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

MS. Douce 366

Summary Catalogue no.: 21941


Psalter ('The Ormesby Psalter')
(fol. 2)

Added, c. 1325.

(fol. 8)
Easter table

With dots and a pricking at the years 1290, 1295 and 1300

(fol. 10)

Textual divisions at Pss. 1 (fols. 9v-10r), 26 (fol. 38r), 38 (fol. 55v), 51 (fol. 71v), 52 (fol. 72r), 68 (fol. 89r), 80 (fol. 109r), 97 (fol. 128r), 101 (fol. 131r) and 109 (fol. 147v).

(fol. 189v)
Weekly canticles, each followed by a collect; no rubrics
(fol. 189v)
Confitebor tibi domine
(fol. 190r)
Ego dixi
(fol. 191r)
Exultauit cor meum
(fol. 192r)
Cantemus domino
(fol. 194r)
Domine audiui
(fol. 196r)
Audite celi
(fol. 199v)
Daily canticles, prayers and creeds, each except the Te Deum followed by a collect; no rubrics
(fol. 199v)
Te deum
(fol. 201r)
Benedicite omnia opera
(fol. 202r)
Benedictus dominus deus
(fol. 202v)
(fol. 203r)
Nunc dimittis
(fol. 203v)
Quicumque vult
(fol. 206r)

Followed by collects:

Incipit: Deus cui proprium est misereri semper et parcere
Incipit: Omnipotens sempiterne deus qui facis mirabilia magna solus
(fol. 209v)
Litany of Norwich cathedral

Added, c. 1325.

Followed by collects (fol. 212r):

Incipit: Deus cui proprium est misereri semper et parcere
Incipit: Mentem famuli episcopi nostri q(uesumu)s omnipotens deus lumine tue ueritatis illustra
Incipit: Omnipotens sempiterne deus qui facis mirabilia magna solus
Incipit: Pretende domine famulis et famulabus tuis dexteram celestis auxilii
Incipit: Ure igne sancti spiritus renes nostros et cor nostrum domine
Incipit: Acciones nostras q(uesumu)s domine aspirando preueni
Incipit: Adesto domine suppicationibus nostris et viam famulorum tuorum in salutis tue
Incipit: Ecclesie tue domine preces placatus admitte ut destructis aduersitatibus inimici
Incipit: A domo tua q(uesumu)s domine spirituales nequicie repellantur
Incipit: Deus a quo sancta desideria recta consilia et iusta sunt
Incipit: Deus qui inter apostolicos sacerdotes famulos tuos pontificali fecisti
Incipit: Animabus quesumus domine famulorum famularumque tuarum oracio proficiat supplicancium
Incipit: Deus qui es sanctorum tuorum splendor mirabilis atque lapsorum sulleuator
Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: 2 + 213 + 2 fol.
Dimensions (leaf): 377 × 250 mm.
Dimensions (written): 229 × 136 mm.


18 lines.


Sandler (1986, no. 43) divides the decoration as follows:

Late thirteenth century (?c. 1280–1300):

  • Minor decoration of fols. 10–45v.
  • Decoration of fols. 58–67v, and part of fols. 70–81v, by a different artist.
  • Cf. Pächt and Alexander iii. 499, pl. XLVIII.

c. 1310–20:

  • Inital and border of Ps. 26 (fol. 38).
  • Other large initials and borders, by a different artist, whose work is also found in the Bromholm Psalter, the Emmanuel College Gregory, and the Dublin Apocalypse (fols. 9v, 55v, 71v, 72, 89, 109, 128, 131, 147v).
  • Initials on fols. 22–45v, under-drawings on fols. 46–57v, line initials and 2-line Psalm initials on fols. 70–81v, and some other minor decoration (e.g. fol. 154)
  • Cf. Pächt and Alexander iii. 536, pl. L-LI.


  • Donor portrait, fol. 9v.
  • Beatus initial, fol. 10.
  • Decoration finished by the artist called by Cockerell the 'cheap finisher'.
  • Cf. Pächt and Alexander iii.581, pl. LX.

(fol. 9v), full page Beatus initial, with Tree of Jesse, Annunciation, and praying couple (with arms of Foliot and Bardolf); praying bishop and Benedictine monk painted over the original block of text.

Five- or ten-line initials at the text divisions:

  • (fol. 10r), Ps. 1, David playing harp
  • (fol. 38r), Ps. 26, Anointing of David
  • (fol. 55v), Ps. 38, Christ before Pilate
  • (fol. 71v), Ps. 51, Doeg and the Priests
  • (fol. 72r), Ps. 52, Temptation of Christ
  • (fol. 89r), Ps. 68, Jonah and the Whale
  • (fol. 109r), Ps. 80, David playing bells
  • (fol. 128r), Ps. 97, Clerics singing
  • (fol. 131r), Ps. 101, David praying
  • (fol. 147v), Ps. 109, Christ and God the Father

All historiated initials except Ps. 1 with full borders.

2-line decorated and inhabited initials extending into partial borders; 1-line versals.


Contemporary binding of white leather on boards with leather chemise. Fore-edge painting with the arms of Norwich cathedral priory, the see of Norwich, and the Uffords of Suffolk.


Origin: 13th century, late; additions, c. 1310–20 and c. 1325 ; English, East Anglia; additions, Norwich

Provenance and Acquisition

Three stages of production: (1) late 13th century, the main part of the MS. was written, and most of the minor decoration on fols. 10–45, 58–69 decorated; (2) c. 1310–20, most of the main historiated borders and initials were added; (3) 1320s, finishing of the decoration, the insertion of fol. 9v, execution of the second Beatus initial on fol. 10, addition of calendar and new litany, binding.

Arms of Foliot and Bardolf (fol. 9v), possibly associated with an intended marriage between these families (not known to have taken place).

Presented to Norwich cathedral by Robert of Ormesby, probably c. 1325.

Pressmarks 'A.I', 'xlij', 14th cent.

'A. Gray', 1654, fol. i.

Francis Douce, acquired November 1831.

Bequeathed by him to the Bodleian.

Record Sources

Description adapted from The Douce Legacy (1984), no. 244; Pächt and Alexander; and S. J. P. Van Dijk, Handlist of the Latin Liturgical Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library Oxford : Vol. 2: Office Books (typescript, 1957); additional description of content and decoration by Matthew Holford, March 2018. Previously described in the Summary Catalogue.


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Digital Images

Digital Bodleian
Digital Bodleian (132 images from 35mm slides)


    Printed descriptions:

    Otto Pächt and J. J. G. Alexander, Illuminated Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford , III (1973), nos. 49, 536, 581
    S. J. P. van Dijk, Latin Liturgical Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, vol. 2: Office Books (typescript, 1957), p. 17

Last Substantive Revision

2017-07-01: First online publication.

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