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Sidney Sussex College : Hildebertus et alii

Sidney Sussex College

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Cambridge, Sidney Sussex College, MS 51 is a composite manuscript, with all parts probably made in England (perhaps at the Cathedral Priory in Durham) in the twelfth century. The manuscript contains four parts: Part 1 is a collection of religious poetry attributed to Hildebert of Lavardin (c. 1056 - c. 1133); Part 2 is a treatise on the Eucharist once thought to be by Gerbert of Aurillac, but now more usually attributed to Heriger of Lobbes (c. 925 - 1007); Part 3 is a collection of medical recipes that also includes a small group of culinary recipes for sauces; and Part 4 is a gloss on the Psalms. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Although the medieval origin of Sidney Sussex MS 51 is harder to establish, evidence within the volume indicates that all 4 parts were bound together and were part of the Durham library collection by the late 12th or early 13th centuries. There are two lists of the contents of the volume in Durham hands of this period on the medieval endleaves, ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(5);return false;'>[i] recto</a> and <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(10);return false;'>[iii] verso</a>. In addition, the manuscript also appears in the 1391 'Spendement' Catalogue of the books belonging to the Durham Priory community where it is recorded as follows: 'P. Uersus Hildeberti de Exposicione Missae. Tractatus de corpore Christi. Regulae de Medicinale. Glosa in Psalterium. II fo. Neve superveniens' (see Botfield, <i>Catalogi Veteres</i>); the 'P' siglum is present in the manuscript in the upper outer corner on f. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(11);return false;'>1r</a>. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Sidney Sussex MS 51 received renewed attention in 2015 when an article by Professors Giles Gasper and Faith Wallis described a series of culinary recipies for sauces situated in the midst of the collection of medical recipes and charms in the third part of this manuscript. The culinary recipes in Sidney Sussex MS 51 are described as being 'Salsamenta pictavensium', i.e., 'sauces of the Poitevins', or 'sauces from Poitou', essentially a collection of sauces from a region in western France. The Gasper and Wallis article describes not only the significance of the culinary recipes in Sidney Sussex MS 51, but also discusses the medical recipe collection which surrounds the culinary recipes and explores the evidence for medical recipe collection and medical practice in 12th century England. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> During the preparation of this catalogue record for the Curious Cures project, further information was discovered which appears to confirm a theory about the identity of the donor of the manuscript to Sidney Sussex College. Samuel Ward (b. 1572, d. 1643, master 1610-1643), a former master of Sidney Sussex College and a donor of other books and manuscripts to the College library, has long been suspected to be the donor of Sidney Sussex 51. However, the book does not bear any of the typical indications of his ownership, nor is it explicitly described in any of the records of his donations to the College. Nevertheless, it seems very likely that Sidney Sussex MS 51 can be identified as a book seen in Ward's possession before 1625 by Ward's friend, the author and Archbishop of Armagh, James Ussher. In Ussher's <i>An answer to a challenge made by a Iesuite in Ireland</i> (1625), Ussher wrote (abbreviations expanded, spelling modernised): '[i]n the libraries of my worthy friends, Sir Robert Cotton, (that noble Baronett, so <i class='error' style='font-style:normal;' title='This text in error in source'>renowmed</i><i class='delim' style='font-style:normal; color:red'>(!)</i> for his great care in collecting and preserving all antiquities) and Dr Ward, the learned Master of Sidney <i class='error' style='font-style:normal;' title='This text in error in source'>Colledge</i><i class='delim' style='font-style:normal; color:red'>(!)</i> in Cambridge; I met with an ancient Treatise of the Sacrament (beginning thus: <i>Sicut ante nos quidam sapiens dixit, cujus sententiam probamus, licet nomen ignoremus.) </i> which is the same with that in the Iesuites <i class='error' style='font-style:normal;' title='This text in error in source'>Colledge</i><i class='delim' style='font-style:normal; color:red'>(!)</i> at Lovaine, <i class='error' style='font-style:normal;' title='This text in error in source'>blindely</i><i class='delim' style='font-style:normal; color:red'>(!)</i> fathered upon Berengarius'. This quotation matches the text of the treatise on the Eucharist in Sidney Sussex MS 51 ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(43);return false;'>17r-26v</a>.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The text that Ussher is referring to is the <i>Dicta Herigeri abbatis de corpore et sanguine Domini</i> now usually attributed to Heriger of Lobbes, but which was for a long time believed to be by Berengar of Tours. The <i>Dicta Herigeri</i> survives in very few manuscript copies, and the likelihood is that the one Ussher saw in Ward's hands is the same manuscript that came into the possession of Ward's former college. The only difficulty that remains is that Ward is known to have donated a number of manuscripts and printed books to the College library. A list of these is preserved in the college archives, but it does not appear to describe a manuscript identifiable as Sidney Sussex MS 51. It may be that Ward gave the manuscript as a separate donation, or that left Ward's possession and came to Sidney Sussex indirectly by some other route, as happened with many of Ward's personal papers (see Todd, 1985). The manuscript had certainly arrived at the College by c. 1697, when its presence was recorded in Bernard's <i>Catalogi librorum manuscriptorum Angliæ et Hiberniæ</i> (c. 1697), p. 104, no. 714. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Sarah Gilbert<br /> Project Cataloguer for the Curious Cures Project<br /> Cambridge University Library</p><p style='text-align: justify;'><b>References</b><div style='list-style-type: disc;'><div style='display: list-item; margin-left: 20px;'>G. E. M. Gasper, and F. Wallis, ‘Salsamenta Pictavensium: Gastronomy and Medicine in Twelfth-Century England’, <i>English Historical Review</i>, 131.553 (2016), 1353–85</div><div style='display: list-item; margin-left: 20px;'>J. Ussher <i>An answer to a challenge made by a Iesuite in Ireland</i> (1625)</div><div style='display: list-item; margin-left: 20px;'>J. Raine, and B. Botfield (eds.), <i>Catalogi Veteres Librorum Ecclesiae Cathedralis Dunelm. Catalogues of the Library of Durham Cathedral, at Various Periods, from the Conquest to the Dissolution, Including Catalogues of the Library of the Abbey of Hulne, and of the MSs. Preserved in the Library of Bishop Cosin, at Durham</i>, Publications of the Surtees Society 7 (1834)</div><div style='display: list-item; margin-left: 20px;'>M. Todd, 'The Samuel Ward Papers at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge', <i>Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society</i> 8.5 (1985), pp. 582-592</div></div><br /></p>

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