‘Textus Roffensis’: two early twelfth-century manuscripts from Rochester

‘Textus Roffensis’ is an invented name for a book which is really two books. The two constituent manuscripts – which have perfectly adequate titles of their own – were both written in the 1120s, but did not, originally, have anything to do with one another. They were not bound together, as far as one can tell, till some time in the thirteenth century. As for the modern title, which has no authenticity, that only became current among London-based antiquaries at the end of the sixteenth century. It baffles me why anyone would want to continue using that title, in preference to the titles supplied by the original scribe.

Monochrome facsimiles of the two constituent manuscripts, edited by P. H. Sawyer, were published separately in 1957 and 1962. Page images of the entire book have now been made available online, as part of the University of Manchester’s Digital Collections.