Pursuing the Percys: the original owners of the Percy Psalter-Hours
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In 2019 the British Library acquired the Percy Hours, a late thirteenth-century book of hours from York. This acquisition reunited the manuscript with the Percy Psalter, acquired by the Library in 1990. Together they originally formed a single volume psalter-hours. The Percy Psalter-Hours is one of a small number of devotional books for the laity surviving from thirteenth-century England, and probably the only example from York. It provides rare insight into a period of great change in book culture, when devotional books for the laity were growing in popularity and regional workshops for commercial book production were emerging around the country. Despite its significance, the question of the manuscript's original ownership has never been satisfactorily answered. Through analysing the heraldic evidence of the manuscript, this paper proposes a new identification of the intended owners and explores the wider implications for our understanding of the social history of the book.