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Book of Hours (Use of Sens), c 1400

Identifier: MS 44
f. 17r
f. 17r


Book of Hours (Use of Sens) in Latin from the 15th century, of French origin.

Kalendar (in French): starts f.1

Sequences of the Gospels (in Latin): starts .13. It consists of two sections starting with the following words: In principio erat, which goes until f.14, and In ill tempore missus, which is from f.14 verso to f.15 verso.

Hours of the Virgin (Use of Sens) (in Latin): starts f.17

Verses of Saint Bernard (in Latin, with French rubric) (in a different hand): starts on f.77 verso.

Penitential Psalms (in Latin): starts f.79

Litany (in Latin): starts f.94

Hours of the Cross (in Latin): starts f.98 verso

Hours of the Holy Spirit (in Latin): starts f.102 verso

Fifteen Joys of the Virgin (Doulce Dame)(in French): starts f.107.

Seven Requests (Doulx Dieu) (in French): starts f.114

Service of the Dead (in Latin): starts f.119

Inserted Prayers (in Latin) (in a different hand): starts f. 163 verso. There are three prayers, which start as follows: "Anima Christi sanctifica me...", "Domine Jhesu Christi qui hand sacratissimam carnem...", and "O Domina piisima...." (Prose of the Virgin).

Prayer (in French) (inserted, in a different hand): starts f.167. It begins, "Je te déprime dame sainte Marie..."

Memoriae (inserted, in the same hand as "Prayer, in French", f.167): starts f.172. The Memoriae are to Saints Stephen, Medard, Drochon, Sebastian, Holy Trinity, Assumption, Michael, John Baptist, John Ev., Jerome, Augustine, Angelus, Shints Gregory, Ambrose, Magdalene, All Saints, Peter and Paul, Maturin, Christopher, 11,000 Virgins, Susanna, Katherine.


A good Gothic hand, well spaced, and with wide margins. Contains different hands. F. 77v - f. 78v (Verses of S. Bernard with French rubric) are in a different hand. F.99 bottom is in the same hand as the main manuscript but much smaller. F.162 - top of f. 162v are in the same hand of the main manuscript, but much smaller. Added later? F. 163v - f. 166 (Inserted prayers in Latin) are in a different hand. F. 167 - f. 194 (Prayer, in French; Memoriae) are in a different hand.


The ornamentation consists of burnished gold initials on blue, lake, and white grounds, rectangular line- endings to correspond, and fourteen miniatures with ivy-leaf borders.

List of illuminations:

  1. Fol. 17. Matins. Annunciation. Fine miniature. Virgin with halo stands to the L. under a canopy of scarlet and gold. Head of Deity in cloud of cherubim speaking. S. Gabriel, scarlet-winged with lily rod, kneels before her ; fine diapered ground, blue and gold. The initial below has a Virgin and Child. In the corners of the ivy-leaf border are three winged angels, each with a stringed instrument (harp, violin, zither). This border has a piece of fine grisaille work showing a hound coursing a hare.
  2. Fol. 30. Visitation. Visitation. Red and gold chequer ground. Mary and Elizabeth meet on the top of a pale yellow mountain.
  3. Fol. 44. Prime. Blue and gold scroll ground. Virgin in scarlet bed with curtain, Child cross-nimbed in manger, ox and ass feeding, S. Joseph stirring a posset over a brazier.
  4. Fol. 50 verso. Terce. The Angel and the Shepherds. Three shepherds with crooks like hockey-sticks, dog and sheep on a pale yellow conical mountain against blue sky. Angel with scroll.
  5. Fol. 55 verso. Sext.. Adoration of the Magi. Blue and gold diaper ground. Two kings crowned, one kneeling with crown off, another carrying box ; one of the kings points to a star.
  6. Fol. 60. None. Presentation. Red and gold scroll ground. Simeon takes Child from Virgin. S. Anastasia with the doves, S. Joseph.
  7. Fol. 64 verso. Vespers. Flight. Blue and gold diaper ground. Virgin and Child on white ass, Joseph with bundle; hilly road of a pale yellow colour.
  8. Fol. 72. Compline. Red and gold chequer ground. Virgin and Christ crowned and nimbed, seated together on yellow seat.
  9. Fol. 79 Penitential Psalms. Red and gold chequer ground. Our Lord in glory, with gold nimbus and cross, the orb in left hand, the right hand raised in blessing, seated on a throne. In the background, one on either side, are two altars, of pale magenta colour, without frontals, the fronts having each a single large sunk panel without ornament. Low reredoses rise behind, panelled and coloured exactly like the front. The altar on the right has a linen cloth with stripes across the end and falling slightly over the edge of the altar in front. About the same height as the reredos, and leaning against it, arc what seem to be intended for two Tables of the Law, thus indicating that the altar represents the Jewish Church. The altar on the left has a similar linen cloth, but with fringed end and double stripes, upon which stands a large gold chalice with mullet-shaped foot, covered with a folded corporal upon which lies a circular object apparently intended for the Host. This represents the Christian Church.
  10. Fol. 98 verso. Hours of the Cross. Crucifixion. Blue and gold chequer.
  11. Fol. 102. verso. Hours of the Holy Ghost. Pentecost. Blue and gold diaper ground. The Twelve Apostles with S. Peter and S. Paul in front, a Trinity in the cloud above (Father and Son holding chalice, the Dove between).
  12. Fol. 107. Fifteen Joys. Virgin and Child. Blue and gold scroll.
  13. Fol. 114. Seven Requests. Blue and gold scroll ground. Christ throned on rainbow, blue robe, cross-nimbus, showing wounds.
  14. Fol. 119. Service of the Dead. Blue and gold chequer ground. Coffin in centre with pointed top covered with scarlet herse-cloth embroidered with gold. The ends of the two wooden stools upon which the coffin rests are seen projecting from beneath the herse-cloth, which falls between them in heavy folds. Round the upper part of the herse-cloth at the edge of the coffin lid is a deep red and gold fringe, and a large white cross is attached to the middle of the herse-cloth lying along the ridge of the coffin lid, falling over it at the ends and at the sides, but not reaching to the border of the cloth. This cross appears to be represented as attached to the herse-cloth only for part of its length. Around the coffin stands the unusual number of six brass candlesticks holding short yellow tapers lighted. A brass holy water stock and sprinkler are also standing on the floor. Beyond the coffin a group of three clergy in black copes with gold orphreys are standing singing from a book on a wooden desk. The desk is on a movable arm, adjustable as regards height upon a wooden screw at the top of the stand. One of the clergy is wearing large spectacles. Behind is a group of mourners in black cloaks and hoods.


  • Creation: c 1400

Language of Materials

Latin and French

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to all. The manuscripts can be consulted in the Centre for Research Collections, Edinburgh University Main Library.


1 bound MS volume

Custodial History

The Use is that of Sens,and the general appearance of the book suggests Parisian illumination, but neither Kalendar nor Litany are distinctive.

The Memoriae, which appear to have been added in a late 15th century hand, include the names of two unusual saints : S. Drochon (died at Sebourg), and S. Maturin, Bp. of Aries (died at Larchant on the borders of Mayenne).

On a fly-leaf at the beginning are some 16th century entries referring to a family of the name of Choillot. Monseigneur Guillaume Choillot advocat et Damoiselle Denise Girard furent espouses le xxvii jour de Septembre 1545. Choillot. Jehanne Choillot leur fille fust nee le xxiiii jour de Decembre 1548 veille de Noel a cinqs heures troys quartz du matin. Choillot. La dicte Jehanne ma fille fust espousee a notre Michiel Brcvot advocat natifde Goude [?] le mardy cinquiesme de Janvier 1569. Du diet Brevot et de ma dicte fille nasquit leur premier enfant nomme Guillaume Brevot le mardy troisiesme jour d'Apvril [. . .] les ve heures troys quartz du jour 1571. La dicte Denise Girard ma femme deceda le mardy vie jour de May 1572. Le diet Monsieur Michiel Brevot mon beau fits deceda le mardy xiiie jour de Juillet de la dicte annee 1572. Dieu leur veulle pardomie leurs peches. Amen..

The ms. was presented with the Mackay Collection in 1912. Lr. Beg.

Previous reference

D. b. III. 16.

Physical Facet

Material: Vellum

Binding: Modem black morocco, tooled, ' Heures Manuscrit sur Velin.'

Collation: a12, b4, c8 - i8, k6, l8 - A8, B6 (3 blank leaves) =196.


17.78 cm x 12.07 cm


Secundo folio: quotquot autem

Foliation and number of lines: ff. 196, 13 lines to a page.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379