Skip to main content

MS 54: Missal (Franciscan), 14th century

Identifier: MS 54


The manuscript is an Italian Missal from the 14th century. A missal is a liturgical book containing all instructions and texts necessary for the celebration of Mass throughout the year. This specific manuscript can be classified as Franciscan.
A Miniature appears on f.1r.
The Kalendar starts on f.2r. It is missing March to October.
The Proprium de Tempore, Advent to Easter starts on f.4r. The Proprium de Tempore comprises the prayers etc. appointed for the days of the year having special Masses or Offices. In this manuscript, it is missing ff. 20 and 95.
The Ordinarium Misse starts on f.121r. The Ordinary of the mass employs texts that remain the same for every mass. In this manuscript, one folio before f.125 is missing, and there is musical notation.
The Canon Misse starts on f.129r. The Canon of the Mass is the name given to the part of the Mass of the Roman Rite that begins after the Sanctus with the words Te igitur. In this manuscript, this section contains musical notation.
The Proprium de Tempore, Easter to Advent starts on f.133r.
The Ordo ad faciendam Aquam Benedictam starts on f.184r.
The Proprium Sanctorum starts on f.185r. This section is devoted to the Offices of the Saints.
The Commune Sanctorum starts on f.240v. The Common of Saints is a part of the Christian liturgy that consists of texts common to an entire category of saints, such as apostles or martyrs.
The In anniversario dedicationis ecclesie, etc starts on f.264v.
The Misse Votive starts on f.266v. This section is missing one folio.
The Kyrie and Gloria 'in sollempnitatibus beate Marie' starts on f.286v. This section features musical notation.
Writing Italian Gothic hand, well written. The ornamentation consists of red and blue filigree initials and eighteen large illuminated initials.
Illumination The eighteen large illuminated initials are pale pink and yellow letters, floriated in blue, green, and vermilion, on blue grounds with foliage springing from the corners. On f.4r this is continued in the margin to form a partial border. In addition to these there is a large miniature representing an Eastern ecclesiastic, pasted on the leaf preceding the Kalendar, which must have been inserted as late as the 17th century.


  • 14th 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 Kalendar unfortunately lacks eight months. What remains—January, February, November, and December—is Franciscan of Italy. The fact that it does not contain the names of the five Franciscan martyrs, 16 January, suggests that it was written before their canonisation in 1481. The Litany is not distinctive. The feast of the nativity of Saint Francis has an illuminated initial in the Sanctorale. Comparison with the Unreformed Roman Missal (Missale Romanum, Mediolani, 1474, Henry Bradshaw Society, 1899) shows that variations are chiefly in ceremonial, rubrics in the manuscript being more numerous and more elaborate, especially in the Canon and Ordinary of the Mass, and, as one would expect, in the feasts of Saint Francis.
There are certain 16th and 17th century insertions in the Kalendar which are rather obscure. 2 January: Saint Sbordone; 10 February: Apolonia, Virgin and Martyr; 1 December: Inquista di more papa leone x a sei ore de nocte 1521; 2 December: Consecratio cimiterii hospitalis fraternitatis Virginis Marie de [...] Nicadrii. This last, which seems of 17th century date, may possibly refer to the Abbey of San Nicandro, near Messina.
According to a note preserved along with the manuscript, it was in the library of Cardinal Albani, at the sale of which it was bought by Thorpe, for Laing, for £3, 6s (see Sale Catalogue of Cardinal Albani, Sotheby, March 1868. No. 333. B.M. S.-C.S. 588 (2)).

Previous reference

Laing 27

Physical Facet

Material: Vellum

Binding: Rebound in full brown morocco by W. H. Smith, Letchworth, 1915.

Collation: a1 (miniature), b2 (wants 2, 3, 4, 5), c4 (wants 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), d10, e9 (wants 2), f10,-l10, m9 (wants 10), n10, o10, p9 (wants 10), q10-H10, I2=286.


31.43 cm x 22.54 cm


Secundo folio: text pentec: non dicimus
Foliation and number of lines to a page: ff. 286, double columns, 29 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