Thomas of Eccleston
THOMAS OF ECCLESTON
English chronicler, who joined the Friars Minor shortly after their arrival in England; dates of b. and d. unknown. About 1232 he began collecting materials for his Tractatus de adventu Fratrum Minorum in Angliam, which he finished about 1258. Nothing is known about him except the little that can be gathered from his chronicle; even his name "of Eccleston" is not recorded before the 16th century. He studied at Oxford, but does not seem to have traveled outside England. The chronicle consists of a series of notes and stories; apart from one section on the ministers general, it details the life, teaching, progress, and organization of the Order in England. Within its limits it is very valuable; Thomas was honest, accurate, and well-informed in describing the friars in their ordinary life.
Bibliography: p. beguin, Chronica Fratris Iordani, Tractus de Adventu Fratrum Minorum in Angliam, Espistola de Transitu Sanctae Clarae (Louvain 1990); bibliography. p. hermann, "Thomas of Eccleston: The Coming of the Friars Minor to England," XIIIth Century Chronicles (Chicago 1961).
[r. b. brooke]