Cirencester, Richard of (DNB00)

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CIRENCESTER, RICHARD of (d. 1401?), compiler of a chronicle, was a monk of St. Peters, Westminster, in 1365. He obtained leave from his abbot to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1391, was an inmate of the abbey in 1397, and in 1400 was in the infirmary sick. He died in 1400 or 1401. He compiled from various chronicles his 'Speculum Historiale de Gratis Regum Angliæ,' in four books, extending from 447to 1066. At the end he announces his intention of continuing his work, but no continuation is known to exist. The 'Speculum' contains several Westminster charters and a great many legends. It is of no independent value, and even as a compilation is executed with great carelessness. It has been edited by Mr. J. E. B. Mayor for the Rolls Series. To Cirencester have also been attributed two works, now lost, a treatise 'De Officiis,' and 'Super Symbolum majus et minus,' said to have been in the library of Peterborough Cathedral. On Richard of Cirencester Charles Bertram in 1747 fathered his famous forgery entitled 'Ricardus Corinensis de situ Britanniæ' [see Bertram, Charles].

[Richard of Cirencester's Speculum Historiale, i. 1-4. ii. editor's preface edited by Mayor, Rolls Series; Widmore's History of St. Peter's, Westminster; Bale's Script. Brit. Cat. (Basle). 430.]

W. H.