History by the Month: May

May ImageThe autograph Chronica Maiora of Matthew Paris (c1200-1259), monk of St. Albans, is one of the most famous sources for thirteenth century English history. It is a history of the world, but is especially important for events of the author’s lifetime. The manuscript is in two volumes and contains hundreds of little drawings by Matthew himself. This picture shows the procession of Henry III, king of England 1216-72, bringing the famous relic of the Holy Blood to Westminster Abbey in 1247. Matthew Paris knew Henry III personally, and showed him this manuscript. Henry III had been crowned in Westminster Abbey on Sunday 17 May 1220. [MS 16, folio 216r]

MS 16 is currently on display in the Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy exhibition at the British Library until 1 September 2015.

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