Henry the Young King, in William of Newburgh, 'History of the Affairs of the English'
Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum
Osney was the site of an important Augustinian priory, a community of priests who followed the rule of monastic life (Austin canons regular). Founded in 1122, the priory became a highly regarded school for theologians and influenced the development of the university at Oxford. This manuscript, which originally belonged to Osney abbey, has a copy of the 'History of the Affairs of the English' ('Historia Rerum Anglicarum') by William of Newburgh (1136-1198). William wrote history in the tradition of Bede. He tried to connect events and evaluate the characters and actions that brought them about but avoided filling out a narrative with legends like his contemporary Geoffrey of Monmouth, of whom he was scathingly critical. His 'History' covers the reigns of English kings from William the Conqueror to Richard the Lionheart, 1066 to 1198.
The red title (rubric) in the first column announces the death of Henry the Young King, son of King Henry II. The one real flaw in William's history is its chronology. Here he gives the date of the Young King's death as 1186, but it was 1189.