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

MS. Douce 311

Summary Catalogue no.: 21885

Hours of Louis Quarré


Book of Hours, Use of Rome
Language(s): Latin and Middle French
(fol. 1r)


Language(s): Middle French
(fols. 1v–2r)
Easter tables, 1488–1508

In a different hand from the main text, and written on parchment of a different quality. Likely copied from one of the books of hours printed by Philippe Pigouchet between 1491 and 1496, as suggested in Margaret L. Goehring, ‘Artist or style? A consideration of the Master of the ‘Older’ Prayer Book of Maximilian I’, in Manuscript Studies in the Low Countries, ed. by Anne Margreet W. As-Vijvers, Jos M. M. Hermans, and Gerda C. Huisman, Boekhistorische Reeks, 3 (Groningen: Forsten, 2008), pp. 197–204.

(fols. 2v–8v)
Calendar, January through December

Provides a saint for each day.

Weekday votive offices
(fol. 9r)


(fols. 9v–13r)
Sunday office of the Trinity
(fols. 13v)

Blank, ruled

(fols. 14r–15r)
Prayer to the Trinity
Incipit: Quicumque uult
(fol. 15v)

Blank, ruled

(fol. 16r)


(fols. 16v–20v)
Monday office of the dead
Incipit: Deitatis paternitas
(fol. 21r)


(fols. 21v–24v)
Tuesday office of the Holy Spirit
Incipit: Nobis sancti spiritus
(fol. 25r)


(fols. 25v–28v)
Wednesday office of All Saints
Incipit: Sancta dei genitrix
(fol. 29r)


(fols. 29v–32v)
Thursday office of the Sacrament
Incipit: Corporis mysterium
(fol. 33r–v)
Prayer on receiving the Host
Language(s): Rubric in Middle French
(fols. 34r–38v)
Friday office of the Holy Cross
Incipit: Patris sapientia
(fols. 39r–43v)
Passion according to St John
(fol. 44r–v)
Seven words of Christ on the Cross
(fol. 45r)
Seven sorrows of the Virgin

The majority of the office is lacking: only the final prayer remains. Unlike other lacking sections, the ink foliation is continuous, showing that these leaves were already missing in the eighteenth century.

Incipit: ||Interveniat pro nobis
(fol. 45v)

Blank, ruled

(fol. 46r)


(fols. 46v–49v)
Saturday office of the Virgin
Incipit: Deus qui cunctum hominem
(fols. 50r–52v)
Mass of the Virgin
(fols. 53r–55v)
Prayer to the Virgin on Saturdays

Opening page lacking; with two closing prayers.

Nativity narratives from the Gospels
(fols. 55v–56r)
Gospel according to John
(fols. 56v–57r)
Gospel according to Luke
(fol. 57r–v)
Gospel according to Matthew
(fol. 58r–v)
Gospel according to Mark
Hours of the Virgin, Use of Rome

Each office was originally prefaced with a full-page miniature.

(fol. 59r)


(fols. 59v–67v)
(fols. 68r–72v)
(fol. 73r)


(fols. 73v–76r)
(fol. 76v)

Blank, ruled

(fols. 77r–78v)
(fols. 79r–80v)
(fols. 81r–82v)
(fols. 83r–86v)
(fol. 87r)


(fols. 87v–90v)
(fols. 91r–95r)
Office for Advent
Miscellaneous prayers
(fols. 95v–97r)
O intemerata (long version)
(fol. 97v)

Blank, ruled

(fols. 98r–99v)
Obsecro te
(fols. 99v–100r)
Prayer to Mary
Incipit: Aue cuius concepcio
(fol. 100r–v)
Prayer to St Anne
(fol. 101r–v)
Seven verses of St Gregory
Incipit: Domine iesu cristi adoro te
(fol. 101v)
Prayer to Christ
Incipit: O dulcissime domine
Penitential psalms and litany
(fol. 102r)


(fols. 102v–106v)
Penitential psalms
(fols. 107v–112v)

A reference to St Gudula (fol. 109v) presumably reflects Louis Quarré’s work in Brussels.

(fol. 112v)
St Michael
(fols. 112v–113r)
Guardian angel
(fol. 113r)
St John the Baptist
(fol. 113r–v)
St John the Evangelist
(fol. 113v)
Sts Peter and Paul
(fols. 113v–114r)
St James the Great
(fol. 114r)
St Stephen
(fol. 114v)
St Nicholas
(fols. 114v–115r)
St Claudius
(fol. 115r–v)
St Anthony Abbot
(fol. 115v)
St Andrew
(fols. 115v–116v)
St Christopher
(fols. 116v–117v)
St Sebastian
(fols. 117v)

Blank, ruled

(fol. 118r)
St Mary Magdalene
(fol. 118r)
St Martha
(fols. 118v–119r)
St Catherine
(fol. 119r–v)
St Barbara
(fol. 119v)
St Margaret
(fols. 119v–120a verso)
St Apollonia
(fols. 120a verso–120d verso)

Blank, ruled

(fol. 121r–v)
Short prayers
Language(s): Rubrics in Middle French
Prayers to Christ
(fol. 122r)


(fols. 122v–124a recto)
Language(s): Middle French
(fols. 123r–124a recto)
Rubric: Oraison de nostre seigneur en franchois
Incipit: Mon benoit dieu ie croy de cuer et confesse

Rézeau, Répertoire d'incipit des prières françaises, R 564.

(fol. 124a recto)
Incipit: Sire dieu tout puissant tout voysit toutes choses cognoissant
(fol. 124a verso)
Language(s): Latin
Saluator mundi
Incipit: Deus qui omnibus sanctis tuis eterne beatitudinis premia contulisti.
Rubric: Oratio ad dominum deum nostrum
Incipit: Deus pius et propicius agnus et immaculatus
(fols. 124b verso-124c verso)

Blank, ruled

(fol. 125r)


(fols. 125v–145r)
Office of the dead, Use of Rome
(fol. 145v)

Blank, ruled

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: ii (modern flyleaves) + 150 + ii (modern flyleaves) leaves
Dimensions (leaf): 238 × 178 mm.
Foliation: Modern foliation (i–ii + 1–119, 120a–d, 121–123, 124a–c, 125–145 + 146–147), replacing a brown ink foliation (1–171) from the late seventeenth or eighteenth century, made before the removal of the miniatures and trimmed during rebinding.


Some catchwords survive, but most are trimmed.


Ruled in ink for 24 long lines, ruled space 150 × 90 mm.


Gothic hybrida.

A different hand using a darker ink than the main scribe added prayers in ruled spaces initially left blank: e.g. fols. 44r, 99v–100r, 101v, 112v. This occurred after the execution of the border decoration, as is apparent from the rearrangement required on fol. 113r.


Full-page miniatures, attributed to the workshop (As-Vijvers identifies at least two hands) of the Master of the Prayer Book of Maximilian, who is likely to be identified with Alexander Bening (died 1519):

  • fol. 2v, Calendar. Planetary man
  • fol. 9v, Sunday office of the Trinity: Trinity
  • fol. 16v, Monday office of the dead: Raising of Lazarus
  • fol. 21v, Tuesday office of the Holy Spirit: Pentecost
  • fol. 25v, Wednesday office of All Saints: All Saints
  • fol. 29v, Thursday office of the Sacrament: Last Supper
  • [lacking between fols. 33 and 34, Friday office of the Holy Cross: Crucifixion, now Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, no. RP-T-1962-54]
  • [miniature or historiated initial lacking between fols. 45 and 46, Saturday office of the Virgin: Virgin of the Seven Sorrows, untraced]
  • fol. 46v, Saturday office of the Virgin: Virgin and Child with music-making angels
  • [lacking between fols. 49 and 50, Mass of the Virgin: Elevation of the Host, now MS. Douce 311 adds. 1]
  • fol. 59v, Matins: Annunciation
  • [lacking between fols. 67 and 68, Lauds: Visitation, now New York, Morgan Library and Museum, MS. G.10]
  • fol. 73v, Nativity, prefacing Prime
  • [lacking between fols. 76 and 77, Terce: Annunciation to the Shepherds, sold at London, Sotheby’s, 21 May 1928, lot 9; London, Christie’s, 25 May 1965, lot 127; Paris, Sotheby’s, 17 November 2022, lot 2]
  • [lacking between fols. 78 and 79, Sext: Adoration of the Magi, now MS. Douce 311 adds. 2]
  • [lacking between fols. 80 and 81, None: Presentation in the Temple, now London, Victoria and Albert Museum, Prints, Drawings, and Paintings Collection no. 4101]
  • [lacking between fols. 82 and 83, Vespers: Rest on the flight into Egypt, now Paris, Fondation Custodia, inventory no. 5455]
  • fol. 87v, Compline: Dormition of the Virgin
  • [lacking between fols. 97 and 98, Obsecro te: Pietà(?), untraced]
  • [lacking between fols. 100 and 101, Seven verses of St Gregory: Mass of St Gregory, untraced]
  • fol. 122v, Prayer to Christ: Christ as Salvator Mundi
  • fol. 125v, Office of the dead: Funeral Mass

Historiated initials:

  • fol. 14r: God the Father blessing (9 lines)
  • fol. 14v: God the Son blessing (9 lines)
  • fol. 14v: Dove of the Holy Spirit (8 lines)
  • fol. 39r: Arrest of Christ (9 lines, grisaille)
  • fol. 44r: Christ on the Cross (6 lines)
  • fol. 55v: St John on Patmos (10 lines, grisaille)
  • fol. 56v: St Luke in his Study (10 lines, grisaille)
  • fol. 57r: St Matthew in his Study (9 lines, grisaille)
  • fol. 58r: St Mark in his Study (9 lines, grisaille)
  • fol. 91r: Entry into Jerusalem (9 lines, grisaille)
  • fol. 95v: Madonna with the Christ-child (10 lines, grisaille)
  • fol. 99v: Virgin with the Christ-child (5 lines)
  • fol. 100r: St Anne teaching the Virgin and Child (6 lines)
  • fol. 101v: Christ on the Cross (9 lines)
  • fol. 112v: St Michael (5 lines)
  • fol. 112v: Guardian angel (4 lines)
  • fol. 113r: St John the Baptist (4 lines, grisaille)
  • fol. 113v: Sts Peter and Paul (5 lines, grisaille)
  • fol. 114r: St James Maior (5 lines, grisaille)
  • fol. 114r: Stoning of St Stephen (4 lines, grisaille)
  • fol. 114v: St Nicholas (4 lines, grisaille)
  • fol. 114v: St Claudius (4 lines, grisaille)
  • fol. 115r: St Anthony Abbot (4 lines, grisaille)
  • fol. 115v: St Andrew (5 lines)
  • fol. 115v: St Christopher (4 lines)
  • fol. 116v: St Sebastian (4 lines)
  • fol. 118r: St Mary Magdalene (6 lines)
  • fol. 118r: St Martha (5 lines)
  • fol. 118v: St Catherine (5 lines)
  • fol. 119r: Martyrdom of St Barbara (9 lines)
  • fol. 119v: St Apollonia (4 lines)

Decorated initials:

  • fols. 10r, 22r, 30r, 34r, 74r, 98r: Floral initials in colours (9 lines)
  • fol. 101r: Instruments of the Passion (9 lines)
  • fol. 126r: Skull and crossbones (11 lines)

Four-sided borders:

  • Strewn-flower borders: fols. 9v, 10r, 14r, 14v, 25v, 26r, 34r, 44r, 46v, 47r, 50r, 55v, 56v, 57r, 58r, 77r, 83r, 91r, 95v, 99v, 100r, 101v, 102v, 103r, 112v, 113r, 113v, 114r, 114v, 115r, 115v, 116v, 118r, 118v, 119r, 119v, 122v, 124a verso
  • Flower-and-acanthus borders: fols. 16v, 17r, 22r, 39r, 59v, 60r, 68r, 73v, 79r, 81r, 87v, 88r, 125v, 126r
  • fol. 2v: Retable
  • fol. 21v: Pilgrims’ badges
  • fol. 29v: Jewels
  • fol. 30r: Scenes of a boating party and the gathering of manna
  • fol. 35r: Men carrying grapes
  • fol. 68r: Woman with two infants, sitting astride a lion
  • fol. 74r: Pilgrims’ bottles
  • [lacking between fols. 80 and 81: Peacock feathers, now London, Victoria and Albert Museum, Prints, Drawings, and Paintings Collection, no. 4101]
  • fol. 98r: Church portal
  • fol. 101r: Architecture
  • fol. 123r: Rosary beads



Bound by Charles Lewis (1786–1836) in green morocco with fine gold ornament on gilt clasps, in imitation of the French Duodo style: see Giles Barber and David Rogers, ‘Bindings from Oxford Libraries: II. A ‘Duodo’ Pastiche Binding by Charles Lewis’, Bodleian Library Record, 8.3 (1969): 140–43. On one side in the centre is T.W. with Deus alit me, on the other the arms of Theodore Williams. The Williams sale catalogue of 1827 describes this as a matchless specimen of the art, by Charles Lewis; it is of green morocco, tooled entirely over after a pattern of a book belonging to Diana of Poitiers (p. 104). The book is accompanied by a box case, also covered in morocco.


Origin: 1488 × 1490s ; Flemish

The Easter tables at the opening of the volume begin at 1488. As-Vijvers suggests that the book can be dated on stylistic grounds to between approximately 1490 and 1495.

Provenance and Acquisition

Louis Quarré (died 1519), seigneur de la Haye en Hainaut: his overpainted coats of arms (fols. 122v, 130r). One of the escutcheons accompanies a commemoration of St Barbara (fol. 119r), reflecting his marriage to Barbara Croesinck (died 1531).

Dominique Vivant, baron Denon (1747–1825): according to the Williams sale catalogue, This most splendid Book of Offices is known as the celebrated Missal belonging to the Baron Denon, late President of the French Institute, who possessed greater advantages than any other person of securing articles of Vertu of the choicest description, from the unlimited confidence placed in him by Bonaparte, in selecting and securing works of art for the National Museum. […] It is undoubtedly one of the most sumptuous Missals ever offered to the public, and was considered by the Baron as one of the gems in his collection. This was presumably before 1818, when a description of a handful of manuscripts still in his collection does not show any that match the Quarré Hours: Thomas F. Dibdin, A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany (London: Shakspeare Press, 1821), 2:454. Sold to:

Robert Heathcote (died 1823): according to the Williams catalogue, purchased from [Denon] by the late Robert Heathcote, esq. a gentleman well known for his distinguished taste. As-Vijvers (¶ 65) notes that Heathcote purchased another book of hours at Paris in 1816. Heathcote sold both books and art from 1802 onwards: A catalogue of a magnificent, truly superbe, and valuable collection of Italian, French, Flemish and Dutch pictures (London: Philips, 1805); Repertorium bibliographicum; or, Some account of the most celebrated British libraries (London: Clarke, 1819), 470–73; Seymour de Ricci, English Collectors of Books and Manuscripts (1530–1930) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1930), 99. Heathcote sold some books through an intermediary, Mr Farmer: David Rogers, Francis Douce’s Manuscripts: Some Hitherto Unrecognised Provenances, in Studies in the Book Trade in Honour of Graham Pollard, ed. Richard W. Hunt, Ian G. Philip, and Richard J. Roberts (Oxford: Oxford Bibliographical Society, 1975), 334.

Theodore Williams (1785–1875), vicar of Hendon. Williams, born in Jamaica, was also an avid cactus collector. Sale of his library, A catalogue of the library of the Rev. Theodore Williams […] which will be sold by auction, by Messrs. Stewart, Wheatley, and Adlard (London: Adlard, 1827), lot 1030 (p. 104), 24 April 1827. The description mentions twelve Large Paintings, showing that the missing miniatures had been removed by this point. Charles Lewis went to some lengths to tidy the damage in his rebinding. The known miniatures have English provenances in the nineteenth century. Sold to:

Philip Hurd (1776–1831): sale of his library, Catalogue of the Splendid, Curious and Valuable Library, of the Late Philip Hurd, Esq. (London: Nicol, 1832), lot 1256 (p. 62), 5 April 1832. Sold to:

Francis Douce (1757–1834): report of Mr Hurd’s sale, The Bibliomania, Gentleman’s Magazine, 102 (May 1832): 443. Bequeathed to:

Bodleian Library, 1834.

Record Sources

Description by Andrew Dunning (2023), drawing extensively on Anne Margreet As-Vijvers, ‘The Missing Miniatures of the Hours of Louis Quarré’, Journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art 10, no. 1 (March 2018). Previously described:


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Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (58 images from 35mm slides)


    Printed descriptions:

    S. J. P. van Dijk, Latin Liturgical Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, vol. 4: Books of Hours (typescript, 1957), p. 291

Last Substantive Revision

2023-12-04: Andrew Dunning revised with consultation of original.