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of Jesus Christ, he was ready to be offered. He fought a good fight, he finished his course, he kept the faith.

It is the desire of Mrs Bruce M'Ewen, in issuing this work, to make grateful acknowledgment of the generous help which has been given in its preparation by Miss Margaret F. Pirie, Old Aberdeen, who was associated with Dr M'Ewen from the first in the transcription, and to whom, after his death, it fell to complete his editorial task; by Mr Francis C. Eeles, of the Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington, London, to whose skill and knowledge the valuable Introduction and Appendix are due; by Professor Alexander Souter, D.Litt., Old Aberdeen, and Mr P. J. Anderson, LL.B., of the University Library, King's College, whose advice and encouragement were unfailing; and by the Library Committee of the University of Aberdeen, who granted permission to use the Manuscript in their custody.





THIS book forms a complete edition of the very fine manuscript Epistolary written at Antwerp, in 1527, as the text itself bears witness, for Aberdeen Cathedral, to the order of Gavin Dunbar, Bishop of Aberdeen, 1518-1531, and now among the treasures of the University Library, where its press mark is MS. 22. In the Registrum Episcopatus Aberdonensis, printed for the Spalding Club in 1845, the late Mr Cosmo Innes included certain portions of the contents (in Vol. II., pp. 1-25, 236-255); some initial letters and a portion of the text were reproduced in colours and form the frontispiece of Vol. I. and a plate facing p. 236 of Vol. II. The whole text has now been reproduced, including some important historical memoranda and an inventory of the bishop's gifts to the church, which are added to the other contents of the book in the same hand. All contractions have been extended and the rubrics have been printed in red, as they appear in the original: the text has been given verbatim et literatim, except that a has been substituted for e in the mediæval Latin and j for i and for u, in accordance with what is now the more usual practice.

There are 179 leaves of vellum, of which 1-10 containing the kalendar have been separately foliated from the rest, measuring 13 in. by 9.2 in., with 20 lines to a page, 25 in the kalendar, and 1 leaf of "waste" at the beginning.

The binding is of strong, wooden boards covered with leather, with four metal bosses on each of the two covers, with four metal protectors at the corners and two metal clasps, all in perfect condition. Two central bosses, one on each cover, have disappeared, leaving traces of their presence.

The book was written for the use of the subdeacon at high mass, part of whose duty was to sing the liturgical Epistle. We know from the list of his gifts that the bishop provided a companion book with silver-plated covers for the deacon who sang the liturgical Gospel.1 It should be remembered that before the middle ages the Christian liturgy was always celebrated with the solemnity of assistant ministers and a choir; the solemn celebration was normal, that is, high mass rather than low mass, to use Latin terminology. This is still the case in the East. Save where they were unobtainable, the celebrant had always assistant ministers who read the Epistle and Gospel, and were originally deacons and subdeacons (or, in the East, readers) respectively, though later in Western Christendom it became customary for priests to take their parts, vested as deacon and subdeacon for the occasion. In the middle ages the multiplication of masses brought with it the custom of the priest celebrating with the assistance only of a single clerk and no choir. But the older and more solemn form of service, i.e. high mass, of course continued in the greater churches, side by side with an abundance of low masses-the form of service which had begun long before as a makeshift.

In early times several different books were required for a service. The celebrating priest had the Sacramentary, containing the prayers; the deacon had the Gospel Book, the subdeacon the Epistle Book; while the choir had the Grail (Lat. graduale) which contained the musical parts. While these books continued in separate use in the larger churches on solemn occasions, the growth of low mass said by a single priest made it necessary to combine their contents in one volume called a missal. Similarly, for the choir services, the Psalter, Lectionary, Hymnal and Antiphoner, or anthem book, were combined to form the breviary.

The epistles in this book are the series from the Sarum or Salisbury rite, used throughout the mainland by the pre-Reformation Church of Scotland. In earlier days the services of the Celtic Church were of the Gallican type,' so far as our evidence goes; that is to say, they resembled those used in the more western parts of Europe,

1 See below, p. 95.

2 See Warren, F. E., The Liturgy and Ritual of the Celtic Church, Oxford Press, 1881. The Stowe Missal, ed. G. F. Warner, Henry Bradshaw Soc., Vols. XXXI., XXXII., 1906.

which differed considerably from the Roman forms that largely superseded them. On the Continent, Charles the Great, desiring liturgical uniformity, had the existing Roman rite combined with much Gallican matter and used throughout his dominions. Although the old Gallican rites were superseded by this mixed rite, there was no uniformity, but the Roman elements so far predominated that the new books were justly described as Roman in contrast with the old. Yet the mixture of non-Roman material varied, and the Gallican ceremonial (as distinct from the ritual, or text of services) persisted and developed locally. In most of Western Europe in the later middle ages, just as church buildings were arranged in a way that is not Eastern, but Western, and yet not Italian, so the Latin services, though of the Roman liturgical type in outline and essentials of rite, included local or national "uses or varieties as regards certain portions, besides local ceremonial. Thus the particular form of the Roman liturgy adopted in Scotland was the principal English liturgical "use," which was that of Sarum. There were other English uses, e.g. of York or Hereford, but the Sarum books spread so greatly as to be designated "secundum usum Anglie" and were widely used in the province of York, as well as in Scotland, Wales, and part, at any rate, of Ireland.'

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The name of St Margaret, Malcolm Canmore's queen, is associated with far-reaching changes in Scotland in the eleventh century, of a somewhat similar kind to those which Charlemagne had carried out abroad some three centuries earlier, for under her the old Celtic system gave way to the Latin. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, when the medieval church system made its way in Scotland, English influence was very strong. Cathedral chapters were constituted on the English model of Salisbury, and the Salisbury liturgical books were adopted. In 1242 the Chapter of Elgin agreed to follow Sarum use "not only in reading and in singing, but in other things pertaining to divine services." " There is reason to think that Aberdeen had adopted Sarum customs, and probably the service books also, before this. All surviving medieval Scottish liturgical books and fragments, except of course the monastic, are of Sarum use. The only tradition

1 See Frere, W. H., The Use of Sarum, Cambridge Press, 1898, Vol. I., Introduction. 2 Registrum Episcopatus Moraviensis, Bannatyne Club, Edin., 1837, Vol. XCIII., p. 107.

of Celtic Christianity was the cultus of local Celtic saints, which was unsystematic and apparently unregulated by councils or synods. It made little impression on the sanctorale of missal or breviary except to disorganise it and to multiply occasions for using the commune sanctorum. Names were freely added to kalendars or litanies, but with few proper services to correspond with them.


From Aberdeen, in the days of the pre-Reformation revival which produced the University, there came an attempt to provide a Scottish liturgical use by a conservative reform of the Sarum books. 1509-10 the great bishop, William Elphinstone, printed the Aberdeen Breviary, which was more or less a Sarum breviary with full and well-regulated provision for Scottish saints' days, coupled with a few other changes and some necessary simplification. Of the existing provision for these days he truly says sparsim in incerto antea vagabantur. That this breviary was but a first instalment of a reform of all service books is foreshadowed by James IV. and his Privy Council in the privilege to the printers, which provides that "mess bukis, efter our awin Scottis use, and with legendis of Scottis sanctis, as is now gaderit and ekit be ane Reverend fader in God, and our traist consalour, Williame bishope of abirdene and utheris, be usit generaly within al our Realme alssone as the sammyn may be imprentit and providit, and that na maner of sic bukis of Salusbery use be brocht to be sauld within our Realme in tym cuming." We note, too, that the title of the breviary begins: Breuiarij Aberdonensis ad percelebris ecclesie Scotorum potissimum vsum et consuetudinem and that the colophon includes the words non solum ad ecclesie sue Aberdonensis verumeciam ad tocius ecclesie Scoticane vsum percelebrem. There we have the practical identification of Aberdeen use with the use of the whole of Scotland. That Elphinstone could make this twofold claim is an interesting parallel to the way in which books of Sarum use were referred to as being of English use, and it suggests that in a similar way Aberdeen may have had some special liturgical prestige in Scotland, even before his time. This would be accounted for, if, as seems to emerge from an examination of the earlier documents, Aberdeen was the first church in Scotland to adopt Sarum rules. It must also be recalled that in the middle ages Aberdeen was the 1 Dickson, R., Introduction of the Art of Printing into Scotland, Aberdeen, 1885, p. 94.

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