Robert the Englishman (fl.1326) (DNB00)

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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 48
Robert the Englishman (fl.1326)

by Charles Lethbridge Kingsford
Contains subarticle Robertus Anglicus (fl. 1272).

ROBERT the Englishman (fl. 1326), also called Robertus Perescrutator, was a native of Yorkshire. He was a doctor of divinity and a Dominican friar, and is said to have been called ‘Perscrutator’ from his zealous study of medicine. He wrote: 1. ‘De Impressionibus Æris,’ inc. ‘De æris impressionibus anno Christi 1325 in civitate Eboraci Angliæ’ (Cambr. Univ. Libr. MS. Ii. i. 1, ff. 13–24). 2. ‘De Magia Cæremoniali.’ 3. ‘Correctorium Alchymiæ.’ 4. ‘De Mysteriis Secretorum.’ 5. ‘De Moralibus Elementorum.’ 6. ‘Roberti Anglici viri astrologici præstantissimi de Astrolabio Canones’ [Perugia, 1480?], 4to. But this may belong to the other Robertus Anglicus noticed below. In Digby MS. 208 in the Bodleian Library, a manuscript of the late fifteenth century, there is ‘Tabula Capitulorum Etymologiarum Isidori,’ by Robertus Anglicus, S.T.P., ordinis S. Dominici.’ According to Pits (App. p. 901), there were some scriptural commentaries by Robert, an English friar, in the Dominican Library at Bologna.

Robertus Perscrutator of York can hardly be identical with the Robertus Anglicus (fl. 1272) who wrote: ‘Commentarius in tractatum Johannis de Sacrobosco [Holywood] de Sphæra.’ There is a copy in Digby MS. 48, ff. 48–88, where the ‘Commentarius’ is said to have been written for students at Montpelier, and to be compiled by Master Robert the Englishman, who completed it in 1272. He is also credited with ‘Alkindus de Judiciis ex Arabico Latinus factus per Robertum Anglicum anno Domini 1272,’ which was probably by Robert de Retines [see Robert the Englishman, fl. 1143], the date being probably a mistake for 1172, from which it has been altered to 1272 in one manuscript. There are copies in Ashmolean MSS. 179, iv., 209 f. 211, 369 f. 85, 433 vi.

[Tanner's Bibl. Brit.-Hib. p. 636; Quétif and Echard's Script. Ord. Præd. i. 625–6; Brit. Mus. Cat.; Catalogues of Digby and Ashmolean MSS.]

C. L. K.