St John's College MS. 208
Office of the Dead, Psalms, Suffrages
Language(s): Latin with some Middle English
including verses, inc. ‘Prima dies mensis et septi | tima truncat vt ensis […] ’
Walther, no. 14563. The calendar includes red-letter feasts for Dunstan, Augustine of Kent, Edmund Rich, the translation of Edward the Confessor, and king Edmund; references to Becket and to popes erased.
The explicit in one of a series of added prayers. Several additions written in the lower margins, e.g. fol. 46v. Fols. 65v–7v are all blank, but ruled.
Fol. 91v is blank.
In long lines, 14 lines to the page. No prickings; bounded and ruled in red ink.
Written in angular gothic textura semiquadrata. Punctuation by point and double point.
At major divisions, 4-line champes with floral painting (the last such initial within text occurs at fol. 46); at minor divisions, 2-line standard champes.
Verses set off with 1-line lombards, alternate blue on red flourishing and gold leaf on blue flourishing; plain blue and gold leaf line-fillers.
There are five illuminated leaves, ascribed to ‘the master of Sir John Fastolf', at work in England from mid-century. Our MS is noted in a catalogue of his work, J. J. G. Alexander, ‘A Lost Leaf from a Bodleian Book of Hours’, Bodleian Library Record 8, v (1971), 248–51 at 251 and n. 6. Scott indicates (2:337) the Fastolf Master’s connection with several London Chaucerian and vernacular devotional books of the 1470s (see Provenance below).
Fol. 7, half-page: the funeral service, with the corpse, a gravedigger at work, and three clerics with service book; with a 4-line gold leaf and blue champe with painted flower infill and full vinet with bud and flower design. Scott notes (2:310) that this outdoor scene is distinctively French in style; English examples usually occur in church settings.
Fol. 23, at the head of the first lection, ‘Parce michi domine’ a 4-line historiated initial: Jesus appearing in a starry night-sky mandorla and a praying naked dead man arising from the tomb.
Fol. 32v, at the head of the fourth lection, ‘Quantas habeo iniquitates’: the same Jesus in a mandorla and Job, clothed in white, looking up to him in prayer. Scott calls attention (2:338) to another illumination of Job in BodL, MS Douce 322, another MS produced for the Barons (see Provenance below).
Fol. 68, half-page: two angels lifting the soul above the tomb in a blanket, with floral painted champe and vinet.
Fol. 92, half-page: the deposition, a bleeding Jesus entering the tomb, with cross and implements of the Passion in the background, with the floral painted champe and vinet.
See AT, no. 763 (75) and plate xlvi (fol. 1).
Brown leather over millboards s. xvii, gold- stamped with a central ornament, Celtic circle and line border, also gold-stamped on the edges. Sewn on five thongs. Holes for ties on both boards. Gold ‘208’ at the head of the spine, in black ink with contents description ‘Missale Romani’ on the leading edges. Leading edges red-specked. Pastedowns old vellum, the visible rear pastedown a waste-leaf from the MS itself, a College bookplate on the front pastedown. At the front, a medieval vellum flyleaf (ruled in purple ink for a book with a few more lines per page than this one); at the rear two modern paper flyleaves (ii–iii, mostly stuck together).
Provenance and Acquisition
Pen-trials (the rear pastedown).
A blazon: ‘gules, a chevron azure, between three garbs or’ (fol. 91v, lower margin, perhaps added). These arms are associated in various forms, as Alexander and Temple see, with a Baron family, perhaps that of Bradwell and Skirmby (Essex) (with the chevron ‘ermine’, although recorded temp. Edward IV as ‘argent’). On William Baron and the production of the related BodL, MS Douce 322, see A. I. Doyle, ‘Books Connected with the Vere Family and Barking Abbey’, Transactions of the Essex Archaeological Society 25 (1958), 222–43 at 228–9.
‘Liber Collegii Divi Ioannis Baptistae Oxon’ ex dono Magistri Henrici Warner Sacrae Theologiae Baccalaurei et Collegij Socij 1636’ (fol. 1, upper margin).
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Funding of Cataloguing
Conversion of the printed catalogue to TEI funded by the Thompson Family Charitable Trust
View list of abbreviations and editorial conventions.
Last Substantive Revision
2022-05: First online publication