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Jocelin of Brakelond


English Benedictine, chronicler of bury-st. edmunds; flourished late 12th century. His account of this distinguished Benedictine house under the rule of Abbot samson (11821211) provided Carlyle with materials for the sympathetic second book of Past and Present. When Jocelin served his novitiate (1173) at St.Edmunds, Samson of Tottington was novice master. In 1182 Samson became abbot and for six years thereafter Jocelin served as his chaplainan office that kept him in close association with a model administrator. Jocelin's history covers the years 1173 to 1202. It is forthright, familiar, clear, and convincing. David Knowles has observed that in Jocelin's pages "the daily life of the cloister is mirrored with a fidelity found in no other medieval chronicle" [Monastic Sites from the Air (Cambridge, Eng. 1952) 14]. Jocelin was guest master in 1198 and almoner in 1212. The date of his death is unknown, but it must have been sometime after April 1215.

Bibliography: t. arnold, ed., Cronica, in Memorials of St. Edmund's Abbey, 3 v. [Rerum Britannicarum medii aevi scriptores, 244 v. (189096) 1:209336]. h. e. butler, ed. and tr., The Chronicle (New York 1949). t. e. tomlin, ed. and tr., Monastic and Social Life in the Twelfth Century as Exemplified in the Chronicles of Jocelyn de Brakelond (London 1844). t. carlyle, Past and Present (2d ed. New York 1843). d. knowles, Saints and Scholars (Cambridge, Eng. 1962) 6369.

[a. r. hogue]

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