Online Medieval Sources Bibliography

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

Source Details

Maxwell, Herbert, ed. and trans., Scalacronica: The reigns of Edward I, Edward II and Edward III, as recorded by Sir Thomas Gray, and now translated by the Right Hon. Sir Herbert Maxwell, baronet. (Glasgow: J. Maclehose & Sons) Read this source online

Text name(s): The Scalacronica of Sir Thomas Gray

Number of pages of primary source text: 174


Dates: 1066 - 1363

Archival Reference: 

Original Language(s): 

  • Anglo-Norman


  • Translated into English.

Translation Comments: 

Geopolitical Region(s): 

  • Scotland
  • France
  • Flanders
  • England


Record Types: 

  • Chronicle Annals

Subject Headings: 

  • War - Military History
  • Royalty / Monarchs
  • Revolt
  • Papacy
  • Nobility / Gentry
  • Government
  • Crusades


  • Index
  • Introduction


This volume contains three sections of text (one each on the reigns of the English kings Edward I, Edward II, and Edward III), a list of heraldic shields (5 pp., color illustrations provided throughout the text), and an index (20 pp.). The text primarily focuses on political and military history, with some added details about genealogy and wider historical events, such as crusades. Military expeditions in Scotland, Wales, France, and Flanders make up a significant portion of the content, often through the lens of Gray’s father’s military career as a knight. The chronicle provides detailed descriptions of military negotiations, rebellions, and battles. Maxwell excludes sections on mythological topics. Information on political history includes coronations and relations with nobility, other monarchs, and the papacy. Maxwell’s footnotes correct dates or provide context for historical events, as well as add genealogical details. This edition is dedicated to Thomas Gray’s direct descendent, Sir Edward Grey of Falloden, which explains Maxwell’s interest in family history.

Introduction Summary: 

Maxwell’s very brief preface (5 pp.) introduces the reader to the author of the chronicle, Sir Thomas Gray, through a discussion of Gray’s father’s military career and the time Gray spent in captivity as the inspiration for his work. He provides a brief overview of the chronicle sections that are not included in this edition: histories of Britain and other places drawn from the works of Gildas, Bede, John of Tynemouth, and Higden. Maxwell only includes sections on the reigns of the English kings Edward I, Edward II, and Edward III, because he believes they are of the greatest historical value. He then discusses Gray’s unique perspective as a soldier instead of a member of the clergy, before providing a brief manuscript history and referring readers to the introduction of the earlier French edition by Stevenson for a detailed biography of Thomas Gray: Gray, Thomas; John Leland and Joseph Stevenson, eds., Scalacronica. Edinburgh: Printed for the Maitland Club, 1836.

Cataloger: 16.91