The Chronicles of England

The Chronicles of England


The Chronicles of England 1858

By John Capgrave

Printed In London From the Rolls Series, for Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans and Roberts

The Volume is in Very Good Condition bound in quarter morocco over blue boards, with gilt lettering on the spine: Externally the boards and spine are lightly scuffed in general, with a very small split to the upper front hinge, with the board corners bumped. Internally the leaves are generally clean and amply margined, with some general foxing on some early leaves, confined to the occasional margin in the rest of the volume, with some small marginal stains otherwise.
The Volume is Complete in All Respects With the facsimile leaf of manuscript text as frontispiece. See below for pagination & dimensions.

Title - The Chronicles of England

Of The Capgrave Chronicles

John Capgrave was born in Bishop’s Lynn, now King’s Lynn, Norfolk. His parents are unknown but he may have been the nephew of a namesake who obtained a doctorate of theology at Oxford in 1390 and was also an Augustinian friar. Capgrave the younger joined the order at Lynn in about 1410 and was ordained in 1416 or 1417. He then studied theology at the order’s school in London. By 1421, he was already a lector, qualified to teach at all but one of the order’s levels of schooling. He was then sent by the prior-general to do further studies in Cambridge, where he delivered his examinatory sermon in Latin in 1422. He later wrote an English version of this as his treatise on the twelve orders that follow the rule of St Augustine. His progress from ordination to the degree of master of theology is said to have been the fastest on record. Capgrave’s earliest work was a Life of St Norbert in English some time before 1422. There followed a succession of exegeses, many of them now lost. His lost commentaries, entitled In regum, are known to have been dedicated to Humphrey of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Gloucester and to John Low, prior-provincial of the Augustinians in 1427–33 and later a bishop. Capgrave was present when the foundation stone of King’s College, Cambridge was laid on 2 April 1441 by Henry VI. Several hagiographies and royal biographies followed, including one in English of St Katharine. By 1446 he was prior of the Augustinian friary at Bishop’s Lynn. Capgrave paid a visit to Rome in 1449–50 for the holy year of Jubilee and left an account that provides a glimpse into the histories, legends, traditions and publicly held attitudes in the church at that time. Some later works were dedicated to William Grey, king’s proctor in Rome in 1450 and later bishop of Ely.

Only twelve of Capgrave’s 45 known works survive, including the seven in English. Perhaps the most important for posterity was his Abbreviacion of Cronicles, which provides a framework for world history within an Augustinian framework, drawing on the St Albans chronicles by Thomas Walsingham and others. According to the Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature, the book “brings together what Capgrave felt were the most important events in world and later British history. He often moralized historical incidents, and consistently revealed a bias for Christians and later Englishmen in his depiction of events.”

The Chronicles and Memorials of Great Britain and Ireland during the Middle Ages (Latin: Rerum Britannicarum medii aevi scriptores), widely known as the Rolls Series, is a major collection of British and Irish historical materials and primary sources published as 99 works in 253 volumes between 1858 and 1911. Almost all the great medieval English chronicles were included: most existing editions, published by scholars of the 17th and 18th centuries, were considered to be unsatisfactory. The scope was also extended to include legendary, folklore and hagiographical materials, and archival records and legal tracts. The series was government-funded, and takes its unofficial name from the fact that its volumes were published “by the authority of Her Majesty’s Treasury, under the direction of the Master of the Rolls”, who was the official custodian of the records of the Court of Chancery and other courts, and nominal head of the Public Record Office.

Pagination & Dimensions

The volume is paginated as follows: [3]-4, [ix]-xxix-[xxxii], [1]-482. The volume collates as follows: [#]1, a-b, A-T8, U7, X-2G8, 2H2. The volume measures about 26 cm. By 17 cm. By 4 cm. Each leaf measures about 250 mm. By 160 mm.

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