The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume III. Renascence and Reformation.

XV. Chroniclers and Antiquaries



Britannia, sive Florentissimorum Regnorum Angliae, Scotiae, Hiberniae et Insularum adjacentium ex interna antiquitate Chorographica Descriptio, Authore Guilielmo Camdeno 1586.

This work was published in English under the title: Britain, or a Chorographicall Description of the Most flourishing Kingdomes England, Scotland, & Ireland, & the Islands adjoyning, out of the depth of Antiquitie: Beautified with Mappes of The Severall Shires of England: Written first in Latine by William Camden, Clarenceux K. of A. Translated newly into English by Philemon Holland Doctor in Physick. 1610. Another edition was published in 1637. Britannia was translated also by Edward Gibson (1772) and R. Gough (1789).

Remains concerning Britain. 1604. Rptd. by John Russell Smith, 1870.

Rerum Anglicarum et Hibernicarum Annales, regnante Elizibetha. The first part of this work, as far as 1588, was published in 1615, and was translated into English from the French by Abraham Darcie under the title: Annales, The True and Royall History of the famous Empresse Elizabeth, Queene of England France & Ireland &c. True Faith’s defendresse of Divine renoune & happy Memory 1625. The second part was published in 1627 and translated by Thomas Browne of Christchurch: Tomus Alter et Idem. 1629. A translation of the whole work was made by B. Norton, Gent. in 1639, and several times reprinted.

[Glover, Robert (1544–88). A great herald, whose labours were of immense assistance to his successors, and who is worthy of remembrance by the side of Camden. See especially Thomas Miller’s Catalogue of Honor, or Treasury of True Nobility, 1610.]


Bolton, E. Hypercritica (1618), and rptd. in J. E. Spingarn’s Critical Essays of the Seventeenth Century (1908) contains comments upon Camden, Speed, Stow and the other writers of chronicles. The author notes the many “vast vulgar Tomes, procured for the most part by the husbandry of Printers, & not by appointment of the Prince or Authority of the Common-weal.”

Brooke, Ralph. A Discoverie of Certain Errores published in Print in the much commended Britannia 1594. Very Prejudiciall to the Discentes & Successions of the auncient Nobilitie of this Realme. 1596.

Fuller, T. Holy and Profane State. Cambridge, 1642.

Wood, A. à. Athenae Oxonienses. Ed. Bliss, P. 1820.


Survey of Cornwall. 1602.


The Negotiations of Thomas Woolsey, the Great Cardinal of England. 1641. This was the first edition, and imperfect.

The Life and Death of Thomas Woolsey. 1667. A second and more accurate edition. Ed. Singer, S. W. 1815, 1827. Kelmscott Press ed. 1893, ed. Ellis, F. S., rev. 1899, together with Churchyard’s Tragedy of Cardinal Wolsey from A Mirror for Magistrates.

See also “Who wrote Cavendish’s Life of Wolsey?” by Hunter, J. 1814.


Rerum in ecclesia gestarum, quae postremis et periculosis his temporibus evenerunt, maximarum que per Europam persecutionum, ac Sanctorum Dei Martyrum, caeterarum-que rerum si quae insignioris-exempli sint, digesti per Regna & nationes Commentarii. Basileae, per Nicolaum Brylingerum, et Joannem Operinum. 1559.

Actes and Monuments of these latter and perilous dayes, touching matters of the Church, wherein are comprehended and described the great persecutions & horrible troubles, that have bene wrought & practised by the Romishe Prelates, speciallye in this Realme of England, & Scotlande, from the yeare of our Lorde a thousande, unto the tyme nowe present. Gathered and collected according to the true copies & wrytinges certificatorie as wel of the parties themselves that suffered, which wer the doers thereof, by John Foxe. Imprinted at London by John Day, dwellyng over Aldersgate. 1563. Other editions 1570, 1576, 1583, 1596–7, 1618, and 1632 and 1641.

Acts and Monuments. Ed. Cattley, S. R., with a preface by Townsend, George. 8 vols. 1836–41. Ed. Pratt, J. 8 vols. 1877.


Foxe’s Life. Attributed to his son and prefixed to the edition of 1641.

Fuller, Thomas. Church History of Britain. 1655.

Maitland, S. R. Six Letters on Foxe’s Acts and Monuments. 1873.

—— Remarks on Cattley’s defence of his edition. 1842.

Anthony à Wood’s Athenae Oxonienses. 1691. Ed. Bliss, P. 1820.


An Abridgement of the Chronicles of England, gathered by Richard Grafton, Citizen of London. 1563.

A Manuell of the Chronicles of Englande from the Creacion of the Worlde to this Yere of our Lorde 1566.

A Chronicle at large, & meere history of the affayres of Englande, and Kinges of the same, deduced from the creation of the Worlde, unto the first habitation of thys islande. 1569. Rptd. by Sir H. Ellis in 1809.


The Union of the two noble and illustrate famelies of Lancastre & Yorke beeyng long in continual discension for the croune of this noble realme, with all the actes done in bothe of the tymes of the Princes, both of the one linage and of the other, beginnyng at the tyme of king Henry the fowerth, the first aucthor of this devision, and so successively proceadyng to the reigne of the high and prudent prince king Henry the eight, the undubitate flower and very heire of both the sayd linages.

Tanner, in his Bibliotheca Britannica, says that the first edition of Hall’s Chronicle was printed by Berthelet in 1542. If this be so, no perfect copy of the edition has survived. Some fragments, in copies belonging to the University of Cambridge and to the Grenville Collection in the British Museum, are imagined to be of this first edition.

The first known edition is that of 1548, printed by Grafton from the author’s notes. The text may be accepted as authentic. “For as much as a dead man is the author thereof,” says Grafton, “I thought it my duty to suffer his work to be his own, & have altered nothing therein.” Another edition was printed in 1550, and, in 1809, the book was edited neither exactly nor completely by Sir Henry Ellis.


Ames, J. Typographical Antiquities. 1785. Ed. Dibdin, T. F. 1810–19.

Tanner, T. Bibliotheca Britannica. 1748.

Ward, A. W. Introduction to Henry VI. University Press Shakespeare. New York, 1907.


The First Part of the Life & raigne of King Henrie the IIII. Extending to the end of the first yeare of his raigne. Written by J. H. 1599.

The Lives of the III Normans, Kings of England:
  • William the first.
  • William the second.
  • Henrie the first.

  • Written by J. H. 1613.

    The Life & Raigne of King Edward the Sixt. Written by Sir John Hayward, Knight, Doctor of Law. 1630. A second edition of this work (1636) includes “the begining of the Raigne of Queene Elizabeth.”

    Annals of the First Four Years of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth by Sir John Hayward, Knt. D. C. L. Edited from a MS. in the Harleian Collection by John Bruce, Esq., F. S. A. Camden Society. 1840. This contains unpublished matter together with a brief biography of Sir J. Hayward.


    The firste volume of the Chronicles of England, Scotlande, & Irelande, Conteyning, the description & Chronicles of England from the first inhabiting unto the Conquest. The description & Chronicles of Scotland, from the first originall of the Scottes nation, till the yeare of our Lorde 1571. The description & Chronicles of Irelande, likewise from the firste originall of that nation untill the yeare 1547. Faithfully gathered & set forth by Raphaell Holinshed. At London. Imprinted for John Harrison. 1578.

    The first & second volumes of Chronicles, comprising
  • 1. The description & historie of England,
  • 2. The description & historie of Ireland,
  • 3. The description & historie of Scotland:

  • first collected & published by Raphaell Holinshed, William Harrison, & others: Now newlie augmented & continued (with manifold matters of singular note & worthie memorie) to the yeare 1586. By John Hooker aliàs Vowell gent. & others. With convenient Tables at the end of these volumes. 1587. Rptd. in 6 vols. in 1807.


    Boswell-Stone, W. G. Shakespeare’s Holinshed: the Chronicle & the Historical Plays compared. 1907.

    Courtenay, Thomas Peregrine. Commentaries on Historical Plays of Shakspeare. 1840.

    Furnivall, F. J. Harrison’s description of England in Shakspere’s youth. The II & III books. New Shakspere Society. 1877–81.


    A Perambulation of Kent. Collected & written (for the most Part) in the Yeare 1570 … and now increased, etc., 1576. This is the first county history.


    Epitome of Cronicles Continued by Bishop Cooper. 1549 ff.


    Itinerary first published by Thomas Hearne in 1710–12. A second edition is dated 1744–5, a third edition 1770. The work has been lately edited by Lucy Toulmin Smith (1906–7). Much use was made of Leland’s manuscript by late topographers, especially by William Burton in his Commentary on Antoninus his Itinerary or Journies of the Roman Empire, so far as it concerneth Britain (1658).


    Bale’s Preface and additions to Leland’s Laboryouse Journey. 1549.

    The Lives of those eminent Antiquaries John Leland, Thomas Hearne, & Anthony à Wood. 1772.

    The introduction to Miss L. T. Smith’s edition of the Itinerary.


    Commentarioli Descriptionis Britannicae Fragmentum. 1572. This was translated into English, under the title: The Breviary of Britain. 1573.


    Norden’s preparative to his Speculum Britanniæ. A reconciliation of sundrie propositions by divers persons tendred, concerning the same. With the first two parts of his Speculum concerning Middlesex and Hertfordshire. 1596. Rptd., 1723.

    Observations concerning Crown Lands and Woods. 1613.

    Surveyor’s dialogue. 1608.


    De Antiquitate Ecclesiae et Privilegiis Ecclesiae Cantuariensis cum Archiepiscopis ejusdem 70. Printed by John Day. 1572.

    Flores Historiarum per Matthaeum Westmonasteriensem collecti, praecipuè de rebus Britannicis ab exordio mundi usque A.D. 1307. 1567–70.

    He also published the works of Asser, Gildas, Thomas Walsingham and others, and, by establishing a Society of Antiquaries, did much to advance the study of history.


    Strype, John. The Life & Acts of Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury. 1711.


    The expedicion into Scotlde of the most woorthely fortunate prince Edward Duke of Soomerset. 1549.


    The Historie of Cambria. 1584.

    The British Histories of Ponticus Virunnius &c. 1585.


    The Historie of Wyates rebellion. 1554.


    This history, generally attributed to Sir Thomas More, was printed in Grafton’s continuation of Hardyng (1543) and in Hall’s Chronicle (1548). It was first published ungarbled and with Sir T. More’s works in Rastell’s edition of 1557.


    De Republica Anglorum: the maner of Governement or policie of the Realme of England. First printed, 1583. Ed. Alston, L. and Maitland, F. W. Cambridge, 1906.


    Strype, John. The Life of the learned Sir Thomas Smith. 1698.


    The Historie of Great Britaine under the Conquests of the Romans, Saxons, Danes & Normans. Their Originals, Maners, Habits, Warres, Coines, & Seales: With the Successions, Lives, Acts, & Issues of the English Monarchs from Julius Caesar, unto the Raigne of King James, of famous Memorie. 1611. Third edition. 1632.

    Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain. 1611.


    A Summarie of Englysh Chronicles. 1561.

    The Chronicles of England from Brute unto this present Yeare of Christ, collected by John Stowe, Citizen of London. 1580.

    The Annales of England faithfully collected out of the most authenticall Authors, Records, & other Monuments of Antiquitie from the first inhabitation untill 1592. 1592.

    The Annales or a Generall Chronicle of England first by maister John Stow, and after him continued & augmented with matters forreyne & domestique, auncient & moderne unto the end of this present yeare 1614 by Edward Howes, gentleman. 1615.

    A Survey of London, conteyning the Originall Antiquity, Increase, Moderne Estate & description of that City, written in the year 1598 by John Stow.

    This work was corrected and enlarged by John Strype and brought “down to the present time by careful Hands,” under the title: A Survey of the Cities of London &Westminster, 1720 and 1754–5, and has lately been edited by Kingsford, C. L., 1908.


    Aubrey’s Brief Lives. Ed. Clark, A. 1898.

    Clode’s Histories of the Merchant Tailor’s Company. 1875, 1888.

    Fuller, T. Worthies. 1662.

    Gairdner, J. Three Fifteenth Century Chronicles, with historical memoranda by John Stow, etc. Camden Society.

    Strype, J. Survey. 1754–5.

    [Among worthy county chroniclers may be mentioned Erdeswicke, Sampson (d. 1603), historian of Staffordshire, whose Survey was edited by Harwood, T., in 1820; Burton, William (1575–1645), elder brother of the author of the Anatomy of Melancholy and author of a Description of Leicestershire; Charles Wriothesley (1508?–62) who continued the chronicle of Richard Arnold which was referred to in Vol. II. The Camden Society’s publications contain sundry chronicles worthy of note, e.g. the Chronicle of Calais, in the reigns of Henry VII and VIII to the year 1540, ed. Nichols, J. G., 1846; A London Chronicle during the same reigns, ed. Hopper, C., 1859; and Polydore Vergil’s English History from an early translation, ed. Ellis, H., 1846, 1844. Polydore Vergil was a friend of Latimer, Linacre, More, etc.; his history was first printed at Basel in 1534 under the title: Polydori Vergilii Urbinatis Anglicae Historiae Libri XXVI. See Morley’s English Writers, vol. VII.]