Malmesbury, William of

Malmesbury, William Of, an English monastic and historian of the early period of his country's history, was born near the close of the 11th century, probably in Somersetshire, was educated at Oxford, and afterwards entered the Benedictine monastery whence he derived his name, and of which he became librarian. He died some time after 1142, but the exact date is not known. He wrote (in Latin) De Gestis Regnum, a history of the kings of England from the Saxon invasion to the twenty-sixth year of Henry I (translated into English by the Rev. John Sharpe [Lond. 1815]; also in Bohn's Library, edited by Dr. Giles [1847]): — Historiae Novellae, extending from the twenty-sixth year of Henry I to the escape of the empress Maud from Oxford; and De Gestis Pontifjcum, containing an account of the bishops and principal monasteries of England from the conversion of Ethelbert of Kent by St. Augustine to 1123: — Antiquities of Glastonbury, and Life of St. Wulstan (printed in Wharton's Anglia Sacra). Malmesbury gives proof in his writings of great diligence, good sense, modesty, and a genuine love of truth. His style is much above that of his contemporaries. See Allibone, Dict. of Brit. and Amer. Auth. (s.v. William of Malmesbury); Lond. Quart. Rev. 1856 (Jan.), p. 295 sq.; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v.; Chambers, Cyclopaedia, s.v.

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