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

MS. Buchanan e. 13

Former shelfmark: MS. Lat. liturg. e. 34


Language(s): Latin and Middle French

Book of Hours, Use of Rouen

[Item 1 occupies quire I]

(fols. 1r-12v)


About half-full, major feasts in gold, the remainder alternately red or blue; feasts in gold include Gervase (19 June), Eloi (25 June), Martial (3 July), Louis IX (25 Aug.), Denis (9 Oct.), Romanus of Rouen (23 Oct.); feasts in red or blue include William of Donjeon (10 Jan.), Severus (relics at Rouen) (1 Feb.), Ansbert of Rouen (9 Feb.), Austreberta (10 Feb.), Thomas Aquinas (7 Mar.), Patrick (17 Mar.), Leodegar (27 Mar.), Hugh of Rouen (9 Apr.), the translation of Ouen (5 May), Wandrille (19 May [sic]), Hildebert (27 May), Ursinus and his translation (12 June, 30 Dec.), the translation of Romanus of Rouen (17 June), Evodius (8 July), the translation of Clarus (18 July), Fiacre (30 Aug.), Nicholas of Tolentino (10 Sept.), Lubin (15 Sept.), Francis (4 Oct.), Nicasius of Rouen (11 Oct.), Malo (15 Nov.), 'S'. candre.' (19 Nov.), and Gatianus (18 Dec.).

Language(s): Middle French

[Items 2–3 occupy quires II-III]

(fols. 13r-18r)

Gospel Pericopes

John followed by the usual antiphon, versicle, response, and prayer:

Incipit: Protector in te sperancium
(cf. MS. Buchanan e. 3)

and by the prayer:

Incipit: Ecclesiam tuam quesumus domine benignus
(cf. Bruylants, Oraisons, II, no. 520).
(fols. 18r-26r)

Prayers to the Virgin

Rubric: Oraison tres deuote de nostre dame
Incipit: Obsecro te

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

(fols. 21v-22v)
Incipit: Sancta maria mater domini nostri ihesu christi in manus filii tui
Explicit: in perpetuum separari. In manus tuas domine commendo spiritum meum redemisti me domine deus ueritatis
(cf. version pr. in Lilli Gjerl¢w, Adoratio crucis, the Regularis Concordia, and the Decreta Lanfranci: manuscript studies in the early medieval church of Norway (Norwegian Universities Press, 1961), 116)
Rubric: De nostre dame
Incipit: O intemerata ... orbis terrarum. de te enim ...

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

Fol. 26v ruled, otherwise blank.

Language(s): Latin and Middle French

[Item 4 occupies quires IV-IX]

(fols. 27r-49r)

Hours of the Virgin, Use of Rouen

With three lessons at Matins; suffrages (fols. 46v-50r) after Lauds with rubrics in French ('Du saint esperit.', 'De saint nicolas', etc.), to (i) the Holy Spirit, to Sts. (ii) Nicholas, (iii) Catherine, (iv) Barbara, (v) for Peace, and (vi) All Saints; these followed (fols. 49v-50r, rubric on fol. 49r) by a contemporary added suffrage to (vii) St. Adrian (whose rubric is worded differently from those which precede it: 'Memoire de saint adrien.') (the prayers pr. in Corpus orationum are nos. (ii) 1464, (iii) 1521, (iv) 1159, (v) 1088a, and (vi) 3134); fols. 50v and 72v ruled, otherwise blank.

Language(s): Latin and Middle French

[Items 5–8 occupy quires X-XII]

(fols. 73r-84v)

The Seven Penitential Psalms.

(fols. 84v-89v)

Litany and collects

The litany including Christopher (2), and Adrian (10) among eleven martyrs; Martin (1) among twelve confessors; and Mastidia of Troyes (12) among fifteen virgins; followed (fol. 89r-v) by three collects:

Incipit: Deus cui proprium est
(pr. Corpus orationum, no. 1143)
Incipit: Deus qui nos patrem et matrem
(pr. ibid., no. 1903)
Incipit: Fidelium deus omnium conditor
(pr. ibid., no. 2684b)
(fols. 90r-93r)

Hours of the Cross

Fol. 93v ruled, and with offsets from the facing page, otherwise blank.

(fols. 94r-96v)

Hours of the Holy Spirit.

[Item 9 occupies quires XIII-XVI]

(fols. 97r-124v)

Office of the Dead, Use unidentified

The lessons, responses and versicles at Matins, and the antiphons at Lauds, are all the same as those of the Use of Rouen, with the exceptions that here the response and versicle of lesson VI are: 'Ne recorderis ...' and 'Dirige ...', and of Lesson VIII they are: 'Domine secundum ...' and 'Amplius lava ...' (the responses are Ottosen, Office of the Dead, numbers 14,72,24; 32,57,57; 68,28,38, but this series is not found in his tables); the final three prayers given by cue only; fol. 125r-v ruled, otherwise blank.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: (Calendar) KL Fevrier
Secundo Folio: (text, fol. 14r) uerbum caro
Form: codex
Support: Parchment.
Extent: i (marbled paper, conjoint with the pastedown) + 125 + i (marbled paper, conjoint with the pastedown).
Dimensions (leaf): 155–6 × 103 mm.
(painted borders around the miniatures are cropped at the fore-edge, and the margins above and below the borders on these pages are very narrow)
Dimensions (ruled): 95–6 × 61–2 mm.
Dimensions (written): 93–4 × 59–65 mm.
Foliation: Foliated in modern pencil: i, 1–126.


Mostly on quires of 8 leaves: I12 (fols. 1–12) | II8 (fols. 13–20), III6 (fols. 21–26) | IV-VIII8 (fols. 27–66), IX6 (fols. 67–72) | X-XII8 (fols. 73–96) | XIII-XV8 (fols. 97–120), XVI6–1 (6th leaf cut out after fol. 125) (fols. 121–125); no catchwords visible.


16 lines ruled in pale red ink, between single vertical bounding lines extending the full height of the page, the top and bottom horizontals usually extending the full width of the page; no prickings visible. 15 lines of text per page.


Written in dark brown ink in a gothic bookhand, in two sizes according to liturgical function; apparently by a single scribe throughout, except for the suffrage to Adrian (fols. 49r-50r) which is by a different but contemporary hand, perhaps in the same workshop.


Headings in red.

Twelve miniatures with arched tops, each above three lines of text with a three-line initial containing foliage, on a gold ground, surrounded by a full border of stylized and naturalistic foliage, flowers, and fruit (that on fol. 27r with birds, an archer, and a centaur-like hybrid):

  • (fol. 27r) Hours of the Virgin, Matins. Annunciation.
  • (fol. 37r) Lauds. Visitation; a supplicant angel behind the Virgin.
  • (fol. 51r) Prime. Nativity; the Child adored by the Virgin and Joseph.
  • (fol. 56r) Terce. Annunciation to three Shepherds; one playing bagpipes, another with a pipe at his feet.
  • (fol. 59r) Sext. Adoration of the Magi.
  • (fol. 62r) None. Presentation in the Temple.
  • (fol. 65r) Vespers. Flight into Egypt, from right to left; Joseph carrying a bundle on a stick.
  • (fol. 68r) Compline. Coronation of the Virgin by two angels, before God wearing a papal tiara.
  • (fol. 73r) Penitential Psalms. David in Penitence, kneeling before an altar(?) on which is his harp, and above which is an angel wielding a sword.
  • (fol. 90r) Hours of the Cross. Crucifixion; the Virgin, John, and a nimbed woman to the left, Joseph of Arimathea(?) and soldiers to the right.
  • (fol. 94r) Hours of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost.
  • (fol. 97r) Office of the Dead. Burial of a shrouded corpse (Watson, Playfair Hours, fig. 28; Virgoe, Private life, 152, left).

One eight-line historiated initial, with a full border: (fol. 18r) Obsecro te. The Virgin and Child of the Apocalypse, standing on a crescent moon.

One three-line initial in blue and red with white tracery, on a gold ground with painted foliage, with a three-sided border open at the right, at the start of the Pericopes (fol. 13r); one similar two-line initial and three-sided border open at the right to the prayer on fol. 22v; two-line initals in gold on a blue and red ground with white tracery, to psalms, lessons, hymns, etc. (the blue and red perhaps slightly paler on fol. 49v, in the added suffrage to Adrian); similar one-line initials to the KL monograms in the calendar, and to verses, and other minor textual divisions; similar line-fillers throughout.


Sewn on four cords, with green and yellow endbands; bound in 19th-century undecorated brown-black leather over pasteboards; the spine divided into five compartments by four raised bands; marbled pastedowns and conjoint endleaves; the edges of the leaves red. The leaves have been re-folded a few mm. to the side of the previous sewing stations: the old spine-fold and four sewing-stations (for two cords plus kettle-stitches) are sometimes clearly visible (e.g. fols. 15, 95). Boxed, using funds provided by the Friends of the Bodleian, 1994.


Origin: French, Rouen ; 15th century, c. 1470–80

Provenance and Acquisition

The liturgical evidence of the volume falls into two groups: the calendar and Hours of the Virgin point very strongly to Rouen, as does the style of the miniatures; but the Office of the Dead seems to contradict this, as does the litany, which has none of the usual Rouen saints; the suffrage to Adrian, and his mention in the litany, may perhaps indicate that the original owner was a soldier. Marks and holes in the lower half of fol. 26v, and abrasion to the facing page (the start of the Hours of the Virgin) may perhaps have been caused by the sewing-in of a large pilgrim badge or other votive image.

? Unidentified 19th-century collection: the lowest compartment of the spine with a paper label inscribed in brown ink with a large 'I'; the middle compartment with a small vestige of what may have been another such label.

? Unidentified 19th-century French(?) owner; inscribed in pencil (fol. 126r): '1480 a 1500', possibly by the same hand that inscribed MS. Buchanan e. 14, fol. iii verso.

John Buchanan: inscribed in pencil with the 'Descriptive list' number, '13.', in the upper left corner of fol. i verso.

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. 34; re-referenced as MS. Buchanan e. 13 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 (3 images from 35mm slides)


Last Substantive Revision

2017-07-01: First online publication.