• Full title:   Ralph of Coggeshall, Chronicon Anglicanum, AD 1066–1223
  • Created:   1200-99
  • Formats:  Manuscript
  • Creator:   Ralph of Coggeshall
  • Usage terms

    Public Domain in most countries other than the UK.

  • Held by  British Library
  • Shelfmark:   Cotton MS Vespasian D X

Description

After Archbishop Hubert Walter’s death in 1205 and the rejection of other nominees to the see of Canterbury, the monks of Christ Church elected Stephen Langton (1150–1228) as Walter’s successor. King John’s refusal to accept Langton’s election led to the kingdom of England being placed under a papal Interdict in 1208, prohibiting the people from receiving the sacraments or being buried in consecrated ground. Few accounts have survived from that time, an exception being the Chronicon Anglicanum, written by Ralph (1226–1305), Abbot of Coggeshall Abbey in Essex. There is an abrupt change in Ralph’s chronicle for the years 1206 to 1212, roughly coinciding with the Interdict; previously, Ralph had made extensive notes about the events of each year, but for this period he provided a summary instead. The autograph manuscript of the Chronicon Anglicanum reveals that the original account had been removed and a replacement inserted. It is possible that Ralph of Coggeshall purged the first version in an act of self-censorship, perhaps to avoid offending King John.

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