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[probably Ghent, c.1485]
209 x 142mm, iii + 200 + xiii (foliation includes the added leaves but skips one leaf after f.123 and another after f.177): 1-26, 39(i a singleton), 411(i, iv, vi, viii & x singletons), 59(uncertain, perhaps i, ii, iii, v & vii singletons), 69(i a singleton), 78(i & vii singletons), 88, 911(i, vi & x singletons), 1011(ii, vi & ix singletons), 117(i a singleton), 12-138, 145(i a singleton), 157(i a singleton), 168, 179(viii a singleton), 18-208, 219(i a singleton), 229(viii a singleton), 29(vii a singleton), 248, 254; the added leaves are A7(of 8, lacking i, ff.205-210, 217), B4(ff.211-214), C2(ff.215-216), COMPLETE, all miniatures on singletons, some catchwords, some signatures, 17 lines in black ink written in a gothic bookhand between two verticals and 18 horizontals ruled in red, justification: 109 x 73mm, rubrics in red, major feasts in calendar in red, text capitals touched yellow, one- and two-line initials of burnished gold with grounds and infills of pink and blue with white decoration, THREE HISTORIATED INITIALS with three-quarter borders, TWENTY-FOUR HISTORIATED CALENDAR PAGES with three-quarter borders with figures and twenty-four roundels, TWENTY SMALL MINIATURES with three-quarter borders, TWENTY-THREE FULL-PAGE MINIATURES with borders FACING LARGE ILLUMINATED INITIALS with full-page borders, the initials with staves of blue patterned with white on grounds of pink patterned with liquid gold fronds, all borders with flowers, fruit, acanthus stems, birds, animals and figures detailed with liquid gold on mostly painted grounds, some divided, on which the motifs cast shadows (slight rubbing to some miniatures and borders). Brown morocco inlaid with panels of original blind-stamped goatskin with oblong panels placed two above and two below a horizontal band of fleur de lys, running around each oblong panel ora pro nobis sancta/dei genitrix ut/digni efficiamur promis/sione xristi, surrounding two oblongs each with five foliate roundels containing an eagle, rabbit, cock, stag and pelican in her piety.



1. The decoration and some liturgical features indicate Flanders, probably Ghent as the book's place of production: the Calendar has Bathildis (31 January), Vedast and Amand (6 February), Medard (8 June), Basil (14 June), Arnulph (18 July), Bertin (5 September), Lambert (17 September), Firmin (25 September), Remigius (1 October), Leodegar (2 October), the Litany invokes Quentin, Lambert, Wallepart, Gildard, Medard, Vedast, Bavo, Virinus, Arnulph, Genevieve, Radegunde, Sother. The use of Sarum for the Hours of the Virgin and the Office of Dead and the ordering and choice of prayers show that it was intended for the English market as do the English saints in the Calendar: in June, for instance, Botulph (17), translation Edward Martyr (20), Alban (22), Etheldreda (23). In the Litany, the English saints Edmund, Oswald, Dunstan, Swithin, Sexburga, Milburga, Ositha and Edith are named. The book may have been bound in Bruges, since the same blind-stamped panel is found on Baltimore, Walters Art Gallery, W.168 (L. Randall, Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery, III, Belgium 1250-1530, 1997, no 251), related to a panel on Bruges, Groot Seminarie, ms 15/76, a Bruges manuscript of 1487 (W.H.J. Weale, Bookbindings and Rubbings of Bookbindings in the National Art Library South Kensington, II, 1894, no134). In Bruges, the centre of the export trade, binders could well have worked on books written and decorated in Ghent. The prayers are in the masculine. The couple in the miniature on f.25v may represent the original commissioners, unlikely to be the first known owners although possibly related to them, see below; the failure to complete the coats of arms below them and on the facing recto could mean that the book was made for the open market.

2. William Brown, mercer and Lord Mayor of London in 1513 (d.1514), and his wife Alice Keble (d.1521): the births of their five children from 1503 (recte 1501/2) to 1511 are entered in the Calendar in Latin. William Brown had already had at least two children by his first wife, Catherine Shaw, whom he had married by July 1490 and who had died by November 1498. Since there are no references in the Hours to his first family, William Brown is unlikely to have acquired the book before 1498; it may have been brought to his second marriage in 1500 by Alice Keble, whose parents could have been the first owners. Her father was the very wealthy grocer Henry Keble, from Coventry, who had settled in the parish of St Mary Aldermary, was Lord Mayor 1510-11 and died a widower in 1517, providing in his will, of which Dean Colet was executor, for an Epistolary and a Gospeller to be made for St Michael's, Coventry (PRO, PROB 11/18 sig. 30). Both he and William Brown were merchants of the Staple in Calais and so well placed to obtain Flemish books. By February 1515 Alice had married William Blount, Lord Mountjoy, and gave birth to his heir Charles in 1516; she died in 1521 and was buried in Grey Friars, London, the Mountjoy burial church.

3. William Blount, Lord Mountjoy (d.1534): he presumably inherited from his wife and then gave the volume to his stepdaughter, Anne Brown, who was also his niece by her marriage to Thomas Tyrrell, son of his sister Constantia and Sir John Tyrrell of Heron, as recorded in the signed autograph poem on f.2v: Myn owne goode doghter and also nece/Thys boke I sende yow…/Have in reme[m]berawnce Mountioy/Wyche yore goode mother dyde sumtyme wed/That hereon her devocyons sayde/Hyt was also yower faders dere…. While touching as a sign of affection, the poem is a disappointing production from one of the leading patrons of scholarship and learning in England. Mountjoy studied under Erasmus in Paris and was responsible for bringing him to England; Erasmus was on warm terms with his principal patron and dedicated works to both Mountjoy and his heir.

4. Anne Brown (1509-1581): her first husband, John Tyrrell, died in 1540, leaving her with two daughters. By mid-1542 she had remarried, as his second wife, Sir William Petre of Ingatestone, Essex (1506-1572). Sir William Petre had risen with the party of Anne Boleyn and survived as Secretary of State from the reign of Henry VIII to that of Elizabeth: his successful adaptations to the political climate are mirrored in the godparents of his children, recorded on ff.204-208. His fortune, and Ingatestone Hall itself, came from the suppression of the monasteries, in which he played a ldeading role; references to popes, Thomas Becket and indulgences have mostly been crossed out in the Hours. Nevertheless, he joined Mary I in time for the Queen to stay at Ingatestone as she made her way to London to challenge Lady Jane Grey. He continued in office under Elizabeth until 1566. The births of Anne and William's three children, 1543-1549, with the names of the daughters' husbands, were added to the Calendar, after Catherine's marriage in 1561. Leaves were added to the end of the volume on which were written Petre family records, initially in 1572 (n.s), probably occasioned by Sir William's death in January that year. It is only there that the children of Sir William and his first wife Gertrude Tyrrell (d.1541) are listed: Dorothy (1534-1618) and Elizabeth, f.204. The date of Dorothy's birth is left blank but her godparents and her marriage to Nicholas Wadham in 1555 are recorded. After her husband's death in 1609, she executed his plans to found a college in Oxford, which became Wadham College; for portraits of them, see R. Strong, The English Icon: Elizabethan and Jacobean Portaiture, Paul Mellon Foundation for British Art, London/New York, 1969, pp.209-210. The births, marriages and children of the daughters and son of Sir William and Anne follow on ff.205v-208. Among those standing godparents were Queen Catherine Parr and the Ladye Marye afterwards quene, for Catherine Petre; John Dudley, duke of Northumberland, for the heir, John Petre; William Cecil, Lord Burghley, for John's son and heir, William. On ff.208v-209v are the births of the three children of Anne Brown's daughter, Catherine Tyrrell, who had married Sir Richard Baker of Cranbrook, Kent. Their grandmother was godmother to John and Anne and remembered all three in her will, leaving them Tyrrell plate (P.R.O. PROB 11/64, sig.15). On f.210v is the death of Sir William Petre in January 1571 (o.s.) and, in a different hand, that of his wife in 1581; for their portraits, originated in 1567, see Strong, English Icon, pp.127-128; their tomb with recumbent effigies is in Ingatestone Church.

5. John Petre, created Lord Petre in 1603 (1549-1613): the death of his wife Mary Waldegrave in 1604 and then his own in 1613 are recorded on f.210v. He is probably the author of the earlier entries and responsible for the Catholic tone of his father's notice which ends on whose soule Jesu have mercye. Amen. It was John's adherence to Rome that set the course which made the Petres one of the leading Roman Catholic families of England. His own death notice ends on whose soule sweet Jesu have mercie.

6. William, 2nd Lord Petre (1575-1637): on f.211 is the record of his marriage in 1596, as Sir William, to Lady Catherine Somerset, daughter of the Earl of Worcester, and the births of their children, 1597-1613; Elizabeth I was godmother to their eldest daughter, Elizabeth. Lady Catherine's death in 1624 is noted on f.210v and his death on f.215; for their portraits in 1599 by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger see Strong, English Icon, p.278, a postcard of his portrait wrongly identified as his father's is loose in the volume.

7. Robert, 3rd Lord Petre (1599-1638): his death in 1638 is noted and recopied on f.215.

8. Robert, Lord Petre: bookplate inside front cover

9. By descent to William, 13th Lord Petre (1847-1893): in 1886 he updated the records by noting the date of his own birth and of his succession to his father in 1884. This may have been provoked by the transcribing of all the family records which resulted in the publication by J. Jackson Howard and H. Farnham Burke, Genealogical Collections Illustrating the History of Roman Catholic Families of England, based on the Lawson Manuscripts, II i Petre, 1887, pp.49-51.The 13th Lord Petre was himself a Roman Catholic priest.

10. Type written description loose in volume with display card from Essex Record Office and photographs of some of the family material. William Foyle also owned two prie-dieus from Ingatestone Hall (record in family scrapbook).


Recipes for A soverayne medesyne ffor the pestilence and A nother medesyne for the same, requiring fumitory, water of St John's wort, vinegar etc, added, f.1; autograph poem by William, 4th Lord Mountjoy f.2v; notes and family tree explaining the relationship of Lord Mountjoy with Anne Brown, predating 1887 f.3; Calendar ff.4-15; 15 Oes of St Bridget O ihesu eterna dulcedo ff.17-24; memorials to the Trinity, Sts John the Baptist, George, Christopher, Anne, Mary Magdalen, Catherine, Barbara, Margaret ff.26-43; Office of the Virgin secundum usum sarum ff.46-62: matins f.46, lauds f.55; Memorials of the Holy Spirit f.62r&v, Trinity f.62v, Cross f.63, Sts Michael f.63v, John the Baptist f.64, Peter and Paul f.64r&v, Andrew ff.64v-65, Stephen f.65r&v, Lawrence ff.65v-66, Thomas Becket (crossed out) f.66, Nicholas ff.66v-67, Catherine f.67r&v, Margaret f.67v, All Saints f.68, Peace f.68v; Matins of Hours of the Cross f.69; Office of the Virgin from Prime, each Hour followed by Hour of the Cross ff.71-93; prime f.71, terce f.76, sext f.80, none f.83, vespers f.87, compline f.90; verse prayer to the Virgin, salve virgo virginum stella matutina ff.94v-99; O Intemerata ff.99v-101v; Obsecro te and other prayers ff.101v-106v; Prayers on the Seven Joys of the Virgin, Virgo templum trinitatis, with indulgence of 100 days from Pope Clement, that part of rubric crossed out, ff.106v-110; sequence of prayers to the crucified Christ, the Cross, His wounds, Omnibus consideratis paradisus voluptatis, headed Ad ymaginem Christi ff.110-113; other prayers ff.113-114; prayer on Seven Last Words attributed to Bede, recitation will give protection against human and diabolic enemies, prevent an unconfessed death and ensure a vision of the Virgin 20 days before death, and other prayers, the rubric for the last, Domine ihesu christe qui hanc sacratissimam carnem, with the promise of 2,000 years' indulgence from Pope Boniface, crossed out ff.114v-119; Seven Penitential Psalms ff.121-128; incipits of first twelve Gradual Psalms and last three in full ff.128-130v; Litany and prayers ff.130v-140; Office of the Dead use of Sarum ff.142-181; Passion Psalter ff.183-188; rubric on efficacy of, and prayer preceding, ff.188v-189, Psalter of St Jerome ff.191-203v; genealogical records of the Petre family ff.204-215


Most of the miniatures and the border designs can be attributed to the Masters of Adolph of Cleves, responsible around 1480 for the Book of Hours, Baltimore, Walters Art Gallery, W 439, made for Adolph of Cleves, son of Adolph, Duke of Cleves, and nephew of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, who made his career at the Burgundian court and died in 1493 (L. Randall, Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery, III, Belgium 1250-1530, no 251). They were also responsible for the decoration of an Hours for another, anonymous, Englishman of the 1490s (Antiquariat Heribert Tenschert, Leuchtendes Mittelalter III, Catalogue XXVII, no 22). As in the Keble-Petre Hours, more than one hand was involved in the illumination of the Cleves and other English Hours, whereas the Hours of Pierre Serainchamps seem to be all from the chief hand (Sam Fogg, Medieval Manuscripts Catalogue 14, 1991, no 28). The chief hand in the Cleves group is distinguished in these manuscripts by the spaciousness of his compositions set in deep tiled interiors or landscapes stretching to distances economically created by minimal touches of paint. The clumsy yet vigorous figures are given visual impact by dark outlines and the detailing of features and costumes with dark lines. These traits are exaggerated by scale in the small miniatures and historiated initials in the Keble-Petre Hours, where another illuminator brings a more painterly approach to the same conventions: his hand is evident in the miniatures of Sts Anne, Mary Magdalen, Margaret and Michael and of Christ before Caiaphas or Pilate (ff.34v, 36v, 42v, 63v, 70v).

The Masters of Adolph of Cleves are localisable in Ghent from their evident dependence on the miniature and border designs of the Master of the Older Prayerbook of Maximilian, who painted his earliest masterpiece for an English patron, William Lord Hastings, executed in 1483 (London B.L. Add. Ms 54782), and went on to collaborate with the painter-illuminator Gerard Horenbout of Ghent, for example Christie's 8 July 1999, lot 102, the Rothschild Prayerbook. The Master of Mary of Burgundy, also active in Ghent, was another influence as, later, was the Master of the Prayerbooks of c.1500. The localisation and dating of the Adolph of Cleves and Keble-Petre Hours are supported by a manuscript written in the Charterhouse of Ghent 1482-1485, Brussels KBR, Ms 9121-3, where the borders and some of the miniatures are closely related to the Cleves Masters (F. Masai and M. Wittek, Manuscrits datés conservés en Belgique, V, no 603).

In the Keble-Petre Hours, the Older Prayerbook Master provided the basic design of the Deposition (P. de Winter, 'A Book of Hours of Queen Isabel la Católica', The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art, 1981, pp.342-425, figs 555 and 57) and for the Magdalen, which is a reversed version of the St Elizabeth of Hungary in the Hastings Hours, f.64v, where the bent knees are explained by her position on a flight of steps (D. Turner, The Hastings Hours, 1983). The Master of Mary of Burgundy originated the David seen from behind on a raised foreground (T. Kren ed., Renaissance Painting in Manuscripts, Treasures from the British Library, London, 1984, pp.18-19). The occupations of the months are simplified versions of designs originated in his name manuscript by the Master of the Dresden Hours, a Netherlandish illuminator who often collaborated with the Older Prayerbook Master. A less local source was used for the Entombment, Schongauer's engraving of the scene, usually dated to the later 1470s and certainly before 1485; the Agony in the Garden from Schongauer's Passion series less directly inspired the miniature on f.45v (Bartsch 18 and 9).

The robust miniatures are in marked contrast to the elegant borders, where the influence of the Older Prayerbook Master is obvious in the combinations of interlaced acanthus with flowers, birds, butterflies and animals or in the flowers, insects and other motifs 'scattered' over the painted grounds. Some of these are attractively divided, while the others are in one of a range of colours: green, pink, blue, ochre, grey, black; only one opening and one three-sided border are on uncoloured parchment, ff.69, 91v-92. The borders on ff.35 and 37 incorporate the backgrounds to the large initials, which then have staves formed from the dominant border motifs. In matching borders across openings, the Masters of Adolph of Cleves followed the example less of the Older Prayerbook Master, who only occasionally integrated versos and rectos, than of the Master of Mary of Burgundy, as in the Hours of Mary and Maximilian datable between 1477 and 1482 (E. König, Das berliner Stundenbuch der Maria von Burgund und Kaiser Maximilian, 1998). The Dresden Master, however, is more usually associated with the braided stems seen framing St Jerome, f.190v, which reappear in the later English hours.

The refined detail, often applied in liquid gold, and sensitive design of the Keble-Petre borders is evident in the de Serainchamps and Adolph of Cleves Hours, where the acrobatic monkeys all reappear. Other motifs in the Keble-Petre Hours relate directly to the miniatures, showing that borders were specifically created and not simply repeated from a pattern book. Skulls, for instance, are seen by the Crucifixion, the Raising of Lazarus and the Ascending Souls (ff.82v, 141v, 168). The Calendar borders are especially inventive in the way they balance across each opening and complement the roundels, based on designs by the Master of the Dresden Hours (see B. Brinkman, Die flämische Buchmalerei am Ende des Burgunderreichs, der Meister des dresdener Gebetbuchs und die Miniaturisten seiner Zeit, 1997). January, February and the beginning of March have flowerless acanthus stems and branches; a few flowers appear for March-April, with a profusion of flowers on a fresh green ground for April-May; strawberries, roses and butterflies are found from May-June; August-September has bunches of grapes which a man has gathered and waits to deliver beside the roundel; the roundel of the man scattering seed for October has a hopeful bird waiting alongside; a man ties up a bundle of wood at the top of the December recto and carries it on the verso, where the branches in the border are again leafless.

The wealth of illumination, its liveliness and vivid colouring, make this the Masters of Adolph of Cleves' most splendid manuscript yet identified. Its interest is enhanced by its distinguished provenance.

Full-page miniatures:

f.16v Christ holding a globe on a plinth above a landscape
f.25v Trinity adored by a kneeling man and his wife
f.28v St John the Baptist in a landscape
f.30v St George slaying the Dragon
f.32v St Christopher
f.34v St Anne, holding up the Virgin who holds the Child
f.36v St Mary Magdalen
f.38v St Catherine
f.40v St Barbara
f.42v St Margaret
f.45v Agony in the garden
f.54v Arrest of Christ
f.70v Christ before Pilate
f.75v Flagellation
f.79v Christ carrying the Cross
f.82v Crucifixion
f.86v Descent from the Cross
f.89v Entombment
f.120v David at prayer below the hand of the Lord holding three arrows
f.141v Raising of Lazarus
f.167v Souls being carried up to God by angels
f.182v Man of Sorrows standing in the tomb against the Instruments of the Passion
f.190v St Jerome

Small miniatures:

The Dove of the Holy Spirit f.62; the empty Cross f.63; St Michael f.63v; Sts Peter and Paul f.64; St Andrew f.64v; St Stephen f.65; St Lawrence f.65v; St Nicolas f.66v; All Saints f.68; two laymen pray to God for peace f.68v; Christ on the Cross f.69; the Annunciation in half-length f.94v; the Virgin on the steps of the Temple f.106v; Adam, Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden f.110; layman kneeling at the foot of the empty Cross f.110v; Head of Christ crowned with thorns f.111; the wounded right hand of Christ f.111v; the wounded left hand of Christ f.111v; the wound from Christ's side shown across a red heart f.112; the wounded right foot of Christ f.112v; the wounded left foot of Christ f.112v

Historiated initials:

The Virgin clothed in the sun and standing on the crescent moon f.99v; Pietà at half-length f.101v

Calendar roundels: man at table warming himself at fire f.4; Aquarius as a nude man pouring out his waterpots f.4v; man pruning trees f.5; Pisces as two silvered fish f.5v; man digging over the soil f.6; Aries as a ram f.6v; a man standing in a landscape with his hunting dog f.7; Taurus as a bull lying in a field f.7v; a nobleman on horseback with his lady mounted behind him f.8; Gemini as a naked man and woman with interlocked arms f.8v; man scything grass f.9; Cancer as a lobster f.9v; man harvesting corn with a sickle f.10; Leo the lion f.10v; man threshing f.11; Virgo standing with her dog f.11v; man treading grapes f.12; Libra as a lady holding the scales f.12v; man sowing f.13; Scorpio f.13v; man knocking down nuts for his pigs f.14; Sagittarius as a centaur with bow and arrow f.14v; man about to kill pig f.15; Capricorn as a goat in a landscape f.15v
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