Provisions for memorial masses on behalf of Peter Bock


Oxford, Bodleian Library, Auct. 1Q 6.27

General Information

Date of Origin 1477
Script, Hands

German Bastarda, with single-lobed a, f and straight s extended below the line, ascenders of b, d, h, k, and l both with and without loops, and the ‘b-shaped’ form of s in final position.

Original Condition

Number of Columns 1
Number of Lines at least 27
Ruling None

Current Condition

More about the Current Condition

Pastedowns (now partially raised) to the upper and lower boards. The written sides of the two fragments are pasted down to the face of the boards, leaving the blank sides uppermost. Both were folded back at the inner edge to make a hook that could be sewn in, with a sewing guard of unwritten parchment in the centrefold, with the bookblock.

Some staining and fading, but the text is in surprisingly legible considering it has been pasted face down to the boards.


  • Content Item
    • Content Description

      Two cuttings (Fragm. I and II), face down, comprising the two halves of a parchment document cut down the middle to be used as pastedowns to the upper and lower boards of an incunable Sammelband. Both have been partially raised, making a portion of the text visible and allowing its identification as a document written in Middle Low German issued in Cracow in 1477. Fragm. II, at the back of the host volume, contains the left half of the document, whereas Fragm. I, at the front, contains the right half. Offset is present on the inner face of the boards where the fragments have been partially lifted.  

      ‘(Line 1: Fragm. II) Ik her henygk sy[...] perner tho krakow [...] | (Fragm. I) [...] vorstenden Sunte Brictius [?] vnses ho[...] | (line 2: Fragm. II) [...]en vnnd werlyken Alze wo peter bock het [...] | (Fragm. I) [...] vnde we schepen dar sulves we be kennen indüss[...] ... (line 25: Fragm. II) Des tho örkünde vor segelt myd vnser Schepen [...] | (Fragm. I) [...] dyssen vnse open breff Des ik her henigk s[...] | (line 26: Fragm. II) [...] perner vnd Gerke schulten vnde Hens kerke[...] | (Fragm. I) [...] de bröder der Schepen/ vns hyr tho up [...] | (line 27: Fragm. II) tyed mydde brukende synt Ghe schreuen vnde [...] | [...] der vasten Anno lxxvii yn petrus bockes hv[’.  

      Henigk Sy[...], parish priest (perner) of Cracow, together with the jurors of the Schoppengericht, testify that Peter Bock has made a donation on behalf of himself and his wife Margareta to provide for memorial masses to be said for them and their family. The benefaction includes provision for ‘our church by the windmill’ near Cracow and the priest responsible there. The document is witnessed by Gerke Schulten and Hens Kerke[.] during Lent 1477 in the house of Peter Bock.  

      Cf. the transcription in Bod-Inc. (2005), vol. I. pp. 194‒95, which is in need of some correction.  



Whereas the fragments are associated with Cracow in southern Poland, the early indications of ownership of the Sammelband point to Magdeburg in the north of Germany. Item 5 contains a contemporary manuscript note mentioning Master Johannes von Allenstein (Olsztyn / Allenstein in East Prussia), together with a mention of Magdeburg Cathedral: ‘lector ecclesie maioris mag[deburgensis]’ (sig. a1r). Johannes von Allenstein is attested as a canon and preacher of Magdeburg Cathedral in a charter of 23 March 1490; Hertel, Urkundenbuch Magdeburg (1878), p. 327.

1. Johannes Iseken, priest of the parish church of St Catherine’s in Magdeburg (fl.1504‒13); ‘Liber Jo Yseken beneficiati in Ecclesia Sancte Catherine de ciui[tate] Magd[eburgensi]’ (front pastedown). See Bod-Inc. (2005), vol. VI, p. 2882.

2. Joseph Niesert (1766-1841), already in his possession by 1820 (inscription on sig. a1r of item 1); for the Westphalian bibliophile Johann Heinrich Joseph Niesert, see Bod-Inc. (2005), vol. VI, p. 2898, with further literature.

3. Purchased at auction by the Bodleian Library in 1843. This is one of a large number of books from the library of Joseph Niesert acquired by the Bodleian.

Host Volume

Title Auct. 1Q 6.27
Date of Origin/Publication Printed c.1487‒c.1492, bound c. 1492 or a little later.
Place of Origin/Publication Printed in South-West Germany and Cologne. Contemporary German binding (c.1492 or a little later).
Shelfmark Auct. 1Q 6.27

Information on host volume from the description in Bod-Inc. vol. 1, pp. 194‒95 (A-330), with additions.

Six incunables, in chancery quarto, all containing treatises aimed principally at an audience of parish priests.

1. Nicolaus de Hanapis, Biblia pauperum. Strasbourg: Johann Prüss, 1490. 38 fols. (Bod-Inc. N-048; ISTC in00103700; GW M26437).

2. Werner Rolewinck, Formula vivendi canonicorum. Cologne: Heinrich Quentell, c.1488‒89. 16 fols. (Bod-Inc. R-131; ISTC ir00285000; GW M38770).

3. Stella clericorum. Cologne: Heinrich Quentell, c.1489. 10 fols. (Bod-Inc. S-318; ISTC is00770000; GW M20701).

4. Manuale parochialium sacerdotum. Reutlingen: Johann Otmar, c.1492. 12 fols. (Bod-Inc. M-075; ISTC im00220000).

5. Nicolaus de Blony, De sacramentis. German vernacular handwritten note on sig. o4r. Strasbourg: [Martin Flach], 1488. 124 fols. (Bod-Inc. N-032; ISTC in00083000; GW M26301).

6. Antoninus Florentinus, Confessionale: Defecerunt scrutantes scrutinio. Speyer: Johann and Conrad Hist, c.1487. 122 fols. (Bod-Inc. A-330; ISTC ia00820000; GW 2124).

An illuminated 10-line initial ‘U’ with gold infilling and a floral border marks the beginning of the Sammelband (sig. a2r of item 1), underlining its character as an integral collection.


  • Alan Coates et al., A Catalogue of Books printed in the Fifteenth Century now in the Bodleian Library, 6 vols (Oxford, 2005), vol. I, pp. 194‒95 (A-330). Cited as ‘Bod-Inc.’.

  • Gustav Hertel (ed.), Urkundenbuch des Klosters Unser Lieben Frauen zu Magdeburg, Geschichtsquellen der Provinz Sachsen und angrenzender Gebiete 2 (Halle, 1878).