BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPTS
Beinecke MS 410 England, s. XV^^4/4
Indulgence Scroll (in Lat. and Eng.)
Restricted material. May not be seen without the permission of the appropriate curator.
We thank K. L. Scott for her assistance with this manuscript.
Concerning this sort of scroll, see C. Buehler, "Prayers and Charms in Certain
Middle English Scrolls," Speculum 39 (1964) pp. 270-78; and R. H. Robbins,
"The 'Arma Christi' Rolls," Modern Language Review 34 (1939) pp. 415-21.
The texts are written on one side of a roll (dorse is blank), in the following
1. O man vnkynde/ Bere in thy mynde/ My paynes smerte...[poem in 6 verses; cf.
2. [Above the Emblems of the Passion:] The pardon for .v. pater noster .v.
aues and a
credo whyth pytuusly beholdynge the armes of cristis passyon is .xxxij. M. et
Prayers to be said for a pardon of 32,055 years.
3. [Below the Emblems of the Passion:] P [erased: ape] Innocent hath
to What man or Woman th^^t dayly Worshyppeth deuoutly the .v. principall Woundes
of our lorde...the .vij. partes of there penance relesid in th^^e paynes of
purgatory. And .vij petycions right wysly askyd ...[poem beginning:] Ihesu
for thyne holy name/ And for thy bytter passyon...[IMEV 1703].
4. [Around the Cross, see Membrane II of physical description:] Thys
crosse .xv. tymes moten is th^^e lenght of our lorde ihesu criste and what day ye
loke ther on...ther shall no wykyd spyryt nor none enmyes [changed from
enimyes?] haue...Saynt Cyryace and saynt Iulite hys modyr desyryd thys
petycyon of god ...[suffrage to Cirycus and Julitta:] Oracio de sancto
Cyriaco et matre eius. Salue decus per miliorum miles regis angelorum...[with
the prayer:] Deus qui gloriosis martiribus tuis Ciriaco et Iulitte tribuisti....
Thorne famulo tuo humilitatem et virtutem...semper retinere Constanciam. Per
Christum dominum nostrum. Amen.
Prayer based on the measurement of the length of the body of Christ, very
similar to one in London B. L. Rotulus Harley 43. A. 14, printed by Buehler,
op. cit., pp. 274-75.
5. Crux christi sit semper mecum. Crux christi est quem semper adoro. Crux
christi...vbi te videt. In nomine patris et filij et spiritus sancti. Amen.
Eleven short invocations, all beginning Crux christi....
6. [Below Christ Child; added slightly later on Membrane
III:] O altissima crux humana et innocens sanguis. O pena magna. O christi
penuria...ad regnum glorie splendissime. Amen.
Parchment roll, 1515 x 165 mm., unevenly trimmed at top and bottom, composed
of three membranes segments glued together, the third an addition of the late
fifteenth century. Written and decorated area, 1391 x 141 mm. Single bounding
lines and guidelines for text (6mm. apart) ruled in lead.
Written in gothic litrugical script in brown and red ink.
The roll is best described in membranes.
Membrane I: Two miniatures of the Emblems of the Passion, the one
above the written space in a gothic architectural setting, with a Saint
on either side and instruments of the Passion included
around the full-figure of Christ standing with the cross.
The miniature below with three exceptionally
large nails and a heart enclosed by a crown of thorns and supported by
two angels; surrounded by instruments of the Passion. The patron in clerical
costume of white gown and blue robe [Austin friar?] in prayer with a
scroll "Quinque Wulnera dei sint medicina
mei. Amen." A curling acanthus and floral border, containing birds holding
snakes in their beaks; red, blue, pink
and orange, framed in blue, with a gentle ogee arch at the top.
The birds with snakes are of non-English derivation, possibly from models
from the milieu of Nicolaus Spierinc, who was still alive in 1499;
see A. H. van Buren, "The Master of Mary of Burgundy and his Colleagues:
The State of Research and Questions of Method," Zeitschrift fuer
Kunstgeschichte 38 (1975) p. 297 and note 50. Spierinc's use of this motif
apparently comes from Cleves Master shop models and from playing card
models; for this motif, see M. Geisberg, Das aelteste gestochene
deutsche Kartenspiel vom Meister der Spielkarten (vor 1446)
(Strasbourg, 1905) taf. 13, no. 23, lower right corner. Initials,
1-line gold or pink on blue or pink grounds with pen florishes.
Membrane II: A large empty cross (17 mm.) drawn in black ink and colored
brown, in the center of the written space. One 6-line initial, pink and blue
acanthus on a gold ground infilled with an aroid. Three 2-line initials,
one blue filled with a pink
flower on gold, one pink with white filigree on gold, one gold, filled with
blue with white filigree on a pink ground. Floral border,
including columbines, roses, in red, blue, pink and green,
with insects, against a tan ground with brown dots, framed in red and blue.
Membrane III: A miniature of the Christ Child as Salvator Mundi:
seated on a red cushion beside the cross, holding the orb and
blessing. This iconography, rare and perhaps unknown in English manuscript
illustration, is probably of foreign origin. One 3-line initial, pink and blue
with white highlights, filled with a blue and pink flower on a gold ground.
Border with large blue, pink, green and orange flowers joined by an undulating
green stem, with brown hair-spray and gold dots. Framed in blue and pink.
Holes and tears in the margins of the upper two segments; considerably
rubbed, with some loss of text.
Written in England in the fourth quarter of the 15th century. Note of a
16th-century owner at the end of the roll, "An Indulgence of Innocent VI ca.
1352." The original owner's name, Thomas,
occurs in the suffrage (art. 4); his "portrait" below the Arma Christi is
flanked by the arms of two Lincolnshire families: on the left, argent, 3
cinquefoils and a canton gules (Driby), and on the right ermine, a fess gules
cottised sable [?] (Bernake); possibly Thomas Barnak (Bernac) noted in Emden,
BRUO, v. 1, p. 110. The cock standing on a rectangle enclosing the word
"SHOT", at the lower right end of the roll, may be a rebus for the name of the
owner [Cockshutt?] who added the portion described as Membrane III, and the
text of art. 6. Listed in Rosenbach Company, A Bibliophile's Miscellany:
Rare Books and Manuscripts (1941) no. 296. Purchased from H. M. Fletcher
in 1969 by Edwin J. Beinecke for the Beinecke Library.
Bibliography: J. Krochalis, "God and Mammon: Prayers and Rents in
Princeton MS 126," The Princeton University Library Chronicle
44 (l983) p. 211.
Barbara A. Shailor