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Martyrology (Use of Aberdeen), 16th century (after 1552)

Identifier: MS 50
f. 25r
f. 25r


The manuscript is a Martyrology from the 16th century (after 1552) and originating in Scotland. A martyrology is a catalogue or list of martyrs and other saints arranged in the calendar order of their anniversaries or feasts. This specific manuscript is similar to the Aberdeen Breviary; it is Use of Aberdeen.

The Kalendar with Obits starts on f.1r.

The Martyrologium secundum usum Ecclesie Aberdonensis (Martyrology, Use of Aberdeen) starts on f.25r.


Written in a large, rather decadent Gothic hand with plain blue and red capitals. One border and several initials are rudely painted in water colour.


The border is on f.25r and includes floral details as well as birds, dragons and other creatures. The historiated initial on this page features the Holy Ghost in dove form.


  • Creation: 16th century (after 1552)

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 Kalendar is almost identical with that of the Aberdeen Breviary. The Obits seem to connect the book directly with the Cathedral Church of Moray at Elgin.

It would appear, from entries at the end, to have been owned successively by Alexander Gordoun, Patrick Dunbar, and James Spens. The following inscriptions are found: Per me Patritium Dunbar manu propria Amen. This buk pertinns to Alex. Gordoun. Per me Jacobum Spens manu propria. An Alexander Gordoun (1516-74) was bishop-elect of Moray and administrator of the diocese of Caithness (1544). Patrick Dunbar appears in the Registrum Moraviense as succentor of Moray in 1532. James Spens may be Sir James Spens of Wormiston (1571-1627).

It was presented to the Library in 1677 by Laurence Charteris, Professor of Theology in Edinburgh.

Previous reference

D. b. I. 8.


The Obits and the Scottish entries in the Martyrology have been printed in the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland), volume ii, part 2, pp.256-72. The Scottish entries in the Martyrology appear also in Forbes's the Kalendars of Scottish Saints, p.127, and a partial List of the Scottish and Irish Saints in the manuscript is printed as an Appendix to the Preface to the Aberdeen Chartulary printed by the Spalding and the Maitland Clubs.
Laing, David. "An Obituary and Calendar of Scottish Saints, extracted from The Martyrology for the use of the Church of Aberdeen, A Ms. of the Sixteenth Century." Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland), volume ii, part 2, 1855, pp.256-72.
Forbes, A. P. Kalendars of Scottish Saints. Edmonston and Douglas, 1872.

Physical Facet

Material : Vellum

Binding: Modern

Collation: a8-c8, d7 (1 cut out), e8-o8, p1=110.


27.94 cm x 19.05 cm


Secundo folio: Prisce virgis

Foliation and number of lines to a page: ff. 110, 24 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