What was a Mattins of Notre Dame….?

from the British Library

When my research unearthed a will in which the lady left her “Mattins of Notre Dame” to her daughter, I had pause to halt. I’m not well versed in such matters, and had no idea what, exactly, a Mattins of Notre Dame was. I did know, of course “….the canonical hours of Matins (after midnight), Lauds (before dawn), Prime (at daybreak), Terce (mid-morning), Sext (midday), None (afternoon), Vespers (sunset) and Compline (before bed)….” But Matins could hardly be left to someone in a will! So what was the item in question?

Poking around on Google led me to this British Library site . As the link tells you, it concerns books, mainly medieval prayer-books. Books of Hours.

So was the Mattins of Notre Dame simply a Book of Hours? Or was it a very specific Book of Hours? If anyone knows the answer, please say!

3 comments

  1. There is a [Book of] Hours of Notre Dame, made in Bruges around 1470. It’s available on the World Digital Library for download as a PDF here:

    https://www.wdl.org/en/item/251/
    The download link is below the illuminated manuscript page.

    Regarding mattins, it seems to be a British variation on Matins. Perhaps the lady left a book containing only the Matins portion of the Hours of Notre Dame?

    Liked by 1 person

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