Skip to main content

MS 65: Psalter of Virgin and Prayer Book. Tractatus Varii Mystici, 15th-16th century

Identifier: MS 65
ff. 155v-156r
ff. 155v-156r


The manuscript is a mid-fifteenth to early sixteenth century Dutch liturgical codex, containing excerpts from the Book of Psalms, extracts from the Divine Office, and various religious teachings and prayers. It is written in a variety of hands. As the codex details the canonical hours, it was likely produced for a lay audience wishing to integrate aspects of ascetic devotion into their daily lives.

Private devotions for use throughout Mass start on f.1 recto. In Dutch. It consists of two sections starting with the following words: Dit es een devote end sonderlinghe oufeninge om mede besich te sine inder helegher Messen... ('This is a pious and special exercise to busy oneself with during Holy Mass...'); and O lieve here Jhesu Christe ich offer my selven... ('O dear Lord Jesus Christ, I offer myself ...')

A spiritual letter from Jesus Christ to his bride of adoring souls starts on f.16 recto. In Dutch. It consists of two sections starting and ending with the following words: Dit es den gheesteliken minnen brief die Ihesus Christus coninc der glorieusende tot sijnder bruut der minnender zielen ... Ihesu Christ Coninc des hemels - die gloriose maghet Marie. Amen. ('This is the spiritual letter of adoration which Jesus Christ, king of glory, [sent] to his bride of loving souls ... Jesus Christ, king of heaven - the glorious Virgin Mary. Amen.')

A spiritual teaching of conscience upon the hour of death starts on f.32 recto. In Dutch. It consists of two sections starting with the following words: Een gheestlike leeringhe van tghene dat den mensche tevoren comt ende hoe die worem der conciencien in die huere des doots sal maghen ende dat herte doen benauwen and anxten ende slute eer die ziele verscheeden sal. Dwelke bescrijft meester pieter Damiaen Cardin... ('A spiritual treatise of what man encounters and how the worm of conscience will constrict and make fearful the stomach and heart in the hour of death, and closes before the soul shall die. Which describes teacher Peter Damian, cardinal...'); and Peynsende om die huere des doots... ('Thinking on the hour of death...'). The final section ends on f.46 with the words: ... moet te wercke stellen totter doot. ('... should be practiced until death').

A prayer to be said before the Holy Communion on f.46 recto. In Dutch and Middle French. It consists of two sections starting with the following words: Bidt voer die dit scref ('Pray for who wrote this'), and Oraison devant la communion ... Sire dieu je vien a toy en simplicite de coer ... ('Prayer before the communion ... Lord God, I come to you with a simple heart...').

The Psalter of the Virgin Mary dedicated to St. Bonaventure starts on f.48 recto. In Latin. It consists of five sections: Te matrem laudamus...; Litany of the Virgin...; Egressus est...; Deus qui manus tuas et pedes tuos...; and Anthems.

Fifteen degrees of adoration start on f.96 recto. In Dutch. It consists of one section starting with the following words: Dit sijn .xv. graden van der minnen... ('These are the fifteen degrees of adoration').

Various prayers start on f.115 verso. In Dutch and Latin.

A prayer to Saint Anne starts on f.142 recto. In Dutch. It consists of one section starting with the following words: Hier beghint sent anne cranskin. O heleghe moede sent anne... ('Here starts [the prayer of] Saint Anne the virtuous. O holy mother Saint Anne...').

Prayers to the Virgin for each of the Canonical Hours start on f.150 recto. In Dutch and Latin. The prayers start with the words: Hierna volghen seven corte ghetidenkens van onser vrauwen... ('Hereafter follow seven short Hours of Our Lady...').

A prayer describing the seven times Jesus bled for the salvation of humanity starts on f.155 verso. In Dutch and Latin. It consists of one section starting with the words: Dit sijn die seven bloedstortinghe ons heeren ('These are the seven blood-sheddings of our Lord').

A list of greetings and salutations starts on f.156 verso. In Latin. It consists of one section starting with the words: Incipit psalterium de amico sponsi et mundicie. Ave celeste organum... It appears to follow the structure of a sermon on the nativity of John the Baptist. Following a long list of prophets, John the Baptist is referenced near the end of this section, followed by an underline sentence heralding the coming of Christ.

Miscellaneous prayers (before and after the Sacrament, to the Virgin, etc.) start on f.159 recto. In Dutch and Latin. The prayers start with the words: Die benedictie gods des vaders ende des soens ende des heleghen gheests... ('A prayer of thanks to God the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit...')


The texts are written in a variety of hands and scripts, including a slender Netherlandish semihybrida currens (a Dutch miniscule generally datable to the mid-fifteenth to early sixteenth century). Initials are generally fully coloured in red. A handful of red rubrics is present throughout the text.


  • Creation: 15th-16th century

Language of Materials

Dutch; Latin; 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

A Dutch book, written in a variety of hands.

The only mark of ownership is on the last fly-leaf: Desen Boek behoort toe hen Pieter Dowhov. Dien viendt ende ubeder briengt die sal hebben driewk penniewk, which translates as 'This book belongs to Pieter Dowhov. Whoever finds and returns this book will receive three [copper] coins'. The inscription is dated 1722.

The words Reid Bequest printed on the front of the binding, followed by a crest and the writing College Library Edinburgh, indicate that the book has been acquired by the library thanks to the Reid Bequest.

Previous reference


Physical Facet

Foliation: ff. 242

Binding: Modern, lettered. Rebound by George Orrock in Edinburgh. The spine of the new leather binding proclaims (erroneously) that the volume is of fourteenth-century origin.

Collation: a8, b7. c8-f8, g12-k12, l8, m8, n4, o8, p6, q8, r5, s8, t9, v8-D8, E10, F9=242


14.29 cm x 10.16 cm


Secundo folio: welic hope

Foliation: ff. 242

Processing Information

Catalogued by Laura Cooijmans-Keizer in 2019.

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