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The Irish Missal of Corpus Christi College, Oxford

  • Aubrey Gwynn (a1)


Eighty years have gone by since F. E. Warren published his work on The Liturgy and Ritual of the Celtic Church. Two years before that date Warren had published the full text of a very puzzling Irish missal which had been in the library of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, probably for some three hundred years. Since Warren wrote, the manuscript has been transferred from the library of Corpus Christi College to the Bodleian Library, where it is kept in a box which contains the missal and its satchel of leather. Its class-number is C.C.C. 282. In 1892 an English Jesuit scholar, H. Lucas, made a careful collation of Warren’s readings with the manuscript text; a note in his handwriting, which records a few minor errors, is preserved in the box with the manuscript.



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Page 47 of note 1 Oxford 1881.

Page 47 of note 2 The Manuscript Irish Missal belonging to the President and Fellows of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, ed. Warren, F. E., London 1879 . For a brief summary of Warren’s conclusions see Kenney, J.F., Sources for the Early History of Ireland, I: Ecclesiastical, New York 1929, 706 .

Page 47 of note 3 Warren, ed. cit., intro. 49.

Page 48 of note 1 Coxe, H.O., Catalogus Codicum Manuscriptorum qui in Collegiis aulisque Oxoniensibus hodie adservantur, Oxford 1852, 11, 121 .

Page 48 of note 2 Missale ad Usum ecclesie Westmonastericnsis, ed. Legg, John Wickham, (HBS XII), in (1897), 1409-10.

Page 48 of note 3 Ibid., 1423.

Page 49 of note 1 The Annals of Inisfallen, reproduced in Facsimile . . . with a descriptive Introduction by R. I. Best andEoin MacNeill, Royal Irish Academy 1933.

Page 49 of note 2 Warren, ed. cit., intro., 43. Ibid., 49, arguing from what he believed to be the historical background of the missal, Warren narrowed these limits to the years 1152-7.

Page 49 of note 3 Françoise Henry, M.R.I.A., and Marsh-Micheli, G. L., ‘A Century of Irish Illumination (1070-1170)’, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, LXII, Sect. C, no 5 (1962), 101-64, with 44 Plates.

Page 50 of note 1 For the correct identification, see R. I.Best’s introduction to The Book of Leinster, edd. Best, , Osborn, Bergin and O’Brien, M. A., (Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies), I (1954). xixvii .

Page 51 of note 1 Art. cit., 137-40. Excellent illustrations are found in Plates XVII-XXI.

Page 52 of note 1 Warren, ed. cit., intro. 50. He adds that this allegedly Irish form of thename later anglicised as Fox ‘may suggest some connection of the volume with the family of the founder of the College, Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester, A.D. 1516.’

Page 52 of note 2 The name O Sínachan is plainly written with the mark of a long syllable over the letter i on f. 2 υ of the Corpus missal. The Four Masters are known to have been some what careless in their transcription of earlier names from the Old Irish texts which they used when compiling their annals in the early seventeenth century; and they seem to have read this name as having the long stroke over the letter n, thus reading the name as O Sinnachain.

Page 53 of note 1 For a discussion of the origin of this office see Gwynn, Aubrey, S.J., and Gleeson, Dermot F., History of the Diocese of Killaloe, Dublin 1962, 92 .

Page 53 of note 2 See Henry, F., Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 1957, 147ff.

Page 54 of note 1 Warren, op. cit., intro. 22-36.

Page 55 of note 1 Josef A., Jungmann|S.J., Missarum Sollemnia: eine genetische Erklärung der römischen Messe, Vienna 1948, 11, 204 .

Page 57 of note 1 I am very much indebted both to Mr Turner (in a letter dated 14 July 1958) and to Mr Christopher Hohler for information on the liturgical character and contents of this missal.

Page 58 of note 1 Lawlor, H. J., trans, and ed., St Bernard’s Life of St Malachy of Armagh, S.P.C.K. 1920, 18 ; see Lawlor’s note, ibid., 162. There is an excellent discussion of the whole problem, in the light of fuller evidence, by Pepperdene, Margaret W. in Irish Theological Quarterly, XXII (1955), 110-23.

Page 59 of note 1 Gilbert’s treatise was first printed by Ussher, J. from Cambridge Univ. MS Ff. i, 27 in Veterum Epistolarum Hibernicarum Sylloge, Dublin 1632 ; and has been reprinted by Elrington, C. R. in The Whole Works of...J. Ussher, 1847, IV. 500-10.

Page 60 of note 1 Calendar of Papal Letters, VI. 421.

Page 60 of note 2 Archdall, M., Monasticon Hibernicum, Dublin 1786, 583 .

Page 61 of note 1 For these dates I have made use of unpublished notes by F. Neville Hadcock, who has been at work for several years, with my assistance, on an Irish companion volume to that on the Medieval Religious Houses of England and Wales, London 1953, in which he collaborated with Professor David Knowles.

Page 61 of note 2 The entry, which is plainly very old, reads as follows: ‘Commotatio martirum Petir ocus Phoil ocus Phatraicc ad legem perficiendam.’ W. Reeves, in his edition of Adamnan’s Life of St Columba, Dublin 1857, 313, n. c, interprets the phrase commotatio martirum as meaning the disinterring and enshrining of the relics.

Page 61 of note 3 Delisle, L. in Mémoires de l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, XXXII (1886), 57-423. I owe my knowledge of this important paper to the kindness of Rev. Paul Grosjean, S.J., whom I had consulted on the general problem of this bidding prayer for the king of the Irish and his army. It should be noted that the pronoun illum or illam is commonly used in texts of this kind where the modern usage is to print N. as a substitute for the name of a king or queen.

Page 62 of note 1 Art. cit., 71-2.

Page 62 of note 2 M. Vernet of the Ecole des Chartes has very kindly sent me some notes concerning the history of this manuscript.

Page 62 of note 3 Leroquais, V., Les sacramentaires et les missels manuscrits des Bibliothèques publiques de France, Paris 1924, 1, 192-4, n. 85; and also in Les bréviaires manuscrits des Bibliothèques publiques de France, Paris 1934, 111, 222-3, n.604.

Page 63 of note 1 For a full description, see Madan, F. and Craster, H.H.E., Summary Catalogue 0, Western Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library in Oxford, Oxford 1922, II (1). 425-7, n.2558.

Page 64 of note 1 For a brief account of this aspect of Brian’s career, see my comments in History of the Diocese of Killaloe, 90-5.

Page 65 of note 1 This is the correct date of Brian’s visit to Armagh. Owing to an error by the editor, W. M. Hennessy, of vol. 1 of the Annals of Ulster, Rolls Series 1887, the date of each annalistic entry is given a year too early; this error has been corrected, as from the year 1057, by B. McCarthy, editor of vols. 11 and 111, and is also everywhere corrected in the index in vol. IV.

Page 65 of note 2 The full text is found in The Book of Armagh, ed. John, Gwynn, Royal Irish Academy 1913, 32 ; see also ibid., ciii.

Page 65 of note 3 Cogadh Gaedhelre Gallaibh, ed. J. H. Todd, Rolls Series 1867. For the words cited in the text, see ibid., 139.

Page 66 of note 1 Gilbert, J.T., Facsimiles of the National Manuscripts of Ireland, Dublin, 11 (1878), intro, lvii, item L.

Page 66 of note 2 Westwood, J.O., Facsimiles of miniatures and ornaments in Anglo-Saxon and Irish manuscripts, London 1868, 96 .

Page 66 of note 3 Irish Ecclesiastical Record, Third Series, 1 (1880), 505-14. In 1886 McCarthy published an important paper on the Stowe Missal in Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, XXVII (1886), 135-268, which has not received the recognition it deserves.

Page 67 of note 1 These words are cited by Quigley, E. J., in Irish Ecclesiastical Record, Fifth Series, XVII (1921), 607 .

Page 67 of note 2 Wickham Legg, ed. cit., 111, intro., 1410.

Page 67 of note 3 Cf. Irish Ecclestiastical Record, Fifth Series, XVII (1921), 381-9, 496-503, 603-9.

Page 67 of note 4 Ibid., 607.

Page 67 of note 5 Dr Van Dijk’s typescript report, 1. 131. Cf. Latin Liturgical Manuscripts and Printed Books: Guide to an Exhibition held during 1952, Bodleian Library Oxford 1952, 27 and Plates X and XI. I am very much indebted to my friend Dr R. W. Hunt of the Bodleian Library for his help in my work on various Irish liturgical manuscripts in the Library.

The Irish Missal of Corpus Christi College, Oxford

  • Aubrey Gwynn (a1)


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