Annals of Thorney Abbey f.82r
Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum
Medieval monasteries kept records of historical events because they needed to be able to prove their claims to privileges and lands granted them and to promote their positions within the history of Christianity. This manuscript has some of the pages of the annals or notes of important events of the monastery of Thorney. Entries were made beside the years of a chart used for the calculation of the date of Easter, thus placing the events in the rhythm of commemoration of the most important events of the founding of Christianity.
This page has event of the 12th century, including the death of King Stephen and the succession of Henry III. For the year 1153, it records the deaths of Eustace, son of King Stephen, and of a 'Simon, Earl of Warwick', although Roger, Earl of Warwick is known to have died that year. Near the end of the page, an entry tells of the discord between Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, and Henry III. In the lower margin, an entry was added recording the martyrdom of the archbishop. Other entries tell of the deaths (marked with 'O' for 'obit', '[he] died') and successions of the abbots of Thorney, along with the occasional entombment of an abbot, such as that of Galterius in 1166.