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Bible: MS McClean 9

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Object information

Current Location: In storage






PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, i parchment flyleaf + 313 fols. (sixteenth-century ink pagination) + i fragmentary parchment flyleaf, 332 x 231 mm (197 x 130 mm), two columns, 62 lines (except Psalms, 32 lines), ruled in plummet and ink, written below top line, catchwords, quire marks, running headers (except for Psalms), pricking in both inner and outer margins, the outer column of text cut off the leaf after fol. 77 (paginated 155-156, but omitted from the modern foliation), the outer columns of fols. 207 and 219 cut off

BINDING: fifteenth or sixteenth century, white alum-tawed skin (discoloured) over oak boards, sewn on five double support, braided leather endbands, one central and four corner bosses lost on each cover, remains of two leather straps on upper cover, traces of two pins at centre of lower cover, arms of Petrus de Villars Archbishop of Vienne gold-stamped on both covers

SECUNDO FOLIO: monte samarie

SCRIPT: Gothic bookhand (textualis)

fols. 1r -303r Old and New Testaments with Prologues and Capitula
fol. 304r Index of Biblical Books (sixteenth-century addition)
fols. 305r-312v List of Epistles and Gospels for the Temporal and Sanctoral (fourteenth-century addition)
fol. 312v Stanza of religious verse, beginning Bis duo sunt que corde tenus sub pectore misi (fifteenth-century addition)

Red and blue parted initials [8-64 ll.] with stylised foliate motifs in red, blue, yellow and green as infill or set beside the initial stem, and with short pen-flourished extensions in the same colours, a few feathery (e.g. fols. 58v, 216v), and a few ending in clumps of foliage (e.g. fol. 3v), for biblical books; alternate blue and red initials [6-9 ll.] filled and pen-flourished in red and blue respectively, for prologues; one-line alternate red and blue initials for chapters and verses of Psalms; one-line Roman numerals for chapters and Capitula at the beginning of books; alternate red and blue capitals [2 ll.] for running headers.


History note: Three erased inscriptions on fol. 1r; at a Dominican Priory by the fourteenth century when Epistle and Gospel Lists texts, and a Sanctoral of the use of the Dominican Order were added (O'Carroll 1974; Urfels-Capot 2004, 2007); Petrus de Villars (d. 1613), Bishop of Mirepoix (1576), Archbishop of Vienna (1588-1599), inscribed inside upper cover: Anthonius Bechetus Notarius Pe[tri de Villars] mense 1562; Lieutenant-Colonel Severus William Lynam Stretton (1783-1884), acquired by 1871; sold in an unidentified sale at Christies; purchased by Frank McClean (1837-1904); his bequest, 1904.

Legal notes

Bequeathed by Frank McClean

Place(s) associated

  • Paris ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

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


13th Century
Circa 1200 CE - Circa 1250 CE

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production

Iron gall ink

Components of the work

Support composed of parchment
Text Height 197 mm Width 130 mm
Page Height 332 mm Width 231 mm

Techniques used in production

Egg tempura

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: monte samarie
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS McClean 9
Primary reference Number: 118808
Project ID: 818
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 7 March 2023 Last processed: Wednesday 13 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Bible" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-22 08:57:58

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{{cite web|url= |title=Bible |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-22 08:57:58|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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