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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 Şarum Portiforium by Mr. Seager. Now that we are able to present 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
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.
3 Vol. i. Preface, pp. lxxxv. Ixxxix.; 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 Secundus, Londini apud Whittaker et Soc. MDCCCLV,
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
i Monumenta, Ritualia, Vol. i. Pre. face, p. iv.
? See Mr. Dickinson's List of Eng. Tish Service books published in the
Ecclesiologist No. Lxxxvi. Feb. 1850. We exclude the few books printed at Douay since the Reformation.
to construct a perfect text by correcting it. The contractions indeed have been expanded, and the holy name of our Lord is printed with large Capitals, according to the custom of our Society : otherwise there has been no deviation from the original text. Words, or letters, printed in Italic type denote that they are printed in red in the original ; the black letter is represented by the Roman.
There are eleven other volumes, portions or full copies, of the York Breviary, eight of known dates and three undated. Full notices of these will be found below : and thanks to the great liberality of their owners, who have accorded to me free use of them at my own leisure, their texts are here collated with our original. They are all later than 1493 : one and one only dates from the reign of Philip and Mary. The researches of the late Mr. Davies, sometime Townclerk of York, have given us a glimpse of an edition printed in France before 1510, which was supplied to a York bookseller, Gerard Wansfort.' And it is probable that one at least of the above-named undated copies, that of Mr. Blew, is of this edition. A third issue, apparently a large one, came from the press of Fr. Regnault in 1526: and of this, six volumes are still in existence. The fourth and last dated edition is of 1533 : of which we possess the two parts that constitute a perfect whole. Its correctness and good arrangement might have led us to take it as the original of our reprint: only it seemed on the whole advisable to reproduce of those with a known date the earliest rather than the latest known edition.
The printer of the Bodleian book deserves a passing tribute. Johannes Hammanus, or as he called himself later J. Hertzog, describes himself of Spires in the earliest book we have of his printing : subsequently he speaks of Landau as his own city, but he printed always at Venice. His surname of Hamman recalls that of a more famous bearer of the name, Jost Amman, the great engraver, who died at Nürnberg in 1591. Like so many others of the early Venice printers, Hamman was evidently a man who took great pride in his work. He describes himself as magister, exercising an ars mirifica, vir solers, vir probatissimus, impressor famatissi
Memoir of the York Press, p. 13.