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Ordinances of the Order of Saint Michael, 15th century

Identifier: MS 161


This manuscript contains the ordinances of the Order of Saint Michael, a French dynastic Order of Chivalry founded by Louis XI of France on 1 August 1469 and abolished after the Revolution of 1830. This is a copy of the document that determined the practices and rules of this royal Order.


Table of contents: the title on f. 1r reads: Table des Chappitres du livre de lordre. Starts on f. 1r and ends on f. 5r.

Preface: starts on f. 5v with the following words: Loys par la grace de Dieu Roy de France. And ends on f. 6r with the following words: et soubz la forme condicion statuz ordonnances et articles cy apres escrips.

Ordinances: start on f. 6r with the following words: Premierement. Avons ordonne et. And end on f. 31r with the following words: Donne en nostre chastel damboise Le premier jour daoust Lan de grace mil cccc soixante neuf et de nostre Regne lei xe.

Additional ordinances: start on f. 31v with the following words: Loys par la grace de Dieu. And end on f. 39r with the following words: Donne au plessis du pare lez tours le xxiie Jour de decembre Lan de grace mil cccc soixante seize et de notrc Regne le seiziesme.


The script is a good example of the characteristic northern French or Flemish hand of the period. The initials are dull gold on dark lake grounds with gold scroll work.


The illumination is northern French or Flemish. The arms of the duke of Orleans appear on the lower margin of f. 1r. On f. 5v there is a complete border of fleurs-de-lys on an azure ground, with the arms of Orleans occurring twice, and also the figure of a knight in armour emerging from his tent, wearing a tunic of azure broidered with fleurs-de-lys and a jewelled ducal coronet, and bearing a sword. This is doubtless meant to represent Louis, Duke of Orleans himself.


  • Creation: 15th century

Language of Materials

Middle 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 manuscript is of the northern French type. The arms on f. 1r are those of Louis II, Duke of Orleans, grandson of Louis of Valois and Valentina Visconti of Milan, who reigned as Louis XII of France, 1498-1515. They bear the quartered coat of Orleans and Visconti. The arms of Orleans alone appear in the border on f. 5v, along with the scroll Le Due Dorlien. The manuscript must have been executed for the Duke of Orleans on his election to the Order.

Previous reference

Laing 275.

Physical Facet

Material: Paper

Binding: Scarlet velvet

Collation: a8-e8=40.


22.54 cm x 16.51 cm


Secundo folio: Quel ordre esta

Foliation and number of lines to a page: ff. 40, 28 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