Skip to main content

MS 45: Book of Hours (Use of Toul), 16th century

Identifier: MS 45
f. 141r
f. 141r


Book of Hours, use of Toul. It is of French origin (Toul) and is from the 15th-16th century, but based on external evidence is probably from after 1499. Inserted into the first border there is a coat of arms of Anne of Brittany, Queen of France. She married Charles VIII of France in 1491 and later his successor, Louis XII in 1499. External evidence suggests that the book must have been written for her after her marriage with Louis XII. It is curious, however, that none of the prayers have feminine forms.

Kalendar (in Latin): starts f.1

Hours of the Virgin (in Latin): starts f.15

Hours of the Holy Ghost (in Latin): starts f.71

Hours of the Sacrament (in Latin): starts f.76

Penitential Psalms (in Latin): starts f.81

Litany (in Latin): starts f.91 verso

Sequence, Saint John's Gospel (in Latin): starts f.100. It begins, "In principio..."

Service of the Dead (in Latin): starts f.103

Prayer of Saint Gregory (in Latin, with French rubric): starts f.139

Obsecro te (in Latin): starts f.141

Prayers to the Trinity (in Latin): starts f.144 verso.

Memoriae (in Latin): starts f.150

Prayers in Latin and French: starts f.158 verso. There are 12 prayers. They begin as follows: "Mon benoit Dieu je croy de cueur..."; "Cire Dieu tout puissant qui par la mort et passion..."; "Domine exaudi orationem meam quia jam cognosco tempus meum prope esse..."; "O bone Jhesu Domine mi agnosco naturam quam fecisti..."; "Pater in manus tuas..."; "Oratio valde devota ante ymaginem crucifixum...Conditor celi et terre..."; "O Bone Jhesu per tuam misericordiam... (Prayer of Saint Anselm)"; "Jhesu Crist fils de la divinite, biau dieu ayde moy... (Prayer found on the sepulchre of the Virgin)"; "Donne moy Jhesu Crist de tous maulx abstinence..."; "O vraye recognoissance..."; "Je te prie Jhesu Christ qua ce difinement..."; "Ange de Dieu sur moy commis...(Prayers of Saint Veronica)"

Prayer of Bede on the Seven Words (in Latin)(inserted, in a different hand): starts f.179


The hand is good throughout. The French rubric on F.139 is in a different hand. F.179-f.180 verso is in a different hand.


The pictures are elaborate and interesting, and the border work shows an extraordinary variety of treatment.

List of illuminations:

  1. Fol. 15. Matins. Under a gold canopy the Virgin kneels beside desk, Gabriel with lily and scroll facing her.
  2. Fol. 25. Lauds. Visitation. Virgin and Elizabeth salute one another. Landscape background.
  3. Fol. 36 verso. Prime. Nativity. The Virgin, S. Joseph, the ox and the ass adore the Babe, who lies naked in a halo, a rosary in his hands.
  4. Fol. 35. Crucifixion.
  5. Fol. 43. Terce. The Angel and the Shepherds. Three shepherds, one with bagpipes, scarlet-winged angel with scroll, good landscape background.
  6. Fol. 48. Sext. Adoration of the Magi. Usual picture. One of the kings is black.
  7. Fol. 53. None. Presentation. Virgin, S. Anastasia with doves, S. Joseph, three other figures, and the high priest Simeon receiving the Child upon the altar.
  8. Fol. 57 verso. Evensong. Flight. Usual picture, fine landscape background.
  9. Fol. 64 verso. Compline. Coronation of the Virgin.
  10. Fol. 71. Hours of the Holy Ghost. Pentecost. Virgin enthroned in centre, apostles kneeling on either side, Dove descending.
  11. Fol. 76. Hours of the Holy Sacrament. The Last Supper.
  12. Fol. 81. Penitential Psalms. David crowned in courtyard of castle, playing harp, three small dogs behind him.
  13. Fol. 100. Sequence. S. John in Patmos, with eagle and scroll, writing.
  14. Fol. 103. Service of the Dead. Job and his three friends, each with a musical instrument, pipe, zither, etc.
  15. Fol. 141. Obsecro te. The virgin and child.


  • Creation: 16th century

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 coat of arms of Anne of Brittany, Queen of France, is inserted into the first border. She married, in 1491, Charles VIII of France, and in 1499 his successor, Louis XII. External evidence suggests that the book must have been written for her after her marriage with Louis XII.

The book seems to have been in the possession of a family named Remiel throughout the 17th century. The inscription on f. 1, Le septieme Novembre 1596 sont les prcsentes hemes venues en partage au Balthasar Remiel Chancellier de Ma [. . .] des Mens delaisses par feu Jeanne Bertrand sa mere grande, lesquelles le diet Remiel a donnS a Barbe Remiel sa fille aisnee pour souvenance de la deffunctc et affin quelle au memoire dicelle en ses praves [?] le diet viie Novembre an susdict 1595, E. [?] Remiel, records the way in which it came into their possession, and the carefully erased notes in the Kalendar record its possession by the Remiels as late as 1682. The historian Jean-Luc Deuffic has identified 'Balthasar Remiels' as being 'Balthasar Rennel'.

This manuscript was lot 138 in the sale of John Boykett Janman at Sotheby’s, June 13, 1864.

Laing records that it was given to him by Robert Mercer, Esq., as a keepsake. The sale entry on the flyleaf, which contains a not very accurate description of the MS., gives its price as £15, 15s.

Previous reference

Laing 15


Regarding the name of the family 'Remiel', who seem to have possessed the manuscript throughout the 17th century see the following blog post that refers to this manuscript. The blog is in French, written by the historian Jean-Luc Deuffic. He corrects the name to Balthazar Rennel.

Physical Facet

Material: Vellum

Binding: Modern imitation of original, green velvet, lined with lavender silk, silver-gilt chased clasps (old), finely goffered edges. This volume has gilded edges to the text block.

Collation: a5 (+ I), b4, c4, d1 (blank), e8-t8, v4, x8-B8, C2= 180.


15.88 cm x 8.57 cm


Secundo folio: deus magnus

Foliation and number of lines to a page: ff. 180, 16 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