Read our policy
Save the item to:
Select bookmark folder
New bookmark folder
English folding almanac in Latin.
Encoded moving images
A folding almanac in Latin, containing a calendar (three months per leaf) and astrological tables and diagrams. Produced in England c.1415-1420 (the calendar includes the feast of John of Beverley, whose cult was proclaimed by Henry V after victory at Agincourt on 7 May 1415). It follows the Kalendar ad meridiem Oxonie of John Somer (1380), and contains data for the four Metonic cycles starting in 1387, 1406, 1425 and 1444, with lists of solar eclipses between 1384 and 1462 and lunar eclipses between 1387 and 1462. Like the other twenty-nine folding almanacs known to be extant, it contains data that enabled medical practitioners and others to diagnose and prognosticate, as well as to obtain information about religious feasts and other key moments in the calendar. Nonetheless, this example, with its silk binding and fine illustrations, may have been a luxury object that did not see practical use.
Video created by Ben Gilbert, Photographer, Wellcome Library, 2014.
The original almanac was previously owned by Sir John English Dolben (c.1750-1837), 4th baronet of Finedon Hall, Northamptonshire, and the poet Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell (1887-1964). A paper label tipped in after fol. 7 has two inscriptions in different hands: 'This ancient and curious MS given to my Father by Sir English Dolben Bart. of Finedon Hall Northamptonshire' and 'Given by a descendant of the above, to Edith Sitwell, with deep and sincere gratitude, and affection. May 1940.' MS.8932 is in a fragile condition and can only be consulted by appointment and under supervision of the Wellcome Library Conservation Department. Please contact the Archives and Manuscripts Department for further information. It is advisable to provide a minimum of five working days advance notice if you wish to make an appointment to view this manuscript. This video was produced to demonstrate the opening of the leaves of this delicate almanac which cannot be physically produced in the library for conservation reasons. Some images displaying the item as an artefact can be viewed on the Wellcome Images website, image numbers C0096769-86. The poster image for this file is C0096779.