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Twill naturally be expected by Name of
the historical enquirer that the burgh.
first portion of this Preface
should contain an explanation
of the change made in the name
of an Author so well-known

and much esteemed as Walter Hemingford. A considerable space will therefore be devoted to the disquisition of this critical point, which will, it is hoped, prove satisfactorily that nothing but the love of truth has induced me to inscribe the name of Hemingburgh on one of the choicest histories of the commencement of the fourteenth century.

The following, and most authentic record which we possess, of our Author's name is preserved in a copy of his Chronicle, written on vellum, about the year 1350 :-“ Expliciunt tres libri compilati a domino Waltero Hemingburght canonico de Gyseburñ, de gestis Anglorum ab adventu Willelmi Bastardi Conquæstoris usque ad mortem strenuissimi regis Edwardi primi post conquæstum.” i This is corroborated by an entry in a course of Sermons for the ecclesiastical year, MS. Reg. 3 A. xiii. British Museum,


1 MS. Lansdown 239, folio 120 b. at the end of the third book. VOL. I.

where, after the table of Contents, and before
the first sermon, we find the following rubric :
-“The Book of St. Mary's, Gisborough, pre-

sented to the cabinet of the cloister; the gift of

friar Walter de Hemingburgh, formerly Canon

of the said house, viz. A. D. 1307."1 As the

Priory Church was destroyed by fire in May

1289, with many and valuable books of theology,

chalices, vestments, etc., it is likely that such a

gift would be the more acceptable. The rubric,

although at first sight it might lead us to assign

the death of Hemingburgh to 1307, bears inter-

nal evidence of having been written at a period

considerably subsequent to the work itself, and

therefore we must not attach much importance to

the quondam; the date probably refers to the time

of the donation.

By Leland, on whom as an accurate and labo-
rious antiquary much reliance may be placed,
Walter Hemingburgh is thus mentioned : “Gual-
terius Hemengoburgus, a canon of the Priory
of Gisborough, near Clive, a small district in
Yorkshire, adjacent to the famous river Tees,
was much attached to the study of letters; by
which eventually it followed that he became
a learned man, and gained for himself no small
credit with his contemporaries. For literature
is such a recommendation, that it readily obtains
for its possessor favour, honour, and even glory.

His history,

1 “ Liber sanctæ Mariæ de secundum literas alphabeti ; et

Gyseburñ assignatus armariolo etiam sermones dominicales et

claustri, ex dono fratris Walteri beatæ Mariæ, scilicet qui sin-

de Hemyngburch quondam ca-gulis dominicis et festis ipsius

nonici ejusdem domus, anno sci. proprie conveniunt. In isto

licet Domini mo.CCC°. septimo. In etiam libello continentur sub-

quo inveniri possunt de facili (scripta. Si .... a abiciamus, 1.

omnes materiæ contentæ in -Expositio optima super sa-

eodem, secundum compositionem lutationem virginis, 677.-Ser-

tabulæ præcedentis, ordinatæ mones multi et diversi, 757,773.

Wherefore, being encouraged by the reward of his merits (although merit, in itself sufficiently excellent, needs not additional splendour from other objects), he proceeded in the course on which he bad entered, pressing forward with great earnestness to the attainment of the higher honours of sacred theology; in which when he had pursued, and not unsuccessfully, a long career, an ardent desire seized his mind of leaving to posterity a History of England; therefore, happily commencing from William the Norman, he studiously compiled a history of the affairs of England to the time of Edward I. For this History I made anxious search at Gisborough, but without success. I once saw a copy in the library at Wells. His other writings are nowhere to be found. He lived in the reigns of Henry the Third and Edward his son ; and died at Gisborough, where he was buried.” 1

1“ Gualterius Hemengobur- riam rerum Anglicarum posterigus, canonicus Gisiburnensis tati dedicaret. Bonis igitur avicoenobii, quod est prope Cli- bus ab ipso Gulielmo Nortomanno viam, Eboracensium provincio-exordium sumens, ad tempora lam, Thesi Alumini celeberrimo Edovardiejus appellationis primi, adjacentem, impendio studiosus Anglorum res gestas summa cura erat literarum : quo tandem fac- perscripsit. Hanc ego nuper tum est, ut in eruditum evaserit, historiam Gisoburnæ Cliviensium et non levem apud suos gratiam sedulo quæsivi; non tamen insibi pepererit. Ejusmodi enim veni: aliàs semel vidi in Fontana, res literaria virtus est, ut autori sive Uuellensi bibliotheca. Cægratiam, honorem, gloriam etiam tera, quæ scripsit, nusquam comfacile conciliet. Quare virtutis parent. Vixit regnante Henrico præmio lætior factus, quanquam tertio, et Edovardo ejus filio. ipsa virtus per se satis illustris Obiit Gisiburnæ, ubi et sepultus aliunde emicantibus splendoribus est.” J. Leland. Comment. de non eget, qua coepit via perrexit, Script. Brit. p. 305. magnis plane passibus ad extre 1 In the Collectanea, vol. ii. p. mam sacræ theologiæ metam con- 314, the following mention also tendens. In quo cum jam non occurs : “ Ex primo libro annainfeliciter cursum longum con- lium Gualteri Hemingburgi Catinuasset, ecce cupido quædam nonici Gisburnensis coenobii. Leejus occupavit animum, ut histo. I landus. Exorditus est historiam

That the family of Hemingburgh was further connected with the Priory of Gisborough in the fourteenth century, as also with the monks of Durham, we have the following evidence.

In the Gisborough Chartulary' there is a deed of grant from Thomas Petit de Gisborn to Peter de Hemmyngburgh, clerk, of lands at Gisborough, dated in 1301; and in 1323 Peter de Hemmyngburgh grants the same lands to the Priory, using the words “ dominis meis priori et conventui de Gisburne.” In the Rotuli Hundredorum com. Ebor. 4 Edw. I. (1275-1276), m. 8. d., at page 130, is the following :-“ The Jurors say that Henry de Normanton, subsheriff, maliciously troubled the executors of Dominus Richard de Middelton, and extorted from them wheat to the value of 1001. and imprisoned Gilbert de Middelton, the minister of the aforesaid executors, and Walter de Hemingburgh, chaplain; and extorted from the said Gilbert 121., and arms which were worth 40s., and from the Chaplain Walter 17s. 4d., &c." John de Hemingburgh was Prior of Durham Monastery in 1392.

a Gul. Magno et usque ad tem-, edly calls him Hemingburgh pora Joannis regis fidem Gul. while extracting from his chroParvi sequitur, e cujus opere, nicle and comparing with William suppresso autoris nomine, multa of Newbury. fere ad verbum desumpsit. In MS. Cotton, Cleopatra D. ii. hoc tamen Gul. Parvo superior, f. 150. quod operi causam præposuerit,' ? “ Dicunt quod Henricus de cur Gul. Mag. in Angliam cum Normanton subvicecomes maliexercitu venerit, et præsertim ciose occasionavit executores docontra Haraldum regem, qui, vi- mini Ricardi de Middelton, et vente Edwardo rege, Eustachium, extorsit ab eis bladum ad valencomitem Bononiensem, Dovariciam c. librarum, et imprisonavit male tractaverat, cum tamen Ed-Gilbertum de Middelton miniswardi regis sororem in conjugem trum prædictorum executorum, accepisset.” And again, vol, iii. et Walterum de Hemingburg' cap. 41: “Gualterus de Heming-pellanum; et extorsit a Gilberto burgh, canonicus Gisburnensis, xii. libras et arma quæ valuerunt scripsit chronicon, sed a suis de- XL. solidos, et de Waltero capelsideratur.” Thus Leland repeat- lano xvii, solidos, ii. denarios.”

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