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 quartum.

AFFTER Hiltebrand, þe þridde Victor was pope oon*. [o, γ.] ȝere and fyve*. [vyf, γ.] monþes; somtyme he heet*. [het, β.; hyȝte, γ.] Desiderius, abbot of Mont Cassyn; he was i-poysened*. [poysent, γ.] wiþ venym þat was i-doo in his chalys. Þat ȝer Canutus kyng of Denmark, by help of his wifes fader,*. [vader, γ.] Robert of Flaundres, arayed hym forto come into Engelond [wiþ a grete navey. Bote kyng William herde*. [hurde, γ.] þerof and gadrede*. [gadderde, γ.] a greet ost and com into Engelond]*. [From α., β., and Cx.] out of Normandie; but his enemyes were i-lette, and he hilde his court*. [his greet court, γ.] at Gloucestre, þere*. [þar vore, γ.] he ȝaf*. [þre, γ.] bisshopriches to his þre preostes; to Morys*. [Morice, Cx.] he ȝaf þe bisshopriche of Londoun, to William þe bisshopriche of Thetford,*. [Tedford, β., γ., and Cx.] to Robert þe bisshopriche of Chestre, but he chaunged*. [chayngede, γ.] þe see to Coventre. Willelmus de Pontificibus, libro 4o. He rasede of oon beem of þat cherche Page  305, vol.7 fyve hundred mark of silver for to fille*. [vulle, γ.] þe kynges hond and forto begile*. [bigile, β.] þe occupacioun of þe pope. Eorle Leofricus hadde i-made þat place*. [plasce, γ.] riche of gold and of silver, of relikes, and of*. [of] om. Cx.] oþer*. [oþer] om. γ.] precious stoones. And so þis*. [þes, γ.] Robert robbed his owne cherche, and was gilty to make good þerfore in his lif, oþer wiþ his catel*. [cataill, Cx.] after his deeþ, ȝif eny man were þat wolde hym*. [hym wolde, α., β., and γ.] accuse. Also he fedde*. [vedde, γ.] þe monkes of þat place wiþ symple mete and drynke, and suffred*. [suffryd, Cx.] hem*. [ham, γ.] nouȝt to lerne*. [lurne, γ.] but symple lettrure*. [letture, γ.] [lest likynge mete and drynke and grettre*. [gret letture, γ.] lettrure]*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.] wolde make þe monkes stoute and prowde aȝenst*. [prout aȝenes, γ.] þe bisshop. Noþeles at Lichefeeld*. [Lychfeld, γ.] he bygan meny grete buldynges. Aboute þat tyme bygan þe ordre of the Charthous*. [Charterhous, α.; Chartus, β. and γ.; Chartrus, Cx., et infra.] in Calabria, in þe bisshopriche of Grannopo|lican, by oon Bruno þat was i-bore at Coleyn,*. [Coloyn, Cx.] of þe nacioun of Duchesmen,*. [Duchische men, α. and β.; Du|chesch men, γ.; Duche men, Cx.] [and]*. [From β.] chanoun of Remene*. [Reynes in Champayne, Cx.] in Gallia, and maister of þe scoles; he forsook*. [vorsouk, γ.] þe worlde,*. [worl, γ.] and foundede þe hermytage of Cartus, aboute seynt*. [seyn, γ.] Johnes feeste, and rulede it sixe ȝere. At þe laste he com to Rome by heste of þe secounde [pope]*. [From β. and Cx.] Urban, þat hadde i-be somtyme his scoler; þere he halpe*. [som tyme hys scoler; þar he halp, γ.] þe pope gretliche in doynges*. [dygnyte, Cx.] of holy chirche. Page  307, vol.7 But whan he myȝte nouȝt suffre þe stryf and þe maneres of þe court, he forsook þe world,*. [world] court, β.; courte, Cx.; and foundede þe hermytage wrongly inserted here in MS.] [and þe archebisshopriche of Risens,*. [he vorsouk þe court and þe bis|choprych of Risens, γ.] to þe whiche he was y-chose by heste of þe pope, and wente to þe ermytage]*. [From α., β., and Cx.] þat hatte þe*. [to wrongly inserted here in MS.] tour in Calabria, and þere*. [þere] om. α.] ended his lif.*. [endede þare hys lyf, γ.] Þat manere ermytes*. [hermytes, γ,] [þat]*. [From α., β., and Cx.] beeþ i|cleped Celestes*. [Celystes, α.; Celistes, β.; Cellistes, γ.; Cellystes, Cx.] also, for þey woneþ in celles and lyveþ*. [lyven, Cx.] under a priour, and passeþ*. [passen, Cx.] nouȝt þe nombre of twelve in clerkes, but it be for som worþi person, bote þey fongeþ lewed*. [leude, Cx.] men anon to þe noumbre of twenty, everiche in his [owne]*. [From β. and Cx.; oune, γ.] celle in symple dayes i-served*. [ysevered, β.; y seuered, γ.] by hem self, biddeþ her*. [his, α. and Cx.] bedes, slepeþ and eteþ. Eueriche*. [Eche, Cx.] of hem haþ oon loof for his brede for al þe woke;*. [weke, β. and Cx.] þey eteþ nevere flesche noþer blood; þey wereþ nevere lynnen clooþ, noþer stamyn, but þe heer next þe flesche,*. [vleysch, γ.] and above þe*. [þe] a, β. and Cx.] curtelle of wolle*. [wollen, α., β., γ., and Cx.] and a pilche.*. [pylche, γ.] Þey haveþ*. [habbeþ, γ.] þrittene celles, and everiche celle is departed in*. [on, α. and Cx.] foure,*. [a voure, γ.] and to sette wiþ ynne for þe oratorie, þe dortour, þe freytour,*. [fraytour, Cx.] and þe werkhous, þere þey dooþ here werkes, bote þey joyneþ*. [a juneþ, γ.] al to gidres.*. [gedders, γ.] [On]*. [From β. and Cx.] Sondayes*. [Sondawes, γ.] and oþere hiȝe Page  309, vol.7 dayes þey comeþ to cherche and to a comyn bord and eteþ*. [etyn, Cx.] in fere, and talkeþ mekeliche*. [mekeliche] om. Cx.; myklyche, γ.] in fere of gostly*. [goostlich, β.; gostlyche, γ.] tales. Þey seieþ*. [siggiþ, β.; Hy segeþ, γ.] her service after seint Benet his rule.*. [reul, γ.] An*. [From Cx.; and, MS.] apostata þat brekeþ his ordre þey fongeþ*. [vongeþ, γ.] nevere aȝen. Kyng William made [to]*. [From β.] descrive al Engelond, for he wolde wite and knowe how moche lond everiche of his barons hadde; how meny knyȝtene*. [knyghtes, Cx.] fees,*. [feos, γ.] how meny teme*. [teeme, β.] lond, how meny townes and men, and how meny beestes. Þe lond was greved wiþ meny mescheves*. [meschyefs, Cx.] and happes þat fil for þat drede;*. [dede, α., β., γ., and Cx.] þat discripcioun was i-write [al]*. [From β.] in oon volym, and i-doo in þe kynges librarie at Wynchestre. Also þis ȝere Edgar Adelyng wente into Apulia wiþ greet strengþe, by leve of kyng William, and his suster Cristine*. [Cristyn, γ.] wente into þe abbey of Ramsey.*. [Romsee, β.; Rumesee, γ.] After Victor, þe secounde Urban was pope þrittene ȝere. First þis was a monk of Cluny, and þanne*. [þanne] om. Cx.] archedekene of Remne,*. [Rome, Cx.] and heet*. [hyȝte, γ.] Odo; þerafter he was bisshop Hostient,*. [Hostyence, Cx.] and pope at þe laste.*. [atte laste, γ.] Anoþer pope, þat heet Clement, þat was in þe poperiche wiþ wrong, dede*. [dide, β.; dude, γ.] þis Urban moche woo and tene:*. [teone, β.] þis Clement was somtyme bisshop of Ravenna. Þat ȝere in Engelond was Page  311, vol.7 greet deeþ of beestes and distemperynge of þe ayer,*. [eyr, β.; aer, γ.; eyer, Cx.] by þe whiche*. [whoche, γ.] meny men deide in þe*. [þe] om. β. and Cx.] feveres and for honger. In þe same [tyme]*. [From β. and γ.] grisliche fuyre*. [vure, γ.; grysely fyre, Cx.] destroyede the principal citees of Engelond, and Seynt Poul*. [Paul, γ.] his chirche, and a greet deel of Londoun. Alfridus. Þat ȝere þe Danes in a chirche slowȝ her kyng Canutus. Willelmus de Regibus, libro tercio. Þis kyng William lay a bedde at*. [Cx. inserts Roen before Rotho|mage.] Rothomage in þe laste ȝere*. [ende, β. and Cx.] of his lyf; þe kyng of Fraunce scornede hym in þis manere: "Kyng William*. [William kyng, γ.] of Engelond lieþ now as wommen*. [wymmen, γ.] dooþ*. [don, Cx.] a childe bedde, and takeþ*. [takiþ, β.] hym to slewþe:" he boorded*. [bourded, β.] soo for kyng William hadde i-slaked*. [yslaket, γ.] his greet wombe wiþ a drynke*. [drench, β.; dreynch, γ.] þat he hadde i-dronke. Þe kyng was*. [was] om. γ.] displesed wiþ þat scorne, and seide, "I schal offre hym a þowsand candelles whan I schal go to cherche of childe." And nouȝt longe þerafter in [a]*. [From α., β., and Cx.] Lamasse*. [lambmas, γ.] monþe, whan þe cornes were in feeldes,*. [veldes, γ.] fruyt on trees,*. [treen, β.; tren, γ.] and grapes on þe vynes, he sette afuyre þe westside of Fraunce and þe citee Medant and Oure Lady Page  313, vol.7 chirche. In þat cherche he brende a woman þat was i-closed and trowed*. [trowyd, Cx.] nouȝt þat sche*. [heo, β.; α, γ.] schulde flee in suche a manere nede. In þat heete he took a manere*. [a manere] an, β.; manere, om. Cx.] evel*. [an evel, γ.] þat myȝt nouȝt be i-heled, oþer elles whan his hors leep*. [lupe, γ.] over þe diche, he*. [α, γ.] brak þe entrailles of his fat*. [vatte, γ.] wombe; þanne leches warned hym þat he*. [α, γ.] schulde deie. Þanne he ordeyned Normandie to his eldest sone Robert, and Engelond to William þe Rede, and þe moder possessiouns and tresour to Henry clerk, and made delyvere his prisoners þat he hadde in bondes, þat were þe eorles*. [erles, γ.] Markarus, Roger,*. [Rogyer, Cx.] Wilnotus Harald his sone, his broþer Odo bisshop of Raveyn.*. [Bayen, α.; Baion, γ.; Bayon, β. and Cx.] And so he deide þe ȝere of his kyngdom oon and twenty, þe tenþe monþe; þe ȝere of his ducherie two and fifty; þe ȝere of his lyf nyne and fifty;*. [vyfty, γ.] þe ȝere of our Lord a þowsand*. [voure, γ.] fourescore and sevene, þe eyȝteþe*. [eiȝte, β.; eyght, Cx.] day of De|cembre; and he*. [α, γ.] was i-buried in the abbay of Cadoni,*. [Cadony, β.] þat he hadde i-founded. Þere me myȝte see sorowe þat he þat was so dredful and so worschipful in Europa myȝte nouȝt be i-buried wiþ oute chalange. For þere a kniȝt forbeed openliche*. [oponlych vorbude, γ.] his Page  315, vol.7 burienge,*. [buryinge, β.; beryeng, Cx.] and seide þat*. [þat] om. Cx.] þat grounde was his owne, and i-take of hym wiþ strengþe. Þerfore his sone Henry ȝaf þe knyȝt an*. [and, MS.] hondred pounde for to cese, for þere were no mo*. [no mo] none, Cx.] of kyng William his sones, for his eldest sone Robert werrede [than]*. [From Cx.; þo, γ.] in þe contray, and William the Rede was seillede into Engelond. But at Wynchestre he took his fader tresorie, and ȝaf moche*. [myche, β.] for his fader mynde.*. [munde, γ.]Henricus, libro 5o. Þis William Conquerour was a wise man and a gileful, riche [and]*. [From α., β., and Cx.] coveitous, glorious, and loved wel greet loos; faire*. [veyre, γ.] spekere wiþ Goddes servauntes, and sturne*. [sterne, β., et infra; storn, γ.] to hem*. [ham, γ.] þat wolde hem*. [hym, β.] wiþ stonde. In þe province of Hamptoun, in þe newe forest, in þe space of þritty myle, þe þrew doun cherches and townes, and put*. [dide, β.; dyde, Cx.] þere wilde bestes. So þat who*. [þat, add. γ.] took þere a wilde best schulde lese*. [luse, γ.] his oon yȝe;*. [eye, Cx.] and who*. [who] om. γ.] þat took a womman by strengþe schulde lese his genitras.*. [genetraces, β.; genitoryes, Cx.]Willelmus de Regibus, libro 3o. Kyng William was of skilful stature, to greet and fat*. [vatte, γ.] of body, and*. [and] om. γ. and Cx.] sturne of Page  317, vol.7 face, bare*. [baar, β.] of forheed, greet of strengþe [in brawne and armes, so þat unneþe eny man myȝt*. [myȝte, γ.] bende his bowe; bote he wolde on [his]*. [From Cx.] hors strecche forþ his senewes and bende hit esiliche ynow uppon his owne*. [one, Cx.] foot.*. [vot, γ.] He had skilful strengþe,]*. [From α., β., and Cx.] and ȝaf hym self to moche to hontynge, so þat he þrewe doun cherches and townes to make wodes. He made grete festes and revelles in [the]*. [From Cx.; þe, β. and γ.] hiȝe feestes of þe ȝere. He hilde*. [huld, γ.] his mydwynter tide at Glowcestre, his Esterne*. [Ester, γ.; Eester, Cx.] at Wynchestre, Witsonday*. [Witsontyde, β.; Whitsontyde, Cx.] at Westmynstre, whan he was in Engelond. But he passede and over dede in gadringe of*. [of] om. γ. and Cx.] money of þe people, oþer to wiþstonde his enemyes, oþer to make hym a greet name, oþer to cese his covetise. Hit is a comoun*. [comyn, γ.] tale þat whan þis William was ȝong he destourbed his eme*. [eame, Cx.] Mal|gerus, archebisshop of Rothomage, of his bisshopriche, for he forgendred*. [vor a vorgendrede, γ.] Goddis service, and ȝaf hym self to hontynge and to festes, bote more verrailiche*. [verely, Cx.] for þe bisshop hadde i-corsed*. [acorsed, α. and γ.; acursed, β.] duke William and Molde his wif and his cosyn, for þey were unlawfulliche i-wedded to gidres. But for þat trespas duke William bulde*. [bylded, Cx., et infra.] an abbay of men and*. [From γ. and Cx.; MS. has at.] Mold anoþer of wom|men Page  319, vol.7 at Cadoni.*. [Cadony, β.] ℞. Also William bulde tweie abbayes in Engelond, oon at Bermoundeseie,*. [Bermundseye, β.; Bermundes|eye, γ.] faste by Londoun, and anoþer at þe*. [þe] om. β. and γ.] bataile*. [Batayl, β.] in Souþsex þere he hadde i-fouȝte.*. [y-voȝte, γ.]Henricus, libro 6o. Whanne þis William was kyng*. [ded, γ.] unneþe was þere a lord in Engelond [an]*. [From Cx.] Englische man; bote Englische men were i-made bonde, so þat it was schame and despite to be i-cleped an*. [an] om. γ.] Englischeman. To bere a doun and*. [to, add. γ.] destroye*. [distruye, β.] Englische men God had i-ordeyned cruel men*. [men] om. Cx.] and sturne, þat beeþ*. [be, Cx.] of suche kynde þat whanne þei [haveþ*. [hy habbeth, γ.] y-bore*. [have boren, Cx.] doun here enemyes þann þey*. [α, γ.]]*. [From α., β., and Cx.] bereþ doun hem*. [ham, γ.] self.*. [bere doune theyrself, Cx.]Willelmus.