The James Catalogue of Western Manuscripts

Shelfmark R.10.5
Manuscript Title


Alternative Title


James Number 847
Century 13th15th
Physical Description

I. 18 lines to a page. The xiiith-cent. part well written.


Given by Walter Hawkesworth Esq., Fellow Commoner. Jan. 1788.

I. Written in Flanders; see contents.

The provenance of the book can best be settled by the Litany, and the style of ornamentation. In the xiiith cent. Litany we have Martyrs: Gereon, Quintin, George, Blasius; Confessors: Eligius, Germanus, Vedastus, Amandus, Bavo, Macharius, Wandregisil, Gudwalus, Ansbertus; Virgins: Genouefa, Amelberga.

II. The xv-cent. provenance is indicated by the Martyrs names (see contents). It must be either St Alban’s, which is most probable, or else Tynemouth (where St Oswin lay) which was a cell to St Alban’s.

In England by the fifteenth century when a second Litany and Office of the Dead were added (ff. 177r onwards)

Religious House St Albans, Hertfordshire, Benedictine AbbeyTynemouth, Northumberland, Benedictine Priory
Donor Hawksworth [later Hawksworth Fawkes], Walter (1768-1825), Alumnus Of Trinity (Matric 1786)
Size (cm) 15.5 x 11.5
Folio 193 ff.
Material Parchment
Language LatinMiddle Dutch

18 28 36 410 58 (wants 1, 2, 3?) 68 78 (wants 5) 88 910 1010 (wants 2 and 10) 118 128 (wants 5, 8) 138-158 (wants 3) 166 1710 (10 canc.) 188-238 (8 canc.) || 248 258 (+ 8*).

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Begins imperfectly with Psalm xxix (xxx). Exaltabo te domine quoniam suscepisti me.
The Psalter ends on f.153a.
f.153 Cantica, ending with Quicunque vult and Litany
f.176b Litany ends with Collect Presta quesumus, omnipotens deus cunctis fidelibus defunctis etc.
The remainder of the book is an addition of the xvth century, neatly written, containing
1. f.177 Litany with many Collects at end: the last
Pro pluuia postulanda.
2. f.186b In agenda mortuorum (office of the Dead)
Ending f.193b with the rubric oraciones ut supra.

As to the ornament; each page has a frame of three sides enclosing the initials of the verses. The right side is open, and the top and bottom bars of the frame end uniformly in grotesque heads, alternately vermilion and green. The initials themselves are in burnished gold. All the historiated initials have been removed. They included the seven Nocturnes and the 51st and 1O1st Psalms.

Both the Litany and the external aspect of the book point to Flanders as the region where it was produced. And there is a curious confirmation of this. Ps. lxxix. (Qui regis Israel) ended almost at the bottom of a page (f.71b). The scribe wanted a fresh page to begin Ps. lxxx. upon, because it began a division of the Psalter and had to have a large pictured initial: so in order to fill up space at the bottom of f.71b he writes the last verse of Psalm lxxix. thus
ostende faciem tuam et salui et salui et salui erimus erimus erimus si di en zot zi di een ries.

The xvth-cent. Litany at the end has some interest. In it we have Martyrs: Albane ii, Amphibale cum sociis, Oswyne ii, and the ordinary English martyrs. Among Confessors I need only note that 'macuthe' is added in the margin and Benedict has a double invocation.


Ker, N. R., Medieval Libraries of Great Britain, Royal Historical Society Guides and Handbooks 3, 2nd edn (London, 1964)

Morgan, N., and S. Panayotova, et al., ed.,Illuminated Manuscripts in Cambridge : A Catalogue of Western Book Illumination in the Fitzwilliam Museum and the the Cambridge Colleges. Part One, The Low Countries, Germany, Bohemia, Austria, Hungary, 2 vols., (London, 2009), vol. 2, no. 155,

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