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MS 49: Prayer Book and Book of Hours, late 15th century

Identifier: MS 49


The manuscript is a Prayer Book and Book of Hours from the late 15th century that originated in Italy.

The Penitential Psalms start on f.1r.

The Litany starts on f.12r.

The Prayers start on f.22v. These include the Ave Maria, Pater Noster, Credo, and Salve Regina.

The Sequence, Saint John's Gospel starts on f.27r. This section includes In principio, Confessio, Introibo ad altare Dei; Oratio Sanctus Augustini pro tutela corporis, Deus propitius esto mihi peccatori; Oratio pulcherrima ad gloriosam et beatam Virginem, Deprecor te Sancta Maria Mater Dei ; Stabat Virgo juxta crucem; Dulcissime Domine Jhesu Christi vere Deus.

The Te Deum, Ave Verum Corpus, and Ave Salus Mundi start on f.35v.

The Orationes ad Sanctus Sebastianum contra pestem start on f.37v. This section includes prayers beginning O Sancte Sebastiane Christi miles beatissime quoniam tota patria Lombardiae and Deus qui precibus et meritis Sanctus Sebastiani.

The Domine Deus Omnipotens starts on f.38v.

The Obsecro te Domina (masculine) starts on f.40r.

The Oratio ad Sanctam Katerinam Virginem (Prayer to Saint Katherine) starts on f.43v. It begins O sanctissima, O beatissima, o dulcissima Virgo Katerina and is gendered masculine.

The Hours of the Cross start on f.45v. The Hours of the Cross are found in most Books of Hours. Much shorter than the Hours of the Virgin, the canonical sequencing is the same as with the Hours of the Virgin, Matins through Compline, except that there is no Lauds.

The Italian Prayers start on f.49v.

The O intemerata (masculine) starts on f.57v.

The Omnipotens sempiterne deus pietate tua quesumus starts on f.60r.


Written in good minuscule hand with plain red or blue capitals, except in the prayers at the end, which have burnished gold letters on a square ground of lake, blue, and green illumination.


There is one miniature in the initial at the beginning, showing David with a psaltery, and a fine complete border of vine-leaf design, blue, lake, green, and gold, with a green parrot. The coat of arms is inserted in the lower margin.


  • Creation: late 15th century

Language of Materials

Latin; Italian

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 Litany is Italian, as are also the hand and the illumination. It is possibly specifically Neapolitan. The arms of the original owners, the Nobili family of Florence (Azure a bend of the same tincture semy of fleurs de lys or, fimbriated argent), are incorporated in the first border. The volume also contains the book-plate of Count D. Boutourlin, Senator and Director of the Imperial Library at Petrograd. He seems to have lived for some years in Florence, where he doubtless bought this book. A Catalogue of his library was published in Florence in 1831, in which this manuscript is described (Catalogue de la Bibliotheque de son exc. M. le Comte D. Boutourlin, National Central Library of Florence, 1831. No. 188). The library was sold in Paris circa 1841. The next clue to its history is a note on the fly-leaf, Dering Sale, No. 835, 15th July 1865, 3 possibly written by Laing, for whom it seems to have been purchased there. The Sale Catalogue records that it was sold to ' Hugo ' for £2 (Dering Sale Catalogue, Puttick and Simpson, 13 July 1865, No. 835, B.M. S.-C.P. 100 (6)).

Previous reference

Laing 665

Physical Facet

Material: Vellum

Binding: Modern red morocco, gold tooling, entitled ‘Preces Piae’.

Collation: a10, b8-f8, g4, h10 (last 4 leaves blank)=64.


12.86 cm x 9.21 cm


Secundo folio: [Exaudi] vit dominus

Foliation and number of lines to a page : ff. 64, 14 and 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
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379