William of Malmesbury

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William of Malmesbury (c. 1085 - c. 1143 AD) was an English historian and scholar. Among other historical and theological works, he wrote three of the most important historical works of 12th century England:

  • Deeds of the English Kings (Latin: Gesta regum anglorum) in 1120
  • Deeds of the English Bishops (Latin: Gesta pontificum anglorum) in 1125
  • And the unfinished Contemporary History (Latin: Historia novella) in 1142, probably just before his death.

William was born to an English mother and a Norman father, a member of one of the first generations following the Norman Conquest in 1066. He entered the Benedictine monastery Malmesbury early in his life and remained there until his death. He was offered the abbacy of Malmesbury around 1140, but refused.