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

MS. Ash. Rolls 55

Summary Catalogue no.: 6657

Former shelfmark: MS. Ashmole 7


Language(s): Latin

Girdle calendar or almanac according to John Somer's Kalendarium

Five sheets. Fols. 2–5 are rectangles folded once vertically to create two square sheets, then folded again twice horizontally creating three equal panels or columns. Fol. 1 is a half-sized sheet folded twice horizontally. The calendar and tables follow the Kalendarium of John Somer. See Cf. H. Carey, ‘What is the Folded Almanac?’, Society History of Medicine 16/3 (2003), 481–509, this ms. listed 509.

(fol. 1)

Tables for locating the Sunday letter, golden number, and date of the movable feasts

(fols. 2–5)

Calendars for January - December, three months to a sheet. Each month shows: (1) in the left panel, (a) the number of the day, (b) hours and minutes from midnight to sunrise (medietas noctis) and from noon to sunset (medietas diei), and (c) the year in the Metonic cycle and the time of prime (lunar conjunction) in hours and minutes, for the first cycle (here beginning 1406); (2) in the central panel, a liturgical calendar with golder number, dominical letter, kalends, ides and nones, and feasts; (3) in the right panel, the year in the Metonic cycle and time of prime (lunar conjunction) in hours and minutes, for the second and third cycles (i.e. those beginning 1425 and 1444).

Physical Description

Form: faltbuch
Support: parchment
Extent: 5 folios
Dimensions (leaf): 260 × 135 mm.
(size of a full sheet fully opened)
Dimensions (leaf): 130 × 45 mm.
(size of a fully folded sheet)






Girdle book; no cover.


Origin: c. 1406 (?) ; England

Provenance and Acquisition

Presumably made around 1406, since that is the beginning of the first Metonic cycle included, and not after 1425.

Probably owned in Warwickshire or the West Midlands: added saints in the calendar include: David and Chad (added 15th century); Oswald (with translation), Edith (of Wilton), and the dedication of the church of Warwick (9 July) (added 15th century, second half).

Elias Ashmole: formerly MS. Ashmole 7. Missing from the Ashmole collection by 1830.

Lot 90 in an unidentified 19th-century sale (cutting pasted to front)

Sir Thomas Phillipps: MS. 29728

Sotheby's, 28 June 1965, lot. 39.


Record Sources

Description by Matthew Holford, November 2019. Previously listed (as missing) in the Quarto Catalogue.

Last Substantive Revision

2019-11-22: First online publication.