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Psalter and Hours: MS 4-1954

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Current Location: In storage


Psalter and Hours


Artists: Masters of the Gold Scrolls




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, i paper flyleaf + 453 fols. (fols. 13 – 260 preserve foliation in red ink by the original scribe: i – ccxlviii) + ii paper flyleaves, 115 x 83 (60 x 43) mm, 17 long lines, ruled in pink ink, catchwords with calligraphic ornament or frames, leaves lost after fol. 453.

BINDING: Nineteenth century, blind-tooled calf over pasteboard, lozenge-shaped latten bosses preserved from earlier binding, edges gilt and gauffered.

CONTENTS: fols. 1r – 12v Calendar; fols. 13r – 14r Hymns Primo dierum omnium and Nocte surgentes uigilemus (Chevalier 15450 and 12035); fols. 15r – 253r Liturgical Psalter; fols. 253v – 260v Litany with collects; fols. 261r – 284r Hours of the Virgin; fols. 285r – 296v Office of the Dead; fols. 297r – 320v Hours of the Cross, including Mass for the Holy Cross (fols. 310r – 314r); fols. 321r – 336v Psalter of St Jerome, with rubric stating that it could be said in special circumstances instead of the Psalms for the day, and prayer Verba mea auribus percipe domine (fol. 322v); fols. 337r – 367v Hymns for daily offices on feast days and Sundays; fols. 368r – 403r Votive Masses for the Virgin (fols. 368r – 374v), St John the Baptist (fols. 375r – 379v), St Catherine (fols. 379v – 384v), Commemoration of the Ded (fols. 384v – 389v), Holy Spirit (fols. 390r – 396v), and the Trinity (fols. 397r – 403r); fols. 404r – 406v Vision of St Thomas of Canterbury of the Seven Joys of the Virgin, Legitur quod cum beatus Thomas martyr ecclesie cantuariensis episcopus, followed by hymn Gaude flore virginali (Chevalier 6810); fols. 406v – 408r Bede’s prayer on the Seven Last Words
fols. 408v – 419v Fifteen Oes; fols. 420r – 425r Prayer Domine deus pater omnipotens qui es trinus et unus attributed to St Augustine; fols. 425v – 429v Hymn Ave virgo gratiosa stella sole clarior; fols. 429v – 432r Excerpts from the prologue of St Augustine, Ennarationes in Psalmos; fols. 434r – 453r Rhyming Litany in 98 stanzas, followed by versicles, responses, and two collects (ends imperfectly).

DECORATION: Twenty-one historiated initials in white-patterned blue or pink, with full borders consisting of thin gold and pink bar with gold-leaf spraywork in inner margin, gold, blue and pink white-patterned bar borders in outer and lower margins, and acanthus, flowers and gold-leaf spraywork in outer, upper, and lower margins, at main text divisions: fol. 15r Psalm 1, [B, 8 ll.] David penitent; fol. 48r Psalm 26, [D, 8 ll.] David pointing to eyes; fol. 69r Psalm 38, [D, 8 ll.] David standing on road in rocky landscape; fol. 89v Psalm 52, [D, 8 ll.] Fool as jester riding hobby-horse; fol. 111r Psalm 68, [S, 8 ll.] David praying in water; fol. 138r Psalm 80, [E, 7 ll.] David playing bells; fol. 163v Psalm 97, [C, 8 ll.] Three clerics chanting at lectern; fol. 167r Psalm 101, [D, 9 ll.] David penitent; fol. 193r Psalm 109, [D, 8 ll.] Holy Trinity, Father and Son holding book open towards viewer; fol. 261r Hours of the Virgin, Matins, [D, 8 ll.] Annunciation; fol. 266r Lauds, [D, 7 ll.] Visitation; fol. 268v Prime, [D, 6 ll.] Adoration of the Child; fol. 270r Terce, [D, 7 ll.] Annunciation to the Shepherds; fol. 271r Sext, [D, 7 ll.] Massacre of the Innocents; fol. 272r None, [D, 7 ll.] Adoration of the Magi; fol. 273v Vespers, [D, 7 ll.] Presentation in the Temple; fol. 276r Compline, [D, 7 ll.] Flight into Egypt; fol. 285r Office of the Dead, [P, 8 ll.] Funeral service; fol. 297r Hours of the Cross, [D, 7 ll.] Crucifixion, with Virgin and St John; fol. 322v Psalter of St Jerome, [V, 7 ll.] St Jerome writing, Lion beside him; fol. 368r Mass of the Virgin, [I, 8 ll.] Virgin standing and holding Christ Child.

ORNAMENTATION: Blue or pink white-patterned initials [4 – 6 ll.] with foliage infill on gold grounds, thin gold, blue or pink bar with gold-leaf spraywork extending from initial, and upper and lower acanthus and gold-leaf borders, for lesser text divisions; gold initials [2 – 4 ll.] on blue and pink white-patterned grounds, with occasional floral sray-work extensions, those in Calendar extending into thin gold, blue or pink bar with gold-leaf spraywork, with upper and lower acanthus and gold-leaf borders; alternate gold and blue one-line initials with blue and red pen-flourished infill and extensions; capitals highlighted in yellow; cadels in top and bottom text lines.


History note: Made for an Augustinian canon (Calendar, Litany, and other texts placing emphasis on St Augustine); purchased by Lord Lee of Fareham (1868 – 1947) on 13 June 1935 from Francis Edwards, the Marylebone booksellers, for £67 10s (invoice preserved on file); bequeathed by him and presented to the Museum by his widow in 1954.

Place(s) associated

  • Bruges

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1954) by Lord Lee of Fareham


15th Century, second quarter#
Circa 1420 CE - Circa 1450 CE

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of parchment
Page Height 115 mm Width 83 mm
Text Height 60 mm Width 43 mm

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: cum suis sanctis
  • Location: Fol. 14
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS 4-1954
Primary reference Number: 170617
Project ID: 3557
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 18 July 2023 Last processed: Thursday 7 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) "Psalter and Hours" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-18 15:45:58

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