Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Trokelowe, John de

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TROKELOWE, THROKLOW, or THORLOW, JOHN de (fl. 1330), chronicler and monk of St. Albans, may be identified with a monk of that name of the priory of Tynemouth, Northumberland, a cell or dependency of St. Albans, who in 1294 joined with his prior and others in an attempt to make their house independent of the abbey by transferring the advowson to the king; their design was betrayed to the abbot, John of Berkhampstead, who visited Tynemouth and sent Trokelowe and his accomplices in chains to St. Albans. Trokelowe wrote ‘Annales,’ containing a history of the reign of Edward II from 1307 to 1323, his work ending with a notice of the execution of Andrew Harclay, earl of Carlisle [q. v.], after which come the words, ‘Hucusque scripsit Frater Johannes de Trokelowe.’ Although somewhat inflated in style and deficient in chronological arrangement, it is of great value as an authority for the reign. It cannot have been written earlier than 1330, as it contains a reference to the execution of Roger Mortimer (IV), earl of March (1287–1330) [q. v.], on 29 Nov. of that year. It was largely used by the compiler of Brit. Mus. MS. Reg. 13 E. ix, and thence became a source of Thomas of Walsingham's ‘Historia Anglicana.’ So early as the date of MS. Reg. 13 E. ix. it was attributed to Rishanger (Historia Anglicana, I. xvi. 165), for it forms part of the St. Albans book, MS. Claudius D. vi., the only manuscript of it known to exist, and the compiler seeing there the heading to No. 4, f. 97, ‘Incipiunt cronica W. de Rishanger,’ which introduces Rishanger's chronicle known as the ‘Barons' Wars,’ and printed by the Camden Society in 1840, and not marking Trokelowe's name at the end of his ‘Annales,’ considered that the subsequent pieces, which have no heading, down to Blaneford's chronicle (No. 9), were all by Rishanger. Bale confuses the work of Trokelowe with the ‘Annales Edwardi Primi,’ printed in vol. iii. of the Chronicles of St. Albans in the Rolls Series. Trokelowe's work was edited, along with the Chronicle of Henry de Blaneforde, which continues it, by Thomas Hearne, Oxford, 1729; and in 1866 also with Blaneforde and other pieces by H. G. Riley in vol. iv. of ‘Chronica Monasterii S. Albani’ in the Rolls Series.

[J. de Trokelowe, &c. Introd. pp. xv–xviii, 63–127; T. Walsingham, i., Introd. pp. xvi, 165; W. Rishanger, Introd. pp. xiv–xviii; Hardy's Cat. of Mat. iii. 379; Gesta Abb. S. Alb. ii. 21–3 (all Rolls Ser.); Rishanger's Chron. Introd. pp. viii–xvi (Camd. Soc.); Mon. Hist. Brit. Gen. Introd. p. 30.]

W. H.