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Commemoration of John Holbrook, In The Egerton Psalter

Commemoration of John Holbrook, In The Egerton Psalter

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1280

Shelfmark: Egerton MS 1066

Item number: f.3v

Length: 30.2

Width: 18.4

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

A psalter's origins can often be 'tracked' by the saints' names given 'red-letter' treatment in its calendar, because regions and towns commemorated their local saints. Other features of a psalter, such as types of prayers and styles or types of pictures, can connect it with a location. The Egerton Psalter, however, tells us little. Some link with Norwich is indicated by the calendar's special treatment of Felix of Dunwich, and more clues are given by another kind of evidence, later ownership. This its calendar notes deaths of members of the Holbrook and King families in the 15th and 16th centuries, as well as of William Pepyr, Vicar of Metyngham in the 14th century, supporting its early connections with East Anglia. The calendar page for February highlights certain days with blue or red ink ('red-letter days'), most of them being saints' feasts universally celebrated, such as St Agatha and St Matthew. At some later time, the death of "John Holebrook" in 1400 was added at 13th February, one of several 'red-letter' notations of the Holbrook and King families. The inscription in red at the bottom of the page gives the number of hours for nights (14) and days (10) in February, a conventional feature of medieval calendars.

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