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Fragments of the Inchcolm Antiphoner, c 1340

Identifier: MS 211/IV
f. 2r
f. 2r

Scope and Contents

Four leaves from an Antiphoner written in Scotland around 1340, most likely for the Augustinian Priory of Inchcolm, which was sacked by the English in 1335. There are later additions.

Contains parts of the services for the feasts of Saint Columba and Corpus Christi. Saint Columba (ff. marked 1 and 3): part of ninth respond to Matins; anthems chapter, hymn, anthem to Benedictus at Lauds; anthem to Magnificat at second Vesper; rubric for Octave; respond and anthem for first Vesper, one anthem for Matins and Lauds of Sunday within the Octave; responds and anthems for other days in the Octave; responds and anthems to Magnificat at first and second Vesper of the Octave Day. Corpus Christi (ff. marked 2 and 4): end of hymn Pange lingua at first Vesper and rest of service to Non est alia nacioof the seventh repond at Matins, including proper anthems for Psalms and Nunc dimittis, and Collect at Compline and hymn Sacris solempniis at Matins; all the rest as in the Sarum Breviary.


  • Creation: c 1340

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.


4 folios

Custodial History

The full noted service for an Octave of S. Columba (which has no Octave in the Aberdeen Breviary or other extant breviary used in Scotland) points to an important church dedicated in his name. This is confirmed by an allusion in the anthem to the Magnificat of first Vesper of the Octave Day, locumque istum tibi deditum. The fact the Corpus Christi service (written in the same hand on the same leaves) is not Sarum Use, excludes Dunkeld Cathedral, and Iona is excluded because the Use is not Benedictine. There remains only one other church of any great size in Scotland for which such a service would be required, namely that of the Augustinian Priory of Inchcolm. The prayer te laudatem serva chorum ab incursu anglicorum also points in the same direction, for Inchcolm was sacked by the English in 1335, and this service was evidently written not long after that date. The service shows no connection with that in the Aberdeen Breviary. The proper anthems and Collect for Compline of Corpus Christi suggest a church of Canons Regular. The fact that the services of S. Columba, belonging to the Sanctorale, and Corpus Christi, belonging to the Temporale, are written in the same gathering and at the same time, point to their being an addition to a manuscript which was no doubt written in England at a date too early to contain Corpus Christi.


See H. G. Farmer, A History of Music in Scotland, 1947, p. 53.

Physical Facet

Material: Vellum


27.94 cm x 19.69 cm

Lines to a page

11 lines of music 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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