Online Lecture: ‘The Use of Salisbury in the Long 12th Century (1075-1225): A Preliminary Revaluation’, 24th May 2021, 17:15 GMT

The next installment of the IHR History of Liturgy Seminar will occur on 24th May 2021. John Harper (Bangor University and the University of Birmingham) will be speaking on ‘The Use of Salisbury in the Long 12th Century (1075-1225): A Preliminary Revaluation’. Responses will be given by Frank Lawrence (University College, Dublin) and Helen Gittos (Oxford University).

Salisbury was one of three cathedrals relocated in 1075, but the only one to require a new clerical body, a new building, and, consequently, a new liturgy. Liturgical and chant historians have tended to treat the highly influential Use of Salisbury as a compilation and codification of the first part of the 13th century. John Harper’s work on the customary and the Mass of the BVM started to consider the earlier history of the Use. In the past fifteen months he has been working further on the liturgy of the first cathedral at Salisbury (1075-1225), in particular the ritual use of the building, and the liturgical patterns, forms, and texts.

This preliminary revaluation of the Use of Salisbury at the first cathedral will consider the evidence of three earlier sources that have received less attention from scholars: an unnoted gradual and epistolary (Salisbury Cathedral Library, MS 149), the Bedwyn Gradual (Cambridge University Library, Add MS 8333), and the fragment of a noted missal (Canterbury Cathedral Library, Add MS 128/29). Paleographical and internal evidence suggests that as a group these manuscripts represent a period from the third quarter of the 12th century to around 1200. The focus will be on observances and on proper chant texts of the mass, in relation to a select range of other sources: continental sources of the ninth century, insular sources from the Leofric Missal to the end of the 12th century, and sources of the Use of Salisbury from the 13th century.

There will be little time to examine the data on which this research is based in any detail. John Harper would be pleased to hear from anyone who would be interested to engage in a longer presentation and discussion. Please write to him at

This meeting will be held online via Zoom. Please register here:


Published by charlottecook

Charlotte Cook graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in European History from Washington & Lee University in 2019. In 2020 she received her Master’s degree in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, earning the classification of Merit. Her research explores questions of royal patronage, both by and in honor of rulers, in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century England. She has worked as a researcher and collections assistant at several museums and galleries, and plans to begin her PhD in the autumn of 2022.

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