III. It seems to be a point difficult to clear up, at what period NENNIUS flourished. If we take the authority of Bishop Nicolson, he was Abbot of Bangor, about the year 620. This, however, seems to be contradicted by himself, for he says in the prologue: "This History was compiled in the 858th year of the Lord, and in the 24th year of Mervin, King of Britain." This, however, matters but little in estimating the value of his History, "whose chief importance consists in its being, not an historic record of events with which the writer was either personally acquainted, or for which he had coeval written evidence, but as a depository of traditionary information, in the preservation of which the Celtic nations have been always peculiarly interested."

IV. VENERABLE BEDE's historical labours were chiefly devoted to the History of the Church, from its first establishment in England. Besides his ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY, however, it has been thought advisable to give, in the present Series, his LIVES OF THE ABBOTS OF WEREMOUTH AND JARROW, the Life of ST. CUTHBERT, Lives of the Saints, and his Letters. All these works, without losing sight of their chief object, record secular events, noticing, parti cularly, the introduction of the useful arts into England; and, from the easy and flowing style in which they are composed, have always been held in great esteem by literary men. His History commences with Julius Cæsar, and comes down to the year of our Lord 731. Bede died in 735, aged 62 years.

V. ASSER wrote the Life of King Alfred up to his 45th year, A.D. 893. The continuation to his death and the Epitaph are by other hands-the latter by Henry of Huntingdon. There is a truthfulness throughout the Narrative, alike honourable to this great king and his friend; for our author, who lived on terms of intimacy with his sovereign, was promoted by him to the Bishopric

of Sherburn. King Alfred was born A.D. 849, and died A. D. 900.

VI. THE SAXON CHRONICLES, from the original MSS., the earliest of which appears to have been compiled in the year 891, and continued to A.D. 1070, and the latest of which is carried down to A.D. 1154, will be given in the words of the most ancient document of each period, any variation being noted at the foot of the page. The first publisher of this noble Monument was Mr. Wheloc, who caused it to be printed at the end of the Saxon Bede in 1644. By the assistance of other MSS., an enlarged edition, commenced by Bp. Nicolson, was given by Mr. Gibson, in 1692; and since then the labours of Dr. Ingram, made public in 1823, have added much to the value of this venerable chronicle. Miss Gurney's accurate version, the first in English, appeared in 1819. A Dissection of the Saxon Chronicle was published in 1830.

VII. The earliest writer after the Conquest, INGULPHUS, Abbot of Croyland, was born in London, A.D. 1030, and died in 1109. Bishop Nicolson justly observes, that "the relation he bore to King William does manifestly bias him in the ill account he gives of Harold, pelting that Prince with a volley of hard names, all in a breath." His History commences A.D. 664, and is continued down to A.D. 1091.

VIII. EADMER'S HISTORIA NOVORUM, OR HISTORY OF HIS OWN TIME, contains the Reigns of William the Conqueror and William Rufus, from A.D. 1066 to 1122. ""Tis a work of great gravity and unquestionable authority. It affords no fooleries of miracles, so rife in the writings of other Monks." The great Selden says: "His style equals that of Malmesbury; his matter and composure exceed him."

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IX. WILLIAM OF MALMESBURY IS THE CHIEF OF OUR HISTORIANS," says Archbishop Usher. He was a Monk, and the library keeper. Styled by Leland, "an elegant, faithful, and learned historian," his character is confirmed by Sir Henry Saville, who says: "He is the only man of his time who has discharged his trust as an Historian." In his "History of the Kings of England," says Bishop Nicolson, "we have a judicious collection of whatever he found on record touching the affairs of England from the arrival of the Saxons (A.D. 449), concluding his work with the reign of King Stephen (A.D. 1143), in the Historia Novella. In the present Series will now be found, for the first time, his History of the English Bishops, in an English dress. He died A. D. 1143.

X. The GESTA STEPHANI are contained in the Valuable Collection of Historians edited by Duchesne. Quoted by all writers on this eventful period, and termed by Sharon Turner "a most important work,” it cannot be considered out of place in the present Series. The well known bias of William of Malmesbury, whose patron, the celebrated Robert, Earl of Gloucester, natural son of Henry I., was the constant enemy of Stephen, will be sufficient apology for thus introducing "the most authentic account of those times." Stephen usurped the throne A.D. 1135, and died A.D. 1154.

XI. WILLIAM OF NEWBURGH, thus named after a Monastery in Yorkshire, though his real name was Little, was born A. D. 1136. His History commences with the Norman Conquest, and is carried down to the year 1197. "For veracity, regularity of disposition, and purity of language," says Dr. Henry, says Dr. Henry, "it is one of the most valuable productions of this period."

XII. Of RICHARD OF DEVIZES, little is known. He gives an Account of English Affairs from A.D. 1189 to

1192, and of the exploits of Richard I. in the Holy Land. It appears from internal evidence to have been written. about the year 1199, and may be considered anterior to Roger Hoveden and Ralph de Diceto.

XIII. RICHARD of Cirencester's Description of Britain was first discovered by Professor Bertram, at Copenhagen, and by him communicated to Dr. Stukeley. Doubts have been cast on the genuineness of the document itself, but, considering a Description of Britain a necessary appendage to our Series, and all persons con curring in the general accuracy of the present work, it is here repeated on its own merits.

XIV. THOMAS SPROTT'S CHRONICLE was originally published in Latin by Hearne, in the year 1719. In the present translation, every thing connected with Britain will be given. The original itself commences with the Creation, but in our version the landing of Julius Cæsar is the first event recorded, and the narrative is brought down to A.D. 1339. Sprott himself compiled the Chronicle to the year 1272, after which it was continued by WILLIAM THORN. Both were Monks of St. Augustine's, Canterbury.

XV. FRAGMENTS OF ANONYMOUS CHRONICLES, and CHRONOLOGICAL TABLES, will be added by way of Appendix. Amongst the former, the very curious Fragment published by Hearne at the end of his edition of Sprott's Chronicon, and which is supposed to have been written by a member of the Howard Family, who was on terms of intimacy with King Edward the Fourth, will be read with much interest, detailing with the greatest minuteness, and in the vernacular language of the day, those stirring events in which the great Earl of Warwick figured so conspicuously.



EDWARD III., A.D. 1377.

As all these Annalists occupy nearly the same period in our History, it would be only useless repetition to give the entire Narrative of each. ROGER OF WENDOVER commences with the year 447, and up to the Conquest his History will be adopted as our Text. MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER, (whose "Flores Historiarum" are almost exclusively taken from Roger of Wendover and Matthew Paris,) will be quoted in the shape of foot notes, wherever he adduces any facts not contained in either of their Narratives. MATTHEW PARIS's fearless and impartial History will be given ENTIRE, from the Conquest, A.D. 1066, to his death in 1259. Wherever Roger of Wendover differs from Matthew Paris, it will also be noted. This will be followed by the continuation of WILLIAM RISHANGER, to the year 1273, after which, MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER's texts brings down the History to the Death of Edward the Third, A.D. 1377.

Concerning the writers themselves, it may be remarked:

I. ROGER OF WENDOVER was a Monk of St. Alban's, in which Abbey he filled the office of Historiographer. His work, which has been recently edited for the first time by Mr. Coxe, and published by the English Historical Society, appears to be the groundwork of the "Historia Major" of Matthew Paris, who in his turn again furnished Matthew of Westminster with the materials for his History. Indeed, before the introduction of the art of printing rendered a variety of books easy of access, it was the common practice to borrow largely from other

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