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 quadragesimum octavum.

Willelmus de Pontificibus, libro tertio. York is a grete citee in eiþer side of þe water of Ouse, þat semed as faire as Rome, forto þat*. [vnto the tyme that, Cx.] the kyng of Engelond William Conquerour hadde wiþ brennynge of*. [and, α., Cx.] fuyre defouled it and þe contrey Page  65, vol.2 aboute; so þat a pilgrym wolde now wepe, and he seigh*. [sawe, Cx., and so usually.] it, ȝif he knewe hit ar he wente out.*. [ar he wente out] to fore, Cx.]Gaufridus. Ebrankus, þe fifte kyng of Britouns, bulde York,*. [Ȝork, α.] and cleped hit after his owne name Caerbrank.*. [Caerebrank, α.] He bulde also tweie oþere noble citees, [one]*. [Added from Cx.] in Scotlond þat hatte Edynborgh;*. [Edenburgh, α.; and so below.] and anoþer toward Scotlond, in þe endes of Engelond, þat hatte Alclud.*. [Alcluid, α.; Alcliud, Cx.] ℞. Edyngboruȝ is a citee in þe lond of Pictes by|twene þe ryuere of Twyde and þe Scottische see, and heet somtyme þe Castelle of Maydens, and was i-cleped aftir|ward Edyngborgh,*. [Edynborugh, α.] of Edan, kyng of Pictes, þat regned þere ynne Egfrides tyme, kyng of Norþhumberlond. Alcluid was somtyme a noble citee, and is now wel nyh vnknowe to alle Englische men. [For under þe Britouns and Pictes and Englisshe men]*. [Added from α. and Cx.] it was a noble citee anon to þe comynge of þe Danes; but afterward aboute þe ȝere of oure Lord eiȝte hondred þre score and ten it was destroyed, whan þe Danes destroyed þe cuntrees*. [contrayes, α.] of Norþhumberlond. But in what Page  67, vol.2 place of Britayne þat citee Alcluid was i-bulde, auctors telleþ dyuersliche. Beda, libro primo, capitulo duodecimo, seiþ þat it was i-buld by west þat arme of þe see þat de|parted*. [departeth, Cx.] bytwene Pictes and Britouns somtyme. Þere Seuerus his famous [walle]*. [Added from Cx., who has welle.] endeþ westward; and so it semeþ by hym, þat [hit]*. [Added from α. and Cx.] is nouȝt fer from Caerlel, for þat cite is i-sette at þe ende of þe*. [that, Cx.] wal. Oþere writers of stories writeþ þat þe citee Alcluid is þat citee þat now hatte A[l]deburghe,*. [Aldburgh, Cx.] þat is to menynge, an olde toun, and stondeþ vppon þe ryuer Ouse, nouȝt fer from Borgh-brigge, þat is fiftene myle westwarde out of York. And hit semeþ þat he preueþ þat by Gaufridus, in*. [So α. and Cx.; and, MS.] his book of dedes of Britouns. He writeþ þat Elidurus, kyng of Britouns, was i-logged at þe citee Alcluid, bycause of solas of*. [solace and, Cx.] huntynge, and fonde his broþer Archgalon*. [Agalon, Cx.] maskynge in a wode nyh þere beside, þat hatte Calatery, but þat wode Calaterye, þat hatte Caltres an*. [in, Cx.] Englische,*. [Engelshe, α.] recheþ almest to York, and streccheþ toward Page  69, vol.2 þe north by Aldeburgh,*. [After Aldeburgh, MS. and α. (not Cx.) add, by a clerical error of repetition, þat is to menynge.] in lengþe þe space of twenty myle. Þe moste dele of þat wode is nowe i-þrowe adoun, and þe lond i-teled.*. [y-tylled, Cx.] Oþere wol mene þat Alcluid was þat citee þat now hatte Burgham,*. [Burcham, Cx.] in þe norþ contray of Westmerland, faste by Comberlond, and stondeþ vppon þe ryuer Edene. Þe citee is þere ȝitt wonderliche i-sene. Here a wys re|dere demeþ, as hym semeþ, where Alcluid was i-buld.*. [Cx. thus re-writes the sentence: Dame ye now where it is bylded.]Treuisa.*. [Reference added from Cx.] Þis semeþ nouȝt wel hard to assoille, ȝif me takeþ hede þat many townes bereþ oon name, as Carthago*. [Cartago, MSS. and Cx.; and so below.] in Affrica and Carthago*. [Cartago, MSS. and Cx.; and so below.] in Spayne; Newport in Wales and Newport in þe parsche*. [parisshe, Cx.] of Berkeley; Wottoun vndir Hegge*. [Egge, Cx.] and Wottoun-basset; Wilke-warre and Wilke-spayne and Wilke*. [Wikwarre, Wykpayn, and Wik, α. and Cx.] in þe parische of Berkeley. And tweie schire townes eiþer hatte Hamptoun; Souþhamptoun and Norþhamptoun. So it semeþ by þe stories, þat oon Alcluid was in Yorkschire, anoþer in Westmerlond, and oon faste by in þe riȝt side of þe west arme of þe see, þat departeþ Engelond and Scotlond; but þat Alcluid was a wel*. [right, Cx.; and so often.] stronge citee, as Beda seiþ; and þat citee stondeþ faste by a ryuer þat hatte Cluid;*. [Cliud, Cx.] and þere is non suche ryuer in Ȝorkschire, noþer in Westmorelond, as men of þe contray telleþ me. Som men telleþ þat þe ryuere Cluid hatte now Sulwache; [Sulwach]*. [Added from α. and Cx.] is but fyue myle fro Caerlile. ℞. Caerleel is a citee in þe contre of Norþ Enge|lond toward þe norþ west, and haþ anoþer name and hatte Lugubal. Leyle, þe seuenþe kyng of Britouns, bulde Caerleel. [In þis citee is somwhat of þat famous wal þat passeþ Page  71, vol.2 Northumberlond. Willelmus de Pontificibus.]*. [Added from α. and Cx.] In þis citee is a þre chambred hous i-made of font*. [vawte, Cx.] stoones, þat myȝt neuere*. [neuere myzte, α., Cx.] be destroyed wiþ tempest of wedir noþer wiþ brennynge of fuyre. Also in þe contray faste by in Westmerlond, in þe frount of a þre chambred place, is i-write in þis manere, Marii victoriæ. What þis writinge is to mene, som dele I doute; but it*. [but yf it, Cx.] were so þat som of þe Combres leie*. [leyȝe, α.] þere somtyme, whan þe consul Marius hadde i-putte hem out of Itali. ℞.*. [Reference added from α.] But it semeþ more probable,*. [better, Cx.] þat þat is i-write in mynde of Marius, kyng of Britouns, þat was Aruiragus his sone. Þis Marius ouercome in þat place Rodryk, kyng of Pictes,*. [So α. and Cx.; Britouns, MS.] so seiþ Gaufridus in his Brittische booke. William Malmesbury seih neuere þat book. At Hagus|taldes chirche is a place foure score myle out of York norþ|westward; þe place is, as it were, destroyed; so seiþ Willel|mus, libro tertio de Pontificibus; þat place longede somtyme to þe bisshopriche of York. Þere were somtyme buldes*. [howses, Cx.] wiþ vice*. [vys, α.] arches and fontes*. [voutes, Cx., who has large omissions here.] in þe manere of Rome. Suche buldynge was nowhere [i-seie]*. [Added from α.] on þis half Alpes, but þere vnneþe. Now þat place hatte Hestoldesham and Heglisham Page  73, vol.2 also. Beda, libro tertio, capitulo primo, seiþ þat þat place [is]*. [The verb is absent from MSS. and Cx.] faste by þe long wal of þe work of Rome in þe norþ half. ℞.*. [Reference added from Cx.] Þere is difference bytwene þe prouince of Lyndefar and [and þe chirche of Lyndefarne; for þe prouynce of Lyndiffar and]*. [Added from α. and Cx.] Lyndeseie is al oon, and lyeþ by est Lyncolne; and Lyn|coln is þe heed þerof. Of þe whiche seiþ Beda, libro quarto, capitulo undecimo, þat Sexvulphus was first bisshop þere. Bote Beda seiþ, libro quarto, capitulo vicesimo tertio, þat Lynde|farn*. [Lyndiffern, α.] chirche is an ilond, þat hatte Halyelond, in þe ryuer Twede,*. [Twyde, α.; Thwede, Cx. (who has next).] nyh Berwyk. And so hit is i-gadered of Beda his sawes, [þat Twyde renneþ into the famous arm of]*. [Added from α. and Cx.] þe see þat*. [that now, Cx.] departeþ Englische men and Scottes in þe est half. And in þe*. [þat, α., Cx.] arme beeþ þre ilondes, þat beeþ Mailros, þat now hatte Mewros;*. [Meuros, α., Cx.] þanne aboue toward þe west is Lyndefarnen chirche þat hatte Halielond;*. [Haly ylond, Cx.] þanne vpward aboue þat is þe ilond Farne, and hatte also Farnyelond; þanne vpward tweie myle aboue þat is a real citee vppon þe brynke of Twyde, þat somtyme hiȝt Bebanborgh, þat is, Bebbe is*. [Bobbes, Cx.] cite, and now hatte Page  75, vol.2 Bamborgh,*. [Bamborw, α.] and hath a wel strong castel.*. [The previous sentence has se|veral slight variations in Cx.]Giraldus in Itinere. Tweye citees þere beeþ, eiþer hatte Caerlegioun and Caerleoun also; oon is Demecia in Souþ Wales, þat hatte Caerusk also; þere þe ryuer Vsque*. [Usk, α.] falleþ in to Seuarn see,*. [see] om. Cx.] faste by Glammorgon. Bellinus, kyng of Britouns, somtyme bulde þat citee; and somtyme was þe chief cite of Demecia*. [Domecia, MS. (not α. or Cx.)] in Souþ Wales.*. [MS. (not α. or Cx.) adds: þat hatte Caerusk.] Afterward in Claudius Cesar his tyme hit was i-cleped þe Citee of Legiouns. Whan at þe prayer of Genuis þe queene, Vespasianus*. [Vaspasianus, MSS. Cx. (who has Genyus.)] and Aruiragus were accorded, and legiouns of Rome were i-sende in to Irlond, þo was Caerleon a noble citee and of grete auctorite, and by þe Romayns realliche i-walled aboute wiþ walles of brent*. [brand, α.] tile. Grete nobilite*. [nobley, Cx.] þat was þere in olde tyme is þere ȝit in meny places i-sene, as þe grete palys,*. [palayses, Cx.] geant*. [gyant, α.] his tour, noble bathes, releef of þe temples, places of theatres, þat were places hiȝe and real to stonde and sytte ynne and byholde aboute. Þe places were realliche i-closed wiþ real walles þat ȝit somdel stondeþ wel nyh cloos. And wiþ ynne þe walles and wiþoute is greet buldynge vnder erþe, water condites and weies vnder erþe and stues also þou schalt see wonderliche i-made wiþ streite side weies of breþynge, þat wonderliche casteþ vp hete. In þis cite were somtyme þre noble chirches; Page  77, vol.2 oon was of Seynt Iulius þe martir, i-hiȝt wiþ a grete*. [and ther in a grete, Cx.] com|panye of virgyns; þat oþer was of Seint Aaron, þat was of þe ordre of blak chanouns; þat chirche was wiþ hym*. [hem, Cx.] nobelie i-hiȝt;*. [adourned, Cx.] þe pridde chirche was þe chief moderchirche of al Wales, and þe chief sete;*. [see, Cx.] but aftirward þe chief see was i-torned out of þat citee in to Meneuia, þat is, Seint Dauyes lond in West Wales. In þis Caerleon [was]*. [Added from Cx.] Amphi|balus i-bore, þat tauȝt Seint Albon. Þere þe messangers of Rome come to þe grete Arthurus curt,*. [court, α., Cx.] ȝif it is leeful for to trowe. Treuisa. Ȝif Gerald*. [Giraldus, Cx.] was in doute where*. [wheþer, α.] it were leful for to trowe þis*. [þis] hit, α., Cx.] oþer noo, it was nouȝt ful greet reedy|nesse to write hit in his bookes; as som men wolde wene. For it is a wonder sweuene i-mette for to write a long storie, to haue euermore in mynde, and euere haue doute ȝif it be amys byleue. Ȝif alle his bookes were suche, what lore were þerynne, and nameliche while hit makeþ non euidens for neiþer*. [neiþer] noþer, α.] side, noþer telleþ what hym*. [So α. and Cx.; by, MS.] meueþ so*. [so] soþ, MS. (not Cx.)] for to seie?*. [The extract from Trevisa is a good deal varied in Cx., where it makes but little sense.] ℞.*. [Reference added from Cx.] Þere is anoþer Citee of Legiouns; þere þis cronicle was by*. [be, α.]-trauailled, as it is cleerliche i-knowe by þe firste lettres of þe chapitres of þis first book.*. [Sentence varied in Cx.]Treuisa. Þis*. [That, Cx.] is to vnderstondynge in þe Latyn writynge and nouȝt in þis Englische writynge; for it was nouȝt þe same þat made it in Latyn, and torned it into Englisshe in þe same place þat it was i-made first in Latyn. Þe heed lettres of þe chapitres of þis firste book i-write arewe as the chapitres stondeþ he speleþ þis Latyn resoun: Presentem cronicam compilauit frater Ranulphus Cestrensis monachus. Þis Latyn resoun is to menynge an Englische: Broþer Ranulf,*. [Ranulph, α.; Ranulphus, Cx.] monk of Chestre, compiled and made þis present cronicle.*. [cronyke, α., Cx. The extract from Trevisa is much varied in Cx.] ℞. Þe Page  79, vol.2 citee of legiouns, þat is, Chestre, stondeþ in þe marche of Engelond toward Wales, bytwene tweie armes of þe see þat hatte Dee and Merse. Þis citee in tyme of Britouns was heed and chief citee of al Venedocia, þat is, Norþ*. [in north, Cx.] Wales. Þe foundour of þis citee is vnknowe, for who þat seeþ þe foundementis of þe grete stones wolde raþer wene þat it were Romayns work, oþer work of geauntes, þan work*. [were, Cx. (typ. error.)] i-made by settynge of Bretouns. Þis citee somtyme in Brittische speche heet Caerleon,*. [Caerchleon, α.] Legecestria in*. [a, Cx.] Latyn, and hatte now Cestria in Latyn, and Chestren in Englisshe, and þe Citee of Legiouns [also. For þere lay a wynter þe legiouns]*. [Added from α. and Cx.] of knyȝtes þat Iulius Cesar sente for to wynne Irlond; and afterward Clawdius Cesar sente legiouns out of þat citee ffor to wynne þe ilondes þat hatte Orcades. What euere William Malmesbury by tellynge of oþere men mette of þis citee, þis citee haþ plente of lyflode, of corn, of flesche, and of fische, and specialliche of pris salmoun.*. [prise samoun, α.; pris of samon, Cx.] Þat*. [This, Cx.] citee fongeþ grete marchaundise, and sendeþ out also. Also nygh þis citee beeþ salt welles, metal, and oor. Norþhumbres destroyed þis citee somtyme; but afterward Elfleda, lady of Mercia, bulde it aȝe and made it wel*. [moche, Cx.] more. In þis citee beeþ weies vnder Page  81, vol.2 erþe, wiþ vawtes of stoonwerk*. [with vowtes and stonewerke, Cx., who has chambred below.] wonderliche i-wrouȝt, þre chambres workes, greet stoones i-graued wiþ olde men*. [So also α.; mennes, Cx.] names þere ynne. Þere is also Iulius Cesar his money wonderliche in stones*. [in stones] These words ought to be cancelled, but Trevisa perhaps misunderstood the Latin. Cx. changes money into name.] i-graued,*. [MS. and α. (not Cx.) add by clerical error from above: wiþ olde men names.] and oþere noble mennes also wiþ þe writynge aboute. Þis is þe citee þat*. [So α. and Cx.; of, MS.] Ethelfride, kyng of Norþhumber,*. [Northumberland, Cx.] destroyed; and slogh þere faste by nygh two þowsand monkes of þe mynistre of Bangor. Þis is þe citee þat kyng Edgar com to som tyme wiþ seuene kynges þat were suget to hym. A metrere brekeþ out in þis manere in preis|ynge of þis citee:—

Chestre, Casteltoun as he*. [a, α.; it, Cx.] were,
Name takeþ of a castel:*. [We should probably add: that is there; metri gratia.]
Hit is vnknowe
What man bulde*. [bude, α.] þis citee nowe;
Tho Legecestrias þes*. [Legecestria chers, Cx. (quid?)]
Heet*. [Hett, α.] now toun of legiones.
Now Walsche and Englische
Holdeþ þis toun of greet*. [a greet, α.] prys.
Stones on þe walle
Semeþ work Hercules alle;
Þere long wiþ myght
To dure þat hep is i-hiȝt. Page  83, vol.2
Saxon smal*. [smale, Cx.] stones
Set vppon greet beeþ attones.*. [at ones, α.]
There vnder grounde
Lotynge*. [luttyng, γ.] double vaut*. [vawt, α.; vout, Cx.] is i-founde.
Þat helpeth wiþ sondes
Meny men of westene*. [westren, Cx.] londes.
Fisch, flesche, and corn low
Þis cite toun haþ i-now.
Schippes and chaffare
See water bringeþ i-now þare.
Godescalle þere is,
Þat was emperour or*. [ar, α.; er, Cx.] þis,
And þe ferþe Henry kyng,
Þere is here*. [þere is here] orþ (erþ β.) ys þar, γ.] riȝtene*. [erthe is there righten, Cx.] dwellynge.
Of kyng Haralde
Poudre þere ȝit is halde,*. [i-halde, α., Cx.]
Bacchus*. [Bacus, MS.; Bachus, α., Cx.] and Mercurius, Mars and Venus, also Lauerna,*. [Possibly we should read La|uerne; but even so, the metre limps.]
Proteus*. [Protheus, MSS. and Cx.] and Pluto regneþ þere [in]*. [Added from Cx.] þe towne.

Treuisa. God woot what þis is to mene, but poetes*. [So α.; portes, MS.] in here*. [So α.; his, MS.] manere of speche feyneth as þey euerich kynde crafte and leu|ynge hadde a dyuersite*. [diuerse, Cx.; probably rightly.] god, euerich from oþer; and so they feyneþ*. [feyned, Cx.] a god of bataille and of fiȝtynge, and clepeþ hym Mars; also þey feyneþ a god of couetise of richesse and mar|chaundise, and clepeþ*. [called Cx.] hym Mercurius; and so Bacchus þei clepeþ god of wyn; Venus, god of fairnesse and of loue; Lauerna, god of þefte and of robberie; Proteus,*. [Protheus, MSS. and Cx.] god of falshede and of gyle; and Pluto, god of helle. And so hit semeþ þat þis vers wolde mene þat þese feyned*. [forsayd, Cx.] goddes regneþ and beeþ i-serued in Chestre; Mars wiþ fiȝting and cokkynge; Mercurius wiþ couetise of richesse and of mar|chandyse; Bacchus wiþ grete drinkynge; Venus wiþ loue nouȝt ful wys;*. [nouȝht ful wys] lewdly, Cx.] Lauerna wiþ þefte and robberye; Proteus*. [Protheus, MSS. and Cx.]Page  85, vol.2 wiþ falshede and gyle. Þan is Pluto not vnserued, god of TREVISA, helle. ℞.

Þere Babilon lore,
More myȝt haþ, truþe*. [So β. and γ.; trouthe, Cx. The text seems corrupt; possibly crouþe (i.e. crow|eth) may be the true reading.] þe more.