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Bible: MS McClean 13

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Current Location: In storage






PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, ii paper flyleaves + iii parchment flyleaves (unfoliated, here referred to as fols. i-v) + 612 fols. + iii parchment flyleaves + ii paper flyleaves, 135 x 90 mm (90 x 63-70 mm), two columns, 41 lines, ruled in plummet, written below top line, quire and leaf signatures, running headers, leaves lost after fols. 3, 26, 45, 57, 74, 90

BINDING: nineteenth century, purple velvet over pasteboards, pink silk doublures, gilt edges

SECUNDO FOLIO: clausi erant

SCRIPT: Gothic bookhand (textualis)

fol. iv recto List of Biblical Books (fourteenth-century addition)
fols. 1r-560r Old and New Testaments with Prologues
fols. 560r-561r Missal text for the beginning of Advent (fourteenth-century addition)
fols. 562r-611v Interpretation of Hebrew Names

Seventy-two historiated initials in pink and blue ornamented with white, red, gold (some with a coppery sheen used for draperies), silver (mostly tarnished) on blue, pink and occasionally gold grounds, most with extensions into the margins, with foliate scrolls and grotesques, for General Prologue, most books and the psalms of the eight-fold division: fol. 1r General Prologue, [F, 4 ll.] St Jerome writing; fol. 101r Judges, [P, 23 ll.] God speaking to Judah; fol. 112v Ruth, [I, 19 ll.] Elimelech, Naomi and their sons Mahlon and Chilion travelling to Moab; fol. 115r I Kings, [F, 6 ll.] Hannah praying, with Elkanah (or Eli) and Peninnah; fol. 130r II Kings, [F, 12 ll.] Benaiah beheading the Amalekite; fol. 142v III Kings, [E, 6 ll.] Abishag standing, embracing David who lies in bed; fol. 157r IV Kings, [P, 24 ll.] Ahaziah falling from tower; fol. 171v I Par, [A, 6 ll.] Genealogy of Adam, six seated figures; fol. 184v II Par, [C, 5 ll.] Solomon offering sacrifice to God at altar; fol. 201r I Esd, [I, 21 ll.] Cyrus ordering construction of the Temple; fol. 205v Neh, [V, 5 ll.] Nehemiah seated with scroll; fol. 212r II Esd, [E, 5 ll.] Seated prophet with scroll; fol. 219r Tob, [T, 5 ll.] Tobit blinded by the swallow; fol. 223v Judith, [A, 5 ll.] Judith beheading Holofernes; fol. 229v Esth, [I, 16 ll.] Man pointing at another man holding scroll; fol. 236r Job, [V, 5 ll.] Job on the dungheap conversing with wife; fol. 247v Ps 1, [B, 8 ll.] David slaying Goliath; fol. 251v Ps 26, [D, 5 ll.] Anointing of David as king; fol. 254v Ps 38, [D, 6 ll.] David pointing to mouth; fol. 257r Ps 52, [D, 6 ll.] Fool with club and disc; fol. 260r Ps 68, [S, 6 ll.] David praying in water; fol. 263r Ps 80, [E, 5 ll.] David playing bells; fol. 266v Ps 97, [C, 5 ll.] Clerics chanting at lectern; fol. 269v Ps 109, [D, 5 ll.] Trinity, God seated beside Christ with Dove in between; fol. 276r Prov, [P, 19 ll.] Solomon instructing Rehoboam; fol. 286r Eccles, [V, 5 ll.] Solomon with a recumbent, lifeless youth; fol. 289v Cant, [O, 5 ll.] Ecclesia with staff and chalice; fol. 291v Wisd, [D, 5 ll.] Solomon conversing with a soldier; fol. 298v Ecclus, [O, 5 ll.] Wisdom personified as a seated nimbed figure; fol. 317r Isai, [V, 5 ll.] Martyrdom of Isaiah; fol. 339r Jer, [V, 5 ll.] Stoning of Jeremiah; fol. 366r Bar, [H, 5 ll.] Baruch writing; fol. 369v Ezek, [E, 5 ll.] Ezekiel seated, holding scroll; fol. 392v Dan, [A, 5 ll.] Daniel in lions’ den; fol. 402r Os, [V, 5 ll.] Hosea seated with Gomer; fol. 405v Joel, [V, 5 ll.] Joel seated, holding scroll; fol. 407r Amos, [V, 5 ll.] Amos as shepherd; fol. 409v Abd, [V, 5 ll.] Obadiah seated holding scroll; fol. 410v Jonah, [E, 5 ll.] Jonah coming out of the whale at Nineveh; fol. 411v Micah, [V, 5 ll.] Micah seated, holding scroll; fol. 413v Nah, [O, 5 ll.] Nahum seated, holding scroll; fol. 415r Hab, [O, 5 ll.] Habakkuk holding loaves and flagon, carried by an angel; fol. 416r Soph, [V, 5 ll.] Zephaniah seated, holding scroll; fol. 417v Agg, [I, 7 ll.] Esther petitioning Ahasuerus (initial for Esther painted here by mistake); fol. 422v Mal, [O, 5 ll.] Malachi seated, holding scroll; fol. 424r I Macc, [E, 5 ll.] Matthathias slaying the idolatrous Jew; fol. 439r II Macc, [F, 5 ll.] Message delivered to the Jews of Egypt; fol. 449r Matt, [L, 6 ll.] Tree of Jesse; fol. 464r Prologue to Mark, [M, 4 ll.] Nimbed lion; Mark, [I, 18 l.] St Mark standing, holding scroll; fol. 473v Luke, [Q, 5 ll.] St Luke writing; fol. 502r Rom, [P, 5 ll.] St Paul seated, holding sword; fol. 507v I Cor, [P, 23 ll.] St Paul seated, holding sword; fol. 513v II Cor, [P, 6 ll.] St Paul seated, holding sword; fol. 517v Gal, [P, 6 ll.] St Paul seated, holding sword; fol. 519v Eph, [P, 6 ll.] St Paul seated, holding sword; fol. 521v Phil, [P, 6 ll.] St Paul seated, holding sword; fol. 522v Col, [P, 7 ll.] St Paul seated, holding sword; fol. 524r I Thess, [P, 28 ll.] St Paul seated with sheathed sword; fol. 525v II Thess, [P, 6 ll.] St Paul seated, holding sword; fol. 526r I Tim, [P, 6 ll.] St Paul seated with sheathed sword; fol. 527v II Tim, [P, 6 l.] St Paul seated, holding sword; fol. 529r Titus, [P, 6 ll.] St Paul seated with sheathed sword; fol. 529v Philemon, [P, 25 ll.] St Paul seated, holding sword; fol. 530r Heb, [M, 5 ll.] Two standing figures, both with haloes; fol. 535r Acts, [P, 6 ll.] Ascension of Christ; fol. 551r James, [I, 20 ll.] St James standing, holding book; fol. 552v I Pet, [P, 5 ll.] St Peter seated, holding key; fol. 554r II Pet, [S, 5 ll.] St Peter seated, holding key; fol. 555r I John, [Q, 5 ll.] St John writing; fol. 556v II John, [S, 5 ll.] St John seated, holding scroll; fol. 557v Apoc, [A, 6 ll.] St John on Patmos with the churches (five only) behind.

Pink, blue, red, gold and silver initials [2-19 ll.] on pink and blue grounds with gold and silver ornament, with infill of foliate scrolls and occasional grotesques, for prologues, some books and the Interpretation of Hebrew Names; alternate red and blue initials [2 ll.] with blue and red pen flourishing respectively, often with ‘baguette’ extensions for chapters; alternate red and blue initials [2 ll.] with blue and red pen flourishing respectively for major subdivisions of the Interpretation of Hebrew Names; alternate red and blue one-line initials for Psalm verses and individual entries of the Interpretation of Hebrew Names; one-line display script in white on pink ground for Psalm 1 (fol. 247v); alternate red and blue one-line capitals for running headers; alternate red and blue one-line Roman numerals for chapters; capitals highlighted in red.


History note: Partially erased inscription, Ardua pampinei persolvam munera Bacci si mihi reddatur perditus iste liber Iacobus Boneuntus Iacques Bienueuu 1651 (fol. v recto); shelfmark A.1.10 (fol. 1r); Robert Chambers (1802-1871), his bookplate (fol. i verso); John Henry Middleton, Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum (1889-1893), purchased by him in August 1893, descriptive note of the manuscript in his hand (fol. ii recto); sold at Sotheby's, London, 26 April 1897, lot not identified; purchased from Quaritch by Frank McClean (1836-1904) in 1904; his bequest 1904.

Legal notes

Bequeathed by Frank McClean

Place(s) associated

  • Paris ⪼ Northern France ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

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


13th Century
Circa 1240 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
Page Height 135 mm Width 90 mm
Text Height 90 mm

Techniques used in production

Egg tempura

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: clausi erant
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS McClean 13
Primary reference Number: 118825
Project ID: 814
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 24 August 2020 Last processed: Wednesday 13 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Bible" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-02-27 23:46:31

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