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Marginal Drawing Of A Cross-bow Man Defending A Castle, In Part II Of Matthew Paris's 'Greater Chronicle'

Marginal Drawing Of A Cross-bow Man Defending A Castle, In Part II Of Matthew Paris's 'Greater Chronicle'

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1251

Shelfmark: Cotton MS Nero D V

Item number: f.213v

Length: 35.3

Width: 23.8

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Matthew Paris was born c.1200, and was a monk of St Alban's Abbey from 1217 until his death in 1259; he was a prolific chronicler of national and local events, and several manuscripts in his own handwriting survive. This is a contemporary copy of one of those manuscripts, which is now in Cambridge, by a different scribe but with annotations by Matthew. This drawing accompanies a description of the Siege of Lincoln, and the Battle of Lincoln Fair, in 1217. The dramatic narrative relates that 'sounds of dreadful thunder were heard to burst forth from the blows of swords against helmeted heads; but at length, by means of the cross-bow men, by whose skill the horses of the barons were mown down and killed like pigs, the party of the barons was greatly weakened . . .'

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