23 - Cambridge, University Library, MS Kk.4.24 (B)  pp. 136-139


By Siegfried Wenzel

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This manuscript, of the early fifteenth century, presents a number of features that throw some light on how a sermon collection was made and actually utilized in the preaching in this period. I have examined these features in greater detail elsewhere, so that it will suffice here only to list them. The volume contains two separate and very different series of sermons: a unique copy of the Dominican Bromyard's Exhortationes and a random collection of ninety-three sermons, perhaps of Franciscan origin. The two series were copied into this volume by a single hand and provided with an index, all of which would make this a “mixed” collection. Other indications, especially in the numbering of quires and folios, allow us further to reconstruct the volume's genesis. In addition, a number of sermons are accompanied by marginal annotations, most of them erased but decipherable under ultraviolet light, that name some twenty villages and hamlets in southwestern Bedfordshire and eastern Buckinghamshire, around modern Leighton Buzzard. These annotations evidently form a kind of record of the localities in which the respective sermons were preached, though in what years and by whom we do not know. That the sermons in the second collection are close to actual preaching is further shown in such remarks as, “I firmly believe that from the beginning of the year until now you have not had any preacher with such a blank soul as I am” or “You were more fully told of these things in Lent.”