Saturday 21 February 2015

The Hangest Beauvais Missal in the 15th Century (I)

Lisa Fagin Davis, who is virtually reconstructing all the known leaves of the Hangest Missal and their textual contents, recently made the following observation to me in an email:
"The 1464 Beauvais catalogue lists a missal in four parts, of which the third does not describe what we've got here: "Et le tiers volume contient les Epistres et les Euvangilles, depuis l'Advent jusques au premier dimenche après Pasques ..." In fact, it is the description of volume II that seems closer to what survives: "... depuis la Resurrection jusques a la fin ..." (Omont, p. 39, no. 61)."
This got me thinking.

Her Omont reference is to this:
I was aware of Omont's article, but I had not seriously considered the possibility that the Hangest Missal was once part of the four-volume missal in the inventories, because the surviving records of the original donation of the Hangest Missal in 1356 refers to it as being in three volumes, not four:

On reflection, however, it is possible that Robert gave an incomplete set to which another volume was added to complete it, or that one of his three volumes was re-bound in two volumes, in either case resulting in a four-volume set.

In his edition of the 1464 inventory above, Omont's text and numbering is the same as that of Gustave Desjardins, who published various Beauvais inventories in 1865 [1]. Although he does not specify it, Desjardin's source was apparently an 18th-century extract from the "Inventaire des reliques et autres aournemens de l'eglise de Beauvais ... fait au mois de decembre 1464 ... et remis au net ... l'an 1472":
"Primo. ung missel en IV volumes dont
le premier des deux contient le missel depuis
ladvent jusques a la Resurrection sans les
Epistres et Evangilles et se commence le II
feuillet d'ycelui Et si quis vobis aliquid
dixerit et le penultieme feuillet Ejus tibi grata.
Et le second volume contient l'autre
partie dudit missel cest assavoir depuis
la Resurrection jusques a la fin sans les Epistres
et Evangilles et se commence le second
feuillet dicelluy angelus domini et le
penultieme te domine suppliciter.
Et le tiers volume contient les Epistres
et les Evangilles depuis ladvent jusques
au premier dimenche apres pascques et
se commence le second feuillet dicelui
appropinquareent et le penultieme ducaveritis carnem
Et le quart volume contient les Epistres
et Evangilles depuis le premier dimenche
d'apres pasques jusqua la fin et se commence
le second feuillet dicellui meus et deus meus
et le penultieme pondens Jhesus."
These sources therefore all agree that there was a missal in four volumes, consisting of:
  • volumes without the Epistle and Gospel readings for:
    • I. from Advent to Easter ('Winter')
    • II. from Easter onwards ('Summer')  
  • volumes containing only the Epistle and Gospel readings for:
    • III. from Advent to the 1st Sunday after Easter ('Winter')
    • IV. from the 1st Sunday after Easter onwards ('Summer') 
In the evolution of mass books from Sacramentaries to Missals there were various permutations; it was common, for example, to have the Gospel readings in a separate Gospel Lectionary, or "Evangelistary", and the other New Testament readings in a separate Epistle Lectionary, or "Epistolary". Here what we seem to have is the Gospel and Epistle readings combined, but divided into two volumes to correspond to the common division of Missals and Breviaries into 'Winter' and 'Summer' parts.

As shown in the image below, the Hangest Missal does not contain the full texts of the Gospel and Epistle readings, only their cues/incipits (and it might therefore be more accurately termed an "abbreviated Missal", because it does not contain the complete text required for the performance of the Mass). In this case the third line of the second column is the cue "Iam non estis" (Ephesians 2:19) for the epistle reading (on the second line is its rubric, "Ep[isto]la"), and half-way down the column is the rubric "Evang[elium]" and the cue "Accessit ad Ihesum mater" (Matthew 20:20) for the Gospel reading:

The Hangest Missal (which covers the 'Summer' half of the year) would therefore not only have needed an accompanying 'Winter' part, but would also have needed one or more volumes containing the Gospel and Epistle readings for the whole year.

Being the "tertia pars" of a Missal, it seems very likely that the Hangest Missal once formed part of such a four-volume set as the one described in the inventory above, but as Lisa observed in her email, the Hangest Missal corresponds more closely to the description of vol.II than vol.III in this particular set. If we hope to identify the Hangest Missal with a volume in the inventory above, therefore, the numbering of the volumes is a problem.

We'll look at this in the next post.

[1] Gustave Desjardins, Histoire de la cathédrale de Beauvais (Lyon, 1865), available online; the lists begins on p.159 and the description of the four-volume missal begins on p.165 (no.61). The descriptions of the books from this inventory were selectively re-printed by Henri Omont, "Recherches sur la bibliothèque de Beauvais", Mémoires de l'Institut national de France, Académie des inscriptions et belles lettres, 40 (Paris, 1916), pp.1–93, available online; beginning on p.39

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