The Lindisfarne Gospels are an illustrated Latin edition of the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The Gospels were written down by a monk of Lindisfarne named Eadfrith in the 7th century. He later became Bishop of Lindisfarne (698) and died in 721. The Gospels are richly illustrated in the insular style, and were originally encased in a fine leather binding covered with jewels and metals made by Billfrith the Anchorite in the 8th century. During the Viking raids on Lindisfarne, however, this cover was lost, and a replacement made in 1852.
In the 10th century an Old English translation of the Gospels was made - a word-for-word gloss inserted between the lines of the Latin text by Aldred, Provost of Chester-le-Street. This is one of the first known translations of the Gospels into the English language.
The Gospels were acquired in the early 17th century by Sir Robert Cotton from Robert Bowyer, Clerk of the Parliaments. Cotton's library came to the British Museum in the 18th century, and from there to the British Library in London.