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

MS. Buchanan e. 12

Former shelfmark: MS. Lat. liturg. e. 33


Book of Hours, Use of Bayeux
Language(s): Latin and Middle French

[Item 1 occupies quire I]

(fols. 1r-3v)


About half-full, major feasts in red, laid out in two columns with two months per page; feasts, several of them characteristic of Bayeux (cf. Leroquais, Bréviaires, I, 105–8 no. 72), include: William of Donjeon (10 Jan.), Ivo (25 Feb., 19 Apr., and 19 May), Honorina (27 Feb.), the translation of the relics of Ragnobert, bishop of Bayeux (16 May), Ursinus (12 June and 30 Dec.), Manvoeus, bishop of Bayeux (28 May and 15 July), the feast of the relics of Bayeux (1 July), Arnulf of Metz (18 July), Vivianus of Saintes (27 Aug.), and Gerald of Aurillac (13 Oct.); 'S. Boni' occurs on 17 Feb., 19 Mar., and 5 May.

[Items 2–7 occupy quires II-VI]

(fols. 4r-5v)

Gospel Pericopes

John followed by the usual antiphon, versicle, response, and the prayer 'Protector in te sperantium ...' (cf. MS. Buchanan e. 3).

(fols. 5v-8r)

Prayers to the Virgin

(fols. 5v-6v)
Rubric: De nostra domina
Incipit: Obsecro te

[masculine forms] (cf. MS. Buchanan e. 2)

(fols. 6v-8r)
Incipit: O intemerata
Explicit: orbis terrarum. De te enim ...

[masculine forms] (pr. Wilmart, Auteurs spirituels, 494–5)

(fols. 8v-24r)

Hours of the Virgin, Use of Bayeux, with three lessons at Matins; with the Hours of the Cross intermixed

Prime starting imperfect in Ps. 2:5 (at '|| Tunc loquetur ...') due to the loss of a leaf before fol. 18; None ending imperfect in Ps. 127:2 (at '... manducabis ||') and Vespers starting imperfect at the cue for Ps. 123 ('|| Nisi quia dominus.'), due to the loss of a leaf after fol 21; fol. 15v ruled, otherwise blank; fol. 17r-v also ruled, otherwise blank, after Matins of the Hours of the Cross, at the end of quire III.

(fols. 24v-28v)

The Seven Penitential Psalms.

(fols. 28v-29v)

Litany and collects

The short litany (fols. 28v-29r) with Uriel last among four angels; and including Silvester, Leo, Antony and Ivo as the only confessors; followed (fol. 29r-v) by two collects:

Incipit: Deus cui proprium
(pr. Corpus orationum, no. 1143).
Incipit: Fidelium deus omnium conditor
(pr. ibid., no. 2684b)
(fols. 30r-40v)

Office of the Dead, Use of Bayeux.

[Item 8 occupies quire VII]

(fols. 41r-43v)

Rhyming Verse Devotion in French, in ten nine-line stanzas, an addition of the early 16th century

Incipit: Uecy lhome saint innocent et iuste. / A moy preuost dessoubz cezar auguste / Par les faulx iuifz faulcement accuse. / Uecy lhomme qui fut fort et robuste.
Explicit: Contemplatifz regardes uecy lhomme
(cf. Sonet, Répertoire, no. 2343).
Language(s): Middle French

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: (Calendar) KL Mayus
Secundo Folio: (text, fol. 5) impossibile apud
Form: codex
Support: Parchment.
Extent: i (parchment, conjoint with the pastedown) + 43 + i (parchment, conjoint with the pastedown).
Dimensions (leaf): 162–3 × 111–3 mm.
Dimensions (ruled): 100–2 (104–6 in the calendar) × 67–70 mm.
Dimensions (ruled): 113 × 82 mm.
(fols. 41r-43v)
Dimensions (written): 100 × 30 mm.
(each column)
Foliation: Foliated in 19th/20th-century dark grey ink, occasionally clarified or entirely supplied in modern pencil: i, 1–44; an earlier pagination (18th-century?), in arabic numerals in pale brown ink, starting with '1' at fol. 4r, is largely erased but still visible on many leaves.


Mostly on quires of 8 leaves: I4–1 (1st leaf cancelled, before fol. 1) (fols. 1–3) | II6 (fols. 4–9), III8 (fols. 10–17) | IV8–2 (1st leaf excised before fol.18, 6th leaf excised after fol. 21, the latter excision causing fol. 22 also to be partly cut) (fols. 18–23), V8 (fols. 24–31), VI8+1 (9th leaf added, fol. 40) (fols. 32–40) | VII4–1 (4th leaf cancelled, after fol. 43) (fols. 41–43); no catchwords visible.


31 lines ruled in pale red ink, in two columns, each with single vertical bounding lines extending the full height of the page, the top and bottom horizontal extending the full width of the page; each column 31–2 mm. wide, the intercolumnar space 6–7 mm.; the calendar ruled with 32 lines per page, in two columns, each column 31–3 mm wide; the intercolumnar space 6–7 mm. wide; prickings survive only at the fore-edge of fol. 3. 30 lines of text per page; the calendar with 31 lines of text per page, and because the names of the months are the first written line of each column, months with 31 days extend below the bottom ruled line.

Fols. 41r-43v ruled with 21 lines in a single column, between single vertical bounding lines extending the full height of the page, the top and bottom horizontals extending the full width of the page, 20 lines of text per page.


Written in lettre bâtarde


Headings in red.

Three (of an original five?) large miniatures, each with an arched top, framed by a band of painted gold, above a six- or seven-line initial on a painted gold ground, in one column, containing a flowering plant; surrounded by a full border of naturalistic and stylised foliage, flowers, fruit, birds, etc., on painted gold grounds (that on fol. 8v in compartments of various shapes, some on coloured grounds):

  • (fol. 8v) Hours of the Virgin, Matins. Annunciation.
  • [Prime miniature on the recto of the missing leaf excised before fol. 18; offsets on fol. 17v appear to show a full border, and the bottom of the miniature seven lines from the bottom of the page, more than one column wide.]
  • [Vespers miniature on the verso of the missing leaf excised after fol. 21; offsets on fol. 22r indicate that it had a full border.]
  • (fol. 24v) Penitential Psalms. David in Penitence, in a landscape.
  • (fol. 30r) Office of the Dead. Burial of a shroud-wrapped corpse; with several black-clad mourners, and two coped priests, one with an aspergill(?), reading from a book held by an attendant.

Seven smaller miniatures, twelve or thirteen lines high, one column wide, at the start of each hour from Lauds to Compline, each with a four-line initial (five-line on fol. 4r) alternately in red and white, or blue and white, against a painted gold ground, each containing a flower:

  • (fol. 4r) Pericopes. St. John on Patmos.
  • (fol. 12r) Hours of the Virgin, Lauds. Visitation.
  • (fol. 16r) Hours of the Cross. Crucifixion; the Virgin to Christ's right, two men (not St. John) to his left.
  • (fol. 19r) Hours of the Virgin; Terce. Annunciation to two Shepherds.
  • (fol. 20r) Sext. Adoration of the Magi.
  • (fol. 21r) None. Flight into Egypt, from right to left.
  • (fol. 22v) Compline. Coronation of the Virgin.

Two-line initials alternately in blue and white, or red and white, on a painted gold ground, containing a flower design, to psalms, capitula, prayers, the KL monograms in the calendar, etc.; two-line initials in blue and white against a painted gold ground, containing a flower, in a different style, at the start of each stanza on fols. 41v-43v; one-line initials to verses, in gold on an alternately blue or red ground, each at the start of a new line; line-fillers comprising patterns in painted gold on panels of blue and red.

One large added 16th-century miniature, with an arched top, above four lines of text and a three-line initial in lilac against a painted gold ground, containing a foliate design, surrounded by a four-sided border of flowers against a very thin painted gold ground, a banderole in the lower border inscribed 'SA(N)S FOY FAILLIR'; considerably cropped at each edge: (fol. 41r) Vecy l'homme. Christ before Pilate; a banderole next to Pilate's mouth inscribed 'ECCE HOMO'.


Sewn on three cords (further sewing-stations from a previous binding also visible) with blue endbands; bound c.1810–40 in red velvet over pasteboards, the spine with a red leather titlepiece lettered 'HORÆ | B.V.M. | MS. MEMB | SÆC. XV.'; a damaged area at the bottom of the spine is probably evidence of another label; parchment flyleaves conjoint with the pastedowns; the edges of the leaves gilt. The present binding must presumably postdate Collier's ownership, and predate the 1841 inscriptions on the flyleaves (see under Provenance).


Origin: France, Normandy ; 15th century, late - 16th century, early, c. 1500; additions, 16th century

Provenance and Acquisition

Unidentified original owner, Bayeux.

Unidentified owner, of Bayeux?, with the motto 'Sans foy faillir' (fol. 41r). There is an early(?) erased inscription, nineteen lines long, not legible even under U.V. light (fol. 15r).

John Payne Collier (1789–1883), the Shakespeare scholar and forger (on whom see DNB), before 1841: signed 'J. Payne Collier' in the upper right margin of fol. 1r, the inscription subsequently cropped in binding.

Unidentified English owner, 1841: inscribed (fol. i verso): 'Ms. No. [the number obliterated with ink] | 1. Horae B.V.M. | 2. Ecce homo - Gallicè.'; and with a note (fol. 44r), dated 1841, headed 'Mus. Brit. 1072. a. | 1. [the '1' directly below the 'a', separated by a horizontal line] small 8o. lit. goth.', concerning a devotion comparable to text item 8. It has not been possible to identify the British Library volume referred to.

Unidentified English bookseller, 19th century: a cutting from a catalogue is pasted to the upper pastedown; the pastedown is also inscribed in pencil 'N/O/-' and with the price '38/0'; an erased inscription below these is illegible, even under U.V. light.

John Buchanan, bought for 38 shillings: inscribed in pencil with the 'Descriptive list' number, '12.' (subsequently crossed through in pencil), in the top right corner of fol. i recto.

Rt. Hon. T. R. Buchanan (1846–1911).

Given to the Bodleian in 1939 by his widow,Mrs. E. O. Buchanan, when it was accessioned as MS. Lat. liturg. e. 33; re-referenced as MS. Buchanan e. 12 in 1941.

Record Sources

Adapted from Peter Kidd, Medieval Manuscripts from the Collection of T. R. Buchanan in the Bodleian Library, Oxford (Oxford, 2001)

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (4 images from 35mm slides)


Last Substantive Revision

2017-07-01: First online publication.