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Image Approximate Date

ca. 1450-1475

Creation Date



Accession 1500, Medieval Manuscript Collection


Book of Hours (“Livre de Raison”). Single folio on vellum. French Flanders, ca. 1450-1475: approx. 157 x 105 mm (written area 90 x 58 mm). Single column, 15 lines. This folio comes from an undistinguished worn, and stained Book of Hours, but records births and deaths in the Dumesnil family, doubtless from the Loire town of St. Georges-du-Cher, since Joseph (d.1548) was born in Montrichard close by. Eamon Duffy’s Marking the Hours describes how Books of Hours were annotated. He remarks, “transmission within families…might go on for generations or even centuries” (23). This prayer book was used by at least four generations of Dumesnils. These entries were made in the prayer book shortly after the events they record. The writers identify themselves with expressions like my father Louis Richard died in Paris” or “my only son, issue of me Louis Richard.” This is the lineage as reconstructed from the annotations: Joseph Richard (b. 18 April 1548) m. Catherine Ceré, have issue Louis Richard (b. 17 June 1576, d. 4 March 1642); Louis Richard (d. 1 March 1642) m. Susanne Ladire (d. 6 September 1659) have issue Charles (b. 29 May 1626); Charles Richard m. Madeleine de Montigny have issue Louise (b. 22 June 1657, d. 1 June 1737), Madeleine (b. 25 August 1660), and Charles (b. 1672). Additional reference to Pierre (b. 18 June 1666) and Susanne (b. 25 August 1676). The Richard line terminated with the death of Louise in 1737. This leaf references the birth of Pierre (18 June 1666) and Susanne (25 August 1676).


157 x 105 mm (written area 90 x 58 mm)

Collection Location

Louise Pettus Archives and Special Collections


Information concerning copyright must be secured in writing from the Director of the Louise Pettus Archives.


Latin, French


Accession 1500- Med MS 14B


A book of hours is a Christian devotional book that was popular during the Middle Ages and is the most common type of illuminated manuscript surviving to the modern age. Although the original document is in Latin, annotations have been made in French referring to the history of the Dumesnil Family.


"Livre de Raison", Dumesnil Family, Folio, Vellum