John B. L. Tolhurst • Volume 1 of 6: Temporale (Advent to Easter) • 1932
First of 6 vols. The project to edit the Hyde Breviary was a considerable one that was to occupy the HBS for a decade. Hyde Abbey had been founded alongside New Minster, Winchester in 965 by St Ethelwold (c. 908-984), Bishop of Winchester, and a former Abbot of Abingdon, with Abingdon monks. In 1110 the community moved from its cramped premises to Hyde Meadow, just outside the city walls. The breviary MSS edited were most probably written during the abbacy of Symon de Kanings (1292-1304).
The Hyde Breviary is one of a small number of surviving MS witnesses to the form of the English Benedictine breviary, supplemented by what Tolhurst thought was a single surviving volume of a 1528 printed breviary or portiforium of Abingdon (pars aestivalis, Cambridge, Emmanuel College; there is in fact a full copy at Exeter College, Oxford; STC 15792). The Hyde relics were here chosen as the most typical and informative.
The Rawlinson and Gough MSS (SC 15842, 18338) were written by different scribes but on virtually indistinguishable vellum and with illuminations from the same hand. Here they are collated with surviving witnesses to the English Benedictine breviary of the period: the breviaries of Coldingham Priory, Berwickshire, a cell of Durham Cathedral Priory (London, British Library, Harley MS 4664, c. 1270), Ely Cathedral Priory (Cambridge, University Library, Ii.4.20 (c. 1275), Muchelney Abbey, Somerset (London, British Library, Additional 43405-43506, c. 1280).1 The only other non-fragmentary breviary is that of Battle Abbey in Sussex (Cambridge, Trinity College, MS 0.7.31, c. 1500), but this is probably an importation from Marmoutier, and hence is not collated here.
1 At the time Tolhurst was writing, the two volumes of this manuscript, as he notes, were in the possession of John Meade Falkner of Durham. Falkner died on 22 July 1932 and the MS came up for sale at Sotheby's in London in December that year. It was presented in Falkner's memory to the British Museum by Sir John Henry Brunel Noble in 1933.