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Composite manuscript including two texts, 15th century

Identifier: MS 42
f. 7r: Start of the Book of Hours
f. 7r: Start of the Book of Hours


Contains two texts bound together, in two main hands.

ff. 1r-6r: Kalendar, probably connected with Rochester.

ff. 7r-130r: Book of Hours, featuring the Hours of Saint Ninian, and prayers inserted by Scottish hands.

The texts are described separately under MS 42/ff. 1r-6r and MS 42/ff. 7r-130r.


The primary hand is a Gothic hand, with laterally compressed letters. Most of the volume is in this hand, in the Book of Hours. The prayer insertions are by various 15th century Scottish hands, and the Kalendar is by another hand, different from the rest in the manuscript.


The prayers are illuminated, although none of the work is of the best quality, and it resembles the hybrid work of Scottish books of the period. The illuminations are described under 'MS 42/ff. 7-130: Book of Hours'.


  • Creation: 15th century

Language of Materials

Latin, with one prayer in Scots on f.128v.

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 general appearance of this book, the kind and quality of the illumination, together with the occurrence of the unusual Hours of Saint Ninian, suggest that it is a Scottish book.

On the fly-leaf at the beginning, it is possible to decipher Iste liber pertinct Johannis Thompson [. . .] in a 16th-century hand ('This book belongs to John Thompson [...]). On the same leaf is the table of Festis and fastin days commandit be the Kirk ('Feast and Fast days ordered by the Kirk') from January to September, apparently added in the 17th century, by the same hand which inserts explanatory titles to the pictures.

The manuscript was presented to the Edinburgh University Library in 1670 by George Purves (entered in the book of donations as divinity student). He afterwards became minister of Glencorse.

Previous reference

D. b. III. 17.

Previous title

Title given to the manuscript in Catherine Borland’s catalogue: Book of Hours (Hours of the Virgin and of S. Ninian).

Physical Facet

Material: Vellum

Binding: Brown calf, c.1692.

Collation: a6, b8, c9 (+1), d8, e7 (1 cut out), f9 (+6), g9 (+7), h6 (1 and 2 cut out), i9 (+5), k4 (+1 and 4), l4 (+ 1 and 4), m8, n10(properly a gathering of 8, but with 3 ff. added between 1 and 2 and 4 cut out), o9 (+4), p8, q4, r7, s10 (+4 and 5), t8=143.


19.05 cm x 13.65 cm


Secundo folio: et facic

This appears at the top of f.8r, according to the current foliation of the manuscript. This is the second folio of the prayer book, which is preceded by the Augustinian Kalendar on the first seven folios.

Foliation and number of lines to a page: The foliation and number of lines to a page vary throughout the manuscript. See individual descriptions for more details.

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