Notable Responses to Investigating the Parker Chronicle

On the topic of reception of my article, I’ve gotten a few notable responses. I won’t cover the library’s email response here because I already did that in the first article. Notable in this article means anyone who’s made comments that really stuck out to me.

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The first one is from a supposed teacher of Anglo-Saxon studies. I don’t know if they really are a teacher or not, but I really hope not. Our exchange took place on Reddit. I’m RedddTrip and the responder is Flubb. Here are the screenshots:

I was curious as to how many works were actually listed in the bibliography and what the earliest ones were, so I made a chronological list of the bibliography and numbered them. It only contains 240 references, not “almost 300”. This is part of the reason why I say I hope this person isn’t really a teacher, especially a history teacher, because something like this is really easy to verify and they couldn’t even be bothered to do that.

My argument that its earliest known history/provenance is with Wotton is supported by a reference which the library didn’t include. Still, it’s a scholar who has studied this manuscript and is commenting on it. I’m curious now as to whether Wotton paid any attention to the manuscript, or if it really became known during Parker’s time, and it’s assumed it was given to him by Wotton. Maybe the answer is out there, maybe it isn’t. I don’t know and at this point I don’t have much confidence that anyone else does either. I have an article specifically for the provenance of this manuscript that I’m still working on as I study.

“The earliest known reference to [The Parker Chronicle] after the dissolution of the monasteries is when it was already the property of Dr. Nicholas Wotton…” – N. A. Sparks (2014, p.110-111)

Again, I hope that Redditer is not really a teacher. Especially of Anglo-Saxon studies, as it doesn’t appear they know much of anything about this manuscript which they’re commenting on. I figured people would read the article and either say “I don’t know any of those answers” and move on with their lives, or they would say “I know some of those answers” and then comment them before moving on with their lives. It seems to me like this person really just had a bone to pick with Fomenko.

As far as the conspiracy thing, I’m not advocating any conspiracy by asking these questions. However, as I’ve been studying into more, it wouldn’t be too far fetched to include “conspiracy” here. That is if conspiracy in this case means faking or counterfeiting ancient writing.

“There is one particularly telling form of annotation that abounds in the archbishop’s library, and of which he was particularly proud. This was the work of counterfeiting ancient writing, in order to restore to damaged or illegible or partial manuscripts a semblance of completeness, and it seems to have been the special task of one “Lyly”.” – B. Robinson [p.1076]

I have an article here that goes into some more detail about this counterfeiting, as well as some accusations about Matthew Parker making up a historical figure.

All in all, I really hope that person is not a teacher. And if they are, I hope that their comments on my post were not typical for them. If those are the typical types of comments they make, I feel for their students.

“Blogs like this are a sign that non-historians shouldn’t attempt to be clever…”. If my blog is a sign of that, I don’t want to know what his comments imply about historians and/or history teachers (if they are really a history teacher, which I have serious doubts about).

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The second notable response is from (possibly) a manuscript researcher(?). They commented on my article on the website and in case they end up deleting their comments, I wanted to include them here for the overall report on my journey investigating the Parker Chronicle. I’m Stephen Sorensen and they are Patrick McGroyne.

Their first comment and my first response:

I think the book he mentions is this one. Google books allows you to search the entire thing for keywords and based on my searches for keywords, it doesn’t appear to answer any of the questions I originally had, aside from maybe Questions 1 or 4. Still, 2 out of 10 on any test would be an absolute failure. Why did Patrick say that book was the volume I want? My guess is he sincerely thought it would have the answers I was looking for, even though he almost couldn’t have been more wrong. Maybe the answers are in there and I wasn’t able to locate them, but I have doubts about that.

Continuing on:

For reference:
Question 1: Why are there multiple dates given to the chronicle?
Question 4: What parts are dated to which years?
Question 8: When was it named the Parker Chronicle?

Question 1 is by far the easiest question on this list to answer, and originally I had the answer included in the first article. But I took it off so as to keep the article less crammed. The answers are now being added to the questions article, which deals specifically with the questions and their answers. Also, nobody yet has directly said to me that the Parker Chronicle is comprised of 5 separate booklets that were all added together to create what is now known as the Parker Chronicle (or CCCC MS 173). I figured that out on my own while reading through some of the literature about the Parker Chronicle. It seems to me like a really simple fact, but I’m surprised nobody who has read my original article has yet mentioned that.

Question 4 is a bit more complicated to answer, but still one of the easier questions on the 10 question list. It cannot be answered with the information given in the description alone. The best answer to this that I’ve found so far is in Parkes (1976). I reference that work in my Contents of CCCC MS 173 article. From what I read, I think Parkes splits up the booklets as follows:
B1 – Fols. 1-25. 9th-10th centuries.
B2 – Fols. 26-32. Mid-10th-11th cc.
B3 – Fols. 33-52. Mid-10th c.
B4 – Fols. 53-56. 10th-12th cc.
B5 – Fols. 57-83. 8th-9th cc.

“Fols.” basically means pages, and “B” stands for booklet. All in all, that info is not stated “explicitly” in the description.

Question 8 is still wholly unanswered by anything I’ve seen. This includes the information in the description. I think maybe Patrick misread the question as “Why was it named the Parker Chronicle?” instead of “When was it named the Parker Chronicle?”. The answer to the “why” question wasn’t included in my first article, but I had mentioned it elsewhere on my website. The answer to the “when” question isn’t answered anywhere from what I can tell. If you think it is answered somewhere, please give me the citation.

Spoiler alert for anyone wondering if they do answer Question 8 in their next comment; they don’t.

They either didn’t read the article, did read it but forgot its contents, or knows I noticed the “More details” and is just goofing around. I don’t know what other explanations account for his comment above, but I think those three just about cover all the options. Here’s a screenshot from my article:

I name the source right there word for word, and even pull details from the article. How Patrick missed this is why I think maybe some tomfoolery is at hand here. Even if I hadn’t found that reference through the More details button, I clearly have seen it and cited it in the article that Patrick was commenting on.

He then gives a poor analogy about plumbers and manuscript researchers. Really the whole comment above is a big dodge to my request to “Please directly answer question 8 in your next comment…”. And so I responded with:

He fails to start his response with “the answer to question 8 is…” and also fails to answer the question at all.

“It was called the Parker Chronicle when Parker bequeathed…” does not answer question 8. And also I don’t know of any evidence that shows it was called such at that time. Parker’s collection didn’t even make to CCCC until 1593. James p xii doesn’t help much either, as (I’m assuming Patrick means M. R. James) James has many works and on the ones I was able to check, “p xii” doesn’t have anything remotely relevant to question 8.

Given all that, I ask two more questions for clarity:

The earliest source that has those words on it is still unknown to me. And I don’t think anyone else has taken it upon themselves yet to find the answer to this either. Patrick responds without answering either of those questions, and instead answers the question with a question.

That question to my questions being:

That comment was made on June 11th, 2020. Today is June 22nd, 2020 and I still haven’t received an email from Patrick at all. It was with that last comment of theirs that I my suspicions were raised even higher about them being a troll or something similar. That last comment coupled with the lack of email response, I doubt this person is a manuscript researcher. Even based on their responses to my comments, it seems to me that they lack well-developed reading comprehension skills. All of it makes me doubt that the person is legitimately a MS researcher, or that they have any experience in being a MS researcher.

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