You are in Introduction. Click here to skip the navigation.
British Library
Digital Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts
 Detail from the Roman de la Rose
About Simple search Manuscript search Advanced search  Virtual exhibitions Glossaries Contact us  Main
print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back

search tips  Search tips
 
 

 

 
 

Detailed record for Harley 863

Part 1 ff. 8-123v 
Title Psalter, with canticles (ff. 99-108), litany for the use of Exeter, prayers, and offices (The 'Leofric Psalter')
Origin England, S. W. (Exeter)
Date 2nd half of the 11th century
Language Latin, with English gloss on f. 107
Script Minuscule
Decoration Initials in blue, red, green, and brown. Decorated line-fillers in brown. Unfinished, with spaces left for initials, for Psalm 1 filled in with an added puzzle initial and rubrics in brown and red.
Dimensions in mm 285 x 195 (235 x 135)
 
Part 2 ff. 1-7v 
Title Calendar and verses
Origin England
Date 2nd half of the 12th century, after 1173
Language Latin
Script Protogothic
Decoration Large 'KL' letters in red, blue, and green, with penwork decoration. Small initials in red, blue, green, or brown.
Dimensions in mm 285 x 200 (220 x 145)
 
Official foliation ff. 1* + 125 ( + 2 unfoliated modern paper flyleaves at the beginning and 3 at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house.
Provenance The cathedral church of St Peter, Exeter: evidence of the script and litany; perhaps made for Leofric, bishop (1046-1072) and given by him to the cathedral; added 12th-century calendar with Exeter entries, including for 23 May 'Festum reliquiarum ecclesie beati Petri Exon.' (added in the 14th-century) (f. 3) and numerous added obbits ?13th century including that of the lawyer Henry de Bracton (f. 5v); added 13th-century verses in a formerly blank space 'In festo reliquiarum Exoniensis ecclesiae ad processionem' (f. 7v).
For Part II, the inclusion of the feast of Thomas Becket provides a terminus post quem of 1173 (f. 6v).
The Harley Collection, formed by Robert Harley (b. 1661, d. 1724), 1st earl of Oxford and Mortimer, politician, and Edward Harley (b. 1689, d. 1741), 2nd earl of Oxford and Mortimer, book collector and patron of the arts.
Edward Harley bequeathed the library to his widow, Henrietta Cavendish, née Holles (b. 1694, d. 1755) during her lifetime and thereafter to their daughter, Margaret Cavendish Bentinck (b. 1715, d.1785), duchess of Portland; the manuscripts were sold by the Countess and the Duchess in 1753 to the nation for £10,000 (a fraction of their contemporary value) under the Act of Parliament that also established the British Museum; the Harley manuscripts form one of the foundation collections of the British Library.
Notes Musical notation: Anglo-Saxon neumes (with littera significativa T), England (Exeter), third quarter of the 11th century
f. 1* is a parchment leaf, with numerous inscriptions of various dates.
The litany features the earliest attestation of the the cult of Pope Leo IX and saint Bardo, bishop of Mainz (see Bishop 1918).
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), I, no. 863.

E. S. Dewick and W. H. Frere, The Leofric Collectar, 2 vols, Henry Bradshaw Society, 45, 56 (London: 1914-21), II, p. ix n. 1, p. 435.

Edmund Bishop, Liturgica Historica. Papers on the Liturgy and Religious Life of the Western Church, [edited by R. H. Connolly and K. Sisam.], (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1918), pp. 406-08.

N. R. Ker, Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Anglo-Saxon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957), no. 232.

Cecilia Sisam and Kenneth Sisam, The Salisbury Psalter, edited from Salisbury Cathedral MS. 150, Early English Text Society, 242 (London: Oxford University Press, 1959), p. 7.

Medieval Libraries of Great Britain: A List of Surviving Books, ed. by N. R. Ker, 2nd edn, Royal Historical Society Guides and Handbooks, 3 (London: Royal Historical Society, 1964), p. 83.

Nigel Morgan, 'Notes on the Post-Conquest Calendar, Litany and Martyrology of the Cathedral Priory of Winchester with a Consideration of Winchester Diocese Calendars of the Pre-Sarum Period', in The Vanishing Past: Medieval Studies Presented to Chrisopher Hohler, ed. by Alan Borg and Andrew Martindale (Oxford: B. A. R., 1981), pp. 133-174 (p. 168 n. 77).

Andrew G. Watson, Catalogue of Dated and Datable Manuscripts c. 700-1600 in The Department of Manuscripts: The British Library, 2 vols (London: British Library, 1979), no. 638.

Anglo-Saxon Litanies of the Saints, ed. by Michael Lapidge, Henry Bradshaw Society, 106 (London: Henry Bradshaw Society, 1991), no. 23.

Helmut Gneuss, Handlist of Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts: A List of Manuscripts and Manuscript Fragments Written or Owned in England up to 1100, Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 241 (Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2001), no. 425 (ff. 8-125).

The Leofric Missal I, ed. by Nicholas Orchard, Henry Bradshaw Society, 113 (London: Henry Bradshaw Society, 2002), p. 216.

K. D. Hartzell, Catalogue of Manuscripts Written or Owned in England up to 1200 containing Music (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2006), no. 156.

Andrew Prescott, 'What's in a Number? The Physical Organization of the Manuscript Collecctions of the British Library', in Beatus Vir: Studies in Early English and Norse Manuscripts, ed. by A. N. Doane and Kirsten Wolf, Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 319 (Tempe, Arizona: ACMRS, 2006), pp. 471-526 (pp. 471-75, 477).


Images

Part  1   ff. 8-123v
Psalter, with canticles (ff. 99-108), litany for the use of Exeter, prayers, and offices (The 'Leofric Psalter')
* * *
 
Calendar page

f. 1v
Calendar page
April

f. 2v
April
Decorated initials

f. 8
Decorated initials
 
Musical notation

f. 36v
Musical notation
Text page

f. 37v
Text page
Text page

f. 37v
Text page
 
Coloured initials

f. 108
Coloured initials
Coloured initials

f. 110
Coloured initials

Part  2   ff. 1-7v
Calendar and verses
* * *
 
May

f. 3
May

print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back
top Back