copyright Martha Carlin 2005; updated 21 November 2020
all rights reserved not to be reproduced without permission.
A volume of 184 parchment folios containing medical recipes and related materials, in English and Latin, in hands of the 14th-15th cent. Many other recipes from this manuscript are printed in G. Henslow, Medical Works of the Fourteenth Century (London, 1899), available from the Internet Archive at <https://archive.org/details/medicalworksoffo00hens/page/n3/mode/2up> (seen 21 November 2020).
Among the medical recipes are the following, written on folios14v-15v in a single hand of the late 14th – early 15th century. These recipes are given in prose form in the manuscript but, as they are written in rhymed couplets, I have transcribed them as such below:
- (f. 14v)
- For bolnyng [= swelling] of the genitales of man. [In left margin: For boling of the pyntell’ (=penis).]
A fayre medecyn tell’ I can bothe for zonge [=young] and for olde and for all’ maner of brennyng’ [=burning].
Leves of lorere [=laurel] and rewe thou take,
and smale thou brysse hem [=bruise them] and make.
Take three handfull’ of the tone
and of the tother als mekyll’ one [i.e., take 3 handfuls of the one, and as much of the other].
And make a playster ther of clene,
a bout the genitales thou bynde be dene [=indeed].
And if this helpe will’ nought’,
a nother medecyn shall’ be wrought.
Take the leves of a rede dok
and tendrnus amyds a way thou knoke.
Sethe them in wyn hole in a panne
and lay them about thi bollokes than.
Also take garleke and comyn
- (f. 15r)
- with ache [=smallage, parsley, or other celery-like plant] and benys [=beans] sothen [=seethed] in wyn,
and bynde them about thi ballokes fast,
and the boling shall’ swage [=be assuaged] in hast.For boling of knes.If thi knees be bolynde grete,
take the fayre flour of whete,
and boyle it in water till it drye be,
and in a cloute [=rag] lay it to thi kne.
Folios 17r-61v consist of numerous medicinal recipes, mostly in English, with a few in Latin, written in hands of perhaps the early 15th century. At the end of this collection, on f. 61v, is written, in a ?contemporary hand: “Secundum Dompnum Nicholaum de Spaldyng quod s. d. c.” (Nicholas Spaldyng is identified on f. 135v as the owner of this volume.) The following recipes are transcribed from this collection:
- (f. 17v)
- For to make her [=hair] growe.
Take lynsed and brenne [=burn] it and medle [=mix] the poudre with oyle and a noynte the hed. Item take
verveyne and aloyne [=aloes] and seth hem wel In lye and wasch’ wel the hed ther with oft tyme.
- (f. 18r)
- For man that may nouzt for castynge [=vomiting] holde his mete [=solid food].
Take hulewort [=pennyroyal or wild thyme] and horhoune and peper and seeth’ hem wel in water and gyf hym ofte
to drynke and he shal sone hele.
- (f. 18v)
- For the fever tercyane [=tertian fever, one that comes every 3 days].
Take iij leves of weybrode after the sonne be y go to grounde and sey iij pater nosters and take the juys and drynke it
with haliwater whan the evel the taketh [=when the sickness takes thee].
- (f. 19r)
- For the cancre in the teth’ also.
Take oke appul [=oak galls] and drye it well’ and make pouder ther of and take that pouder and medled [sic] with’
vynegre and make a plastre and leye up the sore and it shal hole.
- (f. 20r)
- An oynement for the crampe.
Take in the laste ende of may the juys of camamylle and cattes grece [=rendered fat of a cat] of eche lyche moche [i.e., the
same amount of each] and fry it to gedur and kepe it in a box and as the crampe the greveth’ enoynte the same
place ther with.
- (f. 38v)
- For to maken tethe whyte that ben blake or zelwe [=yellow].
Take flour of rye salt and hony and medle hem wel to gedere and therwith’ frote [=rub] wel the tethe, iche day ij or iij
[=twice or thrice] and after wasche hem wel with fayre water and that schal don a wey al the blaknese and alle the
- (f. 39v)
- For stynkyng brethe that comes out of mannes stomake.
Take ij handful of comyn [=cumin] and bet it in a brasyn morter to poudre and sethe it in good wyne fro a potel [=half-gallon]
to a quart and lat the seke drynke ther of at morwe and even [=morning and evening] as hot as he may suffre it and he schal
ben hool with innen xv dayes on warantize and ich day drynke a pynt.
- (f. 59v)
- For vermyne in a mannys ere.
Take the jus of lovache and put it in the ere the space of a myle wey [i.e., for as long as it takes to walk a mile]
and it salle bryng out the worme quyke [=alive] or dede certayne.