Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Matthew of Westminster

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The name given to the supposed author of a well-known English chronicle, the "Flores Historiarum". The misunderstanding regarding this imaginary personage originated in the title of a rather late manuscript of this history (Cotton, Claudius, E, 8) which describes the work as "liber qui Flores Historiarum intiulatur secundum Matthaeum monachum Westmonasteriensem". This seems to be due to the blunder of some copyist, who, perceiving that the latter part of the chronicle was written at Westminster while the greater portion followed the history of Matthew Paris, concluded that the said Matthew was himself a monk of Westminster. The "Flores Historiarum" in its fullest form extends from the Creation to 1326, but many manuscripts stop short at 1306. From 1259, where Matthew Paris ends, it possesses considerable historical value. The compilation for 1259-65 was made at St. Albans; from 1265-1325 it bears evident signs that the various writers who contributed to it lived at Westminster. The chronicle was printed for the first time by Archbishop Parker in 1567 and was attributed by him, following Bale and Joscelin, to "Matthew of Westminster". It was re-edited by Luard for the Rolls Series in 1890 with an introduction containing the fullest investigation of the genesis of the work.

MADDEN, Historia Anglorum of Matthew Paris in R.S., III (London, 1866-9); HARDY, Catalogue of Materials for British History in R.S., III (London, 1862-71); HUNT in Dict. Nat. Biog., s.v. Westminster, Matthew, based upon Luard, whose explanations are now generally recognized.

HERBERT THURSTON