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William Of Newburgh

WILLIAM OF NEWBURGH (d. c. 1198), or, as he is sometimes styled, Guillelmus Parvus, English ecclesiastic and chronicler, was a canon of the Augustinian priory of Newburgh in the North Riding of Yorkshire. He was born about 1136, and lived at Newburgh from his boyhood. Shortly before 1196 he began his Historia rerum Anglicarum. This work, divided into five books, covers the period 1066-1198. A great part of it is derived from known sources, especially from Henry of Huntingdon, Jordan Fantosme, the Itinerarium regis Ricardi, or its French original, and a lost account, by Anselm the chaplain, of the captivity of Richard I. The value of Newburgh's work lies in his estimates of men and situations. Except for the years 1154-1173 and the reign of Richard he records few facts which cannot be found elsewhere; and in matters of detail he is prone to inaccuracy. But his political insight and his impartiality entitle him to a high place among the historians of the 12th century.

See the editions of the Historia by H. C. Hamilton (2 vols. , London, 1856) and by R. Hewlett in Chronicles of the Reigns of Stephen, etc. (" Rolls " series, 1884-1885), vols. i. and ii. In the latter edition a continuation, the Annales Furnesienses (1190-1298), composed by a monk of Furness Abbey, Lancashire, is also given. See also Sir T. D. Hardy's Descriptive Catalogue (" Rolls " series, 1865), ii. p. 512; and H. E. Salter in the English Historical Review, vol. xxii. (1907).

(H.W.C. D.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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