Taymouth Hours

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
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 1325–40. 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.[2] They 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 included Isabella of France (wife of Edward II) and her daughter Joan of the Tower. In the most recent detailed study, Kathryn Smith states that the Taymouth Hours was one of the two books Philippa of Hainault, consort of Edward III, commissioned from the illuminator Richard of Oxford for 40 shillings in October 1331; Smith further suggests that she ordered the book for Edward's sister, Eleanor of Woodstock, who was then 13 years old.[4] However, there is no firm evidence to corroborate either suggestion, and more than one reviewer finds Smith's hypothesis unconvincing.[5][6]


  1. ^ Detailed record for Yates Thompson 13 British Library Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts
  2. ^ Rudloff Stanton (2011), 105
  3. ^ Rudloff Stanton (2011), 109
  4. ^ Smith, Kathryn. The Taymouth Hours: Stories and the Construction of Self in Late Medieval England. London: British Library, 2012. ISBN 9780712358699.
  5. ^ Kidd (2013), 27
  6. ^ Weiss (2015), 158


  • 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
  • Camille, Michael. Image on the Edge: The Margins of Medieval Art. London: Reaktion Books, 1992. ISBN 9780948462283
  • Rudloff Stanton, Anne. "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.
  • Kidd, Peter, review of "The Taymouth Hours: Stories and the Construction of the Self in Late Medieval England" by Kathryn A. Smith, in Rare Books Newsletter, Issue 95, August 2103, pp. 26–27.
  • Weiss, Judith, review of "The Taymouth Hours: Stories and the Construction of the Self in Late Medieval England" by Kathryn A. Smith, in The Catholic Historical Review Volume 101, Number 1, Winter 2015 pp. 157–58

External links[edit]