A catalogue of Western manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries and selected Oxford colleges

St John's College MS. 187

Hours of the Holy Spirit


Language(s): Latin

1. Fols. 1–19v
Rubric: Hic incipiunt matutine de sancto spiritu
Incipit: In vnitate sancti spiritus benedicat nos pater et filius […] Domine labia mea aperies Et os meum
Explicit: sit filius ueritatem Deus cui omne cor Deus qui nobis
The hours of the Holy Spirit.
2. Fols. 20–9v
Rubric: Hic incipiunt vii. psalmi penitenciales
Incipit: Domine ne in furore tuo arguas me neque in ira tua
Explicit: uel parentum nostrorum neque vindictam sumas de peccatis nostris
3. Fols. 29v–38
Rubric: Hic incipiunt quindecim psalmi graduum
Incipit: antiphona Parce domine Psalmus Ad dominum cum tribularer clamaui et exaudiuit me
Explicit: in perdicionem sed parce peccatis nostris propter nomen sanctum tuum
4. Fols. 38–48
Rubric: Letania
Incipit: Kyrieleyson Cristeleyson Criste audi nos Pater de celis deus rniserere nobis
Explicit: et illis omnibus qui in te confidunt pro tua magna succurre pietate Qui viuis etc

The confessors include Alban, Thomas (erased), Edmund, Fremund, Kenelm, Oswald, Medard, Gildard, Albinus, Swithin, Birine, Edmund, Francis, Edward; the virgins begin with Anne and Bridget and include Petronella, Genevieve, Praxed, Sother, Prisca, Tecla, Affra, Edith, as well as Winifred and Ursula. The litany is followed by half a dozen prayers.

5. Fols. 48–88
Rubric: In vigilijs mortuorum
Incipit: antiphona Placebo psalmus Dilexi quoniam exaudiet dominus uocem oracionis mee
Explicit: in quotidiano usu quando dicatur cum iij. leccionibus ut prenotatum est
6. Fols. 88v–114v
Rubric: Commendacio animarum
Incipit: antiphona Requiem eternam Psalmus Beati immaculati in via qui ambulant in lege domini Beati qui scrutantur
Explicit: O beate angele nuncie dei nostri actos meos rege ad uotum dei altissimi Oremus

An English rubric on fol. 103; the commendation followed by prayers, ‘O Beata intemerata’ at fol. 110 with Marian prayers; ‘Ad proprium angelum Angele qui meus es custos pietate superna’ at fol. 114 (the explicit).

7. Fols. 114v–24v
Incipit: Deus qui sanctorum tuorum aliquos tibi benigne concedis assistere et aliquos iubes
Explicit: est de corpore tuo miserere anime mee in egressu suo Amen

Suffrages: prayers to John the Baptist, Thomas Becket, Christopher, ‘herasinus’, Anthony, Joachim, Mary Magdalen, Katherine, Barbara, Winifred, apostles, martyrs, confessors, virgins, all saints, and Jesus on the cross. Fols. 125–6v were originally blank, although ruled.

Added texts

a. Fols. 124v–5
Incipit: Aue gemma virtuosa dorothea vernans rosa sis pro nobis spece [blank] interuentrix […]

Two prayers to Dorothea, each of the four added prayers in a different textura of s. xv ex.

b. Fol. 125
Incipit: O vos vndena milia puelle gloriose virginitatis lilia martyriique rose […]

a prayer to Ursula.

c. Fols. 125v–6
Incipit: O Dulcissime domine iesu criste qui es sponsus virginum premium martyrum […]

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: coram domino
Form: codex
Support: Vellum (FSOS/FHHF).
Extent: Fols. iv + 126 + iv (numbered fols. v–viii).
Dimensions (leaf): 170 × 120 mm.
Dimensions (written): 98 × 67 mm.


1–158 166. Catchwords towards the gutter. All leaves in the first half of each quire signed with a letter and an arabic numeral, most cut away; quires 2–15 = a–o.


In long lines, 18 lines to the page. Prickings; bounded and ruled in violet ink.


Written in rough gothic textura quadrata. Punctuation by point, punctus elevatus, punctus interrogativus, and double point.


At major divisions, 5-line champes on gold leaf with painted leaves and flowers within the letters and blue, green, and violet floral sprays with gold leaf (a few extended into demivinets).

At minor divisions, 2-line champes with green and gold leaf sprays.

Verses set off with 1-line alternate lombards, blue on red flourishing and red on navy flourishing.

Red and blue line-fillers.

On the hand of the floral sprays, see Scott’s comments in the description of our MS 179.

On fol. 1, a historiated champe, the dove of the Holy Spirit; other champes for the Hours include a leaf design.

See AT, no. 547 (53), dating s. xv med.


A modern replacement. Sewn on four thongs. At the front, a marbled paper leaf and three modern paper flyleaves; at the rear, a vellum leaf, two modern paper flyleaves, and another marbled paper leaf (v–viii).


Origin: s. xv2 ; England

Provenance and Acquisition

No information; the entry at MLGB Supp., p. 65, is predicated on entries referring to Bridget, Henry V, and ‘fratres et sorores’ in a calendar and refers to some other book, not at St John’s.

Record Sources

Ralph Hanna, A descriptive catalogue of the western medieval manuscripts of St. John's College, Oxford (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002)


For enquiries relating to this manuscript please contact St John's College Library.


Funding of Cataloguing

Conversion of the printed catalogue to TEI funded by the Thompson Family Charitable Trust

Last Substantive Revision

2021-08: First online publication

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