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Report No. r515

Robert Mannyng of Brunne

d. 1338


Alternative Names

Robert Manning; Robert Mannyng de Brunne; Robert Mannyng of Brunne; Roberd Mannyng de Brunne



A Gilbertine monk, Robert wrote an English adaptation of the anonymous Anglo-Norman penitential handbook, Manuel des péchés. Called Handlyng synne in Robert’s version (c. 1303), it also contained a section dealing with confession.



No. 1

Handlyng synne, c. 1303.


Text(s) – Manuscripts

No. 1

Handlyng synne, c. 1303.




London, BL Harley 1701, fol. 1–84


Oxford, Bodleian Libr. Bodley 415, fol. 1–80


Washington, D.C., Folg. Libr. Folger v.b. 236, fol. 1–84




Cambridge, Univ. Libr. Ii.4.9, fol. 97–142


London, Dulwich Coll. Dulwich XXIV, fol. 1–21


New Haven, Conn., Yale Univ., Beinecke Libr. Osborn 5 Chest II, no. 69, fol. 1–142


Text(s) – Modern Editions

No. 1

Handlyng synne.

Modern Editions

Roberd of Brunne’s Handlyng Synne (Written A.D. 1303;) With the French Treatise on Which it Is Founded, Le Manuel des Pechiez by William of Wadington, ed. F. Furnivall (London 1862).


Robert of Brunne’s “Handlyng Synne,” A.D. 1303, With Those Parts of the Anglo–French Treatise on Which it Was Founded, William of Wadington’s “Manuel des Pechiez”, ed. F. Furnivall (Early English Text Society, o.s. 119, 123; London 1901–1903; repr. Millwood 1975) (http://name.umdl.umich.edu/AHA2735.0001.001).


A Study of the Bodley MS 415: Robert Mannyng of Brunne’s Handlyng Synne, ed. I. de Pere Sullens (Ph.D. diss. Stanford University; Stanford 1959).


An edition of Robert Mannyng of Brunne’s Handlyng Synne (Osborn manuscript), ed. S. Schulz (Ph.D. diss. New York University; New York 1974).


An Edition of Robert Mannyng’s Handlyng Synne, ed. B. van der Schaaf (Ph.D. diss. University of Iowa; Iowa City 1978).



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K. Greenspan, ‘Lessons for the priest, lessons for the people: Robert Mannyng of Brunne’s audiences for Handlyng Synne’, Essays in Medieval Studies, 21 (2004) 109–121.

J. Coleman, ‘Handling pilgrims: Robert Mannyng and the Gilbertine cult’, Philological Quarterly, 81 (2002) 311–326.

F. Somerset, ‘“Mark him wel for he is on of þo”: training the “lewed” gaze to discern hypocrisy’, ELH: Journal of English Literary History, 68 (2001) 315–334.

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M. Stephenson, ‘Further biographical notes on Robert Mannyng of Brunne’, Notes and Queries, n.s. 41 (1998) 284–285.

N. Bradbury, ‘Popular–festive forms and beliefs in Robert Mannyng’s Handlyng Synne’, Bakhtin and Medieval Voices, T. Farrell, ed. (Gainesville, Fla. 1996) 158–179.

R. Karras, ‘Sex, money, and prostitution in medieval English culture’, Desire and Discipline: Sex and Sexuality in the Premodern West, J. Murray and K. Eisenbichler, ed. (Toronto 1996) 201–216.

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M. Sullivan, ‘More poetry by Peter Idley transcribed from British Library MS. Additional 57335’, Neuphilologische Mitteilungen: Bulletin de la Société néophilologique de Helsinki, 97 (1996) 29–55.

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M. Sullivan, ‘Biographical notes on Robert Mannyng of Brunne and Peter Idley, the adaptor of Robert Mannyng’s Handlyng Synne’, Notes and Queries, n.s. 41 (1994) 302–304.

C. Ho, ‘Dichotomize and conquer: “Womman handlyng” in Handlyng Synne’, Philological Quarterly, 72 (1993) 383–401.

F. Kemmler, ’Exempla’ in Context: A Historical and Critical Study of Robert Mannyng of Brunne’s ‘Handlyng Synne’ (Tübingen 1984).

B. Lee, ‘“This is no fable”: historical residues in two medieval exempla’, Speculum (1981) 728–760.

L. Besserman, ‘The Dancers of Colbek’, Medium Ævum, 49 (1980) 260.

D. Robertson, ‘Certain theological conventions in Mannyng’s treatment of the Commandments’, Essays in Medieval Culture, D. Robertson, ed. (Princeton 1980) 105–113, 350–351.

B. van der Schaaf, ‘The manuscript tradition of Handlyng Synne’, Manuscripta, 24 (1980) 119–126.

K. Bitterling, ‘“Anoynting” in Robert Mannyng’s Handlyng synne’, Notes and Queries, n.s. 26 (1979) 8–9.

R. Hanning, ‘Money turned tyme: the cycle of the year as a religious symbol in two medieval texts’, Saints, Scholars and Heroes. Studies in Medieval Culture in Honour of Charles W. Jones, M. King and W. Stevens, ed. (Collegeville, Minn. 1979) 1.281–298.

G. Platts, ‘Robert Mannyng Of Bourne’s “Handlyng synne” and South Lincolnshire society’, Lincolnshire History and Archaeology, 14 (1979) 23–29.

A. McIntosh, ‘Some notes on the “Dancers of Colbeck” – James Osborn: in memoriam’, Notes and Queries, n.s. 24 (1977) 196–197.

P. Michaud-Quantin, Sommes de casuistique et manuals de confession au moyen âge (XII–XVI siècles) (Leuven 1962) 28.

D. Robertson, ‘The cultural tradition of the Handlyng synne’, Speculum (1947) 162–90.