History by the Month: November and Henry VI

This is the autograph presentation copy of the life of Henry V given by the author, the Italian humanist Tito Livio Frulovisi, to Henry VI, king of England 1422-71. It shows the royal arms on the first page. Frulovisi came to England probably in 1436 in the household of Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, brother of... Continue Reading →

History by the Month: October and Henry IV

A Pontifical is a service-book for a bishop. This richly illuminated manuscript, probably made in London, seems to have been begun for Guy de Mohun, bishop of Saint Davids 1397-1407. It later belonged to Richard Clifford, bishop of London 1407-21. It includes the service for the coronation of a king, which Guy de Mohun would... Continue Reading →

History by the Month: May

The autograph Chronica Maiora of Matthew Paris (c1200-1259), monk of St. Albans, is one of the most famous sources for thirteenth century English history. It is a history of the world, but is especially important for events of the author’s lifetime. The manuscript is in two volumes and contains hundreds of little drawings by Matthew... Continue Reading →

History by the Month- April

This is one of two known manuscripts of Jean Galopes, Le livre doré de la vie nostre seigneur Jesu Crist, a life of Christ, made for presentation to Henry V, king of England 1413-22. The English armies had occupied France following the Battle of Agincourt, whose anniversary falls this year (1415), and the manuscript of... Continue Reading →

Parker Library calendar – November

This is the Ordinal for use by the choir of Exeter Cathedral, with instructions for chants and music prescribed for use in the Mass and daily offices at Exeter, as ordained by John Grandison, bishop of Exeter, 1327-69. The manuscript dates from the beginning of the fifteenth century, but the lavish illuminated borders have been... Continue Reading →

Parker Library Calendar – September

Bells were the most widely-heard musical isntruments of the mIddle Ages, ringing loudly form belfries and church towers. For many people, bells were the only available measurements of the passage of time, and peals of bells marked great festivals and public occasions. This is from the Pontifical of Guy de Mohun, bishop of St Davids... Continue Reading →

Parker Library calendar – August (MS 253)

This English Romanesque manuscript contains several texts by Augustine of Hippo (354-430). Towards the end, a late twelfth-century hand has added a sequence, or hymn, for the feast of Saint Augustine, “Interni festi gaudia, nostra sonet armonia…”, ‘At the joy of our own festival, our song rings forth…’ sometimes attributed, probably wrongly, to the Augustinian... Continue Reading →

Open Cambridge 2013

Open Cambridge, an annual event, this year runs from Friday 13 - Sunday 15 September, and is an opportunity to visit places in Cambridge which are not normally accessible to the public.  The programme of events has now been published, and booking starts mid-August. Both Taylor and Parker libraries will be taking part this year,... Continue Reading →

Parker Library Calendar – July

A whole municipal band of musicians are crowded onto the back of an elephant here, including two trumpeters, a drummer, and a boy piper, as well as the Magister bestie (‘Master of the beast’) at the front ringing a great bell. The occasion was the return from the Crusades by Prince Richard of Cornwall (1209-1272),... Continue Reading →

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑