Unique Missal at Lyme

Prayers for the Pope have been crossed out in accordance with Henry VIII's instructions.

Prayers for the Pope have been crossed out in accordance with Henry VIII's instructions.

The Lyme Missal is the single most important printed book in any National Trust collection.

It was published in 1487 by England's first printer, William Caxton. He sub-contracted the work out to a Parisian printer and it is the only surviving copy of the first edition of the Sarum Missal, the standard service book used in English churches before the Reformation.

The Missal belonged to the Leghs of Lyme from at least 1507. It is covered in annotations which tell their own story. For instance, prayers for the Pope have been crossed out in accordance with Henry VIII's instructions.

The Missal was purchased with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund and other supporters.