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Psalter and Hours: MS 300

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Current Location: In storage


Psalter and Hours




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, iv modern parchment flyleaves + 309 fols. (foliated I-XIII, 1-296; fols. 292-296 fourteenth-century addition, formerly at the beginning of the volume, rebound at the end c.1904) + iv modern parchment flyleaves, 190 x 140 mm (125 x 95 mm), 18 long lines, ruled in plummet, quire and leaf signatures in quires 18-27, catchwords, two leaves missing after fol. 64, two more missing before fol. 227, one leaf missing before fol. 242 and another one after fol. 291.

SECUNDO FOLIO: figuli confringes

BINDING: c.1904, red seal skin over wooden boards, with two clasps, by Douglas Cockerell

SCRIPT: Gothic bookhand (textualis)

fols. I verso-VI recto Six full-page prefatory miniatures
fols. VII recto-XII verso Calendar (Paris, Sainte-Chapelle)
fols. XIII verso-162r Psalter (Gallican)
fols. 162r-177v Canticles, Te Deum, Quicumque vult
fols. 177v-226v Hours of the Virgin (Use of Paris, ends imperfectly), with Suffrages inserted at Lauds
fols. 227r-233r Penitential Psalms (begin imperfectly)
fols. 233r-240v Litany with Collects
fols. 240v-241r Prayer Suscipere digneris domine
fols. 241r-242r Prayer O intemerata (ends imperfectly)
fols. 242r-271r Office of the Dead (Use of Paris, begins imperfectly)
fols. 271r-284v Collects, sermons and lessons for the Nativity of the Virgin, Annunciation, Purification and Assumption
fols. 284v-289r Song of Songs 1-5 (lessons read on Saturdays)
fols. 289r-291r Antiphons for the Psalms recited at Vespers on double feasts, for the Magnificat and the Benedictus in the Hours of the Virgin on Saturdays and during the period from Advent to the Purification
fols. 292r-296r End of Office and Mass of the Holy Spirit (fourteenth-century addition)

Six full-page prefatory miniatures on burnished gold grounds with scenes set beneath gothic arcades, surrounded by frames ornamented with alternate orange and blue vine leaves on burnished gold grounds with dragons in the upper corners: fol. I verso King David, playing harp, returns the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem as his wife, Michal, watches from window; fol. II recto David’s son, Absalom, is caught in tree and pierced by Joab; fol. III verso David, shown twice, learns of Absalom’s death and wrings hands in grief; fol. IV recto David on his death bed acknowledges Solomon as his heir with Bathsheba looking on; fol. V verso David, enthroned, sends Solomon to Sadoc and Nathan who crown and anoint him; fol. VI recto David’s burial, with Solomon and women mourning as his body is lowered into tomb.

Full-page historiated initial B in blue and black, highlighted in white, on burnished gold ground with pink and blue frame patterned with gold foliate and dragon motifs, and first words of the Psalm written in gold capitals on alternate pink and blue panels: fol. XIII verso Ps 1, David watches Bathsheba bathing (above), and David kneeling before God and repenting (below).

Large square miniature on gold ground in pink and blue frame patterned and outlined in gold: fol. 202r Suffrage to the Evangelists, Christ in Majesty in central quatrefoil with Evangelists’ symbols in spandrels.

Forty-two large historiated initials filled with gold on pink and blue diapered grounds, highlighted in white, with pink and blue frames patterned and outlined in gold, and the first words of the Psalm written in gold display capitals on alternate pink and blue panels for liturgical division psalms, Hours of the Virgin, Suffrages, Collects, sermons and lessons for the Nativity of the Virgin, Annunciation, Purification and Assumption and Song of Songs 1-5 (lessons read on Saturdays): fol. 26r Ps 26, [D, 14 ll.] David prays to God (above), monks and nuns, kneeling in prayer, flank black triangle emblazoned with 16 gold oil lamps (below); fol. 42r Ps 38, [D, 11 ll.] David prays to God in cloud (above), three Franciscans and three Dominicans, holding books and kneeling, point to their mouths (below); fol. 57r Ps 52, [D, 13 ll.] David prays to God (above), fool with club and disc (below); fol. 70v Ps 68, [S, 13 ll.] David prays to God (above), David sinks in water (below); fol. 89v Ps 80, [E, 12 ll.] David prays to God (above), David (uncrowned) plays psaltery, surrounded by bells, fiddle and harp; fol. 107r Ps 97, [C, 13 ll.] David prays to God (above), two clerics, gazing upwards, chant at lectern (below); fol. 125v Ps. 109, [D, 13 ll.] David prays to God (above); God with orb and Christ with book seated on bench (below); fol. 177v Hours of the Virgin, Matins, [D, 13 ll.] Virgin and Child seated between two vases on bench (above); Betrayal of Christ, with Judas kissing Christ, and St Peter cutting off Malchus’ ear (below); fol. 191v Lauds, [D, 10 ll.] Mocking of Christ with Jesus, surrounded by tormentors, including two men in Jewish caps; fol. 198r Suffrage to the Trinity, [O, 9 ll.] Throne of Mercy Trinity with God the Father enthroned, supporting the Cross, and dove of Holy Spirit descending; fol. 198v Suffrage to the Cross, [D, 8 ll.] Crucifixion with Mary and John, and sun and moon, partially concealed by clouds; fol. 199r Suffrage to Angels, [D, 9 ll.] Three tiers of angels, including two seraphim; fol. 199v Suffrage to St John the Baptist, [P, 9 ll.] Baptism with St John pouring water on Christ’s head and dove of Holy Spirit in cloud;
fol. 200r Suffrage to St Peter, [D, 9 l.] Martyrdom of St Peter who hangs upside down on cross; fol. 201v Suffrage to St Andrew, [M, 9 ll.] Martyrdom of St Andrew who is being tied to horizontal cross outside a walled city; fol. 201r Suffrage to the Apostles, [D, 13 ll.] Pentecost with St Peter, holding key, at centre, seated beside St Paul who holds sword; fol. 201v Suffrage to St John, [E, 9 ll.] Martyrdom of St John the Evangelist who is immersed in cauldron of boiling oil, one of his executioners wears a winged cap; fol. 202r Suffrage to the Holy Innocents, [D, 6 ll.] Massacre of the Innocents with two soldiers dressed in chain mail slaying two naked infants; fol. 202v Suffrage to St Denis, [D, 9 ll.] St Denis holding top of scull in hands, flanked by angels; fol. 203r Suffrage to St Eustace, [D, 6 ll.] St Eustace, his wife and two sons stand naked in heated brazen bull; fol. 203v Suffrage to Martyrs, [D, 9 ll.] Executioners, wielding swords, behead two kneeling saints; fol. 204r Suffrage to St Nicholas, [D, 11 ll.] St Nicholas, vested as bishop, gives gold as dowry to poor man’s daughters; fol. 204v Suffrage to St Francis, [D, 9 ll.] St Francis kneeling at cave before seraph; fol. 205r Suffrage to St Benedict, [I, 18 ll.] St Benedict, seated with book and crozier (above), seven Benedictines (below); fol. 205v Suffrage to Confessors, [D, 9 ll.] Five confessors, including pope, two bishops, and Benedictine monk; fol. 206r Suffrage to St Mary Magdalene, [L, 13 ll.] St Mary Magdalene kneels before the risen Christ (Noli me tangere); fol. 206v Suffrage to St Margaret, [D, 9 ll.] St Margaret, imprisoned in walled enclosure, emerges from dragon; fol. 207r Suffrage to St Catherine, [D, 9 ll.] St Catherine kneels in prayer as flames from heaven destroy wheels and executioners; fol. 207v Suffrage to Virgins, [D, 9 ll.] Five virgin martyrs holding palms, including nun in brown habit; fol. 208r Suffrage to All Saints, [C, 9 ll.] Two tiers of saints, including the Virgin Mary and a pope, possibly St Peter; fol. 208v Collect for Peace (Memoria pro pace), [D, 9 ll.] Priest elevates Host at altar, four kneel behind; fol. 209r Hours of the Virgin, Prime, [D, 10 ll.] Flagellation with Christ bound to pillar at centre, scourged by two men; fol. 212v Terce, [D, 9 ll.] Bearing of the Cross, with Virgin Mary supporting the cross, and an executioner with ladder and hammer; fol. 215r Sext, [D, 9 ll.] Crucifixion with two thieves, sun and moon; fol. 217v None, [D, 9 ll.] Crucifixion, with Christ offered sponge soaked in vinegar and Longinus piercing his side with a lance; fol. 220r Vespers, [D, 10 ll.] Deposition with Virgin Mary and St John flanking the cross, and Joseph of Arimathea on ladder; fol. 224r Compline, [C, 9 ll.] Entombment with Virgin Mary at centre and Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus with Christ’s shroud tied around their necks, lowering his body into the tomb; fol. 271v Collects, sermons and lessons for the Nativity of the Virgin, [S, 14 ll.] Joachim and St Anne kneel in prayer as angels holding scrolls descend (above); Nativity of the Virgin with baby Mary, immersed in tub, washed by two midwives (below); fol. 274v Collects, sermons and lessons for the Annunciation [D, 10 ll.] Annunciation with Gabriel pointing at dove of Holy Spirit; fol. 277r Collects, sermons and lessons for the Purification, [E, 12 ll.] Presentation in the Temple with Virgin handing the Christ Child to Simeon, and Joseph with candle and doves; fol. 281r Collects, sermons and lessons for the Assumption [D, 12 ll.] Death and Assumption of the Virgin with Mary lying on her death bed (below) and ascending to heaven (above); fol. 284v Song of Songs 1-5 (lessons read on Saturdays), [O, 9 ll.] Enthroned Virgin and Child with Mary offering her breast to Christ who grasps her veil.

Drawing in lower margin in black ink tinted with pink and green: fol. 174r Six young men playing bowls.

Pink initials [2 ll.] patterned in white on blue grounds, blue initials patterned in white on pink grounds, and occasional gold initials on pink and blue grounds with green or black (e.g. fol. 174r), filled and framed with gold and outlined in black, with occasional dragon and foliate motifs and spiky extensions, some supporting birds of animals (e.g. fol. 1r) for ordinary Psalms and minor text divisions; one-line alternate blue and gold initials (versals) with red and blue flourishing respectively; pink and blue ‘KL’ initials patterned in white on burnished gold grounds for calendar; pink, blue, green, black and gold line fillers with dragon, foliate and animal motifs, especially hounds and hares, and arms of France, Castile, Provence, Navarre and Champagne; red and blue feathery penwork ornament in upper and lower borders for the Hours of the Virgin, Matins (fols. 178r-189v); capitals highlighted in red.


History note: Made for a female member of the French royal family; Charles V of France (1364-1380); John Boykett Jarman (1782-1864); purchased from him by John Ruskin (1819-1900) on 24 Feb. 1854; sold by Ruskin’s heir, Joan Severn, to Henry Yates Thompson (1838-1929) in 1904; purchased from him for the Fitzwilliam Museum by Sydney Cockerell with subscriptions from Cambridge University members in 1919.

Legal notes

Bought from Henry Yates Thompson for the museum by Sydney Cockerell with subscriptions from Cambridge University members

Place(s) associated

  • Paris ⪼ North ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1919) by Thompson, Henry Yates


13th Century
Circa 1265 - 1270

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of parchment
Text Height 125 mm Width 95 mm
Page Height 190 mm Width 140 mm

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: figuli confringes
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS 300
Primary reference Number: 209409
Project ID: 1968
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Tuesday 6 September 2016 Updated: Monday 26 February 2024 Last processed: Tuesday 27 February 2024

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Manuscripts and Printed Books

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