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A fragment of the Flores Historiarum , Written about the 2nd quarter of the 14th century at Norwich

MS. Fairfax 20
Held at the Weston Library

  • Request

A fragment of the Flores Historiarum, formerly attributed to Matthew of Westminster, from the Creation to 635, based on the Chetham original (Rolls Series, Flor. Hist. i, p. xxix), and written at Norwich before 1352.

The chronicle is preceded, as in the Royal MS. 14 C. VI and Cott. MS. Claud. E. viii in the British Museum, by miscellaneous matter including:

  1. Fol. 1. a description of Rome: beg. 'Habet autem urbs Roma'
  2. Fol. 3. a description of England, enumerating the shires, dioceses, archdeaconries, roads, languages, and kingdoms: beg. 'Anglia habet in longitudine'
  3. Fol. 4. a short description of an inexpugnable castle in Armenia, and (ib.) an account of the seven marvels of the world: beg. 'Primum miraculum fuit Rome sic'
  4. Fol. 4v. the well-known 'De mirabilibus Anglie': beg. 'Ventus egreditur de cauernis'
  5. Fol. 5v. 'De viris illustribus quo tempore scripserunt', derived (as) from Ralph de Diceto
  6. Fol. 6v. 'De denario sancti Petri que Romescot dicitur': beg. 'Gregorius episcopus seruus seruorum dei'
  7. Fol. 7. an explanation of weights and measures, followed by interpretations of Old English legal terms
  8. Fol. 7v. 'De modo coronacionis regis Ricardi': beg. 'In primis venerunt episcopi', as in Hoveden (Rolls Series, iii. 9)
  9. Fol. 8. the prophecy of the Norman Conquest from Henry of Huntingdon (bk. vi, cap. I): beg. 'Anno gratie [et tempore added later] predixit gentibus'
  10. Fol. 8v. letter of Hugh bishop of Coventry concerning the election of William bishop of Ely: beg. 'Que litterarum apicibus annotantur'
  11. Fol. 10. 'De primo adventu in Yberniam', a composite narrative from Giraldus Cambrensis and Hoveden, as in the Royal MS. 14 C. VI

The chronicle is followed by:

  1. Fol. 71. letters patent of Edward iii to Yarmouth, dated July 10 [1333], calendared in Calendar of Patent Rolls (1330-4), p. 316
  2. Fol. 72. an extract from Domesday Book relating to Yarmouth, with notes on the liberties of the town to the time of Edward iii
  3. Fol. 73. a fragment from Roger of Wendover (Rolls Series, ii. 188-9)
  4. Fol. 73v. list of the priors of Norwich to 1344
  5. Fol. 74. an index of persons and things, beginning at the letter E, with the years under which they are to be found
  6. Fol. 81. a passage on early English history, 'Cur tanto furore dei iusticia in Anglos exarsit', and some historical prophecies in rhyming Latin verse (fol. 81v)

A table of contents by Charles Fairfax is on fol. 12v.


  • Creation: Written about the 2nd quarter of the 14th century at Norwich


82 Leaves

Language of Materials

  • Latin


MS. Fairfax 20

Other Finding Aids

Falconer Madan, et al., A summary catalogue of western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford which have not hitherto been catalogued in the Quarto series (7 vols. in 8 [vol. II in 2 parts], Oxford, 1895-1953; reprinted, with corrections in vols. I and VII, Munich, 1980), vol. II, no. 3900

Custodial History

Fol. 13 has 'Liber fratris Symonis Bozoun prioris [1344-52] Norwic".

Physical Facet

On parchment


10 1/5 × 6 2/5 in.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom