Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Laud Misc. 284 | Cantus Manuscript Database

Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Laud Misc. 284

GB-Ob Laud Misc. 284
Choir breviary from the Domstift St Kilian in Würzburg, Bavaria, Germany. 273 folios. 342 x 254 mm. Non-diastematic neumes. Ff. 1-93, 95-118 in a twelfth-century, German protogothic script by several similar hands. Ff. 119-268 in German textualis script by different hands, thirteenth to fourteenth century. Ff. 94, 269-272 in a fourteenth-century, German textualis script by a single hand. Two columns per page.
Liturgical Occasions

Ff. 1r-98v: Temporale and Sanctorale: 1r, Advent; 3v, Nicholas of Bari; 4v, Lucy (Lucia); 8v, Great ‘O’ Antiphons; 9r, Nativity; 11r, Stephen; 13r, John the Evangelist; 17v, Epiphany; 20r, Ferial Office; 22v, Pope Fabian and Sebastian; 24r, Agnes; 25r, Conversion of Paul; 25r, Purification of Mary; 26v, Blaise; 28v, Agatha; 29v, Peter’s Chair; 30r, Gregory the Great; 31r, Benedict; 31v, Annunciation of Mary; 35r, Lent; 49r, Easter; 54r, Philip and James; 55r, Mark; 55r, Vitalis and Valeria; 58r, Pentecost; 60r, Trinity Sunday; 61r, Vitus and Companions; 61r, Gervase and Protase; 61r, John the Baptist; 62r, John and Paul; 62v, Peter; 64r, Paul; 65v, Kilian and Companions; 67v, Mary Magdalene; 69v, Peter in Chains; 70r, Finding of Stephen’s relics; 71v, Afra; 73r, Laurence; 74v, Tiburtius and Susanna; 75r, Assumption of Mary; 76r, Symphorian; 76v, Julian; 76v, Beheading of John the Baptist; 77r, Aegidius (Giles); 78v, Nativity of Mary; 80v, Exaltation of the Cross; 80v, Lambert; 80v, Januarius; 81r, Maurice and Companions; 81r, Cosmas and Damian; 81r, Michael; 82v, Dionysius; 83v, Gall; 85r, All Saints’ Day; 86r, Martin; 87v, Brice; 87v, Othmar (Audemar); 88r, Ceclia; 89r, Clement I; 89v, Andrew

Ff. 91r-98v, Common of the Saints

Ff. 98v-110r: Responsories and antiphons for the months after Pentecost
Ff. 110r-113r: Invitatoria and tones of the Psalm Venite Exsultemus
Ff. 113r-118v: Hymnal, without notation
Ff. 119r-206r: Lectionary
Ff. 269r-272r: Additions. 269r, Office and octave of Corpus Christi


The manuscript was likely written in Würzburg between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, possibly at the Domstift St Kilian. It is in three parts: ff. 1-118, a choir breviary, likely made up from an antiphonal from the twelfth to the fourteenth centuries; ff. 119-268, a lectionary, thirteenth to fourteenth centuries; and ff. 269-272, additions, fourteenth century. The bastarda script used in the catchwords of the second and third parts suggest that these two parts, possibly all three, were combined in the fifteenth century.

The Abbey of the Holy Redeemer, or St Kilian’s, was a male order Benedictine monastery formed c. 745 by Burchard. The monks had also had control over the Würzburg Cathedral and cathedral school until 786, when Bishop Berowelf of Würzburg replaced the monks with canons and formed the Domstift, the collegiate institution that provided a home for the cathedral chapter. The Domstift was secularized in 1803.

MS. Laud Misc. 284 was donated to the Bodleian Library, Oxford in 1639 by Archbishop William Laud (1573-1645), the Archbishop of Canterbury, as part of a group of over 1200 manuscripts that he donated between 1635 and 1641. Many of these manuscripts, like 284, were originally from Würzburg. Many of the Laud’s manuscripts were given to him by Thomas Howard (1585-1646), the fourteenth earl of Arundel, acquired from Germany during the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648).

The manuscript is written on vellum. The manuscript was rebound in the seventeenth century for Laud with brown tanned calf-skin over laminated pulpboard and three endleaves (two paper and one parchment). Laud’s armorial centrepiece, tooled in gold, is on the binding. The front flyleaf includes a fragment of a notarial instrument by Conrad of Nördlingen, diocese of Augsburg, relating to a lawsuit involving the Dean and Chapter of Würzburg. The folios are numbered in a modern, nineteenth-century hand in pencil, and end leaves in a different, twentieth-century hand.

The differentiae are indicated by letters in the margins of the manuscript, which have been transcribed in the differentiae column of the index. The manuscript does not include a tonary to indicate the associated formulas for these letters.

Selected Bibilography

  • "MS. Laud Misc. 284, Summary Catalogue no.: 1137" in Medieval Manuscripts in Oxford Libraries. Available from: https://medieval.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/catalog/manuscript_7097
  • Coxe, H.O. "Laudian manuscripts. Quarto Catalogues." Vol. 2. Ed. R.W. Hunt. Oxford: Bodleian Library, 1973. Available from: https://databank.ora.ox.ac.uk/misccoll/datasets/QuartoLaudian/Laudian.pdf. Accessed 16 Nov 2019.
  • Mairhofer, Daniela. "Medieval Manuscripts from Würzburg in the Bodleian Library, Oxford: A Descriptive Catalogue." Oxford: Bodleian Library, 2014.

Notes on the Inventory
The inventory for GB-Ob Laud Misc. 284 was prepared by Kate Helsen (The University of Western Ontario), with editorial assistance from Andrew Mitchell (The University of Western Ontario). Manuscript description written by Rebecca Shaw (Dalhousie University).
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