The Mass recalled

This book vividly conveys the passage of memory in the Reformation, and how an object changes in meaning from year to year. In 1553, Queen Mary I succeeded her brother Edward VI. One of the first acts was to restore the old liturgy. The new queen was proclaimed in London on 19 July; by St Bartholomew’s Day, 24 August, the old service in the Latin tongue with the Mass was sung in St Paul’s Cathedral. The restoration of ritual meant the restoration, and in due course reprinting, of Missals. This is an example of a Sarum missal printed in Paris in 1555. On the title page, shown here, Richard Perkins asks for prayers for his soul in recognition of his gift of the book for the church of St Peter in Tempsford, Bedfordshire: ‘Pray for the goode Prospectes and welfare off Rychard/ perkens the elder who bowght this masse booke, and / gave the same to the paryshe churche off saint Peter / off temysforde. the xxviith day off November. Anno. D. 1557’. The donation to the church matches those to the churches in Bromsgrove and Broughton above. A different hand recalls this later: ‘Beinge the 4th yeare of Quene mary’. Yet a third reader remembers the Reformation at the top of the page in a contrary spirit: ‘This booke I bought, to see the errors of it, that I might the better confute them’. BC

Missale ad vsum insignis ecclesie Sarisburiensis nunc recens typis elegantioribus exaratum (Paris: [Ioannis Amazeur], 1555).

CUL: Rit.a.155.1, title page

Further Reading

Eamon Duffy, Marking the Hours: English People and their Prayers (New Haven and London, 2006), chs. 8-9.

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