Skip to main content

Hours: MS McClean 74

An image of Book of hours

Terms of use

These images are provided for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND). To license a high resolution version, please contact our image library who will discuss fees, terms and waivers.

Download this image

Creative commons explained - what it means, how you can use our's and other people's content.

Alternative views

Object information

Current Location: In storage




Scribe: Rodericus de Avila




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, i parchment flyleaf + 249 fols. (inaccurate early foliation in Roman numerals) + ii parchment flyleaves, 155 x 113 mm (74 x 47 mm), 15 long lines, ruled in black ink, leaves lost between fols. 12–13, 232–233, 243–244

BINDING: Seventeenth century, brown leather over wooden boards, sewn on five supports, gold-stamped bust within central medallion with sun rays, vases, scallop shells and birds within three frames consisting of zoomorphic motifs, classicizing trophies and foliage, edges guaffered and painted in gold, blue and red to replicate the patterns on the binding, two catchplates on lower cover, remains of one metal clasp and traces of another on upper cover, two catchplates on lower cover; repaired and re-sewn, retaining the spine liners, at the Fitzwilliam Museum by Robert Proctor in the 1990s.

fols. 1r–12v Calendar
fols. 13r–91r Hours of the Virgin (begins imperfectly) with the Office for Advent
fols. 92r – 98v Mass of the Virgin
fols. 99r–107r Prayer, Missus est Gabriel (with rubric on the revelation of this prayer to Arnaldus crossed out)
fols. 107v–108r Prayer, Te deprecor ergo
fols. 108v–111r Prayer, O intemerata
fols. 111v–116r Five prayers attributed to St John the Evangelist, the initials of the first word of each prayer forming an acronym of the Virgin’s name, Mediatrix, Auxiliatrix, Reparatrix, Illuminatrix, Alleviatrix
fols. 116r–120r Prayer, Ad sanctitatis tue pedes
fols. 120r–122r Seven Prayers of St Gregory on the Passion
fols. 122v–123v Prayer, Ave cuius concepcio
fols. 123v–124v Prayer, O Domine Iesu Christi qui hanc sacratissimam
fols. 124v–126r Prayer to the Guardian Angel, Angele qui meus es custos
fols. 126r–131r Prayer of St Augustine, Dulcissime domine Iesu Christi
fols. 131r–133v Prayer, In principio erat verbum, with a long rubric attributing the prayer to Pope Leo the Great (fols. 131r-132r)
fols. 134r–154r Prayer, Per quem hec omnia
fols. 157r–174v Penitential Psalms, each followed by a prayer
fols. 175r–183v Litany
fols. 184r–233r Office of the Dead
fols. 233v–240v Short Hours of the Cross
fols. 241r–243r Prayer, Stabat mater
fols. 244r–247r Hours of the Holy Spirit
fols. 247v–248r Prayer, Spiritus sancte deus
fols. 248v–249r Prayer, Sancta trinitas unus deus
fol. 249r Colophon

DECORATION: Small framed miniature set in text, with a full floral and acanthus border framed within gold, blue and green bars: fol. 120v Seven Prayers of St Gregory, Mass of St Gregory.

Twelve historiated initials [6–7 ll.] in pink or blue with white foliate patterns, acanthus extensions on gold grounds, and full floral borders framed within gold and red bars: fol. 37r Hours of the Virgin, Prime, [D, 6 ll.] Adoration of the Child; fol. 43r Terce, [D, 6 ll.] Annunciation to the Shepherds; fol. 48r Sext, [D, 6 ll.] Adoration of the Magi; fol. 53r None, [D, 6 ll.] Presentation in the Temple; fol. 58r Vespers, [D, 6 ll.] Massacre of the Innocents; fol. 67r Compline, [C, 6 ll.] Flight into Egypt; fol. 92r Mass of the Virgin, [S, 6 ll.] Virgin and Child; fol. 124v Prayer to the Guardian Angel, [A, 7 ll.] Archangel Michael in armour, holding sword and orb; fol. 126r Prayer of St Augustine, [D, 5 ll.] St Augustine with mitre and crosier; fol. 134r Prayer Per quem hec omnia, [P, 7 ll.] Pope Leo the Great enthroned, blessing a crowned prince in armour who is presenting him with a book; fol. 157r Penitential Psalms, [D, 5 ll.] David playing psaltery; fol. 184r Office of the Dead, [D, 6 ll.] Skull on tomb.

ORNAMENTATION: Graded pink or blue initials [3–7 ll.] with acanthus infill and extensions on gold grounds, and gold and green side bar borders connecting two floral bars in upper and lower margins; gold initials [2–5 ll.] on blue, magenta and green grounds with white foliate motifs, and spraywork extensions terminating in flowers and gold balls; alternate blue and gold one-line initials with red or violet-grey pen flourishing; red penwork linefillers.


History note: Commissioned by Don Fernando de Sales (d.1495) as a gift for the Bishop of Pamplona and copied by the scribe Rodericus de Avila, who penned the colophon on fol. 249r: Rodericus de Avila: Don Fernando de Acuña Episcopo Pampilonensi Patrono benemerito scripsit; still in Spain in 1573 when an inquisitor’s approbatur, dated 25 Sept. 1573, was added (fol. 249r); Alexander Douglas Hamilton (1767–1852), tenth Duke of Hamilton, in the catalogue of the Hamilton collection privately printed by Sotheby’s in 1882; purchased by the Prussian State in 1882; re-sold by the Prussian State via Trübner, Strasbourg, at Sotheby’s, London, 23 May 1889, lot 46, and purchased by Quaritch; Frank McClean (1836–1904); his bequest, 1904.

Measurements and weight

Height: 15.5 cm
Width: 11.3 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Castile

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1904) by McClean, Frank


15th Century, Late
Production date: circa AD 1495 : before 1495

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of parchment

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: nolite obdurare corda
  • Location: Fol. 14r
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS McClean 74
Primary reference Number: 118781
Project ID: 769
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 24 August 2020 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Manuscripts and Printed Books

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Hours" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-25 07:59:20

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=Hours |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-25 07:59:20|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

To use this as a simple code embed, copy this string:

<div class="text-center">
    <figure class="figure">
        <img src=""
        class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Hours</figcaption>

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...