The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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
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.
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.
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)
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
Digital Facsimile of U.S. National Library of Medicine (Bethesda, MD) MS E 4.
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.
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.