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

MS. Finch g. 1

Summary Catalogue no.: New Summary Catalogue 46849 (brief notice)


Book of Hours, Use of Rome
Language(s): Latin
[Text 1 occupies quires 1–2](fols. 2r-14v)

Calendar; written continuously, so most months do not start at the top of a new page; each month headed by a note on the number of days of the solar and lunar month, and the number of hours of day and night; major feasts in red, none local; feasts in ordinary ink (many of them entered on the wrong days), include Gilbert of Sempringham (4 Feb.), Romanus (of Rheims?) (27 recte 28 Feb.), Herculanus (principal patron of Perugia) (1 Mar.); Matrona (15 Mar.), Bibiana (31 (sic) Mar.), Sophia (head relic at Fermo) (30 Apr.), Secundus (relics at Gubbio, patron of Pergola) (1 June), Mustiola (principal patron of Chiusi) (3 July), Reparata (co-titular of the cathedral of Florence) (8 Oct.), Faustinus (23 Nov. (sic)), fols. 15r-16v ruled, otherwise blank.

(fols. 17r-155v)

Hours of the Virgin, Use of Rome, with (fols. 110v-127r) variant nocturns for days of the week, followed by a rubric partly in Italian ('et cosi ogni cosa per ordine como e in lo primo nocturno. Sabbato de aduentu mutatur officium beate uirginis ...'), and (fols. 127v-155v) seasonal variants.

Language(s): Latin and Italian
(fols. 156r-177v)

The Seven Penitential Psalms.

(fols. 177v-193v)

Litany, with St. Reparata fourth among 10 virgins; followed (fols. 182r-185v) by petitions, and (fols. 189r-193v) the usual ten collects (cf. MS. Buchanan e. 5), and (fol. 192v) an eleventh: 'Exaudiat nos deus omnipotens et misericors ...'.

(fols. 194r-266r)

Office of the Dead, Use of Rome; the versicles after the ninth lesson and response are 'Clamantes ...' and 'Requiem ...'.

(fols. 267r-318r, rubric on fols. 266v-267r)

Long Hours of the Cross (also known as the Hours of the Passion), with an unusually long rubric

Rubric: Incipit offitium sacratissime passionis domini nostri yhesu christi. in quo omnes antiphone sicut in festo duplici. replicantur et de quolibet psalmo dicuntur tantum quoque (?) uersus memorando semper quinque uulnera crucifixi. et semper in principio horarum dicitur. Versus Per signum crucis de inimicis nostris libera nos deus noster Ad matutinum in primo nocturno. ...
(fols. 318r-323v)

Short Hours of the Cross, here attributed to, and carrying an indulgence of, Pope John XXII

Rubric: Incipit offitium crucis compositum per dominum iohannem papam .xxii.
Incipit: Ad matutinum. Antiphona Adoramus te christe ... Predicta dicitur in principio cuiuslibet hore [fol. 318v] qua dicta sequitur inmediate. Hymnus Patris sapientia
Final rubric: [fol. 323v] Explicit offitium crucis [fol. 324r] ordinatus a sanctissimo papa iohane .xxii qui dedit indulgentiam unius anni pro qualibet die qua dicta fuerit:-
(fols. 324r-327r)

Psalm 90 (cf. MS. Buchanan g. 1); fol. 327v ruled, otherwise blank.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: e vii kl(calendar, fol. 3r)
Secundo Folio: ⟨sem⟩per et in secula (text, fol. 18r)
Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: i (fol. 1: 19th?-cent. parchment, conjoint with the pastedown) + 326 + i (fol. 328: 19th?-cent. parchment, conjoint with the pastedown) + i (fol. 329: an 18th?-cent. paper slip, pasted to the pastedown).
Dimensions (leaf): 111–3 × 82 mm.
Dimensions (written): 50 × 35 mm.
Foliation: Foliated in modern pencil, including the endleaves: 1–11a, 11b-329; a previous (19th?-cent.) foliator numbered the first leaf of text after the calendar, and every tenth leaf thereafter (as 11, 21, 31, etc.); these latter foliations have either been overwritten by the later foliator, or cancelled by encircling, according to Bodleian practice, by the present cataloguer (e.g. encircled '31' occurs on the present fol. 47).


I(10) (fols. 2–11a), II(6) (fols. 11b-16) | III-XVII(8) (fols. 17–136), XVIII(6) (fols. 137–142), XIX(8) (fols. 143–150), XX(8–1) (7th leaf missing, after fol. 155, with no apparent loss of text) (fols. 151–157), XXI-XXXV(8) (fols. 158–277), XXXVI-XXXIX(10) (fols. 278–317), XL(8) (fols. 318–325), XLI(2) (fols. 326–327); catchwords are written horizontally, in the centre of the lower margin, surrounded by four dots, only in quires 31–2, 34–5, and 37–9; that on fol. 277v in red, since the next word is a rubric; no leaf signatures visible.


Quires III-XXXV (fols. 17–277) ruled in pale pink-brown ink, with 11 lines per page, between single vertical bounding lines running the full height of the page; quires XXXVI-XLI (fols. 278–327) with the verticals ruled in hardpoint on the flesh side; fol. 318r with 11 lines to the page; the calendar with five verticals ruled in leadpoint, the 15 horizontals (for 14 lines of text), ruled in pale ink; pricking occasionally visible, especially in the lower gutter margin, closer to the gutter than the vertical ruling. 10 lines of text per page.


Rounded gothic hand


Fine miniature, borders, historiated and other initials. (Pächt and Alexander ii. 243, pl. XXII).

Headings in red; the first letter after a coloured initial touched with yellow; and the first letter after a rubric touched with yellow if it is not a coloured initial.

One unframed miniature in the lower margin of the page with the start of the rubric for the Long Hours of the Cross; with a four-sided border predominantly of ink sprays and gold dots, with some floral motifs, facing the start of the Long Hours of the Cross: (fol. 266v) The Resurrection; Christ blessing and holding a banner, standing in the tomb.

Five historiated initials, each accompanied by a four-sided border of multi-coloured acanthus and other foliage and flowers and gold dots, all except that on fol. 267r incorporating an exotic bird: (fol. 17r) Hours of the Virgin, Matins. 5-line initial D[omine]: Virgin and Child, half-length; a coat of arms (see Provenance) in the lower border (Pächt & Alexander, pl. XXII). (fol. 156r) Penitential Psalms. 3-line initial D[omine]: King David, half-length, playing the psaltery; a naked putto in the lower border. (fol. 194r) Office of the Dead. 5-line initial D[ilexi]: The head and shoulders of an emaciated figure, a personification of Death. (fol. 267r) Long Hours of the Cross. 3-line initial D[omine]: The Man of Sorrows, half-length, standing in the tomb. (fol. 318v) Short Hours of the Cross. 3-line initial P[atris] enclosing a gold cross.

Each accompanied by a four-sided border of multi-coloured acanthus and other foliage and flowers and gold dots, all except that on fol. 267r incorporating an exotic bird

Decorated initials to the remaining hours and the variant Matins nocturns of the Hours of the Virgin, and the remaining hours of the Long Hours of the Cross, mostly 3-, 4-, or 5-line size (fols. 35v, 58r, 67r, 74r [6-line], 79v, 86v, 100v, 111r, 119v, 282r, 289r, 292v, 297r, 301r, 305v, 312v); each initial filled with a flower design, and from which extend foliate and floral extensions, with gold dots, into the three outer margins.It is possible that the leaf now missing before fol. 156, the start of the Seven Penitential Psalms, bore decoration.

Gold KL monograms with red and blue penwork in the calendar.


Original binding? Sewn on three double/split straps, with endbands; between wood boards (the upper board detached); covered in later(?) red velvet, worn and faded; the edges gilt and gauffered; the spine with an 18th?-cent red leather title-piece, lettered in gilt: 'OFFICIUM | BEATAE | VIRGINIS'; no traces of any straps or fastenings are apparent.


Origin: 15th century, middle ; Italian, Florence

Provenance and Acquisition

Arms of Orlandini (?), dimidiating Vettori, both of Florence. (Fol. 17r: lower border, a roundel enclosing a green wreath, enclosing a coat of arms: azure, three goats rampant argent, two and one, impaling party per bend sable and argent, a bend azure semi of lis or (Pächt & Alexander, pl. XXII)

Unidentified Italian owner: a sheet of paper pasted to the lower pastedown inscribed in ink: 'Il sign(or) Biblio:(theca)rio Fontana dice e sone Scritto del 1400:, [..?] Santi notati sul principio son tutti Francesi, Li arme e della Famiglia Casi[?]poni Stabilita in Francia, [and, in a different ink:] [...?]iquartata con l'arme della Famig.(li)a Altoviti'.

Unidentified owner: fol. 1v inscribed in pencil, very small, with a number, perhaps '1743' (the third numeral perhaps '6', the fourth perhaps '5'), perhaps a bookseller's marking.

Robert Finch: fols. 1v and 329r inscribed in pencil in English with brief notes on the dimensions, number of leaves, etc., perhaps by Finch; the upper pastedown with Finch's bookplate; the upper pastedown inscribed in dark turquoise ink with a shelfmark(?): 'V [or U?] 91.'; fol. 1r with a booklabel printed in red: 'TAYLOR INSTITUTION | BEQUEATHED | TO THE UNIVERSITY | BY | ROBERT FINCH, M.A. | OF BALLIOL COLLEGE'.

Transferred to the Bodleian in 1918, and inscribed with the present shelfmark on fol. 1r.

Record Sources

Typescript description by Bodleian Library staff, revised by Peter Kidd

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (1 image from 35mm slides)

Last Substantive Revision

2017-07-01: First online publication.