Anglo-Saxon and Normans - Unit 1 Types of Sources

Highlighted in yellow means the information will increase the sources value

Highlighted in green means the information will decrease the sources value

  • Created by: livvvd26
  • Created on: 08-06-17 09:53

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

  • A chronicle tends to be factual and record specific details of the events that occured 
  • Out of the 8 chronicles the three written at Abingdon, Worcester and Peterborough are relevant to the time period in Unit 1
  • Each are based on a common source but may include differences in fact and each include their own local sympathies to tha area in which they were written
  • The Chronicle has also been added to and subtracted from over time
  • The original chronicle came out later in Alfreds reign and was writtem by members of the inner court of the King
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Eadmer Of Canterbury

  • Eadmer was an Englishmen who spent his career as a monk at Canterbury in the household of Archbishop Anselm
  • A chronicle tends to be factual and record specific details of the events that occurred
  • Eadmer was exiled with Archbishop Anselm by Rufus and therefore this may influence his opinion of the king in his writings. He was still in exile at the time of the death of Rufus. He also wrote a biography of Archbishop Anselm that gives a positive description of his character
  • Eadmers book was written to support the positive view of Anselm and to support the primacy of Canterbury over York
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Henry of Huntingdon

  • An historian who lived through and would have been influenced by the reign of William II 
  • He was a member of the Church and was Archdeacon of Huntigdon and canon of Lincoln Catherdral.
  • Henry used existing sources to add to his own stories when he wrote his articles in 1123
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John of Worcester

  • John was a monk who wrote his history at Worcester between 1124-1140.  As a member of the Church he would have been influenced by the action of Rufus during his reign
  • He used a copy of the Anglo-Saxon chronicle that has subsequently been lost. This version seems to be quite different form the later versions so therefore Johns account provides great historical value. 
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Oderic Vitalis

  • Oderic Vitalis had mixed heritage as he was born to English and Norman parents. This could suggest that his work offers a balance viewpoint of events
  • Oderic Vitalis was sent to become a monk at the age of 10 in Normandy
  • He wrote his extensive work the Eccesiastical History between 1114-1141 and he appears to have been well informed by leading Anglo-Saxon and Norman families due to his position in society and dual heritage 
  • Oderic was a known supporter of Henry I. He also had a personal reason for disliking Robert. Much of the unrest of his duchy was within the vicinity of the monastery he would later join.
  • Oderic Vitralis wrote most of his work in Normandy and therefore may not have had access to all of the sources from England when he was writing his account.
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William of Jumieges

  • William was a monk at Jumieges near Rouen in Normandy. He wrote 'The Deeds of the Dukes of Normans in 1070 and dedicated the work to William the Conqueror
  • In his work he used a lot of earlier sources but it does tell the reader key details about in England before and after the conquest
  • His purpose in writing however was always to legitimise the reign of William I and support his succession to the throne. 
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William of Malmesbury

  • He was a monk in Wiltshire who produced a 5 volume history of the Anglo-Saxons.He was a prolific historian whos work is noted as being thorough and of high standard
  • His writings should be treated with caution as they were based on an ancient text of which there is no evidence
  • Historian Rodney Thompson, 'William of Malmesbury wanted to preserve his heritage in the face of the aggressive Normans and therefore he would have a negative view of William II in particular
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William of Poitiers

  • His work was used extensively by Oderic Vitalis
  • He had served William I as a knight before opting for a religious life
  • He wrote The History of William the Conqueror and used this piece of work to enhance the character fo William I and justify the invasion of England
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