Thomas of Eccleston

Last updated

Thomas of Eccleston was a thirteenth-century English Franciscan chronicler. He is known for De Adventu Fratrum Minorum in Angliam. It runs from 1224, when Franciscan friars first came to England, under Agnellus of Pisa, to about 1258. He styles himself simply "Brother Thomas" and John Bale seems to have first given him the title "of Eccleston".



He entered the Order of Friars Minor in about 1232 or 1233 and was a student at Oxford between 1230 and 1240. After 1240, he was at the London monastery, though he held no office there. [1]

The chronicle

The De Adventu is a collection of notes rather than a finished work. Incidentally it throws some light on the trend of early Franciscan events and thought in general.

For a period of twenty-six years, Eccleston was busy collecting material for his chronicle, which he based on personal knowledge, interviews, and documents no longer extant. He described the “heroic period” of the Franciscan movement in England. His chronicle lacks dates, is weak on chronological presentation, and gives preference to England, but is considered accurate and reliable in the content related to the Friars Minor in England. [1]


Though the original manuscript has been lost, there are four manuscripts of the “De Adventu” which are known to scholars. The chronicle was edited in the nineteenth century by J. S. Brewer in the “Monumenta Fraciscana” (1858), by R. Howlett (1882), by the Friar Minors at Quaracchi (1885), and by Felix Lieberman in the “Monumenta Germaniae” (1885). A critical edition is lacking. Father Cuthbert, O.S.F.C., translated the work into English in 1903 under the title The Friars and How They Came to England, [1] and E. Gurney Salter rendered it in English in 1926 with the title The Coming of the Friars Minor to England and Germany. [2]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Franciscans</span> Group of religious orders within the Catholic Church

The Franciscans are a group of related mendicant Christian religious orders within the Catholic Church. Founded in 1209 by the Italian saint Francis of Assisi, these orders include three independent orders for men, orders for nuns such as the Order of Saint Clare, and the Third Order of Saint Francis open to male and female members. They adhere to the teachings and spiritual disciplines of the founder and of his main associates and followers, such as Clare of Assisi, Anthony of Padua, and Elizabeth of Hungary. Several smaller Protestant Franciscan orders exist as well, notably in the Anglican and Lutheran traditions.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Matthew Paris</span> 13th-century English monk, historian, and illustrator

Matthew Paris, also known as Matthew of Paris, sometimes confused with the nonexistent Matthew of Westminster, was an English Benedictine monk, chronicler, artist in illuminated manuscripts, and cartographer who was based at St Albans Abbey in Hertfordshire. He authored a number of historical works, many of which he scribed and illuminated himself, typically in drawings partly coloured with watercolour washes, sometimes called "tinted drawings". Some were written in Latin, others in Anglo-Norman or French verse.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Friar</span> Member of a Christian order

A friar is a member of one of the mendicant orders founded in the twelfth or thirteenth century; the term distinguishes the mendicants' itinerant apostolic character, exercised broadly under the jurisdiction of a superior general, from the older monastic orders' allegiance to a single monastery formalized by their vow of stability. A friar may be in holy orders or be a brother. The most significant orders of friars are the Dominicans, Franciscans, Augustinians, and Carmelites.

William of Newburgh or Newbury, also known as William Parvus, was a 12th-century English historian and Augustinian canon of Anglo-Saxon descent from Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Luke Wadding</span> Irish Franciscan friar and historian (1588 – 1657)

Luke Wadding, O.F.M., was an Irish Franciscan friar and historian.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nicholas Trivet</span> Anglo-Norman chronicler

Nicholas Trivet was an English Anglo-Norman chronicler.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Agnellus of Pisa</span>

Agnellus of Pisa, OFM, was an Italian Franciscan friar. As its first Minister Provincial in England (1224–1236), he is considered the founder of the Franciscans in England. His feast day is variously observed on 7 May or 10 September.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Salimbene di Adam</span> Italian Franciscan friar, theologian, and chronicler

Salimbene di Adam, O.F.M., was an Italian Franciscan friar, theologian, and chronicler. Salimbene was one of the most celebrated Franciscan chroniclers of the High Middle Ages. His Cronica is a fundamental source for Italian history of the 13th century.

<i>Chronicle of Fredegar</i>

The Chronicle of Fredegar is the conventional title used for a 7th-century Frankish chronicle that was probably written in Burgundy. The author is unknown and the attribution to Fredegar dates only from the 16th century.

Walter Hilton, Can. Reg. was an English Augustinian mystic, whose works gained influence in 15th-century England and Wales. He has been canonized by the Church of England and by the Episcopal Church in the United States.

Haymo of Faversham, O.F.M. was an English Franciscan scholar. His scholastic epithet was Inter Aristotelicos Aristotelicissimus, referring to his stature among the Scholastics during the Recovery of Aristotle amid the 12th- and 13th-century Renaissance. He acquired fame as a lecturer at the University of Paris and also as a preacher when he entered the Order of Friars Minor, probably in 1224 or 1225. He served as the Minister Provincial for England (1239–1240) and as the Minister General of the Order .

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Elias of Cortona</span>

Elias of Cortona was born, it is said, at Bevilia near Assisi, ca. 1180; he died at Cortona, 22 April 1253. He was among the first to join St. Francis of Assisi in his newly founded Order of Friars Minor. In 1221, Francis appointed Elias vicar general.

Bernard of Besse was a French Friar Minor and chronicler.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Colgan</span>

John Colgan, OFM, was an Irish Franciscan friar noted as a hagiographer and historian.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Albert of Pisa</span>

Albert of Pisa, O.Min., was an Italian Franciscan friar. He served as minister provincial for Germany, Hungary, and England.

Anthony Parkinson, O.F.M. was an English Franciscan friar and historian of his Order.

William of Nottingham, OFM, was an English Franciscan friar who served as the fourth Minister Provincial of England (1240–1254).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">William of Nottingham II</span>

William of Nottingham, OFM was an English Franciscan friar who served as the seventeenth Minister Provincial of England .

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Abbey of the Minoresses of St. Clare without Aldgate</span>

The Abbey of the Minoresses of St. Clare without Aldgate known also variously as the "Abbey of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Aldgate" or the "House of Minoresses of the Order of St Clare of the Grace of the Blessed Virgin Mary" or the "Minoresses without Aldgate" or "St Clare outside Aldgate" or the "Minories, London" was a monastery of Franciscan women living an enclosed life, established in the late 13th century on a site often said to be of five acres, though it may have been as little as half that, at the spot in the parish of St. Botolph, outside the medieval walls of the City of London at Aldgate that later, by a corruption of the term minoresses, became known as The Minories, a placename found also in other English towns including Birmingham, Colchester, Newcastle upon Tyne and Stratford-upon-Avon.

Andrew George Little was an English historian, specialising in the Franciscans in medieval England. He was Professor of History at the University College of South Wales, Cardiff, between 1898 and 1901. He was thereafter a visiting lecturer (1903–20) and then reader (1920–32) in palaeography at the University of Manchester. He was president of the Historical Association from 1926 to 1929, and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1922.


  1. 1 2 3 "Thomas of Eccleston". The Catholic Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  2. Lynch, Joseph; Adamo, Phillip C. (2014). The Medieval Church: A Brief History (2nd ed.). London: Routledge. p. 266. ISBN   978-0415736855.