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Medieval and early modern manuscript collection

  • CA MRUASC C0003
  • Collection
  • [11--?]-[19--?], predominant [12--]-[15--]

Collection consists of manuscript (written by hand) books, book fragments, and documents, predominantly from the medieval and early modern periods. Most items were produced in western and southern Europe (France, England, Flanders, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and Spain), while others originated in Asia, northern Africa, the Middle East, and Russia. Many leaves are illuminated and feature decorative initials, borders, line fillers, marginal illustrations, etc.

The collection is arranged in series by manuscript type: books of hours and prayer books, liturgical books (containing leaves from psalters, breviaries, antiphonals, and graduals), charters (legal records), Bibles, and canon law.

Moralia in Job fragment

Item is a fragment of a leaf from the Moralia in Job (also known as the Commentary on Job, Magna Moralia, or Moralia, sive Expositio in Job), a work of biblical commentary authored by Pope Gregory I (Saint Gregory the Great) in the late 6th century. The fragment is written in late Caroline miniscule or protogothic script. It also features several holes including a large parchment flaw at bottom, while those in the centre were probably created when the fragment was reused as a limp binding.

French psalter-hours leaf

Item is an illuminated leaf from a miniature psalter-hour from France. A psalter-hours is a personal prayer book that was the precursor to Books of Hours. The leaf features initials and line fillers in red, blue, and burnished gold.

Manuscript fragments

File contains three fragments of manuscript leaves (possibly works of canon law) recovered from later bindings. Fragments 1 and 2 appear to be from the same manuscript, and possibly the same leaf. The fragments feature glossing in a number of medieval and modern hands, rubrication, and illuminated initials, paraphs, and marginal decorations, one in the form of a a mythical creature.

Liturgical books

Series consists of leaves from liturgical books (also known as service books), which were used by the clergy in the celebration of Christian public religious worship. Types of liturgical books in the series include breviaries, antiphonals, psalters, hymnals and gradual processionals.

Bible leaf from William de Brailes' workshop

Item is a leaf from an English pocket bible containing verses 22:12-24:39 of the Book of Ecclesiastes. Leaf features illuminated initials and marginalia including a partial English translation of verse 24:1 ("Wisedome shall prayse herselfe and be honored in god and rejoyse in the middes of his people :". The leaf was produced in Oxford in the workshop of the prominent manuscript illuminator William de Brailes.

A partial transcription of the leaf reads: Beginning nequissimi enim...: "For the wicked life of a wicked fool is worse than death... keep fidelity with a friend in his poverty, that in his prosperity also thou mayst rejoice... wisdom shall praise her own self, and shall be honored in God, and shall glory in the midst of her people and shall open her mouth in the churches of the most high, and shall glorify herself in the sight of his power... he said to me: let thy dwelling be in Jacob, and thy inheritance in Israel, and take root in my elect. From the beginning and before the world, was I created, and unto the world to come I shall not cease to be, and in the holy dwelling place I have ministered before him..."

English pocket Bible leaf

Item is a leaf from an English pocket bible, possibly from East Anglia, containing verses 10:30-12:41 of the Book of Mark. Leaf features illuminated initials and marginalia.

A partial transcription of the leaf reads: "Et sorores, et matres, et agros..." : "and sisters , and mothers, and children... the Son of man also is not come to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a redemption for many... Hosanna, blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord... My house shall be called the house of prayer to all nations. But you have made it a den of thieves... Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's... And thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength. This is the first commandment. And the second is like to it; thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself..."

French pocket Bible leaf

Item is an illuminated leaf from a French pocket Bible, likely from Paris. The leaf features text from the Book of Obadiah in minute Gothic miniscule script in two columns. The recto features an elongated whimsical creature (possibly a griffon?) between the two columns of text, and the verso contains a 6-line historiated initial depicting the prophet Obadiah seated and holding a scroll.

English psalter leaves

File contains two leaves from an illuminated psalter that feature illuminated initials and line fillers in red, blue, and burnished gold. The leaves also feature three-quarter borders on both sides depicting long tendrils terminating in trefoils and containing marginal illustrations of humans/hybrid creatures and a bird. A psalter is a book containing the Book of Psalms and often other devotional texts such as a liturgical calendar, Litany of Saints, and Office of the Dead.

Liber Sextus Decretalium leaf

Item is a large leaf from an Italian copy of Liber Sextus Decretalium (the Sixth Book of Decretals), a collection of papal decrees concerning canon law (decretals) that was compiled by Pope Boniface VIII as a supplement to the Decretals of Pope Gregory IX. The leaf features glossing, manicules, and paraphs and headings in red and blue.

English psalter leaf

Item is a leaf from an illuminated psalter featuring initials, line fillers, and leafy borders in red, blue, and burnished gold. The borders are inhabited by a pointing figure (recto), and a downward facing human-animal hybrid with a tall hat (verso).

Unfinished French psalter leaf

Item is a leaf from a French psalter with text from Psalm 24. The leaf features guide letters where the illuminator was supposed to paint illuminated initials, but these were never added. A psalter is a book containing the Book of Psalms and often other devotional texts such as a liturgical calendar, Litany of Saints, and Office of the Dead.

French psalter leaf

Item is an illuminated leaf from a psalter from Paris, featuring a number of inhabited initials and marginal illustrations depicting human-animal hybrids, a bird, and a crowned and bearded king.

Legal documents

Series consists of English and French legal documents enacting or recording the transfer of property or rights from one person or group to another. Legal documents in this series include marriage settlements/contracts, property leases/declarations of sale, a will, a deed, an obligation, and a papal bull.

[Breviary?] calendar leaf

Item is a leaf, likely from a breviary, featuring a calendar of church feasts from July to December. A breviary is a liturgical book used by the clergy to celebrate the Divine Office (also known as the Liturgy of the Hours), and contains readings, hymns, psalms, and prayers.

French breviary leaf

Item is a leaf from an illuminated breviary from Northern France. Verso features a zoomorphic initial featuring a dragon, and several other illuminated initials and line fillers in red, blue, and burnished gold. A breviary is a liturgical book used by the clergy to celebrate the Divine Office (also known as the Liturgy of the Hours), and contains readings, hymns, psalms, and prayers.

[Breviary?] leaf

Item is a leaf, likely from a breviary, featuring illuminated initials in painted gold on brown, blue, or red grounds. A breviary is a liturgical book used by the clergy to celebrate the Divine Office (also known as the Liturgy of the Hours), and contains readings, hymns, psalms, and prayers.

English book of hours leaf

Item is a leaf from an English book of hours containing verses 22:5-23:4 of the Book of Psalms. The leaf may have been produced at Syon Abbey (a wealthy monastery of the Bridgettine Order that was located east of London on the north bank of the River Thames in the parish of Isleworth), but this claim (from the seller's description) remains unsubstantiated. The leaf features illuminated initials of burnished gold and a floral border on the recto. Surviving English books of hours are rare, as many were destroyed during the English Reformation.

A partial transcription of the leaf reads: Beginning with "In conspectus meo..." : "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
Beginning with the illuminated letter D of "Domini est terra..." : "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof: the world, and all they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas; and hath prepared it upon the rivers. Who shall ascend into the mountains of the Lord: or who shall stand in his holy place? The innocent in hands, and the clean of heart, who hath not taken his soul in vain, nor sworn deceitfully to his neighbour..."

Flemish book of hours bifolium

Item is a continuous bifolium from a book of hours produced in Flanders. The text follows the Use of Sarum (Salisbury), an English variant of the Roman rite for public worship, indicating that it was produced for the English market. The two leaves constituting the bifolium contain the latter part of a Litany of Saints, and feature illuminated initials and burnished gold lettering. A partial transcription of the leaves reads:
Beginning with the illuminated letter "U" ut oculos...: "That it may please thee to look upon us with eyes of mercy... Lamb of God that takest away the sins of the world, spare us O Lord... Lord have mercy upon us. Christ have mercy upon us..."
Beginning with the illuminated letter "D" deus...: "O God, Whose property is always to have mercy and to spare, receive our petition; that we and all thy servants who are bound by the chain of sin may, by the compassion of thy goodness mercifully be absolved..."
Beginning with the illuminated letter "I" in...: "Show with clemency O Lord they unspeakable mercy unto us: that thou both acquit us of our sins and deliver us from the pains, which for them we deserve..."

German noted breviary fragment

Item is a fragment of a leaf from a German noted (containing music) breviary, likely recovered from a binding. The recto features musical notation in Hufnagelschrift ("horseshoe nail script") neumes on 4-line staves, with lyrics relating to Easter. A breviary is a liturgical book used by the clergy to celebrate the Divine Office (also known as the Liturgy of the Hours), and contains readings, hymns, psalms, and prayers.

French book of hours leaves

File contains three leaves from an illuminated book of hours from Northern France, possibly Paris. The leaves are decorated with elaborate panel borders, some inhabited by fantastical creatures, as well as illuminated initials and line fillers.

French breviary leaf

Item is a leaf from a French breviary containing verses 1:20 to 2:12 of the Book of Genesis, including the Creation of Man. The leaf features illuminated initials with floral designs and rinceaux in bright colours and burnished gold.

A partial transcription of the leaf reads:
Beginning with the illuminated letter D of "Dixit etiam..." : "God also said: Let the waters bring forth the creeping creature having life, and the fowl that may fly over the earth... and God created the great whales... and the evening and the morning were the first day..."
Beginning with the illuminated letter D of "Dixit quoque..." : "And God said: Let the earth bring forth the living creatures in its kind..."
Beginning with the illuminated letter E of "Et vidit deaus..." : "And God saw that it was good. And he said : let us make man to our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts and the whole earth..."
Beginning with the illuminated letter E of "Et creavit..." : "And God created man to his own image... increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule..."
Beginning with the illuminated letter D of "Dixitque..." : "And God said: behold I have given you every herb bearing seed upon earth... and the evening and morning were the sixth day... and on the seventh day God ended his work... he blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it... and the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth: and breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul..."

A breviary is a liturgical book used by the clergy to celebrate the Divine Office (also known as the Liturgy of the Hours), and contains readings, hymns, psalms, and prayers.

Italian missal leaf

Item is a leaf from a missal from Italy that contains a reading from chapter 4 of the Gospel of Luke. The leaf features several illuminated initials in blue and red, and a marginal illustration of a face.

A partial translation of the text, beginning with the first illuminated 'I' reads: "At that time, Jesus rising up out of the synagogue, went into Simon's house. And Simon's wife's mother was taken with a great fever, and they besought him for her. And standing over her, he commanded the fever, and it left her. And immediately rising, she ministered to them."

Early print collection

  • CA MRUASC C0001
  • Collection
  • 1477-1598, 1892

Collection illustrates the early development of movable type printing in Europe. Collection consists of printed books including a book of hours, leaves from Bibles, hagiographies, liturgical texts, and works of history, literature, and canon law.

Biblia Latina bifolium

Item is a continuous bifolium from a Biblia Latina printed in Venice by Franciscus Renner of Heilbronn. The bifolium contains chapters 30-35 of the Book of Ecclesiastics and features hand-painted majuscules and glossing in red and black ink.

Decretals of Gregory IX leaf

Item is a leaf from the second volume of Decretales Pape Gregorii... mit der Glosse des Bernardus Parmensis, printed by Peter Drach in Speyer, Germany in 1486. The Decretals of Pope Gregory IX were an important collection of medieval canon law, and in this edition were accompanied by commentary by the noted Italian canonist Bernard of Botone, also known as Bernard of Parma. The Decretals of Gregory IX is one of four works that make up the Corpus Juris Canonici, the collection of papal decisions that compromised the law of the Catholic Church and governed papal lands. The Decretals is organized into five books covering church government, procedure, clerical life, marriage, and criminal law.

The leaf contains an excerpt from a general encyclical (a papal letter on doctrine) in the center of the page surrounded by related decretals (papal decrees relating to canon law) and/or commentary.

Spanish antiphonal leaf

Item is a large illuminated leaf from a Spanish antiphonal/antiphonary featuring Gregorian chant in square notation to be sung during the celebration of the Divine Office (Liturgy of the Hours). The leaf features several illuminated initials including two knot-work (cadel) initials and a very large puzzle initial 'R' in red and violet in mudejar style, which was directly influenced by the geometric decorative art of Islamic Spain.

The knot-work initial 'M' on the recto begins: “Magnus sanctus…” (the great Saint Paul, the vessel of election, is indeed worthy to be glorified), and the puzzle initial 'R' begins the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary “Recordare mei…” (Remember me and visit me…), and

Leaf from the Nuremberg Chronicle

Recto of leaf (folio CCLXVIII) features a large woodcut illustration of a city in Hungary, and the verso features a large illuminated initial and paraphs in red and blue.

Nuremberg Chronicle leaves

File contains two leaves from the Liber Chronicarum (Book of Chronicles), commonly know as the Nuremberg Chronicle, an illustrated biblical and world history published by Hartmann Schedel. The book was printed in Nuremberg by Anton Koberger and illustrated with woodcuts by Michael Wolgemut and Wilhelm Pleydenwurff. The Liber Chronicarum is notable for being one of the first printed books to successfully integrate illustrations with text.

Leaf from the Nuremberg Chronicle

Leaf (folio CVIIII) features woodcuts of martyrs (Policarpus, Praxedes, Felicitas, Ptolemy, and Aulus Gellius) and heretics (Montanus and Apelles) on the recto, and popes from 174 to 222 (Anicetus, Soter, Eleutherius, Victor, Zephyrinus, and Calixtus) on the verso.

Garden of Health leaves

File contains two leaves illustrated with woodcuts from the Hortus Sanitatis (Garden of Health) printed in Strasbourg by Johann Pruss. One leaf is from the second section "De Animalibus" (Of Animals) featuring articles about water snakes, field crickets, and hedgehogs, and hyenas. The other leaf contains the prologue of the third section "De Avibus" (Of Birds) and articles about eagles, peacocks, and falcons.

The Hortus Sanitatis is a comprehensive natural history encylopedia that contains descriptions of animals, plants, fish, birds, and minerals, including their medical uses or curative properties. Originally published by Jacob Meydenbach in 1491, the Hortus Sanitatis proved very popular and was printed in many editions in various languages.

Opera Omnia (Aristotle) leaf

Item is a leaf (folio 256, volume VI) of the first printed edition (editio princeps) of Aristotle's Opera Omnia (Complete Works) in the original Greek, printed by Aldus Manutius in Venice. This edition, printed between 1495 and 1498, was significant because it was the first major classical Greek prose collection to be compiled and printed in its original language, a major scholarly and technological feat. This and other Greek editions printed by the Aldine Press greatly helped the humanist scholars of the Renaissance to access and study classical works in their original form.

Ship of Fools leaf

Item is an illustrated leaf (folio 114) from a Latin edition of The Ship of Fools, a satirical allegory in verse by Sebastian Brant, printed by Jacobus Sacon in Lyon. The leaf features a section of the chapter "Of Blowing Into Ears" and a woodcut of a fool blowing into the ear of another. A partial translation of the leaf reads:

A fool who puts into his head
And credits things that men have said,
He is a dunce that merits jeers,
With sensitive and spacious ears.
All honesty those persons lack
Who would assail behind one's back
And strike without e'er warning hum,
With chances of fending very slim.

Egyptian Coptic Euchologion leaf

Item is a leaf from a Euchologion, one of the principal liturgical texts of the Coptic churches (as well as the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic churches). The text is written in Bohairic (an Egyptian dialect of the Coptic language, and the official liturgical language), with an Arabic translation. The leaf features some rubrication and a marginal illustration of a cross on the verso.

German book cover

Item is a detached cover of a 16th century book, likely of south German origin. The cover is made of wood and blind-tooled leather (with numerous bookworm holes), and features decorative brass corners and a central boss.

German book cover and binding fragments

File consists of a detached cover of a 16th century book, likely of German origin, and 9 fragments recovered from the book's binding. The cover is made of wood and blind-tooled leather decorated with geometric patterns and miniature portraits. It features a brass central boss, and two damaged leather straps, one complete with a decorated metal clasp, the other partial. The cover is accompanied by 9 fragments of the book's binding, including 7 recycled medieval manuscript fragments, a head or tail band, and one of the cords that would have attached the covers and the quires/gatherings of leaves.

Divine Comedy leaf

Item is a leaf from an edition of Dante Alighieri's narrative poem the Divine Comedy that was printed in Venice in 1507 for Bartholomeo de Zanna da Portese. The leaf contains part of Canto XXII of the Inferno, with commentary by Cristoforo Landino. It features several woodcut initials and an illustration of Dante and Virgil observing sinners suffering in a pool of burning pitch. A partial translation of the text reads:

Before this I've seen horsemen start to march
and open the assault and muster ranks
and seen them too, at times beat their retreat;

and on your land, o Aretines, I've seen
rangers and raiding parties galloping,
the clash of tournaments, the rush of jousts,

now done with trumpets, now with bells, and now
with drums, and now with signs from castle walls,
with native things and with imported ware;

Book of hours leaf

Item is a leaf from a printed book of hours from Paris featuring illuminated and gilded initials and borders.

Lives of the Saints leaf

Item is a leaf (folio 192) from Catalogus Sanctorum et Gestorum Eorum (A Catalogue of Saints and their Acts), a collection of saints' lives by Petrus de Natalibus, printed in Leiden by John Thomas. This leaf includes hagiographies of Catholic saints and martyrs, each preceded by a small woodcut illustration, including: Pope Pelagius I; the Spanish martyrs George, Aurelius, Natalia, and Felix; Anastasias of Persia; and the prophet Daniel (depicted in the lions' den).

Hagiographies, collections of semi-fictional stories of the lives of Christian saints, were immensely popular in medieval Europe. The Catalogus Sanctorum was originally published in 12 volumes and went through a number of editions.

Missal leaf

Item is a leaf (folio XXXVII) from a missal, possibly printed by the Leipzig printer Konrad Kachelofen or his son-in-law Melchior Lotter. Leaf features a historiated initial and text in black and red. A missal is a liturgical text that contains instructions and texts required for celebrating Mass.

Aeneid leaf

Item is a leaf from an edition of Virgil's epic poem the Aeneid printed by Giunta in Lyon in 1505. The leaf features text from Book V of the poem and a half page woodcut illustration depicting the Trojan hero Aeneas consulting with his companions Nautes and Acestes (at upper right) while the Trojans rest in Sicily before continuing their voyage. The woodcuts were created by an unknown late master of the Gruninger workshop and were reused in later editions in 1519 and 1522.

The Aeneid was written between 29 and 19 BCE by the Roman poet Virgil, and is one of the greatest classical epic poems. The Aeneid tells the story of the aftermath of the fall of Troy to the Greeks, and the subsequent founding of the Roman nation. A partial translation of the text of this leaf reads:

Choose out the old men full of years and sea-worn matrons, and all of your company who are weak
and fearful of peril, and let the wearied find their city in this land. This city, if you permit the name,
they shall call Acesta.

Then, indeed, kindled by these words of his aged friend, he is torn asunder in soul amid his cares.
And now, borne upwards in her chariot, black Night held the sky, when there seemed to glide down
from heaven the likeness of his father Anchises and suddenly to utter thus his words: "Son, dearer to
me than life, in days when life was mine; son, tested by Illium's fate! I come hither by Jove's
command, who drove the fire from your fleet, and at last has had pity from high heaven. Obey the fair
advice that aged Nautes now gives; chosen youths, the bravest hearts, lead to Italy. A people hard and rugged in nature must you subdue in Latium. Yet first approach the nether halls of Dis, and through the depths of Avernus seek, my son, a meeting with me.

Theuerdank leaf

Item is a leaf from the Theuerdank, a chivalric poem composed by the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I (1459-1519). Written in the form of an epic romance, the Theuerdank is a fictionalized account of Maximilian's own journey to marry Mary of Burgundy in 1477, and is full of allegorical allusions.

The leaf features text in an early fraktur typeface with seperately printed flourishes, and a woodcut illustration of the knight Theuerdank ('Noble Thought,' who represents Maximilian) and a companion climbing a cliff to finish one of the tasks he must complete to win the hand of Ernreich ('Rich in Honour' - Mary). At the foot of the cliff are Theuerdank's faithful squire Ernhold ('Steadfastly Honoured,' wearing a tunic depicting a wheel of fortune) and Fürwittig ('Over-confident'), one of three villains that try to prevent Theuerdank from reaching his bride.

French-Latin book of hours leaf

Item is a leaf from a bilingual book of hours printed in Paris, and featuring hand-painted initials. The text is divided into two columns with the French text in the larger left hand column, and the Latin text on the right. The leaf contains part of the text for Vespers from the Hours of the Blessed Virgin Mary, including the hymns "Ave Maris Stella" (Hail, Star of the Sea) and the "Canticle of Mary" (also known as the Magnificat or Song of Mary). A partial translation of Ave Maris Stella reads:

All hail star of the sea, God's mother clear and bright,
The happy gate of bliss, and still in virgin's plight.

Biblia Latina leaf

Item is a leaf from a Biblia Latina printed by J. Sacon of Lyon for Anton Koberger of Nuremberg. Leaf contains verses 19:6-24:4 of the Book of Ecclesiastes and features a large woodcut of its translation from the original Hebrew to Greek. A partial transcription of the leaf reads:

Beginning with "Qui peccat": "He that sinneth against his own soul, shall repent... hast thou heard a word against thy neighbor? Let it die within thee... a wise man will hold his peace til he see opportunity: but a babbler, and a fool, will regard no time... a man wise in words shall make himself beloved: but the graces of fools shall be poured out... he that keepeth justice shall get the understanding thereof. The perfection of the fear of God is wisdom and understanding..."

Caspar Sasgerus minorita De cultu & ueneratione sanctorum

Item is a Reformation-era theological pamphlet entitled "On the worship & veneration of the saints" by Kaspar Schatzgeyer (1463-1527), a Catholic Franciscan teacher and biblical scholar from Bavaria who strongly defended Catholic tradition while adopting a conciliatory approach to Martin Luther's reforms.

Hore beate Marie virginis s[e]c[un]d[u]m usum ecclesie romane : totaliter ad longum cum multis suffragiis et orationibus.

Item is an illuminated book of hours printed in Paris at the workshop of the brothers Gilles and Germaine Hardouyn, printers and illuminators who specialized in books of hours. The book is printed on octavo vellum leaves, with most of its 194 pages containing 23 lines of black letter text. Text pages are decorated with a variety of historiated and ornamental metalcut borders (depicting allegorical, biblical, or other religious scenes) and initials illuminated in gold on blue or red grounds. It also features 29 metalcuts overpainted to look like miniatures, including 12 large and 13 small illustrations, and 4 historiated borders. The book also features a 17th century French citron morocco binding, tooled in gilt to a panel design with drawer-handle and volute tools. Text is in Latin, with a colophon at the end in Middle French.

Golden Legend leaves

File contains five leaves from Wynkyn de Worde's English edition of the Golden Legend (Legenda aurea), Jacobus de Voragine's popular collection of hagiographies, or the lives, deeds, and martyrdoms of the saints. De Worde was a famous early English printer and an apprentice and later successor to England's most famous printer, William Caxton. Most leaves relate to the lives of English saints. Some leaves are illustrated with woodcuts, and a number have been expurgated, with references to the pope, certain saints, and illustrations deliberately crossed out, likely reflecting changing attitudes to the papacy and the cult of saints during the English Reformation.

Folio 164

Item is folio 164, the recto titled "The tra[n]slacyon of Saynt Thomas of Ca[n]terbury" (The translation [or movement of the relics] of Saint Thomas of Canterbury), and the verso titled "The lyfe of Saynt Kenelme kynge & martyr" (The life of Saint Kenelm, king & martyr). The leaf is expurgated, with the title of the recto crossed out and the two columns of text on recto obscured with large x's.

Saint Thomas Becket was a 12th century Archbishop of Canterbury who was murdered after a dispute with King Henry II of England over the rights of the Church. He was canonized and his shrine at Canterbury was a major pilgrimage site until its suppression by Henry VIII. Saint Kenelm was a legendary murdered boy king of Mercia.

Folio 165

Item is folio 165, titled "The lyfe of Saynt Kenelme kynge & martyr" (The life of Saint Kenelm, king & martyr), although the verso also includes the introduction to The lyfe of Saynt Margarete (The life of Saint Margaret). The text is expurgated, with the word "pope" crossed out 5 times on the verso. Saint Kenelm was a legendary murdered boy king of Mercia, and Saint Margaret the Virgin was a legendary martyr.

Folio 104

Item is folio 104, the recto titled "The lyfe of Saynt Cuthberd" (The life of Saint Cuthbert), and the verso titled "The annunciation of our lady." The verso features a small woodcut illustration of the Angel Gabriel greeting Mary at the Annunciation, which appears to have been deliberately obscured with ink, now faded. Saint Cuthbert was a 7th century Anglo-Saxon bishop and hermit from Northumbria.

Folio 127

Item is folio 127, titled "The lyfe of Saynt Austyn" (The life of Saint Austin), although the recto also contains the end of "The lyfe of Saynt Dunston" (The life of Saint Dunstan). The leaf has been expurgated, with the word "pope" crossed out six times on the recto, and once on the verso.

Saint Austin, more commonly called Saint Augustine of Canterbury, is considered a founder of the English Church due to his missionary work in England in the 6th century, and was also the first Archbishop of Canterbury.

Folio 125

Item is folio 125, the recto titled "The lyfe of Saynt Dunston" (The life of Saint Dunstan), the verso titled "The lyfe of Saint Aldelme" (The life of Saint Aldhelm) and featuring a woodcut illustration of Aldhelm in bishop's robes with a mitre, crozier, and book. The woodcut appears to have been deliberately obscured with ink, now faded, and the text has been expurgated with the word "pope" crossed out 4 times on the verso.

Saint Dunstan was a 10th century English bishop, and Saint Aldhelm a 7th century Anglo-Saxon bishop and scholar.

The Great Bible leaf

Item is a leaf (folio XII) from the fifth edition of The Great Bible, published in London by Edward Whitchurch (Whytchurch), containing part of the Book of Psalms. The Great Bible was the first official edition of the Bible in English, and was authorized by Henry VIII during the English Reformation to be read aloud during church services.

Kreuterbuch leaf

Item is a leaf (folio 386) from the first illustrated edition of Hieronymus Bock's New Kreuterbuch von Underscheidt, Würckung und Namen der Kreuter, so in teutschen Landen wachsen (New plant book of differences, effects, and names of plants that grow in German lands), a herbal (a book describing the properties and uses of plants) printed in Strasbourg by Wendel Riehel. The leaf features a woodblock illustration designed by David Kandel of an apple tree with a serpent and Adam's skull and leg bone, referencing the Book of Genesis.

The Kreuterbuch is notable because Bock chose to classify the 700 plants he covered according to their observed characteristics, an innovation that anticipated modern botany, whereas earlier herbals had categorized plants according to Classical Greek systems.

Shahnameh leaf

Item is a leaf from the Shahnameh (The Book of Kings), the national epic of Greater Iran which was written by the Persian poet Hakīm Abul-Qāsim Firdawsī Tūsī (Ferdowsi) in the early 11th century.

French processional gradual leaf

Item is a leaf from a processional gradual, a choir book containing the music used in processions during the Mass. The bookseller's description notes that "the opening leaf of the parent manuscript states this was a 'Gradual for the Carthusian Order'... from the Royal Workshop of Henri II" in Paris. The text of this leaf is for use on Holy Saturday, and is decorated with two large illuminated initials featuring flowers and a strawberry on liquid gold grounds, as well as three smaller initials and three paraphs.

The illuminated C begins part of Exodus 15:1-2: "Cantemus domino...": "Let us sing to the Lord: For he is gloriously magnified: The horse and the rider He has thrown into the sea: My helper and protector. He has brought salvation to me. He is my God, and I will glorify him: The God of my father, and I will exalt him. The Lord has destroyed war: Almighty is His name..."
Beginning with the illuminated letter V: "Vinea...": " My beloved has a vineyard on a very fruitful hill. And he enclosed it with a fence and made a ditch around it, and planted it with the choicest vine..."

A gradual contains the music for the proper of the Mass, the part of the liturgy that varies according to the date (as opposed to the ordinary of the Mass, which is relatively constant). For example, chants for the proper (such as introits, graduals, tracts, alleluia, offertory and communion verses) would vary depending on which holiday or saint's feast day was being celebrated.

Spanish antiphonal leaf

Item is a large illuminated leaf from a Spanish antiphonal featuring Gregorian chant musical notation and containing sections of the Book of Wisdom 5:5 and the Book of Acts 4:33. An antiphonal, or antiphonary, is a choir book that contains chants for the canonical hours of the Divine Office.

A partial transcription of the leaf reads: Beginning with the illuminated letter E of "Ecce quomodo..." : "Behold how they are numbered among the children of God, and their lot is among the saints..."
Beginning with the illuminated letter L of "Lux perpetua..." : "Let perpetual light shine upon them Lord, for eternity, alleluia, alleluia..."
Beginning with the illuminated letter V of "Virtute magna..." :"With great power did the apostles give testimony of the resurrection."

The Woorkes of Geffrey Chaucer leaf

Item is a leaf (folio 3) from "The Knightes Tale" from The Woorkes of Geffrey Chaucer, Newly Printed, edited by John Stowe and printed in London by John Kyngston for John Wight.

The Chronicles of England leaf

Item is a leaf from The Firste Volume of the Chronicles of England, Scotlande, and Irelande by Raphael Holinshed, a comprehensive history of Britain which was printed in London by Henry Bynnemann for John Harrison. The leaf (pages 187-188) describes the reign of Ine (or Inas) of Wessex, "King of the Saxons," and features two woodcut illustrations, one depicting the king and the other the construction of the monastery of Glastonbury, which he commissioned.

Shakespeare used Holinshed's Chronicles as the source for more than a third of his plays, including Macbeth, King Lear, and Richard III.

A Booke of Christian Prayers leaf

Item is a leaf from A Booke of Christian Prayers (commonly known as Queen Elizabeth's Prayer Book as it was reputedly designed for her private use), a collection of private devotions and prayers published by in London by Richard Day. The leaf (folio 115) contains part of a prayer and is illustrated with woodcut borders of memento mori (including gravediggers' shovels, skeletons, the aged and infirm, and bodies in tombs) and the Dance of Death.

A Booke of Christian Prayers, collected out of the auncient writers, and best learned in our tyme, worthy to be read with an earnest mynde of all Christians, in these daungerous and troublesome dayes, that God for Christes sake will yet still be mercyfull vnto vs

Item is a book containing a collection of private devotions and prayers printed in London by Richard Yardley and Peter Short for Richard Day. Popularly known as Queen Elizabeth's Prayer Book, the book may originally have been written for her private use before being published for a wider audience. The book is heavily illustrated with historiated woodcut borders, some based on works by Albrecht Durer and Hans Holbein. The illustrations are a veritable catalogue of Christian iconography, depicting subjects including the life of Christ, the five senses, sin, virtue, the Book of Revelation, and memento mori such as the Dance of Death.

The humble petition of the captaines, officers, and soldiers of the trayned bands, and voluntiers in the county of Buckingham, assembled at Alisbury, June 17, 1642 : presented to both Houses of Parliament, the 24 bf [sic] June, 1642, and commanded by them to be forthwith printed and published. H. Elsyng Cler. Parl. D. Com. Together with a letter from a merchant of Dublin, to his friend a worthy gentleman in Bassing Hall Street, in London, relating the happy proceedings of the Protestant army against the rebels.

Item is a Parliamentarian pamphlet from the English Civil War in two parts. The first part is a request to remove the Royalist Lord William Paget as Lieutenant for the County of Buckingham, and to replace him with the Parliamentarian Lord Philip Wharton. The second part is a letter written by John Busse of Dublin reporting on recent events in the Irish Rebellion of 1641. Printed for Joseph Hunscott and John Wright.

The remonstrance and protestation of the gentry and commonalty of the counties of Buckingham, Hartford, Bedford, and Cambridge : shewing the reasons why they take up armes and their resolutions thereupon

Item is a Parliamentarian pamphlet explaining why the counties of Buckingham, Hartford, Bedford, and Cambridge supported Parliament in opposition to King Charles I at the outbreak of the English Civil War. Printed by L. N. and R. C. for F. Eaglesfield.

Papal bull in the name of Pope Urban VIII

Item is a papal bull issued by Pope Urban VIII (1623-1644). A papal bull is a public decree, letters patent, or charter issued by the pope of the Catholic Church. Bulls were issued by the Apostolic Chancery (also known as the Papal Chancellery) and were written in a heavily abbreviated and archaic form of Latin known as scrittura bollatica, and were often accompanied by a copy in ordinary script. This bull lacks the lead seal ('bulla,' the origin of the term 'papal bull') which was typically affixed to these documents (via the cord at bottom) as a form of authentication and to prevent tampering.

A petition of the gentry, ministers, and freeholders of the County of Flint, presented to His Majesty at York, August the fourth, 1642 : with His Majesties most gracious answer thereunto ; also His Majesties speech to the gentlemen of York, on Thursday the fourth of August.

Item is a pamphlet from the beginning of the English Civil War expressing the loyalty of the County of Flint (the former county of Flintshire in northeast Wales) to King Charles I in his dispute with Parliament. Item was printed by A. Norton.

Prince Rupert : his declaration

Item is a pamphlet authored by Prince Rupert of the Rhine, Duke of Cumberland, a famous Royalist cavalry commander in the English Civil War. In it, he refutes charges of barbarousness levelled against his troops by Parliamentarians and claims that it was they who were committing atrocities. Printed by Leonard Lichfield.

A soldierly vindication of his troops by Prince Rupert and an attempt to shift the charge of inhumanity to his adversaries.

A description of the Seige of Basing Castle ; kept by the Lord Marquisse of Winchester, for the service of His Majesty : against, the forces of the rebells, under command of Colonell Norton, anno Dom. 1644

Item is a Royalist pamphlet describing in detail one of several Parliamentarian sieges of Basing Castle, a Royalist stronghold in Hampshire, during the English Civil War. Printed by Leonard Lichfield.

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