How Constantyne, þat was Kyng Constanceȝ sone, & þe sone of seynt Elyne, gouernede and rewlede þe lande, & was Emperour of Rome. ¶ Capitulo xl Septimo.
After Kyng Con[s]tanceȝ deth, Constantyne, his sone of seynt Elyne, þat founde þat croice in þe holy londe, and how Constantyne bicome Emperoure of Rome. ¶ Hit bifel so in þat tyme þere was an Emperour atte Rome, a sarasyne, a tyraunt, þat me callede Maxence, þat put to þe deth alle þat bileuede in God, and destroide holy cherche by alle his power, and slought Cristen men þat he myȝt fynde; and amonge alle oþere, he lete martre Seynt Kateryne, and meny oþere cristen peple þat hade drede of deth, þai fledden and comen into þis lande to Kyng Constantyne, and tolde him of þe sorwe þat Maxence dede to al cristiente. Wherof Constantyn hade pite, and grete sorwe made, and assemblede a grete hoste and grete power, and went ouere see to Rome, and toke þe citee, and quellede al þat þerin were mescreaunt, þat he myȝt fynde. ¶ And þo was he made Emperoure, [MS Rawlinson B 171 17a] And was a gode man, and gouernede him so wel, þat al þe Landes to him were entendaunt forto be vnder his gouernaile. ¶ And þis deuel tyraunt Maxence, þat þo was in þe lande of Greke, when he herde þis tydynges, he bicome wode, and sodeynely deide, and so he endede his lif.
When Constantyne went fro þis land to Rome, he toke wiþ him his moder Elyn, for þe michel wisedome þat she couþe, and þre oþere grete lordes þat he moste louede: þat one me callede Hoel, anoþere me callede Taberne, and þe þridde Morhyn; and toke al his lande to kepe vnto þe Erl of Cornwaile, þat men callede Octouyan. ¶ anone as þis Octouian wiste þat his lorde was duellyng at Rome, he seisede al þe lande into his honde, and þerwiþPage 41 dede al his wil amonges heye and law, & þo helde him for kyng. ¶ when þis tydyng come to Constantyne þe Emperoure, he woxe wonder wroþe towarde þe Erl Octouyan, and sent Taberne with xij ml men forto destroye the erl for his falsenesse, and arryuede at Portesmouthe. ¶ And when Octouyan wiste þat, he assemblede a grete power of Britons, and descomfitede Taberne. ¶ And Taberne fledde þens into Scotlande, and ordeynede þere a grete power, and come aȝeyne into þis lande forto ȝeue bataile anoþere tyme to Octouyan. ¶ When Octouyan herde telle þat, he assemblede a grete power, and come towarde Taberne as miche as he myȝt, so þat þo ij hostes metten oppon Staynesmore, and strongely smyten to-gederes. and þo was Octouyan descomfitede, and fledde þens into Norwaye; and Taberne seisede al þe lande into his hande, Tounes, castelles, and as mich as þai þere hade. ¶ And siþenes Octouyan come aȝeyne fro Norway wiþ a grete power, & slough Taberne, & seisede al þe lande aȝeyne into his honde, & drof oute alle þe Romayns, [MS Rawlinson B 171 17b] and was þo made Kyng, and regnede.