The Manuscripts

Thomas Wolsey's Epistle-Lectionary (Christ Church MS. 101)

England (Westminster or London), 1528
Vellum. Fols: iii + 48 + iv. Overall: 410mm x 300mm; writing area: 250mm x 155mm. Written in long lines, 18 lines to the page. No prickings, bounded and ruled in lead. Written throughout in a littera antiqua identifiable as that of Pieter Meghen. Openings and nomina sacra in display roman capitals. At the openings, full borders with miniatures, gold and pastel borders, including flowers, plants, birds, and heraldic symbols of Wolsey. All feasts open with an illumination. Tan morocco binding with incised pattern over wood (1981). The present binding apparently replaced an 18th century one which was reversed calf over leather.

Thomas Wolsey's Gospel-Lectionary (Magdalen College MS Lat 223)

England (Westminster or London), 1528/1529
Vellum. Fols. ii (numbered fols. 1–2) + 47 (numbered fols. 3–49). Overall 410 mm × 300 mm (writing area 248–60 mm × 156 mm). 18 long lines, above top line. No signs of pricking. Written in littera antiqua identifiable as that of Pieter Meghen. The text divided into paragraphs with their capitals written in a set-off marginal column. In the text, nomina sacra presented in widely spaced capitals. All feasts open with an illumination. Dominating the decorative scheme in both manuscripts are Wolsey's insignia: his arms, motto and badges. Binding: brown leather over millboards, sewn on eight thongs, (1553-1558).