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 octavum.

WHAN þe firste kyng Henry was dede, Stephen eorle of Boleyn*. [Boloyn, β.] was kyng after hym. Þis Stephen was eorle of Ble|senses sone, kyng Henry his nevew on his suster side, and he regnede seventene ȝere, a nobil man and an*. [an] om. Cx.] hardy. But aȝenst his ooth þat he hadde i-made to þe emperesse he was i-crowned at Londoun on seynt Stephenes day, of*. [From β. and Cx.; and, MS.] William archebisshop of Canturbury, þat was i-swore to þe emperesse also. Þerfore Page  481, vol.7 þis William levede nouȝt [over]*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.] oon ȝere. Also al þe grete þat were i-swore to Steven made a wrecched ende; and also me saiþ þat in þe day of his coronement*. [crownement, β.] þe sacrament of Cristes body was brouȝt to þe kyng, and it vanysched*. [vansede, γ.] away sodeynlyche. Kyng Stephene was i-crowned, and i-swore to fore þe lordes at Oxenforde þat he wolde nouȝt holde in his hond þe prelacies þat voyden,*. [voidede, β.; voyded, Cx.] and also þat he wolde forȝeve þe Danes golde,*. [Danegold, α.; Danegilt, β.; vorȝeve þe Danegaelt, γ.; Dane|gylt, Cx.] and þat he wolde enplede*. [emplede, Cx.] no man for his owne woodes. Also, for he dradde þe comynge of the emperesse, he graunted eche*. [every, Cx.] lord leve to bilde*. [bilde, from β.; bylde, Cx.; hold, MS.] a castel oþer a strengþe on his owne ground; and sone þerafter he feng to acorde David kyng of Scottes, þat hadde tofore by gile i-take þe castel of*. [of] om. Cx.] Kaerlile and þe castel uppon Tyne; and he ȝaf hym hontynge in Enge|lond, and hadde feaute and homage to þe emperesse. Þan kynge Stevene took Excetre; and William archebisshop of Canturbury deide, and Theodorus*. [Theobalde, α., β.,; Theobald, Cx.] abbot of Becco was archebisshop after hym. Lotharius emperour of Almayne deide, and Conrade was emperour after hym fiftene ȝere of Almayns and of Romayns; and þouȝ he fong nouȝt þe benysoun of þe pope, ȝit at þe prechynge of abbot Bernard [he]*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.] took þe Holy Lond in Eugenius the popes tyme, and dede meny grete dedes. Giral|dus, Page  483, vol.7 distinctione prima, capitulo 18o.*. [19o, Cx.] Þat tyme Theobald þe mylde, eorle of Campania, was in his floures; he wolde myldeliche visite pore men and leprouse; oon preysed hym in metre passingliche in þis manere: "Þis felawe eorle þis*. [þes felouȝ erl þes, γ.] was þat mylde man Theobaldris;*. [Theobaldus, Cx.] hevene makeþ ioye þat [hym]*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.]haþ, and sorwful is þe world*. [sorful ys world, γ.] þat hym leveþ. I*. [yche, α.; Ich, β.] may calle hym man, hym þat*. [þat] dar, Cx.] [y]*. [From α.; I, Cx.] not*. [hym dar ich not, β.] clepe God; deeþ preveþ hym man; his owne lyf hym preveþ God;*. [gode, α.; goode, β. and Cx.] [above man, under God; more þan man, lasse þan God;]*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.] I not what manere þing is bytwene þe tweyne." David kyng of Scotlond came þe þridde tyme into Engelond, and destroyed þe lond anon to the ryver of Tese,*. [Teyse, β. and γ.; Theyse, Cx.] in þe marche*. [mouth, Cx.] of the province of ȝork, and brende and slowȝ, and slitte women wiþ childe. Thurstyn the archebisshop come priveliche aȝenst hym wiþ þe kynges knyȝtes, and chasede hym, and slowȝ ten þowsand of his men, and took meny prayes and grete. Kyng Stevene took þe castel of Bedforde þat was aȝenst hym, and þere after wente into Scotlond, and dede*. [dude, γ.] þere newe*. [fewe, β.; vewe, γ.] dedes at his owne wille Page  485, vol.7 and come home aȝen.*. [aȝeyne, α.] But in his comynge homward he took Alisaundre bisshop of Lyncolne, and putte hym into bondes forto*. [til that, Cx.] he hadde i-ȝilde*. [y ȝeve, β., bis.] hym þe castel of Newerk. Also he chasede Nigellus bisshop of Hely; and Roger bisshop of Salis|bury, þat hadde i-doo hym moche good, he took hym and putte hym into prisoun, and helde hym þere til he hadde i-ȝove*. [y ȝeve, β., bis.] hym tweie castellis of Vescy*. [Vyse, β. and γ.; the Vyse, Cx.] and Schirborne; and for þis Roger was a greet bilder of houses and of castelles, he werþe*. [a worþ, γ.; he bycam, Cx.] sike and deide for sorwe. After hym he lefte in his castel*. [castels, β.] of money as it were a fifty*. [fourty, Cx.] þowsand mark,*. [marcȝ, α.] þat was i-spended in þe kynges use, and nouȝt in Goddes service, for wiþ þat money þe kyng bought*. [bought, from Cx.; brouȝt, MS.] to his sone Eustas Constantines*. [Constauns, β.; Constans, γ.; Constaunce, Cx.] þe kynges suster of Fraunce. Thurstyn þe archebisshop of ȝork was a greet foundour of abbayes, of Hangustalde, of Fonteyns,*. [Fontens, β. and γ.] and of viii. oþere, and took þe abite of monk at Pomfreet,*. [Pontfret, β.] and deide in good elde. After two ȝere his body was i-founde hool and sownde, and smelled ful*. [smellyng fol, γ.] soote. Þat tyme þe kyng took þe castel of Gloucestre, of Hereford, and*. [and] om. α.] of Webelay,*. [Webbeley, β.; Webbely, Cx.] of Bristowe, and of Dudley,*. [Duddeleye, β.] and of Schroisbury. Robert eorle of Gloucestre, of Hereford, Page  487, vol.7 and of Webelay,*. [of . . . Webelay] om. α. and Cx.] kyng Henries [bastard]*. [From α., γ., and Cx.] sone, herde here of, and sente for his suster Molde þe emperesse, þat wonede þoo in Angeo,*. [Angeo, from γ. and Cx.; Avyoun, MS.] and prayede here to come into Engelond, and behiȝt*. [byhyght, Cx.] here help aȝenst kyng Stevene. Henricus, libro 8o. Þanne in the monþe of Iuyl*. [Jul, γ.] Robert and Molde come first to Portes|mouþe, and þennes to Bristowe, and dede men of þe contray grete harme and damage; þo þe kyng bysegede þe castel of Wal|yngforde, and herde here of, [and]*. [From Cx.] lafte his sege,*. [syege, Cx.] and went aȝenst hym, and bysegede Lyncolne sone after þat tyme.*. [γ. has suffered in this part very great damage from the fire.] Þanne aboute Candelmasse Ranulph eorle of Chestre, and Robert eorle of Gloucestre, come wiþ meny Walsche men, and brak*. [and brak] to breke, Cx.] þe kynges sege; and whanne þey were unneþes i-passed Areden marys,*. [a reden marys, α.; a reody marreys, β.; a reedy mareys, Cx.] and hadde arrayed þe scheltrouns, þe eorle of Chestre spak to his men in þis manere, and seide: "I þanke ȝow, and pray ȝow besiliche þat y*. [ich, β.] þat am cause of ȝoure peril moste*. [mot, Cx.] be þe firste þat schal answere hym into*. [shal entre into the, Cx.]peril." Eorle Robert answerde hym, "It is nouȝt unworþy þat þou axest þe dignete of þe first strook boþe for nobilte*. [nobley, β.]of blood and for vertu of strengþe, in the whiche þow Page  489, vol.7 passest oþer men. But þe kynges falshede*. [fals oþ, β.; fals othe, Cx.] and his wood|nesse meveþ me to werre and to fiȝte. But we moste*. [mowe, γ.] nouȝt torne aȝen by þe wey þat we come, þan we moste have here þe maistrie oþer be overcomen; he þat haþ non oþer socour moste nedes flee to bolde dedes*. [dedes, from γ. and Cx.; dayes, MS.] of manhode and of strengþe. But takeþ hede aȝenst whom*. [hem, Cx.] and what manere men ȝe moste*. [mot, β.] fiȝte: Robert eorle of Mellent stondeþaȝenst ȝow; he is crafty of fraude and of gile, and haþ wicked|nesse in [his]*. [From Cx.] herte, tresoun and gyle in his mowþe, and slewþe in his dedes.*. [dede, γ.] Þere comeþ also þe eorle of Albe|marle; he is devout to Bachus, and nouȝt i-knowe of Mars; he smelleþ of the*. [From Cx.] wyne, and useþ no werre." Trevisa. Poetes feyneþ a god of wyn, and clepeþ*. [clepyn, Cx., bis.] hym Bachus, and anoþer of bataile, and clepeþ hym Mars; and so for þe speche,*. [forth to speke, Cx.] he is devout to Bachus þat dooþ leccherie,*. [þat dooþ leccherie] om. α.; that is a good drynker, Cx.] and he þat is nouȝt worþ in batayle is unknowen to Mars. Þan he telleþ forþ his tale in þe storie in þis manere: "Þere stondeþ Symon of Hamptoun, his dedes beeþ*. [ben, Cx.] but wordes, and*. [and] om. α.] his ȝiftes [is]*. [From α. and β.] but a byheste; when his word is i-saide he haþ i-doo his dede; when he haþ[y-hote he haþ]*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.] i-ȝove*. [yȝeve, β.] his ȝiftes." In þis grete hete kyng Steven herde*. [hurde, γ.] Alisaundre þe bisshoppes masse, and þe tapre þat Page  491, vol.7 þe kyng offrede brak in þe bisshoppis hond, and þe cheyne brak, and þe box fil*. [vul, γ.] þat*. [þat] there, Cx.] Goddes body was ynne; þat was a token of þe kynges fallynge.*. [vallyng, γ.; fayllyng, Cx.] Þan þe kyng wente, and Balde|wyn þe eorle hadde þe wordes to conforte men for to fiȝte, and he spak to oþere men in þis manere: "Men þat schal*. [must, Cx.] fiȝte most knowe þre þinges, þe riȝtfulnesse of þe cause, leste me*. [men, Cx.]schulde falle in peril of soule; þe quantite of þe companye, þat þey be nouȝt i-bore down wiþ to menye enemyes; and þe effecte of myȝt and of strengþe, leste me lene uppon febil*. [feble, β.; oppon febel, γ.]helpe, and falle to þe grounde. Touchinge þese þre poyntes I trowe þat we ben sped;*. [beþ yspedde, β.] but takeþ hede furþermore what manere enemyes we haveþ.*. [habbeþ, γ.] Loo Roberd consul,*. [Roberts counseyll, Cx.] þat useþgreet manas, and doþ litel in dede, in þe mouþ he is a lyoun,*. [leon, γ.]and in þe herte an hare; [he is clere of speche and derk by unkonnynge. Also þere stondeþ þe erle of Chestre, a man of unresonable hardynesse; redy and prest to conspiracy, and unstedfast [to]*. [From β., γ., and Cx.] fulfille*. [to vulvulle, γ.] in dede, hasty of herte and unwar of peryles. He casteþ ful greet dedes, and assaieþ dedes þat he may nouȝt y-welde.*. [awelde, Cx.] What he bygynneþ frescheliche, he forsakeþ hit feyntliche as a womman; unhappy and ungracious in everiche place, and is alwey overcome or y-chasede].*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.] He haþ wiþ hym flemed men and scolkers*. [sculkers, β.]aboute; þe Walsche*. [Walysch, γ.] men, ever þe moo beeþ of hem, þe worse þey beeþ [in]*. [From β. and Cx.] fiȝtinge." But or he hadde i-made an ende of his wordes, come þe cry of þe enemyes, þe noyse of trumpes, and þe gruntynge of hors, and þe scheltrouns smyten*. [smytiþ, β.] to gidre, and doun goþ [þe]*. [From β.] slowȝ.*. [and forth goon tharowes, Cx.] Þe kyng is i-take, and brouȝt to þe emperesse, and was i-kepte in bondes*. [boundes, Cx.] at Bristowe from Page  493, vol.7 Candelmasse to the Holy Rode day in harvast.*. [hervest, β.; harvost, γ.] Þerfore þe emperesse worþ swiþe proude, and occupied Circestre*. [Surseter, γ.; Surcetre, Cx.] and þan Wynchestre, þere þei*. [þere þei, from β.; there they, Cx.; þerby, MS.] come aȝenst hire with a*. [α] om. α. and Cx.] processioun, and þat allowed þe popes legat. Þan sche wente to Wyltoun,*. [Wiltoun, β.] to Oxenford, to Redynge, and to Seynt Alboun;*. [Albon, Cx.] and in every place alle men fonge here with good wil, outake Ken|tische men allone. But Theobaldus þe archebisshop come specialliche aȝenst her. Þan sche come to Londoun to trete of the state of þe londe. Þere þe queene of Engelond, kyng Ste|phenes wyf, prayed þe emperesse þat þe kyng moste*. [myght, Cx.] be de|livered out of bondes uppon þat condicion, þat þe kyng scholde holde*. [yelde, Cx.] up þe kyngdom to þe emperesse, and somwhere bycome a monk or be a pilgrim to his lyves ende. But þe emperesse wolde nouȝt here þis bone. Also þe citeȝeins of Londoun prayed here þat þey myȝte use seint Edwardes lawes, and nouȝt þe lawes of her fader kyng Henry, for þey were ful harde; but sche wolde nouȝt assente. Þerfore þe people*. [pupel, γ.] was i-meoved, and*. [From α.] [y]-ordeyned to take here. Sche*. [Heo, β.] was war þerof, and lefte al her store and housholde, and fliȝ to Oxenforde, and þere sche bode*. [heo abode, β.; abode, Cx.] here knyȝtes þat were al i-sched.*. [or divided, β.; or dyvyded, add. Cx.] Þanne Page  495, vol.7 sche*. [hue, γ., et infra.] took wiþ here her owne eme,*. [eame, Cx.] David kyng of Scot|lond, and strengþe of knyȝtes*. [þat were al i-sched, wrongly inserted here in MS.] and wente to Wynchestre; þere sche byseged comounliche*. [strongly, Cx.] the bischoppes tour, where þe kynges broþer was. At þe laste come þe queene with William Iprens,*. [Prens, γ.] and þe empresse was [so]*. [From β. and Cx.] aferde, þat sche was bore to Glowcestre on an hors liter*. [hors-bere, β.; hors bere, Cx.] as it were a dede body. Here broþer eorle Roberd was i-take and i-putte in prisoun in þe mene tyme; þan þe queene was besy on þat oon side for þe kyng, and þe emperesse on þat oþer side for hire owne broþer; and suche delievrance*. [deliverauns, γ.] was i-pro|cured, and i-ordeyned, þat þe kyng schulde be restored aȝen to þe kyngdom, and þe eorle to his lordschepe, and boþe schulde make pees in þe kyngdom as þey hadde destour|bled*. [destroubled, α.; dystourbed, Cx.] it; but þe eorle wolde nouȝt assente. Þan al þe ȝere was in þe lond robbynge and manslauȝter, and revynge,*. [revynge manslauȝt, β.; revynge manslauȝter and, α. and Cx.] and sell|ynge*. [sullyng, γ.] of riche [men].*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.] Þanne about Holy Rode day in hervest þe kyng was delyvered, and byseged þe emperesse in þe citee of Oxenforde from Miȝhelmasse to mydwynter, and destroyed*. [distruyed, β.] al þat was wiþ oute. At þe laste fel*. [fyll, Cx.] a greet hunger, and þe Page  497, vol.7 emperesse was heled*. [coverd, Cx.] in white, and byspronge wiþ snow, and scapede awey over Temse, þat was i-frore*. [yfrore, β.] and heled wiþ snowe, and come to Walyngforde. For*. [For] Therefore, β.] þe men of þe sege*. [syege, Cx.] were begiled and yblynd*. [y-blynd, from α.; y-blend, β. and Cx.; wende, MS.] wiþ þe blasynge of þe snowe; and so þe citee of Oxenford was i-ȝolde*. [yolden, Cx.] to þe kyng. Aboute þis tyme oon maister Arnold preched at Rome aȝenst riche men, and aȝenst superfluyte þat men useþ;*. [usen, Cx.] þerfore meny folowede*. [volwede, γ.; pursued, Cx.] hym: at þe laste he was i-take and an honged for wratthe of clerkes. Also þat tyme deide Iohn de temporibus, þat hadde i-leved þre hondred ȝere þre score and oon, and hadde i-be a squyer wiþ the grete Charles.