University of Chicago Library, Goodspeed Manuscript Collection Ms. 953, New Testament. Epistles (Peckover Epistles). France or Flanders, 15th century.


Epistles of Paul and Catholic Epistles in Latin. Lacks Philemon, 3 John, and Jude. Formerly Goodspeed Ms. Lat. 49.

  1. fols. 1r-17v fols. 145v-157v Romans.
    Note: Blank (fol. 145r).
  2. fols. 18r-34v fols. 158r-171r 1 Corinthians.
  3. fols. 35r-43v fols. 171v-182v 2 Corinthians.
  4. fols. 44r-48r fols. 183r-189r Galatians.
  5. fols. 48v-59v Ephesians.
  6. fols. 59v-63v fols. 189r-192v Philippians.
  7. fols. 64r-69r fols. 192v-194v Colossians.
  8. fols. 69r-73r fols. 194v-197r 1 Thessalonians.
  9. fols. 73r-74v fols. 197r-198v 2 Thessalonians.
  10. fols. 75r-85r 1 Timothy.
  11. fols. 85r-90v 2 Timothy.
  12. fols. 90v-94r Titus.
  13. fols. 94v-103v James.
  14. fols. 104r-113r 1 Peter.
  15. fols. 113v-119r 2 Peter.
  16. fols. 119r-128r 1 John.
  17. fols. 128r-129r 2 John.
  18. fols. 129v-144v Hebrews.



Major initials in red with foliate and abstract embellishments in white (15-17 mm). Some initials at the end of the manuscript added by a later hand in spaces left blank (see fol. 183r-183v).

Physical Description


Parchment. 105 x 70 mm.

Number of Leaves

201 leaves, of which 2 are flyleaves. Flyleaves conjoint with pastedowns.


1 (unfoliated paper flyleaf) + 199 + 1 (foliated parchment flyleaf). Modern foliation in Arabic numerals in pencil 1-200. Foliation in Roman numerals in red contemporary with the text (upper margin); double numbering of xiii, xvii, and lxvii. Remains of two other sets of numbering.


Written space 65 x 45 mm (fol. 5r).


1 column, 16 lines. Ruling with lead point. Pricking in the outer margins.


Written in b√Ętarde script in black ink. Abbreviation throughout. Strokes and paragraph marks in red.

Methods of correcting text consist of strike-through and inked-in revisions in the margins.

Text Divisions

Titles in red.


Margins trimmed with some loss of text. Taping of fol. 1 in the inner margin. Random stains.

Binding Description

Bound in brown calf over boards. Title on spine in gilt: Epistolae B. Pauli. Nail holes and the remains of straps once attached.

Front and back covers tooled with a display of two lozenges each inset with a vine encircling four animals, a hound, wyvern, cockatrice, and ape. The whole is enclosed in a textual frame, Psalm 84:8 (front), Ostende nobis, Domine, misericordiam tuam et salutare tuum da nobis (Benedixisti, Domine, The coming of Christ...). Small fleur-de-lis at each corner.

Said to be the work of a bookbinder who created bindings for the Tudor kings Henry VII and Henry VIII.

Secundo Folio

prohibitus sum usque adhuc



The manuscript is judged to have been written in the 15th century in either France or Flanders.


Late medieval to 19th century provenance unknown. Belonged to bibliophile Alexander Peckover (1830-1919), Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, and Baron Peckover of Wisbech (his bookplate, front flyleaf, verso).

Sale catalogue description attached to flyleaf (recto) obscuring a note about the bookbinder which was written over a partially erased inscription. Recording of Psalm 84:8 in pencil on the back pastedown replicates the shape of the cover's textual frame. University of Chicago Libraries bookplate (front pastedown).


Acquired by the University of Chicago from Dawson's Book Shop, September 1941 (catalogue no. 156, item 44).


  1. Merrill Mead Parvis, The Story of the Goodspeed Collection ([Chicago:] s.n., 1952), p. 26.