John of Peterborough (DNB00)

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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 29
John of Peterborough

by Charles Lethbridge Kingsford
"Supposed chronicler" in the ODNB.

JOHN (fl. 1380), called of Peterborough, is alleged to be the author of 'Chronicon Petroburgense, ab anno 654, quo tempore monasterium Sancti Petri a Peada Rege Merciorum fundatum erat, ad a.c. 1368.' This chronicle is contained in MS. Cotton Claud. A. v., where it is ascribed in a late hand to 'Johannes Abbas,' but there was no abbot of that name at Peterborough between 1263 and 1408. Abbot John de Caleto [q. v.] died in the former year, and John Deeping became abbot in the latter (Dugdale, Monasticon, i. 356-361). John of Peterborough must therefore be regarded as an imaginary person. Simon Patrick, in his appendix to Gunton's 'History of the Church of Peterborough' (p. 312), ascribed the chronicle to John de Caleto, and the later portion of it, from 1259, has been assigned to Robert of Boston. Sparke is inclined to give the authorship to John Deeping. The authority for supposing that the author was a 'John the Abbot' is, however, very slight, and all the ascriptions are mere conjecture. The 'Chronicon Petroburgense' was printed in 1723 in Sparke's 'Historiæ Anglicanæ Scriptores varii,' pp. 1-114, and was again edited by Dr. J. A. Giles in 1845. Although, considering the period which it covers, the chronicle is brief, it has some value.

[Pits, p. 448; Tanner's Bibl. Brit.-Hil). p. 431; Oudin, Script. Eccl. iii. 1088; Hardy's Cat. Brit. Hist. iii. 149, 216, in Rolls Ser.]

C. L. K.