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At a General Meeting of THE SURTEES SOCIETY, held in Durham Castle on Tuesday, June 6th, 1876, the Rev. Wm. Greenwell in the Chair-it was
ORDERED, That the York Breviary should be edited for the Society by Mr. Lawley.
SECUNDUM USUM ECCLESIE EBORACENSIS. THE Breviary, or Portiforium, according to the use of York is herewith presented to the Surtees Society: thus completing, with the exception of the Horae, the reprints of the several printed Service Books which belonged to the great Northern Diocese.
Concerning the varying forms of the Breviary little definite information can be gathered from books. What Doctor Neale said thirty years ago still remains true : 'The History ' of the Breviary, not only from the time that it came as a 'book, so-called, into use, about 1050, but from the very
commencement of the gradual process of its formation, is 'a great desideratum, perhaps the great desideratum, in
ritualistic works.'? And of English Breviaries in particular, their forms and peculiarities, there is much lack of accurate knowledge. Mr. Maskell, in his invaluable work, Monumenta Ritualia, Dr. Neale, in his Liturgiological Essays, and David Laing, in his Preface to the Breviarium Aberdonense, have written most to the purpose. And something towards a comparison of the Uses in England was attempted in the learned but unhappily uncompleted reprint of the Sarum Portiforium by Mr. Seager. Now that we are able to present
Christian Remembrancer, Oct. 1850, Vol. xx., new series, p. 285. Essays on Liturgiology and Church History, by Rev. J. M. Neale, D.D., 2nd edit. 1867, p. 2.
* Vol. i. Preface, pp. Ixxxv.-lxxxix. ; and Vol. ii. Pref. pp. xix.-xxxi.
· Breviarium Aberdonense, 2 Vols. Londoni apud J. Toovey MDCCCLIV.
The Preface was published in September 1855, as a separate pamphlet : printed at the request, and for the use of, the members of the Bannatyne Club.
• Ecclesiae Anglicanae Officia Antiqua. Fasciculus Primus, Londini apud J. Leslie MDCCCXLIII. Fasciculus Se. cundus, Londini apud Whittaker et Soc. MDCCCLV.
the public with an accurate reprint of the most ancient known text of our Breviary, we trust that a new stimulus will be given to investigation. For it has been felt all along that a chief hindrance to such investigation was the want of the original texts. The books themselves, as Mr. Maskell observes, ‘are amongst the rarest which still exist, and except • in a few instances are to be found (whether printed or
manuscript) only in the great public libraries.'' For purposes of handy use the texts must be in print: and towards this end our Society has done a great literary service by their contributions. And when the reprint of the Sarum Breviary, now in course of publication at Cambridge, is completed with Mr. Bradshaw's promised preface, the Liturgical Scholar will, we trust, find himself in a position to compare critically the two Uses of Sarum and of York, and to contrast them with the pre-Tridentine Breviary of Rome.
The publication of Service Books for England ceased, of course, in 1558. The first complete reprint of any of them in our days was nearly thirty years ago, when to the learning of the Reverend W. J. Blew was entrusted the republication of the Aberdeen Breviary. This work reflects the highest honour on all connected with it. And though we think that the practice of our own Society in writing out in full all contractions is right, yet there is a style and character in the Aberdeen reprint, which we should have been glad to have been allowed to imitate.
The copy which has supplied the text for our reprint is unique. It was printed in Venice in 1493, is a 'totum,' in small octavo, and printed with contractions throughout. It is in the Bodleian Library at Oxford. Nothing is known from contemporary record concerning the different editions of the York Portiforium : but it is possible that this Oxford copy is of the earliest edition of all. A very early edition of the Paris Breviary was printed by the same printer in Venice in 1487, and in 1494 an edition of the Sarum Missal, long considered to be the Editio Princeps. The Oxford book has been copied with all its errors of punctuation and spelling, with no attempt
Monumenta, Ritualia, Vol. i. Preface, p. iv,
· See Mr. Dickinson's List of Eng. lish Service books published in the
Ecclesiologist No. Lxxxvi. Feb. 1850.