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 octavum.

ENGLONDE and Normandy was vexede with a grete tribute, and dethe of men, insomoche that plowynge of londes was seasede. Men of Wales, abhorrenge the charge of servitute, robbede in the provinces of Chestre, Schrobbesbury, and of Herdeforde, and toke the castelle of Osuania. The Scottes did Page  363, vol.7 sle Duncanus theire kynge, and erecte Dunwaldus ageyne into kynge; and sterres were seen to falle from hevyn, and as to fiȝhte to gedre. Kynge William returnede from Normandy, sende an hoste into Wales, where he loste mony men and horses. The kynge perceyvynge men of Wales to be as invincible, what for streytenesse of the cuntre, and what for habundaunce of woodes, made diverse castelles þer on the costes nye to the see, [folio 342a] and kytte downe a grete parte of the woodes, whereby he de|stroyede afterwarde mony of theyme. Seynte Wulstan, bishop of Worcestre, diede this yere, the xviij. day of Ianuarius. Wil|lelmus de Pontificibus, libro primo. This seynte Wulstan ap|perede in the howre of his dethe to his wellbelovyde Roberte, bischop of Herforde, in the towne of Crikkelade, commaundynge hym to ordeyne for his sepulture. Also in the xxxti day folowynge he apperede to hym monyschynge hym to correcte his awne negligence and of his subiectes, seyenge that he Page  365, vol.7 scholde not occupye his seete longe after that tyme; and so he diede soone after. This seynte Wulstan suffrede not that rynge, with whom he receyvede the benediccion of the bischop, to be taken from his fynger in his dethe, ffor he seide oftetymes in his lyfe that he wolde never leve that rynge. That bischop seide ofte to men of Ynglonde troublede soore, "Hit is þe cor|reccion of God that ye suffre." Ynglische men ansuerynge that the Normannes were of wurse disposicion then Ynglische men were, the bischop seide "God usethe in correccion to us the synnes or wickede disposicion of theyme, and dothe exercise grete correccion into men not gilty by unworthy men." Wil|lelmus de Pontificibus, libro quarto. This holy bischoppe, borne in the province of Warwicke, was instructe at Petyr|borowe with letters and offices ecclesiasticalle; and at the Page  367, vol.7 laste he made preste, he seide masse with grete devocion, contente oonly with offrenges of peple, and as men supposede he was a virgyn, not usynge superfluous meites or drynkes, eitynge oþer while flesche, whiche thynge he refusede after by this occasion folowynge. This bischop goynge to plete for his ryȝhte in a day, thouȝhte to say masse afore, and after that to breke his fast, and so a goose was putte to the fire for hym. The seide bischop beynge at masse, felynge the savour of the goos, his mynde was trowblede soore, in so moche that he cowthe not avoide that from his mynde; where he made a protestacion to that sacramente that he scholde never after eite of that kynde of flesche in his lyfe. And so masse doen he wente to plete for his ryȝhte, tastenge not eny meyte. Afterwarde, devocion encresynge, he lefte the worlde, and was made monke at Worcestre, where he wente by alle the offices of that monastery, ȝiffynge hym to abstinence, vigilles, and to preyers, Page  369, vol.7 usynge to slepe on somme benche of that churche where he was wonte to pray. This holy man seynte Wulstan, beynge in contemplacion in a nyȝhte afore the hye awter, the develle apperede to hym in a forme visible, provokynge hym to synne [folio 345b] whom this holy man caste downe to the erthe thryes. After that the develle apperede to hym in the similitude of a ser|vaunte of the cowrte, and after that, this holy man seenge that servaunte was trowblede with drede and fere so ofte as he hade siȝhte of þat man. This holy bischop wolde not lyȝhte from his horse for brekynge of eny brigge. After that Aldredus made archebischop of Yorke, this holy man Wulstan was made bischoppe of Worcestre by laboure of the seide Aldredus, thenkynge to schado his rape by the simplicite of seynte Wulstan. Neverthelesse the seide holy man defendede the Page  371, vol.7 ryȝhte of his churche rather by vertu then by connynge. This holy man electe to be bischoppe, and not consentynge to the eleccion, was correcte and reprovede moche of an holy man, Wilsius by name, for his obstinaunce or obstinacion, whiche man was inclusede þerby xlti yere. And so seynte Wulstan monyschede by an oracle of God, consente to the eleccion; at the whiche consecracion ij. legates of the pope were presente. Wherefore seynte Wulstan made bischop keped grete absti|nence in meytes and drynkes; neverthelesse he omitte not the pride of Normannes, havynge mony knyȝhtes and gentyllemen Page  373, vol.7 in his servyce; and saynge masse dayly, seide also the complete sawter and mony other suffrages. Whiche usede to synge hye masse as soe ofte as he was at Worcestre, from whiche office he seide he wolde not be absolved, not for his bischopryche. Also he usede to kepe collacion with þe monkes, and so gene|ralle confession made, and his blissynge ȝiffen to theyme, he wente to his chamber. Whiche bischop travaylynge, seide dayly the sawter, usynge benediccions whom men of Ynglonde usede that tyme, and if he sate at the kynges table. And if necessite caused hym to plete, he preyede God to curse alle fals iugges, and to blisse alle iugges iuggenge trawthe, usynge moche furres of lambe. This bischoppe movede in a tyme to were the furre of cattes, in disporte answerde, "Beleve me, y herde never songe in the chirche the catte of Godde, but the lambe of Godde, þerfore y wylle raþer be made warme Page  375, vol.7 with the skynnes of lambe then with the skynnes of a catte." This bischoppe seenge the monkes goe to the newe monasterye whiche he hade edifiede, and the olde churche to be destroyede, whom seynte Oswalde hade edifiede, began to weipe. Then [folio 346a] diverse men stondynge by seide to the bischop that he scholde raþer be gladde to see suche honoure to his churche in his lyfe, that the edificacions were encreasede after the nowmbre of monkes. Then the bischp seide, "Y attende to an oþer sen|tence, that we wrecches scholde destroy the werkes of holy seyntes, for that tyme religious men toke litell attendaunce to ryalle edificacions." This bischop makynge an exhortacion to peple of pease, mony of theyme were turnede to pease, and oon of theyme wolde not be reconsilede to pease in eny wyse. To whom the bischop seide: "Scripture expressethe that men kepynge Page  377, vol.7 pease be blissede, where men that kepe not be pease be wrec|ches and childer of the develle; wherefore y commende the to hym to whom þow arte bownde, tylle thow returne to pease." And anoon a wickede spiritte entrede into hym, trowblynge hym so soore, that peple presente myȝhte perceyve the correc|cion of God in hym. Whiche man healede by seynte Wulstan, and returnede to synne ageyne, was troublede as he was afore, tylle that he lefte his trespasse. A man callede Alwinus by name, lyvynge an holy lyfe at Malverne, was movede to have goen to Ierusalem. Seynte Wulstan understondynge that by his reporte, seide to Alwinus, "Leve that purpose, for þow wolde mervayle if thow hade knowlege of those thynges that God is to do by the;" and so Alwinus disposynge hym after the cownsaile of seynte Wulstan, gedrede xxxti monkes to hym Page  379, vol.7 into his place. A merchaunte, Sexwulphus by name, usynge to be confessede of the seide bischop, confessynge hym in alle tymes as of the same synnes he was confessede afore. At the laste the bischop seide to hym, "Me thenke that oportunite makethe a thefe, wherefore y cownsaile the to be made a monke." But the man refusynge hit for streytenesse of lyfe, the bischop seide, "Go furthe, for thow shalle be a monke, wheþer þow wille or nay;" and so hit happede. Hit happede on a tyme this bischop to towche the hedde of a man, Nicholas by name, sonne of his norische, and to say, "Sonne, as y perceyve, thow wylle be ballede soone." To whom Nicholas seide, "Fader, why kepe ye not the heires that they falle not aweye?" Then the bischop seide, "Beleve me the residu schalle not falle while that y have lyfe;" and so hit happede; but in the same weke that the bischoppe diede alle the heieres of his hedde felle aweye, levynge noo thynge after theyme but the bare skynne. Also hit is rehersed of seynte Page  381, vol.7 Wulstan that William Conqueroure intendynge to have depo|sede hym for insuffience of intellect, and wontynge the langage of Fraunce, that somme men of Normandy myȝhte have hade that seete, seynte Wulstan takynge his pastoralle staffe fixede hit at the feete of seynte Edwarde kynge, beryede not longe afore, in a sadde stonne that noo man cowthe take hit awey untille that he toke that staffe ageyne at the desire of the kynge. Whiche seide to kynge William when he sette þe staffe þer, " A better man then thow arte ȝafe hit to me, take hit awey if thow can."