Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Alexander of Ashby

ALEXANDER of Ashby (fl. 1220), prior of the Austin priory at Ashby, Northamptonshire, has been variously stated to have been a native of Somersetshire and Staffordshire. He wrote a number of theological tracts, chronicles, and Latin poems. His name, according to Wood, appears in a legal document, dated about 1204, belonging to the priory of St. Frideswide's, Oxford. The chief work ascribed to him is a manuscript in Corpus College library, Cambridge, entitled ‘Alexandri Essebiensis Epitome Historiæ Britanniæ a Christo nato ad annum 1257.’ It is mainly an abridgment of Matthew Paris. Fuller, in his ‘Church History’ (ed. Brewer, i. 157), quotes some lines from his ‘De Fastis seu Sacris Diebus,’ an elegiac poem in imitation of Ovid's ‘Fasti,’ the manuscript of which is in the Bodleian. Other works, the names of which are given by Bale, Pits, and Tanner, are verse lives of St. Agnes, a history of the Bible, and a treatise on the art of preaching.

[Dugdale's Monasticon (1830), vi. 442; Hardy's Descriptive Catalogue, iii. 145, Rolls Ser.; Tanner's Bibliotheca, pp. 29–30.]

S. L. L.