The Orrmulum: Bodleian MS Junius 1

Whole manuscript now digitised

The only manuscript of the Orrmulum, one of the most important works of Early Middle English, is now available online completely digitised.

Written by an Augustinian canon named Orrm in the 1160s and 1170s, this vast, unfinished work of gospel translation aims to give priests the means to preach to the people in English.


Icc hafe wennd inntill Ennglissh   Goddspelless hallȝhe lare,

Affterr þatt little witt þatt me   Min Drihhtin hafeþþ lenedd.

Þu þohhtesst tatt itt mihhte wel   Till mikell frame turrnenn,

Ȝiff Ennglissh follc, forr lufe off Crist,   Itt wollde ȝerne lernnen,

⁊ follȝhenn itt, ⁊ fillenn itt   Wiþþ þohht, wiþþ word, wiþþ dede.

(I have turned the holy teaching of the Gospels into English, using the little intelligence that my Lord has entrusted me with. You thought that it might well be put to great profit, if English people would eagerly learn it for the love of Christ, and follow it, and fulfil it, in thought, in word, in deed.)

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