Page:Chronicle of the Grey friars of London.djvu/9

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The present Chronicle has hitherto remained not merely unpublished, but almost wholly unnoticed. It is now presented to the Camden Society in a full conviction of its value.

The Editor has given it the title of The Chronicle of the Grey Friars of London: to which it has an indisputable claim, inasmuch as it formed a portion of the Register-book of that fraternity. This title, however, must be taken merely as distinguishing the present compilation from others of the same class, and not as explanatory of its contents. In its original character it is not a religious but a civic Chronicle.

It is well known that history, in the form of Chronicles, was a favourite portion of the literature of the middle ages. The annals of a country were usually kept according to the years of the sovereign's power, and not those of the Christian æra. The Chronicles compiled in large cities were arranged in like manner, with the years reckoned according to the annual succession of chief magistrates. Thus, in the present instance, though the Chronicle is primarily arranged in reigns, and the years are numbered by those reigns, yet the period of time included in each year commences with the London mayoralty at the end of October, and the events which follow belong not only to the two ensuing months of that year of our Lord, but also to the next year until the end of October; and not only to that year of the king's reign, but to a portion more or less of the next year of the reign, according as the date of the