The Peterborough Chronicle and its continuations are of primary importance within the realms of written English language history. As a descendent of the Anglo-saxon Chronicle it survived the Norman Conquest in its original form but was destroyed by fire in the 1116 blaze at Peterborough Monastery.
A copy of the Chronicle was later borrowed from the South, and from 1121-1132 another record was established, followed by the final edition in 1154.
One of the few first-hand accounts of English history from the period 1070-1154, the Peterborough Chronicle is written from an unofficial, non-courtly point of view which, in turn gives an insight into the early formation of Middle English and life during these times.
See below: an excerpt and Modern English translation:
The Peterborough Chronicles- Part 4. A.D. 1135 :
Millesimo cxxxv. On þis gære for se king Henri ouer sæ æt te Lammase (i). (2) And Ðat oþer dei þa he lai an slep in scip, þa þestrede þe dæi ouer al landes and uuard þe sunne suilc als it uuare thre niht ald mone, an sterres abuten him at middæi. (3) Wurþen men suiðe ofuundred and ofdred, and sæden ðat micel þing sculde cumen herefter: sua dide, for þat ilc gær warth þe king ded ðat oþer dæi efter Sancte Andreas massedæi on Normandi. (4) Þa þestreden sona þas landes, for æuric man sone ræuede oþer þe mihte. (5) Þa namen his sune and his frend and brohten his lic to Engleland and bibirieden in Redinge. (6) God man he was and micel æie wes of him: durste nan man misdon wið oðer on his time. (7) Pais he makede men and dær. (8) Wua sua bare his byrthen gold and sylure, durste nan man sei to him naht bute god. (9) Enmang þis was his nefe cumen to Engleland, Stephne de Blais (ii); and com to Lundene; and te Lundenisce folc him underfeng and senden æfter þe ærcebiscop Willelm Curbuil; and halechede him to kinge on Midwintre Dæi.
1135. In this year, the king Henry went over sea at Lammas (i). And the second day when he lay asleep on (his) ship, then the day darkened over all lands and the sun became such as if it were a three-nights’ old moon, and stars about it at midday. Men were greatly astonished and afraid, and said that a great matter ought to follow hereafter: so it did, for that same year the king died the second day after Saint Andrew’s mass-day in Normandy. Then at once these lands darkened, for every man who could at once ravaged another. Then his son and his relatives took and brought his body to England and buried (it) at Reading. He was a god man, and there was much fear of him: no man dared do evilly with another in his time. He made peace for men and beasts. Whosoever carried a gold and silver burden, no man dared say to him anything except good. At this time his nephew, Stephen of Blois (ii), had come to England; and (he) came to London; and the people of London received him and sent for the archbishop Wiliam Cubeil; and (he) sanctified him as king on midwinter’s day.
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