Arnold Fitz Thedmar: Identity, Politics and the City of London in the Thirteenth Century

  • Ian Stone
  • The London Journal, June 2015, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1179/1749632215y.0000000001

Life of Arnold fitz Thedmar

What is it about?

Arnold fitz Thedmar was a thirteenth-century alderman of London and the first British urban chronicler. This paper re-examines a text that Arnold wrote, a text which historians have misunderstood as a biography of his life.

Why is it important?

This paper shows that Arnold's 'biography' was really nothing of the sort, and that Arnold wrote this text in response to political, financial and xenophobic pressures, under which he found himself. As a result we learn a great deal about this enigmatic and pioneering medieval British chronicler. This paper also sheds light on the ways in which Londoners defined their identity in the Middle Ages.


Dr Ian William Stone
King's College London

I very much enojoyed writing this paper. This document, thought of as a biography of Arnold fitz Thedmar, has puzzled me since I first read it. Arnold lived such a full life and held so many positions of importance; if this was a biography, why did he mention none of that within it? In re-examing this text I think we get a fresh understanding of Arnold's life and career.

Read Publication

The following have contributed to this page: Dr Ian William Stone