Collection ID







Byzantine Empire




Ink on Parchment


v. 1: 209 folios; 4.9 × 3.7 × 1.6 in. (12.5 × 9.3 × 4.2 cm) v.2: 235 folios; 4.8 × 3.7 × 2 in. (12.2 × 9.6 × 5.1 cm)

Exhibit Location

On View in The History of the Bible, The Written Tradition

This is a small, two-volume copy of the Gospels in Greek. The scribe wrote the text in a careful minuscule hand. The manuscript’s small size suggests that it was created for private devotional use rather than liturgical or communal use. Later commentary appears in a larger, less regular hand. The manuscript contains fourteen full-page illuminated canon tables. This manuscript takes its nickname from one of its former owners, Archbishop James Ussher, author of the famed 17th-century chronology. The bookplate of the Earl of Moira, Francis Rawdon-Hastings, appears in both volumes. He was a British officer who fought throughout the American Revolution and later became the Governor-General of India.

Created around the 12th century AD, Byzantine Empire. Acquired by Thomas Goad (1576–1638), rector of Hadleigh, England. Acquired by James Ussher (1581–1656), Archbishop of Armagh, Ireland; By descent in 1656 to Elizabeth Tyrrell (1619–1693), Ussher’s daughter; Donated in 1661 to Trinity College, Dublin; Acquired in 1702 by Sir Richard Bulkeley (1644–1710). Acquired by John Jones.[1] Acquired by James Verschoyle (1747–1834), Dean of St. Patrick’s, Dublin, and later Bishop of Killala and Achonry.[2] Acquired by John Rawdon (1720–1793), 1st Earl of Moira; Acquired by 1826 Francis Rawdon-Hastings (1754–1826), 2nd Earl of Moira, 1st Marquess of Hastings;[3] By descent in 1826, the Hastings family; Purchased at auction in 1868 by John Crichton-Stuart (1847–1900), 3rd Marquess of Bute; By descent in 1900, the Crichton-Stuart family; Purchased at auction in 1983 by Hans Peter Kraus (1907–1988) of New York.[4] Acquired by Martin Schøyen, bookseller, Norway;[5] Privately purchased in 2011 by Green Collection; Donated in 2014 to Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] His name is written on the back flyleaf of volume 2. [2] In volume 1 is a handwritten note “Ex libris Jacobi Verschoyle.” [3] Francis Rawdon-Hastings was the son of John Rawdon by his third wife. He probably inherited the manuscript from his father. Rawdon-Hastings distinguished himself at the Battle of Bunker Hill and fought in several campaigns ending in South Carolina in 1781. He became a member of the Royal Society in 1787. As Governor-General of India he expanded British power in India and supported Sir Stamford Raffles’s purchase of the island of Singapore. [4] Sotheby’s June 13, 1983, Lot 1. [5] See Les Enluminures, 20 Now: Les Enluminures, 1991–2011, Catalogue 16 (Chicago: Les Enluminures, 2011), 15.

Museum of the Bible Publications:

Roland S. Werner. Unser Buch: Die Geschichte der Bibel von Mose bis zum Mond (Our Book: The Story of the Bible from Moses to the Moon). (Vandenhoek & Ruprecht GmbH & Co. KG and Museum of the Bible, 2017).

David Trobisch, Jennifer Atwood, Jonathan Kirkpatrick, and Rory P. Crowley. Verbum Domini II: God’s Word Goes Out to the Nations. (Museum of the Bible and Abilene Christian University Press, 2012).

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