1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Eadmer

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EADMER, or Edmer (c. 1060-c. 1124), English historian and ecclesiastic, was probably, as his name suggests, of English, and not of Norman parentage. He became a monk in the Benedictine monastery of Christ Church, Canterbury, where he made the acquaintance of Anselm, at that time visiting England as abbot of Bec. The intimacy was renewed when Anselm became archbishop of Canterbury in 1093; thenceforward Eadmer was not only his disciple and follower, but his friend and director, being formally appointed to this position by Pope Urban II. In 1120 he was nominated to the archbishopric of St Andrews, but as the Scots would not recognize the authority of the see of Canterbury he was never consecrated, and soon afterwards he resigned his claim to the archbishopric. His death is generally assigned to the year 1124.

Eadmer left a large number of writings, the most important of which is his Historiae novorum, a work which deals mainly with the history of England between 1066 and 1122. Although concerned principally with ecclesiastical affairs scholars agree in regarding the Historiae as one of the ablest and most valuable writings of its kind. It was first edited by John Selden in 1623 and, with Eadmer’s Vita Anselmi, has been edited by Martin Rule for the “Rolls Series” (London, 1884). The Vita Anselmi, first printed at Antwerp in 1551, is probably the best life of the saint. Less noteworthy are Eadmer’s lives of St Dunstan, St Bregwin, archbishop of Canterbury, and St Oswald, archbishop of York; these are all printed in Henry Wharton’s Anglia Sacra, part ii. (1691), where a list of Eadmer’s writings will be found. The manuscripts of most of Eadmer’s works are preserved in the library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

See M. Rule, On Eadmer’s Elaboration of the first four Books of “Historiae novorum” (1886); and Père Ragey, Eadmer (Paris, 1892).