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Milleloquium of St Ambrose: MS Charles Fairfax Murray 9

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Milleloquium of St Ambrose


Author: Caruso of Urbino, Bartolomeo
Illuminator: Vimercate, Tomasino da
Artist: Taegio, Anrigino da
Scribe: Guioldis, Petrus de
Scribe: Bregonziis de Soma, Dyonisius de




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, i paper flyleaf + i parchment flyleaf + 380 fols. + i parchment flyleaf + i paper flyleaf, 415 x 280 mm (270 x 190 mm), two columns (except fols. 1r-4r, four columns), 54 lines, ruled in plummet and brown ink, leaf signatures, catchwords in red (fols. 1-144r) and brown (fols. 144v-380r).

BINDING: Early nineteenth century, tan calf over pasteboards decorated in gilt and blind, lettered on the spine: CAPITULA AMBROSIANI. M.CCCCC.VIII. MS. IN MEMBRANIS.

CONTENTS: fols. 1r-4ra Capitulary to the Milleloquium, parts 1-3 (A-Z); fols. 4ra-v Bartolomeo Caruso, Bishop of Urbino, dedicatory Preface to Pope Clement VI (r. 1342-1352); fols. 4v-7v Testimonia in praise of St Ambrose from St Paulinus of Nola, St Augustine, John of Salisbury and others; fols. 7v-380r Bartolomeo Caruso, Milleloquium, part 1 (A-E, Aaron-Esuries), with mention of the first entry for part 2: Finita prima parte. Sequitur secunda cuius principium est Faber.

DECORATION: Two framed column miniatures: fol. 4r [16 ll.] Bishop Bartolomeo Caruso kneels and presents his book to the Pope, watched by four Cardinals and an Augustinian friar, with a vertical gold bar with painted ivy-leaves and flowers on a green stem in the space between the text columns and scrolling acanthus and floral border framing a quatrefoil showing the Madonna of Mercy with her mantle outspread over a church with a black and white façade (Santa Maria Maggiore) at the centre of the upper border, and at the centre of the lower, the arms of Milan; fol. 4v [14 ll.] St Ambrose enthroned within his study, holding crosier and three-knotted scourge, with a vertical bar border extending into ivy-leaf sprays in gold and colours, surmounted by five birds.

ORNAMENTATION: Five ornamental initials [4-8 ll.] with letters in graded pink on square gold grounds with painted floral and foliate motifs extending to form partial borders, for the start of each alphabetical section (fols. 7v, 131v, 162v, fol. 264v, fol. 333v); two gold initials [2 ll.] on blue ground within miniatures for the start of the dedicatory preface and Testimonia (fols. 4r, 4v); alternate red and blue penwork initials [3-5 ll.] with purple and red pen flourishing; alternate red and blue paraph marks; simple flourishing around catchwords.


History note: Made for the Fabbrica of the Cathedral of Milan; lent to the Dominicans of St Eustorgio in Milan for copying (Melograni 1993, 11); Charles Butler; William Morris (1834-1896) (bookplate of his library at Kelmscott House inside upper cover); his sale, Sotheby’s, 5 December 1898, lot 120; bought by Lawrence W. Hodson of Compton Hall, Wolverhampton (his bookplate in Kelmscott type inside upper cover); Charles Fairfax Murray (1849–1919); his gift, 1904.

Place(s) associated

  • Milan

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1904) by Murray, Charles Fairfax


15th Century, Early#
Circa 1408 CE - Circa 1409 CE

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: Insedente intelligitur
  • Location: Fol. 5r
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS Charles Fairfax Murray 9
Primary reference Number: 176520
Project ID: 1316
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 25 November 2022 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) "Milleloquium of St Ambrose" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-21 14:39:37

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