RepositorySpecial Collections Archives (GB 0029)
Ref NoEUL MS 262/2
Datec 1430s
Extent219 leaves
TitleHorae (Book of Hours, Bridgettine)
f. iii a drawing of Christ covered with wounds
ff. vi-vii Seven Oes of St Gregory
f. ix Oratio ad beatissimam virginem mariam... [hymn to the Virgin Mary]
ff. 1-6v Bridgettine Calendar
ff. 7-19 Hours of the Holy Trinity
ff. 25v-36 Cursus de eterna sapientia [on eternal wisdom]
ff. 25v-26 Hours of the Holy Spirit
ff. 36-42 Hours of the Holy Angels
ff. 42-53 Hours of St Bridget
ff. 53-59 Hours of all saints
ff. 36-42 Hours of the Passion
ff. 65v-74 Hours of the Compassion of the Virgin
f. 74rv Seven prayers
ff. 75-81v Prayers for sisters, brothers, founders and benefactors
ff. 83-89v Memoriae
ff. 83-94 Prayers before and after communion
ff. 94-96 Prayers on Christ's Passion
ff. 96-108 Memoriae
ff. 108-120v Prayers following the arrangement of a litany
ff. 120v-125 Prayers
ff. 125-126 Prayers and memoriae
ff. 126v-128v Ceste letanie fist sein ancelme...
ff. 128v-133 Fifteen Oes of St Bridget
ff. 133-140 Prayers
ff. 140-150v Prayers to B.V.M., etc.
ff. 150-153v Si vous estes en mortel peche ou en autre anguise... [If you are in mortal sin or other anguish...]
ff. 153v-168 Penitential and Gradual Psalms
ff. 168v-188v Office of the Dead
ff. 188v-196v Beati immaculati...Quandocumque dicitur commendacio semper dicitur sedendo supradicto... [Blessed are the undefiled...Whenever the commendation is said, it is always said by sitting in the aforementioned position...]
ff. 197-206 Beatus Ieronimus in hoc modo... [Blessed Jerome...]
ff. 206-208 Memoriae
ff. 208-212v Prayers
ff. 212v-213 Prayers
ff. 213-214 Prayers and memoriae, including for the King and Queen and for Saint Catherine of Sweden

Attributed by Ker and Piper as having been written in England for the Bridgettine nuns at Syon Abbey. Christopher de Hamel believes it is likely to be professional work made in London in c 1430 [see C. de Hamel, 'Syon Abbey: the library of the Bridgettine nuns and their peregrinations after the Reformation' (1991)]. This manuscript was reacquired by the community in 1936.


162 x 106mm
Medieval binding of wooden boards, rebacked, covered with brown leather bearing three stamps used twice on each cover
Fine borders
Illuminated and historiated initials
Prognostications for thunder in the Bridgettine Calendar
An obit for Sister Alice Langton (d. 1491) (f. 3r)
Section of the folio has been removed and replaced with a new piece of text (f.27r)
Historiated initials depicting God (f. 7r, f. 9r, f. 11v, f. 13r, f. 14r, f. 15r, f. 16v, f. 18r, f. 83r, f. 188v)
Historiated initials depicting Christ (f. 7r, f. 19r, f. 32v, f. 62v, f. 63r, f. 63v, f. 64r, f. 64v, f, 65v, f. 128v, f. 140r)
Historiated initial depicting the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove (f. 29r, f. 33v)
Historiated initials depicting the Virgin Mary (f. 25v, f. 140r, f, 65v, f. 68r, f. 69v, f. 70v)
Historiated initial depicting the Pentecost, showing ten apostles and the Virgin Mary (f. 25v)
Historiated intials depicting several scenes from the Passion of Christ (ff. 61v-65v)
Historiated initials depicting saints, including: St George (f. 85v), St Thomas Becket (f. 86r), St Edmund the Martyr (f. 87r), St Anne (f. 87v), Virgin Mary as a child (f. 87v), St Catherine of Alexandria (f. 88r), St Margaret (f. 88v), St Barbara (f. 89r), St Michael the Archangel (f. 96r)
Historiated initials depicting unidentified female forms (f. 70r, f. 71r, f. 73r, f. 144v)
Historiated initials depicting unidentified male forms (f. 21r, f. 31r, f. 31v, f. 32r, f. 34v, f. 61r, f. 83v, f. 84r, f. 144v, f. 163v, f. 197v)
A prayer for the soul of King Henry V, the royal founder of Syon Abbey (f. 168v)
Admin HistorySyon Abbey was a monastic house of the Order of the Most Holy Saviour, also known as the Bridgettine Order. The house was founded directly from the Mother House in Vadstena in Sweden in 1415, and the community followed the Rule of St Bridget of Sweden. This enclosed Bridgettine community - comprising both monks and nuns and governed by an abbess - was known for its dedication to reading, meditation and contemplation. In addition, it was unusual in being the only English Catholic community of religious to have continued existing without interruption through the Reformation period. In the wake of Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries, the community dispersed into smaller groups in which they continued their religious practice, with some remaining in England whilst others sought refuge abroad. Syon Abbey was restored for a short period in England under the Catholic rule of Mary I; however, following the accession of Elizabeth I and the return to Protestantism, the community went into exile. The community spent over half a century migrating through the Low Countries (Antwerp, Dendermonde, Haamstede, Mishagen, Mechelen) and France (Rouen), before eventually finding a new home in Lisbon, Portugal in 1594. In Lisbon, the community survived a convent fire in 1651 and the Lisbon Earthquake in 1755, but both events presumably resulted in the loss of many of Syon's early records. The last brother of Syon Abbey died in 1695. In 1809, at the height of the Napoleonic Wars, the community - with the exception of three sisters, who remained in Lisbon - attempted a return to England; however, by 1815, they were struggling financially, and eventually they relinquished many of their ancient treasures to the Earl of Shrewsbury in exchange for financial support (many of these treasures were auctioned at the The Great Sale of 1857 at Alton Towers). One sister returned to the community in Lisbon, whilst the last of the nuns in England died in 1837. Following the arrival of new postulants in the early nineteenth century, the community in Lisbon recovered and regained its strength. In 1861, amid rising religious tensions in Portugal, the community successfully returned to England, where they initially resided in Spetisbury, Dorset. Following a further relocation to Chudleigh, Devon, in 1887, the community finally settled in South Brent, Devon, in 1925. On account of dwindling numbers and the age of the remaining nuns, the decision was made to close Syon Abbey in 2011. In the same year, the archive was transferred to the University of Exeter, where it joined other previously deposited collections relating to Syon Abbey, including printed books and manuscripts from the Syon Abbey library. The community attracts considerable research interests throughout the world.
Access StatusOpen
Creator_NameSyon Abbey; 1415-2011; Bridgettine
    Powered by CalmView© 2008-2024