Click here to skip to content

The 1160s, in the Chronicle of Melrose Abbey

The 1160s, in the Chronicle of Melrose Abbey

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1270

Shelfmark: Cotton MS Faustina B IX

Item number: f.20r

Length: 26.8

Width: 17.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Melrose Abbey was founded in 1136 by King David of Scotland, five miles from the ancient monastery where St Cuthbert lived as a young monk in the 7th century. The 12th-century Melrose was run by the Cistercian monks, an important order of the later middle ages who were influential in England and became more so in the following years. This manuscript, the only surviving ancient copy of the Chronicle, begins with the year 735. Its first section, up to the mid-12th century, was compiled from earlier histories, but from that point it seems to have been written at the monastery and records contemporary events. This makes it an important source of information for the later 12th through 1270, when it terminates suddenly. The entries for the later 12th century are much fuller than those for the earlier years, as can be seen by this page which records events of the years 1164 though 1167. The entries mention actions of the English king, storms, and important religious feasts. The marginal notes point out, on the lower half of the page, the deaths of King Malcolm of Scotland and Aldred, abbot of Rielvaux.

Search within this collection

Elsewhere on our websites


Latest events - register free online

Mobile app

For iPhone, iPad and Android

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Email link to a friend

Write a brief note to accompany the email

Your friend's email address: