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1. The Chronicle Of England, by John Capgrave. Edited by the
Rev. F. C. Hingeston, M.A., of Exeter College, Oxford. 1858.
Capgrave was prior of Lynn, in Norfolk, and provincial of the order of the Friars Hermits of England shortly before the year 1464. His Chronicle extends from the creation of the world to the year 1417. As a record of the language spoken in Norfolk (being written in English), it is of considerable value.
2. Chronicon Monasterii De Abingdon. Vols. I. and II. Edited by
the Rev. Joseph Stevenson, M.A., of University College, Durham, and Vicar of Leighton Buzzard. 1858.
This Chronicle traces the history of the great Benedictine monastery of Abingdon in Berkshire, from its foundation by King Ina of Wessex, to the reign of Richard I., shortly after which period the present narrative was drawn up by an inmate of the establishment. The author had access to the title-deeds of the house ; and incorporates into his history various charters of the Saxon kings, of great importance as illustrating not only the history of the locality but that of the kingdom. The work is printed for the first time.
3. Lives Of Edward The Confessor. I.—La Estoire de Seint Aedward
le Rei. II Vita Beati Edvardi Regis et Confessoris. III.—Vita
iEduuardi Regis qui apud Westmonasterium requiescit. Edited by Henry Richards Luard, M.A., Fellow and Assistant Tutor of Trinity College, Cambridge. 1858.
The first is a poem in Norman French, containing 4,686 lines, addressed to Alianor, Queen of Henry III., and probably written in the year 1245, on the occasion of the restoration of the churoh of Westminster. Nothing is known of the author. The second is an anonymous poem, containing 536 lines, written between the years 1440 and 1450, by command of Henry VI., to whom it is dedicated. It does not throw any new light on the reign of Edward the Confessor, but is valuable as a specimen of the Latin poetry of the time. The third, also by an anonymous author, was apparently written for Queen Edith, between the years 1066 and 1074, during the pressure of the suffering brought on the Saxons by the Norman conquest. It notices many facts not found in other writers, and some which differ considerably from the usual accounts.
4. Monumenta Franciscana; scilicet, I Thomas de Eccleston de Ad
ventu Fratrum Minorum in Angliam. II.—Ada; de Marisco Epistolte.
This volume contains original materials for the history of the settlement of the order of Saint Francis in England, the letters of Adam de Marisco, and other papers connected with the foundation and diffusion of this great body. It has been the aim of the editor to collect whatever historical information could be found in this country, towards illustrating a period of the national history for which only scanty materials exist. None of these have been before printed.
5. Fasciculi Zizaniorum Magistri Johannis Wyclif Cum Tritico.
Ascribed to Thomas Netter, of Walden, Provincial of the Carmelite Order in England, and Confessor to King Henry the Fifth. Edited by the Rev. W. W. Shirley, M.A., Tutor and late Fellow of Wadhain College, Oxford. 1858.
This work derives its principal value from being the only contemporaneous account of the rise of the Lollards. When written, the disputes of the school11
men had been extended to the field of theology, and they appear both in the
6. The Buik Of The Croniclis Of Scotland ; or, A Metrical Version o£
the History of Hector Boece ; by William Stewart. Vols. I., H., and III. Edited by W. B. Turnbull, Esq., of Lincoln's Inn, Barristerat-Law. 1858.
This is a metrical translation of a Latin Prose Chronicle, and was written in the first half of the 16th century. The narrative begins with the earliest legends, and ends with the death of James I. of Scotland, and the " evil ending of the traitors that slew him." Strict accuracy of statement is not to be looked for in such a work as this ; but the stories of the colonization of Spain, Ireland, and Scotland are interesting if not true; and the chronicle is valuable as a reflection of the manners, sentiments, and character of the age in which it was composed. The peculiarities of the Scottish dialect are well illustrated in this metrical version, and the student of language will find ample materials for comparison with the English dialects of the same period, and with modern lowland Scotch.
7. Johannis CArGRAVE Libkr De Illustribus Henricis. Edited by the
Rev. F. C. Hingeston, M.A., of Exeter College, Oxford. 1858.
This work is dedicated to Henry VI. of England, who appears to have been, in
Capgravo was bom in 1393, in the reign of Richard II., and lived during the
8. Historia Monasterii S. Augustini Cantuariensis, by Thomas Of
Elmham, formerly Monk and Treasurer of that Foundation. Edited
This history extends from the arrival of St. Augustine in Kent until 1191.
9. Eulogium (historiarum Sive Temporis): Chronicon ab Orbe condito
usque ad Annum Domini 1366 ; a Monacho quodam Malmesbiriensi
This is a Latin Chronicle extending from the Creation to the latter part of the
of England to the year 1366. The continuation extends the history down to the coronation of Henry V. The Eulogium itself is chiefly valuable as containing a history, by a contemporary, of the period between 1356 and 1366. The notices of events appear to have been written very soon after their occurrence. Among other interesting matter, the Chronicle contains a diary of the Poitiers campaign, evidently furnished by some person who accompanied the army of the Black Prince. The continuation of the Chronicle is also the work of a contemporary, and gives a very interesting account of the reigns of Richard II. and Henry IV. It is believed to be the earliest authority for the statement that the latter monarch died in the Jerusalem Chamber at Westminster.
10. Memorials Of Henry The Seventh: Bernardi Andreas Tholosatis Vita Regis Henrici Septimi ; necnon alia qua;dam ad eundem Regem spectantia. Edited by James Gairdner, Esq. 1858.
The contents of this volume are—(1) a life of nenry VII., by his poet laureate and historiographer, Bernard Andre, of Toulouse, with some compositions in verse, of which he is supposed to have been the author; ( 2) the journals of Roger Machado during certain embassies on which he was sent by Henry VH. to Spain and Brittany, the first of which had reference to the marriage of the King's son, Arthur, with Catharine of Arragon; (3) two curious reports by envoys t: nt to Spain in the year 1505 touching the succession to the Crown ofCastih1, and a project of marriage between Henry VII. and the Queen of Naples; and (4) an account of Philip of Castile's reception in England in 1506. Other documents of interest in connexion with the period are given in an appendix.
11. Memorials Of Henry The Fifth. I.—Vita Henrici Quinti, Roberto Redmanno nuctore. II.—Versus Rhythmici in laudem Regis Henrici Quinti. III.—Elmhami Liber Metricus de Henrico V. Edited by Charles A. Cole, Esq. 1858.
This volume contains three treatises which more or less illustrate the history of the reign of Henry V., viz.: A Life by Robert Redman ; a Metrical Chronicle by Thomas Elmham, prior of Lenton, a contemporary author; Versus Rhythmici, written apparently by a monk of Westminster Abbey, who was also a contemporary of Henry V. These works are printed for the first time.
12. Muniment A Gildhall^e Londoniensis; Liber Albus, Liber Custumarum, et Liber Horn, in archivis Gildhalke asscrvati. Vol. I., Liber Albus. Vol. II. (in Two Parts), Liber Custumarum. Vol. III., Translation of the Anglo-Norman Passages in Liber Albus, Glossaries, Appendices, and Index. Edited by Henry Thomas Riley, Esq., M.A., Barrister-nt-Law. 1859-1862.
The manuscript of the Liber Albus, compiled by John Carpenter, Common Clerk of the City of London in the year 1419, a large folio volume, is preserved in the Record Room of the City of London. It gives an account of the laws, regulations, and institutions of that City in the twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, and early part of the fifteenth centuries.
The Liber Custumarum was compiled probably by various hands in the early part of the fourteenth century during the reign of Edward II. The manuscript, a folio volume, is also preserved in the Record Room of the City of London, though some portion in its original state, borrowed from the City in the reign of Queen Elizabeth and never returned, forms part of the Cottonian MS. Claudius D. II. in the British Museum. It also gives an account of the laws, regulations, and institutions of the City of London in the twelfth, thirteenth, and early part of the fourteenth centuries.
13. Chronica Johannis De Oxenedes. Edited by Sir Henry Ellis, K.H. 1859.
Although this Chronicle tells of the arrival of Hengist and Horsa in England in the year 449, yet it substantially begins with the reign of King Alfred, and 13
comes down to the year 1292, where it ends abruptly. The history is particularly valuable for notices of events in the eastern portions of the kingdom, which are not to be elsewhere obtained, and some curious facts arc mentioned relative to the floods in that part of England, which are confirmed in the Friesland Chronicle of Anthony Heinrich, pastor of the Island of Mohr.
14. A Collection Of Political Poems And Songs Relating To English History, From The Accession Of Edward III. To The Reign Of Henry VIII. Vols. I. and II. Edited by Thomas Wright, Esq., M.A. 1859-1861.
These Poems arc perhaps the most interesting of all the historical writings of the period, though they cannot be relied on for accuracy of statement. They are various in character; some are upon religious subjects, some may be called satires, and some give no more than a court scandal; but as a whole they present a very fair picture of society, and of the relations of the different classes to one another. The period comprised is in itself interesting, and brings us, through the decline of the feudal system, to the beginning of our modern history. The songs in old English are of considerable value to the philologist.
15. The " Opus Tertium," " Opus Minus," he., of Roger Bacon. Edited by J. S. Brewer, M.A., Professor of English Literature, King's College, London. 1859.
This is the celebrated treatise—never before printed—so frequently referred to by the great philosopher in his works. It contains the fullest details we possess of the life and labours of Roger Bacon: also a fragment by the same author, supposed to be unique, the " Compendium Studii Theoloyia."
16. Barthoi.om.hi Df. Cotton, Monachi Norwicensis, Iiistoria AnGlicana; 449-1298: necnon ejusdem Liber de Archiepiscopis et Episcopis Anglias. Edited by Henry Richards Luard, M.A., Fellow and Assistant Tutor of Trinity College, Cambridge. 1859.
The author, a monk of Norwich, has here given us a Chronicle of England from the arrival of the Saxons in 449 to the year 1298, in or about which year it appears that he died. The latter portion of this history (the whole of the reign of Edward I. more especially) is of great value, as the writer was contemporary with the events which he records. An Appendix contains several illustrative documents connected with the previous narrative.
17. Brut Y Tywysogion; or, The Chronicle of the Princes of Wales. Edited by the Rev. John Williams Ab Ithel, M.A. 1860.
This work, also known as "The Chronicle of the Princes of Wales," has been attributed to Curadoc of Llancarvan, who flourished about the middle of the twelfth century. It is written in the ancient Welsh language, begins with the abdication and death of Caedwala at Pome, in the year 681, and continues the history down to the subjugation of Wales by Edward I., about the year 1282.
18. A Collection Of Royal And Historical Letters During The Reign Of Henry IV. 1399-1404. Edited by the Rev. F. C. HinGeston, M.A., of Exeter College, Oxford. 1860.
This volume, like all the others in the series containing a miscellaneous selection of letters, is valuable on account of the light it throws upon biographical history, and the familiar view it presents of characters, manners, and events. The period requires much elucidation; to which it will materially contribute.
19. The Repressor Of Over Much Blaming Of The Clergy. By Reginald Pecock, sometime Bishop of Chichester. Vols. I. and II. Edited by Churchill Babington, B.D., Fellow of St. John s College, Cambridge. 1860.
The " Repressor" may be considered the earliest piece of good theological disquisition of which our English prose literature can boast. The author was born 14
about the end of the fourteenth century, consecrated Bishop of St Asaph In the year 1444, and translated to the see of Chichester in 1450. While Bishop of St. Asaph, he zealously defended his brother prelates from the attacks of those 'who censured the bishops for their neglect of duty. He maintained that it was no part of a bishop's functions to appear in the pulpit, and that his time might be more profitably spent, and his dignity better maintained, in the performance ol works of a higher character. Among those who thought differently were the Lollards, and against their general doctrines the " Repressor" is directed. Pecock took up a position midway between that of the Roman Church and that of the modern Anglican Church; but his work is interesting chiefly because it gives a full account of the views of the Lollards and of the arguments by which they were supported, and because it assists us to ascertain the state of feeling which ultimately led to the Reformation. Apart from religious matters, the light thrown upon contemporaneous history is very small, but the "Repressor" has great value for the philologist, as it tells us what were the characteristies of the language in use among the cultivated Englishmen of the fifteenth century. Pecock, though an opponent of the Lollards, showed a certain spirit of toleration, for which he received, towards the end of his life, the usual medisoval reward—persecution.
20. Annales Cambrl/e. Edited by the Rev. John Williams Ab Ithel, M.A. 1860.
These annals, which are in Latin, commence in the year 447, and come down to the year 1288. The earlier portion appears to be taken from an Irish Chronicle, which was also used by Tigernach, and by the compiler of the Annals of Ulster. During its first century it contains scarcely anything relating to Britain, the earliest direct concurrence with English history is relative to the mission of Augustine. Its notices throughout, though brief, are valuable. The annals were probably written at St. Davids, by Hlegewryd, Archdeacon of Llandaff, the most learned man in his day in all Cymru.
21. The Works Of Giraldus Cambrensis. Vols. I., IT., III., and IV. Edited by J. S. Brewer, M.A..Professor of English Literature, King's College, London. Vols. V., VI., and VII. Edited by the Rev. James F. Dimock, M.A., Rector of Barnburgh, Yorkshire. 1861-1877.
These volumes contain the historical works of Gerald du Barry, who lived in the reigns of Henry II., Richard I., and John, and attempted to re-establish the independence of Wales by restoring the see of St. Davids to its ancient primacy. His works are of a very miscellaneous nature, both in prose and verse, and arc remarkable chiefly for the racy and original anecdotes which they contain relating to contemporaries. He is the only Welsh writer of any importance who has contributed so much to the media;val literature of this country, or assumed, in consequence of his nationality, so free and independent a tone. His frequent travels in Italy, in Prance, in Ireland, and in Wales, gave him opportunities for observation which did not generally fall to the lot of mediaeval writers in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and of these observations Giraldus has made due use. Only extracts from these treatises have been printed before, and almost all of them are taken from unique manuscripts.
The Topographia Hibernica (in Vol. V.) is the result of Giraldus' two visits to Ireland. The first in the year 1183, the second in 1185-6, when he accompanied Prince John into that country. Curious as this treatise is, Mr. Dimock is of opinion that it ought not to be accepted as sober truthful history, for Giraldus himself states that truth was not his main object, and that he compiled the work for the purpose of sounding the praises of Henry the Second. Elsewhere, however, he declares that he had stated nothing in the Topographia of the truth of which he was not well assured, either by his own eyesight or by the testimony, with all diligence elicited, of the most trustworthy and authentic men in the country ; that though he did not put just the same full faith in , their reports as in what he had himself seen, yet, as they only related what they had themselves seen, he could not but believe such credible witnesses. A very interesting portion to( this treatise is devoted to the animals of Ireland. It shows that he was a very accurate and acute observer, and his descriptions are given in a way that a scientific naturalist of the present day could hardly improve upon. The Expugnatio Hibernica was written about the year 118S and may he regarded rather