Polychronicon Ranulphi Higden maonachi Cestrensis; together with the English translations of John Trevisa and of an unknown writer of the fifteenth century.
Higden, Ranulf, d. 1364., Trevisa, John, tr. d. 1402., Caxton, William, ca. 1422-1491., Malverne, John, d 1415?, Babington, Churchill, ed. 1821-1889,, Lumby, J. Rawson ed. (Joseph Rawson), 1831-1895.

Capitulum nonum.

MAURICIUS was emperour xxjti yere, a man of grete feythe, whiche overcome men of Persida and of Armenia. Neverthelesse Page  383, vol.5 he discordede moche from Seynte Gregory, in the ende that he detracte hym soore, intendynge hys dethe. In whiche tyme a man apperede at Rome, clothede with an habite monasticalle, havynge a drawen swerde in his honde, cryenge thro the cite, "Mauricius themperour schalle be extincte." Themperour herenge that, correcte hym for his offense, preynge God to*. [Nota.] chaunge that sentence. To whom Criste apperenge in his slepe seide, "Wille thow y schalle spare the here or in an other worlde." Themperour seide, "Lorde, do to me here at thy pleasure;" whiche beynge in the este commaundynge his knyȝhtes to leve rape and thefte, and not ȝiffynge to theym stipendies as thei were wonte to have, the knyȝhtes havynge indignacion, made Focas emperour, which did sle Mauricius Page  385, vol.5 with his thre sonnys, as he fledde towarde an yle. Marianus, libro 2o. Ceaulinus, and Cutha his sonne, fauȝhte in this yere ageyne the Britons at Fetanleighe, but Cutha sleyne, Ceaulinus hade the victory. Beda, libro 1o. Elle, the kynge of Deira, diede in the xxxti yere of his reigne, and Ethelricus, son of Ida, reignede on bothe provinces, Deira and Bernicia, v. yere. Thre breþer were borne in this yere in Fraunce, Ado, Bado, and Dado, other Audoenus, whiche levenge after that che|vallery was made the bischoppe of Roone. Paulus, libro quarto. Guntranus goynge in to a woode to hunte abowte this tyme, his felowschip dispersede, was oppressede with slepe, slepynge in the lappe of a tru servaunte to hym. A lytelle crepynge beste commynge owte of his mowthe, attemptede to goe over a lytelle ryver; the man in the lappe of whom the kynge did slepe perceyvenge that, putte his swerde over þe Page  387, vol.5 ryver, by whom that beste gate to the brynke of the ryver. Whiche goynge unto an hille, and returnynge ageyne, entrede in to the mowthe of the kynge, commynge by the same weye as hit wente. The kynge awakenge soone after that, seide to his servaunte that he thouȝhte that he hade goen by a brygge [folio 256b] of yrne un to an hille, where he see grete habundaunce of golde. Then his secretary schewede to hym what that he hade doen; whiche goynge to that hille, founde grete treasure, of parte of whiche treasure that kynge made a precious cuppe|borde or table, whom he hade thouȝhte to have sende to Ieru|salem, but he, lette of that purpose, sette hit in the cite Cabillona, on the body of Marcellus the martir. Beda, libro primo. The holy fader Columbanus goynge from Yrlonde with Seynte Gallus and mony noble disciples, come un to Bur|guyne, where he made a monastery of Luxone, thro permission of Theodoricus kynge. Whiche expulsede from that cuntre by Brunnilda the qwene, fledde to Alemayne, where he made Page  389, vol.5 mony monasterys, and famose un to this tyme, where they admitte oonly men of Yrlonde to be monkes, levenge Gallus governoure þer. But Columbanus goynge to Ytaly, made a noble monastery there. Soe grete habundaunce of reyne did descende this tyme, in so moche that the water of Tiber tow|chenge the toppes of the walles of the cite of Rome, brouȝte with hit a multitude of serpentes as innumerable, with a grete dragon, thro the pestilente putrefaccion of whom moche peple diede in the cite, where a mervellous pestilence folowede soone after, wastenge Pelagius the pope; whiche was so soore that thei were infecte in the way, at the table, in disportes, pere|schenge moche peple in yoskenge or nesynge. From whiche tyme a consuetude began, that a man nesynge, peple beynge by use to say "Criste helpe the," and make a crosse on their mowthe to mitigate that passion. Blisside Gregory, archidia|con of the cite of Rome, movynge peple to devocion, made vij. folde letanyes, settenge the cleregy in the firste place, abbottes Page  391, vol.5 with theire monkes in the secunde place, abbesses with heire covente in the thridde place, infantes in the iiijthe place, lay|men in the vthe place, wedowes in the vjthe, and weddede or maryede men in the vijthe place. Beda, libro primo, capitulo vicesimo tertio. Gregory was made pope, contynuynge that office xiij. yere and vj. monethes and x. daies, whiche made [folio 257a] mony noble werkes, as xlijti omelyes on the gospelles domini|calle, the moralles on Iob, omelyes on the begynnynge and ende of Ezechiel, þe pastoralles, and the dialoges; makenge a monastery in his awne howse, ordeynynge stacions to be made at Rome in diverse churches in every day of Lente for the remission of synnes, causenge the hedes and membres of ydoles to be kytte aweye. Whiche didde adde in the canon of þe masse "Diesque nostros in tua pace disponas;" namenge hym the servaunte of servauntes in writenge, the firste of eny bischop of Rome; whiche ordeynede in a cownsayle at Rome that ministres of the awter scholde ȝiffe attendaunce to pre|chynge, Page  393, vol.5 and not to songe, seyenge that a congruente life is contempte when that a pleasaunte voice is inquirede in the ministery of Criste and the synger dothe excite the peple to have a pleasure in theire songe. And thauȝhe this pope was a man of grete perfeccion, ȝitte he hade mony adversaryes and enemyes, whiche hade ordeynede to have brente his werkes after his dethe, but that Petre his diacon affermede theym to be made by the instinccion of the Holy Goste, takenge his dethe in to testimony; where he diede incontinenti after that he hade seide soe. Ceaulinus, kynge of Westesaxons, and Crida, diede, whom Colfricus, son of Cuthulphus his broþer, succeded v. yere, reignynge with grete victory; after whom Colwulphus his broþer reignede xiij. yere. Beda, libro primo, capitulo ultimo. Ethelfridus, son of Ethelricus, son of Ida, began to reigne on men of Northumbrelonde, whiche reignede xxiiijti yere. This kynge, covetous of worldely glory, destroyede the Britons Page  395, vol.5 moste of eny prince of Ynglische men, and made theyme tribu|taryes to hym; whiche hade vij. sonnes and oon doȝhter, seynte Ebba, geten by Acta, doȝhter of Elle kynge, of whom Os|waldus and Oswinus were tweyne. Beda, libro tertio, capi|tulo tertio. Columba thabbotte diede this tyme, and was beryede at þe yle callede Hii. Beda, libro quinto, capitulo nono. Whiche was callede also by a worde compewnde Columkyllus, of Columba and cella. Beda, libro primo, capitulo vicesimo tertio. In whiche yere grete Gregory the pope sende Austyn the monke to preche the worde of Godde to Ynglische men, with other clerkes, whiche travaylynge towarde that cuntre, and affrayede, returnede ageyne to Gregory. Whiche [folio 257b] confortynge hym, sende letters with hym to the bischoppe Arelatense, þat he scholde helpe Austyn in thynges necessary to hym. ℞. The tenors of whiche letters and of other directe to the kynge of Kente, with the responsalles of Gre|gory, the inquisicions of Austyn, were putte in the registre of Gregory and in Bede. Paulus, libro quinto. The Longobardes entrede in the nyȝhte in to the monastery of Seynte Benedicte Page  397, vol.5 in the mownte Cassyne, but the monkes fleenge to Rome, toke with theym the booke of theire holy rule. Blissede Benedicte schewede afore that desolacion to comme, opteynynge unnethe of God that þe sawles of the monastery scholde be salvede. Meremaydes were seene of the hoste of the Romanes in the floode callede Nilus, at the yle callede Delta, in the similitude of men and also of women. Austyn did londe in this yere at the este parte of Kente, in the yle callede Thanatos, with xlti felawes, and certayne interpretators taken from Fraunce, after the cownselle of blissede Gregory, sendenge theym to Ethelbertus in the xxvjti yere of his reigne, for his sawle|healethe and of his peple also. The kynge herynge that, whiche hade herde as but late afore the fame of the religion of Criste, whiche hade taken to his qwene a Cristen woman of Page  399, vol.5 Fraunce, in this condicion, that he scholde receyve the feithe of Criste, after a certeyne tyme paste come to the seide yle, spekynge with þeim withowte eny place of coverte, kepynge in that the maner and ryte of gentyles. Whiche exaltenge a baner of the crosse with an ymage of the crucifixe peyntede in hit, songe the letany, and prechede the worde of lyfe. To whom the kynge seide, "The wordes ye speke be swete and pleasaunte, but y may not condescende to theyme anoon, in that thei be ȝitte as newe thynges; but in that ye have commyn ferre for my luffe, we schalle ministre to yow thynges necessary, grawnt|enge to yow licence to converte to your feithe of oure peple so mony as ye can." The peple herenge that, wente to the cite of Cawnterbery with procession, syngynge Alleluia, and preyenge God that his wrathe myȝhte be averte from that cite. And so thei entrenge in to that cite kepede the consuetude of the [folio 258a] Page  401, vol.5 primitive churche in abstinence, in vigiles, and in preyers, prech|enge, haloynge, and baptysynge, in the este parte of the cite, in an olde churche of blissede Martyne, un tille that the kynge was convertede with moche peple. The kynge convertede to the feithe, ȝafe to Austyn a place of the bischoppe seete, with mony possessions, at the churche of oure Saviour, whiche made at the este parte of the cite a monastery of Petur and of Paule, where that Austyn and his successors, and also the kynges of Kente, were wonte to be beryede. Beda, libro 1o, capitulo vicesimo septimo. After that, Austyn goynge to the bischoppe Arelatense, was consecrate in to tharchbischoppe by hym. Blissede Gregory made certeyne þerof sende Mellitus, Iustus, Page  403, vol.5 Paulinus, and oþer helpers to hym, with answeres to the in|quisicions of Austyn foloynge. The consuetude of the churche of Rome is that iiij. porcions be made of every stipendy congru|ente; oon porcion to the bischoppe and to his howseholde; the secunde porcion to the clergy; the thridde to pover men; the iiijthe to the reparacion of churches; and alle other thynges awe to be commune; and if eny treasure be lefte, hit awe to be spende in to the sawle healethe. To the secunde inquisicion of Austyn hit was answeryde in this maner, whiche question was this in forme, "Sythe that þer is oon feythe, why be the con|suetudes of the churches diverse?" To the whiche Seynte Gregory seide that he scholde knowe to please Allemyȝhty God moche of mony churche, and that he scholde preche that thynge collecte to peple of Ynglonde, seyenge that places are to be luffede for goode thynges, and not thynges for places. Colwulphus, son of Cutha, brother to Ceau|linus, reignede on the Westesaxons xiiij. yere. Mony mer|vellous thynges were schewede in this tyme in the subarbes of Page  405, vol.5 Constantinopole, as a childe havynge iiij. feete, and an oþer ij. hedes. Ino bischop, and borne in Persida, diede at Ynglonde in this yere. Beda, libro primo, capitulo tricesimo. Blissede Gregory sende Austyn this yere to ordeyne ij. metropolitanes, oon at London, an other at Yorke. Austyn callede the doctors of the Britons and bischoppes, thro þe helpe of kynge Ethel|bertus, in to a place callede Augustines oc, as the strenȝhte of Austyn, in the coste of the Weste Saxons, monyschenge theyme to preche with hym to Ynglische men, and that thei scholde [folio 258b] correcte other erroneus thynges amonge theyme selfe, and specially of the ryte of the terme Paschalle, whiche they denyede, tylle hit was made open by the manifestacion of a notable signe wheder parte awe to be folowede. Afore whom an Ynglische man beynge blynde was brouȝhte, whiche was restorede to siȝhte at the preyer of Seynte Austyn, the Britons Page  407, vol.5 faylenge in the healenge of hym. Then the Britons know|legede the weye of Austyn to be tru, seyenge they myȝhte not refuse theire olde rites withowte consente of olde faders. Wherefore a seene was assignede where vij. bischoppes of the Britons mette with mony noble clerkes of the famose abbey of Bangor, askenge cownesaile afore an heremite, whiche seide to theym that thei scholde obbey Austyn if they founde hym meke as the disciple of Criste, whiche thynge thei scholde prove if that he did aryse to theym commynge in to that cownesaile. But Austyn sate in his sete, and did not aryse to theyme, wherefore they despisede hym utterly. Then Seynte Austyn seide to theyme, "Obey me in thre thynges þauȝhe ye wille not obeye me in other thynges; that ye kepe dewly the feste of Ester, that ye baptize after the consuetude of the churche of Rome, and that ye preche with me to Ynglische men; and y schalle suffre other thynges that scholde be correcte amonge yow:" but they despisede hym utterly. Wherefore Seynte Austyn seide that vengeaunce scholde come to theyme whiche Page  409, vol.5 wolde not take peace with his breþer; whiche vengeaunce was doen afterwarde, by the iuggemente of God, by Ethelfridus kynge of Northumbrelonde, when he did slee, at Westechestre, a grete multitude of the monkes with oþer peple.