Leaves from a Gradual


Durham, Durham University Library, Elliot MS 2

Durham University Library 2018

Description URL: https://n2t.durham.ac.uk/ark:/32150/s1tm70mv290

Remarks by the Editor:

Catalogue description formatted for Fragmentarium from the Durham Website. Original description derives from those of Ian Doyle and Alan Piper, with modifications by Richard Higgins.

General Information

Title: Leaves from a Gradual

Material: Parchment

Date of Origin: Fifteenth Century

Script, Hands:

Written in a roundish textura, proficiently, with minims 3.5 mm high. The interlined red cross-references have smaller guides in pale ink. Notation: staves 4-line in red.

Original Condition

Dimensions (Page Height): 310 mm

Dimensions (Page Width): 230 mm

Height of Written Area: 219 mm

Width of Written Area: 155 mm

Number of Lines: 8

Number of Columns: 1

More about the Condition:

No pricking visible. Lightly ruled in grey. Written space 219 x 155 mm. 8 lines + stave; 6 lines without music, i.e. rubrics and cues, occupy 1 line + stave.

Book Decoration


Alternating red and blue initials with flourishing in red or blue (opposite colour to initial). Large illuminated initials (2 staves high): 2/1v - O in pale brown with red and green foliage within on a blue background. 2/3r D in pale brown and red on blue background.


  • Content Item
    • Text Language: Latin
    • Content Description:
      2/1 End of First Sunday after Epiphany - Second Sunday after Epiphany starts mid-verso. Numbered in red half-way down the outer margin of verso [...]XXIII
      Incipit: ra seruite domino in letitia. Off. Iubilate
      Explicit: Gr. Misit dominus verbum suum et
      2/2 Texts for Holy Saturday tracts ii-iv, with cues between ii and iii for prayers viii-x and lections ix-xi, and between iii and iv for prayers xi-xii and lection xii, followed by the rubric to tract iv “Hiis finitis descendendo ad fontes”. Numbered in red half-way down the outer margin of verso [...]LXXXVIIII
      Incipit: cavit turrim in medio
      Explicit: ita desiderat anima
      2/3 Texts for part 9th, whole of 10th and start of 11th Sunday after Pentecost. Numbered in red half-way down the outer margin of verso [...]CXXXIIII
      Incipit: luya. .V. Eripe me de inimicis meis
      Explicit: Co. xxxiiii Accetab' sacrifi. Dominica .xja. post pentecosten. Introitus
    • Musical Notation: square, with a custos at the end of each line with a stalk at 45┬░ up across the margin; on 4-line staves, ruled in red.



Written in Italy, 15th Century


An accompanying printed label identifies these fragments as coming from a Gradual formerly at Bradford Academy (Bradford, MA) recorded in De Ricci, vol. 1, p.963 as 4976 (see Schoenberg database of manuscripts record 33781). It was said to have been acquired in the 19th century from a priest at Pistoia Cathedral. Another leaf is now Harvard University, Houghton Library, MS Typ 959 - http://fragmentarium.ms/overview/F-2wsc

£300 written in pencil on 2/3, with the bookseller's code “hqroo”. Note from Peter Kidd (1 March 2018 https://manuscriptroadtrip.wordpress.com/2018/02/25/fragmentarium-a-model-for-digital-fragmentology/comment-page-1/#comment-1759) reports: The price-codes on Elliot MS 2/2 and 2/3 show it to have been bought by Maggs Bros. in August 1981, and Elliott 2/3 appears in their Bulletin No. 11 (November 1982), no. 52 and pl. XV, with the Bradford Academy provenance noted (priced £300, as inscribed on the leaf).

Deposited with Durham University Library in 1984 by Dr. George Ball Elliott (1918-1994).


  • Ricci, Seymour de, Census of medieval and renaissance manuscripts in the United States and Canada (New York: H.W. Wilson, 1935-1962)

  • Lippe, R., ed., Missale Romanum Mediolani 1474, (London: Henry Bradshaw Society, 1899)