Online Medieval Sources Bibliography

An Annotated Bibliography of Printed and Online Primary Sources for the Middle Ages

Source Details

Stubbs, William, ed., Chronicles of the Reigns of Edward I and Edward II. (London: Longman & Co. (Rolls Series, No. 76), 2 vols.) Read this source online

Text name(s): Annales Londoniensis; Annales Paulini; Commendatio Lamentabilis in Transitu Magni Regis Edwardi; Gesta Edwardi de Carnarvan Auctore Cononico Bridlingtoniensi; Monachi Cuiusdam Malmesberiensis Vita Edwardi II; Vita et Mors Edwardi II

Number of pages of primary source text: 689

Author(s): 

Dates: 1194 - 1377

Archival Reference: Lambeth Library No. 1106; BL Cotton MS. Otho B. 3; BL Additional MS. No. 5444; BL Cotton MS. Nero D. 2

Original Language(s): 

  • Latin
  • Anglo-Norman

Translation: 

  • Original language included.

Translation Comments: 

Geopolitical Region(s): 

  • England

County/Region: London

Record Types: 

  • Chronicle, Annals
  • Oration

Subject Headings: 

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture and Buildings
  • Clergy - Monks, Nuns, Friars
  • Clergy - Priests, Bishops, Canons
  • Crusades
  • Diplomacy
  • Economy - Crafts and Industry
  • Economy - Trade
  • Family / Children
  • Government
  • Material Culture: Food, Clothing, Household
  • Monasticism
  • Nobility / Gentry
  • Papacy
  • Piety
  • Political Thought
  • Poverty / Charity
  • Religion - Institutional Church
  • Revolt
  • Royalty / Monarchs
  • Saints - Cults / Relics
  • Towns / Cities
  • Travel / Pilgrimage
  • War - Military History
  • Women / Gender

Apparatus: 

  • Index
  • Introduction

Comments: 

These volumes contain 5 chronicles and one eulogy relating to the reigns of Edward I (1272-1307) and Edward II (1307-1327) of England. No author can be ascribed to any of these works with any certainty (though Stubbs ventures a few guesses).

The first work in these volumes is the Annales Londonienses, an abridgement of the Flores Historiarium (printed in the Rolls Series, No. 95). The Annales were written by an anonymous citizen of London. Throughout the text the compiler adds details about the city of London and notices about matters of public interest. His account of the years 1293-1316 (with a lacuna from the years 1301-1307) is completely original.

The next work, the Annales Paulini, are also an abridgement of the Flores. The author seems to have also been familiar with the Annales Londonienses. It was probably written by a monk at St. Paul’s in London. This compiler is much more interested in municipal and ecclesiastical history than in national history. The chronicle was later continued to the year 1341. The text from 1307-1341 is completely original. The volume also has detailed information about ecclesiastical ceremonies. For example, it describes the number and weight of candles burnt while one of the monks was visiting Spain.

The third work is a short eulogy for Edward I written soon after his death in 1307. It was popular during the reign of Edward II and was probably written by John of London. Although the author is unknown and the eulogy is poorly written, it illuminates the character and the policies of Edward I.

The Gesta Edwarde de Carnarvan is a short chronicle of Edward II written by an Augustinian canon of Bridlington in Yorkshire. A compilation of the annals of Edward III was later added to it so that in its present form it begins with creation and ends in 1377.

This chronicle is followed by the Vita Edwardi II (Life of Edward II). The first part of the chronicle ends with Henry III and is based on the accounts of other chroniclers. The second part is an account of the reign of Edward II. It was probably written at the end of Edward’s reign and was later continued to the year 1348. It was written at Malmesbury and is critical of Edward and his court.

The final work in this collection is the Vita et Mors Edwardi Secundi (Life and Death of Edward II). It has occasionally been ascribed to Thomas de la More, but was more likely written by Geoffrey le Baker, a clerk or a canon of Osney. It may have been an abridged and modified version of an account by Thomas de la More, who appears to have been Geoffrey’s benefactor. It begins in the year 1303 and was also influenced by the Chronicle of Adam of Murimuth. Its chronology is slightly confused, but Stubbs believes that it is a trustworthy source.

Introduction Summary: 

In his introduction (6 pages) William Stubbs bemoans the lack of chroniclers in the early fourteenth century. He discusses each of the works and potential authorship in great detail. In the first volume he also summarizes some of the noteworthy occurrances in London illustrated by the first two chronicles. In the second volume he briefly summarizes Edward’s reign. Like many of Stubbs’ introductions, this one is of immense value to scholars interested in determining how manuscripts were passed between owners.

Cataloger: SES, rj

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