Chronicle of the Grey Friars of London
This Chronicle of the Grey Friars of London formed a portion of the Register-book of that fraternity. As was usual for London Chronicles, it starts with the reign of Richard the First, that being the date from which the roll of chief magistrates, at first termed Bailiffs, had been preserved.
The Chronicle is primarily arranged in reigns, and the years are numbered by those reigns, but the period of time included in each year starts with the London mayoralty at the end of October, and the events which follow belong not only to the two following months of that year, but also to the next year until the end of October, and to a portion of the next year of the reign, according as the date of the accession of the monarch varied from that of the Mayor's entrance into office.
It is towards the end of the reign of Henry the Eighth that this Chronicle begins to have a character of its own. The writer had a watchful regard to the religious changes of the times, and he naturally recorded those in particular which occurred within the sphere of his personal observation, in the city of London, and in the metropolitan church of St. Paul.
He appears to have retained possession of the book after the dissolution of the house of Grey Friars, and the dismissal of the rest of his fraternity; and from that time he continued his record in pursuance of his old habits. It is therefore not to the Grey Friars as a body, that the historical value that exists in the Chronicle, can be attributed, but rather to the individual writer who was probably the last of the London Franciscans. However, there is no evidence as to his name or position. From his frequent notices of Saint Paul's it is probable that he had some official connection with the cathedral church; but the close vicinity of his residence would also provide similar opportunities of observation.Return to top of page