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A Benedictine psalter from Peterborough abbey, Written in the early 14th century in England

MS. Barlow 22

  • Request
A Benedictine psalter from Peterborough abbey, where it belonged to brother Walter de Rouceby whose obit in the calendar is dated May 4, 1341 (fol. 7). The psalter is followed by:
  1. Canticles, litany (fol. 168)
  2. Office for the dead (fol. 189)
  3. Preceded by a Respond in three parts and a leaf from a 13th-cent. breviary (inner front cover, fol. 1)
  4. Lessons, etc., for martyrs, stt. Benet, Peter, Mary, added in a 14th-cent. hand (fol. 2)
  5. A calendar with marginal obits of the abbots, etc., of the house (fol. 5)
  6. A series of nineteen miniatures illustrating the life of Christ and the Virgin Mary (fols. 12v-14v)
The painted fore edge and the Beatus page, which is executed in the best style of east Anglian illumination, both bear the royal banner (fleur-de-lys and leopards), for Peterborough was a royal foundation (of king Penda).

One leaf has been cut out between fols. 1-2, eight leaves between fols. 4-5. fols. 11, 12, 167 are blank.


  • Written in the early 14th century in England


203 Leaves

Language of Materials

  • Latin

Conditions Governing Access

To ensure its availability to future readers, access to this item is restricted, and readers are asked to work from reproductions and published descriptions as far as possible.

Please place your request via Medieval Manuscripts in Oxford Libraries


MS. Barlow 22

Other Finding Aids

Falconer Madan, et al., A summary catalogue of western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford which have not hitherto been catalogued in the Quarto series (7 vols. in 8 [vol. II in 2 parts], Oxford, 1895-1953; reprinted, with corrections in vols. I and VII, Munich, 1980), vol. II, no. 6461

Custodial History

The volume belonged to 'John Harborne' on Dec. 20, 1604 (inner back cover). Fol. 2 has, in Barlow's hand, 'Liber Tho: Barlow è Coll. Reg. Oxon., anno MDC.LXI'.

Existence and Location of Copies

Partial digital surrogate available in Digital Bodleian.


  • For a fuller treatment of the miniatures see Eric Miller, English Illuminated MSS. of the XIVth and XVth Centuries , pp. 10, 50, and plates 22, 23, and cf. S. G. Cockerell, The Gorleston Psalter , p. 2.

Physical Facet

On parchment, with nineteen fine miniatures, illuminated capitals, etc.; binding, brown leather, much worn, over bevelled boards, 15th-cent. English work


10 3/5 × 7 in.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom