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Coldingham, Geoffrey de (DNB00)


COLDINGHAM, GEOFFREY de (fl. 1214), historian of the church of Durham, was, according to the heading prefixed to the manuscripts of his book, sacrist of Coldingham priory, a ' cell ' or dependent establishment of the priory of Durham. Of his life nothing is known. His history begins with the death of Bishop William de St. Barbara in 1152, and ends abruptly with the election of Morgan (an alleged natural son of Henry II) to the bishopric in 1214. From this point the work was continued by Robert de Graystanes, afterwards himself bishop of Durham. Two manuscripts of Geoffrey's work are known to exist, one of them in the possession of the dean and chapter of York, and the other in the British Museum (Cotton Tit. A 2). The book was first edited, from the Cotton MS., by Wharton, in his ' Anglia Sacra ' (1091) ; but the edition swarms with the grossest blunders, besides many important omissions. A satisfactory edition of Geoffrey is included in the volume ' Historic Dunelmensis Scriptores Tres,' edited by the Rev. J. Raine, and published by the Surtees Society in 1839.

[Raine's Preface to Hist. Dun. Script. Tres ; Wharton's Anglia Sacra, i. 715.]

H. B.