The manuscript was likely written in Würzburg between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, possibly at the Domstift St Kilian. It is in three parts: ff. 1-118, a choir breviary, likely made up from an antiphonal from the twelfth to the fourteenth centuries; ff. 119-268, a lectionary, thirteenth to fourteenth centuries; and ff. 269-272, additions, fourteenth century. The bastarda script used in the catchwords of the second and third parts suggest that these two parts, possibly all three, were combined in the fifteenth century.
The Abbey of the Holy Redeemer, or St Kilian’s, was a male order Benedictine monastery formed c. 745 by Burchard. The monks had also had control over the Würzburg Cathedral and cathedral school until 786, when Bishop Berowelf of Würzburg replaced the monks with canons and formed the Domstift, the collegiate institution that provided a home for the cathedral chapter. The Domstift was secularized in 1803.
MS. Laud Misc. 284 was donated to the Bodleian Library, Oxford in 1639 by Archbishop William Laud (1573-1645), the Archbishop of Canterbury, as part of a group of over 1200 manuscripts that he donated between 1635 and 1641. Many of these manuscripts, like 284, were originally from Würzburg. Many of the Laud’s manuscripts were given to him by Thomas Howard (1585-1646), the fourteenth earl of Arundel, acquired from Germany during the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648).
The manuscript is written on vellum. The manuscript was rebound in the seventeenth century for Laud with brown tanned calf-skin over laminated pulpboard and three endleaves (two paper and one parchment). Laud’s armorial centrepiece, tooled in gold, is on the binding. The front flyleaf includes a fragment of a notarial instrument by Conrad of Nördlingen, diocese of Augsburg, relating to a lawsuit involving the Dean and Chapter of Würzburg. The folios are numbered in a modern, nineteenth-century hand in pencil, and end leaves in a different, twentieth-century hand.
The differentiae are indicated by letters in the margins of the manuscript, which have been transcribed in the differentiae column of the index. The manuscript does not include a tonary to indicate the associated formulas for these letters.
- "MS. Laud Misc. 284, Summary Catalogue no.: 1137" in Medieval Manuscripts in Oxford Libraries. Available from: https://medieval.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/catalog/manuscript_7097
- Coxe, H.O. "Laudian manuscripts. Quarto Catalogues." Vol. 2. Ed. R.W. Hunt. Oxford: Bodleian Library, 1973. Available from: https://databank.ora.ox.ac.uk/misccoll/datasets/QuartoLaudian/Laudian.pdf. Accessed 16 Nov 2019.
- Mairhofer, Daniela. "Medieval Manuscripts from Würzburg in the Bodleian Library, Oxford: A Descriptive Catalogue." Oxford: Bodleian Library, 2014.