Exeter, Cathedral Library 3514 Geoffrey of Monmouth, "Historia Regum Britannie': Henry of Huntingdon, "Historia Anglo rum': and other English and Welsh historical texts.

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Matthew T. Hussey


131 b. Exeter, Cathedral Library 3514

Geoffrey of Monmouth, "Historia Regum Britannie':

Henry of Huntingdon, "Historia Anglo rum':

and other English and Welsh historical texts.

[Ker:-; Gneuss: -; Robinson and Stanley: 3.22]

HISTORY: An organic 13c compilation of historical, cosmological, and genealogical texts. The initial core of the collection is a copy of Henry of Huntingdon's "Historia Anglorum" with lists and other historical material (pp. 226-504), written in the so-called "earlier hand" (Ker 1977: 2.822) probably dating to the second half of the 13c ( Greenway 1996: cxxx). This cluster of texts represents the latest version of Henry's "Historia" dating to after 1138 with later additions, and bearing additional material probably added at Le Bee, perhaps by Robert of Torigny ( Greenway 1986: 108-9 and 113-15). Dumville (1985: 6-16) has shown this core ultimately stems from a Norman source, probably assembled at Saint Wandrille (with a possible Jumieges source before that), and mediated through an exemplar (London, Lambeth Palace 327) from eastern England (Dumville 1985: 11-15; Wright 1988: lxxxii; Greenway 1996: cxxxv-cxxxvi). To this core were added texts mainly concerned with history and politics in Edwardian Wales, as Crick has demonstrated (2010: 21-42), notably the "First Variant" version of Geoffrey of Monmouth's "Historia Re gum Britannie" ( on which see Wright 1988: xi-lxxviii) in the later part of the 13c, and the "Cronica de Wallia", annals concerned with Welsh history, after 1266 (Crick 2010: 40).

There is some clearly English material integrated in the book, including a history of the A-S kings, and an account of the death of Bede which contains the OE poem, "Bede's Death Song" (f. 196), which has led some to suggest that it began in an English center before coming to Wales (Ker 1964: 11; Ker 1977: 2.822 suggests England or Wales). Portions of the book have been attributed to the Cistercian abbey in Whitland, in southwest Wales, with source texts from Strata Florida, the Cistercian abbey just west of Pontrhydfendigiad in western Wales, founded 1164 (see Hughes 1980: 76-79). Crick has made a compelling case that the collection as a whole was compiled in southern Wales with recourse to English sources over the course of the second half of the 13c (2010; see also Dumville 2002: vi). The book continued to be read and annotated in Wales, as late 13c and 14c marginalia on Welsh families and politics are found on several texts (Ker 1977: 2. 823-24; Crick 2010: 32). There are some names, perhaps of owners or readers, in late 13c scripts: 'Adam de F[ ....] herd' (p. iv) and 'Johannes Braye' on the back cover pastedown. A 15c hand perhaps provides a place- or surname, "Henmarssh Anno domini etc. lxiii1o>: also on the back cover pastedown. In the second half of the 15c it belonged to John Russell (c. 1430-1494), bishop of Lincoln, chancellor to Richard III and chancellor of Oxford University (Thomson 2008), who added numerous annotations (item 23a). The manuscript was in Exeter by the late 17c, when Bernard catalogued it ( 1698: nos. 15-20; 2. 55-56). Previous descriptions, Jones 1946, Ker 1977: 822-25, Wright 1988: lxxii-1.xxxvi, Crick 2010.

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