Title: Missal Containing Prayers for Advent and the Votive Mass, Circa 1150-1200. Northern England. Substantial Gathering of a 12th Century Latin Manuscript on Vellum. With a Potential Connection to Fountains Abbey
A substantial gathering of 29 leaves from a manuscript Missal, handwritten on vellum, produced in the second half of the 12th century, likely from England, bearing a possible connection to Fountains Abbey. While only a fragment of what was once the entire manuscript, it still contains the prayers for Advent, as well as prayers for the Votive Mass, slightly later additions of prayers to Saint Catherine of Alexandria and Saint Thomas of Canterbury, and more.
The text is written in Latin and is a Caroline script (arguably a Caroline-Gothic script due to trace traits of gothic script noted in some letters) written in black and red ink, bearing large, decorated, initials in red, green, blue, and yellow. The script bears similarity to several 12th century Cistercian manuscripts seen in the Schoyen Collection (MS 207), the British Library (MS 46203, MS 15603, MS 46203, MS 16606) and a pastedown in the binding of a copy of Eutropius (Basel: Froben, 1532), held at Lincoln College.
Regarding the likelihood of the manuscript’s origin of production, there are several factors which point to its English origin, starting with the usage of green ink, which was frequent with English manuscripts during the second half of the 12th century. Additionally, there is the prayer to Thomas of Canterbury, whose cults devoted to his veneration were heavily based in England. There are also the strong similarities to similar English Cistercian manuscripts found at the British Library and Lincoln College. More significantly, there is a startling similarity to MS 46203 at the British Library, produced in the fourth quarter of the 12th century. This particular Cistercian manuscript was likely produced at a Cistercian Abbey in Northern England, potentially Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire, first founded in 1132, and operating for 407 years, becoming one of the wealthiest monasteries in England.
There is marginalia to several leaves, with two profusely annotated.
One of the leaves bears a fanciful painted illustration of two knights jousting, likely 18th or 19th century in production.
Included with this Missal are three printed notebooks, detailing research into the age of the manuscript (though inaccurately describing this manuscript as Italian in origin), as well as a full translation and transcription of the entire 29 leaf fragment, noting every psalm, chant, and section.
This Missal is structed in the following form, with listed prayers and chants:
Pages 1-3 begins with Saturnini Martyris and contains the Introit: Matthew 4:18-19, Ecclesiasticus 64: 25-27; 2-4, 6-9, Psalms 138: 17-18, Gospel of John 1:35-51
Pages 3-30: contains Advent Prayers: Psalms 84 and 13, Isaiah 30, Romans 15:4-13, Psalms 23:1-3, Psalms 84:13, Isaiah 30:30, Psalms 49:2-3, 5, Gospel of Matthew 11:2-10, Psalms 84:7-8, Baruch 5:5, 4:36, Philippians 4:4-7, Psalms 79:2,3,2, Saint John 1:19-28, Psalms 84:2, Isaiah 35:4, Isaiah 2:2-5, Psalms 23:7, 3, 4, Isaiah 7:10-15, Gradual (Psalms 144:18-21), Luke 1:26-38, Isaiah 35:4, Isaiah 7:14, Psalms 118:151, Psalms, 84:8, 2, Zachariah 14: 5-6, Psalms 79:4, 2, Isaiah 19:20-22, Psalms 18:7, 2, Isaiah 35:1-7, Psalms 18: 6-7, Isaiah 40:9-11, Psalms 79:20, 3, Isaiah 45:1-8, Psalms 79:3,2,3, Daniel 3:47-51, Thessalonians 2:1-8, Psalms 79; 2-3, Luke 3:1-6, Zachariah 9:9, Psalms 18:6-7, Psalms 109:3, Isaiah 9:2, 6, Titus 3:4-7, Psalms 117:26-27, 23, Luke 2: 15-20, Psalms 92: 1-2, Zachariah 9:9, Psalms 97:3, Psalms 118: 23, 86, 23, Acts 6:8-10, 7:54-59, Psalms 118: 23, 86, Matthew 23:34-39, Acts 6:5, 7, 59, 7:56, 59-60, Apocalypse of St John 14:1-5, Psalms 123:7-8, Psalms 78: 3, 10
Pages 31-32 contains the prayer for the Massacre of the Innocents: Matthew 2: 13-18
Pages 33-34 contains Palm Sunday: Psalms 68:21-22, Matthew 26:42
Pages 35-36 contains Pentecost: Isaiah 50:5-10, Psalm 34:23, John 12:1-9, Wisdom 1:7
Pages 37-56 contains prayers for the Votive Mass: A full breakdown is listed in notebook B
Pages 57 and 58 contains Luke 19, the Offertory chants 1 Par. 29. 17-18, and Matthew 21:13
Page 58 contains prayers by two different medieval hands in a protogothic script, possibly late 12th or early 13th century, for Saint Catherine of Alexandria, and Saint Thomas of Canterbury.
One vellum bound manuscript in folio, 29 leaves on vellum
This manuscript is in good shape, with some rubbing and old staining to the binding, and old tape repairs to the spine. Most, if not all of the leaves have undergone some degree of restoration to the upper margins, some to the corners, and the inner margins, though the text is unobscured by these restorations, barring one leaf, which has suffered some text loss at the upper corners. There are repairs to the inner margins throughout. Some of the ink has faded in various places, with tape preserving several of the more faded large initials. There is staining throughout.