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

MS. Hatton 4

Summary Catalogue no.: 4133

Secular Choir Psalter with Antiphons and Hours, Use of Sarum; England, London; c. 1415


Language(s): Latin

Secular choir psalter with antiphons and hours

Fol. 1 is a blank paper fly-leaf.

[item 1 occupies quires I–III]

1. (fols. 2r–19v)
Sarum Office of the Virgin with the Office of the Cross worked in.

Includes suffrages after Lauds of the Holy Spirit, the Trinity, the Cross, the angels, John the Baptist, Peter and Paul, John the Evangelist, Thomas Becket (whose name and the second and third lines of the prayer ‘Deus pro cuius ecclesia ...’ are erased on fols. 10v–11r), Stephen, Lawrence, Nicholas, Mary Magdalene, Catherine of Alexandria, Margaret and All Saints; and variants after Vespers. Salve Regina follows the Compline, ending imperfectly. Fifteenth-century corrections and notes on the divergences of the text from the use of Sarum in the margins of the Office of the Virgin and all other texts in the manuscript.

[item 2 occupies quire IV]

2. (fols. 20r–25v)

Sarum calendar, written in black and red, laid out one month per page (see Scott, 1995, for a comparison of the Hatton calendar with the version printed by Legg, 1916; see also MS. Hatton 45, another London psalter). The calendar is not graded, apart from the use of colour. The vigils are included only for the months June–December for Christmas, the feasts of the apostles, the Virgin Mary and Lawrence (partly erased). ‘Obitus Ric(ard)i Gregori yrmong(er)’ (4 September) is added by the original scribe. The feasts of David and Chad (1 and 2 March), promulgated in 1415, lack flourished capitals and appear to have been added by the original scribe after the manuscript had been flourished (Scott, 1995, pp. 104–5). This presumably happened soon after it was written, and while it was still in the workshop. Guide-letters for the initials are provided, and similar guide-letters written in red against entries in red are visible under flourished capitals elsewhere in the calendar (e.g. ‘Sancti gregorii’, 12 March; ‘Purificatio’, 2 February).

The feasts of David and Chad and the obit of Richard Gregory were probably added at the same time: both are in a slightly larger script and have capitals, decorated with double vertical strokes, at the beginning of personal names, unlike other names in the calendar. The addition of the feasts and the obit may have been part of a revision undertaken in the workshop, soon after the manuscript was completed. The manuscript has other corrections which appear to have been made in the original workshop. The original red initial in the word Iniquos on fol. 84v, for example, was erased and replaced by a blue initial with red penwork. The added initial is by a different rubricator, possibly the first rubricator of Hatton 4 (see Scott, 1995, p. 100, on the division of work among the three flourishers of Hatton 4).

The feast (30 April) and the translation of Erkenwald (14 November), bishop of London, as well as the translation of Nicholas (9 May), are added in a 15th-century hand, presumably in London. Obits, entered in 15th-century hands, partially lost when the leaves were trimmed, perhaps of parishioners of a church in London, include: hardy, twice (4 April), Banest(er) (15 April), I(?)ohanne(?)m Mekol (17 April), sergan (23 April), dallyng (2 May), leuenthorp (27 May), [...]eman (12 August), [...]lesabet (23 August), [...]lesabet scharburh wyfe (23 December). On fol. 20r in the lower margin are Latin verses on prognostication by thunder in a 15th-century hand, ‘Si tonitruus(?) fuit in mense januarij ventos validos ...’. The same hand added the feast of Antony of Egypt (17 January). The feasts of Thomas Becket and the titles ‘pape’ are erased. The calendar includes 16th-century notes recording the births of the children of Edward, 3rd Lord Windsor of Stanwell between 1559 and 1572 (printed by Scott, 1995). The months are headed by verses on the ‘Egyptian’ days which correspond to Hennig’s (1955) set III.

[items 3–8 occupy quires V–XVII]

3. (fols. 26r–95r)

Psalms 1–150 in the biblical order, laid out with each verse starting on a new line, in two columns, without numbers, with rubrics ‘p(salmu)s’. Psalms 25: 1–27: 3 are missing because of the loss of one leaf after fol. 36. Punctuated throughout, with punctus used to mark the ends of verses and minor pauses, and punctus elevatus used to mark metrum. Psalms are accompanied by antiphons, versicles, invitatoria, etc., with short rubrics referring to secular use. Subdivisions within psalms are not indicated, apart from psalm 118, subdivided into eleven 16-verse units. Psalms 148–150 are written without a break as a single text. There are textual divisions at psalms 38, 52, 68, 80, 97 and 109 (see ‘Decoration’). Pages containing the beginnings of psalms 1 and 109 have full borders. The text contains corrections in the hand which also corrected the Office of the Virgin. Fragments of parchment bookmarks (or of glue which used to hold them) mark the beginnings of the seven Penitential Psalms: 6 (fol. 27r), 31 (fol. 38v), 37 (fol. 42v), 50 (fol. 48v), 101 (fol. 72r), 129 (fol. 88r), 142 (fol. 92r), and the beginning of the litany (fol. 101v). Some psalm initials have been defaced by wet smudging, possibly as a way of making them more noticeable.

The presentation of psalms in Hatton 4 has some similarities with MS. Hatton 9, a secular choir psalter made in the second quarter of the 15th century and used in a parish church in West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, in the third quarter of the 15th century. Hatton 9, like Hatton 4, has parchment bookmarks marking some Penitential Psalms, and psalms 148–150, a sequence for Lauds at all days of the week, written as a single text.

4. (fols. 95r–99r)

Weekly canticles, with rubrics ‘p(salmu)s’, each followed by antiphons:

  • (1) Confitebor tibi domine (Isaiah 12);
  • (2) Ego dixi (Isaiah 38: 10–21);
  • (3) Exultauit cor meum (1 Samuel 2: 1–11);
  • (4) Cantemus domino (Exodus 15: 1–20);
  • (5) Domine audiui (Habakkuk 3);
  • (6) Audite celi (Deuteronomy 32: 1–44).

5. (fols. 99r–101v)

Daily canticles, prayers and creeds, some with rubrics ‘p(salmu)s’:

  • (1) Te deum laudamus (fol. 99r);
  • (2) Benedicite omnia opera (fol. 99v);
  • (3) Benedictus dominus deus (fol. 100r);
  • (4) Magnificat (fol. 100r);
  • (5) Nunc dimittis (fol. 100v);
  • (6) Athanasian Creed (Quicumque uult ...) (fol. 100v), followed by antiphons.

6. (fols. 101v–106r)

Sarum litanies for each day of the week with lists of saints identical to Sarum litanies published by Procter and Wordsworth (1886). The litanies for feria secunda are followed by petitions, and collects (fols. 103v–104r) with rubrics ‘oratio’:

  • (1) Deus cui proprium est misereri semper et parcere ...
  • (2) Omnipotens sempiterne deus qui facis ...
  • (3) Deus qui caritatis dona per graciam ...
  • (4) Deus a quo sancta desideria recta ...
  • (5) Ineffabilem misericordiam tuam nobis quesumus domine clementer ostende ut simul nos ...
  • (6) Fidelium deus omnium conditor et redemptor animabus omnium fidelium defunctorum ...
  • (7) Pietate tua quesumus domine nostrorum solue omnia uincula ...
The phrase ‘dompnum apostolicum’ is erased on fol. 103r.

7. (fols. 106v–118v)

Sarum Office of the Dead with rubrics, 9 lessons at Matins and the full text of psalms. Includes corrections in the hand that corrected the Office of the Virgin and psalter.

8. (fols. 118v–123v)

Sarum Commendation of the Souls with the full text of psalms (see Procter and Wordsworth, 1886).

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: dei et opera manuum (Office of the Virgin, fol. 3r)
Form: codex
Support: parchment; paper fly-leaves
Extent: 124 leaves
Dimensions (leaf): c. 398 × 263 mm.
Hatton 4 is the same height, but about 15 mm narrower than the ‘Ellesmere Chaucer’ (Scott, 1995). The leaves are trimmed both vertically and horizontally, causing the loss of some catchwords and obits in the calendar. According to Scott, Hatton 4 is one of the seven largest psalters to survive from the 15th century (1996, p. 107)
Foliation: modern, in pencil; 1–124.


(fol. 1) paper fly-leaf conjoint with the upper pastedown | (fols. 2–17) I–II (8) | (fols. 18–19) III two single (?) leaves, the original structure unclear | (fols. 20–25) IV (6) | (fols. 26–33) V (8) | (fols. 34–40) VI (8−1) missing 4 | (fols. 41–120) VII–XVI (8) | (fols. 121–123) XVII (4−1) missing 4 (?) | (fol. 124) paper fly-leaf conjoint with the lower pastedown. Catchwords and leaf signatures (which start at ‘a’ in quire V, fol. 26) survive


Ruled in purple ink for two columns with single vertical and horizontal bounding lines, extending the full height and width of page; written below the top line; 26 lines per page; prickings survive; written space: c. 270 × 170 mm.


Large formal Gothic book hand; smaller script used for antiphons, etc.; black ink.


Illuminated by three artists, two of whom are probably also responsible for the illumination in San Marino, Huntington Library MS. EL 26 C 9 (the ‘Ellesmere Chaucer’ (Scott, 1995)). Hand A is responsible for borders on fols. 2r, 7r, 49v, 56r, 64r; Hand B, whose work does not appear in Ellesmere, is responsible for spray initials on fols. 12v, 14r, 15r, 16r, 17r, 18r; and Hand C is responsible for borders on fols. 26r, 43r, 71r, 79r, 106v, 118v. The work of Hand B appears only in the Office of the Virgin (quires II–III).

Blue KL monograms with red penwork in the calendar.

5- to 6-line pink and blue initials in gold frames and on gold, pink and blue backgrounds, decorated with coiled tendrils and leaves, and full or three-quarter borders, made of gold bars, decorated with sprays of foliage and gold discs, at the beginnings of Matins and Lauds in the Office of the Virgin (fols. 2r and 7r), psalms 1 (fol. 26r), 38 (fol. 43r), 52 (fol. 49v), 68 (fol. 56r), 80 (fol. 64r), 97 (fol. 71r), 109 (fol. 79r) and the Office of the Dead (fol. 106v).

Major initials with full or three-quarter borders, as above.

5- to 6-line pink and blue initials in gold frames on gold, pink and blue backgrounds, decorated with coiled tendrils, sprays of foliage and gold discs, extending into the margins, at the beginnings of the hours in the Office of the Virgin.

4-line pink and blue initial in a gold frame and on gold, pink and blue background, decorated with coiled tendrils and leaves, and a three-quarter border made of gold bars, decorated with sprays of leaves and gold discs, at the beginning of the Commendation of the Souls.

2-line blue initials with red penwork at the beginnings of psalms, canticles, litany, prayers and sections of the offices.

1-line alternating red and blue initials, with contrasting purple and blue penwork, at the beginnings of verses and periods and feasts in the calendar.

Red and blue line-endings.

rubrics in red ink


Sprinkled brown leather over pasteboard, 18th century. Double blind fillet border round the outer edge of both covers. Blind roll border with arabesque designs next to the spine on both covers. Rebacked in the Bodleian with the original spine relaid. Eight raised bands on spine. Gilt lettering on spine ‘HATTON || 108’. Paper label on spine with ‘M.S. || Hatton || 4’. Paper pastedowns and fly-leaves added when the manuscript was rebacked.


Origin: 15th century, beginning (c. 1415) ; English, London

Provenance and Acquisition

Made for the use in choir in a secular church, as suggested by a large size and the presence of antiphons, versicles, invitatoria, etc. with rubrics referring to secular use. The London origin is suggested by a near contemporary obit of Richard Gregory, a citizen of London, d. 1397 (Scott, 1995), though unlike in MS. Hatton 45 there are no specifically London saints in the calendar or litany. The church may have been St Lawrence Jewry (Lawrence is the only non-biblical saint in the calendar given a vigil) or St Peter’s upon Cornhill in London. Richard Gregory’s will specifies a bequest for interment in the chapel of St Mary at St Peter’s and further bequests for improvements to the church and to the chaplains (see Scott, 1995, p. 103). The rector of St Peter’s upon Cornhill in the first quarter of the 15th century was John Whitby, named as Richard Gregory’s executor on several documents. In a writ, dated 23 October 1397 (London, National Archives, C 131/213), he appears as Richard Gregory’s executor with another chaplain, John atte Felde. In another writ, dated 28 March 1404 (London, National Archives, C 241/193), he appears as the executor of Richard Gregory and administrator of his goods. In A survey of the cities of London and Westminster and the borough of Southwark John Strype reports that the church of St Peter upon Cornhill had a library and a prominent grammar school (1754–55, vol. 1, p. 464) and that the books in the library were ‘viewed and commended’ by John Leland. Leland mentions the library and, selectively, its books in his Collectanea and Itinerary, but does not include any liturgical books (see Hearne, 1774, iv, p. 48; Toulmin Smith, 1906–10, iv, pp. 54–5; Harris, 2005).

15th-century addition of the feasts of St Erkenwald, patron of London, to the calendar (‘Sancti Erkkynvaldi episcopi’, 30 April, and ‘transelacio sancti Erkkynvaldi episcopi londoniensis’, 14 November) suggests that the psalter continued to be used in the diocese of London. The obits in 15th-century hands in the calendar, the addition of the feasts and the presence of corrections and notes comparing the text to the use of Sarum suggest a continued use in a church, rather than private use. The obit ‘leuenthorp’ (27 May) is of John Leventhorpe (b. 1360), Receiver General of the Duchy of Lancaster, who had an office in the city of London and died on 27 May 1435 (see Kerr, 1935). His obit also appears on 27 May in the calendar of an early 15th-century missal, Cambridge, Trinity College MS. B. 11. 3, with other obits of the Leventhorpe family (James, 1900–04). He is buried in Great Saint Mary’s Church, Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire (Monumental inscriptions, 1989, p. 35).

The records of births of the children of Edward, 3rd Baron Windsor of Stanwell (c. 1532–1574/5) between 1559 and 1572.

Thomas Windsor, 6th Baron Windsor of Stanwell (d. 1641), whose birth is recorded on fol. 22r.

Christopher, first Baron Hatton (bap. 1605, d. 1670), see ODNB. Acquired from Thomas Windsor.

Robert Scott, London bookseller (b. in or before 1632, d. 1709/10), see ODNB: bought as part of the library of Christopher Hatton.

Bodleian Library: bought in 1671 from Scott; came to the Library in September 1671 (see Summary catalogue, vol. 2, part 2, pp. 801–2). Former shelfmark: ‘Hatton 108’ (fol. 2r). On fol. 2r ‘Breuiarium Romanum’.

Record Sources

Elizabeth Solopova, Latin Liturgical Psalters in the Bodleian Library: A Select Catalogue (Oxford, 2013), pp. 226–32. Previously described in the Summary Catalogue.

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (6 images from 35mm slides)


    Select bibliography to 2009:

    Strype, J., A survey of the cities of London and Westminster and the borough of Southwark: containing the original, antiquity, increase, present state and government of those cities written at first in the year 1698 by John Stow; corrected, improved and very much enlarged, in the year 1720 by John Strype, 6th edn., 2 vols. (London: Printed for W. Innys and J. Richardson, 1754–55).
    Hearne, T., Joannis Lelandi antiquarii De rebus Britannicis collectanea, 6 vols. (London: Benj. White, 1774).
    Procter, F. and Wordsworth, C., Breviarium ad usum insignis ecclesiae Sarum, 3 vols. (London: CUP; C. J. Clay and Sons, 1886).
    Sharpe, R. R., Calendar of wills proved and enrolled in the Court of Husting, London, A. D. 1258–A. D. 1688: preserved among the archives of the Corporation of the City of London, at the Guildhall, 2 vols. (London: John C. Francis, 1889–90).
    Hoskins, E., Horae beatae Mariae virginis; or, Sarum and York primers with kindred books and primers of the reformed Roman use (London: Green and Co, 1901).
    James, M. R., The western manuscripts in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge: a descriptive catalogue, 4 vols. (Cambridge: University Press, 1900–04), vol. 1, pp. 329–30.
    Toulmin Smith, L., The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535–1543 (London: G. Bell, 1906–10).
    Sharpe, R. R., Calendar of letter-books preserved among the archives of the Corporation of the City of London at the Guildhall. Letter-book A–L, 11 vols. (London, 1899–1912).
    Maxwell Lyte, H. C. (ed.), A descriptive catalogue of ancient deeds in the Public Record Office, 6 vols. (London: 1890–1915).
    Leach, A. F., The schools of medieval England (London: Methuen, 1915; reprinted London: Routledge, 2007).
    Legg, J. W., The Sarum missal edited from three early manuscripts (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1916).
    Kerr, P. W., ‘The Leventhorps of Sawbridgeworth’, Transactions of the East Hertfordshire Archaeological Society 9, part II (1935), pp. 129–51.
    Summary catalogue, vol. 2, part 2, no. 4133.
    S. J. P. van Dijk, Latin Liturgical Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, vol. 2: Office Books (typescript, 1957), p. 113
    Pächt and Alexander (1966–73), vol. 3, no. 807, pl. LXXIX.
    Fitch, M. (ed.), Index to testamentary records in the Commissary Court of London (London Division): now preserved in the Guildhall Library, London, 6 vols. (London: British Record Society, 1969–98).
    Monumental inscriptions: Great St. Mary’s Sawbridgeworth (Hertfordshire) (Ware: Hertfordshire Family and Population History Society, 1989).
    Scott, K. L., ‘An hours and psalter by two Ellesmere illuminators’ in M. Stevens and D. Woodward (eds.), The Ellesmere Chaucer: essays in interpretation (San Marino, CA: Huntington Library, 1995), pp. 87–119.
    Scott (1996), vol. 2, pp. 107, 142.
    Harris, O., ‘“Motheaten, mouldye, and rotten”: the early custodial history and dissemination of John Leland’s manuscript remains’, BLR 18 no. 5 (April 2005), pp. 460–501.
    The National Archives, Online Catalogue (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/; accessed 10 June 2009).

Last Substantive Revision

2024-05: Add extent and leaf dimensions from Summary Catalogue.