Adam Abell's "The riot or quheill of tyme" : an edition
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This thesis presents an edition of the complete text of The Roit or Quheill of Tyme a chronicle composed in Scots by the Scottish Franciscan friar Adam Abell during the 1530s. An example of the mediaeval genre of "universal" chronicle, it opens with a retelling of the creation story of Genesis and continues its narrative through biblical, classical Greek and Roman, mediaeval Scottish and European history. The main body of the chronicle ends in 1533, but Abell later added a continuation which follows events to 1537. The edition is based on the unique manuscript preserved in the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh, NLS MS 1746. An introduction which places the chronicle within not only its social and cultural context in late mediaeval Scotland, but also the contexts of Scottish and international mediaeval historiography, is included. A glossary has also been appended to provide guidance with vocabulary. The Roit or Quheill of TyLne, which has never before been edited in full, is significant for a number of reasons. It is the last surviving Scottish chronicle composed before the Reformation, and provides an eyewitness narrative of the reigns of James III, James IV and James V. Furthermore, it is one of the very few examples of Franciscan secular historical writing which survive from mediaeval Europe, and is therefore an international rarity. Although much about Abell himself is obscure, the variety of materials quoted within the chronicle and his awareness of contemporary events provide insights into the education of, and resources available to, an ordinary Scottish religious in the early sixteenth century.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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