Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Coventry, Walter of

COVENTRY, WALTER of (fl. 1293?), historical compiler, gives his name to a volume of historical collections, entitled 'Memoriale Fratris Walteri de Coventria,' written soon after 1293. Nothing more is known about him. It is, of course, probable that he was a native of Coventry, and it has been conjectured from some slight indications in the 'Memoriale' that he was a monk of York. A manuscript in the Bodleian Library (355), entitled 'Walteri Coventrensis Chronicon,' has been wrongly ascribed to him; it is in a late hand (Hardy); nor does it appear that the Cottonian MS. (Vitell. D. v.) entitled 'Gualteri Conventriensis Historia,'and now destroyed, should have borne his name (Stubbs). 'The first part of the 'Memoriale' is of no historical value; the second part, which deals with the history of England from 1002 to 1225, is an abridgment and 'compilation from a compilation' from Florence. Henry of Huntingdon, and Roger of Hoveden, with a continuation derived from the 'Barnwell Chronicle,' which comprises the annals of the reign of John, and is of great value. This part of the work has been published in a mutilated form in the 'Recueil des Historiens' (Bouquet, xviii. 164), as a continuation of Hoveden; it was first edited in its entirety by Bishop Stubbs for the Rolls Series.

[All that is known of Walter of Coventry, and all that has been written about him and the Memoriale, will be found in the preface to his Historical Collections, ed. by W. Stubbs, bishop of Chester, in the Rolls Ser.; Hardy's Descriptive Cat. pp. 43, 70.]

W. H.