Berkshire Record Society: Reading Abbey Records - a new miscellany
Edited by Brian Kemp
Published by Berkshire Record Society in 2018
ISBN: 978 0 9573937 6 9
This volume comprises four texts which, in different ways, bring Reading Abbey to life. These four texts are a third set of Reading Annals; an account of the miracles worked by Reading's prized relic, the hand of St James; an account of the ceremonial involved in the monks' annual commemoration of the death of their founder, King Henry I; and a record of the pittances allowed to the monks to mark the feasts of the Christian year and the anniversaries of a large number of individuals. All are printed in the original Latin with an English translation alongside.
Chapter 1 discusses the three surviving sets of historical annals compiled at different dates in the abbey, the earliest two of which have been in print since 1879 and 1922 respectively. The third and fullest is now published for the first time. Chapter 2, on the miracles of St James's hand, contains an updated version of a previously published English translation but the Latin text is printed for the first time. Chapter 3 is concerned with the abbey's yearly celebration of Henry I's anniversary and provides important confirmatory evidence on the location of the king's tomb. Chapter 4 contains lists of the pittances allowed to monks throughout the year, arranged firstly by the feasts of the Christian year and secondly by the anniversaries of the abbey's chief benefactors.