The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
A monk was in Religion / And to backbiting was ever boune
The Backbiting Monk, in the Northern Homily Cycle — in couplets
Title(s): Northern Homily Cycle
Subjects: monks, criticism/satire of; tales, religious didactic
Versification: — two-line — aa

Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 42 (SC 6923), ff. 226v-227
First Lines:
A Monke was in religioune
þat to bakbitinge was aie boune…
Last Lines:
…God bringe vs þidir all samene
ffor þare es endeles mirthe & gamen
Note: 33 couplets.
Thompson, Anne B., ed. The Northern Homily Cycle. Kalamazoo, MI: Western Michigan University for TEAMS, 2008.
2.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Eng. poet. a.1 (SC 3938) [Vernon MS], ff. 213vb1
First Lines:
A Monk was In Religioun
And to Bakbyting was euer boun…
Last Lines:
…God bring vs þider alle in same
þer is endeles pley and game. Amen.
Attributed Title: Of a monk þat was abacbytere (f. 213vb)
Doyle, I. A., ed. The Vernon Manuscript. A Facsimile of Bodleian Library, Oxford, MS Eng. poet.a.1, with an introduction by A. I. Doyle. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1987.
Scase, Wendy, and Nick Kennedy, eds. A facsimile edition of the Vernon manuscript: Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Eng. Poet. A. 1. Oxford: The Bodleian Library, 2011.
Horstmann, Carl. “Die Evangelien-Geschichten der Homiliensammlung des Ms. Vernon.” Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Literaturen 57 (1877): 241-316: 310.
3.Source: Cambridge UK, Cambridge University Library Addit. 8335 [olim Bute], pp. 347-349
First Lines:
A monke was in religioune
Þat til bakbityng was ay vonne…
Last Lines:
…God lene vs grace alle so to be
And graunte vs luf and charite
4.Source: Cambridge UK, Cambridge University Library Dd.1.1, ff. 208-208v
First Lines:
A Monk was in religiown
Þat to bakbiting was ay bown…
Last Lines:
…to heuene blisse he bringe vs
Goddis sone crist ihesus
Attributed Title: Narracio de Monacho de tractore (f. 208)
5.Source: Cambridge UK, Cambridge University Library Gg.5.31, ff. 150v-151
First Lines:
A monk in relion
Þat tyll bakbytyng was ay won…
Last Lines:
…God bryng vs þeder all samen
ffor þar ys endles yoye & gamen
Attributed Title: Narracio (f. 150v)
6.Source: London, British Library Addit. 22283 [Simeon], f. 17vb-17vc
First Lines:
A Monk was in Religioun
And to bakbityng was euer boun…
Last Lines:
…God bring vs þider alle in same
Þere is endeles play and game. Amen
Digital Facsimile of British Library MS Add. 22283 (‘Simeon’). 2014;
7.Source: London, British Library Harley 2391, f. 224
8.Source: London, Lambeth Palace Library 260, f. 61va
9.Source: Minneapolis MN, Minnesota University Library Z.822.N.81 [olim Phillipps 8122], ff. 183-183v
First Lines:
Ane monke was in religione
þat tyll backbyttyng was ay wone…
Last Lines:
…To byng [sic] vs all þidere same
Þare es endles play and game
10.Source: San Marino, CA, Henry Huntington Library HM 129 [olim Phillipps 20420], ff. 192v-193
First Lines:
A monk wos in relygyoune
Þat to bacbytyng wos euyr i boune…
Last Lines:
…God brynge vs þiddyr all samyn
Þare euyr is ioy and gamyn
Attributed Title: relacio (f. 192v)