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

MS. Lat. liturg. e. 42

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


Missal (noted votive missal)

For the chapel of St. George in the church of Santo Stefano at Biella, prov. Novara, Northern Italy. A detailed description and analysis of this MS. was published by L. Eizenhofer, O.S.B., ‘Missale Bugellense (Codex Lowe). Ein Votiv-Vollmissale des XIV./XV. Jahrhunderts aus Biella in Oberitalian’, Traditio 17 (1961), 371–425, and Taf.1–4 (plates of fol.4, 51, 137v, 143). The principal contents are:

(fols. iii-viii)


Added 16th-cent., with square notation on four-line red staves

Incipit: Primum querite regnum dei

Damaged at the fore-edge.

(fol. 1v)

Credo with music

(fol. 3v)

Trope for St. Stephen with music

(fol. 4)


Three 3-part motets, with square notation on staves of 6 red lines. The settings are of: Ave vivens hostia; Dulcis Ihesu memoria combined with Ihesu nostra redemptio; O crux admirabilis combined with Cruci truci domini. Fols. 6v–7 contained a further setting later erased and written over. For an edition and facsimile see A. Gallo, ‘Mottetti del primo Trecento in un messale di Biella (Codice Lowe), in L'Ars Nova italiana del Trecento III, Certaldo, 1970, pp.223–245

(fol. 7)
Rubric: Missa sancti Sigismundi pro febricitantibus
(addition, small formal 14th cent. hand, perhaps identifiable as scribe a, over erasure)
(fol. 7)


Rubric: Oratio de Sancta Appolonia [sic] contra dolorem dentium
Incipit: Omnipotens et misericors deus qui per tuam admirabilem providentiam
(addition, 14th cent)
(fol. 7v)


(fol. 14v)

Order and Canon of Mass

(fols. 24v–127v)

Votive masses

(mostly without notation)
(fols. 128–139, second main hand)

Votive masses

(without notation)
Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: -stantiale patri(fol. 2r)
Secundo Folio: cuius toni(fol. iv recto)
Form: codex
Support: Parchment, rather worn; the added fols. iii-viii on paper, watermark sun(?) with 16 undulating rays, not in Briquet
Extent: viii + 140 leaves (fol.i–ii, 144 are flyleaves, fol.iii–viii are a later addition on paper )
Dimensions (leaf): 210 × 153 mm.
Dimensions (written): 148–92 × 115–37 mm.
(hand a, written space very variable)
Dimensions (written): 135 × 113 mm.
(hand b)
Foliation: Foliated in the 14th-cent. [i]-xvi, xviiii-cxxviiij, cxxxx-cxxxxi in the top right corner (i.e. two leaves missing after each of fols. 16 and 129), by three hands: fols. [i]-xxxi in red ink in the middle of the top margin; fols. xxxii-cxx in black towards the top fore-edge corner, and fols. cxx-cxxxxi in brown ink; the remaining leaves at front and back foliated in modern pencil: i-viii and 142–144.


1(8) (7–8 canc.: added paper leaves fol.iii–viii), 2(4) (1 canc.), 3(12), 4(12) (2–3 cut out), 5(12)–11(12), 12(8), 13(8), 14(12) (3–4 cut out), 15(4) some catchwords


Long lines apart from fol.3v–6, mostly 18 lines in hand (a), 16–17 lines in (b). Ruled in faint leadpoint with 19 lines per page (18 on fols. 128–139); single vertical bounding lines; ; the music sections ruled in ink, the ruled space of varying size.


Round gothic script; in two main hands: (a) fol.1v–6, 7v–127v, 142v(?), 143; (b) fol.128–139


Good initial. Penwork initials.

One painted foliate initial in pink, red, blue, green, and yellow, at the start of the Canon of the Mass (fol. 19r). One-and two-line initials alternately in red flourished in blue, or vice versa; or plain red. The section written by the second scribe (fols. 128–139) mostly with red initials with simple brown decoration; the first initial with a human head (fol. 128r).

Headings in red, capitals touched in brownish yellow.


Sewn on three cords and bound in 20th-cent. plain Italian parchment over thin pasteboards; the spine lettered in black 'MISSALE'.


Origin: 13th century, end ; Italian, Biella

Provenance and Acquisition

‘Iste liber est capelle sancti ⟨Ge⟩orgii site in ecclesia sancti Stephani de Buge⟨lla⟩ ’ (fol.143, in red, 14th cent.)

‘Presbiter et cappellanus est Mattheus de Curttibus(?) de [Bug…?]’ (fol. 143, 15th cent. (?))

‘Iste liber est capelle sancti Georgi site in eglexia sancti Stephani [de] Bugella’ (fol. 143, 14th–15th cent.)

Front pastedown: ‘E.A. Lowe purchased at Turin July 1939’

Bought, 1971

Record Sources

Typescript description by Bodleian Library staff, revised by Peter Kidd, late 1990s.

Last Substantive Revision

2017-07-01: First online publication.