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ROGER OF HOVEDEN, or HOWDEN (fl. 1174...

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Originally appearing in Volume V23, Page 455 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ROGER OF HOVEDEN, or HOWDEN (fl. 1174-1201), English chronicler, was, to judge from his name and the internal evidence of his work, a native of Howden in the East Riding of Yorkshire. But nothing is known of him before the year 1174. He was then in attendance upon Henry II., by whom he was sent from France on a secret mission to the lords of ROGERS, HENRY (1806—1877), English Nonconformist divine, was born at St Albans on the 18th of October 18o6, and was educated privately and by his father, a surgeon of considerable culture. Rogers was meant to follow his father's profession, but the reading of John Howe turned him to theology, and after qualifying at Highbury College he accepted a call to the Congregational Church at Poole in 1829. In 1832 he was appointed lecturer in logic at Highbury, in 1836 professor of English at University College, London, and in 1839 professor of English, mathematics and mental philosophy at Spring Hill College, Birmingham. In 1836 appeared his Life and Character of John Howe, and in 1837 The Christian Correspondent, a collection of some 400 religious letters " by eminent persons of both sexes." His contributions to the Edinburgh Review began in 1839 and were collected in volume form in 1850, 1855 and 1874. His most famous book, The Eclipse of Faith, or a Visit to a Religious Sceptic, was published anonymously in 1852 and went through six editions in three years. It drew a Reply from F. W. Newman, which Rogers answered in a Defence (1854). Two volumes of imaginary letters, Selections from the Correspondence of R. E. H. Greyson (an anagram for his own name), appeared in 1857 and show his style at its best. In 1858 'he became principal and professor of theology at the Lancashire Independent College, where he edited the works of John Howe (6 vols., 1862—63) and wrote for the British Quarterly. He retired in 187r, and died at Machynlleth on the 21st of August 1877. Rogers was widely read, and as a Christian apologist carried on the traditions of the 18th century as illustrated by Butler. See Memoir by Dr R. W. Dale, prefixed to the 8th edition of The Supernatural Origin of the Bible Inferred from Itself (the Congregational Lecture for 1873, delivered by Rogers). Galloway. In 1175 he again appears as a negotiator between the king and a number of English religious houses. The interest which Hoveden shows in ecclesiastical affairs and miracles may justify the supposition that he was a clerk in orders. This, however, did not prevent him from acting, in 1189, as a justice of the forests in the shires of Yorkshire, Cumberland and Northumberland. After the death of Henry II., it would seem that Hoveden retired from the public service, though not so completely as to prevent him from drawing on the royal archives for the history of contemporary events. About the year 1192 he began to compile his Chronica, a general history of England from 732 to his own time. Up to the year 1192 his narrative adds little to our knowledge. For the period 732—1148 he chiefly drew upon an extant, but unpublished chronicle, the Historia Saxonum live Anglorum post obitum Bedae (British Museum MS. Reg. 13 A. 6), which was composed about 1150. From 1148 to 1170 he used the Melrose Chronicle (edited for the Bannatyne Club in 1835 by Joseph Stevenson) and a collection of letters bearing upon the Becket controversy. From 1170 to 1192 his authority is the chronicle ascribed to Benedictus Abbas (q.v.), the author of which must have been in the royal household at about the same time as Hoveden. Although this period was one in which Hoveden had many opportunities of making independent observations, he adds little to the text which he uses; except that he inserts some additional documents. Either his predecessor had exhausted the royal archives, or the supplementary searches of Hoveden were languidly pursued. From 1192, however, Hoveden is an independent and copious authority. Like " Benedictus," he is sedulously impersonal, and makes no pretence to literary style, quotes documents in full and adheres to the annalistic method. His chronology is tolerably exact, but there are mistakes enough to prove that he recorded events at a certain distance of time. Both on foreign affairs and on questions of domestic policy he is unusually well informed. His practical experience as an administrator and his official connexions stood him in good stead. He is particularly useful on points of constitutional history. His work breaks off abruptly in 1201, though he certainly intended to carry it further. Probably his death should be placed in that year. See W. Stubbs's edition of the Chronica (Rolls Series) and the introductions to vols. i. and iv. This edition supersedes that of Sir H. Savile in his Scriptores post Bedam (1596). (H. W. C. D.)
End of Article: ROGER OF HOVEDEN, or HOWDEN (fl. 1174-1201)

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