The Phillipps crest is accompanied by his manuscript number, "534":
which makes it easy to identify in his catalogue among the large group of manuscripts (Phillipps MSS 387-759) acquired from Leander van Ess (1772-1847).
The inscriptions on the other side of the leaf are not always easy to read:
|"Sir T.P. | Middle Hill | 534"|
|Leander van Ess [source]|
|First page of the van Ess section of Phillipps's catalogue|
"Liber mo(na)sterij S(an)c(t)i Laure(n)tij prope Leodiu(m)"In other words, the manuscript once belonged to the abbey of St Laurence, Liège.
Phillipps also read the ownership inscription, and duly records the provenance in his catalogue:
|No.534 in Phillipps's catalogue|
|No.149 in van Ess's 1823 catalogue|
|The Bodleian copy of van Ess's 1823 catalogue, |
with Phillipps's donation inscription at the top
The 1910 and 1911 Sotheby's catalogues do not state how many leaves the volume had (which suggests that it was not foliated), but the 1823 van Ess catalogue tells us that it had 52. The Schoenberg database records just one copy of a Speculum missae with 52 leaves (SCHOENBERG_6516), sold at Sotheby's, 26 July 1920, lot 423:
Here the volume was bought by "Leighton", doubtless the London firm of binders and booksellers J. & J. Leighton. The 1823 van Ess catalogue had already recorded the binding as "schadhaft", and the 1920 description confirms that it was "badly damaged", so Messrs Leighton presumably rebound the book, which explains how its flyleaf became separated from the volume. It is very interesting to note that the manuscript itself was apparently English, and, until 1920, in an "early Cambridge stamped leather binding".
The ownership statement transcribed above is, in fact, followed by a few more words which introduce a list of contents:
"Liber mo(na)sterij S(an)c(t)i Laure(n)tij prope Leodiu(m). Co(n)tine(n)t(ur) i(n) eo subiecta p(er) ordi(nem)"The itemised contents suggest that most, or all, of the texts in the original volume concern the mass, which in turn perhaps suggests that the original owner was a priest:
"Speculum \'Hugonis' added above/ de officio misseFor some unknown reason the last four works are crossed-through. Below them, in another hand are four lines followed by "Metra de quod(dam) Ep(iscop)o expulso a patria Leod."
Innocentius papa tercius de sacrosancto altaris officio
Odo Cameracen(sis) ep(iscopu)s sup(er) canone(m) misse
Hild(e)b(er)ti Cenoma(n)en(sis) ep(iscop)i expo(sition)e misse et co(n)cordia[?] sacrificior(um) veteris et novi testam(en)ti metrice
Eiusdem de sacr(rosanct)o altaris carmen
Tractat(us) Richardi de sancto victore sup(er) canone(m) misse"
This is presumably a reference to Louis de Bourbon (1438-82), whose uncle, Philip the Good, secured for him the Prince-Bishopric of Liège, from which he was expelled by the citizens when he took up the position in 1465, and again in 1467 after he had been reinstated.
We therefore seem to have several clues towards an interesting story, concerning a manuscript written in England, very possibly at Cambridge, which was taken to Liège fairly soon after. Was the book written by/for a student from Liège, who returned home from Cambridge after completing his studies, to become a priest?
UPDATE 12 April 2016:
Bill Stoneman at Houghton Library has traced the manuscript, apparently not yet re-bound, in two Leighton catalogues:
Catalogue of Interesting and Rare Books, Illuminated and other Manuscripts, ... Part II (New Series) (April, 1921), no.642 for £7/10s:
Leighton's Classified Catalogue ... No. 5 (New Series) (January 1924), no.52 for £7/10s:
In his unpublished edition of the van Ess/Phillipps manuscripts, Mac Gatch quotes a 1993 letter from the Acting Manuscripts Librarian at Canberra, to the effect that Sir Rex Nan Kivell, in whose 'Calligraphy Collection' the flyleaf belongs, frequently had books rebound, and cases made, by Baytun's of Bath. It therefore seems likely that the manuscript in now in a Bayntun binding of about the 1930s-50s, and that they were responsible for the separation of the flyleaf.
** I have also made some corrections to my transcription of the list of contents, thanks to some very useful comments from David Shaw.