Back to top

Art. 47, Alle that beoth of huerte trewe: Introduction

ABBREVIATIONS: AND: Anglo-Norman Dictionary; ANL: Anglo-Norman Literature: A Guide to Texts and Manuscripts (R. Dean and Boulton); BL: British Library (London); Bodl.: Bodleian Library (Oxford); CCC: Corpus Christi College (Cambridge); CUL: Cambridge University Library (Cambridge); IMEV: The Index of Middle English Verse (Brown and Robbins); IMEV Suppl.: Supplement to the Index of Middle English Verse (Robbins and Cutler); MED: Middle English Dictionary; MWME: A Manual of the Writings in Middle English, 1050–1500 (Severs et al.); NIMEV: A New Index of Middle English Verse (Boffey and Edwards); NLS: National Library of Scotland (Edinburgh).

The Death of Edward I is a poem in praise and remembrance of King Edward I, who died July 7, 1307, in Carlisle, while in pursuit of the Scots under Bruce and his brothers. His body was interred at Westminster Abbey. Calling upon a popular audience (al Englond), the poet participates in spreading the fame (nome) that springs from a great king who now lies low (stanza 2). This elegy exists in another version written in Anglo-Norman, the evident source. Both versions laud Edward as the flower of Christendom, a ruler who would have been a mighty crusader had he had the opportunity. Regrettably, however, according to both versions, the French obstructed him. The poet of the Anglo-Norman version is evidently a churchman. The English poet conveys an emphatic sense of England the nation and of building a legend around the deceased king. For a comparative analysis of the two poems, see Aspin, pp. 80–82; De Wilde; and the additional comments offered by Scattergood 2000a, pp. 169–71; and Treharne, p. 576.

[Fol. 73r–v. IMEV, NIMEV 205. MWME 5:1405–06 [29]. Scribe: B (Ludlow scribe). Quire: 8. Meter: Ten 8-line stanzas, most with three rhymes, ababbcbc4, plus a closing, extended 12-line stanza, ababbcdcdef4de2. Stanzas 3 and 4 vary slightly with four and two rhymes, respectively. De Wilde attributes the irregular stanzas to the scribe’s alteration of an original northern dialect (p. 240). Layout: No columns; written two lines per ruled line. Editions: Wright 1839, pp. 246–50; Böddeker, pp. 140–43; Robbins 1959, pp. 21–24 (no. 5); Treharne, pp. 576–78. Other MS: Cambridge, CUL Addit. MS 4407, art. 19 (a fragment; ed. Skeat, pp. 149–50). Anglo-Norman Source: Seignurs oiez, pur Dieu le grant, from Cambridge, CUL MS Gg.1.1, fols. 489rb–vb (ed. Wright 1839, pp. 241–45; Böddeker, pp. 453–55; Aspin, pp. 79–89).]

Go To Art. 47, Alle that beoth of huerte trewe