[Items 1-4 occupy quires II-XX]
1. (fols. 9r-137r) Psalter
Psalms 1–150 in the biblical order, laid out with each verse starting on a new line, imperfect at the beginning because of the loss of two leaves (starting with ‘& in uia peccatorum’). The verso of the second missing leaf was probably occupied by a large Beatus-initial and the beginning of psalm 1 (see psalms 51, 101 and 109 under ‘Decoration’). The first lost leaf and the recto of the second may have contained prefatory materials which included the word ‘incipiatur’ (see cautio of the abbess of Littlemore under ‘Provenance’). Punctuated throughout with punctus elevatus, punctus interrogativus or punctus used to mark metrum and minor pauses, and punctus or punctus interrogativus used to mark the ends of verses.
Most psalms are preceded by numbers and titles which do not conform to any of Salmon’s series (1959). Many titles are short, such as ‘Psalmus David’ or ‘In finem psalmus David’, followed by a number in Roman numerals or spelled out as words. The titles of five psalms are quoted below:
- 15 Tituli inscriptione psalmus Dauid qvintus decimus psalmus (fol. 16bv)
- 30 In finem psalmus Dauid (fol. 30r)
- 63 In finem psalmus Dauid (fol. 60r)
- 115 Alleluia psalmus (fol. 111r)
- 140 Psalmus Dauid (fol. 130v).
There are textual divisions at psalms 26, 38, 51, 68, 80, 101, 109 and 118 (see ‘Decoration’). Subdivisions within psalms are marked with 2-line initials at 9: 20 (fol. 14r), 17: 26 (fol. 19v), 36: 27 (fol. 38r), 67: 20 (fol. 63v), 68: 17 (fol. 65r), 77: 36 (fol. 75r), 88: 20 (fol. 85r), 103: 25 (fol. 98v), 104: 23 (fol. 99v), 105: 32 (fol. 102r), 106: 25 (104r), 138: 11 (Et dixi . . .) (fol. 129r), 143: 9 (fol. 133r) and 144: 10 (133v). Psalm 118 is subdivided into twenty-two 8-verse units.
2. (fols. 137v-144v)
Weekly canticles, with titles:
Rubric: Canticum ysaie
Confitebor tibi domine (Isaiah 12)
Rubric: Canticum regis ezechie
Ego dixi (Isaiah 38: 10–21)
Rubric: Canticum anne matris samuelis
Exultauit cor meum (1 Samuel 2: 1–11)
Rubric: Canticum moysi
Cantemus domino (Exodus 15: 1–20)
Rubric: Canticum abbacuc prophete
Domine audiui (Habakkuk 3)
Rubric: Canticum moysi
Audite celi (Deuteronomy 32: 1–44), with subdivision marked with a larger initial and the use of capitals for the first word of the verse at verse 22, ‘Ignis succensus . . .’ (fol. 143v).
3. (fols. 145r-150v)
Daily canticles, prayers and creeds, some with titles:
Rubric: ymnus ad matutinos
Te deum laudamus
Rubric: ymnus trium puerorvm
Benedicite omnia opera
Rubric: Canticum zacharie
Benedictus dominus deus
Rubric: ymnus sancte dei genitricis Marie
Rubric: Canticum sancti senis symeonis
Rubric: ymnus ad matutinos
Gloria in excelsis
4. (fols. 150v-155r)
Litany, containing several Winchester saints, including Justus and Elphege among the martyrs; Birinus, Hedda, Swithun, Birstan, Elphege and Athelwold (all Winchester bishops), and Dunstan and Gaugeric among the confessors; Etheldreda and Eadburga among the virgins. Birinus and Swithun are invoked twice (fol. 151v). Frideswide is over an erasure. The litany is followed by petitions which mention ‘episcopum nostrum’, not ‘abbatem’, and collects (fols. 153r–155r):
Incipit: Deus cui proprium est misereri semper et parcere suscipe
Incipit: Omnipotens sempiterne deus qui facis mirabilia magna solus
Incipit: A domo tua quesumus domine spirituales nequitie repellantur et aeriarum discedat malignitas potestatum
Incipit: Ure igne sancti spiritus renes nostros et corda nostra .
Incipit: Pretende domine famulis et famulabus dexteram celestis auxilii
Incipit: Deus a quo sancta desideria recta consilia et iusta sunt
Incipit: Propitiare quesumus domine nobis famulis tuis per horum sanctorum tuorum
Incipit: Absolue domine animas famulorum tuorum fratrum nostrorum et omnium fidelium defunctorum ab omni uinculo
Incipit: Deus qui es sanctorum tuorum splendor mirabilis atque lapsorum subleuator
Incipit: Adesto domine supplicationibus nostris et uiam famulorum tuorum in salutis tue
Incipit: Ad te nos domine clamantes exaudi et aeris serenitatem nobis tribue
Incipit: Deus in quo uiuimus mouemur et sumus pluuiam nobis tribue congruentem ut presentibus
Incipit: Omnipotens sempiterne deus salus eterna credentium exaudi nos pro famulo
With plural endings.
Incipit: Ineffabilem misericordiam tuam nobis domine clementer ostende ut simul nos
Secundo Folio: Multi dicunt (fol. 10r)
Ruled in hard point for 23 lines per page; double vertical bounding lines extending the full height of page; 1st and 3rd horizontal from top and bottom ruled full width; prickings often survive; written above the top line; written space c. 155 × 100 mm.
Round English Caroline minuscule; titles in rustic capitals; brown ink.
Fine historiated and other initials. (P&A iii. 169, pl. XVIII)
Half-page historiated initials at the beginning of psalms 51, 101 and 109 similar in style to manuscripts associated with Winchester and St Albans (Kauffmann, 1975, pp. 107, 109; Oakeshott, 1980, p. 37; 1981, pp. 131–2; Thomson, 1982, pp. 31–6). There is a difference in style and colour between the initial of psalm 51 and the other two.
- fol. 51v: Psalm 51 (initial Q(uid)) Coiled stems with acanthus-leaf designs; two dogs (?). The tail of Q is formed by the body of a dragon.
- fol. 94v: Psalm 101 (initial D(omine)) Coiled stems with acanthus-leaf designs; nude man.
- fol. 107v: Psalm 109 (initial D(ixit)) Coiled stems with acanthus-leaf designs; animal mask with two stems growing out of its mouth; two dogs (?). Vertical bar of D has a medallion with a bust portrait of a bearded man.
4-line plain red and blue initials at the beginning of psalms 26 (fol. 27r), 38 (fol. 39v), 68 (fol. 64v), 80 (fol. 79r), 118 (fol. 112v) 119 (fol. 121r), the first canticle (fol. 137v) and litany (fol. 150v).
3-line plain initials, alternately red or blue, at the beginning of other psalms, canticles and prayers.
1-line plain alternating red and blue initials at the beginnings of verses and periods.
No titles, but the opening words of chapters are in capitals, slightly bigger than the main text.
Attributed to Winchester on liturgical evidence and evidence of decoration. Morgan (1981) attributes the litany to Winchester, but comments that it has ‘several errors and omissions’ (p. 135).