Drawings Of Shields And Crowns, In Matthew Paris's 'Epitome Of Chronicles'
Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum
Matthew Paris was a monk of St Albans' Abbey, from 1217 until his death in 1259, about whom we know a great deal: he was a prolific chronicler of national and local events, from which we can learn a lot about him. Manuscripts such as this, in his own handwriting, demonstrate his interest in, and aptitude for, subjects are varied as geography, heraldry, and history, as well as his considerable abilities as a draughtsman.
Matthew devised a series of marginal visual symbols to help readers find their way about the text of his chronicles. For example, a bishop's mitre indicates that the text concerns a bishop, and an upside-down mitre indicates the death of a bishop. The text on this pages concerns the death of King William II (William Rufus) and the succession of Henry I, in 1100.