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Epistle Lectionary and Capitular: MS 39

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Current Location: In storage


Epistle Lectionary and Capitular




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, ii modern parchment flyleaves + 185 fols. + ii modern parchment flyleaves, 207 x 141 mm (138 x 865 mm), 20 long lines, ruled in faint plummet, catchwords

BINDING: fifteenth century, dark red-brown leather over wooden boards, sewn on three supports, elaborately tooled with foliage patterns in gold, YHS stamped in gold in the centre of the upper cover, XPS on the lower, traces of four straps on upper cover, two extant catchplates and traces of two more on lower cover

fols. 1r-145v Epistle readings for the Temporal from Advent Sunday to the last Sunday after Pentecost
fols. 145v-173v Epistle readings for the Sanctoral from the feast of St Andrew (Nov. 30) to the feast of St Catherine (Nov. 25)
fol. 173v Common of the Saints as rubrics referring to readings in the Sanctoral
fol. 174r Epistle reading for the Dedication of a Church
fols. 174v-176r Epistle readings for Votive Masses and Masses of the Virgin
fol. 176r Epistle readings for Masses for the Dead
fols. 177v-182r Capitula for the Office for the main feasts of the church year
fol. 182v Capitula for the Offices of the Feast of the Relics and Dedication of the Church
fols. 183r-183v Capitula for the Common of Saints
fols. 184r-185v Added prayers by three different scribes: Rogo te domine ihesu christe (scribe 1), Oratio Thome Aquine ante missam dicenda and Oratio sancti Ambrosii dicenda ante missam (scribe 2), Domine Iesu Christe written in Hebrew letters (scribe 3)

ORNAMENTATION: Foliate initials [4-6 ll.] with foliage stems in pink, red, green and blue, infill of simple patterns or leaves, some with very small extension sprays with gold balls (e.g. fols. 1r, 110v), the initial on fol. 1r accompanied by a full border with foliage clumps in the centre of the upper and lower frame, and single flowers in the corners; gold framed initials [3 ll.] with coloured infill decorated with white rinceaux (e.g. fol. 76v); alternate red and blue pen-flourished initials [2 ll.] with penwork extensions forming a vertical border to the text area (e.g. fol. 33v) for most of the Epistle readings.


History note: Made for a Carthusian monastery, as revealed by the contents of the Sanctoral; cutting from a sale catalogue pasted on the recto of the first flyleaf: ‘28 Lectionarium Romanum. Manuscript on vellum £12 12s. Cent XV’; Samuel Sandars (1837-1894), his bookplate inside upper cover; presented by him to the Museum on 18 Oct. 1892.

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1892) by Sandars, Samuel


15th Century, Mid-Late#
Production date: circa AD 1475

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: confirmandas promissiones
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS 39
Primary reference Number: 179710
Project ID: 297
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 8 December 2023 Last processed: Friday 8 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) "Epistle Lectionary and Capitular" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-19 06:54:59

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