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

MS. Lat. liturg. e. 39

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


Breviary of Chertsey Abbey (part)
Language(s): Latin
(fols. 1–152)


Part, from 31st December, St. Silvester (fol. 1) to 6th November, St. Leonard (fol. 152). (see also MSS. Lat. liturg d. 42, e. 6, e. 37)

Language(s): Latin
(fols. 153–160v)

Office of the Dead

Incipit: ||redigas et consilio misericordie tue alligas
Explicit: Fidelium deus omnium conditor...supplicationibus consequantur per dominum nostrum ⟨(etc.)⟩
Language(s): Latin

Some of the numberous leaves missing from the Sanctorale are bound in with other parts of the same breviary in MSS. Lat. liturg d. 42, e. 6 (Summary Catalogue, no. 32558), e. 37. For example MS. Lat. liturg. e. 6, fol. 13 containing the feast of St. Scholastica, 10th Feb., came in the gap of 8 leaves between fols. 22–23 of the present MS. (gathering l). MS. Lat. liturg. e. 37 fol. 2 was the first of the 4 leaves missing after fol. 82v of the present MS. (gathering R), the text (lectio 1 of the seven sleepers) continuing without a break. The last of the four mising leaves is fol. 1 of MS. Lat. liturg. e. 37, St. Peters' chains, 1st Aug., the text on its verso continuing without a break on fol. 83 of the present MS. Other leaves missing from the sanctorale are in MS. Lat. liturg. d. 42. These are textual joins beween fols. 28 and 63 of the present MS.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: iii (paper) + 161 + ii (paper)
Dimensions (leaf): 208 × 135 mm.
Dimensions (written): 149 × 80 mm.
Foliation: the parchment leaves foliated in 19th-cent. ink in the middle of the upper margin: 1–160, the endleaves foliated in modern pencil: i-iii, 161–162


i(12), k(12) (5–8 missing), l(12) (3–10 missing), m(12) (4, 5, 8, 9 missing), n(12) (5, 8 missing), o(12) (1, 12 missing), p(12) (6, 8 missing), q(12) (1, 5, 11, 12 missing), r(12) (1, 2, 11, 12 missing), R(12) (5–8 missing), S(12) (3, 4, 9, 10 missing), s(12) (5, 8 missing), t(12), v(12), u(12), x(12) (12 missing), 7(12) (1–4, 7, and 3 other leaves not marked remain). There is a considerable gap in the text after gathering x (fol. 152) possibly of two (y, z) or three (y, z, &) gatherings. The collation is marked in a medieval hand in the top left hand inner margin of the recto at the beginning of each gathering with a letter of the alphabet and arabic numbers 1–5, e.g. K, K 1–5. The first leaf of the second quire is marked with a cross. horizontal catchword, fol. 94v


32 written lines, below top line; or 11 lines of text and 11 staves of music; in 2 columns



Musical Notation:

Square notation on staves of four red lines


Fine miniature, borders, historiated and other initials. By the Master of the Queen Mary Psalter and his workshop. (Pächt and Alexander iii. 543, pl. LIV)

Seven fine historiated initials:

  • (fol. 1r) 'S'[iluester] with St. Silvester addressing four men.
  • (fol. ***) 'C'[elebritatem] with St. Paul on the road to Damascus.
  • (fol. 88v) 'P'[eracta] with the Martyrdon of St. Lawrence.
  • (fol. 108v) 'H'[odie] with the Nativity of the Virgin; rubbed.
  • (fol. 118v) 'C'[(recte E)rant] with St. Matthew writing, his symbol above.
  • (fol. 125v) 'N'[ouem] with St. Michael.
  • (fol. 147v) 'G'[loria] with a Gnadenstuhl Trinity surrounded by the Evangelist symbols.


18th(?)-cent. diced brown leather over pasteboards, repaired in the 19th-cent.(?) as a cased-binding; the spine lettered in gilt 'OFFICIVM | SANCTOR.'; the text-block almost detached from the binding


Origin: 14th century, first quarter, 1307 or later ; English

Provenance and Acquisition

Chertsey Abbey: (1)Calendar in MS. Lat. liturg. e. 6 with obits of the abbots from Bertram (d. 1197 (?)) to Bartholomaeus (d. 1307) entered in the original hand; (2) Litany in MS. Lat. liturg. e. 6 in which SS. Beccanus and Edor follow St. Benedict; (3) emphasis on St. Erkenwald, founder of the abbey, with special feasts for his octave, 30th April, fols. 38v,-39, 42v, 44 of the present MS.

'William Matthews', written on a flyleaf with the watermark 1825

Rt. Hon. Beresford Hope (1820–87), with his bookplate, and an erased shelfmark (?) 'T-3' (fol. i verso) as in manuscripts from the Hopetoun collection, in his sale at Sotheby's, 23 March 1882, lot 167

Sotheby's, 29 July 1946, lot 108, bought by Francis Edwards

Rt. Hon. the Lord Saltoun, sold at Sotheby's, 10 July 1967, lot 86, bought by J. R. Abbey (inscribed 'J. A. 7397 | 10.7.1967)

Acquired by the Bodleian from him in the same year.

Record Sources

Typescript description by Bodleian library staff, revised in draft by Peter Kidd, late 1990s

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (10 images from 35mm slides)


Last Substantive Revision

2017-07-01: First online publication.