1414: John Neuton and the Re-Foundation of York Minster Library

Neuton's Will

Michele Campopiano (University of York)

Neuton's original will does not survive but it was copied into the Chapter of York’s register of wills (1321-1493), which still exists (York Minster, Archives of the Chapter of York, L2 (4), fols 168v-170v). Below is a transcription and translation of the text. The translation is kept as literal as possible; this also applies to the book titles.

York Minster, Archives of the Chapter of York, L2 (4), fol. 168v
Transcription

In Dei nomine Amen. Quarto die mensis Maii anno Domini millesimo CCCCmo XIIII,  ego Iohannes de Neuton, sancte Eboracensis ecclesie thesaurarius indignus, reminiscens quod nullus hic ordo est, nulla constancia, nulla stabilis aut secura iocunditas, set confusio, labor, dolor et gemitus, a quibus nulla sors hominis necque ulla liberat honoris aut dignitatum altitudo, nec ullus est rectus modus uiuendi aut ordo moriendi; considerans eciam et, utinam uere ac utiliter, recognoscens quod fidelis non est seruus qui, quamuis deliciis affluens, faciem Domini non requirit, testamentum meum seu uerius ultimam meam uoluntatem facio, ordino et constituo in hunc modum. In primis do et lego atque subicio animam meam pecatricem Deo omnipotenti eiusque ineffabili et infinite misericordie,  atque beatissime Marie uirgini gloriose et sanctissimi Petri apostolorum principis omniumque sanctorum precibus eam deuotissime recomendo; corpusque meum licet miserum et caducum ad sepeliendum in ecclesia Eboracensi iuxta predecessores meos. Funeralia autem quecumque, sumptus et ordinacionem eorumdem, arbitrio et discrecioni confratorum meorum infrascriptorum et aliorum executorum meorum eisdem adiunctorum, libere committo exequendum, ita ut, spreta omni pompa quacumque possibili, ad Dei honorem, pauperum refrigerium et anime mee atque omnium fidelium defunctorum salutem, bona mea celerius expendantur et deuocius erogentur.

Item do et lego Deo capitulo ecclesie metropolitice Eboracensis tres pelues argenteas cum rosis in fundo deauratis ad usum et supportacionem trium cereorum coram summo altari eiusdem. Item do et lego eidem capitulo XII chargiours argenti et XII discos argenteos in fabricam et ornacionem summi altaris eiusdem ecclesie solummodo conuertendos. Item do et lego prefato capitulo in subsidium et releuamen librarie faciende tres partes Biblie in tribus uoluminibus; item librum magnum concordanciarum Biblie; item libros Genesis et Exodi glosatos; item tres libros Salamonis cum libris Sapientie et Ecclesiastici glosatos in uno uolumine; item librum XII Prophetarum glosatum; item epistulas Pauli apostuli bene glosatas; item Hamonem supra easdem epistulas; item librum beati Augustini De Trinitate et Supra Exodum ad litteram in uno uolumine; item librum de sermonibus beati Augustini ad fratres in heremo cum tractatibus beati Anselmi et Super Apocalipsim

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Other editions of the will: Testamenta Eboracensia…, ed. by J. Raine, Surtees Society 4, I (London: Nichols, 1836), pp. 364-371; The Latin Project, The Testamentary Circle of Thomas de Dalby, Archdeacon of Richmond, d.1400 (York: The Latin Project, 2002), pp. 66-74. The section relating to Peterhouse is printed in Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues 10: The University and College Libraries of Cambridge, ed. by P. Clarke and R. Lovatt (London: The British Library, 2002), pp. 721-722. An edition of the parts relating to the Minster is to be published in a volume on The Secular Cathedrals of England and Wales, ed. by N. Ramsay and J. Willoughby, in the Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues.

Photographs: Paul Shields (University of York); © The Chapter of York.

How to cite

Michele Campopiano, 'Neuton's Will', in Hanna Vorholt and Peter Young (eds), 1414: John Neuton and the Re-Foundation of York Minster Library, June 2014, https://hoaportal.york.ac.uk/hoaportal/yml1414transcription.jsp?id=13, accessed 22 November 2017