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MS 61: Psalter with Anthems (Roman Use), early 16th century

Identifier: MS 61


This manuscript contains a psalter of Roman Use with anthems, written in Latin in the early 16th century, and of Italian origin. The book is of a considerable size and its binding is particularly interesting, as it is a decorated with brass pins, studs, and other different shapes. Some of the hymns at the beginning and at the end are incomplete. It has several vellum page markers for its different sections.
Hymns (Roman Use): start on f. 1r with the following words: Caste perentis viscera. And end on f. 6v. Contains the following hymns: At Matins and Lauds of Dedication of a Church; at Lauds on Christmas Day [incomplete]; at Lauds and throughout the Octave of the Epiphany [altered to another Use]; at Matins on the first Sunday in Lent [beginning erased, verse 5 transposed, and hymn incomplete]; at Lauds in Epiphany [Benedictine, not Roman, but has been written over another hymn]; to Saint Clara [incomplete]; at Lauds on Trinity Sunday [wants part of verse 1]; at Matins and Lauds of the feast of Corpus Christi; at Matins, Conversion of Saint Paul [incomplete].
Nocturnal Psalter for Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays in each week, with noted Anthems, Hymns, Versicles, and Responds (Roman Use): starts on f. 7r and ends on f. 152v.
Additional Hymns: start on f. 152v with the following words: Fortem virili pectore. And end on f. 153r, containing the following hymns: For Widows; hymn of which rubric and first verse is missing; hymn at Matins of Saint John Baptist's Day [incomplete].
Writing Large uniform, Italian Gothic hand with plain blue and red capitals.
Illumination Some three-line floriated initials in lake, green, and dull gold, and four large historiated or floriated initials, some of which are badly cropped.

List of Illuminations:

  1. Fol. 9v. Beatus Vir. David, head and shoulders, crowned, playing on harp; landscape background. Initial of Renaissance type on square burnished gold ground with branching foliage, prolonged in the margins, colouring magenta, green, blue, vermilion, and gold.
  2. Fol. 51v. Benedictus. Same type of initial, similar colouring, on square ground of blue and gold, filled in centre with conventional hyacinth bud in pot on black ground.
  3. Fol. 54r. Dominus Illuminatio. Similar initial upon square ground of lake and gold. In centre, against a black ground, flecked with blue clouds, David, crowned, hands crossed on breast, looks up to heaven.
  4. Fol. 82v. Dixi custodiam. Similar initial on square ground of blue and gold. In centre, against a background dotted with clouds, David crowned, with harp, finger on lip.


  • early 16th century

Language of Materials


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 whole style of the book is Italian. No local provenance is indicated. Among the hymns at the beginning is one to Saint Clara suggesting Franciscan connection.

Previous reference

Laing 485.

Physical Facet

Material: Vellum.

Binding: Original, oak boards covered leather, 5 brass studs and corners, and central star all stamped with Christian symbols, 2 brass pins for straps, 2 straps missing, title 'Psalt. Noct. Dom. Feriae II and III' on vellum let into a small brass frame, brass pins round the edges, and vertical wooden supports on back board.

Collation: a4 (including end paper), b7 (8, 9, and 10 cut out), c2 (1 and 2 cut out), d8-v8, x4, y2 (including end paper) = 155.


53.02 cm x 38.41 cm


Secundo folio: viam lumen requirunt
Foliation and number of lines to a page: ff. 153 (+2 end papers), 15 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
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Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
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