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 primum.

ALUREDUS, þe fourþe*. [vurde, γ.] broþer of burþe,*. [birþe, β.] was evere i-holde behynde while his breþeren regnede. But he hadde after hem þe hole*. [hoole, Cx.; kyng is written twice over in MS.] kyngdom of West Saxons nyne and twenty ȝere, and rulede*. [reulede, γ.] it nobilliche,*. [noblich, β.] but with greet travaille. Here take hede*. [hyde, γ.] of his bygynnynge, of his forþ*. [vorþ, γ.] goynge, and of his laste ende, ffor Aluredus was faire*. [feyr, γ.] of shap*. [schap, β.] and more i-loved boþe of fader and of moder þan his oþer breþeren, and dwelled in Page  355, vol.6 his fader court to þe ȝere of his age twelve, and was noȝ itt*. [ȝut, γ.] i-lettred. Þerafter þe childe lerned riȝt wel, and helde*. [huld, γ.] Saxoun poesy*. [Saxon poeysy, β.] in mynde. He passed oþer men in craft of hontynge, and was a sotel*. [sotil, β.; sutyl, γ.; subtyll, Cx.] maister of buldynge*. [buildynge, Cx.] and of oþer werkes; he gadrede psalmes*. [salmes, γ.] and orisouns to gedres*. [gedders, γ.] in a litel book, and cleped þat book manual,*. [manuel, Cx.] þat is an hond book; he hadde þe*. [þe] that, Cx.] book wiþ hym alwey; he kouþe*. [couþe, β.] his gramer but sympilliche,*. [symplich, β.; bote sympellyche γ.; He was but a symple Grama|ryon, Cx.] for þat tyme was nouȝt oon techer of gramer in al his kyngdom. Þerfore by counsail of Neotus þe abbot, whom*. [whom, from α., β., and Cx.; wham, γ.; whan, MS.] he visited ful*. [vysytede vol, γ.] ofte, he was þe firste þat ordeyned comyn scole at Oxenforde of dyverse artes and sciens,*. [sciences, β.] and procrede*. [procured, β.] fredom and priveleges in many articles*. [artykels, γ.] to þat citee; he suffrede*. [suffride β.] no man to stye*. [stye up] take degree or ordre, Cx.] up*. [op, γ.] to what manere dig|nitee it were of holy chirche, but he were wel i-lettred. He tornede þe beste lawes into Englissh tonge. At þe laste he*. [hit, β.]Page  357, vol.6 auntred*. [aventred, Cx.] hym to torne*. [translate, Cx.] þe psauter*. [sauter, β. and γ.] in to Englisshe. But he tornede*. [translated, Cx.] unneþe þe firste party to fore his ende day. Whanne he come to age he wolde stable his herte and his þouȝt in Goddes hestes the*. [of, MS.] leccherie of his flesche*. [vleysch, γ.] greved hym, and lette hym ofte tyme; þerfore for to putte*. [vor to pot, γ.] away þat*. [þat] om. Cx.] tempta|cioun of flescheliche*. [vleyschlyche, γ.] likynge he wente to and visited ful ofte temples of holy seyntes erliche and late and at cokkes*. [cockes, β.] crow|ynge*. [kokene crouwe, γ.] and prayed God þat he wolde chaste*. [chastyse, Cx.] his flesche*. [vleysch, γ.] with suche*. [sich, β.] a siknesse þat he schulde nouȝt be unprofitable*. [unprofythabel, γ.] to worldliche dedes, and þat he myȝte þe more freliche*. [vrelyche, γ.] serve God Almyȝty: at Goddes ordenaunce he hadde many ȝere þe evel þat hatte ficus,*. [fyches, γ.] þat*. [þat is . . . þat evel] om. β. and Cx.] is a schrewed evel, for*. [vor, γ. (semper).] it semeþ þat his bom is oute þat haþ þat evel.*. [þat is . . . þat evel] om. β. and Cx.] At þe laste he was oute of hope to be i-heled, and wente into Cornewayle to Seynt Gueroun*. [Gueron, γ.; Suerons, Cx.] his chirche, þere seynt Neotus resteþ, oþer*. [owþer, Cx., bis.] for to cese*. [ceese, β.; sese, γ.] it oþer for to chaunge it. ℞. But some men telleþ þat seynt Modwenna þe Irisch mayde helede hym of þat evel. At Page  359, vol.6 þe laste, whanne he hadde his wille, a wors evel hym took*. [touk, γ.] in his wedded tyme, and greved hym wel more from his twentiþe ȝere to his ȝere foure*. [fyve, α., β., and Cx.] and fourty.*. [vyve and vourty, γ.] His queene Ethelswida bare hym tweie sones, Edward þe eldere and Egelward; and þre douȝtres, Elfleda lady of Mercia, Ethelgora a mynchoun,*. [monchon, β.; meynchen, γ.; Ethelgota a menchon, Cx.] and Elfrida: [and]*. [From β.] he made hem alle lerne*. [lurne, γ.] gramer and oþere fre artes and science. Þanne Aluredus, ȝever of almesse*. [almus, γ.] and herere of masses, souȝte*. [souȝt, β.] besiliche*. [bisilich, β., et infra.] lore of arte and of craftes þat he knewe nouȝt, and sente for*. [for] after, β. and Cx.] seint Grymbaldus þe monk, a connynge man of lettrure and of song, and prayed hym for to come to hym out of Fraunce into Enge|lond. Also*. [Also . . . Engelond] not in β. and γ.] he sente for Iohn monk, a konnynge man of let|trure and of song, and prayed hym for to come to hym out of Fraunce into Engelond.*. [Also . . . Engelond] not in β. and γ.] Also he sente for Iohn, monk of Seynt Davy his abbay*. [Daviþis abbay, β.] in Menevia, for he schulde come to hym out of þe uttermeste*. [utmeste, α.; ottemeste, γ.] ende of*. [þe . . . ende of] om. β. and Cx.] Wales for to teche hym lettrure and*. [lettrure and] om. Cx.] clergie. [He excitede and confortede þe lordes of his lond to lurne lettrure and clergy,]*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.] so þat þey schulde sette here children*. [childern, γ., bis.] to scole; and ȝif þey hadde no children*. [childern, γ., bis.]Page  361, vol.6 þey schulde graunte here bonde*. [boond, β.] men fredom, and sette hem to scole ȝif þey hadde good witte and were able to lerne. He enquerede and aspiede besiliche þe doynge and deedes of his officers and servauntes, and nameliche of iuges and of domesmen;*. [In this portion the text of γ. is very much injured by fire and water.] and ȝif he knewe*. [he myght understande, Cx.] eny of hem errede and dede*. [dide, β.; dude, γ.] amys, wheþer it were for unkonnynge oþer for covetise, he put*. [a pot, γ.] hym*. [hym] them, Cx.] out of his offys. Also he made Werefredus bisshop of Wircestre*. [Werfredus bischop of Wircetre, β.] translate*. [translated, MS.] and torne*. [and torne] om. Cx.] into Saxoun speche Gre|gory his bookes dialogie.*. [dialogorum, β. and γ.]Willelmus de Regibus, libro primo. He deled a thre*. [departed in thre, Cx., et infra.] al þat he myȝte spende, and ȝit he delede [þe firste del a þre: þe firste del þerof he delede to þe kynge his mynystres þat were i-deled]*. [From α., β., and γ. (not in Cx.)] in þre parties. For þe tweie parties of þe kynges mynistres were tweyne*. [tweyne] om. β. and Cx.] at home, for to ordeyne for homeliche þinges; in þe þridde monþe everiche partie and companye schulde serve tofore þe kyng. He as|signede þe secounde part of þis firste part to dyverse workmen Page  363, vol.6 þat he*. [he] om. Cx.] gadrede out of everiche side; þe þridde partye he deled to comers and to straungers. Þanne þe secounde cheef*. [chef, β. and γ.; chyef, Cx.] partie of þat he myȝte spende, he deled it*. [it] om. β.] [ȝit]*. [From α. and β.; ȝut, γ.] a foure: þe firste partye þerof he ȝaf to pore men and nedy, þe secounde to foundynge of abbayes, þe þridde to scolers of Oxenforde þat were i-gadered and schulde be i-gadered*. [ygadderd, γ.] þere,*. [and . . . þere] om. α.] and þe fourþe*. [ferþe, β.; vurde, γ.] deel to amendynge of chirches. And for he wolde weie his owne lif ariȝt he delede in þre*. [in þre] a þre, α. and β.] þe foure and twenty houres of*. [and, α.] þe day and nyȝt, and spente eyȝte þerof in writynge and in*. [in] om. β.] redynge and biddynge ofbeedes, eyȝte aboute his body*. [bodyly, Cx.] nedes, and eyȝte aboute nedes of þe kyngdom. And to departe þese*. [þues, γ.] houres rediliche he sette a candel in his chapel of foure and twenty parties, and schulde be i-warned of*. [of] by, β.] hem þat were i-ordeyned þerfore as ofte as eny of þilke foure and twenty were i-spend. After þe monþe of his kyngdom he fauȝte*. [voȝt, γ.] wiþ þe Danes at Wiltoun wiþ grete harme of boþe oostes.*. [both the hoostes, Cx.] For Englisshe men were destroyed*. [distruyed, β.] wiþ eiȝte batailles in oon*. [o, γ.] ȝere, and were moche i-feble;*. [mych yfebled, β.; yfebled, γ. febled, Cx.] þerfore þat ȝere Englisshe men Page  365, vol.6 made pees wiþ þe Danes uppon þat covenant þat þey*. [hy, γ., et infra.] schulde wend from hem, and so þey dede. For þat ȝere þey dwellede*. [dwellide, β.; dwelde, γ.] at Londoun, and þe next ȝere after at Lyndeseie, and þe Merces made pees wiþ þe Danes also þat tyme; but [in]*. [From β. and γ.] þe þridde ȝere þe Danes breek*. [breke, γ.] [þe]*. [From β.] pees, and wente out of Lynde|seye anon to Rependoun. Charles þe eldere, þe þridde Lowys his broþer, took þe wey to Rome whanne his broþer was deed, and was i-crowne*. [y-crowned, α.; crowned, β.; y-crouned, γ.] emperour of pope Iohn, and regnede two ȝere. For while*. [whiles, Cx.] he ordeyned at Papy for þe comyn profit of þe empere, he herde*. [a hurde, γ.] of þe comynge of Charloman,*. [Charlomayn, β.] þat was his owne broþer sone, and his herte gan*. [bigan, β.] to falle*. [valle, γ.] for drede, and wente toward Fraunce, and deide among þe grete hilles þat hatte Alpes. After hym his sone Lowys*. [Alpes in MS. by a slip of the scribe.] Balbus regnede two ȝere. After hym Charles þe ȝonger, þat heet*. [hatt, β.] Grossus, þat is greet, þe sone of þe þridde Lowys, regned ten ȝere. Þat ȝere þe Danes lefte Lyndeseie and come to Rependoun; þere þei putte out Burdredus kyng of Mer|cia, and bytook þat*. [bitoke the, Cx.] kyngdom to oon Colwulfus, þat was Burdredus his servaunt, uppon*. [oppon, γ.] suche*. [sich, β.] a condicioun, þat þey Page  367, vol.6 schulde have þat kyngdom aȝe whanne þat þey wolde; but after þre ȝere þey delede som of þe kyngdom bytwene hem, and some byleft to Colwulfus, and þis Colwulfus was þe laste kyng of Mercia. After his deþ Aluredus inned*. [joynede, β.; innede, γ.; joyned, Cx.] Londoun first,*. [vurste, γ.] and Colwulfus deel*. [deel], from α.; del, γ.; of Col|wulfus his deth, MS.; Colwulfus part Cx.] to his owne kyngdom. Also þat ȝere þe Danes come eft*. [ofte, β., γ., and Cx.] to Rependoun, and þe men of Hamburgh, þat is*. [an, add. β.; aboute an, add. γ.] fyve myle from Rependoun, were wonder sore aferd, and took þe body of seynt Werburgh þe mayde, þat hadde longe tyme i-leie*. [ley, Cx.] i-buried þere, and was alwey hool and sounde anon to þat tyme, and translate*. [translatede, γ.] it*. [translatide hir, β.; translated her, Cx.] to Chestre as to a syker*. [seker, Cx.] place.*. [plas, γ.] Also þat ȝere kyng Aluredus made pees wiþ the Danes, and þey slouȝ þe kyng his horsmen alle in oon nyȝt; þerfore þe kyng was i-meoved, and chasede hem anon to Chestre, and þer*. [þe, α., β., and Cx.] Danes delyverede and ȝaf eft plegges,*. [pledges, Cx.] and dwelled a ȝere þere. Henricus, libro 5o. Þat ȝere Rollo þe Dane come first into Normandie, and regnede þere fourty ȝere. Willelmus de Regibus, libro 2o. First oon Hastynges*. [Hastingus, β. and γ.] and þanne Rollo Nori|cus, þat is a Dane þat hadde no contray of his owne, bote by Page  369, vol.6 heste of þe kyng he excitede mysdoers þat coveitede oþer men*. [mennus, β.] good and catel,*. [goodes and catayle, Cx.] and brouȝte hem in grete hope of grete wyn|nynge, and ladde hem wiþ hym, and werrede in lond and in see from þe*. [þe] om. Cx.] Brittisshe occean anon to þe see þat hatte Mare Tyrenum, þat is þe see þat streccheþ to Italy. Þanne he com to Carnotum, þere þe citeȝeyns truste not on here walles noþer on here strengþe,*. [stryngþe, γ.] but þey took*. [hy touke, γ.] oure lady smok,*. [smocke, Cx.] þat Charles þe Ballede had i-brouȝt wiþ oþer relikes out of Constantyn|noble, and sette þe smok uppon þe pinacles,*. [oppon þe pynnakels, γ.; a py|nacle, Cx.] as it were a baner. Þe enemyes scornede þe smok, and schette*. [schott, β.; schute, γ.; shollen, Cx.] þerto, and were i-smete wiþ blyndenesse, but Rollo*. [Roll, Cx.] scapede and oc|cupiede Rothomage, þe ȝere of oure Lord eiȝte hondred þre score and sixtene,*. [xvii., Cx.] þat was oon ȝere to fore þe deþ of Charles þe Ballede. His sone Lowys overcome þe Normans, but he putte*. [pot. γ.] hem nouȝt out; [and Charles Simplex þat het grossus also, þis Lowys his broþer,]*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.] and his broþer*. [and his broþer] om. α., β., and γ.] Charles þe Balled his nevew, was ofte oversette in batailles wiþ Rollo, and took counsaile at þe laste, and cordede*. [acordede, α.; acorde, γ.] with Rollo, so þat he schulde be i-cristned,*. [yfulled, β.; yvolled, γ.] and knowleche þat he hilde*. [huld, γ.] Nor|mandye Page  371, vol.6 and Armorica, þat is Litel Bretayne, of the kyng of Fraunce as of þe cheef*. [chef, β.; chyef, Cx.] lord. Whan þat was i-doo, men þat stood by counsailled Rollo þat he schulde kisse*. [cusse, α.; kusse, γ.] þe kynges feet þat ȝaf hym suche*. [sich, β.] a ȝifte. But he hadde indignacioun, and was to proude to falle*. [valle, γ.] adoun on his knees,*. [knen, β.] and took up þe kynges foot*. [fote, β.; voot, γ.] to his mouth, so þat he þrewe*. [þreu, γ.] þe kyng upriȝt. For þat hap Normans gonne to lauȝe,*. [beanne to laugh, Cx.] and Frensche men wexe riȝt wrooþ; Rollo excuseþ hym of þat boistous*. [boystus, γ.] dede, and alleyeþ þe manere and usage of his contray. Þan Rollo wente aȝe to Rothomage, and ordeyned for his catel and þynges, and deide sone after.*. [þerafter, α., β., and Cx.; þar after, γ.]