Itinerarium Peregrinorum

The Itinerarium Peregrinorum et Gesta Regis Ricardi is the chief European account of the Third Crusade. After a minute examination of all the evidence that could be collected, Dr.Stubbs in 1864 came to the conclusion that this work is the production of a certain Richard, canon of the Holy Trinity in London. Richard, we learn ofNich0lais Trivet, a Franciscan writer of the early fourteenth century, “ wrote an itinerary of this king in prose and verse.” Trivet then proceeds to quote a phrase from the preface to the Itinerarium, and the exact words in which the author of the Itinerarium , as now preserved and translated in this book, describes Richarcl’s character and personal appearance. From such evidence it would seem that Trivet in this passage was alluding to our Itinerarium, which in this case can hardly fail to be the production of Richard of the Holy Trinity, despite the fact that one MS. refers it to Geoffrey Vinsauf.

This Richard of the Holy Trinity, according to Dr. Stubbs, is probably to be identied with “ Richard de Temple,” who was clcctcd prior of the Holy Trinity in I222 A.D., and died perhaps about I250. His name, if the De Templo is not a surname, would scein to imply that he was a Templar; in which case he was perhaps only a chaplain and not a knight of that Order.

The writer of the Itinerarium, whoever he may have been, declares in his prologue that he was an eye witness to the things he narrates, and that he has written them out while they were still “ warm ” in his memory. He excuses his want of rhetorical grace on the ground that he jotted down his story in the din of war, and he bids the reader remember that it was while engaged on the campaign that he wrote : “ auditor noverit nos in castris fuisse cum scripsimus.” This passage Dr. Stubbs has interpreted to mean that he made hasty notes for his work during the Crusade itself, and afterwards worked these notes up into the elaborate treatise as we now have it. The work itself, in Dr.Stubbs’ opinion, was certainly composed in Latin and not in French.

The Itinerarium, is divided into six books of which the first is devoted to the expedition of Frederic Barbarossa and the siege of Acre down to Lent I191. Book II. conducts Richard on his way through I


William Stubbs, Itinerarium peregrinorum et gesta regis Ricardi, London, 1864.

Mayer (H. E.), Das Itinerarium Peregrinorum. Eine zeitgenössische englische Chronik zum dritten Kreuzzug in ursprünglicher Gestalt. Stuttgart: Anton Hiersemann, 1962.