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

MS. Buchanan e. 2

Former shelfmark: MS. Lat. liturg. e. 23

Book of Hours, Use of Paris, in Latin and French. France (Paris), 14th century, last quarter.


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

[Item 1 occupies quire I]

1. (fols. 1r-12v)

Calendar, with an entry for every day, major feasts in red; of the type pr. by Paul Perdrizet, Calendrier Parisien , for Paris Books of Hours, having all the same major feasts, including Geneviève, patroness of Paris (3 Jan.), Anne (28 July), Louis IX (relics at Paris) (25 Aug.), Denis of Paris (9 Oct.); and in addition George (23 Apr.), Eloi (25 Jun.), Merry (relics at Paris) (29 Aug.), and Matthew (21 Sept.); but with Marcellus of Paris (3 Nov.) given as a minor feast, and Fabian, instead of Sebastian (20 Jan.) also minor; other entries in brown include Ivo Helory (19 May), Germanus of Paris (28 May), Landericus ('Landri') of Paris (10 June), the translation of Marcellus of Paris (26 July), the Crown of Thorns (relic at Paris) (11 Aug.), Cloud, patron of Paris (7 Sept.), Magloire (relics at Paris) (24 Oct.), and Geneviève (26 Nov.).

Language(s): Middle French

[Items 2–7 occupy quires II-XII]

2. (fols. 13r-14v)

Gospel Pericope from John [John 1:1–14].

Language(s): Latin
3. (fols. 15r-72v)

Hours of the Virgin, Use of Paris, with three lessons at Matins.

Language(s): Latin
4. (fols. 73r-77v, rubric on 72v)

Hours of the Cross.

Language(s): Latin
5. (fols. 78r-83r, rubric on 77v)

Hours of the Holy Spirit.

Language(s): Latin
6. (fols. 83v-97v)

Seven Penitential Psalms

[Pss. 6, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129, 142].

Language(s): Latin
7. (fols. 98r-103v, rubric on 97v)

Litany and collects

The litany with Columba (of Sens?) (3), and Geneviève (13) among sixteen virgins; followed (fol. 103r-v) by two collects:

Incipit: Deus cui proprium est misereri semper et parcere
(pr. Corpus orationum, no. 1143)
Incipit: Fidelium deus omnium conditor et redemptor
(pr. ibid., no. 2684b).
Language(s): Latin

[Item 8 occupies quires XIII-XIX]

8. (fols. 104r-154r)

Office of the Dead

Use unidentified (van Dijk calls it 'Romanized Paris use'), the nine lessons at Matins correspond to 'Group 1d', and their responses to numbers 14,72,32; 57,24,68; 28,46,38, in Knud Ottosen, The responsories and versicles of the Latin Office of the Dead (Aarhus, 1993); fols. 154v-155v ruled, otherwise blank.

Language(s): Latin

[Items 9(i)-(v) occupy quires XX-XXII]

9. (fols. 156r-173v)
Prayers to the Virgin and to the Trinity
Language(s): Latin and Middle French
9i. (fols. 156r-160v)
Rubric: Oracio beate marie uirginis
Incipit: O intemerata
Explicit: orbis terrarum ex[sic] te enim ...

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

9ii. (fol. 160v-164v)
Incipit: Obsecro te

[masculine forms] (with similarities to two pr. versions: Wordsworth (editor), Horae Eboracenses , 66–7 ; Leroquais, Livres d'heures, II, 346–7 )

9iii. fol. 165r-166r
Incipit: Ave Maria gracia plena dominus tecum. Martir cum martiribus transgladiata
Explicit: contemplacione sine fine frui mereamur. Qui cum patre ...
(also found in Vatican, Ms. Reg. lat. 121; and Karlsruhe, Landesbibliothek, Hs. St. Blasien 77, fol. 142r, see Peter Höhler and Gerhard Stamm, Die Handschriften der Badischen Landesbibliothek in Karlsruhe, XII: Die Handschriften von St. Blasien (Wiesbaden, 1991), 123)
9iv. (fols. 166r-169r)
Incipit: E tres certaine esperance

(pr. Leroquais (editor), op. cit., II, 332 , where it starts with the more common 'O tres ...'; cf. Ker, MMBL, I, 260 art 9c; MS. Rawl. liturg. e. 32, fols. 20r-21v; and BL, Harley MS. 2952, fols. 80r-82r, which also start 'E tres ...')

9v. (fols. 169r-173r)
Rubric: Oracio ad sanctam trinitatem
Incipit: O sancta trinitas atque indiuisa vnitas uera
Explicit: gaudiis perfrui mereantur sempiternis. Per dominum
(various versions exist; also found in MS. Don. d. 85, fol. 3r-v)

fol. 173v ruled, otherwise originally blank.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: KL Fevrier(Calendar)
Secundo Folio: ⟨lumi⟩ne. Erat lux(text, fol. 14)
Form: codex
Support: Parchment.
Extent: ii (modern parchment bifolium) + 174 + ii (modern parchment bifolium).
Dimensions (leaf): 162–3 × 104–6 mm.
(catchwords and marginal decoration are somewhat cropped).
Dimensions (ruled): 92–4 × 52–4 mm.
Dimensions (written): 88–9 × 52–7 mm.
Foliation: Foliated in modern pencil: i-ii, 1–68a, 68b-175.


The main text mostly in quires of 8 leaves: I12 (fols. 1–12) | II12 (fols. 13–24), III-XII8 (fols. 25–103) | XIII-XVIII8 (fols. 104–151), XIX4 (fols. 152–155) | XX-XXI8 (fols. 156–171), XXII2 (fols. 172–173); CATCHWORDS survive in all quires except those which contain the end of a major textual unit and quires II, VI, XIII, and XVIII, in the middle of the lower margin at the bottom edge of the page.


15 lines ruled in pale brown ink, with single vertical bounding lines extending the full height of the page; the top, and occasionally the bottom one or two horizontals ruled the full width of the page; the ruled area 89–90 × 54–5 mm.; the calendar with 16 lines per page, between single verticals ruled the full height of the page (occasionally in purple ink, e.g. fol. 11r), the top and bottom horizontal ruled the full width, double verticals each side of the column which contains the 'S''/'S'e' abbreviation of Saint/Sainte before the saints' names. 14 lines of text per page.


Fine regular gothic bookhand; the script smaller and markedly more angular from the start of the Office of the Dead (fol. 104r), but perhaps all by a single scribe; the shade of ink occasionally changing noticeably from one quire to the next.


Headings in red; marginal guides to the rubricator occasionally visible (e.g. fol. 81r: 'none').

Fourteen miniatures, each above four lines of text; except that for Lauds of the Hours of the Virgin, which is below two lines of text and above three; and that for the O intemerata, which is above five lines of text; the figures with grisaille draperies, some in a rudimentary landscape with a groundline and trees, set against a diaper or patterned background; in a rectangular frame with gold bosses at the corners; above a three- or four-line initial, from which sprout ivy-leaf decoration surrounding the text and image on all four sides; there are sewing-holes in the outer margin of the first few miniatures, presumably from protective textile veils.

  • (fol. 13r) Pericope. St. John the Baptist [sic], holding the Agnus Dei set against a reddish ?disc; trees and a rabbit.
  • (fol. 15r) Hours of the Virgin; Matins. Annunciation: Gabriel kneeling; God above blessing; the Dove flying from his lips to the Virgin's halo; the Virgin holding a book held closed with two clasps.
  • (fol. 27v) Lauds. Visitation: Elisabeth kneeling; the Virgin holding a book.
  • (fol. 40r) Prime. Nativity: the Virgin lying on a bed, eyes closed, with hand on an open book on her knee, turned away from Joseph.
  • (fol. 46v) Terce. Annunciation to the Shepherds: two standing, a third seated, with elaborate bagpipes, and a dog on a leash.
  • (fol. 51r) Sext. Adoration of the Magi; the Virgin crowned; the middle-aged Magus pointing to the star, which is painted outside the frame of the miniature; the Child blessing, his other hand on a chalice(?) offered by the eldest Magus.
  • (fol. 55v) None. Presentation in the Temple: the handmaid with a basket and large taper.
  • (fol. 60v) Vespers. Flight into Egypt: Joseph leading, with a stick over his shoulder, from which is draped a cloth.
  • (fol. 68r) Compline. Coronation of the Virgin: her arms crossed at the wrists; God holding an orb at his knee
  • (fol. 73r) Hours of the Cross. Crucifixion: the Virgin with hands clasped; John with one hand to his face, a book in the other.
  • (fol. 78r) Hours of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost.
  • (fol. 83v) Penitential Psalms. God seated, turning away from the Tablets of the Law (the Old Law), on his left, to bless a covered chalice and wafer (the New Law), on his right, the latter depicted as if embossed with a representation of the Crucifixion (pl. 000)
  • (fol. 104r) Office of the Dead. Funeral Service, with black-clad mourners, and clerics singing at a lectern, on which an open book is inscribed in minute script with the Introit of the Mass of the Dead: 'requiem eternam dona eis domine'; six tapers on the bier, five pots(?) before it.
  • (fol. 156r) O intemerata. Virgin and Child Enthroned: the Virgin crowned; the Child kissing her, his hand to her neck; she supports his foot with one hand; a laywoman kneeling before them (pl. 000).

One three- and one four-line initial sprouting gold ivyleaf, to the prayers on fols. 160v and 166r; two-line initials alternately gold and blue or red and blue, both with red and blue filigree penwork, to prayers, psalms, etc.; one-line initials alternately gold with blue penwork, or blue with red penwork, to verses and other minor divisions; line-fillers of geometric and other simple forms, alternately gold and blue or red and blue, usually corresponding to the initial at the start of the verse.

Pächt & Alexander relate the style to Paris, BnF, mss. fr. 22912–3 a copy of Augustine, La Cité de Dieu, in the translation of Raoul de Presles, datable to 1376–80 (see François Avril and Jean Lafaurie, La librairie de Charles V (exhib. cat: Paris, 1968), 102 no. 177, pls. 3, 20).


Sewn on three cords; with green and brown endbands; bound in French 19th-century dark brown/black leather over pasteboards, with contemporary pastedowns; the spine with five (false) raised bands, lettered in gilt 'Heures' and 'M. S.' at the top and bottom in 'black letter' characters; one white silk bookmark; the edges of the leaves gilt; the Bodleian shelfmark label at the base of the spine apparently covering an earlier label. Boxed, using funds provided by the Friends of the Bodleian, 1994.


Origin: French, Paris ; 14th century, last quarter, c. 1380

Provenance and Acquisition

Unidentified laywoman: presumably made in Paris for the woman depicted on fol. 156r; the prayer which starts on this page uses feminine forms.

? Unidentified German prince-archbishop, 18th century: pasted to the upper (19th-century) pastedown, is a square armorial bookplate which may have been transferred from the previous binding; the shield is surmounted by an archbishop's hat, the whole surmounted by a prince's crown, behind which is a crozier and sword.

Unidentified 18th/19th-century French owner: inscribed '74[sic] feuillets.' (fol. 173v).

Unidentified 19th-century French(?) bookseller: inscribed in ink '1400# [or ff]') in the upper right corner of the lower pastedown.

Messrs. T. & W. Boone, London booksellers: inscribed in pencil in the upper right corner of the upper pastedown and in the upper left corner of the lower pastedown with their price-code (cf. MSS. Buchanan e. 3 and g. 1).

John (or Thomas?) Buchanan: bought from Boone on 16 April, 1862, for £30; inscribed in pencil with the 'Descriptive list' number, '2', in the upper left corner of the upper pastedown, and '2.' in the upper left corner of fol. i verso.

Rt. Hon. T. R. Buchanan (1846–1911)

His widow, Mrs. E. O. Buchanan.

Given by her to the Bodleian in 1939, when it was accessioned as MS. Lat. liturg. e. 23 (as recorded in pencil in the lower left corner of fol. 1r); re-referenced as MS. Buchanan e. 2 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.