Whethamstede, John

, a learned abbot of St. Albans, was ordained a priest in 1382, and died in 1464, when he had been eighty-two years in priest’s orders, and above an hundred years old. He wrote a chronicle of twenty years of this period, beginning in 1441 and ending in 1461. It contains many original papers, and gives a very full account of some events, particularly of the two battles of St. Alban’s. More than one half of his chronicle is filled with the affairs of his own abbey, to which he was a great benefactor, particularly to the altar of the patron saint, which he adorned with much magnificence. About 1430 he employed Lydgate to translate the Latin legend of St. Alban’s life into English rhymes, for the purpose of familiarising the history of that saint to the monks of his convent. He enriched the library by procuring transcripts | of useful books, and was on account of such pursuits in high favour with duke Humphrey, who, when about to found his library at Oxford, often visited St. Alban’s, and employed Whethamstede to collect valuable books for him. 1


Warton’s History of Poetry, and references there.