The Magna Carta Project

XII. London Liber Custumarum MS C: British Library Cotton Claudius D ii, fos.119-22.

by Professor David Carpenter

This London volume (now split between Cotton Claudius D ii and Oriel College 46) contains legislation going back to the time of Ine, together with London documents.1 The heading for Magna Carta is ‘Carta de Ronemede’. The copy repeats the mistakes and variants (such as ‘petentes’) noted in XI above, as well as also sharing small differences in word order. It is possible, therefore, that XII was copied from XI or from a common exemplar. It is unlikely to have been the other way round. XII   corrects one of XI’s omissions, against chapter 30 a later hand having added in the margin ‘capiat equos’. It also makes mistakes in chapters 2 and 47 not found in XI. 

A series of marginal annotations are made in a later hand. In chapter 2, besides the £100 baronial relief, ‘marcas’ is written.  Against chapter 12, with its section about aids levied on London, there is ‘Nota de Lond’’. Against chapter 34, there is ‘in capite’, referring here to the writ ‘precipe’ with which the chapter deals.

One wonders whether some variants which XI and XII have in common come from a draft, notably the judges in chapter 18 coming three times a year, not four, the ‘petentes’ in chapter 61, and the date 16 June. On the other hand, they could just be changes made in the process of transmission.


See N. Ker, ‘Liber Custumarum and other manuscripts formerly at the Guildhall’, Guildhall Miscellany, 1 (1954), pp. 135-6.  

The Copies of Magna Carta