Neville of Hornby Hours


Medieval Christian belief stated that demons were fallen angels who underwent a physical transformation to become the beasts that tortured souls in Hell. This can be seen in this miniature of the earth, taken from the manuscript known as ‘The Neville of Hornby Hours’, which like traditional books of hours, contains a collection of devotional texts: prayers, poems and psalms. Here God and his angels can be seen at the top of the image in Heaven, while the failing angels, becoming devils are seen in Hell below. Images like these emphasised the need to live a good Christian life.

While similar to images of the Virgin, this image is more likely to be Ecclesia, a female personification of the Church. She is often depicted in manuscripts, statues and stained glass windows, holding a staff and a church building. When shown alongside images of a blindfolded Synagoga, a representation of Judaism, she is used to illustrate the supremacy and power of the Christian Church and dogma.

Full title:
Book of Hours, Use of Sarum (The 'Neville of Hornby Hours')
2nd quarter of the 14th century, London
French / Latin
Usage terms

Public Domain in most countries other than the UK.

Held by
British Library
Egerton MS 2781

Full catalogue details

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