Florence of Worcester's Chronicle.
The Chronicle of Florence of Worcester, so far as it relates to English history, with its two Continuations, embraces the period from the departure of the Romans in the year 446, to the twenty-third year of the reign of Edward I. in 1295. It is founded on an earlier Chronicle, compiled by Marianus Scotus, and it is believed that Florence commenced his work at the instance of his bishop, Wulfstan.
Florence makes the work of Marianus the basis of his own Chronicle. The rest of his materials for the earlier period of English history are chiefly supplied by Bede, the Saxon Chronicle, the Lives of Saints, and Asser's Life of Alfred, of the latter of which he gives almost an exact transcript, carrying the series of events down to the year 888. He then reverts to the Saxon Chronicle, which continues to be his main resource until he approaches his own times. However, in treating of events of later times, especially those of the reign of Edward the Confessor, his narrative is much more circumstantial than any to be found in the existing manuscripts of that record. Florence has also largely collected from other sources, and selected his materials with great fidelity, industry, and judgment. He is therefore justly ranked next to Bede, and the compilers of the Saxon Chronicle, among the authorities for early English history, and, even on the ground which they travel together, his work, far from being superseded, forms a valuable supplement to them.
His successor, John, also a monk of Worcester, records that Florence died on 7th July 1118, and John goes on to provide the continuations of the Chronicle.Return to top of page