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Prayerbook: MS 270

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Object information

Current Location: In storage




Binder: Proctor, Robert




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, iii modern paper flyleaves + contemporary parchment flyleaves + 161 fols. + iii modern paper flyleaves, 140 x 90 (110 x 70) mm, 23 long lines, ruled in faint brown ink.

BINDING: brown goatskin over wooden boards (retained from earlier binding), Robert Proctor, Fitzwilliam Museum, 1993; gold-tooled brown leather covers of earlier, eighteenth-century binding preserved with manuscript.

CONTENTS: fols. 3r – 11v Penitential Psalms and Litany; fols. 11v – 20v Prayers to God the Father, Christ, the Virgin, and the holy sacrament ; fols. 21r – 42v Memoriae to Saints Anne, Peter, Paul, Michael, the Guardian Angel, John the Baptist, John the Evangelist, Lawrence, Francis, Martin, Anne, Mary Magdalene, Catherine, Barbara and Margaret; fols. 42v – 54r Devotions for Palm Sunday; fols. 54v – 56r Lord’s Prayer, Ave Maria, Apostles’ Creed, Ten Commandments, Seven Deadly Sins, Five Senses; fols. 56r – 86v Devotions to Christ; fols. 87r – 113v Henry of Suso, Meditations ; fols. 114r – 125r Litany
fols. 126r – 134v Devotions to Christ; fols. 136r – 152r Marian devotions
fols. 152r – 158r Prayer to St Anne; fols. 158r – 160r Prayer to the Lord
fols. 160r – 161r Prayer to Christ.

DECORATION: Five engravings pasted on blank pages and illuminated:
fol. 2r Crucifixion, by Heinrich Aldegrever (Hollstein 1954-, I, 26), the lower edge with the date (1553), the artist’s initials and a Greek inscription has been trimmed; fol. 21r St Elizabeth of Hungary standing within portal with military trophies, holding a book with a crown resting on it, and giving clothes to a beggar at her feet, signed ‘M’ in lower left corner (Hollstein 1949-, XIII, 91); fol. 35r St Anne and the Virgin enthroned with the Christ Child between them; fol. 135r Flight to Egypt, copy of Dürer’s woodcut B.89 (Hollstein 1949-, XIII, 71), signed ‘L’ on post in foreground, inscription in gold ink below engraving: Surge et assume puerum et matrem illius et fuge in Aegyptum (Matthew ii.13); fol. 157r Adoration of the Child, by Frans Crabbe van Espleghem (Hollstein 1949-, V, 66).

ORNAMENTATION: Red penwork initials [1 – 5 ll.]; capitals highlighted in red.


History note: Ownership inscriptions on fol. 1r: ‘May Allen, from her father’, ‘Given to John H. Allen, Ap. 14. 1904’; presented to the Museum by John Higgins Allen (1841 – 1917), MA Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1908.

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1908) by Allen, John Higgins


16th Century, Early#
Production date: circa AD 1510

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of parchment
Text Height 110 mm Width 70 mm
Page Height 140 mm Width 90 mm

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: [sanc]tus in tempore
  • Location: Fol. 4r
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS 270
Primary reference Number: 169764
Project ID: 114
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 24 August 2020 Last processed: Thursday 3 August 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 (2023) "Prayerbook" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-09-23 12:17:57

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{{cite web|url= |title=Prayerbook |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-09-23 12:17:57|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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