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Record of ownership in a Service Book

Record of ownership in a Service Book

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1450

Shelfmark: Harley MS 2431

Item number: f.140v

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

A rare survival from two English parish churches dating before the Reformation, this service book comes from Ravensworth and Brompton on Swale in Yorkshire. It has prayers that usually appear in a type of service book called a 'breviary' which was used in monasteries and did not usually include musical notation, but this book has musical notation as well as prayers for the mass. Because it has this unusual combination, it is believed that this book provided the prayers for a monk or clergyman outside a monastery. The musical notation is further indication that it was a compact version of the several books (bibles, hymnals, breviaries) used in monasteries for their daily prayer services. The last page of the book presents prayers and an inscription identifying it as having been at the chapel of Brompton on Swale and the chapel of St John the Evangelist, Ravensworth.

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