Wiktenauer logo.png

Man yt Wol (MS Harley 3542)

From Wiktenauer
Jump to: navigation, search
Man yt Wol
MS Harley 3542, British Library
London, United Kingdom
(No scans available)
Type Commonplace book
Date ca. 1440
Place of origin British Empire
  • Unknown (fencing manual)
  • Roger de Baron
Material Paper, with a British Library
Size 118 folia
External data Library catalog entry
Other translations

The MS Harley 3542 is a compilation manuscript containing a fencing manual, created in England in the early to mid 15th century.[1] It currently rests in the holdings of the British Library in London, United Kingdom.[2] The manuscript seems to be three separate works bound together, including two alchemical compendia (ff 1-16, 17-94) and a medical compendium (ff 95-118). The fencing treatise, known as Man yt Wol ("The Man that Will"), comprises ff 82-85 of the larger manuscript. Along with the Cotton Titus manuscript and the Ledall manuscript, this is one of only three extant treatises on Medieval English martial arts.[2]


The known provenance of the MS Harley 3542 is:[2]

  • 1500s - owned and annotated by Thomas Byard, vicar of Bockerill [Devon].
  • 1600s - owned by Samuel Knott (d. 1687), rector of Combe Raleigh and priest of Broad Hembury, co. Devon.
  • 1600s-early 1700s - owned by Robert Burscough (1650/51-1709), prebendary of Exeter in 1701, archdeacon of Barnstaple in 1703, rector of Cheriton Bishop in 1705.
  • 17 May 1715 - acquired by Robert Harley (1661-1724), 1st earl of Oxford and Mortimer, politician.
  • 1724-1741 - owned by Edward Harley (1689-1741), 2nd earl of Oxford and Mortimer.
  • 1741-1753 - owned by his widow, Henrietta née Cavendish Holles (1694-1755) and her daughter Margaret Cavendish Bentinck (1715-1785), duchess of Portland.
  • 1753 - sold for a fraction of their value to the British Museum (at the time of its founding).
  • 1973 - moved to the British Library (at the time of its founding).


This is the official table of contents provided by the museum.[2] As the manuscript has not been digitized for study, its accuracy cannot be guaranteed beyond that fact.

1r - 14r Treatise on alchemy (The Mirror of Lights)
14r - 15v Four alchemical recipes
16rv Three Alchemical recipes (Modus Maurandi)
17r - 25v Alchemical text (Semita recta Alkymie Alberti)
25v - 28r Alchemical text on the transmutation of metals ('Per artificium vero fit & transmutacio me/tallorum)
28v - 35v Alchemical text attributed to Ramon Llull (Verbum albrematum verissimum & approbatum de occultis)
40r - 41v Alchemical text (Compo[si]cionis / lapidum philosophorum .4. modis)
41v - 44r Alchemical recipes
44v - 55v Epistola boni viri, possibly Guillelmus Sedacerius, De alchimie perfectum
55v - 57v Alchemical text and recipes (Casus magnorum lapsus gravis anteriorum / Sunt afflictorum solamina philosophorum)
57v - 59v Breviloquium lapis philosophorum by Johannes Pauper
59v - 60v Alchemical recipe (Opus mirabile)
60v - 64v Alchemical treatise by John Dastin
64v - 67v Alchemical text
68v - 80v De occulta philosophia by John Sawtry
80v - 81r Alchemical verses
81r - 82r Alchemical verses
82r - 85r
85r - 94v Recipes for medical and alchemical processes
95r Collection of texts on pulse in Middle English, followed by verse on pulse and humors in Latin
95v - 97r Gualterius, De pulsibus
97v - 100v Text on women's medicine (De ornatu mulierum)
101r - 102r Treatise on medical herbs (Materia medica)
103r - 110r Astronomical-medical treatise by Ralph Hoby
110r Eight-line poem on pulses
110v - 111r Notes on urine (De urinis tractatus)
111rv Notes on urine (Omnis urina est colamentum sanguinis)
111v - 112r Text on phlebotomy
112r Three paragraphs on astrological reckoning for bloodletting
112v Pen drawing of bloodletting man, with text on veins, but veins not marked
113r - 115v, 116v Excerpts of Rogerina minor by Roger de Baron
115v - 116v Excerpts from Summa parva (?) by Roger Frugard
116v Tables on latitudes of seven climates, all with Greek names
117r - 118v Pseudo-Nennius, De mirabilibus Britannie maioris
118v De mensuris


Additional Resources


Copyright and License Summary

For further information, including transcription and translation notes, see the discussion page.

Work Author(s) Source License
Modernization (82r - 84r) Jon Pellett MEGALOPHIAS His Page
Modernization (84v - 85v) Terry Brown American Academy of English Martial Arts
Transcription (82r - 84r) Alfred Hutton Index:Man yt Wol (MS Harley 3542)
Public Domain.png
Transcription (84v - 85v) Terry Brown Index:Man yt Wol (MS Harley 3542)