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PSALTER (ST BERTIN, WHERWELL).

MRJ number: 
68
College classmark: 
C.18

    Vellum, 12.375 x 8.125, ff. 250, 19 lines to a page. 12th cent., (1170),  magnificently written.

    Donor, T. C. S.  Priced vli.

    On f. 1a: R. Benet (cf. C. 9).

    Collation: 1 flyleaf, 16 22? 38 (wants 1) 48 - 128 1310 (7 canc.) 148 - 298 308

(+ 4 after 5) 318  324.

    Contents:    

       Prefatory collect to Psalter in later hand    .         .         .         .         .          .             f.  i

       Domine deus omnip . . . suscipere dignare hos psalmos. . . pro me misera peccatrice

       ib blank.

       Kalendar in black, red, blue, green, pink      .         .         .         .         .         .              1

       7a blank.

       Initium euangelii sec. Johannem         .         .         .         .         .         .         .             7b 

       8b blank.

       Psalter, first leaf gone      .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .            10(9)

       Before Dixit Dominus (cix) is : Sequentia s. euangelii sec. Joh.

         In illo tempore Dixit Ihesus discipulis suis.  Siquis diliget me

         sermonem meum seruabit. etc. - sic facio.

       (Sec.) Iohannem.  Stabant iuxta crucem

             -accepit eam discipulus in suam.

       Cantica         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .             189

       Litany           .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .             208b

       Collects follow to 218.

       Oratio ad S. Trinitatem    .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .             218b

         Te adoro deum patrem (michi peccatori).

       Sancta trinitas atque in diuisa unitas.

       Or. ad S. Mariam.  Singularis meriti sola       .         .         .         .         .         .             220

                                      Intemerata uirgo Maria.

       Ad S. Michaelem.  Sancte michael archangele.

       Ad S. Gabrielem.  Precor et te princeps egregie       .          .         .         .         .           221b

                Raphaelem.  Auxiliare michi et tu        .         .          .         .         .         .           221b

       Ad proprium angelum.  Quero te et obsequenter       .         .         .         .         .           222

       Ad angelicos ordines.  Precor uos sancti angeli.

       Ad S. Joh. Bapt.

       Ad S. petrum, Paulum, Andream, Ioh. Evang., omnes apostolos,

         Stephanum, Albanum, Sanctos martyres, Nicholaum.

       Ad S. Mariam.  O domina misericordissima     .         .         .         .         .         .         226b

       Domine deus omnip. pater qui es trinus et unus          .         .         .         .         .         227b

       Change of hand:

       Domine deus pater qui es uera trinitas (the suppliant is an abbess1)                             231 (230)

       O sancte spiritus qui aspirando       .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .        235

       Domine s. spir. deus omnip.

       First hand resumes (?).

       Hours of the Virgin     .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .        236

       Lessons.  Veni nobis benedicta.

                       Collige christianum gregem.

                       Generaliter cunctos te inuocantes.

       Capitulum in lauds: Te laudant angeli.

       In a later hand (xiii):

       Office of the Dead      .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         246b

       The last leaf blank.

In the Kalendar:

      Jan.   2.   Ob. Baldewinus de Walliers, in red.

                6.  Ob. Agnes Monach.                          another hand.

               14.  Remigii Ep.

               16.  Fursei C.

               25.  Conuersio S. Sauli.

               27.  S. IULIANI C., in red, not original.

               30.  Aldegundis V.

      Feb.   1.  Brigide V.

               14.  Ob. Theodericus de Walliers, in blue and red.

               17.  Saluini Ep. C.

      Mar.   1.  S. David, added early in gold capitals on blue ground.

               12. Gregorii anglorum apostoli.

                18. Ob. Agnes mater Philippi de Falkenb(erg), in red (xiii).

                20. Cuthberti Ep.

      Ap.     4.  Ob. pie recordationis R. Cycestrensis Ep. (xiii).

                 5.  Ob. fr. Alexander conf. (xiii).

                11. Guthlaci C.

                19. Alfegi Ep. m.

      May    2.  Ob. Berta monacha de Baillol, in red (xiii).

                 4.  Ob. Matillidis Anglorum Regina, in green, original.

                 7.  Iohannis archiep.

                11.  Ob. fr. Osto de s. Audomaro (in black) et Eufemia de ho. (in red).

                12.  Ob. Osto de Tienes, in red.

                14.  Seruacii ep., added (xiii).

                18.  Ob. Baldewinus de assingaham (xiii).

                20.  Dunstani archiep.

     June     1.  Nichomedis et Reueriani M.

                  5.  Ob. Willelmus Castellanus senior, in green, original.

                  9.  Tr. S. Edmundi  archiep. (xiii), in red.

                 17.  Ob. domini Baldewini comitis flandrie, in red, original.

                 22.  Passio S. Albani anglorum prothom.

                 26.  Ob. Baldewinus de balliol clericus (xiii).

      July      1.  Ob. petrus de Barastre (xiii).

                   8.  Grimbaldi C.

                  11.  Eodem die Ob. pie memorie domina Matildis priorissa de baillul (xiii).

                  17.  Kenelm.              18.  Arnulf.                 22.  Wandregisil.

                  31.  Dep. S. Germani Ep.

      Aug.      5.  Oswald, R. M.

                  11.  Taurini C.

                  16.  Ob. margeria de mernes (xiii).

                  19.  Magni M.

                  20.  Fhiliberti abb.  Oswini R. M.   S. Bernardi abb. (in blue, added).

                  24.  Ob. Stephanus aduocatus, in blue, original.

                  29.  Ob. Agnetis abbatisse (erasure: xiii).

      Sept.      1.   Ob. Baldewinus laicus, red (xiii).

                    2.  Antonini M.

                    5.  Dep. S. Bertini Abb.

                    7.  Euurtii C.

                    9.  Dep. S. Audomari.

                  11.  Ob. Godefridus uenerabilis Wintoniensis Ep., blue and red, early

                              addition.

                  12.  Ob. Martini de S. Cruce (xiii).

                  13.  Ob.  Theodericus de walliers, red (xiii).

                  25.  Ob. Will. Castellanus Iunior, pink, original.

      Oct.       1.  Remigii Germani Vedasti Bauonis.

                    6.  Ob. Maroia Ma (xiii).

                    9.  et S. Gisleni C. (xiii).

      Nov.       6.  Leonardi C.   Dep. S. Winnoci Abb.

                  11.  Ob. Margeria de caune (xiii).

                  19.  Eadmundi R.  M.

                  21.  Ob. Mag. Hug. de Flandr. (xiii), red.

                  25.  Ob. Margareta de Walliers ma(ter) Eufemie abbatisse (xiii), red.

      Dec.      1.  Eligii.

                    3.  Birini Ep. C.   Ob. bone memorie uen. philippi  archidiaconi hun-

                           tendonie (xiii).

                  11.  Fusciani Victorici Gentiani M.

                  12.  Ob. pie recordationis Mabilia de Tichoburn abbatissa Warewell.

                           ecclesie (xiii).

                  13.  Ob. Matill. pie memorie Abbatissa Warewell Eccl., red (xiii).

                  14.  Dep. S. Folquini Ep.

    Thomas of Canterbury does not occur.

    In the Litany: Martyrs: Alban (2nd), Aelphege, Oswald, Oswin,

Eadmund, Nichasius, Lucian, Quintin, Arnulf, Lambert.

    Confessors: Bertin (1st), Marcialis, Cuthbert, Germanus, Dunstan,

Romanus, Audoen, Taurinus, Audomarus, Folquin, Silvinus, Remigius,

Vedastus, Amandus, Samson, Julian, Paul, Antony, Hilarion, Pachomius,

Macharius, Arsenius, Winnoc, Columban, Wandregisil, Philibert, Grimbald,

Wlmar.

    Virgins: Radegund, Baltildis, Genouefa, Adeldrida2.

    Among the Collects are two, 'pro magistro,' and 'pro congregatione S. Bertini.'

    At Lauds of the Virgin is a Memoria of St Bertin: another at Vespers.

    The connexions of the book with the Abbey of St Bertin (at St Omer),

with the family of Walliers and with the Benedictine nunnery of Wherwell

in Hampshire are obvious.  The entry on Nov. 24 suggests that Margaret

de Walliers gave it to her daughter Euphemia, Abbess of Wherwell (1226).

The original home (or destination) seems to have been St Bertin's: then

we have obits connected with a nunnery at Bailleul (dept Nord, near

Hazebroucke): then the book crosses to England.

    The following historiated initials occur:

    Dominus illuminatio.  (f. 37v)  On L. David, a youth in tunic, with curved staff.  Samuel,

white-haired in red mantle and white robe, anoints him with a green vessel.  Gold ground.

    Dixit custodiam.  (f. 55) Initial filled with silver scroll work.  

    Quid gloriaris.  (f. 70v)  Ahimelech in white mantle covering his head, and red robe, hands a

sheaved sword to David, who stands on R. behind the table of shewbread (with white

cloth, and bread on it) in red cloak over blue.  In the tail of the initial is Doeg, a young

figure in scarlet hooded cloak, over green; he crouches watching them.

    Dixit insipiens.  (f. 71v)  Silver initial surrounded by bright red and filled with gold scroll

work.

    Salvum.  (f. 87v)  Fine decorative initial with blue amphisbaena forming the letter.

    Exultate.  (f. 108)  Fine initial with bright red ground.

    Cantate. (f. 127) Filled with gold ornament on dark ground, surrounded by bright red.

    Domine exaudi.  (f. 129v)  Rather like the Christ Church initials of the time, with lion.

    Dixit dominus.  (f. 148)  Half length of Christ blessing, with book curiously marbled3 on the side: red mantle over yellow with red shading.  The initial surrounded by a ground of dull purple.

    Ad dominum (cxix).  (f. 165v)  Good decorative initial.

    Canticum Isaie.  (f. 188)

    Te adoro (f. 217b).  On L a bending figure of a man in black cap, pink mantle over white (with green shading).  On R. Christ, with green cross-nimbus on pink over yellowish robe, holds blank scroll and blesses.

    Hours of the Virgin, f. 235.  Half length of the Virgin in red mantle covering her head.  She holds a marbled book.  Surrounded by purplish ground.

    All the above initials are edged with green.

    Each psalm and prayer has a gold initial filled or surrounded with coloured flourishing on uncoloured ground.  A few have coloured grounds and contain lions or birds.

 

1 She says: oues tuas mihi indigne commisisti.  In all the previous prayers the suppliant has been male.

2 Mr S. C. Cockerell points out that this Litany is of St Alban's, adapted to St Omer's.  He says of the book, "this nobly-planned Psalter is of very English appearance, but the evidence of its having been written for, and probably at, St Omer's is very strong, although the Litany is based on a St Albans Litany, and the book was very early in England."  I quote from Mr Cockerell's Catalogue of the Burlington Fine Arts Club Exhibition of Illuminated MSS., where the book was shown in 1908 (no. 32). 

3 Compare some similar work in MS. C. C. C. 48, which I regard as a St Alban's book:  I cannot altogether dismiss the idea that the Psalter was written at St Alban's.

Supplementary information 

Negative microfilm in St John's College Library.

M. R. James appears to be mistaken in his collation of this MS. It should be: ii + 1 + 16, 22, 3 7(8-1), 48 - 298, 3012 (8 + 6, 7, 8, 9), 318, 32(? three) + 1 + ii.
Quire 30 was a quaternion, but a second scribe inserted two further bifolios between fols 230 and 235, to accommodate the text he wrote, which starts half way down fol. 230. Otherwise the quiring is regular, and only the beatus page is lost, (quire 3).
Other painted initials include those to Psalms 2 (f.10), 20 (f.31), 32 (f.44v), 45 (f.64), 59 (f.78v), 73 (f.96).
For the Benedictine divisions of the Psalms eg. Psalm 9, verse 20, see folios 17v, 27, 52v, 86, 88v, 102v, 116v, 134v, 136v, 139v, 142v, 182.

W. Cahn, Romanesque manuscripts: the twelfth century (London, 1996), vol. I p. 20, ills. 289-91; vol. II p. 97, no. 121.
W. Cahn, 'St. Albans and the Channel style in England'. In F. Avril et al., The year 1200: a symposium (New York, 1975), pp. 191-2.
S. C. Cockerell, Burlington Fine Arts Club: Exhibition of Illuminated Manuscripts (London, 1907), p. 14, no. 32..
D. K. Coldicott, Hampshire Nunneries (Chichester, 1989).
P. Danz Stirnemann, 'The Copenhagen Psalter' (Columbia University, Diss., 1976), pp. 236-43.
C. R. Dodwell, The Canterbury School of Illumination (Cambridge, 1954), p. 110.
L. Gjerlow, Adoratio crucis: the Regularis concordia, and the Decreta Lanfranci: manuscript studies in the early Medieval church of Norway (Oslo, 1961).
G. Haseloff, Die Psalterillustration im 13. Jahrhundert: studien zur Geschichte der Buchmalerei in England, Frankreich und den Niederlanden (Kiel, 1938), pp. 43-5.
C. M. Kauffmann, Romanesque manuscripts 1066-1190 (London, 1975), pp. 27, 115, figs. 16, 17.
Nigel Morgan, 'Texts and images of Marian devotion in English twelfth century monasticism'. In B. Thompson (ed.), Monasteries and society in Medieval Britain, Harlaxton Medieval Studies 6 (Stamford, 1999), 117-136.
P. R. Robinson, Catalogue of dated and datable manuscripts c.737-1600 in Cambridge libraries (Cambridge, 1988) vol. I, p. 86, no. 296; vol. II pl. 65 (fol. 70v).
J.-C. Schmitt, La raison des gestes dans l'art occidental (Paris, 1990), pp. 263-5.
R. M. Thomson, Manuscripts from St Albans Abbey, 1066-1235 (Woodbridge, 1982), I pp. 56-60, 120-1, no. 74.
J. Wogan-Browne, Saints' lives and women's literary culture c.1150-1300: virginity and its authorizations (Oxford, 2001).

 

Exhibited at the Burlington Fine Arts Club, London, Exhibition of Illuminated Manuscripts, 1907. See Catalogue p. 14, no. 32.
Exhibited at Manchester, Romanesque Art, c. 1050-1200, 1959. See Catalogue pp. 27-8, no. 28.

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