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.

THIS ȝere Engelond and Normandie were i-greved wiþ a grevous tribut, and wiþ moreyn of men, so þat eorþe*. [erþe, β.] telynge*. [tilynge, β.; tylynge, γ.; tyl|yenge, Cx.] ceesede, and þerafter come greet honger, and Walsche men forsook þe ȝokke*. [ȝok, β.; yok, Cx.] of [þraldom and of subieccioun, and took prayes in þe]*. [From α., γ., and Cx.] shires*. [shires] from Cx; schyres, β. and γ.; schiles, MS.] of Chestre, of Schroesbury, and of Hereford, and took þe castel of Menavia.*. [Menevia, β. and Cx.] Þat tyme þe Scottes Page  363, vol.7 slowȝ here kyng Duncanus, and maad Dunwald eft kyng. Sterres were i-seie*. [seen, β.] falle*. [valle, γ.] downe from hevene,*. [from the skye, Cx.] as it were fiȝtinge to giders.*. [togedders, γ.] Kyng William com out of Normandie, and sente an ooste into Wales, þere he loste meny hors*. [horses, Cx.] and men. Þanne þe kyng sigh þat þe Walsche men myȝt not be over|come for streitnes of dyvers places, and for þikke woodes; þerfore þe kyng made strong castelles in places*. [plas, γ.] by þe see side, and hewe*. [hewed, Cx.] doun a greet deel of þe woodes, and þerafter he beet downe meny Walsche*. [Walysch, γ.] men. Wolstoun,*. [Wulfstan, β.; Wulstan, Cx., et infra.] in þe houre of his deienge,*. [in . . . deienge] om. α., β., γ., and Cx.] bischop of Worcestre,*. [Wircetre, β.] deide þe eiȝteþe*. [eyghtenth, Cx.] day of May.*. [Janyver, α. and γ.; Januare, β.; January, Cx.]Willelmus de Pontificibus, libro 3o. Þis Wolstoun in þe houre of his deienge*. [diyng, β.; dyyeng, Cx.] [apperede]*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.] to his leef*. [leove, α.; lueve, γ.] frende*. [his wel byloved frende, Cx.] Robert, bisshop of Herford, in þe toun of Crekelade,*. [Criklade, β.; Crykkelade, γ.; Cryklade, Cx.] and chargede hym þat he schulde array for his burienge.*. [beryeng, Cx.] And eft þe þrittenþe day þerafter he appered to hym, and warnede þat he schulde amende hym of þe necligence*. [neglygence, Cx.] of hym self and Page  365, vol.7 of his also, and seide þat he schulde not longe in his chayer*. [cheyer, γ.; chayr, Cx.] sitte; and*. [and . . . dede] om. γ.] sone þerafter Robert was dede.*. [Robert deyde, Cx.] Also þis Wolstoun*. [Wulfstan, β., semper.] wolde suffre no man whan he was dede to take of hym his ryng þat he hadde first whanne he was i-sacred bisshop; he [hadde]*. [From Cx.; had, β.] ofte[y-]*. [From α.] seide while he was on lyve þat he wolde nevere leve þat ryng. Also he seide ofte to Englische men, "It is Goddes chastisynge þat ȝe suffereþ." Englische men an|swerde hym and seide þat þe Normans were worþy*. [worþ, α.; wors, β. and γ.] more*. [more] om. α., β., γ., and Cx.] þan*. [were wors than, Cx.] [evere]*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.] [were]'*. [From γ. and Cx.] Englische men. "God Almyȝti," quoþ he, "useþ wel þe wickednesse*. [wykketnes, γ.] of hem in ȝow, and by hem þat beeþ unworþy he takeþ wreche of hem þat haveþ*. [habbeþ, γ.] i-trespased and i-gulte.*. [agult, α. and γ.; agilt, β.; agylt, Cx.] So by God*. [So God by, Cx.] his good wille þe feend*. [vend, γ.] by his evel wille tormenteþ evel men in helle, and is i-tormented wiþ hem also. Ensample may be ȝif*. [yeven, Cx.] þou art wrooþ and smytest a man wiþ a staf, of þe brekynge of the staf þow recchest ful lite."*. [lytel, β.; rechest but lytel, Cx.]Willelmus de Pontificibus, libro 4o. Wolstoun was i-bore in Warwykschire, and lernede lettrure*. [lurnde lettour, γ.] and offis of holy chirche in þe abbay of Burgh. At þe laste Page  367, vol.7 he was i-made preost, and song alowh*. [long, α.; a longe, β. and Cx.; a long, γ.] masse, and hilde hym apaide wiþ onliche þe offringes of Cristen men, and [he]*. [From β.] was i-holde a clene maide. He dede*. [dude, γ.] non outrage in drinking, flesche*. [vleysch, γ., et infra.] he eet somtyme, but he forsook etynge of flesche by cause of þis hap. In a day whan he schulde goo for to plede, hym semede þat he schulde firste synge his masse, [and þanne take som mete to releef wiþ his nede; þanne a goos*. [gos, γ.] was y-leyde to þe fyre,*. [fuyre, β.; vure, γ.] and he smelled þe rosted flesche while he was at þe masse,]*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.] and was lette of his devocioun by þe smel*. [smyl, γ.] of þe flesche, and so he stroof longe tyme, and myȝte nouȝt torne away his þouȝt at his wille; þerfore he swore on þe holy sacrament þat he hadde on*. [on] an, γ.] honde þat he wolde not*. [never, Cx.] ete suche*. [soche, γ.] manere mete after þat tyme, and seide his masse and ete and wente forþ to þe plee as he moste. At þe laste his devocioun encresede, and he avowede chastite and forsook þe worlde,*. [worl, γ.] by ensample of his forfadres þat hadde avowed chastite tofore her deeþ*. [before his deth, Cx.] tyme; [and]*. [From Cx.] in þe abbay of Worcetre, þere his fader hadde i-served toforehonde, he was i-made monk. Þere he wente upward by alle þe offys*. [offices, β.; offyces, Cx.] of þe hous; he was Page  369, vol.7 evere besy in fastynge, wakynge, and in bedes. He was wont to legge*. [lygge, γ.; laye, Cx.] his heed uppon a forme of þe chirche, þere he bad his bedes and sleep*. [slepte, β.] riȝt*. [riȝt] om. Cx.] þere. He lay to fore þe auȝter in a nyȝt in [his]*. [From Cx.] bedes, and þere cam a fend*. [vend, γ.] in a manis liknes*. [liche, β.; lyche, γ.] and wrastled*. [warstled, Cx.] wiþ hym, wheþer he wolde oþer noo, and caste hym þries to þe grounde. Þerfore he hadde after|ward greet penaunce in an evel þat hatte ilium*. [yleos, β. and Cx.] and greveþ faste*. [vast, γ.] by þe reynes. Þe fende cam in a servauntes liche*. [lykenesse, Cx.] to hym*. [β. and Cx. put to hym after cam.] of þe court; as ofte as Wolston siȝ þat servaunt after|ward he wax al pale for drede, [and dredde]*. [From α. and γ.] nouȝt of oþer men, he wolde oft seie*. [segge, γ.] þat he woste*. [a wuste, γ.] nouȝt what was fere and drede.*. [and . . . drede] om. β. and Cx.] He wolde nouȝt liȝte down of his hors for no brekyng of brigges, but he wolde ride sikerliche inow*. [ynowȝ, β., surely ynough, Cx.] uppon þe hiȝe brynkes of þe brigge, þeigh it were riȝt streiȝt.*. [strayte, Cx.] At þe laste, whanne þe forseide Aldredus was translated to þe bisshopriche of ȝork, Wolstone was i-chose bisshop of Wor|cetre,*. [Wircetre, α.] specialliche by procuringe of Aldredus, þat hopede to blende*. [blynde, Cx.] his [pylyng and hys]*. [From γ.] robborie by þe sympilnesse*. [symplenesse, β.; symplenes, γ.]Page  371, vol.7 of Wolston. Bote he hadde more helpe of vertues*. [vertue, β.; vertu, γ.] þan of lettrure, and defended manliche þe riȝt of his chirche. But he was nouȝt so lewed*. [lewide, β.] of lettrure as he was i-holde, for he coude what hym nedede for to konne,*. [kunne, Cx.] outake fables and*. [of, β.] poetes, and wily*. [whyly, γ.] and sly*. [slyȝ, β. and Cx.] silogismes, þat he wolde nouȝt on caas vouchesauf*. [fouchesaf, γ.] forto lerne. Wolston wolde nouȝt assente to his owne elleccioun. Þanne oon Unsius,*. [Wusius, α.; Wulsius, β., γ., and Cx.] an holy man, hadde i-be fourty ȝere i-closed, blamed hym scharply for he wolde nouȝt assente. Also he was i-warned of God þat he schulde assente to þe eleccioun. In his consecracioun were tweie*. [two, Cx.] legattes of þe court of Rome. And þey*. [þouȝ, β.; though, Cx.] he made professioun to Stigandus þe archebisshop, he feng*. [vyng, γ.] his consecracioun and his sacrynge of Aldredus archebisshop of ȝork. But forto avoyde chalanges þat myȝte falle afterward, Aldredus made protestacioun þat he fand*. [langede, α.; chalengide, β.; chalengyd, Cx.] no riȝt of subieccioun in Wolston after þat tyme, þeiȝ he were his monk to fore þat tyme. Þanne Wolstoun was i-made bisshop, and sparede boþe mete and drynke. Þeyȝ me drank*. [Þeyȝ me drank] om. Cx.] in his halle [alle]*. [From β., γ., and Cx.] þe houres after mete, as þe usage was of Englisshe men, he wolde sitte by hem and frote his palmes, and feyne to drynke as his tyme come, and conforted hem þat wolde drynke. But he dede*. [dide, β.; dude, γ.] þat more for usage of þe contre þan for eny likynge þat he hadde þerynne. And he lefte nouȝt of þe best*. [bost, α. and β.; boost, Cx.] of þe Normans, but he hadde knyȝtes aboute hym where so*. [so] om. β.] he wolde wende. He seide Page  373, vol.7 his masse every day, and þe psawter*. [sauter, Cx.] also, and memories and myndes*. [munde, γ.] of famous seyntes, departed in*. [in, a, β., γ., and Cx.] sevene by þe sevene houres of þe day, as ofte as he was at Worcetre.*. [MS. Addit. breaks off here in the middle of a column, the text being continued on the back of the next folio.] Þan*. [Þan] om. β. and Cx.] he wolde synge þe hiȝe masse, and seide þat he wolde nouȝt leve þat office for to resigne þe bisshopriche, he wolde be at þe colacioun of monkes, and made*. [make, α. and β.] þe general confessioun wiþ oþere, and ȝeve þe benesoun, and goo into his chambre. Whan he rood on his hors he wolde seie*. [sygge, γ.] his psawter and benesouns þat Englisshe men makeþ over þe coppe.*. [on the cuppe, Cx.] He sparede it nouȝt at þe kynges*. [kyngis, β.] bord, ȝif nede drof hym to plede in eny manere tyme, he wolde bydde Cristes curse*. [cours, α.; curs, β. and Cx.] to alle manere arbitroures of men,*. [arbitres and manis, α.; arbi|trours and menes, β.; alle evel arby|ters and menes, γ.; al evyl arby|trours and moyens, Cx.] bote to alle þe goode he wolde bidde Cristes bless|ynge. He usede forours*. [forrours, γ.; furres, Cx.] of symple prys, and rouȝte but litel of what manere skynnes, bote he usede more skynnes of lombe þan of oþere bestes; and ȝif men seide hym*. [yf one hadde counseyled hym, Cx.] somtyme þat he schulde use skynnes of cattes, he answerde*. [answeride, β.] in his game and seide, I*. [y, α.; ich, β.; I, from Cx.; and, MS.] herde synge in cherches of Goddes lombe, and nat*. [not, α.; nouȝt, β.] of Goddes cat, [therfor I love better the heete of the lambe Page  375, vol.7 than I doo the heete of a catte].*. [From Cx.; þarevore y lyke better þe hete of a lombe þan y do þe hete of a cat, γ.] In a tyme his monkes wente to þe newe*. [more, α., β., γ., and Cx.] cherche þat he hadde i-bulde, and he sigh þat þe olde chirche was destroyed þat seynt Oswolde hadde i-bulde, and weep ful*. [wuep vol, γ.] sore teres. He was in faire manere wiþ|seide of þat dede, and men seide hym*. [it mas sayd unto hym, Cx.] þat he schulde raþer be glad þat his chirche hadde so grete worschippe in his lyve*. [lif, β.] tyme, [and]*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.] also as þe hous*. [houses, β. and Cx.] were more so were þe mo of monkes, he answerde and seide, "I mene al oþer wise þanne doo ȝe wrecches; we destroye*. [distruyeþ, β.; destruyeþ, γ.; do. We wreches destroye, Cx.] þe werkes of holy seyntes forto gete oure self*. [oure self] us, Cx.] a*. [α] om. β. and γ.] greet name and preysinge of men. In þat tyme men usede nouȝt to bulde no bostful buldnes,*. [buyldyngis, β.; buldes, γ.; buyldynges, Cx.] but þei used*. [þei used, from β.; they used, Cx.; þat. MS.] to offre hem self to God, under what roof*. [rof, γ.] þat it evere were, and [to drawe]*. [From Cx.] here sugettes to here owne en|samples, bote we doo þe contrarie, and gadreþ stones to hepe,*. [heope, β.; hepe, from α. and γ.; kepe, MS.] and reyche*. [reche, α.; recchiþ, β.; recheþ, γ.; retche, Cx.] nouȝt of soules." In a tyme he made a sermoun of þe pees to þe peple,*. [pupyl, γ.] and meny men tornede*. [tourne, Cx.] to love and to pees. But oon þere was þat wolde nouȝt be accorded in none wise, neyþer for resoun, ne*. [ne] noþer, β. and Cx.] for skile, noþer for prayeng of þe bisshop. He stood bifore þe bisshop, and þe bisshop seide to Page  377, vol.7 hym, "It is i-write, 'Men of pees beeþ i-blessed;' þan þey þat beeþ nouȝt men of pees, beeþ wrecches, and þe develes children. Þanne but*. [but] til, β.; till, Cx.] þou amende [þe],*. [From α. and Cx.; þee, β.] I betake þe to hym þat haþ þe as his owne childe;" and anon he was made þe enemyes his maunciple,*. [mancypel, γ.] he gan*. [bigan, β.] to ligge and to fome,*. [vome, γ.] to gris|bite*. [grysbette, γ.] and to grynde wiþ þe teeþ, and to caste his heed aboute. Wolstoun helede hym aȝen, but he wolde nouȝt of pees; þanne þe fend had*. [hadde, Cx.] hym eft at*. [at] and, Cx.] þe þridde tyme, forto he hadde forȝeven al manere of trespas. [In a tyme Lanfrank putte aȝenst Wolston of lettrure,*. [letture, γ.] and [the]*. [From Cx.] archebisshop of ȝork Aldredus chalangede*. [chalangide, β.] of hym laweful subieccioun, and he wente out of þe paleys, and seide þe houre of none þat [he]*. [From β. and Cx.] hadde be*. [be] om. β. and γ.] byhynde, and com aȝen boldeliche, and answered and hadde þe maystrie. Oon Alwyne, þat lyvede as an anker at Malvern hylles, had greet will to take þe weie to þe Holy Londe, and tolde his counsaille to bisshop Wulston. Þe bisshop answered, "Nay," and seide, "Leve*. [Lef, γ.] of, Alwyn, wiþ þy good wille, trowe þou me, þou woldest have greet wonder ȝif þou wyst*. [wistest, β.; wustest, γ.] what God þenkeþ to doo by þee." He dede be [his]*. [From β. and Cx.] rede,*. [dude by his rede, γ.] and wente þennes and gadrede þritty monkes in þe same place.]*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.]Page  379, vol.7 A chapman*. [chepman, β. and γ.; shipman, Cx.] þat heet Sewulphus schroof hym to Wolston ofte of þe same synnes; þanne þe same*. [same] om. Cx.] bisshop seide, "I see wel þat ese makeþ þe to synne,*. [þe to synne] a þeef, α., β., and Cx.] þerfore I counseille þe þat þou be a monk." He wolde nouȝt, for it was an harde lyf. "Goo," quod þe bisshop, " for*. [for] om. Cx.] wheþer þou wilt oþer no þow schalt be a monk;" and so it happede afterward. In a tyme Wolstoun gropede þe heved*. [hed, β. and γ.; heede, Cx.] of oon Nichol, þat was his owne norie,*. [nory, β. and γ.] þat gan to wexe balled riȝt in his ȝouþe. Wolston seide to hym, "I trow, sone, þou schalt be balled in schort tyme." "Þanne," quod þe fader,*. [he, Fader, β.; he, vader, γ.] " why kepest þow nouȝt myn here, and makest*. [make, Cx.] it abide." " Sone," quod þe bisshop, "trowe þou me, þe oþer deel of þyn here schal abide while I am on lyve." And it happede [þe same wyke*. [weke, β.; woke, γ.] þat þe bisshop was dede,]*. [From α., β., and γ.] þe heer of Nichol his heed fil awey, and left not oon of his*. [not on his, Cx.] heed bote þe bare skyn. After Wolston his*. [his] om. α.] deeþ, whan al þe chirche was on fuyre, þer fil*. [vul, γ.] noþer fliȝ*. [fle, α.] noþer sparcle*. [sprong, α.; neiþer ysel neþer spark, β.; neyther ysel nor spark, Cx.] noþer soot*. [sot, γ.] uppon Wolston his grave, and so it ferde*. [vurde, γ.] of þe matte þat was under hym whan he bad his bedes. Of hym it is Page  381, vol.7 seide þat kyng William þe conquerour wolde have depreved*. [y-preved, α.; prived, β.; pryved, Cx.] hym*. [hym] om. Cx.] for unsufficiant of*. [of] om. Cx.] lettrure,*. [unsuffysant of letture, γ.] and also for he kowþe no Frensche, and cast in þat manere to brynge in som Norman in his stede. Þanne Wolston took*. [touk, γ.] his crosse, and piȝt it in þe hard stoon at seynt Edward þe kynges feet, þat lay þere in his grave. He piȝte so þe crosse þat no man myȝte take it out of þe stoon, or*. [or] er, Cx.] he took it hymself at þe kynges heste. While he piȝte þere the crosse, he seide to kyng William, " A better man þan þou art bytook it [to]*. [From α., β., and Cx.] me, and [I]*. [From Cx.; Y, γ.] take [it to]*. [From Cx.; hyt, γ.] hym aȝe;*. [and y take hit hym aȝen, β.] take þou it awey now if þat*. [þat] om. β., γ., and Cx.] þou myȝt."