Rouen, Bibliotheque Municipale A.27 (olim 368) Pontifical and Benedictional ("Pontificale Lanaletense")

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Peter J. Lucas
Angela M. Lucas


442. Rouen, Bibliotheque Municipale A.27 (olim 368)

Pontifical and Benedictional ("Pontificale Lanaletense")

[Ker 374; Gneuss 922]

HISTORY: A very good quality production visually, this manuscript was probably written in south-west England, by several scribes in the early 11c. Previous attempts to date the manuscript later stem perhaps from Martene (1700-1702:, his reference to a "Rituale vetus tempore Theodocici abbatis, qui anno 1032 obiit" that he saw at Jumieges. Wormald (1952: 79- 80), followed by Temple (1976: 106), dates the manuscript "after 1031, since St. Martial is found amongst the apostles in the litany on f. 187:' Various attempts had been made at Limoges to accord the city's 3c bishop, St. Martial, apostolic status, culminating in a proclamation by the bishop's council in 1029 and another in 1031 (Wormald 1946: 84-86), but there is no reason to doubt that the claim may have reached England earlier in the 11 c ( cf. Dumville 1991: 52). Continuing use of the manuscript is indicated by the fact that several additions have been made to it, most notably by adding text in the margins or other blank spaces, as on ff. 131v and 148v; more minor annotations occur on ff. 12v, 15r, 31v, 39r, 53v, and 176v, while the annotations on ff.11r, 37r, and 169r contain musical notation. This manuscript is miscalled by its customary name because of the presence on f. lr of an addition, taken from a reference in the text on f. 183r, of a form of excommunication issued by the bishop 'monasterii ... lanaletensis'(sic), i.e. St. Germans in Cornwall, whose abbot was also bishop of Crediton. The earliest known owner is one Lyfing (item 6 below), generally identified with the Lyfing who was bishop of Crediton (1027-1046). However, attention has been called to the significance of the drawing on f. 2r showing the consecration of a church with two enclosed wells beside it, a feature that strongly suggests that the manuscript was at Wells (Rodwell 1980-1982: 42), where the bishop from 998 to 1013 was another Lyfing, who went on to become archbishop of Canterbury (1013-1020).

OE that is written in a hand dating from the early 11c (i.e. contemporary with, or very soon after, the writing of the Latin text) occurs in the form of a gloss, scribbles or pen-trials on ff. 1r (bottom margin), 120r (rh margin), 172v (gloss), 195v/2, and 196r/1 (cf. Ker, Cat., pp. 447-48).

If the manuscript was at Canterbury in the possession of Archbishop Lyfing, that would provide a plausible context for the transfer to Jumieges in the early llc (Dumville 1991: 52; for the movement of manuscripts from England to Normandy at this time see Gameson 2003). Certainly it was transferred to Jumieges, and the oldest Norman annotation, dating from the second half of the 11c, occurs on f. 6r, beginning 'Copiosa beneficia | q<uesumu>s' (Doble 1937: 6, n.l). At Jumieges it was seen around 1700 by the Maurist Edmond Martene, as noted above. From Jumieges it was transferred to Rouen at the time of the French Revolution, and so became part of the Bibliotheque Municipale when it opened in 1809. It was still unbound when seen by Gage 1834: 244. When examined by Frere in 1933 (Doble 1937: v) it was tightly bound, so as to make codicological analysis difficult, and that is still the case. The binding is of black leather, blind-stamped, dating from sometime in the late 19c or possibly the early 20c, i.e. between when the manuscript was seen by Gage in 1834 and by Frere in 1933. Previous descriptions by Henri Omont in Catalogue 1849-1918: n.s.l (1886): 69-70, by Leroquais 1937: 2.295-300, and by Hartzell 2006: 538-49.

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