Past and Present
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
Originally compiled on the orders of King Alfred the Great, approximately A.D. 890, and subsequently maintained and added to by generations of anonymous scribes until the middle of the 12th Century. The original language is Anglo-Saxon (Old English), but later entries are essentially Middle English in tone.
Translation by Rev. James Ingram (London, 1823), with additional readings from the translation of Dr. J.A. Giles (London, 1847).
At present there are nine known versions or fragments of the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" in existence, all of which vary (sometimes greatly) in content and quality. The translation that follows is not a translation of any one Chronicle; rather, it is a collation of readings from many different versions.
The nine known "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" MS. are the following:
- A-Prime The Parker Chronicle (Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, MS. 173)
- A Cottonian Fragment (British Museum, Cotton MS. Otho B xi, 2)
- B The Abingdon Chronicle I (British Museum, Cotton MS. Tiberius A vi.)
- C The Abingdon Chronicle II (British Museum, Cotton MS.Tiberius B i.)
- D The Worcester Chronicle (British Museum, Cotton MS. Tiberius B iv.)
- E The Laud (or "Peterborough") Chronicle (Bodleian, MS. Laud 636)
- F The Bilingual Canterbury Epitome (British Museum, Cotton MS. Domitian A viii.) &nsbp;NOTE: Entries in English and Latin
- H Cottonian Fragment (British Museum, Cotton MS. Domitian A ix.)
- I An Easter Table Chronicle (British Museum, Cotton MS. Caligula A xv.)
This electronic edition is free of copyright in the United States. It contains primarily the translation of Rev. James Ingram, as published in the Everyman edition of this text. Excerpts from the translation of Dr. J.A. Giles were included as an appendix in the Everyman edition; the preparer of this edition has elected to collate these entries into the main text of the translation. Where these collations have occurred I have marked the entry with a double parenthesis (()).
While I have elected to include the footnotes of Rev. Ingram in this edition, please note that they should be used with extreme care. In many cases the views expressed by Rev. Ingram are severally out of date, having been superseded by almost 175 years of active scholarship. At best, these notes will provide a starting point for inquiry. They should not, however, be treated as absolute.
Classen, E. and Harmer, F.E. (eds.): "An Anglo-Saxon Chronicle from British Museum, Cotton MS. Tiberius B iv." (Manchester, 1926)
Flower, Robin and Smith, Hugh (eds.): "The Peterborough Chronicle and Laws" (Early English Text Society, Original Series 208, Oxford, 1941).
Taylor, S. (ed.): "The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: MS B" [aka "The Abingdon Chronicle I"] (Cambridge, 1983)
Garmonsway, G.N.: "The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" (Everyman Press, London, 1953, 1972). HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Contains side-by-side translations of all nine known texts.
Bede: "A History of the English Church and People" [aka "The Ecclesiastical History"], translated by Leo Sherley-Price (Penguin Classics, London, 1955, 1968).
Poole, A.L.: "Domesday Book to Magna Carta" (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1951, 1953)
Stenton, Sir Frank W.: "Anglo-Saxon England" (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1943, 1947, 1971)
By Dr Miles RussellThe chapters in this volume, each written by a leading scholar of the period, analyse in turn the different nationalities and kingdoms that existed in the British Isles from the end of the Roman empire to the coming of the Vikings, the process of conversion to Christianity, the development of art and of a written culture, and the interaction between this written culture and the societies of the day. Available from: