Richard de Templo (DNB00)

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RICHARD de Templo (fl. 1190–1229), reputed author of the ‘Itinerarium Regis Ricardi,’ the chief authority for the third crusade, may have been a chaplain to the templars, and in some sense a dependent of the Earl of Leicester (1191–1206).

From the ‘Itinerarium’ itself we learn that the author of the work was at Lyons with Richard Cœur de Lion in July 1190; from Lyons he passed through Orange to Marignane ‘on the sea’ and Marseilles, whence he took ship for Sicily, and reached Messina before 14 Sept., having thus outsailed the king, who left Marseilles on 7 Aug. and landed at Messina on 23 Sept. He was obviously an eye-witness of much that he records during Richard's six months' stay in Sicily, and on 10 April 1191 embarked for Acre in a vessel belonging to the English fleet. With Richard, he experienced the great Good Friday storm off the coast of Crete (12 April), and in the king's company was driven to Rhodes—an island whose ruined capital he compares to Rome for size and appearance. He left Rhodes on 1 May with the king, but not in Richard's own ship, and was probably present at the conquest of Cyprus and the rest of the English crusade till the return home in October 1192. In some parts, however, his narrative lacks the precise detail we should expect from an eye-witness, and the first person practically drops out of his pages at the departure from Rhodes (p. 181, bk. ii. c. 28) only to reappear at the very end of the work (bk. vi. c. 33, with which cf. iv. 33), with the account of the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Three bands of crusaders visited the holy city (September 1192?), and the author of the ‘Itinerarium’ was a member of the second band, under the guidance of Ralph Teissun. His account of this incident is very minute, and it expressly states that he made the journey as a poor man on foot. From Jerusalem he returned to Acre, where he abruptly disappears from the narrative. He certainly did not return home with Richard himself; but, as he seems to have visited Rome (see above) some time during his life, he may possibly have done so in the company of the two queens (Berengaria and Joan) on their way from Palestine to Poitou.

On or before 24 Oct. 1222 Richard de Templo, with whom Bishop Stubbs identifies the author of the ‘Itinerarium,’ although the grounds are not conclusive, was elected prior of the Augustinian church of the Holy Trinity, London (Close Rolls, p. 515, a b). There is no evidence as to the precise day of the prior's death; but he appears to have been taken under Gregory IX's protection as late as 1229.

In its present form the ‘Itinerarium’ was published after 1198. It is quoted by Giraldus Cambrensis, who died about 1216; by the author of the ‘De Expugnatione Terræ Sanctæ,’ who was wounded when Saladin laid siege to Jerusalem in 1187; in the British Museum MS. (Reg. 14 c. 10), which was probably composed about 1220; by Roger of Wendover (d. 1237); and by Matthew Paris (d. 1259?). The last three writers, however, only quote from Book i. (Stubbs's Introduction, p. lxx), a book which stands apart from and was very likely published before the rest. All the external evidence for Richard de Templo's authorship is to be found—(1) in the ‘De Expugnatione's’ advice to its readers that, if they desire a detailed account of King Richard's crusade after Philip's departure from Syria, they had better consult ‘the book which the Prior of the Holy Trinity at London caused to be translated out of French into Latin,’ words which distinctly refer to the ‘Itinerarium;’ and (2) the assertion of Nicholas Trivet (fl. 1300?), prefixed to a direct quotation from the ‘Itinerarium’ (bk. ii.), declaring that the quotation in question comes from ‘the Itinerary of the same king (i.e. Richard I), which Richard, Canon of the Holy Trinity at London, wrote in prose and metre.’

By far the greater part of the ‘Itinerarium’ corresponds very closely with a long octosyllabic French poem, written by a certain Ambrose, the priest-clerk, who, like the author of the ‘Itinerarium,’ accompanied Richard on the third crusade. This Ambrose is probably identical with the Ambrose who, as ‘king's clerk’ (10 Oct. 1200), received payment for singing mass at John's second coronation (Norm. Rolls, p. 34). His French poem, the ‘Carmen Ambrosii,’ has not yet been published in full; but it appears to omit certain salient points that are found in the ‘Itinerarium,’ such as the account of Frederick Barbarossa's crusade (bk. i. cc. 18–24), and it has minor details which are peculiar to it. Nor do the two works always follow the same order of events. But there can be little question that the ‘Itinerarium’ is based upon the ‘Song of Ambrose;’ and it seems probable that, some time after the appearance of the latter work, Richard de Templo had it translated—with a certain amount of freedom—into Latin, probably by a survivor from the third crusade. This theory harmonises the chief points of the evidence of Trivet and the ‘De Expugnatione.’ If this translation were dedicated to Richard de Templo, or introduced with a preface from his pen, it would soon naturally be ascribed to him; while the close resemblance between the French and Latin works would account for Trivet's blunder in attributing both to one writer.

The ‘Itinerarium’ has been published by Bongars (only part of book i., and without the author's prologue); by Gale, and by Stubbs. Selections have been edited by Pauli. The chief manuscripts are (a) Cotton MS. Faustina A vii (early thirteenth century), (b) Cambridge Public Library Ff. i. 25 (middle thirteenth century), (c) Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (late thirteenth century), Phillipps's Library, Cheltenham, 3874 alias 13556 (fourteenth century). The British Museum MS. Reg. 14 C 10 contains large parts of book i. placed in a new order. The Corpus manuscript has the fullest text and has been followed by Stubbs. Gale's edition is from (b), a manuscript which, as it contains various Latin poems by Geoffrey Vinsauf, and notably one on Richard I's death, has led many writers to ascribe the ‘Itinerarium’ also to this poet. Barth had a manuscript of book i. which assigned the work to ‘Guido Adduanensis’ (see Stubbs, Introd. pp. xliii–xlvi).

Richard de Templo must not be confused with Richard of Devizes (fl. 1191) [q. v.], author of the ‘Gesta Regis Ricardi,’ whose work covers much the same period of Richard I's career as the ‘Itinerarium.’ Both end at the same date.

[Itinerarium Regis Ricardi, ed. Stubbs, Giraldus Cambrensis, ed. Dimock, Brewer, and Warner, vol. viii., Matthew Paris, ed. Luard, vol. ii. De Expugnatione Terræ Sanctæ, ed. Jos. Stevenson (all in the Rolls Ser.); Scriptores Rer. German. (Pertz), xxvii. 190–220, 532–46; Trivet, ed. Hog (Engl. Hist. Soc.); Gale's Scriptores (1687); Norman Rolls, ed. Hardy, 1835; Close Rolls, ed. Hardy (1200–24); Rymer's Fœdera, ed. 1816, vol. i.; Dugdale's Monasticon, ed. 1817–30, vol. vi.; Revue des Sociétés Savantes des Départements, 5th ser. vi. 93, &c.; Adelbert Keller's ‘Romvärts’ (1844), pp. 411–25; Montfaucon's Bibliotheca Bibliothecarum, i. 31; C. Bongars's Gesta Dei per Francos; La Croix's Dissertation sur quelques points curieux de l'Histoire de France, vii. 24.]

T. A. A.