Identity area

Reference code





  • [mid-XV cent.] (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

ii, 263 ff. (ff. i-ii, 262-263 are modern parchment flyleaves; one folio lost after f. 32) : Parchment ; 395 x 265 mm., written space c. 270 x c. 175 mm.

Rebound 19 cent. for Maskell by Hayday on five raised bands, in dark brown leather with blind-tooling, 'Missale ad Usum Bangor' in gold on spine.

Context area

Archival history

Medieval annotation on f. 72, and some annotation of 16 cent. on ff. 37 verso, 68, 78-79, 168. An inscription at the end of the Calendar (f. 6 verso) states that the manuscript was presented to the parish church of Oswestry [then in the Diocese of St Asaph] by Sir Morys Griffith, priest, in 1554, he being the incumbent at Great Easton from 1543/4 until his death in 1557 ('This Booke was geuen to the hye Alter of the Paryshe Churche of Oswestrey by Sr Morys Griffith Prist. To Praye for all Christen Sowles the yere of oure Lorde god a thowsande fyue hundred fyfty and foure'). Owned by James Brydges, Duke of Chandos (ob. 1744), and sold as lot 2983 in his sale of 1747 (then in two volumes). It thereafter sold as lot 164 in Thomas Martin's sale of 1772. Owned by William Maskell before 1844 (his bookplate inside front cover and annotations on ff. ii verso, 262, and references in his Ancient Liturgy of 1882); later to Henry Huth (1815-78) (his bookplate inside front cover and see F. S. Ellis, The Huth Library (1880), iii, p. 981), thence to his son, Alfred Henry Huth (1850-1910), his sale 6 July 1916, lot 5036; thence to John Meade Falkner (1858-1932), his sale 13 December 1932, lot 296, when it was bought for NLW.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Sotheby's; London; Purchased at auction, lot 296; 13 December 1932.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

An illuminated and noted missal of the mid-fifteenth century, probably copied in a London workshop, and apparently of Sarum use. The Rev. W.H. Maskell's theory that it was the sole survivor of the 'use of Bangor' is not substantiated by subsequent authorities on liturgical studies. Originally produced for the church of Great Easton, Essex, for the Calendar includes its dedication, at 4 August ('Dedicacio ecclesie sancti Egidii de Eyston. ad montem'); a note by a later hand at 20 August of the death of William Jaye ('Obitus Willelmi Jaye') and an erased inscription in the bottom margin, show that the manuscript was still at Great Easton in 1508.
References to the pope (e.g. f. 261), to purgatory (f. 256 verso) and to St Thomas of Canterbury (e.g. f. 24) are, as usually, erased or cancelled, particularly so in the calendar. Responses for the marriage service are given in English (f. 240), with English forms of the priest's address to couples added in a late-15th or early-16th cent. hand on f. 239 verso.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Item: 1.1 Manuscript Volume (NLW MS 492F). Action: Condition reviewed. Action identifier: 4291739. Date: 20030905. Authorization: Selected for conservation. Authorizing institution: NLW. Action agent: J. Thomas. Status: Manuscript Volume (NLW MS 492F) : Corner of board crushed as a result of being dropped, requires rare book box. Institution: WlAbNL.

Item: 1.2 Manuscript Volume (NLW MS 492F). Action: Conserved. Action identifier: 4291739. Date: 20031107. Authorizing institution: NLW. Action agent: D. Williams. Status: Manuscript Volume (NLW MS 492F) : Made rare book box covered in linen buckram and lettered spine in gold. Institution: WlAbNL.

Item: 1.3 Action: Digitized. Date: June 2018. Source of term: pda. Institution: WlAbNL.


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Access to the original manuscript by authorised permission only. Readers are directed to use surrogate copies.

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply.

Language of material

  • English
  • Latin

Script of material

Language and script notes

Latin, English.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Ceridwen Lloyd-Morgan, An Index of Images in English Manuscripts ...: Welsh Manuscripts & English Manuscripts in Wales (London / Turnhout, 2011), p. 44.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Digital version available: (viewed September 2018)

Available on microfilm at the Library.

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Publication note

William H. Maskell, The Ancient Liturgy of the Church of England (Oxford, 1882).

Publication note

A. J. Collins, 'The Bangor Missal', The National Library of Wales Journal, 4 (1945), 57-60 and 5 (1947-48), 227.

Publication note

Sally Harper, Music in Welsh Culture Before 1650: A Study of the Principal Sources (Aldershot, 2007), p. 377.

Notes area


Varying form of title: The Great Easton Missal.


Title supplied by NLW cataloguer, 2018.


Formerly 'The Bangor Missal' (Missale ad Usum Bangor), based on William H. Maskell's claim, in his Ancient Liturgy of the Church of England, Oxford, 1882, that it could be the sole survivor of that use. Maskell's view has been subsequently discredited.


Collation: 1 (6), 2-14 (8), 15 (4), 16 (6, with leaf added after 6), 17-25 (8), 26 (8, wants 8), 27-30 (8), 31 (6), 32-33 (8), 34 (8, wants 8). Quire signatures have escaped cropping on ff. 39-42 (d[i] to diiii).


Ink: black to brown.


Notation: square notation in black on four-line red staves.


Decoration: borders including stylised acanthus leaves, aroid flowers and other flowers and foliage, in gold and blue, pink, green and reddish brown: full border with mid-column bar, ff. 121, 136 verso; full border, ff. 115, 133 verso, 169; three sides, ff. 1, 21 verso, 166, 176, 186 verso, 196 verso, 201, 213; two sides with mid-column bar, ff. 8 verso, 27 verso, 142 verso, 143 verso, 208 verso; two sides, 230 verso, 239; also spray initials in gold and same palette of colours, ff. 97, 204 verso, 213 verso, 214 verso, 228 verso, 229 verso, 241, 246 verso, 256 verso. Three-line calligraphic initials in black with interlace, infill of foliage and red ground (ff. 81, 90, 254); two-line initials passim in blue with red penwork; one-line initials in red or blue or touched with yellow. Occasional decorated descenders in bottom line (e.g. f. 112 verso).


Catchwords: many within scrolls, some elaborately decorated (e.g. f. 86 verso).


Script: written in textualis rotunda on two columns of 33-39 lines.


Incipit: prima dies mensis.


Secundo folio: Martis prima primam finalis quarta secundam.


Purchased, and later digitised, with financial assistance from The Friends of the National Libraries.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


GEAC system control number


Alma system control number


Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

Rules and/or conventions used

Description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.; AACR2; and LCSH


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

July 2018.




Archivist's note

Description revised by Maredudd ap Huw.

Accession area

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places

Physical storage

  • Text: NLW MS 492F [RESTRICTED ACCESS]; $z - Access to the original manuscript by authorised permission only. Readers are directed to use surrogate copies..
  • Microform: $h - MEICRO NLW MS 492F.