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Richard of Cirencester



Chronicler, d. about 1400. He was the compiler of a chronicle from 447 to 1066, entitled "Speculum Historiale de Gestis Regum Angliae". The work, which is in four books, is of little historical value, but contains several charters granted to Westminster Abbey. Nothing is known of Richard's life except that he was a monk of Westminster, who made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1391, was still at Westminster in 1397, and that he lay sick in the infirmary in 1400. Two other works are attributed to him: "De Officiis", and "Super Symbolum Majus et Minus", but neither is now extant. In the eighteenth century his name was used by Charles Bertram as the pretended author of his forgery "Richardus Copenensis de situ Britanniae", which deceived Stukeley and many subsequent antiquarians and historians, including Lingard, and which was only finally exposed by Woodward in 1866-67. This spurious chronicle, however, still appears under Richard's name in Giles, "Six English Chronicles" (London, 1872).

Ricardi Cicestrensis Speculum Historiale, ed. MAYOR, Rolls Series (London, 1863-69); STUKELEY An Account of Richard of Cirencester and his works (London, 1757); HARDY Descriptive Catalogue (London, 1871); HUNT in Dict. Nat. Biog, s. v.; BOLLANDISTS. Catalogus cod. hagiog. Lat. B. N. (Paris, 1893).

Edwin Burton.








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