Artifact – Archaeology Journal

Artifact England Medieval Book of Hours Page


Artifact England Medieval Book of Hours Page

What’s it?

Illuminated manuscript


Medieval European


15th century




Oxborough, England


5.6 inches vast by 5.9 inches lengthy



















From the mid-fifteenth to the mid-sixteenth century, the Bedingfelds have been a rich, outstanding household with a splendid nation home known as Oxburgh Corridor in Oxborough, Norfolk, and substantial affect in England’s royal court docket. Their station was solely enhanced when Mary I (r. 1553–1558) grew to become queen—like their new monarch, the Bedingfelds have been religious Catholics. Along with public worship within the parish church, relations would even have worshipped in personal, utilizing such accompaniments as a Ebook of Hours crammed with prayer cycles, a lot of which have been devoted to the Virgin Mary. Different prayers have been devoted to remembrance of the lifeless.


Artifact Oxborough MapThis web page, doubtless from a Ebook of Hours, was fortuitously found amongst rubble within the eaves throughout restoration of Oxburgh’s roof. It shows Psalm 39 from the Latin Bible. “This single web page represents the household’s strategy to devotional observe,” says Nationwide Belief curator Anna Forrest. “The colourful illuminated initials in azurite blue and gold leaf rather than the extra customary blue and pink signifies that the guide will need to have been fairly costly, and thus additionally represents the household’s wealth and status. Books of Hours have been crucial within the later Center Ages and have been usually handed down by means of households.”


The Bedingfelds’ monetary state and political standing have been each threatened when Elizabeth I grew to become queen in 1558. In contrast to Mary, Elizabeth was a Protestant, and the Bedingfelds refused to abide by the Act of Uniformity, which outlawed Mass. “From that time on, they have been recusants whose refusal to attend the companies of the Church of England was a statutory offense,” explains Forrest. The household would have been pressured to shelter at Oxburgh and worship in secret, maybe utilizing the Ebook of Hours to which this web page belonged.

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