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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.70v

Length: 19

Width: 12.5

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.

The last page of one of the chronicles shows a simple version: each year is written in roman numerals in red on the left, with events recorded to the right, dates, where possible, expressed according to the roman system of kalends, ides and nones. Most events are the deaths of popes, kings, archbishops and bishops, including the deaths of pope Celestine, Hugo bishop of Chester ( both 1198) and King Richard (1199). At the year 1208 the interdict of Pope Innocent on England is recorded. He was acting against King John, who would not accept Stephen Langton as archbishop of Canterbury. King John retailiated by seizing the church's property in England. For ix kalends April 1208, "the monks of Canterbury were expelled from the church of Canterbury."

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