MS. Buchanan e. 9
Former shelfmark: MS. Lat. liturg. e. 30
[Item 1 occupies quire I]
Calendar, in French, with an entry for every day, major feasts in gold (none of them local), the others alternately red or blue; each month headed by a note on the length of the calendar month in gold, and of the lunar month in blue, and with a note at the end of each month on the length of the night and day in red; feasts in gold include Eloi (1 Dec.), and his translation (24 [recte 25] June).
[Items 2–3 occupy quires II-III]
Gospel Pericopes (cf. MS. Buchanan e. 3; without the antiphon, versicle, response and prayer after John).
each with the rubric:
[masculine forms] (cf. MS. Buchanan e. 2)
[Items 4–5 occupy quires IV-X]
Hours of the Virgin, Use unidentified (the antiphon and capitulum at Prime are: 'Quando natus es', and 'Ab inicio'; and at None: 'Ecce maria genuit' and 'Per te dei'); Prime, Sext and None each start imperfect (at '|| festina. Gloria patri ...'; '[mor-]||tis suscipe. Gloria tibi ...'; and '[prote-]||ge et in hora mortis suscipe.'), due to the loss of single leaves after fols. 47, 57 and 60.
Added texts relating to Sens
[Items 6–9 occupy quires X-XIV]
The Seven Penitential Psalms.
Litany and collects: the litany including 'Sylea' (Silas?), and Martial (17–18) among eighteen apostles and evangelists; Vincent twice (9, 20) among twenty-six martyrs; Vigor, Germanus, Omer, Bertin, Alexius, Bertin (i.e. repeated), Silvinus, Basil, Piatus, Eloi, and Giles (14–24) among 24 confessors; followed (fol. 94r) by two collects
Hours of the Cross.
Hours of the Holy Spirit.
[Items 10–14 occupy quires XV-XVI]
in rhyming verse, written out as prose
written, as often, as eight verses in the following order
followed (fol. 119r-v) by the usual prayer
[Items 15–16 occupy quires XVII-XXII]
Office of the Dead, Use unidentified: the responses at the nine lessons correspond to Ottosen, Office of the Dead, numbers 14,72,24, 32,57,68, 83,46,38, but this sequence does not occur in his tables.
Suffrage to St. Barbara, a contemporary addition.
[Items 17(i)-(l) occupy quires XXIII-XXVI]
16 lines ruled in pale red ink (the calendar with 18 lines ruled) between single vertical bounding lines extending the full height of the page, the first and last horizontal extending the full width of the page; 15 lines of text per page (the calendar with 17 lines); no prickings visible.
Written in gothic bookhand, in two sizes according to liturgical function, probably by a single main scribe; text items 5(i)-(ii) (fol. 75r-v) added in 15th-century gothic bookhand; text item 16 (fols. 161v-162v) is written in a finer 15th-century gothic bookhand, but presumably in a lower-quality ink, since it has largely powdered away.
Most headings in red, rather brown in text item 16, rather purple from fol. 163r to the end.
Twelve (of at least an original fifteen) large fine miniatures; all but three (noted below) above four lines of text; most with ogee-curved tops, though many are cropped at the top, one is trefoil-shaped (fol. 94v), and one is rounded (fol. 101v); each with a three-sided frame (open at the top) usually of gold and painted foliage; most of the miniatures damaged by considerable rubbing, smudging, and/or flaking of the pigments and gold, causing underdrawing to be visible in some places (e.g. David's garments, fol. 76r); silver and white have usually oxidised:
- (fol. 13r) Pericopes. St. John writing on Patmos, his eagle beside him, a large demon behind him stealing his pen-case and upsetting his inkpot; the sky and water presumably once silver, now oxidised. [Above three lines of text].
- (fol. 26r) Hours of the Virgin, Matins. Annunciation; the architectural setting very like that in Paris, BnF, ms. lat. 9471, fol. 21r (ill. in the Meiss and Thomas The Rohan Hours (see below), pl. 27), but reversed.
- (fol. 37v) Lauds. Visitation; the Virgin holding a book.
- [Prime miniature missing: offset on fol. 48r]
- (fol. 53v) Terce. Annunciation to three Shepherds, each holding a long curved houlette.
- [Sext and None miniatures missing: offsets on fols. 57v and 60v respectively].
- (fol. 63v) Vespers. Flight into Egypt; the Holy Family leave a city gate; the landscape largely oxidised.
- (fol. 70r) Compline. Coronation of the Virgin; the faces largely oxidised. [Above three lines of text].
- (fol. 76r) Penitential Psalms. David in Penitence, in a landscape.
- (fol. 94v) Hours of the Cross. Crucifixion; an crowded composition, with the Good and Bad Thieves, and numerous figures standing or on horseback.
- (fol. 101v) Hours of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost; the Apostles around the Virgin; diaper background.
- (fol. 108r) Fifteen Joys. The Virgin nursing the Child in a rose-garden, flanked by music-making angels, another angel holding a crown above her head; a supplicant lay-woman in the foreground, wearing a black head-dress lined(?) and edged in gold; the gold framing filled with blue fleurs-de-lis.
- (fol. 113v) Seven Requests. The Last Judgement; the Virgin and John the Baptist(?) either side of the Redeemer; a sword and lily either side of his mouth; below them, angels sound the last trump, figures rise from graves, with the Blessed led by an angel to Christ's right, the Damned dragged by a demon into a hell-mouth at his left; the sky oxidised.
- (fol. 120r) Office of the Dead. Funeral Service; in a chapel, with a priest celebrating a requiem mass at an altar, with an altarpiece depicting the Crucifixion; black-clad mourners(?) in stalls to the left of the bier, nuns(?) to the right, wearing white/grey habits and black head-dresses, one following the text with her finger in an open book. [Above three lines of text].
Vertical borders to every page, to both sides of the text, with stylized and semi-naturalistic plants amongst gold ivyleaf decoration and four-petalled flowers.
Three- or four-line initals in red, pink, blue and white on a gold ground at the start of major textual units, hours, etc.; similar two-line initials to psalms, capitula, lessons, etc.; similar one-line initials to verses and minor divisions; line-fillers throughout.
The miniatures are in the style of the Master of the Rohan Hours (on whom see—not mentioning the present manuscript— Millard Meiss and Marcel Thomas, The Rohan Book of Hours: Bibliothèque nationale, Paris (MS. latin 9471) (London, 1973); and Millard Meiss, French painting in the time of Jean de Berry: the Limbourgs and their contemporaries (2 vols., New York and London, 1974)); it was published as being by the Rohan Master by Porcher, based on information provided by Otto Pächt.
Sewn on three cords, with head- and (detached) tail-bands, (five(?) previous sewing stations are perhaps visible, but the gutter fold is damaged and dirty); bound in 17th(?)-century parchment over thin pasteboards, stamped in gilt with an oval wreath in the centre of each cover; the spine divided into three compartments by four horizontal gilt bars, each compartment stamped in gilt with a small five-petalled rose; remains of the upper of two pairs of leather ties at the fore-edge; the edges, especially of the upper cover, damaged (perhaps largely by rodents) and repaired; the bottom edge of the upper cover repaired with later parchment; modern flyleaves conjoint with the pastedowns (without watermarks); the edges of the leaves gilt.
Provenance and Acquisition
Unidentified laywoman, depicted on fol. 108r. van Dijk implies that a prayer at the end of the Office of the Dead, 'Deus venie largitor ...' (fol. 160br-v) indicates that 'the volume was written for a member of a religious community', presumably because it includes '... ut nostre congregationis fratres familiares benefactores nostros ...', but this textual evidence is weak (cf. the versions in MS. Buchanan e. 10, fols. 109v-110r and Wordsworth, Horae Eboracenses, 111), and appears to be refuted by the visual evidence. The Use of the Hours of the Virgin and of the Office of the Dead are unidentified; they do not correspond with Troyes, Angers, or Paris, the three identified Uses for which the Rohan Master produced Books of Hours. Several saints in the litany point rather strongly to St.-Omer/St.-Bertin and the surrounding region: Sts. Bertin (twice), Omer, Silvinus (relics once at St.-Omer), Piatus (relics once at St.-Omer).
Unidentified near-contemporary owner, diocese of Sens (?): the added texts on fol. 75r-v suggest that a 15th-century owner made additions appropriate to use in or around Sens. The suffrage to Barbara (fols. 161v-162v) was perhaps added at about the same time, on leaves which would have been left blank at the end of quire XXII, but which, like fol. 188v, had had the borders supplied by the original decorators.
Symeon de Roussel, 1694(?); inscribed: 'Ces p(resents?) heures a|partienne à s(ieu)r | Symeon de - | Roussel S(ieu)r decz [?] | Tauxsellecz qui | le(s) trouuoiront | le(s) Renderont | au[?]ds S(ieu)r decz | Tauxsellecz qui | poira[?] Le Tiy[?] | Comme Il faut | de sa[?] Ligne de | Roussel' followed by an elaborate paraph sign; and, in darker ink with a thinner-nibbed pen, '1694' and '[S.?] Roussel [followed by an elaborate paraph sign] | La prairie 1694.' (fol. 188v). The binding may date from Roussel's ownership of the volume.
Unidentified 19th-century French owner; inscribed: 'Les 7. alegresses de la S.te Vierge.' (fol. 107v).
John Buchanan: inscribed in pencil with the 'Descriptive list' number, '9.', in the upper left corner of the upper pastedown.
Given to the Bodleian in 1939 by his widow, Mrs. E. O. Buchanan, when it was originally accesssioned as MS. Lat. liturg. e. 30; re-referenced as MS. Buchanan e. 9 in 1941.
This manuscript is on display in the Bodleian Libraries exhibition Sensational Books (27 May – 4 December 2022). It cannot be ordered between those dates or for a short period before and after.
Digital Bodleian (3 images from 35mm slides)
Last Substantive Revision
2017-07-01: First online publication.