The "Ussher" Gospels

The "Ussher" Gospels

Collection ID

MS.000474.1-.2

Type

Manuscript

Date

1100-1199

Geography

Byzantine Empire

Language

Greek

Medium

Illuminated manuscript on parchment

Dimensions

v. 1: 209 folios; 4.9 × 3.7 × 1.6 in. (12.5 × 9.3 × 4.2 cm) v.2: 235 folios; 4.8 × 3.7 × 2 in. (12.2 × 9.6 × 5.1 cm)

Exhibit Location

On view in The History of the Bible, Translating the Bible


This is a small, two-volume copy of the Gospels in Greek. The scribe wrote the text in a careful minuscule hand. The manuscript’s small size suggests that it was created for private devotional use rather than liturgical or communal use. Later commentary appears in a larger, less regular hand. The manuscript contains fourteen full-page illuminated canon tables. This manuscript takes its nickname from one of its former owners, Archbishop James Ussher, author of the famed 17th-century chronology. The bookplate of the Earl of Moira, Francis Rawdon-Hastings, appears in both volumes. He was a British officer who fought throughout the American Revolution and later became the Governor-General of India.

Created around the 12th century CE, Byzantine Empire. Acquired by Thomas Goad (1576–1638), rector of Hadleigh, England. Acquired by James Ussher (1581–1656), Archbishop of Armagh, Ireland, until 1656; By descent to his daughter Elizabeth (1619–1693); Donated in 1661 to Trinity College, Dublin until 1702; Acquired by Sir Richard Bulkeley (1644–1710) until 1710. Acquired by John Jones. [1] Acquired by James Verschoyle (1747–1834), Dean of St. Patrick’s, Dublin, and later Bishop of Killala and Achonry.[2] Acquired by John Rawdon (1720–1793), 1st Earl of Moira; Acquired by Francis Rawdon-Hastings (1754–1826), 2nd Earl of Moira, 1st Marquess of Hastings, until 1826; [3] By descent in the Hastings family; Purchased at auction in 1868 by John Crichton-Stuart (1847–1900), 3rd Marquess of Bute, until 1900; By descent in the Crichton-Stuart family until 1983; Purchased at auction in 1983 by Hans Peter Kraus (1907–1988) of New York. [3] Acquired by Martin Schøyen, bookseller, Norway; [4] Privately purchased in 2011 by the Green Collection; Donated to Museum of the Bible in 2014.

Notes: [1] His name is written on the back flyleaf of volume 2. [2] In volume 1 is a handwritten note “Ex libris Jacobi Verschoyle.” [3] Francis Rawdon-Hastings was the son of John Rawdon by his third wife. He probably inherited the manuscript from his father. Rawdon-Hastings distinguished himself at the Battle of Bunker Hill and fought in several campaigns ending in South Carolina in 1781. http://www.carolana.com/SC/Revolution/british_army_francis_rawdon.html He became a member of the Royal Society in 1787. https://collections.royalsociety.org/DServe.exe?dsqIni=Dserve.ini&dsqApp=Archive&dsqCmd=Show.tcl&dsqDb=Persons&dsqSearch=((text)=%27hastings%27)&dsqPos=20 As Governor-General of India he expanded British power in India and supported Sir Stamford Raffles’s purchase of the island of Singapore. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Francis-Rawdon-Hastings-1st-Marquess-of-Hastings [4] Sotheby’s June 13, 1983, Lot 1. [5] See Les Enluminures, "20 Now: Les Enluminures, 1991–2011, Catalogue 16" (Chicago: Les Enluminures, 2011), 15.

Museum of the Bible Publications:
Roland S. Werner. "Unser Buch: Die Geschichte der Bibel von Mose bis zum Mond (Our Book: The Story of the Bible from Moses to the Moon)." (Vandenhoek & Ruprecht GmbH & Co. KG and Museum of the Bible, 2017).

David Trobisch, Jennifer Atwood, Jonathan Kirkpatrick, and Rory P. Crowley. "Verbum Domini II: God’s Word Goes Out to the Nations." (Museum of the Bible and Abilene Christian University Press, 2012).


Description

This is a small, two-volume copy of the Gospels in Greek. The scribe wrote the text in a careful minuscule hand. The manuscript’s small size suggests that it was created for private devotional use rather than liturgical or communal use. Later commentary appears in a larger, less regular hand. The manuscript contains fourteen full-page illuminated canon tables. This manuscript takes its nickname from one of its former owners, Archbishop James Ussher, author of the famed 17th-century chronology. The bookplate of the Earl of Moira, Francis Rawdon-Hastings, appears in both volumes. He was a British officer who fought throughout the American Revolution and later became the Governor-General of India.


Provenance

Created around the 12th century CE, Byzantine Empire. Acquired by Thomas Goad (1576–1638), rector of Hadleigh, England. Acquired by James Ussher (1581–1656), Archbishop of Armagh, Ireland, until 1656; By descent to his daughter Elizabeth (1619–1693); Donated in 1661 to Trinity College, Dublin until 1702; Acquired by Sir Richard Bulkeley (1644–1710) until 1710. Acquired by John Jones. [1] Acquired by James Verschoyle (1747–1834), Dean of St. Patrick’s, Dublin, and later Bishop of Killala and Achonry.[2] Acquired by John Rawdon (1720–1793), 1st Earl of Moira; Acquired by Francis Rawdon-Hastings (1754–1826), 2nd Earl of Moira, 1st Marquess of Hastings, until 1826; [3] By descent in the Hastings family; Purchased at auction in 1868 by John Crichton-Stuart (1847–1900), 3rd Marquess of Bute, until 1900; By descent in the Crichton-Stuart family until 1983; Purchased at auction in 1983 by Hans Peter Kraus (1907–1988) of New York. [3] Acquired by Martin Schøyen, bookseller, Norway; [4] Privately purchased in 2011 by the Green Collection; Donated to Museum of the Bible in 2014.

Notes: [1] His name is written on the back flyleaf of volume 2. [2] In volume 1 is a handwritten note “Ex libris Jacobi Verschoyle.” [3] Francis Rawdon-Hastings was the son of John Rawdon by his third wife. He probably inherited the manuscript from his father. Rawdon-Hastings distinguished himself at the Battle of Bunker Hill and fought in several campaigns ending in South Carolina in 1781. http://www.carolana.com/SC/Revolution/british_army_francis_rawdon.html He became a member of the Royal Society in 1787. https://collections.royalsociety.org/DServe.exe?dsqIni=Dserve.ini&dsqApp=Archive&dsqCmd=Show.tcl&dsqDb=Persons&dsqSearch=((text)=%27hastings%27)&dsqPos=20 As Governor-General of India he expanded British power in India and supported Sir Stamford Raffles’s purchase of the island of Singapore. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Francis-Rawdon-Hastings-1st-Marquess-of-Hastings [4] Sotheby’s June 13, 1983, Lot 1. [5] See Les Enluminures, "20 Now: Les Enluminures, 1991–2011, Catalogue 16" (Chicago: Les Enluminures, 2011), 15.

Museum of the Bible Publications:
Roland S. Werner. "Unser Buch: Die Geschichte der Bibel von Mose bis zum Mond (Our Book: The Story of the Bible from Moses to the Moon)." (Vandenhoek & Ruprecht GmbH & Co. KG and Museum of the Bible, 2017).

David Trobisch, Jennifer Atwood, Jonathan Kirkpatrick, and Rory P. Crowley. "Verbum Domini II: God’s Word Goes Out to the Nations." (Museum of the Bible and Abilene Christian University Press, 2012).



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