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

MS. Buchanan e. 8

Former shelfmark: MS. Lat. liturg. e. 29


Language(s): Latin, Middle French

Book of Hours, Use of Paris
1. [Item 1 occupies quire I]
(fols. 1r-3v)
Hymns (added 16th/17th-century)
Incipit: Veni sancte spiritus, et emitte celitus
Explicit: da perenne gaudium, Amen

Chevalier 21242.

Incipit: Veni creator spiritus mentes tuorum visita
Explicit: carisma sancti spiritus, Amen

Ibid., no. 21204.

Incipit: Vexila regis prodeunt
Explicit: salua rege per secula, Amen

Ibid., no. 21481.

Incipit: Veni redemtor gentium
Explicit: fideque iugi luceat, Amen

Ibid., no. 21234.

Language(s): Latin
2. [Item 2 occupies quires II-III]
(fols. 4r-15v)

Calendar, in French, with an entry for every day, major feasts in gold, the remainder alternately red or blue; each month headed by a note on the length of the calendar month in lines of gold and blue; feasts in gold include Denis (9 Oct.), Anne (28 July), and Marcellus (3 Nov.); feasts in red or blue include Geneviève (3 Jan. and 26 Nov.), Ivo Helory (19 May), Germain of Paris (28 May), Landericus (10 June), the Translation of Marcellus (26 July), Louis IX (25 Aug.), Aurea (4 Oct.), and Magloire (24 Oct.).

Language(s): Middle French
3. [Items 3–4 occupy quires IV-V]
(fols. 16r-21v)

Gospel Pericopes (cf. MS. Buchanan e. 3; without the antiphon, versicle, response and prayer after John).

4. (fols. 21v-25r)
Prayer to the Virgin
Rubric: Oratio ad beatam mariam
Incipit: Obsecro te

[masculine forms] (cf. MS. Buchanan e. 2); fol. 25v ruled, otherwise blank.

Language(s): Latin
5. [Items 5–6 occupy quires VI-XI]
(fols. 26r-71v)

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

6. (fol. 72r)
Incipit: ⟨Omnipotens sempiterne deus qui⟩ gloriose uirginis

Pr. Wordsworth, Horae Eboracenses, 63, starting imperfect at the fifth word due to the loss of a leaf after fol. 71; this prayer often follows the Salve regina with a response and versicle (cf. MSS. Buchanan e. 5, e. 18, and f. 4), and these are therefore likely to have been on the missing leaf; fol. 72v ruled, otherwise blank.

Language(s): Latin
7. [Items 7–8 occupy quire XII]
(fols. 73r-76v)

Hours of the Cross

8. (fols. 77r-80r, title on fol. 76v)

Hours of the Holy Spirit; fol. 80v ruled, otherwise blank.

9. [Items 9–10 occupy quires XIII-XIV]
(fols. 81r-91v)

The Seven Penitential Psalms; starting imperfect in Ps. 6:8 (at '|| meus inueteraui') due to the loss of a leaf before fol. 81.

10. (fols. 91v-96r)

Litany and collects; the litany including Denis last among thirteeen martyrs; Fiacre (3) among eight confessors; Geneviève (8) and Avia (15) among fifteen virgins; followed (fol. 95v) by three collects:

Incipit: Deus cui proprium est

Corpus orationum, no. 1143.

Incipit: Inclina domine aurem tuam ad preces nostras

Cf. version pr. Bruylants, Oraisons, no. 644.

Incipit: Fidelium deus omnium conditor et redemptor

Pr. Corpus orationum, no. 2684b.

Fol. 96v ruled, otherwise blank.

11. [Items 11–13 occupy quires XV-XXII]
(fols. 97r-136v)

Office of the Dead, Use of Paris, starting imperfect in Vespers before the start of Ps. 119 (at '[Re-]||quiem antiphona Placebo domino ...'), due to the loss of a leaf before fol. 97.

12. (fols. 136v-137v)

with a heading in French

Rubric: Pour les trespassez

Consisting of an antiphon 'Auete omnes anime fideles ...', versicle, response, and the prayer 'Domine iesu christe salus et liberacio fidelium animarum ...' (pr. Leroquais, Livres d'heures, II, 341).

Language(s): Latin
13. (fols. 138r-150r)

Suffrages and other prayers: suffrages to (i) the Trinity; and (ii) St. Michael; followed by:

(iii) rhyming prayer to one's guardian angel, with a heading in French
Rubric: A son bon ange
Incipit: Angele qui meus es custos
Explicit: guberna ut valeam tecum scandere celestia regna

A line longer than the version pr. in Wordsworth, Horae Eboracenses, 35.

Suffrages to saints (iv) John the Baptist; (v) John the Evangelist; (vi) Peter & Paul; (vii) Stephen; (viii) Sebastian; (ix) Nicholas; (x) Anne; (xi) Mary Magdalen; (xii) Catherine; (xiii) Margaret; (xiv) Barbara; (xv) Geneviève; (xvi) All Saints; followed by

Prayer for one's enemies

Rubric: Pro inimicis suis

Prayers pr. in Corpus orationum are nos. (i) 3920, (ii) 1798, (iv) 4492, (v) 2416c, (vi) 1158b, (vii) 4032, (ix) 1463, (x) 1366a, (xi) 3231, (xii) 1521, (xiii) 1384a, (xvi) 3134, and (xvii) 1293.

14. [Item 14 occupies the last leaf of quire XXII, which was originally ruled, otherwise blank, and an added leaf]
(fols. 151r-152v)

Added 16/17th-century.

Incipit: Christe redemptor omnium ex patre patris
Explicit: hymnum nouum concinnimus. Gloria tibi
(Chevalier 2960)
Incipit: Christe qui lux es et dies
Explicit: adesto nobis domine, Deo patri sit gloria
(ibid., no. 2934)
Incipit: Christe redemptor omnium, conserua tuos famulos
(ibid., no. 2959) ending imperfect (at 'Vates eterni iudicis apo-||') due to the loss of a leaf or leaves after fol. 152.
Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: (Added leaves, fol. 2) corporis virtute
Secundo Folio: (calendar, fol. 5) KL Fevrier a
Secundo Folio: (text, fol. 17) testatem filios dei
Form: codex
Support: Parchment.
Extent: ii (modern paper, the first conjoint with the pastedown) + 152 + ii (modern paper, the second conjoint with the pastedown).
Dimensions (leaf): 134–6 × 94–7 mm.
Dimensions (ruled): 79–82 × 47–50 mm.
Dimensions (ruled): 101–5 × 61–4 mm.
(added leaves)
Dimensions (written): 77 × 47 mm.
Foliation: Foliated in modern pencil: i-ii, 1–154.


Mostly on quires of 8 leaves: I2+1 (3rd leaf inserted, all three leaves a later addition) (fols. 1–3) | II-III6 (fols. 4–15) | IV8 (fols. 16–23), V2 (fols. 24–25) | VI-X8 (fols. 26–65), XI8–1 (7th leaf missing, after fol. 71) (fols. 66–72) | XII8 (fols. 73–80) | XIII8–1 (1st leaf missing, before fol. 81) (fols. 81–87), XIV8+1 (9th leaf added, fol. 96) (fols. 88–96) | XV8–1 (1st leaf missing, before fol. 97) (fols. 97–103), XVI6 (fols. 104–109), XVII-XX8 (fols. 110–141), XXI8 (fols. 142–149), XXII2 (fols. 150–151), XXIII2–1(?) (an added leaf, contemporary with fols. 1–3, perhaps a bifolium of which the second leaf is now missing) (fol. 152). CATCHWORDS present throughout, except in quires with the end of a major textual unit, plus quire XX where a heading rendered one unnecessary, and quires II, IV, and XXI; in the centre of the lower margin, usually followed by two dots like a colon ':'. Modern pencil QUIRE SIGNATURES in arabic numerals in the upper left corner of first rectos.


19 lines ruled in pale red ink (17 ruled lines in quire XIX, fols. 126r-133v) between single vertical bounding-lines extending the full height of the page, the top and bottom horizontal line ruled the full width of the page; the added leaves (fols. 1–3, 152) ruled with 19–21 lines in pale leadpoint, and frame-ruled in pale red ink, extending towards the edges of the page. 18 lines of text per page (16 lines of text in quire XIX); the added leaves with 18–20 lines of text per page. PRICKINGS occasionally survive at the fore-edge.


Written in lettre bâtarde , in two different sizes of script, according to liturgical function; by at least three main scribes, responsible respectively for: (i) fols. 16r-125v; (ii) fols. 126r-133v (quire XIX, with different ruling, as noted above); and (iii) fols. 134r-150v (with different one-line initials, as noted under Decoration); the attribution of the calendar to one of these hands, perhaps the third, is uncertain; and the added leaves (fols 1r-3v & 151r-152v) are by a much later hand in rounded humanistic script, perhaps imitating books printed in Roman type.


Headings in blue.

Four large miniatures with arched tops, above three (fol. 138r), four (fol. 73r), or five (fols. 26r, 77r) lines of text:

  • (fol. 26r) Hours of the Virgin, Matins. Annunciation.
  • (fol. 73r) Hours of the Cross. Crucifixion: the Virgin and John to the left; soldiers, including Longinus, to the right.
  • (fol. 77r) Hours of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost; the Apostles around the Virgin.
  • (fol. 138r) Suffrage to the Trinity. The Trinity: the Father and Son seated together, holding an open book between them.

Twenty-five (of an original twenty-six?) small miniatures, framed in liquid gold on the upper three sides; six to nine lines high, mostly eight lines high, narrower than the width of the column:

  • (fol. 16r) St. John on Patmos.
  • (fol. 17r) St. Luke painting the Virgin, on a panel on an easel.
  • (fol. 18v) St. Matthew and his angel, each holding a book.
  • (fol. 20v) St. Mark writing.
  • (fol. 21v) Obsecro te. The Virgin praying.
  • (fol. 36r) Lauds. Visitation; an angel behind the Virgin.
  • (fol. 46v) Prime. Nativity; the Virgin and Joseph adoring the Child.
  • (fol. 52r) Terce. Annunciation to two Shepherds.
  • (fol. 56r) Sext. Adoration of the Magi.
  • (fol. 59r) None. Presentation in the Temple.
  • (fol. 62v) Vespers. Massacre of the Innocents: a woman holding a dead infant before Herod and two attendants, but no soldiers.
  • (fol. 67v) Compline. Coronation of the Virgin.
  • (fol. 139r) St. Michael and the dragon.
  • (fol. 140r) St. John the Baptist holding the Agnus Dei on a book(?).
  • (fol. 140v) St. John the Evangelist blessing the poisoned chalice.
  • (fol. 141r) St. Peter and St. Paul.
  • (fol. 142r) St. Stephen.
  • (fol. 142v) St. Sebastian shot with arrows.
  • (fol. 144r) St. Nicholas and the three boys in the tub.
  • (fol. 144v) St. Anne teaching the Virgin to read.
  • (fol. 145v) St. Mary Magdalen.
  • (fol. 146r) St. Catherine.
  • (fol. 147r) St. Margaret emerging from the dragon.
  • (fol. 147v) St. Barbara.
  • (fol. 149r) St. Geneviève; an angel preventing a devil from extinguishing her taper.

Offsets on fol. 71v suggests that there was another miniature, probably for the prayer Salve regina, on the missing leaf before fol. 72 (see description of item 6 under Text).

Twenty-four small miniatures illustrating the Occupations of the Months and Zodiac signs, mostly set in landscapes, in the lower margin of the calendar:

  • (fol. 4r) Feasting; Aquarius.
  • (fol. 5r) Warming; Pisces.
  • (fol. 6r) Pruning; Aries.
  • (fol. 7r) Woman in a garden holding a flower; Taurus.
  • (fol. 8r) Man with a branch; Gemini: a naked couple embracing (smudged).
  • (fol. 9r) Scything (? - only the handle visible); Cancer: a crayfish-like creature.
  • (fol. 10r) Hay-making; Leo.
  • (fol. 11r) Reaping; Virgo: a woman next to a wheat-sheaf.
  • (fol. 12r) Grape-treading; Libra: a pair of scales.
  • (fol. 13r) Sowing; Scorpio.
  • (fol. 14r) Knocking acorns from trees to feed hogs; Saggitarius.
  • (fol. 15r) Killing a hog; Capricorn.

Four-sided borders to pages with miniatures, two-sided borders in the calendar, one-sided borders in the fore-edge margin of pages with a two- or three-line inital. All these borders of stylized foliage and flowers on a plain parchment or painted ground, and naturalistic foliage and flowers on geometrically-shaped panels of painted gold, occasionally containing hybrid creatures (e.g. fol. 26r) and/or animals, some of them engaged in human activities, e.g. a hybrid carrying an infant (fol. 16r), an animal playing a pipe and drum (fol. 21v), a caped fox in a pulpit preaching to a congregation of chickens (fol. 77r), and a Pelican in her Piety (fol. 56r), birds, insects, etc.

Two- or three-line initials in red, blue and white, with painted gold decoration, at the start of the hours, psalms, capitula, etc.; one-line initials in painted gold on a brown or red ground, alternating (red, brown and blue grounds used on fols. 26v-31v, brownish red and blue only on fols. 134r-150v), to verses and other minor textual divisions; similar line-fillers in the litany.

By two main artists: the larger miniatures are by an artist working in a late Gothic style, while the illustrations of the calendar and suffrages are by an artist working in an essentially renaissance style. The borders in the calendar (which appear to be consistent in style with the borders throughout the rest of the volume) seem to have been executed before the calendar miniatures, which they abut somewhat awkwardly.


Modern sewing probably on five cords, without endbands; re-cased in 16/17th-century French limp parchment over parchment 'boards'; the covers tooled in gilt with foliate and interlace designs within framing lines (the gilt mostly rubbed away); the spine with four (of an original six) thin parchment sewing supports (no longer functional) emerging from the spine at the joints, and then passing back under the boards; the spine decorated with dense interlace designs in gilt; modern flyleaves without watermarks conjoint with the pastdowns; the edges of the leaves gilt.


Origin: French, Paris ; 15th-16th century, c. 1500

Provenance and Acquisition

Presumably written and decorated in Paris c.1500, but with no indications of the original owner.

Unidentified French(?) owner, 16th/17th century: the added leaves with hymns at the beginning and end of the volume were probably added at the time of the present binding.

John Buchanan: inscribed in pencil with the 'Descriptive list' number, '8.', in the top left corner of the upper pastedown.

Rt. Hon T. R. Buchanan (1846–1911); the volume was perhaps re-cased for him, since the flyleaves and pastedowns show no evidence of having passed through booksellers' hands).

Given to the Bodleian in 1939 by his widow,Mrs. E. O. Buchanan, when it was accessioned as MS. Lat. liturg. e. 29; re-referenced as MS. Buchanan e. 8 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 (13 images from 35mm slides)


Last Substantive Revision

2017-07-01: First online publication.