Book of Hours (Use of Paris)

Scope and Content

Incomplete Book of Hours, of Paris use, written in [north-east] France in the 15th century. The manuscript has had the full-page miniatures removed, and so, apart from a full calendar, contains only imperfectly the sequentiae of the gospels, the Hours of the Cross, the Hours of the Holy Spirit, the Hours of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the seven penitential psalms, the office of the dead, the fifteen joys of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the seven requests.
There are notes at the beginning and end of the volume, in French in a seventeenth-century hand, relating to births, marriages and deaths in the family of Champregnault between 1561 and 1689. The hand is all one until 1617, and probably that of Quentin Champregnault, whose death is recorded at 1626.

Administrative / Biographical History

During the late Middle Ages, the Book of Hours developed as a popular devotional text for the laity, who would recite the particular prayer for the hour of the day and time of year according to the ecclesiastical calendar. The accompanying illuminations and miniatures of saints, the Virgin Mary, and Christ provided an opportunity for spiritual reflection and prayer for salvation.


Single item.

Access Information

Access to the items in the collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the controlled environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Access to archive collections may be restricted under the Freedom of Information Act. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Acquisition Information

Bought from Mr.H.Harlock in 1963.

Other Finding Aids

See N.R.Ker, Medieval manuscripts in British Libraries: I, London (1969).

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

The initials are decorated in gold with white or blue and red. Capital letters in the ink of the text are stroked with red; there are line fillers of blue and red in the litany. The binding is French of the 16th century and consists of thin wooden boards covered with decorated brown leather; two strap and pin fastenings from the upper to the lower cover are now missing.

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.


K.P. Davenport, Books of Hours: a general survey with particular reference to University of London Manuscripts 509, 519 and 601 (1981).

Geographical Names