Table of British Kings, Chronicle of the Noble English Kings, by Thomas Elmham, in a Miscellany From St Albans f.7r
Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum
This manuscript contains a collection of writings and documents that relate to St Alban's monastery. It begins with a series of histories, including one about its late 8th-century founder, Offa, king of Mercia, and includes accounts of the life and miracles of St Alban, the first Christian martyr of Britain in 304. Mostly made up of documents and administrative material, it would have combined monastic reference-book with promotion of its role in Britain's Christianity. The manuscript begins with Thomas of Elmham's 'Chronicle of the Noble English Kings', which is given deluxe treatment with a lavish multiple-page table showing the British kings with brief accounts of their reigns. Pictures of the cities built by the early British kings, beginning with Brut or Brutus, the legendary Breton who founded the kingdom of the Britons, carry on a medieval tradition depicting British cities in such histories and chronological tables of early kings.
On this page, Southampton and Northumbria are mentioned, but the picture shows the 'city of the legion', which probably refers to St Albans itself, the Roman city Verulamium.