Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is a calendar for April from a psalter made for Isabel of York, the sister of Richard duke of York, and aunt of Edward IV.
Which saints can you spot? Points for Alphege and George, two saints of particular importance to the medieval English folk.
The annotations in the margin is an obit for Henry Bourchier, 1st earl of Essex, who died on the 4th of April 1483:
’Obitus illustrissimi / d[omi]ni d[omi]ni Henrici Bourgch[ie]r[is] / comitis Essex[ensis] l[itte]ra d[omi]nicali C / A’nn]o D[omi]ni M[illesi]mo cccc mo/ lxxxiii°’, (f. 2v).
Further down, in a rather more challenging scribal hand (at least, I found it tricky to read even with the BL’s transcription to help) is a further note:
Thomas Bourchier, 5th son of Isabel, inscribed with his name ‘Sir T[homas] Bourgchier’ (f. 135); added dates of birth of his daughter Isabel, (24th April), ‘xxiiito die aprilis anno d[omi]ni mill[esi]mo / ccccmo lxxiiiito l[itte]ra d[omi]nicali B nata /est Isabella Bourgchier filia / Thomis Bourgchier militis et / Isabelle consortis …’ (f. 2v)
I love thinking of these books and their owners over the centuries, how they used the books and treasured them, weaving them into their everyday lives and prayers.
Image source: British Library MS Royal 2 B XIV. Image declared as public domain on the British Library website.