Roger of Hoveden

Roger of Hoveden or Roger of Howden: Roger's Chronicle extends from the opening of the eighth century to the year 1201. Down to 1148 this work is a mere compilation from Simeon of Durham, Henry of Huntingdon, &c. From this point to 1170 A.D., though partly based upon the Chronicle of Melrose, it is mainly the writer's own account of the events of these years interspersed with not a few documents relating to the Becket quarrel. From 11 70-1 192 Roger's chronicle is a reproduction of the so-called Benedict of Peterborough with alterations, excisions, and additions. From 1192 to 1 20 1 it is an original work in the strictest sense of the word.

Roger of Hoveden took his name from Howden, a small town in the East Riding of Yorkshire, lying on the Ouse. He was one of the clerks employed in the service of Henry II. at least as early as 1 174, when he was with the king in France. In [1175] he was sent on royal business to Galloway and in 1189 was one of the Justices Itinerant for the forests. He was thus preeminently fitted for the great work to which he apparently devoted the closing years of his life. Most of the extracts given in this book are from Roger of Howden, whose Crusading narrative has been chosen in preference to the original on which it was based. Of two such closely-related documents it seemed best to rely chiefly on the later and not the earlier.

As with ' Gesta HenricV so also with Roger of Howden, Dr. Stubbs' Edition for the Rolls series has superseded all others.


Gillingham (J.), "Roger of Howden on Crusade", in Richard Cœur de Lion: Kingship, Chivalry and War in the Twelfth Century, London, 1994.

Corner (D.), "The Earliest Surviving Manuscripts of Roger of Howden's Chronica", English Historical Review, vol. 98 (1983).