Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Roger of Wendover

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 13
Roger of Wendover

by Herbert Thurston


Benedictine monk, date of birth unknown; d. 1236, the first of the great chroniclers of St. Albans Abbey. He seems to have been a native of Wendover in Buckinghamshire and must have enjoyed some little consideration among his brethren as he was appointed prior of the cell of Belvoir, but from this office he was deposed and retired to St. Albans, where he probably wrote his chronicle, known as the "Flores Historiarum", extending from the Creation to 1235. From the year 1202 it is an original and valuable authority, but the whole material has been worked over and in a sense re-edited with editions by Matthew Paris (q.v.) in his "Chronica Majora". Wendover is less prejudiced than Paris, but he is also less picturesque, and whereas Paris in his generalizations and inferences as to the causes of events anticipates the scope of the modern historian, Wendover is content to discharge the functions of a simple chronicler. The "Flores Historiarum" was edited for the English Historical Society in 1841 by H. O. Coxe in five volumes, beginning with the year 447, when Wendover for the first time turns directly to the history of Britain. But in 1886-1889 the more valuable part of the work (from 1154 to 1235) was re-edited by H. G. Hewlett as part of the Rolls Series in three volumes.

HUNT in Dict. Nat. Biog., s. v. WENDOVER; LUARD, prefaces to the earlier volumes of MATTHEW PARIS, Chronica Majora in the Rolls Series; HARDY, Catalogue of Materials of Brit. Hist., III (London, 1871), and the prefaces to the editions of Flores Historiarum.

Herbert Thurston.