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

MS. Lat. liturg. e. 38

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



Fragments of four leaves from the Sanctorale of a Noted Missal

(fol. 7r)

Part of the Mass for the feast of of Sts. Primus and Felicianus (9 June), with the Gospel, "[Hoc est preceptum meum ut diliga]||tis inuicem; sicut dilexi uos; ..." (John 15:12–16); Offertory, "[Mir]abilis deus in sanctis." with musical notation; and the Secret, "[F]iat domine quesumus sacranda ..." to "... que et peccata nostra purificet. ut tuorum tibi ||", with a few fragments of the following line of text and music visible.

(fol. 7v)

Part of the Mass for the feast of Sts. Basilides, Cyrinus, Nabor, and Nazarius (12 June), with the Epistle, "[Benedictus deus ...]|| conseruatam in celis; ..." (I Peter 1:4–7); Grail, "Vind[ica] domine sanguinem sanctorum tuorum effusus est.", "Posuerunt mortalia seruorum tuorum ...", and Alleluia verse, "Exultabunt sancti in gloria ...", with musical notation; and the rubric of the Gospel according to Luke: part of a coloured ascender, which is likely to have been an initial "I[n illo tempore ...]" is visible, and Gambier-Parry suggested that the reading may have been "Attendite a fermento ..." (Luke 12:1) (a detail of this page is reproduced by Rankin).

(fol. 8r)

Part of the Mass for the feast of the Commemoration of St. Paul (June 30), with the Epistle, from "[Notum uobis ...]|| placuit ei qui me segregauit ..." to "... Eram autem ignotus faciae ecclesiarum ||" (Galatians 1:15–22).

(fol. 8v)

The end of the Mass for the feast of the Commemoration St. Paul (June 30) with the Secret, "|| E[cclesiae tuae quesumus domine preces et hostias apostolica com]mendet oratio. ..."; Communion, "Amen dico uobis ...", with musical notation; Post-communion, "Perceptis domine sacramentis beati apostolis ..."; and the start of the Mass for the feast of Sts. Processus and Martinianus (July 2), with the rubric, Introit, "Iudicant sancti gentes ..."; and Collect, "Deus qui nos sanctorum tuorum processi et martiniani ... protegis. d||".

(fol. 13r-v)

Part of the Mass for the feast of St. Samson (July 28), with the Secret, "[D]||eus apostolorum. deus martirum. ..."; Preface, "[Vere dignum ...]aet; Cui terribiliter trepidant celestia. cui fideliter seruiunt elimenta ..." to "... Et sicut illius beata anima ||", continuing (fol. 13v) "|| serpentes mortiferos nutu dei intremit ..." to "... laudauit aeternum nomen domini et[c.]"; Communion, "Beatus seruus.", with musical notaiton; and Post-communion, "Satiasti nos domine in hac sollempnitate ..."; followed by the rubric for the feast of Sts. Felix and Simplicius (July 29) (pr. F. Duine, Inventaire liturgique de l'hagiographie Bretonne (La Bretagne et les pays Celtiques. Série in-8º., 16; Bulletin de la Société Archéologique d'Ille-et-Vilaine, 49; Paris, 1922), 280–1, no. 14).

(fol. 14r)

The end of the Mass for the feast of Sts. Felicissimus and Agapitus (August 6), with the last word of the Collect, "|| dominum"; the Secret, "[Mun]era tibi domine ..."; Post-communion, "[Praesta quesumus n]obis domine ..."; and the rubric for the Mass for the feast of St. Donatus (August 9), with the Collect, "[Deus tu]orum gloria sacerdotum ...", and the rubric for the Secret.

(fol. 14v)

Part of an Epistle, "|| secundum euangelium meum; In quo laboro ... cum gloria caelesti;" (2 Timothy 2:8–10), "Tu a[utem adse]cutus meam doctrinam ... piae uiuere in christo ihesu ||" (3 Timothy 3:10–12).

Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: vi (modern paper) + 2 + iv (modern paper) + 2 + viii (modern paper).
Dimensions (leaf): 109–30 × 146–55 mm.
Most leaves trimmed on at least two sides; the B.L. fragment preserves the full width of the text area and some margins: 167 mm.


Not recoverable; ruling appears to be on hair-sides, i.e. fols. 7r, 8v, 13r, 14v.


Ruled in drypoint for at least 17 lines of text per page (cf. the Westminster fragments), between double vertical bounding lines extending the full height of the page (see fols. 13r and 14v); the top and bottom horizontal lines ruled the full width of the page (ditto; this is contrary to the practice observed for Exeter MSS. by E. M. Drage, Bishop Leofric and the Exeter Cathedral Chapter (1050–1072): a re-assessment of the manuscript evidence (Unpublished D. Phil., Oxford, 1978), 175: "They are consistently ruled so that the two outermost long lines at both top and bottom reach to the edge of the leaf, in addition to the usual double vertical bounding lines."; the present MS. is not in her catalogue, and she was presumably unaware of its existence); prickings survive for the outer vertical rulings only, on fol. 14.


The main text written in a fine Anglo-Saxon minuscule; "The hand is extremely close to ... other Exeter manuscripts made for Leofric ..." (Sotheby's cat.)


Coloured red and green initials.

Rubrics in rustic capitals, in reddish-orange, rather oxidised.


Bound in covers of plain stiff parchment between 1922 and 1963. Beyond the details given by Gambier-Parry on fol. 2r (quoted under Provenance), the leaves show evidence of the sixteenth-century bindings in which they were previously the pastedowns, including the sewing-stations, marks of the turn-ins, worm-holes, and copper-stained holes caused by clasp-fittings.

Accompanying Material

20th-cent. notes bound with the 11th-cent. leaves:

  • (fols. 1r, 2r) Notes on the contents of the volume, written by Gambier-Parry after binding (see further under Provenance); versos blank, fols. 3r-6v also blank.
  • (fols. 9r-12r) Notes on fols. 7r-8v by Gambier-Parry; and (fol. 12r) an attribution written for him, signed and dated by "F.[alconer] Madan, March 16. 1920", and by Gambier-Parry on the same date; the versos are blank.
  • (fols. 15r-16r) Notes on fols. 13r-14v by Gambier-Parry, signed and dated by him December 1922; the versos are blank; fols. 17r-22v also blank.


Origin: 1052–1073 ; English, Exeter

Provenance and Acquisition

Exeter Cathedral (?): on the basis of script, the MS. from which the present fragments come has been attributed to an Exeter scribe during the episcopacy of Leofric (1050–72); it is therefore tempting to conclude that it is one of the two Missals listed in the record of his donation of books to Exeter (the other one presumably being the so-called 'Leofric Missal', Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Bodl. 579). Other fragments of the same MS. are:

  • London, B.L. Add. MS. 62104 (see Sotheby's 8/12/81 lot 8, with pl.; The British Library catalogue of additions to the manuscripts, new series, 1981–85, (London, 1994), 43, citing the present MS.)
  • Westminster Abbey, MS. 36, nos. 17–19 (photostats are available as MS. Facs. d. 121, fols. 107–112; cf N. R. Ker, Pastedowns, 28, no. 285a and n. 1; "... s. xi med. 2 fr. 17+ long lines ... A. C. Politus. Par. 1535. ...")
  • Lincoln Cathedral, V. 5. 11 (printed book with MS. flyleaves)
  • London, B.L. Harley MS. 5977 no. 59
  • ? a fragment of a leaf in a private collection in London, of which photocopies are deposited at the Bodleian.

? Exeter College, Oxford: the Westminster and Bodleian fragments were salvaged from 16th-cent. Oxford bindings, and it was suggested in the Sotheby's catalogue that the book may have been taken from Exeter to Exeter College, Oxford (founded in 1314), and discarded at the Reformation; a very faint inscription in 14th-cent. cursive script in the upper right margin of fol. 13v appears to read "Henr'[...] p[er?] [...] R[...] | h[...]h" (??), perhaps including the name of a reader.

"Thomas Bullie" (not in Emden, BRUO) inscribed on fol. 7r in a 16th(?)-cent. hand (if written after binding, this would have been written vertically, near the gutter edge of the inner face of the lower board, in the bound volume); pen-trials of a similar date include two forms of the letter "e", and the words "Ex" and "Pax".

T. Gambier-Parry; inscribed by him on fol. 1r "Fragments of a Missale Plenum of pre-Conquest Exeter execution, evidently exported to Paris on the introduction of a Liturgy in English, and used by a Paris book-binder in the course of his trade.". This suggestion was probably based on the fact that the volumes from which the fragments were recovered were printed in Paris in 1538 and 1539: according to a note on fol. 2r, "Folios 1 and 2 [ ...."tis invicem"... and "placuit ei"] are taken, Folio 1 from the lower cover, Folio 2 from the upper cover, of "Omnium Gentium mores, leges et ritus ..... a Ioanne Boemo Aubano, Teutonico nuper collecti, et novissime recogniti. Parisiis. Apud Iohannem Paruum, Via ad D. Iacobû, sub insigni Floris Lilij. M.D.XXXVIII." Small octavo brown calf over (?)beech boards, diagonal blind lines in blind border: one clasp catch on each cover: initials G. G. (? Gough) impressed in centre of both covers. Folios 3 and 4 [.."S. apostolorum" and "per Dominum"] are taken from the covers of "Ex variis libellis Eliae grammaticorum omnium doctissimi, huc fere congestum est opera Iohannis Campensis, quidquid ad absolutam grammaticen Hebraicam est necessarium .... Parisiis apud Christianum Wechelum. MDXXXIX" (N.B.: Gambier-Parry's Folios 1, 2, 3, and 4, are now fols. 7, 8, 13, and 14, respectively).

Given to the Bodleian in October 1963.

Record Sources

Draft description by Peter Kidd, late 1990s

Last Substantive Revision

2017-07-01: First online publication.