Pretty medieval manuscript of the day brings you Easter and a dragon!
This stunning fourteenth century manuscript is one of the treasures of the British Library’s medieval collection. According to the manuscript’s catalogue record, it was produced in England (probably London, but this is uncertain). It is a splendid, elaborate and lavishly illustrated book probably made for the devotional use of Humphrey Bohun, the Earl of Hereford (either the 6th or 7th earl, depending on when the book was actually made, as they were both called Humphrey). An alternative theory is that it was made for Mary de Bohun, who married Henry Bollingbroke (who, a few years after Mary’s death, deposed King Richard II and became King of England himself, as Henry IV).
This page shows a typically elaborate historiated initial V, showing matins of the office of the dead, noli me tangere, Christ showing his wounds to the apostles at Emmaus, ‘doubting Thomas’ (or, to give its proper name, the incredulity of Thomas), and Christ and the apostles at prayer.
There’s plenty going on in the margins too. The border includes an illustration of a tomb (which the British Library’s catalogue record suggests could perhaps be the Earl of Arundel’s), a corpse wrapped in a shroud lying at a rather awkward angle in an open grave, and two men putting treasure in a chest. You can also spot the arms of the Bohun family, and the arms of England (the three lions). Finally, at the base of the page, is a beautiful dragon.
Image source: British Library MS Egerton 3277, the Bohun Psalter and Hours. Image declared as public domain on the British Library website.