81 leaves, 188mm. by 132mm., wanting first leaf and a single leaf after fol.42, else complete, collation: i5 (i wanting), ii-v8, vi4, vii5 (evidently wanting ii), viii6, ix-x8, xi6 (last 2 cancelled), xii7 (last cancelled), single column, 24 lines of angular late gothic script in dark brown ink, rubrics in red, one-line initials in gold and blue with black and red penwork to contrast, 2-line initials in gold on pink or blue grounds, nineteen large initials in blue or red on contrasting grounds, enclosing sprays of coloured ivy-leaves on burnished gold (one 5-line, others 8- or 9-line; pp.13, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 37, 51, 55, 59, 63, 67, 69, 75, 86, 95, 111, 137, 151), with text frames and borders of foliage terminating in flowers and fruit (those on pp.13 and 95 with a peacock and a fish-tailed man with a sword), rubbed in places, small hole in pp.103-4, trimmed at edges with losses to borders, some discolouration to first few leaves with serious damage to first leaf, else good condition, late nineteenth- or early twentieth-century gilt-tooled brown morocco over pasteboards by Rivière and Son
A Book of Hours owned and used by three members of Queen Elizabeth I's privy chamber
1. Written and illuminated in the southern Netherlands for the English market, in the mid-fifteenth century.
2. Francis and Thomas Fitton, the elder brothers of Sir Edward Fitton (1527–79) of Gawsworth, Cheshire, both members of the household of Queen Elizabeth I: inscriptions "by me francis feton gentelman of the quense pryue chamber" on p.61 "By me Francys Feton Amen" on p.62, and "Thomas fyttone" on pp.8 and 154 with other short phrases and doodles of rabbits and a one-horned lizard-like animal on pp.4, 35, 57, 150, 156 and 142.
3. Elizabeth Davenport (c.1525-80), gentlewoman of the Queen's privy chamber: inscription on p.62; presumably by gift from a member of the Fitton family.
4. Ampleforth MS.277; their armorial bookplate inside front board.
Ker, Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries, 1977, II, pp.41-3.
The text comprises: a Calendar (p.3; wanting January and February; with SS. Swithun 15 July, Guthlac (here Gullac) 11 April, Dunstan 19 May, and King Edmund 20 November); the Fifteen O's of St. Bridget (13); prayers to SS. George, Catherine, John the Baptist and Mary Magdalene (21); Hours of the Virgin intermingled with the Hours of the Cross, with Matins (29), Lauds (37), Prime (51), Terce (55), Sext (59), None (63), Vespers (67) and Compline (69); Gaude flore virginali honoreque speciali (75); O intemerata and Obsecro te (81; male use); Seven Joys of the Virgin (86) and other prayers, with that of Bede on p.89; Penitential Psalms (95); Office of the Dead (112); Psalter of St. Jerome (151).
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