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Bod-Inc: A-450

Ars Moriendi

The Art and craft to know well to die [English].


Analysis of Content

A1r ‘The arte and crafte to knowe well to dye'. [Also known as Ars moriendi.] Translated by William Caxton. G. R. Morgan, ‘A Critical Edition of Caxton's The Art and craft to know well to die and Ars moriendi, together with the Antecedent Manuscript Material', unpublished D. Phil. thesis, University of Oxford, 1972, 2 vols, II 69-97, with notes 148-75 and glossary 217-43.


Imprint: [Westminster: William Caxton, after 15 June 1490]. Folio.

Remarks: For the dating see BMC.


Collation: A8 B4 B32.

Remarks: For the collation of the last two gatherings see BMC.


ISTC: ia01140300

GW: GW 2615;

Hain: HC 4404;


Proctor: Pr 9678;

Others: Blades, Caxton, 86 (93); Caxton, Exhibition, BL, 85 no. 90; Caxton, Exhibition, Bodley: listed in the checklist of original Caxton editions in the Bodleian Library; CIBN A‑603; de Ricci, Caxton, 6; Duff 35; Needham, Pardoner, 90, no. Cx 98; O'Connor, Art of Dying, 164; Painter, Caxton, 214; Sheppard 7417; STC 789. Facsimile: English Experience, no. 221 (Amsterdam, 1970).

LCN: 13980194


Copy number: A-450(1)

Bound with:
2. Directorium sacerdotum ad usum Sarum., Westminster: William Caxton, [c.1489] (D‑107).

Wanting the leaf incorrectly signed Biii and the last leaf, probably blank.

Binding: Seventeenth-century English parchment. Formerly chained; staple-marks of a hasp at head of the upper cover. Morgan I 226-7 suggests that both items may have been travelling together before they were rebound in the seventeenth century.

Size: 260 × 196 × 35 mm.

Size of leaf: 255 × 190 mm.

Some scribbles and pen-trials.

Provenance (of item 2 and probably also of item 1): Newport, church of S. Francis; notice of dedication added in a fifteenth/sixteenth-century hand to Kalendarium of item 2, for 4 Oct.: ‘Dedicatio ecclesie de Nuport sancti Francisci'; other manuscript additions to Kalendarium, in contemporary hands, containing references to feast of S. Oswald of Worcester (28 Feb.) [Worcester, York], S. Oswin (tr. 11 Mar., here recorded as 13) [Durham, St Albans, Tynemouth], S. Alphege of Winchester (12 Mar., here recorded as 14) [Winchester, St Albans], S. Patrick (17 Mar.) (Morgan I 226-7; see also Ordinale, ed. Wordsworth, II, 659-61). Richard Wilcox (fl. c.1500); signature on z10v of item 2: ‘Rychard Wylkoks.' John Sergeant (sixteenth century); inscription on y1r of item 2: ‘Johannes Sergant senior et junior non resert[ ].' John Selden (1584-1654): see MS. Broxb. 84. 10, p. 4 and Needham, Pardoner, 77, Appendix B, no. 25. Presented in 1659.

Former Bodleian shelfmark: B 6. 14 Th. Seld.; AA 65 Th. Seld.; [Auct.] QQ sup. 1.7.

SHELFMARK: S. Seld. d.11(1).

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