Close XYL-15 Christ blesses a Monk

 [France (?), c.1500]. Woodcut with Latin inscription.

 Schr. 837n. The risen Christ stands facing the onlooker on the right of the image, holding a cross staff in his left hand and displaying his wounds. He is portrayed as if hovering above the ground, his right hand raised in blessing. To his right a smaller, tonsured figure kneels before him in prayer. In the background a walled town with two church steeples. Inscribed on a banderole is the petition ‘Te petimus criste no|bis faueas p(er)egrinis D S’, whereby the kneeling figure seeks protection for pilgrims. Double-lined frame. Unique copy. The attribution to a French (?) workshop is on stylistic grounds. Whereas Dodgson favours a date c.1480–90, Schreiber places the woodcut c.1500.

ills. Illustrated Bartsch (Supplement), 163.837–2; Bodleian Filmstrip Roll 245, no. 20.

refs. Dodgson, Ashmolean, 31 (Bodl.3); Schreiber, Handbuch, VIII 45; Griese (in preparation); Nicholson no. 95.

copy One eighth of a chancery sheet. 130 × 84 mm (woodcut 123 × 64 mm). Chain-lines vertical. Nicholson’s note ‘Not enough of the watermark left’ cannot be substantiated. Printed in pale grey ink by rubbing on one side of the paper. The colouring, which is unlikely to be original, is in light blue, mauve, pale yellow, green, blue-black, gold, black, purple, dark grey, deep red, and brown. The five wounds are picked out in deep red to give them special prominence. Closely trimmed at the top, but with wider margins to the left and right. Stitching holes on the right-hand edge suggest that the leaf may at some time have formed part of a codex in 8o, supporting the view that in its present context the image has been reused.

 The woodcut is one of an extensive series of devotional images, only five of which are preserved, that were added to a sixteenth-century Sarum primer: Hore beatissime virginis Marie/secundum vsum Sarisbu(riensem) totaliter ad longum cum multis pulcherrimis orationibus et indulgentiis iam vltimo adiectis (Paris: Franciscus Regnault, 1534, 4o, 237 × 172 mm); Hoskins 34 no. 89. Tipped in at the front of the book are three leaves, of which fols ir–iiv contain a list of 19 obits of members of the Radcliffe family of Ordsall in Lancashire for the period 1548–78, giving special prominence to Sir Alexander Radcliffe (†1548), his wife Alice (†1552), and their children William (†1568), Alexander (†1570), John (†1560), Eleanor (†1557) wife of Sir Richard Molyneux (†1568), and Elizabeth (†1576), who may have been responsible for establishing this record of her family history; for the Radcliffes see C. P. Hampson, The Book of the Radclyffes (Edinburgh, 1940), esp. 148–57; W. Langton, The Visitation of Lancashire and a Part of Cheshire, made in the Twenty-fourth Year of the Reign of King Henry the Eighth, A.D. 1533, by Special Commission of Thomas Benalt, Clarencieux, Part I, Chetham Society 98 (Manchester, 1876), 64–5; for the Molyneux see N. Z. R. Molyneux, History Genealogical and Biographical of the Molyneux Families (Syracuse, NY, 1904), 12, 49; DNB under Sir Richard Molyneux. Pasted to the third leaf is a slip of paper with a list of names, in an eighteenth-century hand, including a number of notable antiquaries of that period (Peter Le Neve, Richard Furney, Sir Thomas Sebright, Anstis), most likely bookbinder’s scrap and unrelated to the early history of the volume. The calendar at the front of the book contains handwritten notes referring to the years 1552–80, and adding St Monica (4 May), Holy Maccabees (1 Aug.), Twelve Martyrs (1 Sept.), and transferring St Barbara from 4 Dec. to 3 Dec. The designation ‘pape’ against the names of popes has been systematically deleted, as have other references to popes and to Rome throughout the book. There are several ownership marks from the later sixteenth century: ‘elisabet Aderton est possessor iuius [!] li(bri)’ (fol. &6v), ‘Alexander Rad’ (fol. &9v), Dame Elisabethe atherton owithe the book’, ‘alexander . . .’, ‘Alexander’ (fol. &10r), ‘Ihesus est amor meus Alexan(der)’ (fol. &10v), as well as an inscription ‘I praye god Mayke thomas byrtwyssyll god’ (fol. &8v), suggesting that the book may have been passed down from Sir Alexander Radcliffe (†1548) to his daughter Elisabeth, first wife of Sir John Atherton (†1573) of Atherton in Lancashire, divorced by him in 1551, and whose death on 1 May 1576 is recorded towards the end of the list of obits; see Langton, 64; VCH Lancashire III 437; C. Haigh, Reformation and Resistance in Tudor Lancashire (Cambridge, 1975), 47. For a notable example of book ownership in the Radcliffe family during the same period, see London BL, Kings MS 5, an illuminated Netherlandish Biblia pauperum of exceptional quality consonant with the religious interests documented by the interleaved Sarum primer, and inscribed on fol. 1v ‘alexander Radclyff boke’, possible candidates for whom are Elisabeth Atherton’s father (†1548), brother (†1570), nephew (†1568), and great-nephew (†1599), all called Alexander; see J Backhouse, in Biblia Pauperum: Kings MS 5, 10–13. For a further example (ex informatione A. I. Doyle) see Paris, Bibliothéque Mazarine, ms. 514, a late fourteenth-century English Book of Hours with an ownership inscription ‘Alexander radclyf Sr’ and the dates of birth and obits of numerous members of the Radcliffe and Bothe families, including Alexander Radcliffe (1532–1568), son of Sir William Radcliffe (1502–1568) and grandson of Sir Alexander Radcliffe (†1548) and his wife Alice Bothe (†1552), whose obits are recorded in the Bodleian volume; see A. Barratt, ‘Two Middle English Lyrics in the Bibliothèque Mazarine’, Notes & Queries 229 (1984), 24–7. The various annotations and deletions in the printed primer, together with the unusually large number of added devotional images, indicate the intense use that was made of this book by its recusant owners during the Elizabethan period.

 This first item is attached by stitching to the centre of the upper edge of fol. C1v of the host volume. This is the second opening of lauds of the Hours of the Virgin Mary. The image is positioned above the third psalm (Ps 66) and opposite the beginning of the ‘Benedicite’; an association of these texts with the image is not immediately obvious. The second added item is a parchment leaf (226 × 140 mm) with a manuscript illustration of the three nails impaling the Sacred Heart, hands, and feet sewn onto fol. J8v, illustrating St Gregory’s prayer in honour of the five wounds ‘Ave dextra manus Christi’ (Chevalier, Rep. hymn. 1771; Walther, Initia 1909), printed as ‘Ave manus dextra Christi’ on fol. J8r/v. The illumination is clearly sixteenth-century work, most likely from the first half of the century. For the third and fifth insertions, which are sewn to fol. P1v (Penitential Psalms) and Q1v (litany), see XYL-17: Crucifixion (T-cross) with the Virgin and St John, and XYL-33: The Sacred Heart and the wounds of Jesus Christ displayed on a cross (‘Arms of Jesus Christ’). The fourth insertion, sewn to the upper edge of fol. P5v (the second page of the 15 Gradual Psalms), is a square paper leaf (71 × 74 mm) with a painted image displaying eucharistic emblems, originally to be folded up to form a triangle. The central panel shows a purple chalice on a blue background, with the letters X and P on either side, surmounted by a wafer inscribed ‘ih’c’. It is surrounded by four Sacred Hearts, each containing a wafer with ‘ih’c’, enclosed in a square frame. Dotted impressions on the reverse of the leaf follow the lines of the frames and compartments of the design, possibly used in some kind of tracing process. The distinctive use of purple, and gold and/or silver, on all five added leaves suggests that the colouring was done at the same time (and by the artist responsible for the image of the three nails). Nicholson’s description indicates that when he saw the book there was sewn to fol. P4v, at the end of the Penitential Psalms, a ‘double oval shaped piece of paper, gummed together at top only, the upper one drawn and perforated with wheel-like patterns’; the two parts of this item (63 × 45 mm), which looks like a pointer and is made from scrap paper containing notes dated 1568 relating to the Kennett family, has now been removed from its original position and is tucked under the eighteenth-century slip pasted to fol. iiir. Sewing holes and remnants of thread indicate that the five images are the remains of a much more extensive series of inserted material, perhaps as many as 28 items in all, but that these were lost before the book came to be rebound in the later eighteenth century; such indications are found, almost always in the upper margin, on fols B5, B8, C8, D1, D7, D8, F3, J5, K3 (?), L4, L6, L8, M3, M5, M7, M8, P3, P4, P7, P8, Q2, Q3, R1.

refs. A Catalogue of the Books relating to British Topography, and Saxon and Northern Literature bequeathed to the Bodleian Library in the Year MDCCXCIX by Richard Gough, Esq. F.S.A. (Oxford, 1814), 424 no. 204; SC IV 294–5.

Binding: Late eighteenth-century gold-tooled inboard binding. 245 × 180 × 33 mm. Marbled brown tanned calf over millboard. The textblock, which has much insect damage predating the current binding, has been repaired in places with a white handmade laid paper and was heavily pressed during rebinding. The edges were ploughed and stained yellow. No evidence of the pre-eighteenth-century binding, except two rust stains on the last leaf, survives.

Provenance: Alexander Radcliffe, probably Sir Alexander Radcliffe of Ordsall, Lancashire (c.1475–1548); inscriptions on fols &9v and &10r/v (see above). Elisabeth Atherton, née Radcliffe (†1576); inscriptions on fols &6v and &10r (see above). Richard Gough (1735&ndash1809); his inscription on the upper flyleaf. Bequeathed in 1809.

shelfmark: Gough Missals 177, fol. C1v.