Skip to main content

Book of hours: MS 51

An image of Book of hours

Terms of use

These images are provided for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND). To license a high resolution version, please contact our image library who will discuss fees, terms and waivers.

Download this image

Creative commons explained - what it means, how you can use our's and other people's content.

Colours in this image

Alternative views

Object information


PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, i paper flyleaf + 140 fols. + ii paper flyleaves, 176 x 120 (102 x 68) mm, 21 long lines, ruled in dark pink ink, leaf lost between fols. 82 – 83

BINDING: 19th century, brown leather quarter and marbled paper over pasteboards, TP monogram incised on fore-edge.

CONTENTS: fols. 1v – 2v Suffrages (addition); fols. 3r – 8v Calendar
fol. 9r Suffrage of St Ninian (addition); fols. 9v – 15r Fifteen Oes; fols. 15v – 34v Suffrages (with numerous additions); fols. 35v – 71r Hours of the Virgin, with memoriae at Lauds; fols. 71r – 74v Salve virgo virginum; fols. 75r – 78r O intemerata; fols. 78r – 79v Seven Joys of the Virgin; fols. 79v – 81r Prayers to the Five Wounds; fols. 81v – 82v Prayers before the Crucifix, Omnibus consideratis; fols. 83r – 85v Seven Last Words and other Christocentric devotions; fols. 86v – 97v Penitential Psalms and Litany; fols. 98v – 113v Office of the Dead; fols. 114v – 123v Commendation of the soul; fols. 124v – 128v Psalms of the Passion; fols. 129v – 139r Psalter of St Jerome; fol. 139r Suffrage of St Roch (addition); fols. 139v – 140r Medical recipes, Pro morbo caduco (addition) .

DECORATION: Twenty-four full-page framed miniatures with full acanthus, floral, and spraywork borders for major text divisions: fol. 9v Fifteen Oes, Christ standing, blessing with open book, and flanked by angels; fol. 15v Suffrages, Throne of Mercy; fol. 17v St John the Baptist; fol. 19v Martyrdom of St Thomas of Canterbury; fol. 21v St George; fol. 23v St Christopher; fol. 25v St Anne with open book, Virgin and Child, and angel; fol. 27v St Catherine; fol. 29v St Mary Magdalene; fol. 31v St Barbara; fol. 33v St Margaret, Christ above; fol. 35v Hours of the Virgin, Matins Agony in the Garden; fol. 41v Lauds, Betrayal; fol. 52v Prime, Christ before Pilate; fol. 56v Terce, Flagellation; fol. 59v Sext, Road to Calvary; fol. 62v None, Crucifixion, with Virgin, John, Jewish elders, and believing centurion; fol. 65v Vespers, Deposition; fol. 67v Compline, Entombment, with Three Women and John; fol. 86v Penitential Psalms, Last Judgement, with Virgin and St John the Evangelist interceding; fol. 98v Office of the Dead, Funeral service; fol. 114v Commendation of the soul, Souls borne by angels to Christ in heaven; fol. 124v Psalms of the Passion, Christ as Man of Sorrows with Instruments of the Passion; fol. 130v Psalter of St Jerome St Jerome writing.

Half-page miniature in wide decorative frame (addition): fol. 1v Suffrage, St Anthony.

Twenty historiated initials in white-patterned pink and blue on gold grounds for lesser text divisions: fol. 47r memoriae after Lauds, [V, 5 ll.] Holy Spirit; fol. 47v [M, 6 ll.] St Michael; fol. 48r [P, 7 ll.] Saints Peter and Paul; fol. 48v [A, 6 ll.] St Andrew, [L, 6 ll.] St Lawrence; fol. 49r [S, 6 ll.] St Stephen; fol. 50r [B, 6 ll.] St Nicholas; fol. 50v [O, 6 ll.] All Saints; fol. 71r Salve virgo virginum, [S, 6 ll.] Annunciation; fol. 75r O intemerata, [O, 5 ll.] Virgin and Child; fol. 78r Seven Joys of the Virgin, [V, 5 ll.] Presentation of the Virgin to the Temple; fol. 80r Prayers on the Five Wounds, [A, 4 ll.] wounded right hand, [V, 5 ll.] wounded left hand; fol. 80v [O, 4 ll.] schematic Five Wounds, [S, 4 ll.] wounded right foot, [L, 3 ll.] wounded left foot; fol. 81v Prayers before the Crucifix, [O, 6 ll.] Crucifixion with Mary and John, [T, 4 ll.] empty cross, [A, 4 ll.] Vernicle; fol. 82r [I, 6 ll.] St John the Evangelist.

ORNAMENTATION: Pink or blue white-patterned initials [6 ll.] with foliage infill on gold grounds and full acanthus, floral, and spraywork borders facing and matching those for the full-page miniatures at major text divisions; gold initials [2 ll.] on pink and blue white-patterned grounds; gold initials [2 ll.] with brown pen-flourishing (fol. 1v); alternate gold and blue one-line initials with black or red pen-flourishing; gold, red and blue abstract line fillers.


History note: 15th century addition of suffrages to Saints Ninian, Hugh, Cuthbert and Armel suggests northern English or Scottish ownership; 16th century inscription: ‘Edward Smith is a knave and a base rogue’ (fol. 27r); purchased for the Museum from Quaritch in 1890 (catalogue cutting and inscription inside upper cover).

Place(s) associated

  • Bruges ⪼ Flanders

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1890) by Quaritch


Fifteenth century
Circa 1460 CE - Circa 1480 1480 CE

People, subjects and objects depicted

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support: composed of parchment Text: Height 102 mm Width 68 mm
Page: Height 176 mm Width 120 mm

Techniques used in production

Penwork Illumination

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: amarissimi doloris
  • Location: Fol. 11r
  • Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS 51
Primary reference Number: 169711
Project ID: 60
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 24 August 2020 Last processed: Wednesday 24 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Manuscripts and Printed Books

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2020) "Book of hours" Web page available at: Accessed: 2021-12-06 18:36:15

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url=|title=Book of hours|author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2021-12-06 18:36:15|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

<div class="text-center my-3"> <figure class="figure"> <img src="" alt="book of hours" class="img-fluid" /> <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">book of hours</figcaption> </figure> </div>

Please enter your name as you would like to be addressed
Please enter your email address
The object accession number - this is prefilled
Please enter your query with as much detail as possible

More objects and works of art you might like

Book of Hours

Accession Number: MS 1058-1975


Accession Number: MS 11-1951


Accession Number: MS 147


Accession Number: MS 57

Suggested products from Curating Cambridge

You might be interested in this...

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...

University of Cambridge Museums logo
Arts Council England Logo
Research England logo
The Technology Partnership logo
Brewin Dolphin Logo