One of a handful of independent Psalter manuscripts dating from the second half of the 15th century in England, the Lucas Psalter offers considerable research potential in the selection and iconography of images for the major divisions of the text, the nature of the liturgical elements such as antiphons and hymns and its context and use.
Dr Kathleen Doyle, Lead Curator of Illuminated Manuscripts at the British Library, said:
‘One of the British Library’s core purposes is to build, curate and preserve the UK’s collection of written, published and digital content and we continue to acquire medieval manuscripts to enhance the national collection. The Lucas Psalter is of clear artistic and cultural significance, and tells a fascinating English story. The manuscript reveals the close links with Europe and the interests of a middle ranking figure in Tudor society, Thomas Houchon Lucas of Suffolk, who was a secretary to Jasper Tudor. Lucas rose to a high office of state under Henry VII. His added arms (with those of his wife) demonstrate the distinctive and long-standing interest of English laity in the text of the Psalms.’
The British Library will digitise the Lucas Psalter to make it freely available online for everyone at Digitised Manuscripts before putting it on display in the free permanent gallery, Sir John Ritblat Gallery: Treasures of the British Library.
The Lucas Psalter was purchased by the British Library with the generous assistance of donations from Art Fund, the Bernard H. Breslauer Fund of the American Trust for the British Library and the British Library Collections Trust.