John of Howden

John of Howden OFM (fl. 1268/9–1275), also known as John of Hoveden, was a 13th-century English Franciscan friar from the north of England, and for a time was chaplain to Queen Eleanor of Provence, wife of King Henry III of England.[1]

WorksEdit

John is known only by the various spiritual writings attributed to him. There are certain texts in Latin, including Philomela (Song of Love) (the influence of which may be seen in Richard Rolle's Incendium amoris and Melos amoris); Canticum amoris (Song of Love); Cythara (Cittern); Quinquaginta cantica, Quinquaginta salutationes (Fifty Songs; Fifty Salutations), and several other shorter Latin poems.[2]

There are also works written in Anglo-Norman. One, Li Rossignos (The Nightingale) is a re-working of Howden's own Latin Philomena, with borrowings from the anonymous Desere iam anima (Abandon Now O Soul).[3] Internal evidence suggests the poem was written before 1282.[4]

For a long time, it has been assumed that he was the John of Howden who was prebendary of the church of Howden in Yorkshire. Recently, however, this has been questioned.[5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ See Margaret Howell, Eleanor of Provence, pp83, 97–8.
  2. ^ Denis Renevey, '1215–1349: texts', in Samuel Fanous and Vincent Gillespie, eds, The Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Mysticism, (Cambridge, 2011)
  3. ^ Andrew Lawson King, 'A Critical Edition of Li Rossignos' (unsubmitted PhD thesis, University of Cambridge, 1984).
  4. ^ Denis Renevey, '1215–1349: texts', in Samuel Fanous and Vincent Gillespie, eds, The Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Mysticism, (Cambridge, 2011).
  5. ^ For a reconsideration of the identity of John of Howden, the author, with John of Melton, prebendary of the church of Howden, see Glynn Hesketh (ed.), Rossignos by John of Howden (a thirteenth-century meditation on the passion of Christ), ANTS (2006). The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry also doubts this identification.

Further readingEdit

  • Poems of John of Hoveden, ed FJE Raby, SurtS, 154 (1939)
  • Johannis de Hovedene Philomena, ed. C. Blume (Leipzig, 1930) [the Latin text of the Philomena]
  • Denis Renevey, '1215–1349: texts', in Samuel Fanous and Vincent Gillespie, eds, The Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Mysticism, (Cambridge, 2011)
  • AG Rigg, 'Howden, John of (fl. 1268/9–1275)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (Oxford University Press, 2004).