Anglo-Saxon Chronicle manuscript D


This collection of historical texts is notable for including a copy of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. This version of the Chronicle was probably begun in the 1050s, with entries about contemporary events being added through the 1060s to the end of the 1070s. The entries for the 1050s and 1060s often mention Ealdred (Aldred), bishop of Worcester (1046–1061) and archbishop of York (1060–1069), which suggests that the manuscript was made at Worcester or York. For example, the entry for 1066 describes Archbishop Ealdred’s role in the coronation of King William I, at Westminster Abbey, on Christmas Day.

This manuscript of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle also contains the only record of William the Conqueror visiting England before the Norman Conquest. The entry for 1051 notes that William of Normandy came to England from across the sea. He was received by Edward the Confessor and was then allowed to return home. It is hard to see this as anything other than an understanding between the two leaders on some significant issue, conceivably the succession to the English throne.

In the 17th century, this copy of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle was bound with other historical texts and documents. These include two writs of King Cnut of England (reigned 1016–1035) and a 14th or 15th-century copy of the Chronicle of Walter of Guisborough, covering the years 1066–1305. This volume also contains extracts from another manuscript of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (manuscript E), made by John Joscelyn (died 1603), a clergyman who pioneered the academic study of Old English.

Full title:
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle D; writs of Cnut; extracts from Anglo-Saxon Chronicle E; Chronicle of Walter of Guisborough
Mid 11th century
Usage terms

Public Domain in most countries other than the UK.

Held by
British Library
Cotton MS Tiberius B IV

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