10,000 manuscripts, # 6Aberdeen Breviary
Edinburgh, University Library, MS 27 (Laing 26)
Before 1319, early 14th century.
This manuscript is not to be confused with the oldest printed book in Scotland also known as the Aberdeen Breviary, although the two share similarities, as they were both based on the Sarum Rite.
The manuscript is dated to before 1319 because the Calendar contains the Feast of Relics on September 15. The Feast of Relics was local to the Sarum Rite and in 1319 was changed from September 15 to the Sunday after the Feast of Thomas of Canterbury as it conflicted with the newly established Octave of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I wonder if this doesn’t, however, merely date the exemplar on which the Calendar was based. In any case it does date it to the first quarter of the 14th century. The inclusion of Saints Botulph and Frideswide and the specification of St Hugh as Bishop of Lincoln hint at an origin in the Diocese of Lincoln. Feasts, obits and records of events added to the Calendar in the 14th and 15th century and chronicle entries describing the events of the Scottish War of Independence indicate that the manuscript was in use in Scotland and probably closely associated with Aberdeen from an early date. There is no indications as to its later history. It came to the University of Edinburgh Library with the bequest of the manuscripts of the Edinburgh bookseller and collector, David Laing in 1878.
The manuscript contains a chronicle of Scottish History, in two parts (fols. i-iiv and 231v). The early portions are a transcription of form the Chronicle of Melrose, while the latter portiions are an idependent record. Additions and corrections were made in the 15th century including the Procession and Mass of the Feast of Corpus Christi and the Service of St Kentigern.
The manuscript is illuminated. There are filigree, floriated and historiated initials and complete borders including animals and grotesques.
There seem to be no images online aside from this very poor sepia tinted black and white image from the digitized version of the 1916 descriptive catalog.
Borland, Catherine R., A Descriptive Catalogue of the Western Mediæval Manuscrupts in the Edinburgh University Library. (Edinburgh, University Press, 1916)(https://archive.org/details/descriptivecata00univ)