The Pore Caitif (Poor Wretch) was a popular fourteenth-century compilation of fourteen treatises intended for the religious instruction of the laity, and has variously been attributed to John Wycliffe and Richard Rolle. It survives in more than fifty manuscripts.
Contents: (1) ff. 1-119v, Pore Caitif. Jolliffe, A check-list of Middle English prose writings of spiritual guidance, B. This and twenty-two other manuscripts containing all fourteen parts are listed by M.T. Brady in Traditio, vol. 10 (1954), pp. 529-48. Part 1, on the Creed, begins imperfectly at f. 1r, 'do but also of dedis left undo' (probably eight leaves are missing), lacks a leaf after f. 1, and ends imperfectly at f. 5v, 'Seynt symond seide. I bileeue forȝifnesse of' (one leaf missing); part 2, on the Commandments, begins imperfectly at f. 6r, 'þerfore ech man and womman', and lacks a leaf after f. 21; part 3, on the Lord's Prayer, f. 52r; part 4, f. 66v; part 5, f. 70r; part 6, f. 73r; part 7, f. 74r; part 8, f. 81v (running title 'þe hors'); part 9, f. 90v; part 10, f. 94v; part 11, f. 98v; part 12, f. 102r; part 13, f. 103v; part 14, f. 106v; it lacks a leaf after f. 110 and all after 'þis is my filosofie. þis is my victorie'.
(2) f. 120 (flyleaf), on recto, Directions for masses, etc., beginning imperfectly: 'of all the apostolus wt xii candelys xii almysdedys and offyr as tohu (sic) dydys before... proued of the Court of Rome'. Directions for (Wednesday), Thursday, Friday, and Saturday votive masses and for saying the eight verses of St Bernard to help deliver souls from purgatory. On verso, an early 15th-century prayer: 'Domine ihesu criste fili dei viui qui gloriosum corpus tuum... per eundem cristum dominum nostrum Amen'.
Script: Gothic textura. Written space: 93 x 65 mm. 22 long lines.
Secundo folio: den at her.
Decoration: 3-line initials in blue ink with red penwork flourishes.
Description derived from N.R. Ker, Medieval manuscripts in British libraries, vol. III, Lampeter-Oxford (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1983), pp. 411-12. By permission of Oxford University Press.