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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 5395
IMEV 3425.5
NIMEV see 3848/23
The masters that usen blood letting
Poem on Phlebotomy or Bloodletting — in couplets, often with an introduction of six lines, for a total of 90 lines
Note: Formerly 3848; cf. 1570; for a variant version see 6847.
Subjects: bloodletting; didactic verse
Versification: — two-line
Bibliographic Ghosts: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 391, Part II.5 (SC 6733), f. 9: see 1570; London, British Library Sloane 610, ff. 5-6: see 1570



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Selden Supra 73 (SC 3461), ff. 25-26
First Lines:
Maistres ye that vsen blode lettynge
And therby goten youre lyuynge
Here May ye lerne Wysdome goode
What plase that ye shall letten blode
Note: 88 lines
Editions:
Robbins, Rossell Hope, ed. Secular Lyrics of the XIV and XV Centuries. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon, 1955: 77-80.
2.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Selden Supra 90 (SC 3478), ff. 16-16v
First Lines:
Alle ȝe þat vsyn blod letyng
And þerbi getiþ ȝoure levyng
Here may ȝe lern wysdome goode
What place ȝe schal lete blod
Note: 46 couplets, written as prose.
3.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 391, Part II (SC 6873), f. 4v
First Lines:
Alle ye þat vse bloode leting
And þerby geeten your lyvyng
Here mow ye lere wisdem goode
In what place ye shul lete bloode
Note: Ends imperfectly due to loss of folio: 49 lines only, written as prose
4.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1448 (SC 7627), pp. 199-200
First Lines:
The masters þat vse blode lettyng
And þer by gete her levyng
Here may thei lere wisdome gode
What place thei shulde lett blode
Note: Ends imperfectly: 74 lines only
5.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1477, Parts II, III (SC 7719), Part I, pp. 96-98
First Lines:
Thes masters þat vse blode lettynge
And there by getteth þer lyuynge
Here ye maye here wysdome gode
In what place ye schalle lett blode
Note: 88 lines; on f. 96 ‘Here it techethe a man to knowe þe veynys
And where þat they schalle be fownde fore blode lettynge on man or woman where euer that they sytt’.
6.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 1481 (SC 7722), Part I, E, ff. 25v-26
First Lines:
[Ȝ]e maysters þat vsen blod latyng
& þere with getyn here lyuyng
Here ȝe may lere wysdam gode
In wat place ȝow schal lat blode
Note: 90 lines.
Attributed Title: Her be gynne þe knowing of veynys (f. 25v)
7.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Rawlinson C.506 (SC 15353), ff. 27-28v
First Lines:
The mastyrs þat vse blod lattyng
And þer by gettiþ þer lyvyng
Her may þai lern wisdom good
In what place þai shall let blod
Note: 92 lines
8.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Rawlinson D.251 (SC 13059), ff. 51v-53
First Lines:
Ȝe mastrys þat off phisik canne
And by gete ȝour good
Her may ȝe lern wysdom þan
What placys ȝe xuld lete blode
Note: 88 lines; with variant 6-line introduction (ababcc).
9.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College O.1.13 (1037), ff. 20-20v
First Lines:
…The myddel veyne be twex þe to
Þe Coral he is clepyd so
That veyn clenseth with owte dowte
A bove be neþe with Inne & with owte
Note: Begins imperfectly due to loss of folio; begins line 57.
10.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College O.9.28 (1440), ff. 142v
First Lines:
Men þat vsyn blodlatyng
And therby geten here lewyng
Her they may leren wysdam god
In quat place they xuln laten blod
Note: 92 lines
11.Source: London, British Library Addit. 30338, ff. 212-213
First Lines:
Alle ye þat vsyth blode letyng & þer by getyþ your leuyng …
Here may ye lerne wysdoom good what place ȝe schulle
Last Lines:
…yf þu þese vse at þy nede þe forseyde euylys þu dar not drede
So þrouwȝ crystys helpyng þat all hath in gouernyng
Note: Written one couplet per line: 45 couplets or 90 lines.
12.Source: London, British Library Egerton 1995, ff. 79-80
First Lines:
The maysters that vsyn bloode latynge
And there by gete there leuynge…
Last Lines:
…So mote hyt be sey nowe we
Amen Amen for charyte
Note: 84 lines.
Attributed Title: FOr bloode latynge (f. 79)
13.Source: London, British Library Sloane 100, ff. 34-35v
First Lines:
Ȝe maistris þat vsen blood letynge
And þer wiþ geten ȝoure lyuynge
Here mai ȝe lerne wijsdom good
In what place ȝe schulen lete blood
Note: 92 lines
14.Source: London, British Library Sloane 357, ff. 46-47v
First Lines:
The maystres þat vsith blode letyng
And þus doith gaith here leuyng
Here ȝe may lerne wysdom gode
In whate place ȝe schull lete blode
Note: 92 lines
15.Source: London, British Library Sloane 540 A, ff. 23-23v
First Lines:
Þys maystres þat vsed blod letyng
And þer by geten here lyuyng
Here he may lerne wysdom ful goud
In wych places he schul lete blod
Note: 90 lines, followed by pose text on perilous days
16.Source: London, British Library Sloane 963, ff. 71-72v
First Lines:
The maystris that vse blood latynge
And þere by ȝe gete ȝoure leuynge
Here may ȝe lere wysdam good
What place ȝe schull lete blood
Note: 92 lines.
Editions:
Mooney, Linne R. “Practical Didactic Works in Middle English.” Diss. Toronto, 1981: 139-55.
17.Source: London, British Library Sloane 2457, ff. 1-2
First Lines:
The maystres that vsen blood lettyng
And ther by gether her lyuyng
Her ȝe may lerne wysdam good
In wat place ȝe schal late blood
Note: 89 lines.
18.Source: London, British Library Sloane 3160, ff. 149-150
First Lines:
The maystris þat vson blode lettyng
And þer by geten hor levyng
Her thai may lerne wysdam gode
In what place þay schulde lette blode
Note: 86 lines
19.Source: London, British Library Sloane 3285, ff. 74-75v
First Lines:
The maistres that vsith blood letynge
And therby getith your lyuynge
Hyer ye may lerne wisdom good
In what place ye shal late blood…
Last Lines:
…Yf thou vse thise veynes at nede
Of euelis for nemenyd dar ton naught drede
So that god helpe
Note: 88 lines. Folio number reflects the most recent foliation
Attributed Title: How thou shalt knowe veynes for blod letyng (f.75)
20.Source: London, British Library Addit. 18216, ff. 9v-10
First Lines:
…that vset blod latynge & therby gete her leuynge
Her mayȝe lerne wysdam good & yn what place ȝe schole lete blod …
Last Lines:
…Ȝif þu hem vse at þi nede þe forseyd euelys thar þe nowt drede
So god be helpyng þat al hath yn gouernynge
Note: Written one couplet per line; 46 couplets, or 92 lines. Initial two words indecipherable. Scribe uses ‘þ’ and ‘y’ graphs interchangeably to represent thorn.
21.Source: Durham, Durham University Library Cosin V.iii.10, ff. 41v-43
First Lines:
Ȝe mastris þat vsyn blod letyng
And þer with getyn her leuyng
Her ye mey ler wysedom good
In what place ye schall be let blod
22.Source: Glasgow, Glasgow University Library Hunterian 258 (U.4.16), p. 190
First Lines:
Here ye may lerne wisdom ful good
In which placis ye shall lete blode…
…And in what place þey shalbe founde
I shall you tell in lityl stounde…
Note: Ten lines only, including 4-line preface; added to blank space at end of Studium sapiencie.
Editions:
Young, John, and Patrick Henderson Aitken. A Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of the Hunterian Museum. Glasgow: James Maclehose, 1908: 210.
23.Source: London, Wellcome Historical Medical Library 406 [olim Loscombe, olim Ashburnham 122], ff. 1v-3v
First Lines:
Maystris þat uþyth bl[ ]de letyng
& þer wyþ geteþ ȝour [ ]
Here ȝe may lere wysdom ful gode
In what plase ȝe schull let blode…
Last Lines:
…Ȝyf yow þys vse at þi nede
Of [?þe] euelys dar ȝe noȝt drede
So [?god …of] lor[?]e be helpyng
[?] haþ in gouernyng
Attributed Title: Explicit ars fleobotuma di secundii (f. 3v)
Editions:
Wright, Thomas, and James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps, eds. Reliquiae Antiquae. 2 vols. London: Smith, 1845: 1.189-90.
24.Source: Bethesda, MD, National Library of Medicine MS E 4 [formerly 514; olim MS. 4], ff. 16-17
First Lines:
ȜE maisters þat vse blode lating
And þerby gete yowr leving…
Last Lines:
…yff þou vse theise at nede
Of þe evill vij forn þar þou not drede
So that lordis be helping
þat al thing hath in welding
Facsimiles:
Digital Facsimile of U.S. National Library of Medicine (Bethesda, MD) MS E 4. https://collections.nlm.nih.gov/bookviewer?PID=nlm:nlmuid-100899906-bk.
Editions:
Mayer, Claudius F. “A Medieval English Leechbook and its 14th Century Poem on Bloodletting.” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 7 (1939): 381-91: 388-90.
25.Source: Untraced, Present whereabouts unknown Ashburnham Appendix 121, p. 74
Note: Possibly = London, British Library Sloane 3285 Sloane 3285, above, which begins fol. 74; Hamer (1995) lists as unidentified, missing or destroyed.
Editions:
Mayer, Claudius F. “A Medieval English Leechbook and its 14th Century Poem on Bloodletting.” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 7 (1939): 381-91: 388-90.