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

MS. Don. b. 5

Summary Catalogue no.: Not in SC (late accession)


Missal, Use of Sarum, noted ('The Buckland Missal')
Language(s): Latin
(fols. 1r-6v)

Calendar; entries alternately in red or purple ink; major feasts in gold, some graded 'duplex festum'; numerous references to natural and liturgical seasons; each month headed by the usual verses ('Prima dies mensis; et septima trunctat ut ensis' etc.), and a note on the length of the calendar and lunar month, and with a note on the length of the day and night at the bottom; at or near the bottom of each page are two short lists of feasts headed respectively 'omnio[/a] tenenda' and 'ab operibus feminarum'; various notes and obits were added in the 14th and 15th centuries (see under Provenance).

(fols. 7r-8v)

Blessing of Holy Water

Rubric: Omnibus dominicis diebus per annum post primam et capitulum fiat benediccio salis et aque ad gradum chori
Incipit: Exorzizo

Antiphons, responsories, and rubrics for the procession are given throughout the volume, before Mass.

(fols. 9r-143v)

Temporale; with litanies (fols. 142v-143v), and the Baptismal rite on Holy Saturday (fols. 143v-149r).

(fols. 149r-150r)

Order of the Mass.

(fol. 150r-v)

Intonations of the Gloria.

(fols. 150v-153r)

Tones of the lessons.

(fols. 153v-237r)

Prefaces, noted.

(fols. 237r-240v)

Common of the Dedication.

(fols. 241r-325r)

Sanctorale; at fol. 271r is a marginal note 'festum sancte Anne matris mariae. Require in fine libri' (feast established in 1383); the feast of the Visitation, established in 1389 is absent (added to the calendar by a later hand).

(fols. 325r-337r)

Votive Masses.

(fols. 337r-340r)

Marriage service and Mass.

(fol. 340r-344v)

Ritual of Last Sacraments, with litany (fols. 341v-342v)

(fols. 344v-351r)

Commendation and Masses of the Dead.

(fols. 351r-353r)

Burial service.

(fols. 353r-355r)

General rubrics and music for processions.

(fol. 355r-v)

Tonale for the Litany

(fols. 355v-356v)

Intonations for the Kyriale.

(fols. 357r-365r)

Kyriale, containing:

(fols. 357r-358r)

Easter chants.

(fols. 358r-359r)


(fols. 359r-360r)

Te deum.

(fols. 360r-363r)

Troped kyries.

(fols. 363r-365r)


(fols. 365r-397r)


(fols. 397r-399r)

Sanctus and Agnus dei melodies.

(fols. 399r-400v)

Other proses; ending imperfect.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: KL Primus mandantem (Calendar)
Secundo Folio: A(ntiphona) Asperges (Text, fol. 8)
Form: codex
Support: Parchment, water-damaged at the beginning.
Extent: ii (modern parchment) + i (paper) + 400 + ii (modern parchment) leaves.
Dimensions (leaf): 420 × 290 mm.
Fol. 329 is a 15th-century supply leaf c. 305 × 225 mm.
Dimensions (ruled): 295 × 185 mm.
Foliation: Foliated in modern pencil: i-iii, 1–402.


Mostly in quires of 12 leaves; some leaves missing: I(6) (fols. 1–6) | II-XIII(12) (fols. 7–150), XIV(12–3) (5th leaf missing, after fol. 154; 8th & 9th leaves missing after fol. 156) (fols. 151–159), XV(12–1) (5th leaf missing, after fol. 163) (fols. 160–170), XVI(12) (fols. 171–182), XVII(12–1) (8th leaf missing, after fol. 189) (fols. 183–193), XVIII(12–1) (3rd leaf missing, after fol. 195) (fols. 194–204), XIX-XXI(12) (fols. 205–240) | XXII-XXV(12) (fols. 241–288) XXVI(8) (fols. 289–296), XXVII(12–1) (1st leaf missing) (fols. 297–307), XXVIII(12) (fols. 308–319) XXIX(12+1) (extra leaf tipped in, fol. 329) (fols. 320–332) XXX-XXXI(12) (fols. 333–356) | XXXII(12–2) (7th & 8th leaves excised, stubs visible after fol. 362) (fols. 357–366) XXXIII-XXXIV(12) (fols. 367–390), XXXV(12–2) (11th & 12th leaves missing, after fol. 400) (fols. 391–400); up to three sets of leaf signatures visible on a single leaf: quires II-XXI signed a-u, and XXII-XXX a-i.


Ruled in pale brown ink with 40 lines per page in 2 columns, with single vertical bounding lines extending the full height of the page; each column c.80–5 mm. wide; prickings frequently survive in the lower margin. 39 lines per page, below top line.


Written in a fine gothic liturgical script.

Musical Notation:

Square notation on 13 staves (canon 10) staves of 4 red lines.


Fine borders, historiated and other initials. (Pächt and Alexander iii. 668, pl. LXV)

Headings in red.

One six-line historiated initial:

(fol. 7r) An exorcist reading from a book on a lectern, inscribed with the opening words: 'Exorzizo te cre'[atura], blessing Holy Water held in a ladle by an assistant; an aspersory is below the lectern; extending into a four-sided border punctuated by animal and hybrid faces.

Three- to six-line initials in shades of blue, orange, purple, and rose, on a gold ground, with vine leaf foliage and animal faces, and sometimes dragons, usually extending into matching borders in three or four margins:

  • (fol. 7v) Asperges.
  • (fol. 9r) Temporale.
  • (fol. 27r) Christmas.
  • (fol. 37v) Epiphany.
  • (fol. 39r) First Sunday after Epiphany.
  • (fol. 59r) First Sunday in Quadragesima.
  • (fol. 156r) Preface for feasts of the Virgin.
  • (fol. 158r) General preface.
  • (fol. 186r) Ascension.
  • (fol. 197v) Easter Monday.
  • (fol. 241r) Sanctorale.
  • (fol. 250r) Purification of the Virgin (2 Feb.).
  • (fol. 263r) Annunciation to the Virgin (25 Mar.)
  • (fol. 279r) Assumption of the Virgin (15 Aug.)
  • (fol. 282v) Nativity of the Virgin (8 Sept.).

Three-line initials similar to the large ones; two-line initials alternately blue with red penwork, or burgundy with purple penwork, the penwork often forming foliage, faces, etc.; cadells often with human faces in profile, etc.


Bound in burgundy morocco over thick pasteboards by W. H. Smith; lightly tooled in blind and gild around the edges; signed with an oval gilt stamp on the lower turn-in of the lower board: 'WHS'; the spine with more elaborate blind and gilt tooling, with five raised bands, plus raised endbands, lettered in gilt 'MISSALE | SARISBURIENSE | MS. | OLIM AD ECCLES. PAROCH. | DE BUCKLAND PERTINENS'.


Origin: 14th century, c. 1370–1380 (?) ; English

Provenance and Acquisition

Written and illuminated in England, 14th century; the original calendar includes the feast of St. Anne, while that of the Visitation is added, and both are absent from the Sanctorale; those of St. Winifred, St. Chad, and St. David are absent; Pächt & Alexander suggest a date of c. 1370–80, van Dijk suggests c. 1385.

Probably at Adderbury, Oxfordshire, in the late 14th century, when the dedication of St. Mary's church was added to the calendar: 'Dedicatio ecclesie Sancte Marie de Eadb(er)b(ur)y' (1 Dec.). It is likely that, as a surname, Abberbury is a variant spelling of Eadburbury, and that it is therefore perhaps relevant that Sir Richard Abberbury, chamberlain to Queen Anne, was granted the manor of Carswell, in Buckland (cf. below), in 1383 (see William Page, P. H. Ditchfield, and John Hautenville Cope, eds., The Victoria County History of Berkshire (5 vols., London, 1924), IV, pp. 91, 456).

Probably at St. Mary's church, Buckland, Berkshire, in the 15th century, when its dedication was added to the calendar: 'Dedicatio ecclesie de Bucland' (4 July), and other additions were made to the calendar, including obits and records of gifts to the church, of William Nowell(?), Richard Holcot (d. 1465, according to a tablet still in the church) of Buckland, and John Pyrle (these and other entries are summarised in Hewlett et al., 1885). For St. Mary's, Buckland, and Richard Holcot, see Page et al., op. cit., IV, pp. 457–60): (i) 'Wylliam [N?]owell [ ... ...]a de bukland ab iconomis ecclesie que dedit vnam vac[... ...]la | dominicali etiam xiiijd annuali in perpetuum' (12 Jan.). (ii) 'obitus Ricardi holcot perpetuo tenenda in(?) ecclesia de bukland \ab iconomis ecclesie/ et ecciam rotule domincali | annuatam(??) in perpetuum xijd et clerico per pulsacionis p(ost?) aue(?) et seruicia pulsato | [...] xiiijd qu[...] dedit [...] s ac condicione et prouide[..] xijd | vicarius legere et orat[..]e [..] in(?) rotulam predictam' (15 Jan.). (iii) 'Obitus iohannis pyrle [or 'pyrk'?] semper tenend' per yconomis de bokland que dedit vnam vaccam ecclesie predicte | sunt(?) predict' condicio' et unam de a[nn?...] xiii qu[...]t custodi[...] pred[...] [...]a(n)ti vicari[.] | ecclesie predicte viii [... ... ...] [dedit?] ecclesia[m?]' (12 May). (iv) 'the day of ye frary chirke' (20 Nov.), i.e. of the Bonhommes of Buckland, according to van Dijk.

Feasts of Thomas Becket were crossed out at the Reformation (fols. 32v-33r, 268r, 369r).

Sir Robert Throckmorton, 3rd Bt. (1662–1721), or 4th Bt. (1702–91), of Buckland House, with his armorial bookplate (c. 1725), with his name below his motto: 'VIRTVS SOLA NOBILITAS'; the manor of Buckland belonged to the Throckmorton family from 1690–1910, and the present manuscript is listed in three Buckland library catalogues, as follows: MS. Eng. misc. b. 13, at fol. 91r ('Missale M.S. Illumin'd'); undated (but after 1781, see fol. 100r), giving the shelfmark as press B, 2nd shelf from the bottom. MS. Eng. misc. b. 13, fol. 6r ('Missale M.S. Illum:'); c.1788, giving its location as the 3rd from the bottom ('second shelf') in press 'D'. MS. Eng. misc. b. 12, fols. 35r and 65r ('Missale MS.'); 1796, where its location is again given as 'D. 3.'.

? Sir William Throckmorton; sold in 1909, according to the 1932 Sotheby's description (see below).

John Meade Falkner (1858–1932) (on whom see DNB), honorary librarian to the Dean and Chapter of Durham Cathedral, honorary reader in palaeography at Durham University, author of Moonfleet and other novels, and tutor to the sons of Sir Andrew Noble, including Sir John Noble (cf. below); sold at Sotheby's 12 Dec. 1932 and two following days, lot 293, bought by Quaritch for £220; with their pencilled number '11' within a box at the bottom left-hand corner of fol. i recto.

Presented to the Bodleian by Sir John Noble, Bt., in memory of Meade Falkener, in 1933.

Record Sources

Draft description by Peter Kidd, late 1990s; also described in S. J. P. Van Dijk, Handlist of the Latin Liturgical Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library Oxford Vol. 1: Mass Books..

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (8 images from 35mm slides)

Last Substantive Revision

2017-07-01: First online publication.