The Henry Bradshaw Society:
Its Birth and First Decade, 1890–1900

Anthony Ward SM and Cuthbert Johnson OSB

The Henry Bradshaw Society celebrates in 1990 the centenary of its foundation.1 This is an event that merits from all serious liturgists both congratulations and some consideration of the particularities of its achievement. Accordingly, the present study aims to give a brief account of the Society’s genesis and early years and it is hoped in a later piece to examine more extensively its overall contribution to liturgical studies.

The Henry Bradshaw Society is one of four hundred or so national and local learned societies in Great Britain that have issued texts, books and articles especially regarding both religious and secular history. Many were founded in the nineteenth century and constitute a monument to the vigour and energy of Victorian intellectual and cultural life. The majority of these societies have been dependent upon the members’ subscriptions to finance their publications, and their spirit is one of generous devotion and loyalty towards the preservation and appreciation of the local or national heritage to which they are variously dedicated. Something has been sketched of their chief publications in the liturgical sphere elsewhere.2

The spirit of all these societies is summed up in a circular letter of the Revd. James Raines dated 27 April 1834 and announcing the formation of the Durham-based Surtees Society in 1834, which pointed to:

a very few only of the hitherto inedited manuscripts connected with Durham alone, MSS. which, in these times, few individuals would incur the risk of printing at their own cost; but which nevertheless, afford even singly, how much more collectively, the most valuable materials to those who are anxious to study rightly the History of our forefathers under its different characters.3

The Surtees Society referred to here was formed from a group of friends of the recently deceased Robert Surtees, a respected historian of the County of Durham.4 In drafting its statutes, it in turn received help from officers of the Ballantyne Club, who advised that 100 copies would be an adequate print-run for the new Society’s volumes.5

One event in the chain of our present story was the revival among these societies of the entity known variously over the years as the Cambridge Camden Society, the Ecclesiological Society, the St Paul’s Ecclesiological Society, and currently once again the Ecclesiological Society.6 Still active in our own day under the banner of its Pugin seal, this Society of John Mason Neale and the first Ecclesiologists had been founded in May 1839 and modelled on the existing Camden Society, a successful publishing Society bearing the name of the antiquarian William Camden (1551–1623) which had itself begun publishing in 1838, and which was in turn also inspired by the notable success of the Surtees Society.7

In 1879 the Ecclesiological Society, after a decade or so of limbo, was refounded in London as the St Paul’s Ecclesiological Society, and in this event a significant role was played by Dr John Wickham Legg. Legg remained a vicepresident of the Ecclesiological Society for many years, and was one of the major contributors to its proceedings and publications. As we shall see, he was to press his experience into service in the launching of yet another new enterprise.

The present authors have written elsewhere about the engaging figure of Legg (1843–1921).8 May it suffice here to evoke the salient features of his life prior to 1890. Legg was born at Alverstock, near Portsmouth, on December 28th, 1843. He was the third son of George Legg, a printer and bookseller. In early adulthood he took up medical studies at University College, London, where his abilities soon gained recognition. Securing the gold medal of his year for clinical work, he proceeded without hitch to qualification and to admission into the Royal College of Surgeons. On the recommendation of Sir William Jenner, the young Legg was in 1866 appointed to attend Prince Leopold, later styled Duke of Albany, the haemophiliac fourth son of Queen Victoria. He remained a consultant physician until the prince’s death in 1884, and named his only son after him.

After a year studying in Berlin 1867-1868, he returned to England and pursued his rise though the ranks of the profession, combining his clinical work with writing and research. He married happily in 1872 but was soon feeling the strain of his active life, even while developing an interest in liturgical studies which itself gained recognition through his acceptance in 1875 as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Antiquaries. In 1876 came a Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons, and in 1877 the birth of his son. In 1879 he became a lecturer in pathology, and in 1881 he published in the field of liturgy for the first time: a short study on liturgical colours.

The entry into pathological research brought with it certain inevitable health risks, of which Legg fell foul. After two bouts of illness which he suspected had their cause in his work with corpses, Legg in 1887 arrived at a decision of moment: he resigned all his medical posts and gave all his medical books away. After a winter’s convalescence at Cannes, Legg, now a man in his mid-forties, turned decisively to the hobby he had nurtured already for some twenty years. Henceforth he would bring to bear on liturgical studies the same energy, discipline and scientific exactitude that he had devoted to medicine. Its first fruit was his edition of the 1535 Breviary of Cardinal Quiñonez, published by the Cambridge University Press in 1888.9

It was this personal itinerary which led Legg towards the foundation of the Henry Bradshaw Society.

Henry Bradshaw (mezzotint, after Sir Hubert von Herkomer) © National Portrait Gallery, London

So much for Legg, then, but who was Henry Bradshaw? And how did his name come to be that of a liturgical Society? At the time of his death Bradshaw was the University Librarian at Cambridge University. He was born in London on 2 February 1831.10 His father, Joseph Hoare Bradshaw, had been a collector of Irish books, and by the time young Henry left Eton for King’s College Cambridge he had already followed in the paternal footsteps to the point of amassing a personal library of 500 volumes.11 It was said, moreover, that a good deal of his seven years at the school had been spent in the library.

After being elected to a fellowship at his college and taking his degree, he tried his hand in Ireland as a schoolmaster for two years, but in November 1856 returned to Cambridge as assistant librarian in the University Library, where he was to make his career. Within two years he had orientated his activities towards the cataloguing of manuscripts, and in June 1859 he was appointed superintendent of manuscripts. After making a number of important discoveries and entering the lists of controversy on the issue of the authenticity of the Codex Sinaiticus, he was in 1867 appointed University Librarian. His success in the post was variously evaluated at the time and in the years that followed. It would seem that he was not an administrator of genius, but that he did possess astonishing powers of memory. These he did not always manage to put to use in his own projects, for he was inconsistent in his attentions and left many projects uncompleted. Yet there were other openings.

Bradshaw did make a considerable if less easily measured impact through his constant availability to other scholars and through the ready assistance he gave them. Such a collaboration has been demonstrated by the recent publication of a correspondence both cordial and technical which he conducted in the years 1864–1884 with J.W. Holtrop and M. F. G. A. Campbell who were successively Librarian of the Royal Library at the Hague.12 Not rare were other instances of generous and self-effacing collaboration.13 He was known in particular for his very exact knowledge of early printing, for his development of techniques of exact bibliographic description, and for his close familiarity with the contents of many European libraries. Bradshaw enjoyed the respect of his fellow librarians. and in 1882 he became President of the Library Association. His death came in the night of 10/11 February 1886, and he was buried in the vault of King’s College Chapel on the 16th. Three years later in 1889 his Collected Papers were published posthumously, edited for the Syndics of University Press under the cloak of anonymity by his successor Dr Francis Jenkinson.14

Christopher Wordsworth (albumen carte-de-visite, Samuel Alexander Walker, 1870s) © National Portrait Gallery, London

One of Bradshaw’s fields of interest had been early English liturgical manuscripts, and in this connection he had been of great help to Christopher Wordsworth and Francis Procter in the preparation of an edition of the Sarum Breviary.15 Wordsworth, a former fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge, was among those who promoted the formation of the Society which was to take Bradshaw’s name. For his part, Legg, as we have seen, had prepared and published in the Cambridge ambit his first critical edition two years after Bradshaw’s death.16 The Bradshaw Collected Papers appeared in the meantime. Quite what contacts crystallized the idea of a new Society is not yet fully clear in the present state of research, but whatever others played a part, Legg was in the forefront, and the new Society emerged into the light of day with a first entry in Legg’s fine hand:

A Meeting was held to promote the formation of a Society for the printing of liturgical manuscripts and rare editions on July 3rd 1890 in Mr W. H. St John Hope’s private room at the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House.

Those taking part were Canon W. Cooke (in the chair), Revd. Christopher Wordsworth, Revd. W. C. Bishop, J. T. Micklethwaite, W. H. St John Hope and Legg himself, acting as provisional secretary.

It was agreed that the name of the Association be the Bradshaw Society in honour of the late Henry Bradshaw, University Librarian.

When the same provisional committee met again on October 21st, 156 subscriptions had already been promised and plans went ahead for a general meeting to be held in November. The proposed membership of an elected committee was to be headed by Dr Brooke Westcott, Anglican Bishop of Durham, or failing him Dr John Wordsworth, the Anglican Bishop of Salisbury, as President, and Canon W. Cooke as Chairman. The total committee should not exceed fifteen members and the proposed members (among them personal friends of Bradshaw) were Rev. W. C. Bishop, Rev. F. E. Brightman, Mr Duff, Rev. Dr F. J. A. Hort, W. H. St John Hope, Francis Jenkinson, J. Madan, J. T. Micklethwaite, Rev. H. A. Wilson, Rev. Christopher Wordsworth, and Wickham Legg as Secretary and Treasurer.

In the interval before the next meeting of the promotion committee, the ground seems to have been further prepared by a meeting on 30 October 1889 between Legg and another fascinating character, the Catholic layman Edmund Bishop,17 on 30 October 1889, when aims and methods were clarified. In particular there was discussion of a set of rules for editing texts, drafted by Bishop the previous day and destined to become the substance of those issued by the Society.18

By the committee’s next meeting, the general meeting to launch the Society had been arranged for 3 o’clock on Tuesday, 25 November, the venue being the Jerusalem Chamber at Westminster Abbey. The Bishop of Salisbury had consented to let his name go forward, as had three committee members other than the original group and it was agreed that the Rev. F. E. Warren be invited to join the committee. The final touches were put to a printed notice to form the basis for the meeting. This substantially put forward the same committee, and sketched a programme of publication as follows:

The Westminster Missal (J. Wickham Legg)
Tracts of Clement Maydestone (Chr. Wordsworth)
Bangor Antiphoner (W. C. Bishop)
Hereford Breviary (W. G. Henderson)
Seven 12th century Pontificals (W. G. Henderson)
The Hours of York, Durham and Sarum (W. G. Henderson)
The Corpus Christi College Canterbury Sacramentary (Martin Rule)
Horae secundum usum Angliae (H. H. Gibbs)
Paris Missal of 1481 (abbé Misset)
Sacramentary of Robert of Jumièges and Benedictional of Rouen (S. S. Lewis)
Sarum Martyrology of Syon Abbey (F. Proctor)

The appended list of 175 supporters included from among the Anglican Bishops Dr Benson, Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Bishops of Oxford, Durham, Carlisle and Salisbury for England, of Argyll, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Moray for Scotland, of Down for Ireland, and of Connecticut, Iowa, and Capetown wider afield. Other dignitaries of the Anglican Church included the Dean of St Paul’s, and the Deans of Carlisle, Exeter, Lincoln, Lichfield, and Worcester, plus the Archdeacons of Nottingham and Rochester. From Cambridge came the heads of Clare and King’s Colleges, and the Regius, Lady Margaret, Ely, and Norrisian Professors of Divinity, from Oxford the Regius Professor of Pastoral Theology, and from Dublin, too, the Regius Professor of Divinity. They were accompanied by the Earls Beauchamp and Powys, and by Lord Clinton, by Francis Jenkinson of Cambridge University Library, and by Oxford’s Bodleian Library. For libraries abroad stood Léopold Delisle of the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, and Dr Antonio Ceriani of the Ambrosian Library, Milan. The Catholic contingent was strengthened by W. H. James Weale,19 and by Edmund Bishop with his friends Dom Aidan Gasquet and the abbé Misset, by the abbé Duchesne, Dom Hildebrand de Hemptinne, then abbot of Maredsous, and for Solesmes Abbey by Dom Piolain.

On 22 November a further shadow meeting took place between Bishop, Dom Aidan Gasquet of Downside, Everard Green and W. H. J. Weale at the National Art Library of the South Kensington Museum. This was a meeting of Catholics, to consider what their attitude to the new society should be. It was decided that as a priest Gasquet had better stay away, but that the laymen would go along to the November 25th meeting.20

The General Meeting took place largely as planned, though there does seem to have been something of a move, unsuccessful in the event, to exclude Catholics from office in the Society. Immediately afterwards the newly elected committee met to shape the future.21 As regards publications, they decided not to consider offers of Horae and Music Books for the time being, but to take up the following items in order:

The Westminster Missal (Wickham Legg)
Hereford Breviary (W. G. Henderson)
Clement Maydestone Tracts with the Pie (Chr. Wordsworth)
Sacramentary of Robert of Jumièges (abbé Sauvages)
Bangor Antiphoner (W. C. Bishop)
– with an Irish Ms. (Harleian 7653) (F. E. Warren)
A Greek Liturgy (F. E. Brightman)

As to the size of these books, the model adopted was the practice of the Surtees Society.22 Rules of editing were fixed and 500 copies of them printed. A small committee would plan the Society’s emblem, which was to refer to the late Henry Bradshaw, in much the same way as had been done for the Surtees Society. All candidates for membership applying before the next meeting were to be admitted, as were ladies who so applied.

Having set themselves on the path to no mean undertaking, the Council did not meet again till April 30th the following year, quite possibly owing in part to an absence abroad of Wickham Legg. When the April meeting came, the Council fixed on 12 guineas (£12.12s) as the individual subscription rate, discussed the manner of printing expansions of contracted forms used in the manuscripts, and how to tackle the plainchant notation in the Westminster Missal, which along with the Benedictional of Robert of Jumièges was to be the book for 1891. For 1892 the books were to be part II of the Missal and Beroldus and Casola edited by Mgr Magistretti of Milan. The cloth for bindings was to be green.

Offers were declined or encouraged, among the latter a proposal from Gasquet and Bishop to edit the consuetudinary of St Mary’s Abbey, York. The Rev. E. S. Dewick, who had substituted for Legg as secretary, and Edmund Bishop, were invited to join the Council. This latter invitation — doubtless Legg’s doing — was to bring him more than one headache in the event.

The proposed list of officers was printed up as a circular preparatory to the annual general meeting. Bishop received his copy, and in that terrible handwriting of his lost no time in writing to Legg from Primrose Hill on 17 November asking for his name to be withdrawn, this despite Everard Green’s attempt to dissuade him.23 A formal letter simply stated the fact, while a fuller personal letter under the same date expounded the reasoning:

My dear Legg,
The enclosed letter as far as fact goes explains itself. I should like also to give my reason, and therefore I write you informally too. The first General Meeting of the Henry Bradshaw Society produced on my mind impressions which made me somewhat reluctant to accept a place on the Council when it was offered me in the summer. But I reflected that beginnings are often difficult. Time & what time brings with it has only confirmed unpleasing impressions. It is never to be forgotten that the materials which mainly the Society proposes to itself to deal with are not mere antiquarian survivals of a dead past but are historical records of a living rite. Substantially these books have been traditionally used, these ceremonies traditionally practiced without break or interruption to this day. No one can deal with mediaeval ‘uses’ without finding that the written document would be often unintelligible or even wrongly interpreted, without reference to the living rite.
On looking over the proposed list of officers for the coming year I find, with the exception of Delisle (who is remote) and myself, exclusively the names of those who — it is a matter of simple and undeniable fact — are separated from this tradition by a chasm of more than three centuries of — to touch the matter with a light hand — disuse and neglect. There is no representative of the tradition among the officers, though such representatives are to be found among the members of the Society. This case therefore admits, so far as I can see, of only such explanation as clearly to shew that my name is wholly out of place in that list. Believe me to be
Yours ever truly,
Edmund Bishop

Notwithstanding this resignation of Edmund Bishop, and its motivation, the Henry Bradshaw Society does not appear to have pursued policies for the exclusion of Catholics. As long as Legg, with his wide European contacts, was alive that was utterly unthinkable. It was Legg who had tried to introduce Bishop into Council and attempted to keep him there. The tenor of relations was more typically set by the collaboration with Ceriani at the outset and by Legg’s hosting of Dr Ratti, the future Pius XI, at Oxford in later years. True, there was a battery of Anglican dignitaries on the Society’s lists, and a great many members of Council and editors were Anglican clergymen, but such was still the feel of English public life, especially where the Universities and their divinity faculties were concerned. It might weigh claustrophobically on Edmund Bishop and other English Catholics, but it could hardly be laid at the door of Legg and the Henry Bradshaw Society.

Yet, having said this, and abstracting from Bishop’s temperamental prickliness, the point he voiced did in fact have some substance to it. While many of the Henry Bradshaw Society publications have been self-evidently competent editions of texts, there have perhaps been some which in conception and execution have stalwartly disregarded the simple fact that the pre-Reformation liturgical texts of England and those of the Reformation itself are devoid of meaning and context without close reference to the liturgical history of the See of Rome. The ‘English’ interest of the Bradshaw Society has at times risked a scholarly insularity.24

Moreover, Bishop was concerned, as he explained further to Legg in a letter from Barnstaple of 21 March 1909, not with “the husk” but with “the kernel [. . . ] I want to get at the realities of the spirit”. On this score, too, he was impatient with a Society aiming only at the publication of textual monuments. Yet for all that, he was to tell Legg in a letter of 27 October 1911 of “my deep interest in the Society, and my sincere and deep admiration of the man whose name it bears (the one man above all of our English erudite in the old days that I thank chance or good fortune for bringing me to meet)”.

Although Legg was undoubtedly disappointed at not involving Bishop more closely as a committee member, relations remained good. Bishop remained a helpful member of the Society, and was to be brought back to prominence when in 1909 along with Mercati, he became a Vice-President. Only two years later, on the death of Bishop John Wordsworth, the Society’s first President, Legg would at one stage even consider putting Bishop forward as President, though nothing came of it.25

For the present, there was enough to do, and Legg forged ahead with great energy. Detailed letters were very soon exchanged with Ceriani (who wrote in model English) concerning photographic reproduction of manuscripts, arrangements elsewhere for the transcription of others, the securing of musical type, the redistribution of edited materials between volumes, and the first resignation from the Society, that of Martin Rule. Progress in such practical arrangements meant that the Syon Martyrology was to be edited by Dewick and issued in lieu of previously planned volumes as part of the works for 1891. All this was reported on at the Council meeting of November 6th, 1891, which also arranged for the second General meeting.

At a Council meeting on 15 December 1891 the formal letter from Edmund Bishop was read and accepted with regret and the hope expressed that he would carry on with his edition of the Benedictional of Robert of Jumièges. Lunn and Wordsworth were to edit the Sarum Pie as a work for 1892, the Bangor Antiphoner was to be reproduced in heliography by the Milanese photographer Angelo Della Croce, and the base for the Society’s edition of the Roman Missal was to be that of 1474 in the Ambrosian Library, editing being entrusted to Mr Proctor.

Interestingly enough, a letter of apology for absence at this meeting written by Francis Jenkinson reveals that Bradshaw’s views were still being taken as a basis for action in some of the Society’s planning of editions. Moreover by May 1892 Walter Howard Frere was actively involved in the preparation of the Hereford Breviary, and his scheme was accepted by Council. Christopher Wordsworth was to edit the Coronation Service of Charles I as a volume for 1892, and the same Wordsworth’s index to the Syon Martyrology could be printed with that work. Negotiations were underway with Léopold Delisle for a transcription of the Bayeux Ordinary in the Chapter Library of Bayeux, and W. C. Bishop was explaining a project for editing Mozarabic lectionaries in the Bibliothèque nationale, Paris. All the volumes printed by the Society were to be offered to the Bradshaw Collection at the Cambridge Library, an offer that was accepted.

In October that year Frere was to be presented for election to the Council, Legg was to stay Secretary but cease to be Treasurer, and there was to be lobbying of the government for photographic facilities at the British Museum to expedite the reproduction of manuscripts. H. A. Wilson’s edition of the Evesham Book was to be printed. The second part of the Westminster Missal, printed without music, was to be distributed, and F. E. Warren’s edition of the Bangor Antiphoner was to be got under way by issuing the collotypes of it as one of the volumes for 1892, a printed transcription to follow, bound with Warren’s edition of Harleian 7653 as an appendix.

In February 1893, the first volumes were out, a gift of that of the coronation service of Charles I was going to the College of Arms, and Dr Ceriani was being sent six copies of the Bangor Antiphoner as a mark of warm gratitude. Plans were being made for Legg to edit the Westminster Consuetudinary of Abbot Ware as a volume for 1894, though this was subsequently postponed. In June there was an offer from Frere to edit the Winchester Troper and a IXth-century Rheims Psalter, which was accepted, and in November Cardinal Moran became a member of the Society and M. R. James was approved for proposal as a Council member. A handbill issued that summer proudly listed two volumes each for the years 1891-1893 and ten volumes in active preparation.

The Council meeting of January 1894 readmitted the Bishop of Iowa, having ejected him from the Society for non-payment, and looked for ways of securing better delivery to American members. Mr Whitley Strong’s offer to edit the Gorman Martyrology was accepted and Dr Bernard invited to report on an edition of the Irish Liber Hymnorum. October that year found them maintaining November as the preferred date of the Annual General Meeting, and accepting an offer from H. A. Wilson and Wickham Legg to edit the Roman Canon, and from Wilson to edit a Bodleian manuscript related to scrutinies and the instruction of catechumens. The December Council meeting invited Dr Bernard on to the Council, made arrangements to handle the papers of the late chairman, resolved to invite Rev. Robert Lippe to edit the Roman Missal and Maunde Thompson to edit Abbot Ware’s Consuetudinary, and noted the withdrawal of Edmund Bishop from the editing of the Benedictional of Robert of Jumièges.

By the time that five full years had passed, the Henry Bradshaw Society was well launched. Despite all the uncertainties of dealings with printers, the vexing problems of securing suitable type for plainchant, the withdrawal of editors, and the deaths of close collaborators an enterprise was firmly established. In that fifth year Gladstone was received into membership, Cardinal Moran was actively making suggestions for future editions, the stock for 1891 was exhausted, with 12 copies left from 1892, 25 from 1893 and 38 from 1894. Legg had been from the outset the Secretary. Now he changed roles, becoming Chairman, and signing for the first time in that capacity on 27 October 1896.

In June 1896 Bernard’s Irish Liber Hymnorum was recast into two volumes, and an offer of the Rev. H. J. Lawlor to edit the Rosslyn Missal was accepted. In October the balance in hand was £140, and Mgr Barbier de Montault had to have the Society’s policy on review copies explained to him. A message of condolence was sent on the death of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Frere’s suggestion of reprinting the Burntisland edition of the Sarum Missal was favourably discussed.

There appears at this point to have intervened some particular circumstance that reduced the frequency of Council meetings for some time to more or less one a year. Perhaps the ill health or absences of Legg played a part. In any case, between 28 October 1897 and 26 October 1898, and then again until October 26th, 1899 no meetings were held.

There were some complications in the 1897 meeting with Maunde Thompson’s Westminster Consuetudinary, and delays with Christopher Wordsworth’s Directorium, but Lippe’s Roman Missal was ready for printing. Cuthbert Atchley joined the Society. By the 1898 meeting Ulysse Chevalier had also joined, there was some irritation at delays in producing the collotypes of the Coronation Book of Charles V, and Legg’s proposal to edit three coronation orders was accepted. There was discussion of Frere’s Hereford Breviary and the role there of Langton Brown, and hesitation about the edition of a 16th-century Paderborn Agenda by Mr McGarvey of Philadelphia. St John Hope raised the interest of publishing the 15th-century processional of the Benedictine Nuns of Chester, and decisions were taken regarding the division of material in the Lippe’s edition of the Roman Missal.

At the 1899 meeting the Vatican Library had become a member, while the Earl of Malmesbury and others were removed for several years’ non-payment, a proposal from the Rev. A. E. Burns regarding selected manuscript creeds was accepted, and a gift of several volumes was made to the Montecassino Library. There was no news of the 16th-century Paderborn Agenda, but dispositions were made concerning Maunde Thompson’s Consuetudinary, and further information was requested on the early Gregorian Sacramentary proposed by the Prior of Montecassino. Wordsworth’s Directorium Sacerdotum was sent to the printers. Once again Legg was hugely active, offering editions of a Clerk’s companion to the First Prayer Book of Edward VI, the Brigittine Breviary of Syon Abbey, and the Colbertine Breviary, all of which were accepted. The Benedictine Durham Breviary was to be added to works in programme.

When the Council met on 30 October 1900 at the Society of Antiquaries (its habitual location for most of the business of that first decade), it expelled Mgr Barbier de Montault for four years’ non-payment and admitted F. C. Eeles, together with the John Rylands Library of Manchester and the Dr Williams’ Library of London. The Directorium Sacerdotum was to be two volumes, as was the Hereford Breviary, and the Consuetudinary edition was to be sent to the printers. To the list of volumes in programme was added the Leofric Collectar.

At the close of 1900, a decade after the launch of the Henry Bradshaw Society, the following were the works it had been able to usher into print 19 volumes of which a briefly commented bibliography follows.

  1. Missale ad usum Ecclesie Westmonasteriensis. Nunc primum typis mandatum curante Iohanne Wickham Legg. Fasciculus I, Londini, 1891. 3 vols, see vols. 5, 12.

    The missal given to the abbey by Abbot Nicholas Lytlington, abbot 1362-1386 and builder of the Jerusalem Chamber, where the Henry Bradshaw Society was publicly launched. The manuscript was later divided into two volumes. Given the historic privileges of the abbey, the book contains special provision for the coronation service. It bears the pathetic defacements of the Visitors appointed by Henry VIII, who expunged mention of popes wherever they found them. This first volume of the Society was very much a corporate effort of the Council in every aspect.

  2. The Manner of the Coronation of King Charles the First of England at Westminster, 2 Feb. 1626. Edited for the Henry Bradshaw Liturgical Texts Society by Christopher Wordsworth, London, 1892.

    In preparation for the coronation of Charles I (his queen, Henrietta Maria, by her choice, took no part) it proved necessary to revise the English-language rite. The previous protestant sovereigns Edward VI and Elizabeth I had been crowned according to a Latin rite and the English-language rite used for the coronation of Charles’s father, James I, had been hastily put together. The new English was devised by a commission of bishops. The Bradshaw edition of it also contained a number of related documents.

  3. The Martiloge in Englysshe after the Use of the chirche of Salisbury and as it is redde in Syon, With addicyons. Printed by Wynkyn de Worde in 1526. Edited, with introduction and notes, by F. Proctor and E. S. Dewick, London, 1893.

    The text is a translation done into English for use in the Brigittine monastery of Syon by Richard Whytford.

  4. The Antiphonary of Bangor. An Early Irish Manuscript in the Ambrosian Library at Milan. Edited by F. E. Warren. Pt I: A complete facsimile in collotype by W. Griggs, with a transcription; accompanied by an introduction descriptive of the history and the palaeography of the manuscript, London, 1893. 2 vols., see vol. 10.

    This book, called an antiphonary largely for want of a better term, was traceable to the monastery of Bangor 680-691. With omissions it had been published by Muratori, and taken up by Migne in PL 72, 579–606. The collotypes of the Bradshaw quarto edition had a line-by-line transcription on the facing page. A critical edition then followed in a further volume.

  5. Missale ad usum Ecclesie Westmonasteriensis. Nunc primum typis mandatum curante Iohanne Wickham Legg, Fasciculus II, Londini, 1893.

    This had to be content with 12 photographic reproductions of musical notation from the Missal, since all efforts secure facilities to print the music failed. It contains rich notes.

  6. Officium Ecclesiasticum Abbatum secundum Usum Eveshamensis Monasterii. Nunc primum typis mandatum curante Henrico Austin Wilson. Londini, 1893.

    A monastic ritual.

  7. The Tracts of Clement Maydeston, with the Remains of Caxton’s Ordinale. Edited by Chr. Wordsworth, London, 1894.

    The main text reproduced is a sort of ordinal or directory, which though privately compiled, acquired a de facto quasi-official status. It is accompanied by other texts relating to the Pie or Pica of Sarum.

  8. The Winchester Troper, from MSS. of the Xth and XIth Centuries, with other Documents illustrating the History of Tropes in England and France. Edited by Walter Howard Frere, London, 1894.

    A collection of tropes from English sources.

  9. The Martyrology of Gorman. Edited from a MS. in the Royal Library, Brussels, with a Preface, Translation, Notes, and Indices, by Whitley Stokes. London, 1895.

    A late twelfth-century metrical text transcribed about 1630 by Michael O’Cleary. The edition gives the original Middle-Irish, an English translation, notes and a glossary.

  10. The Antiphonary of Bangor. An Early Irish Manuscript in the Ambrosian Library at Milan. Edited by F. E. Warren. Pt II, London, 1895.

    This consists of the actual edition itself.

  11. The Missal of Robert of Jumièges. Edited by H. A. Wilson, London, 1896.

    A book of the early 11th century, predating the Norman Conquest of England, presented as a gift to his former abbey of Jumièges by Robert, Bishop of London 1044–1050 then Archbishop of Canterbury, who died in exile at Jumièges. The manuscript being in the Rouen public library, Léopold Delisle arranged for access.

  12. Missale ad usum Ecclesie Westmonasteriensis. Nunc primum typis mandatum curante Iohanne Wickham Legg, Fasciculus III, London, 1897.

    The complement to volumes 1 and 5, consisting of further notes and of indices.

  13. The Irish Liber Hymnorum. Edited from a MSS., with Translations, Notes, and Glossary, by J. H. Bernard and R. Atkinson. Vol. I: Text and Introduction, London, 1898. 2 vols., see vol. 14.

    An eleven-century manuscript in Trinity College, Dublin, containing texts in Irish and Latin. It was presented with extensive notes and a glossary.

  14. The Irish Liber Hymnorum. Edited from a MSS., with Translations, Notes, and Glossary, by J. H. Bernard and R. Atkinson. Vol. II: Translations, and Notes, London, 1898.

    Complementing volume 13 and containing a translation and very full notes.

  15. The Rosslyn Missal. An Irish Manuscript in the Advocates’ Library, Edinburgh. Edited by Hugh Jackson Lawlor, 1899.

    A manuscript rather obliquely named from its once having been at Rosslyn Castle, but which at the time of this edition had come to the Advocates’ Library at Edinburgh. It was dated to the late 13th or early 14th century, being thought to be an English copy of an Irish exemplar in turn descended from a book belonging to the Benedictine nuns of St Werbugh, Chester in the 12th century.

  16. The Coronation Book of Charles V of France (Cottonian Ms. Tiberius B. VIII). Edited by E. S. Dewick, with Collotypes of all the Miniatures in the MS. and Reproductions of Seven of them in Colours and Gold by W. Griggs. London, 1899.

    This had been drawn up by Order of the King in 1365, but was not the text employed at the coronation, but a commemorative volume written after the event.

  17. Missale Romanum, Mediolani, 1474. Edited by Robert Lippe. Vol. I: Text, London, 1899. 2 vols., see vol. 33.

    Furnished with an introductory note by Legg, this edition was based upon a copy in the Ambrosian Library.

  18. The Processional of the Nuns of Chester. Edited from a Manuscript in the Possession of the Earl of Ellesmere at Bridgewater House, by J. Wickham Legg. London, 1899.

    A fifteenth-century Latin text interesting for its admixture of prayers and hymns in English.

  19. Three Coronation Orders. Edited by J. Wickham Legg, London, 1900.

    The order for the coronation of William III and Mary II, with a 14th-century Anglo-French text and an 11th-century rite for the coronation of an Anglo-Saxon king. With apparatus and considerable notes.

This last volume of the first decade betrays the hand of Legg in many of the preceding volumes. Coronation rites were one of his particular interests, which he succeeded in handing on, indeed, to his son Leopold, who later published on the subject. Another focus of his work was in evolving liturgical reform, and yet another was in the form of liturgical vestments. Many a note and an appendix in these first volumes mirrors such interests, though the celtic material was of a different stream.

If we examine the total number of projects discussed in the Council meetings over this period, we find that they amount to no less than forty-one. Eight or more of the projects discussed changed editor before they appeared, but appear they did. In fact fifteen projects in all reached fruition within the first decade, and a further ten were published by the Society in a later period even if the last of these did not appear till 1937! Sixteen projects failed ever to appear in the Society’s lists, though some of them did appear elsewhere.

Of the grand total of nineteen volumes issued in the first decade, five had been personally edited by Legg himself. Indeed, if we take the first twenty-five years, 1890–1915, he was to edit nine volumes out of the fifty the Society issued for that period.

If any one man, then, typified the enterprise that was the Henry Bradshaw Society in the years of its infancy and fast-achieved maturity, that man was John Wickham Legg. A fine figure of an exacting scholar with a warm and unprejudiced heart, Legg was the soul and guiding principle of the best that Henry Bradshaw Society achieved. Around him other figures clustered, some of whom, despite notable contributions, have left little trace in the annals. We might think for example of the Rev. William John Blew, possessor of a remarkable liturgical library, and a Vice-President of the Henry Bradshaw Society at his death. There were those, too, such as Christopher Wordsworth or the young Frere, whose merits were great and who have met with their biographies.

The account given here says nothing of the developments throughout this present century, many of which have been fine achievements. That history must for the moment bide its time. Yet our glance at the first decade has brought to light the spirit of a proud undertaking whose generosity of intention have withstood the trials of vastly changed times.26

Anthony Ward SM and Cuthbert Johnson OSB

NOTES – top
1 [Note omitted for online publication]
2 Cuthbert Johnson & Anthony Ward, ‘Some British Societies for the Publication of Studies and Ancient Texts’, in Ephemerides Liturgicae 101 (1987) 229–245.
3 Quoted in A. Hamilton Thompson, The Surtees Society 1834-1934, London 1939 (= Surtees Society vol. 150), p. 5.
4 Author of The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham, Nichols, Son, & Bently, London, 1816–1840, 4 vols., republished by EP Publishing & Durham County Library, Wakefield, 1972.
5 See in A. Hamilton Thompson, The Surtees Society 1834–1934, London 1939 (= Surtees Society vol. 150), pp. 12, 15.
6 See James F. White, The Cambridge Movement, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1962, p. 223–224; Arthur Geoffrey Lough, The Influence of John Mason Neale, SPCK, London, 1962, esp. pp. 6-37. The Hon. Membership Secretary of the Ecclesiological Society can be contacted at St. Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe, Queen Victoria Street, London EC4V 5DE, England.
7 For details, see John Gough Nichols, A Descriptive Catalogue of the First Series of the Works of the Camden Society, J.B. Nichols & Sons, London 1862, p. iii.
8 For a biographical sketch and first bibliography see: Anthony Ward & Cuthbert Johnson, ‘John Wickham Legg (1843-1921): A Contribution towards the rediscovery of British Liturgical Scholarship’, in Ephemerides Liturgicae, 97 (1983) 70–84; and further studies by the same authors: ‘A Forgotten Liturgical Scholar: John Wickham Legg’, in Notitiae 21 (1985) 115-121; ‘Diary of an Anglican Liturgist in Rome in 1906’, Notitiae 22 (1985) 563–565.
9 John Wickham Legg, Breviarium Romanum a Francisco Cardinali Quignonio editum et recognitum iuxta editionem Venetiis A.D. 1535 impressam, curante Iohanne Wickham Legg, Cantabrigiae, Typis atque impensis Academiae, 1888.
10 These details and most of those that follow are culled from the fundamental source of information, the biography published under a modest title by an early friend and colleague on the fellowship of King’s College, George Walter Prothero: A Memoir of Henry Bradshaw, Fellow of King’s College Cambridge, and University Librarian, London, 1888; see also C. E. Grant, ‘In Memoriam, Henry Bradshaw’, in Library Chronicle, A Journal of Librarianship and Bibliography [organ of the Library Association of the United Kingdom] 3 (1888) 25–36. Other publications are largely derived from these.
11 When in March 1870 this collection amounted to 5000 items, Bradshaw donated it to his University Library. By the time of his death he had collected numerous further items, which went by bequest to join the earlier ones. See the catalogue published in 1909: The Henry Bradshaw Collection Presented in 1870 and 1886, Cambridge, 1909 (= Cambridge University Library Bulletin, Extra series).
12 See Wytze Hellinga & Lotte Hellinga, Henry Bradshaw’s Correspondence with J. W. Holtrop and M. F. A. G. Campbell, vol. 1, Menno Hertzberger, Amsterdam, 1968; vol. 2, A. L. Van Gendt, Amsterdam, 1978. This publication shows how Bradshaw’s contribution is as yet far from exhaustively investigated. An earlier, briefer publication had already revealed the tenor of his correspondence to the public. See eleven letters to the Revd. Stephen Willoughby Lawley, editor of the York Breviary, during the period of its preparation, and dated 21 August 1880 to 17 October 1882: Francis Jenkinson (ed.), ‘Eleven Letters from Henry Bradshaw to S. W. Lawley’, in [Francis Jenkinson (ed.)], Fasciculus Ioanni Willis Clarke Dicatus, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1909, pp. 115–134.
13 See, for instance, the list of liturgical books in the preface to Francis Procter & Christopher Wordsworth (edd.), Breviarium ad usum insignis Ecclesiae Sarum, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1879–1886, 3 vols., vol. III, pp. xli–lxxxvii (for which Bradshaw personally examined 210 volumes); the list furnished on p. xiii of Stephen Willoughby Lawley (ed.), Breviarium ad usum Ecclesie Eboracensis, vol. 1, Durham, 1880, (= Publications of the Surtees Society, 71); the appendix to J. Charles Cox & W. H. St John Hope, The Chronicles of the Collegiate or Free Church of All Saints Derby, Bemrose, London / Irongate, Derby, 1881, pp. 229–231. All of them are from Bradshaw.
14 Collected Papers of Henry Bradshaw, Late University Librarian, edited for the Syndics of the University Press [by Francis Jenkinson], Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1889. The collection amounts to 24 papers in 488 pp.
15 It appeared in 1878–1885; see note 13 above.
16 Of the first edition of Quignon, see note 9 above.
17 See the remarkable and full biography by Nigel Abercrombie, The Life and Works of Edmund Bishop, Longmans, London, 1959.
18 See Nigel Abercrombie, The Life and Works of Edmund Bishop, Longmans, London, 1959, p. 202.
19 The Catholic layman W. H. James Weale is evoked briefly in Cuthbert Johnson & Anthony Ward, ‘A Catalogue of Printed Liturgical Books of the Dioceses of France’, in Questions Liturgiques 66 (1985), 53–58.
20 See Nigel Abercrombie, The Life and Works of Edmund Bishop, Longmans, London, 1959, p. 162.
21 See Nigel Abercrombie, The Life and Works of Edmund Bishop, Longmans, London, 1959, p. 162.
22 Legg became himself a member of the Surtees Society on 2 December 1890 and so remained until his death on 28 October 1921. See A. Hamilton Thompson, The Surtees Society 1834-1934, London 1939 (= Surtees Society vol. 150), p. 253.
23 See Nigel Abercrombie, The Life and Works of Edmund Bishop, Longmans, London, 1959, p. 175.
24 For some similar points concerning compartmentalization, see Anthony Ward, ‘Jean-Claude Colin on Prosper Guéranger: “Dom Guéranger rend un service immense à l’Église”’, in Ephemerides Liturgicae, 103 (1989) 418–434, esp. pp. 419–420.
25 See Nigel Abercrombie, The Life and Works of Edmund Bishop, Longmans, London, 1959, p. 423.
26 In preparing this article for publication at the time of the Henry Bradshaw Society centenary, the authors would like to pay a simple tribute to the late Mr Derek Turner, then Chairman of the Society’s Council, in whose rooms at the British Museum they were able to examine the Society’s archives with a view to this historical study. Requiescat in pace Domini.