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Sighting of a Comet, in the 'English Chronicles' ('Chronicon Angliae'), of Thomas of Walsingham

Sighting of a Comet, in the 'English Chronicles' ('Chronicon Angliae'), of Thomas of Walsingham

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1395

Shelfmark: Harley MS 3634

Item number: f.190r

Length: 37

Width: 26

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Thomas of Walsingham's 'English Chronicles' are a valuable source of information on the mid-14th century. Covering the years 1328-1388, the chronicle gives a critical account of John of Gaunt (father of Henry IV), as well as information on the Wat Tyler insurrection, Wyclif and the Lollards. A Benedictine monk, Thomas was in charge of the scriptorium at St Albans and the author of several chronicles and literary commentaries. This copy is thought to have been used by Matthew Parker (1504-75), Archbishop of Canterbury, to publish an edition of the 'Chronicon' in 1574. On this page, the appearance of a comet is recorded. A note in the margin, 'cometa', highlights the event.

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