The Poems of Laurence Minot 1333-1352
THE POEMS OF LAURENCE MINOT 1333-1352: FOOTNOTES
1 waning [of the moon] (an unhappy hour)
2 their bulwark [to protect a crew in battle], their anchors, they hung on high
3 A boar [King Edward] is prepared to fight you
THE POEMS OF LAURENCE MINOT 1333-1352: NOTES
AMA = Alliterative Morte Arthure; SGGK = Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; SMA = Stanzaic Morte Arthure; YP = The York Plays. MS = Cotton Galba E.IX Manuscript abbreviations have been silently expanded. All other editorial emendation, except punctuation and capitalization, is cited in the notes. For full references to Collette, Hall, Ritson, Scholle, James and Simons, Stedman, and Wright see the Select Bibliography.
[I] Lithes and I sall tell yow tyll
the bataile of Halidon Hyll.
Battle of Halidon Hill, 19 July 1333: Although often inaccurate in its details, Froissart's Chronicle, composed under the aegis of royal patronage, provides thumbnail sketches of events contemporary with Minot's poems. Froissart suggests some of the complex political background anteceding the Battle of Halidon Hill: Rubrication is indicated by bold face text. Heading: Hall suggests all or of be inserted before the bataile in place of tyll.
There had been a truce between England and Scotland now for four years, the like to which had not occurred before for two hundred years: but the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed was destined to disturb it. David, who succeeded Robert Bruce on the throne of Scotland, held possession of Berwick, which Edward claimed as part of his own kingdom. The King of Scotland, who followed the advice of his council and chief barons on the subject, resolved that as King Robert, his father, had taken the town in open war from the late King Edward of England, and having kept possession of it during his lifetime, so he would do everything in his power to retain it; and such being the case, neither party was willing to give way. The contest which ensued, however, was fraught with dire misfortune to the Scots, for Edward advanced into their kingdom, destroyed it, and, having taken possession of Berwick, and also many other forts, placed in them several able and expert knights and squires, to protect the border countries. (p. 18)
Froissart glosses over the part played by Edward Balliol (son of King John Balliol, r. 1292-96) and "the Disinherited" in this renewal of hostilities. Led by Balliol and Henry Beaumont, a group of powerful Northern magnates (many of whom had lost holdings in the Lowlands by the 1328 Treaty of Northampton) defeated the Scots at Dupplin Moor in 1332. The Scots in turn having driven Balliol (crowned September, 1332) from the Scottish throne in favor of the young David II, Edward III allowed Balliol to muster support among the English. Hoping to draw Balliol from the siege of Berwick, established on 12 March 1333, the Scots invaded England on March 23, under the leadership of the new regent, Archibald Douglas, and threatened Bamburgh. Edward III arrived before Berwick after Easter, and on 19 July 1333, at the Battle of Halidon Hill, the Scottish army raised to relieve the siege was decisively defeated. Berwick surrendered, David II fled to France, and Balliol swore fealty to England. The Battle of Halidon Hill utilized Edward's strategy, to be employed again successfully on many occasions in the war with France, of waging battle from a defensive position with rows of archers and dismounted men-at-arms.
4 bute. Hall notes that bote (adopted by Scholle) is the only form in rhyme, i.e., 4.58, 6.26.
5 made midelerd and the mone. See "made God medilerth and man," YP 9.158, and the lyric "Heghe Loverd, thou here my bone" from MS. Harley 2253, "that madest middelert ant mone," line 2.
6 bestes and fowles. Scholle emends to the alliterative formula bestes and briddes.
7 socore. Scholle, socor.
9 droupe and dare. An alliterative collocation found only in the rhyming romances and poems of the Alliterative Revival. See "bot ever droupe and dare," AMA line 4007, and "y droupe, y dare," Tolous, line 553.
10 dern. Hall suggests derve. Scholle reads deds for dedes, then dose for done.
12 when Edward founded first to were. Edward III (b. 1312, r. 1327-77; married Philippa of Hainault, a niece of Philip VI of France, in 1328). Edward agreed to support Balliol, and moved his administration to York, calling out the levies of four shires for the defense of the border and invading Scotland in the spring of 1333.
15 sides sare. See "on sides seere," YP 10.340, and frequently elsewhere.
17 prise. Scholle, Stedman, pris.
18 boste. Scholle, Stedman, bost. Normondye. Scholle, Normandye.
19 Thai sent thaire schippes on ilka side. Minot seems to suggest here that the French promised to raise the siege of Berwick but fled before a single blow was offered. Thus is announced a major theme in Minot's poems, that the French are essentially cowards, their boasts empty words, their deeds but few. In fact, Philip VI of France had sent a fleet of ten ships to raise the siege, but it was destroyed by the English at Dundee, mentioned again in 2.24. From 1334 on, there were frequent threats of French retaliation; in August and September of 1335 rumors were rife that Philip VI had assembled a great fleet to attack the south coast of England.
21 es noght at hide. A rhyme tag typical of the rhyming romances.
22 forto is always one word in the MS.
24 wurth. Scholle, Stedman, worth.
25 For. MS: ffor; all initial double f's are treated as majuscules.
30 thareobout. Scholle, tharobout.
33 Jhesu. MS: ihu. Scholle, Iesu; so too in 5.16. The scribe writes ihesus in full at f. 64a2.
39 dareand all for drede. Scholle, darand. An alliterative collocation found elsewhere only in the rhyming romances and poems of the Alliterative Revival. Compare "dares for drede," SGGK line 315.
41 Gai. Scholle, Gay. thoght. Collette, thought.
42 on the Erle Morré and other ma. Following the defeat at Halidon Hill, the nine-year old king, David II, and his mother fled to France. By 1335, the Earl of Moray, John Randolph, was regent for David II, and defeated an English expeditionary force under the Count of Namur on the hilltop in Edinburgh. The Earl was later taken prisoner before Bamborough Castle and imprisoned in London.
45 Philip Valays wordes wroght. Through his mother, Edward was the grandson of Philip IV of France and the nephew of the last Capetian king, Charles IV, who died without an heir. Salic law, however, prohibited descent through the female line, and the French crown passed to Charles IV's cousin, Philip VI (r. 1328-50). In 1331, Edward had declared himself willing to perform liege homage to Philip VI for the duchy of Gascony, but in 1334 Philip VI insisted that discussion of the Scottish succession be included in any further Anglo-French negotiations. Edward responded by reasserting his title to the French crown; in 1340 he formally assumed the title "King of England and France." On the collocation wordes wroght, see "wroght neuere in worde," YP 13.181.
46 suld. Stedman, said.
49 manasinges. Scholle, manasings.
54 Oakden compares stout on stede with the phrase "stiff on stede," SMA lines 45, 350, and elsewhere.
56 noght fer fro Berwik opon Twede. City on the north-east coast at the mouth of the river Tweed.
60 of wild Scottes and alls of tame. Scholle, wilde. Hall suggests that Minot here makes a distinction between the Highland Scots, who spoke Gaelic, and the Lowland Scots, who spoke English.
62 boste. Scholle, Stedman, James and Simons, bost.
66 at Dondé now es done thaire daunce. Dundee, a city on the Firth of Tay in eastern Scotland. As Hall points out, daunce is one of Minot's repeated ironic tags (see for instance 5.14, 7.58, 7.74, 7.148-49, 8.72, and 9.3). Compare Pearl, lines 345-46: "For thogh thou daunce as any do, / Braundysch and bray thy brathez breme . . . ." For the collocation done thaire daunce, see YP 11.225; 19.96: "that daunce is done."
68 France. Hall notes that the nasalized a in Romance words before mb, ng,
nc, nd, and nt is written either a or au in the MS, so both France and Fraunce, chance and chaunce.
71, 87 thing. Collette notes that the scribe's normal practice is to use þ to represent th, but in thing he infrequently uses th.
75 caitefes. Stedman, caitefs. The alliterative collocation cursed caitefes occurs in fifteenth-century religious lyrics and in "cursid caytiffis," YP 30.356; 40.27; 47.317.
76, 81 suth. Scholle, soth.
77-78 Sir Jon the Comyn had thai hid; / in haly kirk thai did him quell. John Comyn was defeated by Robert Bruce in 1306 and subsequently murdered, 10 February 1306, in the Gray Friars' Kirk at Dumfries.
80 dole er dight. The phrase occurs in fourteenth-century lyrics and in "that doole schulde be dight," YP 26.184. that. Hall suggests thar.
82 menye. Ritson, Wright, menzé. The word is dissyllabic and in 4.10 rhymes with fre.
87 gaudes might no thing gain. See "gaudis sall noght tham gayne," YP 11.248.
90 proud in prese. Scholle, Stedman, pres. An alliterative collocation found elsewhere only in the poems of the Alliterative Revival and the rhyming romances. See "prowde in prees," Octavian the Emperor, line 1641 and compare prowd in pall 7.110.
92 pese. Scholle, Stedman, pes.
[II] Now for to tell yow will I turn
of the batayl of Banocburn.
MS omits the. Ritson's emendation. The Scottish victory at Bannockburn, 23-24 June 1314: Minot's subject here is less the humiliating defeat of Edward II's English army by Robert Bruce and the Scots than it is the avenging of that defeat in the victory at Halidon Hill.
2 at the Banock burn. Robbins gives the following verses, recorded in Brut, with which Scots women taunted the English:
Maydenes of Engelande, sare may ye morne,3 ye. Ritson, ze. Throughout his edition, Ritson employs z for 3.
For tynt ye haue lost youre lemmans at Bannokesborn
6 yit. Scholle, yow.
7 Where are ye, Skottes of Saint Johnes toune. The Scottish city of Perth is so named because it contains a church dedicated to the saint.
8 boste. Scholle, Stedman, bost.
11 worth. Collette notes that the scribe usually uses the Southern form wurth.
13 Skottes of Striflin. The town of Sterling, near which was fought the Battle of Bannockburn. The castle of Sterling, held by the English, had been under siege since 1313. If not relieved by 24 June 1314, it was to be surrendered to the Scots.
15 Now have thai, the pelers, priked obout. Hall and Sisam suggest this line refers to Scots border incursions intended to distract Edward from the siege of Berwick.
17 wurth. Scholle, worth.
18 bot ever. Hall suggests and ever.
19 Rughfute. Scholle, Rughfote.
20 berebag. A derisive term for a Scot. Froissart explains:
The Scots are a bold, hardy race, and much inured to war. When they invaded England, they were all usually on horseback, except the camp followers; they brought no carriages, neither did they encumber themselves with any provision. Under the flap of his saddle each man had a broad plate of metal; and behind his saddle a little bag of oatmeal, so that when occasion needed, cakes were made of the oatmeal, and baked upon the plates; for the most part, however, they ate the half-soddened flesh of the cattle they captured, and drank water. (p. 13)boste. Scholle, bost.
22 Busk the unto Brig. "Brig" is variously emended by editors, but it clearly represents the Flemish city of Bruges, capital of West Flanders in northwestern Belgium, not that the fleeing Scots hid under a bridge. But n.b. spelling in line 25. Ritson, Wright, and Scholle read brig. Hall, Stedman, James and Simon emend to Brug, and Collette to Bruges.
24 Dondé. Dundee, port in eastern Scotland in Angus on the Firth of Tay.
25 The Skotte gase in Burghes and betes the stretes. Minot's stark image of the defeated Scotsman in exile. Alone of the great cloth-making states in the Low Countries, Flanders owed allegiance to France rather than to the Holy Roman Emperor, and was ruled by the unpopular French count, Louis of Nevers. While the official position was pro-French and so favorable to the Scots, Flanders experienced great popular unrest. Louis of Nevers was driven into exile, replaced by a burgher, Jacob Van Artevelde, from whom Henry Burghersh, Bishop of Lincoln, obtained a promise of neutrality in 1337.
Skotte. MS. skottes. Burghes. Ritson, Wright, Scholle, burghes.
26 all thise. Hall compares 3.47 and suggests In all thise.
harmes he hetes. See "Slike harmes hym for to hete," YP 18.136.
27 men that he metes. See "And many men myldely hym mette," YP 30.340.
28 frendes he findes. Compare "fynde me youre frende," YP 19.165, and "To fynde hym with oure frendis," YP 20.48.
29 fune. Scholle, fone. wurth. Scholle, worth.
34 Scholle supplies sir before Edward.
[III] How Edward the king come in Braband
and toke homage of all the land.
The sacking of Southampton, 4 October 1338: Between 1337 and 1339, the French raided at will Dover, Folkestone, Harwich, Hastings, Portsmouth, Rye, and the Isle of Wight, disrupting, among other things, wine importation. French ships were also reported in the mouth of the Thames; an order to drive piles into the river bottom as a precaution against invasion was issued in October, 1338.2 Ingland. Scholle, Ingeland.
4 grante. Scholle, graunte.
11 MS: trely.
12 into Brabant. Scholle, Braband. Delayed three months for lack of shipping, Edward departed Walton-on-the-Naze for Antwerp on 16 July 1338. The allies acquired in the previous year by the embassy of Bishop Burghersh refused to act, however, until the emperor formally appointed Edward his suzerain in Germany and France.
13 The kayser Lowis of Bavere. Louis the Bavarian (1287-1347) elected Holy Roman Emperor as Louis IV in 1314. On 5 September 1338, at Coblenz, Louis IV invested Edward as his imperial vicar-general, a position with considerable authority over Germany and the Low Countries. Louis IV was paid ,60,000 but did little to further Edward's cause. From 1341 on, he was allied with Philip VI
15 sons. Scholle, sunes; Hall suggests emending to He and his two sons also.
17 prelates. Scholle, prelats.
19 princes and pople. The embassy of the Bishop of Lincoln and the Earls of Salisbury and Huntingdon won Edward the support of the Counts of Hainault, Gelderland, Berg, Cleves, and Marck, the Count Palatine of the Rhine, the Margrave of Juliers, and the Elector of Brandenburg, among others.
19 ald. Scholle, old. yong. Scholle, yung.
21 honowre. Scholle, honowr.
25 Hall, Stedman, and James and Simons do not observe a new stanza here or at lines 49, 59, 85, 94, or 101, although the majuscules beginning these lines (except 101) are clearly decorated with the yellow ink wash which elsewhere indicates stanza divisions.
The duke of Braband. John III, Duke of Brabant and Limburg (d. 1355) also promised support for Edward, at the cost of 60,000 and the promise to establish the wool staple at Antwerp. Froissart sums up:
On the feast of St. Martin King Edward had an interview with the Duke of Brabant at Arques. The town-hall was hung with rich and fine cloths. His majesty was seated five feet higher than the rest of the company, and had on his head a rich crown of gold. Here letters from the emperor to the king were publicly read, by which the King of England was constituted and established vicar of the empire of Germany, with full power granted him to do all acts of law and justice to every one in the emperor's name, and also to coin gold and silver. All persons, moreover, were commanded to do him fealty and homage as vicar of the empire. (p. 20)31 al. Stedman, all.
36 thare ogayne. Scholle, tharogayne.
37 his moné that was gude and lele. Froissart alludes to the cost of bribery in winning the support of Jacob Von Artevelde in the Low Countries:
By fair speeches, promises, and a bountiful distribution of money, Edward, through his agents, at last prevailed with this powerful individual so far, that by his means the chiefs of the principal towns gave their consent that the King of England and his army might pass through Flanders whenever he pleased. . . . (p. 19)40 better. Scholle, Stedman, bet.
The authority to coin money granted by Louis IV allowed Edward to establish a mint at Antwerp which produced golden écus bearing the eagle of the Empire over Edward's own name.
42 I wis. Hall, i-wis.
46 whilk. Ritson, whilke.
47 bithoght. Wright, bithought.
49 sone. Scholle, son.
56 childe. Scholle, Stedman, child.
59 At Hamton. Southampton and Portsmouth were raided in 1337-38; Froissart gives the details:
A party of French troops, consisting of Sir Hugh Quiriel and some few others, made a somewhat similar attack [i.e., to that of Sir Walter Manny's earlier attack on the French town of Mortaigne] upon England. As soon as they heard that hostilities had commenced, they landed one Sunday morning in the harbour of Southampton, entered the town whilst the inhabitants were at church, pillaged it, and having loaded their vessel with booty, fell down with the tide, and made sail to Dieppe, where they went on shore, and divided the plunder. (p. 21)60 gaylayes. Hall notes this as a mistake for galayes.
62 mekill. Wright, makill.
67 stareand. Scholle, starand.
68 knoked. Stedman, James and Simons, knokked.
69 with tham. Hall suggests emending to "something like tham likes now nan other gle, (Cursor, 54)." none. Wright, non.
70 might. Stedman suggests moght as more likely.
fain . . . fle. See "I am ferde be my feyth and fayne wolde I flee," YP 28.265.
71 suth. Scholle, soth.
75-76 whare Cristofer stode / at Armouth. The contemporary chronicler Adam of Meerimuth reports that the great cog Christopher (300 tons, 3 cannon) was taken by the French on the Tuesday before the sack of Southampton, although other reports have it taken off Middleburg with the Edward and two smaller bullion ships, the St. George and the Black Cock, as they were returning home from the sale of the year's wool crop. Yarmouth is on the Isle of Wight.
76 Armouth. Scholle, Aremouth.
77 went. MS: wen. Hall, following Wright, emends to went.
78, 97 galayes men. Scholle, galaymen.
80 and with tham als war tarettes two. Scholle, tarets. The taret, like the galley, was a large ship propelled by rowers (the Genoese galleys under the command of Boccenera [see 10.19 note] were particularly fast and deadly in combat) but was primarily a transport vessel. Galiots were small galleys, and cogs like the Cristopher and Edward were beamy, deep-draft ships of the line.
84 mens. Scholle, Stedman mennes.
86 sone. Scholle, son.
91 schippes. Scholle, schips.
ful. Hall notes this should be omitted, a suggestion followed by Stedman, James and Simons.
93 wane. Scholle, wone, and in the next line, one.
96 baldly. Scholle, Stedman, baldely.
99 Collette supplies So at the beginning of the line.
100 with owten. The scribe's word divisions are often inconsistent.
107 nane. Scholle, none, and in the next line mone.
112 whils. Ritson, while; Wright, whil.
114 untill. Stedman, until.
116 gude. Scholle, gode.
118 lifes. Stedman, lives.
122 gude. Scholle, gode.
125 MS: ihc. Ingland. Scholle, Ingeland.
126 haly hand. Wright, holy. The phrase occurs in fifteenth-century religious lyrics and in "with his holy hand," YP 17.43.
[IV] Edward oure cumly king
in Braband has his woning
Edward's first invasion of France; the Battle of Flamengerie, 23 October 1339: On 1 September 1339, Edward sent a ceremonious challenge to Philip, whose army was at Compiègne. With his allies, Edward marched through Valenciennes towards Cambrai, the first of a number of long raids or chevauchées in which the English laid waste the countryside.
1 Note in MS opposite this line: Ewd III p. 103, a reference to Warton.
2 Braband. The Braband, what is now central Belgium, was a wealthy province caught between English and French loyalties. The region was of strategic importance to the English wool industry. It was battle ground for the disastrous Norwich Crusade later in the century.
3 cumly. Hall notes this is probably a mistaken repetition from the first line.
5 ordanis. Scholle, ordaynes; Ritson, Wright, ordains.
8 grant. Scholle, graunt. gaste. Scholle, gast.
9 his heritage to win. At Ghent in January 1340, Edward formally assumed the title to the Crown of France; his "heritage" is another of Minot's formulas for the dual monarchy. Wright prints the following Epigram on the Assumption of the Arms of France:
Jus E. regis Angliae in regno Francorum12 Ritson omits the first and.
Rex sum regnorum bina ratione duorum;
Anglorum cerno me regem jure paterno;
Jure matris quidem rex Francorum vocor idem.
Hinc est armorum variatio bina meorum,
M. ter centeno cum ter denoque noveno.
(Pol. Poems, I, 26.)
[The Right of Edward King of England in the Realm of France.
I am king of the two realms for a twofold reason.
I regard myself a King of England by right deriving from my father.
I am indeed styled King of France by right on my mother's side.
Hence come my two coats of arms in the year 1340. (James and Simons, p. 85)]
16 langer wil. Stedman, longer will.
17 fast will he fare. Compare "forthe faste to fare," YP 5.173.
18 grapes. The Brabant is not known for its vineyards, but served rather as the mustering point for Edward's attack on France. England was a great importer of wines in the fourteenth century, especially from Burgundy and Gascony. The French king's disruption of the trade in the 1330's had nearly doubled the price in the latter part of the decade, with only about a third of the quantity in 1333-34 (6166 tons) being imported in 1339-40 (2022 tons). With the truce in September 1340, prices dropped to a pre-war level and wine was plentiful again in England. See Margery Kirkbride James, Studies in the Medieval Wine Trade (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), pp. 19-34.
19 ferd. Scholle, fered; Hall suggests that ferd is "practically dissyllabic."
20 God. Scholle, Iesus.
22 nobill. Scholle, nobil. Scholle inserts als after duc.
25 floure de lice. Scholle, flour de lis. de lice is one word in MS. The fleur de lys was the heraldic symbol of the French kings. See A European Armorial, ed. Rosemary Pinckes and Anthony Wood (London: Heraldry Today, 1971), pp. 68, 88.
26 wan. Scholle, gained.
27 fast he fled for ferde. See 7.90, ferd war fast fleand, and compare "for ferdnes may we flee," YP 47.122.
28 right. Scholle, righte. Hall suggests emending to rightwis, see 7.113.
aire. Scholle, hair.
32 wit. Scholle, with. in. Hall, comparing Wyntoun's Chronicle, V 3153, suggests into.
33 batale. Scholle, bataille.
34 his men. Perhaps repeated from line 32. Scholle emends to He bad tham tham purvay; Hall suggests He bad his menye tham purvay.
35 lenger. Scholle, leng.
37-38 He broght folk ful grete wone, / ay sevyn oganis one. MS: boght. Advancing toward Peronne, Philip occupied Edward's county of Ponthieu with a massive army. What Minot characterizes as Philip's cowardice may have been politic caution, for Edward's allies, notoriously unreliable, probably posed no long-term threat.
38 oganis. Ritson, Wright, ogains; Scholle, ogaynes.
39 wapnid. Ritson, Wright, wapind.
40 MS: whe. Ritson, when.
42 than durst he noght cum nere. On 23 October 1339, near the village of Buironfosse, Edward deployed his forces in the formation that had proved so successful at the Battle of Halidon Hill: knights dismounted and banks of archers enfilade. Froissart reports that Philip was discouraged from the attack by an unfavorable forecast which arrived from his uncle, the renowned astrologer King Robert of Sicily. Perhaps Philip also suspected an English trap. In any event, Philip forbore the attack.
43 mornig. Hall notes this may be a genuine form and so James and Simons.
44 Ingliss. MS: igliss.
45 changed. MS: shanged.
47 gude. Scholle, god.
50 stalwortly. Ritson, stalworthly. schelde. Scholle, scheld.
54 frek to fight. A collocation found only in the rhyming romances; compare "frekke for to fighte," The Siege of Milan, line 1430.
55 sir. Written above the line in MS.
56 walld. Scholle, Stedman, wald.
57 gayned. Hall suggests gamed.
61-62 It semid he was ferd for strokes / when he did fell his grete okes. In the first English military dispatch to survive, Edward writes angrily to his son, the Black Prince: "Whereupon the foe withdrew his van and gave orders to encamp, made trenches around him and cut down large trees in order to prevent us approaching him" (Packe, p. 86). Philip had previously replied to Edward's challenge that if Edward "would choose out a place not fortified with trees, ditches or bogs, the King of France without fail would afford him battle." This failure to live up to the terms of the challenge is seized upon by Minot as further evidence of Philip's perfidy.
63 pavilyoune. Scholle, pavilyoun.
66 doune. Scholle, doun.
67 The king of Beme had cares colde. Philip's great army included three kings: blind King John of Bohemia, Philip's cousin Philip of Evreux, King of Navarre (line 70), and the young exile David of Scotland.
68 ful. MS: fur; James and Simons supply a second ful before bolde.
69 Scholle inserts for after stede.
70 Ritson, Stedman, and Collette supply He and at the beginning of the line.
71 war faire feld in the ferene. The line is probably corrupt. Skeat suggests that feld may mean struck down (followed by Collette and James and Simons) or is perhaps an error for fled. Hall thinks that Faire is a scribal error for fain and for, and proposes to read "War fain for fered in the ferene." Scholle emends feld to felid, and Stedman proposes "War faire fayn in the ferene." Hall suggests the words feld in the were inserted later, but examination of the MS under ultraviolet light reveals no sign of scraping. For another example of a king hiding in fear in the heather, see the note to 9.34.
74 felde hat. Scholle, felde it hat. Flemangrye. Scholle, Flamengerye.
77 dukes that war doghty. See "my duke doughty," YP 30.30.
79 raw. Scholle, row, and in the next line, blow.
89 hied him hame. Compare "Hamward I rede we hye," YP 20.9, and "hye you hame," YP 16.191.
90 giff. Stedman, gif.
91 the lely flowre. That is, Philip, King of France.
92 halely. Scholle, hally.
93 sogat. Ritson, so gat; Stedman, James and Simons, so-gat.
95 Collette omits that.
96 berde. Scholle, Stedman, berd.
[V] Lithes and the batail I sal bigyn
of Inglisch men & Normandes in the Swyn
The Battle of Sluys, 24 June 1340: On Saturday 24 June 1340, a fleet of two hundred and sixty English ships attacked the French flotilla anchored at Sluys (now Vissingen) in the mouth of the river Zwin. Once ships had engaged, medieval naval battles were simply land-battles fought across decks, and the ships of the French fleet were chained together by squadrons, a tactic that provided more room for maneuvering troops. It also meant that an entire line of ships could be taken at once, as were the French at Sluys. The chronicle of Geoffrey Le Baker de Swynebroke provides the details:
An iron cloud of bolts from crossbows, and arrows from bows, fell upon the enemy, bringing death to thousands; then those who wished, or were daring enough, came to blows at close quarters with spears, pikes and swords; stones, thrown from the ships' castles, also killed many. In brief, this was without a doubt an important and terrible naval battle which a coward would not have dared to see even from afar off. The sheer size and height of the Spanish ships rendered useless many of the blows cast by the English; but, finally, the first French squadron was defeated, abandoned by its men, and then captured by the English. The French ships were all chained together, so that they could not be separated from one another; thus only a few English ships were needed to guard one group of those which had been abandoned, the remainder being better able to direct their attention to the second French squadron, attacking it with some difficulty. None the less, this squadron was to be disabled even more easily than was the first, for the French abandoned their ships, large numbers of men jumping, of their own accord, into the sea. The first and second squadrons thus overcome, and with the light giving way to dusk, the English, since it was getting dark and they were very exhausted, decided to leave matters as they were until the morrow. (Allmand, pp. 128-29)The Battle of Sluys was a notable English victory; the French flagship, Saint-Denis, was taken, and the Christopher recaptured along with the Edward. In all, two hundred and thirty ships fell into English hands. Shortly thereafter, Edward commemorated this victory with the minting of the first English gold coin, the noble, whose obverse shows Edward, armed with sword and shield, standing in his cog, Thomas; on the shield are quartered the arms of England and France.
1 Minot with mowth. Minot here refers to himself by name for the first time. It should be noted that the alliterative phrases mene with mouthe, as well as mele with mouthe and munne with mouthe, are important survivals from early Middle English alliterative poetry in the poems of the Alliterative Revival. Their use here links Minot's poems to a long practice of alliterative composition. Like the phrase "as I in toun herde, / with tonge" from SGGK, lines 31-32, however, these phrases should not be taken as self-evident testimony for an oral poetic tradition.
2 suth sawes and sad. Compare "the soth sawe," YP 33.288.
mens. Scholle, mennes.
4 sorow suld slake. The phrase occurs in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century religious lyrics and in "do my sorowe to slake," YP 39.45.
6 bute. Scholle, bote.
7 Valas. Scholle, valays.
8 sir Hugh Kyret. Hugh Quièret, appointed Admiral of France in 1336. He died of his wounds at the Battle of Sluys.
13 ferd. Scholle, fered.
14 thare lered Inglis men tham a new daunce. One of Minot's favorite ironic tags. See note to 1.66.
MS: anew. The scribe not infrequently runs a into a following n; see aname, line 16. Collette omits tham.
15 buriase. Ritson and Wright, burjase; Scholle, burias.
17 Sluse. Scholle, Sluys.
18 Normandes. Scholle, Normands.
19 Bruges. Stedman, James and Simons, Brug. Ipyre. Scholle, Ipres. hereof. Scholle, herof.
20 Edward . . . that was in Arwell. King Edward had returned to England in February of 1340 and called upon Parliament to raise further monies, troops, and ships for the war effort. Edward was prepared to sail again for Antwerp from Orwell at Whitsun, but word came of the great French fleet assembled at Sluys. Edward commandeered sixty additional ships and finally sailed on 22 June 1340.
22 sergantes. Scholle, seriantes.
23 Normandes. MS: Nomandes. Scholle, Normands; Stedman, Normandes. war. Stedman, James and Simons, were.
25 sune. Stedman, sone.
26 barons. Scholle, barouns.
27 Thai come byfor Blankebergh on Saint Jons night. On 23 June, off Blankenburgh, the English first caught sight of the French fleet. Aboard his flagship the Thomas, King Edward saw "so great a number of ships that their masts seemed to be like a great wood." Battle commenced on 24 June, the feast of St. John the Baptist - half-ebb (5.33) occurred at roughly 3 p.m. and high tide was around 11:30.
28 well. Scholle, wel. sary sight. Compare "I am sorie of a sight," YP 29.41.
30 the wilde waniand. The period of the waning moon was considered to be unlucky. See 9.25 and 10.6 for other instances of this use. In a note to "The Battle of Neville's Cross," line 25, Robbins cites the Brut on the Scots' defeat in 1422 at Vernon: "But the moste vengeance fell upon the proude Scottes. . . So that they may say wele 'In the croke of the mone went thei thidre warde, And in the wilde wanyende come thei homewarde"' (p. 265). See also the Wakefield Master's The Second Shepherds' Play: "Now walk in the wenyand!" line 405.
31 suth. Scholle, soth.
32 meri. Ritson, mery. sir Robard out of Morlay. Robert de Morley, second Baron Morley (1296?-1360). Commanded in 1338 to guard Yarmouth from the French fleet, Robert was shortly thereafter made Admiral of the Fleet from the Thames to Berwick. As such, he commanded at the Battle of Sluys. He was also present at the Battle of Crécy.
34 Normandes. Scholle, Normands.
36 MS, Ritson, and Wright: es. Hall suggests the error is due to the subsequent es. Collette emends wreches to wretches, Scholle to wrecches; James and Simons emend the second es to is.
37 The erle of Norhamton. William de Bohun (1312?-1360). One of the seven earls belted in 1337, William was appointed one of the commissioners to treat with Philip of France on Edward's claim to the French crown; subsequently, he was appointed a commissioner to treat with Robert Bruce. He took part in Edward's expedition of 1338 and in 1342 was appointed the king's lieutenant and captain-general in Brittany. He was present at Crécy. William died 16 September 1360, and was buried at Walden in Essex
erle. Scholle, Erl.
38 man. James and Simons, men.
39 Sir Walter the Mawnay. Sir Walter de Manny, a native of Hainault, was knighted in 1331. He distinguished himself in the Scottish campaign, particularly at the siege of Berwick. On 11 August 1337 he was appointed Admiral of the Fleet north of the Thames, and according to Froissart, he was the epitome of valor and courage at the Battle of Sluys. He was created a baron of the realm in 1347 and Admiral of the Northern Fleet in 1348. The most distinguished soldier of his time, he died in 1372.
40 Scholle supplies man after bold; Hall suggests burne, Stedman barn. batayl. Ritson, batayle.
41 The duc of Lankaster. Henry of Lancaster (1299-1361). Famed as a youthful crusader in Prussia, Rhodes, Cyprus, and Granada, Henry was appointed to command an army against the Scots in 1336. On 16 March 1337, Edward created him Earl of Derby, and he was present at Sluys where according to Froissart he behaved with great valor. In 1345 Derby was made lieutenant and captain of Aquitaine, and in the same year he succeeded his father as Earl of Lancaster and of Leicester and steward of England. (He was not titled Duke until 1352, evidence that Minot apparently revised the whole series, perhaps adding the rubrics, when he composed the final poem.) Lancaster was present at the siege of Calais and was one of the original knights of the Order of the Garter. He was accounted a perfect knight, the greatest warrior of his time. His daughter and heiress Blanche married John of Gaunt, and her death by plague is commemorated in Chaucer's Book of the Duchess. It has been suggested that Chaucer's portrait of the knight in the General Prologue of The Canterbury Tales is modeled on Henry of Lancaster.
41 Hall does not indicate a stanza here; Stedman and James and Simons do.
42 mani. Wright, many.
43 stalworthly. James and Simons, stalworthy. stint. Stedman suggests stert.
44 Normandes. Scholle, Normands; also 50, 61, and 68.
46 MS: C. Ritson, hundred; Scholle, hundreth.
47 Sir Wiliam of Klinton. William Clinton participated in Edward's first Scottish campaign and was created Earl of Huntingdon in 1337. In April of that year he accompanied Henry Burghersh, Bishop of Lincoln, as ambassador in the Low Countries. He was later made an Admiral, Justice of Chester, Governor of Dover, and Warden of the Cinque Ports. He died in 1354.
Wiliam. James and Simons, William.
49 it semid with thaire schoting als it war snaw. The English longbow again proved its superiority. Froissart's account does not glorify the battle:
The French were equally desirous to engage, and as soon as they were within sight of the English, they filled the Christopher, the large ship which they had captured but a short time before, with trumpets and other warlike instruments, ordering her to begin the attack. The battle was fierce, murderous, and horrible. In the end the English came off victorious, the Christopher was recaptured by them, and all in her taken or killed. (p. 25)53 The gude erle of Glowceter. Hugh de Audley, b. 1289?, created Earl of Glou-cester 1337. Audley was present with Edward at Buironfosse and accompanied Henry of Derby's expeditionary force to Bordeaux in August of 1345. Badly wounded at Poitiers, Audley died in 1347. Stedman, however, identifies the "gude erle" as James de Audley or Audeley (1316?-1369).
mot. James and Simons, mote.
54 boldmen. Scholle, bolde men; Stedman, bold men.
55 baldely. Scholle, boldely.
56 James and Simons supply the before middes.
57 wretches. Wright, wrecches.
59 John Badding. Hall and particularly Stedman argue that Badding "was probably a personal friend of Laurence Minot." Roscoe E. Parker identifies Badding as John Badding of Winchelsea, officially a master of the galley from the Cinque Ports (PMLA 37 , 360-65).
60 suthwest. Scholle, southwest.
63 John of Aile. Jan van Eyle, a citizen of Sluys, commander of the French forces aboard the Christopher. He was captured in the battle and subsequently beheaded.
64 was comen into Cagent. Scholle, cumen. Probably Cadzant, a village in Zeeland near the mouth of the Scheldt. Cadzant was earlier the site of a famous English attack on the garrison of the Count of Flanders in November of 1337, in which Sir Walter Manny rescued the fallen Earl of Derby. Compare cantly and kene with 7.107 and see YP 22.183, "cant and kene."
65 Bot. James and Simons, bote.
67 swith. Scholle swithe and in the next lines skrithe, kithe.
71 on. Ritson and Wright, in.
72 had. Scholle, haved. won. Scholle, wonnen.
73-74 The kogges of Ingland war broght out of bandes / and also the Cristofir. In addi-tion to the Christopher, the English recovered the Edward, the St George, the Black Cock, and the Rich Oliver.
74 also. Scholle, als.
75 In. A large decorated initial at the top of column b. Hall and James and Simons mark the stanza break two lines later where Sir Edward also has a large black initial decorated with yellow. Collette marks the stanza break at line 75. still. Ritson, stil.
76 Stedman and Hall, Til. James and Simons supply that following til.
77 wurthi. Scholle, worthli.
78 flude. Scholle, flode.
faire mot him fall. See "And felawes, faire mott ye fall," YP 29.214.
80 gudely. Scholle, godely, also in following line.
81 God gif. Compare "God giffe you myght and mayne," YP 10.135.
82 oure. Ritson, our. gude. Scholle, gode.
84 whare. Ritson, Wright, Scholle, where. Normandes. r is interlinear in the same hand. made. Scholle, maked.
85 Wele. Wright, wale.
86 boste. Stedman, James and Simons, bost and in 87.
87 sawls. James and Simons, sawles. sais. Wright, said.
[VI] Herkins how king Edward lay
with his men bifor Tournay.
The Siege of Tournai, July to September, 1340: Toward the end of July, 1340, Edward and his allies invested Tournai, which had been impressively fortified and garrisoned. Froissart provides a summary of the siege:
At the time appointed the King of England set out from Ghent, accompanied by seven earls from his own country, two prelates, twenty-eight bannerets, 200 knights, 4,000 men-at-arms, and 9,000 archers, without counting foot soldiers; these with the fine cavalry of the Earl of Hainault and the 40,000 Flemings of Jacob Von Artaveld, completely invested the city of Tournay. The siege lasted a long time, and many gallant actions were performed. . . . (p. 26)Heading: Herkins. MS: herknis (?); Collette, Herkin.
1 Towrenay. Scholle, James and Simons, Towrnay.
3 bore. Only here and in 7.21, but bare sixteen times. brenis. Ritson, Wright, brems.
A bore with brenis bright. Collette suggests that the reference to the boar is based on the Prophecies of Merlin in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, which foretells the conquest of Gaul by an English boar. In the English poem which derives from Merlin's prophecies in Geoffrey, The Prophecy of the Six Kings to follow King John, Edward III is identified as both lion and boar. See notes to 7.1. Minot's reference to Merlin seems not to be idiosyncratic but rather part of a larger pattern of political propaganda. Geoffrey Le Baker, for instance, works in an offhand allusion to the prophecy in his description of the attack at Sluys: ". . . he [Edward III] began to attack the enemy as they had hoped he would. A fearful shout arose into the sky above the wooden horses [the French ships], as Merlin had prophecied" (Allmand, p. 128).
5 semely. Scholle, semly.
6 schilterouns. In 5.63 scheltron and so Scholle. Hall notes that the scribe has followed the analogy of Romance words like resoun, soun.
7 domes day es dight. Compare "dome this day is dight," YP 47.186.
15 harmes. Scholle, harms. Hall suggests rather that harmes is dissyllabic here as in 2.26, and omits that.
16 hele. Hall suggests holde, and in 17, holdes. But more likely hele is simply the indicative form of helen, "to cover or conceal."
19 find ye yowre frende. See "fynde me youre frende," YP 19.165.
21 sall occurs sixteen times; sal only at 5.6, 6.33 and 8.19.
23 now thar. Scholle, No bowes er for yow bende.
27 mirthes mun ye mis. The phrase occurs in fifteenth-century secular lyrics and in the York plays: compare "my mirth may noghte mys," YP 1.83.
30 and. Scholl, all.
31 I wis. Hall, i-wis.
33 sal. James and Simons, sall.
34 dintes. Scholle, dints. dowte. Collette, dowt.
35-36 Yowre biginges sall men brene / and breke yowre walles obout. Scholle, bigings; James and Simons, bigines. Scholle, bren. Although the outlying country was plundered and largely destroyed, Tournai itself was successful in resisting the siege, which lasted, Froissart says, three days short of eleven weeks, a truce finally having been arranged on 25 September 1340 by Philip's sister, Lady Jeanne de Valois. These lines seem to suggest that Minot composed the poem before the siege was withdrawn.
39 care men sall yow ken. Compare "slyk care was neuere kende," YP 11.260.
40 lord to lout. Compare "lord for to lowte," YP 33.8.
41 yowre. MS: yow.
44 als. James and Simons, as.
45 fande. Scholle, Stedman, fand.
48 broght on bere. Compare "For be thou, blissid birde, unto bere broght," YP 44.50.
50 than cumes Philip to late. Scholle, then. Having marched from Arras, Philip and his army encamped at Bouvines, some ten miles to the west of Tournai, but declined once again to offer battle.
52 hert ye may him hate. Compare "Hartely we hym hate," YP 26.97.
54 till. Scholle, til. Turnay. Scholle, Tournay.
56 The MS has a mark of punctuation between strate and ful and also after still.
60 trow my tale. Compare "Are schalle I trowe no tales," YP 41.163.
61 tuke. Scholle, toke.
62 MS: brwed. Scholle, Stedman, James and Simons brewd; Collette, brewed.
A Braban. John, third Duke of Brabant, a powerful but duplicitous ally of Edward. He seems to have allowed many civilians from Tournai to pass through his lines to join the French at Arras; there were also rumors that he permitted supplies to enter the city. His treachery may have been one of Edward's reasons for abandoning the siege.
64 Giftes grete. Compare "gifte is not grete," YP 16.343.
67 rapely ride. Scholle, raply. See "full rappely I ridde," YP 16.7.
70 moste for mede. Scholle, most. Compare "mater moste were for oure mede," YP 20.68.
71 frely fode. This collocation occurs in fourteenth-century religious lyrics as well as in the York plays, "And I myght fynde that frely foode," YP 15.78, and "that frely foode," YP 19.110.
74 thare in. Scholle, tharin; Hall, tharein.
77 main and mode. Wright, maine. An alliterative phrase found also in Old English poetry and prose, the poetry of Layamon, and the rhyming romances.
78 France. Scholle, Fraunce.
80 grante. Scholle, graunte.
[VII] How Edward at Hogges unto land wan
and rade thurgh France or ever he blan.
Saint Vaast-la-Hougue, 11 July 1346; Caen, 30 July 1346; Battle of Crécy, 26 August 1346: Edward brought to Normandy a large army, perhaps exceeding 15,000 men, many of whom were Welsh and Cheshire archers. The army had been mustered in the expectation of reinforcing Henry of Lancaster in Aquitaine and raising the siege of Aiguillon. According to Froissart, Edward was persuaded to land in Normandy by Godfrey de Harcourt, who promised little resistance and easy plunder.
Headnote: MS: tlurgh.
1-2 Men may rede in romance right / of a grete clerk that Merlin hight. Stedman, romaunce. The creation of Geoffrey of Monmouth (Historia Regum Britanniae, Vita Merlini), Merlin as magician and prophet acquires preeminence in a number of twelfth- and thirteenth-century romances, notably Robert de Boron's Merlin, the anonymous Suite du Merlin, and the English Arthour and Merlin. Geoffrey introduced into the Historia a list of Merlin's prophecies from which derives in its various Latin, Anglo-Norman, and English stages The Prophecy of the Six Kings to follow King John recorded on folio 49a of Cotton Galba E.ix, only two leaves before Minot's poems. Taylor notes that The Six Kings was the prophecy used against Henry IV by the Percy-Glendower faction (The Political Prophecy in England, p. 48).
2 grete. Scholle, gret.
3 wreten. Scholle, writen and in next line witen.
5 Hall observes that yit seems to mark these two lines as an interpolation of the scribe.
6 men. James and Simons, man.
8-9 Out of the north into the sowth / suld cum a bare over the se. The Six Kings characterizes Edward III as a Lion fierce and terrible of heart and as the Boar of Prosperity, Nobility, and Wisdom, who will whet his tusks on the gates of Paris.
11 the se. Wright, these.
13 France. Scholle, Fraunce, and so in lines 16, 23, 35, etc.
14 wrath. Scholle, wroth. tharein. Scholle, tharin.
15 Untill. Scholle, until.
17 mater for to make. Compare "This matere makes me," YP 16.246.
18 prince. Scholle, princes. Hall notes the s is dropped because another s follows.
20 now Laurence Minot will bigin. See the Introduction for the Minots of Yorkshire and Norfolk.
23 for John of France will he noght spare. John of France (b. 1319, r. 1350-64), Duke of Normandy.
24 Normondy. Scholle, Normandy, and so in 38, 72, etc.
26 maste. Scholle, mast.
27 mai. Wright, may.
28 Gaste. Scholle, gast, and so in 29.
30 gude. Scholle, god. Beginning at this line, the scribe marks stanzas by marginal notation.
33 assoyl. James and Simons, asoyl.
35 entred. Wright, entrid.
37 suth. Scholle, soth.
39 at Hogges fand he famen fell. As early as New Year's Day, 1346, Edward gave orders for the fleet to assemble at Portsmouth, but not until July 11, after a week of bad weather had kept them at sea, did the English land at the little sea-port on the coast of Normandy, Saint-Vaast. The surprised town offered no resistance and soon the whole Cotentin peninsula was overrun, and unwalled towns like Barfleur and Cherbourg sacked and pillaged.
40 ful. James and Simons, full.
41 makked grete maistri. Scholle, maked and gret. Compare "he makis on this molde mekill maystrie," YP 31.108, and in many other places.
43 mild Mari. A commonplace of the lyrics and the York plays; see "of mylde Marie," YP 25.522, and many other instances.
45 prese. Scholle, Stedman, pres.
46 pencell. Scholle, pencel.
47 with outen. James and Simons, withouten. rese. Scholle, Stedman, res.
48 unto Cane the graythest gate. By the end of July, Edward had taken the unwalled city of Caen.
51 Sir John of France come al to late. Duke John with a large army had gone south in February 1346 to attack the cities of Aquitaine held by Henry, Earl of Lancaster and his garrisons, and laid siege to Aiguillon on April 5. Indeed, one of Edward's objectives in the invasion of Normandy was to draw John north, raising the siege at Aiguillon and rescuing Lancaster. Duke John however did not break off the siege until August 20, and he did not return to Paris until September.
53 Hall supplies tham after gert, following Morris and Skeat's Specimens; so too James and Simons.
55 tolde. Scholle, told.
56 was. James and Simons, war.
57 war. James and Simons, was.
58 dance. Scholle, daunce.
61 misliking. MS: misliling.
62 treson. Scholle, tresoun.
63 Inglis men. James and Simons, Inglismen.
64 bargan dere thai boght. Scholle, der. See "This bargan sall be bought," YP 9.126.
65 Inglismen. James and Simons, Inglis men.
70 o ferrum. Hall, o-ferrum; Collette, oferrum.
71 wonen. Scholle, wonnen.
72 fals. Scholle, false.
73 how. Wright, now. lye. Scholle, ly.
74 dongen doun. Scholle, dungen. Compare "to be dong doune," YP 33.331.
75 faire. Scholle, fair.
78 at Cressy when thai brak the brig. Hall suggests that Cressy is a scribal error for Poissy. Philip and his army lay on the north of the Seine at Rouen, Edward on the south. The bridge at Poissy was the last before Paris, and on 13 August Philip crossed the bridge and had it demolished as he retreated to Paris. The piers were not destroyed, however, and the English were able to repair the span.
80 than. Stedman suggests the MS may read then, but close examination does not support such a reading. langer. Scholle, Stedman, leng, a reading Hall endorses but does not adopt.
83 baldly. Scholle, boldly.
85 bent. Scholle, bended.
87 tham. James and Simons, them.
90 ferd war fast fleand. See 4.27.
93 Than. Wright, Then.
94 toward the toun. Wright, town. The town is Paris.
95 kumly knight. See "comely knyght," YP 25.514.
104 sembland sene. James and Simons, seen. Compare 8.79 and see "no sembelant be sene," YP 16.149.
105 schelde. James and Simons, scheld. helmis. Stedman, helmes.
106 James and Simons supply thai following bare.
107 cant and kene. See 5.64.
109 prese. Stedman, pres.
110 prowd in pall. A phrase found elsewhere only in the rhyming romances; see "proud yn palle," Libeaus Disconus, lines 389, 1835, and compare proud in prese 1.90.
111 princes suld be wele bithoght. Minot offers here a critique of those princes - William, Count of Namier, Henry, Count of Salm, and John of Hainault - whose allegiance shifted from Edward to Philip between 1340 and 1346.
112 till counsail call. See "ne counsaille to call," YP 29.300.
kinges suld. Hall notes that suld "is clearly due to the preceding line, as ten Brink points out in Scholle, p. 45." till. MS: toll. Ritson, tyll; Hall, till. counsail. James and Simons, counsaill.
113 sall. Scholle, sal.
115 els. Scholle, elles; James and Simons omit the initial or.
117 I wis. Ritson, Hall, i-wis and so line 165.
119 murnig. Hall, murni[n]g; Collette, murning; Stedman, James and Simons, murnig. Compare "that other es chastynig of fless," MS f. 69b.
121 speche . . . spare. See 8.23 and 10.1 and compare "at my speche wolde thou never spare," YP 6.139.
124 catell. Scholle, catel.
127 lies . . . ful law. The phrase may be found in the Harley lyrics and in the York plays, "and laies hym full lowe," YP 16.6; or "lay thaim full lowe," YP 16.26.
131 mak. Collette, make.
133 Was thou noght, Franceis, with thi wapin / bitwixen Cressy and Abuyle. James and Simons, nought. By the 17th of August, the English had repaired the bridge at Poissy, and the army moved north across the Seine, heading for the Somme and a rendezvous with Edward's Flemish allies. Philip marched from Saint-Denis two days later. Between Abbeville and Amiens, Edward could find no crossing of the Somme, but finally a French informant revealed a ford at Blanchetaque manageable at low tide. The French holding the north bank were defeated by Hugh Despenser and Northampton in the vanguard while high tide prevented Philip's pursuit. The French and English armies finally met in the valley of the Maye (known as the Vallée aux Clercs) on 26 August 1346. Edward again employed the tactics so successful in Scotland, positioning his forces on the high edge of the forest of Crécy-en-Ponthieu - the right flank under the command of the Black Prince, the left flank under the Earl of Northampton. The pursuing French army, almost entirely cavalry, attacked late in the afternoon, uphill and into the glare of the setting sun.
137 Bisschoppes war thare. Thomas de Hatfield, the Bishop of Durham, was one of the military commanders at Crécy.
140 tak. James and Simons, take.
141 delid . . . dint. The phrase may be found in poems of the Alliterative Revival and the rhyming romances. Compare "delen dyntes," Laud Troy Book, line 9233, and "dyntes to dale," SMA, line 1076.
142 the gentill Genevayse. a corrected out of e in the MS; Scholle, Genevays. Running out of ammunition, the Genoese crossbow mercenaries fell back, only to be trampled by the charging French knights.
146 purviance. James and Simons, purviaunce.
147 the best of France and of Artayse. Scholle, Artays. In the chaotic battle that followed, which continued until dark, the flower of French chivalry was cut down. The Count of Flanders, the blind King of Bohemia, the Count of Blois, Philip's brother, Duke of AlenÇon, Ralph, Duke of Lorraine, John, Earl of Harcourt, lay dead on the field. Altogether the English heralds identified 1,542 mounted knights killed. King Philip, twice dismounted, twice wounded, and twice rescued, escaped with his retinue to Amiens to rally the remainder of the army.
148 MS: alto dongyn. Scholle, dungyn; Hall, al to-dongyn.
151 wun. Scholle, won.
154 evermore. Scholle, evermare and in line 156, sare; but see 7.54, 57, 59.
155 armure. Collette, armur.
thik and thin. The collocation occurs elsewhere only in the rhyming romance Sir Degare, line 188.
157 Sore. Scholle, Sare.
158 hym. Hall, him.
160 es. Scholle, was.
161 frend faithfulest. The collocation "faithful friend" occurs in fourteenth-century religious lyrics and frequently in the York plays: "frende faithtfull," YP 16.335, etc.
166 Ritson supplies the before high palays.
168 bigged him bifor Calais. With Duke John and his army nearing Paris, Edward, still without having met with his Flemish allies, moved north again to besiege Calais.
169 romance. Scholle, romaunce.
[VIII] How Edward als the romance sais
held his sege bifor Calais.
The Siege of Calais, 1346-1347: For Minot, Calais is the home port of channel piracy and the origin of the French depredations along the English coast during the late 1330's and early 1340's. He presents the siege of Calais as just retribution for earlier acts of lawlessness. Froissart gives an account of the siege:
Edward marched with his victorious army to Wisant, and having halted there one whole day, arrived on the following Thursday before the strong town of Calais, which he had determined to besiege. When the governor of Calais saw the preparations of the King of England, he collected together all the poorer inhabitants and sent them out of the town in order that the provisions of the place might last the longer; he resolved moreover to defend the town to the last. (p. 49)Unlike the unwalled cities on the Cotentin peninsula, Calais was strongly fortified, defended by a double curtain wall, a double dike, and a fully provisioned and garrisoned citadel. The town could not be taken by force; Edward resolved to reduce it by starvation, investing the city with a siege and naval blockade. The citizens surrendered on 4 August 1347 and the Truce of Calais was signed at the end of September.
Title: This poem is VII in Ritson, VIII in Scholle, Collette, James and Simons, and VIII or VIIb in Hall.
1 Calays. Ritson and Scholle, Calais.
2 murnig. Hall, murni[n]g; Collette, murning. See 7.119.
4 sall. Scholle, sal.
6 ren. James and Simons, run.
8 care es cumen. See "Oure cares ar comen," YP 6.46; 45.227; or "What care is comen," YP 15.39.
11 gudes. Scholle, godes; MS: albidene.
14 gudes. Scholle, gods.
17 I wis. Hall, i-wis.
19 sal. Stedman, sall. abate yowre blis. See "blisse schal neuere abatte," YP 19.71.
21 hunt als hund dose hare. See the complaint in MS Harley 2253, "The Song of the Husbandman," "honteth ase hound doth the hare," line 56, which is also an example of iteration or stanza-linking.
23 speche . . . spare. see 7.121 and 10.1. Compare "Such speking wille we spare," YP 20.203.
26 to big his boure in winter tyde. To shelter his troops through the winter months of the siege, Edward had constructed near the bridge of Nieulay a grand wooden encampment, Villeneuve-le-Hardi; Queen Philippa joined him there shortly before Christmas.
27 takes he. James and Simons, he takes.
28 MS: segantes. Ritson, Hall, sergantes; Scholle, seriantes.
29 walkes ful wide. Compare 10.9 and "walked full wyde," YP 30.299.
30 MS: ihu. Ritson, Jhesu; Wright and Scholle, Iesu. fro. Collette, from. mischance. Scholle, mischaunce.
31 dar. Ritson, dare.
32 sir Philip and sir John of France. Scholle, Fraunce. As early as April, 1347, Philip and John began to assemble a force to relieve Calais, including those who had survived Crécy as well as Duke John's southern army. On 27 July, Philip's troops arrived at Sangatte, separated from the English forces by the river Hem.
34 grete. Scholle, gret.
37 hald. Scholle, hold.
40 bi counsail of the cardinales. Pope Clement VI sent two cardinals, Annibale Ceccano, Bishop of Frascati, and Etienne Aubert, later Pope Innocent VI, to discuss a treaty between England and France.
41 Cardinales. Scholle, Cardinals.
44 how thai might sir Edward bigile. Minot here reflects English distrust of the papal court at Avignon.
45 bot. James and Simons, bote.
46 grace. Collette, grace.
47 Sir Philip was funden a file. Scholle, founden. Negotiations for a treaty failed, and Philip offered battle. On 2 August, however, a day before the armies were to meet, the French army melted away, chased by Lancaster and Northampton.
50 funden. Scholle, Stedman, fun; that is omitted by Wright.
51 Valas. Scholle, Valays.
54 all. James and Simons, al. ledeing. Scholle, leding.
55 all. James and Simons, al.
57 Ritson continues this as VII, Scholle and Stedman as VIII; Hall calls it VIIc but continues it as VIII
58 suth. Scholle, soth.
60 sare wepeand. Scholle, sar wepand.
61 In kirtell one and swerd in hand. Scholle, on. Robbins cites the Brut on the appearance of the emissaries:
[they] wenten on the walles of the toun, and in other divers placys, as naked as they were bore, saf here chirtys and brechys, & heldyn hire swerdus naked, & the poynt downward, in hire handes, & puttyn ropys & halterys abowte hire neckys, and yolden up the keyes of the toun and of the Castell to Kyng Edward, with grete fere and drede of hert. (p. 267)Froissart reports the famous story of the Burghers of Calais:
Edward, at first, was unwilling to accept anything but an unconditional surrender of all the inhabitants to his will; at the remonstrance of Sir Walter Manny, however, he agreed to have placed at his absolute disposal six only of the principal citizens, who were to come out to him with their heads and feet bare, with ropes round their necks, and the keys of the town and castle in their hands; upon this being complied with, the rest were to receive his pardon. After some hesitation six citizens were found ready to purchase the freedom of their fellow-sufferers upon these hard terms. They left the town in the way appointed by the king, who received them with angry looks, and ordered their heads to be struck off without delay: all who were present entreated him to have mercy, but he replied that the Calesians had done him so much damage and put him to so much expense, that it was proper they should suffer for it; and without doubt these six citizens would have been beheaded had not the queen, on her knees and with tears in her eyes, entreated him to spare them. (p. 50)On 28 September 1347, a truce was signed outside the walls. Almost all the inhabitants of Calais were dispossessed; English colonists were offered easy and generous terms, and the city remained in English hands over the following two hundred years.
62 and cried sir Edward, thine are. Ritson, thine we are, and so Wright, Scholle, Hall and Stedman; Hall notes that the MS "is perhaps right." James and Simons, following Stedman and Hall, suggest are here derives from Old English ar, "mercy," citing Octavian: "The Crysten prysoners were full fayne, / When the Sarsyns were y-slayne, / And cryed, 'Lord, thyn ore!"' (lines 1681-83). The form are is preserved in the Northern dialect as late as 1400: "Lord Alexander, thine are, quare is thi wittis?" The Wars of Alexander, line 5361.
65 nobill. Ritson, noble; Scholle, nobil. burgase. Scholle, burias.
67 puple. Scholle, pople.
69 Thai said all. Hall suggests Than said thai all, Philip oure syre.
70 France. Scholle, Fraunce.
72 till. James and Simons, til. dance. Scholle, daunce.
73-74 Oure horses, that war faire and fat, / er etin up ilkone bidene. James and Simons, were. Despite the practice of expelling the "bouches inutiles" and the permeability of the English blockade, the citizens of Calais suffered greatly from lack of food. The formula repeated in the Brut, "they eten hors, houndes, cattes & mys" may originate with a message for Philip from John de Vienne [8.82] recovered in the wreckage of a French convoy destroyed off Calais by John Montgomery's ships. John de Vienne writes to King Philip, "Know, dread Sir, that your people in Calais have eaten their horses, dogs, and rats, and nothing remains for them to live upon, unless they eat one another. Wherefore, most honourable Sir, if we have not speedy succour, the town is lost" (Packe, p. 169).
76 hundes. Scholle, houndes.
78 nowther. Scholle, nowþer.
79 sembland sene. Compare 8.79 and "sembelant be sene," YP 16.149.
81 renowne. Scholle, renown.
82 sir John de Viene. Jean de Vienne, seigneur de Pagny (d. 1351). Warden of Calais and a veteran of French expeditions to Scotland, he fought with John of France in Normandy in 1341.
83 wardaine. Scholle, wardain. toune. Scholle, toun.
85 boste. Stedman, bost.
86 strevyn. Scholle, strivyn.
87 mak. James and Simons, make.
88 gifen. Scholle, given.
94 barely. Scholle, barly.
96 MS: so gat, and so Ritson. Hall, Stedman, James and Simons, so-gat; Collette sogat.
[IX] Sir David had of his men grete loss
with sir Edward at the Nevil cross.
The Battle of Neville's Cross, 17 November 1346: The battle was fought about a kilometer west of Durham Cathedral. The English army formed its ranks on a ridge somewhat south of Crossgate Moor, southeast of Baxter Wood and within sight of Bearpark. The Scots were on lower ground to the northwest. A chronicler from Lanercost Abbey provides an account (colored no doubt by the Scots' sacking of his abbey):
About the third hour, on a field hard by Durham, the English host came upon the Scots, led by the Earl of Angus in the front line, a man of noble stock and valiant, ever ready to do battle for his country. The Bishop ordered that no man should spare a Scot and he himself rode against them with such a staff [mace] that without confession he absolved many Scots of all future trouble in this world. Then amid the blare of trumpets, the clash of sword on shield, the hurtling of arrows, you might hear the wailing of the wounded. Arms were broken, heads shattered, many lay dead upon the field. Before the hour of Vespers the battle was over and those Scots who had not fallen, fled. David, who called himself King of Scotland, was taken and sent in chains to the Tower. (Neillands, p. 107)Collette (p. xxxiii) points out that Minot's poem is very close to a contemporary Latin poem on the same subject and that they share the metaphor of flowers that have fallen:
Si valeas paleas, Valoyes, dimitte timorem;Wright reproduces the MS lineation by half-line but numbers pairs of half-lines. I have followed Hall and Stedman in printing long lines, as in the other poems, with a dot marking the caesura.
In campis maneas, pareas, ostende vigorem.
Flos es, flore cares, in campis viribus ares,
Mane techel fares, lepus es, lynx, non leo pares.
Francia flos florem, caput olim nobiliorum,
Jam contra mores leopardus tollit honores.
Subpedito florem, rapio florentis honorem,
Flos fueram, formido feram cun jubare veram.
[If you are worth anything, Valois, put aside fear. Stay in the field, be obedient, display your energy. You are the flower, you have lost the flower, your strength has dried up; Mane, Techel, Phares. You are a horse, a lynx: you do not look like a lion. France is the flower of flowers, the capital once of those of nobler birth. Now, against his nature, the leopard carries off the honours. I supply the flower, I seize the glory of him that prospers. Once I was the flower: now I fear the real beast with its splendour. James and Simons, p. 96]
1 Sir David the Bruse. David II, (b. 1324, r. 1329-71), son of Robert the Bruce. Following the defeat of the Scottish army at Halidon Hill (see poem 1), David II had gone with his mother to France for safe-keeping, where he remained until 1341. The phrase at distance may mean "far removed," a reference to David's French exile. On the other hand, the phrase may also mean "in opposition, hostile to," in which case the opening of this poem may refer to the battle at Dupplin Moor, in which Edward Balliol and "the Disinherited" defeated the Scots on 12 August 1332. Dupplin Moor may be the more referred to in line 4; otherwise the more refers to Crossgate Moor, west of Durham, where the Battle of Neville's Cross was fought.
distance. Scholle, distaunce, and launce in the next line.
2 Edward the Baliolfe. Scholle, Baliolf. Edward Balliol the pretender (see poem 1, notes).
3 the north end of Ingland. Edward had foreseen the possibility of renewed hostilities in the North as a result of his French expedition, and he had therefore refrained from mustering the levies in the counties north of the Trent.
4 mischance. Scholle, James and Simons, mischaunce.
5 Sir Philip the Valayse A may him noght avance. Valayse. Scholle, Valys. avance. Scholle, avaunce. Philip had supplied David with both men and money in the hope of creating a distraction in England. Even before Crécy, the Scots were raiding over the border, but in October, in response to summonses from Philip (one dated 20 June 1346 and a later one from Saint-Denis, dated 22 July), David mustered his army, seized Liddell, sacked Lanercost Abbey, and appeared before Durham (see line 16).
6 flowres . . . faire. Scholle, fair. An alliterative collocation frequent in secular and religious lyrics of the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries as well as in the York plays: compare "With flouris fayr," YP 2.71.
9 suld. Ritson, sulde. fonde. Scholle, fande.
10 to ride thurgh all Ingland. Although a large English army (numbering perhaps 15,000) was assembled to meet the Scots, it was all that stood between the invading forces and the rest of England north of the Trent (see line 22).
wonde. Scholle, wande.
11 MS: west minster. Hall, Westminster; Collette, West Minster Hall. stonde. Scholle, stande.
12 Wright supplies onde as the initial word; Hall suggests "perhaps Whils Edward oure king." londe. Scholle, lande.
15 suth. Scholle, soth.
17 MS: fo men. Scholle, famen; Hall, James and Simons, fomen. flay. Ritson, slay. Scholle supplies all before Ingland and so Stedman in brackets.
19 whore. Scholle, Stedman, whare.
20 schipherd staves. Ritson, Wright, schiperd staves; Collette, Schipherd.
22 fro Twede unto Trent. Collette, from. That is, the North Midlands of England. The river Tweed forms the border between England and Scotland; the Trent cuts across the midlands.
26 for. Collette, fro. cataile. Scholle, catail.
27 Hall does not begin a new stanza here.
28 for at the Nevil cros. The Battle of Neville's Cross was fought on or near Crossgate Moor, west of Durham Cathedral.
29 At the Ersbisschop of York. Defense of the northern borders had traditionally been the responsibility of the Archbishops of York. The incumbent, William Zouche (Edward's Keeper of the Privy Seal  and Treasurer ) was appointed to the see of York in 1340 by Pope Clement VI despite Edward's preference for William de Kildesby. He was a military commander of some distinction and fought gallantly at Neville's Cross.
31 Both Dorem and Carlele. A number of editors suggest that Minot here means not the bishops but the men of these towns, for Thomas de Hatfield, the Bishop of Durham, was in France and neither he nor John de Kirkby, the Bishop of Carlisle, is listed among the twelve English commanders commended by Edward. Minot is not alone, however, in placing the Bishops of Carlisle and Durham at the scene of the battle; Froissart puts Thomas de Hatfield in command of the first division with the Marcher lord Henry Percy of Northumberland, and the poem "Durham Field" includes both Bishops of Durham and Carlisle as commanders.
32 wappen. Scholle, wapen.
34 syr David the Bruse A was in that tyme taken. Cut off from his troops, wounded, and fleeing the field, David was captured by John Copeland, but not before he knocked out two of Copeland's teeth. A less heroic account of his capture is given in the Latin poem recounting the battle, printed by Wright:
Brus David auffugit, fugiendo contra leo rugit,For the alliterative collocation tyme taken, see "tyme of the takyng," YP 29.216.
Coplond attingit fugientem, vulnere cingit,
Regem persequitur, David in spinis reperitur,
Copland arestat David cito se manifestat.
(Pol. Poems, I, 46).
[David the Bruce runs away; as he flees, the lion turns and roars. Copeland strikes David in flight and wraps him in wounds. Copeland hounds David, finds the king in the thorn bushes, and arrests him as soon as he shows himself.]
37 hinde John of Coupland. Scholle, Stedman, James and Simons, hende. John Copeland was a Northumberland squire, later sheriff of the county, and one of the commanders of the third English division. He was rewarded for his capture with an annuity of ,500, made constable of Roxburgh Castle and elevated to a knight-banneret.
38 One line in the MS.
40 the faire toure of Londen. Scholle, tour and so in 41; London. Recovered of his wound, David was finally surrendered to Sir Thomas Rokeby, High Sheriff of Yorkshire, and brought to the Tower of London in late December, 1346.
41 Sone. Scholle, Son.
42 William the Dowglas. Sir William Douglas (d. 1353). A relative of the Earls of Douglas, Sir William was called "The Flower of Chivalry" and the "Knight of Liddesdale." A brilliant border campaigner for the Scots, he was commander, with the Earl of Murray, of the second division at Neville's Cross, where he was captured. Imprisoned in the Tower of London for seven years, he finally swore fealty to Edward.
honowre. Scholle, honour.
43 full. James and Simons, ful. schowre. Scholle, schowr.
44 sethin. MS: seuin or senin, the latter adopted by Ritson, Wright, and Scholle; all other editors emend to sethin.
46 coroun. Scholle, Stedman, croun.
47 luked. Scholle, loked.
48 sir omitted by James and Simons.
49 bigon. Scholle, bigan; Hall suggests bigon fast for to slaken.
51 Valaise. Scholle, Valais. Hall inserts his before brede.
52 toure. Scholle, tour. ines. Scholle, innes.
53 nomen. Scholle, Stedman, numen; Hall offers thaire forward had thai numen.
54 fayled thare. Scholle, thare fayled. cumen. Wright, cumin.
57 One line in the MS; the half-line is marked by a punctus elevatus.
59 Fals es thi forward. Compare "false forward is feste," YP 27.101.
60 son. Scholle, sun; Hall suggests thi son seems superfluous. haves. Scholle, has.
61 Scottes. Scholle, Skottes.
63 Cuthbert of Durham. Saint Cuthbert, monk and Bishop of Lindisfarne (c. 634- 87). His remains were translated to a Saxon church at Durham in 999 and again in 1104 into the new Norman cathedral. The prior of Hexham, placing a holy cloth used by St. Cuthbert on a spear point, displayed it like a banner on the battle field, a relic to whose miraculous powers the victory was ascribed (Hall, pp. 91-92).
64 tharfore. Collette, Tharefore; Scholle inserts the before Nevel.
65 Thare. Hall, Thaire.
66 toure. Scholle, tour.
[X] How king Edward & his menye
met with the Spaniardes in the see
Les Espagnols-sur-mer, off Winchelsea, 30 August 1350: Froissart gives the details of the encounter:
About the time of the celebration of this marriage [Earl Lewis of Flanders, who had been betrothed to Edward's daughter, Isabella, fled to France and married a daughter of the Duke of Brabant], there was much ill will between the King of England and the Spaniards, on account of their repeated pillages at sea. It happened that a Spanish fleet had been to Flanders with merchandise, and was about returning, when Edward, who hated the Spaniards greatly on account of the injuries they had done to him, thus addressed his lords: "We have for a long time spared these people, but they do not amend their conduct; on the contrary, they grow more arrogant; for which reason they must be chastised as they repass our coasts." His lords readily assented to this proposal, and a fleet was prepared to meet the Spaniards on their return. The Spaniards had intelligence given them of the King of England's intention; however, they were quite indifferent about it, for they were very good sailors, and had well provided themselves with all sorts of warlike ammunition, such as bolts for crossbows, cannon, bars of forged iron, and large stones. When they weighed anchor, the wind was favourable, and it was a fine sight to see their forty vessels of such a size, and so beautifully under sail. The English fleet, which was well prepared under the command of the king himself and Lord Robert de Namur, met the Spaniards off Calais. The Spaniards had the wind in their favour, and might easily have declined the battle, if they had so preferred; but they disdained to sail by, and as soon as they saw the English, bore down upon them, and commenced the fight: well and bravely it was fought on both sides till nightfall - many were cut to pieces, and many drowned; however, victory declared for the English. The Spaniards lost fourteen ships, and the others saved themselves by flight. (pp. 53-54)2 wight. Scholle, wighte.
3 ded all thaire dede. Compare "dye for alle our dede," YP 11.404.
4 sail. Collette, sall. see gronde. Scholle, seeground; Hall, see-gronde.
6 it was in the waniand A that thai come thare. By some accounts, the Castilian fleet appeared off Winchelsea in the early evening, about the time of Vespers. See 5.30 for the reference to the waning of the moon.
7 Thai sailed furth in the Swin A in a somers tyde. Under the command of Charles de la Cerda, the Spanish fleet was returning to Spain from the mouth of the River Sluys in Zeeland laden with Flemish merchandise and the spoils of various attacks on English wine and wool shipping.
8 trompes and taburns. Scholle, trumpes. The collocation occurs frequently in poems of the Alliterative Revival and rhyming romances but not elsewhere. See "trumpetts and tabretts," Scotish Feilde, line 90, and "tabre ne trompe," Piers Plowman C xvi, line 205.
9 werkmen. Ritson, Hall, Collette, weremen. Wright, Stedman, James and Simons retain werkmen.
walked full wide. See 8.29 and compare "walked full wyde," YP 30.299.
10 the gudes that thai robbed. Scholle, godes. Like the French citizens of Calais (see the note to 8.1), the Spanish are accused here by Minot of piracy for their depredations on English wine shipments from Bordeaux (see l. 25). Unlike the cowardly French and treacherous Scots, however, the Castilians are for Minot "wight men in were," worthy opponents for Edward's noble warriors, whose ranks included the Black Prince and the ten-year-old John of Gaunt, Sir John Chandos, Henry of Lancaster, and Robert of Namur, who commanded the flagship, Salle du Roy, while Edward himself took command of the smaller cog, Thomas, so acting out the iconography of the recently minted gold noble (see poem 5, headnote).
it. Omitted by Ritson, Scholle, and Stedman.
13 tho. Wright, the. wight. Scholle, wighte. were. Scholle, werre.
14 thaire hurdis, thaire ankers. Tidings of the English fleet gathering at Winchel-sea had reached Charles de la Cerda while still in Flanders. He had delayed his departure, fitting out the merchant vessels in the fleet (the tarets) with high wooden castles from which crossbowmen could fire down on the attacking English ships.
Scholle inserts and after hurdis. here. Scholle, herre.
15 wight. Scholle, wighte. nerr. Scholle, nerre.
17 Fer might thai noght flit. See "to flitte full ferre," YP 9.58.
Scholle inserts flit before thai. Fer. Scholle, ferre.
18 thai bifore. Scholle, bifore thai; Hall suggests that thai had bifore reved.
19 Boy with thi blac berd. The reference is to the Genoese sea captain, Julius Boccanera, known also as Barbenoire or Blackbeard. Under Alfonso IX, King of Castile, Boccanera was made Admiral of the Castilian Fleet and created Earl of Parma. Sailing his squadron of thirty Genoese galleys out to sea, he had escaped capture at Sluys in 1340 (see 5.27).
thou. MS: tho. Stedman and Hall, thou.
20 syn. James and Simons, sin.
21 on. Hall suggests opon.
22 sall. Scholle, sal, and so 23 and 29.
24 dye on a day. A collocation found in fifteenth-century religious lyrics and in the York plays: "I dye this daye," YP 10.257. domp. Scholle, dump.
25 Ye broght out of Bretayne. In November, 1349, the Castilian fleet had attacked English merchant ships sailing from Bordeaux, killing the crews and commandeering the ships and their cargoes.
26 marchandes. Scholle, marchands.
27 Scholle, It es resoun and right that ye evil fare; Hall notes that "gude is super-fluous, but misfare seems necessary to the rhythm."
28 new. Scholle, newe.
29 sir. Wright, ser.
30 strenkith. Scholle, strenkth. Compare "he es a strenkithi swayn," MS 64a2.
[XI] How gentill sir Edward with his grete engines
wan with his wight men the castell of Gynes.
The taking of Guînes January, 1352: On 28 September 1347, the Truce of Calais was signed, which was to last for the following eight years. Three years later, a week before Les Espagnols-sur-mer (poem 10), King Philip of Valois died and his son, John of France, succeeded him to the throne. A year after the defeat of the Castilian fleet, a truce was signed with King Pedro of Castile, which would remain in force until 1372. The rubric for poem 11 is therefore somewhat misleading, for the ancient castle at Guînes was not taken with siege engines and force but surrendered to the highest bidder, Edward. Although King John complained to Edward about truce-breaking, he certainly suspected treachery, for he had Sir William Beauconray, who had been the deputy captain of Guînes at the critical moment, torn to pieces by wild horses. Minot's poem follows generally the English account given by Geoffrey Le Baker and Robert of Avesbury, with one significant variation (see line 20, note).
3 Both the lely and the lipard. Edward III was the first English King to quarter the leopards of the Royal Arms of England with the French lily - the fleur-de-lys. The green here would represent the champ or field of the shield.
4 Mari, have minde of thi man. That is, Edward III
minde. James and Simons, mind. whote. Scholle, wote.
5 mak. Collete, make.
7 ful. Collete, full.
8 We wote wele that woning . was wikked for to win. Some editors have taken the first person plural as evidence that Minot was present at the capture of the town. Only six miles from Calais, Guînes was an old-fashioned citadel in the process of being reinforced. It would undoubtedly have proven difficult to seize by force.
13 ful. omitted by Scholle. Gentill John of Doncaster. An English archer, reputedly captured by the French and imprisoned at Guînes. The story goes that he escaped, returned to Calais where he assembled a small force, and re-entering Guînes via his escape route, surprised the garrison and captured the town. Stedman points out that Doncaster is not too far distant from Minot family estates in Yorkshire.
15 castell. Collette, castel.
16 folk that he fand. Compare "folke that we her fynde," YP 16.156.
17 Dred. Collette, Drede.
18 faine war thai to fle. See 3.70 and compare "schall be full fayne to flee," YP 27.146.
20 a small bote was tharby. Here Minot is perhaps more reliable than other accounts that may reflect the influence of a literary topos. Chronicles have the moat passable, for the convenience of fishermen, by means of a wall hidden under three feet of water, the location of which was betrayed to John of Doncaster by an enamored French laundress. The reputed treachery of infatuated washerwomen, however, is a commonplace of misogynistic literature and may be traced to a pseudo-Ovidian play, in which a jealous washerwoman conceals the murder of her lover and her rival by betraying the besieged town to the enemy. The play had wide circulation, for it was part of a treatise by John of Garland often used as a school text (see Lawler, p. 139).
24 Franche men. Collette, Franchemen.
29 wendes with wo. See "To wo are we weendande," YP 1.96.
30 wonen. Scholle, wonnen. Hall suggests the for tham.
31 Ye men of Saint Omers. Two years earlier, the French captain of St. Omers, Geoffrey de Chargny, had tried to re-take Calais by suborning Edward's Lombard governor, Sir Aymery de Pavie, with 20,000 crowns. The treachery failed, and the French were defeated.
32 yowre paviliownes. Robbins suggests the word, generally meaning tents, is here to be understood as "standards" or "banners."
33 Scholle omits sir.
34 es. James and Simons, is.
35 bede. Collette, bide.
36 MS: haveves.
37 Scholle omits his right; Hall suggests God save Edward his right.
from: The Poems of Laurence Minot 1333-1352 1996
- [I] Lithes and I sall tell yow tyll / the bataile of Halidon Hyll
- [II] Now for to tell yow will I turn / of the batayl of Banocburn
- [III] How Edward the king come in Braband / and toke homage of all the land
- [IV] Edward oure cumly king / in Braband has his woning
- [V] Lithes and the batail I sal bigyn / of Inglisch men & Normandes in the Swyn
- [VI] Herkins how king Edward lay / with his men bifor Tournay
- [VII] How Edward at Hogges unto land wan / and rade thurgh France or ever he blan
- [VIII] How Edward als the romance sais / held his sege bifor Calais
- [IX] Sir David had of his men grete loss / with sir Edward at the Nevil cross
- [X] How king Edward & his menye / met with the Spaniardes in the see
- [XI] How gentill sir Edward with his grete engines / wan with his wight men the castell of Gynes
Lithes and I sall tell yow tyll
the bataile of Halidon Hyll.
Trew king that sittes in trone,
unto The I tell my tale,
and unto The I bid a bone,
for Thou ert bute of all my bale.
Als Thou made midelerd and the mone
and bestes and fowles grete and smale,
unto me send Thi socore sone
and dresce my dedes in this dale.
In this dale I droupe and dare
for dern dedes that done me dere;
of Ingland had my hert grete care
when Edward founded first to were.
The Franche men war frek to fare
ogaines him with scheld and spere;
thai turned ogayn with sides sare
and al thaire pomp noght worth a pere.
A pere of prise es more sum tyde
than all the boste of Normondye.
Thai sent thaire schippes on ilka side
with flesch and wine and whete and rye.
With hert and hand es noght at hide
forto help Scotland gan thai hye;
thai fled and durst no dede habide
and all thaire fare noght wurth a flye.
For all thaire fare thai durst noght fight,
for dedes dint had thai slike dout;
of Scotland had thai never sight
ay whils thai war of wordes stout.
Thai wald have mend tham at thaire might
and besy war thai thareobout.
Now God help Edward in his right -
Amen! - and all his redy rowt.
His redy rout mot Jhesu spede
and save tham both by night and day;
that lord of hevyn mot Edward lede
and maintene him als he wele may.
The Scottes now all wide will sprede,
for thai have failed of thaire pray.
Now er thai dareand all for drede
that war bifore so stout and gay.
Gai thai war, and wele thai thoght
on the Erle Morré and other ma.
Thai said it suld ful dere be boght
the land that thai war flemid fra.
Philip Valays wordes wroght
and said he suld thaire enmys sla,
bot all thaire wordes was for noght -
thai mun be met if thai war ma.
Ma manasinges yit have thai maked -
mawgre mot thai have to mede! -
and many nightes als have thai waked
to dere all Ingland with thaire dede.
Bot, loved be God, the pride es slaked
of tham that war so stout on stede,
and sum of tham es levid all naked
noght fer fro Berwik opon Twede.
A litell fro that forsaid toune,
Halydon Hill that es the name,
thare was crakked many a crowne
of wild Scottes and alls of tame.
Thare was thaire baner born all doune;
to mak slike boste thai war to blame,
bot never the les ay er thai boune
to wait Ingland with sorow and schame.
Shame thai have als I here say;
at Dondé now es done thaire daunce,
and wend thai most another way,
evyn thurgh Flandres into France.
On Filip Valas fast cri thai
thare for to dwell and him avaunce,
and no thing list tham than of play
sen tham es tide this sary chance.
This sary chaunce tham es bitid,
for thai war fals and wonder fell,
for cursed caitefes er thai kid
and ful of treson, suth to tell.
Jon the Comyn had thai hid;
in haly kirk thai did him quell,
and tharfore many a Skottis brid
with dole er dight that thai most dwell.
Thare dwelled oure king, the suth to saine,
with his menye a litell while;
he gaf gude confort on that plaine
to all his men obout a myle.
All if his men war mekill of maine,
ever thai douted tham of gile;
the Scottes gaudes might no thing gain
for all thai stumbilde at that stile.
Thus in that stowre thai left thaire live
that war bifore so proud in prese.
Jhesu for Thi woundes five
in Ingland help us to have pese.
Now for to tell yow will I turn
of the batayl of Banocburn.
Skottes out of Berwik and of Abirdene,
at the Bannok burn war ye to kene!
Thare slogh ye many sakles, als it was sene,
and now has king Edward wroken it I wene:
it es wrokin I wene, wele wurth the while;
war yit with the Skottes, for thai er ful of gile.
Whare er ye, Skottes of Saint Johnes toune?
The boste of yowre baner es betin all doune;
when ye bosting will bede, sir Edward es boune
for to kindel yow care and crak yowre crowne:
he has crakked yowre croune, wele worth the while;
schame bityde the Skottes, for thai er full of gile.
Skottes of Striflin war steren and stout;
of God ne of gude men had thai no dout.
Now have thai, the pelers, priked obout,
bot at the last sir Edward rifild thair rout:
he has rifild thaire rout, wele wurth the while,
bot ever er thai under, bot gaudes and gile.
Rughfute riveling, now kindels thi care,
berebag with thi boste, thi biging es bare;
fals wretche and forsworn, whider wiltou fare?
Busk the unto Brig and abide thare:
thare wretche saltou won and wery the while;
thi dwelling in Dondé es done for thi gile.
The Skotte gase in Burghes and betes the stretes,
all thise Inglis men harmes he hetes;
fast makes he his mone to men that he metes,
bot fone frendes he findes that his bale betes:
fune betes his bale, wele wurth the while;
he uses all threting with gaudes and gile.
Bot many man thretes and spekes ful ill
that sum tyme war better to be stane still.
The Skot in his wordes has wind for to spill,
for at the last Edward sall have al his will:
he had his will at Berwik, wele wurth the while;
Skottes broght him the kayes, bot get for thaire gile.
How Edward the king come in Braband
and toke homage of all the land.
God that schope both se and sand
save Edward king of Ingland,
both body, saul, and life
and grante him joy withowten strif.
For mani men to him er wroth
in Fraunce and in Flandres both,
for he defendes fast his right;
and tharto Jhesu grante him might
and so to do both night and day
that yt may be to Goddes pay.
Oure king was cumen, trewly to tell,
into Brabant for to dwell.
The kayser Lowis of Bavere,
that in that land than had no pere,
he and als his sons two
and other princes many mo -
bisschoppes and prelates war thare fele
that had ful mekill werldly wele,
princes and pople ald and yong,
al that spac with Duche tung -
all thai come with grete honowre
sir Edward to save and socoure
and proferd him with all thayre rede
for to hald the kinges stede.
The duke of Braband first of all
swore for thing that might bifall
that he suld both day and night
help sir Edward in his right
in toun, in feld, in frith and fen.
This swore the duke and all his men
and al the lordes that with him lend,
and tharto held thai up thaire hend.
Than king Edward toke his rest
at Andwerp whare him liked best,
and thare he made his moné playne
that no man suld say thare ogayne,
his moné that was gude and lele
left in Braband ful mekill dele,
and all that land untill this day
fars the better for that jornay.
When Philip the Valas herd of this,
tharat he was full wroth I wis.
He gert assemble his barounes,
princes and lordes of many tounes;
at Pariss toke thai thaire counsaile
whilk pointes might tham moste availe,
and in all wise thai tham bithoght
to stroy Ingland and bring to noght.
Schipmen sone war efter sent
to here the kinges cumandment,
and the galaies men also
that wist both of wele and wo.
He cumand than that men suld fare
till Ingland and for no thing spare
bot brin and sla both man and wife
and childe, that none suld pas with life.
The galay men held up thaire handes
and thanked God of thir tithandes.
At Hamton, als I understand,
come the gaylayes unto land,
and ful fast thai slogh and brend,
bot noght so mekill als sum men wend.
For, or thai wened, war thai mett
with men that sone thaire laykes lett.
Sum was knokked on the hevyd
that the body thare bilevid;
sum lay stareand on the sternes,
and sum lay knoked out thair hernes.
Than with tham was none other gle
bot ful fain war thai that might fle.
The galay men the suth to say
most nedes turn another way;
thai soght the stremis fer and wide
in Flandres and in Seland syde.
Than saw thai whare Cristofer stode
at Armouth opon the flude.
Than went thai theder all bidene,
the galayes men with hertes kene,
eight and forty galays and mo,
and with tham als war tarettes two
and other many of galiotes
with grete noumber of smale botes.
All thai hoved on the flode
to stele sir Edward mens gode.
Edward oure king than was noght there,
bot sone when it come to his ere
he sembled all his men full still
and said to tham what was his will.
Ilk man made him redy then;
so went the king and all his men
unto thaire schippes ful hastily
als men that war in dede doghty.
Thai fand the galay men grete wane,
a hundereth ever ogaynes ane.
The Inglis men put tham to were
ful baldly with bow and spere;
thai slogh thare of the galaies men
ever sexty ogaynes ten,
that sum ligges yit in that mire
all hevidles with owten hire.
The Inglis men war armed wele
both in yren and in stele.
Thai faght ful fast both day and night,
als lang als tham lasted might,
bot galay men war so many
that Inglis men wex all wery.
Help thai soght, bot thare come nane;
than unto God thai made thaire mane.
Bot sen the time that God was born,
ne a hundreth yere biforn,
war never men better in fight
than Ingliss men whils thai had myght.
Bot sone all maistri gan thai mis -
God bring thaire saules untill his blis,
and God assoyl tham of thaire sin
for the gude will that thai war in. Amen.
Listens now and leves me.
Who so lifes, thai sall se
that it mun be ful dere boght
that thir galay men have wroght.
Thai hoved still opon the flode
and reved pouer men thaire gude.
Thai robbed and did mekill schame
and ay bare Inglis men the blame.
Now Jhesus save all Ingland
and blis it with his haly hand. Amen.
Edward oure cumly king
in Braband has his woning
with mani cumly knight.
And in that land, trewly to tell,
ordanis he still for to dwell,
to time he think to fight.
Now God that es of mightes maste
grant him grace of the Haly Gaste
his heritage to win.
And Mari moder of mercy fre,
save oure king and his menye
fro sorow and schame and syn.
Thus in Braband has he bene,
whare he bifore was seldom sene,
for to prove thaire japes.
Now no langer wil he spare,
bot unto Fraunce fast will he fare
to confort him with grapes.
Furth he ferd into France -
God save him fro mischance
and all his cumpany.
The nobill duc of Braband
with him went into that land,
redy to lif or dy.
Than the riche floure de lice
wan thare ful litill prise;
fast he fled for ferde.
The right aire of that cuntré
es cumen with all his knightes fre
to schac him by the berd.
Sir Philip the Valayse,
wit his men in tho dayes,
to batale had he thoght.
He bad his men tham purvay
with owten lenger delay,
bot he ne held it noght.
He broght folk ful grete wone,
ay sevyn oganis one,
that ful wele wapnid were.
Bot sone when he herd ascry
that king Edward was nere tharby,
than durst he noght cum nere.
In that mornig fell a myst,
and when oure Ingliss men it wist,
it changed all thaire chere.
Oure king unto God made his bone,
and God sent him gude confort sone -
the weder wex ful clere.
Oure king and his men held the felde
stalwortly with spere and schelde,
and thoght to win his right,
with lordes and with knightes kene
and other doghty men bydene
that war ful frek to fight.
When sir Philip of France herd tell
that king Edward in feld walld dwell,
than gayned him no gle.
He traisted of no better bote,
bot both on hors and on fote
he hasted him to fle.
It semid he was ferd for strokes
when he did fell his grete okes
obout his pavilyoune.
Abated was than all his pride,
for langer thare durst he noght bide -
his bost was broght all doune.
The king of Beme had cares colde,
that was ful hardy and bolde,
a stede to umstride.
The king als of Naverne
war faire feld in the ferene
thaire heviddes for to hide.
And leves wele, it es no lye,
the felde hat Flemangrye
that king Edward was in,
with princes that war stif ande bolde
and dukes that war doghty tolde
in batayle to bigin.
The princes that war riche on raw
gert nakers strike and trumpes blaw
and made mirth at thaire might.
Both alblast and many a bow
war redy railed opon a row
and ful frek for to fight.
Gladly thai gaf mete and drink
so that thai suld the better swink
the wight men that thar ware.
Sir Philip of Fraunce fled for dout
and hied him hame with all his rout -
coward! God giff him care.
For thare than had the lely flowre
lorn all halely his honowre,
that sogat fled for ferd.
Bot oure king Edward come ful still,
when that he trowed no harm him till
and keped him in the berde.
Lithes and the batail I sal bigyn
of Inglisch men & Normandes in the Swyn
Minot with mowth had menid to make
suth sawes and sad for sum mens sake.
The wordes of sir Edward makes me to wake;
wald he salue us sone mi sorow suld slake.
War mi sorow slaked, sune wald I sing,
when God will sir Edward sal us bute bring.
Sir Philip the Valas cast was in care
and said sir Hugh Kyret to Flandres suld fare,
and have Normondes inogh to leve on his lare
all Flandres to brin and mak it all bare.
Bot, unkind coward, wo was him thare;
when he sailed in the Swin, it sowed him sare.
Sare it tham smerted that ferd out of France;
thare lered Inglis men tham a new daunce.
The buriase of Bruge ne war noght to blame;
I pray Jhesu save tham fro sin and fro schame,
for thai war sone at the Sluse all by a name,
whare many of the Normandes tok mekill grame.
When Bruges and Ipyre hereof herd tell,
thai sent Edward to wit, that was in Arwell;
than had he no liking langer to dwell.
He hasted him to the Swin with sergantes snell,
to mete with the Normandes, that fals war and fell,
that had ment if thai might al Flandres to quell.
King Edward unto sail was ful sune dight,
with erles and barons and many kene knight.
Thai come byfor Blankebergh on Saint Jons night -
that was to the Normondes a well sary sight.
Yit trumped thai and daunced with torches ful bright;
in the wilde waniand was thaire hertes light.
Opon the morn efter, if I suth say,
a meri man, sir Robard out of Morlay,
at half eb in the Swin soght he the way.
Thare lered men the Normandes at bukler to play
helpid tham no prayer that thai might pray -
the wreches es wonnen; thaire wapin es oway.
The erle of Norhamton helpid at that nede
als wise man of wordes and worthli in wede.
Sir Walter the Mawnay, God gif him mede,
was bold of body in batayl to bede.
The duc of Lankaster was dight for to drive,
with mani mody man that thoght for to thrive.
Wele and stalworthly stint he that strive
that few of the Normandes left thai olive.
Fone left thai olive bot did tham to lepe;
men may find by the flode a hundred on hepe.
Sir Wiliam of Klinton was eth for to knaw;
mani stout bachilere broght he on raw -
it semid with thaire schoting als it war snaw.
The bost of the Normandes broght thai ful law.
Thaire bost was abated and thaire mekil pride;
fer might thai noght fle bot thare bud tham bide.
The gude erle of Glowceter, God mot him glade,
broght many boldmen with bowes ful brade;
to biker with the Normandes baldely thai bade
and in middes the flode did tham to wade.
To wade war tho wretches casten in the brim;
the kaitefs come out of France at lere tham to swim.
I prays John Badding als one of the best;
faire come he sayland out of the suthwest.
To prove of tha Normandes was he ful prest;
till he had foghten his fill he had never rest.
John of Aile of the Sluys with scheltron ful schene
was comen into Cagent cantly and kene.
Bot sone was his trumping turned to tene;
of him had sir Edward his will als I wene.
The schipmen of Ingland sailed ful swith
that none of the Normandes fro tham might skrith.
Who so kouth wele his craft thare might it kith;
of al the gude that thai gat gaf thai no tithe.
Two hundreth and mo schippes on the sandes
had oure Inglis men won with thaire handes.
The kogges of Ingland war broght out of bandes
and also the Cristofir that in the streme standes.
In that stound thai stode with stremers ful still,
till thai wist full wele sir Edwardes will.
Sir Edward oure gude king wurthi in wall
faght wele on that flude - faire mot him fall!
Als it es custom of king to confort tham all,
so thanked he gudely the grete and the small.
He thanked tham gudely, God gif him mede;
thus come oure king in the Swin till that gude dede.
This was the bataile that fell in the Swin
whare many Normandes made mekill din.
Wele war thai armed up to the chin,
bot God and sir Edward gert thaire boste blin.
Thus blinned thaire boste als we wele ken;
God assoyle thaire sawls sais all. Amen.
Herkins how king Edward lay
with his men bifor Tournay.
Towrenay, yow has tight
to timber trey and tene.
A bore with brenis bright
es broght opon yowre grene.
That es a semely sight,
with schilterouns faire and schene.
Thi domes day es dight,
bot thou be war, I wene.
When all yowre wele es went,
yowre wo wakkins ful wide.
To sighing er ye sent,
with sorow on ilka syde.
Ful rewfull es yowre rent;
all redles may ye ride.
The harmes that ye have hent
now may ye hele and hide.
Hides and helis als hende,
for ye er cast in care.
Ful few find ye yowre frende,
for all yowre Frankis fare.
Sir Philip sall yow schende -
whi leve ye at his lare?
No bowes now thar yow bende;
of blis ye er all bare.
All bare er ye of blis;
no bost may be yowre bote.
All mirthes mun ye mis;
oure men sall with yow mote.
Who sall yow clip and kys
and fall yowre folk to fote?
A were es wroght, I wis,
yowre walles with to wrote.
Wrote thai sal yowre dene,
of dintes ye may yow dowte.
Yowre biginges sall men brene
and breke yowre walles obout.
Ful redles may ye ren
with all yowre rewful rout.
With care men sall yow ken
Edward yowre lord to lout.
To lout yowre lord in land
with list men sall yow lere.
Yowre harmes cumes at hand,
als ye sall hastly here.
Now frendschip suld ye fande
of sir Philip yowre fere
to bring yow out of band
or ye be broght on bere.
On bere when ye er broght,
than cumes Philip to late.
He hetes and haldes yow noght;
with hert ye may him hate.
A bare now has him soght
till Turnay the right gate,
that es ful wele bithoght
to stop Philip the strate
Philip was fain he moght
graunt sir Edward his will.
If ye will trow my tale,
A duke tuke leve that tide.
A Braban brewed that bale;
he bad no langer bide.
Giftes grete and smale
war sent him on his side.
Gold gert all that gale
and made him rapely ride
In hert he was unhale;
he come thare moste for mede.
King Edward, frely fode,
in Fraunce he will noght blin
to mak his famen wode
that er wonand thare in.
God, that rest on Rode
for sake of Adams syn,
strenkith him main and mode
his reght in France to win
God grante him graces gode
and fro all sins us save. Amen.
How Edward at Hogges unto land wan
and rade thurgh France or ever he blan.
Men may rede in romance right
of a grete clerk that Merlin hight;
ful many bokes er of him wreten,
als thir clerkes wele may witten,
and yit in many privé nokes
may men find of Merlin bokes.
Merlin said thus with his mowth:
Out of the north into the sowth
suld cum a bare over the se
that suld mak many man to fle.
And in the se, he said ful right,
suld he schew ful mekill might,
and in France he suld bigin
to mak tham wrath that er tharein.
Untill the se his taile reche sale
all folk of France to mekill bale.
Thus have I mater for to make
for a nobill prince sake.
Help me, God, my wit es thin;
now Laurence Minot will bigin.
A bore es broght on bankes bare
with ful batail bifor his brest;
for John of France will he noght spare
in Normondy to tak his rest
with princes that er proper and prest.
Alweldand God of mightes maste,
He be his beld, for He mai best,
Fader and Sun and Haly Gaste.
Haly Gaste, Thou gif him grace,
that he in gude time may bigin
and send to him both might and space
his heritage wele for to win.
And sone assoyl him of his sin,
hende God that heried hell,
for France now es he entred in,
and thare he dightes him for to dwell.
He dwelled thare, the suth to tell,
opon the coste of Normondy;
at Hogges fand he famen fell
that war all ful of felony.
To him thai makked grete maistri
and proved to ger the bare abyde;
thurgh might of God and mild Mari,
the bare abated all thaire pride.
Mekill pride was thare in prese,
both on pencell and on plate,
when the bare rade with outen rese
unto Cane the graythest gate.
Thare fand he folk bifor the gate,
thretty thowsand stif on stede.
Sir John of France come al to late;
the bare has gert thaire sides blede.
He gert blede if thai war bolde,
for thare was slayne and wounded sore
thretty thowsand, trewly tolde;
of pitaile was thare mekill more.
Knightes war thare wele two score
that war new dubbed to that dance.
Helm and hevyd thai have forlore;
than misliked John of France.
More misliking was thare then,
for fals treson alway thai wroght;
bot fro thai met with Inglis men,
all thaire bargan dere thai boght.
Inglismen with site tham soght
and hastily quit tham thaire hire,
and at the last, forgat thai noght,
the toun of Cane thai sett on fire.
That fire ful many folk gan fere,
when thai se brandes o ferrum flye;
this have thai wonen of the were,
the fals folk of Normundy.
I sai yow lely how thai lye,
dongen doun all in a daunce;
thaire frendes may ful faire forthi
pleyn tham untill John of France.
Franche men put tham to pine
at Cressy when thai brak the brig.
That saw Edward with both his ine;
than likid him no langer to lig.
Ilk Inglis man on others rig
over that water er thai went;
to batail er thai baldly big
with brade ax and with bowes bent.
With bent bowes thai war ful bolde
for to fell of the Frankisch men.
Thai gert tham lig with cares colde;
ful sari was sir Philip then.
He saw the toun o ferrum bren,
and folk for ferd war fast fleand.
The teres he lete ful rathly ren
out of his eghen, I understand.
Than come Philip ful redy dight
toward the toun with all his rowt;
with him come mani a kumly knight,
and all umset the bare obout.
The bare made tham ful law to lout
and delt tham knokkes to thaire mede;
he gert tham stumbill that war stout -
thare helpid nowther staf ne stede.
Stedes strong bilevid still
biside Cressy opon the grene.
Sir Philip wanted all his will;
that was wele on his sembland sene.
With spere and schelde and helmis schene,
the bare than durst thai noght habide;
the king of Beme was cant and kene,
bot thare he left both play and pride.
Pride in prese ne prais I noght
omang thir princes prowd in pall;
princes suld be wele bithoght
when kinges suld tham till counsail call.
If he be rightwis king, thai sall
maintene him both night and day
or els to lat his frendschip fall
on faire manere and fare oway.
Oway es all thi wele, I wis,
Franche man with all thi fare;
of murnig may thou never mys,
for thou ert cumberd all in care.
With speche ne moght thou never spare
to speke of Ingliss men despite;
now have thai made thi biging bare -
of all thi catell ertou quite.
Quite ertou, that wele we knaw,
of catell and of drewris dere;
tharfore lies thi hert ful law,
that are was blith als brid on brere.
Inglis men sall yit to yere
knok thi palet or thou pas
and mak the polled like a frere,
and yit es Ingland als it was.
Was thou noght, Franceis, with thi wapin
bitwixen Cressy and Abuyle
whare thi felaws lien and gapin
for all thaire treget and thaire gile?
Bisschoppes war thare in that while
that songen all withouten stole.
Philip the Valas was a file;
he fled and durst noght tak his dole.
Men delid thare ful mani a dint
omang the gentill Genevayse;
ful many man thaire lives tint
for luf of Philip the Valays.
Unkind he was and uncurtayse -
I prais no thing his purviance:
the best of France and of Artayse
war al to dongyn in that daunce.
That daunce with treson was bygun
to trais the bare with sum fals gyn.
The Franche men said all es wun!
Now es it tyme that we bigin,
for here es welth inogh to win
to make us riche for evermore,
bot thurgh thaire armure thik and thin
slaine thai war and wounded sore.
Sore than sighed sir Philip;
now wist he never what hym was best,
for he es cast doun with a trip.
In John of France es all his trest,
for he was his frend faithfulest;
in him was full his affiance,
bot sir Edward wald never rest
or thai war feld, the best of France.
Of France was mekill wo, I wis,
and in Paris tha high palays;
now had the bare with mekill blis
bigged him bifor Calais.
Heres now how the romance sais
how sir Edward oure king with croune
held his sege bi nightes and dais
with his men bifor Calays toune.
How Edward als the romance sais
held his sege bifor Calais.
Calays men, now mai ye care,
and murnig mun ye have to mede;
mirth on mold get ye no mare:
sir Edward sall ken yow yowre crede.
Whilum war ye wight in wede
to robbing rathly for to ren.
Mend yow sone of yowre misdede;
yowre care es cumen, will ye it ken.
Kend it es how ye war kene
al Inglis men with dole to dere.
Thaire gudes toke ye al bidene;
no man born wald ye forbere.
Ye spared noght with swerd ne spere
to stik tham and thaire gudes to stele.
With wapin and with ded of were
thus have ye wonnen werldes wele.
Weleful men war ye, I wis,
bot fer on fold sall ye noght fare.
A bare sal now abate yowre blis
and wirk yow bale on bankes bare.
He sall yow hunt als hund dose hare,
that in no hole sall ye yow hide;
for all yowre speche will he noght spare
bot bigges him right by yowre side.
Biside yow here the bare bigins
to big his boure in winter tyde,
and all bi tyme takes he his ines
with semly sergantes him biside.
The word of him walkes ful wide -
Jhesu save him fro mischance!
In bataill dar he wele habide
sir Philip and sir John of France.
The Franche men er fers and fell
and mase grete dray when thai er dight;
of tham men herd slike tales tell.
With Edward think thai for to fight
him for to hald out of his right
and do him treson with thaire tales.
That was thaire purpos day and night,
bi counsail of the cardinales.
Cardinales with hattes rede
war fro Calays wele thre myle;
thai toke thaire counsail in that stede
how thai might sir Edward bigile.
Thai lended thare bot litill while,
till Franche men to grante thaire grace.
Sir Philip was funden a file;
he fled and faght noght in that place.
In that place the bare was blith,
for all was funden that he had soght.
Philip the Valas fled ful swith
with the batail that he had broght.
For to have Calays had he thoght
all at his ledeing loud or still,
bot all thaire wiles war for noght -
Edward wan it at his will.
Lystens now and ye may lere,
als men the suth may understand,
the knightes that in Calais were
come to sir Edward sare wepeand -
In kirtell one and swerd in hand -
and cried sir Edward, thine are.
Do now, lord, bi law of land
thi will with us for evermare.
The nobill burgase and the best
come unto him to have thaire hire;
the comun puple war ful prest
rapes to bring obout thaire swire.
Thai said all, sir Philip oure syre
and his sun sir John of France
has left us ligand in the mire
and broght us till this doleful dance.
Oure horses, that war faire and fat,
er etin up ilkone bidene;
have we nowther conig ne cat
that thai ne er etin and hundes kene.
All er etin up ful clene;
es nowther levid biche ne whelp -
that es wele on oure sembland sene -
and thai er fled that suld us help.
A knight that was of grete renowne,
sir John de Viene was his name,
he was wardaine of the toune
and had done Ingland mekill schame.
For all thaire boste thai er to blame,
ful stalworthly thare have thai strevyn;
a bare es cumen to mak tham tame:
kayes of the toun to him er gifen.
The kaies er yolden him of the gate;
lat him now kepe tham if he kun.
To Calais cum thai all to late,
sir Philip and sir John his sun.
Al war ful ferd that thare ware fun;
thaire leders may thai barely ban.
All on this wise was Calais won;
God save tham that it so gat wan!
Sir David had of his men grete loss
with sir Edward at the Nevil cross.
Sir David the Bruse . was at distance
when Edward the Baliolfe . rade with his lance;
the north end of Ingland . teched him to daunce
when he was met on the more . with mekill mischance.
Sir Philip the Valayse . may him noght avance;
the flowres that faire war . er fallen in Fraunce.
The floures er now fallen . that fers war and fell;
a bare with his bataille . has done tham to dwell.
Sir David the Bruse . said he suld fonde
to ride thurgh all Ingland, . wald he noght wonde.
At the West Minster hall . suld his stedes stonde,
whils oure king Edward . war out of the londe.
Bot now has sir David . missed of his merkes
and Philip the Valays . with all thaire grete clerkes.
Sir Philip the Valais, . suth for to say,
sent unto sir David . and faire gan him pray
at ride thurgh Ingland . thaire fo men to flay
and said none es at home . to let hym the way.
None letes him the way . to wende whore he will,
bot with schipherd staves . fand he his fill.
Fro Philip the Valais . was sir David sent
all Ingland to win . fro Twede unto Trent.
He broght mani berebag . with bow redy bent;
thai robbed and thai reved . and held that thai hent.
It was in the waniand . that thai furth went;
for covaitise of cataile . tho schrewes war schent.
Schent war tho schrewes . and ailed unsele
for at the Nevil cros . nedes bud tham knele.
At the Ersbisschop of York . now will I bigyn,
for he may with his right hand . assoyl us of syn.
Both Dorem and Carlele . thai wald never blin
the wirschip of Ingland . with wappen to win.
Mekill wirschip thai wan, . and wele have thai waken,
for syr David the Bruse . was in that tyme taken.
When sir David the Bruse . satt on his stede,
he said of all Ingland . haved he no drede,
bot hinde John of Coupland, . a wight man in wede,
talked to David . and kend him his crede.
Thare was sir David . so dughty in his dede
the faire toure of Londen . haved he to mede.
Sone than was sir David . broght unto the toure
and William the Dowglas . with men of honowre;
full swith redy servis . fand thai thare a schowre,
for first thai drank of the swete . and sethin of the sowre.
Than sir David the Bruse . makes his mone -
the faire coroun of Scotland . haves he forgone.
He luked furth into France; . help had he none
of sir Philip the Valais . ne yit of sir John.
The pride of sir David . bigon fast to slaken,
for he wakkind the were . that held him self waken;
for Philyp the Valaise . had he brede baken,
and in the toure of Londen . his ines er taken.
To be both in a place . thaire forward thai nomen,
bot Philip fayled thare, . and David es cumen.
Sir David the Bruse . on this manere
said unto sir Philip . al thir sawes thus sere:
"Philip the Valais, thou made me be here;
this es noght the forward . we made are to yere.
Fals es thi forward, . and evyll mot thou fare,
for thou and sir John thi son . haves kast me in care."
The Scottes with thaire falshede . thus went thai obout
for to win Ingland . whils Edward was out.
For Cuthbert of Dorem . haved thai no dout;
tharfore at Nevel cros . law gan thai lout.
Thare louted thai law . and leved allane;
thus was David the Bruse . into the toure tane.
How king Edward & his menye
met with the Spaniardes in the see
I wald noght spare for to speke, . wist I to spede,
of wight men with wapin . and worthly in wede
that now er driven to dale . and ded all thaire dede.
Thai sail in the see gronde . fissches to fede.
Fele fissches thai fede . for all thaire grete fare;
it was in the waniand . that thai come thare. 1
Thai sailed furth in the Swin . in a somers tyde,
with trompes and taburns . and mekill other pride.
The word of tho werkmen . walked full wide;
the gudes that thai robbed . in holl gan thai it hide.
In holl than thai hided . grete welthes, als I wene,
of gold and of silver, . of skarlet and grene.
When thai sailed westward, . tho wight men in were,
thaire hurdis, thaire ankers . hanged thai on here. 2
Wight men of the west . neghed tham nerr
and gert tham snaper in the snare - . might thai no ferr.
Fer might thai noght flit, . bot thare most thai fine,
and that thai bifore reved . than most thai tyne.
Boy with thi blac berd, . I rede that thou blin,
and sone set the to schrive . with sorow of thi syn.
If thou were on Ingland . noght saltou win;
cum thou more on that coste, . thi bale sall bigin.
Thare kindels thi care; . kene men sall the kepe
and do the dye on a day . and domp in the depe.
Ye broght out of Bretayne . yowre custom with care;
ye met with the marchandes . and made tham ful bare.
It es gude reson and right . that ye evill misfare,
when ye wald in Ingland . lere of a new lare.
New lare sall ye lere, . sir Edward to lout,
for when ye stode in yowre strenkith . ye war allto stout.
How gentill sir Edward with his grete engines
wan with his wight men the castell of Gynes.
War this winter oway, . wele wald I wene
that somer suld schew him . in schawes ful schene.
Both the lely and the lipard . suld geder on a grene.
Mari, have minde of thi man, . thou whote wham I mene.
Lady, think what I mene - . I mak the my mone -
thou wreke gude king Edward . on wikked syr John.
Of Gynes ful gladly . now will I bigin.
We wote wele that woning . was wikked for to win.
Crist, that swelt on the Rode . for sake of mans syn,
hald tham in gude hele . that now er tharein.
Inglis men er tharein, . the kastell to kepe,
and John of France es so wroth, . for wo will he wepe.
Gentill John of Doncaster . did a ful balde dede,
when he come toward Gines . to ken tham thaire crede.
He stirt unto the castell . with owten any stede;
of folk that he fand thare . haved he no drede.
Dred in hert had he none . of all he fand thare;
faine war thai to fle . for all thaire grete fare.
A letherin ledderr . and a lang line,
a small bote was tharby . that put tham fro pine.
The folk that thai fand thare . was faine for to fyne;
sone thaire diner was dight, . and thare wald thai dine.
Thare was thaire purpose . to dine and to dwell,
for treson of the Franche men . that fals war and fell.
Say now sir John of France, . how saltou fare
that both Calays and Gynes . has kindeld thi care?
If thou be man of mekil might, . lepe up on thi mare,
take thi gate unto Gines . and grete tham wele thare.
Thare gretes thi gestes . and wendes with wo;
king Edward has wonen . the kastell tham fro.
Ye men of Saint Omers, . trus ye this tide
and puttes out yowre paviliownes . with yowre mekill pride.
Sendes efter sir John of Fraunce . to stand by yowre syde;
a bore es boun yow to biker . that wele dar habyde. 3
Wele dar he habide, . bataile to bede,
and of yowre sir John of Fraunce . haves he no drede.
God save sir Edward his right . in ever ilka nede,
and he that will noght so, . evil mot he spede!
And len oure sir Edward . his life wele to lede,
that he may at his ending . have hevin till his mede.
A - M - E - N
remedy; grief; (see note)
earth; moon; (see note)
I am downcast and dismayed; (see note)
secret; cause me injury; (see note)
prepared to go; war; (see note)
value; time; (see note)
boast; (see note)
every; (see note)
is no need to conceal; (see note)
did they hasten; (see note)
dared; action; await
vaunting; (see note)
Of death's blow they had such fear
are; dispirited; terror; (see note)
others as well (more); (see note)
were exiled from
contrived; (see note)
More menaces yet; (see note)
place; (see note)
not far from; (see note)
also; (see note)
such boast; (see note)
always they are prepared
to inflict injury on England
pleased them; pleasure; (see note)
since; has befallen
wretches; known; (see note)
truth; (see note)
grief; destined; suffer; (see note)
retinue; (see note)
great of might
tricks; (see note)
stumbled at those steps
conflict; their lives
crowd of battle; (see note)
peace; (see note)
stream; too bold; (see note)
innocent, as; (see note)
happy be the occasion
wary; (see note)
Sterling; stern; (see note)
thieves, spurred; (see note)
despoiled their company
defeated; pretense; deceit; (see note)
Rough-shod raw-hide boot; (see note)
bag carrier; house; (see note)
where will you go
Hurry; Bruges; (see note)
shall you live; curse
Dundee; (see note)
pounds the pavements; (see note)
vows; (see note)
few; anguish relieves; (see note)
few; (see note)
keys; watch out for
because of him are
[f. 52b2; (see note)
also; (see note)
many; (see note)
great worldly success
swore that no matter what befell
remained; (see note)
money; loyal; (see note)
which goal; (see note)
knew both victory and defeat
should escape; (see note)
Southampton [f53a1; (see note)
much; intended; (see note)
before they knew
halted their games
stars; (see note)
brains; (see note)
merry-making; (see note)
full glad were; (see note)
truth; (see note)
Yarmouth; sea; (see note)
together; (see note)
bold hearts; (see note)
two supply ships; (see note)
steal; (see note)
ear; (see note)
plenty; (see note)
beheaded; pay; (see note)
[f.53a2; (see note)
their complaint (moan)
strength; (see note)
But soon they lost the upper hand
robbed; (see note)
dwelling; (see note)
handsome; (see note)
went; (see note)
fleur de lys (lily flower); (see note)
fame; (see note)
fear; (see note)
heir; (see note)
to make him tremble with fear
with; (see note)
provision themselves; (see note)
abundance; (see note)
even; against; (see note)
armed; (see note)
a report; (see note)
dared; (see note)
knew; (see note)
their mood; (see note)
very eager; (see note)
would; (see note)
pleasure; (see note)
Bohemia; vexing anxieties; (see note)
steed; ride; (see note)
Navarre; (see note)
lay low in the bracken; (see note)
esteemed [f. 53b2; (see note)
princes that were splendid in battle order; (see note)
completely lost its; (see note)
thus; fear; (see note)
believed; (see note)
confronted him in combat (opposed him face to face); (n)
intended; (see note)
serious; (see note)
greet; (see note)
remedy; (see note)
taught; (see note)
townsmen; (see note)
great harm; (see note)
soldiers quick; (see note)
soon prepared; (see note)
[f. 54a1; (see note)
waning [of the moon]; (see note)
men taught; sword and shield; (see note)
captured; destroyed; (see note)
reward; (see note)
present himself; (see note)
ready; pursue; (see note)
courageous; (see note)
stopped; (see note)
Few; alive; caused him
easy; (see note)
archery; snow; (see note)
quite large; (see note)
fight; offered; (see note)
squadron; bright; (see note)
boldly; (see note)
sorrow; (see note)
quickly; (see note)
ships; bonds; (see note)
[f. 54a2; (see note)
choice of persons; (see note)
may good fortune befall him; (see note)
reward; (see note)
made their boast cease; (see note)
absolve; (see note)
determined; (see note)
to build affliction and sorrow
boar; shining coats of mail; (see note)
handsome; (see note)
squadrons; bright; (see note)
judgment; appointed; (see note)
joy is gone
have seized you; (see note)
conceal; (see note)
ruin; (see note)
must; (see note)
to whose feet shall your people fall; (see note)
Uproot; refuge [f. 54b1; (see note)
With blows; (see note)
dwellings; burn; (see note)
In confusion (disarray); run
advise; (see note)
bow down to; (see note)
by skillful; be taught
before; bier; (see note)
way; (see note)
narrow way; (see note)
believe; (see note)
woe; (see note)
occasioned; course of action
quickly; (see note)
to his death
reward; (see note)
noble man; (see note)
are living; (see note)
strengthen; body and spirit; (see note)
royal perogative; (see note)
before; stopped; (see note)
[f. 54b2; (see note)
is named; (see note)
private corners; (see note)
angry; (see note)
Into; shall reach; (see note)
matter; (see note)
fit and ready
All-ruling; most; (see note)
help; (see note)
soon absolve; (see note)
many fierce enemies; (see note)
attempted to cause the boar to stop
throng of battle; (see note)
pennons; armor; (see note)
haste; (see note)
Caen; most direct way; (see note)
strong in that place
boar has made their
infantry; (see note)
then was displeased
grief; (see note)
swiftly answered their investment
see flames from afar fly up; (see note)
won; war; (see note)
faithfully; (see note)
dashed; (see note)
therefore; (see note)
bridge; (see note)
remain; (see note)
bravely strong; (see note)
made them collapse;(see note)
from afar burning
fear; fleeing; (see note)
prepared; (see note)
troops; (see note)
noble; (see note)
low; bow [f. 55a2
made them stumble
lacked entirely his desire
deportment; (see note)
glittering; (see note)
bold; (see note)
a crowd; (see note)
robe; (see note)
allow; (see note)
success, indeed; (see note)
sorrow; lack; (see note)
property; deprived; (see note)
Compensated are you
low; (see note)
before; happy as a bird in a bush
you tonsured; (see note)
time; (see note)
portion; (see note)
dealt; blow; (see note)
management; (see note)
destroyed; (see note)
knew; (see note)
faith; (see note)
lodged; (see note)
worry; (see note)
mourning shall; as reward; (see note)
teach; (see note)
Once; valiant; armour
at; quickly; run; (see note)
Well known; bold
grief to injure
together; (see note)
kill them; (see note)
Prosperous; truly; (see note)
boar [f. 55b2; (see note)
woe; hills barren
hound; (see note)
build; bower; time; (see note)
dwelling; (see note)
soldiers; (see note)
His renown spreads far and wide; (see note)
create great tumult; are prepared; (see note)
remained; time; (see note)
coward; (see note)
found; (see note)
quickly; (see note)
command under any circumstances; (see note)
learn; (see note)
truth; (see note)
mercy; (see note)
wealthy citizens; (see note)
ready [f. 56a1; (see note)
everyone together; (see note)
fearless dogs; (see note)
left bitch nor pup; (see note)
is clearly seen in our appearance; (see note)
stoutly; fought; (see note)
keys; given; (see note)
are yielded to
curse; (see note)
moor; (see note)
attempt [f. 56a2; (see note)
turn back; (see note)
truth; (see note)
enemies to defeat; (see note)
turn where; (see note)
shepherds' staves; (see note)
plundered; kept; seized
waning [of the moon]
goods; scoundrels; confounded; (see note)
pained unhappily; (see note)
obliged; kneel; (see note)
Durham; Carlisle; cease; (see note)
weapons; (see note)
joy; awakened [f. 56b1
noble; stout; armour; (see note)
taught; (see note)
as reward; (see note)
abundance; (see note)
then; (see note)
crown; (see note)
war; allowed him no rest
lodgings; (see note)
promise; pledged; (see note)
before this year [f. 56b2
agreement; (see note)
low; bow; (see note)
taken; (see note)
host; (see note)
hope to succeed
brave; admirable in armour; (see note)
grave; dead [despite]; deed; (see note)
sea bottom; (see note)
trumpets and drums; (see note)
hiding place; (see note)
valorous; (see note)
approached nearer [f. 57a1; (see note)
made them stumble
flee; die; (see note)
what; plundered; lose; (see note)
advise; cease; (see note)
confusion; (see note)
coast; grief; (see note)
cause you to; be dumped; (see note)
merchants; (see note)
teaching; (see note)
obey (revere); (see note)
strength; (see note)
lily; leopard; gather; (see note)
know; (see note)
complaint; (see note)
know; dwelling [f. 57a2; (see note)
daring; (see note)
set out; (see note)
boat; suffering; (see note)
eager to come to terms
treacherous; (see note)
guests; go; (see note)
pack up; (see note)
[f. 57b1; (see note)
offer; (see note)
every; (see note)