Croyland Chronicle

The Croyland or Crowland Chronicle is an important primary source for English medieval history, particularly the late 15th century. It is named for its place of origin, the Benedictine Abbey of Croyland or Crowland, in Lincolnshire, England. It was formerly also known as the Chronicle of Ingulf or Ingulphus after its supposed original compiler, the 11th-century abbot Ingulf. As that section of the text is now known to have been a later forgery, its author is instead known as Pseudo-Ingulf.

Croyland Abbey & Parish Church of Crowland
Croyland Abbey


Several historical chronicles were written at the Abbey of Croyland, which was the wealthiest religious foundation in eastern England during the Middle Ages. Alison Weir writes that the chronicles dated before 1117 are "spurious", while the three anonymously written "continuations" that span the periods from 1144–1469, 1459–1468 and 1485–1486 are genuine.[1]

The first entry of the chronicle concerns 655 AD. A forged part of the text was formerly used to support the existence of a form of the congé d'élire—royal power over investiture of bishops—in Anglo-Saxon England prior to the Norman Conquest.

The part that covers the years 1459–1486, called the Second Continuation, was written in April 1486, after Henry Tudor had become King Henry VII of England. It was written by someone who had access to information from the court of Richard III—described as being a doctor of canon law and member of Edward IV's council. Some historians believe that author was John Russell, Bishop of Lincoln, who was Richard's Chancellor for most of his reign (until Richard dismissed him on 24 July 1485) but who now wanted to please the new king Henry. Others conclude the work was written by a monk of Crowland who has edited a secular source.

Over the years, there has been confusion between the second and third continuators, and the fourth continuator claims not to know the identity of the third. It is, in fact, the second continuator (covering the period 1459–1486) who claims to be writing in April 1486, and, sure enough, this section ends with the marriage of Henry VII of England and Elizabeth of York and the rebellion that followed. This date ties in with the survival of a copy of Titulus Regius in the text, and Russell is known to have been at Crowland during April, 1486.


  • Savile, Henry, ed. (1596). "Descriptio compilata per dominum Ingulphum Abbatem Monasterii Croyland". Rerum Anglicarum scriptores post Bedam praecipui. London. pp. 484r–520r.
  • Ingulph's Chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland: with the continuations by Peter of Blois and anonymous writers. Bohn's Antiquarian Library. Translated by Riley, Henry T. London: Henry G. Bohn. 1854.
  • Pronay, Nicholas; Cox, John, eds. (1986). The Crowland Chronicle Continuations: 1459–1486. London: Alan Sutton. ISBN 0948993006.


  1. ^ Alison, Weir (2004). Princes in the Tower, the. New York: Fawcett. ISBN 978-0-345-39178-0.

External links


Year 1120 (MCXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.


A chronicle (Latin: chronica, from Greek χρονικά chroniká, from χρόνος, chrónos – "time") is a historical account of facts and events arranged in chronological order, as in a time line. Typically, equal weight is given for historically important events and local events, the purpose being the recording of events that occurred, seen from the perspective of the chronicler. This is in contrast to a narrative or history, which sets selected events in a meaningful interpretive context and excludes those the author does not see as important.

Chronicler information sources vary; some chronicles are written from first-hand knowledge, some are from witnesses or participants in events, still others are accounts passed mouth to mouth prior to being written down. Some used written material: Charters, letters, or the works of earlier chroniclers. Still others are tales of such unknown origins so as to hold mythical status. Copyists also affected chronicles in creative copying, making corrections or in updating or continuing a chronicle with information not available to the original author(s). The reliability of a particular chronicle is an important determination for modern historians.In modern times various contemporary newspapers or other periodicals have adopted "chronicle" as part of their name. Various fictional stories have also adopted "chronicle" as part of their title, to give an impression of epic proportion to their stories. A chronicle which traces world history is called a universal chronicle.

Congé d'élire

Congé d'élire (; Law French: congé d'eslire, "leave" or "permission to choose") is a licence from the Crown in England issued under the great seal to the dean and chapter of the cathedral church of a diocese, authorizing them to elect a bishop or archbishop, as the case may be, upon the vacancy of any episcopal see in England.


In Anglo-Saxon law, corsned (OE cor, "trial, investigation", + snǽd, "bit, piece"; Latin panis conjuratus), also known as the accursed or sacred morsel, or the morsel of execration, was a type of trial by ordeal that consisted of a suspected person eating a piece of barley bread and cheese totalling about an ounce in weight and consecrated with a form of exorcism as a trial of his innocence. If guilty, it was supposed the bread would produce convulsions and paleness and cause choking. If innocent, it was believed the person could swallow it freely, and the bread would turn to nourishment.

The term dates to before 1000 AD; the laws of Ethelred II reference this practice: "Gif man freondleasne weofod-þen mid tihtlan belecge, ga to corsnæde."

The ecclesiastical laws of Canute the Great also mention the practice.

According to Isaac D'Israeli, the bread was of unleavened barley, and the cheese was made of ewe's milk in the month of May.

Writers such as Richard Burn and John Lingard have considered it an imitation of the "water of jealousy" used in the ordeal prescribed in Numbers 5:11-31 for cases of jealousy.


Crowland (modern usage) or Croyland (medieval era name and the one still in ecclesiastical use; cf. Latin: Croilandia) is a small town in the

South Holland district of Lincolnshire, England. It is situated between Peterborough and Spalding. Crowland contains two sites of historical interest, Crowland Abbey and Trinity Bridge

Crowland Abbey

Crowland Abbey (also spelled Croyland Abbey, Latin: Croilandia) is a Church of England parish church, formerly part of a Benedictine abbey church, in Crowland in the English county of Lincolnshire. It is a Grade I listed building.

Ecgfrith of Mercia

Ecgfrith was king of Mercia from 29 July to December 796. He was the son of Offa, one of the most powerful kings of Mercia, and Cynethryth. In 787, Ecgfrith was consecrated king, the first known consecration of an English king, probably arranged by Offa in imitation of the consecration of Charlemagne's sons by the pope in 781. Around 789, Offa seems to have intended that Ecgfrith marry the Frankish king Charlemagne's daughter Bertha, but Charlemagne was outraged by the request and the proposal never went forward.According to the Croyland Chronicle "he (Ecgfrith) was seized with a malady, and departed this life." His reign lasted 141 days.Ecgfrith was succeeded by a distant relative, Coenwulf, presumably because Offa had arranged the murder of nearer relatives in order to eliminate dynastic rivals. According to a contemporary letter from Alcuin of York, an English deacon and scholar who spent over a decade at Charlemagne's court as one of his chief advisors:

That most noble young man has not died for his sins, but the vengeance for the blood shed by the father has reached the son. For you know how much blood his father shed to secure the kingdom upon his son.Alcuin added: "This was not a strengthening of the kingdom, but its ruin."

Edward of Middleham, Prince of Wales

Edward of Middleham, Prince of Wales, Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall, 1st Earl of Salisbury (December 1473 – 9 April 1484), was the heir apparent of King Richard III of England and his wife, Anne Neville. He was Richard's only legitimate child and died aged ten.

George Buck

Sir George Buck (or Buc) (c. 1560 – October 1622) was an English antiquarian, historian, scholar and author, who served as a Member of Parliament, government envoy to Queen Elizabeth I and Master of the Revels to King James I of England.

He served in the war against the Spanish Armada in 1588 and on the Cadiz expedition of 1596. He was appointed Esquire of the Body in 1588 and a Member of Parliament for Gatton, Surrey in the 1590s, also acting at times as an envoy for Queen Elizabeth. In 1603, on the accession to the throne of King James I, Buck was made a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber and knighted. In 1606, he began to license plays for publication. In 1610, he became Master of the Revels, responsible for licensing and supervising plays in Britain, including Shakespeare's later plays, and censoring them with respect to the depiction of religion and politics.

Buck's writings include a verse work, Daphnis Polystephanos: An Eclog.... (1605), an historical-pastoral poem in celebration of James I's royal ancestors. His treatise "The Third Vniversite of England" (1615) describes the educational facilities in London. His major prose work was The History of King Richard the Third, which he left in rough draft at his death. His great-nephew extensively altered it and finally published it in 1646 as his own work. Buck defended King Richard III, examining critically the accusations against him. He also discovered and introduced important new historical sources, especially the Croyland Chronicle and the Titulus Regius, which justified Richard's accession to the crown.

Historie of the arrivall of Edward IV

The Historie of the Arrivall of Edward IV. in England and the Finall Recouerye of His Kingdomes from Henry VI. A.D. M.CCCC.LXXI is a chronicle from the period of the Wars of the Roses. As the title implies, the main focus of the work is Edward IV's arrival in England in 1471 to reclaim his crown. On 2 October 1470, King Edward had fled to Flanders in the face of a rebellion by Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick. Warwick set up – as a puppet king – Henry VI, whom he had himself previously helped depose. On the continent Edward received support from Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, and on 14 March 1471 he landed at Ravenspurn in Yorkshire, and started making his way south. On 14 April Edward defeated Warwick at the Battle of Barnet. Warwick was killed and Edward's reign was secured.The author of the Arrival is unknown, but he identifies himself as a servant of Edward IV. For this reason the chronicle is written from a perspective sympathetic to King Edward, but this also allows the author a unique perspective. He claims that he experienced some of the events described first hand, and learned the rest from people closely involved. The work was also written shortly after the events, and for these reasons it is considered the most authoritative source on the period, more so than e.g. the Croyland Chronicle or the works of Polydore Vergil. The chronicle exists in two versions; in addition to the full, official one there is also an abridged version in French. This version was sent to the citizens of Bruges, the city where Edward had resided in exile, in appreciation of their hospitality.


Ingulf (Latin: Ingulphus; died 16 November 1109) was a Benedictine abbot of Crowland, head of Crowland Abbey in Lincolnshire.

Ingulf (disambiguation)

Ingulf was an 11th-century Benedictine abbot of Crowland (Croyland).

Ingulf (also Ingulph; Anglo-Saxon Ingwulf, Old Norse Ingólfr) is a Germanic given name (from Ing, a theonym, and ulf "wolf"); besides the Crowland abbot, it may also refer to:

Pseudo-Ingulf, the Croyland chronicle formerly associated with the abbot

Ingulph, a 12th-century Abbot of Abingdon

Ingólfr Arnarson, 9th-century settler of Iceland

Ingulf the Mad, title of a 1989 fantasy novel and its eponymous main character

List of English chronicles

This is a list of the most important Chronicles relevant to the kingdom of England in the period from the Norman Conquest to the beginning of the Tudor dynasty (1066–1485). The chronicles are listed under the name by which they are commonly referred to. Some chronicles are known under the name of the chronicler to whom they are attributed, while some of these writers also have more than one work to their name. Though works may cover more than one reign, each chronicle is listed only once, with the dates covered. Only post-conquest dates have been included. Though many chronicles claim to describe history "from the earliest times" (from Brutus, from the creation, ab urbe condita), they are normally only useful as historical sources for their own times. Some of the later works, such as Polydore Vergil and Thomas More, are as close to history in the modern sense of the word, as to medieval chronicles.

Princes in the Tower

"The Princes in the Tower" is an expression frequently used to refer to Edward V, King of England and Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York. The two brothers were the only sons of Edward IV, King of England and Elizabeth Woodville surviving at the time of their father's death in 1483. When they were 12 and 9 years old, respectively, they were lodged in the Tower of London by the man appointed to look after them, their uncle, the Lord Protector: Richard, Duke of Gloucester. This was supposedly in preparation for Edward's forthcoming coronation as king. However, Richard took the throne for himself and the boys disappeared.

It is unclear what happened to the boys after the last recorded sighting of them in the Tower. It is generally assumed that they were murdered; a common hypothesis is that they were killed by Richard in an attempt to secure his hold on the throne. Their deaths may have occurred some time in 1483, but apart from their disappearance, the only evidence is circumstantial. As a result, several other hypotheses about their fates have been proposed, including the suggestion that they were murdered by Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham or Henry VII, among others. It has also been suggested that one or both princes may have escaped assassination. In 1487, Lambert Simnel initially claimed to be Richard, Duke of York, but later claimed to be Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick. From 1491 until his capture in 1497, Perkin Warbeck claimed to be Richard, Duke of York, having supposedly escaped to Flanders. Warbeck's claim was supported by some contemporaries (including the aunt of the disappeared princes, Margaret of York).

In 1674, workmen at the Tower dug up a wooden box containing two small human skeletons. The bones were found in a box under the staircase in the Tower of London. The bones were widely accepted at the time as those of the princes, but this has not been proven and is far from certain. King Charles II had the bones buried in Westminster Abbey, where they remain.


Pseudo-Ingulf is the name given to an unknown English author of the Historia Monasterii Croylandensis, also known as the Croyland Chronicle. Nothing certain is known of Pseudo-Ingulf although it is generally assumed that he was connected with Croyland Abbey.

The Historia Monasterii Croylandensis is attributed to Abbot Ingulph, an 11th-century Abbot of Croyland, but is generally accepted to be a 14th-century work. Those parts of the work written after Pseudo-Ingulf, that is the 15th century, are considered a valuable source. Pseudo-Ingulf himself is not; while he may have had access to genuine traditions or documents at Croyland, "he misunderstood or garbled these beyond any possibility of recognition".A number of distinguished 19th-century historians attempted to extract reliable material from Pseudo-Ingulf, notably E. A. Freeman and Sir Francis Palgrave, with limited success.

Sweating sickness

Sweating sickness, also known as English sweating sickness or English sweat (Latin: sudor anglicus), was a mysterious and highly contagious disease that struck England, and later continental Europe, in a series of epidemics beginning in 1485. The last outbreak occurred in 1551, after which the disease apparently vanished. The onset of symptoms was dramatic and sudden, with death often occurring within hours. Although its cause remains unknown, it has been suggested that an unknown species of hantavirus was responsible for the outbreak.

Tancred, Torthred, and Tova

Saints Tancred, Torthred, and Tova were three Anglo-Saxon siblings who were saints, hermits and martyrs of the Ninth century. Their feast day was celebrated on 30 September at Thorney and Deeping.

Titulus Regius

Titulus Regius ("royal title" in Latin) is a statute of the Parliament of England, issued in 1484, by which the title of King of England was given to Richard III.

The act ratifies the declaration of the lords and the members of the House of Commons, in the year before, that the marriage of Edward IV of England to Elizabeth Woodville had been invalid, and consequently their children, including Edward, Richard and Elizabeth, were illegitimate and, therefore, debarred from the throne. Thus Richard III had been proclaimed the rightful king. But as the Lords and Commons had not been officially convened as a parliament, doubts had arisen as to its validity, so when Parliament convened it enacted the declaration as a law.

Following the overthrow of Richard III, the Act was repealed, which had the effect of reinstating the legitimacy of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville's children.


Wigstan (died c.840 AD), also known as Saint Wystan, was the son of Wigmund of Mercia and Ælfflæd, daughter of King Ceolwulf I of Mercia.

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