Taymouth Hours

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On f. 139, a framed miniature shows The Virgin presenting a crowned woman (presumably the first owner of the manuscript) to an enthroned Christ. In the bas-de-page scene, the Devil hauls the damned off to Hell.

The Taymouth Hours (British Library, Yates Thompson MS 13) is an illuminated Book of Hours produced in England in about 1325–35. It is named after Taymouth Castle where it was kept after being acquired by an earl of Breadalbane by the 17th or 18th century.[1]

Most pages have a bas-de-page illustration, often accompanied by a caption in Anglo Norman French or Latin. A few have bilingual captions that include Middle English.[2] The illustrations include both sacred and secular scenes. Picture-narratives of the stories of Bevis of Hampton (ff. 8v–12) and Guy of Warwick (ff. 12v–17) appear at the beginning of the text, while below Matins of the Hours of the Virgin (ff. 60v–67v) are 15 scenes depicting a tale of a damsel captured by a wild man.[3]

There have been numerous attempts to identify the book's patron; suggestions include Isabella of France (wife of Edward II) and her daughter Joan of the Tower. In the most recent detailed study, Kathryn Smith proposes that the Taymouth Hours was commissioned by Philippa of Hainault, consort of Edward III; Smith further suggests that Philippa ordered the book for Edward's sister, Eleanor of Woodstock, who was then 13 years old.[4]


  1. ^ Detailed record for Yates Thompson 13 British Library Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts
  2. ^ Brownrigg (1989)
  3. ^ Loomis (1917), 750-55.
  4. ^ Smith (2012)


  • Loomis, Roger Sherman. "A Phantom Tale of Female Ingratitude", Modern Philology, Volume 14, 1917, 750-55.
  • Brownrigg, Linda. "The Taymouth Hours and the Romance of Bevis of Hampton." English Manuscript Studies 1100-1700, Volume 1, 1989, 222-41.
  • Camille, Michael. Image on the Edge: The Margins of Medieval Art. London: Reaktion Books, 1992. ISBN 9780948462283
  • Brantley, Jessica. "Images of the Vernacular in the Taymouth Hours", in Decoration and Illustration in Medieval English Manuscripts, English Manuscript Studies 1100-1700, 10. London: British Library, 2002, pp. 83–113. ISBN 9780712347327
  • Stanton, Anne Rudloff. "Turning the Pages: Marginal Narratives and Devotional Practice in Gothic Prayerbooks", in Blick, Sarah and Gelfand, Laura (eds). Push Me, Pull You: Imaginative and Emotional Interaction in Late Medieval and Renaissance Art. Leiden: Brill, 2011, pp. 75–122. ISBN 9789004205734
  • Turner, Marie. "Feeling Persecuted: Christians, Jews and Images of Violence in the Middle Ages". Journal of Medieval Religious Cultures, Volume 38, No. 1, 2012. 113-117.
  • Smith, Kathryn. The Taymouth Hours: Stories and the Construction of Self in Late Medieval England. London: British Library, 2012. ISBN 9780712358699

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