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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER

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Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 899 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER, the name of an imaginary person who was long regarded as the author of the Flores Historiarum. The error was first discovered in 1826 by Sir F. Palgrave, who said that Matthew was " a phantom who never existed," and later the truth of this statement was completely proved by H. R. Luard. The name appears to have been taken from that of Matthew of Paris, from whose Chronica majora the earlier part of the work was mainly copied, and from Westminster, the abbey in which the work was partially written. The Flores historiarum is a Latin chronicle dealing with English history from the creation to 1326, although some of the earlier manuscripts end at 1306; it was compiled by various persons, and written partly at St Albans and partly at Westminster. The part from 1306 to 1326 was written by Robert of Reading (d. 1325) and another Westminster monk. Except for parts dealing with the reign of Edward I. its value is not great. It was first printed by Matthew Parker, archbishop of Canterbury, in 1567, and the best edition is the one edited with introduction by H. R. Luard for the Rolls series (London, 1890). It has been translated into English by C. D. Yonge (London, 1853). See Luard's introduction, and C. Bemont in the Revue critique d'histoire (Paris, 1891).
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