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Tudor antiquaries and the Vita Ædwardi regis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 March 2010

Henry Summerson
Affiliation:
Oxford Holinshed Project

Abstract

Recent investigations into the sources of Holinshed's Chronicles, both in the latter's text and in the collections of the late-sixteenth-century antiquaries responsible for its compilation, have brought to light a number of passages derived from the eleventh-century Vita Ædwardi regis, some in Latin and others translated into English. In most cases, corresponding passages occur in the single surviving manuscript of the Vita, but this is not invariably so. It is argued here that the antiquaries had access to a manuscript of the Vita which was at one time in the keeping of John Stow, but has since been lost, and that certain passages missing from the extant manuscript of the Vita can now be reconstructed on the basis of the passages derived from Stow's manuscript. Prominent among them is the complete poem describing the magnificent ship and other gifts given by Earl Godwine to King Edward the Confessor in 1042.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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