The Chronicle of Adam Usk, 1377-1421
Adam Usk, the full details of whose remarkable life are here revealed for the first time, was born in Usk around the middle of the fourteenth century. Through the patronage of the Mortimer family - the earls of March - he studied law at Oxford, eventually rising to hold a chair in civil law there, before entering the service of Archbishop Arundel and, ultimately, of King Henry IV of England. He was an eye-witness to the revolution of 1399, but soon after this, having left England for Rome, he fell out with Henry IV and spent several years in exile, accused of collaborating with the Welsh rebel leader, Owain Glyn Dwr. Eventually, having returned to Wales secretly, he managed to gain a pardon from the king in 1411, and thus spent his remaining years, until his death in 1430, in relative peace. His chronicle, which is a first-hand source for the fall of Richard II, for the turbulent politics of Rome between 1402 and 1406, and for the Glyn Dwr revolt, also provides a fascinating insight - with its mixture of autobiography, political intrigue, and the supernatural - into the mind of a highly educated medieval author.
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