279. London, British Library, Harley 7653 Private prayer book

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A. N. Doane


279. London, British Library, Harley 7653
Private prayer book
[Ker 244, Gneuss 443, Lowe 2.204]

HISTORY: A private prayer book, fragmentary at beginning and end, probably written by or for a woman, as pronomial forms and names in the litany suggest. It is comparable to British Library, Harley 2965 and Royal 2. A. xx in contents, style, and date (turn of8-9c according to Morrish 1988) and has textual affinities with the "Antiphonary of Bangor" written in Ireland 68o-691 (Warren 1895: 92). Warren (87) had argued for Irish provenance but more recent commentators regard it as English, perhaps Mercian (Lowe 1935; Lapidge 1991: 75). Former pressmark was Additional 5004, when it was bound with former Additional 5002 (now Harley 7651).

CODICOLOGICAL DESCRIPTION: [v] + 7 + [vii]. 222 x 152 mm.
Writing space 175 x 100/110 mm. Slashed rather than pricked and lightly ruled for 18 lines. Single vertical boundaries are visible on inner leaves. Flyleaves are 19c paper, except the last two, which are recent. The book appears to have been recently rebound, but the work is not dated. Older modern foliation, running from 25 to 31, and the cancelled note in the same hand on f. 7v "Const. fol. 11," reflect its former association with Additional 5002. Outside leaves, front and back, are darker than the rest, suggesting that it was in its present imperfect state and unbound for a long period. The hand is Insular minuscule verging on majuscule. Capitals are decorated with red, yellow, or green paint. Titles are in colored minuscule. The hand is comparable to but not identical with that of Royal 2. A. xx; the order and quality of writing is inferior. Ker (Cat., 315) calls attention to an unusual nota on f. 2v which resembles marks in the margins of ff. 42v-47v of Royal 2 A. xx; the single OE word (11c) in Harley 7653 ("nærfr[e]" above "numqua<m>" [f. lr/7]) resembles the main OE gloss hand of Royal, suggesting a shared provenance (Morrish 1988: 526), which may be Mercian (Lowe 1935). An inexpert hand has added "legas claritas" in Insular minuscule at the top off. 1r. A note to insert text at bottom off. 2v, "n<on> in mare n<on> in flumine" refers to line 8, "d<e>i đnon."

COLLATION: Single imperfect quire in eight (8 gone).

CONTENTS: (entire manuscript ed. Warren 1895: 83-86 [commentary, 87-93]; partially ed. Birch 1889: 114-19).
1a. f. 1.rv Litany (imperfect at beginning): '... es tu mihi sanitas. Cheru­ bin es | tu mihi uirtus'; [explicit:] 'Uos deprecor custodite anirna<m> | mea<m> & sp<iritu>m & cor & sensum & | omnem mea<m> carnem'
(ed. Lapidge 1991: 210-11; invokes 21 early female saints, but no Insular saints).
1b. f. 2r-2v/15 Deprecations: 'Angeli archangeli p<ro>phety apos<toli> | & beatissimi martyres nazare|ni coronata sine macula'; [explicit:] 'Libera me do<mi>ne libera me do<min>e | quia tibi est imperiu<m> & potestas | p<er> d<omi>n<u>m ie<su>m chr<iste>m cui gloria in I s<e>c­<u>l<a> s<e>c<u>l<oru>m'. [Birch 1889 and Warren 1895 take item 1b as part of 1a.]
2. ff. 2v/16-3v Lorica Prayer: 'Mecum esto sabaoth ma|ne cum surrexero intende ad me'; [explicit:] 'et iterum ad te leuaui | oculos meos qui habitas in cęlo' (see Birch 1889: 29-30; a version of this text in Royal 2 A. xx, f. 22r).
3. f. 4r-4v/8 Deprecations: 'Pater 7 filius 7 sp<iritu>s s<an>c<tu>s illa s<an>c<t>a | trinitas esto mihi adiutrix'; [explicit:] 'Omnes s<an>c<t>i ac | martyres orate pro me'.
4. ff. 4v/9-5v/11 incipit oratio | 'Sp<iritu>m mihi d<omi>ne tuy caritatis injfunde ut anima mea misc|rationu<m> tuaru<m> habundantia | semp<er> repleatur'; [explicit:] 'te solum d<eu>m integro affectu | uisce­ ru<m> ·meorum concupisco'. [Also in Royal 2 A. xx, f. 20r.]
5. ff. 5v/12-6v/10 "Te Deum": in nomine d<e>i su<m>mi | 'Pater inmensy maiestatis p<er> | uenerandu<m> filiu<m> tuum ueru<m>unilgenitu<m>' [explicit:] 'quos pretiosa sanguine re jdemisti yterna<m> fac cum s<an>c<t>is in | gloria<m> intrare' (see Warren 1895: 93-94).
6. ff. 6v/11-7r/10 Prayer: 'D<eu>s altissime d<eu>s misericordię | qui solus sine peccato es'; [explicit:] 'Quo<niam> tibi | debetur omnis adoratio & glo |ria per omnia s<e>c<u>la seculo<rum>'.
7. f. 7r/11-7v/14 (Metrical) Prayer and deprecations: oratio | 'IN pace chr<ist>i dormia<m> ut nullu<m> | malum uidea<m>'; [explicit:] 'Sed esse tecu<m> in cylo in sempiter|no gaudio'.
8. f. 7v/14-18 "Oratio Sancti Iohannis " (f. 7v): [ora<t>io s<an>c<t>i iohan<nis>] 'Aperi mihi pulsanti ianua<m> | uitę .... extranea'. [Breaks off after four lines; the title, now almost completely illegible, is from Warren (1895: 86), who reports, "the title is written partly (viz. ORA.TIO) on the left side of, partly (viz. SANCTI IOHANNIS) on the right side of, and in the same line with, the last four syllables of the previous prayer which are written exactly in the centre of the page, viz. '-no gaudio'." The title is in minuscule.]

Birch, Walter de Gray, ed. An Ancient Manuscript of the Eighth or Ninth Century, formerly Belonging to S. Mary's Abbey, or Nunnaminster, Winchester. Hampshire Record Society. London: Simpkin & Marshall; Winchester: Warren & Son, 1889. [pp. 114-19 et passim]
Hughes, Kathleen. "Some Aspects of Irish Influence on Early English Private Prayer. " Studia Celtica 5 (1970): 48-61.
Lapidge, Michael, ed.Anglo-Saxon Litanies of the Saints. Henry Bradshaw Society 106. Woodbridge, Suffolk: The Boydell Press, 1991.
Lowe, E.A. Codices Latini Antiquiores: A Palaeographical Guide to Latin Manuscripts Prior to the Ninth Century. Part 2: Great Britian and Ireland. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1935.
Morrish, Jennifer."Dated and Datable Manuscripts Copied in England during the Ninth Century: A Preliminary List." Mediaeval Studies 50 (1988): 512-38.
Turner, D. H. "The Prayer Book of Archbishop Arnulph II of Milan." Revue Benedictine 70 (1960): 360-92.
Warren, F. E., ed. The Antiphonary of Bangor: An Early Irish Manuscript in the Ambrosian Library at Milan (Part II). Henry Bradshaw Society,
10. London: Harrison, 1895. [pp. 83-97]

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