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Reginald Pecock, John Carpenter and John Colop's 'common-profit' books: aspects of book ownership and circulation in fifteenth-century London.

Several fifteenth-century manuscripts of religious writings in English have long been recognized as a group of |common-profit' books. All of them bear similar inscriptions to that effect. Cambridge University Library, MS, a manuscript which includes mystical writings and several Lollard treatises, affords the following example:

This booke was made of pe goodis of John Collopp for a comyn profite, that

pat persoone pat hath pis booke committid to him off pe persoone pat hap

power to committe it haue pe vse perof pe teerme of his lijf prayng for pe soule

of pe seid John. And pat he pat hap pe forseid vse of commyssioun, whanne he

occupieth it not leene it for a tyme to sum oper persoone. Also pat persoone to

whom it was committid for pe teerme of lijf under pe forseid condiciouns

delyuere it to anoper persoone pe teerme of his lijf, and so be it delyuered and

committed fro persoone to persoone man or womman as longe as pe booke

endureth. (f. 100.sup.r)

Other books bear identical inscriptions, with the exception that the name of the donor differs. London, British Library, MS Harley 993 (Hilton's translation The Eight Chapters on Perfection) was made from the goods of Robert Holland (that is, financed by the proceeds from his estate); London, British Library, MS Harley 2336 (The Pore Caitiff) from the goods of John Gamalin; London, Lambeth Palace Library, MS 472 (Hilton's Scale, Eight Chapters and Epistle on the Mixed Life, and commentaries on Psalm xc, Psalm xci and the Benedictus) from the goods of John Killum; and Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Douce 25 (the Speculum Ecclesie in English) from |pe goodis of a certeyne persoone' (f. [72.sup.r]). The manuscripts hearing the inscription were first listed by H. S. Bennett.(1) Some information on the textual and historical affiliations of these books has been compiled by A. I. Doyle.(2) Here additional materials will be considered which may allow us to add more detail to what is known of the context for these books, and consideration will be given in the light of this context to the possible implications of the common-profit scheme as one of several related arrangements for book ownership and circulation in fifteenth-century London.

John Colop, whose goods were used to make CUL MS, provides a link with three more of the manuscripts of the group. It was to John Colop that administration of the goods of Robert Holland, shearman, was granted in 1441, after the latter had died intestate.(3) Some association between John Colop and John Gamalin is suggested by their involvement together in the settlement of the property of the London grocer John Sudbury in 1439.(4) John Colop was also executor to John Killum, grocer, who died in 1416. As well as making him an executor of his will, Killum left to Colop, described as his servant, the task of distributing the residue of his property in alms.(5) The book made from Killum's goods (Lambeth MS 472.), bears a second inscription, in addition to the standard common-profit formula, indicating another link with John Colop:

Memorandum pat pis boke be deliuered to Richard Colop Parchemanere of

Londoun after my discesse. And in caas he die or I pen I wol it be take to som

deuowte persone to haue it under pe forme and condicioun wretyn in pe ende

of pis booke heeretofore. Mordon. (f. [261.sup.v])

It has been conjectured that Richard Colop may have been a son or nephew of John.(6) As Richard Colop was a stationer, Doyle proposed that he may have assisted John Colop in the preparation of the other common-profit volumes with which he was associated, probably around the middle of the century.(7) Richard Colop's links with the London book-trade - and therefore John's, if the two were indeed related - are further attested by the recent discovery that he was executor to the bookbinder and stationer Peter Bylton of Paternoster Row, London (fl. 1404-54). With other executors, including textwriter John Taillour, Richard Colop was instructed to sell all of Bylton's books.(8)

The likely connection of John Colop with Richard the stationer provides some idea of the kinds of contacts John must have had in order to convert bequests into books, but it does little to elucidate the thinking behind the common-profit book scheme. More helpful in this respect is consideration of some contemporary ideas about the ownership and circulation of books.

The broad framework of the scheme is clearly that of testamentary charity. The common-profit books are financed from the estates of the donors, as were other works of post-mortem charity in the period such as the founding of chantries, gifts to religious orders, and donations for the upkeep of church buildings. The recipients of the common-profit books are instructed in the inscriptions to pray for the souls of the donors. Again, this fits with the pattern of works of testamentary charity. Thomson's analysis of London wills of the period has shown that beneficiaries were often instructed to pray for the souls of benefactors, and Thomson infers that |on other occasions there is no doubt that the return of prayers was an implicit obligation'.(9) Analyses of York and Hull wills from the period have revealed a similar picture, and it is clear that the main motive of charity was the welfare of the soul of the testator.(10) In some wills, legacies of books are associated with requests for prayers, for instance in some of the aristocratic wills mentioned by Rosenthal.(11) There are also humbler examples. In Hull in 1492 Laurence Swattok left his best primer and 6s 8d to Thomas Fisher with a request for prayers.(12) The motive of securing prayers influenced the choice and operation of the charity, for it was important that prayers should continue to be said for as long as possible.(13) Books in wills, like the common-profit books, could be given with special arrangements concerning their destinies after the deaths of the recipients. Rosenthal cites various examples of this from aristocratic wills. For example, Lord Bardolf left six books to his wife for her life only; afterwards they were to go to Dennington parish church. The Earl of Arundel specified that his books were to pass from heir to heir in the Arundel family for ever in his memory.(14) Even in humbler circumstances, a bequest of a book (which could be expected, presumably, to remain serviceable for a reasonably long time) would have been an enduring - if modest - way of providing some insurance for one's soul. It was, moreover, an especially efficient form of testamentary charity. The vast majority of book bequests were of devotional material.(15) The charity was therefore identical with the means to repay it through prayer. Every time a book was used, its purpose was being fulfilled. The obligation to pray could, moreover, be inherited with the benefaction.(16) In this respect too, the common-profit scheme had all the advantages of testamentary charity.

It is clear, then, that the common-profit scheme fits generally into the framework of post-mortem charity. But within that framework more precise analogies may be found. Recently Jo Ann Hoeppner Moran has cited H. S. Bennett's list of the common-profit manuscripts in a study of the circulation of books among the clergy in mediaeval York.(17) In Moran's study, the will of a chaplain of Coventry, William Wilmyncote, written in York in 1402, is examined as evidence of a |common-profit library' in early fifteenth-century York. The scheme planned by, Wilmyncote was designed specifically for the benefit of unbeneficed clergy. He listed seven volumes, including a Bible, which Moran describes as together constituting |a very complete collection for any parish priest or chantry chaplain'.(18) These books were bequeathed first to John Morele, on condition that at the end of his life he pass them on to Richard de Swayneby, a poor clerk who was expected to enter holy orders. After Swayneby's death they were to be passed to other poor chaplains, until the volumes wore out (|aliis pauperibus Sacerdotibus et honestis ... quamdiu libri predicti duraverint'), unless they should receive a benefice with books, when they should hand on the books to |aliis sacerdotibus indigentibus'. Beneficiaries were to pray for the souls of William Wilmyncote and one Margaret.(19)

The Wilmyncote scheme is not without parallel. Hugh Damlett ([dagger] 1476), Rector of St Peter's Cornhill, London, bequeathed a book of his own sermons to Edward Story, rector of the London church of All Hallows the Great, on condition that it should go to a poor priest who wished to preach, after Story's death.(20) Complaints of secular clerics' poverty in books were long-standing, often occurring in the context of disputes with the mendicant orders, who were reckoned to be hoarders of books. It was asserted that the friars, bound to poverty by their rules, broke their vows by becoming the owners of large numbers of books, thereby depriving secular priests of books, and causing the seculars to be the ones truly impoverished.(21) Schemes such as Wilmyncote's and Damlett's would have been practical ways for indigent secular priests to acquire the use of necessary books. For priests conscious of the conflict with the mendicants such schemes would also have been ideologically acceptable, providing use of books for those who needed them, without absolute ownership. Wilmyncote's will - probably, Moran argues, composed and written by Wilmyncote himself - describes beneficiaries as being |in usu et possessione librorum': that is, having use and possession of the books but not ownership of them. The books are intended for clerics who have no books of their own, |libros proprios non habentibus' (my italics), rather than for those clerics promoted |ad alia beneficia ecclesiastica proprios libros pro divinis officiis dicendis habencia', to benefices with their own books.

Moran mentions the common-profit manuscripts listed by Bennett as comparable with the Wilmyncote bequest, but it is worth looking in more detail at the extent of this comparability. Wilmyncote's scheme has in common with that associated with John Colop the idea that the books should be possessed by people in need of them; the Colop-group inscriptions ask that the books should be loaned out when not in use, and that the possessor should make arrangements for them to be passed on under the same conditions. As in the Wilmyncote scheme, the Colop-group inscriptions specify that the beneficiary is given |pe vse perof', and also the |vse of commyssioun' and the |power to committe it'; this careful wording ensures that no one is ever to be granted actual ownership of the books (as opposed to use or possession of them). In both schemes the book is to continue to be circulated until it perishes (|quamdiu libri predicti duraverint' in Wilmycote's will, and |as longe as pe booke endureth' in the Colop formula). Both schemes, too, stipulate that prayers should be said by the possessor of the book for the soul of the donor.

There are, then, striking similarities between the two schemes. Yet there are, too, notable differences. The Wilmyncote scheme is initiated by a member of the clergy and confined to clerical beneficiaries, while the Colop books may be handed on to anyone, |man or womman' in the inscriptions, and |som deuowte persone' in Mordon's note. It seems likely that the initiators of the Colop books were executors entrusted with the distribution of property as alms as they saw fit, rather than the testators, probably John Colop himself in the case of the Holland and Killum books. An exception may have been, perhaps, CUL MS, made from Colop's own goods, for which, Doyle conjectured, he may have collected materials during his own lifetime. The Wilmyncote scheme is to be overseen by the president of the Court of York, while the responsibility for passing on the Colop books seems to have rested with the possessors of them, or with an agent for the donor; |pe persoone pat hap power to committe it' may have been Richard Colop in the case of Lambeth MS 472 (if Richard was acting for Mordon rather than a recipient designated by him), and this person with |power to commit' was possibly John Colop for the books made from the goods of Killum and Holland. In the case of the Colop group, then, no one person was responsible for overseeing the scheme, and it seems that the books could have been transferred to new users by various people, including the possessors of the books, lax, executors and possibly members of the book-trade. Wilmyncote set out the conditions in his will; in the case of the Colop group, the plan is recorded, apparently, only in the books themselves. The Wilmyncote plan was for a set of seven books; the Colop group seem to have been independent, single volumes. And, finally, Wilmyncote owned the books he bequeathed. The books of the Colop group were, apparently, usually bought with the residue of estates.

It is possible, then, given its close correspondences to the Wilmyncote bequest, that the Colop common-profit scheme was modelled on a pattern in use among the humbler secular clergy. If this is the case, then the differences between the schemes are likely to represent modifications to the clerical scheme made for the new context of a community of devout London lay people. This would suggest, then, that the Colop scheme was formulated in an informed awareness of the pattern among clerics, and in awareness of the principles behind it. Indeed, other examples of innovatory charity through books may be found in Colop's own London society. The Colop common-profit book scheme was but one of several innovatory ideas for the provision of books among the poorer lay people of John Colop's London community.

The problem of lay access to books was addressed in theory and in practice by Reginald Pecock, in his sermons and other writings. Pecock formulated his theory and practice with the aim of reforming error among the laity. He identified poverty in books among the lay people as a cause of error, and the proposals he made were directed at relieving this poverty in ways which would overcome the circulation and perpetuation of error. Pecock proposed that authoritative books should be produced by prelates for distribution among the laity. This idea was one of the arguments he used in his controversial defence of non-resident, non-preaching bishops, in a series of sermons delivered c. 1447-9 at St Paul's Cross.(22) He argued that books were much less likely to be misinterpreted than sermons;(23) books could preach and teach perpetually, and providing them satisfied |pe greet nede of oure nei boris soulis;(24) he believed his own books to be the most suitable for this purpose.(25) The Donet was deliberately a short work, |pat welni ech poor persoon maye bi sum meene gete coost to haue it as his owne'; a still further abbreviated version was made of the Donet called the Poore Mennis Myrrour, |to pe moore eese of pe persone poorist in hauer and in Witt'.(26)

In what was probably one of his last works, the Book of Faith, Pecock still argued for the importance of making authoritative books available for reading by the laity, but here he proposed a somewhat different scheme. He suggested that prelates and other wealthy and powerful men should perform acts of spiritual almsgiving by financing the mass production and distribution of English books such as Pecock's, in order that the erring laity might have the opportunity to read carefully books which they would not seek out or pay for themselves:

But forsothe, that these writyngis now spokun, and othere mo maad in the lay

peplis langage, take her effectis, into reformyng of the lay peple now erryng, it

is not ynou that the seid bokis be writen and made and leid up or rest in the bondis of

clerkis, thou fame and noise be made greet to the seid lay peple of sucbe bokis,

and that tho bokis schulde opene to hem that thei erren; but tho hokis musten

be distributid and delid abrood to manye, where that nede is trowid that thei be

delid: and that the seid erring persoonys take longe leiser, forto sadli and oft

overrede tho bokis, unto tyme thei schulen be wel aqueyntid with tho bokis,

and with the skilis and motivis therynne writen, and not forto have in oon

tyme, or ii tymes, a li t superficial overreding or heering oonly. Forwhi, the

stronge confeermyd oold custom which thei han, rootid be longe tyme into the

contrarie, wole make that these bokis at first schulen be unsavery, thou

aftirward thei schulen be ful delectable, as experience hath be had of this

trouthe in dyverse persoonys of thilk multitude. And sithen thilk longe uce and

custom wole lette hem, as wel forto seche aftir the now seid bokis, and forto do

cost into the writyng and making and multipliyng of tho bokis, eer thei knowe

tho bookis, thou ful moche tiring and provoking be maad to thilk peple that

thei take tho bokis into such seid sad and long studiing, and that thei spende

her money into so profitable a thing to them, therfore if prelatis and othere

my ty men of good have greet zele and devocioun into the hasty turnyng of the

seid erring peple, forsothe thei musten, at her owne cost, do tho now seid bokis

to be writun in greet multitude, and to be wel correctid, and thanne aftir to be

sende, and to be govun or lende abrood amonge the seid lay persoonys, where

nede is trowid to be. Wel were the man which hadde ricches, and wolde spende

it into this so greet goostli almes, which passith ful myche the delyng abrood of

clothis to greet multitude of pore persoonys, notwithstonding that bothe

kyndis of almes ben good.(27)

Pecock's schemes for the circulation of English religious books share with the common-profit projects the aim of satisfying a need for books among those who would not otherwise have the opportunity to use them. Pecock seems to have imagined at first that this need could be met by the provision of books accessible to even the most modest intellects and wealth, but his later scheme involves, like the Colop scheme, charity from the rich, and an element of the lending of books where need is perceived to be. By the time he wrote the Book of Faith, Pecock seems to have formed the view that spreading orthodoxy among the erring laity was prevented not by a lack of books, but by entrenched reading habits and the ineffectiveness of hearing reforming sermons.

Despite its similarities with these plans of Pecock's, however, a scheme like Colop's could have been part of the kind of unsupervised, informal circulation of religious reading among the London laity with which Pecock was concerned. From the evidence that access to books was clearly available even to the most humble of Lollards, Anne Hudson has inferred that the heretics had some kind of communal ownership of books.(28) The book made with John Colop's goods includes a number of items arguing the Lollard view on the reading of Scripture.(29) Indeed, one of the tracts in CUL MS, |How thu schuldest not adde ne abrigge', puts forward an interpretation of Revelation xxii. 18-19 and an argument about the reading of Scripture which Pecock cited and answered in the Repressor in his discussion of the Lollard view of Scripture.(30) Another part of MS may have been written by the same scribe as Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 938. This is another English religious compilation which combines Lollard with contemplative material.(31) Pecock's proposals were for a strictly controlled system of book making and distribution, with clearly defined roles for clergy and laity to play. The Colop scheme, by contrast, had the virtue for participants of enabling them to give books as charity, and to achieve some control over the circulation and use of those books, without attracting ecclesiastical notice, as they might have done if they had left books in their wills. Like communal ownership among the Lollards, such book-circulation schemes could not easily be disrupted by the church authorities.

The imaginative schemes of John Colop and Reginald Pecock for financing books through charity are related to each other still more closely, for both are associated with an equally innovative, and much larger-scale, exercise of book charity in fifteenth-century London. Both Pecock and Colop were among those who benefited from the imaginative distribution of the estate of Richard Whittington. The principal guiding force behind the Whittington charity seems to have been John Carpenter ([dagger] 1442), Common Clerk of London 1417-38, compiler of the Liber Albus, a compilation concerning the rights and privileges of the city of London,(32) lawyer, associate of the London Charterhouse, and chief executor to the merchant and Mayor of London Richard Whittington ([dagger] 1423).

Residuary clauses in Whittington's will instructed the executors to distribute the proceeds of the property in works of charity as they saw fit. The works performed under these clauses included the founding of a library at the Guildhall, and the establishment of a college of priests to perform services at the church of St Michael Paternoster in Riola and of an Almshouse for thirteen poor folk. John Carpenter and the other executors appointed John Colop to assist in the distribution of Whittington's bequests. Colop was himself granted accommodation for the term of his life in a messuage in the parish of St Michael Paternoster in Riola, where much of the Whittington property lay.(33)

It may have been to John Carpenter that Pecock owed his appointment at this time. A series of clerics who were to attain prominent positions in the Church were nominated by the Mercers' Company as rectors of St Michael Paternoster and masters of Whittington College, the associated college of priests. Until his death in 1442, Carpenter supervised the college.(34) Reginald Pecock was rector at St Michael Paternoster for the last ten years of Carpenter's life. He was presented by the Mercers' Company to the prior and chapter of Christchurch Canterbury between midsummer 1431 and mid-summer 1437. (Since the foundation ordinances stipulated that the master of Whittington College must be elected from among the chaplains, it is possible that Pecock was resident at the college earlier than 1431.)(35) Pecock may have come to the notice of John Carpenter through a mutual associate, an Oxford colleague of Pecock's, also called John Carpenter. This John Carpenter ([dagger] 1476), Bishop of Worcester 1444-76, was at Oriel College, Oxford, with Pecock (he was Provost of Oriel from 1425, and Master of St Anthony's Hospital, London, from 1433 to 1444). There is evidence that the Oriel Carpenter was known to John Carpenter the London citizen, and it has been surmised that the two were related.(36) Colop and Pecock, were, of course, brought into association through their connections with Carpenter. The appointment meant that Pecock was rector of Colop's parish church. Pecock's association with Colop evidently went on after he was promoted to the bishopric of St Asaph in 1444, for in 1446 Pecock was granted with others, including one John Colop, licence to found a guild of a master, brothers and sisters, to be called the |gild of the nine orders of holy angels by Syon' and to acquire land for the support of a chaplain, a clerk, nine poor and impotent men and two servants.(37) We know from the St Paul's Cross sermon scandal that Pecock was a prominent figure in London, as an absentee bishop, during the late 1440s.(38)

Like Pecock and Colop, Carpenter made imaginative and even novel arrangements for the circulation of books among the humbler members of his community. It seems to have been Carpenter who was the principal instigator of the foundation of the library at Guildhall, using Whittington's money.(39) This library, founded c. 1425, acquired a collection of books and documents relating to the city of London, some of which have survived, and a collection of theological and other works. According to Stow, this collection was disbanded as a consequence of the dissolution of chantries and colleges in the sixteenth century by order of the Lord Protector, Edward Duke of Somerset.(40) The library has been described as the first to be founded as a work of charity for the benefit of the soul of a testator, and the first to be administered by a civic authority.(41) The theological collection was intended for the use of students who wished to study Scripture, and was supervised by two priests.(42) Clearly this library was intended to make books available to those members of the community who could not otherwise obtain them, presumably because they could not afford to buy them, but it is not entirely apparent which poorer sections of the community it was expected to help, nor is it known who actually used it. It is possible that the theology. collection was primarily intended for and used by the poorer members of the London secular clergy.(43) If So, then the scheme would in some respects parallel the Wilmyncote bequest for York clergy.

Carpenter himself amassed a considerable collection of books, for whose destinies he made careful and remarkable arrangements in his will of 1441.(44) He left twenty-five itemized volumes of Latin and French literary, moral, theological and devotional works to specified legatees, including a volume of prayers and meditations to his chaplain, |Ita quod ipse conferat librum illum alicui deuote ... ad deprecandum pro animabus nostris' (|That it might be given to some devout person to pray for both of their souls' - the language here echoes the terms of the common-profit inscriptions).(45) To his former clerk, Robert, he left the use of some booklets and quires on legal subjects, for the term of his life ('ad totam vitam suam ... vsum' - again, there are echoes of the inscriptions), items which afterwards were to go to the Guildhall.(46)

Even more interesting arrangements for Carpenter's books and his soul, however, are associated with his plans for the residue of his library. In a curious clause in his will, Carpenter required that his remaining goods be disposed of without inventory, and without an inventory being demanded by the |lord ordinary to whom insinuation and proof of will shall belong', leaving the bishop concerned a legacy of 20S that he should not |molest nor challenge my same executors for the like inventory, as he neither ought nor is bound to do'.(47) There were, however, special arrangements for the unitemized books. Carpenter nominated Reginald Pecock, together with William Lichfield, rector of All Hallows, to select books to be placed in the Guildhall library for the benefit of students and popular preachers, and other visitors, all of whom should be required to pray for his soul:

Provided always, that if any good or rare books [|boni vel rari libri'] shall be

found amongst the said residue of my, goods, which, by the discretion of the

aforesaid Master William Lichfield and Reginald Pecok, may seem necessary to

the common library at Guildhall, for the profit of the students there, and those

discoursing to the common people [|sermonizancium communi populo'], then I

will and bequeath that those books be placed by my executors and chained in

that library under such form that visitors and students thereof may be the

sooner admonished to pray for my soul.(48)

To Pecock, Carpenter left 20s, the same amount as he left to his business associate John Colop.(49) By. means of this extraordinary arrangement, Carpenter seems to have calculated to arrange for the disposal of his books in a way that would benefit his own soul and the new city library, and to evade - with the collaboration of the two city rectors Pecock and Lichfield - the intervention of the ecclesiastical authorities, into whose hands, perhaps, or just to whose notice, simply, he did not wish his books to pass.(50)

The Carpenter initiative had repercussions beyond London. Carpenter's namesake and possible relative, John Carpenter, Bishop of Worcester, founded two libraries in his diocese, at Worcester and at Bristol, apparently following the example of the Guildhall library. His schemes for these locations were apparently mooted shortly, after the discovery of a group of Lollards in Bristol in 1448, and it has been suggested that his aim was to equip the parish clergy better to respond to the heresy.(51) At Worcester a chaplain was appointed to take charge and to lecture on the Old and New Testaments once a week.(52) Responsibility for the running of the Bristol library, including explaining uncertain points of Scripture to readers, when it opened in 1464, was given to John Harlow, an Oxford theologian who had been found guilty of supporting Reginald Pecock.(53) (Pecock, of course, had been convicted of heresy in 1457 as a result of his campaign against the Lollards.) A similar foundation seems to have been planned in 146z in Norwich, during the episcopate of Walter Lyhert, an associate of Bishop Carpenter.(54)

The texts in the Colop common-profit books are typical of a large category of vernacular devotional and religious writings which have survived in fifteenth-century manuscripts. Many of these texts, we know, were compilations and translations of material from other times and places. But we know comparatively little of what might be called the |reading cultures' associated with these texts in their late mediaeval, vernacular forms: of how these materials were used and regarded, of their part in the spiritual lives of their possessors and readers, and of whether changes in spirituality were reflected in changes in the relationship between books and readers.

With the Colop group of manuscripts, however, it appears that there is some evidence for the way that the books themselves were regarded. Charity exercised through such volumes, if properly carried out, could assist in the welfare of one's soul. The idea of the common-profit books held among the London tradespeople was echoed in the reforming writings of the theologian Pecock, and carried out on an ambitious scale by John Carpenter in the foundation of the Guildhall library. The schemes represented not only a new form of charity, but also a new relationship between people and books, providing access to materials otherwise not easily available to humbler people, even to writings disapproved of by certain of the church authorities, albeit the aims of the more ambitious schemes of the bishops Pecock and Carpenter were to oppose, and not to foster, heresy. That the initiators of these schemes were all members of the same London community suggests the mechanisms by which ideas about books, as well as books themselves, could circulate, and opens the way to more specific investigations. Evidence for repercussions later in the century, in other cities, raises the question, for further exploration, of how far this community was typical and even influential in its attitudes to the ownership and circulation of religious texts.

I am grateful to Ian Doyle and Anne Hudson for commenting on this article, to Peter Heath for information about the conventions of mediaeval wills and inventories, and to Jayne Ringrose for most helpfully answering queries. The conclusions drawn here are, of course, my own.

(1) H. S. Bennett, |The production and dissemination of vernacular manuscripts in the fifteenth century', The Library, 5th ser., I (1946/7), 167-79, adds to this list London, British Library, MS Harley 6579. It is not clear why this manuscript is included. The common-profit inscription does not appear in it; rather, an inscription on f. [2.sup.r] indicates that the volume belonged to the Carthusians. The main contents of CUL MS are Proper Will, Richard Lavynham's treatise on the Seven Deadly Sins, Lollard tracts including The Holi Prophete Dauid Seith (ed. in Margaret Deanesly, The Lollard Bible and other Medieval Biblical Versions (Cambridge, 1920) pp. 445-56) and several epistles associated with the author of The Cloud of Unknowing. For the textual relations of the Hilton material in these manuscripts, see Michael Sargent, |Walter Hilton's Scale of Perfection: the London manuscript group reconsidered', MAE, LII (1983), 189-214. (2) A. I. Doyle, |A survey of the origins and circulation of theological writings in English in the 14th, 15th and early 16th centuries, with special consideration of the part of the clergy therein', 2 vols. (unpub. Ph.D. diss., University of Cambridge, 1953), II", 208-12. (3) Commissary Court of London, Register 4 (Prowet), f. [79.sup.v], dated 14 March 1441; cf. Dorothy Jones, Minor Works of Walter Hilton (London, 1929), p. xxxiii. (4) Sargent, |Walter Hilton's Scale', p. 206. (5) Jones, Minor Works, pp. xii-xiii, citing Killum's will extant in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. (33 Marche). (6) Richard Colop died in 1476. His will is extant in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (73 Wattys). See Jones, Minor Works, pp. xv-xvi; C. Paul Christianson, A Directory of London Stationers and Book Artisans, 1300-1500 (New York, 1989), pp. 91-3. (7) Doyle, |A survey', II, 211; Doyle proposed this notwithstanding the death of Killum in 1416, noting that the distribution of estates could take many years. (8) C. Paul Christianson, |Evidence for the study of London's late medieval manuscript-book trade', in Book Production and Publishing in Britain 1375-1475, ed. by J. Griffiths and D. Pearsall (Cambridge, 1989), PP- 87 108 (P. 100). (9) J. A. F. Thomson, |Piety and charity in late medieval London', Journal of Ecclesiastical history, XVI (1965), 179-95 (P. 194). (10) For York wills, see M. G. A. Vale, Piety, Charity, and Literacy among the Yorkshire Gentry, 1370-1480, Borthwick Papers, 50 (York, 1976); and for Hull wills, see Peter Heath, |Urban piety in the later Middle Ages: the evidence of Hull wills', in The Church, Politics and Patronage in the Fifteenth Century, ed. by Barrie Dobson (Gloucester, 1984), pp. 209-34. (11) Joel T. Rosenthal, |Aristocratic cultural patronage and book bequests, 1350-1500', Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, LXIV (1981/2), 522-48 (p. 547). (12) Heath, |Urban piety', p. 222. Other examples, in the wills of Hugh Damlett and John Carpenter, will be mentioned below. (13) Cf. R. N. Swanson, Church and Society in Late Medieval England (Oxford, 1989), p. 301. (14) Rosenthal, |Aristocratic cultural patronage', pp. 539-40. (15) Cf. ibid., p. 542, for aristocratic wills; and Jo Ann Hoeppner Moran, The Growth of English Schooling 1340-1548: Learning, Literacy and Laicization in Pre-Reformation York Diocese (Princeton, NJ, 1985), p. 196, for York-diocese wills. (16) Heath, |Urban piety', p. 222. (17) Jo Ann Hoeppner Moran, |A "common profit" library in fifteenth-century England and other books for chaplains', Manuscripta, XXVIII (1984), 17-25 (P. 17). (18) Ibid., p. 21. (19) For the text of the will, see ibid., pp. 23-5. (20) F. R. H. du Boulay, |The quarrel between the Carmelite friars and the secular clergy of London', Journal of Ecclesiastical History, VI (1955), 156-74 (p-168 n). (21) Wendy Scase, |Piers Plowman' and the New Anticlericalism (Cambridge, 1989), pp. 22, 42-3. (22) E. F. Jacob, |Reynold Pecock, Bishop of Chichester', Proceedings of the British Academy, XXXVII (1951), 121-53 (pp. 132-3). (23) Reginald Pecock: |The Reule of Crysten Religioun', ed. by William Cabell Greet, EETS, os, 171 (London, 1927), p. 99. (24) Ibid., p. 392. (25) Ibid., p. 9. (26) Reginald Pecock: |The Donet' ... collated with |The Poore Mennis Myrrour', ed. by Elsie Vaughan Hitchcock, EETS, os, 156 (London, 1921), p. 226. (27) Reginald Pecock's Book of Faith, ed. by J. L,. Morison (Glasgow, 1909), pp. 116-17 (my italics). (28) Anne Hudson, The Premature Reformation (Oxford, 1988), P. 206. (29) See Deanesly, The Lollard Bible, pp. (445-6. (30) CUL MS, f. [61.sup.r-v]; Reginald Pecock, The Repressor of Over Much Blaming of the Clergy, ed. by Churchill Babington, 2 vols., Rolls Series (London, 1860), 1, 55. (31) Doyle, |A survey.', II, 211. CF. A. I. Doyle, |The European circulation of three Latin spiritual texts', in Latin and Vernacular: Studies in Late-Medieval Texts and Manuscripts, ed. by. A.J. Minnis (Cambridge, 1989), p. 133 n. 30, where the part is specified as CUL MS, ff. 43-99 (second sequence of pagination). I have followed Doyle's assumption that the present contents of CUL MS had all been assembled by the time the common-profit inscription was entered at the end of the volume. However, given that the manuscript is an assembly of sections from different sources, it must remain a possibility that the section containing |How thu schuldest not adde ne abrigge' was not originally part of the Colop volume, but was added to the common-profit book at a later date. (32) Munimenta Gildhallae Londoniensis: Liber Albus, Liber Custumarum et Liber Horn, ed. by Henry Thomas Riley, 3 vols., Rolls Series (London, 1859-62). (33) See Jean Imray, The Charity of Richard Whittington (London, 1968), pp. 6, 21. In the Administration grant of 1441 concerning Robert Holland's goods, Colop is said to be of St Michael Paternoster Royal Parish (Commissary. Court of London, Register 4, f. [79.sup.v]). (34) Imray, The Charity of Richard Whittington, p. 38. (35) Ibid., p. 3 9 n. 1. (36) For Bishop Carpenter's career, see A. B. Emden, A Bibliographical Register of the University of Oxford to A.D. 1500, 3 vols. (Oxford, 1957-9). Jacob, |Reynold Pecock, Bishop of Chichester', p. 127 n. 2, mistakenly stated that John Carpenter of Oriel College was Whittington's executor. This error influenced his conclusion that the citizen John Carpenter had relatively little influence over Pecock's appointment. Jacob also noted that Pecock may at the time of his appointment have had relatives in the city, for a John Pecock is recorded as a witness to the property of John Coventry ([dagger] 1429). John Coventry was one of Whittington's other executors, possibly providing another channel for patronage of Pecock, although Coventry, of course, died before Pecock's appointment was made. (37) Calendar of Patent Rolls, Henry, VI, Vol. V, 1446-52 (London, 1909), p.29 (12 Oct. 1446). For the full text of the licence and a translation, see George James Aungier, The History and Antiquilies of Syon Monastery, the Parish of Isleworth and the Chapelry of Hounslow (London, 1840), PP. 215-20, 459-64. (38) The ordinances of Whittington College specified that Mass was to be celebrated early enough to allow the chaplains and parishioners to attend public sermons at St Paul's Cathedral. Such people may well, then, have been among the audience for the sermon in which Pecock took as his theme Psalm xxxvii. 12, |Amici mei et proximi mei aduersum me appropinquauerunt et steterunt' (|My friends and neighbours have stood against me'): see Reginald Pecock: |The Folewer to the Donet', ed. by Elsie Vaughan Hitchcock, FETS, os, 164 (London, 1924), p. 104. One of the people who did stand against him, according to Thomas Gascoigne, was his successor at Whittington College, Thomas Eborall, master at Whittington College 1444-64: see Loci e Libro Veritatum: Passages selected from Gascoigne's Theological Dictionary, ed. by James E. Thorold Rogers (Oxford, 1891), p. 189. Pecock became Bishop of Chichester in 1450: Jacob, |Reynold Pecock, Bishop of Chichester', p. 134. It may be to him that a note refers in the Gamalin common profit volume, concerning the authorship of the Pore Caitiff: |Dixit episcopus cicestrensis quod frater minor compilat hunc librum in suo defensorio' (London, British Library, MS Harley 2336, f. [1.sup.*v]). (39) Imray, The Charity of Richard Whittington, p. 8. See also Nicholas Orme, English Schools in the Middle Ages (London, 1973), pp. 83-4. (40) Neil R. Ker, |Liber Custumarum and other manuscripts formerly at the Guilhall' The Guildhall Miscellany, III (1954), 37-45 (p. 37); cf. Orme, English Schools in the Middle Ages, p. 84. (41) Raymond Smith, |The library at Guildhall in the 15th and 16th centuries', The Guildhall Miscellany, I (1952), 3-9 (p. 3). (42) Orme, English Schools in the Middle Ages, pp. 83-4. (43) This suggestion was made in |A Bristol library for the clergy', in Nicholas Orme, Education and Society in Medieval and Renaissance England (London; Ronceverte, 1989), pp. 209-19 (p. 215). (44) Commissary Court of London, Register 4 (Prowet), f. [84.sup.r]. For a translation of Carpenter's will, see Thomas Brewer, Memoir of the Life and Times of John Carpenter (London, 1856), pp. 131-44. I have quoted Brewer's translation of the will, except where the wording of the Latin is crucial, when I have quoted from the original. (45) Prowet, f. [85.sup.r]. (46) Prowet, f. [85.sup.r]. (47) Brewer, Memoir of the Life and Times of John Carpenter, p. 143. (48) Prower, f. [85.sup.r]; Brewer, Memoir of the Life and Times of John Carpenter, pp. 143-4; cf. H. H. Green, Bishop Reginald Pecock (Cambridge, 1945), p. 26 n. (49) Brewer, Memoir of the Life and Times of John Carpenter, pp. 138, 141. Carpenter left 20s to Lichfield also, and bequests to several other rectors of important city livings. He also left money to Richard Mordan |late my clerk', executor to his wife Katherine (Commissary Court of London, Register 5 (Sharp), f. [214.sup.r]). This raises the intriguing possibility of a link or even identity between Richard Mordan, one of the Carpenter family's trusted servants, and the Mordon who signed the second common profit inscription in Lambeth MS 472 whom Doyle tentatively identified as a London notary alive in the second quarter of the fifteenth century (Doyle, |A survey,', II, 210).(50) We do not know which, if any, of Carpenter's books went to the Guildhall. That he may have owned controversial material is suggested by his interest in theology. evidenced by the listed books, in particular by his bequest to Master William Byngham of a copy of Roger Dymok, Contra Duodecim Errores et Hereses Lollardorum, given to him by John Wilok (see Brewer, Memoir of the Life and Times of John Carpenter, p. 139), though such a title would presumably have been safe - even prudent - to mention. It should not be concluded, of course, that Carpenter had Lollard sympathies. It is equally possible to conclude - and a more persuasive argument - that any interest in heterodoxy sprang from his evident concern with all matters related to the history, customs and freedoms of the city of London, and from a perception, shared with Pecock and certain other reforming bishops, of a need for clergy to have a knowledge of heterodox material in order to refute it. For other initiatives of this kind, see below. (51) |Education in an English county: Worcestershire', in Orme, Education and Society, p. 36. See this article for the Carnary library at Worcester (founded 1458-64). For the Kalendars' library at Bristol (possibly planned from 1451, established in 1464), see Orme, Education and Society, pp. 212-16. (52) See R. M. Haines, |Aspects of the episcopate of John Carpenter, 1444-76', Journal of Ecclesiastical History, XIX (1968), 32-4. (53) Orme, Education and Society, p. 213. (54) Ibid., p. 210.
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Author:Scase, Wendy
Publication:Medium Aevum
Date:Sep 22, 1992
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