Segmentation and overlap of contents

Frere’s edition and its segmentation of the texts

The two readings printed in parallel columns by W. H. Frere, The Use of Sarum, I (Cambridge, 1898) have provided the starting point for this database. Whatever their shortcomings, they provide the standard reference for both the Old and New Customaries.

The numbering of the sections and subsections divisions is that employed by Frere. The sectional divisions reflect those found in the original source; but the numbering was added by Frere. The division into subsections and their numbering are those made editorially by Frere.

Using Frere’s divisions of both Old and New Customaries into sections and subsections, there are 144 sections which Frere subdivided into a total of 327 distinct subsections. None of the sources includes all this material. Furthermore, some of the subsections appear in different main sections across the sources. It is easiest, therefore, to compare the contents at the level of Frere’s editorial subsections.

The extent of the four manuscript versions, and the overlap of contents

OCO has 248 subsections, and OCR 279; NCC includes 208 subsections, and NCS just 161. Seven subsections of the New Customary included in Frere’s edition are found in sources not represented here.

Overall, 155 subsections are common in subject matter to all four sources; but that does not signify that the contents of these subsections are identical.

Each source contains unique subsections: OCO, 1; OCR, 25; NCC, 7; and NCS, 3.

OCO and OCR contain 106 subsections which are not found in either NCC or NCS. Of these 80 are found in both OCO and OCR, 1 in OCO only, and 25 in OCR.

Forty subsections are found only in NCC and NCS (of which 31 are common to NCC and NCS, 7 appear only in NCC, and 3 only in NCS).

This information needs to be treated with circumspection: subsections vary considerably in length; and some subsections which, though they do not correlate directly, deal with the same topic (e.g. censing of the altar at Vespers).