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Hardyng's Chronicle, Book 3


1 You who rule, resist at the beginning and you may be certain that you do not fall

2 Note this point concerning foreigners in a realm, since they always wish to rule over the indigenous and to expel them

3 As in the legend of Saint Helen and Constantine (it) occurs and "in this [sign] you will gain victory"

4 according to the chronicles of Martin

5 How Saint Helen his mother brought home the holy cross according to the chronicles of Martin

6 How this Constantine gave to Silvester and the church his palace and temporality of Rome and made the church of his chamber at Saint John Lateran according to the chronicles of Martin

7 Whence Seneca says that the power of the prince is never without danger

8 Concerning the Deeds of the English

9 according to Bede in his book Concerning the Deeds of the English

10 Wisdom reaches from one end (of the earth) to the other, and disposes everything peacefully (Wisdom 8:1)

11 The enemy, being newly supplied with weapons

12 King Frolle to slay those [who are] subject [to Arthur]

13 Whatever is unjustly snatched from someone, will never be justly possessed by someone else, as (it is stated) in civil and imperial law

14 To whom rule descended as much by the death of his father as by senatorial election (and) as by election of the whole Roman people

15 That Saussy (or Val-Suzon) was called and in eight battles quite glorious

16 Concerning which Merlin says, among his prophecies, that his death will be uncertain and a certain prophet of the Britons made as an epitaph on his tomb this verse: “Here lies Arthur, the once and future king”

17 Note the date of the death of David Archbishop of Caerleon

18 Chapter of Aurelius Conan, King of Britain


ABBREVIATIONS: Alliterative Morte: Alliterative Morte Arthure, ed. Benson; Arthur: Arthur: A Short Sketch of His Life and History in English Verse; Bede: Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People; Brut: The Brut or The Chronicles of England, ed. Brie; CT: Canterbury Tales; CPL: Peter Langtoft, The Chronicle of Pierre de Langtoft; EETS: Early English Text Society; EH: Eulogium Historiarum sive Temporis, ed. Haydon; FH: Flores Historiarum, ed. Luard; FP: John Lydgate, Fall of Princes; HA: Henry of Huntingdon, Historia Anglorum; HB: Nennius, Historia Brittonum; HRB: Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia Regum Brittanniae; HRBVV: Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia Regum Brittanniae, Variant Version; JG: John of Glastonbury, The Chronicle of Glastonbury Abbey; LB: Layamon’s Brut, trans. Allen; m: marginalia; Mort Artu: La Morte Artu, ed. Lacy; MED: Middle English Dictionary; MO: Martin of Troppau, Martini Oppaviensis Chronicon Pontificum et Imperatorum; NC: Þe New Croniclis Compendiusli Ydrawe of Þe Gestis of Kyngis of Ingelond; OED: Oxford English Dictionary; OV: The Oldest Anglo-Norman Prose Brut Chronicle, ed. Marvin; P: Ranulf Higden, Polychronicon; PRO: Public Record Office; Queste: La Queste del Saint Graal, trans. Burns; RB: Wace, Roman de Brut; RMB: Robert Mannyng of Brunne, The Chronicle; TB: John Lydgate, Troy Book; TC: Geoffrey Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde; TNA: The National Archives of the UK; Whiting: Whiting, Proverbs, Sentences, and Proverbial Phrases.

1–196 Aftyr Kynge . . . his exequyse. For the most part Hardyng follows HRB §§72–74, but the date of Lucius’s coronation appears to come from MO (p. 412), which gives the year 184 as the start of Pope Eleutherius’ rule and mentions Lucius’s appeal to him. Hardyng incorrectly claims that MO records Severus’s death in the year 235, perhaps indicating that he misread a later entry, had a corrupt text, or took the reference from another source citing Martin (MO, pp. 447–48, gives the year as 212). However, another emperor with the name Severus — Alexander Severus — died in 235, so Hardyng may have used an unidentified source that confused the two emperors. In MO, Alexander Severus dies in 236, but he is not named “Severus” (p. 448).

Other writers attributing a seventeen-year reign to Severus include Bede (p. 50; MO, pp. 447–48), who also mentions his burial at York, and RMB 1.5776–5779.

29m Nota of . . . of goules. Hardyng links Lucius’s shield with the shield made by Joseph of Arimathea. It is later owned by St. George, Constantine, and Galahad. See 3.505m, 3.575m, 3.694m, 3.3059, 3.3157.

83–88 Whose names . . . for memory. According to Gildas, Christianity first came to Britain in the reign of the Emperor Tiberius, not Lucius, who first appears in Bede (p. 49). Hardyng has taken the reference to Gildas from HRB §72 (it also occurs in FH I:147), where it may be a mistake for the pseudo-Nennius HB §22. HB mentions Lucius’s baptism, but not Fagan and Duvian.

89–91 And Mewytryne . . . his dyspence. Reference to Lucius’s giving Glastonbury to Fagan and Duvian is also made in JG (pp. 38–39). The inclusion of the episode here provides further evidence that Hardyng knew a similar source detailing Glastonbury’s legendary past. See also notes 3.29m, 3.96–119, and 3.99m.

96–119 Bot now . . . dyd apere. See notes to 2.2611–47 and 3.99m.

99m How the . . . sayd rode. Having already mentioned the story of the crucifix made by Joseph of Arimathea at 2.2611–47, Hardyng develops his account by describing its miraculous arrival at St. Paul’s. His reference to the “table” and stained glass window depicting the story of the crucifix at St. Paul’s demonstrates the importance of the cross to the medieval cathedral. The information probably derives from Hardyng’s own knowledge of the rood, from a work on Joseph’s life, or, given its close proximity to lines 3.89–91, from an unidentified source containing the early history of Glastonbury (see notes 2.2611–47 and 3.89–91).

197–329 Getan his . . . foule meschaunce. This section contains one of the most topical interjections in the Chronicle (3.246–80). The essence of the story of Bassian and Carauce is most likely taken from HRB §§75–76 and RMB 1.5780–5921, but Hardyng removes all reference to Carauce’s courage and his dealings with the Roman Senate. Instead he uses the example of Carauce’s ambition and treachery to warn Henry VI and contemporary lords about the problems they face if the lawlessness plaguing late fifteenth-century England is allowed to continue. Hardyng’s caution about lower-born men rebelling above their station and rebelling against their social betters when oppressed is particularly significant given that he was writing this version of his Chronicle at the time of, or shortly after, the Kentish rebellion led by Jack Cade. Moreover, his criticism of “mayntenaunce” (3.263), a corrupt process by which a lord would trade on his influence to abet wrong-doers under his protection, complements complaints and advice found in other fifteenth-century works. Lydgate’s FP, for example, frequently warns lords and princes to protect the poor, maintain the law, and be aware of the dangers of allowing low-born men to take positions of power (see 2.1423–29, 3.3108–14, 3.3129–35, 3.3262–82, 5.2362–75, 7.270–77, and 9.3022–56). Since Hardyng knew Lydgate’s work, such comments may have inspired his own interjections. For further discussion of Caraunce’s reign and other sections relating to civil unrest see Peverley, “Dynasty and Division” and “Political Consciousness.”

263 mayntenaunce. See note 3.197–329 above.

264–66 The pore . . . sore ban. Hardyng appears to be referring to the citizens of the Tuscan city states who had considerable rights of access and redress at law, even if they were poor. We are grateful to Alan Crosby for this suggestion.

288–308 A prynce . . . it alterate. Hardyng develops the brief comment about the Picts intermarrying with Britons in HRB §75 to emphasize the bellicose nature of the Scots and present a more general, xenophobic point about the danger of having “aliens” within a kingdom. Such sentiments would have been particularly topical in light of the riots that took place against alien merchants in London in the late 1450s (see Griffiths, Henry VI, pp. 790–95).

292 kyng Maryus. The reference to King Marius alludes to 2.2662–89.

330–36 Suche fyne . . . thayre hame. An echo of 2.645–51, where Hardyng attributes the downfall of Albion’s giants to Providence.

335 And after olde synne so commyth ay new shame. Proverbial. See Whiting S338 and Tilley S471.

336 And wronge lawes make lordes forsake thayre hame. Proverbial. See Whiting L111.

337–504 The Bretons . . . the felde. This section is similar to HRB §§76–78 and RMB 1.5922–6095, although neither source remarks on St. Amphilbalus’s martyrdom (“Amphybale”), mentions Galerius ruling the Empire with Constance, or gives the year of Constance’s death as 306 AD, as Hardyng and FH I:173–75 do. A linguistic echo of Hardyng’s “engynes and magnels” (3.359) occurs in RMB 1.5966–67.

499 Galeryus. Galerius is also mentioned in HA (pp. 536–37) and MO (p. 450).

505m Constantynes armes . . . the aire. This marginalia is accompanied by an illustration of Constantine’s coat of arms, but the colors of the shield have been accidentally reversed (i.e., the cross is colored argent [silver] when it should be gules [red], and the background is gules when it should be argent). For other decoration in the manuscript see the Manuscript Description. Other references to the arms, which are associated with St. George, occur at 3.575m, 3.694m, 3.3059, and 3.3157–70.

505–25 Constantyne that . . . nought transcende. The beginning of Hardyng’s account of Constantine’s reign (3.505–74) relies on HRB §78–79, or a text derived from it, such as RB lines 5688–5730, which mentions Constantine’s coronation by the British barons and his noble, “lion-like” countenance. The emperor’s laudable ability to live from his own resources (3.521) and the suggestion that financial prudence is a desideratum in a sovereign (3.524–25) appear to be Hardyng’s own embellishments. Though his additions are typical of the opinions expressed in advice literature, or “mirrors for princes,” Hardyng may have included them in light of his own experience of the financial difficulties faced by the Lancastrian government in the late 1440s and early 1450s. At this time, a series of Resumption Acts were passed to counteract Henry VI’s crippling household expenditure and inept distribution of privileges: Hardyng’s royal grant was among those resumed.

526–74 And so . . . wele biloved. Hardyng, like CPL I:78, has the Roman Senate appeal to Constantine for help instead of following the structure of HRB, in which a number of Romans flee to Britain because of Maxcence’s tyranny and persuade Constantine to wage war on him. Among the chronicles considered for this edition, only Hardyng makes reference to the Romans’ promise to cease their request for Britain’s tribute, paving the way for King Arthur’s decision to defy Lucius’s request for tribute later in the Chronicle.

575m How Kynge . . . or borne. See note 3.505m.

575–677 The yere … were felle. The Chronicle either draws directly upon MO (pp. 450–52) and the Legenda Aurea (“The Life of Saint Silvester” and “The Invention of the Cross”), or uses an intermediate source, such as P (V:114–151), which borrows from these texts and contains many of the details found here (see below notes 3.645m and 715m). Whatever the case, Hardyng builds upon Constantine’s refusal to slaughter innocent children in order to cure his leprosy by turning his reported comment about imperial dignity being born out of pity in “The Life of Saint Silvester” and P (V:124) (“Dignitas Romani imperii de fonte nascitur pietatis”) into an appeal to contemporary lords to show pity to those in distress. He goes on to explain that Constantine deferred baptism because of his desire to be baptized in the River Jordan; this story does not occur in MO or the Legenda Aurea, but it is mentioned in P V:128–29, where it is attributed to Ambrose and Jerome, although it actually originates from Eusebius’s Vita Constantini (Book 4, Chapter 62). Of all of these texts, only Hardyng’s explicitly aligns the emperor’s desire for baptism in the Jordan with his aspiration of conquering the “Jewry hool” (3.608).

582m As in . . . hoc vinces. The legend of St. Helen referred to here appears to be “The Invention of the Cross” in the Legenda Aurea; see note 3.575–677 above.

645m How Seynt . . . cronicas Martini. The source for Silvester’s healing of Constantine could have been the Legenda Aurea’s “Life of Saint Silvester,” MO (pp. 450–51) or P (V:122–29), which also acknowledges its debt to the “Life of Saint Silvester” (see note 3.575–677 above). Hardyng’s claim to have seen the holy water used at Constantine’s baptism may indicate that he had been to Rome in 1424, as suggested by 1.1m, because, in the second version of the Chronicle, he states that the water can be seen there. However, the holy water was clearly a well-known relic, and in FP, which Hardyng knew, Lydgate also mentions the font at St. Peter’s, Rome, containing the water used on Constantine (FP 8.2140–67). The story of Constantine’s leprosy and miraculous baptism is also told by Gower in Confessio Amantis 2.3187–3464.

659m secundum cronicas Martini. The number of bishops given in this marginalia, 300, does not correspond with the number given in the following stanza, 318 (3.660).

678–79 She dyed … and sely. Hardyng may have used an unidentified source for his account of St. Helen’s burial at Santa Maria in Ara Coeli, the city church in Rome dedicated to the Virgin Mary. However, Helen’s relics were allegedly moved to the church in 1140, so if Hardyng did travel to Rome in 1424, as suggested by 1.1m and 3.645m, it is also possible that he saw the relics firsthand and added this information from his own knowledge. For St. Helen and Ara Coeli, see Drijvers, Helena Augusta, p. 75 and Harbus, Helena of Britain, p. 46.

680–86 But now . . . were unkynde. Gildas does not mention Constantine. Hardyng may have meant HB, which was commonly attributed to Gildas by medieval chroniclers, in which case he is correct in stating that it does not describe Constantine’s life (see HB §25, where he is mentioned very briefly). Henry of Huntingdon does include some of Constantine’s deeds, but his account is succinct in comparison with Hardyng’s (see HA pp. 60–63, 574–75).

694m And than . . . Georges armes. Hardyng links Constantine’s arms with the arms of St. George and, therefore, with the arms of Lucius (who is said to bear arms “in fourme of Seynt Georges armes”; see 3.29m). Later, he will associate the same heraldic device with Galahad. See 3.3056 ff. and notes 3.505m and 3.3157–70.

715m How this . . . Martyne Romayn. Hardyng has taken this information, including the reference to Isidore, from MO (pp. 450–51) or P (V:148–51). MO is the more likely source; if Hardyng had used P he would have had to have a manuscript that attributed the information to MO and gave the correct date of 21 May rather than the incorrect date of 11 May given in the manuscript used by Babington and Lumby for their edition of P. A survey of extant manuscripts of P would shed further light on this matter.

717–28 A saynt . . . Chyrche promocioun. See note 715m above.

729–812 But in . . . withouten fayle. This section has much in common with HRB §§80–81, although it differs in a number of smaller details. Like OV (lines 883–87) and EH (II:269), Hardyng locates Traherne’s battle with Octave at Stainmore, rather than the less specific Westmorland of HRB; he also attributes the plan to persuade one of Octave’s friends to kill Traherne to Gunbert, an alteration that does not occur in any of the chronicles considered in this edition, and he clarifies that Kaerperis is Porchester (compare FH I:178). Such changes may indicate that Hardyng was using a source based on HRB rather than HRB itself.

771m Unde Seneca . . . periculo est. Hoccleve’s Regiment of Princes, 1114 ff., which Hardyng may have known, includes a similar statement attributed to Seneca, but as Blyth, Hoccleve’s editor, notes, it does not occur in Seneca: “the idea, though not the language, is in Boethius” (see note to 1114 ff.). If Hardyng’s marginalia was not inspired by Hoccleve, his quotation may be an allusion to Seneca’s De Clementia (Book I, chapter viii, lines 1–5 or Book I, chapter xix, lines 2–8), in which the dangers facing a prince are discussed. It is also possible that the sententia was obtained from a florilegium, which failed to identify the source correctly.

813–925 The kynge . . . fully assocyate. Hardyng’s account of Maximian’s reign is closest to HRB §§83–88 and RMB 1.6290–6543, although neither text is an entirely satisfactory match. The Chronicle offers a noticeably shorter version of the longer accounts of Maximian’s campaign given in HRB, RMB, and other texts associated with them, omitting all reference to Maximian’s encounter with the king of the Franks and the subsequent attacks made on Conan before the British women are sent to Brittany. The 10,000 men that Maximian requests to populate Brittany does not match any of the figures given in HRB, RB, RMB, OV, EH, or FH, but the description of Gwaynes and Melga as Saracens (3.896) corresponds with RMB 1.6484–94, as does the reference to the eleven noble women accompanying Ursula in the marginalia before line 3.855 (compare RMB 1.6456 and 1.6482, although, arguably, this could also be a shared mistake for eleven thousand). Hardyng’s reference to Gwaynes and Melga’s hatred of Britain is not part of their motive for executing the virgins in other sources, nor have we been able to find a textual parallel for Hardyng’s reference to St. Ursula’s burial in the choir at a church in Cologne, but it may have been widely known that her relics were at the church dedicated to her in Cologne. Only Hardyng refers to Maximian’s killing of Valentinian instead of Gracian, which could indicate that he misread his source, or, less likely perhaps, that he was attempting to simplify the narrative by amalgamating the Emperor Gracian with the Gracian that Maximian sends to defend Britain, who succeeds Maximian in other texts.

926–60 Gracyan, whan . . . cronycle historialle. Of the chronicles considered here, Hardyng alone provides specific details of Gracian’s tyranny and states that Melga and Gwaynes invaded Britain because they believed Maximian was still king. His reference to Melga and Gwaynes ravaging Britain to avenge Maximian’s slighting of Gracian may stem from the observation that Melga and Gwaynes ravaged the coasts for Gracian in HRB §88 and P (V:202–03).

961–1107 Gwayns and . . . is memory. Hardyng’s source(s) here is unclear; for the most part his account corresponds with HRB §§89–93, but some elements are closer to P (V:224–27, 250–53) and RMB (1.6564–6885), suggesting that he combined two or more sources or was following a text that had already done this. He omits the speech made by Bishop Guthelyne in HRB just before the Romans leave Britain for the last time, thus removing the criticism levied at the British for being weak and not defending their realm properly, and similarly fails to include the alternative speech made by the wise Roman in texts such as RB and RMB. This allows him to present the plight of the British in a sympathetic light, which is further enhanced by his accentuation of the treachery of Melga and Gwaynes and the indifference of the Romans. Guthelyne’s request for help from Aldroene is shorter than that in most other sources and has much in common with the petition in RMB, whilst Aldroene’s reply is closer to that in HRB.

975m How Bretons . . . Gestis Anglorum. Reference to the wall built by Severus is also made in Bede (p. 59), P (V:226–27), and NC (fol. 28v). It is difficult to tell whether Hardyng obtained the information directly from Bede or from another text that attributed it to him.

1024m How Bretons . . . Gestis Anglorum. Compare Bede (pp. 60–61), although there the Britons' sending for help from Egicyo (Aetius) is ascribed to the year 446 (see note 3.1045–48).

1045–48 The tyme . . . and compilacioun. This date is given in Bede (p. 325) and RMB (1.6758–61). Whether Hardyng used Bede directly, or whether he obtained the reference from a text like RMB, is uncertain, but neither of the extant copies of RMB attribute the date to Bede, which perhaps indicates that Bede, or an unknown source attributing the date to Bede, provided the information. Hardyng, or his source, appears to confuse the year that Roman rule in Britain comes to an end in Bede with the year of the Britons' request for help from Egicyo.

1108–42 This Constantyne . . . had conspyred. Hardyng, FH (I:209), P (V:252–53), CPL (I:94), RMB (1.6886), and NC (fol. 29v) place Constantine’s coronation at Cirencester (“Cyrcester”) rather than Silchester (as in HRB §93 and RB line 6437), but only Hardyng supplements this information with the ancient name for Cirencester, Caerceri (“Caersyry”). Hardyng and RMB 1.6890–91, 1.6904–27 are the only texts in the aforementioned group to give Constantine’s wife Roman and British ancestry and attribute Constantine’s death to Vortigern’s treachery.

1143–1219 Constans than . . . bene sene. Hardyng is probably following HRB §§94–96 and RMB 1.6928–7168, but his account of Constance’s election and coronation is more succinct than their detailed version of events. He omits all of the material dealing with the barons’ concerns about Constance and Vortigern’s discussion with him at Winchester (like P [V:254–55]). The Chronicle resembles HRB in its reference to the kingdom being devoid of older leaders and the future leaders (Aurelius and Uther) being too young to rule; however, it appears to emulate RMB in making Vortigern a duke of Wales and accentuating his ability to flatter.

1145 the mynstere of Seynte Amphibale. Other texts that make reference to Constance’s being in a church dedicated to St. Amphibalus include HRB §93, FH (I:209), P (V:252–53), EH (II:274), and NC (fol. 29v).

1220–1443 This Vortygere . . . quenes supportacioun. This section has most in common with HRB §§97–100, although the reference to Engist’s landing at Sandwich suggests knowledge of RB lines 6704–05 and/or RMB 1.7183–85. Hardyng omits some of the information found in HRB, including the reference to Satan entering Vortigern when he sees Rowen, and adds a number of unique details, such as the description of Engist being as meek as a lamb (3.1243), the notification at 3.1402m that “Thwongcastre” is Caistor in Lincolnshire, Engist’s prayer of thanks to Mercury and Venus for bringing the eighteen Saxon ships safely to Britain (3.1371–73), and Vortimer’s sending for saints Germanus and Lupus (although this last detail does occur later in RMB 1.7641–42). Two other points are worth noting: having elected not to include the Latin and Welsh names for “Thwongcastre” found in HRB, RB, and RMB, Hardyng provides an etymological description of the name, claiming that Engist named it “Thwongcastre” (3.1403) to ensure that he never forgot the wisdom, or clever trick, that helped him to obtain the land (i.e., cutting a continuous strip of leather, or “thong,” from a bull skin to measure out the greatest possible territory). This helps to underscore Engist’s intelligence and his ability to manipulate Vortigern, paving the way for his subsequent treachery. Likewise, whilst other texts stress that Engist asked for Kent as Rowen’s dowry, Hardyng does not; he merely states that Vortigern gave her the land as “dowere” (3.1401). This may be an attempt to reduce the narrative on Hardyng’s part, but it also has the effect of showing how blinded Vortigern is by his desire for Rowen; only a few stanzas before, he would not grant Engist land because he was a foreign pagan and he did not want to upset the British barons, but here he gives a whole county to his pagan wife.

1290m Nota also . . . of golde. This marginalia offers another example of Hardyng’s interest in heraldry as he includes a coat of arms for Engist and Horsa. Compare, for example, the arms he ascribes to Aeneas and Brute at 2.554m and the genuine coat of arms belonging to Sir Robert Umfraville at 7.889.

1444–1534 This Engiste . . . waste indede. The majority of this section corresponds to HRB §§101–02; however, there is sufficient correlation with RMB to suppose that Hardyng was combining elements of HRB and RMB, or using another text that had already done so. Compare, for example, Engist’s suggestion of sending for Octa, his cousin Ebissa (a brother in HRB) and Cherdyke with RMB 1.7541–46, and Vortimer’s request for Germanus to preach again with RMB 1.7641–42. Hardyng’s conceit on Vortimer’s presumption is unique.

1535–1632 This Vortygerne . . . myght suffise. Although Hardyng’s account of Engist’s return is close to HRB §§103–05 in many respects, such as its inclusion of Eldane’s burial of the dead at Salisbury plain and Earl Eldolle’s defeat of seventy Saxons, it nevertheless contains several aspects yet to be found elsewhere. Unlike other sources, Hardyng comments on Engist’s joy upon hearing of Vortimer’s death and emphasizes the Saxon’s rhetorical skills by reporting his insincere statement about not wanting to hurt the British because of his consanguinity with their queen (3.1568–69). Correspondingly, Hardyng places greater emphasis on the role of the British barons — they are present when Engist’s messenger arrives and they approve of his alleged plan to “strengh the londe agayn” (3.1567) — and he supplements Engist’s plot to kill the British by adding a new stratagem whereby each “Bretoun” is “afore a payen sette” to make them easier to kill (3.1600).

1626m Nota that . . . of Afrike. Like OV (lines 1238–40) and EH (I:280), the Chronicle mentions the etymology of England at this point in the narrative. Hardyng adds that the name was set aside shortly afterwards and not used again until Gurmond was king. The subsequent reference to the land being divided up “parcelmele” (3.1632) may indicate that Hardyng had some version of the Prose Brut to hand, or another text that drew upon it, since OV also mentions the apportionment of the realm.

1633–1786 Wharfore so . . . swerd and fyre. Compare with HRB §§105–08 and RMB 1.7689–8202. Hardyng supplements his account of Merlin’s birth with several details: he alone uses the simile “as white as any swan” to describe the spirit that visited Merlin’s mother (3.1674) and makes reference to the popular opinion that his father could have been a “fende” (3.1660). Likewise, he has Maugancyus suggest that the spirit may have chosen to “dystayne and appalle” his mother’s “holynesse” because God selected her to fall “for the better” (3.1703–09). Hardyng may have included the latter because he had seen references to demons wanting to shame women in RMB 1.7973 and 1.7976, or he may have emphasized the spirit’s fiendish nature because he knew the Vulgate Lestoire de Merlin, which focuses on Merlin’s demonic father and his attempt to dishonor a secular virgin. Other aspects that Hardyng may have appropriated from RMB include the restyling of HRB’s governor of Caermardyn (“prefectum”) as “mayre” (see RMB 1.7917) and the naming of the castle Aurelius burns (see RB lines 7601–06 and RMB 1.8187–92). Elements not found in any of the sources considered here include Vortigern’s clerks defiantly answering Merlin (3.1730) and Duke Eldolle’s responsibility for the assembly that crowns Aurelius king (3.1780–86).

1757–72 The water . . . to avenge. Hardyng reduces the significance of the two dragons, which subsequently fight in HRB §§111–12 and signify the forthcoming battle between the Britons and the Saxons. He similarly omits all of the other prophecies found in HRB §§112–17 and condenses the divination concerning Vortigern’s end in §118 by passing over the fates of Aurelius and Uther, and excluding notice of the coming of Arthur. In the second version of the Chronicle, Hardyng states that he cannot write affirmatively about Merlin’s birth or his prophecies, so he omits them entirely.

1787–1835 Thay crouned . . . his countré. Generally speaking, Hardyng follows HRB §§120–25, but he radically reduces the account of Aurelius’s battle with Engist, omits Aurelius’s promise to restore the churches if victorious and removes Eldolle’s prayer to meet Engist on the field. Hardyng similarly alters HRB’s statement about the north of England being open to attack from Scots, Picts, Danes, and Norwegians, and recasts it as a justification for the Saxons’ northerly retreat; they choose this area because they can seek refuge in Scotland and obtain help from Britain’s foreign enemies if necessary (compare RMB 1.8255–56). Only Hardyng’s Eldolle sends a letter to Aurelius noting Engist’s capture and only here does he ask what his punishment will be.

1816–28 Sayde “Ye . . . dedes longe." This alludes to Samuel 1 15:33. Hardyng adapts his source to imitate the contemporary practice of quartering high-profile criminals and sending their body parts to various cities for display to deter prospective felons.

1836–70 In this . . . and recounsiled. Compare HRB §§126–27 and RMB 1.8517–8611. Hardyng’s Octa submits himself to Aurelius’s mercy with a rope around his neck instead of a chain, as in RMB 1.8534–35, but the Chronicle follows RMB in having Bishop Eldade offer the king advice first (Eldade is presumably a variation of the earlier character “Eldane,” as he is in other sources). The gift of land to the Saxons is similarly attributed to Aurelius’s own free will, rather than in response to the bishop’s request as in HRB §126 and RB lines 7957–59. For the biblical story of the Gibeonites, see Joshua 9:26.

1871–1924 Than sente . . . can merke. Compare HRB §§128–30 and RMB 1.8612–8817, although the Chronicle may be drawing upon a related, but more succinct, text linked to RB and EH. Hardyng appears to condense and simplify the episode explaining how Stonehenge was brought across from Ireland; however, further investigation into unpublished chronicles, particularly the Latin Bruts, may reveal that the following alterations do not originate with him at all. Hardyng has Aurelius send for Merlin without the advice of his bishop, and he removes any material that makes the king appear foolish, such as his desire to know the future and his laughter at Merlin’s suggestion of bringing the immovable stones to Britain. In so doing, Hardyng creates a stronger, more decisive Aurelius, whose qualities are more in keeping with those already seen. Hardyng alone has Merlin offer to travel with Uther, and by excluding the scene whereby the Britons amuse the prophet with their hopeless attempt to move the stones, he introduces a more obliging Merlin than HRB and RMB. Whilst RB (lines 8175–78), OV (lines 1425–26), EH (II: 302), and NC (fol. 38v) explain that the stones are known as Stonehenge, only RB and EH come close to matching Hardyng’s etymological explanation for the name. Finally, reference to the saintliness of bishops Sampson and Dubricius is also made in RB (lines 8169–70) and RMB (1.8805–07).

1925–54 In whiche . . . body stolle. Hardyng appears to emulate RMB 1.8818–8913. He omits all reference to Paschance’s being in Germany, describes “Menevue” (3.1933) as St. David’s (RMB 1.8841–43; see also RB lines 8213–14) and has Aurelius request burial at Stonehenge instead of dying in his sleep, as he does in HRB §132. The advice concerning unsuitable physicians in the marginalia before 3.1941 is Hardyng’s own.

1955–2149 Thus was . . . the nones. Hardyng’s rendering of Uther’s reign combines elements of HRB §§133–42 and RMB 1.8914–9599. He probably adapted Merlin’s prophecy to accommodate his later account of Arthur’s victory over Lucius (3.3619 ff.), for in HRB the beam that extends from the comet across the territories destined to be conquered by Uther’s son stretches only to Gaul. On the other hand, Hardyng may have known that the place the beam extends to in RB (line 8298) and RMB (1.8929) — the Great St. Bernard’s Pass or “Muntgieu” — leads to Italy and changed his text accordingly to include the more familiar Rome. Other alterations to the prophecy that appear to originate with Hardyng include the prediction that Arthur will have no issue (3.1976) — an interesting addition, which looks forward to the succession of Constantine, the son of Duke Cador (3.3822–28) — and the reference to Uther having more than one daughter at 3.1981. If authorial, the latter is presumably an attempt to reconcile the incongruity in HRB §144, whereby the mother of King Hoel of Brittany, Arthur’s nephew, does not appear to be Anna, daughter of Uther and wife of Loth. Regrettably, Hardyng’s reference to Arthur and Hoel’s consanguinity at 3.2312–13 adds nothing to support this assumption, but the second version of the Chronicle also refers to Uther’s having more than one daughter, suggesting that the change was intentional or the result of Hardyng following a source with such a reading.

The Chronicle follows RMB 1.9029 in naming the church at Winchester St. Peter’s (compare also CPL [I:132]), and the speech given by Hardyng’s Gorlois is similar to, but noticeably shorter than, that in RMB 1.9110–19. Reference to Uther declaring peace at Alclud and punishing criminals severely is made in HRB §137, as is the name of Gorlois’s stronghold “Dymyoke” (but compare RB line 8636, where it also occurs in three manuscripts of that text). Unfortunately, Hardyng’s narrative is confused about the manner of Gorlois’s death. He is slain twice: first by Uther’s men (3.2113–14), and again by Uther (3.2142). This error probably arose because Hardyng decided to omit the episode in his sources whereby the king’s men breach Gorlois’s camp, kill the duke, and win the siege whilst Uther is with Igerne. In passing over this and attributing the victory to Uther, Hardyng may have hoped to enhance the king’s military prowess, which is somewhat overshadowed by his lust in other texts. However, if this was his intention, his failure to omit the messenger’s speech reporting the duke’s demise at 3.2113–14 has spoilt the effect.

Finally, Hardyng omits those parts of his sources that cast the British barons in an unfavorable light; see, for example, HRB §139 and RMB 1.9450–59, where they refuse to follow Loth’s orders.

2061–65 Whose beuté . . . stretched nought. Hardyng’s observation that Nature surpassed itself when it fashioned Igerne is comparable with the descriptions of feminine beauty in romance (see, for example, Chrétien de Troyes’ Chevalier au Lion 1495–98, where we are told that Laudine is of “such immeasurable beauty, for in her Nature has surpassed all limit”; TB 5.1910–15; and Brewer, “Feminine Beauty,” pp. 258, 268).

2063 Hyre shappe and forme excede alle creature. Compare TC 5.807–08.

2106 Whiche of nature tendre was of corage. Compare TC 5.825.

2150–77 A feste . . . grete regyment. Unlike other chroniclers, Hardyng follows the Vulgate Lestoire de Merlin (pp. 196–97) in placing the foundation of the Round Table in Uther’s reign. However, whereas Lestoire de Merlin locates the first appearance of the Table at Uther’s Whitsunday feast, Hardyng’s Uther establishes it during his wedding feast. The description of the Grail as “The dysshe in whiche that Criste dyd putte his honde” and the vessel that Joseph of Arimathea used to collect Christ’s blood is taken from Lestoire de Merlin, (pp. 196–97, 352), but it is at odds with Hardyng’s earlier account of Joseph’s coming to Britain with two vials of the bloody sweat of Christ (2.2611–19). Whilst it is not inconceivable that Hardyng viewed the vials and the Grail as separate relics, it is more likely that the inconsistency arose from his use of disparate sources. (For the Grail as blood relic see Barber, Holy Grail, pp. 127–34, and Vincent, Holy Blood). For Joseph’s arrival in Britain see note 2.2611–47 above. For the Round Table in literature and legend see Fleming, “Round Table” and the works cited therein. The reference to Christ at the house of Simon the leper alludes to Mark 14:3.

2220–26 Afore his . . . Westmerlonde thurghoute. Based on his own geographical knowledge, Hardyng links the castle supposedly built by Uther with Pendragon Castle in Cumbria. The castle, which probably dates from the twelfth century, belonged to the Clifford family, who held the shrievalty of Westmorland by hereditary right and had close familial ties with the Percies, whom Hardyng once served. If this portion of the Chronicle was composed before the first Battle of St. Albans (22 May 1455), which seems most likely, “the Clifford” (3.2224) mentioned here is Thomas Clifford, eighth Baron Clifford (1414–55), son of John Clifford (1388/89–1422) and Elizabeth Percy (d. 1436). Thomas played an important role in fifteenth-century politics and was one of the men who supported Henry VI against Richard, duke of York at the Battle of St. Albans, where he was killed. Conversely, if Hardyng was at work on this section after Thomas’s death, “the Clifford” is Thomas’s son John Clifford, ninth Baron Clifford (1435–61), who came of age and inherited his father’s legacy in July 1456.

2227–47 Allas for . . . you sende. Like the stanza before it, this unique commendation of Uther’s achievements enhances the significance of his reign and underlines the continuity between past and present. Uther, like other sovereigns throughout the Chronicle, is to be a “myrour and remembrance to other kynges and prynces” because he protected his realm and opposed those who “vexed” his people, even when sick (3.2227m and 3.2240). The correlation between the difficulties in Uther’s reign and those lamented elsewhere in the Chronicle relating to Hardyng’s own time are implicit, but Henry VI is asked to “Thynke on this poynte” and ensure that he remains active in defending the realm and people that God entrusted to his care (compare 7.1051–78). Uther’s sickness and subsequent battle at St. Albans may have reminded Hardyng of the mental illness suffered by Henry VI in 1453–54, which preceded the battle of St. Albans in 1455, where one of the Cliffords mentioned above died (see note 3.2220–26).

2247m Arthurs armes. The illustrated arms of King Arthur — gules (red), three crowns or (gold) — occur alongside this marginalia.

2248–80 Arthure his . . . and quyte. Hardyng’s portrait of Arthur’s excellent features and his pledge to free the land of Saxons echoes RB lines 9013–38 and RMB 1.9614–37, although the inclusion of Fortune favoring the king is Hardyng’s own expansion, perhaps inspired by references to Fortune in Lydgate’s FP, and it anticipates his later diatribe on her fickleness (for more on this topic see Peverley, “Chronicling the Fortunes”). The location of Arthur’s coronation at Cirencester (“Cyrcestre," 3.2253), presumably a misreading of “Silcestrie” in HRB §143, similarly demonstrates the Chronicle’s debt to RB and/or RMB, for the same reading occurs in four extant manuscripts of RB (line 9012) and the surviving copies of RMB (1.9605, 1.9610). Whilst the presence of “Caercyry” (3.2253) merely repeats the information at 3.1110, the observation that “som” call Cirencester “Caersegent” (3.2254) indicates some confusion, either on Hardyng’s part or in one of his sources. HB §66a lists Cair Segeint as one of the twenty-eight British cities and HA (pp. 14–15) equates it with Silchester, but neither text mentions it in relation to Arthur. Hardyng may have conflated his “Cyrcestre” with HRB’s Silchester and decided to supplement his text with the information in HA, or, perhaps more likely, he obtained “Caersegent” from a text that drew upon the identification in HA to supplement its own reference to Arthur’s coronation at Silchester.

2255 fyftene yere. Arthur is fifteen at his accession in HRB and RMB.

2281–2380 To Scotlonde . . . no nede. Arthur’s campaign against the Saxons follows HRB §§143–48 and RMB 1.9638–10020, but Hardyng reduces the narrative considerably, omitting Hoel’s illness, the speeches made by Arthur and Dubricius, Arthur’s arming scene, and the detailed descriptions of combat. On one occasion his concision loses the coherence of his sources, for in omitting the scene in which Baldulf flees from battle and decides to try to reach his brother while disguised as a jester to plot their next move (3.2297–2303), it is not immediately apparent why Baldulf adopts his disguise.

2348 By thayre letters and seles. Only Hardyng refers to Cheldryke, Baldulf, and Colgrym ratifying their treaty with Arthur by “letters and seles.”

2360–61 He hanged . . . batayle wente. Hardyng diverges from his sources, where the Saxon hostages are hanged before Arthur journeys to Bath, and has them executed in full sight of their kinsmen to press home the Saxons’ perfidy.

2378 Deveshyre, Dorset and also Somersette. RMB 1.9845–48 appears to have inspired the Chronicle’s reference to the Saxons ravaging Devonshire, Somerset, and Dorset, although the information ultimately derives from RB lines 9245–48. Hardyng has removed it from its original context, where the pillaging precedes the siege of Bath.

2381–2401 In this . . . and contumacyté. Compare HRB §§149–52 and RMB 1.10021–10244. Details apparently taken from HRB include Hardyng’s reckoning of forty islands in the loch, as opposed to sixty in RB line 9427 and RMB 1.10039, and the remark about Bishop Sampson. RMB 1.10077–10130 presumably supplied the reference to all levels of society petitioning the king, not just the bishops as in HRB (see also RB lines 9465–9526). It may also have prompted Hardyng’s observation that Guyllomore came to assist the Saxons, for one of the manuscripts of RMB has him coming to help the Saxons instead of the Scots (1.10067). Hardyng omits his sources’ report of the eagles at the loch and their reference to Arthur restoring the three Scottish kings’ inheritance, electing to emphasize their homage to Arthur as king of Britain instead. In so doing, he makes the Scots the first men to show deference to Arthur, a detail that suits the Chronicle’s repetitive assertion that English kings have always had suzerainty over Scotland.

2430–76 This kynge . . . another founde. Although the details of Arthur’s marriage to Guinevere are ultimately derived from HRB §152, Hardyng adapts his narrative to parallel Uther’s earlier marriage to Igerne. Hardyng describes Guinevere’s beauty in the same terms as Igerne’s (see note 3.2061–65) and mentions Arthur’s reestablishment of the Round Table, justifying his creation of new knights with the statement that the Order of the Round Table had become depleted through war. This is a shrewd way of reconciling the disparate accounts that Hardyng encountered in his chronicle and romance sources concerning how the Round Table was formed and by whom. It also allows Hardyng to present Arthur as a king who restores order and brings stability to his realm by regulating the conduct of his knights and uniting them under a common cause.

Whilst the number of Arthur’s new knights — forty-two — may have come from the additional companions that join the order of the Round Table in Lestoire de Merlin (see pp. 245–49 and the accompanying notes), the majority of their names are taken from HRB §156 and RMB 1.10879–10908, where a list of those attending the plenary court at Caerleon later in Arthur’s reign is given. RB lines 10249–82, one of RMB’s sources, and Arthur also contain the names, but Hardyng’s “Syr Barent” earl of “Circestre” (3.2446), “Syr Jugence” (3.2448), and “Syr Bewes” (3.2456) are closer to the forms given in RMB. The knights at lines 2466–71 have been appropriated from the Welsh names in HRB, but Hardyng has misunderstood the Welsh prefix “map,” meaning “son of,” and produced a number of erroneous names; for clarification of individual names, see the notes that follow. Several knights have no clear source (see notes below).

Finally, Hardyng may have had the processes governing the election of new Garter Knights in mind at line 2476, for there is nothing immediately apparent in his sources matching his statement about the selection of new knights (see Keen, Chivalry, pp. 196–97, for the election process). New members were only admitted into the Order of the Garter upon the death of one of the knights, a fact that Hardyng would have been aware of because his former patron, Sir Robert Umfraville, was a member of the Order.

2447 Syr Harand, Erle of Shrewsbyry. We have been unable to locate a precise match for this name, but RB, RMB, and Arthur have an “Anaraud,” “Amorand” (or “Emoraund”), and “Euerad Erl of Salesbury” respectively (see note 3.2457 below).

2453 Galluc . . . of Salesbyry. HRB §156 has “Galluc Guintoniensis,” but interestingly EH (II:326) is closer to Hardyng’s knight with “Galluc Saresburiensis.”

2455 Gurgoyne the Erle of Herford. See RB line 10259, RMB 1.10889, and Arthur line 155.

2457 Amorawde, Erle of Excestre. A variation of RMB’s “Amorand” of Salisbury (1.10895), although it is not clear whether Hardyng changed the knight’s place of origin because he already had a knight from Salisbury, or whether he took this information from another source (see also HRB §156, RB line 10263, and Arthur line 159).

2459 Ewayne. See RB line 10252 and RMB 1.10882. Arthur lines 141–42 has “Vrweyn þe kynge / Of scottes.”

2462 Of Demecy the kynge Syr Uriayne. Of the sources considered here, only Hardyng presents Uriayne as the king of South Wales. RB line 10253, RMB 1.10883, and Arthur line 143 call the king of South Wales Stater.

2466 Donand, Mapcoyl, Peredoure, and Clenyus. Compare HRB §156 “Donaut Mappapo,” “Cheneus Mapcoil,” and “Peredur Maheridur” respectively. “Clenyus” may be a variation of the first part of “Cheneus Mapcoil,” used here as a separate name.

2467 Maheridoure, Mapclaude, Griffud. For “Maheridoure” see note 3.2466 above. The other names (“Regin Mapclaud” and “Grifud Mapnogoid”) derive from HRB §156.

2468 Gorbonyan, Esidoure and Heroyus. “Gorbonyan” is taken from HRB §156 “Gorbonian Masgoit”; the second part of this name is used at 3.2469 and a variation of Gorbonyan occurs again at 3.2471. We have been unable to locate a source for “Esidoure,” but “Heroyus” may be Hervi of Rivel, who appears in several Arthurian romances, including the Vulgate Lestoire de Merlin, pp. 289–90 (see Bruce, Arthurian Name Dictionary, p. 265, which gives Herui(s) as a form of Hervi).

2469 Edlein, Masgoyd, Kymbelyne. Compare HRB §156 “Eddelein Mapcledauc,” “Gorbonian Masgoit,” and “Kinbelin”; see also 3.2468 and 3.2471, where the first part of “Gorbonian Masgoit” has been used for two other knights.

2469–70 Cathleus / Mapcathel, Mapbangan, and Kynkare. Compare HRB §156 “Cathleus Mapcatel” and “Kingar Mapbangan.”

2471 Colflaut, Makeclauke, Gorbodyan. Compare HRB §156 for “Clofaut.” “Makeclauke” may be a corruption of “Regin Mapclaud” or “Eddelein Mapcledauc.” For “Gorbodyan” see notes 3.2468 and 3.2469 above.

2477–85 Thare reule . . . thayre lady. Compare HRB §157, RB lines 10511–20, and RMB 1.11095–11114.

2486–2513 The somer . . . to hafe. These details are drawn from either HRB §§153–55 or RMB 1.10259–10519, although Arthur’s sword “Caliburne” (3.2489) is named much earlier in both texts (HRB §147 and RMB 1.9883). Hardyng radically condenses his source’s account of Arthur’s conquest of Ireland and Norway, omitting the Norwegians’ attempt to defy Arthur’s installation of Loth as their king. He also adds Scotland and Friesland (“Freseland”) to the list of conquered realms.

2511 Kynge Sychelme. King Sichelm, Lot’s Norwegian grandfather (or uncle?), cited in HRB 9.11.

2514–40 Kynge Arthure . . . make pretence. Hardyng’s idiosyncratic description of the vast corpus of Arthurian literature available in his own time may have been inspired by RMB 1.10391–10420, which in turn develops a passage in RB lines 9785–98. By directing his readers to “the grete boke of alle the aventures / Of the Seynte Grale” (3.2532–33), a source also mentioned in Lydgate’s FP (8.2788), Hardyng simultaneously shows his own knowledge of, and fondness for, Arthurian literature, whilst introducing the notion that such stories are for “yonge mennes wytte” (3.2535) and not for seasoned old men like himself. The “grete boke” referred to is presumably a manuscript containing several Vulgate romances similar to that mentioned in the will of Sir Richard Roos (d. 1481/82), which contained the Estoire del Saint Graal, Mort Artu, and Queste (now British Library MS Royal 14 E. iii); (see Meale, “Manuscripts,” p. 103, and “Patrons,” p. 207; and Moll, Before Malory, pp. 170, 304). Moll has suggested that the individual tales alluded to at 3.2523 refer “to romances of individual achievement” (p. 170), a point that appears to be supported by the fact that Hardyng probably knew several of the knights listed at 3.2555–75 from their own romances.

2541–54 Bot whan . . . thaire viage. The suggestion that the knights’ exploits were recorded in Arthur’s time probably comes from Queste (p. 87), which refers to clerks writing down the adventures of the Grail quest (see also Lestoire de Merlin, p. 345), or Lydgate’s FP, which mentions a clerk chronicling the deeds reported to him by pursuivants so that the stories could be read and sung at court to give folk “gret confort” (8.2780–86 and 8.2829–35). Even so, only Hardyng’s knights write down their own adventures (3.2545), possibly, as Harker suggests, to reflect “a changed social context in which knightly literacy had become less uncommon” ("John Hardyng's Arthur," p. 252). Hardyng is similarly unique in stating that the adventures were recorded and read to stir young knights to perform chivalric deeds, a detail that sustains the contrast between youth and old age introduced at 3.2534–36. Lydgate mentions a “scoole of marcial doctrine / For yonge knihtes to lernen al the guise” (FP, 8.2815–21), but he fails to connect the education of new knights with the exemplary activities of tested knights.

2555–75 Bycause that . . . so thanne. Whereas Hardyng’s first register of the Round Table knights was compiled from those names occurring in his chronicle sources (see note 3.2430–76 above), this roll call consists mainly of figures from Arthurian romance, thus complementing Hardyng’s previous allusion to romances concerning the adventures of individual knights (see note 3.2514–40). Gawain, Lancelot, Pelles, Percival, Calogrenant (“Colygrenauntt,” 3.2567), Lionel, Bors, Kay, and Mordred all appear in the Vulgate Cycle, as well as other romances, although there is also a chronicle precedent for Percival in Le Petit Bruit (p. 12). Libeaus Desconus (“Lybews Dysconus,” 3.2567), Degare (“Degré,” 3.2568), and Degrevaunt feature in their own English romances. Bedivere also occurs in English romance, but like his nephew Hirelglas (“Irelglas,” 3.2571), and Guytarde, Hardyng would have known him from HRB. “Estore” (3.2569) is Ector, another romance figure, but it is unclear whether he is meant to be the father of Sir Kay and foster father of Arthur, or another Ector, such as the half-brother of Sir Lancelot. We have been unable to locate Hardyng’s source for "Bewes of Corbenny" (3.2570); one Escant, or Escans, duke of Cambenic is mentioned in Lestoire de Merlin (see, for example, pp. 227, 230–32, 270), where Cambenic is one of the northern duchies against Arthur, but Corbenny is more likely to be a variant of Corbenic, the Grail Castle in the Vulgate Cycle. The allusion to Arthur’s incestuous relationship with his sister at 3.2573–75 provides another example of Hardyng’s knowledge of the Vulgate Cycle, for, with the exception of the Stanzaic Morte Arthur, which is derived from Mort Artu, early English sources tend to depict Mordred as Arthur’s nephew (see 3.3787–93).

2576–96 In whiche . . . hertes consolacions. Arthur’s movable household mimics that of a medieval king, but the number of places he holds court is excessive, as the various locations serve to emphasize Arthur’s supremacy “thurghout alle Bretayne grounde” (3.2579). Hardyng’s inclusion of Glastonbury is particularly striking, because his interest in it usually centers on its association with Joseph of Arimathea and the Grail: that is, as a place of religious, as opposed to secular, authority. It is also the location of Arthur’s court in Libeaus Desconus, a romance that Hardyng might have known given his reference to the hero at 3.2567.

2597–2624 The reule . . . a name. Having briefly touched upon the “reule” of the Round Table at 3.2477–78, Hardyng establishes the principles governing the order in greater detail. Three elements of the oath (helping maidens, seeking out absent knights, and describing their adventures) ultimately derive from the vows made by the knights in Lestoire de Merlin (p. 345), whilst other aspects of the pledge show the knights addressing common fifteenth-century problems by offering their services against those who commit heresy, oppress the common weal, rebel against the king’s “dygnyté” (3.2605), and commit extortion, particularly against the poor. Hardyng may have been inspired by Lydgate’s account of the Round Table statutes in FP 8.2728–2849, which list amongst other things the knights’ duty to resist tyranny, protect widows and maidens, restore children to their “trewe heritage,” defend “comoun proffit” and the “liberté” of the church, and help companions in need. The reference to the knights’ deeds being recorded in “romance or scripture” (3.2621) to inspire others likewise bears some resemblance to Lydgate’s text and echoes Hardyng’s earlier observation at 3.2541–54 (see note 3.2541–54 above).

In Arthurian literature Pentecost is a common time for the knights to gather at court and Hardyng appears to make use of this convention later on to invite comparisons between Arthur’s court and that of Edward I, who is also said to hold a great feast at Pentecost, second only to Arthur’s (6.798–867).

2625–26 But ever . . . sharpe laboure. See note 2.2354–55.

2625–2715 But ever . . . is memory. Having already changed the order of events in RMB 1.10391–10470 (which follows HRB §155 and RB lines 9731–9886) by recounting Arthur’s conquest of Norway before the first period of peace and knightly adventures, Hardyng moves straight to the king’s conquest of France and provides an abbreviated account of Arthur’s victory over Frolle, which appears to be drawn from RMB 1.10520–10792. The ensuing list of the European kings and princes that pay homage to Arthur is Hardyng’s own addition, as is Arthur’s coronation in Paris, an event which may have been added to prefigure Henry VI’s coronation in Paris as dual monarch of England and France and create a connection between the two kings (see note 3.2716–2946 below, though compare Lydgate’s FP 8.2892–98, which mentions Arthur’s feast in Paris).

Other unique aspects of Hardyng’s narrative include the description of Guinevere’s beauty, which resembles that of Chaucer’s Criseyde in TC 1.99–105, and the declaration that the tournaments took place for “love of ladyse” (3.2695). The description of Arthur’s sojourn in France follows RB and RMB, rather than HRB, in that it enhances Arthur’s prestige by depicting his nine-year stay as a time of peace and adventure; on this topic see Putter, “Finding Time for Romance.”

2716–2946 And whan . . . prynces regymence. Compare HRB §§155–57, RB lines 10147–10620, and RMB 1.10775–11192, though each of these places the events at 3.2730–43 before Arthur makes a decision to return to Britain. Although the basic details of the celebrations at Caerleon ultimately derive from HRB’s account of Arthur’s plenary court, where the king wears his crown in state, Hardyng recasts the episode as a second British coronation. This alteration might indicate that he was following RB line 10204 or RMB 1.10828, since both texts phrase Arthur’s wish to be crowned in such a way that it could be interpreted as a desire to have another coronation, rather than simply to wear the crown at court. RMB 1.10873–74 may have added to this confusion with its later reference to a “legate fro Rome” being sent to crown Arthur. In addition to this, Hardyng embellishes his account of the abundance of wine at Arthur’s feast by reworking lines 314–320 and 333–34 of Lydgate’s “Henry VI’s Triumphant Entry into London” (see 3.2869–76). Having recycled parts of the same poem earlier in the Chronicle, Hardyng presumably utilizes it here to underscore subtle links between King Arthur’s celebrations and those witnessed related to Henry VI’s dual coronation in England and France. See Peverley, “Chronicling the Fortunes” for further discussion of Hardyng’s use of Lydgate’s poem. For other uses of the poem see Prol.1–14, 2.2232–2451, 6.812–67, 7.708–14.

2726 north halfe Rome. This detail is unique to Hardyng. It may have been inspired by the comparison of Caerleon and Rome in HRB §156 and other texts, or perhaps from RMB’s reference to a papal legate being sent for (1.10873–74).

2727 Severne. In HRB §156 and elsewhere Arthur’s guests sail down the River Usk, which is said to be close to the Severn. Hardyng just mentions the Severn.

2786 The kynge of Man. Compare RB line 10321 and RMB 1.10934, both of which mention the king of “Mans.”

2800–03 The archebysshop . . . and excercyse. Hardyng, like LB lines 12206–07, places the archbishop of London on Arthur’s right and the archbishop of York on Arthur’s left; neither HRB, RB nor RMB mention which side the archbishops walked on or which of Arthur’s arms they held.

2809–13 Where byried . . . alle wyrkynge. Reference to Dubrike’s burial is not made in the equivalent passages in HRB §157, HRBVV §157, CPL I:176, EH II:329, and RMB 1.11543–48, where the archbishop resigns from his office to become a hermit. See note 3.2905–18 below.

2814–27 Kynge Aguselle . . . that servyce. Hardyng places additional emphasis on the symbolic nature of the swords carried by the four kings, making it clear to his audience that the swords represent the lands that the kings “holdyn” for Arthur (3.2820).

2837 With kynges led. Presumably a misreading of HRB §157, which describes Guinevere being led by the consorts of the four kings accompanying Arthur.

2852–55 Duke Kay . . . dyd stonde. Hardyng’s reference to Kay’s carrying a silver baton, or “yerde” (3.2854), before the king appears to be unique. It may be an allusion to the ceremonial white staff carried by the king’s steward in the Middle Ages.

2860–62 And ay . . . and disporte. Arthur’s court is said to follow Trojan custom in HRB §157, RB lines 10445–58, and RMB 1.11049–60, where the men and women attend separate feasts; however, Hardyng emphasizes the fact that both sexes sit together so that the knights can “comforte” and “chere” the ladies “with daliance.” Compare with the seating arrangements at Cassibalan’s feast at 2.2340–46.

2865 In clothe of golde. In HRB §157, RB lines 10471–78, and RMB 1.11073–76, Bedivere and his men are clad in ermine like Sir Kay; Hardyng’s reference to their golden attire appears to be unique.

2870–76 Thetys that . . . the feste. See note 3.2716–2946 above.

2891–2904 And every . . . myght endure. Only Hardyng appears to mention Guinevere’s special relationship with the church dedicated to St. Julian. For Guinevere’s flight to St. Julian’s at the end of Arthur’s reign see 3.3801–07; for the martyrdom of saints Julian and Aaron see 3.386–92, where, contrary to what Hardyng says here, the saints’ martyrdom is said to have taken place under the Emperor Diocletian, not Maxence.

2905–18 But Seynte . . . and autorised. Compare note 3.2809–13 above. Dubrike’s retirement and David’s consecration are also mentioned briefly in HRB §157, CPL I:176, EH II:329, and RMB 1.11543–48. Although Sullens has noted that RMB’s reference to Dubrike is “conspicuously out of order” with the rest of the narrative (see p. 704n1143–48), Hardyng’s record of the archbishop’s fate points towards the likelihood that he was using a version of HRB, RMB, or an unknown text related to them, rather than RB, which does not refer to Dubrike’s resignation or burial. The allusion to David’s canonization and the use of the simile at 3.2914–15 to describe the saint’s exemplary life appear to be unique to Hardyng.

2919m Elyden was . . . Bede also. For Elyden as bishop of Alclud see HRB §157. The debate about Alclud’s location echoes similar comments at 2.1066m and 2.1941–2045, and draws upon P (II:64–69) and Bede (pp. 58–59) (although Bede is cited as a source in P, so Hardyng may not have used Bede directly here).

2926–46 And whan . . . prynces regymence. Compare with RB lines 10589–10620 and RMB 1.11159–92, where Arthur’s generosity is described. Hardyng’s account of the king’s “liberalté” (3.2939) is notably different in its emphasis on the respect that other princes have for Arthur and the growth of his reputation.

2947m How whan . . . and Wales. Hardyng’s account of Galahad’s Grail Quest is unparalleled in the chronicle tradition and has attracted a great deal of attention from scholars. Whereas other chronicles, such as HRB and RMB, describe the arrival of the Emperor Lucius’s envoy immediately after Arthur’s plenary court, Hardyng’s text takes a detour into the world of romance, delaying the onset of Arthur’s war with Lucius until Galahad has achieved the Grail. Kennedy argues, quite convincingly, that Hardyng imbues the quest with political significance by transforming his source, the Vulgate Queste, into “something creditable to Arthur and his court,” which enhances “the spiritual authority of Arthur’s reign” and repudiates “Scottish writers who boasted of Scotland’s preeminence as a Christian nation and who stressed the illegitimacy of Arthur’s rule” (“John Hardyng and the Holy Grail,” pp. 203, 205, 206). Riddy, on the other hand, makes an equally compelling case for Hardyng’s demystification of the Grail, claiming that it “is not a religious symbol at all but [. . .] a heraldic emblem that harks back through history to Joseph of Arimathea, binding together the British past rather than transcending history in the Eucharist” (“John Hardyng in Search of the Grail,” p. 426; see also her “Glastonbury” and “Chivalric Nationalism”).

In this particular marginalia Hardyng attempts to lend historical authenticity to the romance material by linking “the grete story of the Saynt Graal” (i.e., Queste) with the “Policraticon” of “Waltier of Oxenford.” Elsewhere in the Chronicle Hardyng’s allusions to Walter of Oxford imply that he was thinking of HRB, a text that he probably had in mind here given his observation that Walter’s text deals with “Cornewail and Wales” (see 2.1m, 2.1115–98, 4.2754), but which certainly did not furnish him with the story of the Grail. In connecting the “grete story” of the Grail with an author named Walter, Hardyng may be referring to Walter Map, alleged author of the Vulgate Queste and Mort Artu (see Queste, p. 87 and Mort Artu, pp. 91, 160). This hypothesis, however, does not explain the reference to Cornwall and Wales or Walter’s association with Oxford, unless Hardyng was confusing Map with the Walter mentioned in HRB (see Moll, Before Malory, pp. 186–87). The enigmatic “Policraticon” is similarly opaque, and Moll may be correct in suggesting that Hardyng intended Polychronicon (p. 187). Nevertheless, if Hardyng had Higden’s work of that name in mind he must have been attempting to lend spurious authority to the romance material because the information about Galahad and the Grail did not come from that text (compare notes 3.2989m, 3.2989–3016, 3.3038m, and 3.3136m, for other erroneous sources).

Since Hardyng is not the only author to cite the story of the Grail as a source (compare JG, p. 48, and Le Petit Bruit, p. 6, and Lovelich, V:306), it is likely that he is drawing upon a genuine Grail text — probably a romance from the French Vulgate cycle — or repeating the information after seeing it cited elsewhere. Equally, John Lydgate’s reference to a “Sang Real” in his account of Sege Perilous in FP 8.2788, may have influenced Hardyng. Further information about this marginalia is available in the Textual Notes.

2947–88 And at . . . that ordoure. Hardyng’s main source for this section is the Vulgate Cycle. In the Vulgate Lancelot, Galahad stays at an abbey until he is fifteen, then he leaves to become a knight (III:338), and in Queste (pp. 3–5), he arrives at Arthur’s court on Whitsunday (Pentecost). The story of “Sege Perilouse” (3.2966) and the prophecy about Galahad are found in Lestoire de Merlin (pp. 196–97, 352, 359) and Queste (pp. 5, 26–27), but only Hardyng uses the story of the seat’s destructive power to enhance Arthur’s reputation by claiming that, until Galahad arrived, nobody except the king had sat in it without being “shamed and mescheved” (3.2969). Hardyng’s description of Lancelot’s begetting Galahad “by hole and fulle knowlage / Of Pelles doughter” (3.2956–57) likewise deviates from the traditional account of his conception by implying that Lancelot loved “Pelles doughter” willingly, rather than being duped into sleeping with her as he is in other romances (see, for example, Lancelot vol. 3, IV:164–65). In the second version of the Chronicle, Hardyng makes the purity of Galahad’s conception clearer still by stating that Galahad was conceived “in verray clene spousage / On Pelles doghter” (see Arch. Selden B. 10, fol. 56r).

2954 fiftene yere of age. Compare with the Vulgate Lancelot, vol. 3, VI:338.

2989m How the . . . and Cornwail. Hardyng’s spurious reference to Gerald of Wales (“Giralde Cambrense”) writing about the Grail in his “Topographie of Wales and Cornwail” is another attempt to give historical authenticity to the romance material in this section of the Chronicle. Similar references to Gerald occur at 3.3038m and 3.3136m. See also note 3.2947m above and Moll, who suggests that Hardyng could have been “aware that Giraldus’s work contained information relating to Glastonbury and that the rubrics are based on this” (Before Malory, p. 187).

2989–3016 At whiche . . . myne avowe. The account of the Grail’s appearance is based on Queste (p. 5), where the doors and windows shut by themselves as Galahad is brought to Arthur’s court, but Hardyng invents an erroneous source for it in the chronicle tradition at 3.2997 (“as sayth the cronyclere”; compare also notes 3.2947m and 3.2989m above). Besides adapting this episode to herald the Grail’s entrance rather than Galahad’s, Hardyng disregards the solemn procession of the Grail described in Queste (p. 7), and instead depicts it flying in, around, and out of the hall. Other alterations include Galahad’s pledge to take up the quest before any other knight (in Queste Gawain is the first, pp. 7–8), and Arthur’s knighting of Galahad (Lancelot confers this honor in Queste, p. 3). The king’s gift of “armes” (3.3009) and Galahad’s refusal of a shield echo Queste (p. 7), where Galahad dons a hauberk and helmet at the king and queen’s request, but refuses to carry a shield until he has won his own.

3012–16 Ne two . . . myne avowe. As Harker notes, Galahad’s pledge not to stay “two nyght” in one place until he has learnt about the Grail is the same as the vow made by Percival in Chrétien de Troyes’ Li Contes del Graal, 4693 ff. (“John Hardyng’s Arthur,” p. 275). Compare also Arthur’s vow not to spend two nights at the same place until he has found Percival (4099 ff.).

3022–37 For whiche . . . and wo. Arthur’s lament at the knights’ leaving echoes Queste (p. 8), but Hardyng supplies the king’s aspiration to “folow thaym” (3.3036) and expands on the importance of the knights by employing the well-known image of the body politic, whereby the knights are the “membres” (3.3026), limbs or organs, that sustain Arthur’s body (i.e., the realm) and maintain his “coroun” and sovereign “rightes” (3.3032).

3038m How Sir . . . and Cornwail. See note 3.2989m above and Textual Notes.

3038–49 With that . . . togedir layne. The concept of knights exchanging stories about their adventures may have been inspired by Queste (pp. 10, 87), Lestoire de Merlin (p. 345), or, more generally, by the plot of Queste, whereby the knights often encounter each other again after separating on their quest.

3052–82 Bot so . . . after right. Hardyng follows Queste (pp. 11–13), although he changes several details (see the notes below).

3052 Avalone. Instead of finding the shield that once belonged to Evalache, king of Sarras, at a Cistercian abbey, as in Queste, Galahad acquires it at the Benedictine house at Glastonbury, which Hardyng equates with Avalon. For Glastonbury’s association with Avalon and the Grail see Lagorio, “Evolving Legend”; Robinson, Two Glastonbury Legends; Abrams and Carley, Archaeology and History; and Barber, Holy Grail.

3057 A shelde, a spere, a sworde. Hardyng’s source, Queste, makes no reference to Galahad obtaining a sword and spear at the abbey; Galahad obtains his sword before setting out on his quest (p. 6), and encounters a bleeding lance much later in the narrative when he uses it to cure the maimed king (p. 85). The Queste does describe a tomb at the abbey containing the cadaver of a knight in full armor, with a sword and other “chivalric accoutrements” (p. 14), but Galahad does not take the items and the dead knight is later revealed to be a symbol of sinful mankind. This episode may have inspired Hardyng to include the other weapons here, especially since Nascien (Seraphe) is said to be buried with the shield (p. 13), but he may simply have incorporated them because of their prominence in Grail lore at large.

3059 thay sayde . . . it wreton. In Queste a White Knight explains the shield’s history to Galahad, but in Hardyng’s text the holy men find the information written “in bokes.”

3060 Kynge Evalache. Evalache is a pagan king of Sarras, who converts to Christianity after receiving a shield from Josephus, son of Joseph of Arimathea, which enables him to defeat his enemy. After converting he changes his name to Mordrain. See Estoire del Saint Graal (pp. 14–49) and Queste (pp. 12–13).

3062–64 With crosse . . . or adversité. Either deliberately or in confusion, Hardyng changes the character responsible for drawing the “crosse of blode” (3.3062) on the shield from Josephus — the son of Joseph of Arimathea in the Vulgate Cycle — to Joseph of Arimathea. The observation that no man except Galahad could bare the shield without suffering “deth, mayme or adversité” (3.3064) alludes to Queste (pp. 11–13).

3065 Bot oon . . . in vyrgynyté. The themes of virginity and spiritual purity are ubiquitous throughout the Vulgate Cycle; see, for example, Lestoire de Merlin, (p. 359), where King Pelles predicts that three knights are needed to fulfil the Grail quest, two of which must be virgins and the third chaste.

3066 Duke Seraphe. Seraphe, duke of Orberica, brother-in-law of King Evalache, and ancestor of Galahad. Upon converting to the Christian faith, Seraphe changes his name to Nascien. See Estoire del Saint Graal (p. 47) and Queste (pp. 12–13).

3075 Orboryke. Orberica, the land ruled by Nascien and converted by Joseph of Arimathea in the Vulgate Cycle (see, for example, Estoire del Saint Graal, pp. 42, 44, 50, 69, 73). It is also mentioned at 3.3102.

3080–81 What shuld . . . this prophecy. In this version of the Chronicle, Hardyng does not elaborate on how, or where, Galahad finds the Grail, only that he fulfils his destiny; in the second version, Galahad finds the Grail in Wales.

3094–3100 That every . . . kynge sojorned. Hardyng probably appropriates the idea that the knights’ adventures were recorded by the court from Queste (p. 87) or Lestoire de Merlin (p. 345), but see notes 3.2541–54 and 3.2597–2624 above.

3101–28 Bot so . . . fulle cyrcumspeccioun. The nine companions that join Galahad, Percival, and Bors at the “Table of Seynte Grale” originate from Queste (pp. 84–85), but Hardyng ignores the brief role that they play in his source, whereby they re-enact the Last Supper with Galahad, Percival, and Bors and receive the Eucharist from Josephus. Instead, Hardyng credits Galahad with establishing a new chivalric order to equal that of the Round Table. The “reule” of Galahad’s Grail Order (3.3114m, 3.3115) differs from that of the Round Table in only a few details: Galahad’s knights swear “To leve evermore in clennesse virginalle” (3.3116), and young children are added to the list of people that they should protect. Several aspects of the Round Table oath — the vow to protect against sorcery, defend the king’s dignity, meet annually to recount adventures, and seek absent knights — are similarly omitted, but, for the most part, the codes upheld by both orders are the same. Compare 3.2477–78 and 3.2597–2624.

3102 Orberike. See note 3.3075 above.

3115m What the . . . Gestis Arthuri. The enigmatic sources alluded to in this marginalia have prompted some debate amongst scholars. Riddy suggests that “the dialogue ‘de gestis Arthur’ is conceivably ‘de gestis Britonum’, an alternative title for the Historia Brittonum,” which was “frequently attributed to Gildas in medieval manuscripts” (“Glastonbury,” p. 322n17). In contrast, Moll posits that the reference to “De Gestis Arthuri” is a “poor reading” of the Description of Wales, where Gerald of Wales “explains why Gildas did not mention Arthur in his De Excidio Britonum” (Before Malory, pp. 188). He similarly concedes that the accompanying marginalia, which could have been written in two stages, may represent Hardyng’s “own attempts, late in the production of the manuscript, to provide authority for his suspect history” (p. 189).

Carley, on the other hand, notes that Hardyng’s alleged sources “correspond very closely” to the Tractatus de Sancto Ioseph ab Arimathia (The Treatise of St. Joseph of Arimathea) and Liber de gestis incliti regis Arthuri (The book of the deeds of the glorious King Arthur) cited in JG. He surmises that Hardyng’s references are drawn from “some sort of compendium concocted at Glastonbury separate from John’s chronicle [JG] (but into which it was partially incorporated).” See Barron, ed., Arthur of the English (p. 54) and JG (pp. 46, 52, and 278n69); see also the interpolation in William of Malmesbury’s De Antiquitate Glastonie Ecclesie (p. 47), from which JG’s reference to the Liber de gestis incliti regis Arthuri is taken. Although JG does not attribute the Gestis to Gildas directly, it does celebrate Glastonbury’s connections with the saint and draws upon Caradoc of Llancarvan’s Life of Gildas, so if Hardyng did use “some sort of compendium” related to Glastonbury, there is a small possibility that such a work may have attributed a Gestis to Gildas; see, for example, Geffrei Gaimar’s L’Estoire des Engleis (lines 39–42).

Given that other similarities occur elsewhere between Hardyng’s work and that of JG (or a related text), Carley’s proposal best explains how Hardyng might have encountered a reference to the works cited here, but, for all this, it is highly unlikely that he obtained any information about the “reule” of Galahad’s Grail order from such a text; he appears to have invented the “reule” himself based on Arthur’s Round Table oath and material in Queste (see notes 3.2597–2624 and 3.3101–28). For the possibility of Hardyng using, or having knowledge of, a romance dealing with Joseph of Arimathea see note 2.2611–47 above. In sum, all that can be said with any degree of certainty is that the “book of Josep of Arymathie” and “De Gestis Arthur” are cited to add authority to the narrative, whether they are real or, less likely, spurious sources (compare notes 3.2989m, 3.2989–3016, 3.3038m, and 3.3136m). Additional information about this marginalia can be found in the Textual Notes.

3129 So endurynge fulle longe and many yere. In Hardyng’s source, Queste (p. 87), Galahad has no desire for worldly sovereignty and reigns for a single year before receiving the Eucharist from Josephus and dying of joy. Since Hardyng’s presentation of Galahad is much more secular in its orientation, he may have refrained from mentioning Galahad’s reluctance to be king and extended the length of his reign to present a more positive portrait of kingship and English rule over a foreign land (see Riddy, “Chivalric Nationalism,” pp. 407–08).

3134–49 Whiche tyme . . . knyghtly diligence. In Queste, Galahad does not make Bors king of Sarras. After witnessing Galahad’s death Bors remains with Percival until he dies; he then returns to Arthur’s court, where he recounts Galahad’s adventures and they are recorded for posterity (p. 87).

3136m How Percyvall . . . and Wales. See note 3.2989m and Textual Notes. As Kennedy notes, the spurious sources cited in this marginalia have been falsified to lend authority to Hardyng’s own account of the burial of Galahad’s heart (“John Hardyng and the Holy Grail,” p. 204).

3150–56 And to . . . his blode. Kennedy argues that Hardyng’s inimitable reference to Galahad’s heart being encased in gold could have been inspired by “the well known story of the death of Robert Bruce, whose heart was encased in silver, taken on a pilgrimage against the Saracens, and brought back to Scotland and buried with great ceremony at Melrose Abbey” (“John Hardyng and the Holy Grail,” pp. 204–05). In contrast, Riddy proposes another analogue, suggesting that Hardyng “must have known” about Emperor Sigismund’s presentation of St. George’s heart to Henry V in 1416 “through his ‘good lord,’ the Garter knight Sir Robert Umfraville” (“Chivalric Nationalism,” p. 409). Given the reference to St. George’s arms in the following stanza (see note 3.3157–70 below), Riddy may be correct, or Hardyng could be conflating both episodes. Wherever his inspiration came from, his account of Galahad’s interment at Avalon (Glastonbury) serves to bolster the connections he makes elsewhere between Glastonbury, Joseph of Arimathea, Galahad and the Grail. In Queste, Galahad is buried in Sarras.

3157–70 And there . . . he hynge. English interest in St. George arose in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, first under Edward III, who created the Order of the Garter in his honor and may have helped to establish St. George as the patron saint of England, and later under Henry V, who had a “personal devotion” to the saint and who carried his banner during his campaign against France (see Riddy, “Glastonbury,” p. 330n37). Up to this point in the Chronicle, Hardyng has taken care to associate St. George’s arms with Joseph of Arimathea, the legendary Christian kings Lucius, Constantine, Arthur, and Galahad, but here he makes an explicit link between the monarchs of the past who have borne the “armes that we Seynt Georges calle” (3.3158) and all subsequent kings who have fought under the saint’s banner. It is likely that Hardyng, who fought for Henry V at Agincourt and Harfleur, had his former sovereign in mind when composing these lines. For earlier references to St. George’s arms see 3.505m, 3.575m, 3.694m, 3.3059, and 3.3157–70. By emphasizing the connection between past and present uses of heraldry, Hardyng similarly paves the way for his subsequent description of how all chivalric orders are connected (see note 3.3171–84 below).

3171–84 Of whiche . . . soules heelfulnesse. Earlier in the Chronicle, Hardyng followed the Vulgate Lestoire de Merlin (pp. 196–97) and Queste (pp. 26–27), stating that the chivalric orders of the Round Table and the Holy Grail were made in imitation of the table at the Last Supper. In this section he builds upon the notion of a chivalric genealogy connecting past and present orders of knighthood by claiming that the twelfth-century order of the Knights Templar was formed “in figure” of Galahad’s Grail Order (3.3173), and that Knights Hospitaller are, in turn, related to the Templars, who were disbanded in 1312. Whilst the Hospitallers, who also originated in the twelfth century, did indeed model their rule on the Templars, it is likely that Hardyng’s lines reflect an interest in, and awareness of, the “historical mythology” of chivalry (see Keen, Chivalry, pp. 50, 124), rather than any detailed knowledge of the Templars’ and Hospitallers’ statutes. Consequently, these stanzas underscore Hardyng’s careful attempt to chronicle the ancestry of chivalry alongside the ancestry of his sovereign; moreover, they provide an insight into why Hardyng may have elected to weave romance materials into this and earlier sections of the Chronicle. As Keen has noted, the stories of Joseph of Arimathea, the Grail, and Arthur’s court played a significant role in helping to underpin “the values of chivalry by providing them with a faultlessly antique and highly evocative pedigree” (Chivalry, p. 102); thus, just as Hardyng traces Henry VI’s lineage from Adam, he is also able to chart the development of knighthood and chivalry from Joseph of Arimathea and the Last Supper by appropriating and adapting the Vulgate stories and explaining the history of the arms of St. George, patron saint of the Order of the Garter to which Sir Robert Umfraville, who is held up as a perfect proponent of chivalry at the end of the Chronicle, belonged. For similar correlations between past and present orders see Keen, Chivalry, (pp. 190–92), who cites some interesting examples of the Order of the Garter being made in honor of Arthur’s Round Table. Compare also, Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival, which also links the Templars to the Grail by making them the guardians of the Grail Castle (Keen, Chivalry, p. 59).

3185–3219 At Pentecoste . . . a suffisshance. Compare with 3.2744–2890. Having interpolated a Grail Quest and account of Galahad’s achievements, Hardyng picks up his chronicle sources where he left them. By incorporating a second Pentecostal feast at Caerleon, he is able to follow HRB and RMB and describe the arrival of the Roman delegates during the festivities at court (see note 3.3220–73 below).

3191 Camalot. Hardyng may be alluding to an oral tradition that associates Caerleon with Camelot, or he may be conflating the disparate locations of Arthur’s principal court found in chronicles, such as HRB, and romance, such as the Vulgate Mort Artu. Camelot first appears in Chrétien de Troyes’ Chevalier de la Charette, but it is a separate location to Caerleon.

3192–98 The kynges . . . alle plesaunce. Compare 3.2777–88, where the same kings are mentioned alongside Duke Cador and the King of Man.

3220–72 So at . . . his avaylle. On the whole, Hardyng’s account of the arrival of Lucius’s envoy and his letter appears to draw upon HRB §158 and RMB 1.11195–11314, although the wording of RB lines 10621–10730 is also of interest (see note 3.3227–32). Lucius is “procuratoure” of Rome (3.3228) in HRB and EH (II:330), and Emperor in RB, Lestoire de Merlin (p. 401), RMB, and EH (II:330) (in the chapter heading), but see also note 3.3346m. CPL refers to him as senator and emperor (I:176, 192). “Kynge Frolle” (3.3243) is mentioned in Lucius’ letter in RB and RMB, but not HRB. LB, OV and Brut also refer to Lucius as emperor, mention Frolle, and have Arthur reply by letter (see LB lines 12356–12627, OV lines 1808–45, Brut pp. 81–82), but they do not appear to be Hardyng’s sources.

3220 dese. RB and RMB also place Arthur on the dais when the envoy arrives.

3222–23 With olyfe . . . esy pase. Compare RMB 1.11204–05, “with olyue branches in handes born / with softe pas.”

3224 Upon thayre knes. This detail appears to be unique to Hardyng.

3227–32 Lucyus of . . . haste deserved. Compare HRB §158 and EH (II:330), “Lucius rei publice procurator Arturo regi Britannie quod meruit” (Lucius, Procurator of the Republic, wishes that Arthur, King of Britain, [may receive such treatment] as he has deserved) and RB (lines 10641–42) "Luces, ki Rome ad en baillie / E des Romains la seinurie / Mande ço qu’il ad deservi / Al rei Artur, sun enemi" (Luces, the ruler of Rome and lord of the Romans, sends King Arthur, his enemy, what he has deserved).

3249 Auguste. HRB §158, RB line 10691, and EH (II:330) contain August, but RMB 1.11269 refers to “next heruest.”

3259 The lyfelode . . . thee lefte. This detail does not occur in HRB, RB, or RMB. Although the Alliterative Morte (line 112) touches upon Uther’s tribute (“Thy fader made fewtee we find in our rolles / In the regestre of Rome”), there is nothing in this section to suggest that Hardyng knew or used the romance. See Harker, “John Hardyng’s Arthur,” p. 285, who seems to imply that Hardyng knew the text.

3262–68 "Written at . . . I gesse." This stanza is unique to Hardyng and may reflect, as Harker has suggested, “the kind of officiating tag which Hardyng in his capacity as a forger of documents could be expected to add” (“John Hardyng’s Arthur,” p. 286).

3269 Geants Toure. Compare HRB §158 (“giganteam turrim”), RB line 10730 (“Tur gigantine”), RMB 1.11314 (“Toure Geaunt”), and EH II:331 (“gigantaeam”).

3272 He shulde than wryte. Despite the fact that HRB §§158–162 elucidates Arthur’s rights and mentions that Arthur used Lucius’s messengers to relay his reply, there is no explicit reference to Arthur writing a letter. RB lines 11045–47 briefly mentions the composition of a letter after Arthur has discussed the matter with his men, but RMB 1.11405–10, 1.11611–18, and Arthur lines 247–70 make more of Arthur’s writing, dedicating several lines to the composition of the letter. Hardyng may have been inspired by RMB (see note 3.3273–3345 below for a linguistic echo to support this assumption) or another unidentified source related to RB (as Arthur appears to be). Equally, the decision to present Arthur’s response to Lucius solely in letter form may originate from a desire to link Arthur’s epistolary exchange with other instances in the Chronicle where kings have asserted their territorial claims through letters; see, for example, 6.1990–94, where Edward III uses letters to establish his claim to France, and Edward I’s letter to Pope Boniface at 7.1401–14, which Hardyng urges Henry VI to use if he ever wishes to insist on his right to Scotland.

3273–3345 Of whiche . . . thaym amonge. Hardyng omits the speeches made by Arthur’s men in HRB §§158–162, RB lines 10711–11058, RMB 1.11315–11628, and EH II:331–35. There are linguistic echoes between the letter at 3.3333–36 and Arthur’s response in RMB 1.11494–96 (“bring Rome & I salle Bretayn bring, / & whilk of vs most may / bere Rome and Bretayn boþe away”). See also note 3.3272 above.

3286 By treson of Androges. This is an allusion to 2.2354 ff. Androges is not named in HRB, RB, OV, RMB, EH, or Brut.

3290m Quicquid iniuste . . . imperatoria patet. Compare with HRB §159: “Nichil enim quod ui et uiolentia adquiritur iuste ab ullo possidetur” (Nothing that is acquired by force and violence can ever be held legally by anyone). Similar statements occur in RB lines 10829–34 and RMB 1.11415–18.

3299 Brute. Brute is not mentioned in HRB, RB, LB, OV, CPL, RMB, EH, Brut, Arthur, or NC at this point.

3311m Cui descendebat . . . comitatus Romani. The editors thank Neil Wright for his help in elucidating this text.

3346m How Arthure . . . Emperoure Leo. In HRB Lucius is the Procurator of Rome and Leo is the emperor. However, in §162, Arthur sends a reply to “Imperatoribus” (emperors), stating that he has no intention of paying them tribute, and later, in the description of the battles that ensue, the narrative contains frequent references to the emperor, the emperor’s camp, and the emperor’s bodyguard, which presumably refer to Leo, but could equally be mistaken for references to Lucius. This appears to have led to the confusion that arises about Lucius’s status as an emperor in this and other texts (see, for example, RB, CPL, RMB, and Arthur).

3346–66 This noble . . . and Holonde. Hardyng omits the details found in HRB §§162–64, RB lines 11085–11286, RMB 1.11653–11848, and EH II:336 concerning Lucius’s army, Arthur’s dream, and Mordred’s love of Guinevere (not in HRB), and instead emphasizes how Arthur mustered his troops and who supported him. With the exception of the references to Flanders (lacking in HRB and EH) and the Twelve Peers of France, Hardyng’s account of the men supporting Arthur is different to that in HRB, RB, RMB, and EH. Interestingly, HRB and CPL list the king of Spain as one of Lucius’s supporters, whilst RB, EH, and RMB refer to one Aliphatima of Spain in Lucius’s retinue; Hardyng, like the Brut (p. 83), has the king of Spain supporting Arthur.

3367–3436 Than was . . . withouten right. Hardyng alone describes “Elyne” as Arthur’s niece and Hoel’s sister (3.3369–73), although the Brut (p. 84), Arthur (line 355), and NC (fol. 41r), refer to her as Hoel’s “cosyn,” which could mean kinswoman, niece, or cousin. In HRB, RB, OV, RMB, and EH, she is Hoel’s niece; in LB she is Hoel’s daughter (line 12924). Nonetheless, on the whole, Arthur’s encounter with the giant at Mont St. Michel is similar to HRB §165 and RMB 1.11849–12170. See additional notes to this section below.

3370–73 Whiche for . . . no pere. Compare RMB (1.11961–62) and Arthur (line 356), which also mention Helen’s fairness. Harker notes that the Alliterative Morte (lines 860–63) similarly refers to Helen’s beauty, but there is no further correspondence to indicate that Hardyng knew this source (“John Hardyng’s Arthur,” p. 289).

3375–76 Bot he . . . ete thaym. Compare HRB §165 and EH II:338, which draws upon HRB.

3390–94 Therefore ye . . . this londe. Compare HRB §165, where the giant eats men half-alive and the woman tells Bedivere to flee or the giant will tear him to pieces, and CPL I:188, where Bedivere is warned that the giant will eat him.

3401–03 When that . . . the hylle. Compare RB lines 11461–68 and RMB 1.12014–20.

3408 With Caliburne his sworde. Compare RB line 11547, CPL I:190, RMB 1.12071, 12104, and EH II:340, all of which refer to Arthur’s sword by name at this point in the narrative.

3413–15 So huge . . . and grym. Reference to Arthur’s stature being like that of a child beside the giant does not occur in HRB, RB, OV, CPL, RMB, EH, or Brut.

3419–22 That wente . . . fende hydouse. Only Bedivere is told to sever the giant’s head in HRB, RB, LB, OV, RMB, EH, and Brut; in CPL Arthur removes the head.

3432–36 Whiche is . . . withouten right. Throughout the Hundred Years War, Mont St. Michel withstood repeated attacks from the English, hence Hardyng’s reference to it as a “strengh fulle gretly famed” (3.3432). The last two lines of this stanza are comparable with the Libelle of Englysche Policy, lines 198–210 (c. 1436–38), which similarly criticizes the people of Mont St. Michel for capturing English ships in peacetime, albeit during the reign of Edward III.

Whilst Hardyng may be alluding to the importance of keeping the seas, a topic that engaged writers in the mid-1430s and 1440s (see the libelle and John Capgrave’s Liber de Illustribus Henricis, pp. 134–35), two extant petitions made to the Chancellor, John Kemp, between 1450 and 1452 illustrate that the problem of piracy near Mont St. Michel was very real at the time Hardyng was writing this version of the Chronicle. Two petitions for alms made by John Sterlyng of Horning reveal that his ship had been captured by Bretons and taken to Mont St. Michel where he was ransomed (see TNA; PRO, SC 8/304/15182 and SC 8/305/15208). Similar cases in the Chancery Proceedings, nevertheless, demonstrate that the capture of vessels was common on both sides of the Channel during periods of truce, and that the English were just as guilty of seizing ships as their foreign counterparts (see, for example, TNA; PRO, C 1/43/53).

Hardyng’s reference to “pese” (3.3436) may indicate that this part of the Chronicle was composed between 1444 and 1449, when the Truce of Tours technically protected interests on either side of the Channel. Correspondingly, the notion that Normandy is “unbayne” (3.3434) might imply that Hardyng wrote this section before 1450, when the English lost Normandy. Then again, as a patriotic Englishman, Hardyng may be speaking more generally about the nefarious character of the French and could conceivably have been writing after the fall of Normandy in the early 1450s, when the loss of Lancastrian France was still keenly felt but no hostile action was being taken to retrieve it. For further information about the increase of piracy around England’s shores from the mid-1430s onwards, and the wider debate about the importance of keeping the seas, see Griffiths, Henry VI, pp. 424–33.

3437m in Itaylle did feghte. See note 3.3438–43 below.

3437–3520 Arthure his . . . and wounde. Hardyng’s account of the Roman war is more succinct than his probable sources; compare, for example, HRB §§166–67, RB lines 11609–12262, and RMB 1.12171–12775. See the notes that follow for additional comments.

3438–43 Awbe a . . . colours sene. In HRB §166, RB lines 11616–24, Lestoire de Merlin p. 405, and RMB 1.12178–84, Arthur makes his camp by the River Aube in Autun, or Augustodunum, Burgundy (compare note 3.3522 below). Hardyng has either confused the Aube with the River Allia, a tributary of the Tiber in Italy, where Belin and Brenny fight against the Romans and conquer Rome earlier in the Chronicle (see 2.1556–1800), or he has deliberately altered his source to make Arthur’s war against the Romans echo Belin and Brenny’s campaign. Three later references to Arthur fighting against Lucius in Italy seem to indicate that the change was intentional (see notes 3.3437m, 3.3619m, and 3.3717–19); however, if this is the case, Hardyng’s attempt to relocate the action has been impeded by his appropriation of Augustodunum (3.3522) and Saussy (3.3530) from one of his sources.

The description of the landscape’s natural beauty at lines 3441–43 appears to be Hardyng’s own addition, but the imagery used is conventional and similar descriptions can be found in other medieval texts, particularly those evoking a spring setting, such as dream visions, lyrics, and romances.

3447–50 Syr Gawayne . . . the historien. Only Hardyng makes reference to Gawain being brought up in Arthur’s household at this point in the narrative, but compare HRB §166 and Lestoire de Merlin (p. 405), which stress Gawain’s consanguinity to Arthur. RB, LB, CPL, and RMB enhance Gawain’s usefulness by claiming that he had either spent time in Rome (RB lines 11653–54, LB line 13100) or that he could speak “speche Romeyn” (LB line 13099, CPL I:194, RMB 1.12214). LB line 13099 also credits Gawain with knowledge of Celtic.

3459–61 To turne . . . may suffyse. Compare RMB 1.12306–07: “To turne agayn, it salle not be. / ffrance is myn, þider wille I go.”

3463 Quyntylian. In HRB §166 and HRBVV §166, Lucius’s nephew is Gaius Quintillianus, but Hardyng refers to him by surname only, like RB line 11741, LB line 13197, CPL I:194, and RMB 1.12311.

3465–66 "Ye Bretons . . . or hardymente." Although Quintillian’s speech is similar to that reported in HRB §166, and the direct discourse developed by RB lines 11745–48 and RMB 1.12315–20, Hardyng alone places emphasis on the quality of “knyghthode” (3.3466).

3467–3520 Whom Gawayne . . . and wounde. Whilst this section is based on HRB §§166–67, Hardyng greatly reduces the narrative and omits all reference to the fact that Arthur did not authorize his men to fight, an issue that causes anxiety for the knights in Hardyng’s sources, but which Hardyng manages to sidestep here by having the “felaws” attempt to travel “homwarde” to “warne” Arthur of “bataylle and no reste” (3.3468–70). Hardyng similarly alters the circumstances leading to the ambush described from 3.3493 onwards and downplays the number of Briton casualties. In HRB §167 the Britons are ambushed the day after the first battle, as they prepare to take the Roman captives to Paris, and Arthur loses many troops in the first stage of battle. Here the Roman ambush occurs before the Britons have reached Arthur to give him the prisoners and “few” of them are slain (3.3506). Whilst the first of these changes may result, unintentionally, from Hardyng’s abridgement of the narrative, the deliberate attempt to downplay the Briton casualties suggests that Hardyng wanted to present Arthur’s men as formidable warriors.

3494–97 Two senatours . . . grete powere. Hardyng, like HRB §167 and CPL I:200, refers to the emperor sending two senators, the kings of Syria and Libya, and fifteen thousand men to ambush the Britons, whereas RB line 12105, HRBVV §167, and RMB 1.12641 state that ten thousand men were sent. RMB similarly mistakes RB’s senator “Catellus Waltereius” (line 12112) for two individuals, thus listing three senators and two kings (1.12647–50). EH (II:345), also refers to fifteen thousand men, but makes a similar mistake to RMB and interprets HRB’s “Vulteius Catellus” and “Quintus Carucius,” as three or four individuals.

3502 kynges thre. It is unclear where Hardyng obtained this figure from, as HRB §167, RB lines 12237–40, and RMB 1.12755–58 only list two high-born Roman casualties. Harker has suggested that this might be a transposition error for “ther” (“John Hardyng’s Arthur,” p. 294).

3511 "Welcome my . . . grete payne." Arthur’s speech appears to be unique to the Chronicle.

3516–18 Gawen, Bewes . . . and Bedwere. Hardyng’s list of wounded knights combines several of the knights mentioned in HRB §167 — Gawain, Beus, Bedivere, Gerin, Cador (either Duke Cador of Cornwall or Maurice Cador of Cahors), Guitard, and Irelglas — with three of Hardyng’s own choosing. However, of these, only Maurice Cador of Cahors and Irelglas occur in the list of four princes killed in HRB, making Hardyng’s list unique.

3521–62 Lucyus so . . . and olde. Hardyng follows HRB §168. In condensing his source the only significant changes he makes include the addition of marginalia describing Arthur’s four banners (see note 3556m below) and the repositioning of the reference to the earl of Gloucester’s battalion, which is mentioned before the other battalions in HRB, but last here.

3522 Augustudoun. Augustodunum is the Latin name for Autun given in HRB §168. See note 3438–43 above.

3530 Seysy. Probably Saussy or Val-Suzon in France; see Matthews “Where was Siesia-Sessoyne?” and Keller “Two Toponymical Problems” for further discussion.

3556m Arthure bare . . . of golde. Of the four heraldic devices mentioned in this marginalia three are referred to elsewhere in the Chronicle: the dragon banner (3.2008–09), the three crowns (3.2248m), and Saint George’s Cross (3.3157–63). The dragon and three crowns are common in Arthurian heraldry. The image of Mary is ultimately derived from HB §56, but Hardyng presumably encountered it in HRB §147, where it is painted on Arthur’s shield. Morris believes that Hardyng’s transferral of the Virgin’s image from the shield to the banner indicates that “it is no longer [a] personal insignia, but a focus for allegiance, belonging to Arthur only insofar as he represents England, and proclaiming the whole nation's devotion to the Christian cause” (Character of King Arthur, p. 127). The inclusion of St. George’s arms in remembrance of Galahad is clearly Hardyng’s invention, and may have been inspired by Henry V’s use of the arms during his French campaign.

3556–62 The nynte . . . and olde. Hardyng has amalgamated what appear to be two battalions in HRB, one headed by Arthur and one by Morvide. In HRB §168 Morvide is given his own company of men and told to wait in reserve until needed, so that Arthur’s men can withdraw to him if necessary, regroup, and launch new attacks. Arthur then leads his own company, which he positions behind the other battalions and identifies with his dragon banner to designate it as a fortified camp to which the wounded can withdraw. See also note 3.3661–65 below.

3563–66 The emperoure . . . that day. These lines are based on the twelve Roman legions mentioned in HRB §170 after the speeches of Arthur and Lucius. Hardyng omits Lucius’s speech and HRB’s description of the structure of the Roman army.

3567–69 With that . . . be bette. This appears to be Hardyng’s own addition, but see RMB 1.12985–96.

3570–83 Kynge Arthure . . . do mynystracioun. Hardyng radically reduces the rousing speech attributed to Arthur in HRB §169, and, in keeping with RMB 1.12923–24, emphasizes the great conquests made by the Britons and the “servytute” (3.3581) that they will suffer if the Romans are victorious in battle. Lines 3577–78 are particularly interesting, as they accentuate the threat of losing territorial possessions and failing to defend the king’s “right,” two themes that would doubtless have had a strong resonance with Hardyng’s original audience, who, by the time the Chronicle was completed, had witnessed the loss of Henry VI’s possessions in France.

3584–97 With that . . . thare wykydnesse. Hardyng has taken King Auguselus’s speech out of its original context in HRB §161 and abbreviated it; in the source Auguselus speaks to Arthur and his men in the Giants’ Tower just after Lucius’s emissaries arrive demanding tribute. Compare 3.3605–11 and 3.3612–18, which are also taken out of context here.

3598–3604 "Me thynke . . . and wyght." Urian’s speech has no equivalent in HRB or its derivative texts. It is probably unique to Hardyng.

3605–11 Kynge Howelle . . . hole Senate. In HRB §160 Hoel, like Auguselus, speaks at the meeting Arthur holds in the Giants’ Tower following Lucius’s demand for tribute. While Hardyng may have taken his inspiration for this speech from this earlier section of HRB, the content is only loosely related. Compare 3.3584–97 and 3.3612–18, which are also taken out of context.

3612–18 Thus every . . . ben undre. Like 3.3584–97 and 3.3605–11, these lines appear to be based on the vows made by Arthur’s knights in the Giants’ Tower in HRB §162; but compare the end of HRB §169, RB lines 12441–50, and RMB 1.12937–44.

3619m in Itaylle. See note 3.3438–43 above.

3619–88 Thanne to . . . to weelde. For the most part Hardyng follows, and severely condenses, HRB §§171–75, but see notes 3.3626 and 3.3668–69 below for the possible influence of RMB.

3626 Whose corses so brought were to the dragoun. In HRB §171 it is Kay who takes Bedivere’s body back to the golden dragon that marks Arthur’s fortified camp. Hardyng assigns this task to Auguselus and Cador instead, possibly because he omits that part of HRB where Kay attempts to avenge Bedivere and rescue his body. The phrasing of this line is also interesting because of its similarity to RMB 1.13133, “þe body to þe dragon brouht,” which may have influenced Hardyng here.

3628–30 And of . . . in fight. HRB §172 states that two kings and two senators were killed at this point.

3647 foure prynces. See note 3.3628–30 above. Hardyng appears to be repeating information here.

3650 And thre knyghtes than thay slewe of the Senate. The equivalent section of HRB §173 does not relay any specifics about the high-born Romans lost when Hoel and Gawain attack; instead we are told that the Briton casualties include Chinmarchocus, duke of Tréguier, and three other leaders, Riddomarcus, Bloctonius, and Iaginvius. Assuming that Hardyng was not using an unidentified source, he either misread HRB or a chronicle related to it, such as RMB, or he deliberately altered it to reflect more favorably on the Britons.

3655 egle of golde. Lucius’s golden eagle is mentioned much earlier in HRB §170, where it has the same function as Arthur’s dragon: that is, to act as a rallying point, where men can withdraw to and regroup (see also CPL I:206). It also occurs in RB line 12866 and RMB 1.13294, just after Gawain begins to fight Lucius, although RMB does not call the device an eagle, but a “standard.”

3661–65 Bot at . . . on newe. Hardyng’s reduction of his source obscures some of the sense behind Morvide’s actions here. In HRB §168 Morvide is asked to lead a reserve company of men that the Romans are not aware of; see note 3.3556–62 above.

3668–69 Bot who . . . the name. Hardyng may have taken this detail from Lestoire de Merlin (p. 410), where Gawain kills Lucius in battle; however, it is more likely that he is following RMB 1.13405 ff., which builds upon a similar assertion in CPL I:216, by stating “I kan not say who did him falle, / bot Sir Wawayn, said þei alle” (1.13405–06) and “Þe certeyn can þer noman ame / But sire Wawayn bar þe name” (1.13408–09, additional text supplied in the margins of Sullen’s edition from London, Lambeth Palace Library, MS Lambeth 131).

3680–88 There was . . . to weelde. Hardyng’s own addition.

3690–3723 To Rome . . . his innocence. Hardyng bases this section on HRB §176 and RMB 1.13433–13468, making several additions of his own. The lines concerning Lucius’s association with Leo are his (see 3.3346m for further details), but they are in keeping with other texts that present Lucius as emperor, such as RB, CPL, and RMB. Hardyng seems to follow RMB, rather than RB, in expanding HRB’s reference to Arthur sending Lucius’s body to the Senate as “truage” (3.3696), though he makes more of Arthur’s grim irony by using the word “gode” (3.3702), meaning “gifts” or “wealth,” to describe the additional corpses that he will send if Rome demands further payment. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Hardyng introduces a scene in which the Senate offers Arthur the emperorship in return for “gode lordeship” (3.3706); although Arthur falls short of conquering the “Empire hole” in this version of the Chronicle because news of Mordred’s usurpation necessitates his return to Britain, Hardyng’s reference to the king wintering in Italy after accepting the Senate’s offer implies that Arthur has all of Italy, except Rome, under his control. In the second version of the Chronicle, Hardyng’s Arthur enters Rome, where he is crowned emperor and resides for the winter.

3717–19 Bot he . . . somer came. See notes 3.3438–43 and 3.3690–3723 above. In HRB, RB, LB, OV, CPL, RMB, and Brut, Arthur sojourns in Burgundy.

3724–3870 Bot tythandes . . . foure yere. Hardyng’s main sources for the account of Arthur’s return to Britain and ensuing death appear to be HRB §§176–78 and RMB 1.13469–13744 (or an unidentified text linked to them), and Mort Artu; see the notes that follow for specific examples and for features unique to Hardyng.

3725–27 Modrede had . . . the quene. In other texts Mordred has already taken the crown and, in most cases, the queen. Here the use of “aspyred / To have the croune” and “wedden wold the quene” implies that he has yet to secure both.

3730 And Albany he gafe hym to his mede. HRB, RB, OV, CPL, Castleford’s Chronicle, RMB, EH, and Brut all refer to Mordred offering Cheldrike Scotland for his assistance, but only Hardyng and CPL I:218 call it “Albany.”

3733 And bade . . . to conquere. In HRB §177 Arthur cancels his attack on Rome and sends Hoel to restore peace. Hardyng’s Arthur appears to be unique in sending Hoel to conquer Rome on his behalf instead.

3737 As traytoure . . . by jugyment. Arthur’s desire to “honge and draw” Mordred, the medieval punishment for high treason, appears to be unique, but see LB lines 14065–85, where Gawain wishes to hang Mordred and have the queen drawn apart by horses. See also 3.3770–72.

3740–41 Assembled were . . . armes clere. HRB §177 and EH II:360 mention the 80,000 pagans and Christians, but Hardyng uses the same phrasing as CPL I:218 (“quatre vint myl”) and RMB 1.13492 (“fourscore þousand”) to describe them.

3743 Porte Rupyne whare Whitesonde is. “Rupini Portu” (Richborough) is given in HRB §177 and EH II:360 (“Rutupi portu”), whereas Wissant is given in RB line 13049 (“Witsant”), LB line 14091 (“Wissant”; the manuscript used for Barron and Weinberg’s edition contains “Whitsond”), OV line 1986 (“Whitsonde”), RMB 1.13518 (“Whitsand”), and Arthur line 559 (“Whytsond”). Hardyng tries to reconcile the two disparate places by conflating the two.

3752 Wynchester. Like HRB §177, CPL I:220 and EH II:361, Hardyng’s Mordred goes straight to Winchester. In RB, LB, OV, RMB, Brut, and Arthur he travels to London first where he is refused entry.

3760 Camblayne. Hardyng’s text is closest to HRB §178 (“fluuium Camblani”); compare RB line 13253 (“Juste Cambe”), RMB 1.13687 (“a water, Tambre”), and EH II:361 (“fluvium Cambla”).

3761 sexty thousonde. Compare HRB §178, LB line 14240, CPL I:222, and EH II:361. RB line 13070 and OV line 1980 also number the troops at 60,000 when Mordred first musters his soldiers for Arthur’s return.

3766–68 Bot Arthure . . . and stroyed. Compare RB lines 13143–48 and RMB 1.13587–94.

3770–72 His foule . . . his lawe. See note 3.3737 above.

3777–93 Bot Arthure . . . his generacioun. Hardyng, like CPL (I:222), Castleford’s Chronicle (line 23924), P (V:332–33), RMB (1.13693–700), Mort Artu (p. 154), and the Alliterative Morte (lines 4224 ff.), states unequivocally that Mordred was slain by Arthur and that Arthur received his “dethes wounde” (3.3787) from Mordred (compare also EH II:363). In claiming that he can find no books attesting to Mordred’s incestuous birth, Hardyng follows the chronicle tradition, in which Mordred is Arthur’s nephew (see, for example, HRB §176 and RMB 1.13475), as opposed to the romance tradition, which presents him as Arthur’s son. In so doing, Hardyng distorts the truth about his own knowledge of Arthurian literature — deliberately overlooking the fact that Mort Artu, a romance that he clearly knew, emphasizes Mordred’s status as Arthur’s son — and makes his king morally superior to his sinful counterpart in romance. Hardyng’s attribution of Cheldrike’s death to Arthur similarly increases the king’s prestige; HRB, CPL, Castleford’s Chronicle (line 23937), RMB, and EH list the Saxon amongst those that fell at the battle, but fail to elaborate on who killed him. In other sources, such as JG and P, Cheldrike does not die in this battle. Also of interest here is Hardyng’s idiosyncratic comparison of Arthur and Mars, the god of war, and his allusion to Fortune’s role in Arthur’s victory, which prefigures the complaint addressed to Fortune at 3.3878–88.

3778 Caliburne. The Alliterative Morte (lines 4230, 4242) also mentions the king’s sword by name in its description of Arthur slaying Mordred.

3787 as cronycle doth expresse. Compare RB line 13275 (“si la geste ne ment”) and RMB 1.13706 (“men sais”).

3794–3807 The quene . . . myghtes moste. In HRB Guinevere flees to Caerleon upon hearing of Mordred’s initial defeat, that is, before the siege at Winchester. In RB, OV, RMB, EH, Brut, and Arthur, she leaves after learning of Mordred’s flight from Winchester and before the final battle. In CPL she flees when she hears of Arthur’s return, after Mordred has retreated to Winchester, whilst in the Mort Artu the news of Arthur’s imminent return prompts her to abscond, but this time prior to the king’s arrival in Britain. NC concludes Arthur’s reign with a brief description of Guinevere’s fate, but the moment of her flight is not given. In contrast, Hardyng’s queen escapes out of fear for her own life only upon hearing of Mordred’s death. This, together with the references to “shame” (3.3800) and “synne” (3.3806) — possibly inspired by the use of the same words in RB lines 13221–22 and RMB 1.13648–50 — suggests that Hardyng is following other chronicles in presenting Guinevere as an adulteress despite his knowledge of the Mort Artu, where, having locked herself in the Tower to avoid Mordred’s attentions, Guinevere elects to join the nunnery because she fears that Arthur will not believe she is innocent. Whilst this version of the Chronicle does not condemn the queen as overtly as the second version, Hardyng’s later “compleynt . . . for the dethe of Kynge Arthure” (3.3871m) emphasizes her culpability by lamenting the fact that she caused the death of “so fele knyghtes” (3.3891) because of the power she allowed Mordred to exert over her. Hardyng similarly accentuates her fall by expanding the reference to the church of St. Julius the Martyr in HRB §177 and EH II:361 and reminding his audience that this was where she was crowned.

3808–14 In whiche . . . dethes wounde. Compare RB lines 13266–74, OV lines 2017–19, RMB 1.13701–04, and Brut p. 90; Hardyng’s phrasing is similar to RB and RMB.

3815–21 For whiche . . . bygan dystrayne. The account of Arthur’s distress echoes the king’s sadness when the knights leave him in pursuit of the Grail (see 3.3022–37). Hardyng may have drawn upon HRB §178, where an angry Arthur buries his dead knights before attacking Winchester, or Mort Artu (pp. 154–55), where Arthur laments the loss of his men at the Black Chapel.

3824 Whiche Cadore . . . that adversacioun. Hardyng is presumably following either HRB §178, CPL I:224, or RMB 1.13732 in saying that Cador died in battle, although in HRB it is not Cador of Cornwall listed amongst the dead, but “Cador Limenic.”

3826–28 Whose brother . . . withouten fayle. Hardyng provides more detail about Cador’s lineage than his regular sources; his Cador is Arthur’s half-brother, the son of Arthur’s mother, Igerne, and her first husband Gorlois. Cador is also Arthur’s half-brother in Thomas Gray’s Scalacronica (Moll, Before Malory, pp. 165–66), in the Brut y Brenhinedd in the Black Book of Basingwerk (National Library of Wales MS 7006D, p. 182b), and, according to Fletcher, in the Brut Tysilio (see Fletcher, Arthurian Material, pp. 117–18, 283), although there is no evidence to suggest that Hardyng knew any of these texts. Cador’s son, Constantine, is Arthur’s nephew in the Vita Merlini (p. 268), OV (lines 2027–28), EH (II:363), and Brut (p. 90) (which also uses “cosyn”), implying that Cador is Arthur’s sibling, but most chronicles simply describe Constantine as Arthur’s kinsman or cousin (see, for example, HRB §178, RB line 13296, Robert of Gloucester’s Chronicle lines 4585–86, CPL I:224, RMB 1.13742, P V:338–39, and NC fol. 41r).

3829–35 Kynge Arthure . . . made sufficiantly. Hardyng links Avalon with Glastonbury once again and places Arthur’s tomb there, along with the grave of Joseph of Arimathea and Galahad (see 2.2611–47, 3.3052–82, and 3.3150–56). For Arthur’s association with Glastonbury and the alleged discovery of his remains in 1190–91 see Robinson, Two Glastonbury Legends; Lagorio, “Evolving Legend”; and Abrams and Carley, Archaeology and History. Other texts mentioning Arthur’s burial at Glastonbury include William of Malmesbury’s De antiquitate Glastonie ecclesie, p. 82–83; Gerald of Wales’ De principis instructione, I:20 and Speculum ecclesiae II:8–10; Ralph of Coggeshall’s Chronicon Anglicanum, p. 36; Adam of Domerham’s Historia de rebus gestis Glastoniensibus, pp. 341–42; Robert of Gloucester’s Chronicle, lines 4592–94; the fourteenth-century copy of William of Malmesbury’s Gesta Regum Anglorum in Oxford Bodleian Library MS Bodley 712 (II:261–62); An Anonymous Short English Metrical Chronicle, lines 239–48; Petit Bruit, p. 13; Castleford’s Chronicle, lines 23988–89; JG, pp. 80–81; John of Fordun, Chronica gentis Scotorum, pp. 110–11; P V:332–33; EH II:363; the Alliterative Morte, lines 4308–09; Arthur, lines 612–24; NC fol. 41r; and a Cornish folktale (see Barber, “Vera Historia,” p. 77). Gray’s Scalacronica and Capgrave’s Chronicle can be also added to this list, as they mention the discovery of Arthur’s tomb at Glastonbury.

3833 As yit this day ys sene and shalle evermore. This statement links the Arthurian past with Hardyng’s own time. Compare with Caxton’s preface to Malory’s Morte Darthur, in which relics of the Arthurian past provide evidence of Arthur’s existence in the late fifteenth-century (see Works of Sir Thomas Malory, ed. Vinaver, I:cxliii–cxlvii).

3836–39 Who dyed . . . fulle clere. This is the date given in HRB §178 and many of the chronicles derived from it.

3840–42 Fro whiche . . . ay doutous. A number of chronicles mention Merlin’s prediction about the uncertainty surrounding Arthur’s death; see, for example, RB lines 13279–93, OV lines 2022–23, RMB 1.13714–22, and Brut p. 90. The reference ultimately stems from the prophecy in HRB §112 that Arthur, the “Boar of Cornwall,” will have an uncertain end (“exitus eius dubius erit”). Hardyng presumably followed RMB, but see also note 3.3843m below.

3843m De quo . . . rexque futurus. For a study of this epitaph and its history see Withrington, “Arthurian Epitaph” and Barber, “Vera Historia.” It occurs in several texts: the Vera Historia de Morte Arthuri; the Chronicon de Monasterii de Hailes; Arthur lines 619–24, which may be based on a lost version of RB; at the end of the unique copy of the Alliterative Morte; in a version of John of Fordun’s Chronica gentis Scotorum, p. 111; in a manuscript gloss accompanying Lydgate’s FP in British Library MS Royal 18 B. xxxi (fol. 193r); and in Malory’s Morte Darthur (Works of Sir Thomas Malory, ed. Vinaver, III:1242). The epitaph appears to have gained some currency in the fifteenth century, and it probably circulated in oral form too, which Hardyng may have known. If Hardyng encountered it in written form, he may have known it from a lost text based on RB, linked with the source of Arthur, or a manuscript of the FP containing similar marginalia (see note 7.491–97 for a possible borrowing from the stanza in FP against which the epitaph occurs).

3843–70 Bot of . . . foure yere. Hardyng completes his account of Arthur’s passing by leaving his chronicle sources and turning, once again, to romance. In this instance, the “story of Seynt Grale” (3.3843) refers to Mort Artu, pp. 154–59, which locates Arthur’s tomb at a Black Chapel, describes how Girflet lived at the chapel as a hermit for eighteen days before dying, and relates how Lancelot and his companion Hector spent their last four years in religious contemplation with the archbishop of Canterbury and Lancelot’s cousin, Bliobleris. Hardyng, who may have been recalling Mort Artu from memory, adapts his source, linking the Black Chapel with the chapel at Glastonbury reputedly dedicated to the Virgin Mary by St. David, and he claims that Geryn (who takes the place of the Vulgate Girflet) spent four years there as hermit with Lancelot. It is unclear whether the phrase “Whiche Geryn made” (3.3847) refers to his building Arthur’s tomb or the chapel dedicated to Mary, which is normally attributed to St. David (see, for example, JG, pp. 2–3), but in the Mort Artu neither is constructed by Girflet, so unless Hardyng was using a source linked to Glastonbury that incorporated material from Mort Artu, the suggestion may originate with him.

3871–3905 O gode . . . als sertayne. Hardyng’s “compleynt” (3.3871m) questions the role of divine prescience and Fortune in the demise of Arthur and Mordred, who is portrayed, rather surprisingly, as a “gode” knight (3.3892) who falls from a state of “grete manhode” (3.3893) and “honoure” (3.3899) to “pryde” (3.3875) and “falshode” (3.3901) through “unhappe” (3.3896). Line 3878 is clearly influenced by Chaucer’s TC 3.617, a text that Hardyng uses elsewhere to infuse his narrative with Boethian wisdom; however, whilst the tragic implications of Fortune lamented here were undoubtedly inspired by TC, the account of Arthur’s reign in Lydgate’s FP may have been equally influential on Hardyng, ending as it does with an envoy warning “princis” against treason and Fortune’s mutability (8.3130–3206). For Hardyng’s knowledge of Boethian narratives see Peverley, “Chronicling the Fortunes.”

3889–91 O fals . . . fele knyghtes. See note 3.3794–3807 above.

3904 Thy lorde . . . kynge soverayne. Hardyng emphasizes the triple nature of Mordred’s treachery; when he commits treason by betraying his sovereign, Mordred also breaks the oath he made to Arthur as a feudal “lorde” and his obligations to him as a blood-relative. Cooper makes a similar observation about the wording of Gawain’s appeal to Arthur in Malory’s Morte Darthur, as he requests Arthur help as “My king, my lord, and mine uncle” (Sir Thomas Malory, ed. Cooper, p. 560).

3906–47 Kynge Constantyne . . . in mencioun. Hardyng expands the account of Constantine’s reign in HRB §§179–80 and instead of condemning the king for killing Mordred’s sons at the “high autere” (3.3921) as HRB and RB do, Hardyng presents him as a good king who governs well in “reste and pese” (3.3942). The brief description of Constantine’s coronation at 3.3910–12 appears to be original to the Chronicle, as does the reference to Constantine being a knight of the Round Table. For Constantine’s consanguinity to Arthur see note 3.3826–28 above.

3924–40 In whose . . . that cenoby. Compare HRB §179, which Hardyng augments with additional information.

3948–68 Aurelyus Conan . . . and remove. Despite the fact that Hardyng’s narrative is similar to both HRB §181, which gives the length of Conan’s reign as three years, and RMB 1.13777, which refers to Conan as Constantine’s “cosyn,” neither source provides all of the details found here; this suggests that Hardyng was conflating two or more sources, supplementing the narrative himself by referring to Conan’s “beuté” at line 3955 (an observation that is absent from all of the sources considered here), or using an unknown source. The stanza warning “lordes that ben in hygh estates” (3.3962) to avoid quarrels is unique to Hardyng, but it may have been inspired by similar advice in Lydgate’s FP.

3969–75 Than Vortypore . . . hym decese. Compare HRB §182.

3976–96 Malgo next . . . rialle trone. Although this section has its origins in HRB §183, lines 3990–96 are based on RMB 1.13823–26.

3997–4010 Careys was . . . theym stonde. Compare with the beginning of HRB §184. Hardyng’s account of Careys and Gurmond continues in Book 4.



Abbreviations: MS: London, British Library MS Lansdowne 204 (base manuscript); m: marginalia.

Throughout the manuscript, the marginalia, book and chapter headings, and the running heads featuring the names of the reigning kings, are written in red ink; often the first letter of each stanza of the main text is also written in red ink. Because of the consistency of the scribe’s use of red in these areas, we have only recorded exceptions to this rule in the notes. Other features, such as scribal corrections, illumination, annotations by other hands other than the scribe(s), and editiorial emendations are recorded as they occur.

Occasionally, background smudges and traces of letters or words occur behind the current text of Lansdowne 204. Though beyond the scope of this edition, a comprehensive study of each instance of smudging is desirable, as some may have been caused by underwriting, indicating that the scribe(s) altered the work. The British Library analyzed ten examples of potential underwriting for us, using multispectral imagining equipment and Digital USB microscopy. Our selections fell into one of three categories. 1) Examples that did contain underwriting: the background shadows were caused by the scribe scraping the parchment to remove a word or phrase and writing different text over the erasure (or, as in two cases, simply erasing text that was no longer required). In such instances, traces of the original iron gall ink burn-through have survived, leaving partial letter-forms or words visible at a wavelength of 420 nm on the electromagnetic spectrum; sadly, it is often impossible to discern complete letters or words, and ink burn-through from text overleaf further obscures the original writing, making it largely unrecoverable. 2) Examples that do not contain underwriting: the shadows behind the text are caused by ink-burn through from text overleaf, which, to the naked eye, gives the impression of underwriting. 3) Examples that do not contain underwriting: the shadows behind the text are again due to degradation caused by the iron gall ink flaking away from the surface of the parchment and leaving the shape of the original letter below; to the naked eye, the spread of the burn-through can look like underwriting beneath the thinner flakes of surviving ink. The following textual notes make references to confirmed instances of underwriting only; we do not highlight potential cases because, given the degradation of the ink, we feel that this could be misleading.

1 Aftyr. MS: an illuminated initial.

39 An early hand, apparently that of John Stow, writes the word “Gildas” in the left-hand margin beside this line. See Manuscript Description.

84 An early hand, apparently that of John Stow, writes the word “Gildas” in the left-hand margin beside this line. See Manuscript Description.

86 The first letter of this line has been overwritten in red ink.

An early hand, apparently that of John Stow, writes the words “de victoria Aurelii Ambrosii” in the left-hand margin beside this line. See Manuscript Description.

141 The. MS: an illuminated initial.

197 Getan. MS: an illuminated initial.

204 This. MS: an illuminated initial.

253m Nota. The word “Nota” occurs in the right-hand margin beside the text and again in the left-hand margin beside 3.257.

274m Principio . . . cadas. This marginalia occurs alongside 3.279.

281 Thurgh. MS: an illuminated initial.

281–94 The first letter of each line has been overwritten in red ink.

288m regno. MS: regn, due to marginal cropping.

309 But. MS: an illuminated initial.

311 and. MS: ad.

316m This marginalia occurs alongside 3.320.

337 The. MS: an illuminated initial.

342 Asclepiadote. MS: The first letter of this word has been overwritten in red ink.

351m How the. MS: the has been inserted above the line.

435 Than. MS: an illuminated initial.

477m Kynge Constance. MS: This part of the marginalia appears to have been added at a later stage of production.

477 Constance. MS: an illuminated initial.

Before 505m The arms of Constantine. MS: The armes of Constantine (gules [red], a cross argent [silver]) appear in the left-hand margin.

505 Constantyne. MS: an illuminated initial.

526m Nota. MS: This word actually occurs in the left-hand margin beside 3.525, presumably to draw attention to the fact that the king lived by his own means.

553 That what. MS: That.

680–81 An early hand, apparently that of John Stow, has written “Gyldas” and “Henry Huntyngdon” in the right-hand margin beside these lines. See Manuscript Description.

729 But. MS: an illuminated initial.

750 So. MS: an illuminated initial.

771m Unde . . . est. This marginalia occurs beside 3.776–77.

785 This. MS: an illuminated initial.

813 The. MS: an illuminated initial.

848 Conan. MS: an illuminated initial.

875 ese. MS: this word appears to have been added at a later stage of production.

883–90 An eight-line stanza.

926 Gracyan. MS: an illuminated initial.

961 Gwayns. MS: an illuminated initial.

979 senatours. MS: sanatours.

1108 This. MS: an illuminated initial.

1143 Constans. MS: an illuminated initial.

1220 This. MS: an illuminated initial.

1278 knyghthede. MS: knyghhede.

1290m MS: Multispectral analysis reveals traces of underwriting beneath the current text (observed at a wavelength of 420 nm), which originally continued for several lines after the current marginalia, but was erased by the scribe before being partially overwritten. The original text contained similar information to the current marginalia (referring to the arms containing Woden and Fry), but also cited Saint Colman as a source for the information.

1402m called. MS: called called. This marginalia occurs beside 3.1403.

Sapiencia . . . suaviter. This marginalia occurs beside 3.1408.

1458m of Bretayne, son of Vortygere. MS: This part of the marginalia may have been added at a later stage of production.

1458 Syr. MS: an illuminated initial.

1535 This. MS: an illuminated initial.

1553 surely. MS: This word appears to have been added at a later stage of production.

1626m This marginalia was originally copied in iron gall ink, but has been overwritten in red.

1710 Merlyn. MS: an illuminated initial.

1787 Thay. MS: an illuminated initial.

1997 Syr. MS: an illuminated initial.

2004–09 A six-line stanza.

2059 Gorleys, duke of Cornewayle. MS: The capital G and C have been overwritten in red ink.

2099 of. MS: of of.

2145 And bade. MS: And. We have followed Harker’s conjectural restoration of bade (meaning beseeched), which restores the meter and is further supported by the presence of bade in the second version of the Chronicle (see Harker, “John Hardyng’s Arthur,” p. 226 and Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Arch Selden B. 10, fol. 50r).

2150m How the. MS: the inserted above the line.

2164 An early hand, apparently that of John Stow, has written “The Saynt Grale what it is” in the left-hand margin next to this line. See Manuscript Description.

2197 An early hand, apparently that of John Stow, has written “Verolame, is name of Saint Albons” in the right-hand margin next to this line. See Manuscript Description.

2248m Bretayne. MS: Br. This marginalia is accompanied by an illustration of King Arthur’s arms (with gules [red], three crowns or [gold]).

2248 Arthure. MS: an illuminated initial.

2407 whan. MS: than.

2409m Scotland. MS: Scoland.

2414 Out. The first letter of this line has red ink in the center.

2430 This. MS: an illuminated initial.

2444–57 Originally written in iron gall ink, the first letter of each line, the first letter of the proper names, and the first e of erle in each of these lines have been overwritten in red.

2472m Nota. MS: This marginalia occurs alongside 3.2477.

2514 Kynge. MS: an illuminated initial.

the. MS: inserted above the line.

2528–33 A six-line stanza.

2541m he. MS: inserted above the line.

2564–71 The first letter of each proper name is overwritten in red.

2567 Colygrenauntt. MS: Colgrenauitt.

2625 But. MS: an illuminated initial.

2668 Chartres. MS: Chartes.

2709m Table. MS: inserted above the line.

2715 is. MS: his.

2744 This. MS: an illuminated initial.

2759 philosophres. MS: phlosophres.

2947m MS: The multispectral analysis of this marginalia undertaken by The British Library was unable to clarify whether the smudge observed behind as the grete story of þe Saynt Graal proportes was indicative of underwriting. The shadows may be from the text overleaf.

Perlouse. MS: Pelouse, due to cropping.

Table2. MS: Tabl, due to cropping.

the7. MS: the of.

contened. MS: contene, due to cropping.

2979–81 The first letter of each line has been overwritten in red.

3038m swerde. MS: inserted above the line.

3115m Underneath this marginalia an early hand, apparently that of John Stow, has written “Gildas de gestis arthur.” See Manuscript Description.

3136m he. MS: inserted above the line.

3207 mynstralsy. MS: mystralsy.

3227 Lucyus. MS: an illuminated initial.

3276 Arthure. MS: an illuminated initial.

3311m inperium. MS: in. The rest of the text appears to be in the gutter of the manuscript, but it is difficult to see due to the tight binding.

totius. MS: to. The rest of the text appears to be in the gutter of the manuscript, but it is difficult to see due to the tight binding.

Romani. MS: Romane.

3319 Senate. MS: Sanate.

3419 to. MS: to to.

3463 Quyntylian. MS: Quytylian.

3535–76 Each stanza begins with an illuminated initial. Some of the proper names in the text begin with a red initial up to to kynge Arthure at 3.3556.

3605 Kynge1. MS: an illuminated initial.

3615 . MS: enmemyse.

3634 doun. MS: doum.

3843m This marginalia occurs alongside 3.3842.

3906 Kynge. MS: an illuminated initial.

3907 aventurouse. MS: aventrorise.

3920m This marginalia occurs alongside 3.3924.

3948 Aurelyus. MS: an illuminated initial.

3963 transmutacioun. MS: transmuitacioun.

3969 Than. MS: an illuminated initial.

3976 Malgo. MS: an illuminated initial.

3997 Careys. MS: an illuminated initial.

4004 An early hand has written “Bretons” in large letters in the left-hand margin next to this line. Other annotations by this hand include 1.197–203, 4.42, 6.1, 6.295, 6.332, and 6.346.

Here bigynneth the thryd book

Primum capitulum (First Chapter) of Kynge Lucius, fyrst Cristen kynge of alle Bretayne.


Aftyr Kynge Coyle his sonne Syr Lucyus
So crouned was with rialle dyademe
In alle vertu pursewed his fadyr Coylus
Hym to bene lyke in al that myght beseme.
He dyd his myght to shew it and expreme
In so fer forth that of the Crysten fayth
He herde welle telle and of thayre werkes grayth.
(see note); (t-note)

be fitting

provided for

fol. 41r Nota how Kynge Lucyus sent to Pape (Pope) Eleuthery to have baptyme, who sent him Faggan and Duvian, that converte all Bretayne that Josep of Arymathy dyd noght, as Martyn in his cronicle hath wele remembred.





In the yere so aftyr the incarnacioun
An hundre fulle foure score and foure also
He crouned was by verry computacioun
Desiringe sore baptysed to bene tho.
Suche appetyte his herte had taken so
He myght not staunche, ne cese, his gredy wille
Tylle he had sente therfore the pope untylle.

For whiche he sente to Pope Eleuthery
Bysekynge hym to sende hym clerkes wyse
To techyn hym the lawes faythfully
Of Criste Goddes sonne, and aftyr hym baptyse.
For whiche the pape by alle his hool avyse
Thankynge so God than of his grete godenesse
That Bretayne so converte withoute dystresse.

And sente than forthe two doctors fulle approved
In law dyvyne rightwyse and fulle discrete.
Oon hight Faggan with God fulle welle beloved
Another Duvyan with Goddes lawe fulle implete.
Whiche were fulle fayne with Lucyus forto mete
And so thay dyd and sone dyd hym baptyse
And alle his reame aftyr hym by hole avyse.

true reckoning




was called; by


Nota of the date when Lucius and his londe were baptized; he bare of sylver a crosse of goules (red) in fourme of Seynt Georges armes in tokne of clennesse by silver, and in tokne of Cristes blode and passioun by the crosse of goules. (see note)




Than was the date of Criste a hundre yere
Foure score and ten whan he was so baptysed
As written hath Martyn the cronyclere
In his cronycle, as he couth, devysed.
Of whiche I trow he was so wel avysed
So as he was doctore in theology
Approved welle thurghoute alle Romany.

By processe so thay taught the lawe right thare
That thousandes than on Criste so dyd beleve
And so to faith converted fully ware
Baptysed fully as Gildas doth it breve.
Idolatry so than thay dyd repreve
And payens rytes and alle thaire consuetude
Up raysynge ever Crystes beatitude.

believe; informed


orderly manner

compile; (t-note)
pagans; former practice

Nota how the Bretons payens had xxviii temples of flamyns (pagan temples) of dignité in thair lawe, the whiche Lucius made cathedral mynstirs halowed for bisshops and thre archebissops at Londoun, Yorke and Carlyoun.


fol. 41v



Eght and tweynty temples of priorité
In Bretayn were of old and grete estate.
Temple Flamyus that were of dygnyté
Of payen lawe above other exaltate
By thaym halowed and fully confyrmate
For bysshop sees, and bysshops in thaym sette
To kepe Goddes law and fals lawe to oversette.

To every bysshop thay sette his diocyse
Of parisshe kyrkes by countrese and by towns
To reule thaire parisshe by gode and hool avyse
And thare bysshops to have correcciouns.
And thre other temples of hight renouns
Above alle other that had the dygnyté
Whiche archefflames hight of antiquyté

Thay halowed als, and made archebishoprikes.
And archebysshops in thaym thay sette so wyse
For to distroy and waste alle heritykes
And over alle other to holden alle justyse
And thaym correcte as nede by excercyse
The faith to kepe and fully to mayntene
That errysy none holde, ne yit sustene.
Eight; honor

pagan; given priority



especial fame

were called



Nota of iii archebisshops of Trynovaunte, of Ebrauk and of Carlyoun.







fol. 42r


Ooon was that tyme at Trynovaunt
Undyr whiche than were Loegres and Cornewayle.
And at Ebrauke, that was fulle avenaunt,
The tother was then sette withouten fayle
Whiche had that tyme assigned to his bayle
From Humbre north and also Albany.
And at Caerlegioun the thrid whiche had Cambry.

And whan this londe was thus to Criste converte
Kynge Lucyus rejoysed with alle his myghte
Thankynge Jhesu of it with alle his herte.
Than wente tho two legates to Rome fulle righte
Thaire actes to bene confermed to folkes sight
The whiche thay dyd and with thaym came agayne
With other mo to preche the folke fulle fayne.

Wyth mo thay cam from Rome acompanyde
Of worthy clerkes and techers of the lawe
Of Cristes byrthe so fully glorifyde
To teche Bretons in herte thay were fulle fawe
His lyfe, his dethe in bokes as thay sawe.
Whose names alle also and alle thaire werkes
Gyldas dyd wryte as knowen wele these clerkes.

Ryght in his boke titled and so hight
De Victoria Aurelii Ambrosii
In whiche men may se alle thare werkes right
Thare names als in scripture for memory.
And Mewytryne a place fulle solitary
The kynge thaym gafe thay thought it sufficience
The lyfelode whiche Josep had to his dyspence.

And to tho kyrkes and mynstirs cathedralle
Alle that the temples flamynes had afore
Lucyus gaffe and fully confermed alle
And of his own dyd gyff thaym mykylle more.
Bot now to speke of Josep forthermore
Remembred now by open evydence.
The case felle so while Lucyus had regence





(see note)

was called

(see note)

sustenance; expenditure

churches; monasteries

(see note)

How the rode (cross) at north dore, which Agrestes caste in the se in Wales, came up fletynge in Themse at Caerlud, now called Londoun in Lucius tyme Kynge of Bretayne, as is comprised in a table afore the rode at north dore and in a story in a wyndow byhynde the sayd rode. (see note)





The crucyfyxe that was at Caerlegyoun
By Agrestes a lorde was thare aboute
Caste in the se for that he wolde it droun
As mencyon ys afore withouten doute
In Lucyus tyme thurgh grace so came it oute
Right of the see in Themmys Ryvere righte
To Poules Querfe fletynge so than on highte.

Of whiche the kynge Lucyus so be name
Rejoysed was and with solempnyté
Of Trynovaunt, his cyté of grete fame,
With alle the Kyrke thurgh grete humylité
From thens it sette in université
With songe fulle swete by hool processioun
And prayers als in fulle devocyoun.

Whiche at Poules thay sette with reverence
At Northedore thurgh inspiracion
That I can fynde by any evydence.
It was so after the incarnacioun
As cronicles make notificacioun
An hundred fulle foure score and sextene yere
That rode was founde and sogate dyd apere.

Wharf floating; at the surface



cross; thus

Nota of the date what Kynge Lucyus decesed and dyed




fol. 42v

And after so this gode Kynge Lucyus
So regned than with mekylle joy and grace
Of levynge ever holy and religious
The Cristen fayth uphelde in every place.
In his tyme stode Bretayne in grete solace
Tylle tyme that deth of hym had made an ende
And fro his corse his soule to heven had sende.

Whiche than so was after the incarnacioun
Two hundreth ful also and eghtene yere
As written ys by alkyn informacioun
Of thaym that were so wyse and syngulere
Ful farre above my wytte can now appere.
Whose wrytyng so by me that was not fayred
By my symplesse I wolde nough were appayred.

So in Caerglou that now Gloucestere highte
Right in the chefe mynstere of dignyté
That firste was founde in that same cyté righte
Buried he was with hiegh solempnyté
And mournynge grete for his mortalité
For Bretons knew nought who shuld bene his heyre
Who shuld be kynge thay had fulle grete dyspayre.



all kinds of

not damaged

is called

.ii. capitulum of the Kynge Severe, Emperour of Rome and Kynge of Bretayne, but Scottes, Peghtes and som Bretons chese Fulgen to thaire kynge of Albanye.



The Bretons than amonge theymselff dyd stryve
Thurghoute the londe and couthe nothynge acorde
Tylle worde thereof came than to Rome ful ryve.
For whiche so than the senate by concorde
Sent Severe forth to pesen that dyscorde
In Bretayne forth that alle the soveraynté
Might saved be to Romes dygnyté.

Whiche senator that hight so Syr Severe
With legyons two than londed in Bretayne
With whom oon parte of Bretons halde fulle clere
Another parte sore werrayd hym agayne.
Bot with batayle to Albany and payne
He drofe thaym than whare thay a kynge thaym chese
Who Fulgen hight that was fulle proude in prese.
were able


was called

fought against him

brave in battle

How Kynge Severe made a dyke (wall) bituix Bretons and Peghtes of soddes and turfes to kepe thaym from Bretayne




Wyth whom the Peghtes and some Bretons also
That were futyfes and men unresounable
Ever rode Bretayne and dyd it mekylle wo
Whiche to Severe than was ful lamentable
And forto kepe it wele inviolable
A dyke he made ful high from se to se
The enmyse oute to holde fro his contré.

The whiche longe tyme from thayre iniquité
Dyd save thaym welle in mykylle reste and pese
Bot only whan thay myght be grete pousté
Breke it and so override it ere thay cese.
So was it longe betwyx thaym is no lese
Ever as thay myght do any harme or werre
Thay bode no while, so cursed ay thay werre.


Except when; by; force


How Severe in reskows of the cité of Yorke in batayl was slayne and Fulgen, Kynge of Peghtes, had his dethes wounde.



fol. 43r


Bot after that to Ebrauke yit thay sought
Assegynge there the cyté alle aboute
Whiche to reskowe Severe powere brought
And faught with thaym in bataylle stronge and stoute
Whare he was slayne and dede withouten doute
And Fulgen als thare had his dethes wounde
Thus in that warre so were thay bothe confounde.

Nota the date of this kynges deth after Saynt Bede

Whan he had bene so kynge by seventene yere
And sogate slayne as I have sayde afore
As Seynte Bede sayth and wrote as dothe appere
The yere of Criste was than fully nyne score
So shalle I wryte at this tyme and no more
And nyne thereto by his calculacioun
As his story sayth and compylacioun.





Nota the date of this same kynge aftir Martyne cronyclere of Romany






Bot Martyne sayth, the Romayne cronyclere,
It was the yere after Cristes natyvyté
Two hundreth hole and fyve and thretty clere
Whiche ys more lyke the verrey treuth to be.
For he knew more of Romes dygnyté
That alle his lyfe thare helde his resydence
Than Bede myght know by seldome affluence.

Whiche Severe so his Romayns layde in grave
At Ebrauke than with sorowe multyplyed
With alle honoure right as a kynge shuld have
With gloriousté as myght bene artyfyed
Abowte his tombe so was he magnyfyed
For his honours and als his vyctoryse
So rially thay made his exequyse.

.iii. capitulum of Getan, Bassian and Carauce.

Getan his sonne, whiche Romayne procreate
Of alle syde was and goten in Romany,
Romayns hym made thare kynge in alle estate
And helde hym up to kepe the regency.
Bot Bretons than Bassyan chese in hy
Hys brother borne of the femynyté
Of Bretayne blode withoute diffyculté.

Bassyan kynge

This Bassian faught with Getan myghtyly
In bataylle stronge whare Getan was than slayne.
So Bassyan had the reme alle plenerly
Of whom forsoth the Bretons were fulle fayne
And crounede hym anone so than agayne
And welle he helde the reame longe while in pese
Tyl oon Karause fulle began his wo increse.




descended; (see note); (t-note)

chose rapidly



How this Carause robbour on the se, of pouer (poor) blode and kyn distroyed the Kynge Bassian in defaute of law and pese and coronde hymselfe, wharfor is moste necessary to a kynge to kepe lawe and pese in hys reme.


fol. 43v






This Karauce fulle of covetyse alle blente
Ymagynynge the kynge forto consume
To have Bretayne by Bretons hole consente
And Peghtes als that evermore dyd presume
This londe to have, to spoyle and to deplume
Of alle rychesse and alle prosperyté
For olde hatred of thare maliciousté.


He drew to hym the Peghtes fulle wyse of werre
And Bretons fele he hight grete waryson.
Outlondysshe men was nothynge to hym derre
And outelawed men withoute comparison
Thurghoute the reame he stuffed every garisoun
With mysdoers and mysreuled meyny
Robbers, revers that had done felony.


For he was longe a robber on the se
Spoylyng marchantes of every londe aboute
Thurgh whiche he was more ryche in quantyté
Than any prynce and for his myghte more doute.
Yit was he come of kyn both in and oute
Of pore degré and als of lawe estate
Thus sette on high thurgh robry and debate.


To whom for giftes Bretons and Peghtes than highte
The kynge Bassyan in batayle to betrayse
To brynge hym to the felde at alle there myght
And turne agayne hym whan his banere rayse.
Tho traytours fals thus thought thaire kynge to trayse
And plese in worde and in the felde to holde
With his ennemy for lyfelode grete and golde.


So on a day Karauce made hym to stryve
With Kynge Bassyan right for the comonté
Thurgh whiche he gan the kynge dispyse bilyve
Departynge so thurgh that subtylité
That sone thereafter his hoste with cruelté
He brought on hym, and with hym so dyd fight
Thay slew the kynge and turned as thay hight.

waste; rob

promised; reward
Foreign; dear





Those; betray




How the maker of this moveth the lordes to kepe lawe and pese, lesse thay bene depryved and unworthy blode in thair stede regne.



fol. 44r







Nota of kepyng of pese and of lawe

Bot o ye lordes consydre what myschefe
Rose in defaute of gode conservacioun
Of law and pese and what harme and reprefe
Thurgh mayntenaunce of foly and instigacioun
That trespasours had no castigacioun
But sustende wele, whare thurgh the kynge was slayne
And beggars blode made kynge of alle Bretayne.


Ye lordes that suffre the law and pese mysledde
In every shire whare so ye dwellynge bene
Whare ye pore men oversette se or mysbedde
Ye shuld thaym helpe and socoure and sustene
And chastyse thaym that trespasours so bene.
Why ys a lorde sette in so hiegh degré
Bot to mayntene undyr hym the comonté?


Bot o ye lordes fro this ful foule ye erre
From youre ordyre in tille apostacy
Whan ryotours punysshe ye ne derre
For mayntenaunce of gretter seigniory.
The pore men may seke law in Lumbardy
As welle as right of a riotouse man
Whose mayntenours the comons may sore ban.


Than sewyth this of whiche ye take non hede
That who may gete moste myght and sovereynté
Wylle eche of yow supprisen and overlede
By that same way of lawe and equyté.
And who of men may make moste assemblé
His lower to overrenne and oversette
By alle reson wylle thynke it is his dette.


Principio obsta et qui stas videas ne cadas1

Than seweth more, thus ryseth barons were
That ofte hath bene in grete defaute of lawe.
He that noght hath acounteth nothynge derre
For havelesse than the prynces wold overthrawe.
The ryalle blode above thay wolde make lawe.
Wharefore ye lordes the pryncyple ay withstonde
Lesse beggars blode dryve you out of youre londe.

Carause kynge

Thurgh treson of this Karause and the Peghtes
Assented so by grete confederacy
Thurgh his gyftes and his subtyle sleghtes
Betwyx thaym wrought with grete falsode whareby
He was made kynge of alle the monarchy.
For whiche the Peghtes in Albany he sette
With grete lyfelode as he afore them hette.





you see; oppressed or mistreated


common people

grievously; go astray
(see note)
(see note)

follows; heed

take by surprise; overpower
gathering (of people)
take control of and subdue

follows; war; (t-note)

considers; precious
the propertyless; overthrow


(t-note); (t-note)


sustenance; promised

Nota de alienigenis non receptandis in regno quia semper optant super indigenas regnare et eos expellere2 (t-note)




fol. 44v






A prynce wote nought what harme he doth his londe
Whan alyens in it he doth resette
Whose blode by alle nature shalle ay withstonde
Comon profyte of alle his reme and lette
As to the kyng Maryus now may be rette
Who sette the Peghtes in Albany afore
Whiche seth that tyme have batayld Bretayn sore.


Thus now bene Peghtes and Bretons playnly
In Albany with blode so intermyxte
That now in alle that londe of Albany
Whiche Scotlond nowe knowen ys in tyxte
Can no wight knowe a Peghte fro Bretoun fyxte.
So hool thay bene now alle of Peghtes kynde
That thay shalle never love Breton in thaire mynde.

The Bretons blode ys now thare waste alway
With Scottes and Peghtes so ys it devolute
Whiche have the reule and governans this day
Of alle that londe so fully execute
With Irisshe blode so myxte and involute
That Bretons blode ys waste and consumate
So thurgh thise other now is it alterate.

.iiii. capitulum of Kynge Allecte

But whan to Rome was know the foule consayte
Of Karauce that had made intrusioun
In Bretayne so by covyne and dissayte
And wonne that reme by grete colusioun
And slayne the kynge by suche delusioun
His peple als had slayne for covetyse
To have the reme and holde by suche quantyse

How this Kynge Allecte slew that fals Carause

For to dystroy his cursed tyrany
The senate sente to Bretayne Syr Allecte
With legions thre with hym in company
Who in bataylle slew Karause and correcte
For his falshode that playnly was detecte.
Who crouned was with croune and dyademe
And Bretayne helde as dyd hym wele byseme

And alle that helde with Karause than he slewe
That he myght take or reche in any wyse
To venge the kynge Bassian was so trewe
Whom thay betrayed falsly for covetyse
Agayn comon profyte and alle justyse
Whiche was oonly by Goddes own ordynaunce
For thaire tresoun to have so foule meschaunce.
knows; (see note); (t-note)
referred; (see note)


person; firmly


wasted and transformed

plan; (t-note)

conspiracy; deceit; (t-note)





royal authority


How the maker moveth of the ende and fyne of tresoun and falshode




fol. 45r


Suche fyne comyth evermore of foule tresoun
It hath foule ende alle if it regne a while
And at the laste it is dystroyed by reson
And shamed foule for his dyssayte and gyle
Whan God chastyse thare helpeth than no wyle.
And after olde synne so commyth ay new shame
And wronge lawes make lordes forsake thayre hame.

.v. capitulum of Kynge Asclepiadote

The Bretons than dyd sette a parlement
At whiche for ire to Romayns that thay hadde
Dyd chese a kynge by alle thaire hole consent
Wham thay corounde with hertes blythe and gladde
Who duke than was of Cornewayle wyse and sadde
Asclepiadote so hight he by his name
Whiche that tyme was a worthy lorde of fame.

With Cambre hool and also Albany
With alle Loegres holy at his devyse
To Trynovant he came ful openly
Whils Romayns were thare at thare sacrifise
Of whiche thay harde grete crye and noyse arise
And to the felde thay wente anone forth right
And with Bretons right manly dyd thay fighte.

end; (see note)
even if


(see note)
home; (see note)

(see note); (t-note)

was called; (t-note)

under his control

How the kynge was slayne and how Gallus Romayn helde London and was slayne at Walbroke in the cyté of Londoun (t-note)





Whare Allecte syde was nere so slayne away
Hymselff was dede right in the felde and slayne.
Wharefore Gallus that was his felow ay
Drew alle Romayns in the cyté agayne
Kepynge the walles with mykylle care and payne.
For whiche so than Syr Asclepiadote
Assege gan lay aboute the town God wote

Assaylynge ever aboute with feel assautes
With engynes als and magnels grete thay caste
Thurgh whiche thay made so mony grete defautes
The walles aboute thay myghtt nought longe so laste.
Wharfore Gallus and Romayns were agaste
And putte thaym hool in mercy and in grace
Right of the kynge to stonden in that case.

Wyth that Walshemen so pryvely went yn
And Gallus slewe upon a lytil broke
In the cyté that in to Themse dyd ryn.
And Romayns alle thay slew so faste and toke
Whiche broke after longe was called Galbroke
For Gallus that was slayne so in that place
And Walbroke now it hight; thus ys the case.



Siege; knows

military engines




is called

How justfully this kynge helde his lawes and pese to tyme Maximyan the payen tirant transverte (overturned) the Cristen fayth therin.


The kynge so was than crouned new agayn
In ryalle wyse with ful solempnyté
The lawes alle he helde and putte grete payn
On trespasours for thaire iniquyté
Thefes and robbours with sworde he dyd thaym dye.
Bot in his tyme was grete persecucioun
Of Cristen fayth and sore prosecucioun.


How Dioclican the Emperoure sente Maxymyan into Bretayne, who slew Seint Albane and made grete persecucioun of Cristen fayth in Bretayne.



fol. 45v







For Dioclycian than beyng emperoure
Maxymyan that hight Herculyus
By his surname that was the governoure
Of alle his werres sente into Bretayn thus
The Cristen to distroy so malicyus.
That tyme was so that he put alle to dede
Thurgh alle Bretayne that truste on Cristes Godhede.

Who than undyr this Dioclicyen
Seynt Albane slewe, Julyus and Aarone
With mony other this idoladrien
Maliciouse so in his werkes echone
Thousandes of seyntes in Bretayne so anone
Fulle cruely thare martyred to the dethe
Whose soules were safe bypassed was the brethe.

Seynt Amphybale the whiche was confessoure
To Seynt Albane ascaped nought that tyde
Bot wylfully to that curst turmentoure
Offred hymselff the martyrdome to byde
For Cristes love he wolde hym nothynge hyde
With thousondes fele so slayne withouten grave
Whose soules with God ere sette his blisse to have.

He brente chyrches and bokes of holy writte
The lawes also that were ought temporele
Alle scriptures als of seyntes lyfes comytte
Unto the fyre and brente thaym every dele
In playne markett alle openly I fele
So that whare seyntes of Bretons were honoured
Unnethe this day is oon of thaym adoured.

He reygned so in Bretayne cursydly
Thurgh suffraunce of Kynge Asclepiadote
Who wold nothynge withstonde his tyrany
Whils he distroyed the Cristen fayth God wote.
Were never mo seyntes undyr a prynce men lote
Martyrde as thare were than by alkyn wytte
That men can fynde in romans or in wrytte

Of every kynde bothe of men and women
Of chyldre als of eche estate and age
That pyté was and reuthe to se and ken.
Chyldre sowkynge whose mylke thare blode dyd swage
So ware thay slayne in alle thare tendre age
Cripils and blynde the dum als and the defe
The prestes and clerkes the lyfe he fro them refe.



when life had ended




in any way
he put


historical record; treatise

mix with


Nota the date whan Maximyan made this persecucioun of Cristen fayth


fol. 46r


Two hundre yere foure score fro Criste was borne
Of his modyr and fully incarnate
Persecucioun, whiche I have seyde aforne,
Of Cristen fayth was than the verry date
By cruelté of thise two adonate.
Whiche Cristen soules in blisse forever remayne
The tyrant soules in evermore lastynge payne.

Kynge Asclepiadote regned fully bot ten yere
After cronycles, who suffride alle this payne
And nothynge durste agayn that tyrant stere
And hym withdrawe in hydils was fulle fayne.
And some cronycles otherwyse speke and sayne
That he was hool consent to thare malyse
The whiche I can nought trusten in no wyse.


According to; allowed
dared; move
hiding places; eager


.vi. capitulum of Coyle fadir of Seynte Elene Kynge of Bretayne







Than rose on hym the duke with grete powere
Of Caercolim that Colchester hath to name
Who hight Syr Coyle by wrytynge as I here
With strenght of lordes in hoste that with hym came
A worthy lorde in Bretayn of grete fame
Fro Maxymyan was homward gon agayne
Hym werrayde sore to tyme he had hym slayne.

Who crouned was and sette in magesté
Of whiche Bretons and Romayns were fulle fayne
And specyaly of that fortuyté
That Asclepiadote was dede and slayne
Bycause he was the comon wele agayne
Of Rome and of Bretayne whiche were anoyed
Thurgh his suffrance and Cristen fayth distroyed.

Bot this kynge Coyle than reuled this londe so wele
That for his wytte and vyrtuosyté
In alle thynge that I can ought se or fele
Of rightwysnesse and gode moralité
Comende he was thurgh alle his regalté
Forpassyngly alle other in his day
So trew he was and vertuouse always.

Whose hayre was than his doughter hight Eleyne
Who lerned was in kunnynge and science
Forpassynge other that tyme of alle Breteyne
To reule a reme thurgh wytte and sapience
Endowed so in alle intelligence
That hens to Rome knew no man hyre pere
So was she wyse of wytte and syngulere.

was called

good chance



heir; was called


The Romayns sente Constance to reule Bretayne fro Rome


fol. 46v


Bot Romayns so som parte at his requeste
And sumwhat of thaire own desyre and wylle
Constance than sente, who Spayne hadde by conqueste
Subjecte to Rome obeyand evere it tylle
Paynge tribute everemore for gude or ille
Who over alle thynge ay the comon publyke
For Rome labourde that Romayns did hym lyke.

Whom Romayns sente to werre upon Bretayne
To whom Kynge Coyle anone his message sente
Offrynge trewage to Rome so forto payne
Of whiche Constans was glad in his entent
So forto have the pese he was contente.
Within fyve woukes after Kynge Coyle dyd de
And none to heyre save Elyne than had he.

in part


weeks; die

.vii. capitulum of Kynge Constance Emperour of Rome, Kyng of Bretayne. (t-note)






Constance so than hymself dyd signyfy
With dyademe and wed Elyne to wyfe
And made hyre quene of Bretayne so forthy
That Bretons shuld love hym and cese alle stryfe
And for grete love he wold not hyre deprife.
Hyre bewté so alle other dyd excelle
Within Bretayne that borne was or dyd dwelle.

Who in musyke instruments was so wyse
And in dyverse science so fulle instructe
That eny reme to reule she dyd suffyse
So fulle she was with sapience producte
Whiche from hyre myght nought refte bene, ne deducte,
So was she sad and constant in alle degree
That none in hyre newfangilnesse couthe se.

On hyre he gatte a sonne hight Constantyne
Regnynge after fully elleven yere
And than to deth anone he gan inclyne
And at Ebrauke than was he leyd on bere.
And certanly as seyth the cronyclere
He byried was with worthy exequyse
And other servyce right at his own devyse.

The yere of Criste thre hundre was and sexe
Whan Constance dyed who with Galeryus
The Empyre hool dyd governe and amplexe
Agayne Maxcence of porte malicyus
And alle the weste myne authore writeth thus
Thys Constans had and with grete manhode helde
Whiche to hym evere were subjetts in the felde.



steady; sober

noble funeral

(see note)

.viii. capitulum of Constantyne kynge and aftir emperoure

Constantynes armes whiche he bare aftir he had sene the crosse in the aire (see note)



fol. 47r




Constantyne that was his sonne and hayre
So crouned was by alle the baronage
Who lykely was, semely als and fayre,
In chyldissh yeres and in his tendre age
Grete manhode had to reule his heritage
In wysdome als grete profe of sapience
To reule alle thynge by gode intelligence.

He had so thanne a lambysshe pacyence
To here alle thynge softely with sobrenesse
A lyons chere and loke in alle regence
Amonge his folke to chastyse wykednesse
The welefare of his reme with bysynesse
Preserved ever and kepte in regyment
And in alle nede he sette suppowailement.

He helde his lawes withouten violence
His pese also in grete establisement
And on his owne by alle experience
He leved ever and thereof was content
As lawfulle prynce fully in his intent.
Whiche poynte untylle a prynce shuld ay appende
Upon hys owne to leve and nought transcende.

(see note); (t-note)







on his own resources

with regard to; pertain

How the Romayns sente to Constantyne to bene Emperour of Rome relesyng alle truage aughte (owed) to Rome, the whiche he admytte and was made Emperour, by whiche the tribute and service and truage was extyncte in lawe for it is inconvenyent that he shulde bene bothe lorde and tenant or lorde and subgyte togedir at oons by Grekes law, Troian law, or any other lawe that now is.






fol. 47v




And so byfelle that tyme there was at Rome
An emperoure that called was Maxence
Whiche was so fals maliciouse in his dome
That Cristen folke with alle his diligence
Distroyed sore thurgh his malivolence
Whome to distroy the Senate sente forth right
To Constantyne to come at alle his myght.

Thay hight to stonde with hym at alle thare myght
With strengh of men and alle sufficianté
That tyrant so maliciouse and so wight
To waste and sla for his fals cruelté
And for they herde of his abilité
Thay graunted hym to be thayre emperoure
Thaym to delyvere of that turmentoure.

Thay graunte hym als the trewage to aquyte
Of Bretayne ever and never to aske tribute
Saynge these wordes to hym withoute respyte
“O Constantyne, O Romayns hool refute
Byholde the right of Rome so foule rebute
Whiche thou may helpe and fully restitewe
Oure natyfe grounde to us that ys fulle dewe.

“Thy fadyr was a Romayne of grete myght
Bothe gote and borne so was in Romany
For kyndely were to thee by alkyns right
The empyre holde and hool the monarchy
Of alle the worlde as dyd thyne auncetry.
Lete no sleuthe nowe thy corage so desteyne
That what we lese alle thyne elders wan fulle pleyne.”

So purposed fulle this noble Constantyne
Of Rome to helpe the wytty senatours.
He wente anone and to thaym dyd enclyne
With powere grete and als gode governours
Of his Bretons to make hym stronge socours
And with hym toke his modyrs uncles thre
In whom he truste for consanguynyté.

Loeline was oon, the seconde was Traherne
The thirde Maryn thus were thare names right.
He had his modyr with hym who dyd hym lerne
Fulle perfytly to reule hym lyke a knyght
By whose counsaylle he wrought bothe day and nyght
And emperoure was made in dignyté
Of alle the worlde to have imperialté.

To his moders eme Loeline he gaff a wyfe
A lady was in Rome of grete estate
On wham he gatte a sonne and that bylyfe
Maxymyan that hight in the Senate
A myghty man and als a fortunate
So after was in werre fulle wele approved
And with Romans evermore right wele biloved.
(see note)




tribute; free from


all manner of

sloth; defile
release; (t-note)




govern himself

imperial power


was called

How Kynge Constantyne fyrste bare the armes that men calle Seynt George armes, after whom Breton kynges used to bere thaym for his sake many yeres afore Seynt George was ayther goten or borne. (see note)



The yere of Criste thre hundre hole and ten
This Constantyne to batayle as he went
To fyghten so with Dioclycien
Maximyan and Maxcence of assent
Assembled stronge agayne hym felonment.
Whan he thaym sawe, he loked to the heven
In whiche he sawe a crosse than marked even
(see note)


As in the legende of Seinte Elene is contened and Constantine “in hoc vinces.”3 (see note)




fol. 48r





Wyth letters bright as golde thusgates wryten
“O Constantyne in thys thou shalt overcome.”
Who thurgh comforte as after welle was wyten
Of that devyne vysioun victore bycome
The signe of whiche afore hym made he come
Thurgh whiche his fose he putte unto the flight
Grete multitude also he slew in fight.

Thensforthe the crosse he bare in his banere
Afore his hoste whare he to batayle went.
In his right hande a crosse agold he bere
Praynge to God with alle his hole entente
That never that hande shuld fouled be ne shente
Of Romayns blode by none effusioun
Bot of tyrants for thare abusioun.

From that tyme forth in Criste he fully trewed
Bot noght forthy unbaptysed wold he be
Wharfore he was in lepre so endowed
Deserved wele right by his owne decré
His soule to putte so longe in juparté.
Bot neverthelesse thof he baptym dyd delay
His werkes were gode and als his menynge ay.

This Constantyne as bokes specyfyed
Uncristen was his baptyme so deferred
Unto his days were wele forth ocupied
Bycause he thought it shuld have bene preferred
In Flum Jordan after he had conquerred
The Jewry hool and wonne the crosse rialle
On whiche Cryste dyed in manhode corperalle.

At whiche tyme so sore leprous squames he hadde
Hys leches counsaylde in blode of innocents
Bene bathed ofte whiche shulde hym moste so gladde.
Bot Petyre and Poule that knew his gode ententes
To hym appered that nyght fulle excellentes
And bade hym go to Sylvestre the pape
Who shuld hym hele withouten gyle or jape.



defiled; destroyed
abuse of power


intention always



cure; deception

How leches counsailde Constantyne to bene wasshen in blode of innocents for his lepre, of whom whan he herd the cry he had suche pité that he had lever dye a lepre than bene heled with innocent blode.





And on the morow he herde a pyteuse noyse
Of men women and childre alle at ones
So pytusly that thrugh his herte thare voyse
Dyd perse and thrille so sore thay made there mones
To se thaire chyldre be slayne so in tho wones.
The chyldre als for colde dyd wepe and crye
Naked alle bare forto be slayne in hy.

Bot fro he wyste how thay for hym shuld dye
He bade thaym alle “Take home youre chyldre quyte.
In werre whare oure imperialle dygnyté
Hath constytute no chyldre sla ne smyte
It were to foule a werke and inperfyte
To sla oure owne that we in werre forbade
To alyens be done for any nede.

And better is to me with pyté de
Than thurgh the deth of alle thise innocents
My cruelle lyfe recovere withoute pyté.
For who that hath pyté in his entents
Approveth hymselff a prynce in regiments.”
Therefore ye lordes in alle youre sovereynté
Whare is dystresse loke that ye have pyté.

pierce; penetrate; cries
those; dwellings

very soon


prescribed; slay



proves; governance

fol. 48v Nota of fole (foolish) pité whiche is a vice and no vertue


I say not this that lordes in generalle
To fole pyté the rather shulde inclyne
Whiche ys a vyce and coloure idialle
Destenynge foule the pyté so devyne.
Therfore ye lordes in herte this enterlyne
To do pyté whare ys necessité
Of whiche friste grew imperialle dygnyté

pretext false

How Seynt Silvestre heled hym by baptyme of hys leprouse squames, whiche watir is yit kepte incorrupte and swete of savour as I haue sene it and savourede, secundum cronicas Martini.4 (see note)




Than sente he for Sylvestre so anone
Hym forto hele with alle expedience.
Who baptysed hym in watere than alone
In whiche grete light dyd shyne of excelence
And clene wente out in alle experience
Of his leprouse squames white and rede
Sayinge he sawe thare Criste in his manhode.

Thus was he than to Cristene fayth converte
His modyr als and all the comonté
And bysshops als that were afore perverte
To Cristen fayth in all tranquilyté.
And to the Chyrche with alle the soveraynté
Hys paleys grete and se imperialle
He gafe anone in almouse eternalle.





How this Constantyne and Seint Silvestre holde a seyne (synod) of ccc bisshops agayne the Arriens erresyes (Arian heresy), in whiche counsele and seyne Seynt Nicholas was present with Constantyne, secundum cronicas Martini. (see note)




Who helde a seyne of bysshops fully counted
Thre hundre and eghtene, as Martyn sayth
For to dystroy Arriens that surmounted
With herisyes agayne the Cristen fayth.
In whiche counsayl Seynt Nicholas ful grayth
Was oon present the Arrians to condempne
By Constantynes wisdome that was solempne.

He sent his modyr unto Jerusaleme
The holy crosse to gete on which Criste dyed
With powere grete of every londe and reme
And for his ese Besaunse edyfyed
Whiche Constantyne to name he notified
Aftir his name whare throne imperialle
Thensforth he helde and se judicialle.



built Byzantium
in name; he called


How Seynt Elene his modir brought home the holy crosse secundum cronicas Martini.5


fol. 49r


Whose modyr than the crosse of Criste home brought
With relykes fele whiche I cannot telle
And dyed at Rome fulle holy in werke and thought
Levynge the crosse of Criste that heried helle
In sure kepynge for payens that were felle.
She dyed in Rome byried at Ara Cely
Whose soule to God fulle happy is and sely.

But now to speke more of this Constantyne
Of whom Gyldas, ne Henry Huntyngdoun,
In thaire cronycles lyste not to inclyne
His lyfe fully to putte in mencioun.
I wote not what was thaire intencioun
Seth he and thay were alle of Bretons kynde
To hyde his actes me thynke thay were unkynde.


safe keeping from; fierce
Ara Coeli (Rome); (see note)

(see note); (t-note)


How this Constantyne gafe to Silvestre and to the cherche his palays and temporalté of Romany and made the cherche of his chambre atte Seint John Laterense secundum cronicas Martini6


Whan he had graunte the Chyrche his regaly
And his palays chief and pryncipalle
Of his chambre the Chyrche dyd edyfy
To whiche he bare on his shuldres corporalle
Bothe erthe and stones with herte fulle spyrtualle
And with grete golde the chyrches dyd renewe
With tempraltese he dyd it welle endewe.


worldly goods; endow

And than aftir his baptisme he bare of silver in tokne of clennesse, white as the ayre is, a crosse of goules in tokne of the blode of Cristes passioun in fourme of Seynt Georges armes. (see note)





And als this noble manly conqueroure
Unto the Chyrche gafe many dignytese
And to it was defense and protectoure
Conservynge it in alle hool libertese
By his godenesse and grete benygnytese
With relikes grete and hiegh adournements
Of Romany also hole regyments.

Bot Martyne sayth, the Romayne cronyclere
That in the yere thre hundred thretty and nyne
After that Criste was borne of Mary clere
The famouse sonne fulle bright bigan to shyne
And spred his bemes upon this Constantyne
That thurgh the worlde alle odyr he dyd excelle
Whan his leprouse squames felle of in the welle.

Wyth wasshyng than of the holy baptymme
With whiche his lepre was than purifyed
Of squames white and rede in every lymme.
With mercy than so was he magnifyed
That levere he had hymselff be mortifyed
Than Cristen blode have spylte by his regence
Of any folke that stode in innocence.

full power




rather; dead

How this Constantyne is a seynte whose day is halowed the xxi day of May yerely amonge the Grekes, as is specifyd in the cronycles of Martyne Romayn. (see note)



fol. 49v









fol. 50r


Who after he had regned fulle thretty yere
In the Empire dyed at Nychomede.
A saynt he ys anombred hool and clere
Amonge the Grekes in cronycle as I rede.
Isydorus and Martyn, who takyth hede
In cronycles sayn that Grekes hym have nombred
In cathologe of sayntes and obombred.

Whose day and feste with grete solempnyté
Thay holde eche yere in the moneth of May
Fulle certanly with grete humylité
And alle honoure the oon and twenty day.
No wondre ys if he be worshypte ay
Seth he was fyrste that made devocyoun
Of emperours and gaff the Chyrche promocioun.

.ix. capitulum of Kynge Octave and Traherne

But in his tyme came on Octavyus
Upon wardayns whiche Constantyne dyd make
And slew thaym alle as cronycle telleth us.
Of whiche whan worde to Constantyne was take
So moved he was for ire began to qwake
And Traherne sent who was his modyr eme
Bretayne to kepe and seurly to hym yeme.

Whiche Octavyus crouned was than for kynge
And had this reame to Traherne cam fro Rome
With grete powere with hym that he dyd brynge.
Who worthy was and rightwyse in his dome
Thurgh Italy was neyther yoman ne grome
Of alle his hoste dyd any violence
So myche thay dred his noble excellence.

Wyth legyons thre Traherne in Bretayne londe
At Kaereperis that Porchestere now hight
And wan the toune it myght hym not withstonde.
And forth he wente to Caergwent than so right
Whare in the felde with bataylle dyd thay fight
Besyde Caergwent that Wynchestere now so hatte
Whare Traherne fled and to his shippes gatte.

Kynge Traherne of Bretayne

So saylynge forth and londe in Albany
And Octave than anone agayne hym went
On Staynesmore thay mette and faught in hy.
Wham Traherne thare chased and alle to shente
Fro day to day tylle he the coroun hente
And crouned was for kynge in dignyté
Of Bretayne so had he the sovereynté.

And reulde hys reme with grete nobilité
His lawes and pese fulle welle he dyd conserve.
And welle was loved for his gode parenté
Whiche so afore this londe dyd ofte preserve
From tyrants felle that cam it to overterve.
He regned so that alle his reme hym loved
And honourde hym so wyse his wytte was proved.

For whiche Octave than saylde into Norway
For to have helpe alle of the kynge Gunberte
Who counsaylde hym to gete a frende som day
Within Bretayne to sla hym in a sterte
Thurgh whiche he myght hym sonneste so subverte.
By whose counsayle and imagynacioun
Thraerne was slayne so through his procuracioun.

(see note)

catalogue; (?)numbered


(see note); (t-note)


realm; until

yeoman; groom

is called

is called




fierce; overturn

slay; rush


How the makere of this moveth, touchant princes, to bene in company of heere men that love hem for drede of tresoun.

Unde Seneca dicit principis potestas numquam sine periculo est.7 (see note); (t-note)








fol. 50v


O gode lorde God what peryle a prynce ys yn
Regnynge in his moste rialle magesté
And welle beloved with fremmyd and with kyn
And eche day stonte his lyfe in juparté
Of suche traytours thurgh fals iniquyté
As ofte ys sene in remes mony one
Whare kynges were slayne thurgh tresoun alle allone.


Wharfore a prynce shuld never bene hym allone
In any place for drede of felonye
For falshode ay wylle wyrke upon his fone.
In pryvyté withouten company
To imagyne is alle his victory
How that he may his purpose brynge aboute
And save hymselff to stonden oute of doute.

Kynge Octave

This Octave so than came into Bretayne
And sesed alle agayne into his honde
And sone thereafter for age he woxe unbayne
And hayre had non that mayntene myght his londe
Saufe a doughter that couth nothynge withstonde
The grete malice of cruelle conquerrours.
Wharefore he toke rede at his councellours.

Som counsayld hym to Conan hire to geve
Hys own cosyn a man of hyegh corage
By surname that hight Mariadoch, I leve.
And som counsayld to graunte hyre mariage
Unto som lorde of Rome of hiegh parage
To cesen werre and dwelle in fulle quyete
With Romayns; so this counsayld som discrete.

Bot Carodoch that duke was of Cornewayle
Counselde the kynge to sende to Rome message
Maximyan to brynge for grete avayle
His doughter to have in mariage.
For bothe he was right heyre by alle lynage
To Constantyne and als a senatoure
Forpassynge other a lorde of grete honoure.

Whiche counsaylle so was holden for the beste
And fulle exployte was done and execute
In so fere forthe Maximyane hym adreste
To Bretayne come welle sped withoute rebute.
To whom the kynge than offred grete refute
Hys heyre to wedde and after hym prevayle
The coroune hool to have withouten fayle.









noble family




prospering; resistance
heir; rule

.x. capitulum of Maxymyan kynge, and Gracyan kyng, and Emperours of Rome.





The kynge Octave decesed than anone
After whom Maximyan succede
And corounde was maugré of alle his fone
For ire of whiche Conan departe indede
And spoylede the londe to Humbre as I rede.
Wharfore this kynge Maxymyan so wyse
Encountred hym with hoste of grete assyse.

And ofte tymes so thay faught in grete batayle.
Some tyme the kynge by batayl had his wylle
Some tyme Conan at bataylle dyd prevayle
And thus it felle tyl both thay had thaire fylle.
Thus was the londe thurgh thaym fulle lyke to spylle
Wharefore thare frendes by fulle and hole assente
Accorded thaym and trete incontynent.

So stode he than fyve yere in reste and pese
That of rychesse he was so multyplyde.
He irked sore he was so longe in ese
Thus in his herte bygan to ryse a pryde
And longe hym thought in Bretayne more to byde
Wharfore his hoste of feghters ferre and nere
Assembled faste and gatte hym grete powere.
(see note); (t-note)

despite; foes


be destroyed
Reconciled; mediated immediately

was displeased


How Maxymyan conquerde Armoryke and named it Litel Bretayne and than he conquerde Fraunce, Almayne, and Romany and was than Emperoure of Rome.




fol. 51r


He londed than I say in Armoryke
Whiche now so hight by name Lesse Bretayne
He wan it alle so welle he gan it lyke
So fulle it was of gode he was fulle fayne.
And to Conan than gan he thus to sayne
“For love of me Grete Bretayne thou foryede.
This londe I geve thee now and graunte by dede.”

He sente so than anone to Grete Bretayne
For ten thousondes hosbandes wyse and gode
To tele the londe with carte, plowgh and wayne
And knyghtes feel and squyers of hygh blode
Yomen also myghty of mayne and mode
That londe to kepe and to defende fro shame.
Lytylle Bretayne he gaff it than to name.

Kynge Conan of Lesse Bretayne

Conan than kynge of Lesse Bretayn so bolde
Graunted forever it of his sovereyne lorde
Kynge of Bretayne the more than forto holde
And bene his man withoute eny discorde
And plenysht it with Bretons by concorde
Of alle estates with joy and grete plesance
Avoydynge Frensshe for drede of more distance.

is called


till; wagon
many; noble
Yeomen; strength; spirit




How Kynge Conan of Litille Bretayne sent into Grete Bretayne for Ursula and xi maydens of lordes doughters with xi thousand virgyns with hem, to bene maryed to hym and to his men.





And than Conan into Grete Bretayne sente
To Dyonote that duke was of Cornewayle
A noble prynce who heyre to Cradocke gente
And brother was withouten any fayle,
To whom sertayne Maximyan the governayle
Of Bretayne hole at his partynge gave
To his gayne come, to kepen and to save,

To sende hym than his doughter Ursula
That floure was than of alle the Grete Bretayne
His wyfe to bene evermore in wele and in wo
On whom his herte was sette nothynge to layne
Elleve thousand maydyns that wylle obayne
With hyre to come to ben hys mennes wyfes
For Frenshe thay wolde none wedde in alle thare lyfes.

This Dyonote by gode deliberacioun
His doughter so to mary in that place
Elleve thousond vyrgyns of hire nacioun
He sente also to passe with hyre that race
For hyre comforte to serve hyre in that cace
The kynge Conan to gladden and to plese
And for to sette hym and his londe in ese.

heir; noble

Until; return

hide the truth


How Melga and Gwayns martired the xi thousand virgyns with Seint Ursula




fol. 51v









fol. 52r




In Themse that tyme, at Trynovant cyté
Thay shypped were to passe by governayle
Towarde Bretayne the Lesse to maried be
With grete worshyp and to thare grete avayle.
Bot tempeste sore stroke than so in thare sayle
That thay dyd londe in iles of Germany
Whom Gwaynes kynge of Hunlonde gan espy

And Melga kynge of Peghtes in company.
Tho two tyraunts togedyre associate
Fulfylled hole of cursed tyrany.
For thare bewté that was so fayre create
Desyred thaym by way of lechery
And for thay wold nought graunte to suche foly
Seand thay were endowed in Cristen fayth
And of Bretayne whiche was to thaym ful layth

Thay gan thaym hate and had in odiousté
For whiche the folke thaym slew on every syde
And martred thaym by grete crudelité.
For Cristes lawe in which thay glorifyde
So hieghly than in God thay dyd confyde
That thay had lever the Sarsens cruelté
Suffre and dye, than lese thare chastyté.

So were thay alle ended by martyrment
Whose bones lyge at Colayn cyté fayre
In a mynstere of nunnes convenyent.
Men may theym se that thydere wille repayre.
Wharein the quere Ursula hath hyre layre
To hyde hyre corse in erthe thare fynaly
Whose soule in blisse shalle byde eternaly.

Whiche ere alle seyntes and fully canonysed
Ellen thousond vyrgyns undeflorate
In dede or wylle so wele they were avysed
So trew thare hertes to God were fortunate.
Thay had levere dye thanne bene devyrgynate
Or God dysplese or yit his law offende
In anythynge thare wyttes couth comprehende.

In this mene while the kynge Maximyan
Alle Fraunce had wonne and Almayne hole conquerde
Itaille and Rome fully he had wonne than.
Alle the Senate of his manhode were ferde
For in batayle had he than slayne with swerde
Valentynyan the emperoure of myght
And Gracyane his brother put to flyght

And emperoure was than in dignyté
To Cristen folke havynge fulle grete envy.
Who slayne was after thurgh grete maliciousté
By Gracyans frendes that hated hym forthy
That he afore had made hym forto flye
From the empyre of whiche he had estate
With Valentynyan fully assocyate.

Kynge Gracyan

Gracyan, whan Maximyan was slayne
To Bretayne sente than by the senatours
In whose tyme so Kynge Melga and Kynge Gwayne
This londe overrode fulfylled of alle errours
Whiche mortalle fone and cruelle tormentours
To Cristes fayth were and malicyus
Alle mercyles and passynge rigorus.

Whiche kynges two, rote of alle cruelté
And payens fals fulle of grete felonye,
Afore had made thurgh martyrdome to de
Elleven thousond vyrgyns right cursydly
For envy that thay had alle utterly
To Cristes fayth and to Maximyan
For the rebute he dyd to Gracyan.

Wenynge fully Maximyan had be kynge
Of Bretayne than thay spoylde the londe and brent
The peple slewe an every syde and hynge
The chyrches als ay robbed as thay went
Wyfes and chyldre and clerkes or thay stent
Thay slew doun right and harmelesse home agayne
Thrughout the Northe thay wrought fulle mekylle payne.

good management




regarded with animosity



lie; Cologne
monastery; appropriately
choir; protected place

deed; thought; determined

rather; raped




on account of the fact

(see note); (t-note)


exceedingly; severe



before; stopped


How whan Melga and Gwayns had distroyed the londe, how Kynge Gracian was slayne with his comons for grete outrage of talliage (tax) that he had take of thaym withoute mercy.



Bot Gracyan kynge of this londe was than
Crouned fully by alle the baronage
Who in his domes injuste was to every man
Right dispytouse, and toke grete talliage
Of lordes and folke to passynge grete outrage
So mercylesse and voyde of alle pyté
He was that none hym loved that hym se.

For whiche anone the hool comonalté
Of alle Bretayne by lordes hool assent
Upon hym rose to cese his cruelté
Thay slew hym so adnullynge his entent.
Thus that tyrant fro his estate was rente
And plukked doun fro dygnyté rialle
As mensioun ys in cronycle historialle.

pitiless; tax




Gwaynes and Melga payens the seconde tyme distroyed this londe of Bretayne



Gwayns and als Melga tho kynges two
Herynge welle how Bretayne was undemeyned
And Gracyan so slayne with mekylle wo
Bretayne lafte bare withoute kynge unchifteynde
And Maximyan with deth so felle desteynde
Who grete powere led into Romany
And Lesse Bretayne to strengh and multiplye

Than came agayne with mekel greter hoste
Wastynge the londe with fyre fro se to se
And slew the folke aboute in every coste
That pyté was with swerde so sore thay de.
Thus Bretayne was thrugh thare crudelyté
Subverte and brente by tho cursed tyrantes
That payens were and cruelle mescreantes.
those; (see note); (t-note)
without a ruler
without a ruler

[Gwayns and Melga]; much


pagans; misbelievers

fol. 52v How Bretons sente to Rome for helpe to whom thai sente a legyon of knyghtes that made the Bretons to make a wall of lyme and stone bituix thaym and Peghtes, whare Severe afore had made a dyke, whiche wall Melga and Gwayns wan and rode all Bretayne londe secundum Bedam De Gestis Anglorum.8 (see note)










fol. 53r


Than Bretons sent to Rome message agayne
Praynge Romayns to sende thaym more socours
Promysynge thaym alway for to be bayne
At thare byddynge and alle thare successours
And tribute pay unto the senatours
Withoute dylay or eny excusacioun
For everemore withoute derogacioun.

For whose socoure the Senate sente a legioun
Of noble knyghtes that were fulle corageus
So chosen oute of every regioun
For moste worthy and als vyctoriouse
Whiche Gwaynes and Melga so noyouse
Out of this londe drofe into Albany
Whare thay dyd ship than into Germany.

These Romayns than and Bretons fulle assembled
By thaire hole wyttes and also fulle advyse
Dyd make a walle of lyme and stones sembled
Fro the este se unto the weste that lyse
The Peghtes to withstonde and alle ennemyse
With castels hyegh and toures at every myle
Endlonge that walle with many other pyle

Whare Severe so afore had made a dyke
Of turfe and sodde that tyme of grete defence
To kepe out Peghtes from Loegres in case lyke
That noyouse were and of felle insolence.
Bot Romayns than no lengere residence
Wolde holden here in Bretayne more to byde
Bot with alle haste than homward dyd thay ryde.

Thay went thare way to Rome so than agayne
Forsakynge ever alle tribute and trewage
After whose gate Kinge Melga and Kynge Gwayne
Had gode awayte and sekyre gode message
Whan Romayns wente and after thare passage
Came sone agayne with mekylle grettere hoste
Rydynge Bretayne unto the south se coste.

Whiche tyme the kinges Melga and Gwaynus
Cursed tyrants and paynyms notyfyde
The walle betwyx thaym made and Loegres thus
The Peghtes walle to name was signifyde
Dyd bete alle doun with hostes tripartyde
In sondry place thay it so undyrmyned
That lyke the way alle playne it was declyned.

And thanne thay slew the Bretons manyfolde
In so ferre forthe thay lay on hepes dede
So myghtily the Bretons knyghtes bolde
Thare faught with Pyghtes and bare them in that sted.
But Peghtes what with wyle and what manhede
The walle overe wan and slew suche multitude
That Bretons were overcome by fortitude.







Along; support




watchfulness; secure


notorious pagans

divided in three


cunning strategy

How Bretons sent to Egicio senatour of Rome for more helpe, who sente none bot refused thaire tribute for evere more secundum Bedam De Gestis Anglorum.9 (see note)







Wherfore to Rome the Bretons sente anone
To Egicyo the senatoure so wise
For socoure more as thay that strengh had none
Thare enmyse to withstonde that myght suffise
Offrynge trewage forever withowte fayntyse
To pay with thy that fro the enmyté
Thay wolde thaym kepe in constabilité.

Whiche trewage so the Romayns than forsoke
Relesynge it forever, I say yow why
Thay were so stad with werres that thaym woke
Aboute thaymselff right nere to Romany
And Bretayne was so ferre fro that party
And als a se betwyxe fulle daungerouse
And myght not passe for wyndes contrariouse.

Thay wold no more thaym socoure in thare nede
Bot bade hem helpe thaymself for evermore.
For thay no more wolde hostes thydere lede
So were thare men mescheved there afore
Thurgh chaunse of werre and som by treson sore
Of Bretons fals thurgh thayre imagynacioun
At thayre above and domynacioun.

The tyme Romayns the tribute so forsoke
Was in the yere of Cristes incarnacioun
Foure hundre ful and nyne as Bede gan loke
In his cronycles and compilacioun
This londe distroyed als by paynym nacioun
For whiche Bretons dyd sette a parlement
At Trynovant that tyme by hole assent.


tribute; slacking
as long as

preoccupied; arose


On account of their superiority

(see note)


How the Archebisshope of Londoun went than to Litil Bretayne for socoure, and brought home Constantyne brother of the Kynge of Lasse Bretayne to bene kynge of this londe.








So forthe he wente and sayled undyr sayle
To Bretayne Lesse unto the Kynge Aldroene
Who kynge was thare and had the governayle
The fourth after Kynge Conan, so I wene,
Whom he admytte with honoure, as was sene,
Askynge the cause of his thydyre come
And why it was he came so ferre fro home.

To whom thus sayde the bysshop Gunthelyne
“Enewgh apperth to yowre nobilité
Oure heped wo and endelesse lastynge pyne
Whiche shuld yow move by alle gode parenté
Youre con-Bretons of consanguynyté
To socoure now stondynge in grete dystresse
Thurgh paynyms werre the whiche ye may redresse.

“The whiche distresse and heigh adversité
Of longe we have now susteynde and comporte
Seth Kynge Maximyane of his rialté
Thys londe dyd stuffe with men as is reporte
And thousondes feel to Rome for his comforte
Dyd lede with hym so bare he made oure londe
We had no men oure enmyse to gaynestonde.

“Wharethurgh paynyms cruelle as ye have herde
Have us overronne and done fro day to day.
The Cristen fayth grete parte thay have conquerde
And lyke ere to dystroy it alle away.
Wharefore of helpe we humblely yow pray
That ye oure reme and us wille now defende
Seth ye and we of oon blode bene descende.”

Kynge Aldroene hym thankyd with hole herte
Refusynge than that noble dygnyté.
It for to have he lyste noght to adverte
Suche drede he had of mutabilité
Thurgh Romayns myght and grete subtylité
That levere he were his own in pese to have
Than More Bretayne iff Romayns trewage crave.


coming there

piled; pain
familial relation
fellow Bretons; kinship








desired; accede
he preferred
tribute; should require

.xi. capitulum. How the Kynge of Lasse Bretayne sent Constantyne his brother to bene of Grete Bretayne the kynge and governoure



fol. 54r


Bot Constantyne his brother fresshe and fayre
He than bytoke to Bysshop Guntelyne
To ben thare kynge with hym home to repayre
With power suche right as he couth diffyne.
To Tottenesse so the se thay dyd thurgh myne
Arrifynge thare with mekylle joy and blysse
Of whom the reme was glad and blythe iwysse.

To whom anone assembled alle the floure
Of juventé and of the lusty eelde
And toke hym for thare kinge and governoure
Agayne thare fose to feghten in the felde
Whoso wele dyd with bowe, spere, and shelde
That of Melga and Gwayns the victory
Thay had forthwith, as made is memory.

realm; happy certainly

youth; energetic; aged
accepted; as


Constantine of Litil Bretayne Kynge of Grete Bretayne




This Constantyne by Bretons hole advyse
Was crouned than with rialle dyademe
At Cyrcester, Caersyry on thayre wyse
In Breton tonge hight as thay couthe expreme,
In se rialle than sette whiche hym byseme
As prynce pierlesse thurghout the Occydent
On every syde unto the Orient.

This archebyssop this gode man Guntelyne
The croune upon his hede on hegh he sette
With alle honoure as he couthe determine
He dyd to hym, for nothynge wold he lette.
A lady fayre and fresshe he dyd forth sette
And wedded thaym with grete solempnyté
Of Gunthelyns and Romayns blode was she.
agreement; (see note); (t-note)

called; were able to express
seat; befitted
peerless; West


How this kynge had thre sonnes of whyche he made the eldest a munke for he was noght wyse to governe



Of whom he gatte thre sonnes that were echone
Kynges crouned of Bretayne to the se:
Oon Constance hight the eldest of echone;
The seconde was Aurilyus hight he
Whose surname was Ambrosius wete ye;
The thrid Utere Pendragon was his name
Of whom after in honoure rose grete fame.

This kynge so than his eldeste sonne Constance
In Wynchestere dyd put a monke to be.
The other two he putte by ordynaunce
To Gunthelyne of thaire consanguynyté
To nurture thaym in alle nobilité
As he that was rightwyse and ful dyscrete
Of alle nurture als was he fulle implete.

was called; them all

you know


righteous; wise
good training; informed

How a Peghte (Pict) of this kynges hows (house) slewe hym by counsail of the Duke Vortygere


Whan he had bene the kynge so ful ten yere
Upon a day as he in gardyn wase
A Peghte that in his house was hym ful nere
In that gardyne hym slew, so felle the case.
Thurgh counsaylle of oon Vortygerne it wase
To have the croune, whiche longe he had desyred,
For whiche his dethe men sayd he had conspyred.

fol. 54v .xii. capitulum Kynge Constance, the monke of Wynchestre, son of Constantyne.




Constans than so that monke was in Caergwent
That Wynchestere hatte now so this day
In the mynstere of Seynte Amphibale spent
In cloyster thare that shulde have ben for ay
This Vortigerne toke oute and led away
And sette the croune upon his hede fulle he
With alle honoure and als regalyté.

For love of whiche that he hym so preferred
He made hym than alle hole his governoure.
Fro alle wysdome the kynge was so deferred
He knew not what appent to his honoure
So symple was his wytte in alle laboure
He toke no hede of reule, ne governaunce,
So he were kepte in joy and hiegh plesaunce.
(see note); (t-note)
is called
monastery; (see note)


raised up

From; distant


How Vortiger by grete subtilité made the Peghtes to sla Kynge Constance and after he slew thaym for to excuse hym selfe






fol. 55r







This Vortygerne fulle sette in sapience
Of Kambre kynde that now so Wales hight
A duke was than of high grete excelence.
Of rethorike wytte, forpassynge every wyght
In eloquence excedynge alle men right
Whare myght avayle he couthe of adulacioun
To fage and plese thurgh softe dissymylacioun.

So castynge yn his mynde and alle his wytte
How to the croune he myght moste sone aspyre
To kepe the kynge, whethyre he wente or sytte
An hundreth knychtes he dyd withholde and hyre
Of Peghtes alle with whom he dyd conspyre
The kynges dethe by processe after so
In subtyle wyse that no wyght knew it mo.

Thare wage he payd thaym welle fro day to day
Doynge the kynge to know and to consayve
That Peghtes wolde ryse and distroy hym away.
Wharefore the Pyghtes thare londe forto dyssayve
And thare consaylle to spy and to persayve
He waged had to warne hym of alle drede
Thrugh whiche he myght withstande thayre grete falshede.

So after that upon a day he sayde
Unto hys Peghtes that so were with hym holde
“For youre wages the kynge hath me upbrayde
And blamed me, right for that I ne wolde
Yow voyde oute of his servyce and howseholde.
Bot not forthy iff I were kynge indede:
Youre wages shuld ben payed fulle well in nede.”

Thus sayde he than by grete subtilité
To make thaym truste his gode domynacioun
For welle he knew thare mutabilité
Or thay were voyde so fro thare prosperacioun
Wold sla the kynge for his contemplacioun
To croune hym kynge with alle the helpe thay may
Thaire lyvelode forthe to have of hym alway.

Thurgh whiche comforte and subtylle intisement
Thay trustynge in his domynacioun
Iff he were kynge and had the regyment
He wold thaym pay withoute refreynacioun
Thaire wages hole withoute defalcacioun
Seynge the kynge was bot an idiote
And couth not kepe his heghte that he behote

By oon advyse thay slew hym than anone
And gaff his hede unto Syr Vortygere
Of whiche his herte was glad, but stylle as stone
He stode mornynge and hevy of his chere.
To blynde the folke he dyd crye fere and nere
That none shulde spare the Pightes by day ne nyght
Bot sla thaym doune whare thay mete with hem myght.

So were thay slayne thurgh his subtyle quantyse
The kynge also, of whiche his herte rejoysed.
And knowynge wele amonge the lordes fayntyse
And how he was with comons welle anoysed
The Peghtes hym had afore so wele avoysed
Consydrynge als the kynges castels alle
Were in his honde thurghoute bothe grete and smalle

And of grete gode he was so stronge of myght
The peple hole obeyant to his wille
The olde lordes dede, thare hayres bot yonge to fight,
The kynges brether fled Bretayne Lasse untylle
For fere of hym lesse that he wolde hem kylle
To Kynge Budyce who nurrissht thaym fulle clene
Who sybbe thaym was, as may in bokes bene sene.
is called


[it]; gain advantage; flattery


knights; retain; hire

Making; think



taken me to task


Before; expelled; prosperity
slay; thoughts
(i.e., Vortigern)


promise; promised




reputed him

dead; heirs
raised; faultlessly

.xiii. capitulum of Kynge Vortigere and Vortymere his son



fol. 55v


This Vortygere thus seynge wele he myght
Unto the croune ben lyste at alle his wille
He dyd the croune upon his hede forth right
And helde estate rialle for gode or ille.
The Peghtes and Scottes put sklaundire than hym tille
Of thare frendes dethe and also of the kynges
Whiche thurgh hys wille was wrought in alkyn thynges.

For whiche thay thought on hym to be revenged
For his falshode and his subtylle tresoun
Of whiche he myght in nowyse ben ought clenged
So know it was that it was by enchesoun
He wolde ben kynge and for non other resoun.
Wharfore with alle the myght thay can or may
Thay thought revenge that deth ful sore aday.
(see note); (t-note)

slander; on him

all manner of

wished to be

each day

How Engiste and Horne of Saxonye londed in Kente and bicame Kynge Vortygers men, which inhabite first in Lyndsay.








fol. 56r



In this mene while the kynge as he dyd ly
At Caunterbyry, whiche than so hight Caerkent
And as som say it hight Doroberny,
But than arrofe thre shyppes fulle in Kent
Of men of werre, at Sandwyche were they lent,
For whom the kynge sente after sone anone
To whom thay came as faste as thay myght gone.

He asked what thay were and whyne thay came
And what was cause thay came upon his londe.
To whom Engeste answerde, as meke as lame,
And sayde “Gode lorde ye shalle wele undyrstonde
Saxons we bene and Saxonay oure londe
Whiche stondeth so ful fayre in Germany
And hydyr come for servyce onaly.

“The case was thus: oure prynce by his regence
Fonde that oure londe gretly was overcharged
With habundance of folke and affluence
By generacioun excedyngly enlarged.
As custome was the londe muste be dyscharged
For whiche he sette amonge the juventé
A lotte who shulde passe forth over the see.

“With oure manhode to gete us som lyvelode
The sorte on us felle, so we muste departe
Oute of the londe as of his hye godhode
Mercury hath us brought into this arte.
Thay vytaylde us and shypped for thare parte.
On us thay made thensforth no more dyspence.
Thus ere we voyde to seke oure residence.

“My brother here hatte Horse and I Engiste
Of dukes blode we bene so procreate
Leders to bene right by oure prynces liste.
Of this meyne we bene now ordynate
And dukes bene so called in oure estate.
Oure prynce us gaffe of armoure suffycence
To helpe us wyth atte alle oure indygence.

“Wharfore we muste to youre servyce intende
To wynne us londe with laboure and manhede
Or to som other prynce we muste attende
Of oure servyce that mystere hath and nede.
Now have I tolde yow alle why thus indede
We come upon youre londe by youre suffrance
To do servyce unto youre hye plesance.”

The kynge saw wele of suche men he had nede
That lykely were and also corageuse
In armes proved as longeth to knyghthede.
Withhelde thaym alle at wages plentyuouse
For to wythstonde the Peghtes perilouse
And als the hayres and brether of Constance
Of whom he truste ay grete contrariance.
was called

came to land



here; only






is called

band; in charge



utmost satisfaction

pertains; knighthood; (t-note)


And how this Engiste and Horne were payens levynge (believing) on Mercury and Venus, and how Wednesday and Fryday had thaire names first of Mercury and of Venus.


The kynge hym askte what was that Mercury
That sente hym hydyr, to whom he answerd than
“A god he ys that oure olde auncetry
Worshipt evermore in world whan thay began.
And we also do so, right as we can.
This Mercury we calle a god of fame
The fourth day ever we honoure in his name.


Nota also how Engist and Horsus entred Bretayne in the armes of thaire londe, that is to sey thay bare of azure (blue) the god Mercure, Woden in thair language, and the goddesse Frye in thaire language, corouned, enthronysed of golde. (see note); (t-note)






fol. 56v









fol. 57r


“His name with us Woden so is called
On oure language whom we honoure moste
For every woke alway it so be falled
The fourth day so we halowed alle oure coste
That Wodensday we calle and worshyp moste
For love of hym. And so ys oure usage
And ever hath bene amonge alle oure lynage.

“A goddesse als we have of grete powere
Venus men calle in whose name we adoure
The sexte day ever of every woke ay sere
Wham in oure tonge Fry we calle and honoure
For wham the sexte day in laboure and sorore
We worshyp nexte, whiche we calle so Friday
The sonne, the mone, with other of oure lay.”

Sone after that the Scottes and Peghtes hoste
In Bretayne brent and mekylle peple slewe
For whiche the kynge came northe to felle thare boste
With Engyste als and Horsus soudyours newe
That manly faught and on the fose dyd hewe
In so ferre forthe thay made the vyctory
And drofe thaym out agayne in Albany.

Off whose manhode and worthy vyctory
The kynge was glad and gaffe thaym londes fele
And als thare wages he dyd thaym multyplye
And loved wele with thaym to speke and dele
And comforte thaym in sekenesse and in hele
Above alle other with myrthes that myght be made
Thare commynge so dyd comforte hym and glade.

How Engiste bigged (built) Thwongcastre

Bot on day Engiste the kynge dyd plese
And sayde “My lorde ye stonde in juparté
Bothe of youre lyfe and of alle hertes ese
And lyke to falle in grete adversité
Unto myschefe and alle paralité
For wele I here by worde and by language
Es non yow loveth of alle youre baronage.

“Thay say there bene of Constance brether two
Thare lege lordes of right that aw to be
With whiche thay shalle hereafter ryde and go
And venged bene that tyme of yow and me.
Thay love us nought by ought that I can se
Wharfore I wolde sende into Germany
To wage yonge men and strengh youre chyvalry.

“And of a thynge, my lorde, I wolde you pray
A walled town or castelle I may have
Or som cyté for seurté nyght and day
In whiche I may my body kepe and save
For I am hate for yow with knyght and knave
Whiche may by nyght dystroy me as they wylle
And whan thaym lyste to sla me and to kylle.”

To whom the kynge than sodenly answerde
“That thynge to graunte I dare not so forthy
That ye so ben alieyens I am aferde.
My barons wolde it sone gaynesay in hy
And als ye ben paynyms so openly
Thay wolde the more with me greve and gregge
Agayne my fayth it were thay myghte allegge.”

“Now seth ye darre nought graunte me so for drede
Yit may ye graunte me than als mekylle grounde
As with a thwange I may overlay and sprede
In brede and length or els in cyrcuyte rounde
More than I have now so with in my bounde
Seand there was thareby a stony place
Whiche nomore was bot even a castelle space.”

The whiche the kynge hym gaff fully and graunte
Wharefore he kutte a boles skyn so grete
Alle in a thwonge so rounde and hole curraunte
With whiche that grounde so stony he dyd mete
Of length and brede he toke his castelle sete.
And thereupon dyd proppe his mete and bounde
Whare that he thought his castelle sette and founde.

sanctified; country

sixth; week; different



burned; many
diminish their pride
foes; cut






hire; reinforce


hated on account of; by

want; slay

contradict immediately
annoy; aggravate

thong (strip of leather)


strip; running
set; limit

How Engiste sent for his doughter, who came to hym with xviii shippes full of Saxons and Englysshe men.








fol. 57v



So than he sente anone to Germany
To brynge his doughter that was bothe fresshe and fayre
And soudyours als to strengh hyre company.
In whiche mene tyme his castelle to repayre
He labourde so that it was for his hayre.
So stronge it was and myghty for to wynne
None enmyse myght it wynne, ne hym over rynne.

Sone after than his doughter Dame Rowen
With eghtene shyppes came out of Saxony
Alle fulle of knyghtes that were alle myghty men
Chosen for beste thurghout alle Germany
For whiche he thanke his god so Mercury
Woden that hight in his moder language
Dame Frie also, Venus called by clerkes sage.

He prayed the kynge to se his castelle then
And dyne with hym right at his owne devyse
His doughter als to welcome and his men
That knyghtes were fulle fayre, manly and wyse
Out of his londe that came by hole advyse
To helpe the kynge in his necessité
His enmyse to distroy by thare powsté.

Of whiche the kynge was glad and graunted so
And ete with hym and made gode chere and gladde
Bot for tho knyghtes his herte was wondere wo
That thay so than the paynyms creance hadde
Whiche stode agayne his herte fulle sore and sadde.
Bot neverthelesse his enmyse to dystroye
He plesed thaym foryetynge alle his noye.

Of the castelle in herte he was ful fayne
And of Rowene to wham there was none lyke
In bewté so perlesse she was sertayne
Hym lyked beste and gan therewith to syke
With that she brought a coupe of golde fulle ryke
Unto the kynge and sayde to hym “Wassayle”
To whom the kynge so lerned sayd “Drynke hayle.”

How Vortygere wed Engyste doughtir

With that hire kiste as he was taught by men
That knew the gyse and manere of thare londe
Thurgh whiche he sette his herte so on hyre then
He wolde hyre wed anone and made hyre bonde
And quene she was right as I endyrstonde
Of Bretayne hole by fulle and hole sentence.
He gaff hyre Kent to dowere and dispence.

Now called Castre on the Walde in Lincolneshire

soldiers; reinforce


was called



pagans’ belief

forgetting; anxiety


when; splendid
Good Health


as a dowry; source of income

Sapiencia attingit a fine ad finem et disponit omnia suaviter10





Bot Engiste than his castelle named and calde
Thwongcastre forth bycause so of that thwonge.
For it shuld bene in memory, he walde
How he it gatte and by what wyle it fonge.
So had he joy, his wytte be mynded longe,
For wysdome so he thought shulde ben comende
Whiche reuleth alle thynge mekely unto the ende.

The reme so hate the kynge by alle thare wytte
Bycause he wedde in payens law and ryte
And favourde more payenis for love of ytte
Than Cristen men, for whiche thay had dyspyte.
To hym his frendes and other more and lite
His sonnes moste of alle hym dyd dispyse
For his weddynge so on the payenis wyse.

His eldeste sonne that hight Syr Vortymere
The seconde als was callyd Categerne
The thyrde Passhent whiche that fulle manly were
Of his friste wyfe by bokes who can dyscerne
The sothe he may of it wele se and lerne.
Thare fadyr thay lafte by alle the lordes assent
Who thurgh his wyfe to payenis was consent.

stratagem; took
astuteness; remembered

realm; hated

greater and less powerful


pagans; in league

How the Bretons were infecte in diverse cuntreys with payens and errisyes Pelagien (Pelagian heresy), wharfore the lordes sent for Seynt Germayn and Seint Lupe bishops, who with thaire precchynge brought the peple out fro thaire errour and errisyes.




fol. 58r









fol. 58v









fol. 59r


Whare thurgh the reme fulle of idolatry
Was so, what with the payenis cursed usage
And what so with Pelagiens errysy
Whiche regned than in londes fele and lynage
The Cristene were so myxt with mariage
Of payenis blode that neigh the Cristynté
Was brought unto payenis credulyté.

In this tyme came two doctours approbate
In law dyvyne of whiche on Seynt Germayne
Lupus also the tother that consecrate
Were bothe bysshops, and sent by Seynt Romayne
To preche the folke thurghout this More Bretayne
At the prayer of alle the baronage
By Vortymers assente and his message.

By whose prechynge the peple were converte
And came unto the fayth ay more and more
That were afore oute of the fayth perverte
Thurgh comonynge instructe of paynyms lore
By this Engyste and thay that his folke wore
Who Kent had so in domynacioun
By kynges strength and quenes supportacioun.

This Engiste so for plesaunce of the kynge
By hole assent bytwyx thaym two agrede
Sent after his sonne Octa, a knyght fulle yynge,
His cosyn als Ebissa, gode in nede,
And Cherdyke with thre hundre shyppes dyd lede
Als many men as tho shyppes myght contene
Thay brought with thaym of armed men ful clene.

The barons than distracte were and afrayde
Of hethen folke so grete in multytude
For whiche unto the kynge thay playnde and sayde
And no redresse couth have it to exclude
Bot ever thay dyd encrese of fortitude
In so ferre forthe the barons were consente
Vortymere to corown by hole assent.

Kynge Vortymere of Bretayne, son of Vortygere.

Syr Vortymere thay crounde anone forth ryght
With rialle honoure that myght to hym appende
Who was fulle wyse aproved lyke a knyght
In alle corage that to a knyght extende
Forto assayle or els forto defende
Who hated sore his fadyrs governance
And by hys wytte distroyed the mescreance.

He faught with thaym anone upon Derwent
And other tyme at Abyrford dyd mete
Whare he on thaym with batayle strongly went
The felde he had and caste thaym undyrfete.
Whare Katygerne his brothur, wylle ye wete,
And Horsus als, eyther other on the playne
So felly stroke that bothe thay were there slayne.

Upon a felde bysyde the north se banke
He faught eft sones and put thaym to the flight
Unto the Ile Tenette thaire unthanke
In truste of Engystes powere and his myght.
Whither he wente than with his powere ryght.
The barons als fulle hole with hym assembled
For whiche Saxons for fere quoke and trembled.

He helde thaym there by se right many a day
With shyppes and botes thaym every day assayled
With batayle stronge fulle thik there slayne thay lay
So sore that thayre grete powere was than fayled.
Thay were so sore forfoughten and bataylde
Thay prayd the kynge thay myght have his lycense
To Germany to make there revertence

And leve bothe wyfe and childe, and godes fayre,
And alle thare londes, castels, toures and places,
And never to come agayne thare to repayre.
And so thay dyd by license and his grace
Thus fro Britayne he dyd thaym alle out chase
That were so hole of payenis mescreance
And by advyse amendyd alle noysance

Restored agayn the cytese and the townes
To barons als and Bretons alle there londes
With fraunchyse als and rightes by dales and downes
And wele mayntened the fayth with lawes and bondes
That with the Chyrche and Cristen fayth wele stondes
Praynge mekely Lupus and Seynt Germayne
The Cristen faythe to techen and sustayne.

The Kyrke he dyd honoure at alle his myght
And it restored to alle was fro it refte
In every place he helde justyce and right
So vertuose he was he made be lefte
Alle vices foule and vertu take up efte.
Fulle wele he dyd his barons governe alle
That peple alle hym loved grete and smalle.

Bot to his high vertu and grete godenesse
Envyed so the fende who was impreste
In Rowens herte so fulle of wykydnesse
That by his man, whom she had so adreste
With gyftes grete whiche she had hym promeste,
Kynge Vortymere she made bene pousond so
For whom his men than had fulle mekylle wo.

Yit at his deth he dyd his men rewarde
And bade thaym than thare londe thay shuld defende
And lay hym at the porte whare hyderwarde
Saxons dyd londe whan Engyste for thaym sende.
On high he myght ben sene and fully kende
Trustynge thay durste non nerre so come for fere
Of his body as longe as it were there.

Bot than he dyed as fate of dethe it wolde
And byried was so than at Trynovaunte
By alle assent right of his Bretons bolde
Agayne his owne presumptiouse avaunte.
This Rowen fals, with poysouns that she haunte,
Thys gode kynge slewe, whare thurgh Kynge Vortigerne
The reame dyd seyse into his honde fulle yerne.
on account of which
Pelagian heresy


teachers; approved
the other

Great Britain

verbal instruction; teaching

(see note)


remedy; stop





straight away

if you should wish to know


again soon
Isle of Thanet; unwillingly


defeated; overcome


pagans’ misbelief

liberties; valleys; hills


to be adopted afterwards

the devil; inscribed


to be poisoned


dared; nearer

knew about

seize; eagerly

How the makere moveth his conceyte touchant his hardyment and presumptuous avawnte (vainglory)




O hardynesse of man so hiegh presumed
Agayne the wylle of hym that sitte above
Whiche erthely men hath sette to be consumed
Right by his reule as clerkes wele can prove
How durstow so, lesse he thy witte reprove,
To presume thynge men shulde thy bones drede
Whan alle thy myght is gone and waste indede?

Kynge Vortigere

This Vortygerne was crouned than agayne
And regned so right in his fyrste estate
Rowen his wyfe began hym trete and prayne
To sende than for hir fadyr arly and late
To dwelle with hym and helpe hym fro the hate
That Bretons had to hym for Vortymere
With whom thay helde as fully dyd appere.

dare you; lest

(see note); (t-note)

early (i.e., continuously)

How Engiste cam into Bretayne with grete powere by the kynges wylle





fol. 59v




For whom sent forth the kynge Syr Vortygere
His letters so and prayd hym come anone
Hym sertifiant how dede was Vortymere
And in his come he seyde was perile none.
For whiche he thought ben venged on his sone
Rejoysed highly with alle the haste he may
And thowsondes feel of men he brought ful gay.

For whiche Bretons with hym were greved sore
And thought have fought with hym whan he shuld londe.
Whiche whan Rowen it knew she sent therefore
To warne hym so right by hyre pryvey sonde
For whiche he thought he might more surely stonde
Undyr hope of pese, a trety forto make
With Bretons so than batayle with hem take.

And to the kynge he sente, as bokes telles,
His message than enformed on this wyse
That his powere he brought for nothynge elles
Bot hym to kepe, lesse Vortymere wold ryse
At his londynge and fowly hym dispyse.
And if it to the lordes ought displese
He wold sende home thaym alle than for thaire ese.

Bot more he thought hit were to thaire profyte
To lete thaym londe, seth they ere now so nere
To chese of thaym the knyghtes moste perfyte
Of werres wysest, as may by sight appere,
To strengh the londe agayn outwarde powere
“For I am he,” quod he, “and say thaym so
My doughter is quene how shulde I be thaire fo?”

The messengers unto the kynge sone come
And told hym alle as is afore devysed
Byfore the barons, who it wele undyr nomme
And thought his witte thereof was wele advysed,
By hole counsaylle he came, as is comprised,
In with his flete to reste thaym and disporte
After thare laboure to glad thaym and comforte.



secret message

i.e., Hengist

preserve, lest


strengthen; against foreign




How Engiste treted accorde bituixe hym and the Bretons on the plane of Salesbury whare by tresoun he and his Saxons and Englisshe slew all the barons and lordes of Bretons, and putte the kynge in prisoun.






fol. 60r



Bot undyr this thay sette a day to mete
Upon the playne after of Salisbyry
Whiche that tyme so Caercaredot dyd hete
Bysyde the nunry ys now of Awmesbyry
Whare Ambrius abbot founde his cenoby
Who dwelte thereyn unto his endynge day
In holynesse and contemplacioun ay.

The day thay sette, thay mette to trete a trewe
At that same place, the friste day so of May,
Foure hundred of the Bretons beste thay drewe
To that trety als fele of paynyms lay.
Bot fals Engiste unto his men gan say
“Loke every man of us now have his knyfe
Within his hose to refe his felaw lyfe

“For oon of us by on of thaym shalle stonde
So shalle I reule whan we togedyr mete.
And whan I say “Nyme oure saxes,” lay honde
His fo to styke and caste hym undyrfete.
Thus shalle we sla thaym alle with moste quiete
And wyn this londe alle hole in governance
And on oure fose we shalle so take vengeance.”

At day assygned so were thay come and mette
On eyther parte afore as was devysed.
A Bretoun ever afore a payen sette
Right as Engiste afore it had avysed.
So whan he saw thay were so enteremysed
He sayde “Nyme oure saxes” and than anone
Eche payen slewe his make there by hym oone.

Foure hundre als and sexty of barons
And erles with other whiche had the governaunce
Of Bretayne thanne were slayne by tho larouns
Whose corses alle, after that foule vengeance,
Seynt Eldane so byried by Cristen ordynaunce
In a kyrkeyerde bysyde the cenoby
And mansioun of Abbot Ambrii.

No wondere thof thay that no treson knewe
Nor wapyns had thaymselff forto defende
The parte adverse of wapens purvayed newe11
Were lyghtly slayne and brought unto ane ende.
Yit Erle Eldolle of Gloucestere so kende
The tresoun foule, and fro thaym went away
And with a pale seventy he slew that day.

was called

monastic community

discuss; truce

many; pagans’ belief

stockings; take

Take our knives


Take our knives
pagan; partner


church yard; monastery




How Kynge Vortygere inprisoned gafe to the Saxons and Englisshe grete parte of Bretayne for his delyverance fro prisoun and went into Wales


With that more folke of payens come fulle faste
And toke the kynge and led to Trynovaunte.
For fere of whiche so was he than agaste
He graunte thaym alle that thay wold have and haunte
Castels, cytese, and forseletts evenaunte,
To lette hym passe alle quyke withoute trublaunce
Whiche Engiste graunte bycause of thaire liance.

advantageous little forts

Nota that Engiste than did call this londe Engistlonde for his name, whiche aftir sone for shortnesse of langage men called Englonde, bot it dured noght longe for Aurilius, Uther and Arthure put doun the name of Englond and called it Bretayne ayeyn (again), to (until) the commynge of Gurmund, Kynge of Afrike. (see note); (t-note)





fol. 60v









fol. 61r




Thay toke Ebrauke that Yorke ys called nowe
Lyncolne that than Caerludcourte had to name
Caergwent also unto thaym gan to bowe
That Wynchestere is now of fulle grete fame.
Engeste had alle the reme as for his hame
And dalte it forthe amonge his knyghtes wyse
By parcelmele as ferre as myght suffise.

Wharfore so whan the kynge saw that myschefe
That payens hole distroyd the londe aboute
To Cambre went so, for socoure and relefe
Whare he bygan to bygge a castelle stoute
To kepe hym fro the cruelle payens route
Whiche as was made the day afore certayne
Upon the nyght forthe right felle doune agayne.

Wharefore his clerkes he asked why was so
Who answerd hym that he the blode shuld seke
Of a yonge chylde that never had fadyr tho
With the mortere to tempre and to eke.
The whiche thay sayde wold make the mortere steke
And with the stone to byde for evermore
Alle suche cyment thay sayde was beste therefore.

Withoute dilay he sente to seke suche oone
Whare that he myght bene founde in any wyse.
At Caermardyn his men saw children gone
Merlyne was one, who was of grete quantyse,
Dynabucyus the tother, of hiegh gentrise,
Chidynge togedur seyd Dynabucyus
“Who was thy fadyr wiste never man yit of us.”

The kynges men whiche yede forto enquere
For suche a childe that fadyrlesse shuld bene
Layd honde on hym and led hym forth in fere
And aske of men if thay his fadyr had sene.
Whiche answerde thus of his fadyr “We can noght mene
We have herde telle that fadyr had he none
Bot iff it were men say the fende allone.”

His moder was kynges doughter of Demecy
In Cambre so is now called South Wales.
A nunne profeste was she in the nunry
Of Seynte Petirs, as we have herde by tales.
Goten and borne she was in South Gales
Wham than sent forthe the mayre of Caermardyne
Unto the kynge and als hire sonne Merlyne.

Whan Merlyne and his modyr so were come
To Vortygerne, he axed hyre anone
How that hyre sonne was gote and als by whome.
She answerde hym that fadyr had he none
That she couth know that ever synde with hire alone
Sauf only thus “That in lykenesse of man
A spyrite fayre, as white as any swan,

“Whan I satte with my systers and oure dores close
Wolde halse and kysse me in grete dulcitude
No wyght seynge oure doores ought dysclose
Ne hym myght se for alle his consuetude
So pryvey was his nyghtes solicytude.
Amonge my systers ofte tymes he lay me by
And gatte this chylde that none hym couthe aspy.

“Ne how he came, ner yede, I couthe never se
So sodenly he vanyshit fro me away.
Wharefore I knew it most a spyrit be
By alle resoun that I can thynke or say.”
Maugancyus, a philosofre that day,
Affermed wele how he had redde and sene
How spyrites had with women sogates bene.

And to the kynge he seyde right thus that stounde
In bokes of oure philosofres olde
And in storise many I have welle founde
Suche chyldre gote and borne monyfolde.
For Ampuleyus in his bokes tolde
How that bytwix the mone and erthe er falle
Spirits, incubyse that clerkes so do calle.

“Whiche parte of man and parte of angel als
In nature so ere fully constytute
That whan thay wylle thay take a fygure fals
Of mannysshe fourme and women done pollute.
Suche myght thay have that tyme to execute
Thare nature so with woman subtyly
That chyldre than thay gete alle verraly.

“And happely of hyre so myght befalle
That on of thaym hath lyggen so her by
Hyre holynesse to dystayne and appalle
The rather for she was in sacrary
More highly sette thanne other to glorify
The God above who alle thynge can unfetter
That suffred hyre to falle so for the better.”

realm; home
piece by piece

(see note)

mortar; mix; strengthen





Unless; the devil

begotten; Wales
mayor; Carmarthen

asked; immediately
begotten; also


embrace; sweetness
person; open



in this manner



between; moon; are
Demons; incubi


defoul; destroy
holy place


How Merlyn, prophete of Cambre, came to Kynge Vortygere.






fol. 61v









fol. 62r




Merlyn than sayde with wordes sad and wyse
“My lorde, why sende ye for my modyr and me?”
The kynge answerde “My clerkes say by thare advyse
My castelle moste be made with blode of thee
The cyment nedes with it moste tempred be.
So say thay alle his blode that no fadyr hadde
Made in mortere my werke wold make right sadde.”

Merlyne than sayde ”My lorde, it is not so.
Thay yow dyssayve with subtyle fals intente.
Do thaym come forthe and prove it ere I go.
I shalle afore yow now beynge present
Thay bene lyers of that incontynent.”
With that he dyd thaym sone right thare appere
Afore Merlyne, as now ye shalle wele here.

To whiche Merlyne than sayde on his manere
“My blode ye sayde moste nede attempred be
With cyment of thys castelle shuld be here.
Thynke ye no shame so openly to lee?
Es there ought elles bot only blode of me
That lette thys werke to stonde and upwarde ryse?”
Thay answarde hym “Thy blode may it suffyse.”

“Now lorde,” he sayde “lete now youre mynours grave.
Undyr this werke ye shalle so fynde a water
For whiche youre werke may nought stonde sure, ne save.
Than shalle ye se how thay yow fage and flater
Thay ben so wyse that sum what muste thay clater
And els thay trowe men counte not by thare wytte.
Bot now ye shalle wele se how fals is ytte.”

Thay grofe there doune and founde the water clere
In manere of a staunke fulle wyde and large
Whiche made the warke to falle as dyd appere
And myght not ryse on high, ne yit enlarge.
The grounde was fals, unstable withouten targe.
The kynge saw wele his wordes were alle trewe
And prayd hym so to telle hym that he knewe.

Merlyn thaym askte what thynge was undyr more
That hurte som parte the werke and made it fayle.
Thay stode confuse for alle thaire clerkly lore
None answere had that myght his worde prevayle.
Than sayde he thus “Wele owe ye to bewayle
The fals counsaylle and imagynacioun
Ye gaffe the kynge thurgh youre dyssymylacioun.”

Than sayde he to the kynge “Have oute alle clene
This water fayre by stremes as may renne
And ye shalle fynde two caves large, I wene
With dragons two that fight and can nought blynne
Whiche strubled have youre werke whare ye begynne.”
The water had oute thay founde right as he sayde
Two dragons grete of whiche thay were afrayde.

The kynge gretly amervelde of his wytte
Hym prayd so to say how he shulde ende.
Who answerde thus “Fle fro the fyre and flytte
Of Constantynes sonnes and defende.
For now thay come with sayles alle on ende
Whiche shalle thee brenne within thy castelle closed.
Thurgh me thou shalt nought faged ben, ne glosed.”

Thayre fadyr right falsly thou betrayed
The Saxons als to Bretayne for thy spede.
Thou sente so for that have thee now afrayde.
Thay waste thy reme thurghoute in lenghe and brede
Whose sonnes two shalle pay thee now thy mede
Whiche thare fadyrs dethe on thee shalle revenge
At Totteneys shalle thay londe thaym to avenge.”

Whare on the morne thay londed with grete myghte
And conquerde alle whareso thay rode or yede
Tylle thay came to the kynge whare he was right
And brente hym in his castelle as I rede.
Whiche castelle hight Genareu so indede.
Whiche castelle stode upon the Mounte Cloarke
In Hergyge londe on Gway that renneth starke.

The duke Eldolle of Gloucestere so bolde
With Bretons alle and alle the baronage
A parlement sette and in the felde dyd holde
Aurelyus to croune in that viage
And to restore hym to his heritage
Was thayre entent and alle thare hole desyre
The Saxons after to waste with swerd and fyre.
sober; (t-note)


Make; before

liars; immediately




miners; dig
talk nonsense
otherwise; believe; don’t respect

dug; pool

be extended


ought; regret

(see note)


keep away
From; protect yourself against

flattered; deceived

length and breadth

wherever; went

is called

Ercing; Wye; powerfully

military expedition


.xiiii. capitulum of Aurilius Ambrosius, Kynge of Bretayne.



Thay crouned thare Aurelyus Ambrosii
With legeance hole and fulle submysioun
By hole consente of comons and clergy.
So forth he yede after that deposessioun
Of Vortygerne, so brente for his prodyssioun
And for falshode he dyd to Kynge Constance
Who putte in hym alle hole hys governance.

Than went he forthe the Saxons forto seke
Whiche fled over Humbre with alle thare myght and payne
Trustynge to have refute and socoure eke
Of Scottes and Peghtes and Danes also to seyne.
The kynge pursewed with alle his hoste certayne
So hastly thay myght nought wele eschewe
So mette thay on a felde and togedyr drewe.
(see note); (t-note)

went; dispossession
burned; treachery




How Engiste was take and slayne, and Saxons and Englisshe discomfyte by Kynge Aurilius Ambros.



Thay faught fulle sore with strokes grete and grym
Bot at the laste the Bretons had the bettyr.
The Saxons fled byfore that were fulle brym
Duke Eldol toke Engyste and gan to fettyr
Anone, and to the kynge he sente his letter
How he had take Engyste his cruelle fo
And shuld hym brynge to hym for wele or wo.

And so he dyd, he brought hym to Conan
That Connesburgh now hatte so in thise dayse
Whare that the kynge after his bataylle than
So rested hym his woundyd men to ayse
And with medycyne thare hurtes to appayse.
Duke Eldolle asket the kynge what shuld betide
Of fals Engiste who stode so by his syde.


was called


fol. 62v How Bisshop Eldade counsaylde the kynge touchant ( touching) Engiste





Bysshop Eldade that was Duke Eldol brother
Sayde “Ye shalle do with hym as Samuelle
Gaffe dome of oon Agag and none other
Who taken was, the Bybelle doth it telle,
That in his werkes was fressh and cruelle felle
And chyldre had made many so fadyrlesse
Withoute pyté and women hosbondelesse.

Whiche Agage so Samuelle the prophete
Demed to beheded and decollate
For the grete wronges and mekylle unquyete
Whiche he had made in places seperate.
His flesshe also cutte in morcels alterate
And sende aboute to townes whare he dyd wronge
To make the folke remembre his dedes longe.”

Wyth that the duke Eldol in his mynde thought
“Sethe the Byble thus sayth, I may the bettere
This payen curste that mekylle wronge hath wrought
Now sla,” and led hym forth and dyd unfettere
And with his sworde, by strengh of Byble lettere,
And hedyd hym by that autorité
Whose corse byried was after use of his countré.

(see note)

fierce; villainous

Judged; decapitated

pieces different

for a long time

pagan; much
slay; unshackle

body; custom

How the same bisshop counsailde the kynge touchant Octa and his Saxons and English





fol. 63r



In this mene tyme Syr Octa, Engestes sonne,
His cosyn als Ebissa with in fere
With many grete lordes that were wonne
To be wyth hym to Yorke they fled alle fere.
The kynge with hoste layde sege to it fulle nere
For fere of whiche Octa and his company
Came to the kynge bysekynge his mercy

Wyth ropes aboute thare nekkes in pytouse wyse
To have his grace or turmente at his wille.
The kynge so fulle of pyté asked advyse.
Bysshop Eldade was friste that spake hym tille
“The Gabanytes whan Israelles wold thaym kylle
Mercy asked and had, and we may bene
No worse than Jewes seth we be Cristen clene.”

The kynge thaym gafe his mercy and his grace
With pyteuse herte and humble yolden chere.
A grete deserte unto thare dwellynge place
Nere Scotlonde so he gaffe thaym in powere
To his lordship ever to be famulere.
So plentiouse he was alway of grace
Eche wight it had to aske it that had space.

Nota how rightfully thys Kynge Aurilyus governed

So after his were, with holy herte and clene
To God alle sette and wronges to refourme
The lawes profyte made jugges to sustene
The kyrkes als whiche payenis dyd disforme
And cytese waste whare men wold hym enforme
He dyd amende aywhare and reparayle
Thurgh alle his reme and alle his governayle.

Alle heyres right and wydews to dewry
Cyteyns burges to have thare olde fraunchise.
Prelates also unto thare prelacy
Agayn restored in alle that myght suffyse.
And alle that were exilde by thare enmyse
Or wrongfully fro thayre lifelode exiled
He dyd thaym calle agayn and recounsiled.
(see note)


piteous manner

first; to


offered expression
wasteland; for




churches; pagans; damage

everywhere; repair

heirs; widows; dowry
Urban freemen; liberties


source of livelihood

How Merlyn broght to Bretayn the carolle (ring of stones) that ere called now the Stonehengles






fol. 63v







Than sente he for the prophete hight Merlyne
To have his wytte fully and his counsayle
A towmbe to make for Bretons whare thay lyne
Whiche Engiste slewe thurgh treson and assayle.
For whiche Bretons alway may sore bywayle
So was thare blode rialle there slayne that day
In truste of pese and wasted alle away.

This Merlyne founde and brought unto the kynge
And how that tombe myght beste so be provyde
For remembrance and perpetualle durynge.
He sayde right thus “In Irelonde artifyde
Es suche a werke of stones fortyfyde
Whiche ever wille laste and dure eternaly
Youre tombe to make and evermore magnify.

“Sende forthe Utere youre brother with an hoste
And lete me with hym thedur sone forth fonde
And we shalle brynge thaym home withouten boste
And set thaym up whare ye wille that thay stonde.
With wytte I darre and sleght it take on honde.”
The kynge anone sente forth fiftene thousonde
With his brother and Merlyne to Irelonde.

Whan thay were londe the kynge Syr Guyllamare
Of Irelond so dyd than assemble his hoste
And faught anone with Utere fersly thare.
Bot Bretons than withouten eny boste
The better had and victory with moste
And so thay wente to Mount Kylormare
Whare the Carolle of Geants stondynge ware.

The whiche with strenghe that hoste couth nothynge stere.
Yit Merlyn so with crafte sotyle dyd shippe
The whiche with wynde fulle prosperouse and clere
Into Britayne esely gan thay shyppe
Over these the wawes thay dyd over hype.
Whiche Merlyn than with crafte so forth dyd brynge
To Mounte Ambry whare that thay founde the kynge.

Whare in presence of alle rialle estate
And clergy hole assembled in that place
Unto the kynges feste solempnyyate
This Merlyn than right in suche forme and space
As at Kyllormare thay stode whan he thaym race
Thaym sette, the whiche geants fro Aufrike brought
Into Irelonde for vertu that thay wrought.

Thus were thay sette aboute the sepulture
Of blode rialle that were bytraysed there
Whiche now so hight the Stonehengles fulle sure
Bycause thay henge and somwhat bowand ere.
In wondre wyse men mervelle how thay bere.
The kynge than made archebysshops two that day
Whiche vacant were in Bretayne than I say.

Sampson he made at Yorke religiouse
Of lyfe was ever there with a famouse clerke
Dubricyus at Caerlyoun famouse.
Whiche holy men were ever in thare werke
And seyntes ere by ought that men can merke.
In whiche tyme so Pascence, Vortigerne sonne,
In Bretayne londe and grete werre had begonne.

Agaynes whom the kynge his powere brought
Upon hym northe and with hym faught fulle sore
And made hym fle that he to Irelonde sought
To Guyllomare that prynce and kynge was thore.
Who hym resette with right gode chere therfore
And than thay bothe with hostes styffe and stronge
To Menevue came, Seynt Davyd hath ben longe,
called; (see note)




dare; cunning; manage




take on board


feast; solemn


power; produced

are called
hang; are bowing
keep from falling

are; whatever; descry
(see note)


Nota how Eopa in munkes habite feyned hym a leche and poysond the kynge wharof he dyed anone


Dystroyed the toune and countrey alle aboute.
For whiche the kynge sente Uter forth with hoste
For he myght nought for sekenes travayle oute
He loked whan that he shuld yelde the goste.
In this mene while Eopa, traytoure moste
That Saxon was, so spake than with Paschence
That he the kynge shuld sla with poysonment.

illness travel


fol. 64r Nota, make nevere unknowen man ne your executour or your haire, to bene your phisisien (physician), for it is presumed that thise thre wolde purvey for youre deth.





So to the kynge he come in monkes araye
As he a leche had bene with alle medecyne.
Of whom he was fulle glad and gan hym pray
Hym for to hele by his crafte and doctryne.
A drynke ful of venym gan imagyne
The whiche fro he had drunke and lay to slepe
Afore he woke away the traytoure crepe.

This traytoure so away whare no man wyste
Was gone his gate and whan the kynge awoke
He felte hymselff but dede in poynte to bryste.
His counsaylle than anone til hym he toke
Chargynge thaym alle, for sorow of whom they quoke,
To byry hym in the Geants Carolle
Whan deth his soule hath fro his body stolle.

Thus was he dede and byried so anone
At Stonehengles that alle men calle so now.
With that a sterre so bemouse by hym oone
Appered grete and clere, that wondere howe
And why that it forpassynge other dyd bowe
His bemes bright, as was not sene afore,
For whiche men dred and mervelde wondre sore.
as if; doctor

poison; concoct
as soon as


immediately; (see note)

star; bright
[it was a]
surpassing; send forth

How Stella comata (comet) appered agayn the deth of Kynge Aurilyus and how Merlyn tolde Uther what it signifyed in alle thynges, and that he shuld bene Kynge of Grete Bretayne.





fol. 64v




With that Utere Merlyne tille hym toke
And shewde hym thare the bemy sterre so bright
And askte hym what it mente, for whiche he quoke,
Wepynge fulle sore astonyd of that sight,
And sayde “The kynge is gone to God fulle right.
Loke up Utere and haste thee to thy foo
The tryumphe now is thyne whare so thow go.

“Kynge of Bretayne now certanly thou arte
Go to thy foose and make no more dylay.
Yone sterre berynge the beme so southwarte
Over Fraunce thy sonne it signyfith, I say.
Who shalle over regne to Rome withouten nay
Alle londes for hym shalle loute, tremble and quake
Who in his tyme levynge shalle have no make.

Bot issue shalle he certanly have none
Of his body that worthy conqueroure.
Bot yone fyry dragoun that stonte allone
Undyr the sterre fro whose mouth doth poure
A beme bemy that dothe to Irelonde loure
So signyfyeth thy doughters thou shalle have
Whose sonnes thy reme shalle after crepe and crave.”

With that unto Menevue he wente als faste
With Guyllomare to fight and with Pascence
And thay hym mette and nothynge were agaste
Bot sore thay faught and made fulle grete defence.
Bot neverthelesse by knyghtly diligence
This ilke Pascence and als this kynge Guyllamare
In that batayle were slayne and dede right thare.

What shulde a man of this matere say more?
The Saxons parte were slayne on every syde
Safe tho that fled to shyppe whiche hasted sore.
This Utere than tho Saxons justifyde.
Fro thens he rode to Wynchestere that tyde
In whiche way so the messengers hym sayde
The kynge was dede and in the Carolle layde.




lifetime; peer


resplendent beam; scowl

come to

same; also

rendered justice

Ring (i.e., Stonehenge)

.xv. capitulum offe Kynge Uter Pendragoun, brother of Auril Ambros.





Syr Utere came to Wynchester anone
And crounde was and kynge fully admytte
In se rialle sette up as kynge allone
Remembrynge hym with croune as he sytte
Of Merlynes speche his prophecy and wytte
Of the dragons wondere exposicioun
Two dragons made of golde by artificioun.

And one of hem right in the mynstere thore
Of Seynte Petyr with grete solempnyté
He offerd than to byde for evermore
In remembrance to his posterité.
The tother dragoun for his hiegh rialté
In bataylle ay aforne hym borne shuld be.

For whiche thensforthe the pepyl dyd hym calle
To surname so Pendragon comonly
In Breton tonge thurghout the reme overalle.
In Englissh tonge it is to signify
“The dragon hede” as made is memory
Bycause Merlyne had hym so signyfyde
To a dragon and for kynge prophecyde.


monastery; there; (t-note)




How Octa and Oysa made werre (war) on Kynge Uter and how thay were discomfite in bataill


fol. 65r






And than anone Syr Octa Engiste sonne
Oysa his sonne that was to hym ful nere
By ridynge men that in the South dyd wonne
Fulle certyfyed that kynge was so Utere
Aurelyus dede and layde upon his bere.
For whiche thay rode thurghoute the north contré
And brente and slewe with grete iniquyté.

And as thay shulde the cyté so aseged
Of Ebrauke so, that Yorke now hath to name.
The kynge with hoste thaym lette, it was unseged,
And with thaym faught and fersely on thaym came.
Bot dyscomfytte he fled with mekylle grame
To Danen Hylle with alle his hoste in route
Whare Octa than hym seged alle aboute.

Syr Gorloys duke that than was of Cornewayle
Sayd “Arme us faste for now it ys at nyght
We shalle thaym sla slepynge and thaym assayle.
Thay faught fulle sore thys day and with suche myght
Thay wylle take reste and truste tomorow right
To wynne us sone for hungre and penury
Sette on thaym now and have the victory.”

By nyght thay cam upon the Saxons thare
Alle sodenly and slew thaym doune that bode
And Octa toke his cosyn fulle of care
Oysa also, and alle thare payenhode
Was slayn and fled for alle thare foule falshode.
Wherefore the kynge to Scotlonde dyd than ryde
Unto Alclude whare that his pese he cryde

Thurghout Scotlonde his lawes welle provyde
In pese and reste and voydyd tyrany.
Who rob or stale or made ought homycyde
Withoute mercy thrughoute his monarchy
Shuld dye therefore withouten remedy.
The North in pese, to Londoun came fulle light.
Octa and Oysa there he than prisonde right.





defeated; suffering


defeat; lack of resources


fellow pagans




How Kynge Uter made his feest rial at whiche he was take with lovynge of Duke Gorloys wife, on wham he gatte Arthure.




fol. 65v









fol. 66r









He comaunde than thurghout alle hole Bretayne
That every lorde shulde bene with hym at Passhe
That solempne feste to worship and obayne
Lyke Cristene folke with joy and alle solace
In Londoun than, that was his hiegh palace,
And every lorde to brynge with hym his wyfe.
This was his charge and wille infynytife.

Amonges other Gorleys, duke of Cornewayle,
His wyfe dyd brynge, Dame Igerne fressh and pure.
Whose beuté thare alle others made to fayle
So fulle and hole avysed was Nature.
Hyre shappe and forme excede alle creature
In so ferre forthe thof Nature wold have wrought
The bewté more, hyre kunnynge stretched nought.

Of whose bewté and hyre godelyhode
The kynge so foule overcome was and oversette
That it dyd chaunge his myght and his manhode
And made hym seke for whiche withouten lette
The duke hyre had away sodenly than fette
Parsevynge wele the kynges chyldelynesse
Was sette for love of hyre and wantonesse.

And put hyre in a castelle stronge and wight
Tyntagelle hight upon the sees coste.
For whiche the kynge was irefulle day and nyght
And hight to fette hyre thens away with hoste.
Wharfore he came with powere and with boste
To Dymyoke whare that the duke than lay
And seged it with stregh bothe nyght and day.

So segynge thare he dyd hymself dyskure
To oon Ulfyn and Merlyne pryvaly
How bot he had the love of Igerne pure
He myght not leve withoute hyre company.
Wharfore Merlyne by crafte and juglary
The kynge and hym and also Syr Ulfyne
Dyssymylde than in other lykenesse to enclyne.

He made the kynge unto Duke Gorloys lyke
And hymselffe lyke in alle symylité
To Bretelle was the dukes pryvey myke
And Ulfyne lyke withouten diversité
Unto Jordan that knew the dukes pryvyté.
Thus were thay thurgh his dissymylacioun
Lyke to the duke and his in symylacioun.

This done thay sette a reule the sege to holde
And pryvaly thise thre togedyr wente
To Tyntagelle the lady to byholde
Whom at the yate the portere in dyd hente.
The kepers alle and als the lady gente
Ful fayne were of his come and hys presence
To plese hym thare with alle thare diligence.

So than to bed he and that lady fayre
Were brought to reste, bot he with besy cure
No lenger wold of hyre be in dispayre
Bot toke anone his cely aventure
In armes with that womannysshe creature
Whiche of nature tendre was of corage
Trustynge it was so done in clene spousage.

That nyght he gatte on hyre the kynge Arthure
Who after his decese thurgh worthynesse
Redouted was above alle creature
That tyme levynge in honoure and noblyesse.
Bot than the kynge after this besynesse
Gan take his leve and right so came message
That Gorloys dede was and his vassalage.

The lady couth nought so truste that message
For wele she sawe hym thare so corporaly.
His two servants brought up of tendre age
Thare were with hym and came in company
By alle lykenesse and alle gode polycy.
Thare couthe no man fully have trusted other
So lyke thay were echone of thaym the tother.

The kynge herynge thus leugh and made gode chere
And in his armes hyre kyste enbrasynge faste
Thus sayand than “Gode wyfe I am yit here
Thof I be dede, be ye nothynge agaste.
For alle the harme overgone is and overpaste
That ye of me fro thys day forth shalle have
And fare welle nowe, I pray to God yow save.

“My castelle loste and als my men so slayne
I drede me sore the kynge wille hyder prese.
I wylle hym mete and trete to turne agayne
And by som way to trete and gete his pese.
And if I may hys ire and wrath not cese
I shalle submytte me lowly to his grace
And so I truste I shalle his love purchase.”

With that unto his hoste he came fulle fayne
Ulfyn and als thys wyse Merlyne prophete
Befygurde newe in thare likenesse agayne
As thay were firste, and spake with wordes swete
Unto his men in that skarmyse and hete
And wan that place as made is remembrance
And slew the duke to have his wyfe perchaunce.

With alle hys hoste so cam he to that place
Of Tyntagelle whare Igerne dyd abyde
And bade hyre thare with joy and grete solace
Hyre womannyshe sorows to layne and hyde
Whiche by processe was so wele modifyde
That nought in haste it dried up at ones
Bot lyte and lyte as it were for the nones.




(see note)

(see note)
even if; wished; to create

shamefully; smitten

Perceiving; foolishness

named; coast
vowed; fetch; army

military force

besieging; discover

Disguised; shift

[who]; personal friend

private affairs

his [intimates]


take (i.e., he allowed them in)



immediately; fortunate chance

heart; (see note)




Even if; afraid




encounter; heat of battle

beseeched; (t-note)
in time

little by little

fol. 66v How the kynge bigan the Rounde Table in figure of the ordour of the Saint Grale that Josep made at Avalon in Bretayne (t-note)










fol. 67r



A feste rialle he made at his spousage
And by advyse of Merlyne ordynance
The Rounde Table amonge his baronage
Bygan to make for fygure and remembrance
Right of the table, with alle the cyrcumstance
Of the Saynte Grale whiche longe tyme so afore
Joseph made, in Aramathy was bore.

For right as Criste in Symonde leprous house
His soupere made amonge apostels twelve
At his table that was so plentyouse
At whiche he had the maystere sege hymselve
In fygure so of it Josep gan delve
Thurghoute his wytte of his fraternyté
To rayse a borde of the Saynte Grale shuld be.

The dysshe in whiche that Criste dyd putte his honde
The Saynte Grale he cald of his language
In whiche he kepte of Cristes blode he fonde
A parte alway and to his hermytage
In Bretayne Grete it brought in his viage.
The whiche was thare to tyme of Kynge Arthure
That Galaad escheved his aventure.

For fygure so and hole remenbrance
Of that table of hole fraternyté
The Table Rounde the kynge dyd so enhaunse
Of nobleste knyghtes rialle his regalté
In knyghthode beste and alle fortuyté
Approved ofte in werre and turnament
In batayls als that had grete regyment.

Syr Octa than and Oysa bothe in fere
Thare kepers als, dyd breke oute of the toure
Of London so and home thay yede fulle clere
In Germany to gete thaym there socoure
And toke on thaym agayne a new laboure
With powere grete this londe to have and wynne
And Albany distroyed ere that thay blynne.

The kynge was seke and nothynge myght he ryde
For whiche he made Syr Loth of Louthianne
With hoste to fyghte with thaym and felle there pryde
Who wedded had his doughter hight Dame Anne
That duke was of alle Louthianne called than
A myghty prynce, hardy and corageouse,
Rightwyse and fayre, and thereto bountyuouse.

Who with thaym faught by dyverse tymes sere
Some tyme the bettere and some tyme had the worse.
For whiche the kynge dyd ordeyne hym a bere
On whiche he was caried so as a corse
With alle his hoste aboute hym with grete forse
And founde thaym than lyggynge in Verolame
A walled toune was that tyme of grete fame.

Now heght it so Seynte Albans verryly
Whare that the kynge thaym seged with his hoste
And dange right doun the walles myghtyly.
For whiche anone thay toke the felde with boste
And faught hym by halfe a day almoste.
Bot at the laste Octa and Oysa right
Were slayne bothe two, thare party put to flight.
marriage; (see note)

in every respect
Holy Grail
[who]; born

Simon the Leper’s

principal seat

construct; table; Holy Grail


Of which



good chance


went directly

before; ceased

not at all
bring low

in addition generous



situated; (t-note)

it is called; truly
(see note)

How the Kynge Uter was poysond of the water of a well that he used to drynk medled with wyne and other licours





Bot sertayne men there were in this mene while
Saw whare the kynge had water to hym brought
Right of a welle bysyde his halle som while
To drynke with other licours for hym wrought
For hys sekenesse to helpe and brynge to nought
It envenymde with poysoun and corupte
Thurgh whiche his lyfe was waste and interrupte.

And dyed so in grete and sore distresse
And byried was in the Karolle besyde
His brother than with honoure and noblesse
As conquerroure so fully glorifyde
In rialle wyse wele wrought and artyfyde
That wondyr was the werke aboute to se
So was it wrought with alle nobilité.

Afore his dethe a castelle yit he made
Upon the marche of Scotlond stronge and fayre
Pendragoun hight in whiche he dwelte and bade
In that contré whan that he wolde repayre.
Of whiche place now the Clifford is his hayre
And lorde in fe of alle the shyre aboute
And shiriff als of Westmerlonde thurghoute.

drinks; made


Ring (i.e., Stonehenge)


called; stayed

How the makere of this comendeth this Kynge Uter Pendragoun of worthynesse for to bene myrour and remembrance to other kynges and prynces


fol. 67v








Allas for reuthe so gode a prynce shulde de
That in sekenesse nought letted for distresse
Upon his fose on bere to caried be
Thaym to distroy he fonde non idelnesse.
Whiche to acounte was suche a worthynesse
As in my dome he aught of right be shryned
That fro his fose in werres never declyned.

He myght be shryned als for worthynesse
Amonges alle these noble conquerours
For his laboure loved none idelnesse
To helpe his londe and men with alle socours
In tyme of nede agaynestonde turmentours
The comyn profyte that wasted and destroyed
Or his comons vexed or yit anoyed.

O soverayne lorde, to whom God hath so dygned
The govornaylle with alle the regalté
Of Englonde hole to you and youres assigned
Thynke on this poynte in alle youre dygnyté
And lette no sleuthe disteyne youre soveraynté
Bot ever be fresshe and grene forto defende
The peple hole whiche God hath to you sende.

xvi chapitle of Arthure Kynge of Bretayne

Arthurs armes

Arthure his son upgrowynge than pierlesse
Thurghoute the worlde approved of his age
In wytte and strength, bewté and als largesse,
Of person hiegh and fayre of his visage
And able in alle to holde his heritage
At Cyrcestre than called Caercyry
And Caersegent som called it wytterly

Who was that tyme bot fyftene yere of age
Whanne Dubrike so, Archebysshop of Caerlyoun,
With alle estates of alle his hole homage
Assembled thare duke, erle, lorde and baroun
By hole advise of alle the regioun
Upon his hede dyd sette the dyademe
In rialle wyse as dyd hym wele byseme.

Fortune was so frendly at his byrthe
That of alle folke he was ever wele beloved.
And rychesse als so comforte ever his myrth
That with poverte he was never sore amoved
And through corage his herte was ay commoved
To sette the londe in dewe obedience
By alle his wytte and hole intelligence.

And sodenly the youth of alle knyghthode
For his largesse and his liberalité
Approched so, and came to his manhode
To bene subgyttes unto his soveraynté,
So hole Fortune hyre werdes in propreté
Unto his helpe and honoure execute
That alle his wille was sped and insecute.
sorrow; die; (see note)

judgment; enshrined



your heirs

sloth besmirch


(see note)

peerless; (see note); (t-note)


(see note)





fate; specificity

performed; executed

fol. 68r How Kynge Arthure avowed to werray (harry) the Saxons oute of Bretayne and on the water of Dougles discomfyte thaym






He made a vowe atte his coronacioun
That Saxons never his londe shulde enhabyte
Whiche slew hys eme by poysoun and toxicacioun
His fadyr als, that knyghtes were perfyte.
Whose dethes so he thought revenge and quyte.
To Scotlonde than with alle his hole powere
He sped hym faste, as seyth the cronyclere.

Whan Colgrym knew, that was the capitayne
Of alle Saxons, he gatte hym Scottes and Peghtes
With his Saxons and mette the kynge to sayne
Upon the water of Douglas with grete feghtes.
Whare the Saxons were slayne anone dounreghtes
And Colgrym fled away in pryvyté
Tylle that he cam to Yorke the stronge cyté.

Whither the kynge cam than and seged itte.
Bot Baldulf thanne his brother nereby was londe
With sex thousonde of men of armes fytte.
Upon the kynge to falle he toke on honde
Of whiche the kynge was done to undurstonde.
Wharfore he sente Cadore, duke of Cornewayle,
To feght with hym who vencoust his batayle.

Wharfore Baldulf his berde and hede dyd shave
Feynynge hym than to bene a bordioure
Arayed fulle lyke a fole or els a knave
With harpe in honde fulle lyke a losengeoure
Amonges the hoste he yede as fals faytoure
And with his japes so nere the walles went
That thay within hym knew and up hym hent.


(see note)

say the truth

down directly


made to understand


Pretending himself; jester
dressed; fool
went; deceiver

How Cheldryke with multitude of Saxons londed in Albany whare Arthure discomfyte them, and afterwarde sone discomfyte thaym agayne.




fol. 68v






So cam worde to the kynge by his espy
How Duke Cheldrike with payens multitude
Was comen oute than new fro Germany
With sexe hundre shyppes ful of juventude
Of armed men and archers multitude
And londed was that tyme in Albany
And brente the londe there thurgh his tyrany.

For whiche the kynge by alle his hole counsayle
To Londoun wente and to Kynge Howel sente
His syster sonne that was withouten fayle
Kynge of Lytylle Bretayne so fayre and gente.
And prayd hym of helpe and socourement
For whiche he came with fiftene thousond knyghtes
To helpe his eme with alle his force and myghtes.

At Hamtoun londe he than with his meyné
Ressaved fayre as dyd hym wele beseme
Like his degré in alkyn rialté
That men couthe wytte or els by reson deme.
With that anone assembled thare hostes breme.
In days few thay cam to Caerludcourte
That Lyncolne now ys called in every courte.

And Lindcolyne dyd some men than it calle
In cronycles as made is mencioun
Whare Coligrym and Baldulf his brother withalle
Seged the toun with alle intencyoun
Brennynge the londe with strengh and subvencioun
Unto the tyme the kynges two ryght thore
Dyd with thaym feght in batayle stronge and sore

And venquyste thaym with grete humanyté.
Levynge the sege thay fled at alle thare myght
Untyl a wode nereby that same cyté
Hight Calidoun with grete defence to fight.
Whare than the kynges two thay came fulle right
And seged thaym by alle the wode aboute
That on no syde thay myght nowrewhare breke oute.

Whare thay so ware hungred and sore famysht
Tylle thay dyd graunte oute of thare londe trewage
Unto the kynge so were thay almost ramyssht
And prayed hym so that he wolde take hostage
And lete thaym passe so home to thare lynage
And never more agayn hym ought offende
To whiche Arthure consent and made an ende.




requested; reinforcement




destructive force




payment of tribute
made wild with hunger

How Cheldryke, Baldulfe and Colgrym bicam Kynge Arthurs men and aftir werred on hym agayn at Bathe whare he discomfyte thaym in bataille.



fol. 69r




So than Cheldrike, Baldulf and Colgrym
Who capteyns were to alle the Saxons hoste
By thayre letters and seles assured hym
Hys men to bene evermore withouten boste
And Germany also thrugh alle thare coste
To bene his men and yelde hym hole trewage
And there upon delyverd hym hostage.

And whan thay were upon the se with sayle
As fals men shulde at Toteneys londe agayne
And to Severne the countrey dyd assayle
And so to Bathe and seged it certayne.
Whan it was tolde the kynge he was not fayne.
Thare hostage than with hym he led anone
To the cyté of Bathe fulle faste gan gone.

He hanged thare the hostage for dispyte
Right in thaire sight and than to batayle wente
And many slew that day withoute respyte
Tylle Saxons alle were sore forhurte and shente.
Wherefore an hylle that toke for strengh and hente
The whiche the kynge with myght upon thaym wan
And slew thaym doune by many thousand than.

Wherefore thay fled away in multitude
Unto thare shyppes, Colgryme and Baldulf slayne
By Arthurs myght and by his fortitude.
So with his swerde he dalte his strokes gayne
That foure hundred he felled on the playne
That never seth on grounde myght stonde ne ryse
His own persone so gretely dyd suffyse.

Than sente he forth Cadore, that duke worthy,
To folow on the chace who with thaym mette
And slew Cheldrike and alle his Saxony
Who brente and waste and strongly had oversette
Deveshyre, Dorset and also Somersette.
For whiche he quytte thaym than so fulle thayre mede
That fro thens forthe to ryde thay had no nede.

(see note)



contempt; (see note)




(see note)

How whare Scottes and Peghtes biseged Howelle kynge of Lasse Bretayne in Alclude. Kynge Arthure hym reskowed with hoste and drove thaym in to the Oute Iles.



In this mene tyme Arthure herde how Howelle
His nevew was beseged in Alclude
By Scottes and Peghtes that ever were fals and felle
But whils thay were holde lowe in servytude.
Wherefore he wente with myght of multitude
To Alclude so his cosyn to reskowe
Delyverde hym as he had made a vowe.

He drofe thaym oute into a loughe so grete
That fourty iles within it dyd contene.
From ile to ile thay fled and had no mete
And sexty flodes partyng tho yles betwene
And every ile a roche so had fulle clene
Of whiche watyrs went none than to the se
Bot oon alone in boke that I can se.
(see note)



rock formation

How the kynge of Irelonde with Saxons cam into Scotland wham Arthure discomfyte



fol. 69v


In whiche tyme than Syr Guyllomore the kynge
Of Irelonde so with grete powere dyd londe
In Scotlonde hole the Saxons into brynge.
Whom Arthure than so fully gan withstonde
With batayle grete that thay were fayne to fonde
To Irelonde than agayne and forto fle
For alle thaire pryde and contumacyté.

Than came the lordes and alle the hiegh estates
Bysshops, prelates and alle the comonté
With relykes and with cros fulle desolates
Besekynge hym of his humylité
On thaym so sore oppreste to have pyté.
Whom whan he sawe for mercy crie and knele
Pyté hym made to graunte thaym every dele.

happy; go



How the Archebisshop of Yorke shulde bene primate and metropolitane of Scotland (t-note)





To Yorke he wente and helde his Cristenmesse
Sorowynge for the Chyrches desolacioun
Whiche Saxons had distroyd thurgh cursydnesse
Whan Seynt Sampson by malignacioun
The archebysshop was put fro mynystracioun
Out of the se was metropolitane
From Humbre northe alle Albany in tane.

In whiche he sette Pyrame his chapelayne
To reule the Chyrche in alkyn holynesse
With alle the rightes of metropolitane
And kyrkes waste agayne he gan redresse
Religeouse place amendyd was I gesse
Alle folke exilde and fro thare right expelled
Agayne restored, whiche payenis had doun felled.

Nota how Arthure toke of the kynges of Albany homage

Thre persones were that tyme of blode rialle
In Albany: Syr Loth of Louthione
That kynge was than of Louthian over alle
That is be south the Scottisshe Se allone;
Syr Aguselle of Albanactes echone;
And Urian of Murrefe was that day
Which of Arthure thare londes had holden ay.

diocese; (t-note)




Arthure wed Gaynore and raysed the Rounde Table of knyghtes worthy




This kynge Arthure than wedded to his wyfe
Dame Gwaynore came of worthy blode Romayne
With Duke Cadore brought up fro byrth natyfe
Whose bewté so alle others dyd dystayne
So excelent the sothe of hyre to sayne
And forpassynge she was alle creature
Hyre to amende than stretched noght nature.

The Table Rounde of knyghtes honorable
That tyme was voyde by grete defycience.
So few thay were thurgh werres fortunable
Thay kepte no reule, ne yit obedience.
Wherfore the kynge than by his sapience
The worthieste of every reme aboute
In it that tyme he put withouten doute.
(see note); (t-note)



fol. 70r Names of the knyghtes of the Rounde Table and the reule of the same ordour









That tyme was Syr Morvyde Erle of Gloucestre
And Mauron, Erle of Worcestre so stoute,
Syr Barent, Erle was than of Circestre,
Syr Harand, Erle of Shrewsbyry that men doute,
Syr Jugence, Erle of Leycestre in route,
Syr Argalle, Erle of Warrewyke of grete prise,
And Erle Curson of Chestere, that was so wyse,

Kynmare, that tyme Erle of Caunterbyry,
Urgen the Erle was than so of Bathe
Galluc the Erle was than of Salesbyry
Erle Jonatalle of Dorchestere so rathe
Gurgoyne the Erle of Herford dyd no skathe
And Syr Bewes, Erle of Oxenforde so wyse,
Amorawde, Erle of Excestre of pryse,

Kynge Aguselle, that was of Albany,
Kynge Urian of Murref, with Ewayne
His sonne who was than corageouse and manly,
Kynge Loth that was than kynge of Louthiayne,
Of Demecy the kynge Syr Uriayne
That South Wales men now calle and endoce
The kynge also of North Wales called Venodoce

Cadore, the duke of Cornewayle so plentyuous,
Donand, Mapcoyl, Peredoure, and Clenyus,
Maheridoure, Mapclaude, Griffud harageus,
Gorbonyan, Esidoure, and Heroyus,
Edlein, Masgoyd, Kymbelyne, and Cathleus,
Mapcathel, Mapbangan, and Kynkare,
Colflaut, Makeclauke, Gorbodyan, Kynmare.


These were the knyghtes fully than acounted
That friste he made of the Table Rounde
Two and fourty persounes that amounted.
That tyme no mo was to that ordre bounde
Bot as oon dyed the kynge another founde.
Thare reule was than alle wronges to represse
With thare bodyse whare law myght not redresse.


Than was no knyght acounte of hiegh emprise
Bot he were thrise in armes wele approved
Or in bataylle had grete excercyse
With ladyse els he was nothynge beloved
With whiche for thay wold not ben unbyloved
So caused thaym to haunten chyvalry
To wynne honoure and thanke of thayre lady.

fear; (see note)
in the gathering

(see note)
damage; (see note)

great value; (see note)

(see note)

(see note)

(see note)
stern; (see note)
(see note)
(see note); (see note)

(see note)


came to

(see note)



fol. 70v How Kynge Arthure conquerde Irelonde, Iselonde, Gotlonde, Orcades, Danmark, Freslond, with many other londes and isles.






The somer nexte he wente into Irelonde
And with batayle and tryumphe it conquerde
And made the kynge of hym to holde that londe
That wan it so wit Caliburne his swerde
With whiche he made alle londes than so ferde
That thay were yolde to his subjeccioun
In his servyce to byde with affeccioun.

Iselonde, Scotlonde and also Orcadese
With alle the iles aboute in cyrcuyté
Danmarke, Freselonde and Norway is no lese
Alle wanne he so than with his sworde perfyte
Whare alle his knyghtes and prynces had delyte
To prove thaymselff in batayles fulle sore smyten
As memory of thaym is made and writen.

So rose of hym above alle prynces fame
Of conqueste grete and alle nobilité
There was no prynce that had so gode a name
For whiche alle folke obeyed his sovereynté
Above alle other prynces in Cristynté
And specialy alle knyghtes of juventude
Drew to his courte and his excelsitude.

Syr Loth he made the Kynge of alle Norway
Hys syster Anne had wed in trew spousage
And crouned hym with dyademe ful gay
To holde of hym as for his heritage
As cosyn nexte of Kynge Sychelme lynage
That of Norway dyed kynge and to hym gafe
His reme alle hole perpetualy to hafe.
(see note)


Iceland; Orkney Isles



(see note)

How knyghtes of the Table Rounde fought and acheved aventures




fol. 71r



Kynge Arthure than helde the gretteste hous of name
Of Cristen kynges was none so plentyuouse
That thurgh the world of it than rose the fame.
Whiche tyme his knyghtes that were fulle corageouse
Of the Table Rounde thayre reule so vertuouse
To execute thay sought thayre aventure
Thurgh londes fele to prove what were thaire ure.

Whiche knyghtes so had many aventure
Whiche in this boke I may not now compile
Whiche by thaymselff in many grete scripture
Bene tytled wele and bettere than I thys while
Can thaym pronounse, or write thaym with my style.
Whose makynge so by me that was not fayred
Thurgh my symplesse I wold noght were enpayred.

For alle thare actes I have not herde ne sene
Bot wele I wote thay wolde alle comprehende
More than the Byble thrise wryten dothe contene
Bot who that wylle laboure on itte expende
In the grete boke of alle the aventures
Of the Seynte Grale, he may fynde fele scriptures

Whiche specify fulle mony aventure
Fulle mervelouse to yonge mennes wytte
Of whiche myne age ow now to have no cure.
Bot rather thaym to leven and omytte
To my masters that can thaym intermytte
Of suche thynges thurgh thaire hiegh sapience
More godelily than I can make pretence.
(see note); (t-note)

many; good custom



many writings

ought; concern


How Arthure made al his knyghtes of the Rounde Table to telle hym al thaire aventures whiche he putte in writyng for remembrance and for noon avaunt (boast) be accounted (t-note)



Bot whan the kynge longe tyme had so sojorned
In welthes grete and hiegh prosperité
And alle his knyghtes were home agayn retorned
To his howshold fulle of alle felicité
He made echone to write his fortuyté
How hym byfelle in armes in his absence
To tyme he came agayne to his presence.

And every day afore the kynge at mete
Amonge his prynces in open audience
An aventure of armes and a fete
Reported was so for his reverence
That dyd that dede by suche experyence
And forto move his yonge knyghtes corages
Suche aventurs escheven in thaire viage.
(see note)



achieve; errantry

How he made new knyghtes of the Rounde Table for cause many were spent in the werre




fol. 71v

Bycause that in his werres longe contened
The Table Rounde bygan aparte to fayle
For som were slayne in bataylle mekel mened
And som by age whan deth dyd thaym assayle
Were dede away, for whiche by hole counsayle
The kynge dyd make knyghtes new for comforte
Of it to kepe the honoure and comporte.

Syr Gawen, sonne to Lothe of Louthian,
Who Kynge was than of Louthian throughoute
And Syr Launcelot de Lake that noble man
And Kynge Pelles of North Wales than was stoute
Syr Persyvalle, whom mony men dyd doute,
Lybews Dysconus, and Syr Colygrenauntt,
Syr Leonelle, Degré, and Degrevaunt,

Bors and Estore, Syr Kay and Bedwere,
Guytarde, and Bewes of Corbenny, so wyse,
Syr Irelglas, and Mordrede als in fere,
Who Gawayns brother was of ful grete emprise.
Bot som bokes sayne Arthure was so unwyse
That he hym gatte on his syster Dame Anne
Of Louthiane that was the quene so thanne.
(see note)

sorely mourned





Whar Kynge Arthure helde moste usualy his housholde in Bretayne








fol. 72r



In whiche tyme so of reste and grete sojorne
The knyghtes alle of the Table Rounde
Grete aventurs cheved and dyd perfourne
And brought tyl ende thurghout alle Bretayne grounde
By enchauntements that made were firste and founde.
Whiche tyme so than the kynge Arthure rialle
Hys housholde helde thurghoute Grete Bretayn alle

At Edynburgh, Stryvelyn, and Dunbretayne,
At Cumbyrnalde, Dundonalde, and at Perte,
At Bamburgh als, at Yorke the sothe to sayne,
And at Carlele with knyghtes manly and perte.
And open house he kepte ay in aperte
The Table Rounde abowte he dyd remewe
In every place whare that he remewed newe.

At Londoun, als Carnarvan, and Cardyfe,
At Herforde, als Wynchestere, and Carlyoun,
In Cornewayle ofte, and Dovere als ful ryfe,
And ofte within the Ile of Avaloun
That Glasenbyry now is of religioun
Thise were his places and his habitacions
In whiche he had his hertes consolacions.

The reule of the knyghtes of the Rounde Table

The reule so of that ordoure excellent
In londes alle forpassynge moste desyred
Was to distroye sorsery and enchauntement
And rebellyoun agayne the fayth conspyred.
The Kyrke, wedows and maydens that required
That wronged were with batayle to redresse
Agayn al men that dyd thaym ought oppresse.

Devourours als of the comoun profyte
Rebelles agayne the kynges dygnyté
Extorsioners that pore men disheryte
Of londes or gude by myght or subtylité
Whare suche so were within any contré
If law myght noght thay shuld make resistence
With bataylle and chyvalrouse defence.

And every yere upon Whisson even
Thay shulde come alle unto the kynges presence
And alle that feste in his courte byleven
Bot if grete cause that tyme made his absence.
And who cam noght his felows with grete fervence
That yere shulde seke and helpe hym at thare myght
Alle severaly echone by hymselff right.

And at that feste the reule and ordynance
Was so that thay shulde telle thayre aventure
What so thaym felle that yere and what kyns chaunce
That myght be sette in romance or scripture.
And none avaunt acounted bot nurture
To cause his felaws to do so eke the same
Thaire aventure to seke and gete a name.
(see note)




(see note)


Church; widows

Whit Sunday (Pentecost)




boast; good upbringing

How Arthure conquerde Fraunce with alle londes longynge to it, and slew Kyng Frolle and Kynge of Fraunce corounde.







fol. 72v




But ever as next the valey is the hille
After longe reste so comyth sharpe laboure
Kynge Arthure so fermely had sette his wille
To conquerre Fraunce as his progenitoure
Maximyan had done with grete honoure.
Wharfore he sente thurghoute his homagers
Prynces and lordes tille come with thayre powers.

And so anone to Fraunce fulle faste he spedde
Whiche was that tyme a ful noble provynce
By senatours of Rome that powere hedde
To Frolle commytte that was a manly prynce
Whom Arthure sought oute of this londe from hynce
To fyght with hym or els to have alle Fraunce
For evermore in his high governaunce.

Frolle fro hym fled and myght not with hym dele
And helde hym in the cyté of Parise
Whom Arthure than dyd sege with folke ful fele
And thought he shuld hym hungre and enfamyse.
For fere of whiche Kynge Frolle by hole advyse
To Arthure sente that he wolde with hym fight
With honde for honde to jugen alle the right.

Of whiche profre Kynge Arthure was ful light
At day assyned right in an ile thay mette
Withoute the toune bothe armed wele and bright
And strokes sore ayther on other sette.
Bot in affecte Kynge Frolle so sore was bette
That dede he was, the tale forto abbregge
Arthure hym slew with Caliburnes egge.

So was the toune of Parise to hym yolde
And entred yn with alle his hole powere
And kynge was thare and had it as he wolde
And gafe Howelle that was his neven dere
A grete parte of his hoste with hym in fere
To werre upon the duke of Aquytayne
Whiche Guyen is and Paytow eke certayne.

Kynge Howelle so sore faught with Duke Guytarde
Of Guyen so and made it alle obay
To Kynge Arthure and stonde at his awarde
Servyce to do to his highnesse alway.
And Arthure with his powere every day
Hostayed the londe and with knyghthode conquerde
Alle Fraunce thurghout with Caliburne his swerde.
(see note); (see note); (t-note)


have dealings








What prynces obeyed to Kynge Arthure and did hym homage and service






fol. 73r



To whom Howelle, kynge of Lesse Bretayne,
And Geryn, erle of Chartres and Orlience,
And Duke Guytarde also of Aquytayne
And alle the lordes of Fraunce to his presence
Came and obeyed his hiegh magnyficence.
The kynges als of Naverne and Arrogoyne,
Of Portyngale, Castele, and Cateloyne,

The duke of Savoy and the duke of Burgoyne
With alle the prynces in cyrcuyte aboute
Of Ostryche eke the duke withoute essoyne
Who to hym cam his lordshyp forto loute
The duke also of Loreyne withouten doute
The dukes alle and prynces of Almayne,
Of Saxony, and als of alle Germayne,

The dukes als of Braban and Gellerlonde
The duke of Bayre with rialle company
The erles also of Flaunders and Holande
With mekylle folke and grete chyvalry.
Of whiche he made knyghtes so than in hy
The worthyeste of worship and knyghthode
In the Table Rounde than of worthihode.

And festayde thaym by fourty days right
In Paryse than with alle grete rialté
And coronde was in alle the peples sight.
And Quene Gaynore with hiegh nobilité
Corounde also was in that same cyté
At that same tyme with alle servyce rialle
That couthe be done tille estate imperialle.

With justes eche day for love of ladyse specialle
Whiche with the quene were dwellynge in servyse
Whose bewté was high in universalle.
Some wedowes were fulle womanly and wyse
Some wyfes were of bewté bare emprise
And some virgyns als, fresshe as rose in May,
Some deflorate whiche semed maydyns gay.

Bot for to speke of Gaynores grete bewté
Whiche forpassynge alle others dyd excelle
And fourmed was in alle femynyté
Als ferre as couthe Nature wyrke and expelle
Of womanhode she was the floure and welle
So aungellyke and so celestialle
That no bewté myght hirs in ought appalle.

Orléans; (t-note)

Navarre; Aragon
Portugal, Castile; Catalonia

Austria; excuse
bow before
Saxony (Germany)

Brabant; Gelderland
(?)Bar, France




not virgins

flower; source


How Kynge Arthure dwelled nyne yeres in Fraunce, in whiche tyme the knyghtes of the Rounde Table sought and acheved many aventures. (t-note)







fol. 73v


Nyne yere he helde his rialle se in Fraunce
And open howse gretly magnyfyde
Thurghoute the worlde of welth and suffisshaunce
Was never prynce so hieghly glorifyde.
In whiche tyme so the Rounde Table multiplyde
And aventurs dyd seke cotydialy
With grete honoure as made is memory.

And whan he had so bene in Fraunce nyne yere
He toke purpose to passe home to Bretayne
At Caerlyoun his cyté fayre and clere
At Pentecoste to holde and to contayne
His feste rialle thare to be crounde agayne.
For whiche he made somouns to every prynce
And lordes alle of every hole provynce

At it to bene and every worthy knyght
He sente his lettre thedyre forto come
To his cyté that Carlyoun so hight.
To whiche alle men that dwelle of north halfe Rome
In Severne myght arrife both alle and some
So navigalle that ryvere is of streme
That shyppes thare myght londe of every reme.

And in that tyme Arthur helde his counsayle
At Parisse than pese and lawes to conferme
And ordynaunce there made and governayle
And alle customes of olde he dyd afferme.
His londes sette for tribute and for ferme
By his balifs and shirrifs alle aboute
Thurgh his regence that tyl hym than dyd loute.

He gaffe Bedwere that was his botyler
The Duchy so alle hole of Normandy.
And Kay he gaff that than was his pantere
Of alle Aungoy the noble riche duchy.
And other provynce to men that were manly
He gaff fulle faste in alle that myght suffise
For whiche his name thurghoute the world gan ryse.


(see note)

(see note)
one and all; (see note)





in charge of his pantry

How Kynge Arthure came to Bretayn coronde at Carlioun aftir he departe oute of the reme of Fraunce








fol. 74r







This noble kynge to Bretayne gan retorne
And at his terme assigned so afore
At Carlyoun he cam there to sojorne
His feste to holde to prynces lesse and more
To lordes also prelates and clerkes of lore
Knyghtes and squyers with alle the comonté
As ordeyned was by his hiegh magesté.

On Whissonday that hight so Pentecoste
Kynges and prynces thurgh his domynacioun
Compered there of every reme and coste
To se that feste and that solempnysacioun
And servyce als at his coronacioun.
And of the quene as for hyre corounement
That same day sette togedyr by oon assent.

Archebysshops thre at that feste dyd apere
Two hundreth als of philosophres wyse
In astronomy approved clerkes were
Thurgh whiche of thynge to come thay couth provyse
And telle that shulde byfalle and on what wyse.
Suche was thayre witte and als thaire grete doctryne
Of thynge to come the certeyne to diffyne.

Whiche kynges and prynces everychone
And erles als with other noble knyghtes
Of the Table Rounde were knyghtes made anone
Whiche presed were in batayle and in fyghtes
Forpassynge other that moste had sene by sightes
Of honoure and travayle of knyhtlyhode
Of nurture als worshyp and worthyhode.

Whiche prynces so it nede no more reherse
For alle that I have named so above
Bysyde prynces that were his offycerse
That bounden were by homage and by love
To serve hym thare orwhare that he remove.
Whiche were two kynges of Wales that were manly
And kynges thre also of Albany

Kynge Guyllomare, that kynge was of Irelonde,
And Gunvase als, the kynge of Orcadese,
Kynge Malvase als that than was of Iselonde
And Doldayn kynge of Gothlonde was no lese
And Aschille, kynge of Denmarke, proude in prese,
And Loth also that kynge was of Norway
And Duke Cadore of Cornewayle redy ay

The kynge of Man, the Dusze Piers alle of Fraunce,
And of Bretayne alle hole the baronage
With provostes alle, that cytese governaunce
In Bretayn had by auncyen pryvylage
To maken joy and also sure plausage
Of his tryumphe and coronacioun
That than shuld be with grete solempnysacioun.

Whom Seynte Dubrike the archebisshop so wyse
Of Caerlyoun that than was hyegh prymate
The kynge corounde in alkyns rialle wyse
As longed to his hyegh and dygne estate
And as of olde it was preordynate
With coroun riche of golde and dyademe
That never prynce it dyd so wele beseme.

The archebysshop of Londoun helde so than
The kynges right arme, that was so his servyce.
The archebysshop of Yorke the lefte up wan
That tyme so was his dette and excercyse.
The servyce alle and als the obsequyse
Seynt Dubrike dyd so in that mynstere fayre
Of Seynte Aron whare than was alle repayre.

Whiche was the se than metropolitane
Foundyd fully of gode religioun
Where byried was Seynt Dubrike not to layne
To whom the folke in thare opynyoun
For alle desese had grete devosioun
To seke hym ofte and make thaire offerynge
So gloryus was he in alle wyrkynge.


Whitsunday; was called

Appeared; area
ceremonial celebration






Twelve Peers; (see note)





(see note)

duty; customary practice
dutiful service

conceal; (see note)


How the kynges of Albany, of Wales, and the Duke of Cornwaille, bare foure swerdes at his coronacioun afore hym.



fol. 74v





Kynge Aguselle of Albanyse provynce
The kynge of Demecy that South Wales hight
The kynge of Venodoce that worthy prynce
That now North Wales man calle it so fulle right
The duke Cadoure of Cornewayle prynce of myght
Foure swordes of golde afore Kynge Arthure bare
As fore thare londes so holdyn of hym ware.

It was servyce of thayre londes of right
Whiche thayre elders of longe antiquyté
Afore had done tille his auncesters of myght
At alle suche festes of grete solempnyté
Thus fro the chyrche, that was the prymates se,
Thay worshyp hym so in that humble wyse
Of olde duté hym doynge that servyce.

Many thousand knyghtes homward so wente
Afore hym than to his palays rialle
Fresshely arayed in clothes of ryche extente
With thousondes fele of mynstrals pryncipalle
The noyse of whiche was so celestialle
Thare couthe no wight it fro joy of heven
Dyscerne in ought so were thay lyke and even.

And fro the chyrche of Seynt July that tyde
The quene Gaynore the godeliest on lyve
With kynges led in rialle clothes and syde
Corounde with golde richely as his wyfe
With maydens fele to nombire infynytise
That no wyght couthe thaym telle, ne yit discryve,
Ne yit in boke no clerke that couth subscryve.
(see note)
was called


Distinguish; similar


ample; (see note)


How the quenes of south Wales, north Wales, and the Duchesse of Cornwaylle, bare foure whyte culvers (doves) afore the quene Gaynore.





fol. 75r









The quenes of Northe Wales and of Albany
Of South Wales als than dyd hyre that servyce
The duchesse with of Cornewayle certanly
The fourth she was whiche dyd that obsequyse
Thay bare afore hyre than as was the gyse
Foure doufes white with knyghtes multitude
And mynstralsy so fulle of dulcytude.

The kynge was sette in se imperialle
So was the quene with prynces of dygnyté
And served wele at that high feste rialle.
Duke Kay stewarde was than by hole decré
For his wysdome and his habilité
Afore the servyce came with a yerde in honde
Of sylvere fyne afore the kynge dyd stonde.

A thousond knyghtes with hym to serve the halle
Both he and thay clothed alle in ermyne
From the dressoure the mete to bere over alle
With squyers, marshals and usshers gode and fyne.
And ay afore a lady femynyne
A worthy knyght was sette for grete comforte
Hyre forto chere with daliance and disporte.

And Duke Bedwere was chefe butelere
A thousond knyghtes had clothed in a sute
In clothe of golde as fyne as myght affere
Whiche served so the drynkes of refute
Of dyverse wynes there spente and distribute
So plentyuouse that wondere was to se
The grete foysoun of wynes and dyversité.

Thetys that was of waters chefe goddesse
Thare had of thaym that tyme no regyment
For Bachus so thare regned with alle fulnesse
Of myghty wynes to every mannys intente
Shad oute plenté so at that corounemente
To alle estates that there were moste and leste
For honoure so and worshyp of the feste.

The tyme so of that feste imperialle
Everiche a day justes and tournament
Thikfolde thay made for ladyse in specialle
With alle maystrise provynge in thaire entente
That longed so to knyghthode and appente
And musycanes songe notes musicalle
And poetes shewed thaire muse poeticalle.

The myrth and joy, the richesse and aray,
The fare, the feste, the worshyp and servyse,
The nurture and the bewté of ladyse gay
There couth no wyght with alle his wytte suffise
To telle it alle by ought he couth devyse
So rialle was it alle in generalle
And forpassynge estate imperialle.

And every day the quene yede sertanly
To that mynstere with many worthy man
Of Seynte July who Aarons felaw bodyly
Was whan Maxence had sent Maximyan
Into this londe whare he dystroyed than
The Cristen fayth and slewe than Seynte July
And Seynte Aron thurgh his fals tyrany.

Whiche mynstere than a nuniry was devoute
Of vyrgyns clene without any vyce
That served God fulle wele bothe in and oute
In prayers and in alle devyne servyce
Whiche she uphelde alway of hiegh emprice
And thought therein to have hyr sepulture
Whan that hyre lyfe no lengare myght endure.



(see note)

(see note)

polite conversation; flirtation

matching garments
befit; (see note)
poured out


Thetis; (see note)




went; (see note)


fol. 75v Whan Saynt Dubrike dyed Saint David was made Archebisshop of Caerlyoun




But Seynte Dubrike that than archebysshop stode
Cesed mekely and hole forsoke his cure
Purposynge than in holy lyfe and gode
In ermytage whils that he myght endure
Alle solitary for any aventure
To plesen God in prayere wache and excuby
Fastynge, penaunce and leve his prymacy.

In whose stede so Davyd the kynges eme
Was sette whose lyfe ensample of alle godenesse
Was after than, as sonne doth sprede his beme
After mystes foule and grete derkenesse
Who afterwardes Seynt Davyd was doutlesse
An holy saynt and canonysed
By alle the Chyrche and autorised.
(see note)


nightly prayer; vigil


Elyden was than made Bisshop of Alclude, the whiche som say it is a litil fro Carlele at ende of the Peghte Walle, and som say it is Carlele and other some say it is Dunbretayne, bot aftir (according to) Policronicon it is at ende of the Peght Walle, and aftir Bede also. (see note)







The ile that was of Alclude than I gesse
Whiche Dunbretayne hatte now and is named
That tyme was voyde and also bysshoplesse.
Whiche se for sothe fulle gretely than was famed
Whiche at Glaskowe translate ys and hamed
The kynge gafe than estate pontificalle
To Elidenne of that se cathedralle.

And whan that feste rialle was dissolved
That every prynce homwarde wolde retorne
Within his mynde he thought and faste revolved
With plesance howe he myght shorte his sojorne
And to his londe agayne forto attorney.
For whiche thay sought to his magnyficence
Alle holyly with alle thaire diligence

The kynge than dyd the grete estates rewarde
As dyd acorde to thaire nobilité.
So dyd he other by gode and hole awarde
Londes thaym gafe of grete sufficienté
Acordynge to thaire oportunyté
So largely that thurgh the world his name
Of liberalté than rose and spronge the fame.

He thonked thaym of thaire comynge so ferre
Prayand thaym alle eche prynce in his estate
To se his welfare was nothynge to hym derre.
Than thaire persons with hym resociate
And hevy was of chere and desolate
Whan thay departe so fro his hiegh presence
Whiche dyd excede alle prynces regymence.

is called

Glasgow; has its home

(see note)


As was appropriate to them

more precious


fol. 76r How whan his knyghtes of the Rounde Table were present that Galaad sette and acheved the Sege Perlouse in the Rounde Table as the grete story of the Saynt Graal proportes in the story of the grete aventures of Arthure and his knyghtes contened, aftir Waltier of Oxenford that put in wrytynges in Policraticon that he made of Cornewail and Wales. (see note); (t-note)









And at that feste than next of Whissonday
His knyghtes alle than of the Table Rounde
Within Bretayne that were reseant ay
Appered hool afore the kynge that stounde
As by the reule of it thay were sore bounde
At his cyté of Carlyoun so fayre
Whare than his courte rialle dyd repayre.

Whare Galaad of fiftene yere of age
The godelyest wyght afore that men had sene
Whom Launselot gat by hole and fulle knowlage
Of Pelles doughter, that longe the kynge had bene
Of Venodoce, after whome she shuld be quene,
Came sodenly at mete into the halle
Armed fulle clene, obeyed the kynge in alle,

And afterwarde the quene with hyegh honoure
The lordes alle, and knyghtes of worthynesse,
And ladyse fayre and fressh of thare coloure.
And than he yede unto the sege doutelesse
Of the Rounde Table with fulle grete hardynesse
And sette hym doune whiche was the Sege Perilouse
Whare never none satte bot Arthure redoutouse.

For alle other that it had presumed
Alle utterly were shamed and mescheved
Or brente therein or otherwyse consumed
Saufe he allone that had it wele escheved.
For whiche the knyghtes echone hole beleved
He was the same persone of whom Merlyne
Sayde shulde descende of Nacyan by lyne

The tente persone fro hym lynyaly
Who shulde acheve and fully brynge to ende
The aventurs, as made is memory,
Of the Seynte Graal whiche no man there than kende.
For whiche thay alle anone to hym attende
In alle worshyp to do hym high plesaunce
As he in whom thay truste grete governaunce.

At soupere als on Whissonday at even
Unto his sege he wente with grete constance
And sette hym doun his fortune forto preven
Whiche wele he cheved with cherefulle countenance
To alle the knyghtes fulle hyegh and grete plesance
Trustynge fully he shulde do grete honoure
To alle knyghthode that was in that ordoure.
Whitsunday; (see note)



(see note)

(i.e., Galahad) went; seat

Siege Perilous



Holy Grail

moral discipline

make trial of

fol. 76v How the Saynt Grale appered in Kynge Arthur hows (house) at soupere, and how Galaad made a vowe to seke it to he myght knowe it clerly, to whom his felaws gafe thaire servyce a yere, as is contened in the storie of the Seint Grale writen by Giralde Cambrense in his Topographie of Wales and Cornwail. (see note)







At whiche soupere the wyndows alle dyd spere
And dores als with noyse fulle merveillouse
Right by thaymselff of whiche alle men had fere
Trustynge there came som case aventurouse.
And with that so the Saynte Graalle preciouse
Flawe alle aboute within the halle fulle ofte
Flyghtrande fulle faste above thaym alle on lofte.

And sodenly the wyndows gan to opyn
The dores also, as sayth the cronyclere,
And forth it wente and eche man gat his wopen
Bot more of it thay couth not se ne here.
Bot on the morowe Galaad dyd appere
Afore the kynge at mete and made a vowe
To seke it ever tille that he fynde it mowe.

Wyth that the knyghtes that were aventerouse
Of the Rounde Table thare graunted hym that yere
Thaire servyce hole his vow so corageouse
For to acheve and also to conquere.
To whiche thay made avowes syngulere
Praynge the kynge Galaad to make knyght
The whiche he dyd and gaffe hym armes right.

To whom he sayde “I shalle no shelde me take
Afore I have it gete by aventure
Ne two nyght ligge in o place for youre sake
Whils I may ryde and with travaylle endure
Tylle I have founde this thynge in alle fygure
And fully know fro whyne it came and howe
And what it is, here make myne avowe.”
close; (see note)

Holy Grail


may (might)



one; (see note)


How Kynge Arthure made his compleynt at thaire departynge




fol. 77r


With that he toke his leve and forth he rode
And alle the knyghtes of the Table Rounde
Toke leve echone no lengare there abode.
But forth with hym thay rode as thay were bounde
By thare avowes whiche thay had made that stounde
For whiche the kynge morned with dolefulle herte
At thare partynge with wepynge teres and smerte

Saynge “Allas what shalle I do or say
My knyghtes alle that were my joy and hele
The membres eke to kepe my body ay
My soules ese and alle my hertes wele
My londes helpe in nede fulle trew and lele
Thus sodenly from me to passe thys stounde
Unto myne herte it is the dethes wounde.

“O God, seth deth wolde briste myne herte in tweyne
Who shalle meyntene my coroun and my rightes?
I trow no more to se thaym efte agayne
Thus hole togedyr and so godely knyghtes.
Wold God I myght make myne avowe and hyghtes
To folow thaym in what londe so thay go
And take my parte with thaym in wele and wo.”


(see note)


since; two



joy and sorrow

How Sir Galaad had hys sheelde, swerde and his speere at Avalon, and how he acheved the Saynte Grale and made was Kynge of Sarras and made knyghtes of the ordour of Saynt Grale in significacioun of the fraternité that Joseph of Arymathy (Arimathea) had made afore, as Girald aforsaide specifieth in his saide Topographie of Wales and Cornwail. (see note); (t-note)








fol. 77v









With that Galaad rode forthe so with his route
At every way he made a knyght departe
To tyme thay alle severally so were gone oute
And none lefte than, so had echone thaire parte.
And iff on mette another in any arte
His reule was so he shuld his felawe telle
His aventurs what so that hym befelle.

And als sone as thaire way lay sondry wyse
Thay shulde departe, and mete no more agayne
Bot aventure it made thurgh excercyse
Of grete laboure that thaym did so constrayne
By dyverse stretes whiche togedir layne.
And whan he had his felawes alle convayed
He chese his way fulle like a knyght arayed.

Bot so Galaad than came to Avalone
Whare holy men he founde of grete perfeccioun
Whiche were fulle glad of hym than everychone
And made hym chere with alle affeccioun.
Thay shewed hym thare thynges in thayre subjeccioun
A shelde, a spere, a sworde, as thare was breved,
Whiche never man bare bot he were sone mescheved.

Bot than thay sayde in bokes thay founde it wreton
Kynge Evalache the shelde of olde there lefte
Whiche is alle white, as ye shalle se and wyten,
With crosse of blode fro Josep nose byrefte
Who sayde there shulde no wyght than bere it efte
Withouten deth, mayme, or adversité,
Bot oon that shulde leve in vyrgynyté.

The spere, the swerde was by Duke Seraphe
There lefte that tyme who after hight Nacyen
Of whiche thay founde writen of antiquyté
The same periles who bare thaym after then
Sauf he allone that were amonge alle men
A vyrgyn knowe and in vyrgynyté
Shulde de at laste and of his blode laste be.

And shulde acheve the Seynte Graalle worthyly
And kynge so be of Sarras withouten doute
Of Orboryke also duke verryly
By heritage of auncetry thrughoute.
And cheve he shulde amonges alle the route
The Sege Perilouse in the Table Rounde
That never myght knyght withouten dethes wounde.

What shuld I more say of thys worthy knyght
That afterward acheved this prophecy?
For as it spake so was he after right
And verifyed fulle hole and openly
As writton had Josep off Aramathy
That holy knyght with God fulle welle beloved
As by his werkes it is welle sene and proved.

The shelde he hange upon his shuldere than
And gyrde hym with that swerde of grete emprise.
The spere in honde he toke fulle lyke a man
And toke his horse right on a knyghtly wyse.
The holy men he prayed withoute fayntyse
To pray for hym with besy herte and pure
And forthe he rode to seke his aventure.

That every yere the knyghtes at Whissonday
To Arthure came so by his ordynance
And tolde hym alle thaire aventures ay
Whiche he dyd putte in boke for remenbrance.
So dured thay and kepte that governance
By yeres fele and ay agayn returned
At that same feste whare that the kynge sojorned.

Bot so it felle Galaad was than kynge
Of Sarras and of Orberike alle hale
Upon his queste bysyly pursuyynge
Whare he sette up the Table of Seynte Grale
In whiche he made an ordre vyrgynale
Of knyghtes noble in whiche he satte as chefe
And made suche brether of it as were hym lefe.

Syr Bors was oon, another Syr Percyvalle,
Syr Claudyus a noble knyght of Fraunce
And other two nere of his blode with alle
Thre knyghtes als withouten variaunce
Of Danmarke so of noble governaunce
And thre knyghtes als of Irelonde excelente
Whiche twelve were alle of noble regymente.
troop; (see note)

Until; separately

one; place



(see note);
(see note)

noted; (see note)
in trouble

(see note)
(see note)
(see note)

Except one who; (see note)

(see note)



(see note)

achieve; company

(see note)



(see note)


(see note)
healthy; (see note)

Holy Grail


fol. 78r What the reule of ordour of Saynt Graal was, here is expressed and notifyed, as is contened in the book of Josep of Arymathie and as it is specified in a dialoge that Gildas made, De Gestis Arthuri. (see note); (t-note)





Whose reule was this by Galaad constytute
To leve evermore in clennesse virginalle
Comon profyte alway to execute
Alle wronges redresse with bataylle corporalle
Whare law myght nought have course judicialle
Alle fals lyvers his londe that had infecte
Forto distroy or of thaire vice correcte

The pese to kepe the laws als sustene
The fayth of Criste, the Kyrke also protecte
Wydews, maydyns aywhare forto mayntene
And chyldre yonge unto thare age perfecte
That thay couthe kepe thaymselfe in alle affecte.
Thus sette it was in hole perfeccioun
By gode advise and fulle cyrcumspeccioun

So endurynge fulle longe and many yere
To fate of dethe and perturbacioun
And toke his soule unto the blisse ful clere
Therein evermore to have his habitacioun
Eternaly withouten lamentacioun.
Whiche tyme than so he made Syr Borse there kynge
That ordre forthe to kepen over alle thynge.





(see note)

(see note)

How Percyvalle broughte Kynge Galaad hert closed in gold to biry at Avalon, and alle the aventures of the Saint Gralle wryten to the Kynge Arthure, whiche he made bene remembred in Bretayn in grete writynges and notable as Giraldus Cambrensis wryteth in hys Topographie of Cornwail and Wales. (see note); (t-note)





fol. 78v



So after his deth agayne the Whissonday
Syre Percyvalle came into Grete Bretayne
And dyverse knyghtes that were with Galaad ay
Of that ordoure so cam with hym agayne
At whiche tyme so the kynge of thaym was fayne
And asked how Kynge Galaad hys compere
Dyd fare of hele fulle faste he dyd enquere.

Who tolde hym alle the wondere aventures
That never man myght acheve bot he alone
Whiche Kynge Arthure thanne putte in hole scriptures
Remembred ever to be whan he were gone
Whiche mervelouse so were and many one
Fro tyme he wente so fro his hiegh presence
Unto his deth in knyghtly diligence.

And to the kynge his herte in golde preserved
As Galaad had comaunde he than presente
Besekynge hym for that he had hym served
It to entere at Avalon anente
The sepulture and verry monument
Whare Josep lyeth of Aramathy so gode
Bysyde Nacien that nere was of his blode.

And there to sette his shelde that Josep made
Whiche was the armes that we Seynt Georges calle
That aftir thare fulle many yere abade
And worshypt were thurghout this reme over alle
In so ferre forthe that kynges in especialle
Thaym bare alway in batayle whare thay wente
Afore thaym ever forspede in thare entente.

Whose hole requeste the kynge anone dyd spede
With alle his knyghtes in honorable wyse
His herte enterde at Avaloun I rede
Whare men sayde than that Nacyen so lyse
With dirige and devoute exequyse
In alle suche wyse as longed to a kynge
And als his shelde above hym there he hynge.


(see note)

near to

(see note)


funeral rites

How Templers and Hospitilers were founded in figure and significacoun of the fraternyté and ordoure of the Saynt Grale, and the Table Rounde was made in significacioun of the Saynte Grale.



Of whiche ordre of Seynte Graalle so clene
Were after longe founded than the Templers
In figure of it writen, as I have sene,
Oute of the whiche bene now Hospitulers
Growen up fulle hiegh at Rodes withouten peres.
Thus eche ordre were founded upon other
Alle as on and echone others brother.

So was also the Table Rounde araysed
In remembrance alle of the worthy Table
Of the Seynte Grale whiche Josep afore had raysed
In hole fygure of Cristes soupere comendable.
Thus eche ordoure was grounded resonable
In grete vertu and condygne worthynesse
To Goddes plesyre and soules heelfulnesse.
Holy Grail; (see note)

Rhodes; equals



How Arthure helde hys feest at Carlioun whare the ambassiatours of Rome toke hym lettres fro Lucyus Emperoure




fol. 79r









fol. 79v







At Pentecoste than nexte there after folowynge
The kynge wyllynge, with hertes sore desyre
To sene his knyghtes, olde also and yynge
Dukes and erles thurghoute his hole empyre
And barons alle and knyghtes he dyd requyre
To ben with hym than at his feste rialle
At Carlyoun that Camalot some dyd calle

The kynges and prynces and prelates sprittualle
Of Wales, Irelonde, and Iles of Orchadese,
Of Denmarke als, and Norway than withalle,
Of Albany, and of Gothlonde no lese,
Of Iselonde als, he loved so wele grete prese,
The Dusze Piers alle thurghoute the reme of Fraunce
Of Lesse Bretayne the kynge with alle plesaunce.

Whiche came alle hole at his high comaundemente
In grete aray for worshyp of his feste
At whiche feste than was redde by his comaundente
Eche day at mete, whanne served were moste and leste,
Feel aventures of knyghtes whiche had preste
In batayls sore and had grete worthynesse
In thaire laboure and knyghtly besynesse.

This feste so dyd by fourty days endure
With myrthe and joy with songe and mynstralsy
Justes every day for ladyse fresshe and pure
At tournaments his knyghtes to magnyfy
And entyrludes played fulle coriously
Revelle, daunsynge, and lovynge paramours,
Romauns and gestes redynge of grete honours.

The metes and drynkes were there so plentyuouse
That alle men were amervelde of the feste
The kynge also of gyftes bountyuouse
The quene also to able men moste and leste
Grete gyftes gafe and many men encreste
So godely was hyre chere and daliance
To every wight it was a suffisshance.

So at that feste whils that he helde the dese
Twelve knyghtes came of Romayns gode and wyse
With olyfe braunche in honde withouten prese
An esy pase as legates dyd suffise.
Upon thayre knes, with dew and hole advise
Delyverd hym the letters to hym sente
By Lucyus emperoure whiche thus mente:

The Emperours lettre for truage and tribute

“Lucyus of Rome the emperoure
And procuratoure for alle the hole Senate
Of the publyke profyte chieff governoure
By hole Senate made and denomynate
To Arthure kynge of Bretayne inordinate
Sendyth gretynge as thou haste deserved
Now late in Fraunce whiche was to us preserved

“Mervelynge myche of wronges whiche thou haste done
Within oure londe of Fraunce by grete rigoure
Withouten right that bettere had ben undone
Bot if thy wytte amende that foule erroure
Of whiche seth tyme that thou was govenoure
No tribute payed bot as thyne own conqueste
Haste holden it ever undre thyne arreste.

“And for thou haste no wylle it to amende
Or was so proude to do that cruelle dede
Kynge Frolle to sla tille us that dyd apende12
And mekylle more for that thou takes none hede
Of the estate imperialle we lede
To whiche alle londes tribute pay and trewage
Sauf thou allone gaynstondest of thyne outrage

“Wharfore straytely we byd thee and comaunde
That from Auguste now next within a yere
Thou come to us and pay alle oure demaunde
And trewage whiche thou haste of thy powere
Of Bretayne longe withholden so in fere
And thy defautes amende thou dyd in Fraunce
By sentence of thy lordes and ordynaunce.

“And els we shalle approche to thy countré
And what so that thy wodenesse hath us refte
With swerdes we shalle it make restored be
To oure Senate as friste we were enfefte
The lyfelode that thy fadyr so thee lefte
Thou arte fulle lyke for thyne intrusioun
To lese and brynge into confusioun.

“Written at Rome in the Consistory
By hole advyse of alle the wyse Senate
At Paske laste paste to byde in memory
Remembred there and fully approbate
Lesse thou foryette oure lettre and the date
And lay it so in alle foryetilnesse
Trustynge in us the same defaute I gesse.”

With that the kynge wente to the Geants Toure
With barons that were there of his counsaylle
To have advyse how to the emperoure
He shulde than wryte agayne for his avaylle.
Of whiche so wyse wold not foryet, ne faylle,
So were thay made to Lucyus and endyte
Whiche spake right thus for answere infenyte:
(see note)

(see note)

(see note)


Twelve Peers

many; fought


Stories; narratives


made more prosperous

dais; (see note); (see note)
 from Rome
olive; unaccompanied; (see note)
prudence; (see note)


(see note); (t-note)





refuse to cooperate; excessive pride

(see note)

madness; robbed

heritage; (see note)


Council Chamber; (see note)



(see note)

advantage; (see note)
(see note)


The lettre and answere of Kynge Arthure to the same Emperoure and how he titled hym of right to be Emperour


fol. 80r


“Arthure the kynge of alle the Grete Bretayne
And emperoure of Rome by alkyns right
With wronge deforced by Lucyus Romayne
Pretendynge hym for emperoure of myght
To the same Syr Lucyus of his unright
Usurpoure of the se imperialle
Sendyth gretynge as enmy moste mortalle.

“To the Senate of Rome it is wele knowe
How that Cesare Julyus with maystry
Had trewage here Bretayne than was so lowe
By treson of Androges and trechery
That brought hym in by his grete policy
Withouten right or tytle of descente
Alle fulle agayne the barons hole consente.


(see note)

Quicquid iniuste ab aliquot rapitur, numquam ab alio iuste possidetur ut in lege civili et imperatoria patet.13 (see note)






“Agayne alle right he had it by maystry
And what so he with wronge so dyd possede
Lefulle to us is to withstonde forthy.
That lawe wylle so to it who takyth hede
What thynge by man with wronge is had indede
Fro hym that aught it hole and skyllfully
By none other had may be lawfully.

“By whiche pretence thy wronge we shalle defende
And holde oure reme so in oure friste estate
Of servage fre as it to Brute appende
Who had it fre afore that Rome bare date
Whose right to us is now determynate
And by suche right as thou doste now pretende
We may clayme Rome and to the Empyre ascende.

The first title by Belyne and Brenny

“For Kynge Belyne that was oure auncestre
And Brenny als the kynge of Albany
Thay fully wan and hole dyd sequestre
The londes hool so unto Romany
Whiche after thay had by victory
And satte right in the se imperialle
Whare no prynce was that tyme to thaym egalle.

The seconde title by Constantyne and Maximian

Legal; therefore

(see note)




Cui descendebat inperium tam per mortem patris quam per eleccionem Senatoriam quam per eleccionem totius comitatus Romani.14 (see note); (t-note)



fol. 80v




“Whose hole estate is now tille us descende
Bot yit we have a bettere tytle of right
Tylle the Empyre whiche that we wylle pretende
To sette so by alle wronge conqueste and myght.
Constantyne, Seynt Elyne sone so wyght,
By right of blode of Constance doun descent
Emperoure was by Romaynes hole consent.

“Maximyan was hole the emperoure
Also by ful decré of the Senate
Who next heyre was to Constantynes honoure
Whose bothe estates by law preordynate
We have wherfore of Rome we clayme estate
Of the Empyre the se imperialle
By juste tytle of law judicialle.

“Wharfore we wylle to Rome come and aproche
By that same day whiche that thou haste prefyxte
The tribute whiche thou wolde to thee acroche
Nought forto pay, as thou haste sette and fyxte.
Bot of thee thare with Senate intermyxte
To take tribute and holde the sovereyn se
In alle that longe to the emperialté.

“And iff thou like me sonner forto seke
Brynge Romany with thee what day thou wille
With me I shalle so than brynge Bretayne eke
And whiche so of us two may other kylle
Bere Rome away and Bretayne bothe ful stille.
Writon at oure cyté of Carlyoun
By hole advyse of alle oure regioun.”

He gafe unto that hiegh ambasshiate
Fulle riche gyftes and golde ynouth to spende
And bade thaym bere thare lordes in hool Senate
His letters so whiche he than to thaym sende.
And bade thaym say that sonner than thay wende
He shulde thaym se and bade thaym nought thynke longe
For in shorte tyme he shulde bene thaym amonge.

To; claim





rule of an emperor

How Arthure toke his viage to feght with the Emperoure Lucius Hiberus assocyed allied with Emperoure Leo (see note)





This noble Kynge Arthure than forth prevyde
For his vyage agayne the emperoure.
His lettres oute he made and sygnyfyde
To alle the londes of whiche he was protectoure
Chargynge thaym alle to come for hys honoure
On thaire beste wyse hym to acompany
Of Rome forto conquere the monarchy.

Whiche by processe of tyme as thay myght come
Thay mette Arthure aywhare in place aboute
To tyme thay were of myght to go to Rome
So grete hys hoste was sembled and so stoute.
And at Barbflete in Normandy no doute
Thay londed alle with wyndes prosperouse
Whare more powere thaym mette fulle bataylouse.

Thare came the kynges of Spayne and Portyngale
Of Naverne als, the Kynge of Aragoyne,
The Dusze Piers alle of Fraunce thurghoute fulle hale
The dukes also of Guyen and Burgoyne
Of Braban, Gelre, Savoy, and Loroyne,
The Erles also of Flaunders and Selonde
And dukes alle of Almayne and Holonde.
arranged; (see note)

assembled; formidable

Twelve Peers; entirely

fol. 81r How Arthure faughte with a geant at Seynte Mighelle Mounte in Bretayne and slew hym in hys viage to Rome









fol. 81v






Than was it tolde to Kynge Arthure fulle right
A geant grete forwaxen and horrible
Thanne ravyssht had Elyne his nece so bright
Whiche for bewté than was fulle possyble
For any prynce have wed and admyttible.
Kynge Howelle syster she was to Arthure nere
In Lesse Bretayne that tyme she had no pere.

Whiche geant so there durste no man assayle
Bot he thaym slewe or otherwyse dyd devoure.
Halfe quyke he ete thaym so it was mervayle
For whiche the folke aboute made grete murmoure
Who on the heght of Myghel Mount dyd loure
Whare he that mayde with in his armes had slayne
His luste to do so dyd he hyre constrayne.

Right so there came Bedwere by Arthure sente
Unto the hylle whare he a woman fonde
Compleynynge sore that seyde hym hyre entente
How Eleyne was brought so over the sonde
And she also right by a geants honde
And how he had so by hyre lady layne
That she was dede and by that tyrant slayne.

And so she sayde “He wille do now with me
At his comynge als faste, he is so grym
Therefore ye byde no lengere here bot fle
He is so ferse cruelle als and brym.
He wylle yow ete and rife fro lymme to lym
So huge he is there may no wyght withstonde
His cruelté so hath he stroyed this londe.”

Syr Bedwere than tille Arthure wente agayne
And tolde hym alle the case how was befalle
For whiche Arthure wolde thedyr soth to sayne
To feght with hym with hande for hande at alle.
Syr Bedwere than and Kay dyd with hym calle
And to the mounte thay rode with right gode spede
When that the se was ebbe as it was nede

Thre men with thaym thare horse to kepe and holde
Avoydynge thaym and wente up to the hylle.
Whare Bedwere than and Kay that were so bolde
He lafte and bad thaym byde hym there fulle stille
Tylle with that fende he had done alle his wille.
And to hym wente with alle the ire he myghte
With Caliburne his sworde hym stroke fulle righte.

Suche strokes thay gafe that woundere were to here
Syr Bedwere and Syr Kay myght here and se
And were fulle ferde the geants grete powere
Overcome shulde than thayre lorde thurgh grete pousté
So huge he was and horrible on to se
That Arthure was bot lyke a childe to hym
So large he was and there to stoute and grym.

So longe thay faught and sore with strokes hatouse
That Arthure had his wille and victory
And slew hym thare that was so vigorouse
That wente he to Bedwere and Kay on hy
And bade thaym there for sygne and memory
Of his tryumphe and batayle conquerouse
Strike of the hede of that foule fende hydouse.

And rode so forthe unto his hoste agayne
Bryngand the hede with thaym for grete mervayle
Of whiche the hoste were alle fulle glad and fayne
And thankynge God gretely for that batayle.
Bot Elenes deth fulle sore thay dyd bywayle
For whom Howelle over hyre tombe dyd make
A chapelle fayre, whiche stonte yit for hire sake.

Whiche yit so hight Elene Tombe so named
On Myghel Mount within Lytille Bretayne
Whiche is now thare a strengh fulle gretly famed
Envyrounde with the se aboute certayne
Marchynge right nere to Normandy unbayne
And enmy ever as it may be of myght
To take oure shyppes in pese withouten right.
(see note)
excessively large
(see note)


(see note)
top; lurk


(see note)


ebbing; (see note)


(see note)

afraid that
(see note)


haste; (see note); (t-note)




is called

fortress; (see note)
Adjoining; disobedient

How Arthurs ambassetours with Romayns in Itaylle did feghte in bataylle (see note)




fol. 82r









fol. 82v









fol. 83r




Arthure his hoste assembled and forth wente
Tylle that he came tille Awbe a ryvere fayre
In Italy whiche fro the Occidente
Renneth estewarde whare that he wolde repayre.
His tentes gan sette whare was fulle holsom ayre
With woddes by and medowes fresshe and grene
With flowres fayre of dyvers colours sene.

Whare he had worde the emperoure was nere
To whom he sent Erle Bews of Oxenforde,
Garyn of Chartres, the erle that was hym dere,
And Syr Gawayne, his nevew, on whose worde
He truste highly whom he at bed and borde
Up brought had ay, who kynge of Louthien
For sothe was than, as sayth the historien.

Whiche messengers and wyse ambasiate
Wente so at over that ryvere fresshe and pure
Whare themperoure with alle the hole Senate
Than logged was nought ferre fro Kynge Arthure.
Bade hym remewe to Rome as he myght dure
And come none nere unto the reme of Fraunce
Elles on the morowe to fight for fulle fynaunce.

Syr Lucyus than sayde “That were grete shame.
To turne agayne I wylle noght in no wyse.
It were reprefe and shamynge of my name.
To Fraunce I wille now as I may suffyse
And have it alle right at myne own devyse.”
With that his own neveu Quyntylian
To Gawayne sayde this scornefulle wordes than:

“Ye Bretons alle in bragge and boste ben more
Than youre knyghthode ever was or hardymente.”
Whom Gawayne there right with his swerde therfore
Than slew anone, and so homwarde faste he wente
With his felaws togedyr by hole consente
Arthure to warne of bataylle and no reste.
The emperoure had made thaym so to treste.

For whiche Romayns folowed upon thaym sore
Thaym to have slayne for vengeance of that dede.
Bot fleynge so who myghte than come afore
Was slayne right doun thurgh wytte and grete manhede.
At laste thaym sewed so fele of Romanhede
Thay wyste not how escapen in no wyse
Bot faught agayne fulle sore on thare enmyse.

Out of a wode faste by sex thousond men
Of Bretons bolde upon the Romayns felle
And slew thaym doun chasynge upon thaym then
Whiche Gawen and his men recomforte welle.
Bot Petro than the senatoure fulle felle
With ten thousond Romayns of grete valoure
On Gawen felle fulle proudely in that stoure.

And on a playne he gafe hym grete batayle
That he and his unto a wode gan fle
Defendynge thaym and whan thay saw a vayle
Came oute aywhare and slew grete quantyté
Of Romayns ay thrugh manly juparté.
And at the laste thay isshed oute fulle light
And toke Petro and slew his men doun right.

Whan in thare way, whare as thay shulde passe hame
Two senatours with captayns mo in fere
Kynges that were, lay busshed as thay came
With fyftene thousonde men of armes clere
Trustynge thaym have rescowed with grete powere.
Bot in suche pride withouten reule on brede
Thay came and of the batayle toke non hede

Tylle that Bretons thaym slew and toke aywhare
And discomfyte were putte unto the flight
And kynges thre with captaynes wyse and ware
And nombre grete of Romayns party right
The Bretons slewe and helde the felde that nyght.
And on the morow came homward glad and fayne
Thay had so sped and of thayre syde few slayne.

So with thare pray and alle thare prisoners
Thay came unto Kynge Arthure home agayne
Of whiche that had so faught with smale powere
Agayne so fele he was fulle glad and fayne
“Welcome my knyghtes for me ye had grete payne.”
Bot than he sente Petro the senatoure
Unto Parise there to be holde in toure

Wyth other kynges and many grete capteyne
That taken were in these grete batayls sere.
Of whiche Gawen, Bewes also, and Gereyne,
Syr Percyvalle, Ewayn, Estore, there were,
Cadore, Guytarde, Irelgas, and Bedwere,
That knyghtes were of the Table Rounde
And prynces gode that sore were hurte and wounde.

Lucyus so acerteyned of these dedes
Estoyned was if in Augustudoun
He shulde abyde for powere that hym nedes
Of his felawe that called was Leoun
Or to Langres he shulde his hestes boun
Whiche by espies was laten Arthure wete
Wharfore he thought how he shuld with hym mete.

Within that nyght he busshed in his way
Whare he shulde come right in a valey fayre
That Seysy hight in eght batayls fulle gay.15
To feght with hym he made there his repayre
The emperoure he putte oute of dyspayre
That passe away he shulde than in no wyse
Withouten batayle or els a foule supprise.

Kynge Aguselle that was of Albany
And Cadore duke that was of Cornewayle
The friste batayle togedyr in company
Had than al hole of men that myght avayle
That couth right wele defende and eke assayle.
To Bewes also and Geryn of grete myght
Another batayle he toke, bothe stronge and wight.

Aschille the kynge of Denmarke stronge and wyse
And to Kynge Lothe of Norway vygorouse
The thrid batayle he gafe of grete emprise.
Kynge Howel so and Gawayn fortunouse
The fourth bataylle had than fulle corregeouse.
Bedwere and Kay the fyfte batayle dyd holde
Of myghty men that hardy were and bolde.

Syr Holdyne and Guytarde the sexte batayle.
Syr Jugens and Jonathas so famouse
The sevent batayle than had withouten fayle.
Cursale of Chestere and Urgen corageuse
The eght batayle had so fulle harageouse.
In eche batayle a legioun of knyghtes
Arrayed were alle redy for the fyghtes.
(see note)

wholesome air

(see note)




(see note)
be able

nephew; (see note); (t-note)

(see note)

(see note)


followed; many



(i.e., Gawain)
an advantage

more; together; (see note)
in ambush

(i.e., the Roman prisoners)
in formation

knowledgeable; (see note)



(see note)

(see note)


informed; (see note)
Wondering; (see note)

plans; prepare
delayed; knew

(i.e., Arthur) ambushed

(see note)



first battalion
also; attack

granted; vigorous

[He gave]


Arthure bare a banere of sable, a dragoun of golde, and a baner of oure lady and the thrid baner of Seynt George, that were Galaad armes for remembrance of Galaad, and the fourt baner of goules (red) thre corouns of golde. (see note)





fol. 83v


The nynte batale the kynge Arthure dyd lede
In whiche the erle of Gloucestere so wyse
A legioun thay had and dyd possede
Of knyghtes gode that were of high emprise.
In whiche batayle he bare as myght suffise
In a banere a dragoun alle of golde
The castelle so to ben for yonge and olde.

The emperoure with legions fully twelve
Come thrugh that bale right as than was his way
Of Romayns fele ful stoute right with hymselve
In batayls twelve redy to fight that day.
With that eyther parte by skurours herde welle say
That bothe partes so nere that tyme were mette
That fyght thay muste or els to deth be bette.

Kynge Arthure bade his knyghtes to make gode chere
Saynge right thus: “My knyghtes ye wete welle alle
Youre manhode grete and conqueste syngulere
And youre knyghthode that never yit dyd appalle
So myghty was in every place over alle
Have wonne and gote me thretty remes by myght
Whiche with youre honde ye have conquerde ful right.

How comforte his knyghtes to the bataylle

“Stonde now on fete and alle youre right defende
That ye have wonne so lette it never doun falle.
Lete not this day thise Romayns us transcende.
Iff thay overcome us now it wylle befalle
That we muste ever in servytute ben thralle
And tribute pay to thare domynacioun
Rather de we, than thaym do mynystracioun.”
(see note)
(i.e., Morvyde)

fortified camp

(see note)

scouts; (see note)


(see note)


die; service

How the Scottes kynges and other knyghtes recomforte (encourage) Kynge Arthure thare





With that the kynge Agusel so vigoriouse
“My lorde” he sayde “seth tyme ye thought to fight
With Romayns friste my wylle so covetouse
Hath bene that woundes whiche in youre servyce right
That I shalle take for love of you I hight
Than hony so to me shalbe swetter
And over alle mete and drynke shalle lyke me better.

So thruste my soule thare blode byholde and se
And Germayns als that hath us done offence
That ofte hath putte us from felicité
Thurgh thaire cruelle and cursed violence
For whiche I shalle this day thaym recompense
With alle myne hertes laboure and besynesse
Us to revenge of alle thare wykydnesse.”

“Me thynke fulle longe” than seyde Kynge Urian
Of Murrefe that was fully lorde and syre
“Unto that houre whiche day myght sende so than
My soule dothe brenne right as it were in fyre.
I had lever now than have the hole Empyre
With thaym be mette in felde where I myght fight
Thayre pride to felle that bene so stronge and wyght.”

Howelle Kynge of Litille Bretayne
(see note)

first; eager



(see note)



How Kynge Howelle of Lasse Bretayne comforte (urged) the kynge to bataylle




Kynge Howelle sayde to Kynge Arthure anone
“This taried tyme me thynke ys fully tynte
Of yow thay aske no right bot wronge allone.
Why stonde ye thus? Go to thaym ere ye stynte
And for thayre wronge desyre with strokes dynte
Dyscomfyt shalle thay be and insuperate
Bothe Lucyus and als his hole Senate.”

Thus every knyght right of the Table Rounde
Thaire counsayle gafe to strike sone the batayle
And severaly made there avowes that stounde.
Thay shuld never spare thare ennemyse to assayle
For hurte, nor deth, and thought fulle grete mervayle
Why that thay were holden so longe in sounder
So longe thay thought to se who shulde ben undre.
(see note); (t-note)
delayed; wasted


(see note)

individually; time

individually; time

fol. 84r How Kynge Arthure and the Emperour Lucyus faughte in grete bataille in Itaylle whare Lucius was slayne and Arthure had the victory (see note)










fol. 84v









fol. 85r





Thanne to that vale whare Kynge Arthure so lay
The emperoure came holy with his hoste.
And thare thay faught whils thousandes dede that day
On ayther parte were, bot of Romayns moste.
Many thousonde Romayne thare yelde the goste.
Bot Duke Bedwere and als Duke Kay were slayne
In that batayle and suffred dethes payne.

Whose corses so brought were to the dragoun
By Aguselle and Duke Cadore with myght.
And of Romayns two kynges that bare the croun
And prynces foure that senatours were wight
Were slayne that houre that manly were in fight.
With thaire fresshe hostes layde on alle new fulle faste
Was no wyght there of deth that was agaste.

Now here, now thare, on every syde aboute
Thay stroke men doun to deth ay as thay mette
Some tyme Romayns the worse had there thurghoute
Some tyme Bretons with Romayns were oversette.
On ayther parte so were thay alle wele bette.
Than Kynge Howelle and Gawen corageouse
With thaire batayle came Bretons to rescouse.

A sore batayle was than on every syde
Whare Holdyne erle of Flaunders than was slayne.
The erle also of Boloyne in that tyde
Syr Cursale, erle of Chestere, sothe to sayne,
Of Salisbyry, erle Gwaluk, nought to layne,
Urgen of Bathe, that was fulle bataylouse,
Alle slayne were than in that stoure dolorouse.
And of Romayns were dede foure prynces grete
With thousondes fele of other low estate.
So Gawen and Howelle thaym gan rehete
And thre knyghtes than thay slewe of the Senate
Whiche for manhode myght have ben socyate
Tylle kynges degré for noble regyment
And ben lyfte up to estate excellent.

Than came Arthure right with his grete dragoun
The emperoure als with his egle of golde
Thare myght men se fele knyghtes stryken doun
On bothe sydes that were fulle stoute and bolde.
Ayther on other that day than fought thykfolde
And faught fulle sore whanne they togeder mette
And many knyghtes thay bothe to dethe doun bette.

Bot at the laste to passe unto an ende
The Bretons so upon the Romayns hewe
With comynge of Morvyde to thaym fulle hende
Behynde Romayns and at thare bakkes theym slew
As Kynge Arthure hym bade and layde on newe
Tylle Romayns faste began to waxen thynne
And Lucyus slayne, and many of his kynne.

Bot who hym slew there wyste no wyght so than
Bot Syr Gawayne of it dyd bere the name
For ayther of thaym hurte other ay whan and whan
By dyvers tymes as thay togedyr came
Whanne thay departe ayther gafe other fame
For worthyest that ever he dyd with mete
Suche ennemyse love eyther other dyd behete.

Of whose dethe so the Romayns were dismayed
And fled fulle faste on every syde aboute.
Some unto tounes and some to wodes strayed
And some to toures and castels in grete route
Grete multitude there slayne withouten doute.
There was never prynce that dyd so manly fight
As Kynge Arthure thare dyd in alle mennes sight.

So dyd his kynges and prynces for his right
His Bretons alle thurghout alle hole his hoste
His knyghtes hole also that were fulle wight
Right of the Rounde Table withouten boste
Ful doughtly thaym bare with myghtes moste
His ennemyse so to felle and wyn the felde
With alle honoure and vyctory to weelde.

Than sente he forthe the corse of Lucyus
To Rome that was emperoure than doutelesse
Who called was Lucyus Hiberus
Associate with Leo as I gesse
To holde hym in imperialle worthynesse
Of whiche in youthe and tendre innocence
He was putte oute by myghty violence.

He bade thaym take that corse for thare truage
And holde thaym payed and be nought daungerouse
And iff thay wylle have alle the supplusage
He shulde thaym pay of corses preciouse
Of senatours and princes gloriouse
In that same wyse, and prayed thaym it alowe
For with suche gode he shulde thaym welle endowe.

For fere offe whiche thay dyd hym than relese
The trewage alle and servyce every dele
Renounsynge it of suche payment to cese.
Thay prayed hym so gode lordeship thay myght fele
And iff he wolde the publike unyversele
With alle thare hertes the hole imperialté
Thay wolde hym graunte with alle the dygnyté.

Kynge Arthure than unto thayre graunte consente
And Bedwere sente to bery at Bayoun
And Kay unto Chynoun his castelle gente
Whare beried was his corse with devocioun
In an abbay thereby of religioun
And every lorde unto thayre sepulture
He sente so home whare was thare kynde nature.

Bot he abode in Italy so thane
That wynter helde his men in dyverse place
Tylle somer came at whiche tyme he beganne
To passe to Rome on Leo forto chace
The Empire hole unto hymselfe enbrace
And Leon putte in reule of his regence
As myght acorde so with his innocence.
valley; (see note)



bodies; i.e., fortified camp; (see note)

(see note)





sorrowful encounter

(see note)
(see note)

eagle; (see note)

in large numbers

(see note)

knew; (see note)




(see note)



body; (see note)

(i.e., the Senate); body; tribute
satisfied; haughty
extra payment


tribute; part


bury; Bayeux
Chinon; noble


remained; (see note)

How Kynge Arthure had worde of Modrede that purposed (intended) to bene Kynge of Bretayne, wharfore he cam home and slew Modrede and had his dethes wounde.




Bot tythandes cam than oute of Grete Bretayne
To Kynge Arthure how Modrede had aspyred
To have the croune of Bretayne for certayne
And wedden wold the quene, and had conspyred
With Duke Cheldrike fulle bysyly requyred
To helpe hym so with alle his payenhede
And Albany he gafe hym to his mede.

For whiche to Kynge Howelle his neveu dere
His hoste he toke on that syde on the se
And bade hym ride the Romayns to conquere
And he wolde with his insulans pousté
To Bretayne wende to chastyse that contré
The fals Modrede whom he had made regent
As traytoure honge and draw by jugyment.
news; (see note)
(see note)

pagan troops
reward; (see note)


(see note)
insular force

(see note)
Whare Arthure faughte first with Modrede atte Whytsonde


fol. 85v


In this mene while the traytoure Modrede
And Cheldrike als who came with grete powere
Assembled were with Cristen and payenhede
Foure score thousonde of men of armes clere
Whare Kynge Arthure and his hoste londed were
At Porte Rupyne whare Whitesonde is fulle ryght
Thay faught with hym in batayle stronge and wight.

Bot Aguselle the kynge of Albany
And Syr Gawayn the kynges neven dere
Of Louthian kynge than by auncetry
With many other were slayne that day in fere.
Bot Arthure had the felde with his powere
And putte thaym to the flight and made grete chace
In whiche he slewe grete peple withouten grace.

(see note)
armed men

Richborough; Wissant, France; (see note)



How Arthure faughte with Modrede at Wynchestre and putte Modrede to the flyghte


Bot Modrede than to Wynchester so fledde
With grete peple to whom Arthure came right
With alle his hoste whom Modred bataylle bedde
And redy was anone with hym to fight.
Bot there Modrede was putte unto the flight
And fled fulle faste to Cornewayle with powere
Whom in that chace Kynge Arthure sought so nere
(see note)


How Arthure faught with Modred the thryd tyme bysyde Camblayne in Cornewaylle







fol. 86r









fol. 86v



That he sawe whare he lay with his powere
Upon a water that called is Camblayne
With sexty thousonde Cristen and payenis clere
That with hym were redy to fight agayne
With whom Arthure with alle his hoste fulle fayne
Thare faught and slewe fulle mekylle multitude
Thurgh powere of his hoste and fortitude.

Bot Arthure was in herte so sore anoyed
For Gawayns deth and of Kynge Aguselle
Which were afore by Modrede slayne and stroyed
And myght not mete with swerdes for to dele
His foule tresoun and falsede to cansele
And his persone to hangen and to drawe
As hyegh traytoure by jugyment of his lawe.

For ire of whiche he faughte so in that stoure
That thousondes fele he slew there and his knyghtes
Thare was never kynge, nor prynce, no conqueroure,
That dyd so wele as thay in any fightes
Bot Arthure thare at laste with alle his myghtes
Slew Modrede than with Caliburne his swerde
And Duke Cheldrike so Fortune made his werde.

Than fled thay faste thaire captayns were alle slayne.
The Saxons hole and alle the payenhede
And Arthure helde the felde and was fulle fayne
With vyctory of alle his fose I rede
So hole Fortune was his frende at nede
That Mars the god of armes and of batayle
No better myght have done withouten fayle.

Bot dethes wounde, as cronycle doth expresse,
Modrede hym gafe that was his syster sunne
And as some sayne his owne sonne als doutlesse.
Bot certaynté thereof no bokes kunne
Declare it wele that I have sene or funne.
Bot lyke it ys by alle estymacioun
That he cam never of his generacioun.

The quene Gaynore whanne she persayved wele
That Modrede so discomfyt was and slayne
Fro Yorke dyd fle by nyght than every dele
Tylle that she came to Carlyoun with payne
Whare she hyre made a nonne the soth to sayne
In pryvyté thare hyd for fere of deth
For shame and sorow almoste she yalde the brethe.

In the temple of Seynte July Martyre
Whare she corounde was with solempnyté
Amonges nunnes fro whom none shulde departe hire
She toke hyre lyfe with alle stabilité
Thare to abyde and leve in chastyté
Hyre synne to clenge to God and yelde hyre goste
Whiche eternaly ay is of myghtes moste.

In whiche batayle the floure of alle knyghhede
Dede was and slayne on Arthurs syde so dygne
The knyghtes alle that were of worthihede
To kynges egalle and compers were condygne
Whiche for Arthure thare lyfe did there resygne
That knyghtes were right of the Table Rounde
That were alle slayne echone with dethes wounde.

For whiche Arthure formerred in his thought
Never after had comforte, ne yit gladnesse,
To thynke on thaym so dere his love had bought.
Fulle fayne he wolde so than have be lyfelesse
Whyche he byried with grete and high noblesse
With herte fulle sore his sorows to complayne
His dethes woundes fulle sore bygan dystrayne.

He gafe his reme and alle his domynacioun
To Constantyne the sonne of Duke Cadore
Whiche Cadore slayne was in that adversacioun
With Arthure so at Camblayne than afore
Whose brother he was alle of a moder bore
Bot Gorloys sonne, that duke was of Cornewayle,
He was sertayne and heyre withouten fayle.

Kynge Arthure than so wounded mortaly
Was led forth thanne to Avalon fulle sore
To lechen thare his woundes pryvely
Whare than he dyed and byried was right thore
As yit this day ys sene and shalle evermore
Within the chirche and mynstere of Glastynbyry
In tombe rialle made sufficiantly.

Who dyed so in the yere of Cristes date
Fyve hundred was acounted than in fere
And fourty more and two associate
As cronyclers expressed have fulle clere
Fro whiche tyme forth he dyd no more apere
Nought wythstondynge Merlyne seyde of hym thus
His deth shuld be unknow and ay doutous.

(see note)
pagans; (see note)

(see note)

(see note)


(see note)
(see note)

pagan troops


(see note)


(see note)


accepted; steadfastness

cleanse; spirit

flower; knighthood; (see note)

equal; companions; distinguished
give up

distraught; (see note)



battle; (see note)

born; (see note)

(see note)

tend to; secretly
(see note)

(see note)

(see note)


De quo Merlinus dicit inter prophecias suas exitus eius erit dubius et quidam propheta Britonum fecit pro epitaphio super tumbam suam versum istum: Hic iacet Arthurus rex quondam rexque futurus.16 (see note); (t-note)


Bot of his dethe the story of Seynt Grale
Sayth that he dyed in Avalon fulle fayre
And byried there his body was alle hale
Within the Blake Chapelle whare was his layre
Whiche Geryn made whare than was grete repayre
For Seynt Davyd, Arthurs uncle dere,
It halowed had in name of Mary clere.
Holy Grail; (see note)

burial place
spiritual retreat


Nota how Geryn went with Arthure into Avalon, to whom Sir Launcelot de Lake cam of aventure folowyng on the chace and thay toke ordere of preest and wox (became) recluses ther to pray for Arthure time of thaire lyves.





Whare Geryn so abode than alle his lyfe
Aboute his tombe with devoute exequyse
So was he than ay forth contemplatife
He lyfte no more the worlde to excercyse
Bot only there to serve at his advyse
Allemyghty God whils he on lyfe myght dure
Of his erledome he had none other cure.

And as that same story aftyr doth contene
That Syr Launcelot de Lake the worthy knyght
Of the Rounde Table fulle longe a knyght had bene
Folowynge on the Saxons in that flight
Thare foonde the tombe of Kynge Arthure so wyght
And fro the tyme that Geryn had hym tolde
Of Arthurs tombe his herte began to colde.

Of Seynt Davyd archebisshop of Carlyoun
Ordres of preste with gode devocyoun
He toke, and als sone as he myght be boun
His servyce hole gostely withoute remocioun
He made his lorde of his owne commocioun
In that chapelle with Geryn his compere
In penaunce grete recluses were foure yere.





fol. 87r The compleynt of the makere for the dethe of Kynge Arthure and of hys noble prynces and knyghtes of the Rounde Table







O gode lorde God, suche tresoun and unrightes
Whi suffred so devyne omnipotence
Whiche had of it precyence and forsightes
And myght have lette that cursed violence
Of Modredes pryde and alle his exsolence
That noble kynge forpassynge conqueroure
So to dystroy and waste thurgh his erroure?

O thou Fortune, executrice of werdes,
That evermore so with thy subtylité
To alle debates so strongly thou enherdes
That men that wolde ay leve in charité
That men that wolde ay leve in charité
Why stretched so thy whele upon Modrede
Agayne his eme to do so cruelle dede?

Whare thurgh that hiegh and noble conqueroure
Withouten cause shulde sogates perisshit be
With so fele kynges and prynces of honoure
That alle the worlde myght never thare better se.
O fals fallace of Modredes propreté
How myght thou so in Gaynore have suche myghtes
That she the dethe caused of so fele knyghtes?

Bot O Modrede that was so gode a knyght
In grete manhode and proudely ay approved
In whom thyne eme the nobleste prynce of myght
Putte alle his truste so gretely he thee loved
What unhappe so thy manly goste hath moved
Unto so foule and cruelle hardynesse
So fele be slayne thurgh thyne unhappynesse?

The highnesse of thyne honoure had a falle
Whanne thou beganne to do that injury.
That grete falshode thy prowesse dyd apalle
Alsone as in thee entred perjury
By consequent tresoun and traytory
Thy lorde and eme also thy kynge soverayne
So to bytrayse thy felaws als sertayne.
(see note)


arbiter of fate

participate in


in this manner

deceit; nature; (see note)
power of attractiveness




As soon

uncle; (see note)

.xvii. capitulum of the Kynge Constantyne, the son of Cador of Cornewaylle.


fol. 87v


Kynge Constantyne his brother son was crounde
Duke Cadore sonne a knyght fulle aventurouse
And chosen was oon of the Table Rounde
In Arthure tyme for knyght ful corageouse
In trone rialle was sette fulle preciouse
With dyademe on his hed signyfyde
At Trynovaunt whare no wight it replyde.

Whiche Constantyne with Saxons sore dyd fight
Assembled than with Modredes sonnes two
By dyverse tymes and putte thaym to the flight
Of whiche oon fled to Wynchestere right so
Whare Constantyne hym slewe as for his fo
Right in the kyrke than of Saynte Amphibale
At the awtere withoute lengere tale.
(see note); (t-note)


person; objected to


Nota de data mortis sancti David Archiepiscopi de Caerlioun17 (t-note)








fol. 88r


The tother hyd than in a chyrch fulle fayre
At Trynovant behynde the high autere.
He slew anone withoute any dispayre
And Saxons putte in subjeccioun clere.
In whose tyme so, as sayth the cronyclere,
Seynt Davyd dyed archebisshop of Carlyoun
In his mynstyre at Meneu of religioun

Whare he ys byried now in fayre sepulture
Of whiche the name so for his byrialle
Es called now with every creature
Seynt Davys so by name especialle
Whare now is sette the se pontyficalle
In name of hym for his solempnysacioun
Of his gode lyfe to make comendacioun.

At Bangore als bysshop Seynt Danyele
That holy was and ful religeouse
Decesed than of lyfe had leved wele
And honourd thare his body preciouse
Amonge the folke for his werkes vertuouse
Eternaly muste bene in memory
Remembred hole within that cenoby.

Bot Constantyne his reme dyd wele governe
In reste and pese so after in grete noblesse
By foure yere hole after he couth descerne
Whanne thurgh sentence of devyne myghtynesse
He dyed so and byried was doutelesse
In the Carolle by Utere Pendragoun
As cronyclers have made in mencioun.

.xviii. capitulum of Aurelius Conan, Rex Britannie18

Aurelyus Conan his cosyn fayre
The se rialle than helde and dyd succede
To hym as next than of his blode and hayre.
His eme and eke his sonnes two indede
In prisoun slew which after Constantyne I rede
Shulde have bene kynges of alle the Grete Bretayne
The dyademe and coroune to obtayne.

Forpassynge fayre he was in alle beuté
Bot strife betwyx cytese and alle cuntrese
He cherisshit ay thurghoute, of his pousté.
Cyvyle batayls amonges alle his cytese
He maynteynd sore thurgh his hye dygnytese
And bot thre yere his regne dyd so endure
Whanne deth hym toke and layde in sepulture.

(see note)




(see note); (t-note)
royal see (i.e., jurisdiction)

promoted; power

The makers wordes to lordes for mayntenance of quereles and debates


Bewarre ye lordes that ben in hygh estates
And thynke upon this worldes transmutacioun
And cherisshe not contencions, no debates,
In youre countrese, lesse it be youre confusioun.
For fals Fortune with hyre permutacioun
Fulle lyghtely wille caste doun that ys above
Whose nature is to chaungen and remove.


lest; ruin

be inconstant

.xix. capitulum of Kynge Vortypore and Malgo kynges, and Kynge Careys.









Than Vortypore succeded aftyr hym
And helde the se of alle the rialté
Agayns whom the Saxons stronge and grym
Made fulle grete werre and grete malignyté
Whiche by batayle and grete humanyté
He overcame wele and kepte the londe in pese
Unto the tyme that deth made hym decese.

Malgo next hym to the croune atteyned
Fayrest of other that ever were in his day
Alle tyrany fully he restreyned
And conquerde hole sex iles, the sothe to say,
With force of werre Denmarke and eke Norway.
Irelonde, Iselonde, Gothlonde, and Orkadese,
With bataylle stronge obeyed his rialtese.

Stronge he was and myghty of powere
Excedynge other of hiegh and large stature
In alle worshyp and fredome syngulere
And wele beloved with every creature
Bot only so by grete mysaventure
And thurgh his foule acursed appetyte
He haunted ay the synne of sodomyte.

In whiche synne so at Wynchestere he dyed
Within a bathe by Goddes own vengeaunce
And how his soule was in his deth applyed
None wote bot God oonly of his pusaunce.
The thrid yere of his regne and governaunce
The cruelle deth hym stale away anone
Fro his coroune and fro his rialle trone.

Kynge Careyse

Careys was than corouned kynge anone
That loved wele in alle cytese debate
And als bytwyxe the cytese everychone
He suffred werre and ofte it made for hate
Engendred of his ire imoderate
So ferre that werre in every grete cyté
Fulle comoun was thurgh his maliciousté.

For whiche Bretons than made hym mekylle were
That whanne Gurmonde of Aufrike payen stronge
Irelonde had wonne thay sente to hym for fere
Of Kynge Careys and prayde hym byde not longe
Bot that in haste he wolde come thaym amonge.
So dyd Saxons, thay hight hym alle the londe
Of Bretayne hole if he wolde with theym stonde.
(see note); (t-note)
seat of judgement

(see note); (t-note)


royal authority

practiced; sodomy

knows; power


(see note); (t-note)

extreme wrath




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