Richard Of Devizes - Encyclopedia


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RICHARD OF DEVIZES (fl. 1191), English chronicler, was a monk of St Swithin's house at Winchester. His birthplace is probably indicated by his surname, but of his life we know nothing. He is credited by Bale with the composition of the Annales de Wintonia, which are edited by Luard in the second volume of the Annales Monastici. If this statement be correct, then the chronicler survived King Richard I. But the Chronicon de rebus gestis Ricardi Primi, by which Richard of Devizes is chiefly known, only covers the first three years of that king's reign; it is practically an account of events in England and the Holy Land during the Third Crusade. For the events of the crusade itself, Richard is a poor authority. But his account of the preparations for the crusade, and of English affairs in the king's absence, is valuable, in spite of some inaccuracies. The author is intensely conservative, steeped in the prejudices of his order, and particularly hostile to the Jews and to the chancellor, William Longchamp. He writes in a vivid and epigrammatic style; his Latin shows the effect of the 12thcentury renaissance in its polish and in its reminiscences of classical poets.

See the editions of the Chronicon de rebus gestis Ricardi Primi by J. Stevenson (Eng. Historical Soc., 1838) and by R. Howlett in Chronicles of the Reigns of Stephen, Henry II. and Richard 1., vol. iii. (Rolls Series, 1886); the Annales de Wintonia in H. R. Luard's Annales Monastici, vol. ii. (Rolls Series, London, 1864-69).69).

(H. W. C. D.)

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