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

MS. Buchanan f. 3

Book of Hours, in Dutch, Netherlandish, 15th century, second quarter

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: (endleaves, fol. 2) te dilecto
Secundo Folio: (calendar, fol. 5) KL Sporkelle heuet
Secundo Folio: (text, fol. 18) sijn volc want
Form: codex
Support: Parchment.
Extent: ii (14th-century parchment bifolium) + 214 + 1 (modern paper).
Dimensions (leaf): 152-3 × 106-9 mm.
The decoration cropped in the upper and fore-edge margins.
Foliation: Foliated in modern pencil: 1-217; a 17th?-century hand has numbered fols. 100r, 201r, and 216r as '100', '200', and '215', suggesting that at least some of the missing miniatures were already lacking by that date.


Mostly on quires of 8 leaves, with miniatures on inserted single leaves: I8 (fols. 3-10), II6 (fols. 11-16) | III8+1-1 (1st leaf inserted, later excised, leaving a stub before fol. 17) (fols. 17-24), IV8+1-1 (4th leaf inserted, later excised, leaving a stub before fol. 28) (fols. 25-32), V8+1 (8th leaf inserted, fol. 40) (fols. 33-41), VI8+1 (5th leaf inserted, fol. 46) (fols. 42-50), VII8+1 (5th leaf inserted, fol. 55) (fols. 51-59), VIII8+1 (1st leaf inserted, fol. 60) (fols. 60-68), IX6+1-1 (1st leaf inserted, later excised, leaving a stub before fol. 69) (fols. 69-74) | X6+1-1 (1st leaf inserted, later excised, leaving a stub before fol. 75) (fols. 75-80) | XI8+1 (1st leaf inserted, fol. 81) (fols. 81-89), XII8 (fols. 90-97), XIII6+1 (7th leaf inserted, fol. 104) (fols. 98-104) | XIV-XIX8 (fols. 105-152) | XX8+1-1 (1st leaf inserted, later excised, leaving a stub before fol. 153) (fols. 153-161), XXI-XXIII8 (fols. 162-186) | XXIV8+1-1 (1st leaf inserted, later excised, leaving a stub before fol. 187 and the wrap-around after fol. 194) (fols. 187-194), XXV-XXVI8 (fols. 195-210), XXVII6 (fols. 211-216) ('inserted' leaves are blank on the recto, with a miniature on the verso) CATCHWORDS visible in most quires except (i) in the calendar, (ii) at the end of each major textual unit, and (iii) quires XXIV-XXVII alphanumeric LEAF SIGNATURES (ai, aii, aiii, etc.), from quire III to XXIII, with two forms of the letter 'r' (normal, and '2'-shaped), and two forms of the letter 's' (upright, and round)


Provenance and Acquisition

Unidentified 17th(?)-century owners: the upper cover of the binding inscribed (apparently by the hand responsible for the foliation numbers on fols. 100r, 201r, and 216r): 'i5.' or 'is.' (possibly an abbreviation of 'ihesus', who is represented below?); inscribed by another hand in the upper margin of fol. 2r: 'fautis wal val slieri' (??).

Unidentified 18th/19th-century collection(s): inscribed in the top right corner of fol. 1r: '470' in a large bold hand (crossed through in ink), and in the top compartment of the spine (cf. under Binding); there is an erased inscription before this number on fol. 1r, apparently ending with a 'p'(?), but otherwise illegible even under UV light.

Unidentified 19th-century owner: inscribed in pencil (fol. 3v): 'Cöllnischer [?] Kalender'.

Thomas Arthur, or William Ridler, London booksellers, c.1875-85: the inner face of the upper board with a clipping from one of their catalogues, affixed sideways, in which the present manuscript was item 1, priced £8 8s.; inscribed in pencil on fol. 1r with the price-code 'd/s/-' (i.e. £5 10s) in the upper left margin, and on the wood of the inner face of the upper board, towards the centre of the fore-edge, sloping upwards; a pencil inscription is largely obscured by the catalogue clipping except for the word 'Pages', '[Cen]tury'(?), and a ',' sign.

Rt. Hon. T. R. Buchanan (1846-1911), after 1874

Given to the Bodleian by his widow, Mrs. E. O. Buchanan, in 1941.

MS. Buchanan f. 3 - Part 1 (main ms)


Book of Hours,

mainly in the translation of Geert Grote

Language(s): Dutch

[fols. 1r-2v: see part II]

[Item 1 occupies quires I-II]

(fols. 4r-15v)


With an entry for almost every day of the year; each month headed by a note in red, usually relating the seasonal occupation to the length of the calendar month ('Januarius Ioemaent'; 'Sporkelle heuet xxviij dage'; 'Hert maent heuet xxxi dage'; etc.); major feasts (in red) include several saints whose relics were at Cologne, including Pantaleon (28 July), Gereon, Victor (10 Oct.), 11,000 virgins (21 Oct.), and Severinus (23 Oct.). Compared to the major feasts in the Cologne calendar (i.e. those printed in bold type by Grotefend, Zeitrechnung des deutschen Mittelalters, II pt.1, 82-6), the present manuscript has the following differences: the following are in black: Fabian & Sebastian (20 Jan.), Gregory (12 Mar.), and Mark (25 Apr.); the following, whose relics were at Cologne, are in red: Albinus and 10,000 martyrs (22 Jun.), and Cunibert (12 Nov.); the following are omitted: translation of the Three Kings (relics in Cologne) (23 July), dedication of Cologne Cathedral (27 Sept.), Presentation of the Virgin (21 Nov.); fols. 3r-v and 16v originally blank, fol. 16r is ruled only with the left-hand vertical lines of the calendar.

[Item 2 occupies quires III-IX]

(fols. 17r-74v)

Hours of the Virgin

Rubric: Hier beghint onser vrouwe ghetide
(pr. N. van Wijk, ed., Het Getijdenboek van Geert Grote: naar het Haagse Handschrift 133 E 21 (Leidsche Drukken en Herdrukken: Kleine Reeks, III: Leiden, 1940), 36-70, the present manuscript without the prologue on p. 36); with rubrics giving the Latin incipits of texts which are here in Dutch (e.g. 'Deus in adiutorium God wilt dencken in mijn hulpe. ...'), other rubrics are in Dutch (e.g. 'die eerste lesse.'); fols. 39v, 45v ruled, but blank except for the rubrics to Prime and Terce respectively; fols. 40r, 46r, 55r, 60r blank, with miniatures on the versos.

[Item 3 occupies quire X]

(fols. 75r-80v)

Hours of the Cross

Rubric: Hier beghint theilich cruus ghetide
(pr. ibid., 87-91).

[Items 4-5 occupy quires XI-XIII]

[fol. 81r blank, fol. 81v with a miniature]

(fols. 82r-95r)

The Seven Penitential Psalms

Rubric: Hier beghint die .vij. psalm
(pr. ibid., 139-45).
(fols. 95r-103v)

Litany, a prayer, and collects

The litany with Augustine (1), Lubin, and Odulf (18-19) among nineteen confessors; Mary Magdalen (1), Walburga, Gertrude (10-11), Ursula and Elizabeth (15-16) among sixteen virgins; followed (fols. 101v-102v) by a prayer:

Rubric: preces
Incipit: Ic hebbe gheseit here ontferme mijns.
Explicit: Die heer si mit v. Ende mit uwen gheest. Laet ons bidden.

and three collects, each headed 'Collecte.':

(fols. 102v-103r)
Incipit: Wi bidden di heer verhoer die bede

(pr. ibid., 153)

(fol. 103r)
Incipit: God dient properlike toe behoert
Explicit: goedertierenheit bi onsen heer ihesum christum. Amen.
(fol. 103r-v)
Incipit: O heer openbaer ons goedertierenlike dine onsprekelike
Explicit: ouermits dese sonden verdienen bi onsen heer ihesum christum dinen soen ... zielen moeten rusten in vreden. A.M.E.N. Heer verhoer mijn ghebet. Ende mijn roepen come totti

[fol. 104r blank, fol. 104v with a miniature]

[Item 6 occupies quires XIV-XIX]

(fols. 105r-152v)

Short offices for each day of the week

(fols. 105r-116r)

for Sunday, devoted to the Trinity

Rubric: Des sonnendages vander heyligher drieuoudicheit te metten
(fols. 116v-125r, rubric on fol. 116r)

for Monday, devoted to All Souls

Rubric: des manen daghes voer die zielen te metten
(fols. 125v-131r, rubric on fol. 125r)

for Tuesday, devoted to the Baptism

Rubric: Des dinxdaghes vander dopen ons heren. Te metten
(fols. 131v-137r, rubric on fol. 131r)

for Wednesday, devoted to the Betrayal of Christ

Rubric: Des woensdaghes van dat onse heer vercost wert te metten
(fols. 137v-142r, rubric on fol. 137r)

for Thursday, devoted to the Holy Sacrament

Rubric: des donre daghes vanden heilighen sacrament. te metten
(fols. 142v-149r, rubric on fol. 142r)

for Friday, devoted to the Passion

Rubric: Des vridages vander passien ons heren. Te metten tijt
(fols. 149v-152v, rubric on fol. 149r)

for Saturday, devoted to the Virgin

Rubric: Des saterdages van onser vrouwen

[Item 7 occupies quires XX-XXIII]

(fols. 153r-185v)

Office of the Dead

Rubric: Hier beghint die vighelie in duutsch

with only three lessons at Matins (pr. ibid., 156-95, i.e. starting on the second page of the pr. text, at 'Mi hebben ombeuanghen die suchten des doots. ...'; and with only the first three lessons at Matins); fol. 186r-v ruled, otherwise blank.

[Items 8-14, by a different scribe, occupy quires XXIV-XXVII]

(fols. 187r-190v)

Devotion to the Seven Last Words, here attributed to Bede

Rubric: Hier beghint die bedinge des eersamen vaders beda vanden lesten souen woerden
Incipit: Pater noster. O here ihesu christi die inden lesten daghe
Explicit: een salich eynde ende die moeder gades in mijnre lester noet Amen
(cf. Maria Meertens, De godsvrucht in de Nederlanden naar handschriften van gebedenboeken der XVe eeuw I-III, VI [all published] (Leuvense Studieën en Tekstuitgaven: Brussels, 1930-4), II (1931), 111, not found in ibid., VI), each of the eight sections with a Latin cue for the Pater noster.
(fols. 191r-193r, rubric on fols. 190v-191r)

Indulgenced prayer on the Passion, here attributed to Pope John XXII

Rubric: Men seget dat pauwes Iohannes die tweentwintichste die dit nae gescreuen gebet makede ... inder missen of inder tegenwoerdicheit des heiligen sacraments alsoe menigen dach aflaets ..
Incipit: Ic bidde di alre mildeste heer ihesu christi omme die sonderlinghe hoge
(as in ibid., VI, 197 item 19), followed by a collect:
Incipit: O Almechtige god ic bidde di omme dine heilige vijf wonden
Explicit: lichaem noch sonder uwen heiligen olye Die leues ende regniers ... Amen.
(fols. 193v-195r, rubric on fol. 193r-v)

A long indulgenced version of the Anima Christi, here attributed to Pope John [XXII?]

Rubric: Die pauwes iohannes heest gegeuen drie dusent dage aflaets van dootliken sunden Ende dusent iaer van daghelixen sunden soe wie dit gebet leest onder missen mit ynnicheit
Incipit: O Alre heilichste siele christi heilige mi O ghebene dide ende gloriose lichaem christi in dinen wil soe bewaert my
Explicit: heues gegeuen blijtscap in onsen herten

followed by the collect

Incipit: God die ons daer bewijst menichuoldicheit
Explicit: moet ghedelicht werden Amen
(fols. 195r-212r)

Three Communion prayers, the first two here attributed to St. Thomas (Becket?) and St. Bernard, respectively

(fols. 195r-196v)
Rubric: Dit ghebet heest ghemaect sancte Thomas in sinen lesten eynde vanden heiligen sacrament
Incipit: Ic aenbede di verborghen waerheit
(as in ibid., VI, 47 item 14c)
(fols. 197r-198v, rubric on fols. 196v-197r)
Rubric: Dit gebet heest gemaect sancte bernaert vanden heilighen sacrament
Incipit: O leuende vrucht du suete gheminde
Explicit: openbaer liken gebruken in ewicheit der ewicheiden Amen.
(as in ibid., VI, 47 item 14d)
(fols. 198v-201r)
Rubric: Dit salmen lesen als men dat heilige sacrament ontfangen heest
Incipit: O here ihesu christe lof si dijnre onspreliker minnentliker guedertierenheit
(pr. ibid., III, 89-90; the present manuscript with an extra eleven lines:)
Incipit: O minlike here ihesu christe wi bidde ic di om die minlike
Explicit: Ende allen gelouigen sielen dat leuen dijnre ewicheit Amen
(fols. 201r-202r)

Prayers and suffrages

a prayer to one's Guardian Angel

Rubric: Een gebet van minen lieuen heiligen engel
Incipit: O mijn alre liefste engel claer blinckende sterre
(as in Meertens, op. cit., VI, 15 item 9c)
(fols. 202r-205v)

suffrages to Sts. Philip & James, Antony Abbot, Catherine, and Barbara

(fols. 205v-206r)

a prayer to Our Lord:

Rubric: Een gebet van onsen lieuen here
Incipit: O alre guedertierenste here ihesu christi sich op mi mitten oghen dijnre barmherticheit
Explicit: mordaner inden hemelschen paradise di ewelic te bescouwen
(fols. 206r-212r)

a long prayer to Our Lord

Rubric: Een guet gebet van onsen lieuen here
Incipit: O here ihesu hemelsche coninc guedertieren ontfermhertige gads soen
Explicit: mitten ewigen lichte uwer ewiger salicheit Amen
(fols. 212v-213v)

Devotion to the Virgin

Rubric: Van onser lieuer vrouwen

consisting of a prayer:

Incipit: O heilige maria sterne des meers verluchtende alle der werlt verluchte mijn herte
Explicit: maget ende moeder marien ende inder ewiger glorien mitti te besitten die ewige blijscap Amen

and seven invocations, the first:

Incipit: O du vlietende borne der ewicheit woe bistu wi aldus verseghen

each followed by a Latin cue for the Ave Maria.

(fols. 213v-215v)

Devotion to St. Erasmus

Rubric: Van sancte herasme
Incipit: O heilige herasme martelaer christi die op den heiligen sonnendach
Explicit: ende mi tot enen troest O heilige herasme di beuele ... ghescien hier om O heilige herasme ontfanck mi ... tot enen troest O heilige erasme oet beuele ... ende ewelic Amen Kyrieleison ... werden der belaesten ons heren ihesu christi

with a collect:

Incipit: O Almechtige god wi bidden verleen
Explicit: wederspoet werden verloest bi onsen here ihesum christum Amen

fol. 216r-v ruled, otherwise originally blank.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Dimensions (ruled): 87-90 × 60-1 mm.
Dimensions (ruled): 94-5 × 81-2 mm.
Dimensions (written): 86 × 61 mm.


16 lines ruled in pale purple ink (a brighter tone in the calendar), between single vertical bounding lines extending the full height of the page, the top two and bottom two horizontal lines ruled the full width of the page; the calendar with all five verticals ruled the full height of the page); prickings frequently survive in all margins, about 10 mm. from the lower edge in the lower margin, the penultimate horizontal ruled line with a double pricking at the fore-edge. 15 lines of text per page.


Written in gothic bookhand, by two main scribes, responsible for (i) 17r-185v, and (ii) 187r-215v; the calendar appears to be by the second of these, or a third scribe.


Headings in red, capitals and some abbreviations touched in red.

Six (of an original thirteen?) full-page miniatures, in the general style of the Masters of Otto van Moerdrecht (on which see James H. Marrow, et al., The golden age of Dutch manuscript painting (New York, 1990), 14 and cat. nos. 21-5), less fine than the historiated initial, smaller than the text-area, each on a gold ground, framed by coloured and gold lines and with sketchy black penwork and gold dots in the margins; on inserted single leaves, blank on the recto; several cut out, leaving stubs:

  • [Hours of the Virgin, Matins and Lauds: miniatures missing, leaving stubs before fols. 17 & 28 respectively.]
  • (fol. 40v) Prime. Betrayal of Christ; Malchus's Ear.
  • (fol. 46v) Terce. Christ before Pilate.
  • [Sext miniature missing, leaving a stub before fol. 51.]
  • (fol. 55v) None. Christ Carrying the Cross.
  • (fol. 60v) Vespers. Deposition; Joseph of Arimathaea supporting Christ's body.
  • [Compline miniature missing, leaving a stub before fol. 69.]
  • [Hours of the Cross miniature missing, leaving a stub before fol. 75.]
  • (fol. 81v) Penitential Psalms. Last Judgement; a lily and a sword either side of Christ's head; figures rising from graves.
  • (fol. 104v) Daily Hours. Pentecost.
  • [Office of the Dead miniature missing, leaving a stub before fol. 153.]
  • [Seven Last Words miniature missing, leaving a stub before fol. 187, and an offset on fol. 187r.]

There is no sign of the small ink stamps sometimes found on inserted leaves painted in this style (see James Douglas Farquhar, 'Identity in an anonymous age: Bruges manuscript illuminators and their signs', Viator 11 (1980), 371-83, figs. 1-12).

One seven-line historiated initial on a gold ground, the margins of the page with a foliate and floral border in colours and gold on all four sides, overlaid on three intersecting gold fillets, one in each of the outer margins: (fol. 17r) Hours of the Virgin, Matins. Virgin and Child, the Virgin crowned, half-length; damaged by abrasion.

Five-line initials in gold on a cusped square 'quartered' ground in pink and blue, with white tracery, with a painted and gilt bar-border in the outer margin, a gold fillet in the upper and lower margins, and gold and painted foliage and flowers in all four margins, at the start of the Hours of the Cross (fol. 75r), the Penitential Psalms (fol. 82r), the first of the Daily Offices (fol. 105r), and the Office of the Dead (fol. 153r); similar initials, but without the gold fillets, and with simpler foliage ornament, to the other Daily Offices (fols. 116v, 125v, etc.); similar four-line initials with a bar border the height of the text area, sprouting foliage into the upper and lower margins at the start of each canonical hour except Matins in the Hours of the Virgin (fols. 28r, 41r, etc.); similar three-line initials and borders at each canonical hour except Matins in the Hours of the Cross (fols. 76v, 77v, etc.); similar three-line initials without borders, but with a simple daisy-like design in the margin alongside at each hour of the Daily Offices except Matins (fols. 106v, 108v, etc.); one five-line penwork initial in blue with reserved designs containing and surrounded by penwork in red ink, partially filled-in with green wash (fol. 187r: the start of the section by the third scribe); plain two-line initials, alternately red or blue, to psalms, hymns, lessons, etc.; plain one-line initials, alternately red or blue, to verses and other minor textual divisions.

Comparable border decoration can be found in manuscripts with illumination in the style the Masters of Zweder van Culemborg, e.g. Utrecht, University Library, MS. 1037 (2.E.19), illustrated in van der Horst, University Library, Utrecht, cat., no. 37, col. pl. F, figs. 155-8.

Addendum, 12 April 2000. Dr. Anne Korteweg kindly informs me that the text pages have what is called 'multicoloured leaves' decoration (see Kriezels, no. 7 and fig. on p. 36), and that the inserted miniatures are by a Utrecht master known as the Bible Master of the First Generation, a coarse follower of the Gethsemane Master (the latter named after a miniature in a Bible, The Hague, Royal Library, 78 D 38, although he and his followers worked mostly in books of hours).


Contemporary sewing and blind-stamped binding, see below under Binding.


Origin: Netherlandish, diocese of Utrecht (?), for use in the diocese of Cologne (?); 15th century, second quarter


Made for an unidentified Dutch-speaking patron, perhaps living in or near Cologne (possibly an exile during the Utrecht Schism of 1423-50): the decoration and the litany suggest that the main texts of the book were made in the diocese of Utrecht, while the calendar (on a separate quire, as usual, and by a different scribe; but also in Dutch, not German or Latin) indicates that it was tailored to the needs of a client in the city or diocese of Cologne, who presumably also requested the inclusion of the non-standard devotions from fol. 187r to the end (on separate quires, perhaps by the scribe of the calendar); since one of the inserted miniatures originally faced fol. 187r, the miniatures were presumably inserted after the writing of these textual additions. Patterns of holes and rust or other marks in fols. 39-40r, 45-46r, 186-187r suggest that pilgrim badge(s) or other votive image(s) may have been pinned/sewn in at these points, i.e. blank pages preceding miniatures.

MS. Buchanan f. 3 - Part II (flyleaves)


(fols. 1r-2v)
Breviary (portable)

Use unidentified; an unfinished, presumably discarded, central bifolium of a quire, containing from the end of the versicle of lesson IV to the start of lesson IX (from '|| aurem tuam. Quia. ...' to '... viuere cum christo. Actualis ||'), perhaps part of Matins of the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin (15 Aug.).

Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: bifolium


ruled in brown ink with single vertical bounding lines extending the full height of the page, but horizontal lines are not visible (not ruled?), the 'pricked height' is 103 mm., the written height 100 mm., the ruled width 63 mm.; pricked with five regularly-spaced prickings in the fore-edge margin (alongside the notional bottom horizontal ruled line, and, counting from the bottom, the sixth, twelfth, eighteenth, and twenty-fourth lines), perhaps indicating the (intended?) use of a six-nibbed ruling implement; written with 23 lines of text per page


gothic bookhand


Headings in red, capitals touched in red, guide letters for one- and two-line painted initials which were never supplied, guides for rubrics in the outer margins; the letter 'a' in the lower margin of fol. 2r. Similar endleaves may have been used at the back of the volume, to judge by what appear to be offsets of rubrics on the inner face of the lower board.


Origin: Netherlandish ; 14th-century

Additional Information

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 (11 images from 35mm slides)