, Alvredus, or Aluredus, an ancient English historian, was born at Beverley in Yorkshire, and received his education at Cambridge. He returned afterwards to the place of his nativity, where he became a secular priest, one of the canons, and treasurer to the church of St. John, at Beverley. Tanner, in a note, informs us, that he travelled for improvement through France and Italy, and that at Rome he became domestic chaplain to cardinal Othoboni. According to Bale and Pits, he flourished under king Stephen, and continued his annals to the year 1136. Vossius is supposed to come nearer the truth, who tells us that he flourished in the reign of Henry I. and died in 1126, in which same year ended his annals. His history, however, agrees with none of these authors, and it seems probable from thence that he died in 1128 or 1129. He intended at first no more than an abridgment of the history of the ancient Britons; but a desire of pursuing the thread of his story led him to add the Saxon, and then the Norman history, and at length he brought it down to his own times. This epitome of our history from Brutus to Henry I. is esteemed a valuable performance; it is written in Latin, in a concise and elegant style, with great perspicuity, and a strict attention to dates and authorities: the author has been not improperly styled our English Florus, his plan and execution very much resembling that of the Roman historian. It is somewhat surprising that Leland has not given him a place amongst the British writers: the reason seems to have been that Leland, through a mistake, considers him only as the author of an abridgment of Geoffrey of Mou mouth’s history but most of the ancient writers having placed Geoffrey’s history later in point of time than that of Alredus, we have reason to conclude that Alredus composed his compendium before he ever saw the history of Geoffrey, We have also the authority of John Withamsted, an ancient writer of the fifteenth century, who, speaking of our author, says, that he wrote a chronicle of what happened from the settlement of Brutus to the time of the Normans, in which he also treated of the cities anciently founded in this kingdom, and mentioned the names | by which London, Canterbury, and York were called in old times, when the Britons inhabited them; and this testimony agrees with the book, as we now have it. Some other pieces have been ascribed to Alredus; but this history, and that of St. John of Beverley, seem to have been all that he wrote. This last performance was never printed, but it is to be found in the Cotton library; though not set down in the catalogues, as being contained in a volume of tracts: it is entitled “Libertates ecclesias S. Johannis de Beverlik, cum privilegiis apostolicis et episcopahbus, quas magister Alueredus sacrista ejusdein ecclesiao de Anglico in Latinum transtulit: in hoc tractatulo dantur carta3 Saxonicsc R. R. Adelstani, Eadwardi Confessoris, et Willelmi, quas fecerunt eidem ccclesiae, sed imperito exscriptore mendose scriptas. The liberties of the church of St. John of Beverley, with the privileges granted by the apostolic see, or by bishops, translated out of Saxon into Latin, by master Alured, sacrist of the said church. In this treatise are contained the Saxon charters of the kings Adelstan, Edward the Confessor, and William the Conqueror, granted by them to this church; but, through want of skill in the transcriber, full of mistakes.” Mr. Hearne published an edition of Alredus’s annals of the British History, at Oxford, in 1716, with a preface of his own. This was taken, from a manuscript belonging to Thomas Rawlinson, esq. which Hearne says is the only one he ever saw. 1


Biog. Brit, from Bale, Tits, Tanner, &c.