French Renaissance Paleography


England, 1490/1510
“Les croniques de Nicolas Trivet.” In Polyglot compendium of English chronicles
Cambridge, MA, Harvard University, Houghton Library, MS Eng 750


Nicholas Trivet (also spelled as “Nicolas” and “Trevet”) was an English Dominican friar and scholar, active in the late 13th and early 14th century, author of a large number of theological and historical works. He studied at Oxford and in Paris.

Les Croniques is one of several Anglo-Norman chronicles Trivet wrote for his patroness, Princess Mary of Woodstock, a nun at Amesbury. It contains the tale of Constance, the source of Chaucer’s Man of Law’s Tale. The manuscript copy of Trivet’s text reproduced here is the only French-language text found in the Polyglot Compendium of English Chronicles, a compilation dating from the turn of the sixteenth century, held in the collection of the Houghton Library. For a list of the other texts included, see the Houghton catalog entry.