TextmanuscriptTextmanuscripts - Les Enluminures

les Enluminures

[Collection of Documents pertaining to the Sainte-Chapelle in Dijon]

In French and Latin, on paper and parchment
France, likely Burgundy (Dijon?), from 1473 to the last quarter of the 18th century

TM 264


Collection of 36 documents and copies of archives or titles, all pertaining to the Sainte-Chapelle in Dijon, documents mounted on paper strips or tabs, documents for the most part copied on paper, with the exception of items no. 19 and 20 copied on parchment, documents copied by a variety of hands over different epochs, some documents copied on notarized stamped paper. Bound in nineteenth-century quarter pigskin over thick rigid cardboard, back sewn on 4 raised bands, back in five compartments, gilt title-piece in second compartment: “Ceremonial de la S. Chapelle de Dijon” (Covers a bit rubbed, else in fine condition). Dimensions 285 x 190 mm.

Significant collection of published and unpublished documents tracing the artistic, political, and spiritual aspects of the ducal monument, the Ste.-Chapelle in Dijon, from the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries and including a substantial section on the Holy Host. Compiled in the eighteenth century, the manuscript has a distinguished provenance, first as part of the collection of the famous “book thief” Jean-Baptiste Joseph Barrois and subsequently acquired by the Lord of Ashburnham.


1. Contents copied over a number of centuries from a variety of sources and gathered here thematically, with the oldest documents copied on parchment in 1473 (see below items 19 and 20, both “vidimus” dated 1473) and the latest date quoted apparently 1788 (item 32, quoting the Procession of the Holy Host to the Church of St.-Philibert in Dijon, in 1788).

2. Jean-Baptiste Joseph Barrois (1784-1855), French Deputy and book collector (on whom see Hugh Collingham, “Joseph Barrois: Portrait of a Bibliophile,” The Book Collector 33 [1984], pp. 431-48).

3. Barrois Collection bought by Bertram 4th Lord of Ashburnham (1797-1878) in 1849. To quote coverage of the sale by the New York Times, June 29, 1901, “Ashburnham Sale. The Barrois manuscripts…”: “The Barrois collection was the result of the labors of a man who, in France, was as accomplished a book thief as Libri was in Italy–only he was satisfied with a few precious things. He was Deputy for Lille before the Revolution of 1848, and was a distinguished scholar and book lover. Originally the collection included 702 manuscripts, among them many fine old texts of French romances and poems. In 1848 it was offered to the British Museum for 6000 pounds but the transaction fell through, and Ashburnham bought it en bloc for 8000 pounds. Later Léopold Delisle proved that about one-tenth of the manuscripts had been stolen from French libraries, and thirteen years ago France reacquired them by purchase.” The remains of the Ashburnham-Barrois Collection were subsequently sold by Bertram, 5th Lord of Ashburnham (1840-1913) at auction at Sotheby’s, London, 10-14 June 1901, lot 168: see Catalogue of a portion of the famous collection of manuscripts in the property of the right honorable The Earl of Ashburnham known as the Barrois Collection, no. 168, p. 62. In the present miscellany, the Sotheby’s (1901) lot number is marked on the upper pastedown in blue crayon. The preceding lot 167 in the same sale also concerned the Dijon Sainte-Chapelle, with “Documents originaux concernant la Sainte Chapelle de Dijon,” comprising of 8 notarial vidimus documents confirming the privileges of the extra-diocesan Chapel at Dijon.


The documents gathered together in the present collection all relate to the Sainte-Chapelle in Dijon, with documents or copies of archives pertaining to various aspects of the famous Burgundian ducal foundation, be it architectural, artistic, spiritual, liturgical, economic, political, or diplomatic. The capital of the duchy of Burgundy was Dijon: the Sainte-Chapelle was first founded as a Collegial in 1172 by Hugues III, Duke of Burgundy, but rapidly designated as “chapelle du duc.” In 1432, the Collegial was retained as the official chapel of the Order of the Golden Fleece, newly created in 1430 by Philip III of Burgundy. The history of the Sainte-Chapelle is thus intricately related to that of the Order of the Golden Fleece. In 1433 the Holy Host was given to the Duke of Burgundy by Pope Eugenius IV and housed within the walls of the Sainte-Chapelle. It was to become the object of fervent local devotion (On the Sainte-Chapelle, see P. Quarré [1962]; F. De Gruben, Les chapitres de la Toison d’Or… [2001], “Le siège de l’Ordre: la Sainte Chapelle de Dijon,” pp. 57-82; H. Chabeuf, H. “La Sainte-Chapelle de Dijon,” in La Revue de l’art chrétien, 61 [1911], pp. 177-196; A. Chevenet, “Précis historique de l’Ordre de la Toison d’Or relativement à la Sainte-Chapelle de Dijon,” in Almanach de la province de Bourgogne pour l’année 1769, Dijon, 1769).

The title of “Sainte-Chapelle” was reserved for a limited number of regal or princely foundations, often adjacent to a royal or ducal palace and often housing Passion relics (the Crown of Thorns in Paris) or other important relics such as the Holy Host in Dijon or the Holy Shroud in Chambéry. An interesting study on the foundation of these Saintes-Chapelles has been conducted by C. Billot (1987).

The Sainte-Chapelle of Dijon was destroyed in 1802, which means that the preserved original documents, copies of archives, and a few surviving works of art are all we have to reconstruct the history of this princely foundation. Luckily the Archives départementales de la Côte-d’Or houses the remains of the important archives of the Chapter of the Sainte-Chapelle (this is the Fonds du Chapitre de la Sainte-Chapelle, Série G 1123-2076bis; see J. Garnier and J. Gauthier, Inventaire…[1905]). The present collection contains a number of copies or notes taken from numerous archival sources, sometimes quoted with precision by the main eighteenth-century compiler, giving in some cases the number of a specific “layette,” liasse” or “register,” as well as the folio number. It should be possible to retrace which archive this main eighteenth-century copyist used, provided these specific archives have been preserved and not scattered. This entails comparing the present collection and its contents to the extant archival resources for the Sainte-Chapelle of Dijon. Once studied, we are quite sure the present collection will yield information on very diverse aspects of the existence of the Sainte-Chapelle, especially on the later developments of the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, before its unfortunate destruction in 1802. There are many liturgical and ceremonial elements to be gleaned, as well as information on various religious and secular buildings and “hôtels” in Dijon, on the lands and benefices of the Sainte-Chapelle, as well as a rare piece on the History of the Hospice of Saint-Fiacre, item 34) et passim.

This collection contains 36 independent items, as follows:

1) [Ceremonial for the Sainte-Chapelle of Dijon]: “Cérémonial de la Sainte Chapelle de Dijon. Rédigé par ordonnances capitulaires des 20 may 1717 et 1723. Ch[apitre] général. f. 49. 78” [date of copy, 1740] [135 pp.];

This is the longest document and also the most interesting as it provides a pre-1789 account of the Ceremonial still in place in the Sainte-Chapelle. This item (as do the following items 2-11), refers to numerous archives [for example: “Reg. ord.” [Registres des ordonnances capitulaires]; “Reg. ch. gen.” [Registres des chapitres généraux]; “Naissance des princes sur le Reg[istre des] Cerem[onies]. 6. relié en bazanne violette, commencé en 1682” (item 2, f. 3)]. The present Ceremonial was copied and compiled in 1740, and it is the same eighteenth-century hand that copied a number of other items in this collection (in particular items 2-11; 22, 25, 28-32, 34). Some contain dates of copy of circa 1739-1741, others refer to later second quarter of the eighteenth-century events; at the end of one particular item, the compiler specifies: “Copié sur l’original ecrit par Mr. le Secretaire du chapitre pour servir au radiateur” (item 8, last folio). It seems plausible that the present copies and compilations of original archives and sources were ensured by a local erudite or historian preparing a study on the history of the Sainte-Chapelle.

2) [City and Church Entries of the King, Queen, Princes and Princesses, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries]: “Le Roy, la Reine, Princes et Princesses et autres personnes de marque arrivans en cette ville ou venans en cette eglise” (4 ff.);

3) [Etats de Bourgogne, in 1700]: “Burgundiae comitia” (2 ff.); On the “Etats de Bourgogne,” see: http://dijon.free.fr/etats.htm

4) [Ritual and liturgical considerations]: “Ritus observandi” (2 ff.);

5) [Obits]: “Obitus” (2 ff.);

6) “Reglemens a observer pour la radiation de Mrs les Doien, chanoines, chapelains et habitués et massiers de la Ste Chapelle du roy à Dijon” (1 f.);

7) “Distributions a chaque office du jour reglées en chapitre le 1er may 1720, confirmées en chap[itre]. gén[eral]. le 25 du meme mois en 1720, f. 65” (5 ff.);

8) “Reglement pour les droits aux obseques qui se feront à la Ste Chapelle, par deliberations capitulaires des 6 juin et 28 aoust 1739” (2 ff.);

9) [Chapels housed in the Sainte-Chapelle]: “Fondation des chapelles qui subsistent a présent a la Ste Chapelle de Dijon” (4 ff.);

10) [Papal Bulls; Church Privileges; Mass of the Order of the Golden Fleece]: “Bulles des papes, Privileges des eglises, Messe de l’Ordre de la Toison d’Or” (6 ff.);

11) [On the Church and its endowments]: “Batiment et entretien de l’église de la Ste Chapelle de Dijon, et Dons des Ducs et des Roys a cette occasion” (8 ff.); this item contains interesting excerpts from archival sources pertaining to different aspects of the Church, including a section on the “Vitraux de l’Eglise de la Ste Chapelle,” the “Stalles,” the “Representation en pierre de Dine Raponde en la nef de la Sainte Chapelle,” the “Mausolée de Gaspard de Saulx, Marechal de France.”

12) [Land claims, 1685]: “Declaration de la Grande ferme des Preys et autres héritages (a second hand has added: Varanges [commune de Genlis, Côte-d’Or] et Longvic [commune de Dijon, Côte d’Or]), dated by a third hand: 30 décembre [1]685” (6 ff., on notarized stamped paper);

13) [Copy of the endowment to the Chapel of Jesus, Joseph and Mary in the Church of St-Etienne of Dijon]: “Copie du contract de dotation de la chapelle de Jesus, Joseph et Marie erigee en l’esglise de St Estienne a Dijon, 22 mars 1688” (6 ff.);

14) [Land claims, dated 1755]: “Declaration de terres situées sur le finage de Potangey [Potengey, commune d’Aiserey] fournie par Claude Beuvet étant a Longecourt [Longecourt-en-Plaine, commune de Genus] a Messieurs les vénérables doyen, chanoines et chapitre de la Ste Chapelle du Roy à Dijon, 18 février 1755” (4 ff., on notarized stamped paper);

15) [Land claims, dated 1754]: “Declaration des terres par le sieur Jean Baptiste Prieur, Marchand à Fauverney [commune de Genlis, Côte-d’Or], pour Messieurs de la Ste Chapelle du Roy à Dijon, 9 février 1754” (8ff., on notarized stamped paper “Gen[eralité] de Dijon/Deux sols”);

16) [Land claims, dated 1759]: “Declaration des terres de Preys dépendans du domaines de Blagny [Blagny-sur-Vingeanne, commune de Mirebeau-sur-Bèze, Côte-d’Or], 23 may 1759” (4 ff., on notarized stamped paper “Gen[eralité] de Dijon/Deux sols”);

17) [Land claims, dated 1776]: “Declaration d’un domaine situé à Saulon la Chapelle [commune de Gevrey-Chambertin, Côte-d’Or] appartenant à Messieurs les vénérables de la Sainte Chapelle du Roi a Dijon, 16 mars 1776” (14 ff., on notarized stamped paper “Gen[eralité] de Dijon/Deux sols”);

18) [Land claims, dated 1788]: “Declarations de toute (sic) les terres labourables et prey appartenantes aux Mrs de la Sainte Chapelle de Dijon, donné par Claude Barbier laboureur à Aiserey [commune de Genlis, Côte-d’Or], leurs ancien fermiers (sic) et fermier actuel, ce jourd’huy vingt cinq may mille sept cent quatre vingt huit [1788]” (6 ff.);

19) Vidimus [dated 15 December 1473] of the privileges, rights and liberties granted by the Dukes of Burgundy to the “doyens” and canons of the Sainte Chapelle of Dijon, 28 January 1359, 2 January 1367 and 19 February 1427 (on parchment, 2 ff., 280 x 205 mm);

20) Vidimus [dated 21 July 1473] of the privileges, rights, liberties and uses granted by the Dukes and Duchesses of Burgundy to the “doyens” and canons of the Sainte Chapelle of Dijon, September 1201, 13 April 1350, 27 November 1364, 17 June 1404, 5 December 1409, 1228, 12 September 1370, 11 May 1409, 14 December 1424, 21 July 1433 (on parchment, 4 ff., 280 x 205 mm);

Both items 19 and 20 are original 1473 “vidimus” authenticated copies of original charters, written on parchment in an elegant and very regular bâtarde script. Both vidimus open with decorated initials “E” and “S,” traced in brown ink, the initial “E” presenting the head and body of a dragon. The notaries have apposed their signatures at the bottom of both vidimus. The originals here authenticated in 1473 are most certainly to be found in the Archives of the Sainte-Chapelle: for example, the original of a privilege of 28 January 1359 (item 19) is preserved in Archives départementales de la Côte-d’Or, Série G 1125 (J. Garnier and J. Gauthier, 1905, p. 44).

21) [Oaths of Kings, Queens, Dukes and Duchesses]: “Sermens des Rois et Reines, Ducs et Duchesses. Confirmations des Privileges [Inventaire et extraits des titres et papiers de la layette des sermens des rois et reines, des ducs et duchesses, et des confirmations des privileges]”(2 ff.);

22) [On foreign princesses]: “Princesses etrangeres”; with an account of the Reception of the Queen of Sweden in 1656 and the Queen of Sardegna in 1737 (2 ff. numbered 7 and 8);

23) [Events Extrait de ce qui s’est passé a la Sainte Chapelle de Dijon a l’arrivée et sejour des Roys, Reines, Dauphin, Princes et Princesses de France et autres [from 1595 À 1701] (6 ff. numbered 1 to 6);

24) [Rents (in French “amodiations”) owed to the Chapter of the Sainte-Chapelle]: “Dijon, Ouges [commune Dijon-sud, Côte-d’Or], Longvic [commune Dijon-sud], Chenove [commune Dijon-sud] et Sen[n]ecey [commune Dijon-est, Côte-d’Or] (3ff.).;

25) [Names and localizations of houses of princes, barons, and of monasteries]: “Noms et situations des hostels des princes, seigneurs et monasteres de Dijon” (3 ff.);

26) [Remarks on the history of the Abbey of St-Etienne]: “Remarques sur l’histoire de l’abaye de St. Etienne” (1 f.);

27) [Names and localizations of houses of princes, barons, and of monasteries, as found in the work by Philibert de La Mare in 1672]: “Noms et situation des Hotels des Princes, seigneurs et monasteres qui sont a Dijon suivant le mémoire fait par M. Philibert de la Mare en 1672” (2 ff.);

28) [History of the Holy and Miraculous Host, preserved in the Sainte-Chapelle in Dijon since 1433]: “Histoire de la sainte et miraculeuse hostie conservée a la Ste Chapelle du roy a Dijon depuis l’an 1433” (3ff.);

The Holy Host or Miraculous Host [la Sainte-Hostie] of Dijon was one of the most famous relics in France, remaining so until the French Revolution. The papal brief written by Eugenius IV refers to the bleeding host deposited in the papal sacristy as "perforated in many places by some madman with the ferocity of a sword's blows, and stained with blood in the said places." Among the relic's devotees in the following decades were René, duke of Anjou and king of Sicily (1434-80), who, while held as Philip the Bold's prisoner in Dijon between 1435 and 1437, became fervently attached to the relic and donated a perpetual mass in its honor (see his Book of Hours, London, BL, Egerton MS 1070, f. 110); Philip's third wife, Isabella of Portugal (1397-1471), who commissioned a new gold monstrance for the relic in 1454; King Louis XII (1498-1515), who in 1505 enriched the monstrance with a crown used in his coronation–a votive thanks for a miraculous cure. The Holy Host was exhibited every year in an elaborate procession through the streets of Dijon. On the installation of the Holy Host within the walls of the ducal Sainte-Chapelle, see J. d’Arbaumont (1884), pp. 129-131.

29) [Notes from the work by Abbé Yvon (1785)]: “Notes extraites de l’Histoire de la religion, ou l’on accorde la Philosophie avec le christianisme, par M. l’abbé Yvon, 2 vol. in-8, Paris, Vve Valade, 1785 (1 f.);

30) [Lessons for the Office of the Holy Host, lectio I-III]: “Lectiones propriae in officio corporis christi dominica infra octavam sanctae et mirabilis hostiae” (2 ff.) see below no. 34 for continuation];

31) [Sonnet on the Holy Host, attributed to Mr. de la Monoye], Sonnet sur la Ste Hostie par Mr de la Monoye, incipit, “Quel objet etonnant se presente a mes yeux ? / Une sainte fraieur dans mon ame s’imprime…”; at the end, one reads: “V[u] sur la porte collaterale du coté de la chapelle de la Sainte Hostie” [As seen on the collateral door on the side of the Chapel of the Holy Host];

32) [List of churchs that have greeted the procession dedicated to the Holy Host since 1702]: “Liste des eglises ou a été la procession de la Ste Hostie depuis 1702”;

33) [Lessons for the Office of the Holy Host, lectio IV-VI]: “In solemnitate sacrosanctae mirabilis hostiae” (2 ff., printed);

34) [History of the Hospice Saint Fiacre]: “Histoire de l’hopital St Fiacre” (5 ff.);

35) [Lodgings of Princes, Barons and Monasteries in Dijon]: “Noms et situation des hotels des princes, seigneurs et monasteres qui sont a Dijon. MDCLXXII” (4 ff.);

36) King Henry II confirms the privileges granted to the Chapter of the Sainte-Chapelle by his predecessors the Dukes of Burgundy and Kings of France, contemporary document, dated Monday 4 July 1547 (23 ff. unnumbered).


Arbaumont, J. d’. “Essai historique sur la Sainte Chapelle de Dijon (fondée en 1172),”Mémoires de la commission des antiquités de la Côte d’Or 6 (1864), p. 64-184.

Billot, C. “Les Saintes-Chapelles (XIIIe-XVIe siècles). Approche comparée de foundations dynastiques,” Revue d’Histoire de l’Eglise de France 73 (1987), pp. 229-248.

Claudon, F. Répertoire critique des anciens inventaires des archives de la Côte-d’Or, Dijon, 1934.

Garnier, Joseph et Jules Gauthier, Inventaire sommaire de la série G des Archives départementales de la Côte-d’Or, tome II…Chapitres de la Sainte-Chapelle et de la Chapelle-aux-Riches de Dijon, Dijon, 1905.

Quarré, P. La Sainte-Chapelle de Dijon, siège de la Toison d’or. Musée de Dijon, Palais des ducs de Bourgogne, 1962.

Online resources

On the royal and princely Sainte-Chapelle, with indication of archival resources

Sotheby’s, 10-14 June 1901, Sale’s catalogue of the Ashburnham-Barrois Collection