THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Medieval manuscripts blog

06 August 2012

Psalters, Bibles, and the End of Days: Devotional Texts from the Royal Collection Go Online

Add_ms_50001_f022rMiniature of the Crucifixion, with an historiated initial 'D' and a full foliate border, including an inscription of Queen Elizabeth of York in the lower margin, reading 'Elysabeth ye quene', from the Hours of Elizabeth the Queen, England (London?), c. 1415, Add 50001, f. 22r

Our most recent Royal upload to the Digitised Manuscript site includes this group of devotional manuscripts.  Many of these manuscripts once belonged to royalty, ranging from Æthelstan to Henry VIII (and including at least two aristocratic women - Elizabeth of York and Cecilia Welles).  This group rather beautifully displays the wide variety of medieval devotional interests, and the many written (and illustrated) forms these could take - we hope you enjoy paging through these Bibles, Psalters, Apocalypses, and Books of Hours.

 

Royal_ms_18_d_ix_f005rMiniature of God creating the animals, with a full border with hybrids and the royal arms of England, and an illuminated initial 'E'(n) of the York badge of the white rose en soleil with the motto 'dieu et mon droit', at the beginning of chapter 1, from the Bible Historiale of Edward IV, Netherlands (Bruges), 1479, Royal 18 D. ix, f. 5r

 

Add 50001          The Hours of Elizabeth the Queen (Book of Hours, Use of Sarum), England (London), c. 1415

Royal 1 B. vii       Northumbrian Gospel Book ('The Royal Æthelstan Gospels'), England (Northumbria), 700 - 749

Royal 1 D. x         Psalter, England (Oxford), 1200 - c. 1220

Royal 1 E. ix        Bible (the 'Big Bible' or the 'Great Bible'), England (London?), 1st quarter of the 15th century     (for more information on this manuscript; please see this post)

Royal 2 A. xvi      The Psalter of Henry VIII, England (London), c. 1540 - 1541    (further information in our previous post: Henry VIII as King David)

Royal 15 D. ii       La lumere as lais, and Apocalypse ('The Welles Apocalypse'), England, c. 1310

Royal 18 D. ix      Bible historiale ('Bible Historiale of Edward IV'), volume 1, Netherlands (Bruges), 1479

Royal 18 D. x       Bible historiale ('Bible Historiale of Edward IV'), volume 2, Netherlands (Bruges), 1479

Royal 19 D. ii       Bible historiale ('The Bible of John the Good'), France (Paris), c. 1350 - 1356

 

Royal_ms_1_d_x_f007rMiniature in two registers from the prefatory cycle: upper register: the Holy Women at the Tomb; lower register: Christ's Descent into Hell, from a Psalter, England (Oxford), 1200 - c. 1220, Royal 1 D. x, f. 7r.

 

Royal_ms_15_d_ii_f117vFull-page miniature of Christ enthroned with 24 Elders and, in the lower register, the door opened in Heaven, illustrating Revelation 4:2-9, from the Welles Apocalypse, England, c. 1310, Royal 15 D. ii, f. 117v

 

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