MISSAL, use of Sarum, in Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum [England, first quarter 15th century]
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MISSAL, use of Sarum, in Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum [England, first quarter 15th century]

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MISSAL, use of Sarum, in Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum [England, first quarter 15th century]

A rare Sarum missal and a charming example of English manuscript illumination in the first decades of the 15th century, with contemporary inscriptions localising it to the church of St Mary's of Wallington, in Surrey.

216 x 148mm. iv + 151, modern foliation in pencil 1-151 followed here. Two columns of 24 lines ff.7-142, one column of 23 lines ff.143-151, ruled space: 118 x 85mm. Sixteen large illuminated initials with scrolling acanthus borders, penwork initials throughout (lacking 4 leaves after ff.40, 63 [likely the Canon Miniature], 85 and 107, first gathering detached, some water damage to lower margins, initial on f.47 excised, initials occasionally smudged, ‘pape’ erased throughout). 17th-century white leather over wooden boards stamped with the coat of arms of Ralph Sheldon (1623-1684), sable a fess between three sheldrakes argent, two strap-and-pin fastenings (straps missing, upper board detached, leather peeling from spine, rubbed and stained).

Provenance: (1) The Missal was produced in England, and a contemporary inscription dated 1423 on f.iv localises it to the church of St Mary’s of Wallington, Surrey: ‘Memorandum quod xiij° die Iunii anno domini millesimo ccccxiij […] capella beate Marie de Waliton infra parochiam de Bedyngton […] dedicata fuerat per reuerendum patrem Iohannem Episcopum Enachdunen et suffraganeum reuerendi in Christo patris et domini domini Henrici Wynton episcopi et Anno regni regis henrici sexti primo’. (2) Francis Walker: his 16th-century inscriptions on ff.iiiv and 151v. (3) John Gregory Mallett OSB (1604–1681), chaplain at Ralph Sheldon’s seat at Weston in Warwickshire from 1653 until his death: inscription on f.iv. (4) Ralph Sheldon (1623-1684), Roman Catholic Royalist and antiquary: his coat of arms on the binding. (5) M.H. Bloxam, by whom given to Rugby School Library; inscription dated January 1888 on f.i.

Content: Calendar ff.1-6v; Holy water service ff.7-9v; Temporal from Advent to Corpus Christi ff.10-54; Dedication of a Church ff.54-56v; Mass against the fever ff.56v-57v; Ordinary and Canon of mass ff.59-79; Mass against the pestilence ff.79v-81v; Sanctoral from St Andrew to St Catherine ff.82-117; Votive masses ff.117-133; Mass for the Dead ff.133-138; ‘In commemoratione sancti Thome martiris’ ff.138-139v; ‘O bone ihesu’ ff.139v; Mass for the remission of sins ff.139v-141v; prayers to St Godric and for Trental Masses ff.141v-142; Masses of the Five Wounds and of the Name of Jesus ff.143-151.

Illumination: The sparkling initials of gold, rose and blue, extending into the margins with sprigs composed of gold balls and trefoils, sprays with acanthus leaves with lobes outlined in black are reminiscent of the illumination in a British Library manuscript of Thomas Hoccleve, Regiment of Princes (London, BL Arundel MS 38) and are datable to the second and third decades of the 15th century (see K. Scott, Dated and Datable English manuscript Borders c.1395-1499, 2002, pp.42-43).
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Please note that the lower board is now also detached.

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