Anglo-Saxon Chronicles

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles are a collection of seven manuscripts written by monks living in England between the 9th and 12th centuries. The chronicles, written in Anglo-Saxon (Old English) in the form of a diary, tell the story of England, and cover a period of over a thousand years. In some cases the entries were made several years after the events took place. Some passages in the various manuscripts are identical suggesting that a certain amount of copying took place.

There are three manuscripts that cover the period of the Norman Conquest. It is believed that Version C was written in Abingdon near Oxford, Version D in Worcester and York, and Version E in Canterbury. After 1079 only the Peterborough Chronicle continued. The last entry was for 1154.

Primary Sources

(1) Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Version E, entry for 1083.

He made large forests for the deer, and passed laws, so that whoever killed a hart or a hind should be blinded. The rich complained and the poor murmured, but the king was so strong that he took no notice of them.

(2) Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Version E, entry for 1087.

King William and the chief men loved gold and silver and did not care how sinfully it was obtained provided it came to them. He (William) did not care at all how wrongfully his men got possession of land nor how many illegal acts they did.