De schiris Angliœ, siue prouinciis. Capitulum quadra|gesimum nonum.
TAKE hede þat*. [So α.; þan, MS.] Engelond conteyneþ two and þritti schires and prouinces, þat now beeþ i-cleped erldoms, outake Cornewayle and ilondes*. [the ilondes, Cx.]Alfridus. These beeþ þe names of þe erldoms and schires: Kent, Souþsex, Souþeray, Hampschire, Barkschire, þat haþ þat name of a baar ook þat is in þe forest of Wyndesore; for at þat bare ook men of þat schire were i-wont come to gidres and make here tretys, and þere take hir counsail, and rede.*. [reed, α.; aduys, Cx. (who has other slight variations.)] Also Wiltschire, þat hiȝte*. [heet, Cx.] somtyme þe prouince of Semeran, Somersete, Dorsete, Deuenschire, þat hatte Deuonia in Latyn. Þese nyne south schires, as*. [So α; nyne schires be souþ, as, MS.] Temse departeþ hem from þe oþer dele of Engelond, were*. [which were, Cx., who omits as above.] somtyme i-gouerned and i-ruled by þat lawe þat hatte Westsaxoun*. [Westsaxene, α.] lawe.*. [by the West Saxon lawe, Cx.] Estsex, Myddelsex, Page 87, vol.2 Southfolk, Norþfolk, Hertfordschire, Huntyngdounschire, Norþhamptounschire, Cantebryggeschire,*. [Cambryggeshyre, Cx.] [Bedefordschire]*. [Added from α. and Cx.] Bokynghamschire, Leycestreschire, Derbyschire, Notyng|hamschire, Lyncolneschire, Ȝorkschire, Duramschire, Nor|humberlond, Carlelschire wiþ Comberlond, Appelbyschire wiþ Westmerlond, Lancastreschire, þat conteyneþ fyue litel schires; þese fiftene norþ and est schires were somtyme i-gouerned and i-ruled by þat lawe, þat hatte Denelawe. But Oxenfordeschire, Warwykschire, Glowcetreschire, Worcestre|schire, Herfordschire,*. [Herefordschire, α; Herdford|shire, Cx.] Schropschire, Staffordschire, Chestre|schire, þese eiȝte myddel and west schires were somtyme i-gouerned and i-ruled by þat lawe þat hatte Mercia in Latyn, and Mercheyne lawe in Englisshe. It is to wetynge*. [wete, Cx., and so often.] þat Ȝorkschire now streccheþ onlich from þe bowe of the ryuer of Humber anon to þe ryuer of*. [of] om. α.; clause varied in Cx.] Teyse; and ȝit in Ȝorkschire beeþ two and twenty hondredes. Hundred and candred is al oon; candred is oo word i-made of Walsche and of Irische, and is to menynge, a contray þat conteyneþ an hondred townes, and is also in Englische l-cleped wepentake; for somtyme in þe comynge of a newe lorde tenauntes were i-wont to ȝilde Page 89, vol.2 vp hire wepene instede of homage. Duramschire streccheþ from þe ryuer Teyse*. [Theyse, α.] anon to þe ryuere Tyne. And for to speke propurliche of Norþhumberlond, Norþhumberlond streccheþ from þe ryuere of Tyne anon to þe ryuere of Twede, þat is þe*. [in the, Cx.] bygynnynge of Scotlond. Þan ȝif the contrey of Norþhomberlond, þat was somtyme from Humber anon to Twede, be now acounted for oon schire and oon erldom, as it was somtyme, þan beeþ in Engelond but two and þritty schires, but ȝif þe contray of Norþhumberlond be*. [is, α. (not Cx.)] departed in þe sixe forsaide*. [forsaide] om. Cx., probably rightly] schires, þat beeþ Euerwykschire, Du|ramschire, Norþhumberlond, Carlelschire, Appelbyschire, Lancastreschire, þanne beeþ in Engelond sixe and þritty schires wiþoute Cornewayle and also wiþoute þe ilondes. Kyng William þe Conquerour made alle þis prouince and schires be descryved*. [So α. and Cx. (who has these prouynces); destroyed, MS.] and i-mete. Þan were i-founde sixe and þritty schires*. [Text of the following clauses as in α; more than thirty words are repeated without sense in MS. in various places.] and an half,*. [and half a schire, α. and Cx.] and townes*. [and schire townes, MS.] two and fifty þowsand and foure score; parische chirches fyue and fourty þowsand and tweyne; knyȝtes fees sixty þowsand and fiftene. Þerof*. [Wherof, Cx.] men of religioun haþ eiȝte and twenty þowsand and fiftene knyȝtes fees.*. [Some words repeated in MS.] But now wodes [beþ]*. [Added from α. and Cx.] i-hewe adoun and newe telynge*. [tylienge, α.] lond i-made moche more þan was þoo, and meny townes i-bulde, and so þere beeþ now in Engelond meny moo hides*. [vyllages, Cx., who varies the sentence considerably.] and townes þan were in þat Page 91, vol.2 tyme. Treuisa.*. [The remainder of the chapter appears thus in Cx., who omits Trevisa's name:—"And whereas a fore is wreton that Cornuayll is not sette amonge the shires of Englond, it may stonde amonge them wel ynowgh. For it is neyther in Wales ne in Scotland, but is in Englond, and ioyneth to Deuens|shire. And so may ther ben acompted in Englond xxxvij. shires and a half with the other shires."] Hit is wondre why Alfred summeth the schires of Engelond somdel as a man þat mette; for Alfrede telleþ þe som of schires in þis manere: Þere beeþ in Enge|lond sixe and þritty schires wiþoute Conewayle and wiþoute þe ylondes. Why seiþ he nouȝt in þis manere: Þere beeþ in Engelond sixe schires wiþ Cornwayle, and þritty oþer schires wiþoute þe ilondes? Eyþer manere summynge is as vnredy as oþer. For to make a redy somme it schulde be i-write in þis manere: In Engelond beeþ seuen and þritty schires, and so is Cornewayle acounted wiþ þe oþere schires; and þat is skilful. For Cornewayle is a schere of Engelond; for, as he seiþ, Cornwaile is in þis Bretayne hym self, as it is aleide*. [aleyd, α.] in þe fourþe chapitre of þis firste book. Þan hit is in oon of þe chief parties of þis Bretayne, þat beeþ Engelond, Wales, and Scotlond. But Cornewayle is nouȝt in Wales, for þere is a grete see bytwene; noþer in Scotlonde, for þere beeþ many hondred myle bytwene. Þan Cornwayle is in Enge|lond, and is departed in hundredes, and is i-ruled by þe lawe of Engelond, and holdeþ schire and schire dayes, as oþere schires dooþ. Ȝif Alfrede seiþ nay in þat, he wot nouȝt what he maffleþ.