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Detailed record for Harley 1260

Title Book of Hours (use of Sarum) ('The Percy Hours')
Origin England
Date 1st quarter of the 15th century
Language Latin, some French and English
Script Gothic
Decoration Added drawing in brown ink of Sebastian (f. 236v). 12 partial or full borders in colours and gold with large initials in colours and gold with white tracery (ff. 7, 31, 34, 36, 38, 40, 46, 54, 65, 79, 198v, 215). 1 initial in colours and gold with foliate extensions (f. 41v). Initials in gold on coloured grounds, some large, some small. Smaller initials in gold on coloured grounds. Very small initials in gold with brown penwork decoration or in blue with red penwork decoration. Rubrics in red.
Dimensions in mm 140 x 90 (85 x 50)
Official foliation ff. 240 (+ 4 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and 4 at the end)
Collation i8-2 (i-iii cancelled), ii-iv12, v12-1 (xii cancelled), vi12-1 (xii cancelled), vii10, viii12-1 (v cancelled), ix12-1 (viii cancelled), x-xv12, xvi12-1 (v cancelled), xvii-xx12, xxi12-4 (viii, x-xii cancelled), xxii6-1 (iii cancelled), with quire signatures in Roman numerals at the end of gatherings.
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1968.
Provenance The Percy family of Warkworth, Northumberland: the litany (ff. 96-99) includes unusual Northumbrian saints, and the calendar has numerous added Percy family obits from Henry (d. 1340) to Margaret (d. 1372), and Ralph Neville (ff. 1-6v).
John Sandie: inscribed, 'Iohannes Sundie est possessor', 16th century (f. 237v).
Henry Sandy: inscribed, 'Henry Sandy est possesor', (237v, cf. 240v).
John George: inscribed, 'Su(m) Io(hann)is Georgii liber', 16th or 17th century (ff. 2, 235v), 'Ioh(ann)es George est possessor huius libri' (f. 237v).
Unidentified owner: inscribed, 'J hillise(?) Smith' (f. 127v).
Richard Elyott: inscribed, 'Rychard Elyott booke', 17th century (f. 235v)
Richard Spercheford, 'armiger' of Shropshire, 1560: ex dono inscriptions recording his gift to Barnes (f. 236).
William Barnes: received as a gift from Spercheford (see above).
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 Horizontal catchwords.
Added medical recipes and charms
ff. 234-40 are parchment flyleaves with various added texts and inscriptions relating to ownership.
Includes: a Calendar (ff. 1-6v); Hours of the Virgin (Use of Sarum), with suffrages after Lauds, the Short Hours of the Cross intermixed, and with seasonal variants (ff. 7-53); Hours of the Trinity (ff. 54-64v); Hours of the Passion (ff. 65-78); Hours of St. Anne (ff. 79-95); Penitential Psalms, only the 6th given in full (ff. 95v-96); Litany, including Godric last among the confessors, and Hilda last among the virgins, followed by Petitions and Collects (ff. 96-102v); a long series of Psalms and prayers in Latin, some with rubrics in French, rubrics mention Hilary of Poitiers, Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, Bede, et al.; the prayers include the Five Joys of the Virgin, and the Five Sufferings of Our Lord; Prayers in French; a Litany of the Virgin attributed in the rubric to St. Anselm; prayers; suffrages to saints; facing Latin and English versions of a prayer; and the Psalter of St. Jerome (ff. 103-231); added prayers etc. (ff. 231v-240v).
Medical contents as follows:
Prayers against tooth pain; 15th century, Latin. 'Virgo martir egregia … appollonia … vexemur morbo dentium' (f. 233v); 'Sancta Apollonia ... de dolore dentium / in nomine patris et cetera' (f. 239v).
Recipe for colic; 15th century, English. 'For the collyk tak a rote of gardemonia aud long peper' (f. 235).
Five medical recipes; 15th century, English.'For stynkyng breth / that cumys owte off that stommake', inc. 'Take ij handfollis of cumyn and bet / hyt vn a brassyn mortar to pauder / and seyth it in', expl. 'For tethe that byne blake' (ff. 238-239).
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), I (1808), no. 1260.

Christopher Wordsworth and Henry Littlehales, The Old Service-Books of the English Church, 2nd edn (London: Methuen & Co., 1910), p. 62.

Rossell Hope Robbins, 'Medical Manuscripts in Middle English' Speculum: A Journal of Mediaeval Studies, 45 (1970), 393-415 (p. 403 n. 28).

Cyril Ernest Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), pp. 64, 145, 161, 296, 311.

M. A. Michael, 'Distinction, Reconstruction and Invention: The Hungerford Hours and English Manuscript Ilumination of the Early Fourteenth Centuiry', English Manuscripts Studies, 2 (1990), 33-108 (p. 40).

L. E. Voigts and P. D. Kurtz, Scientific and Medical Writings in Old and Middle English: An Electronic Reference, CD-ROM, 2nd ed. (Ann Arbor, MI, 2006), no. 6410.00.

Don Skemer, Binding Words: Textual Amulets in the Middle Ages (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2006), pp. 16, n. 42.

Catalogued for the Harley Medical Manuscripts Project [http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/manuscripts/INDEX.asp], accessed 1 September 2008.


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