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Prayerbook: MS McClean 93

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Object information

Current Location: In storage






PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, iii modern paper flyleaves (first one pasted onto silk) + 196 fols. + iii modern paper flyleaves (last one pasted onto silk), 115 x 83 (69 x 46) mm, 17 long lines, ruled in pink ink, lost.

BINDING: sixteenth century, brown leather over wooden boards, sewn on 4 supports, central panel on both covers with Sacrifice of Isaac stamped through gold leaf from an engraved plate, identical image found on mid-sixteenth-century German bindings (ex-info Mirjam Foot), two brass clasps on lower cover, two brass catchplates on upper cover, edges gilt and gauffered.

CONTENTS: fols. 1r – 12v Calendar; fols. 13r – 27r Hours of the Cross; fols. 27r – 56v Prayers; fols. 56v – 59v Bede’s Prayer on the Seven Last Words of Christ
fols. 60r – 100r Prayers ; fols. 100v – 109v Pater Noster; fols. 110r – 117r Communion prayer; fols. 118r – 137r Prayers to the Virgin; fols. 137r – 144v Ave Maria (in verse); fols. 145r – 162v Suffrages; fols. 164r – 166r Prayer to the Virgin; fols. 166r – 171r Verses of St Bernard; fols. 173r – 192v Penitential Psalms; fols. 192v – 196v Litany with collects.

DECORATION: Two full-page framed miniatures with full strewn-flower borders on coloured or brushed gold grounds: fol. 21v Hours of the Cross, Crucifixion with swooning Virgin supported by St John and St Mary Magdalene, holy woman, two thieves, soldiers and Jews; fol. 172v Penitential Psalms, David penitent, God above holding arrows.

Twelve historiated initials formed of branch-work, with full strewn-flower borders on brushed gold grounds: fol. 145r Suffrages, [I, 8 ll.] St John the Baptist blessing and reading, lamb beside him; fol. 147v [O, 8 ll.] St George killing the dragon; fol. 149r [H, 8 ll.] St Anthony reading; fol. 150r [O, 8 ll.] St Brendan as bishop holding fire-hook; fol. 150v [O, 8 ll.] St Cornelius as bishop holding horn; fol. 151v [H, 8 ll.] St Adrian in armour holding sword and anvil, lion under cloak; fol. 152v [S, 8 ll.] St Livinus as bishop holding pincers with tongue; fol. 153v [O, 8 ll.] St Victor as soldier holding windmill and banner; fol. 155v [G, 8 ll.] St Michael defeating the devil; fol. 156v [O, 8 ll.] St Mary Magdalene holding ointment jar; fol. 159v [B, 8 ll.] St Barbara reading, tower behind her; fol. 160v [O, 8 ll.] St Catherine reading, fragments of wheel beside her.

ORNAMENTATION: Initials [5 ll.] formed of branch-work or white vine-scroll with full strewn-flower borders on coloured or brushed gold grounds; liquid gold initials [1 – 4 ll.] on red and blue grounds with white filigree-like ornament; blue, red and gold bar line-fillers.


History note: Bequeathed by McClean in 1904.

Acquisition and important dates

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


15th Century, Late-16th Century, Early#
Production date: circa AD 1500

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of parchment

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: nu ende in (fol. 14)
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS McClean 93
Primary reference Number: 170716
Project ID: 30
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 24 August 2020 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) "Prayerbook" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-22 17:27:31

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{{cite web|url= |title=Prayerbook |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-22 17:27:31|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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