atelous at the time of their selection, and these acephalous and atelous texts were subsequently repaired by a 'correcting scribe'. A plausible explanation for these correcting stints is that the 'correcting scribe' worked at the direction of Roger Marchall, who commisioned the 'correcting scribe' to make good these imperfect texts intended for his new composite volume by copying the missing sections of text from other exemplars. The 'correcting scribe' supplied the missing end (pp. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(25);return false;'>17-43</a>) of the <i>Practica medicinae</i> of Bartholomew of Salerno, the oldest atelous Part of which is just eight leaves (pp. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(9);return false;'>1-16</a>) and breaks off mid-sentence. The 'correcting scribe' prepared new quires and continued the text on p. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(25);return false;'>17</a> by picking up the text exactly from the abrupt and imperfect end on p. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(24);return false;'>16</a>. In the case of the deficient copy of the <i>Practica breuis</i> (pp. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(59);return false;'>51-90</a>), the 'correcting scribe' improved an older acephalous and atelous core by adding the beginning of the text to p. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(59);return false;'>51</a>, and he also prepared another quire to supply the missing sections at the end of this text (pp. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(95);return false;'>87-90</a>). The codicology and scribal history of the <i>Practica breuis</i> in this manuscript is particularly odd as the older scribal stint begins on p. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(60);return false;'>52</a>, but not quite at the beginning of that text. The first few lines of text on p. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(60);return false;'>52</a>, which are not the opening words of the treatise have been struck through, presumably by the 'correcting scribe', but the recto of that leaf, p. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(59);return false;'>51</a>, which contains the opening portion of the <i>Practica breuis</i> and was entirely written by the 'correcting scribe' does not appear to be palimpsest. In addition to rectifying the textual deficiencies in the <i>Practica breuis</i>, the 'correcting scribe' clearly also paid close attention to the contents of the extant text, and made a number of alterations to the <i>Practica breuis</i>, both in the margins and by scraping away parts of the main text and rewriting them. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The 'correcting scribe' also enhanced the contents of the volume by adding supplementary medical texts in the spare leaves of the quires inserted to accommodate the missing portions of the <i>Practica medicinae</i> and the <i>Practica breuis</i>. After the <i>Practica medicinae</i> of Bartholomew of Salerno, he added another, short text by the same author, the <i>Regula urinarum</i> (pp. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(51);return false;'>43-44</a>) and, similarly, after the <i>Practica breuis</i>, he added a small collection of medical recipes in Latin and Middle English. The 'correcting scribe' also added extracts from the <i>Chirurgia parua</i> - a text often attributed to Lanfranc of Milan - to the last leaf of the last quire of the Part containing Lanfranc's <i>Chirurgia maior</i>. It should be noted that none of these additions is noted in Marchall's table of contents, raising the possibility that they post-dated Marchall's ownership of the book or at least the insertion of the table of contents - but if so, the scribe's style of handwriting suggests that it must have been close in time.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The 'correcting scribe' makes a final appearance on the last leaf of this volume (now pp. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(455);return false;'>445-446</a>). The copyist of the <i>Chirurgia maior</i> (pp. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(119);return false;'>111-443</a>) also copied a series of extracts onto p. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(454);return false;'>444</a> from a text described in the manuscript as 'extracte de paruo compendio' - i.e., the <i>Chirurgia parua</i>, an epitome-text on surgery also attributed to Lanfranc of Milan in some manuscripts. On the following leaf, the 'correcting scribe' added further extracts from the <i>Chirurgia parua</i>, closing his additions with a final rubric (now badly rubbed) 'Hec <i class='delim' style='font-style:normal; color:red'>[</i><i class='unclear' style='font-style:normal;' title='This text imperfectly legible in source'>extracta</i><i class='delim' style='font-style:normal; color:red'>]</i> sunt de paruo compendio lamfranci ad eiusdem <i class='error' style='font-style:normal;' title='This text in error in source'>mamdatum</i><i class='delim' style='font-style:normal; color:red'>(!)</i>', which explicitly ties their work to the excerpt-text that began on p. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(454);return false;'>444</a>. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The only Part of the manuscript not to be emended by the 'correcting scribe' is Quire 8 (pp. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(107);return false;'>99-110</a>), which contains copies of documents relating to the foundation and upkeep of hospitals around the city of Durham. This quire sits between the <i>Practica breuis</i> and the <i>Chirurgia maior</i> in the volume's current order. The inclusion of the Durham hospital documents does not appear to be a post-medieval addition to the volume, as, like all of the other quires in the volume besides Quire 1, it bears a medieval quire signature that belongs in a medieval sequence that runs consecutively through the volume from 'i' to 'xxiii' (pp. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(26);return false;'>18</a><i>seq</i>.). Taken together, the interventions of the 'correcting scribe' and the Roman numeral quire signatures indicate that the current arrangement of the volume has been stable since the later middle ages.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Complications arise, however, due to the volume's association with Roger Marchall (c. 1417-1477), a doctor and physician to Edward IV. Marchall added a selective list of the contents of the volume on p. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(8);return false;'>ii</a>, and may have also added his name below the list of the contents, although all that remains now is an erasure in the position where Marchall typically signed his books. Marchall's ownership or use of manuscripts is very well-attested, with forty-five surviving books (including this one) bearing evidence to connect him to them in some way; six others may have been his or accessed by him, and a further twelve are recorded but not traced. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'>For her article on Marchall's manuscripts, Voigts examined the <i>Registrum Vetus</i> of Peterhouse, essentially a living catalogue of the Peterhouse library holdings in the 15th century that was begun in 1418 (for printed versions of the <i>Registrum Vetus</i> see M.R. James's <i>Catalogue</i> of the Peterhouse manuscripts and vol. 10 of the Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues, where it is UC.48). The <i>Registrum Vetus</i> includes a donation list of books in Marchall's hand that Marchall intended for Peterhouse Library. Marchall's list was sewn onto one of the pages of the <i>Registrum Vetus</i> where it was then annotated by a Mr Roukeshawe (a fellow of Peterhouse from c. 1450 until his death in 1504) who added a note at the top of the list: 'Billa magistri Rogeri Marshall de dono suo scripta propria manu sua anno domini 1472' ('Magister Roger Marchall's list of his donation written by his own hand in the year of the Lord 1472'). The eighth item on the donation list is described by Marchall as a 'Cirurgia lamfranci [sic]'. Voigts notes that Gonville and Caius MS 159/209 'contains [a] <i>Cirurgia Lanfranci</i> as text 3, a physically separable section (pp. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(119);return false;'>111-443</a> of a 445-page manuscript) with RM title'. Voigts seems to be suggesting that what is now Gonville and Caius MS 159/209 (or perhaps just pp. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(119);return false;'>111-443</a>) are a match for the book described by Marchall as his copy of the <i>Cirurgia Lanfranci</i> in his 1472 list of donations to Peterhouse. It is no great obstacle that the description 'Cirurgia lamfranci' should signify the medieval entirety of what is now Gonville and Caius MS 159/209: the <i>Chirurgia maior</i> is approximately three-quarters of the extant volume and so referring to the volume by its most substantial text may have been sufficient means of identification. Other items in the Peterhouse donation list are described by one text when their codices in fact contain several. In addition, there is no evidence that all twelve of the items descibed on Marchall's 1472 list of donations to the Peterhouse library actually entered the library or that they remained there permanently, despite his encouragement for the books to be stored 'in vinculis' (in chains). According to Voigts, of the twelve books listed by Marchall for donation to the library, three can be identified with certainty among the Peterhouse collection, six have plausible identifications among the Peterhouse collection either in the current holdings or former library catalogues, and three cannot be identified in the current holdings or any previous library catalogues, including one manuscript on the Peterhouse list, 'Tabule Philippi Aubyn', which Voigts notes was seen by John Leland (d. 1552) at Gonville Hall and has since (probably) been lost.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>It is unclear, then, when or by what means this manuscript came to Gonville and Caius, except that it must have arrived by 1600, when it is recorded as no. 120 in the <i>Ecloga Oxonio-Cantabrigiensis</i> by Thomas James (1600). Gonville and Caius College possesses 17 (perhaps 18) other manuscripts owned by Marchall that seem to have arrived at the College before his death in 1477, so it is possible then that the volume entered the Gonville and Caius Library before 1477, rather than c. 1477-1600. If the 'Cirurgia lamfranci' of the Peterhouse donation list is the same as pp. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(119);return false;'>111-443</a> of this volume then it must have been redirected between 1472, when Marchall made the list of his donation to Peterhouse, and his death in 1477.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Thirteen manuscripts owned or used by Marchall (and another with possible Marchall connections) have been digitised, catalogued and conserved as part of the <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''><i>Curious Cures in Cambridge Libraries</i></a> project: <ul><li>- <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Cambridge, Gonville and Caius College, MS 59/153</a> (Voigts 1995, no. 2) </li><li>- <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Cambridge, Gonville and Caius College, MS 98/50</a> (Voigts 1995, no. 4) </li><li>- <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Cambridge, Gonville and Caius College, MS 105/57</a> (Voigts 1995, no. 5)</li><li>- <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Cambridge, Gonville and Caius College, MS 159/209</a> (Voigts 1995, no. 9)</li><li>- <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Cambridge, Gonville and Caius College, MS 178/211</a> (Voigts 1995, no. 10)</li><li>- <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Cambridge, Gonville and Caius College, MS 181/214</a> (Voigts 1995, no. 11)</li><li>- <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Cambridge, Gonville and Caius College, MS 345/620</a> (Voigts 1995, no. 12)</li><li>- <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Cambridge, Gonville and Caius College, MS 373/593</a> (Voigts 1995, no. 13)</li><li>- <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Cambridge, Gonville and Caius College, MS 379/599</a> (Voigts 1995, no. 14)</li><li>- <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Cambridge, Gonville and Caius College, MS 401/623</a> (Voigts 1995, no. 16)</li><li>- <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Cambridge, Peterhouse, MS 95</a> (Voigts 1995, no. 24)</li><li>- <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Cambridge, Peterhouse, MS 222</a> (Voigts 1995, no. 28)</li><li>- <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Cambridge, Trinity College, MS O.8.31</a> (Voigts 1995, no. 29)</li><li>- <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Cambridge, University Library, MS Add. 9213</a> (possible Marchall connections) (Voigts 1995, no. 48)</li></ul></p><p style='text-align: justify;'><b>References</b>: <div style='list-style-type: disc;'><div style='display: list-item; margin-left: 20px;'>See L. Voigts, 'A doctor and his books: the manuscripts of Roger Marchall (d. 1477)', in R. Beadle and A. J. Piper (eds.), <i>New science out of old books: studies in manuscripts and early printed books in honour of A.I. Doyle</i> (Aldershot, 1995) pp. 249-314</div><div style='display: list-item; margin-left: 20px;'>M. R. James, <i>A descriptive catalogue of the manuscripts in the library of Gonville and Caius College</i>, vol. 1 (Cambridge, 1907)</div><div style='display: list-item; margin-left: 20px;'>CBMLC 10, UC.48</div></div><br /></p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Sarah Gilbert<br /> Project Cataloguer<br /> Cambridge University Library</p>

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