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Missale Romanum

RIA MS 12 R 35 14th c. Vellum: 27cm x 19cm 301 leaves

Written in Latin. An Augustinian missal according to the order of the Roman Curia, viz. ‘Incipit ordo missalis secundum consuetudinem Curiae Romani’ (f.8v). The script has vestiges of a French hand, most likely of a Northern Italian variety, and the ornamental capitals and design of decoration may have been of Moorish inspiration. It was of Italian provenance, with the feast of St Augustine in the Calendar of Saints, but the precise location is problematical, an Augustinian house at Mirandola between Mantua and Ferrara considered likely. The addition of extra names, e.g. St Bernardino of Siena (died 1444, canonised 1450) and St Nicholas Tolentino (canonised 1446), to the original text may be taken as a proof of the late 14th-century or early 15th-century dating. As a recent acquisition it is still under examination.

On the inside cover there is a label with the wording ‘Roman Missal Early 14th Cent. S.I. Milligan got in Co. Cavan’ and a label with No. 2. It may have belonged to S.I. Milligan, MRIA, a great antiquarian. It was presented to the Royal Irish Academy in 1981 by Mrs A. Murnaghan on behalf of her husband, James A. Murnaghan, and in 1982 it was repaired and rebound by A.G. Cains (Conservation Laboratory, Trinity College, Dublin) and paid for by Mrs Murnaghan.

Old parchment repair patches were removed and perforated areas, tears and damaged spine folds were repaired. A total of 143 leaves was treated. The 19th-century binding with the wording MISSALE ROMANUM CODEX MEMBRAN SAEC. XIV was replaced by dry boards covered in white tawed pigskin. A covered drop box was provided for storage.

Select Bibliography

  • F. Cabrol, ‘Missel Romain’, Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie (1907-35), XI, 1468-94.
  • G. Ellard, ‘Some notes on medieval massbooks’, Ecclesiastical Review LXXXV (1931), 344-62.
  • W.H. Frere, Bibliotheca Musica Liturgica: a descriptive handlist of the musical Latin liturgical manuscripts of the Middle Ages preserved in the libraries of Great Britain and Ireland (1901-32).
  • A. Gwynn, SJ, MRIA and M. Hackett, OSA: Letters and notes relating to the Austin Friars’ Breviary and the Missale Romanum and RIA MS 12 X 5 (1960-8, 1993).
  • John Scattergood, ‘Two medieval service books’ in Bernadette Cunningham and Siobhán Fitzpatrick (eds), Treasures of the Royal Irish Academy Library (Dublin, 2009), 51-5.
  • W.H.J. Weale, Bibliographia liturgica: catalogus missalium ritus latini ab anno 1474 impressorum, edited by H. Bohatta (new edition: 1928).

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