Breviary of Marie de St Pol now available online

by Pat Aske

This beautiful manuscript, part of the University Library’s collection, is now available to look at online thanks to the Cambridge Digital Library.

You can also download images from this link: http://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/MS-DD-00005-00005/1Marie de St Pol praying to St Cecilia

The Breviary of Marie de Saint Pol is an illuminated prayer book, made in Paris c. 1330-1340. It was commissioned by Marie de Saint Pol, Countess of Pembroke (c. 1304-1377). Marie founded the Hall of Valence Mary in Cambridge in 1347, now better known as Pembroke College. She also founded the Franciscan abbey of nuns at Denny, near Cambridge in 1342 and was buried there. It is possible that this book was commissioned for Denny, or that it was given to the abbey before Marie’s death. Alternatively, it may be the breviary mentioned in Marie’s will which she bequeathed to Emma de Beauchamp, abbess of the Franciscan abbey of nuns at Bruisyard in Suffolk. A breviary contains the prayers, hymns, psalms and readings for everyday liturgical use.