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Mediaeval prayer book, 14th century


During the Reformation period many mediaeval manuscripts of a religious nature were destroyed.  This was because they contained texts, prayers and images that were Roman Catholic in origin and the new Protestant churches considered them wrong or even heretical.  Many items were destroyed in this iconoclasm including items written in foreign languages like Greek.   Parchment was expensive so books were not destroyed but recycled as bindings for new books.  This page and others like it were found in the binding of Herbert Anderson's protocol book (1542 - 1548) held in Dumfries Burgh's strong room. 


Herbert Anderson was a notary in Dumfries.  Notaries had legal training and could witness oaths and legal documents.  The protocol books contain information on church furnishings and ceremonial, royal orders for practicing shooting, merchant's contracts and property lists.


The manuscript pages come from missals and a Sarum portable matutinal - a prayer book for the morning.  One of the missal pages is between the York and Sarum rites indicating they are probably locally written.  Frequent references to "virgins" and "more virgins" suggest Lincluden Abbey, just north of Dumfries when it was a convent in the early 1300s. 


Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
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