Alexander Essebiensis

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Alexander Essebiensis (Latin, Alexander of Ashby, or of Esseby) was a celebrated English theologian and poet, who flourished about the year 1220. Scarcely anything is known of his history, except that he appears to have been prior of Canons Ashby, in Northamptonshire. Some writers make him a native of Somersetshire; others of Staffordshire; and some have confounded him with Alexander Necham.

He wrote various theological and historical works in prose, particularly a chronicle of England, which are still found scattered in manuscripts. His poetry, in which he sought to imitate Ovid and Ausonius, is much praised by John Bale. Amongst other poems, we may enumerate one in elegiacs, giving a description of all the saints' days throughout the year, with lives of the saints who were celebrated on each and a metrical compendium of Bible History.

A further account of Alexander's works will be found in Thomas Tanner's Bibliotheca, and in Polycarp Leyser's Hist. Poet. Med. Ævi.


  • Rose, Hugh James (1857). A New General Biographical Dictionary, London: B. Fellowes et al.
  • Alexandri Essebiensis Opera Theologica, cura et studio Franco Morenzoni et Thomas H. Bestul,Corpus Christianorum, Continuatio Mediaevalis CLXXXVIII, Turnhout Brepols, 2004
  • Alexandri Essebiensis Opera Poetica, cura et studio Greti Dinkova-Bruun, Corpus Christianorum, Continuatio Mediaevalis CLXXXVIII A, Turnhout Brepols 2004
  • G. Dinkova-Bruun:Alexander of Ashby: New Biographical Evidence, Medieval Studies 63 (2001)