Moore Bede

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The Moore Bede (Cambridge, University Library, Kk. 5. 16) is an early manuscript of Bede's eighth-century Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum, (Ecclesiastical History of the English People). It was formerly owned by Bishop John Moore (1646–1714), whose collection of books and manuscripts was purchased by George I and donated to Cambridge University.

Physical description

The manuscript is written on parchment. It contains 128 folio. Pages average approximately 293 × 215 mm with a writing surface of 250 × 185 mm (1 column, 30–33 lines in the main text). The manuscript has been copied in a single hand and shows signs of haste.


The Moore Bede contains (with The Leningrad Bede) one of the two earliest representatives of the m-type text of the Latin Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum.

The manuscript contains a copy of the Northumbrian aelda recension of Cædmon's Hymn on the last page of the manuscript, f. 128v. The poem is a the hand of a contemporary scribe, probably to be identified with that responsible for the so-called Memoranda on the same page (written in a larger script, but showing many similarities to the more cramped Cædmon’s Hymn and the main text of ff. 1r-128r).


The Moore Bede is traditionally dated to 734–737 on the basis of the so-called Moore Memoranda, a series of chronological notes preserved on f....
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