Politics, patronage and medieval scholarship: Henry Savile’s Rerum Anglicarum scriptores post Bedam (1596) in Context

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Henry Savile's Rerum Anglicarum scriptores (1596), his collection of writings of medieval historians, was essential reading for Britain's antiquaries for generations. However, it has not generally figured largely in histories of British antiquarianism and its publication has seemed a puzzling episode in Savile's scholarly career. This article draws on newly discovered or redated print and manuscript evidence to illuminate the nexus of politics and patronage from which the book emerged. Exploring Savile's place within British antiquarianism, his practice as an editor of medieval manuscripts, and the volume's publication in Frankfurt, the essay argues that Savile's Scriptores constitutes a significant departure from earlier sixteenth-century traditions of medieval textual editing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-115
Number of pages55
JournalErudition and the Republic of Letters
Issue number1-2
Early online date17 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Antiquarianism
  • Book history
  • Editing-
  • Henry savile
  • Medieval chronicles
  • Patronage
  • William of malmesbury

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