With its magnificent gold and silver text, the Peterborough Psalter strikes contemporary art enthusiasts as much as it impressed its many former owners: Pope John XXII, the dukes of Burgundy, the kings of France, and Napoleon Bonaparte.
When Geoffrey of Crowland, abbot of Peterborough, gave the codex as a gift to a representative of Pope John XXI in 1318, the abbey’s chronicler, Walter of Whittlesey, wrote:
Recepii etiam idem Godefridus honorifice apud Burgum duos Cardinales cum eorum familia missos a latere pape pro concordia inter angliam et scociam faciendum ut in cibis et potubus, diversis donis et iocalibus […] dedit quoddam psalterium litteris aureis et asuris scriptum et mirabliliter luminatum.
At Peterborough, the same Geoffrey also received with honor two cardinals and their servants, sent in behalf of the pope to sign a peace agreement between England and Scotland; he gave them food, drink, gifts and jewels […] and a certain psalter written in gold and blue letters, and beautifully illuminated.
Our thanks to Facsimile Finder for helping us create this post. You can learn more about this manuscript and see more images by visiting their website.