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The Chronica Maiora of Thomas Walsingham (1376-1422)

The Chronica Maiora of Thomas Walsingham (1376-1422)

Translated by David Preest
with introduction and notes by James G. Clark
Copyright Date: 2005
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 480
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  • Book Info
    The Chronica Maiora of Thomas Walsingham (1376-1422)
    Book Description:

    Winner of a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title Award Translated by David Preest with introduction and notes by James G. Clark Thomas Walsingham's Chronica maiora is one of the most comprehensive and colourful chronicles to survive from medieval England. Walsingham was a monk at St Albans Abbey, a royal monastery and the premier repository of public records, and therefore well placed to observe the political machinations of this period at close hand. Moreover, he knew the monarchs and many of the nobles personally and is able to offer insights into their actions unmatched by any other authority. It is this chronicle, transmitted through popular Tudor histories, that informed some of the central dramas of Shakespeare's History cycle. Covering almost fifty years, the narrative provides the most authoritative account of one of the most turbulent periods in English history, from the last years of Edward III (1376-77) to the premature death of Henry V (1422). Walsingham describes the many dramas of this period in vivid detail, including the Peasants' Revolt (1381), the deposition and murder of Richard II (1399-1400), The Welsh revolt of Owain Glyn Dwr (1403) and Henry V's victory at Agincourt (1415); they are brought to life here in this new translation.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-380-8
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vii-vii)
    James G. Clark and David Preest
  4. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. viii-viii)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-22)

    The chronicle compiled by Thomas Walsingham, monk of the Benedictine abbey of St Albans, is one of the most valuable and vivid narrative histories to survive from later medieval England. No other author produced such a detailed account of the events of his own time over so long a period; Walsingham continued to compile his chronicle for forty-six years, from the closing months of the reign of Edward III until shortly after the sudden death of Edward’s great-grandson, Henry V, in August 1422. In contrast to many of his contemporaries, Walsingham’s chronicle was also a completely independent narrative, founded for...

  6. The Chronica Maiora of Thomas Walsingham

    • The Reign of King Edward III
      (pp. 25-33)

      In 1376 in the fiftieth year of the reign of King Edward III,² the king had a full parliament held at Westminster at the beginning of the month of May,³ at which, in his usual fashion, he asked the commons to grant him a subsidy for the defence of his kingdom. The commons in reply said they had been perpetually harassed by many such demands, and declared that the truth was that they could not sustain such burdens for long without the greatest harm to themselves.⁴ For they were agreed that the king plainly had sufficient resources for the defence...

    • The Reign of King Richard II
      (pp. 34-311)

      In 1377, upon the news of the death of King Edward III on 21 June, which was the eve of the feast of St Alban, first martyr of the English [22 June], the citizens of London sent some of their more prominent members to Kennington, where both the prince and his mother the princess were then staying, to pay the respects of the city and citizens of London to them. John Philipot, a citizen of London, who had been chosen to speak on behalf of his fellow citizens, made the following speech:¹

      ‘Our news, your excellency, is such that we...

    • The Reign of King Henry IV
      (pp. 312-388)

      On the feast of the translation of St Edward, king and confessor [13 October], King Henry IV was crowned at Westminster by the hands of Thomas [Arundel], archbishop of Canterbury, this being the very day on which a year ago he had been banished into exile.¹ This, so men thought, could not have happened without a divine miracle. And as an auspice of what was believed would be a richer grace for him in the future, he was anointed with that heavenly oil, which once the blessed Mary, mother of God, entrusted to the blessed Thomas [Becket], martyr and archbishop...

    • The Reign of King Henry V
      (pp. 389-448)

      In the same year Henry [of Monmouth], the eldest son of the dead king, was crowned in London at Westminster by the hands of Thomas Arundel, archbishop of Canterbury, on 9 April, Passion Sunday. There was a great fall of snow on this day. Everybody was surprised by the severity of the weather. Some people connected the climatic harshness with the fate that awaited them at the hands of the new king, suggesting that he too would be a man of cold deeds and severe in his management of the kingdom, while others who knew of a gentler side to...

  7. Guide to Further Reading
    (pp. 449-452)
  8. Index
    (pp. 453-472)
  9. Back Matter
    (pp. 473-473)