The Historical Collections of Walter of Coventry
Little is known about Walter of Coventry (fl. 1293) beyond the fact 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, with its latest datable event being the Anglo-Scottish agreement of 1293. Although the overwhelming part of the Latin text is drawn directly from such sources as Geoffrey of Monmouth, this is no mere transcript. Editor William Stubbs (1825–1901), Bishop of Oxford and perhaps the leading historian of his day, describes the annals of the reign of King John (which are included here in Volume 2) as 'one of the most valuable contributions in existence to the history of that eventful period'. Stubbs's preface to this volume offers a rich and extensive 'sketch' of John's character and reign.