The Historical Collections of Walter of Coventry
Little is known about Walter of Coventry (fl. 1293) beyond the fact that he was alive during the reign of Edward I and that this substantive historical compilation was prepared either by him or under his direction. Published in two volumes as part of the Rolls Series in 1872–3, it covers the kings of Britain from Brutus to Edward I. Although the overwhelming part of the Latin text is drawn directly from the accounts of Geoffrey of Monmouth, Marianus Scotus and Roger of Howden, inter alia, this is no mere transcript. William Stubbs (1825–1901), Bishop of Oxford and perhaps the leading historian of his day, describes the abbreviations, reductions and omissions that reveal the independent judgement of the writer. In his preface, as editor, to Volume 1, Stubbs fully accounts for Walter's sources, and details what little can be surmised about the author.