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Book of Hours: MS 49

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Current Location: In storage


Book of Hours




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, ii paper flyleaves + ii modern parchment flyleaves + 97 fols. (fol. 63 blank modern parchment leaf) + ii modern parchment flyleaves + iv paper flyleaves, 195 x 140 (126 x 80) mm, 24 long lines, ruled in red ink, leaves lost between fols. 21 – 22, 26 – 27, 37 – 38.

BINDING: 18th century, gold-tooled brown Russia leather over pasteboards, modern spine repair.

CONTENTS: fols. 1r – 6v Calendar; fols. 7r – 27r Suffrages with additions in Latin and English, including prayers; to Richard Rolle and Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford (fol. 8r); fols. 28r – 46v Hours of the Virgin with memoriae at Lauds; fols. 46v – 48v Seven Joys of the Virgin; fols. 49r – 50v Prayers before the Crucifix, Omnibus consideratis; fols. 50v – 53r Bede’s Prayer on the Seven Last Words; fols. 54r – 62r Penitential Psalms and Litany; fols. 62v and 64r Twenty-one points of the Passion (addition); fols. 64v – 76v Office of the Dead
fols. 77v – 84v Commendation of the soul; fols. 85v – 93v Psalter of St Jerome
fols. 93v Verses of St Bernard (addition); fols. 94r – 96v Psalms of the Passion
fols. 96v – 97v Indulgenced Litany of the Virgin (addition).

DECORATION: Twelve full-page miniatures in wide pink, blue, red and gold frames with short black-stemmed and gold-leaved spraywork for Suffrages and some of the major text divisions: fol. 8v St Christopher; fol. 10v St George; fol. 12v St Nicholas; fol. 14v St John the Baptist; fol. 16v St Paul; fol. 18v Martyrdom of St Thomas of Canterbury; fol. 20v St James holding short staff with scallop-shell attached on cord; fol. 23v St Mary Magdalene; fol. 25v St Margaret with angels; fol. 64v Office of the Dead, Funeral service, two unidentified shields of arms on hearse-cloth; fol. 77v Commendation of the Soul, Last Judgement, with angels bearing nimbed souls to God in heaven; fol. 85v, Psalter of St Jerome, St Jerome vested as cardinal and writing.

Eight historiated initials in blue or orange on pink grounds with liquid gold scrolls or checkered patterns, with full or three-sided bar and ivy-leaf borders including occasional grotesques and birds, for Hours of the Virgin: fol. 28r Matins, [D, 9 ll.] Annunciation; fol. 31v Lauds, [D, 9 ll.] Betrayal; fol. 38r Prime, [D, 9 ll.] Christ before Pilate; fol. 39v Terce, [D, 9 ll.] Flagellation; fol. 41r Sext, [D, 9 ll.] Carrying of the Cross; fol. 42r None, [D, 9 ll.] Crucifixion with Mary and John; fol. 43v Vespers, [D, 9 ll.] Deposition; fol. 44v Compline, [C, 9 ll.] Entombment.

ORNAMENTATION: Orange white-patterned initials [7 ll.] with foliage infill on diapered or gold grounds and full or three-sided bar and ivy-leaf borders for some major and lesser text divisions; gold initials [2 ll.] on pink and blue white-patterned grounds; alternate blue and gold one-line initials with red or black pen-flourishing; blue initials [1 – 2 ll.] with pale black or brown pen-flourishing for additional texts (fols. 9v, 93v, 96v – 97v); red and blue geometric penwork linefillers with gold balls.


History note: Contemporary unidentified arms (fol. 64v); obit of Sir Thomas Erpingham (c.1355 – 1428), fol. 3r; obit of Robert FitzHugh, Bishop of London (c.1383 – 1435), fol. 1r; 15th century inscription: familie tue Elizabet (fol. 11v); probably in recusant hands during the Reformation, as St Thomas of Canterbury was not erased in Calendar; Richard, seventh viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion (1745 – 1816), acquired in 1808; his bequest, 1816.

Place(s) associated

  • Bruges ⪼ Flanders

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1816) by Fitzwilliam, Richard, 7th Viscount


15th Century, Early#
Circa 1410 CE - Circa 1420 CE

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of parchment
Text Height 126 mm Width 80 mm
Page Height 195 mm Width 140 mm

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: inimicos tuos
  • Location: Fol. 29r
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS 49
Primary reference Number: 169654
Project ID: 58
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 19 July 2023 Last processed: Thursday 7 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) "Book of Hours" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-17 08:12:07

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{{cite web|url= |title=Book of Hours |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-17 08:12:07|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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