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 decimum.

THE ordre Cisterciense began abowte this tyme in Bur|guyn, in this maner folowynge. Willelmus de Regibus, libro sepuarto.*. [Sic in MS.] A man of Ynglonde, Steven by name, and made monke at Shirburne, wente to Scottelonde, and after to Fraunce, Page  397, vol.7 where he was instructe in the artes liberalle. Whiche movede thro the swetenesse of scripture to moore devocion, takynge with hym his condisciple with whom he usede to say the sawter dayly, wente to Rome, and returnede thens entrede into a newe monastery Molysyne, where he perceyvynge certeyne thynges commaundede þer to be observede, whiche thynges he herde not [folio 348a] afore, neiþer see in the rule of seynte Benedicte, he made reasons and inquisicions þerof mekely and religiously, seyenge: "God made alle thynges by reason, and governethe thynges made by reason; the sterres be movede by reason; and so oure naturalle lyfe excedynge from reason by slawthe and ignoraunce awe to be reducede by lawes and reasons. Wherefore thauȝhe there be somme thynges in the rule of seynte Benedicte, the intellect of whom the dullenesse of my Page  399, vol.7 mynde may not comprehende, y suppose hit be beste to ȝiffe credence to auctorite; for sithe that God made not eny thynge with owte reason, then how scholde y beleve holy seyntes and the foloers of God to ordeyne eny thynge with owte reason. Wherefore brynge auctorite or reason for those thynges that ye reherse, and ȝiffe exemples of the rule of seynte Benedict, and if ye do not ye professe in veyne the prerogatyf of hym the doctryne of whom ye despise to folowe." This sentence was open anoon amonge the breþer, and movede mony to avoide leste thei schulde labore in veyne; wherefore a decrete was made that the substantiall partes of that rule scholde be kepede, and oþer thynges as superfluous to be refusede. The abbot movede that alle men scholde conde|scende, but hit was harde to take awey the sedes from þeire Page  401, vol.7 myndes whiche hade bene sawen þer of olde tyme. Wherefore xviij. monkes oonly wente with Steven aforeseide, and lefte that monastery, confessynge due religion not to be observede þer where habundaunce of rychesse and delices of meites oppresse the sawle. Wherefore this Stephanus Hardingus bouȝte a place callede Cistercium, fulle of hilles, now a famous monastery, whiche place was encreasede moche by the helpe of the arche|bischop Vienense, and by helpe of the pope. ℞. After that, in the yere of oure Lorde God ml. c. xxxv., that ordre was brouȝhte into Yynglonde by a man callede Walterus Espec, a monastery of that ordre made at Rivallis. Willelmus de Regibus, libro quarto. This is the observaunce of theire religion: thei schalle were noo thynge of skynnes, as pilches, neiþer of lyne ne stamyn, neiþer bere or were breches, but in travayle; usynge ij. cootes with ij. towles in alle the yere, but thei may were oon in somer, but he schalle not were in eny wise moo then Page  403, vol.7 ij.cootes. Also thei slepe in theire clothes, not goynge to bedde after matyns; whiche moderate the servyce that the day begyn|nethe to be liȝhte afore the lawdes, syngynge prime anoon after the lawdes, and after that thei goo to theire laboures. [folio 348b] Noo man schalle absente hym from servyce, neiþer go furthe after complyn, but the infirmarer, celerer, and hostiler, whiche schalle serve the gestes with silence. Noo man of þeim eitethe flesche, but if he be seke. And thei have but oon refeccion in the day from the idus of September untylle Ester, Sonne|dayes excepte; not goynge furthe of the claustre but to laboure; not usynge to speke but to the abbotte or prior, usenge the Page  405, vol.7 office of seynte Ambrose, and havynge grete charge of hospi|talite. Thabbot Molimense began to kepe this observaunce streytely in the begynnynge, and causede oþer men to do so also, but he repente þer of soone after. For diverse of those monkes, knowynge the wille of thabbot, purchasede letters revocatory of the pope; and so alle monkes, viij. excepte, returnede to theire monastery, where thei were afore. Neverthelesse, those viij. monkes made Albericus abbot, and Hardingus prior, whiche Stephanus Hardyngus made abbot afterwarde, edifiede xv. monasterys, and began to edify an other. That religion en|creasede so moche in that tyme that the monkes of the ordre Cisterciense were as a lawnterne to alle oþer monkes.