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.
Page  145, vol.8

Capitulum tricesimum.

THERE were in this tyme ij. men laborynge for the profite and commodite of the kynge in lyke purpose, but in diverse [folio 371a] causes. For the abbot of Caane blamede the fraude and decep|cion of the officers of the kynge afore þe presence of the kynge, and movede that the insolence of theyme myȝhte be correcte for the reste and pease of comprovincialles. And William with the longe berde accusede the insolence of ryche men, whiche sparede theire awne goodes, and oppressede poore peple. This abbotte, takynge power of the kynge, come to Ynglonde in the monethe of Februarius, and commaunded streytely the govern|oures of provinces to comme to London to hym to ȝiffe ac|comptes of theire offices, but the seide abbotte diede afore Ester. Hit is seide that the oþer man William was borne in London, and was callede William with the longe berde in that Page  147, vol.8 he noryschede and suffrede hit to growe; a scharpe man of witte, litterate in a meane maner, but excellente in eloquence. The seide William havynge a citesynne of London to his broþer, and seenge that he wolde not ȝiffe to hym moore large exhibicion then he was wonte to have, accusede hym of treason in diverse tymes afore the kynge. Neverthelesse this William hade as in derision of the kynge þerfore hade secrete com|municacion with mony citesynnes off London of the insolence of ryche men oppressynge poore peple, insomoche that lij. M. of citesynnes of London were redy at his commaundemente as to obbey the commune provisor of alle poore peple. The seide William, assuerede of this grete nowmbre of peple, began to Page  149, vol.8 resiste noblemen, seyenge that the goodes of the kynge were diminute by the fraude and subtilite off theym. The noblemen of the realme havynge indignacion ageyne hym, he saylede to Normandy to the kynge, seyenge to hym that he hade suffrede grete iniuryes of myȝty men for the utilite of the kynge. And so the seide William returnede to Ynglonde, began to contynue as he usede afore, comfortynge the peple drawynge to hym by boldenesse of the favor of the kynge. The rumor of that conspiracion encreasynge gretely, Hubertus archebischop of Cawnterbery, havynge governayle of the realme, callede that peple afore hym, and rehersede the rumor of that conspiracion, wherefore he movede and preyede theyme to ȝiffe borowes for pease to be kepede, that alle suspicion myȝhte be avoidede. That peple as pleasede thro his speche obbeyede his desire, and assignede and toke to hym diverse borowes. Neverthelesse the seide William wente iettynge in the stretes, and moche [folio 371b] peple drawynge to hym, callenge hym selfe the saviour of poore Page  151, vol.8 men, and seyenge that the powers of myȝhty men scholde soone decrease, takynge to hym this theme of scripture, "Ye schalle drawe waters in ioye from the welles of oure Savioure: I am the savioure of poore men; ye poore men havynge experte the harde hondes of ryche men, drawe ye nowe from my welles the waters of hollesom doctryne." Seyenge oftetymes, "I schalle divide water from waters: this water is the peple; wherefore I schalle divide tru peple and meke from prowde peple and fals; I schalle divide the chosen peple of God from peple reprobable, as lyȝhte from derkenesse." Wherefore Hubertus, metropolitan and governoure of the realme, callede the seide William to answere to certeyne thynges to be obiecte ageyne hym: whiche presente hym, but he hade so moche peple with hym that thei were feyne to diferre the iuggemente and to prolonge the sentence. Neverthelesse a season aspyede Page  153, vol.8 by ij. citesynnes of London when this William hade but fewe men in companye with hym, a grete multitude of men in armore were sende to take hym. But this seide William did sle oon of the ij. citesynnes with an ax that he hade in his honde, and fledde with his concubyne, whiche folowede hym contynually with oþer certeyn men unto the churche of the arches, supposynge his peple to comme and to delyver hym. But truly the peple durste not, what for the men beynge in plegge, and what for the multitude of peple beynge in armoure and ageyne theyme. So this William by fyre and smoke was compellede to goe furthe of the churche, and as he comme furthe the*. [then, MS.] sonne of that citesynne whom he hade sleyne kytte his bely and woundede hym soore. Neverthelesse he was drawen by iuggemente and honged after with ix. men, which wolde not be from his felowschippe. That doen his felawes diffamede that metropolitan not oonly as mansleer, willynge to Page  155, vol.8 avoide the dishonoure of theire propre conspiracion and to com|probate the dampners of the seide William, by a subtile arte gate to hym the name of a martir. For as hit was seide a cosynne to the seide William and preste takynge the cheyne with whom the seide William was bounde, putte hit to a man havynge the fevers, and he was made holle anoon, whiche thynge the seide preste prechede. The peple herynge that, wente in the nyȝhte and toke aweye the galowes on whom he [folio 372a] was hongede, and the erthe also made redde with his bloode. This fame and rumor encreasede, moche peple wente to his grave and taryede þer in nyȝhtes, preyenge and doynge honoure to that newe martir. But a man of discrecion scholde have be a schamede to have callede hym a martir, whiche did sle a man voluntarily afore his takynge; and his laste confession awe Page  157, vol.8 to have schamede his worschippers. Whiche movede by diverse men to ȝiffe lawde to God, and confesse his synnes, mekely confessede that he pollute the churche of Oure Lady of the arches while that he was in hit. Also the seide William expressenge oþer thynges, seide that he cowthe not be de|lyverede, callede the devell into his helpe, forsakynge Iesu, in this condicion that he wolde delyver hym. Wherefore Hubertus metropolitan and governoure of the realme, doynge grete cor|reccion to that preste, assignede a certeyne nowmbre of men in armoure to kepe that churche, that peple scholde not offre to hym, and so the devocion of that martir wexede sone colde, and þe oppinion of the peple was seasede.