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A Chronicle, in a Volume of Works of Nigel Wireker

A Chronicle,  in a Volume of Works of Nigel Wireker

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1200

Shelfmark: Cotton MS Vespasian D XIX

Item number: f.53r

Length: 19

Width: 12

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Manuscript

Nigel Wireker (aka Longchamps) was a monk at Christ Church, Canterbury, in the late 12th century, during and after the martyrdom of Thomas Becket. He is best known for his satire on monks 'The Mirror of Fools', but he also wrote religious poetry, preserved in this manuscript, a collection of works from Christ Church, Canterbury, copied between the late 12th and early 13th century. It includes other material such the 'Life of St Paul the Hermit' and chronicles or records of historical events. After the Reformation, the manuscripts in the volume belonged to the British bibliophile, Robert Cotton.

At least three chronicles are included in the manuscript. This one begins with the birth of John the Baptist and, a year later, the birth of Jesus. The years are given in red and green numerals, with events written beside them. For example, at 'xxx' ('30') the event was the baptism of Christ (written 'Xpc', an abbreviation using Greek letters). The last three years marked the crucifixion of Christ, the stoning of Stephen and conversion of Paul, and St Peter's founding of the first bishopric, at Antioch, before going on to Rome.

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