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

MS. Don. e. 120

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


Book of Hours, Use of Sarum ('The Pudsay Hours') (mutilated)
Language(s): Latin and Middle English

Items 1–3 are additions relating to the cult of Henry VI, added by hands of the late 15th century (pr. Raine, 1858, 175–6; see also Paulus Grosjean, Henrici VI Angliae regis miracula postuma: ex codice Musei Britannici Regio 13. C. VIII (Subsidia Hagiographica, 22: Brussels, 1935), pp. 237*-239*); Ronald Knox and Shane Leslie, The Miracles of King Henry VI (Cambridge, 1923), p. 7; and Payne Collier, 1858, pp. 57–60):

(fol. 1r)
Suffrage of Henry VI
Rubric: Oratio beati henrici sexti Regis Anglie et francie etc.
Incipit: Hic vir disspiens [recte despiciens] mundum et terrena triumphans
Language(s): Latin
(fol. 3v)
Suffrage to Henry VI, with rhyming verse antiphon
Incipit: Ave ante ortum prophetatus | Regnorum bis coronatus | ...
Language(s): Latin
(fol. 4r)
Incipit: As far as hope will yn lengthe | On the kyng henry I fix my mynde | ...
Language(s): Middle English
(fols. 2r, 4v-10v)

Additions relating to the Pudsay family of Bolton-by-Bowland, Barforth, and Lawfield, Yorks (pr. C. S., 1835; and Raine, 1858, pp. 173–90, with some omissions). Dated entries extend from 1556 (fol. 7r) to 1749 (fol. 6r); they include references to Thomas Pudsay (c.1531–1576) 'who died in Yorke prisoner for his conscience, a trewe confessor of the catholik faythe' (fol. 4v, cf. fol. 9r). For three documents of Thomas and his son William, see MS. Don. a. 10, fols. 4–10. For materials on the present manuscript and its history, collected by Miss. O. Littledale, see MS. Don. c. 145.

(fols. 5r-10v)

Calendar in red and black, including many English saints, and including St. Bernardinus in red (21 May; d.1444, canonized 1450); Thomas Becket's name is unscathed in Dec. and Jan. (the manuscript stayed in recusant hands throughout the 16th century and beyond), but absent in July.

(fols. 11r-14v)
The Fifteen Oes of St. Bridget

starting imperfect in the 4th at '|| mandasti penis te molestauerunt ...', due to the loss of two leaves excised before fol. 11, and ending imperfect in the 15th at '... et ex lancea militari per||[cusso]', due to the loss of a leaf after fol. 13.

Language(s): Latin
(fol. 14r-v)

Commemmoration of the Trinity, starting imperfect in the antiphonDeus omnipotens pater et filius et spiritus sanctus da mihi famulo tuo N. uictoriam contra omnes inimicos meos ...at '||bus de omnibus periculis ...' due to the loss of a leaf before fol. 14 (cf. MS. Lat. liturg. g. 5, pp. 174–185; see also de la Mare, Lyell cat., p. 373 no. 88).

(fols. 15r-39v)

Hours of the Virgin, Use of Sarum, with the Hours of the Cross worked in, and with Suffrages (fols. 23v-28r) following Lauds, to the Holy Spirit, Trinity, Holy Cross, the Archangel Michael, and saints John the Baptist, Peter & Paul, Andrew, Stephen, Laurence, Thomas, Nicholas, Mary Magdalen, Katherine, Margaret, All Saints, and Peace; followed (fols. 38v-39v) by the Salve regina; the Hours starting imperfect in the Matins hymn Quem terra ponthus etheraat '|| adorant predicant trinam regentem machinam ...' due to the loss of two leaves before fol. 15, single leaves also missing after fols. 22, 32, and 37.

(fols. 40r-46r)

The Seven Penitential Psalms; the first initial excised.

(fols. 46r-47v)

The Fifteen Gradual Psalms; the first twelve given by cue only.

(fols. 47v-52v)

Litany and Collects; the Litany (based on a Flemish text for the English market, and including, for example, the spurious saint Wallepaxtus) imperfect due to the loss of single leaves after fol. 49, containing the Confessors from St. Maurus, and all the Virgins, and after fol. 51, from the third Agnus deito the Collect Deus a quo sancta desideria ...at '|| dare non potest pacem ...'.

(fols. 53r-70v)

Office of the Dead, starting imperfect in Ps. 137:2 (at '|| magnificasti super omne ...') due to the loss of a leaf before fol. 53, and ending imperfect before the final prayers, due to the loss of a leaf after fol. 70.

(fols. 71r-81v)

Commemorations of the Soul, ending with two prayers:

Incipit: Tibi domine commendamus animam famuli tui .N ...
Incipit: Misericordiam tuam domine sancte pater omnipotens ...
(fols. 82r-85r)

Psalms of the Passion; starting imperfect in Ps. 21:19 (at '|| dimiserunt sibi uestimenta mea ...') due to the loss of a leaf before fol. 82; Pss. 22–24 given by incipit only; fol. 85v originally ruled, otherwise blank.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: 1 pastedown and 85 further parchment leaves; at least a further 12 leaves bearing text have been excised
Dimensions (leaf): 200 × 140 mm.
Dimensions (ruled): 116–8 × 76–8 mm.
Foliation: Foliated in modern pencil: 1–85.


I4–1(the first leaf pasted-down, the 4th leaf excised) (fols. 1–2) | II8(fols. 3–10) | III8–4(1st, 2nd leaves excised before fol. 11, 6th leaf excised after fol. 13, 8th leaf excised/canc. after fol. 14) (fols. 11–14) | IV8–1(1st leaf excised, before fol. 15) (fols. 15–21), V8–1(2nd leaf excised, after fol. 22) (fols. 22–28), VI8–1(5th leaf excised, after fol. 32) (fols. 29–35), VII8–1(3rd leaf excised, after fol. 37) (fols. 36–42), VIII8–1(8th leaf excised, after fol. 49) (fols. 43–49), IX4–1(1st leaf excised, before fol. 50 (fols. 50–52) | X8–1(1st leaf excised, before fol. 53) (fols. 53–59), XI8(fols. 60–67), XII4–1(4th leaf excised, after fol. 70) (fols. 68–70) | XIII8(fols. 71–78), XIV8–1(4th leaf excised, after fol. 81) (fols. 79–85). There are narrow 'v' shaped strips of parchment wrapped around the outermost bifolia of Quires III, IV, and the innermost bifolium of Quire XIV, which are probably all that remain of inserted single leaves with miniatures: these would have preceded the start of The Fifteen Os, The Hours of the Virgin, and The Psalms of the Passion; in addition, there is also the faint mark of another stub in the gutter of fol. 59v, suggesting that there was an inserted leaf before fol. 53, presumably a miniature preceeding the Office of the Dead. No catchwords visible. There is a faint trace of leaf signatures in Quire III: fol. 11r apparently has 'X iii', and an 'X' is also visible on 12r.


Ruled as far as fol. 21v in pale red ink, with single vertical bounding lines, the top and bottom horizontal line extending to the gutter edge only; ruled thereafter in pale brown ink, between single vertical bounding lines, the top and bottom horizontal line extending the full width of the page. 21 lines of text per per page.


Written in a regular gothic liturgical bookhand


Rubrics in bright red; in the Fifteen Oes 'pater noster' is spelt 'patre nostre'.

The start of the Commendations of the Dead with a six-line foliate initial in blue and rose on a gold ground, with a four-sided border of stylised and semi-naturalistic flowers and foliage; the Penitential Psalms originally with a six-line initial (now excised) and a similar border; the start of the Hours of the Virgin missing, the lesser Hours with five- (fols. 28v, 37r) or four-line initials in gold on a 'quartered' blue and rose ground with while tracery, a narrow gold bar running the height of the text, terminating in spays of blue, rose, and gold foliate ornament; psalms, prayers, KL monograms in the calendar, etc., with similar two-line initials; verses, etc., alternately with one-line initials in blue with red penwork, or gold with blue penwork; simple red, blue, and gold line-fillers in the litany.


Sewn on four thongs, with kettle-stitching (but no endbands extant); bound in (original?) brown leather, over wood boards; the thongs, apparently secured by copper(?) nails visible in their horizontal channels in the lower board; the upper board with an original(?) pastedown; the whole re-covered with 17th-century(?) red velvet, with brass corner pieces, and an unusual fitting of brass and velvet over leather in the middle compartment of the spine; traces of a strap-and-pin fastening, consisting of two straps, each secured by a round-headed nail, at the fore-edge of the upper board, and corresponding nail holes (one nail extant) in the middle of the lower board. In a fitted box.


Origin: 15th century, after 1450 ; Flemish

Provenance and Acquisition

Made in Flanders, for an unidentified English patron, not before, but perhaps shortly after, 1450; there is no obvious reason for the inclusion in red of St. Bernardinus (canonized 1450) in the calendar, but his highly-graded presence may perhaps be explained if the canonization were very recent.

The Pudsey family, with numerous family inscriptions, from the early 16th century to at least 1749; as far as has been ascetained by Olivia Littledale (see below), the descent of the manuscript was as follows: (i) Thomas Pudsey (1531–76), perhaps inherited from his wife's family. (ii) Elizabeth Pudsey (neé Scrope, d.1620), Thomas's wife; an inscription on fol. 39v may perhaps be read as 'my lady Scrope' (iii) Ambrose Pudsey (1565–1623), Thomas & Elizabeth's 3rd son. (iv) Michael Pudsey (1618–98), Ambrose's son. (v) Thomas Pudsey (1655–1723) Michael's son. (vi) Michael Pudsey (1680–1749), Thomas's son. (vii) ? Mary Pudsey (d.c.1810), Michael's daughter, who died poor, unmarried and without siblings. The manuscript then passed out of family ownership.

? J. Rawling Wilson, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, by 1835 (see C. S., 1835).

Edward Charlton, M.D., c.1857: in Payne Collier, 1858, footnote on p. 58, the editor thanks Charlton for supplying information about the Pudsay Hours, so he was presumably the owner at about that date; he is possibly the same Dr. Charlton whose oriental manuscripts were sold, posthumously, by Sotheby's, 23 June 1879 and two following days.

Captain Francis du Cane; purchased from a the bookseller Robinson, 23 Pilgrim St., Newcastle, in 1854, and presented to H. A. Littledale in 1858.

Further descendants of the Pudsey family: (i) Henry Arthur Littledale. (ii) Capt. H. Littledale, Henry's son. (iii) Major H. A. P. Littledale, Capt. H. Littledale's son. (iv) Olivia Littledale, Major H. A. P. Littledale's cousin.

Given to the Bodleian by Miss O. Littledale, through the Friends of the Bodleian, in 1973.

Record Sources

Draft description by Peter Kidd, late 1990s.

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (1 image from 35mm slides)

Last Substantive Revision

2017-07-01: First online publication.