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Hardyng's Chronicle, Book 2


1 Concerning the Deeds of Aeneas, the King of the Latins

2 The Chronicle concerning Brute, extracted by Geoffrey of Monmouth from a certain British book given to him by Walter Archdeacon of Oxford and translated into Latin at the request of Robert Duke of Gloucester, the son of King Henry I of England

3 To fight in small parties and become a careful scout

4 The evil doer is overthrown by his malice (Proverbs 14:32), for the turning away of the children shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them (Proverbs 1:32)

5 Note that a certain Eli judged in Judea; Silvius Posthumous the son of Aeneas and Lavinia ruled in Italy, and Brute, the son of Silvius Juilius ruled in Britain (now England)

6 You will never make, or promise, another declaration of marriage

7 Note that the Polychronicon says that Alclude is next to Carlisle, near to Sulwath, then in Albany and now in England, destroyed by the Danes. For which reason nothing is seen in these days, but is entirely, by everyone’s account, unknown. The Scots, however, say that Alclude is that town that is now called Dumbarton

8 With which stratagem they overcame them with strength

9 All associated with you shall be brought down unwillingly

10 According to Alfred of Beverley and Geoffrey of Monmouth

11 According to the computation of Orosius to Augustine

12 He dishonored those who went against the peace

13 Because a woman desires nothing but governance

14 Whence in Jerome: "And his sweat was as drops of blood falling to the ground" (Luke 22:44)


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; EH: Eulogium Historiarum sive Temporis; 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.

1m the genology as is comprised in the grete Brute. The “genology” referred to here is the genealogy of the Trojans contained in several manuscripts of HRB, in RMB, and in a number of Latin Bruts (see note 2.57–96). In all likelihood the “grete Brute” is one of these texts rather than a Middle English Prose Brut.

the cronicles of Itaylle. Possibly a reference to MO or a text dealing with the Trojan war (see note 2.97–144 below).

De Gestis Enee Regis Latinorum. Hardyng may be referring to a romance dealing with the events surrounding the Trojan war (see note 2.97–144 below). Identification of the illegible “Pli[?]” might shed further light on this matter.

Cronica Bruti . . . primi Anglie. This alludes to HRB §§1–4.

14–56 I shalle . . . my fone. Hardyng employs two rhetorical features common to fifteenth-century literature to lend authority to himself, as an author, and his text. His claim to be “symple” and devoid of skill (2.15, 2.48) should not be taken at face value; it is part of a humility topos found in many late medieval prologues (on this topic see Lawton, “Dullness,” p. 762). Equally, his call to God for help with completing the Chronicle blends affected modesty with the topos of invoking classical deities. Like Osbern Bokenham in his Legendys of Hooly Wummen and John Walton, whose translation of Boethius’s De Consolatione Philosophiae appears to have influenced 2.24–39, Hardyng sets himself apart from previous authors, like Chaucer and Lydgate, whom he imitates elsewhere, but attains a moral victory over them by emphasizing his own piety over their partiality for pagan assistance. At the same time, Hardyng adds unquestionable authority to his text by indicating that it is inspired by God and therefore aligned with truth. Hardyng’s use of poetry by Chaucer, Lydgate and Walton is explored in Peverley, “Chronicling the Fortunes.” For other examples of the topos see Chaucer’s TC 1.6–14, 4.22–28; TB, Prol.36–62; and Bokenham’s Life of Mary Magdalene in the Legendys of Hooly Wummen, lines 5214–24. For contemporary criticism by preachers on the use of classical authorities see Owst, Literature and Pulpit, pp. 178–80.

24 welles of Caliope. Calliope is the muse of epic poetry. In stating that he has not tasted, or drank, from her wells, Hardyng means that he lacks poetic eloquence. Compare Chaucer’s Franklin, CT V(F)716–22, and TC III.45. He appears to have based the phrase on Walton’s Boethius, p. 3 (“And certayn I haue tasted wonder lyte / As of the welles of calliope”), but other poets similarly called upon Calliope for inspiration; compare, for example, Lydgate, FP, 3.8–9.

25–32 Saturnus. . . Protheus. The gods and goddesses that Hardyng refuses to invoke are as follows: Saturn, Titan god of time and father of Jupiter; Jupiter, king of the gods and sky in Roman mythology; Mars, Roman god of war; Mercury, messenger of the gods in Roman mythology; Venus, Roman goddess of love; Ceres, Roman goddess of the earth; Phoebus, the sun god, also known as Apollo; Seneus, a god we have been unable to identify positively, though it may, unusually, be Cenaeus, a surname of Zeus derived from Cape Cenaeum in Euboea (see Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography, I:663–64); Pallas Athena, the Greek goddess of war and wisdom (her Roman counterpart, Minerva, also occurs in this list); Alecto, one of the three Furies or Erinyes in Greek mythology; Megaera, one of the three Furies or Erinyes in Greek mythology; Genius, the daimon, or spiritual essence, of an individual; Tisiphone, one of the three Furies or Erinyes in Greek mythology; Cupid, Roman god of love and son of Venus; Hymen or Hymenaeus, Greek god of marriage; Minerva, Roman goddess of wisdom (her Greek counterpart, Pallas Athena, is also listed); Diana, Roman goddess of the moon; Bacchus, Roman god of wine and festivities; Cerberus, three-headed dog of the underworld in Greek and Roman mythology; Manes, spirits of the dead; Glaucus, a Greek sea god; Vulcane, Roman god of fire; and Protheus, Greek prophetic sea god and herdsman of Poseidon’s seals.

46 Guyen. Guyenne was a province in southwest France.

49–52 Here Hardyng’s modesty topos again echoes Chaucer, CT X(I)55–60, among others.

57–96 Bot of . . . so gloryus. In tracing the lineage of Brute’s ancestors back to Adam, Hardyng appears to follow the same genealogy as RMB 1.209–428. However, similar genealogies of the Trojans occur in several manuscripts of HRB (see Crick, “Historia,” pp. 43–44), and in some manuscripts of the Latin Prose Brut, making it difficult to ascertain which specific source(s) Hardyng utilized. Selective parts of the lineage also appear in other chronicles, such as HB, MO, P, EH, and NC.

97–144 Whom Ercules . . . rial toure. Reference to the first destruction of Troy is also made in RMB 1.339–40, 1.439–50, and P II:406-07, which Hardyng may have used; however, given that he goes on to include details not found in these chronicles, such as the width of new Troy and the height of its walls (1.137–44), this part of the text could have been influenced by a non-chronicle source, such as Lydgate’s TB (2.82–96, 2.571–88), another account of the fall of Troy similar to the Laud Troy Book (1825–26), or the alliterative “Gest hystoriale” of the Destruction of Troy (1007 ff., 1538, 1546–48), all of which are based on Guido delle Colonne’s Historia destructionis Troiae, pp. 46–47. Crick notes that some manuscripts of the HRB contain Guido’s Troy story or the Historia de excidio Troie attributed to Dares Phrygius (Historia, pp. 37–39 and 47–48), so it is possible that a similar manuscript supplied Hardyng with the information for this section. Nevertheless, there is sufficient correspondence between Lydgate’s work and the Chronicle to recommend TB as a potential source for Hardyng’s description of Priam’s Troy, as well as his “Conceyte” on the fall of Troy (2.105m) and his address to Laomedon (“Leamedon”). Further investigation of the sources used by RMB might help to ascertain whether Hardyng utilized a single text, which combined all of the aforementioned elements, or blended two separate works; for a discussion of RMB’s possible sources see RMB, ed. Sullens (pp. 695–96). The temporary switch to eight-line stanzas at the start of Book 2 may indicate that Hardyng was using a source written in eight-line stanzas for this section of the work, although it is possible that this change was influenced by Walton’s translation of Boethius’s De Consolatione Philosophiae, which Hardyng knew and used at the start of Book 2 (see note 2.14–56).

99 Destroyed Troy. The pun is irresistible in implying that Troy, through fate and bad decisions, undoes itself. See 104m, “Troy for litil myght hafe,” and line 118, “distroynge Troys cyté.” Compare Chaucer’s TC (1.68), “Troie sholde destroied be.”

129 Exiona. Possibly an error for Polyxena, Priam’s daughter, or a misreading of Hesione (“Esionam”), daughter of Laomedon, who is taken by the Greeks after the first destruction of Troy. See, for example, P II:406; RMB 1.346; TB, 1.4343; Laud Troy Book, line 1709; and “Gest hystoriale” of the Destruction of Troy, line 1387.

163–205 With alle . . . more discordance. Aeneas’s encounter with Dido does not occur in HRB, HRBVV, RB, RMB, Brut, or NC, but Hardyng could have known the story from a number of sources, including MO (pp. 398–99) and P (II:432–33), which mention Dido’s great love for Aeneas, and from those works dealing with the fall of Troy mentioned above (see notes 2.97–144 and 2.129), or from Chaucer’s House of Fame, part 1, which divagates extensively and amusingly on their relationship. Lydgate’s FP briefly touches upon Dido’s encounter with Aeneas, but makes no reference, as Hardyng does, to Dido’s desire to make Aeneas her “husbonde” or the fact that he “stale fro hire” (2.168–69). Aeneas’s vision and his helping King Evander are absent in HRB, HRBVV, RB, RMB, Brut, and NC, where only King Latinus and Turnus are mentioned, but Evander is present in MO, p. 399, P II:434–35, and EH I:43. Interestingly, P II:434–35 also contains a reference to Pompeius Trogus, whom Hardyng mentions as a source at 1.1m, 1.176m, and 2.554m.

217–20 This Eneas . . . was hayre. The castle named after Lavinia, “Lavynyane” (2.219), is mentioned in HRBVV §6, RB lines 70–72, LB lines 96–97, RMB 1.790–92, and P II:434–35, but not HRB, Brut, and NC.

221–24 Of whom . . . londes echone. The child referred to is Silvius Posthumus, so called because he was born after Aeneas’s death. In HRB §6, OV lines 17–22, Brut p. 5, NC fol. 3v, only one Silvius, son of Ascanius, is mentioned, but Hardyng, like HRBVV §6, HA p. 24–27, RB lines 74–117, LB lines 99–133, and RMB 1.797–834 includes two: one, Silvius Posthumous, the son of Aeneas by Lavinia; the other, Silvius Julius, son of Ascanius and father of Brute. Interestingly, P (II:442–43) goes on to discuss the conflicting information about the two Silvii in its sources, and MO (p. 399) provides a list of the many Silvii who reigned in Italy. Wright believes that the introduction of two Silvii derives from a lost text of HRBVV (see HRBVV, pp. xcix–ci).

229–32 Whan Abdon . . . of sentement. Abdon is also mentioned in FH I:19, MO p. 398, P II:418–19, and EH I:43. FH and P record Abdon as judge in Israel during and after destruction of Troy, but they do not mention Homer in the same section; MO and EH on the other hand do. MO is of particular interest here because its dating of Abdon’s reign against other events matches Hardyng’s reckoning of 330 years before the foundation of Rome (2.228).

236 House of Fame. The concept of a house of fame was made most famous by Chaucer’s work of the same name, which retells the story of Aeneas in part 1. Lydgate also mentions it in his TB (3.4254, Envoy 14), and FP (3.2352, 4.122, 5.420, 6.109, 6.514, 6.3093, 8.26).

246 corporaly. Hardyng’s use of corporally as an adverb is earlier than the first instance recorded in the OED by Caxton in 1483 (s.v. corporally). He appears to be using it to designate the passing of time in this world, much like one would use the adverb “temporally.”

250 Creusa, Lavynes nese. There is some confusion here, either on Hardyng’s part or in a hitherto unidentified source used by him. In classical mythology Lavinia’s niece is usually unnamed, and Creusa is the name of Aeneas’s first wife, mother of Ascanius and daughter of Priam; she is left behind as Aeneas flees from Troy. See HRBVV §6, RB lines 84–88, FH I:19, P II:436–37, RMB 1.733–36, and EH I:304. Hardyng may also have encountered her in the romances dealing with Troy mentioned in note 2.97–144 above or in Chaucer’s Legend of Good Women, although there is no evidence within the Chronicle to suggest that he knew the latter.

253 hire pitese. Hardyng associates female virtue with the quality of pity once again (see note 1.20–61 above), but this stanza is critical of women’s abuse of that quality. Creusa is deflowered because of Silvius’s “subtilitese” (2.252), not because she willingly gave herself to him out of pity, as Hardyng implies some women are prone to doing when they encounter a man in adversity; compare, Chaucer’s Merchant’s Tale, where May decides to take Damian as her lover because she is “fulfilled of pitee” (CT IV[E]1995). Hardyng’s portrayal of Silvius may have been influenced by a text such as CPL I:4, where the words “enchaunta” and “larcenus” are used to describe his seduction of Lavinia’s niece.

257–64 Askanyus whan . . . his humanyté. The prophecies made here about Brute are later linked with destiny, Fortune, and divine providence. See 2.280, 2.321–36, and 2.512.

269–72 In whiche . . . no mo. Although the syntax is unclear, Hardyng appears to ascribe the foundation of Alba (“Aube”) to Silvius Posthumous, not Ascanius, who builds the city in HRB §6, RB lines 91–92, LB line 111, MO p. 399, and RMB 1.807–08. In these chronicles Alba is mentioned before the prophecies concerning Brute, but Hardyng, or the source he is using, switches the order. Alba is not mentioned in OV, Brut, or NC.

280 predestinate. The reference to destiny recalls Hardyng’s earlier explanation of the prophecies governing Brute’s life and Fortune’s role in shaping his future. See 2.257–64, 2.321–36, 2.512.

281–312 His fadir . . . to dispende. The wide range of social, literary, and military skills encompassed in Brute’s education corresponds with the sort of curriculum followed by a noble youth in the later Middle Ages. This passage is unique to Hardyng and may reflect the kind of education that he received whilst in the service of the Percy family, since servants of gentle and high rank in noble households often received tuition similar to their young masters. In reality the biennial sequence prescribed by Hardyng would not have been so rigid, but the approximate ages provided for the start of each new activity do correspond with extant examples of medieval instruction and with the recommended ages for similar activities in late medieval educational treatises. Hardyng’s suggestion that hunting and military training should commence at fourteen and sixteen respectively echoes the suggestions made in Christine de Pisan’s Book of the Fayttes of Armes (p. 29) and the earliest English prose translation of Vegetius's De Re Militari (p. 52) both of which draw upon Giles of Rome’s De Regimine Principum, which, in turn, was known in both its Latin form and in a Middle English translation by John Trevisa (see Governance of Kings and Princes, pp. 242–43, 399). For the accuracy of ages given by Hardyng, see Orme, From Childhood to Chivalry (pp. 51–60, 144–56, 182), and Green, Poets and Princepleasers, passim.

287 fiftene yere age. Hardyng’s source for Brute’s age is RMB, which in turn follows RB and HRB. Several other kings and knights are singled out in the Chronicle for achieving remarkable feats in their youth: see, for example, Constantine, the first Christian king of Britain, who is said to show “Grete manhode” in his “chyldissh yeres” (3.505–11); King Arthur, who is fifteen when he inherits the throne and expels the Saxons from his land (3.2248–49); Galahad, who is also fifteen when he joins Arthur’s court, achieves the Siege Perilous, and embarks on his Grail quest (3.2954–55); Thomas Umfraville, who is sixteen when he defeats the Scots (6.2391–99); and Gilbert Umfraville, who completes his rite of passage on the Scottish borders and gains a fearsome reputation amongst his enemies (6.3436–49). Hardyng’s decision to emphasize the age of such figures may indicate that he wished to make them comparable with the chivalric heroes of medieval romance, who frequently surpass their peers and achieve great things in adolescence. Equally, he may have planned to associate the potential for greatness in young men with Henry VI, who ascended the throne as a child and whose minority ended, not inconsequentially, where Hardyng chose to end this version of the Chronicle.

313–44 So was . . . with joy. Hardyng’s presentation of Brute as a constant, virtuous young man “withoute mutabilité” (2.320) contrasts with the capriciousness of Fortune and introduces one of the principal themes of the Chronicle: the notion that no man can eschew the mutability of Fortune, but steadfastness and virtue provide the best defense against her. At 2.326–28 Hardyng puns on the word “herte,” as Brute brings “unquyet” to his own heart by shooting at a hart and accidentally killing his father. Of greater interest, however, are 2.322 and 2.344, where Hardyng appropriates phrases from Chaucer’s TC 1.1, 1.54, and 3.617. His depiction of Brute as physician to the Trojans’ “double sorowe” (2.344) recalls the Boethian sickness imagery used in the prologue to describe Hardyng’s twofold distress at being unrewarded and injured from his royal service (see note Prol.29–35 above). This may imply that Hardyng intended to align Henry VI’s potential to “leche” his subjects’ sorrows (2.344) with Brute’s ability to help and emancipate the Trojans. For further discussion of Hardyng’s use of TC see Peverley, “Chronicling the Fortunes.”

321–36 Hir fadir ... alle retribute. For other references to Brute’s destiny see 2.257–64, 2.280, and 2.512.

339 fortuyté. The earliest recorded use of the noun fortuity in the OED dates from circa 1747 (s.v. fortuity (n.), meaning "accident, chance, an accidental occurrence"), but Hardyng uses it much earlier here to refer to Brute’s accidental killing of his father. Compare also MED s.v. fortunite (n.), where Hardyng is the only source cited.

345–52 Syr Helenus . . . and morow. The details here correspond most closely with CPL I:6, and RMB 1.865–66, although Anchises is not mentioned in RMB.

353–553 For pyté . . . be repigned. Hardyng’s version of the story offered by HRB, RB, CPL, and RMB is greatly condensed. He omits all reference to Assaracus, the Greek lord who sympathizes with the Trojans and allows Brute to use his castles, and Membritius, the wise Trojan who suggests freeing Pandrasus and leaving Greece to seek a new land; in so doing the narrative loses some of the coherence that the other chronicles have. The fight between Coryneus and Himbert is similarly absent. On balance, a number of features suggest that Hardyng was using a version of CPL, RMB, or an intermediate source linked to them, rather than the other texts (see notes 2.381–84, 2.441, 2.444–45, and 2.545 below), but his narrative is also distinct from other texts in terms of the additional emphasis that he places on Brute’s noble characteristics by presenting him as the sole saviour of the Trojans and the wisest and strongest of leaders (see also note 2.431–32).

381–84 For whiche . . . o way. Both Hardyng and RMB 1.1021 place Brute in his castle as it is besieged by Pandrasus, whereas HRB and RB do not. CPL omits the siege entirely.

431–32 To whiche . . . grete defence. Hardyng’s Pandrasus grants Brute’s requests “with gode wille,” rather than out of fear as in other sources.

441 So saylynge forthe by two days and two nyghtes. Hardyng, LB line 559, and RMB 1.1311 give the length of Brute’s first sea voyage as two days and two nights, whereas HRB §16, HRBVV §16, RB line 617 and EH II, p. 209 specify two days and one night. In OV lines 79–80 and Brut p. 8, Brute arrives in Leogetia on the third day.

444–45 His wyfe . . . and swete. These lines echo HRB §15, CPL I:10, and EH II:209, where Brute comforts his distressed wife during the sea voyage.

455–56 Bothe herte . . . sene overalle. Diana is the goddess of the moon, hunting, and chastity in Roman mythology; the presence of many deer in the island underlines her association with hunting.

461 exspectaunce. The MED does not record the form “exspectaunce.” Hardyng appears to have used the adjective “expectaunt” as a noun (MED s.v. expectaunt and OED s.v. expectant) to rhyme with “observaunce,” which would mean that Brute offers his prayers to Diana with “expectation” or “hope” that she will respond. If this is the case, his form of “expectance” is earlier than those examples given in the OED. Another possibility is that Hardyng’s “exspectaunce” is a form of the noun “aspectaunce” (see MED s.v. aspectaunce) meaning “expression (of the face).” This would mean that Brute offers his prayers with expression. The former seems most likely given that Brute goes to Diana to ask for guidance.

489 Columpnes of Ercules. The Columns, or Pillars, of Hercules is the ancient name for the Straights of Gibraltar.

512 werdes of desteny. Hardyng refers once again to the role of Fortune and destiny in Brute’s life. Compare 2.257–64, 2.280, and 2.321–36.

524 Dusze Piers. The “Twelve Peers” is a collective title usually given to the twelve paladins of Charlemagne; it is also used, more generally, as here, to refer to the twelve great peers of France (temporal, and ecclesiastic). See MED s.v. dousse-per (n.).

545 Ovyde. Hardyng’s allusion to Ovid may be derived from CPL I:10 and RMB 1.1363–64, where he is mentioned just before Brute prays to Diana.

554m Nota how . . . armes of Eneas. The description of Brute’s arms given here does not occur in Justin’s Epitome of Pompeius Trogus or Gerald of Wales’ Topography of Ireland, as Hardyng maintains. An identification of the enigmatic cronycles of Romanye may shed further light on this matter, but given his penchant for heraldry, Hardyng may have invented the arms himself. It is not unusual for medieval romances and genealogies to provide descriptions of the arms belonging to classical heroes; see, for example, the Laud Troy Book 4538–39, 4775–78; The “Gest Hystoriale” of the Destruction of Troy 5926–28, 6144–46; and the genealogical roll made for Edward IV extant in Philadelphia Free Library, MS Lewis E201, which includes the banners of Brute and Pandrasus.

560–61 Whiche by . . . and oppreste. This is Hardyng’s second reference to the giants oppressing the inhabitants of Albion (see note 1.257–80 above).

570–74 Into this . . . ought enquere. Compare with CPL I:20, and RMB 1.1745–48.

575–659 Thus Brutus . . . lyfe inordynate. Hardyng’s account of Coryneus’s victory over Gogmagog and Brute’s establishment of Britain is comparable with, although much shorter than, HRB §21, CPL I:20–22, RMB 1.1757–1919 and EH II:218–19. Of greater interest, perhaps, is the way in which Hardyng reflects on the episode to establish what makes a kingdom flourish or fail. A good strong leader, like Brute, who provides for his people, offers a solid foundation for a successful civilization; Albine’s society on the other hand is founded on sin (namely pride, a failed murder plot, and lust) and is therefore destined to fall. Hardyng makes a point of explaining that the destruction of the giants and the foundation of a new civilization was made possible because of God’s will. Lines 639–52 are a reworking of Chaucer’s TC 5.1828–41, but instead of warning his audience to turn their thoughts away from earthly love and look to heaven, Hardyng adapts Chaucer’s verse to suit the moral of his narrative by admonishing pride and evil living. His observation that God will take “vengeance” (2.654) on those who sin and embrace misrule — further emphasized by 2.639m and the plethora of proverbial wisdom at 2.653–59 — echoes the earlier notice of the giants’ malevolence at 1.301, and prefigures his later allusions to God destroying the wicked (see, for example, 2.1004, 2.1388, 2.1937, 3.335; for more on this topic see Peverley, “Chronicling the Fortunes”). Hardyng may have been struck by the biblical connotations of the name Gogmagog, for in Ezekiel 38–39 God threatens to inflict “Gog, the land of Magog” upon the Israelites as punishment for their sins (see also Ezekiel 38:2; Apocalypse 20:7–9). If so, he would undoubtedly have interpreted the Trojans’ journey as a classical parallel of the biblical Exodus and quest for the Promised Land.

Significantly, the interjection at 2.639 is the only one that is not directly addressed to lords and princes; in essence the phrase “fresshe and lusty creatures” is general enough to apply to all levels of the social spectrum, but since it is appropriated from Chaucer’s romance, Hardyng may have intended it to apply more specifically to members of the middle to high social strata.

625–31 Rewardynge ever . . . withouten fayle. Hardyng may have intended to invite a parallel between Brute’s gifting of land to his loyal men and his own plea to be rewarded with Geddington Manor for his loyalty.

633 kalendes of a chaunge. This phrase appears to be taken from Chaucer’s TC 5.1634 (see note 2.575–659 above).

639–45 O ye . . . abd gay. Compare TC 5.1835–41.

646–52 Suche fyne . . . fals array. Compare TC 5.1828–32.

667–743 Thus Kynge . . . onto se. This section has more in common with the details given in RMB 1.1845–1940, than HRB §22 and RB lines 1169–1246, but Hardyng omits RMB’s references to Gurmund and Lud, and moves the notice of Coryneus’s naming of Cornwall to the end of his fight with Gogmagog. Whilst RB and RMB include references to Brute’s tending the land, the civilizing effect that Hardyng’s Brute has on the realm is more emphatic and offers a striking contrast to fifteenth-century England under Henry VI. Hardyng accentuates the establishment of Trojan law in Britain to a greater degree than other chroniclers, highlighting the peace and stability that this brings to the realm after the iniquities and unrest suffered under the giants of Albion. In so doing, he is able to underscore a greater contrast between the Trojans’ cultivation of the land and the wilderness that was there “before” (2.684). The depiction of the Trojans participating in chivalric activities, such as jousting, feasting, and hunting, may derive from TC (see, for example, 3.1718 and 3.1779–80) or Lydgate’s TB (2.784–804). Hardyng’s justification for disliking the French form “Novel Troy” (2.719) is unique and probably stems more from his own xenophobic dislike of the French than the etymological argument he puts forward.

676–80 In whiche. . . townes edifyde. In contrast with Albyne’s kingdom, Brute’s realm is governed by “rytes and lawes” (2.676). This is the first of many references within the Chronicle where the establishment and maintenance of just laws is shown to be conducive to peace, a point strongly emphasized in HRB as the mark of kingship.

703 On his language. That is, his Celtic dialect. Hardyng seems to recognize that Thamyse is not a Latin word (it is a Celtic term for river). He knows little of Celtic languages, of course, but explains the peculiarity “Of his language” (2.708) in terms of its descent from “Of Troys language as Turkes yit use and haunte” (2.718).

720 That Frenshe. . . and unkynde. The lack of “tendyrnesse” (2.721) shown to Brute and his men in France would undoubtedly have resonated with Hardyng’s audience; following severe territorial losses across the Channel, anti-French sentiment in England was rife in the 1450s.

730–36 That tyme . . . in Italy. This information ultimately comes from HB §11, but Hardyng presumably knew it through another source such as HRB §22. The material is also contained in RB lines 1247–50, FH I:25, and EH II:219, but it does not occur in OV, CPL, RMB, Brut, or NC. The erroneous attribution of information in HB to Gildas is common in medieval chronicles.

744–71 And at . . . of nature. In describing Brute’s division of the kingdom between his sons, Hardyng follows the tradition represented by OV, CPL, EH, and Brut, not HRB, HRBVV, RB, RMB, and NC, which have the sons divide the kingdom after their father’s death. In giving the length of Brute’s reign as twenty-four years, the Chronicle provides the same information as HRB §23; HRBVV §23; RB line 1257; P II:444–45; CPL I:22; RMB 1.1933–34; EH II:220; and NC fol. 6v, but not OV and Brut.

Hardyng makes more of Brute’s burial than the aforementioned texts by assigning him a tomb in the temple of Apollo, which he equates with St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, and placing Brute’s death in the year 1176 BC, a calculation which may help to identify a more specific source for these passages in the future.

751m But Giraldus . . . this balade. Gerald of Wales says nothing of the sort, but Hardyng offers a reasonable justification for believing that Brute had a longer reign, even if his own Chronicle contradicts this marginalia by giving his reign as twenty-four years.

772–85 O gude. . . dyd love. Hardyng’s interjection emphasizes the fact that Brute’s good governance makes him worthy of God’s eternal salvation, even though he was a pagan born before Christ.

786–834 Of Brutus . . . his successory. The order in which Hardyng presents Brute’s sons is the same as that in HRB §23, RB lines 1259–60, Gerald of Wales’ Description of Wales p. 232, LB lines 1054–66, FH I:27, P II:444–45, CPL I:22, RMB 1.1942–43, and NC fols. 6v–7r, where Locryne is the eldest, then Camber, then Albanacte. This is important because it allows Hardyng to accentuate the additional authority that Locryne has over his younger brothers, particularly Albanacte, the first king of Scotland, who is older than Camber in HRBVV §23; OV lines 187–88; EH II:220; and Brut p. 12. Hardyng stresses the sovereignty of Loegria (England) over Albany (Scotland) more than any of the aforementioned chroniclers, because it allows him to stress the theme of English suzerainty that was first introduced in the Prologue and that permeates the entire Chronicle.

Though Brute’s establishment of Trojan law in Britain first occurs in HRB, Hardyng uses it to parallel his earlier reference to Greek inheritance laws legitimizing Albyne’s claim to Albion and reinforce Locryne’s supremacy over his brothers. In describing how the poet “Mewyne” later set down “the lawes of Troy” in a work called “Infynytes” (2.822–31), Hardyng establishes the importance of law to society, paves the way for later accounts of rulers who have established new laws and had them written down, such as Dunwallo (2.1521m), Marcyan and Alfred (2.1855–58), and provides precedents to allude to in later appeals to Henry VI to uphold the law and rectify contemporary injustices.

We have been unable to identify “Infynytes” (2.831). It could have been invented by Hardyng, especially since the title emphasizes the eternal nature of the law, and thereby England’s enduring right to rule Scotland according to Trojan law. However, the title may derive from a lost source, because, as Richard Moll has noted, the enigmatic Mewyn credited with copying his books at Glastonbury (“Mewytryne”) probably results from Hardyng’s misreading “of a Welsh placename, Inis-witrin, and the associated prophet, Melkin,” who appears in JG (“Another Reference,” p. 298). For further discussion of Melkin, the texts attributed to him by other authors, and the possible influence of JG, or a related “florilegium of Glastonbury lore,” on Hardyng, see Carley, “Melkin the Bard”; JG, pp. lii–lx; and Riddy, “Glastonbury.” See also note 2.2611–47 below.

835–953 Bot as . . . and curiouse. Hardyng’s account of the death of Albanacte, his brothers’ battle against Humber, and Locryne’s affair with Estrilde follows HRB §§24–25, but omits a number of the details in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s story, such as Coryneus brandishing his axe at Locryne and the length of Locryne’s affair with Estrilde, which is also omitted in CPL I:26. Instead, Hardyng emphasises Locryne’s position as overlord of Scotland (2.870–76), names the god that Locryne pretends to worship as Jupiter, and notes that Guendolyne sent Maddan to Cornwall after the death of Coryneus.

844 thare sores to complayne. This phrase echoes both the prologue, where Hardyng reveals that the king is the only man who can heal his sorrow (Prol.29–30), and 2.343–44, where the Trojans have their “double sorowe” healed by Brute.

849m eschete. This term refers to the “reversion of land to the king or lord of a fee;” see MED s.v. eschete (n.).

954–1016 This Maddan . . . in Lacedemonya. Hardyng’s version of the reigns of Maddan and Membrice is very similar to RMB 1.2115–2142. Both give the length of the kings’ reigns as forty and twenty years respectively, present Manlyn as the elder brother, mention Membrice’s bestiality, and conclude with reference to “Eristens” (Eurysthenes) reigning in “Lacedemonya” (Sparta). Hardyng’s account is nevertheless exceptional for the striking contrast it creates between Maddan’s peaceful reign and the strife witnessed under Membrice. The observation that under Maddan no man would dare to “displese” (2.969) his neighbor is comparable with the Chronicle’s praise of Henry V and Sir Robert Umfraville (7.586–88, 7.592, 7.906–07), and with later criticism of contemporary strife in England, where “In every shire, with jakkes and salades clene / Missereule doth ryse and maketh neyghbours were” (7.1009–10; see also 7.643–44). The suggestion that Maddan’s two sons were born to defend the realm from war and strife likewise parallels Hardyng’s later criticisms of Henry VI and his magnates failing to use their privileged position to serve the common weal and bring an end to civil unrest. Finally, while Hardyng’s reference to God taking vengeance on Membrice for his perversion is consistent with the interpretation of his savage end in OV (lines 263–67) and in Brut (p. 14), he builds upon the notion of divine retribution by depicting the pagan goddess Minerva (“Mynerve”) as God’s scourge, and describing the hellish torments she inflicts upon Membrice’s soul.

1017–1114 Ebrauke his . . . cyté pryncipalle. For the most part, the narrative concerning Ebrauke is analogous to HRB §27 and RMB 1.2143–2202, although neither source contains all of the details that Hardyng includes here. Like RB line 1539; CPL I:30; P III:14–15; RMB 1.2165; OV line 271; and Brut p. 15, Hardyng gives the length of the king’s reign as sixty years, but he follows HRB, P, and EH II:226, by explaining the rationale behind Ebrauke’s sending his daughters to Italy and by putting events into a universal context. The account in RMB agrees with the first etymological explanation Hardyng gives concerning Maiden Castle, but the connections he makes between Ebrauke’s foundations and the castles of Arthurian romance are unique, as is his reference to the folklore associated with Saint Patrick at Dumbarton (see notes 2.1033–44, 2.1052–65, and 2.1066–72 below). However, see also Le Petit Bruit (p. 6), which makes reference to Ebrauke’s two castles and attributes the information to the testimony of the Saint Grail (“a la testemoinaunce Seint Graal”), presumably an allusion to the Vulgate Cycle, or a similar Arthurian text.

1033–44 A castelle . . . tho wones. These lines allude to the death of the Lady of Escalot, who falls in love with Sir Lancelot and dies when he rejects her. In the Vulgate La Mort le Roi Artu (p. 113), which Hardyng shows familiarity with elsewhere, the boat on which the lady’s dead body is placed sails to Camelot, not Lancelot’s castle, Dolorouse Garde (or Joyous Garde as he later renames it; see p. 87). For further discussion of Hardyng’s association of Dolorouse Garde with Bamburgh, and related sources, see Moll, “Ebrauke.”

1052–65 High on . . . that awarde. Hardyng appears to be conflating two episodes from Arthurian romance involving Ywain, a knight of the Round Table, who defeats a giant named Harpin of the Mountain, travels to the town of Dire Adventure (“Pesme Aventure”), and rescues a host of ladies kept in servitude by the king of the Isle of Maidens ("li rois de l’Isle as Puceles"); see Chrétien de Troyes’ Chevalier au Lion, 5111 ff. and the Middle English Ywain and Gawain, 2931 ff. (it is unlikely that he knew the Welsh analogue Owain). Hardyng aligns the Isle of Maidens in the romance with the “Mayden Castelle” (2.1064) he knows as Edinburgh and casts the two demons that Ywain must defeat to free the women as a giant, possibly confusing this episode with Ywain’s earlier encounter with Harpin.

The Vulgate Grail quest, during which Yvain helps Gawain to liberate the Castle of Maidens from seven wicked knights, could, alternatively, have inspired Hardyng’s anecdote, but, on balance, the presence of a giant makes Chrétien de Troyes’ Le Chevalier au Lion a more likely source. Lines 3.3012–16 and 3.3191 may also have been influenced by Chrétien’s works.

1066m Nota quod . . . vocatur Dunbretayne. The marginalia alludes to P II:64–69. The reference to Sulwath may indicate that Hardyng was using Trevisa’s translation of P rather than Higden’s text (see also note 2.1017–1114 above, where other correspondences between Hardyng’s text and P in this section are noted).

1066–72 The cyté . . . donge therein. Saint Patrick was purportedly born in Dumbarton (see MacPhail, Dumbarton Castle, p. 4). The miracles that Hardyng attributes to the saint are no doubt derived from folk tradition (compare also 7.1296–97), but we have only been able to locate one other reference to Saint Patrick’s proscription that no horse should dung in Dumbarton Castle in what appears to be a sixteenth-century paraphrase of Hardyng’s itinerary of Scotland. The document, which survives in three copies, provides “An abstracte for Englyschemen to knowe the realme of Scotlande thorowe oute,” giving the distances between the towns through which an invading army should pass and some notes about local features. One of the features mentioned is that Dumbarton is the strongest castle in Scotland and that at Saint Patrick’s request “there should never horse dung in it.” The document appears to be associated with a memorandum of 1542 made in preparation for Henry VIII’s invasion of Scotland (see Gairdner and Brodie, Letters and Papers, 17, pp. 584–85).

1115–98 Hys sonne . . . his hire. For the reigns of Brute Grenesheelde, Leyle, Rudhudibrace, and Bladud, Hardyng’s text is comparable with HRB §§28–30, RMB 1.2203–2260, and EH II:226–27 (which also equates the Temple of Apollo with St. Paul's). The references to Gildas and Walter of Oxford at 2.1128 and 2.1189–90 appear to be Hardyng’s own; by referring to Walter, archdeacon of Oxford, as a source, Hardyng actually means Geoffrey of Monmouth, who claims to have drawn upon a work given to him by Walter (see 2.1m above). Other chronicles to make this mistake include the Scalacronica and Geffrei Gaimar’s L’Estoire des Engleis, see Moll, Before Malory, (p. 43).

1199–1303 Aftyr hym . . . had deserved. Hardyng’s account of King Leyre omits a number of details found in most other chronicles, particularly HRB §31 and RMB 1.2261–2549. It does not remark on Leyre’s partiality for Cordele; Leyre’s retinue is only downsized once before Ragawe asks him to disband it completely; Leyre does not return to Goneril after Ragawe upsets him; and the king’s lengthy lament on Fortune is excluded. There are nevertheless some interesting additions: Hardyng describes the way in which the “r” in the pronunciation of “Leyrecestre” was set aside “to make the language swettre” (2.1203–05); Leyre is advised to seek Cordele’s help by his friends; Cordele is touchingly buried next to her father as her soul ascends to Janus and Minerva; and, perhaps most idiosyncratic of all, marginalia is added to show how the story of Leyre underscores England’s suzerainty over Scotland.

1304–52 Syr Margan . . . and mortalyté. Hardyng appropriates his information from HRB §§32–33, RMB 1.2550–2608, or a similar source. The observation that Britain was established 599 years before the foundation of Rome is comparable with RMB 1.2595–2600, which makes a similar statement but provides a date of 397 years, perhaps indicating that Hardyng’s source was a lost version of RMB containing a different reading, or an analogous text drawn upon by both RMB and Hardyng.

1353–1408 Gurgustius his . . . grete myght. The characteristics Hardyng ascribes to Gurgustius, Sisilius, Iago, and Kymar are unique. Through assigning good or bad qualities to each monarch, he is able to contrast good and bad kingship and stress the role of divine providence in determining a monarch’s fate. His warning that those sovereigns who fail to uphold the law and protect the peace are “In moste perile . . . forto be slayne / Or els put doun right by his undirloute” (2.1404–05) encapsulates one of the Chronicle’s most important themes and anticipates later cautions that Henry VI’s monarchy is in danger if he fails to restore justice and peace to the realm. Also of interest is the fact that Hardyng, like CPL I:40, makes Kymar the son of Iago.

1409–92 Gorbodyan that . . . youre sovereynté. Unlike their counterparts in other sources, Hardyng’s Ferrex is sent to France in his father’s lifetime for causing discord and Queen Judon kills Porrex without the help of her handmaidens. The Chronicle is similar to RB lines 2195–98, OV line 441–43, EH II:234, and Brut pp. 22–23, in stating that the kingdom was divided between four kings, but only Hardyng and RMB 1.2658 give the length of the conflict as forty years. The most notable feature of this section is Hardyng’s amplification of the break-down of social order and his use of the exemplarity of the ancient civil war to warn contemporary “prynces and lordes of hye estate” (2.1486) about the importance of exercising their power to uphold law and peace.

1491 Iff pese and lawe be layde and unyté. In this line, “unyté” — with “pese” and “lawe” — is a subject of "be layde."

1493–1555 And whils . . . hym come. The text follows the basic outline of Dunwallo’s military campaign and his subsequent reign as presented in RMB 1.2673–2768, which, like P III:246–47, and EH II:236, locates Dunwallo’s burial inside his temple of peace rather than adjacent to it (as in HRB, RB, and FH). EH is unlikely to have been a source for this section because it gives the length of Dunwallo’s reign as forty-three years and comments on the cities he founded (as do OV, Brut, NC), but P may have been used alongside a version of RMB or a related text. Gildas, mentioned at 2.1546, is similarly cited as a source in HRB §34, P III:246–47, and later in EH. Hardyng’s unique address to the “prynce” (2.1549), either Henry VI or his son Edward, serves to highlight the Chronicle’s repeated appeal for good governance and justice from the contemporary sovereign.

1556–1800 Than felle . . . and laste. The history of Belyn and Brenny appears to draw upon HRB §§35–44, RB lines 2313–3240, RMB 1.2769–3598, or a similar source, rather than the shorter, alternative accounts found in OV and Brut. Hardyng omits the detailed descriptions of the brothers’ military campaigns found in HRB, RB, and RMB, and abbreviates the rest of the narrative. His text is remarkably close to RB and RMB in its reference to the extreme sadness of the people upon Belyn’s death, and like CPL, it omits all reference to the brothers’ having to fight on two fronts — against Germany and Italy — when the Romans repudiate their treaty. The references to Geoffrey of Monmouth (2.1689m), Alfred of Beverley (2.1689m), the River Allia (“Awbe,” 2.1722), King Assuere (2.1748), Socrates (2.1749), and Orosius (2.1738m) are probably taken from P III:260–61, 264–75, and 294–95, although Martin of Troppau (2.1746), whom Hardyng lists as a source, is not mentioned at this point in the printed edition of P. Since MO was a source for P, Hardyng may have been working from a manuscript of P that acknowledged its debt to MO for this information, or he may have included “Martyne” after finding references to the Allia, King Assuere, Socrates, Orosius, and the dating from the foundation of Rome in MO (p. 403). Given the reference to P in the gloss before 2.1801 and the possible correspondence between the Chronicle and P at 2.1801m, it is more likely that P is being used here. Hardyng’s personal touches include the marginalia drawing attention to Brenny’s deference to Belyn as overlord of Albany (Scotland) and the rebuke addressed to Fortune on account of her mutability.

1689m secundum Alfridum . . . Monemutensem. See note 2.1556–1800 above.

1738m Secundum computacionem Orosii ad Augustinum. “According to the computation of Orosius to Augustine.” See note 2.1556–1800 above. This marginalia occurs alongside line 1742.

1801m Nota that . . . Radulphi Cestrensis. Although Hardyng appears to have known and used P I:344–45 and III:328–29, for some of the details given in the section this marginalia accompanies, it is not his only source. See also notes 2.1556–1800 and 2.1801–1940.

1801–1940 Gurguyn his . . . I gesse. None of the individual sources considered here contains all of the details given by Hardyng. In all likelihood HRB §§45–48 provided the information for the reigns of Gurguyn, Guytelyn, and Morvyde, but it is silent about the nature of Danyus’s reign. RMB 1.3599–3775, or a text related to it and CPL I:50–55, seems to have supplied the length of each king’s reign, but it lacks the anachronistic reference to Alfred at 2.1857 and does not name Morvide’s mother. P is the only source to match Hardyng in placing Sysilius’s accession after his mother’s death (see II:92–93 and III: 381–83), but this, like other details, could equally have filtered into a hitherto unknown source employed by Hardyng. The marginalia on pity, the notices of Scotland’s homage to England, and the interjection on God’s vengeance are Hardyng’s own.

1809 unto his friste degré. The suggestion here seems to be that there is a direct line of fealty. In rebelling against the king the rebels break their oath of fealty to him. See also line 2.1826.

1941–2045 Gorbonyan his . . . and specyfyed. Although this section ultimately derives from HRB §§49–51, Hardyng’s account is closer to RMB 1.3776–3911 in that it places the burials of Argalle and Elydoure at Carlisle and Aldburgh respectively. CPL I:54–56 also mentions these burial places, but it lacks many of the other details included in RMB, which Hardyng repeats. The reference to few people knowing where Alclude is echoes the information at 2.1066m.

2046–2231 Gorbonyan whiche . . . fulle bounteuus. Hardyng appears to be following HRB §§52–53 and RMB 1.3912–4113. He almost certainly obtained the notice of Cheryn’s drunkenness (also in RB), and Ely’s burial at Castor (also in CPL I:58) from RMB, but he develops both details in a unique manner. The conceit on drunkenness serves as a warning to princes about the dangers of intoxication, whilst simultaneously providing an explanation for the weakness of Cheryn’s sons. By the same token, the discussion about the location of Ely’s burial allows Hardyng to show his discerning nature at work by defending his rationale for dismissing those sources that place Ely at Castor, Lincolnshire (i.e., CPL and RMB). In incorporating additional, albeit brief, information about how good or bad a number of the kings were, Hardyng is able to adjust the monotonous list of names provided by his sources into useful examples of good and bad kingship.

2232–2451 So felle . . . his excelence. Hardyng abbreviates the story of Cassibalan’s reign and Caesar’s invasions found in HRB §§54–63 and RMB 1.4127–5245, apparently combining details from each, or using an intermediate source that drew upon both. See, for example, the reference to Caesar fighting Pompey, which occurs in HRB (possibly the “Boke of Brute” referred to at 2.2431) and in one of the manuscripts of RMB (London, Lambeth Palace MS 131; see RMB, pp. 216–17). The dating attributed to Bede’s “Gestes of Englonde” (2.2418) is also found in RMB (compare Bede p. 47). Although Hardyng is not alone in presenting Cassibalan’s celebratory feast at 2.2326–64 in chivalric terms (see RB and RMB), he accentuates the courtly nature of the festivities more than other texts by describing how beautiful women were seated in front of the king’s men to “chere” them (compare with the later description of King Arthur’s celebrations at 3.2856–62). At lines 2.2347–53, in the second of several borrowings from John Lydgate’s “King Henry VI’s Triumphant Entry into London” (1432), Hardyng similarly emphasizes the importance of commemorating military conquests and royal power through public spectacles by comparing Cassibalan’s celebrations with Caesar’s triumphant entry into Rome and Scipio Africanus’s entry into Carthage (Lydgate, “Henry VI,” 517–20). For further discussion of Hardyng’s use of Lydgate’s poem see Peverley, “Chronicling the Fortunes.” Hardyng is correct in stating that Martin of Troppau does not mention Caesar’s being in Britain (2.2422–23).

2354–55 Bot ever . . . ay adversité. For this proverb, which Hardyng may have taken from Chaucer’s TC 1.950, see Whiting V2.

2452–2710 Tenvancius that . . . withouten lese. This section is remarkably similar to RMB 1.5246–5631, albeit in an abridged form. It appears to be indebted to it for details such as Caesar’s knighting Kymbelyn (also in RB); the dating of Christ’s birth and Kymbelyn’s death to 1200 years after Brute’s arrival in Albion; the prophet Thelofyne (Teselyn in RMB and Teleusin RB); Claudius’s sending for his daughter forty-six years after Christ’s birth; Marius’s forty-nine year reign and burial at Salisbury (also in CPL I:66); and Coile’s ten year reign and burial at Norwich (likewise in CPL I:68). Aspects taken from another source, or unique to Hardyng, include his reference to translating a chronicle “Oute of Latyne” into “balade” (see note 2.2545–49 below); the attribution of Vespasian’s coming to Britain to Gildas at 2.2573–74 (see note below); the marginalia before 2.2599 (see Textual Note 2599m) to noting women’s desire for sovereignty over their husbands (compare with the sovereignty desired by Albyne and her sisters at 1.14 and 1.212); the material concerning Joseph of Arimathea (see note 2.2611–47 below); the deliberation on the Virgin’s assumption at 2.2655–61; and the information about Rey Cross (see note 2.2676–82 below).

2466–72 Whiche Cesare . . . dyd de. This information may have come from MO (pp. 443–44).

2545–49 As cronycle . . . me submytte. There is no reason to doubt Hardyng’s claim to be using a Latin source; however, unless he is using a hitherto unknown Latin text closely linked to RMB, he is probably using HRB alongside a copy of Mannyng’s English chronicle. HRB §§68 makes reference to Claudius’s sending for Genvyse but does not give the date found in RMB.

2573–74 as sayth . . . and remembrance. Neither Gildas nor HB — the work commonly attributed to Gildas in medieval chronicles — mentions Vespasian’s coming to Britain.

2611–47 In whose . . . thurgh meschaunce. It is unclear where Hardyng obtained his information about Joseph of Arimathea, but, as Kennedy has suggested, he seems to have included this and other material relating to the Grail in response to “Scotland’s claims to preeminence as a Christian nation” (“John Hardyng and the Holy Grail,” p. 199). Hardyng may have known JG (pp. 2–3, 30–31, 54–55), as some critics have argued, or had access to a related text — a chronicle or a romance — that incorporated similar details about Joseph’s association with Glastonbury. Since EH I:157, NC fols. 21r–21v, several Latin Bruts (including the source of NC), and English Chronicle (see Marx “Aberystwyth” pp. 4–5), all describe Joseph’s burial with two phials of the bloody sweat of Christ, Hardyng could have drawn on a chronicle for the details or amalgamated information from more than one source. Similar material concerning Joseph has been interpolated into William of Malmesbury’s Antiquitate Glastonie Ecclesie, a manuscript of FH I:127, the version of Robert of Gloucester’s Chronicle in London College of Arms MS Arundel 58, and later works attesting to an ongoing interest in Joseph include the unusual Prose Brut extant in Lambeth Palace Library MS 84, William Worcester’s Itineraries (p. 298), and the life of Joseph printed in the Nova Legenda Anglie by Wynkyn de Worde in 1516, though Hardyng did not know these.

Importantly, none of the aforementioned chronicles makes reference to the “rode of the north dore” (2.2613m), a cross that Joseph made which was later cast into the sea by Agrestes, only to appear again in the reign of Lucius at St. Paul’s, London (see 3.96–119 and 3.99m). Hardyng’s marginal reference to the story being contained in the “book of Joseph of Arymathi lyfe” (2.2613m) implies that he knew a separate version of Joseph’s story, similar to, but doubtless fuller than, Lyfe of St Joseph of Armathia printed by Pynson in 1520, which also refers to the “rode” (see 217–24). Such a text was presumably based on Lestoire del Saint Graal, which makes reference to Agrestes (pp. 136–37), and Queste, which incorporates the story of the shield Galahad inherits on his Grail quest, something that Hardyng recounts later in the Chronicle (see 3.3052ff). If Hardyng did use a source of this kind, it may also have inspired his reference to the Virgin’s assumption, as Lyfe of St Joseph of Armathia (line 117) mentions this event, though the unedited part of an English Chronicle in National Library of Wales, MS 21608, ff. 25v–26r also includes it so, again, it could have come from a chronicle (see Marx, “Aberystwyth,” pp. 4–5). The tantalizing, but brief, reference to "þe Auenturus of Brutayne" (line 232) in the extant fragment of Joseph of Arimathie, a fourteenth-century English alliterative romance extant in the famous Vernon manuscript, seems to indicate that Joseph’s coming to Britain was covered in the missing text, so Hardyng may well have drawn on a similar lost vernacular romance containing the story of the cross. Henry Lovelich’s History of the Holy Grail offers another example of a romance which associates Joseph with Glastonbury (IV:324) and includes an account of Agrestes and a ‘red cross’ (III:211–13), but in this version Agrestes does not throw the cross into the sea and it is not lost or associated with Lucius.

In the fifteenth century, the cross of the “north dore” was very popular with pilgrims, a fact that Reginald Pecock notes in his The Repressor of Over Much Blaming of the Clergy (I:194); this may have influenced Hardyng’s decision to include it in the Chronicle. For another reference to Joseph’s burial at Glastonbury, see 6.2317–23.

2676–82 In signe . . . over alle. Although some chronicles give Stainmore as the location of the stone Marius erects to commend his victory over Redryke the Pict (see OV lines 757–59, and EH II:261), the information provided by Hardyng, who describes the stone as the ancient boundary marker known as Rey Cross (“Rerecrosse”), appears to come from his own knowledge of the border regions.


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

1m Pli(?). MS: This word is difficult to read. It appears to be an abbreviation of an author’s name. It could be an error or an unusual abbreviation for Pompeius Trogus, who is later mentioned with regards to Aeneas.

translata. MS: tranlata.

1 As. MS: an illuminated initial.

1-512 Hardyng writes in eight-line stanzas here and at 2.522–617.

68 Japhet cam. MS: Japhet.

89 An early hand, possibly that of John Stow, writes “Eryctonnus frost edified Troy” in the left-hand margin beside this line. See Manuscript Description for further information from Stow.

151 disposicioun. MS: disposicoun.

258 An early hand has written “Nota how Brutus was borne” in the gutter of the right-hand margin of this folio.

330 fallible. MS: fallibe.

417 Brutus. MS: an illuminated initial.

513-21 A nine-line stanza.

522–617 Hardyng writes in eight-line stanzas here and at 2.1–512.

543 The name “Brute” has been erased in the right-hand margin next to this line; a contemporary hand has rewritten it underneath the original annotation.

630 Cornewayle. MS: A contemporary hand has copied the word “Cornewall” below this word.

639m conceyte of. MS: of has been inserted above line.

667 Thus. MS: an illuminated initial.

730m Originally copied in iron gall ink, this marginalia has been overwritten in red.

786 Of. MS: an illuminated initial.

822 Mewyne. MS: An early hand has copied this name into the right-hand margin.

902 fylde. This sentence requires the infinitive fylen. The needs of rhyme have produced a grammatical error.

919 After. MS: an illuminated initial.

954 This. MS: an illuminated initial.

975 Manlyn. MS: an illuminated initial.

989 Membrice. MS: an illuminated initial.

1017 Ebrauke. MS: an illuminated initial.

1062 myschaunce. MS: myschaune.

1066m MS: This marginalia was originally copied in iron gall ink, but has been overwritten in red.

1073m A second “Nota” occurs beside 2.1073.

1115 Hys. MS: an illuminated initial.

1128 An early hand, apparently that of John Stow, writes “Gyldas” in the right-hand margin beside this line. See Manuscript Description.

1129 So. MS: an illuminated initial.

1153 Hys. MS: an illuminated initial.

1171 Bladud. MS: an illuminated initial.

1185 An early hand, apparently that of John Stow, writes “Gyldas” in the left-hand margin beside this line. See Manuscript Description.

1199 Aftyr. MS: an illuminated initial.

1234m Nota, for homage of Scotland. MS: This part of the marginalia was originally copied in iron gall ink; it has been overwritten in red.

1290m How Margan . . . of hym. MS: This part of the marginalia was originally copied in iron gall ink; it has been overwritten in red.

1290 Margan. MS: an illuminated initial.

1311m This marginalia occurs beside 2.1317.

1339 Ryval. MS: an illuminated initial.

1353m Nota of drunkenes. MS: This marginalia occurs beside 2.1358–59.

1353 Gurgustius. MS: an illuminated initial.

1367 Sisilius. MS: an illuminated initial.

1381 Iago. MS: an illuminated initial.

1395 Kymar. MS: an illuminated initial.

1409 Gorbodyan. MS: an illuminated initial.

1437 Cloten. MS: an illuminated initial.

1493 And. MS: an illuminated initial.

1556 Than. MS: an illuminated initial.

1654m hoste. MS: This word is inserted above the line.

1676 conquerours. MS: conquerous.

1689m An early hand, apparently that of John Stow, has written “Alfryd and Galfryd” after the marginalia. See Manuscript Description.

1718 And. MS: Ane.

1738m This marginalia occurs alongside 2.1742.

1801 Gurguyn. MS: an illuminated initial.

1850 Guytelyn. MS: an illuminated initial.

1864 Sysilius. MS: an illuminated initial.

1878 Kymar. MS: an illuminated initial.

1885 Danyus. MS: an illuminated initial.

1892 Morvyde. MS: an illuminated initial.

1941m first. MS: This word is inserted above the line.

1941 Gorbonyan1. MS: an illuminated initial.

1955 Argalle. MS: an illuminated initial.

1962 Elydoure. MS: an illuminated initial.

1997 Argalle. MS: an illuminated initial.

2004 The. MS: an illuminated initial.

2011 But. MS: an illuminated initial.

2025 Peridoure. MS: an illuminated initial.

2032 Elydoure. MS: an illuminated initial.

2046 Gorbonyan. MS: an illuminated initial.

2053 Margan. MS: an illuminated initial.

2060 Enniaunus. MS: an illuminated initial.

2067 Ivalle. MS: an illuminated initial.

2074 Rymo. MS: an illuminated initial.

2081 Geyennes. MS: an illuminated initial.

2088 Katellus. MS: an illuminated initial.

2095 Coyle. MS: an illuminated initial.

2102 Porrex. MS: an illuminated initial.

2109m Nota of drunkenes. MS: This marginalia occurs beside 2.2114.

2109 Cheryn. MS: an illuminated initial.

2116 His. MS: an illuminated initial.

2137 Urian. MS: an illuminated initial.

2144 Elyud. MS: an illuminated initial; the rest of the name was originally in iron gall ink, but has been overwritten in red.

2146 Detonus. MS: originally written in iron gall ink, but overwritten in red.

2151 Detonus. MS: an illuminated initial.

2152–2259 The following words and proper names have an initial letter in red ink: Gurgucyus (2.2152); Meryan (2.2153); Bledudo (2.2154); Cappe (2.2156); Oenus (2.2156); Sisilyus (2.2157); Bledud (2.2158); Than (2.2165); Archyvalle (2.2165); Eldolle (2.2166); Redyon (2.2167); Redrike (2.2168); Samuel (2.2169); Pyrre (2.2170); Penysselle (2.2170); Capoyre (2.2171); Elyguelle (2.2171); Tenvancyus (2.2229); Cesar Julyus (2.2232); O (2.2237); For (2.2259).

2177 The scribe has written “Nota” alongside this line.

2178 greteste. MS: gretete.

2179 Hely. MS: an illuminated initial.

2193 Than. MS: an illuminated initial.

2221 Cassibalan. MS: an illuminated initial.

2237 Belyne. MS: initial letter originally in iron gall ink, overwritten in red.

2238 Belyne. MS: initial letter originally written in iron gall ink and overwritten in red.

2452 Tenvancius. MS: an illuminated initial.

2459m Kymbelyne Kynge. MS: This part of the marginalia appears to have been added at a later stage of production.

2459 Kymbelyne. MS: an illuminated initial.

2487 Guydere. MS: an illuminated initial.

2526 Arviragus. MS: an illuminated initial.

2527 Claudius. MS: Claudus.

2550 At. MS: an illuminated initial.

2574 An early hand, apparently that of John Stow, writes “Gyldas” in the left-hand margin next to this line. See Manuscript Description.

2599m This marginalia occurs beside 2.2604.

2599–2633 MS: The stanzas from 2.2599–2633 are quite close together, so the scribe has drawn red lines between each of them to show that they are separate.

2662 Maryus. MS: an illuminated initial.

2697 Coyle. MS: an illuminated initial.

Secundus Liber

.i. capitulum

How Brutus discomfyte (defeated) the Kynge of Grece and Albion had, and called it than Bretayne after hym and of his auncetry and his successours, the genology as is comprised in the grete Brute and in the cronicles of Itaylle, as Pli(?) saith in his book De Gestis Enee Regis Latinorum.1

Cronica Bruti per Galfridum Monmentensem extracta de quodam libro britannico sibi tradito per Walterum Oxoniensem archdiaconum et translata in latinum ad rogatum Roberti ducis Gloucestrie filii Regis Henrici primi Anglie.2 (see note); (t-note)



fol. 9r









fol. 9v









fol. 10r

As cronycles say and make notificacioun
Who loke thaym wele schal know and undirstonde
Of watkyns blode and generacioun
Brutus first came that conquerde alle this londe.
It to remembre I shal now take on honde
Thurgh olde storise by philofres compiled
In olde bokes as I have sene and fonde
In Englisshe tonge it shal be made and fyled.

At the Bible therfore I wille begynne
At Adam whiche was so firste creature
Convaynge doun lynyaly in kynne
As thay descent in birth and engendrure
Next unto Brute as mencionde hath scripture
I shalle reporte as God wille deyne to lede
My symple goste unkunnynge in lettrure
As liketh hym with language me to fede.

To whom I pray for spede unto the ende
My wytte enforce in myght and sapience.
Of other goddis whiche poetes used and kende
In olde poeses I lak intelligence
Ne nought I wille so hurte my conscience
On thaym to muse whiche God defendeth me
And als for sothe for any eloquence
I tasted never the welles of Caliope.

Yit wille I nought pray helpe of Saturnus
Of Jubiter, ne Mars or Mercury
Venus, Ceres, Phebus or Seneus
Of Pallas, ne Alecte or Megary
Of Genyus or yit Thesiphony
Of Cupido ne of Ymeneus
Mynerve, Diane, Bachus or Cerbery
Manes, Glaucus, Vulcane or Protheus.

Tho goddis olde and fals I alle refuse
And pray to God that sitte in Trynyté
My goste to guy on thaym that it nought muse
Enspirynge it in alle sufficienté
Of suche language as is necessité
This boke to ende in balade and translate
Thus newe bygunne of my symplicité
Amonges makers it be unreprobate.

For wele I wote withoute his supportacion
For to reporte alle his genology
How he descent by alkyn generacion
From Adam doun to Troiane auncetry
Goten and borne certayne in Italy
Who Grece conquerde, Guyen, Fraunce and Spayne
Makers can I none counterfete ne revy
So symple ere my spirits and my brayne.

Bot to thaym alle this boke forto corecte
Whare as thay thynke my wytte in ought hath merred
Mekely I wylle submytte now and directe
Bysekinge thaym amende whare I have erred.
Allethoughe I am unworthy be preferred
Amonges makers, yit I wolde I fayne bene one
Of thaire servants accounted and referred
Thurgh thaire mercy, that thay were noght my fone.

The genlogie fro Adam to Brutus

Bot of Adam that was firste creature
That ever had life and alther wisest man
Cam Seth his son so holy clene and pure.
And Seth for sothe Enos his son gatte than
And of Enos cam his son Caynaan
Of whom cam doun his son Malaleel
Of whom so forthe descended Jareth than
Of whom Enoch that gatte Matussaleel.

Of whom Lameke, noght he was weddid twyse
Whiche was that tyme agayn the law of man
Bot he of whom Noe cam so gude and wise
Of whom Japhet cam the whiche gatte so Javan
Of whom so doun descended Cythym than
Who Cypre gatte that Cypres first dyd name
Of whom cam Crete that the Ile of Grece bygan
And dyd it name ay forth after hym the same.

Of Crete than cam his son hight Celi
Of whom Saturne that taught men firste to bygge
Nerwhare that Rome now ys in Italy
And edyfy thaire houses into lygg
Vynes to plante the londe to tele and dygg
So with thaire swynke and bodily laboure
For than was thare nayther hen, gose, ne pygge
Ne other flesshe for thaire lyves socoure.

Of whom cam than Jubyter of Frygy
Whiche Turky hight in whiche Troy cyté
In honoure stode and in grete victory
That chief cyté was so of alle Turké.
Dardanus cam of his paternyté
His sonne he was and gretly magnifyed
That regned firste as kinge of alle Frygé
And as a god amonges thaym glorified.

Of whom cam than his son Eryctonius
Who gatte a son that Troy first edifyde
Who Troyus hight of whom came Kynge Ilus
That Ilyon made a palays of grete pryde
Whiche forpassinge other was longe and wyde
Rychely within wrought with stones precyus.
Whiche Ilus gatte Leamedon that tyde
That aftyr was kinge of Troy so gloryus.

Whom Ercules at Troys firste eversion
In bataylle slew whan Jason with his hoste
Destroyed Troy and wasted by subversioun
The rialle blode and led away with boste
In dyverse parte within the Grekesshe coste
Thaym holdynge thare in bondship and in servytude
Perpetualy to byde thare leest and moste
Thus into peyne thay felle fro altitude.
(t-note); (t-note)

what kind

learned men


(see note)
spirit; unskillful
it pleases him; provide

poems; knowledge


(see note)

(see note)


spirit; guide; become lost


poets; unreproved

know; help

all kinds

(see note)
imitate; rival
are my mental faculties

(see note)
gone astray

to be raised up
poets; desire; to be
reckoned; numbered

(see note)
of all

truly; begot

the one who

begot; (t-note)


build; dwell

is called

begot; built
was called


begot; time

destruction; (see note)

(see note)



Conceyte of the maker how Troy for litil myght hafe bene undistroyed, by whiche is to consider favoure, whare none hurte may be, whan aliens com in to a reme by distresse of tempest or wynde.








fol. 10v



Whiche sorowes so for lytille thynge dyd falle
Bycause thay lette Jason whan that he wolde
Have vytayld hym thare and his navy alle
Whom nayther for money ne for golde
Thay wolde refresshe, bot whether he wolde or nolde
Thay bad hym voyde on payne of forfeture
The londe anone, in story as it is tolde
And iff he bode upon hys aventure.

O thou gude lorde that was Leamedoun
What fortune drofe thee do thaym unkyndenesse
Whare thay to pay for it were redy boun
Considerynge how he cam in by distresse
Whiche aftyr was cause of thy hevynesse
Whan he thee slew distroynge Troys cyté
And caste doun alle thy myght and grete noblesse
Withouten hurte that saved myght have be?

Leamedon gat than Kinge Priamus
And Anchises that worthy duke and wyse.
Whiche Priamus gat Ector and Troylus
And Dephebus, Helenus, and Paryse
Whiche were alle dukes in Troy of grete empryse
Of ryalle blode and of most excellence.
And alle were slayne thurgh Fortunes excercyse
At sege of Troy knyghtly in thaire defence

Sauf Helenus and his sistir Exiona
Were holde in Grece in thraldom and servage
Unsemyngly for Priams childer and Eccuba
Whiche kinge and quene so were of heritage
And made Troy new agayn in his yonge age
Aftyr the firste sege and subversioun
And Ilion als rialle to his parage
That wasted was by that same eversioun.

The largesse of Troye cyté

So brode he made Troy and in longitude
Thre days jornays it was on horse to ryde
With walles stronge and toures grete multitude
And yates therto ful strongly fortyfyde.
Never cyté was so gretly edyfiede
Of marbre clere, fresshe of dyverse coloure
Of whiche the walles were murifyde
Two hundre cubits with many rial toure.

This longeth nought I say to my matere
It is so ferre and longe degrecioun
Wherfore fro it I wille agayn refere
To Anchises, fro whom I made egrecioun
That fadyr was by alle repetycioun
To Eneas as cronyclers expreme
Who gat Ascanyus by disposicioun
Of God above by ought that men can deme.


wished to or not

remained; chance




Except; (see note)

Unfittingly; children


marble; bright
splendid tower


begot; (t-note)

How Eneas regned in Itayly and was Kynge of Latyne and of Tuskayne by hys wife Lavynyane.







fol. 11r









fol. 11v









fol. 12r




Whiche thre cam doun playnly by discent
Of rialle blode of Troy next Priamus
And worthi dukes were in werres and excellent
Tyl Troy was take, in bokes I fynde it thus
The Grekes exilde Eneas and Ascanyus
And Anchises by se that dyd forth passe
Thurgh many stoure and tempest aventrus
Tylle in Sisilé thaire ship arryven wasse

Whare Anchises dyd dye and was dispent.
Eneas and his son toke than the se
With alle thaire shippes to Itaylle had thay ment
Bot wynde thaym drofe in Aufrike withoute lee
From whyne thay myght so nayther sayle ne fle
Bot welcome were for Duke Eneas sake
For Quene Didone hym had in specialté
And thought of hym hire husbonde forto make.

He stale fro hire and toke the see agayne
And rofe on londe whare now is Italy
In Tyber mouthe with travaylle and with payne
Whare Ostia the porte ys fynaly.
Whare hym was tolde in vision pryvaly
That he shuld helpe Kynge Evandre that reyned
In seven mountaynes whare Rome is now oonly
Whiche londe on hym he vouched sauf and deyned

For by thaire god it was so prophecyde
That he shuld have grete parte of Italy
And regne tharein of peple magnyfyde
Thurgh his wisdome and dedes of chyvalry.
Wharefore he cam to hym fulle worthyly
To do hym bothe his servyce and plesance
Bryngand a braunche of olyfe pesibly
In honde for signe of pese and concordance.

Of whom the kynge Evandre gan glorify
And of his come was wele rejoysed and gladde
For his worshyp and for his auncetry
And gaffe hym londe and reule of alle he hadde.
And for he was so exilde and bystadde
He gaffe hym thare bothe castels and rychesse
To leve upon, and rialy hym cladde
And golde ynewgh, right of his worthynesse.

This kinge Evandre made werre on Kynge Latyne
In whose socoure Turnus kinge of Tuskayne
Cam with his hoste of Tuskalayns so fyne
Agayn Evandre and faught til he was slayne.
Eneas dyd that dede and that derayne
With myghty strokes and corage chyvalrouse
Of whiche so was Evandre glad and fayne
Whan that he saw hym so victoriouse.

Bytuyx Evandre than so and Kynge Latyne
The pese he made, reste and ful concordance
And Kynge Latyns doughtir that hight Lavyne
Weddyd to wyfe by trew and gode accordance
Bytwyx thaym forthe was no more discordance.
Bot ful posseste kynge was of alle Tuscayne
Syr Eneas, and had the governance
And Lavyne quene in grete plesance certayne.

Sone after that dyed the kynge Latyne
So Eneas had bothe remes in pese
And reuled thaym by reson wele and fyne
Tyl he dyd dye withouten werre or prese
Of enmyse ought. By lawe it was no lese
So rightewysly he kepte the regymente
That fame of hym went wyde at his decese
Of honoure hiegh deserved in hys entente.

This Eneas dyd byg and edify
Within his reame a castel passynge fayre
Lavynyon by name specialy
Aftir his wife Lavyne thareof was hayre
Of whom he gat a son, bot in despayre
Therof he dyed wenynge have had son none
Who borne so was of beuté nought unfayre
Aftyr he was dede, to hayre his londes echone.

The fourth yere after that Troy was desolate
Whiche was afore that Rome was edifyde
Or had the name of Rome denomynate
Thre hundre yere and thretty specifyde
Whan Abdon was in Isrelle magnyfyde
And reuled alle thynge aftyr his jugyment
As Omer sayde and hath it notyfyde
That poete was, and wyse of sentement.

This worthy prynce Kynge Eneas mortaly
Endyd his lyfe that was of hyegh prowesse
Whare that God wylle to regne eternaly
Withyn the House of Fame, whare as I gesse
Ere knyghtes fele of grete worthyness
That more desire had ay to bere grete fame
Of doughty dedes alle of thare own prowesse
Than beste knyght be and bere therof no name.

Bot than his sonne Sylvyus Postumus
New borne was than and yonge of tendre age.
Kynge of his londes was made Ascanyus
His brothur dere that reuled his heritage
Ful pesybly kepte oute of alle servage
Twenty wynter and eght corporaly
Wythin whiche tyme he gate a sonne so sage
Hight Sylvyus and Julus nomynaly.

Whiche Sylvyus dyd gette and generate
His sonne Brutus on Creusa, Lavynes nese
Alle pryvely by hym devirgynate
And sore bisoughte with his subtilitese
And nought forthy some parte by hire pitese
That tendred hym of hire femynyté
As womanhode wolde of gode humylitese
Have reuthe on alle men in adversité.

Askanyus whan he knew that it was so
Amonge hys clerkys he dyd anone enquere
What shuld become of Brutus, welle or wo
Alle answerde hym as ye shalle after here
That he shuld sla Creusa his moder dere
His fadir als thurgh grete fortuyté
And afterwardes to grete estate affere
And reames wyn thurgh his humanyté.

So after sone the fate of dethe wolde so
That passe away shuld than Ascanyus
He gaffe his brother Silvyus Postumus tho
His heritage of richesse plentyuus
In whiche he made a cyté merveylus
On Tyber, so hight Aube and yit hatte so.
A dignyté it is to Rome famus
A cardynalle it hath ay and no mo.

Dame Creusa than that tyme lay in gisée
Afore hire tyme by right disposicioun
Of Brute hire sonne in whose natyvyté
She dyed right thurgh thayr dyvysioun.
Thus was he cause of hire occisioun
Fro his modir whan he was seperate
As clerkes seyde by thaire prevysioun
It felle right so and lyke predestinate.

His fadir than that hight Syr Sylvyus
Dyd brynge hym up as he up grew in age
In alle nurture that myght be fructuus
And vertu als semynge for his parage.
So was he grounde and taught in alle language
Within fewe yeres and in his juventude
That by the tyme he was fiftene yere age
In eloquence he had the plenytude.



battle; dangerous

exhausted by death

intended; (see note)
Africa; shelter

special favor

Tiber; difficulty



Bringing; olive


ill situated






was called


external pressure

build; construct; (see note)

begot; (see note)



(see note)


(see note)
Are; many

(see note)

niece; (see note)
fervently entreated; trickery
(see note)
grew compassionate towards


(see note)

ill chance


(see note)
called; named


preparation for delivery


(see note)

(see note)


(see note)

How lordes sonnes shuld bene lerned in tendre age, aftyr the consayte of the makere of this boke, to induce hem to take vertu and eschewe vices.







fol. 12v





And as lordes sonnes bene sette at foure yere age
To scole at lerne the doctryne of lettrur
And after at sex to have thaym in language
And sitte at mete semely in alle nurture.
At ten ande twelve to revelle is thaire cure
To daunse and synge and speke of gentelnesse.
At fourtene yere thay shalle to felde isure
At hunte the dere and catche an hardynesse


For dere to hunte and sla and se thaym blede
Ane hardyment gyffith to his corage
And also in his wytte he takyth hede
Ymagynynge to take thaym at avauntage.
At sextene yere to werray and to wage,
To juste and ryde and castels to assayle,
To scarmyse als and make sykyr scurage
And sette his wache for perile nocturnayle.


And every day his armure to assay
In fete of armes with some of his meyné
His might to preve and what that he do may
Iff that he were in suche a juparteé
Of werre byfalle that by necessité
He muste algates with wapyns hym defend.
Thus shuld he lerne in his priorité
His wapyns alle in armes to dispende.

So was Brutus after other lessons hadde
Upon a day at age of fiftene yere
Nurtured fully right faire, wyse and gladde,
Gentile and god and of right humble chere
And of his age that tyme he had no pere.
So was he sette in alle nobilité
And trew in alle by ought that couthe appere,
Stedfast also withoute mutabilité.

His fadir so for joy he of hym hadde
As Fortune wolde, executrice of weerdes
Led hym to wode apon a day fulle gladde
Of hertes and hyndes to hunte right at the heerdes.
Thay slew thaym doun with houndes and som with swerdes
With that Brutus as he an herte dyd shete
His fadyr slew as was afore his weerdes
Wharefore his herte was oute of alle quyete.

Thus were his werdes at that tyme execute
By Fortunes fals and fallible execucioun
By clerkes aforne spoken and prelocute.
How myght it be bot verry constitucioun
Of God above and by his institucioun
Whiche myght noght be in no wise dissolute
Withouten hym to whom alle retribucioun
Fully longeth and may alle retribute?


good breeding
engage in merrymaking

sally forth
To; master a fearless boldness

courage; heart

do battle; fight



in any case


(see note)


(see note)
mistress of fate


untrustworthy; (t-note)



How Brute, after the dethe of his fadir, fled fro Itaylle into Grece whare that he discomfid (defeated) the kynge and his Grekes.





Brutus seand thys fals fortunyté
The sorows grete in hym so multiplyde
That thare for shame of that fortuyté
In no wyse wolde he lengar dwelle ne byde
Bot into Grece his sorows forto hyde
He wente anone whare exils were of Troy
Of whom thay were right glad and medifyd
Thaire double sorowe he leched alle with joy.

Syr Helenus was Priams son of Troy
And Anchises an olde worthy knyght
And sex thousond that of hym had gret joy
Of gentilmen fro Troy exiled ryght
Hym thare besought with instance day and nyght
To helpe thaym oute right of thare heped sorow
In whiche thay lay opressed agayns myght
In servytute and thraldome even and morow.

For pyté of thaym he made than his avowe
What whils that he myght armes bere and ryde
He shuld never lete no Troyan to Greke bowe
Ne in servage thare langer to abyde.
For whiche he wrote his letture in that tyde
To Pandrase that the kynge was of that londe
Requyrynge hym to late thaym passe and ryde
With fredom whare thaym lyste to sytte or stonde.
wicked destiny

accident; (see note)


(see note)

evening; morning

(see note)

fol. 13r How the Grekes segid Brute, and by a wile of werre he putte the Grekes to flyght and toke the kynge.









fol. 13v



For whiche the kynge had scorne and grete derisioun
Sendinge aboute for alle his barons stoute
Tellynge thaym alle of Brutus disposicioun
How he was sette the Troyans to have oute
Of Grece alle fre, right in a rialle route
Whiche was grete harme unto his regioun
Iff thay shuld fre with myght departen oute
And to his lawe a foul abbregioun.

With that the Grekes cam on with alle thaire hoste
Thaym purposynge with Brutus forto fight.
So dyd also Brutus withouten boste
And sodenly he felle on thaym that nyght
And slew thaym doun the tyme while he had light.
The Grekes gafe bak and fled to Askalone
The kynge also thare fled at alle his myght
In whiche water ware drowned mony one.

And in that chase were take Antigonus
The kynges brothur and Syr Anacletoun
That pryvy was with Kynge Pandrasius
Whiche Brutus had and sette in his prisoun.
For whiche the kynge agayn dyd make hym boun
And sought Brutus whare he in castel lay
Makynge a dyke aboute it up and doun
So stronge he myght nought owt bot by o way.

Wherefore Brutus seynge alle this meschefe
That seged was his castel in suche wyse
He sente so than Anacletus in briefe
Unto the hoste to say thaym on this gyse
How he had stolne fro Brute Antigonyse
And in the wode hym hyd withouten fayle
From whyne withoute grete helpe he durste not ryse
And byd thaym helpe “ere eny you assayle.”

To whiche disceyte graunted Anacletus
So he alle fre delyverd myght so be
Withoute raunson fully consentynge thus
And to the Grekes he made this propre le
Ledynge thaym forthe unto the wod he se
Levynge thaire warde open withouten wache
By whiche way Brute wente forthe with his meyné
Embusshynge hym in it the Grekes to cache.

The Grekes ful glad came to that wode anone
Trustynge in alle his wordes that he were trewe
Bot Brute brake oute and slew thaym everychone
At sprynge of day whan nyght had chaunged hewe
From whyne he wente that Grekes aftir knewe
Forth whare the kinge of Grece in tente dyd lye
Undiskevred with alle his Troians newe
So had he slayne thaire scurage sutylye.

And toke the kynge and slew his men right faste
So that thay fled forbeten on every syde
And some were drownde ere thay the water paste
Som in tentes slayne, som fled and wold not byde
And Troians ever after thaym chace and ryde
And wan the feeld with honoure and victory
Rejoysed gretly of alle thaire dedes that tyde
As wryten is and put in memory.


turned and ran

ready; (see note)

one way




until he saw the forest
gate; guard


scouts skillfully

severely beaten

How Brute wedde the kynges doughter of Grece and came to Leogice with his flete whare Diane sayde he shuld have Albion.






fol. 14r









fol. 14v


Brutus thynkynge no langar thare abyde
So that he myght have Innogene to wyfe
And shippes ynew fulle vytailde in to ryde
By se to seke hym londe upon to thryfe
His purpose was with Troians to arrife
Thaym forto holde in alle fulle liberté
As natife byrthe of his prerogatife
Had ordaynde thaym of olde antiquité.

The kynge he sette in alle fulle liberté
Anacletus also and Antigone
And lordes alle with alle tranquylité
With thy he myght alle fre with Troyans gone
Saufly to passe oute of the londe anone
With alle suche thynge as longe to thaire dispense
To whiche the kynge with gode wille graunte anone
Sendynge for shippes that were of grete defence

Thre hundreth shyppes wel stuffed of vytaylle
With alle tresoure and golde grete quantyté
And riche aray for thaire two apparaylle
Accordant wele unto thaire parenté
And armours als in oportunyté
Thaym to socoure from alkyns violence
And wedded thaym with grete felycyté
And gaffe thaym gyftes of his magnyficence.

So saylynge forthe by two days and two nyghtes
With sex thousand of Troyans in his flete
Right welle arayed for werre on alkyn rightes
His wyfe swownynge he comforte and rehet
Hyre kyssynge ofte with wordes kynde and swete
Tyl at the laste in Leogice thay cam
An ile it was forwasted and forlete
By outlawde men that it conquerde and nam.

So on thrid day thare in a cyté fayre
Alle waste, no man ne woman dyd thay se
Bot o goddesse to whom right grete repayre
Of olde had bene and of priorité
Dyane she hight and couth of destené
And telle the werdes of men what shulde byfalle.
Bothe hert and hynde grete sufficienté
Within that ile were spred and sene overalle.

His men thaym slew and to the shippes dyd lede
For thaire vitayle and for thaire sustynance
To leve upon if that thay stode in nede.
But Brutus went Dyane to do plesance
Made his prayers to hyre with exspectaunce
Offrynge bothe blude and mylke of a white hynde
And wyne also for his observaunce
Whiche was the use of Troyans as I fynde.

He lay alle nyght upon a hynde skyn white
Bysekynge hire to lete hym wytte what place
He shuld byde in with his Troyans grete and lyte
And slepynge so Dyane hym shewed hire grace
And sayde “Byyonde alle Gaule a se grete space
Ane ile thou shalt fynde gode and fructuouse
Toward the weste which se doth alle enbrace
That geants now holden ful maliciouse

“That londe shalbe to thee and thy posterité
Evermore lastynge whare thou shalt edyfy
New Troy forsoth with grete felicité
A cyté grete thy name to magnify.
Thou and thyne heyres thare shalle so multiply
That alle the worlde shalle drede and doute youre name
So shalle ye growe in welthe and vyctory
That over alle londes wyde whare shalle sprede youre fame.”

And whan he woke of slepe he tolde his dreme
Unto his men for whiche thay were ful fayne
That thay shuld wyn and have so gude a reme
Unto thaire shippis thay went ful faste agayne
Saylynge so forthe by se in storme and payne.
In thretty days into Aufrike thay cam
And so forthe sayled towardes the se of Spayne
And richesse grete he gette aywhare and nam.

So saylynge by the Columpnes of Ercules
That men do calle in oure Englisshe language
Ercules Pylers of Bras it is no les
Who wan alle theder and had therof truage
And sette thaym so to stonde by that ryvag
In signe that he was thedir conqueroure
And wan it alle only of his corage
Evermore to dure in signe of his honoure.

aplenty stocked; travel

(royal) prerogative

these [men]

(see note)

provisioned with



(see note)

in all manner
comforted; cheered; (see note)


one; dwelling place

(see note)

(see note)






everywhere; seized

(see note)



How Brute bylaste (bound) Coryneus to ben with hym, and how thay faughte with Kynge Goffore of Aquytayne and discomfyd.








fol. 15r




Fro thens thay came in tille the se of Spayne
Whare that thay founde Troianes of thare lynage
That fled fro Troy with sorow grete and payne
Whan Troy was loste that was thaire heritage
Whiche wan by se thare lifelode thurgh outrage
Robbynge also and takyng what thay fonde
Of grete rychesse thay made alle thayre lastage
Thare shippes so to charge thay toke on honde.

Coryneus than hight thaire capitayne
A mykylle man and thereto ful of myghte
A geant like of Brute he was ful fayne
Bycause thay were of Troy and Troyans hight.
Wherfore with Brute he dyd passe forth ful right
Bycam his men he and his company
Whare so he wolde in any place to fight
Sayand it was thayre werdes of desteny.

Thay sayled so forthe by se to Aquitayne
That Guyen now is, whare thay rofe to londe
And thare thay slew of whiche thay were ful fayne
Both buk and do, bothe herte and hynde thay fande
Of no wight had thay leve ne yit warrande.
Wharfore Goffore and alle his meyny felle
That thare was kynge faught with thaym hande by hande
So at that tyme Coryneus bare the belle
Discomfyte thaym thai durste not byde ne stande.

With that Goffore wente into Gaule agaste
That now is Fraunce and so denomynate
Prayande ful fayre the Dusze Piers right faste
To socoure hym that was extermynate
And putte out of his londe and superate
With enmyse felle and of grete multitude
As he that oon of thaym was ordynate
To reule the londe oute of alle servitude.

In this mene tyme whils he gatte his socoure
For Turnus sake that was his cosyn dere
Was slayn so thare, Brutus dyd make a toure
Whiche yit thys day hatte Toures who wille enquere
For cause Turnus was layde thare in his bere
And byried thare for whose rememorance
Aftir his name Turnus as myght affere
Brutus so made in signe and conyshance.

That castelle made and fully edifyde
The Dusze Piers alle with thare power rialle
Faught with Brutus and Coryneus defyde.
Yit never the les the Dusze Piers had a falle
The Troyans dyd that tyme so welle over alle
And so dyd Brute and als Coryneus.
Gret multitude of thaym that were of Galle
Was slayne and fled — Ovyde hath wryten thus.

At Toures thay helde after that gret bataylle
Thaire counselle wyse to se what governance
Were to thaym beste and moste myght thaym avaylle
And to thaym als that myght be leste hyndrance.
In whiche by oon assent and concordance
Thay toke to rede whare that thay were assigned
By the goddesse to passe with alle plesance
Lesse she be wrothe thurgh which it be repigned



was called

(see note)

Guyenne; landed

fierce band

won the field

Entreating; Twelve Peers; (see note)
driven out


is called

be suitable


(see note)


angry; denied

How Brute londed at Tottenes and conquerde Albyon upon the geantes.

Nota how Brutus entred at Totnesse in Grete Bretayne in the armes of Troye as heire to Eneas; he bare of goules (red) two lyouns golde rawmpants, a contrarie (opposite each other), also he bare a banere of vert (green) a Diane of golde dischevely (with hair hanging loose) corouned and enthronysed, that were Eneas armes whan he entryed the reme of Latyne that now is Romanye, as it is specifyed in the cronycles of Romanye, as Giraldus Cambrensis wryteth in his Topographie of Brutes armes of Troye aforsayde, and as Trogus Pompeyus wryteth in his book of al storyes touchant (concerning) the forsaide armes of Eneas. (see note)






fol. 15v


Wharefore thay wente anone to shyp and sayle
Restynge no thynge tille that thay were anente
The coste thay sought, and myght nought of it faile.
Enhabite so with geants of defence
Albyon it hight by alkyns evydence
As ye have herde in this before expreste
Whiche by malyce and grete malyvolence
The poraylle ever devourde sore and oppreste

At Totteneys so this Brutus dyd arrive
Coryneus als and alle thayre company
Whiche name no wight that tyme that bare the lyve
Couthe telle of it or say specialy.
Bot alle this londe that tyme hight certanly
Albyon as ye have herde afore
Only protecte and kepte by tyrany
Of geants whiche mysgoten were and bore.

Into this londe he came so fortunate
A thousond fulle right and two hundre yere
Afore Cryste was of Mary incarnate
In whiche he thought to make his dwellynge here
By alle wrytyngs that I can ought enquere.
Thus Brutus wan thys londe and it conquerde
And slew alle way whare as thay durste appere
The geants alle that were of hym ful ferde.

So felle it than a geant of grete myght
That Gogmagog was callyd by his name
With other geants right grete and longe of highte
Nynetene thay were that with hym came fro hame
Assaylynge sore the Troyans with grete grame
Whan thay were beste at ese and gode quyete
Affrayand thaym of whiche thay felte no game
With strokes stronge at mete thay dyd rehete.


warlike giants
was called; every kind of

(see note)

was alive

misbegotten; born

(see note)

(see note)




How Brute slew alle the geantes excepte Gogmagog that wrastylde with Coryneus







fol. 16r






Bot aftyr thys Brutus with his Troyans
Sought tho geants that hiegh upon the hilles
Were dwellynge than sothely for the nanes
For drede of Brute, for thay knew noght his wylles.
He slew thaym doun with axe swerde and bylles
And made of thaym a felle occisioun
And lefte bot oon levynge than by his willes
Was Gogmagog by his previsioun

Who sesed was for alle his resistence
To wrastille with the duke Coryneus
That Brute myght se who was of moste defence
And strongar als in case aventerus.
Twelf cubit longe he was I say you thus
Bothe royde and brode and uggly forto se.
On the se banke thay mette afore Brutus
Whare thaire wrastlynge was ordeynde forto be.

This Gogmagog so thraste Coryneus
That ribbes thre he brake than in his syde
Bot than for shame he luked on Brutus
And thought he wold revengen hym that tyde.
With that he stode and sette his legges wyde
And gatte hym up bytwene his armes faste
And to the roche hym bare that was besyde
And with alle myght he had thare doun hym caste.

And yit this day alle men that place do calle
In oure language for his derisioun
The saute I say of Gogmagoges falle
In remembrance of his occisioun.
Thus was thare made a faire divisioun.
Gladnesse to Brute it was and acceptable
That thay departe so by previsioun
In alle thaire play that was so jocundable.

Brute Kynge of Bretayne inhabyte it and called it Bretayne and his men named Bretons

Thus Brutus than was kynge in regalté
And after his name he called this londe Bretayne
And alle his men by that same egalté
He called Bretouns of Brutus noght to layne.
So were thay alle of that name glad and fayne.
Than rode he forthe departynge as he wolde
Thurghoute the reme the londe to yonge and olde

Rewardynge ever his men so juste and trewe
In dyverse londes that with hym had grete payne.
Gafe thaym londes upon to dygge and plewe
Of whiche for sothe thay were right glad and fayne.
And to Coryneus he gafe the sothe to sayne
The londe that nowe is called so Cornewayle
Coryneus named withouten fayle.

So was the name right of Albyon
Alle sette besyde in kalendes of a chaunge
And putte away with grete confusion
And Bretayne hight it than by new eschaunge
Right after Brute that slew thise geants straunge
And wan this londe by his magnificence
In whiche he dwelte longe tyme in excellence.


truly at that moment
fierce slaughter

most skillful in fighting





battle place (assault); leap

parted company; providence
fight; pleasurable

in truth


(see note)



as the beginning; (see note)

How the maker of this sayth his conceyte of evyl levynge and wrongful governance of peple, as of thise geants that cursidly were goten and wrongfully and tirantly levyd for the whiche God sette Brute to distroye thaym as Salamon sayth: “In malicia sua expelletur impius et adversio parvulorum enim interficiet et prosperitas stultorum perdet eos.”4 (t-note)





fol. 16v


O ye yonge fresshe and lusty creatures
In whiche the pride upgroweth with youre age
Take hede of thise unsely aventures
Of thise ladise and of alle thaire lynage
And thynke on God that after his ymage
Yow made and thynke this world shalle passe away
As sone as done the floures fresshe and gay.


Suche fyne lo hath Dame Albyne and hir sisters
That groundyd were to sla thaire husbondes alle
Suche fyne lo hath thaire cursed werkes and mysters
Suche fyne lo hath upon thaire isshue falle
Such fyne lo hath thaire generacion alle
That bene dystroyde so sone and slayne away
For pryde and synne and for thaire fals array.


Thus after pryde thare commeth alleway grete shame
And after synne so commeth grete vengeance
Aftyr wyke lyfe commeth a wykyd name
And after wronge lawes come shorte perseveraunce
After olde synnes come new shames and meschaunce.
Thus may ye se right by the ende and fate
Thare cometh no gode of lyfe inordynate.

Of this matere now ys sufficienté
Reported here through my symplicyté
That lytille have of konnynge or sapience
To ende this boke of my synglarité
So farre passith it myne abilité
But thus of Brute I wylle now forth procede
As lyketh God with language me to fede.
(see note)


end; (see note)




[it] pleases; provide

How Kynge Brute bygged (established) Trynovant that now is Londoun and made Troian law in Bretayn.








fol. 17r






Thus Kynge Brutus of whom I spake afore
Fully provysed in wytte and sapience
His reame thurghoute in contrese lesse and more
Departed so that by his diligence
Eche shire was know from other by difference
And every town also thurgh alle Bretayne
Whiche Englond now Wales and Scotlond ere certayne.

Whiche with the se ere closed alle aboute
And Albyon was called so afore
In whiche he made his rytes and lawes thurghoute
Grounded after lawe Troyane lesse and more
Of whiche he was descended doun and bore.
The pese he made saufly to go and ryde
And thurgh the londe the townes edifyde.

He made men tele the londe and sawe with sede
Of cornes whiche that myght be gette ourewhare
Controvynge so with hosbondry to brede
And brynge forthe corne whare before none ware
The feldes that were barayne and alle bare
With muk he dyd becomposte and bespred
Thurgh whiche the londe with corne ynewth was bred.

He sought a place thurghoute his regioun
Whare he myght have a wonnynge delytable
Of alle dysporte and for dygestyoun
And for his helthe were moste comfortable
Moste plentyuouse and als moste profytable
Thare to abyde and have his habitacioun
Right after his own hertes delectacioun.

So came he by a ryver fresshe and fayre
Rennynge his course ay fresshe unto the se
On whiche he chese to bygge and to repayre
For love of Troy was his priorité
A cyté fayre and of grete dygnyté
Above alle othyr to ben incomperable
Within Brytayne and als moste profytable.

Thamyse he gafe that ryver so to name
On his language hym liked to do so
On whiche he sette his cyté of grete fame
Of Novel Troy to kepe in wele and wo
In remembrance of Troy his kyn cam fro.
Som say to name he gaffe it Trynovaunt
Of his language natyfe so consonaunt

Bot Troynovant som boke sayth so it hight
Of Troyane speche to sounde it oute alle playne
Whiche language yit the Turkes speke ful right
Alle Turky thurgh of modre tonge certayne.
For Troy ys yit in Turky sothe to sayne
Thof it be waste yit ys the grounde thare stille
The language als upholde that longe there tylle.

So thynke me wele it shuld hight Troynovaunte
Or els I say that Trynovaunt itte hight
Of Troys language as Turkes yit use and haunte
Rather than to calle it Novel Troy by right.
That Frenshe language was nought to thaym so light
Whare Brute and his no tendyrnesse couthe fynde
Bot emnyté, grete bataylle, and unkynde.

Whan Brute his werke had made and brought til ende
Of Troynovant that now ys London named
He led his lyfe, his reame to kepe and mende
In every londe his name so wele was famed.
Of pese and reste alle wykednesse he blamed
Levynge so forthe in myrth and rialté
With Innogen his wyfe ful of beuté.
(see note); (t-note)

(see note)


till; sow
grain; everywhere
Devising; cultivation




(see note)

New Troy

remains; pertains

be called


comprehensible; (see note)


Nota quod quidam Hely iudicavit in Iudea; Silvyus Postumus filius Enee et Lavyne regnavit in Ytalia, et Brutus filius Silvii Iuli in Britania nunc Anglia regnavit.5 (t-note)




fol. 17v

That tyme Hely so regned in Judé
The Arke of God eke take by Philistiens
Than regned als in Troy of novelté
The sonne of Ector with helpe of Trogyens
And put away Anthenores Posterieus
And Sylvius as Gildas seyth in story.
Eneas sonne regned in Italy

Grete justes he helde with grete felicyté
In gyftes also he was right liberalle
Glad and mery festes with grete solempnyté
He made fulle ofte to his peple and lordes alle
Huntynge hawkynge and revelynge in halle
And by his wyfe he gat so sonnes thre
Benygne of porte and godely onto se.

And at his ende he made by his previsioun
Of alle Bretayne certayne until the se
After his decese a playne dyvysioun
To bene departe amonge his sonnes thre
The quene hire thrid of ful sufficienté
That worthy was of alkyn womanhede
In so ferre forthe she passed other and excede.
Eli; Judea; (see note)

(i.e., Brutus)


(see note)


But Giraldus Cambrensis sayth in his Topographie of Wales and Cornwail that he regned in Bretayne lx yere, that is more lyke to bene for he might have made Londoun in xxiiii yere, as it is specifyed in this balade. (see note)








fol. 18r

Whan he had so in fulle prosperité
Fully regned by foure and twenty yere
In his cyté of Troynovant dyd de
And byried thare with alle that myght affere
To suche a prynce who that tyme had no pere
That knowen was in any reame aboute
So was he dred that every londe hym doute.

And in the yere afore the incarnacioun
A thousond hole eght score and sextene
Aproved welle by calculacioun
Amonges these clerkes as wele it may ben sene
Whan deth his soule refte fro his body clene
And led away withoute impedyment
Whare God ordeyned right by his jugyment

In the temple that tyme of Appolyne
Whiche now ys Paules in vulgar tunge so hight
Before Diane that was his goddes fyne
Whiche thare he made in name of Dyane right
In Leogyce that Albyon hym hight
He byred was and layde in sepulture
In rialle wyse as come hym of nature.

Lamentacioun of the makere why God suffred so rightwis a prynce to bene dampned

O gude lorde God what dole it ys to here
Of suche a prynce so rialle and benygne
Ful of vertu by sight as dyd appere
Nothynge wyllynge to mysdone ne maligne
Why was so gode a person and so dygne
In godenesse sette and alle humylité
To dye and noght his soule to saved be?

Bot thus thou myght whan that thou heried helle
Knowynge his trouthe and rightwis governaunce
Of thy mercy from peyne perpetuelle
His soule within some restfulle place avaunce
Consideringe welle unto the olde creaunce
Whiche only was that in grete God above
How myght thou Lorde foryette that hym dyd love?

.ii. capitulum of Kynge Locryne and hys two brether




St. Paul’s


was becoming

grief; (see note)





Nota for homage of Scotlond. How Kynge Brute devydyd Bretayne in thre remes: Logres, Cambre and Albany.




Of Brutus sonnes now wille I thus bygynne
Locryne than hight the eldest sonne of alle
Whiche Loegres had that Englond is with wynne
Unto his parte men did it Loegres calle
The beste it was also moste pryncipalle.
Locryne Loegres dyd calle after his name
Whiche was that tyme as yit ys of grete fame.

Kynge Camber

The seconde sonne Syr Camber so he hight
Who Camber had that cald is now Wales
So after his name it hight Camber right
And now in Frensshe so is it calde Gales.
Ful ofte it hath sen that tyme done us bales
For servyce dew we claymed of it to have
Whiche ys now sure us nede no more to crave.

Kynge Albanacte

Syr Albanacte the thrid sonne than so hight
Had to his parte the londe of Albanye
After his name so cald he it be right
Whiche Scotlond now ys named sertanly
The whiche he helde of Locryne soveraynly
As Camber dyd than for his parte the same
Yit sen that tyme for it hath risen grame.
(see note); (t-note)

was called

since; tribulations

Nota how Kynge Locryne had the sovereynté and servyce of Camber and Albanacte for thaire londes that now ere called Wales and Scotland.





fol. 18v





Thus Locryne had, as come hym welle of right
Of Troyans lawe of grete antiquyté
In Troy so made whan thay were in thaire myght
The eldest sonne shuld have the soveraynté
His brether alle of his pryorité
Shuld hold thaire londe withouten variance
So was that tyme thaire lawe and ordynance.


And alle resorte so shuld ever apperteyne
To the elder by superyoryté
If the yongar non issu have to reyne
The elder shuld by alle priorité
Have alle his parte to his posteriorité.
Thus Brute by lawe of Troy and consuetude
Thurgh Bretayne made the same by rectitude.


At Mewytryne some tyme a place of fame
In Bretons tyme in whiche was oon Mewyne
So wyse poete that tyme was non of name
That florisht so ful longe afore Merlyne
Who in his boke so wrote for dissiplyne
The lawes of Troy to this day unreversed
Amonges the whiche is that I have rehersed


How Brutus made in Bretayne Troyans lawe
Thaire sacrifyce, thayre customes and thayre rytes
And in his boke he sette thaym hye and lawe
Whiche tretise so was called Infynytes
Evermore to dure and byde as fulle perfytes
As poyntes whiche longe to the monarchy
Of Bretayne so and to his successory.

Bot as these brether sette beste in pese and reste
Thaire servyce done that dewe was of thayre londe
The kynge Humber of Hunneslonde fulle preste
Wyth shyppes arrofe whare now ys Humbre sonde
In Albany was than I undyrstonde
With whom the kynge was than of Albany
Syr Albanacte dyd fyghten manfully.

In whiche bataylle was Albanactus slayne
His men that fled, fro he was dede away,
To Locryne came thare sores to complayne
Tellynge hym of Humbre and his aray
And prayd hym fayre to helpe iff that he may
Thayre londe to voyde of ennemyse and to clenge
His brothyr dethe also for to revenge.




(see note)

landed; water

(see note)


How aftir the decese of Albanacte, Kynge Locrine dyd seyse Albany in his honde by eschete (escheat) and resort (right) as soverayne lord and hayre. (see note)





fol. 19r









fol. 19v


The kynge Locryne to Cambre than forthe sente
His lettres sone, fulle wofully endyte
Hym chargynge sore with alle his hole entente
To come anone his brothyr deth to quyte.
Who come anone and taryde bot a lyte
With bothe thayre hostes with Humbre forto fyght
Besyde a water agayne hym dyd thay lyght.

And wyth hym faught amoved in thare herte
For thayr brothyr dethe whiche sette thaym wondir sore
Thay slew thaym sore with strokes grete and smerte.
Bot Humber fled in that ryver therefore
Whare he was draynte, that sene he was no more,
For whiche Locryne so dyd that ryver calle
Humbre of hym that dyd so in it falle.

Wythin tho shyppes Locryne had mekyl gode
That made hym stronge so forth of alle rychesse.
His brother als thaire men that with thaym stode
In bataylle sore bysette in grete dystresse
He delte it welle and with grete bysynesse
Amonge thaym alle as ferre as myght sustene
Thayre pore estates to menden and to meyntene.

Whan seysed he Albany sothe to sayne
Into his honde to byde for evermore
As itte that owe of right resorte agayne
To hym that was sovereyne eldeste bore
Who kepte itte wele fro ennemyse and alle sore
As longe as he dyd leve and bare the crowne
His men thay were and at his byddynge bowne.

Bot in tho shippes thre maydens there he fonde
Of beuté faire and of gode auncetry
Of whiche oon was on whom his love he bonde
The doughter of a kynge of Germany
Estrilde that hight wham he thought womanly
And for his wyfe hire helde at his plesaunce
The whiche he thought to wed by ordynaunce.

Coryneus than for that with hym was wrothe
And to hym sayde “Why art thou so untrewe
My doughter so to falsen and to lothe
Thy wyfe shulde ben if that thou were ought trewe
For whiche I shalle thy bales bake and brewe.
Bot thou hire wed I shalle now be thy dethe
Testment othur shalt thou never make ne quethe.”6

Wyth that for fere and som dele by avyse
Of alle his lordes that were to it acorde
He wed his doughter that was bothe gode and wyse
Anone forthwith by trety and concorde.
Bot ever he thought Estrilde shuld bene restorde.
Bot with his wyfe that hight Quene Guendolyne
A son he gatte by wedlayke and right lyne.

Whiche Maddan hight right by his propre name
And in mene while this Estrylde was with childe
Kepte undir erthe for drede of speche and blame
And whan he wold ought gon to this Estrilde
He sayd his wyfe with tonge as he couth fylde
He yede sogates to do his sacryfise
Unto his god in his moste pryvy wyse.

And undyr this this lady Dame Estrylde
So kepte in mewe with alle grete pryvyté
Whan tyme so cam delyverd was of chylde.
A doughter it was of ful femynyté
Of womanhede and alle abilité
Whiche Sabren hight as cronycles done recorde,
I can se non that fro itte dothe discorde.

Coryneus as whan the day of deth
Was come hym to and nedes muste he de
Passed so forthe to Jubyter bequethe
His woful goste to sitte with hym and be
Perpetualy so undur his deyté.
Than Guendolene Maddan sente to Cornewayle
Thare to be kepte within hire londe and baylé.










partly; judgment



deceive; (t-note)
in this way

kept concealed; secrecy




.iii. capitulum of the Quene Guendelyne that regned aftyr Locryne








fol. 20r










fol. 20v







After the deth of Coryneus so
Locryne toke Dame Estrilde and hire wedde
And put away the quene with mekyl wo.
And she anone so in tille Cornewayle fledde
And raysed thare the power that she hedde
And in the felde she faught with Kyng Locryne
Whare he was slayne: he had none other fyne.

Anone she toke that lady Dame Estrilde
And Sabren als hire doughter fayre and dere
And drowned thaym bothe two, hire and hire childe,
In a ryver grete rennynge faire and clere
Whiche Severne now is cald ferre and nere.
For Sabren sake she dyd it so forth calle
After hire name and quene she was overalle.


For ten yere than had regnyd Kynge Locryne
And fiftene yere after she regned quene
And had the reule and governd wele and fyne.
Than Maddan so that was hire sonne I mene
She made than kynge and crouned hym I wene
And to Cornewayle she went agayn so este
To kepe that londe the whiche hire fadyr lefte.


This tyme than was the prophete Samuel
Of grete wysdome and of high sapience
Governynge than the childer of Israelle
From alkyns evel thurgh his intelligence
That was so wyse in al experience
To lerne the folke to love God over alle thynge
Thus dyd he longe afore his laste endynge.


And Sylvyus the son of Eneas
Yit regnyng than and kynge in Italy
Of Tuskayne hole and of Latyne so was
By heritage and right of auncetry
As Omer sayth that florissht in poetry
In rethoryke forpassyng other famouse
That philosofre was clere and curiouse.

.iiii. capitulum of the Kynge Maddan

Nota of gude reule in this kynges tyme and therfor he regned .xl. yeres

This Maddan so was kynge of Loegres than
And also of the londe of Albany
Ful fourty yere he regned as a man
And kepte his landes in pese fro tyrany.
In wisdome was he grete to magnyfy,
Manly and wise, of knyghthode corageouse,
Hardy and stronge like to Coryneus.

In pese he was his tyme and so he ende
Bot sonnes two he gat right of his wyfe,
Manlyn also and Membrice, to defende
His remes bothe from alkyn werre and strife
And dyed so and byried by his wife
With grete praysynge and ful comendacioun
Of alle his reames thurgh his dominacioun.

Fulle of vertu he regned fourty yere
That no man durste his neyghbur oughte displese
So wele the lawe he kepte while he myght stere
That every wight was glad hym forto plese
And every man eche othur for to ese
So dred thay hym alle for his rightwysnesse
Kepynge his lawe and pese in sykyrnesse.

.v. capitulum of the Kynge Manlyn and Membrice

Manlyn his sonne whiche of priorité
Have regned shuld and fully have bene crounde
With treson fals and grete iniquyté
By his brother Membrice falsly founde
A day was sette to se who shuld that stounde
Bene kynge and regne in pese by ful concorde
To cese alle strife amonge thaym and discorde.

Upon whiche day Membrice his brothyr wounde
And slew hym thare by his imagynacioun
For he wold regne oonly and be crounde
And upon that he made his coronacioun
Thurgh falshode foule and hiegh conspiracioun.
Kynge was he made and had the londes two
And led thaym so in wykednesse and wo.

Kynge Membrice

Membrice this kynge distroyed his men thurghoute
Thaire londes, thaire godes or els thaire life sertayne
He toke fro thaym and held thaym ever in doute
So wyk he was and fulle of grete dedayne.
His comons sore dyd vexen and distrayne
To plese and pay in alle that he wold have
Or dye he shule foule deth so God me save.

His wedded wife he dyd falsly forsake
Hauntynge the synne so foule of sodomyte
With bestes ofte instede right of his make
To thaym he had suche luste and appetyte
And of his wife havynge right no delyte
Bot hire avoyde out of his companye
Withouten cause bot of his trechary.

How this cursed kynge was dede thurgh vengens

Whan he had so fulle regned twenty yere
As God wold he shuld have he had deserved
To wod he went folowynge upon a dere
Right by hym oon with wolfes feel overswerved
He was anone thare slayne and alle forterved
That lym fro lym was fro hym draw and rente
He myght never have gode ende that falsly mente.

He had a sonne, Syr Ebrauke was his name,
To have hys reames aftyr his cursed ende.
Thus was Membryce than dede and made fulle tame
His body eten with wolfes and alle torende
Whose soule Mynerve with bales al tobrende.
And in his tyme Saul regned in Judea
Eristens in Lacedemonya.

.vi. capitulum of the Kynge Ebrauke

Ebrauke his sonne crowned so was anone
Whiche made grete shippes upon the se to saile
With helde his knyghtes with hym so forth to gone
And als his men than waged of Cornewayle
And into Gaule he sayled withouten fayle
In whiche he wan richesse innumerable
To holde estate rialle and honorable.

And twenty wyfes had, as cronycle sayth,
And alle wedded by maner as was than
Trouthed fully right with his honde and fayth
With other rytes the whiche that I ne kan
At this tyme telle, ne say unto no man,
Bot twenty sonnes had by generacioun
Thretty doughters als by alle relacioun.





Tuscany; Rome

Homer; who was famous


(see note)
; (t-note)







wicked; arrogance

Practicing; sodomy


alone; savage overcome
thrown down
limb; torn

torn apart
Minerva; torments; burned

Lacedaemon (Sparta)

(see note)
; (t-note)


How Ebrauke (York), Maiden Castel, Mounte Dolorous and Alclude this Kinge Ebrauke did make.


fol. 21r






A cyté than he made that hight Ebrauke
After his name whiche now that Yorke so highte.
A castelle stronge sette on the north se banke
Whiche he dyd calle Mounte Dolorouse so wighte
That now Bamburgh ys castelle of grete myght
In which there ys a toure hatte Dolorouse Garde
Bot by what cause I can nought wele awarde.

Bot thus I have in olde bokes red and sene
That Ebrauke whan he was put to the flight
For his socoure than thydyr came I mene.
By other bokes I have eke sene be sight
For Launcelot love a lady dyed fulle bright
Whiche in a bote enchaunted for the nones
Arofe up thare: so named he tho wones.

And in the londe for sothe of Albany
The Mayden Castelle strongly than dyd he make
Callynge it so on his language forthy
That he had thare his luste with maydens take
In yowth whan that hym lyste with thaym to wake
Whiche now so hatte Edynburgh ryghte by name.
Alle Scotlond thurgh it hath now alle the fame.

High on the Mounte Agneth so was it sette
A castelle stronge and of grete altitude
To whiche thare were thre score maydens sette
By a geant for his solycitude
Agayn thaire wille for thaire grete pulcritude
And bewté als that hym liste with thaym play
Whom for thaire sake Syr Ewayn slew men say.

And thaym he dyd delyver of that servage
And put that place so fulle in obeyssance
Of Kynge Arthure, it was his heritage
As sovereyn lorde. And so for that myschaunce,
That maydens were there kepte to ther grevaunce,
So was it calde Mayden Castelle aftirwarde
Many a day ful longe by that awarde.
was called
is called
(see note)


Arrived; dwellings

(see note)

special attention
it pleased him


wrongdoing; (t-note)

Nota quod Policronica dicit Alclude esse iuxta Caerleyle prope Sulwath tunc in Albania et nunc in Anglia, vastata per Danos ita quod nichil inde videtur hiis diebus sed omnis apud omnes incognita. Tamen Scoti dicent Alclude esse illam villam quae nunc vocatur Dunbretayne.7 (see note); (t-note)


The cyté als he made than of Alclude
Whiche bare that tyme the fame of Albany.
A castelle by was of grete fortitude
Whiche Dunbretayne now hight ful notably
Whare Seynt Patrike bycame man natifly
For whiche in itte never seth was sene vermyn
Ne yit non horse that ought myght donge therein.
(see note)

is called
void excrement

Nota how Ebrauk maryed alle his daughters in Itaylle and alle his sonnes saufe his hayre he sent in Germany (t-note)


fol. 21v









fol. 22r









fol. 22v









fol. 23r






He sent his doughters so unto Italy
Thare to be wedde to lordes of Troyans kynde
At grete requeste of Brutus cosyn Silvy
Who kynge was than of Latyn as I fynde.
For ladise thare had neyther wylle ne mynde
To Troyans blode be wed ne yit maryde
So lothe thay were with thaym to ben allyde.

Whare thay were wed echon to thaire degré
To Trojans grete and of the beste estate
Thurgh Kynge Sylvy of whose consanguynyté
Thay were echone descende and generate.
And alle his sonnes that were so procreate
To Germany he send thaym forth anone
Savande only his eldeste sonne alone.

Nota how wisely this gode Kynge Ebrauke reuled his londe

Thus was his wytte and als his policy
That thay shuld wyn in other cuntré lande
To leve upon oute of alle mysery
With navy grete by se and eke by sande
For he nolde payre ne harme no lorde he fande
For love of thaym, ne in no wyse wold spille
So was he trew his lordes alle to stylle.

Undyr the reule and by the regyment
Of thaire brother that hight Syr Assarak
Alle Germany thay had at thaire entente
And lordes were thare ay forth withouten lak.
Thus were thay lordes and holpen alle the pak
Outwarde fro home by wytte and governaunce
Tylle his barons and reme fulle grete plesaunce.

Than Kynge Davyd so regned in Judé
Undyr whom than prophecyed in Israelle
Gad, Nathan and Asaph of the deyté.
And Sylvyus also regned fulle welle
In Italy as dyverse cronycles telle
Who was the sonne right of Kynge Eneas
That Brutus cosyn and nere of blode than was.

And sexty yere Kynge Ebrauc bare the croune
Regnynge fully with alle prosperyté
With honoures high and myghty of renoune
Redouted bothe in age and juventé
Of alle ennemyse for his humanyté
And at Ebrauke was made his byrialle
Whiche was so than his cyté pryncipalle.

.vii. capitulum of the Kynge Brute Grenesheelde


Hys sonne Brutus Grenesheeld by name so hight
Bothe gode and trew and esy of alle porte
Wyse and manly and feyre to alle mennys sight.
In alle desese he wold his men comforte
To ryde his londe thurghout was his dysporte
Alle wronge to mende and fully to redresse
Thus was his life as bokes done expresse.

He regned fulle in pese and reste twelve yere
And dyed than and by his fadyr syde
Beryed was right as I can enquere
With grete honoure aboute hym in that tyde.
Of alle Bretayne the barons dyd hym guyde
Tylle tyme he was layd in his sepulture
As Gyldas sayth for sothe in his scripture.

.viii. capitulum of Kynge Leyle

So Leyl his sonne was kynge than after so
That made anents the londe of Albany
A cyté fayre whiche that Caerleyl highte tho
That now Carlele men callen fynaly.
In whose tyme so regned than corporaly
Kynge Salomon so wyse in alle Judé
Begynnynge thurgh his noble dygnyté

To bygge and make the temple of Jerusaleme
And Saba quene that same tyme came to here
His hiegh wysdome spoken of mony reme.
And in the tyme of Leyl were prophetes sere
Prechynge of God the peple forto lere
Amos, Aggeos, Joel, Azarias also
With othur als bot I canne telle no mo.

He in his tyme held welle the londe in pese
Bot in his age it was sette alle on stryve.
Whan he had bene so kynge withouten lese
And regned had fulle twenty yere and fyve
The deth his goste oute of his corse gan dryve
And unbody so fro his erthely place
That tylle another he yede withouten grace.

.ix. capitulum of the Kynge Rudhudibrace

At his cyté of Caerleyl there he lythe
Buryed right fayre and of grete honesté.
That he was gone the barons alle were blythe.
Hys son anone of grete nobilité
So regned than with alle habilité
Rudhudibrace by propre name that hyghte
His barons alle he sette in pese fulle ryghte.

Caerkent he made that now ys Cauntyrbyry
Caergwent also that now hatte Wynchestre
Caerpaladoure whiche hatte Shafftesbyry
He made amonge his werkes terrestre
Whare that tyme sette an egle on the cestre
Whiche in Englisshe we calle a castelle right
And spake bot what I saw it never in sight.

So regned he oute thretty yere and nyne
And buried is besyde his fadir Leyle.
In whose tyme so Amos, Joelle prophetes fyne
Azarias als prophecyed wythouten faile
Ful treuly so thay taught and toke no vayle
Bot only dyd of gode perfeccioun
The folke to lerne by gode affeccioun.

.x. capitulum of the Kynge Bladud

Bladud his sonne so aftyr hym succede
And regned so fully than twenty yere
Caerbladon that now ys Bathe I rede.
He made anone the hote bathes alle in fere
Whiche to thys day in that place yit appere
Made so by crafte that ever thay have grete hete
In whiche men have grete ese and grete quyete.

Helyas than so prayd it shuld not rayne
At whose prayer it rayned noght thre yere
And sex monethes upon the erthe sertayne.
And in his tyme Amos, Hien, Joel in fere
Azarias as prophetes to God fulle dere
Preched and taught and also prophetysed
As the Byble it hath autorysed.

Thys Bladud was, as Gyldas seyth the clerke,
Fully instructe and lerned in nygromancy
And by his crafte he dyd devyse a werke
A fedyr-hame with whiche that he wold fly
And so he dyd, as Waltier sykyrly
The archedeken of Oxenford ful graythe
In story whiche he drewe sogates saythe.

He flaw on high to temple Appolyne
Whiche now ys Poulys with worschip eedifyde
Whare on he felle and made his ende and fyne
So was he cause of his own homysyde.
Thus slayne he was I say and mortyfyde
Thurgh his own wytte and thurgh his fals atyre
He whom he served so quyte hym than his hire.

.xi. capitulum of the Kynge Leyre

Aftyr hym than regned Leyre his sonne
Who that dyd make a cyté upon Sore
Caerleyre in whiche he dyd most dwelle and wonne
Leycestre ys now callyd but wherefore
I wote not why but Leyrecestre afore
I trow it hight. We leve out R this lettre
For lyghter speche to make the language swettre.

How this Leyre proved his doughters which of hem loved hym moste and beste

This Leyre had to his heyres bot doughters thre
So aftyr tyme that he had regned longe
In alle honoure and high prosperyté
And falle in age, he sette hym thaym amonge.
To the eldeste with voys he spake and ronge
Imagynynge how that they myght be proved
Whiche of thaym thre that best and moste hym loved.

He asked so the eldeste Goneryle
How welle she dyd hym love he prayd hyr say
She aunswerde hym agayne than with a wyle
Wele better than hir own lyfe in gode fay
Off whiche he was so plesed to his pay
That he hyre graunte fully forto avaunce
With suffysaunt parte of his enheritaunce.

The secunde than that cald was Ragawe
He askyd so, to whom she sayd anone
“Fadyr I love yow right so as I awe
More than al thys hole erthly world alone.”
“Doughter” he sayd “as trewe as eny stone
The thyrde parte of my reame so shalt thou have
Thou sayste so welle I may no more thee crave.”

To Cordele than the yongeste of thaym thre
He asked than right on that same avyse.
Who answerde hym with alle benygnyté
Right in thys fourme and as she couthe devise
“Yow as my fadyr I love withoute queyntise
And as myche as ye bene worthe of rychesse
So myche I love yow fadyr and shalle doutlesse.”






Unto; realm

power of God



was called; (see note)
; (t-note)




near to



maturity; strife










fully in possession of (the story)

repaid; reward

(see note)
; (t-note)
   (the River) Soar


deceptive strategy

full portion



Nota, for homage of Scotland. How Maglane Duke of Albany and Ewayn Duke of Cornwail did homage to Kyng Leyre for Cornwail and Albany, and afterward thay wed his doughtirs and put hym out of the reme by unkyndenes. (t-note)




fol. 23v









fol. 24r

To hyre he sayd “Why lovest me no more?
Now treuly thou shalt never have gode of me
Bot helpe thyselff fro thys day forth therefore.”
With that the duke of Albany wete ye
Wed Goneryle his wyfe for to be
Syr Maglayne than hight withouten fayle
And Ragawe had Ewayne duke of Cornewayle.

Aftyr alle this the kynge of Fraunce Aganypé
For gode love wed withoute any rychesse
Cordeyle to whom hyre fadyr no quantyté
Of godes gaffe that I can ought expresse
Bot alle his londes departed by processe
Betwyx Maglayne and Ewayne so in fere
With his doughters two that to hym were ful dere.

And in his age the prynces two toke governaunce
Of alle his londe and lete hym have no myghte
For whiche thay graunte hym than by ordynaunce
To fynde hym so with fourety knyghtes right
Whils he myght leve, so layde thay doune his hight,
For whiche he wente to his doughter Gonerile
Of whom certayne she irked in shorte while.

Than wente he forthe unto his doughter Ragawe.
She dyd right as hyre syster with hym had done.
Wythin a yere she wolde have made hym lawe
His knyghtes voyde and halden bot a whone
So wente he thens he wyste nought what to done
For sorow he wold have liggen on his bere
Suche thought he had and made right hevy chere.

Than toke he fulle to counsaylle and to rede
By frendes he had tille Cordeyle forto gone
To fele hyre helpe thedyr thay dyd hym lede.
He sent to hyr his messengere anone
For whom she was anoyed and made grete mone.
Both golde and gode she sente hym and array
Right sufficient and ryche unto his pay.

Thay brought hym so to hyre with grete honoure
Whare he had chere ful fayre and alle dysporte
And welcome was and hight him hool socoure
To wyn agayne his londe with grete comforte.
The kynge of Fraunce, his hoste assembled and resorte
To passe with hym to wyn his londe agayne,
Dyd sende his wyfe to helpe hym in his payne.

So wan he than his londe with myght agayne
In whiche he stode the sovereyne kynge thre yere
And than he dyed and byried is nought to layne
At his cyté of Caerleyre as dyd affere
With alle worshyp within a temple clere
Of Janus god, and than Aganypé
Hyre lorde at home dyd passe away and de.

So stode she forthe wydew regnynge fyve yere
Wythoute issu and helde the monarchy
Of alle Bretayne after hyre fadyr dere.
The quene she was and helde the regency
Tylle on a day hire syster sonnes forthy
That thay were come and also generate
Of hyre elder systers and procreate.

.xii. capitulum of Kynge Margan and Kynge Condage

Nota for servyse of Scotland.


was called


provide for himself
honorable position

(i.e., Leyre); wearied

discharge; while

lain on his bier






was appropriate

(i.e., Cordele’s)


How Margan regned from Humbre north and Albany, for whiche he did homage to Cundage and helde of hym. (t-note)







Margan that was than duke of Albany
Condage that was so duke of Cornewayle
With hostes grete thurgh right of auncetry
Forto be kynges and have the governayle
Than faught with hire and gafe hire stronge batayle.
So atte the laste overcome she was and take
Emprisounde sore hire own deth sought to make.

She slew hireself for wo she loste the reme
And buried was besyde hire fadyr right
Within a tombe undyr the water streme
Of Sore, that she had wrought for hym and dyght
Within Caerleyre that now Leycester hight.
Hyre soule so wente to Janus whom she served
And to Mynerve whose love she had deserved.

Syr Margan than the eldest syster sonne
From Humbre northe alle oute had regency
Condage that was so borne by south to wonne
From Humbre south had to his persenary.
Bot after that thurgh falshed and envy
The northen folke sente Margan so on strife
With hoste to ryde on Condage than ful ryfe.

He brente he slew and toke alle that he fande
As he that claymed alle Bretayn hole aboute
For his modyr was eldeste sister in lande
To have the chefe he thought withouten doute.
Syr Condage than with hoste hym mette ful stoute
And made hym flye whare now is so Glamorgan
In whiche Margan was slayne and dede was than.

Nota for resort of Scotland.

(see note)





How Kynge Condage seysed Albany by deth of Margan by resort (right) and eschete (escheat), in defaut of heire of his body.




fol. 24v









fol. 25r









fol. 25v





And for his name it hight so Glamargan
Whiche now men calle Glamorgan uttyrly
In Wales it stant, thurgh whiche Syr Condage than
Sesed alle his londe and helde it sykyrly
In pese and reste out of alle mysery.
Ful gloriously by thre and thretty yere
The monarchy of Bretayne kepte he clere.

In whose tyme was the prophete Isaye
Ful of wysdome enformed and instructe
So was also the prophete Osee
In sapience gloriously inducte.
And Rome byggid was than and fulle constructe
By Remus and his brother Romulus
Whiche cyté was above alle other moste famus.

By ought that I can undurstonde and know
Kynge Brutus had so conquerde alle this londe
Afore that Rome was byggyd as I trow
Fyve hundre yere who wille it undurstande
Foure score and als nynetene I darre warrande.
Thus had this lande of longe grete soveraynté
Afore that Rome ought was of dignyté.

.xiii. capitulum of Kynge Ryval and other kynges folowynge

Ryval his sonne whiche was pacificalle
And esy in alle thynge of governaylle
After his fadyr succede in specialle
Havynge the croune in pese withouten faylle
Undestourbed durynge with grete avaylle
In pese and reste and alle fulle charité
So was he sette in alle tranquylité.

In his tyme it rayned blode and men venymde (infected) with flyes to the dethe

In whose tyme so thre days it reyned blode
And flyes als thare were suche multitude
That peple were so venymde as they stode
Thurgh that tempest and foule amaritude
Dyed right doun so in thaire juventude
As alle shuld waste with fulle paralité
Suche pestelence was and mortalyté.

Kynge Gurgustius

Nota of drunkenes

Gurgustius his son so regned than
With mykyl joy and wordly celynesse
That kepte his londe right strongly as a man
In mekyl welthe and ful of worthynesse.
Bot oon defaute he had yit neverthelesse
As writen ys that he wolde drounken be
Unacordant with his hie dignyté.

To drounkenesse succedyth every vyce
Wherfore it is for to eschew alway
Namely in grete estate iff he be wyse
That regneth overe his peple every day
That other vyce thurgh it make none aray
Agayne His wylle that made alle thinge of nought
Or yit his reame to noye in dede or thought.

Kynge Sisilius

Nota how he was overe paciente, for law and pese was unexecute.

Sisilius his son so dyd succede
And bare the croune so wele many a day
Savynge his men that grete wronge wrought in dede
He punyshte nought but suffred his barons ay
To sustene wronges and quareles as I say.
Thay dred hym nought so was he meke of porte
Whiche was more vyce than vertu to reporte.

Thurgh whiche thay toke on thaym so grete boldnesse
That thay distroyd his pore comonalté
Thurghoute the londe and thaym dyd sore opresse
That every man of myght in his contré
Dyd other over renne with grete crudelité
So that oure Lorde for his mysreuled regence
In litargy hym smote and epilence.

Kynge Iago

Iago than was kynge in londe certayne
As it is so writen and notified.
Newfangle was at alle tyme sothe to sayne
Now this, now that, to do he glorified
For of his wille he wold nought be replyed
Ful lyte he dyd that was to autorise
Bot mekylle wronge withouten gode advise.

How he wolde noght be replied of his wylle thurgh whiche the reme was gretely noyed

For whiche God toke on hym so hiegh vengeance
That he hym smote in suche a frenesy
Growynge dayly with fervent affluence
Of color rede as made ys memory
Descendynge in his braynes so myghtyly
That slepe he myght none have ne yit ought reste
Tyl he was dede so sore it hym oppreste.

Kynge Kymar

Kymar his son had than the diademe
And crouned was with alkyn rialté
He kepte his londe right pesibly and queme
Also his law as was necessité
Withoute favoure or mutabilité
Unto alle men ever in unyversalle
Whiche to a prynce ys vertu pryncipalle.

Conceyte of the makere of this in defaute of conservacioun of pese and lawe

For iff he kepe no pese, no lawe certayne
Amonge his folke in every shire aboute
In moste perile he stonte forto be slayne
Or els put doun right by his undirloute.
For unrestreynte by law, it ys no doute
The porest man of alle his reame to fight
Durste hym supprise conffedred with grete myght.

Kynge Gorbodian

Gorbodyan that was his sonne and hayre
So regned than the whiles his sonnes grewe
Tylle age hym made to feble and appayre
That he was dede for whiche this reame dyd rewe.
In whose tyme so was reule and alle vertewe
Bot sonnes two he had couth never acorde
Ferrex and als Porrex that ever discorde.

Thaire fadyr levyng Ferrex the elder brother
For his discorde to Sywarde kynge of Fraunce
Wente so and dwelte with hym and with non other
For borne he was of his kyn and aliaunce.
And whan he knew of his fadyr deth the chaunse
With power grete so came he than agayne
And with his brother faught whare that he was slayne.

Thayre modyr than Quene Judon was fulle wrothe
And in hire mynde she thought to take vengeaunce.
The next nyght after she dyd a thynge ful lothe
That Porrex throte she cutte for that distaunce
While that he slepte and trusted no grevaunce.
The whiche vengeaunce was after many yere
So spoken of that wounder was to here.

She cutte hym alle in peces smalle for ire
Whiche forpassynge was modyrs cruelté
So fervently with rancoure sette on fyre
She couthe nought cese of hire maliciousté
Byfore she had fulfild so hire decré.
Whiche vengeance was over felly arbytrate
For oon lese bothe hire sonnes so generate.





dare say





(see note); (t-note)
great; blessedness


Inappropriate to








lethargy; epilepsy


Fond of novelty


fit of madness

sovereignty; (t-note)




heir; (see note); (t-note)






too severely judged

Cloten, Pynhere, Ruddan, Scatere: kynges of Bretayne devyded by barons werres in defaute of lawe and pese.





fol. 26r




Cloten the duke that than was of Cornewayle
Right haire he was by alle successioun
And next of blode by lyne withouten faile
To have the reame hool in his possessioun
Whiche Pynher than had gote by wronge ingressioun
Ruddan also that tyme dyd Cambre holde
And Albany had Scater that was bolde.

Thus was Bretayne to kynges foure devyded
Echone of thaym werrynge so upon other
And undur thaym the barons were provyded
To dystroy other alle, were thay kyn or brother.
The yonger brother dyd than overrenne the tother
The sonne his fadyr dyd often tymes dyssese
Of his lyfelode and put hym fro his ese.


Every cyté and walled toune and toure
Other werrayde and brought thaym unto nought.
Every tirant than was a conqueroure
And lordes fayne subgyts bycome forfought
So were thay lowe unto meschefe than brought.
Thus worthy blude of honoure and estate
Was brought to nought and fouly alterate.


The pore men that afore were desolate
Of none honoure ne yit of worthynesse
Thurgh thayre manhode with peple congregate
Lordships conquerde and rose to hie noblesse
And ladyse wedde that were of grete rychesse.
Thayre kynne afore had neyther londe ne house
Defaute of pese made thaym victoriouse.


Fourty wyntyr durynge the barons werre
The londe so stode in sorow and in strife
In fawte of myght the waykere had the werre
And suffryde wronge that wo was thaym the lyfe
For who that myght ought wyn with spere or knyfe
He helde it forthe as for his heritage
And grew a lorde byfore that was a page.





utterly defeated




lack; weaker; worse


How the makere of this moveth his conceyte for the gode sureté of the kynge and of hys reme of Englond for to kepe and conserve law and pees in his lond amonge his peple.






fol. 26v




Defaute of lawe was cause of this myschefe
Wronges sustened by maystry and by myght
And pese layde doun that shuld have be the chefe
For whiche debate folowed alle unright.
Wharefore unto a prynce acordyth right
To kepe the pese with alle tranquilyté
Within his reame to save his dygnyté.


What is a kynge withouten lawe or pese
Within his reame suffyciently conserved?
The porest of his reame may so increse
By injury and force to bene preserved
Tylle he his kynge with strenght have so overterved
And sette hymself in rialle magesté
If that it be in suche a juparté.


O ye prynces and lordes of hye estate
Kepe welle the lawe and pese with governance
Lesse youre sugettes you foule and deprecyate
Whiche bene as able with wrongfulle ordenaunce
To regne as ye and have als grete pussaunce.
Iff pese and lawe be layde and unyté,
The floures ere loste of alle youre sovereynté.

.xiiii. capitulum of Kynge Dunwallo

And whils thise foure so chefly in thayre floures
Regned so moste, and had the soveraynté
Of alle Bretayne as verry conquerous,
As God it wold, that nede it muste so be
Of alkyns right and oportunyté,
Cloten was dede oute of this world expyred.
Dunwallo than right with his men conspyred

As son and heyre to Kynge Cloten discrete
His heritage to wynnen and conquerre
Of alle Loegres that stode fulle unquyete
In neygburres stryfe and also barons werre
That longe had laste and of it spokyn ferre.
His name was than Dunwallo Molmucyus
A lusty knyght in armes and corageus.

Whiche Dunwallo grete hoste assembled right.
On Kynge Pynhere he came fulle vygrously
And in batayle hym slow throw strokes wight.
This Scater herde and Ruddan for envy
Thaire hostes brought upon hym spytuysly
And faught with hym ful sore withoute fayntyse
Tylle Dunwallo bethought of his quantyse

He made his men to arme thaym efte anone
In armure of his ennemyse that were slayne —
Thaire armes and sygnes and clothynges everychone
Lyke as thay were thayre frendes cam new agayne —
Thurgh whiche coloure thay donge thaym doun with mayne.8
The kynges thay toke bothe two, the whiche thay slew,
Dunwallo thus in conqueste wexe and grew.
violence; force




mistreat; devalue

put aside; public order; (see note)

(see note); (t-note)





heraldic badges


How this Dunwallo made his lawes called Lawes Molmutynes and graunted pese and fraunchise (privilege) to alle temples, plowes (plowland), markets and comon wayes that was the seconde lawe.





fol. 27r





So whan he had overcome alle his ennemyse
With trihumphe and with joy and victory
He sette his lawes and pese at his avyse
And ordeyned than and graunted fraunchesy
And also gyrth for alkyns felony
In temple, market and alle comon wayse
And at the plewgh, so loved he it his dayse.

At plough who yede, or to the marketwarde,
Or in hieghway that was the comyn strete
Iff any dyd hym harme or hym forbarde
He shulde be dede and hanged by the fete.
In temple als who so dyd harme or lete
The deth shuld bene his fulle punyssioun
Of whiche peyne so he shuld have no remyssioun.

He was friste kynge that ever bare croune of golde
In alle Bretayne afore that day I fynde
And kepte the pese evermore tille yonge and olde.
What so a wyght, as cronycle makyth mynde,
Had done, iff he the plough in hande myght wynde,
Hieghway, or yit market myght gete for fere,
Suche gyrthe shulde have as he in temple were.

He made a temple of pese and of concorde
In his cyté so grete of Trynovaunte
Whare he was layde in grave as is recorde.
Aftyre that he this londe had kepte and haunte
Fourty wynter as Gyldas dothe avaunte
In alle honoure myght and prosperyté
Wythoute supprise or any adversyté.


O noble prynce take hede how that this kynge
In lawes made called Molmutynes
How rightwysly he kepte thaym in alle thynge
And sette his pese fro whiche none durste declyne
Ne thaym attempte in ought or countremyne.
And if thay dyd he wolde thaym seke at home
Bot iff that thay the sonner to hym come.

.xv. capitulum of Kynge Belyn

Than felle discorde betwyx his sonnes two
Whiche of thaym than shuld have alle hole Bretayne
Bot happely thay were acordyd so
By frendes helpe of whiche men were fulle fayne
That Belyne so that elder was shuld rayne
In Loegres fulle and Cambre als eche dele
As Trojan lawe and custome wold it wele.

Nota for homage of Scotland

protection against

plow; during his reign





Whatever; person; recalls

protection; as if



dared divagate
challenge; undermine


(see note)
; (t-note)

by good chance


Nota how Belyn graunted to Brenny his brother Albany to holde of hym and dyd homage for it to Kynge Belyne




And Brenny so, who was the latter borne,
Shuld have in pese the reame of Albany
And also alle Northumbreland aforne
From Humbre north to mende his parte forthy
That he shuld holde of Belyne alle his parcenry
As Troyans lawe and fulle consuetude
Afore was ever by subgitts servytude.


Homage he made therefore unto Belyn
His man to be and to his parlemente
By semons made to come and be therein
Olesse that he had cause of gode entente
Escuse hym, by that he were so absente.
And fyve yere so thay regned wele in pese
With honoure grete and vertu dyd encrese.




The conceyte of the makere compleynynge of Fortune for dissencioun bituix the two brether Belyn and Brenne


fol. 27v



Bot O Fortune with alle thy feyned chere
So fayre showynge afore in alle semblance
And undyrnethe thou can right welle refere
Thaym that he truste to do contrariance.
Whare is thy fayth that maketh suche distaunce
Amonges prynces to sette impedyment
Whan thay truste beste to bene in stablysement?


Thurgh thy faynte chere and fals felycité
Thou deceveste that trusteth on the wele
So chaungeable ys evermore thy sertaynté
The sweigh also so light ys of thy whele
It casteth doun from alkyn welth and sele
Whiche now with thee above alle men is chefe
Als faste with thee shalle undyr bene unlefe.9


the contrary




How Brenny went into Norway for helpe again his brother and wed the kynges doughter





The forgers so of lese and mendacyté
Thou sette above so fully fortunate
Upon thy whele thurgh mutabilité
Betwex tho brether that made a grete debate
Whiche made Brenny to breke and alterate
His covenaunts alle anents his brother dere
Who trusted hym in alle that myght affere.

Thay counsayld hym tille passe into Northway
Kynge Alsynges doughter to have unto his wyfe
Thurgh helpe of whom he shuld conquere som day
Alle Loegres hool whiche was his grounde natyfe.
For better it was to make with Belyne stryfe
Than holde thay sayde of hym by suche servage
The londe whiche that shulde bene his heritage.

So ful counsaylde he wente into Norway
Declarynge to the kynge alle his entent
To whom he gaffe his doughter gent and gay
To bene his wyffe with fulle and hoel assente
And hight hym helpe to conquere Loegres gente
And as he came homward with hyre anone
Upon the se he mette than with his fone.
lies; falsity

with regard to
was pertinent


native country

promised; noble

How Kynge Guthlake of Danmarke toke Brennys wife on the se fro hym and were brought to the Kynge Belyn, wharfore Brenny faught with Kynge Belyn and, discomfyte, he fled to Burgoyne.




fol. 28r






Guthlake that kynge of Denmarke was so stronge
Who had hyre loved in alle his wytte and myght
Ful many day so had she hym of longe
Upon the se for hire dyd with hym fight
Toke hyre fro hym and put hym to the flighte
And that same nyght was Guthlake than and she
By tempeste dryve within Loegres cuntré.

He was so brought and she to Kynge Belyne
To whom he hight his kyngdome of hym holde
And eche yere pay truage to hym and fyne
With-thy hym and his wife he fre then wolde
Whiche to fulfylle he bonde hym monyfolde
Whom Kynge Belyne lete passe than home agayne
With hyre in fere of whiche thay were ful fayne.

With that Brenny with hoste and grete envy
Agayne Belyne came than in grete aray
And bade hym sende his wife to hym in hye
Iff that he wolde so cese alle tene and tray
Or els he shuld hym make many affray
And waste his londe with mekylle werre and strife
That he shulde irke fulle gretly of his life.

Of whiche manace Kynge Belyn nothynge rought
Bot sende hym worde and bade hym do his beste
For at his wille so wold he do right nought
He shuld it fele and fynde whan so hym leste.
For whiche anone and that withouten reste
Right in the wod of Calathere thay mette
In Albany with strokes sore thay bette.

At whiche batayle Kynge Brenny had the werre
And putte to flight unneth myght gon away
For bought he never afore no bargayne derre.
Out of his own was bette in foule aray
And fayne to fle the londe forever and ay
Bot unto Fraunce he wan to Duke Segwyne
Of Burgoyne so was lorde by verry lyne.

To whom he was so plesand to his pay
So manly als and in his wytte so wyse
That every wight hym loved nyght and day.
And what was done it was by his avyse
In so ferre forthe the duke dyd so devyse
To hym anone his doughter in spousage
With alle Burgoyne to holde in heritage.

tribute; payment
As long as

together; happy

battle formation
grief; affliction
be grieved

threat; cared



more dearly





How Kynge Brenny was made Duke of Burgoyne by the dukes doughter that he wed to his wife, and brought grete hoste on Belyn, whare thaire modir made thaym accorded and kysse. (t-note)




fol. 28v





Sone after whiche the duke than dyd decese
And Brenny duke was of that grete duché
A myghty prynce that tyme withouten lese.
Bythought hym off his grete adversyté
How Belyn putte hym fro his ryalté
And drove hym oute from alle his hye puissaunce
For whiche he thought on hym to take vengeaunce.

Wyth that anone grete hoste upon hym brought
Of whom Belyne fulle knowlage had and wytte
And redy was to do that he had sought
In felde with hym to fyght his way to dytte
Thynkynge to make hym so a sory fytte
For whiche than came thayre modyr Quene Conwen
To cese thayre strife displayd hire pappes then.

Tylle oon she wente and seth unto the tother
Saynge right thus “Lo here the pappes thou soke
I bought thee son fulle dere, I am thy modyr.
Whan that thy fete lay to, my herte fast stroke.
For love of me lete alle this stryfe be broke
And cesed so that pese and charité
Betwyx you forthe alway may dure and be.

“Lo here the wombe that to this world yow brought
In erthe to regne and conquerours to bene
Of other londes by menes that may be wrought
And lete me nought this sorow betwyx you sene.
Do of thyne armes and come with me I mene.”
To Brenny sayde she “Thus for love of me
Elles treuly son anone right wille I de.”

For pyté so he cam forth with his modyr dere
Unto Belyne and saughtylde with mekylle blysse
And thus was than so staunched alle thaire stere
In love and pese togedyr bounde iwysse
For evermore and thareto dyd thay kysse
And so to Fraunce thay purposed forto gone
To wyn that londe and conquer it anone.





To; afterwards
kicked; beat fast


be; (t-note)

Put off


made peace; happiness
ceased; strife

How Kynge Belyn and Duke Brenny conquerd Fraunce, Almayne and Itaylle, with Rome and the hool empire secundum Alfridum Beverlaicensem et Galfridum Monemutensem.10 (see note); (t-note)





fol. 29r









Whiche after so by processe thay conquerde
And so forth in the londe of hiegh Almayne
Whare alle the folke were of thaym dred and ferde
Obeyssynge thaym with servyce wondir fayne
Of whiche thay chese oute men, is nought to layne,
Right of the beste and that grete multitude
And Almayne so thay wan with fortitude.

Alle Savoy thurgh thay rode and Lumbardy
And had it hole in thare subjeccioun
And so forthe over mountayns of Italy
Thay had it alle withoute objeccioun.
Alle Tuskayne so at thayre eleccioun
The londe of Gene and also Romany
Calabre and Puyle and also Campany.

To Rome thay came with hoste besegyng ytte
In whiche were so that tyme two counsellours
Syr Gabas and Porcenna fulle of wytte
And of manhode appreved in many stours
By whose counsaylle and of the senatours
The Romayns so to Belyne and Syr Bren
Sende oute hostage and heght to ben thayre men.

The whiche hostage because Romayns were false
And lefte thaire hight and promyse that thay made
Afore Rome yates were honged by the halse
Whan Belyn and Brenne thaym new aseged hade
To thayre falshode that knowyn was fulle brade
As Romayns ere ay perilouse with to dele
What so thay hight thay wille ful sone repele.

The Romayns sente unto thaire councellours
And ofte to reyse the cyté to reskowe
With whiche so came the forsayde governours
Syr Gabas and Persenna I trowe
To breke the sege so made thay there avowe
Upon Awbe flode with Belyne and Syr Brenne
Thay faughte ful sore as men myght after kenne.

Suche multitude of folke was never are sene
As thare dyd fight with strokes sore and felle
On ayther parte were slayne that wold not flene.
Bot at the laste the Bretons bare the belle
And wan the felde thare was no more to telle.
Syr Gabas was slayn in that batayle
And Porsenna was take withouten fayle.

The cyté so was wonne with strengh and take
Whare Belyn had and Brenny alle thaire wylle
Of grete rychesse whare with here men to make
Thurgh alle the londe thayre byddynge to fulfylle.
So Itaylle alle obeyd thaym untylle
Of whiche thay had fulle domynacioun
Withoute more stryfe or yit malignacioun.

Secundum computacionem Orosii ad Augustinum11

This was after that Adam was create
Foure thousand yere seve hundre foure score and eghte
And als byfore Criste was associate
To mankynde, so whan that thay dyd so feght
Thre hundre yere and oon that tyme it neght
Whan Rome was reuled hool by two councelours
Whiche stode for juges and were the governours.

And after Rome was fully edyfyed
Thre hundre yere, as Martyne cronyclere
In his cronycles hath clerly specifyed,
In whiche tyme so regned Kynge Assuere
In Perse alle hool. Socrates with gode chere
The venym dranke in prison whare he lay
And pusound was by his own wille that day.

Obeying; ready


Savoy; Lombardy

Tuscany; will
Genoa; Rome
Calabria; Apulia; Campania



gates; neck
are; dangerous
promise; repudiate

lift (the siege); (t-note)

River Allia

had the victory



with respect to

foul play

(see note); (t-note)





fol. 29v How Kynge Belyn gafe to Brenny the empire and cam into Bretayne and made the cité called Caeruske, now Caerlioun, and seysed Albany in his hande by resort and by eschete, in defaute of heire of Brenny after his deeth.





Kynge Belyn thare so graunted to Brenny than
That londe alle hole and wold thare byde nomore
And to Bretayne agayne remove bygan.
And Brenne his lyfe alle Itale held evermore
Holdyng alleway Romayns in awe ful sore
Thay durste not route for fere of hym ne stere
So was he dred in Itayl fere and nere.

Nota of resort and eschete of Albany

So in mene while Kynge Belyn was come home
With mekyl joy to alle his baronage
And Albany he seysid at his come
From thens forthe as for his heritage
Kepynge the pese and put away outrage.
The lawes whiche his fadyr dyd so make
Were kepte so welle that none that tyme thaym brake.

Than made he up his castels that were doun
And thare with made a cyté of grete myghte
On Uske water that now ys Carlyoun
That called than was Caeruske fulle righte
In Glamorgan bycause of Uske it highte.
In Breton tonge a cyté men calle “Cayre”
Caeruske so called on Uske for it stode fayre.


assemble; resist
far and near


took possession of; arrival


was called


How he made Bilyngate in London, than callede Belyngate, and sette a barelle of golde in whiche he was biryed at his deth.





fol. 30r


Than made he so a toure at Troynovaunte
Stronge and rialle and of grete worthynesse
Upon Thamyse whare shippes most dyd haunte
In signe of his trihumphe and hyegh prowesse
That straungers alle of outen londes I gesse
His victory myght thare remembre wele
His honoure als and knowe it every dele.

Upon the heght above upon that toure
He sette right than a barelle made of golde
His batayls alle and trihumphes wrought there oure
That every man myght se thaym and byholde
In what honoure he stode and never dyd folde
For whose name so than hight it Belyngate
Whiche at London is knowen arely and late.

In whiche barelle was fully his entente
Oute of this worlde whan he were dede and paste
Hys body alle to poudre shuld be brente
Faste loken in evermore to dure and laste.
Thus was his wylle and als his grete forcaste
Bycause he wolde nevermore foryeten be
And rayse his fame ever upward in degré.

So ende he than, his body sogates brente
In poudere alle and putte tharein to kepe.
The peple alle of sorow couthe not stynte
For hym so faste thay gan to crye and wepe.
Thare sorows grete with teres did thay stepe
Whiche from thaire eyen in stremes ran ful faste
Thaire heped sorow so multiplyed and laste.

.xvi. capitulum of Kynge Gurguyn





give in
it was called

powder; burned
locked; endure

thus; burned



Nota that this kynge had homage of Danmark and gafe Irelonde to certeyn folke of Spayne to holde it of hym and his heyres as it is contened in Policronica Radulphi Cestrensis. (see note)








fol. 30v









fol. 31r
Gurguyn his son so crouned after hym
Of Bretayne bare so than the diademe
Semely and faire rightwyse and large of lym
Right meke and juste what so that he shuld deme.
By gode avyse he dyd alle thynge me seme.
Gode pese and reste with alle tranquylité
He loved welle and no malignyté.

Who dyd agayne hym any rebellioun
He wolde hym brynge unto his friste degré
And make hym know in his opynyoun
That wronge he dyd agayn his dygnyté.
That poynte so come of his paternyté
Of nature so he muste do so algates
For so his fadyr dyd ever to alle estates.

So felle it than the kynge of Denmarke nolde
His tribute pay bot yt withhelde by force
Whiche to his fadyr was graunted many folde
And payd alway unto his rialle corse.
To Dannemarke wente to menden that deforce
Whare he the Danes than slew in grete batayle
Thare kynge also withouten eny fayle.

He made the londe to bowe and to enclyne
To his lordshyppe and to his soveraynté
In paynge of tribute and thayre fyne
As it dyd friste to his paternyté
Thus sette he it agayn in friste degré.
And as he came by Iles of Orkenay
Homwarde he founde whare thretty shippes lay.

Alle were thay fulle of men and women fayre
Besekynge hym of mercy and of grace
To have some grounde whither thay myght repayre
To dwelle upon and make there wonyng place.
Thaire governoure that was so in that case
Partholoym hight that came of gode lynage
From Spayne exilde of youthe and tendre age.

To whom Gurguyne graunted and gafe Irelande
And sente two shippes to gyde and brynge thaym thare
Whiche was alle waste, nor houses non thay fande,
Than gan thay tele and howses made aywhare
The londe to holde of Bretayn everemare
By homage so and servyce sovereyne
And to Bretayne perpetualy obeyne.

Gurguyne Batrus this kynge hight of Bretayne
Come home agayne after his vyage sore
And sone thereafter he felte suche sore and payne
That fro his corse his goste departed thore
Regnynge fully thretty wynter afore
In Caerlyoun so after his hiegh estate
Was buried than as usage was Gode wate.

.xvii. capitulum of Kynge Guytelyn and iii kynges next aftir hym.

How Quene Marcyan made the lawes called Lawes Marciane that was the thrid lawe.

Guytelyn than his son dyd regne as hayre
Of alle Bretayne thurghout unto the se
Who wedded was and had a wyfe ful fayre
That Marcian hight so was hyre name pardé
Bothe wyse and gode whiche of hyre synglerté
So lerned was made the lawes Marcyane
In Bretoun tonge of hyre own wytte alane.

Whiche Kinge Alverede in Saxon tonge translate
And Marchen lage did calle in his language.
This Guytelyne was gode of his estate
And meke also and manly of corage
Right juste and wyse and fayre of his vysage
And regned fulle and pesebly ten yere
And to his wyfe he lafte his reame ful clere.

Kynge Sisilyus

Sysilius his sonn so than of seven yere age
Undre the reule and wytty governaunce
Of Marcian his modyr so gode and sage
She was so wyse in alle hyre ordynaunce
Who kepte the londe from alle mysgovernaunce.
At hyre decese she crouned Sisilius
That was hyre soune as cronycles tellen us.

He dyed yonge and als in tendre age
And yit he gatte a son to bene his hayre
Upon his wyfe in wedloke and in spousage
Afore his deth, and byried was ful fayre.
To whose son so the barons dyd repayre
And brought hym than with grete and hyegh reverence
To Caerlyoun with alle obedyence.

Kyng Kymar
(see note); (t-note)

it seems to me

first warrant of decree; (see note)

in any case

did not wish




take refuge

was called


till; everywhere

pay homage

was called

body; spirit; there

custom; knows


was called; indeed






Nota how he was wyse piteuse for ther is grete difference bituix wise piteuse and fool piteuse. That first is vertu, the seconde is vice and foly.




Kymar his sonne the barons dyd corowne
With honoure suche as felle for his degré
Who twenty yere and oon so bare the corowne
And kepte the londe in alle tranquylité.
Pyteuse he was right as a kynge shulde be
In rightfulnesse accordant with his lawe
Agayn his pese that dyd, he made thaym lawe.12

Kynge Danyus

Danyus than his brother so succede
Durynge ten yere in werre and als in payne
Withouten reste in cronycles as I rede.
Bot how it was or why cronycles layne
And of his dedes me liste nought forto fayne
Bot as myne autor seyth and doth expreme
Now in my wytte I can non othur deme.

.xviii. capitulum off Kynge Morvyde


remain silent
I did not wish; lie

How this kynge was so immoderately irouse (wrathful) that nayther he ne none other myght staunche it. Who was slayne feghtynge with a monstre that cam oute of the se and stroyed (destroyed) men.






fol. 31v









fol. 32r









fol. 32v









Morvyde his sonne whom that he gatte of baste
On oon that hight Tanguste his paramoure
Stronge and myghty and irouse ful of haste
Hardy and kynde and fre as conqueroure
Of alle largesse forpassynge emperoure
Or any kynge that in his tyme dyd reyne
So was he kynde whan ire was paste and deyne.

Bot in hys ire there myght none with hym speke
He was so hote and fulle of cruelté.
He rought nothynge of whom he dyd hym wreke
Hys yre excede his wytte in alle degré
In so ferre forthe his sensybilité
Couth nought in wrath his cruelté restrayne
So fulle he was of fury and disdayne.

Nota for sovereynté of Scotlond and resort of it

In whose tyme so the kynge than of Murreve
With hoste fulle grete distroyd Northumbrelonde
Bothe brente and slew and alle the lande dyd reve.
With hys lege lorde that werre he toke on honde
Whom Kynge Morvyde with hoste mette to withstonde
And slew hym than for his rebellyoun
And sette the londe in pese and unyoun.

Nota of vengeance immoderate without mesure which is vice and no vertu

Bot so irouse and fulle of wrath was he
He myght not cese afore the dede were brente
That thare ware slayne of his grete cruelté
The bodyse alle, afore that he couth stente,
In fyre be caste and into poudre spente.
To it was done his ire myght not appese
His vengeaunce than thus sette his herte in ese.

Sone after that cam fro the Irisshe se
A wonder beste or fysshe, whiche men do calle
A monstre grete, of whiche the comonté
Were alle affrayed thurghoute the londe over alle
For it dovourde the folke bothe grete and smalle.
For whiche thay fled the londe as exulate
That waste it stode and also desolate.

The kynge seynge his londe in poynte bewaste
His corage was so stronge and cruelté
Hym thought he wold alone fight with that gaste
And destroy hym so than in pryvyté
Trustynge oonly in his synglarité.
He faughte with hym that no man wiste ne knewe
Whiche hym deuourde right sodenly and slewe.

Nota how the maker sayth by this cruelle kynge

So were bothe dede withoute any delay
With cruelté of thaymselff inordynate
By rightfulle dome of God seand alway
His cruelté so foule intemporate
To fyghte with suche a monstre and debate.
I can nought se bot of his rightfulnesse
That reuleth alle it came right as I gesse.

.xix. capitulum of Kynge Gorbonyan first and iiii kynges next

Nota how this kynge helde pees and lawe in hys tyme

Gorbonyan his eldest sonne of fyve
Was after kynge and helde the magesté
Rightfulle and trew to every man of lyve
His reame in pese and fulle prosperité.
And to his peple he helde fulle equyté
Tele men of londe with godes he dyd comforte
Sowdyours als from wronge hym to supporte.

Ten yere he stode so kynge in pese an reste
With moste plenté that any reame myght have
And as nature of lyfe may noght ay leste
The deth his soule oute fro his body drave.
So byried was he than and layde in grave
At Trynovaunt that was his grete cyté
With alle honoure and alle regalité.

Kynge Argalle

Nota of this kynge how he was put doun for wronge sustened by hym

Argalle his brothyr sygned with dyademe
The kynge was tho with alle solempnyté
By natyff byrthe next brother he was men deme.
Alle gode men ever he hate at his powsté
Oppressynge thaym by his subtilité
And alle fals folke fulle ofte he dyd avaunse
The baronnage hym putte doun for that chaunse.

Kynge Elydoure

This kynge deposed hymself and made his brother Argalle kynge efte sone agayne

Elydoure who brother thrid ful generate
Was than the nexte by alle successioun
And bare the croune with alle rialle estate
By lordes wille and thaire concessioun.
Who regned wele withoute oppressioun
Unto his folke ought done in any wise
So reuled he wele his own dyd hym suffise.

Whan he had fulle regned so by fyve yere
As he was gone a day for his disporte
Tille a foreste the wode of Calathere
He mette Argalle his brothyr of symple porte
Fully despayrde and oute of alle comforte
Besekynge hym that he wolde hym socoure
For his brothir and bene his govenoure.

Kynge Elidoure for pité that he se
Toke hym so than betwyxe his armes two
And comforte hym so in his poverté.
And to Alclude his cyté gan he go
Of Albany moste famouse cyté tho
Whiche now but fewe wote in what place it is
So is it now that name unknowe iwys.

And made hym seke and for his barons alle
So sende he than in haste to come hym tylle.
Whiche came anone in haste so at hys calle
His comaundement in allethynge to fullfylle.
He toke thaym in and told thaym alle his wille
Ever on by on and made thaym swere the othe
To Argalle so whether thay were lefe or lothe.

And after this anone right so he yede
To Ebrauke than and helde his parlement
Whare he right than of tendre brotherhede
Toke of his croune right by his own intente
And on his brothers heved it sette and spente
By fulle decré and jugement of his mouthe
And made hym kynge agayn by northe and southe.

Kynge Argalle the second tyme

Argalle so kynge crouned new agayne
Fulle welle his lordes dyd after love and plese
And lefte his vyce and toke vertu to sayne.
So sette he alle his peple in gode pese
Regnynge ten yere and then felle hym diseese
Thurgh malady and dyverse grete sekenesse
He dyed and lyeth at Carlele as I gesse.

Kynge Elydoure twyse made kynge and ever mercyfulle

The barons alle than made Syr Elidoure
The kynge agayne with alle the rialté
So wele thaym payed to have hym governoure
For his godenesse and his benygnyté.
And for he was so fulle of alle pyté
That in alle thynge mercy he dyd preserve
To every man beter than thay couthe deserve.

Ingen and Perydoure kynges

But Ingen than and als Syr Peridoure
His brether two rose thurgh grete trechery
And hym put doun oute of his hiegh honoure
Emprisounynge hym than corporally
Within the Toure of Trynovaunt forthy
That thay departe the reams amonge thaym two
Bot nought forthy it dured nought longe so

For Ingen tho so leved bot seven yere
Whan deth hym toke and ravyshit hym away
His issu yonge of his own body here.
And byried was as usage was that day
With alle honoure that the barons may
For wele he dyd his parte alway governe
As ferre as men couthe knowe or yit discerne.

Kynge Perydoure

Peridoure had than alle the londe fulle clere
Who kynge was than as alle cronycles telle.
Fulle pesybly the reaume he reuled here
Tylle sudeyn deth hym toke, so it byfelle
And byried was as kynge bothe fayre and welle
After thaire rytes and als thaire olde usage
With hiegh honoure by alle his baronage.

Kynge Elydoure thryse made kynge

Elydoure whiche in prison so foryette
Alle this mene while so lay in hevynesse
The barons alle oute of the Toure dyd fette
And crouned hym with alkyn worthynesse
Thus was he thryse so crouned as I gesse
And every tyme he kepte his olde condiciouns
Withouten wronge or any evelle addiciouns.

And whan the tyme that deth hym had exspyred
Oute of this world that dede he was away
Thay layd hym than as he had theym requyred
In Alclude whiche his cité was that day.
Bot neverthelesse som cronycles otherwyse say
That he was layd at Elud so and buryed
That now Aldburgh is called and specyfyed.
bastardy; (t-note)

wrathful; violence (impatience)
generosity; surpassing

wrath; anger


cared; violence

Moray (Scotland)


to be reduced to ash



wicked creature

singular ability

judgment; seeing


(see note)
; (t-note)

upheld; justice


appointed; crown; (t-note)
hated under his power


own (income)

lacking hope



one by one
desirous; loathe


head; gave



it pleased them



Such that; divided; realms
nevertheless; endured




forgotten; (t-note)
all kind of

fol. 33r .xx. capitulum of the Kynge Gorbonyan, the sone of Gorbonyan, the second of that name, and xxxii other kynges next folowynge.









fol. 33v









fol. 34r




Gorbonyan whiche was Gorbonyan sonne
The croune had so and after his eme alle thynge
Dyd kepe and reule in alle as he was wonne
And welle was loved with olde and als wyth yynge.
And at his dethe was byried lyke a kynge
In alle honoure and worship hool entered
As to suche prynce of right shulde be requered.

Kynge Margan the son of Argalle

Margan that was the sonne of Kynge Argalle
Was corouned than and helde the ryalté
With mekylle blys his reame he rewled alle
And kepte it ever in alle tranquylité.
He ended wele with alle benygnyté
For whiche he was fulle gretely magnyfyde
Thurghoute his reame and highly lawdyfyde.

Kynge Enniaunus son of Argalle

Nota how this kynge was ended sone for his cursed lyfe and his tirantrye

Enniaunus his brother so was kynge
Seven yere than in tyrantry he bare
The croune alway in cursidnesse regnynge.
For whiche he was put doun with sorow and care
The sexte yere so that no man knew ourwhare
That he become; so secretly his ende
Was kepte counsaylle that never man after kende.

Ivalle kynge son of Ingen.

Nota of the gudenes of this kynge and of his vertue

Ivalle the sonne of Kynge Ingen dyd rayne
Who loved ever to kepe alle rightwisnesse
And hated vyce the sothe of hym to sayne.
Amonge his men he loved ever alle clennesse
Pore men to helpe fallyn in febylnesse
Was his desyre and shrewes forto chastyse
And sone he dyed and biried as myght suffyse.

Kynge Rymo the sone of Perydoure

Nota of the gudenes of this kynge and of his vertue

Rymo the sonne than of Kynge Peridoure
Corounde was than and loved alle gentyllesse
None evelle wold here bot vertu and honoure
Of lyfe fulle clene and lovynge alle clennesse.
In his tyme was alle plenté and largesse
Pese and reste and hool felycyté
Of worldly welthe and grete prosperyté.

Kynge Geyennes the son of Elydoure

Nota of this kynges gode reule and governance

Geyennes than the son of Elydoure
To regne began and reuled welle his day
In grete vertu as noble governoure
And kepte his reame unto the peples pay
And dyed sone and biried on gode aray
As noble prynce of deuté ought to be
In ryalle wyse as men couthe for hym se.

Kynge Katellus

Nota of punysement of trespassours

Katellus so his sonne dyd than succede
And regned welle and helde up lawe and right
Oppressours alle that pore men dyd overlede
He hanged ever on trese fulle hiegh to sight.
He spared thaym nought forsothe by day ne nyght
Bot ever forthwith he gaffe thaym jugyment
Whiche execute was aftyr his entent.

Kynge Coyle

Coyle his sonne than aftyr hym dyd succede
Corownde for kynge regnynge mony a day
In grete welfare withouten eny drede
And lefte the londe in riche and gode aray.
Whan he dyd de and passed hens away
Byried and layd as came hym of degré
Right ryally and of grete honesté.

Kynge Porrex

Porrex was than his sonne ful generate
Made kynge and had than forthe the rialté
And reuled welle by law preordynate
His reme thurghoute and alle his comynté
In grete quyete and gode stabilité
Withouten grevaunce or noy of any wight
So gode he was and plesand to mennes sight.

Kynge Cheryn

Nota of drunkenes

Cheryn was kynge replete of drunkenesse
In whiche vyce so he wox a fole unwyse
And couthe discerne no reson doutlesse
Bot bete his men and fouly thaym dyspyse
And voyde thaym ofte so oute of his servyse
Whiche in a prynce was nothynge to comende
For in vertu he shulde al folke transcende.

Kynge Fulgyn, Kynge Eldrade, Kynge Andragius.

His sonnes thre, Fulgyn was eldest bore
The secunde hight Eldrade, the thrid Andragyus.
But Fulgyn was so crouned than byfore
And dyed sone and Eldrade crouned thus
And dyed anone as bokes tellen us.
After whom so Andragyus was kynge
Who in shorte tyme after made his endynge.

Nota how the maker off this moveth his resoun touchant drunknesse

Thof thay dyed sone no mervelle soth to say
That so were gote in drunkenesse and generate
For drunkenesse cometh of fume of drynke alleway
That undygeste ascendyth the brayne algate
With quantité taken untemperate
And coverth it as clowde above the sonne
Whare thurgh his wytte and mynde away is ronne.

Wharfore I truste right by myne estymate
Thay myght not dure so wayke was thayre nature.
For whan the hede is seke and intemporate
Alle other membres in wyrkynge fayle thayre cure
And febled ere and wayke withoute mesure.
How shuld thay than that were so procreate
Endure ought longe, by reson approbate?

Kynge Urian

Nota how viciouse this kynge was of lyfe

Urian his sonne was kynge in magesté
And kepte his londe bot he was licherouse
Eche woman so that was of grete bewté
He wolde thaym have, he was so vyciouse.
Bot neverthelese he was right bountynouse
To every wyght that had necessité
He gafe grete gode and richesse of suffishenté.

Kynge Elyud

Nota of gode reule of thise two kynges

Elyud was kynge and than dyd bere the croune
And dyed sone that wyse was in alle thynge.
Detonus than who ever to werre was boune
Was crounede than in tendre age and yynge.
Thayre ennemyse ever to deth thay dyd doun dynge
And gode reule helde thurgh alle the reame fulle wele
So happy were thay and so fulle of sele.
(see note); (t-note)
by old; by young







secret; knew

reign; (t-note)








was carried out


die; hence



molestation; person

(t-note); (t-note)
became; fool


born; (t-note)
was called

undigested; in any case
cloud; sun


are; debilitated






intent; (t-note)



Kynge Detonus, Kynge Gurgucius, Kynge Meryan, Kynge Bledudo, Kynge Cappe, Kynge Oenus, Kynge Sisilius, Kynge Bledud Gabred.



Detonus than was kynge of alle Bretayne
And aftyr hym Gurgucyus bare the croune
And Meryan than aftyr hym sertayne.
Bledudo than after hym was redy boune
To regne in londe as kynge of grete renoune.
Aftyr hym Kynge Cappe and than Kynge Oenus
Eche after other regned and Sisilyus.

Bledud Gabred, who in alle note and songe
Forpassynge was and in alle instruments
Of musyke so excede alle other amonge
In whiche he had for passynge sentements
That for a god in alle the folkes intents
Of myrthe and joy and als in alle musyke
Above alle other holden and none hym lyke.


Kynge Archyvalle, Kynge Eldolle, Kynge Redyon, Kynge Redryke, Kynge Samuel, Kynge Pyrre, Kynge Penyssel, Kynge Capoyre.



fol. 34v





Than regned so his brother Archyvalle
And than his sonne Syr Eldolle wytterly.
To whom his sonne whom Redyon men calle
After whom his sonne Redrike was kynge in hy.
Samuel than was kynge made sykyrly
So than succede Kynge Pyrre and Penysselle
After hym Capoyre and than Kynge Elyguelle.

Kynge Elyguelle

Nota how this kynge ded punysshe trespasours

Bot Eliguelle, the whiche was Capoyres sonne,
Bothe wyse and sad and in his reame helde righte
To alle his folke that in his reame dyd wonne
Fulle stedfastly certayne at alle his myght.
And thaym that dyd eny wronge or unright
He prisounde thaym with sore and grete duresse
And helde thaym longe so after in greteste distresse.

Kynge Ely

Hely his son aftyr this Elyguelle
Right debonayre in alle thynge gode and wyse
So dyd succede as cronycles us do telle
Who made so firste by his wytte and devyse
The Ile of Ely that ys of grete empryse.
And whan he had regned fully sexty yere
Thare biried was by ought I can enquere.

Some sayth he lyeth at Castre nought forthy
The whiche I can nought trusten was aforne
Nayther byggid, ne gun to edyfy.
For Hengest who it made was than unborne
And Horsus als that some men callen Horne.
Wharefore me thynke it was to hym condygne
At Ely lygge how shuld men it repygne.



solemn; steady




constructed; begun to be built

to lie; however; deny

.xxi. capitulum of Kynge Lud that chaunged the name of Trynovant and called it Carlud after whom it was called after (afterwards) Londoun





fol. 35r




Than Lud his sonne his heyre was so of myght
For wysdome so and als grete worthynesse
With honoure hole as came hym wele of right
Was crouned kynge by hole and dewe processe.
His citese alle and castels dyd redresse
Of mete and drynke alleway right plentyuouse
Rightwyse manly and also chyvalrouse.

How he called Trynovaunt Caerlud and made Ludgate

With walles fayre and toures fresshe aboute
His cyté grete of Trynovaunt so fayre
Fulle wele he made and bataylde alle thurghoute
And palays fele for lordes and grete repayre
And mended fresshe alle places that were unfayre.
He made a yate that now men calle Ludgate
Whareby he made hys palays of estate

For love of whom Caerlud men dyd it calle
In Bretoun tonge fulle longe and many a day
Tylle Saxons came with language chaunged alle.
Thys gode Kynge Lud whan he shuld passe away
Byrid so was right in a temple gay
Besyde Ludgate nere whare his palays stode
In tombe rialle accordant to his blode.

Two sonnes he had whiche were of tendre age
The reame to reule by gode discrecioun.
Thay were to yonge to kepe thayre heritage
Bot hayres thay were by alle successioun.
Wharfore thare eme toke fulle possessioun
In alle the reame by northe and als by southe
And helde it wele in honoure as he couthe.

.xxii. capitulum offe Kynge Cassibalan

Cassibalan thaire uncle than was kynge
And foonde thaym bothe right honestly and wele
Dyd nurture thaym whils thay were childre yynge.
And whan thay came to age that thay couthe fele
To reule thaymselff the duché every dele
Of Trynovaunt and Kent gafe Androgyus
And of Cornewayle to Tenvancyus.

Andragyus the elder brothyr wase
The yonger was so Tenvancyus
Whiche were bothe two manly in every case
And wyse and tylle thaire eme fulle bounteuus.
So felle a day that Cesar Julyus
After whan he alle londes had conquerde
At Boloyne of this londe he faste enquerde


many; spaces




knew how to



(see note)

How Julius Cesar came into Bretayne firste pretendynge title to conquere Grete Bretayne





That it dyd hight and what folke were tharein
Thay tolde hym how that Bretayne was the name.
“O” sayde he than “me thynke it light to wyn.
Belyne and Brenne it aught of noble fame
Whiche Rome so wan and helde it for thayre hame
Whose successoure I am in dignyté
Wharefore I wylle of it have soveraynté.

“Brutus also that friste it had in walde
Come of Troyans and so was Romulus
Whose successoure I am now fully calde.
Bot for as muche as bastard was Brutus
The right to me of it shuld longen thus
As we that cam of Eneas so gode
Descended doun by verry lyne of blode.”

By thys tytle he came into this lande
And it claymed as for his heritage
And faught with Kynge Cassibalan with honde
With hostes grete of thaire bothers lynage
Bot Bretons yit fully had avauntage
And put Romayns alle utterly to flyght
That thay were glad to sayle agayn forth ryght.
what; called

easy; (t-note)
possessed; (t-note)


due right

fol. 35v How Julius Cesar came to Bretayne the seconde tyme









fol. 36r






The Frensshe were prowde off that discomfyture
By whiche thay thought right so to do the same
Oute of thaire londe to chase thaym in some ure.
For drede of whiche Julyus fulle of fame
In Flaunders was with mekyl tene and grame
And sente for Frenshe, Normayns and als Gascoyns
Flemyngs, Brabans, Henaldes, Gellers and Burgoyns.

The pore that were of corage and manhede
He gaffe lordshyp and landes sufficiaunte.
The grete he gafe fraunchise off worthyhede.
The exilde men that ferre were conversaunte
He gaffe thaym grace evermore of ful covenaunte
Come home agayn and have thaire heritage
Fully restored agayn with alle damage.

The bonde he made alle fre out of servage
For joy of whiche the peple came so faste
That men inow he had withouten wage
To fyghten with the Bretons to the laste.
To conquer thaym he was nothynge agaste
With alle his shippes and many under sayle
In Thamyse came certayn withouten fayle.

Upon grete piles with irne poynted wele
Agayne thayre come were sette by ordynaunce
Of Bretouns wyse to droune the flete eche dele
And perse thayre shippes to sette thaym in balance.
Thus were thaire shippes dystroyd by that chaunce.
Thaymselff on londe fulle fayne were forto ryve
And to the felde in bataylle gan to dryve.

Cassibalan so wyse and reuled wele
By alkyns wytte and knyghtly provydence
With his neveus so kynde and naturele
That manly were and fulle of alle prudence
In wham there wante nought of benyvolence
To helpe thaire eme thay were fulle corageus
With barons alle fulle bolde and batailous.

And so thay mette with Romayns fresshe and stronge
And faught ful sore with corage odiouse
And mony one thare slayne were thaym amonge
With strokes grete and woundes tediouse.
So aither parte on othur were dispytouse
That alle the felde was colourde of the blode
Suche quantité of it there was and flode.

Julyus thare so myghtly hym bare
That whom he stroke to deth he muste enclyne
His sworde was of suche myght and ege ware
That Crocea Mors it hight so was it fyne.
Syr Nemynus thought longe to undyrmyne
The batayle, so that he Julyus myghte
In batayle mete and with so worthy fighte.

Tylle at the laste thay mette togedyr same
With strokes sore ayther on othyre layde
Thof Nemynus were hurte he thought gode game
To dele with hym that never yit was afrayde.
Julyus sworde within his shelde men sayde
He brought away and als his dethes wounde
So manly wele he bare hym in that stounde.

His neveus two with Kent and Trynovaunt
And Cornyssh folke so chyftenly thaym beere
That thurgh thayre myght and power habundaunt
Put the Romayns in perele and in grete feere.
With that Bretons cam fresshly on thaym there
And slew thaym sore and putte thaym to the flyght
To Normandy thay fled agayn fulle right.

Thare in a place Odnea that so hight
Julyus than for grete mystruste of Fraunce
Dyd make a toure right grete and stronge of myght
Hym and his godes to kepe in alle suraunce
Thydyr to brynge his rentes by ordynaunce
And trewage als of diverse regiouns
Agayne Bretayne to wage his legiouns.

propitious moment

much difficulty; suffering

far; in touch




coming; in preparedness

eager; land

all manner of

was lacking

full of hatred



edge; prepared
Yellow Death; called

even though



was called


How Kynge Cassibalan somonde all lordes of Bretayn to his feste whare grete wrath and werre arose bituix the kynge and Andragius



fol. 36v


So than the kynge Cassibalan rialle
Admynystred so fulle in alle plesance
With alle honoure and glory trihumphalle
For joy dyd make his rite and observaunce
His goddes only with alle his suffisaunce
For to honoure and do thaym sacryfyse
As that tyme was the manere and the gyse.

His feste dyd crye thurghoute alle hole Bretayne
In Cambre, Loegres and als in Albany
And in Ireland with iles alle that pertayne
To his lorshyp and noble monarchy
That servyce dyd untyl his auncetry
Praynge thaym alle that were of gode estate
Wyth hym to be at his feste ordynate.

And forto drawe the knyghtes chyvalrouse
To it he sette grete justes and turnement.
And forto make the knyghtes more corageuse
He ordeyned than at that feste excellente
Afore eche knyght ben sette a lady gente
Fulle of beuté and alle fresshe juventé
To chere thaym wele as wold femynyté.


(he) had announced





How the makere commendes the joysement of the peple for his triumphe and victory agayns Julius Cesar








fol. 37r


Suche joy was nought I say in Romany
Made for tryhumphe and the gloriousté
Whan Julyus came home with victory
Ne for conqueste of Sipions pousté
Whan he so at Cartage had alle degré
As was than at Cassibalaynes feste
Amonge the folke assembled moste and leste.

Bot than Erle Andragius sent after Julius Cesar to helpe hym agayn the kynge

Bot ever as nexte the valey ys the hill
So after joy comyth ay adversité.
So thare byfelle thurgh strife and evelle wille
Debate fulle foule of grete dyversité
Bytwene Syr Irelglas of hyegh degré
That cosyn was unto the kynge so nere
And Syr Hewlyn, Erle Andrage neven dere.

Thurgh whiche debate Hewlyn slew Syr Irelglasse
For whiche the kynge Syr Hewlyn wold have slayne
Whom Androgyus withdrew right for that case
For drede right of his eme Cassibalayne.
Wherefore the kinge to venge it dyd his payne
And hastily he thought hym to anoye
Hym to werray utterly and dystroye.

Wharefore Androge had in his wytte provyde
That he nede muste of alle necessité
Bene slayne hymselff and wrongely mortyfyde
Or his neveu withouten equyté
Slayne shulde be so only by cruelté
Or els to fle the londe as exilate
And leve his frendes hevy and desolate.

For grace and pese whan he the kynge had prayde
And none couthe gette, bot fully trusted warre,
He wrote than to Julyus alle affrayde
Who cald hymselff in his writynge Cesarre
Besekynge hym to come agayn so farre
With alle his hoste to helpe hym in his right
Agayn the kynge in bataylle forto fight.

And hool trewage he of the reame shuld have
For he of right therof the kynge shuld bene
As verrey heyre he myght it clayme and crave
Unto Kynge Lud as alle the reame may mene.
Wharfore hym thought the more he myght hym tene
And of the londe to graunte hym ful truage
And wele the more it was his heritage.

Scipio Africanus’s power

(see note)

Quarrel; differences







expected the worst


true; desire
realm; direct

Than, at instance of Andragius, Julius cam into Bretayne thryd tyme whare, after sore bataile, the kynge graunted truage tille Rome and tribute.








fol. 37v







Syr Julyus than so humbely requerde
By Androgyus to whom he gaff credence
As doughty prynce that was nothing aferde
With alle his myght and his magnificence.
To have his wille dyd alle his diligence
Arrifynge up at Dovere certanly
Whither the kynge than came fulle spedely.

And thare thay faught so with Cassibalan.
The kynge was fayne to fle unto an hille
Whare Julyus with warde dyd sege hym than
By counsaylle of Androgyus and his wille
His hoste to hurte to famysshe and to spille.
Whare he for hungre sente to Androgyus
Besekynge hym of helpe and socoure thus.

And alle defaute shuld ben amended wele
And alle rancoure utturly appesed
At his owne wille as he wole have eche dele
So shuld his herte in alle thynge bene wele esed.
A man, he sayde, to se his kyn disesed
It shuld his herte agrege and greve fulle sore.
Thus sende he worde to Androgyus thore.

Who for pyté myght than no lenger byde
Bot to Cesare he wente anone forth right
Tretynge hym so that pese was made that tyde
Betwyx thaym and trewage redy dight
To pay by yere to Rome so hath he hight
Thre thousond pounde of sylver fyne in plate
Thus endyd was thaire werre and grete debate.

Thys was the yere afore thyncarnacioun
As Seynt Bede in his Gestes of Englonde
Affermed hath right in his compylacioun
Fulle sexty yere as he had red and fonde
Who can his boke wele se and undyrstonde.
Bot Martyne sayth nothynge of this matere
In his cronicle that Cesare ought was here

Who Romayne was and borne in Romany
For honoure of his londe an reverence
If it so were shuld it in memory
Have made me thynke for Romayns excellence
Seth he Romayne was borne of grete science
And in cronycle alle Romes worthynesse
Remembred hath how lefte he that prowesse.

Bot as a Boke of Brute it hath comprised
He wyntred here in Bretayne for grete love
Tylle somer came as he afore devysed
At whiche tyme so he wente for his byhove.
To Fraunce agayne he gan forto remove
Upon Pompey to werray at his myght
Of every londe he had men with hym right.

With hym wente than Androgyus and his sonne
For love and truste betwyxe thaym was so fyxte
That none of thaym than couthe from othur wonne
So were thaire hertes lovynge and entermyxte.
And Tenvaunce his brother that heyre was nyxte
He lefte at home the coroune forto bere
After the tyme thayre uncle so dede were.

Cassibalan so kynge stode forth seven yere
Paynge tribute with alle humylité
To Rome alway and was thayre truagere
Unto the day of his mortalité
That deth hym toke oute of his dignyté
And biried was with laude and reverence
At Ebrauke than unto his excelence.

.xxiii. capitulum of the Kynge Tenvancius

Tenvancius that duke was of Cornewayle
Unto the heghte of alle the regymence
Was raysed up and had the governaile
Of Bretayne hole, who with fulle hiegh prudence
Governed right wele with alle his diligence.
Bot longe he stode nought kynge to deth hym toke
As cronyclers have writton in thare boke.

guard; besiege
starve; destroy
(i.e., Cassibalan)


weigh down


tribute; prepared



at all


Since; learning


Pompey (the Great); make war

apart from; dwell


subject king


(see note)
; (t-note)


.xxiiii capitulum ofe Kymbelyn Kynge of Bretayne in whose tyme Criste was borne (t-note)



fol. 38r





Kymbelyne so that was his sonne and hayre
Noryssht at Rome instructe of chyvallry
And knyght was made with honoure grete and fayre
By Cesare Auguste regned than enterly
Thurghoute the world that helde the monarchy.
In whose tyme so was pese and alle concorde
And every reme to Rome was wele acorde.

Whiche Cesare so was called Octovian
By propre name who dyed the fiftene yere
Aftyr that Criste was so incarnate than
To whom succede Tyberyus in the emperé
Fro that tyme forth as clerly doth appere
Unto the yere after Cristes natyvyté
Eght and thretty in whiche that he dyd de.

Nota how Criste was borne the tenth yere of this kynge

Ten yere forth this Kymbelyn was kynge
And dyed so the same yere Criste was bore.
And aftyr Brute had made his arryvynge
In Albyon a thousond yere there wore
Two hundreth als I say so mykylle more
Unto the tyme Kynge Kymbelyn dyd de
Whiche was the ferste yere of Cristes natyvyté.

The tyme whan Criste was so of Mary borne
In Bretayne was a clerke hight Thelofyne
Who prophecied and preched even and morne.
Of Cristes byrthe thus gan he to devyne
And sayde thaym than he foound by his doctryne
How that a mayde had borne that tyme a childe
Hyre maydenhede preserved and unfylde.

.xxv. capitulum of Kynge Guydere
Brought up

(see note)

thirty; die



was called


Nota how this Kynge Guydere gan to regne in the first yere of the incarnacioun of Criste





fol. 38v









fol. 39r





Guydere his sonne and hayre fulle corageus
Up raysed sone and crouned with excelence
The tribute whiche the Romayns had of us
Denyed fully and made grete resistence
And none wold pay but thought by fulle defence
To voyde Romayns and alle thaire seyniory
Who nought had here bot of thaire tyrany.

This kynge Guydere to regne friste bygan
In the friste yere of Cristes natyvyté
Right after his fadyr so dede was than
Withoute delay or more prolyxité
Crouned than was with alle solempnyté
And Romayns wolde he nought obeye ne loute
Bot thaym withstode with bataylle grete and stoute.

For whiche cam than Claudyus themperoure
To Caerperis that Porchestere now hight
Whyche hym withstode and helde it with honoure.
And Claudyus made a walle afore it right
To famysshe thaym tharein so hath he hight.
Bot Kynge Guydere and Syr Arvyragere
It reskowed than, that was his brother dere.

Thay faught thare with the emperoure of myght
And slew his men on every syde aboute
That he was fayne to ship and take his flight
Kynge Guydere and his Bretons were so stoute.
And so byfelle a Romayn spied whare oute
A Breton dyed bysyde lay in a slake
Whos armes he toke and caste upon his bake.

As Guyders man he rode with hym fulle nere
Waytynge his tyme and with his swerde hym slew.
Whom Arvyragus that was his brother dere
Espyed friste and caste on hym alle new
His brother armes, and fresshly dyd hym sew,
And hym ovretoke whare now ys Southamptoun
Whare he hym slew and in the haven dyd droun.

.xxvi. capitulum of Kynge Arviragus

This Romayne hight by propre name Hamoun
For whom the toune whan it was edifyde
First Hamon Haven and after Hamontoun
Men dyd it calle wyde whare on every syde.
Arviragus to Wynchestre than gan ryde
And Claudius aftir the towne to wynne
Bot he it had he wold not cese ne blynne.

Wyth that foresoth Arvyragus with hoste
Right in the felde withoute the toun hym mette
In bataylle hole to fight and felle the boste
Of Romayns alle hym thought it was his dette.
And as thay shuld eyther on other have sette
Thurgh counsaylle of there bothers councellours
Thay were acorde of pese with grete honours.

And to this fyne that Syr Arviragus
Shuld reigne and wed his doughter Genvyse
And bere the croune of Bretayne so famus
And pay tribute unto Romayns wyse.
For whiche accorde he sente as dyd suffyse
To brynge hyre to his noble hiegh presence
Thare to be wed with joy and sufficence.

How Claudius sent for his doughtir and wed hir to this kynge

Whan Claudyus sente for his doughter dere
So after was that Criste was incarnate
As cronycle sayth the sexte and fourty yere
Oute of Latyne as I can hit translate
In balade thus and sense nought alterate
Iff myne auctore ought wronge hath sayde of ytte
To correccioun fully I me submytte.

Coronacion of Arviragus and his wife Genvyse

At certayne day accordyd and assygned
She was brought in a valey fresshe and fayre
On Severne syde by merkes and boundes signed
Whare Gloucestere is now of grete repayre
Whare bot a mede was than of floures fayre
Whan thay were wed with grete solempnyté
And crouned bothe with alkyns rialté.

How Claudius Emperour made Gloucestre

The emperoure thare callyd Syr Claudyus
A cyté made Caerglou he called it right
After his name some cronycles sayen thus.
Bot othur cronycles sayne Caergloy it hight
Bycause he gate a sonne tharein fulle wight
Whiche Gloy so hight and lorde thereof was made
Whare alle his tyme he dwelled and abade.

After the weddynge so wente he home agayne.
Arviragus in Bretayne dyd abyde
And lorde he was thurghoute alle hole Bretayne
With alle the iles aboute on every syde
Who felle in suche presumpsioun and grete pride
To Rome he wolde no trewage forward pay
So was he stronge he dred thaym nought that day.

expel; authority
had business



bow to

is called

starve; promised



Looking out for




far and wide
Until; stop


of each of their

(i.e., Claudius’s)


(see note)



boundary markers identified

every kind of

was called


tribute; in advance

How Vaspasyan cam to Bretayne and had trewage, in whose tyme Seynt Petir preched at Antioche.





fol. 39v





Than sente thay hyder worthy Vaspasien
To sette this londe in humble obeyshance
To Rome agayne, as sayth the historien
Gyldas in his storyese and remembrance,
Or els dystroy his dyssobeyssance
Thurgh his worthy conqueste and chyvalry
By whiche Bretons shuld falle in mysery.

In his tyme was Seynte Petre than prechynge
Att Antyoche and came so forth to Rome
The peple hool to Crysten fayth techynge
That was his werke whan he so thyder come
On whiche stode alle his sentence and his dome
With benygne chere and verry humble herte
The folke aywhare to prechen and converte.

To Dovere than, that called was Rutupewe,
Vaspasien came there forto arryve.
On whom the kynge so fersely gan to shewe
That to Totneys he gan with sayle to dryve
Whare he founde none with sworde, ne yit with knyve,
His londynge ought to letten or to conturbe
Whare he arrove and no wight hym disturbe.

So went he forth to Excestere his way
Caerpenelgorte so hight and hit assayled.
On whom the kynge came than the sevent day
With bataylle stronge that ayther party wayled
So wery were that bothe here hostes fayled.
For whiche by hyre tretyse Quene Genvyse
Acordyd thaym by gode concorde and wyse

Quia mulier desiderat nisi superioritatem13 (t-note)

To pay to Rome so forthwarde his tribute
With love and pese as was afore conquerde
And nayther parte to suffere more rebute.
Thus hath she thaym fully counsailde and sterde.
Vaspasian als tendyrly she requyred
To wynter here and byde unto the somyr
And graunte hyre alle; he myght no better ourcom hyr.

From thens forwarde he worshipt eche Romayne
Paynge treuly eche yere his hoel truage
With wisdome so reduced was agayne
That welle he kepte his lond and heritage
Oute of alle werre and stryfe and alle outrage
In whose tyme so, as some cronycle expresse,
Josep Aramathy in Bretayn came I gesse.

(see note)

determination; judgment



hinder; disturb

was called




overrule; here

entire; tribute

(see note)

Nota how Joseph of Arymathy cam into Bretayn, to whom Kynge Arvyragus gafe the Ile of Avalon and gafe hym leve to teche the Cristen fayth, whare he converte grete peple and made the rode of the north dore, whiche Agrestes caste in the west se bisyde Caerlyoun, for vengeance of whiche he brent hymself in an oven, as it is contened in the book of Joseph of Arymathi lyfe and of his governance.

Unde in Jeromia: “Et factus est sudor eius sicut gutte sanguinis decurrentes in terram.”14





fol. 40r






The yere of Cryste so was syxty and thre
Whan he came with his frendes in Grete Bretayne
Whare he byred is withouten le.
And two fyols fulle of the swete to sayne
Of Jhesu Cryste as rede as blode of vayne
Whiche he gadered and brought with hym away
And layd in erth with hym at his laste day.

By lycense of the kynge, Josep gan teche
Within Bretayn the fayth in dyverse place
And parte converte whare so that he dyd preche
Thurgh wille of God graunted to hym by grace.
To whom the kynge than gaffe a dwellyng place
Mewytryne than it hight and had to name
Of Breton tonge that tyme it had no fame.

Twelve hydes of londe to hym he gaffe therewyth
To leve upon and gete his sustynaunce
Whiche byggyd ys and wele reparailde syth
To Goddes worshyp and his holy plesaunce.
Whiche is a place of worthi suffishaunce
That men calle nowe the house of Glassynbyry
Whare that he lyeth men say and hath his byry.

At Caerlegion, the whiche he had converte,
Of Cambre hool that had the dignyté
A crucifyxe he made thrilde thurgh the herte
Fulle lyke to Cryste as whan he saw hym de
In alle fygure to hys symylité
Whiche in the chyrche was metropolitane
He sette thare up to worshyp for Cryste alane.

Whyche by processe and turnynge of the fayth
Agrestes fals dyd caste therein the se
That no wyght knew aftyr of it no graythe
So was it loste thurgh his iniquyté.
For whiche, and for his instabilité,
Thare felle on hym suche fury and vengeance
That in an oven he brente was thurgh meschaunce.

Kynge Advyragus in sekenesse grete dyd falle
Whose worthyhed alle Europe gretely dredde
Who in the pese was ever pacificalle
And in the werres alle vyctory he hedde.
And at his dethe to Gloucester was ledde
And buried thare in a temple edifyed
In honoure of Claudyus and deyfyed.

Nota how our lady died, or was assumed, in the tyme of Kynge Arviragus.

In whose tyme so of Kynge Advyragus
Our lady dyed or els she was assumed
In body hole and soule fulle gloriouse.
Lesse clerkes sayne I have to myche presumed
To thaym I wylle that matere be transumed
To argew on unto the Day of Dome
For it assoyle my braynes bene fulle tome.

.xxvii. capitulum of Kynge Marius and Coile secund

(Joseph of Arimathea)
vials; sweat

was called

built; equipped since

burial place


protection (sanctuary)



taken up

resolve; dull

How Roderyke and the Peightes (Picts) faught with the kynge and, fro thay were discomfyte, he gafe thaym Cattenesse to dwel in and inhabyte.




fol. 40v







Maryus his sonne goten and propagate
Right of his wyfe that was Quene Genvyse
Was crouned kynge of Bretayne and create
By alle his lordes in thaire moste solempne wyse.
Who was at Rome so noryshed on thaire gyse
Wyth his modyr kyn, the beste of that empyre,
With Claudyus als, who was his own graunsyre.

And in his tyme a Peght that hyght Rodryke
With powere grete by se cam fro Sythy
Als proude and breme as lyoun Marmoryke
Arryued up so than in Albany
Dystroynge hool the londe alle sodenly.
For whiche the kynge hym mette with hole bataylle
And slew hym thare that day withouten faylle.

In signe of his honoure and victory
In that same place he sette a stone up right
On whiche was sette and tytled that same story
A bounde it ys of Westmerland by sight
Whiche the Rerecrosse of Staynemore now so hight.
And Westmerlond the contré he dyd calle
Than after his name and boundyd it over alle.

To alle the Peghtes that bode he gaffe Cattenesse
In Albany to have in heritage
Whiche toke thaym wyfes in Irelonde more and lesse
For Bretons nolde mary in thaire lynage.
Thay were of suche mysreule and grete outrage
That he thaym putte so ferre away I gesse
From his Bretons for drede of thayre wyldenesse.

Kynge Maryus so dyed than anone
And buried was at Salysbyry cyté
Who regned nyne and fourty yere echone
Paynge tribute as dyd his parenté
Levynge the londe in richesse and plenté
With lawes wele kepte in pese and fulle concorde
As cronyclers bere wyttenesse and recorde.

Kynge Coule the secunde

Coyle than his sonne was kynge right corounde so
Who nurtured was at Rome with grete vertewe
Helde welle his lawes egalle to frende and fo
And in his domes constant he was and trewe.
Amonge alle men his reule in werke up grewe
So vertuouse that he had grete honours
Welle more than other of his antecessours.

And at Norwyche as cronycles do telle
He buryd was with grete solempnyté
After that he ten yere had regned welle
In alle gode reule and fulle felicyté.
Alle other kynges nere his extremyté
Aboute ourewhare he suffred to sytte in pese
Or els gafe thaym of his withouten lese.
begotten; (t-note)

brought up; manner



(see note)

frontier marker
is called


did not wish to





In each direction
his [goods]; lie

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