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

MS. Bodl. 579

Summary Catalogue no.: 2675

The Leofric Missal

Physical Description

Composite: fols. 1-8, etc. || fols. 9-16, 60-154, 158-253, 262-3, 266-336 || fols. 38-58
Extent: iii + 1 + 377 + iii fol.
Dimensions (leaf): 200 × 153 mm.

History

Provenance and Acquisition

Given to Exeter Cathedral by Bishop Leofric.

Given to the Library by the Dean and Chapter of Exeter in 1602.

MS. Bodl. 579 - Part 1 (fols. 1-8, 17-37v, 59, 337-375, etc.) (=Part C)

Contents

Masses, benedictions, exorcisms and similar

A large number of miscellaneous masses (fols. 4-5, 7v, 17-37v, 59, 337-75v, with Holy Week services), blessings, exorcisms, prefaces and some historical matter (fols. 1, 8v, 377v; 2); a list of relics at Exeter (fol. 6) etc.

Partly occupying separate quires, partly written on blank leaves of parts 2 and 3 (A and B)

For items in Old English (fols. 11v, 1, 377v, 8rv) see Ker, Catalogue.

Language(s): Latin and Old English

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Musical Notation:

Some musical neums are written over the liturgical texts; all in different handwritings, either English or continental.

History

Origin: 11th century ; English, Exeter, cathedral priory

MS. Bodl. 579 - Part 2 (fols. 9-16, 60-154, 158-253, 262-3, 266-336) (= Part A)

Contents

Sacramentary (Gregorian)

Preceded by the preface and the canon (fol. 60), and throughout with episcopal blessings worked in: temporale (fol. 65-154); sanctorale (fol. 158-203) from St Stephen (26 Dec.) to St Thomas, apostle; common of the Saints (fol. 204-10); votive masses (fol. 212-40); and masses for the dead (fol. 240-5v); ritual, consisting of an ordo in agenda mortuorum (fol. 246-58); prayers from special intentions (fol. 262-3); and a litany (fol. 266), incomplete; ordination service (fola. 268-73, 278-81); ritual of the dedication (fol. 281v-84); various blessings and consecrations (284-318v); ordo ad visitandum et ungendum infirmum (fol. 319); orationes pro peccatis (fol. 324); cotidianae (fol. 326); matutinales and vesperales (fol. 329); orationes cotidianis diebus ad missam (fol. 331v); episcopal blessings cotidianis diebus etc. (fol. 332v); blessing of Holy water (fol. 334v). To this part also belong the blessings for matins and at meals at the beginning of the book (fol. 9v-11v). Throughout the sacramentary the parts to be sung are indicated in the margins, where a slightly later English hand added the opening words of the lessons and corrected the music. Rubrics in the ritual.

Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Dimensions (written): 147 × 97 mm.

Layout

21 lines

Musical Notation:

English and continental musical notations are added in many places.

Decoration

Important borders, arched frames, and initials. Franco-Saxon school. (P&A i. 422, pl. XXXIV) Fine initial on fol. 154v in Consecratio hiasmatis is an English addition from 10th century, second quarter. (P&A iii. 20, pl. II)

Red initials with gold and a line in black rustic capitals with red and green brush strokes (77, 78, 82v, 149v, 159, etc.); larger initials of plain gold, edged with red, and an opening line as above (65, 71, 76, 94, 102, etc.); large gold initials elaborately shaped and ornamented with a few lines in gold uncial letters (67v, 115v, 128, 131); a full-page of coloured uncials at the beginning of the preface (60), followed by 2 full-page initials with the common preface and Te igitur in gold on a black ground (60v-2).

History

Origin: 9th century, second half ; French, Arras/Cambrai area

MS. Bodl. 579 - Part 3 (fols. 38-58) (=Part B)

Contents

Calendar, Paschal Tables, etc.

Calendar, preceded and followed by elaborate paschal tables, solar and lunar calculations, etc. (fols. 38-58), among which an Easter table of the years 969-1006 and a paschal hand.

Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Dimensions (written): 140-5 × 95-100 mm.

Layout

1 col., c. 34 lines

Decoration

Important miniatures (drawings in coloured inks), borders, diagrams. Paschal tables from 969. St. Edward Martyr, d. 979, not in calendar. (P&A iii. 25, pl. III)

History

Origin: 10th century, end (c. 969-979 (?)) ; English, Glastonbury, Benedictine abbey

Provenance and Acquisition

'Fol. 53 contains Easter tables for 969-87 and 988-1006, and fol. 57, a table of the number of weeks between Christmas and Ash Wednesday in the years 979-1011. This suggests a day of writing in or after 979 and before 987, when the first Easter cycle would become obsolete. A table of Golden Numbers on fol. 57 supports this deduction by fitting the years 973-9 within the first Easter cycle.' (Watson)

Additional Information

Record Sources

Adapted (2018) from S. J. P. Van Dijk, Handlist of the Latin Liturgical Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library Oxford : Vol. 1: Mass Books (typescript, 1957); Pächt and Alexander; Watson (see Bibliography); and the Summary Catalogue (1922).

Availability

To ensure its availability to future readers, access to this item is restricted, and readers are asked to work from reproductions and published descriptions as far as possible. To apply to see the original, please send a message to specialcollections.enquiries@bodleian.ox.ac.uk, outlining the subject of your research, the importance of this item to that research, and the resources you have already consulted.

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)
Digital Bodleian (15 images from 35mm slides)

Bibliography