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

MS. Ashmole 1291

Summary Catalogue no.: 8224

Book of Hours, Use of Rome. Flemish (probably Bruges), with inserted miniatures (Dutch, Brabant?); 15th century, second quarter

Contents

Language(s): Latin and Middle Low German with some Middle Dutch

Book of Hours, Use of Rome
(fols. 1v–2r)

Calendrical-Zodiacal Table

Consisting of 17 rows of 19 columns of 23 letters (a–z, omitting j, u, and w) and a few abbreviation signs, the last two column with the signs of the zodiac from Leo to Pisces (July–March), and indications ‘malum’, ‘bonum’, or ‘medium’.

(fols. 3r–14v)
Calendar

Sparse and ungraded; major feasts (in red) include St Basil, to whom a chapel is dedicated in Bruges (14 June), Remigius and Bavo, to the latter of whom the cathedral of Ghent is dedicated (1 October), Donatien, to whom Bruges cathedral is dedicated (14 October); Dominic (5 August) and Francis (4 October) are included as ordinary feasts.

(fols. 16r–39v)
Long Hours of the Holy Spirit
Rubric: Incipiunt Hore de Sancto Spiritu. Ad matutinas
(fol. 40r)
Added prayer
Incipit: Anima Christi sanctifica me corpus Christi \salvifica me/ aqua Christi inebria me mors Christi vivifica me
(fols. 41r–44r)
Short Hours of the Cross
Rubric: Incipiunt[sic] officium sancte crucis
(fols. 44r–45r)
Added: The Verses of St Bernard
(fol. 44r)
Incipit: Oremus. Omnipotens sempiterne deus qui Ezechi⟨el⟩ regi Jude cum latus
Explicit: secundum tuam misericordiam consequi merear per Christum dominum nostrum amen.

Using masculine forms: ‘concede michi queso indigno famulo tuo’. This prayer usually follows, not precedes, the Verses.

(fols. 44v–45r)
The Psalter of St Bernard
Incipit: Illumina oculos meos
Explicit: Istud est salterium Bernardi. Benedicamus patrem et filium … in secula

The usual selection of Psalm verses (for which see MS. Buchanan e. 9, fols. 118v–119v) but here originally omitting Ps. 30:6, whose first four words (‘In manus tuas domine’) are added in the margin.

(fols. 46r–55r)
Mass of the Virgin
Rubric: Missa beate Marie
Incipit: Introibo ad altare dei
(fols. 55r–56r)
Added: a devotion
Incipit: Salve regina. Nobis post hoc exsilium ostende
Explicit: in gloria sua collocare in secula seculorum. Amen.
Rubric: In five sections, with headings ‘Salve regina’, ‘O clemens’, ‘O pia’, ‘O dulcis’, and ‘O Maria’; these are the last five stanzas of a farsed version of the Salve regina that is often included in Flemish Books of Hours made for the English market.
(fols. 57r–97v)
Hours of the Virgin
Rubric: Incipiunt hore beate Marie virginis secundum consuetudinem Romane ecclesie. Ad matutinas

With inserted miniatures facing the start of Lauds (fol. 66r), Sext (fol. 82r), None (fol. 85r), Vespers (fol. 87v), and Compline (fol. 92), but not Prime (fol. 75v) or Terce (fol. 78v).

(fols. 97v–98r)
Added suffrage to St Sebastian against plague
Rubric: Oracio de sancti Sebastiani(?) [sic]
Incipit: Elegiit[sic] dominus virum de plebe
Incipit: (collect) Omnipotens sempiterne deus cui precibus et meritis beati Sebastiane gloriosissymy martiris tui

In the lower margin of fol. 97v is added in Netherlandish(?) ‘God ghorai(?) Gidion contra(?) …(?)’

(fols. 98v–99r)

Added text in Netherlandish

Incipit: Hii siit heren … oghen op slaet …
(fols. 100r–107v)
The Seven Penitential Psalms
Rubric: Incipiunt septem psalmi. Psalmus

Pss. 6, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129, and 142, as usual.

(fols. 107v–111r)
Litany of saints, petitions, and collects

Quintinus added below the martyrs; Mary of Egypt added in the margin near the top of the list of virgins next to Mary Magdalene, and at the bottom, Sts Gertrude (‘gerdrut’), Appolonia, Wilgefortis (‘ontkomer’), Quale (i.e. perhaps Sinte Kwale / Kwaale, Dutch for Holy Sickness), and Bridget twice (‘brigida’, ‘brigitta’); after ‘Omnes sancte virgines’is added ‘et wid’ (i.e. viduae; fol. 109v).

(fols. 113r–136v)
Office of the Dead
Rubric: Incipiunt vigilie mortuorum
(fol. 137r–v)
Devotion to the Holy Face
Incipit: (hymn) Salve sancta facies nostri redemptoris
Incipit: (collect) Deus qui nos signatum lumen vultus tui
(fol. 139r)
Devotion to All Saints
Rubric: De omnibus sanctis. antiphona.
Incipit: Omnes electi dei
(fol. 140r)
Bede’s Prayer on the Seven Last Words (the beginning missing)
Incipit: ||ta mea quia iam tuas disposui penurias consummari veni
Explicit: iocundari commorari. Per infinita … amen.

The last few lines only. The prayer usually begins ‘Domine Ihesu Christe qui septem verba die ultimo vite tue in cruce pendens dixisti …’ (cf. MS. Buchanan g. 1, fols. 255r–257v)

(fols. 140r–141v)
Stabat mater
Incipit: Stabat mater dolorosa / Iuxta crucem lacrimosa
Explicit: Paradisi gloria. Amen.

The popular hymn, here laid out as verse.

(fols. 143r–149r)
Suffrages to saints

Perhaps bound out of place and out of sequence.

(fol. 143r)

Michael

Rubric: Memoria de sancto Michaele
Incipit: Princeps gloriose Michael archangele
(fol. 145r)

Barbara

Rubric: De sancta Barbara. Antiphona.
Incipit: Generosa virgo Barbara
(fol. 147r)

Alexis

Rubric: De sancto Allexo[sic] . Antiphona.
Incipit: Simulabo eum verum sapienti qui edificavit domum
Incipit: (collect) Deus qui perhennem gloriam sanctissimi confessoris tui Alexi anime contulisti
(fol. 149r)

Odulph

Rubric: De sancto Odulpho. Antiphona.
Incipit: Iste sanctus pro lege dei sui certavit usque ad mortem
Incipit: (collect) Deus qui fidelibus tuis magnum pro perius[sic] eterna pro temporalibus largius[sic]

Another version of the prayer begins ‘Deus qui fidelibus tuis magna pro parvis eterna pro temporalibus largiris …’

(fols. 151r–162v)
A series of prayers in German:
(fol. 151r–v)
Incipit: Ave morgen sterne troost der cristenheit. Sote godes der nebrut der reynicheit
Explicit: in deme hemel wol bekant den Moyses vol vures vãt. amen.
R. Priebsch, Deutsche Handschriften in England, I (Erlangen, 1896), this MS. described at p. 182 no. 178; the text printed at pp. 333–35.
(fols. 151v–153r)
Peter von Arberg, Große Tageweise
Incipit: Nu sterke uns got in unser not. Ik bevele my hir an din gebeth
Explicit: help uns to dynem kinde to der hymmelschen porten in. amen.
pr. by Priesbsch, op. cit., pp. 335–37. Listed by G. Steer, ‘Dat dagelyt von der heiligen passien: Die sogenannte “Große Tageweise” Graf Peters von Arberg’, Beiträge zur weltlichen und geistlichen Lyrik des 13. bis 15. Jahrhunderts: Würzburger Colloquium 1970, ed. by K. Ruh and W. Schröder (Berlin, 1973), pp. 112–204 at 116 no. 10, 170.
(fol. 153r–v)
Incipit: Vrouwe dy Maria edele Iuncvrouwe godes gebereryne
Explicit: dynen leven kinde und vns armen sund’. amen.
(fols. 153v–158r)
Rubric: Eyn gut gebede van der heligen drevaldicheit sequitur.
Incipit: O werde benedide helige drevoldecheit ik bidde dy wente du my na dy gebildet hest
Incipit: (fol. 154r0 O aller weldigest benedide barmherticheit godes ik bin din arme mensche
Incipit: (fol. 155r) O scepper hymelukes und ertrikes und aller creaturen
Incipit: (fol. 155v) O hemelsche vader und eyn heere aller werlt ik bin din arme knecht
Incipit: (fol. 156r) O du sote mynichlike here Ihesu Crist du iuncvrouwen sone
Incipit: (fol. 156v) O Crist du irlozer. vnd salich maker des menszliken geslechtes
Incipit: (fol. 157r) Ik bidde dy leile here Ihesu Crist und alle cristene selen dat gij nymer stille
Explicit: up dat gij my vrouwen in dessen saken und in myner lesten not. amen.

Apparently a single devotion composed of several prayers, perhaps including the next two:

(fol. 158r–v)
Incipit: God Ihesu Crist ik bin din kint vorgyf my sondige ding
Explicit: dar du bist in dyner heligen dreualdecheid. amen. amen.
pr. by Priesbsch, op. cit., p. 337.
(fols. 158v–159r)
Incipit: God schepper allir creaturen wonte du bist barmhertich van naturen
Explicit: de to male arm is dyne genade deile mit vns. Amen.
pr. by Priesbsch, op. cit., p. 338.
(fols. 159r–160v)
Henricus Suso, Prayer on the Eucharist
Rubric: Eer men dat sacrament ontfaet
Incipit: O levende vrucht du suete ghemynde du wonnenlike paradijs. du suete droepel van cypres inden wijngaerden
Explicit: baerliken sien moeten in ewiger salicheit. amen. amen.
Numerous copies of the text, not including the present MS., are listed by S. G. Axters, Bibliotheca Dominicana Neerlandica manuscripta, 1224–1500 (Louvain, 1970), pp. 181–86; the text derives from Suso's Büchlein der ewigen Weisheit c. 33 (Heinrich Seuse: Deutsche Schriften, ed. K. Bihlmeyer (1907), p. 303).
(fols. 160v–161r)
Thomas Aquinas (attrib.), Prayer on the Holy Sacrament (Adoro te)
Incipit: In dy te ghelouen ende lieften totti te draghen. O ghehoechnisse des dodes ons heren Ihesu Cristi
Explicit: ende ic dynen aensichte ghesien sal werden in die ewighe glorie. amen.
Close to the text pr. by S. G. Axters, ‘Het aan Thomas van Aquino toegeschreven Adoro te in de Middelnederlandsche Literatuur’, Ons geestelijk erf, 12 (1938), 302–18, at 309–13 from line 15 to the end; the pr. text begins ‘Ic aenbede di, verborgen waerheit’. Cf. Verfasserlexikon 9.832-3.
(fols. 161r–162r)
Rubric: Als men dat sacrament ontfaen heuet
Incipit: O here Ihesu Criste de alle tijt voer onse schulde gheoffert werdes du werdes ghebroken
Explicit: des duvels ende verlossen sie ende voeren sie metti in die ewighe blijscap. amen. Amen.
Similar to the prayer pr. by M. Meertens, De godsvrucht in de Nederlanden naar handschriften van gebedenboeken der XVe eeuw, III (Antwerp, 1932), p. 88.
(fols. 162r–162r)
Incipit: Si vis placere deo hec racionabiliter teneat semper habeas pre oculis mala tua
Explicit: et quomodo eum offendisti. amen.
(fols. 162v–163v)
Cisiojanus (mnemonic verses)
Incipit: Sisio ianus epi sibi venducat oc feli mar an
Explicit: nat stef io puto me silvester.
(fols. 163v–164r)
Incipit: Sunt tria que vere faciunt me sepe dolere
Explicit: Inde magiis flebo quia nescio quo remanebo amen.
pr. MS. Ashmole 1393, fol. 51v in Black, Quarto catalogue, X col. 1085.
(fols. 166r–194r)

Suffrages to saints: Sts Nicholas, John the Baptist, Margaret, Erasmus, Gertrude, Eligius, Peter & Paul, Anne, George, Dorothy, Anthony, Katherine, Christopher, Apollonia, and Clare:

(fol. 166r)
Rubric: De sancto Nicholao. antiphona
Incipit: O per omnia laudabilem virum
Incipit: (collect) Deus qui beatum Nicholaum pium pontificum tuum
(fol. 168r)
Rubric: De sancto Johanne baptista
Incipit: Inter natos mulierum
Incipit: (collect) Presta quesumus omnipotens deus ut famulam tuam per viam salutis incedat
(fol. 170r)
Rubric: De sancta Margareta
Incipit: Gloriosa virgo Margarita
Incipit: (collect) Deus qui beatam Margaretam virginem
(fols. 172r–173r)
Rubric: De sancto Erasmi martyris
Incipit: Sancte Erasme qui die dominica deo oblatus fuisti
Incipit: (collect) Presta quesumus ut qui beati Herasmi martyris tui
(fol. 175r)
Rubric: De sancta Ghertrudis. antiphona
Incipit: Generosa virgo Gertrudis
Incipit: (collect) Omnipotens sempiterne deus misericordiam tuam ostende
(fol. 177r)
Rubric: De sancto Eligij. antiphona
Incipit: Alme confessor Eligi miles
Incipit: (collect) Da nobis quesumus omnipotens deus beati Eligii confessoris tui atque pontificis
(fol. 179r)
Rubric: Memoria apostolorum Petri et Pauli. antiphona
Incipit: Isti sunt viri sancti quos elegit dominus
Incipit: (collect) Deus qui memoriam(?) apostolorum tuorum Petri et Pauli martyri consecrasti

The word after ‘qui’ is obscured by offset pigment; it is not ‘hodiernam’, the word usually found in this prayer.

(fol. 180r)
Rubric: Memoria de sancta Anna
Incipit: Veni sponsa Christi accipe coronam
Incipit: (collect) Deus qui beatam Annam matris tue
(fol. 182r)
Rubric: De sancto Georgio. antiphona
Incipit: Hic est vere martir qui pro Christi nomine sanguinem suum fudit
Incipit: (collect) Deus qui beati Georgii martiris tui meritis et intercessione letificas
(fol. 184r)
Rubric: Memoria de sancta Dorothea. antiphona
Incipit: Ave gemma Dorothea vernans rosa mundi vite patens gloriosa sis pro nobis interventrix speciosa
Incipit: (collect) Deus propicius sanctissimi nominis honorare beata virgo et martir Dorothee
(fol. 186r)
Rubric: De sancto Anthonio. antiphona.
Incipit: Celi terre manum benedicat dominum cuncte creature
Incipit: (collect) Ecclesiam tuam deus beati Anthonii confessoris tui
(fol. 188r)
Rubric: Memoria de sancta Katherina. antiphona
Incipit: Ave gemma preciosa adiutor carbunculi
Incipit: (collect) Deus qui dedisti legem Moysi in monte Synai
(fol. 190r)
Rubric: Memoria de sancto Christoffore. antiphona
Incipit: Christofori collo sedeo qui crimina tollo
Incipit: (collect) Presta quesumus domine ut sicut populus Christianus martyris tui Christofori commemoratione congaudet
Incipit: (marginal added prayer) Cristoffori sancti faciem quicumque tuetur
(fol. 192r–v)
Rubric: De sancta Appollonia. antiphona
Incipit: Virgo Christi egregia pro nobis Appollonia
Incipit: (collect) Domine deus creator celi et terre rex regum et dominus dominantium
(fol. 194r)
Rubric: De sancta Clara. antiphona
Incipit: O virgo clarens vespere preclaris clara meritis
Incipit: (collect) Famulos tuos quesumus domine beati virginis tue Clare
(fol. 196r–212r)
The Fifteen Oes of St Brigid (added)
Incipit: O domine Ihesu Christe eterna dulcedo
Explicit: cum omnibus sanctis tuis in eernum amen. pater noster. Ave Maria. et Credo.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: dines montium (fol. 17r)
Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: i + 213 + i leaves
Dimensions (leaf): 95 × 65 mm.
Foliation: i, 1–94, 96–100, 100a, 101–136, 136a, 137–213, in pencil (fols. i and 213 foliated May 2021)

Layout

Ruled space 55 × 35 mm. Three ruling patterns correspond to the three main scribes:

(i) ruled in mauve or pale red ink for 17 lines per page;

(ii) perhaps also ruled in mauve, but diluted to the point of appearing grey, 15 lines per page;

(iii) ruled in brown ink for 10 lines per page.

Hand(s)

Gothic textualis, by three main scribes: (i) most of the text is by one scribe, (ii) another wrote the Hours of the Holy Spirit (fols. 16–39), but their decoration appears to be identical, and thus they were doubtless contemporaries; (iii) a third scribe added the final text, fols. 196–212.

Decoration

Five- to seven-line illuminated foliated initials and full borders at major textual divisions.

Two-line illuminated initials in gold on pink and blue grounds, for Psalms, hymns, etc.

One-line initials alternately gold with blue penwork, or blue with red penwork, to verses.

Thirty-two (of an original thirty five?) full-page miniatures, on inserted leaves (either blank on the reverse or with later added prayers), face the start of most major textual divisions:

  • (fol. 15v) Pentecost
  • (fol. 40v) The Mass of St Gregory; Gregory attended by a cardinal(?)
  • (fol. 45v) The Annunciation; the Virgin reading at a prie-dieu, turning to Gabriel who approaches from the right (cf. fol. 150v)
  • (fol. 56v) The Agony in the Garden
  • (fol. 65v) The Betrayal
  • (fol. 81v) Christ Carrying the Cross
  • (fol. 84v) The Crucifixion
  • (fol. 88r) The Deposition
  • (fol. 93r) The Entombment
  • (fol. 99v) The Last Judgement
  • (fol. 112v) Funeral Service
  • (fol. 138v) St John the Evangelist blessing the chalice of poison
  • (fol. 142v) St Michael
  • (fol. 144v) St Barbara
  • (fol. 146v) St Alexis, holding a book and a sceptre(?)
  • (fol. 148v) St Odulphe, holding a book, standing next to a well
  • (fol. 150v) The Annunciation (almost exactly like that on fol. 45v)
  • (fol. 165v) St Nicholas
  • (fol. 167v) St John the Baptist
  • (fol. 169v) St Margaret
  • (fol. 171v) St Erasmus
  • (fol. 174v) St Gertrude of Nivelles
  • (fol. 176v) St Eligius
  • (fol. 177a v) St Paul
  • (fol. 178v) St Peter
  • (fol. 181v) St George
  • (fol. 183v) St Dorothy
  • (fol. 185v) St Anthony
  • (fol. 187v) St Katherine
  • (fol. 189v) St Christopher
  • (fol. 191v) St Apollonia
  • (fol. 193v) St Clare

Miniatures of Christ before Pilate and the Flagellation presumably once faced (or were intended to face) the start of Prime and Terce in the Hours of the Virgin, and a stub suggests that an excised miniature once faced the suffrage to St Anne. Twenty-five of the miniatures can be attributed to a follower of the Master of Otto van Moerdrecht, known as the Master of Peter Danielssoen (alias the Master of the Morgan Spiegel, or the Master of Morgan Library MS. M.868), to whom are also attributed the miniatures in MS. Rawl. Liturg. e. 10, by James Marrow, in W. H. Beuken and J. H. Marrow, Spiegel van den leven ons Heren = Mirror of the life of our Lord: diplomatic edition of the text and facsimile of the 42 miniatures of a 15th century typological life of Christ in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York (Doornspijk, 1979), pp. 69–97 at 84, 86, 87, 89, 93, 94 n. 76. He may have been itinerant: he contributed to other manuscripts with texts in French, and other features suggest both the southern Netherlands and northern France, but it was also common for Dutch miniatures to be exported to other areas. Even if he later worked further south, Marrow suggests that the artist may have trained in the northern Netherlands, and that the present miniatures, stylistically his earliest, may have been produced there; their borders are Dutch in style. The Master of Peter Danielssoen is named after a manuscript written in 1457 by Peter Danielsoen van Dordrecht, a monk of the double Brigittine monastery at Mariënwater, near ’s-Hertogenbosch, in Brabant, at the boundary between the southern and northern Netherlands (Uden, Museum voor den Religieuze Kunst, MS. BM 400; on which see J. H. Marrow and others, The golden age of Dutch manuscript painting (exh. cat., New York, 1990), no. 26).

These twenty-five miniatures can be divided into two groups, perhaps indicating the involvement of two illuminators. Eleven miniatures have a narrow outer orange frame and a wider inner blue or green frame that only extends around three sides (open at the bottom); in the remaining fourteen, each miniature has a narrow gold outer frame and a narrow inner frame of red, blue, or both colours, which extends around all four sides.

Six miniatures are characterised by a gold background with black lattice pattern: Sts Michael, Alexis, Odulphe, Gertrude, Eligius, and Clare; and to this group can be added the Pentecost miniature, because it has the same borders of gold leaves on thin black-ink stems (very unlike the borders of the twenty-five attributed to the Master or Peter Danielssoen). This group of miniatures includes those with the most unusual subjects, suggesting that while the common compositions were available from the existing stock of an illuminator or bookseller, the more unusual ones had to be specially commissioned. (The use of the image of St John the Evangelist to face the prayer to All Saints, and the use of two nearly identical miniatures of the Annunciation, also suggests that the book was largely illustrated using miniatures that were already available).

Binding

Bound in with 17th(?)-century brown (sheepskin?) leather over pasteboards; rebacked, with shelfmark in gilt. Rust-stained holes at the fore-edge of the last several leaves were doubtless caused by the metal fitting of a clasp-fitting.

A number written by ballpoint pen, perhaps ‘4. 18 33’, probably records the date of a repair (lower pastedown, bottom left corner).

History

Origin: c. 1430-40 ; Flanders, Bruges ; added miniatures Dutch, Brabant?

Provenance and Acquisition

The calendar and minor decoration suggests that the book was produced in Bruges; it was not written in the expectation that the present miniatures would be inserted, as can be seen by the fact that the individual hours of the Virgin do not all start on a new page, and the inserted miniatures therefore sometimes interrupt the text. Similarly, the miniatures do not all seem to have been executed for insertion into this volume, as can be seen by the fact that the prayer to Sts Peter and Paul has two separate miniatures, one for each saint.

The added double invocation to St Bridget in the litany (fol. 109r) suggests a possible connection with a Brigittine house such as Mariënwater, at ’s Hertogenbosch (founded 1434), in Brabant (cf. Decoration).

Wyllyam Hodson’, 16th-century, English (fols. 19v, 111v, 112r, 188v, 199v).

Theodore de Jordane, 16th/17th-century, inscribed ‘Theodore de | Jordane his book | his book god | give him gra | ace therein [to] | looke and’ (fol. 190v; cf. 185r).

Elias Ashmole, 1617–1692

Bequeathed to the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, and transferred in 1860 to the Bodleian Library. Former Bodleian shelfmarks ‘A 1291’, with ‘1814’ added above and ‘523’ below, in paler ink (fol. 212v).

Record Sources

Description (May 2021) by Peter Kidd, edited by Matthew Holford. Previously described in the Quarto Catalogue (W. H. Black, A descriptive, analytical, and critical catalogue of the manuscripts bequeathed unto the University of Oxford by Elias Ashmole Esq...., Quarto Catalogues X, 1845). Decoration, localization and date follow Pächt and Alexander (1966).

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)
Digital Bodleian (17 images from 35mm slides)

Bibliography

Last Substantive Revision

2021-05-20: Description fully revised for Polonsky German digitization project.