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Bede, in 'History of the English' by William of Newburgh

Bede, in 'History of the English' by William of Newburgh

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1200

Shelfmark: Stowe MS 62

Item number: f. 3v

Length: 27

Width: 18

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated Manuscript

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A copy of the 'History of the English' ('Historia Rerum Anglicanum') by William of Newburgh (1136-1198), this manuscript was owned by the Augustinian priory at Newburgh where the author was a canon. It probably was copied from his rough draft. 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.

This page has the continuation of the list of chapters and the beginning of the history proper, at the large, beautifully decorated letter 'H'. William begins by acknowledging his debt to Bede, the founder of the Northern English tradition of history writing to which William belonged.

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