Exeter College MS. 47
Psalterium (The Psalter of Humphrey de Bohun); Pleshey and London, England, 1360? × c. 1400
in gold, red, blue; ungraded except by colour. As SM xxi–xxxii, with the following principal differences. 30 Mar. adds Quintinus, black (also at 31 Oct., as SM); 3 Apr. adds Richard, black; 26 Apr. adds Marcellinus, black; 30 Apr. adds Erkenwald, black; 9 June adds transl. of Edmund abp., black; 16 June adds transl. of Richard, black; 31 Aug. adds Cuthburga, black; 15 Sept. omits Festiuitas reliquiarum Sarum; 4 Oct. omits Francis; 13 Oct. adds transl. of Edward king and conf., red; 17 Nov. adds Hugh, black; feasts of Thomas of Canterbury and ‘pape’ are not erased. There are addenda concerning the families of Henry VII and Henry VIII in three hands of ss. xvex and xviin. Some are written into the calendar or in the margin opposite the date; others, here preceded by §, are written in lower margins. They are as follows. 1 Jan.: ‘Hac die inter 3am et 4am ante ortum solis natus fuit primogenitus Henricus princeps Henriciviij.’ 12 Jan.: ‘Hac die fuit baptizatus primogenitus Henrici viij.’ 18 Jan.: ‘Hic nupciatus est rex H. vijus.’ 28 Jan.: ‘Hic natus est rex Henricus vijus.’ § ‘The Noble King Harry the vijt was borne festo Agnetis secundo anno domini 1456. and wedded queen Elisabeth. festo Sancte Prisce virginis. anno domini 1485 after the compteng of England.’ 18 Mar.: ‘Hoc die nata est domina Maria tercia filia Henrici vij Anno domini 1495.’ 16 June: ‘⟨Be⟩llum de Stoke.’ 17 June: ‘… de Blak … ⟨con⟩tra rebelles corne…all 149.’ § ‘The xvjt day of Juyn the yere of our Lord [litera dominicali g in another hand] mº cccc lxxxvijº King Harry the vijth had the victori Apon his rebelles in batail at Stoke bisydes Newark wher and whan was slayn John therl of Lincoln and othr.’ Aug.: § ‘The vijt day of August the yeere of our lord mll cccc lxxxv litera dominicali b landed king Harry the vijt and the xxijth day of the same monthe he wan the feeld whan king Richard the third was slayn.’ Sept. 20: ‘Nativitas Arthuri primogeniti Regis Henrici septimi.’ § ‘The xxth day of Septembre in the mornyng the first houre after mydnyghte was borne Prince Arthure the first begoten child of king Harry the vijt and queen Elizabe⟨th⟩ Anno domini 1486 litera dominicali .A.’ 30 Oct.: ‘hac die Rex Henricus vijmus coronatus est apud Westm’ Anno domini 1485.’
James, 5–6. IMEP 8, 33, prints the English addenda.
Except between fols. 31v (33v) and 32r (34r) before Pss. 51 and 52, the gaps in the text are due to the excision of all leaves bearing major decoration at the ferial divisions. These are: fol. 2r, text beg. ‘Domine quid multiplicati’ (Ps. 3. 2), fols. 12v (14v)–13r (15r), from ‘auertis faciem’ (Ps. 12. 2) to ‘to tabernaculi sui’ (Ps. 26. 5); fols. 17v (19v)–18r(20r), from ‘et spiritui sancto’ (Ps. 32. 21) to ‘nostri. Vidisti domine’ (Ps. 34. 21/2; from fols. 20v (22v)–21r (23r), from ‘et curuatus’ (Ps. 37. 7) to ‘sui ori meo’ (Ps. 38. 2); fols. 42v (44v)–43r (45r), from ‘timpanistrianum’ (Ps. 67. 26) to ‘domine virtutum’ (Ps. 68.7); fols. 55v (57v)–56r (58r), from ‘depastus est’ (Ps. 79. 14) to ‘inimicos eorum’ (Ps. 80. 15); fols. 67v (69v)–68r (70r) from ‘sanctorum suorum’ (Ps. 96. 10) to ‘loquebatur ad eos’ (Ps. 98. 7); fols. 68v (70v)–69r (71r), from ‘seculorum amen’ (Ps. 100, after 8) to ‘aspexit’ (Ps. 101. 20); fols. 78v (80v)–79r (81r), from ‘mala aduersus’ (Ps. 108. 20) to ‘Confitebor tibi’ (Ps. 110. 1); fols. 80v (82v)–81r (83r), from ‘Celum celi Domino terram’ (Ps. 113.16) to ‘lum misericordia’ (Ps. 117.4); fols. 88v (90v)–89r (81r), from ‘in conspecto tuo’ (Ps. 118. 168) to ‘um et exitum’ (Ps. 120. 8); fol. 101v (103v) ‘… senes cum’ (Ps. 148. 12). The abrupt ending is due to the excision of the last leaf of quire 15.
fol. 102r (104r) Confitebor, beg. in verse 3; fol. 102r (104v) Ego dixi; fol. 102v (104v), Exultavit; fol. 103v (105v), Cantemus domino; fol. 104v (106v) Domine audivi; fol. 105r (107r) Audite celi; fol. 108r (110r) Te deum; fol. 108v (110v), Benedicite; fol. 109r (111r), Benedictus dominus; fol. 110r (112r) Magnificat; fol. 111v (112v) Nunc dimittis; Quicunque vult. The abrupt beginning is due to the excision of the last leaf of quire 15 and the abrupt ending to the excision of a leaf before the next item, the litany.
beginning abruptly with the end of Apostles. James 6–7.
[fol. 115r (117r)] (a) Kyrie eleison. Pater noster ... Et clamor meus ad te ueniat. (b) [fol. 115r (117r)] Deus qui proprium est misereri semper et parcere; (c) [115v (117v)] Omnipotens sempiterne deus qui facis mirabilia magna; (d) Deus a quo sancta desideria recta consilia et iusta sunt opera; (e) Miserere quesumus domine animabus omnium benefactorum nostrorum; (f) Fidelium deus omnium conditor redemptor animabus famulorum famularumque tuarum; (g) [fol. 116r (118r)] Deus qui beato Petro apostolo tuo colatis ... concede michi seruo tuo Himfrido; (h) [fol. 116v (118v) Deus qui multitudinem gencium beati Pauli apostoli predicacione docuisti; (i) Tuere queso domine me famulum tuum Himfridum et beati Iohannis apostoli tui ... ab omnibus peccatis meis; (j) [fol. 117r (119r)] Maiestatem tuam domine suppliciter exoro ut sicut ecclesie tue; (k) Esto domine plebi tue sanctificator et custos; [fol. 117v (119v)] (l) Omnipotens sempiterne deus innocencie restitutor et amator dirige ad te mentem famuli tui Himfridi ...; [fol. 118r (120r)] (m) Da quesumus domine michi famulo tuo Himfrido salutem mentis ...; (n) Preces meas queso domine clementer exaudi et beati apostoli tui Bartholomei suffragantibus mentis a peccatorum meorum uinculis absolutum ab omni me aduersitati custodi ... [fol. 118v (120v)] Simon Zelotis zelo dei seruiens ...; (o) Deus qui populum Christianum ad agnicionem tui nominis per beatum apostolum tuum Simonem uenire tribuisti da michi seruo tuo Himfrido ...; (p) [fol. 119r (121r)] Maiestatem tuam domine suplex exoro ut beatus apostolus tuus Iudas tuum pro me imploret auxilium ...; (q) Deus qui beatum Mathiam apostolorum tuorum collegio sociasti tribue quesumus ...; [fol. 119v (121v)] (r) Deus qui nos beati Barnabe apostoli tui mentis et intercessione letificas concede ...; (s) Interueniat pro me queso domine sanctus tuus Lucas euuangelista ...;(t) [fol. 120r (122r)] Deus qui beatum Marcum euuangelistam tuum euangelice predicacionis gracia sublimasti tribue que me famulum tuum Himfridum ...; (u) Deus qui beatos Ioachimi et animam pena sterilitatis afflictos mira Marie genitura fecundare uoluisti ...; [fol. 120v (122v)] (v) Deus qui nobis per beatum Ieronimum confessorem sacerdotem que tuum scripture sacre ueritatem et mistica sacramenta reuelare dignatus es ...; (w) [fol. 121r (123r)] Deus qui confessorem gloriosum et eximium doctorem Augustinum prerogatiua post apostolos grade specialiter preueniens ...; (x) Largire nobis clementissime pater quod sicut beata Maria Magdalena dominum nostrum Iesum Christum [fol. 121v (123v)] super omnia diligendo suorum optinuit ...; (y) Omnipotens sempiterne deus clemenciam tuam suppliciter deprecor ...; (z) [fol. 122r (124r)] Da nobis quesumus omnipotens et misericors deus sanctarum uirginum et martirum tuarum sancte Ursule uirginis et gloriose comitiue undecim milia uirginum palmas ... non possumus celebrare humilibus saltem frequentemus obsequus. per dominum.
Cues only for Kyrie, Pater noster, etc., followed by prayers and memoriae.
[fol. 122r (124r)] Recumbentibus undecim discipulis. apparuit illis Iesus ... [fol. 122v (124v)] Cum natus esset Iesus in Bedleem iude ... [fol. 123v (125v)] In illo tempore missus est angelus Gabriel ... [124r (126r)] ... In principio erat uerbum et uerbum erat apud deum ... [fol. 124v (126v)] ... plenum gracie et ueritatis.
James 22. Not in the usual order, Mark here preceding Matthew. On fol. 125v (127v), in a hand of s. xvex, are directions for saying the rosary, obliterated and mostly illegible (IMEP 8, 33), and verses on the Ten Commandments, on a pasted-in piece of parchment, beg. ‘Love God abouen alle thing’ (IMEV 2000, this MS only).
One column, 22 lines. Ruled in crayon
1, gothic bookhand, competent but not of the first quality and varying between quadrata and semiquadrata; punctuated by low point.
2–5, fine gothic quadrata bookhand, punctuated by low and medial points and punctus elevatus.
1, all pages have illuminated borders, each page with two medallions, one in the lower border showing the occupations of each month and the other in either the inner or the outer side border showing the zodiacal signs. James, see bibliography, describes them. 2–5, in the lower margins of fols. 7r(9r)–12v(14v) are the arms, alternately of Bohun and England.
In the rest of the book the system of illustration consists of (1) ornamental frontispieces to the ferial divisions; (2) historiated initials to psalms, canticles, collects, memoriae, etc. The frontispieces and the initials to psalms and canticles form a connected series, telling the Bible story from the Creation onwards. Of the original ten frontispieces (for psalms 1, 26, 38, 51, 52, 68, 80, 97, 101, 109) all but two have gone (fols. 31v(33v), 32r(34r), for psalms 51, 52) as well as illustrations to 34 psalms. Dennison, ‘Oxford, Exeter College, MS 47’ see bibliography, distinguishes five hands working in three campaigns: (1) fols. 18r(20r)–75v(77v), quires 4–11; (2) fols. 7r(9r)–17v(19v), quires 2–3; (3) fols. 1r(3r)–6v(8v) and 76r(78r)–124v(126v), quires 12–18. Of these, D, the senior artist, can be identified as Fr John de Tye, OESA, who worked in the Bohun family home at Pleshey, Essex, for many years: see History, below.
Watson's Plate III reproduces fol. 32r. James, see bibliography, reproduces all historiated initials, including full pages of fols. 31v (33v), 32r (34r), 115v (117v); Dennison, ‘Oxford, Exeter College, MS 47’ see bibliography, reproduces 20 pages or details.
For factual descriptions see James, 7–22; for greater detail and aesthetic judgements Sandler, ii. 150–1. Alexander and Temple, no. 316; pl. XXII, 316a, reproduces fol. 31v (33v), 316b reproduces fol. 123v (125v), both reduced.
Sewn on eight bands between bevelled wooden boards covered with worn golden-coloured patterned damask. Rebacked, with a leather spine; remains of a round paper label on it. On the upper cover are two sets of holes from the nails of a tie-holder, from one of which a fragment of a tie hangs, and two recesses from two earlier strap-fastenings, with corresponding corrosion on fol. iii, the original pastedown. On the lower cover are corresponding single holes from the nails of two catches.
Provenance and Acquisition
Written for Humphrey de Bohun (1342–73), 7th earl of Hereford, 6th earl of Essex, and 2nd earl of Northampton, grandson of Edward III, whose name (‘Himfridus’) occurs in six of the memoriae on fols. 116r (118r), 116v(118v), 117v(119v), 118r(120r), 118v(120v), 120r(122r). The work was at first carried out by a group of artists based on the Bohuns’ family home at Pleshey, Essex, but after the deaths, c. 1390–1400, of members of the group of artists headed by John de Tye (above) it was transferred to a London workshop.
Later in the possession of Elizabeth, queen of Henry VII, d. 1503 (fol. iiiv, ‘⟨Thys⟩ boke ys myn. Ely…th ye qwene’) and Catherine of Aragon, queen of Henry VIII, divorced 1531 (fol. iiiv, ‘This boke ys myn Katherina the qwene’). On fol. iir, in the Exeter hand that wrote the Glynne identification in the manuscripts that came to the College in 1774 (see Watson, Exeter, General Index), is ‘The Mass-Book [deleted and replaced in pencil by Psalter, in Coxe’s hand] of K. Henry VIIth’s Queen Catherine [deleted] Elizabeth & of K. Henry VIIIth’s Queen Catherine.
Given to the library by Sir Wm. Petre.’ The descent of the book from Humphrey to the Tudor royal family was presumably through his younger daughter, Mary, who married the future Henry IV but died in 1394 before he became king. Sir William Petre was a member of Elizabeth I’s court and donor of printed books to the College in 1567, of which eight or perhaps nine can be identified.
‘A.D. 1829. Fol. 127’ on fol. iiir (ir) is presumably a record of the insertion of the first foliation.
Not recorded in Ecloga or CMA.
Exeter library identifications are, on the front pastedown, ‘Coxe MS 47’ (pencil), bookplate 3, on which are ‘XLVII in Catalogo’ and ‘Q6–12 Gall’, deleted and replaced by ‘169–K–8’. On fol. iir is ‘E.2.10’, deleted, and on fol. ivv bookplate 1. On fol. 18r is ‘Q–6–12 Gall’ (pencil).
On a half-sheet stuck to fol 1r is a note, initialled ‘HHEC’ [H. H. E. Craster, Bodley’s Librarian, 1931–45], on directions for saying the rosary on fol. 125v (127v): see note on item 5.
For enquiries relating to this manuscript please contact Exeter College Library.
Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)
Last Substantive Revision
2020-04-29: First online publication