MS. Buchanan e. 18
[Item 1 occupies quires I-II]
About one-third full, each month headed by a note on the length of the calendar and lunar months; major feasts (in red) include: Amand (6 Feb.), Basil (14 June), Remi & Bavo (1 Oct.), Eloi and his translation (1 Dec., 25 June), Nicasius of Rheims (14 Dec.); feasts in plain ink include: Milburga (23 Feb.), the translation of Augustine (28 Feb.), Adrian (4 Mar.), Patrick (17 Mar.), Quentin (Quintinus), in error for Quirinus (30 Mar.), Peter Martyr (29 Apr.), Gervase, in error for Servatius (Gervasii for Servacii) (13 May), Brendan (17 May), Dominic (5 Aug.), Clare (12 Aug.), Magnus (19 Aug.), Bertin (5 Sept.), Humbert (6 Sept.), Lambert (17 Sept.), Francis (4 Oct.), Quentin (31 Oct.), Livin (12 Nov.), Malo (15 Nov.), and Elisabeth of Thuringia (19 Nov.).
[Items 2–5 occupy quires III-V]
Hours of the Cross.
Hours of the Holy Spirit
Fol. 23v ruled, otherwise blank.
Mass of the Virgin.
(cf. MS. Buchanan e. 3; without the versicle, response, and prayer after John).
[Item 6 occupies quires VI-XI]
Hours of the Virgin, Use of Rome
With three lessons at Matins; Compline followed (fols. 77v-78r) by the hymn 'Salve regina ...' (pr. Wordsworth, Horae Eboracenses, 62), with a versicle and the usual prayer: 'Omnipotens sempiterne deus qui gloriose uirginis ...' (pr. ibid., 63; cf. MS. Buchanan e. 5, fol. 92r-v); fols. 51v, 63v, 67v, 78v, ruled, otherwise blank.
[Items 7–8 occupy quires XII-XIII]
The Seven Penitential Psalms.
Litany and collects
The litany, with its list of doctors and confessors ending with: Bernard, Francis, Louis, Eloi, Giles, Dominic, Livin, and Amand (11–18); followed by five collects (fols. 93r-94v)
[Items 9–14 occupy quires XIV-XX]
Office of the Dead, Use of Rome.
Prayers to the Virgin
[masculine forms] (cf. MS. Buchanan e. 2)
The first with a rubric in Netherlandish
Predominantly to Dominican saints, in Latin and Netherlandish, with rubrics in Netherlandish (most consisting of an antiphon, versicle and response, followed by a rubric 'Te benedictus' and a second antiphon, versicle and response, before the collect) to: (i) Dominic, (ii) Peter Martyr ('Van sinte pieter van melaene.'), (iii) Thomas Aquinas, (iv) Vincent Ferrer (canonised in 1455), (v) Catherine of Siena ('Van sinte kath' vand' predicaers') (canonised in 1461), (vi) Donatian ('Van sinte donaes. Archebijscop'), (vii) Elisabeth of Thuringia, the latter (fol. 142r-v) entirely in Netherlandish:(prayers pr. in Corpus orationum are nos. (i) 1559, and (iii) 1562).
The Verses of St Bernard
The verses in the same order as in MS. Buchanan e. 9, fols. 118v-119r, but omitting verse (vi) as listed there; followed (fols. 143v-144r) by a versicle, response, and the usual prayer:
19 lines ruled in very pale red ink (fols. 15r-20v ruled with only 18 lines), between single vertical bounding lines extending the full height of the page, the top and bottom horizontal lines extending the full width of the page; no prickings visible. 18 lines of text per page (fols. 15r-20v with 17 lines per page).
Written in fine gothic bookhands, by probably three scribes, responsible for (i) fols. 1r-12v, (ii) fols. 13r-136r, and (iii) fols. 136v-145r, respectively.
Each scribe was apparently responsible for his own rubrics: pale red is used in the calendar (fols. 1r-12v), perhaps slightly deeper red for the headings of the main texts (fols. 13r-134r), and bright red for those from fol. 136v to the end.
Sixteen historiated initials, each six-lines high (except those on fols. 56r and 60r which are five-line), each accompanied by a full border (see below):
- (fol. 42r) Hours of the Virgin, Lauds. Visitation.
- (fol. 52r) Prime. Nativity; the Virgin and Joseph adoring the Child; Joseph holding a candle.
- (fol. 56r) Terce. Annunciation to two Shepherds; the border with a wolf(?) with a sheep in its jaws.
- (fol. 60r) Sext. Adoration of the Magi.
- (fol. 64r) None. Presentation in the Temple.
- (fol. 68r) Vespers. Massacre of the Innocents; with only one mother and her nimbed infant; the border with a half-length soldier wielding a sword.
- (fol. 74r) Compline. Flight into Egypt; with the Fall of the Idols in the background (Cardon, fig. 169).
- (fol. 95r) Office of the Dead. Funeral Service; a bier before an altar, with mourners to the left, one holding an open book, and clerics singing at a lectern to the right.
- (fol. 131r) Obsecro te. Pietà, with another figure (Mary Magdalen or St. John ?) supporting Christ's head; the Cross in the backbround.
- (fol. 136v) Hymn. Two angels holding the Host in a monstrance on an altar cloth.
- (fol. 139r) Suffrage. St. Thomas Aquinas (his face damaged) holding and pointing to an open book.
- (fol. 139v) Suffrage. St. Vincent Ferrer holding a book, the cover with a large gold cross.
- (fol. 140v) Suffrage. St. Catherine of Siena (her face damaged), with a crown atop her halo, a twisted wreath about her head, holding a heart in her hand.
- (fol. 141r) Suffrage. St. Donatianus, holding a cross-staff and a wheel set round with candles (Pächt & Alexander, 1, pl. XXVI).
- (fol. 142r) Suffrage. St. Elisabeth of Thuringia, wearing a crown, holding another crown in each hand.
- (fol. 143r) Verses of St. Bernard. St. Bernard, holding a crozier and the chain of a demon, on which he stands.
The borders of stylised and naturalistic foliage on a plain parchment ground, often containing animals, birds, human-headed grotesques (e.g. Cardon, fig. 169), etc., some apparently inspired by the subject of the adjacent initial (see above), and including a finely-dressed woman feeding a squirrel on a leash (fol. 19r), a youth playing a lute, emerging half-length from foliage (fol. 33r), a mermaid combing her hair and looking in a mirror (fol. 60r), and two birds with entwined necks, holding interlocked rings in their beaks, and a grotesque with a male human head, looking at its own tail, which terminates in a female human head (both on fol. 95r).
Six-line initials in red or blue, infilled with painted flowers and foliage on a gold ground, the whole within a square field in red or blue with a gold edge, and full borders, at the start of the Hours of the Virgin and Penitential Psalms (fols. 33r, 79r-both with their fore-edge margin cut away; see under Physical Description); similar five-line initials and full borders at the start of the Hours of the Cross and of the Holy Spirit, and the Mass of the Virgin (fols. 13r, 19r, 24r; fore-edge border of 13r cut away, see below); a similar three-line initial with partial borders at the start of the O intemerata (fol. 134r); three-line initials in gold on red and blue grounds with white tracery, with ivy-leaf sprays, to the KL monograms in the calendar; a similar three-line initial at the final prayer (fol. 144r); similar two-line initials to psalms, hymns, lessons, etc.; one-line flourished initials alternately in gold with blue penwork, or blue with red penwork (often with the penwork jutting sharply out into the margins when they occur at the edge of the text area) to verses and other minor textual divisions; line-fillers in blue and gold, especially in the litany.
The decorative hierarchy, and common Flemish practice, suggest that it was originally intended to insert a full-page miniature before fol. 33, and it is also likely that miniatures were intended for the start of each of the other major texts; but there is no clear physical evidence that such miniatures were ever inserted.
The decoration has been attributed to the artist Willem Vrelant: documentary evidence indicates that he was born in Utrecht, was active in Bruges as a miniaturist from 1445, and died in 1481. (See Dogaer, 98–105, and Bousmanne, passim, for a discussion of Vrelant's school and a list of books attributed to it, including the present manuscript).
Sewing not clearly visible; bound probably in the first half of the 19th century, probably in England, in 'tree-calf' over pasteboards tooled with a gilt twisted-wreath border pattern within an outer frame; the spine without raised bands, but divided into six compartments by gilt ornament, with traces of a paper label at the bottom; red and white endbands; brick-coloured marbled pastedowns and conjoint flyleaves; one blue silk bookmark; the edges of the leaves gilt; fol. 1r is discoloured and marked, suggesting that the upper board of a previous binding may have been detached for some time.
Provenance and Acquisition
Unidentified original owner: the calendar, litany, and style of decoration suggest that the book was made in Bruges, and the inclusion of a suffrage to Catherine of Siena (canonized in 1461) provides a terminus post quem for its production. The suffrages to Dominican saints, and their presence in the calendar, suggest that the original owner may have been a member of the Dominican Third Order. Deposits of paste on fols. 1r, 12v, and 145r may have been caused by the insertion of votive images.
Unidentified 19th-century English owner(s) and bookseller(s): inscribed in pencil (fol. i verso): '15 ornamented Pages of which 10 contain | miniature Paintings [?] (7 pages are cut) | 7 miniatures without other ornaments'; it appears that an ownership(?) inscription has been erased at the top right of fol. ii recto. Various booksellers are presumably responsible for the pencil notes on fol. i verso: 'G 9893', upper left and: 'ti/.', bottom left; and the the pencil pricecode: 'xa/u'(?) in the top left corner of fol. 148r; the bottom gutter corner of fol. 147v inscribed in pencil 'L' or 'I.' (?); another erased price(?) in pencil is in the upper right corner of fol. 148r.
William Stuart (1798–1874), of Tempsford Hall, Bedfordshire, and Aldenham Abbey, Hertfordshire (on whom see John Burke, A genaeological and heraldic history of the commoners of Great Britain and Ireland ..., I (London, 1833), 427–8); with the bookplate of Aldenham Abbey glued to the upper pastedown (cf. Gambier Howe, Franks bequest, III, no. 28457 or no. 28458), depicting the exterior elevation (similar to the illustration in the Hertfordshire VCH, II (1908), 426) incorporating the words 'ALDENHAM ABBEY' in very small capitals, and printed 'Case..... Shelf..... | Room.....', the first two spaces inscribed in pencil 'Chantrey' and 'Pedestal' respectively, the third space inscribed in ink 'Library'. It is perhaps likely that this William Stuart, son of William Stuart (1755–1822), Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of all Ireland, was responsible for the mutilation of some leaves, as recorded in a pencil inscription: 'German Missal Fine as to | Border & Initials 1433. [this number/date perhaps not coeval with the rest of the inscription] | Several of the Borders are withdrawn | on account of their voluptuous Images' (fol. ii recto).
William Stuart (1825–93), of Tempsford Hall, Bedfordshire, and Aldenham Abbey, Hertfordshire, son of William Stuart (b. 1798); sold at Sotheby's, 17 June 1875, lot 88; bought by Arthur for £3 12s.; Sotheby's are presumably responsible for the pencil number '595', encircled, on fol. i verso (see Introduction).
Thomas Arthur, London bookseller: the manuscript was in his Catalogue, pt. 76 (Nov. 1875), item 73, priced £5 15s. 6d. [I am grateful to Claudine Lemaire of the Bibliothèque royale Albert Ier, Brussels, for supplying me with a photocopy of the relevant pages of this catalogue]; the bookplate (see above) inscribed in pencil with the catalogue item number and price: '73', ',5–15[-6 (erased)]', 'Aldenham Collection', and Arthur's price-code: 'x/sa/-' (i.e. £3 12s; see above).
Rt. Hon. T. R. Buchanan (1846–1911), November 1875: the gutter margin of fol. ii recto with a pasted-in cutting from Arthur's catalogue (see above), inscribed by Buchanan 'Arthur | Nov 75'; a note in pencil on fol. i verso concerning the Flemish origin of the manuscript was added perhaps during Buchanan's ownership.
Given to the Bodleian by his widow,Mrs. E. O. Buchanan, in 1941.
Digital Bodleian (19 images from 35mm slides)
Last Substantive Revision
2017-07-01: First online publication.