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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 1896
IMEV 1165
NIMEV 1165
He that steals this book / shall be hanged on a crook
Motto for a Book Plate (each version shows slight variations) — three couplets
Note: Cf. 2250.
Subjects: bookplates
Versification: — two-line — aa



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Jesus College 29, f. 143v
Transcription:
thys ys thomas raglandys boke
he that ste[leth] hym salbe hangyd by a crowke
and thomas
Editions:
Hill, Betty. “A Collation of the Robert of Gloucester Fragments: British Museum MS. Add. 50848.” Notes and Queries n.s. 12 [210] (1965): 47-9: 209.
2.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Hatton 106 (SC 4055)
Transcription:
He that stelyth this Boke ste…Be hongyd Ap…
Note: 16th century, rear pastedown.
Editions:
James, Montague Rhodes. Bibliotheca Pepysiana: A Descriptive Catalogue of the Library of Samuel Pepys. Pt. III: Medieval Manuscripts. London, 1923: 3.36.
3.Source: Cambridge UK, Magdalene College Pepys 1760, front pastedown
Transcription:
He That stelle Thys boke
A shalle be hangked vp on a hoke
no vther be water nor be lond
wyt a fayer hempyng bond
Note: Added by a later hand, upside-down, to front pastedown. 4 lines.
Editions:
James, Montague Rhodes. Bibliotheca Pepysiana: A Descriptive Catalogue of the Library of Samuel Pepys. Pt. III: Medieval Manuscripts. London, 1923: 3.36.
4.Source: London, British Library Royal 18 A.XVII, f. 199
Transcription:
He þat stelys this booke. Shulbe hanged on a crooke
He that this booke stell wolde. Sone be his herte colde
Tha it mow so be. seith Amen for cherite
Note: Two verse lines per manuscript line.
Editions:
Robbins, Rossell Hope, ed. Secular Lyrics of the XIV and XV Centuries. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon, 1955: 85, 254.
Warner, Sir George Frederic, and Julius P. Gilson, eds. Catalogue of Western Manuscripts in the old Royal and King’s Collections. 4 vols. London: Trustees of the British Museum, 1921: 2.269, 295.
Wright, Thomas, and James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps, eds. Reliquiae Antiquae. 2 vols. London: Smith, 1845: 2.163.
Coulton, George Gordon. Life in the Middle Ages. Cambridge: at the UP, 1931, and New York: Macmillan, 1931: 2.118 (mod.).
Bennett, Henry Stanley. England from Chaucer to Caxton. London: Methuen, 1928: 161.
Kaiser, Rolf, ed. Alt- und mittelenglische Anthologie. Berlin, 1954; 3rd ed.; trans. as Medieval English: a Old English and Middle English Anthology Berlin West, 1958: reverse of title page.
5.Source: London, British Library Royal 18 B.XXII, f. 44v
Note: 4 lines
Editions:
Warner, Sir George Frederic, and Julius P. Gilson, eds. Catalogue of Western Manuscripts in the old Royal and King’s Collections. 4 vols. London: Trustees of the British Museum, 1921: 2.269, 295.
Robbins, Rossell Hope, ed. Secular Lyrics of the XIV and XV Centuries. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon, 1955: 85, 254.
Nichols, John Gough, ed. The Boke of Noblesse; Addressed to King Edward the Fourth on his Invasion of France in 1475. Roxburghe Club [77]. London: Nichols, 1860; repr. NY: Franklin, 1972: lvi.
6.Source: London, Lambeth Palace Library 259, f. iv
First Lines:
He that thys boke dothe stele
Oure Lady yeff hym an euyll hele…
Last Lines:
…þerfor for þe love of our lady
I pray ȝow lett þe boke ly
Note: 6 lines.
Attributed Author: quod Bentyllee
Editions:
James, Montague Rhodes, and Claude Jenkins. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of Lambeth Palace. 2 vols. Cambridge, 1930-32: 405.
Robbins, Rossell Hope, ed. Secular Lyrics of the XIV and XV Centuries. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon, 1955: 85.
7.Source: London, Lambeth Palace Library 259, f. ivv
First Lines:
He that þis boke dothe stele
oure lady yeff hym an euyll hele…
Last Lines:
…therfor for þe love of oure lady
I pray you lett þis boke lye
Note: Same hand as the copy on f. iv. 6 lines.
Editions:
Robbins, Rossell Hope, ed. Secular Lyrics of the XIV and XV Centuries. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon, 1955: 254.
8.Source: Tokyo, Private owner 1 [olim A. G. Thomas; Sotheby’s, 10 Dec. 1962, lot 145] 1165, flyleaf
Note: ‘Hours of the Virgin [Use of Sarum]. with Calendar, etc. illuminated manuscript on vellum’ (, lot 145).
Editions:
Catalogue of Western and Oriental manuscripts and miniatures…the 10th December, 1962. London: Messrs. Sotheby & Co., 1962: lot 145.