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The Book of Hours of Louis de Roucy

Updated: Nov 28, 2022

The Hours of Louis De Roucy was a splendid manuscript, illuminated by a pupil of the so-called Master of the Troyes Missal. This manuscript, like many others, was the victim of an act of biblioclasm (literally, "book-breaking").

The aristocratic male patron is shown kneeling before the Virgin in the full-page miniature to the 'O intemerata' prayer, and in at least 6 initials appears a heraldic shield, made of a lion rampant azure, langued and armed gules. This shield belongued to Jean VII, Count de Roucy-Pierrepont and Sire de Montmirail, in accordance with the express wishes of his mother Jeanne. As a matter of fact, in 1438 she signed a document in which she undertook to leave all her possessions to her son, on condition that the latter used her father’s (Jean VI, Count de Braine and de Roucy-Pierrepont, died at Azincourt in 1415) heraldic coat of arms. Jean VII, in turn, without any legitimate heirs, left his title as well as the heraldic coat of arms and some of his possessions to Louis le bâtard (the bastard), his illegitimate son from the relationship with Isabelle de Montchalons. In the Office of the Dead’s first lesson the text is extremely rare and, according to K. Ottosen is only found in sources from Châlons-en-Champagne [1].

This attribution gains support from the All Saints miniature because the cathedral of Châlons is dedicated to St. Stephen.

Professor Carla Rossi, through the WayBack Recovery method, has recovered over a hundred text leaves and has reconstructed the history of the manuscript and of its first owner in the volume The Book of Hours of Louis De Roucy, published by RECEPTIO Academic Press, London 2022, providing a virtual facsimile edition.

[1] K. Ottosen, The Responsories and Versicles of the Latin Office of the Dead, 1993, p.74,

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