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corrections of some imperfections of imp, by Francis Thynne

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Title: Animaduersions uppon the annotacions and corrections of some imperfections of impressiones of Chaucer's workes
       1865 edition

Author: Francis Thynne

Editor: George Henry Kingsley

Release Date: June 28, 2009 [EBook #29261]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


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The text is based on the 1865 EETS edition of Thynne’s Animad­versions. Two purely typographic features have been adopted from the 1876 Chaucer Society re-edition of the same MS. Passages printed in [brackets] in 1865 have been changed to 1876’s (parentheses); conversely, words or letters supplied by the editor are shown in [brackets], reserving italics for expanded abbreviations. Other differences, and ways of marking them, are explained at the end of the e-text.

Page numbers are shown in the left margin. Italicized numbers in the right margin are from the 1876 edition (main text only).

Transcriber’s Notes

Animaduersions uppon Chaucer’s Workes.




uppon the Annotacions and corrections of some
imperfections of impressiones
of Chaucer’s workes (sett
downe before tyme and
nowe) reprinted in the
yere of our lorde



Sett downe by



“Sortee pur bien ou ne sortee rien.”








Although only the grandson of the first of his name, the author of the following interesting specimen of 16th-century criticism came of a family of great antiquity, of so great an antiquity, indeed, as to preclude our tracing it back to its origin. This family was originally known as the “De Botfelds,” but in the 15th century one branch adopted the more humble name of “Thynne,” or “of the Inne.” Why the latter name was first assumed has never been satisfac­torily explained. It can hardly be supposed that “John de la Inne de Botfelde,” as he signed himself, kept a veritable hostelry and sold ale and provender to the travellers between Ludlow and Shrewsbury, and most probably the term Inn was used in the sense which has given us “Lincoln’s Inn,” “Gray’s Inn,” or “Furnivall’s Inn,” merely meaning a place of residence of the higher class, though in this case inverted, the Inn giving its name to its owner.

However obtained, the name has been borne by the most successful branch of the De Botfelds down to the present Marquess of Bath, who now represents it. Much interesting matter connected with the family was collected by a late descendant of the older branch, Beriah Botfeld, and published by him in his “Stemmata Botvilliana.”

The first “John of the Inn” married one Jane Bowdler, by whom he had a son Ralph, who married Anne Hygons, and their son William became clerk of the kitchen, and according to some, master of the household to Henry VIII. He iv married in the first place a lady who, however she may have advanced her husband’s prospects at court, behaved in a manner which must have considerably marred his satisfaction at her success. Those who wish to study the matrimonial sorrows of “Thynnus Aulicus,” as he calls him, may consult Erasmus in his Epistolæ, lib. xv. Epist. xiv.

His second marriage to Anne Bond, daughter of William Bond, clerk of green cloth and master of the household to Henry VIII., was more fortunate, and by her he had daughters and one son, our Francis Thynne.

Though his son gives him no higher position in the court of Henry VIII. than the apparently humble one of clerk of the kitchen, he is careful to let us know that the post was in reality no mean one, and that “there were those of good worship both at court and country” who had at one time been well pleased to be his father’s clerks. That he was a man of superior mind there is no question, and we have a pleasant hint in the following tract of his intimacy with his king, and of their mutual fondness for literature. To William Thynne, indeed, all who read the English language are deeply indebted, for to his industry and love for his author we owe much of what we now possess of Chaucer. Another curious bit of literary gossip to be gleaned from this tract is that William Thynne was a patron and supporter of John Skelton, who was an inmate of his house at Erith, whilst composing that most masterly bit of bitter truth, his “Colin Clout,” a satire perhaps unsurpassed in our language.

William Thynne rests beside his second wife, in the church of Allhallows, Barking, near the Tower of London, where there are two handsome brasses to their memory. That of William Thynne represents him in full armour with a tremendous dudgeon dagger and broadsword, most warlike guize for a clerk of the kitchen and editor of Chaucer. The dress of his wife is quite refreshing in its graceful comeliness v in these days of revived “farthingales and hoops.” These brasses were restored by the late Marquess of Bath. Would that the same good feeling for things old had prevented the owners of the “church property” from casing the old tower with a hideous warehouse.

The Sir John Thynne mentioned in the “Animadversions” was most probably a cousin of Francis. He married the daughter of Sir Thomas Gresham, the builder of the Royal Exchange, part of whose wealth was devoted by his son-in-law to the building of the beautiful family seat of Long Leat, in Wiltshire, in which work he was doubtless aided indirectly by the Reformation, for, says the old couplet,

“Portman, Horner, Popham, and Thynne,

When the monks went out they came in.”

Francis Thynne was born in Kent, probably at his father’s house at Erith, about 1550. He was educated at Tunbridge school under learned Master Proctor, thence to Magdalen College, Oxford, and then, as the manner was, to the Inns of Court, where he lay at Lincoln’s Inn for a while. Some men are born antiquarians as others are born poets, and we may be pretty certain that it was at Thynne’s own desire that his court influence was used to procure him the post of “Blanch Lyon pursuivant,” a position which would enable him to pursue studies, the results of which, however valuable in themselves, but seldom prove capable of being converted into the vulgar necessities of food and raiment. Poor John Stowe, with his license to beg, as the reward of the labour of his life, is a terrible proof of how utterly unmarketable a valuable commodity may become.

Leading a calm and quiet life in the pleasant villages of Poplar and Clerkenwell, in “sweet and studious idleness,” as he himself calls it, the old herald was enabled to accumulate rich stores of matter, much of which has come down to vi us, principally in manuscript, scattered through various great libraries, which prove him to have deserved Camden’s estimate of him as “an antiquary of great judgment and diligence.” It would seem that he had entertained the idea of following in his father’s footsteps, and of becoming an editor of Chaucer, and that he had even made some collections towards that end. The appearance of Speight’s edition probably prevented this idea being carried out, and the evident soreness exhibited in this little tract very probably arose from a feeling that his friend had rather unfairly stolen a march upon him. However the wound was not deep, and Speight made use of Thynne’s corrections, and Thynne assisted Speight, in new editions, with all friendship and sympathy.1 I suspect him of dabbling in alchemy and the occult sciences. He shows himself well acquainted with the terms peculiar to those mysteries, and hints that Chaucer only “enveyed” against the “sophisticall abuse,” not the honest use of the Arcana. Moreover in the British Museum (MS. add. 11,388) there is a volume containing much curious matter collected by him on these subjects, and not only collected vii but illustrated by him with most gorgeous colours and wondrous drawing, worthy of the blazonry of a Lancaster Herald. The costumes however are carefully correct, and give us useful hints as to the fashion of the raiment of our ancestors. From the peculiar piety and earnestness (most important elements in the search for the philosopher’s stone), of the small “signs” and prayers appended to these papers, it is, I think, clear, that he was working in all good faith and belief. Possibly the following lines, which seem to have been his favourite motto, may have been inspired by the disappoint­ment and dyspepsia produced by his smoky studies and their ill success,

“My strange and froward fate

Shall turn her whele anew

To better or to payre my fate,

Which envy dothe pursue.”

On the 22nd of April, 1602, he was with great ceremony advanced to the honour of Lancaster Herald. He never surrendered his patent, and as his successor entered on that post in November, 1608, he is supposed to have died about that date, though some postpone his death till 1611. He married Elizabeth, daughter and co-heiress of Thomas de la Rivers of Bransbe, but left no issue.

There are many points of interest to be picked out of the following honest and straight­forward bit of criticism, if we examine it closely: and, firstly, as to its author? Is there not something very character­istic in its general tone, something dimly sketching a shadowy outline of a kindly, fussy, busy, querulous old man, much given to tiny minutiæ, a careful copier with a clean pen, indefa­tiguable in collecting “contributions” to minor history; one jealous of all appearance of slight to his office, even to being moved to wrath with Master Speight for printing “Harolds” instead of “Harlotts,” and letting him know how mightily a “Harold” like himself viii would be offended at being holden of the condition of so base a thing as False Semblance? Perhaps the more so from a half-consciousness that the glory of the office was declining, and that if the smallest opening were given, a ribald wit might create terrible havock amongst his darling idols. How delicately he snubs Master Speight for not calling on him at Clerkenwell Green (How would Speight have travelled the distance in 1598? It was a long uphill walk for an antiquarian, and the fields by no means safe from long-staff sixpenny strikers); and how modestly he hints that he would have derived no “disparagement” from so doing; showing all the devotion to little matters of etiquette of an amiable but irritable old gentleman of our own day.

But mark this old gentleman’s description of his father’s collection of Chaucer’s MS.! Had ever a Bibliophile a more delightful commission than that one of William Thynne’s, empowering him to rout and to rummage amongst all the monasteries and libraries of England in search of the precious fragments? And had ever a Bibliophile a greater reward for his pleasant toils? “Fully furnished with a multitude of books, emongst which one coppye of some part of his works subscribed in various places ‘Examinatur Chaucer’!” Where is this invaluable MS. now? It is worth the tracing, if it be possible, even to its intermediate history. Was it one of those stolen from Francis Thynne’s house at Poplar by that biblio­maniacal burglar? or was it one of those which in a fit of generosity, worthy of those heroic times, he gave to Stephen Batemann, that most fortunate parson of Newington? Is this commission to be regarded as some slight proof that the spoliation of the monasteries was not carried on with the reckless Vandalism usually attributed to the reformers?

We learn from this tract that William Thynne left no less than twenty-five copies of Chaucerian MS. to his son, doubtless but a small tything of the entire number extant, showing that ix there were men amongst the monks who could enjoy wit and humour even when directed against themselves, and that there must have been some considerable liberality if not laxness of rule amongst the orders of the day. It would, I fancy, be difficult to find amongst the monkeries of our own time (except possibly those belonging to that very cheery order the Capuchines) an abbot inclined to permit his monks to read, much less to copy, so heretical a work as the Canterbury Tales, however freely he winked at the introduction of French nouvellettes.

But though some may have enjoyed Chaucer in all good faith, there were others who saw how trenchant were the blows he dealt against the churchmen of his time, and what deadly mischief to their pre-eminence lurked under his seeming bonhommie. Wolsey thought it worth his while to exert his influence against him so strongly as to oblige William Thynne to alter his plan of publication, though backed by the promised protection of Henry VIII. And the curious action of the Parliament noticed in the tract (p. 7) was doubtless owing to the same influence:2 an assumption of the right of censure by the Parliament which seems to have gone near to deprive us of Chaucer altogether. The Parliament men were right in regarding the works of Chaucer as mere fables, but they forgot that fables have “morals,” and that these morals were directed to the decision of the great question of whether the “spiritual” or the “temporal” man was to rule the world, a question unhappily not quite settled even in our own time.

The notice of that other sturdy reformer, John Skelton x (p. 7) is also very interesting, and gives us a hint of the existence of a “protesting” feeling in the Court of Henry VIII. before there was any reason for attributing it to mere private or political motives. From the way in which it is mentioned here, I suspect that the more general satire “Colin Clout” preceded the more directly personal one of “Why come ye nat to court?” which lashes Wolsey himself with a heartily outspoken virulence which would hardly have been tolerated by him when in the zenith of his power. It was not improbably written whilst its author was safe in sanctuary under Bishop Islip. William Thynne, court favourite though he was, could never have kept Skelton’s head on his shoulders after so terrible a provocation.

Wherever he may be placed, John Skelton stands alone amongst satirists, there is no one like him: possibly from a feeling that he was writing on the winning side, and sure of sympathy and protection, he scorns to hide his pearls under a dunghill like Rabelais, and utters fearlessly and openly what he has to say. Even in our own time,

“Though his rime be ragged

Tattered and iagged

Rudely rain-beaten

Rusty and moth-eaten

If ye talke well therewyth

Yt hath in it some pith.”

Thynne’s note on the family of Gower (p. 14) is of value as agreeing with later theories, which deny that Gower the poet was of the Gowers of Stittenham, the ancestors of the present houses of Sutherland and Ellesmere. The question is not, however, finally decided, and we have reason to believe that all the Gowers of Great Britain are descended from the same family of Guers still flourishing in Brittany. Early coat-armours are not much to be depended on, and Thynne as a Herald may lean a little too much towards them. The xi question is, however, in good hands, and I hope that before long some fresh light may be thrown upon it.

The old story of Chaucer’s having been fined for beating a Franciscan friar in Fleet Street is doubted by Thynne, though hardly, I think, on sufficient grounds. Tradition (when it agrees with our own views) is not lightly to be disturbed, and remembering with what more than feminine powers of invective “spiritual” men seem to be not unfrequently endowed, and also how atrociously insolent a Franciscan friar would be likely to be (of course from the best motives) to a man like Chaucer, who had burnt into the very soul of monasticism with the caustic of his wit, I shall continue to believe the legend for the present. If the mediæval Italians are to be believed, the cudgelling of a friar was occasionally thought necessary even by the most faithful, and I see no reason why hale Dan Chaucer should not have lost his temper on sufficient provocation. Old men have hot blood sometimes, and Dickens does not outrage probability when he makes Martin Chuzzelwit the elder, fell Mr Pecksniff to the ground.

Much of the tract is taken up by corrections of etymologies, and the explanation of obscure and obsolete words. It is a little curious that the word “orfrayes,” which had gone so far out of date as to be unintel­ligible to Master Speight, should, thanks to the new rage for church and clergy decoration, have become reasonably common again. The note on the “Vernacle” is another bit of close and accurate antiquarian knowledge worth noting. It is most tantalizing that after all he says about that mysterious question of “The Lords son of Windsor,” a question as mysterious as that demanding why Falstalf likened Prince Henry’s father to a “singing man” of the same place, we should be left as wise as we were before. We have here and there, too, hints as to what we have lost from Thynne’s great xii storehouse of information; how valuable would have been “that long and no common discourse” which he tells us he might have composed on that most curious form of judicial knavery, the ordeal; and possibly much more so is that of his “collections” for his edition of Chaucer! This last may, however, be still recovered by some fortunate literary mole.

The notice, by no means clear, but certainly not complimentary, of “the second editione to one inferior personne, than my father’s editione was,” may refer to any of the editions of Chaucer which, according to Lowndes, were printed more or less from William Thynne’s edition in 1542, 1546, and 1555; but from another passage hinting that Speight followed “a late English corrector whom I forbear to name,” I suspect that the “inferior personne” was poor John Stowe, and the edition to have been that edited by him in 1561, the nearest in point of date to that of Speight.

The manuscript from which this tract is reprinted is, like most of the treasures of the Bridgewater Library, wonderfully clean and in good order. It is entirely in the Autograph of Francis Thynne, and was evidently written purposely for the great Lord Chancellor Egerton, and bears his arms emblazoned on the title-page. Master Speight most probably got his copy of Animad­versions in a more humble form.

In conclusion may I remark that, as usual, the green silk ribands, originally attached to the vellum and gold cover, are closely cut away, probably for the purpose of being converted into shoe-ties, which Robert Green informs us was the usual destination of those appended to presentation copies, hinting at the same time that they were generally the only solid advantage gained by the dedicatee from the honour done him.

1. “To the readers. After this booke was last printed, I understand that M. Francis Thynn had a purpose, as indeed he hath when the time shall serve, to set out Chaucer with a coment in our tongue, as the Italians have Petrarke and others in their language. Whereupon I purposed not to meddle any further in this work, although some promise made to the contrarie, but to referre all to him; being a gentleman for that purpose inferior to none, both in regard to his own skill, as also of those helps left to him by his father. Yet notwith­standing, Chaucer now being printed againe I was willing not only to helpe some imperfections, but also to add some things whereunto he did not only persuade me, but most kindly lent me his helpe and direction. By this means most of his old words are restored: proverbes and sentences marked: such Notes as were collected, drawne into better order and the text by olde copies corrected.” Speight’s Chaucer, 1602.

2. Urry, in his Ed. of Chaucer, says that the Canterbury Tales were exempt from the prohibition of the Act of 34 Henry VIII. “For the advancement of true religion.” I find no notice of this in the Act in the “Statutes at large,” 1763. He also refers to Foxe’s Acts and Monuments, which is also merely negative on the subject.



1. The perfect Ambassador, treating of the Antiquity, Privileges, and Behaviour of men belonging to that Function. 12mo, 1651 & 1652.

  (This was first published in 1651 under the title “The application of certain histories concerning Ambassadors and their functions.” The title-page only is new. MS. note by Bliss. British Museum, 8005—a.)

2. Annals of Scotland, in some part continued from the time in which Ra. Holinshead left, being an. 1571 unto the year 1586. London, 1586. fol.

3. “There are also the catalogues of the Protectors, Governors, or Regents of Scotland during the King’s minority, or the minority of several kings, or their insufficiency of government. There are also the catalogues of all Dukes of Scotland by creation or descent, of the Chancellors of Scotland; Archbishops of St Andrews and divers writers of Scotland.” A. a’ Wood.

4. Catalogue of English Cardinals set down in R. Holinshed’s Chronicle at the end of Q. Mary.

5. “A Discourse of Arms,” dated “Clerkenwell Grene, 5th of Jan., 1593.” MS. in the College of Arms.

6. “Catalogue of the Chancellors of England.” MS. in the Bridgewater Library.

7. “Collections for the History of England.” MS. in Bridgewater Library.

8. Animadversions on Speight’s Chaucer, MS. in Bridgewater Library.

9. Several Collections of Antiquities. Notes concerning xiv Arms, monumental Antiquities, &c. MS. Cotton’s Lib. Cleopatra, C. 3. p. 62.

10. A discourse of the duty and office of a Herald of Arms, ad. 1605. MS. Bib. Ashmol. n. 835.

11. Missellanies of the Treasury. MS. 1599.

12. Matters concerning Heralds, and Tryal of Armes and the Court Military. MS. Bib. Ashmol. 12 (printed in Hearne’s Collection of Curious Discourses).

13. Names of the Earls Marshall of England, A.D. 1601. MS. Bib. Ashmol. 1374.

14. Epitaphia. Sive monumenta Sepulchrorum Anglici et Latini quam gallice. MS.

  “In the castrations to Hollingshed’s Chronicles are the four following discourses by this Author, which were suppressed from political motives, they have been added to the late quarto Edition.”

15. The Collection of the Earls of Leicester, compiled in 1585.

16. The lives of the Archbishops of Canterbury, written in 1586.

17. Treatise of the Lord Cobham. (Is this the “Lives of the Lords Cobham of Cobham, Randale and Harborough,” British Mus. MS. add. 12,514. f. 56?)

18. The catalogue of the Lord Wardens of the Cinque Ports, and constables of Dover Castle, as well in the time of King Edward surnamed the Confessor, as since the reign of the conqueror. MS. 1585 (Was in the library of More, Bishop of Eley, and now in the British Museum. MS. add. 12,514).

19. Of Stirling Money.

20. Of what antiquity shires were in England.

21. Of the antiquity and etymology of terms and fines for adminis­tration of justice in England.

22. Of the antiquity of the houses of Law.


23. Of Epitaphs.

24. On the antiquity, &c., of the high Steward of England.

25. The antiquity and office of Earl Marshall. (These last seven are printed in “Hearne’s Curious Discourses.” 8vo, 1775.)

26. Discourse of bastards. Brit. Mus. MS. add. 4176, fol. 139.

27. The Plea between the advocate and the anti-advocate concerning the Bath and Batchelor Knights. Brit. Mus. MS. add. 12,530.

28. Annals of England. Mus. Brit. MS. add. 926, 1017, 12,514.

29. The kinges book of all the border Knyghtes, Squiers, and gentlemen of this realm of England, by Francis Thynne, 1601, MS. Mus. Brit. MSS. add. 11,388.

(The same volume contains much curious matter collected and illustrated by Thynne—principally bearing on the philosopher’s stone. The principal paper is a rhyming Latin poem, “De Phenicæ sive de Lapide Philosophico,” referred to in the tract.)

Collections out of Domus Regni Angliæ. Nomina Episcoporum in Somerset. Nomina Saxonica de Donatoribus a Regibus Eadfrido, Eadgare et Edwardo, Catalogus Episcoporum, Barton and Wells. A book of collections and commentaries de historia et Rebus Britannicis.

Collections out of manuscript, Historians Registers of Abbies, Leger books, and other antient manuscripts.



To the righte Honorable his singular goode Lorde Sir Thomas Egertone knighte lorde keper of the greate seale and Master of the Rooles of the Chancerye.

It was (Ryghte honorable and my verye good lorde) one annciente and gretlye estemed custome emongste the Romans in the heigh[t]e of their glorye, that eche one, accordinge to their abylytye or the desarte of his frende, did in the begynnynge of the monthe of Januarye (consecrated to the dooble faced godd Janus one the fyrste daye whereof they made electione of their cheife officers and magystrates) presente somme gyfte unto his frende as the noote and pledge of the contynued and encresed amytye betwene them, a pollicye gretlye to be regarded, for the manye good effectes whiche issue from so woorthye cause. This custome not restinge in the lymyttes of Italye, but spredinge with the Romans (as did their language and many other their usages and lawes) into euerye perticuler Countrye where theyr powre and gouermente stretched. passed also ouer the Oceane into the litle worlde of Brytannye, being neuer exiled from thence, nor frome those, whome eyther honor, amytye, or dutye doth combyne. ffor whiche cause lest I myghte offende in the breche of that moste excellente and yet embraced 2 Custome, I thynke yt my parte to presente unto 2 your Lordship suche poore neweyeres gyfte as my weake estate and the barrennesse of my feble skyll will permytte: Wherefore, and because Cicero affirmethe, that he whiche hathe once ouer passed the frontiers of modestye must for euer after be impudente, (a grounde whiche I fynde fully veryfyed in my selfe, havinge once before outgonne the boundes of shamefast­nesse in presentinge to your Lordshippe my confused collections and disordered discourse of the Chauncelors)3 I ame nowe become utterlye impudente in not blusshinge to salute you agayne (in the begynnynge of this newe yere) with my petye animadversions, uppon the annotacions and corrections delivered by Master Thomas Speghte uppon the last editione of Chaucer’s workes in the yere of oure redemptione 1598; thinges (I confesse) not so answerable to your Lordshippes iudgmente, and my desyre, as boothe your desarte and my dutye doo challenge. But althoughe they doo not in all respectes satisfye youre Lordshippes expectacione and my goode will, (accordinge as I wyshe they sholde), yet I dobt not but your lordshippe (not degeneratinge from youre former curtesye wontinge to accompanye all youre actions) will accepte these trifles from your lovinge well-willer, in suche sorte, as I shall acknowledge myselfe beholdinge and endebted to your Lordshippe for the same. whiche I hoope your Lordshippe will the rather doo (with pardonynge my presumptione) because you haue, by the former good acceptance of my laste booke, emboldened me to make tryall of the lyke acceptance of this pamfelette. Wherefore yf your Lordshippe shall receve yt curteouslye (and so not to dischorage 3 3 mee in my sweete and studiouse idlenesse) I will hereafter consecrate to your lykinge some better labor of moore momente and higher subiecte, answerable to the excellencye of your iudgemente, and mete to declare the fulnesse of the dutyfull mynde and service I beare and owe unto your Lordshippe, to whome in all reuerence I commytte this simple treatyce. Thus (withe hartye prayer comendinge youre estate to the Almightye (who send to your

Lordshippe manye happye
and helthfull yeres
and to me the
contynuance of
youre honorable fauor)
I humblye take my leave.
Clerkenwell grene
the xx of
Your Lordshippes wholye to
Francis Thynne.

3.The names and Armes of the Chancellors collected into one Catologue by ffrancis Thynn declaring the yeres of the reignes of the kinges and the yere of our Lorde in whiche they possessed that office.” —Folio MS. Bridgewater Library.

TO MASTER THOMAS SPEIGHTE ffrancis Thynn sendeth greeting.

The author is vexed that Master Speight did not consult him on his new edition of Chaucer. THE INDUSTRYE AND LOVE (MASTER SPEIGHT) whiche you haue used, and beare, uppon and to oure famous poete Geffrye Chaucer, deseruethe bothe comendatione and furtherance: the one to recompense your trauayle, the other to accomplyshe the duetye, whiche we all beare (or at the least yf we reuerence lernynge or regarde the honor of oure Countrye, sholde beare) to suche a singuler ornamente of oure tonge, as the woorkes of Chaucer are: Yet since there is nothinge so fullye perfected, by anye one, 4 whereine some imperfectione maye not bee founde, (for as the prouerbe is Bernardus, or as others have Alanus, non videt omnia,) you must be contented to gyve me leave in discharge of the duetye and love whiche I beare to Chaucer, (whome I suppose I have as great intereste to adorne withe my smale skyll as anye other hath, in regarde that the laborious care of my father made hym most acceptable to the worlde in correctinge and augmentinge his woorkes,) to enter into the examinatione of this newe editione, and that the rather, because you 5 with Horace his verse “si quid novisti rectius istis, candidus imperti,” have willed all others to further the same, and to accepte your labors in good parte, whiche as I most willingly doo, so meaninge but well to the worke, I ame to lett you understande my conceyte thereof, whiche before this, yf you wolde have vouchesafed my howse, or have thoughte me worthy to have byn acqueynted with these matters, (whiche you might well have donne without anye whatsoeuer dispargement to yourselfe,) you sholde haue understoode before the impressione, althoughe this whiche I here write ys not nowe uppon selfe will or fonnd conceyte to wrangle for one asses shadowe, or to seke a knott in a rushe, but in frendlye sorte to bringe truthe to lighte, a thinge whiche I wolde desire others to use towardes mee in whatsoeuer shall fall oute of my penne. Wherefore I will here shewe such thinges as, in mye opynione, may seme to be touched, not medlinge withe the seconde editione to one inferior personne then my fathers editione was.

Also vexed at a side blow at his father’s edition, and justifies him as editor. Ffyrste in your forespeche to the reader, you saye “secondly the texte by written copies corrected” by whiche worde corrected, I maye seme to gather, that you imagine greate imperfectione in my fathers editione, whiche peraduenture maye move others to saye (as some unadvisedlye have sayed) that my father had 5 wronged Chaucer: wherefore to stoppe that gappe, I will answere, that Chaucers woorkes haue byn sithens printed twyce, yf not thrice, and therfore by oure carelesse 6 (and for the most parte unlerned) printers of Englande, not so well performed as yt ought to bee: so that of necessytye bothe in matter, myter and meaninge, yt must needes gather corruptione, passinge throughe so manye handes, as the water dothe the further yt runnethe from the pure founteyne. To enduce me and all others to iudge his editione (whiche I thinke you neuer sawe wholye together, beinge fyrst printed but in one coolume in a page, whereof I will speake hereafter) was the perfectest: ys the ernest desire and love my father hadde to have Chaucers woorkes rightlye to be publyshed. for the performance whereof, my father not onlye used the helpe of that lerned and eloquent kn[i]ghte and antiquarye Sir Briane Tuke, but had also made greate serche for copies to perfecte his woorkes, as apperethe in the ende of the squiers tale, in his editione printed in the yere 1542; His father’s collection of MS. Chaucers and their curiosity. but further had comissione to serche all the liberaries of Englande for Chaucers works, so that oute of all the Abbies of this Realme (whiche reserved anye monumentes thereof) he was fully furnished with multitude of Bookes. emongst whiche one coppye of some parte of his woorkes came to his handes subscribed in diuers places withe “examinatur Chaucer.” By this Booke, and conferringe manye of the other written copies together, he deliuered his editione, fullye corrected, as the amendementes under his hande, in the fyrst printed booke that euer was of his woorkes (beinge stamped by the fyrste impressione that was in 7 Englande) will well declare, at what tyme he added manye thinges whiche were not before printed, as you nowe haue donne soome, of whiche I ame perswaded (and that not withoute reasone) the originall 6 came from mee. The Pilgrime’s Tale telling forth the evil lives of churchmen. In whiche his editione, beinge printed but with one coolume in a syde, there was the pilgrymes tale, a thinge moore odious to the Clergye, then the speche of 8 the plowmanne; that pilgrimes tale begynnynge in this sorte;

“In Lincolneshyre fast by a fenne,

Standes a relligious howse who doth yt kenne,” &c.


In this tale did Chaucer most bitterlye enveye against the pride, state, couetoussness, and extorcione of the Bysshoppes, their officialls, archdeacons, vicars generalls, comissaryes, and other officers of the spirituall courte. The inventione and order whereof (as I have herde yt related by some nowe of good worshippe bothe in courte and countrye but then my fathers clerkes,) was, that one comynge into this relligious howse, walked upp and down the churche, beholdinge goodlye pictures of Bysshoppes in the windowes, at lengthe the manne contynuynge in that contem­platione, not knowinge what Byshoppes they were, a grave olde manne withe a longe white hedde and berde, in a large blacke garment girded unto hym, came forthe and asked hym, what he iudged of those pictures in the windowes, who sayed he knewe not what to make of them, but that they looked lyke unto our mitred Byshoppes; to whome the olde father replied, yt is true, they are like, but not the same, for oure byshoppes are farr degenerate from them, and withe that, made a large discourse of the Byshoppes and of their courtes.

William Thynne in favour with Henry VIII., who promiseth to countenance him. This tale when kinge henrye the eighte had redde, he called my father unto hym saying Williame Thynne I dobte this will not be allowed, for I suspecte the Byshoppes will call the in questione for yt, 10 to whome my father, beinge in great fauore with his prince, (as manye yet lyvinge canne testyfye,) sayed yf your grace be not offended, I hoope to be protected by you, whereuppon the kinge bydd hym goo his waye and feare not. All 7 whiche not withstandinge, The promise broken through the power of Wolsey. my father was called in questione by the Bysshoppes and heaved at by cardinall Wolseye his olde enymye, for manye causes, but mostly for that my father had furthered Skelton to publishe his Collen Cloute againste the Cardinall, The most part of Colin Clout written at William Thynne’s house at Erith. the moste parte of whiche Booke was compiled in my fathers howse at Erithe in Kente. But for all my fathers frendes, the Cardinalls perswadinge auctorytye was so greate withe the kinge, that thoughe by the kinges favor my father escaped bodelye daunger, yet the Cardinall caused the kinge so muche to myslyke of that tale, that chaucer must be newe printed and that discourse of the pilgrymes tale lefte oute, and so beinge printed agayne, some thynges were forsed to be omitted, and the plowmans tale (supposed, but untrulye, to be made by olde Sir Thomas Wyat, father to hym which was executed in the firste yere of Quene Marye, and not by Chaucer,) with muche ado permitted to passe with the reste, Chaucer’s works like to be destroyed by parliament. in suche sorte that in one open parliamente (as I have herde Sir Johne Thynne reporte, beinge then a member of the howse,) when talke was had of Bookes to be forbidden, chaucer had there for euer byn condempned, had yt not byn that his woorkes had byn counted but fables. Reasons why the Pilgrime’s Tale should be Chaucer’s. Whereunto yf you will replye, that their colde not be any suche pilgrymes tale, 11 because Chaucer in his prologues makethe not mentione of anye suche persoune, whiche he wolde haue doune yf yt had byn so: for after that he had recyted the knighte, the squyer, the squiers yeomane, the prioresse, her noone, and her thre prests, the monke, the fryer, the marchant, the clerke of Oxenforde, seriante at the lawe, franckleyne, haberdassher, goldsmythe, webbe, dyer and tapyster, cooke, shypmane, Doctor of physecke, wyfe of Bathe, parsoune and plowmane, he sayeth at the end of the plowmans prologue,


There was also a Reue, and a Millere

A sumpneure, and a Pardoner

A manciple and my selfe there was no mo.

All whiche make xxx persons with Chaucer: wherefore yf there had byn anye moore, he wolde also haue recyted them in those verses, whereunto I answere, that in the prologes he lefte oute some of those whiche tolde their tales; as the chanons yomane, because he came after that they were passed out of theyre Inne, and did overtake them, as in lyke sorte this pilgrime did or mighte doo, and so afterwardes be one of their companye, as was that chanons yeomane, althoughe Chaucer talke no moore of this pilgrime in his prologe then he doothe of the chanons yeomane; whiche I dobte not wolde fullye appere, yf the pilgrimes prologe and tale mighte be restored to his former light they being nowe looste, as manye other of Chaucers tales were before that, as I am induced to thinke by manye reasons.

How William Thynne’s collection of Chaucer’s MS. was dispersed abroad. But to leave this, I must saye that in those many written Bookes of Chaucer, whiche came to my fathers hands, there were manye false copyes, whiche Chaucer shewethe in writinge of Adam Scriuener, (as you have noted) of whiche written copies there came to me 12 after my fathers deathe some fyve and twentye; whereof some had moore and some fewer tales, and some but two and some three. whiche bookes beinge by me (as one nothinge dobting of this whiche is nowe donne for Chaucer) partly dispersed aboute xxvj years agoo, and partlye stoolen out of my howse at Popler: I gave divers of them to Stephen Batemanne person of Newington, and to divers other, whiche beinge copies unperfecte and some of them corrected by my fathers hande yt maye happen soome of them to coome to some of your frendes handes, whiche I knowe yf I see agayne: and yf by anye suche written copies you have corrected Chaucer, you maye as well offende as 9 seme to do good. But I judge the beste, for in dobtes I will not resolve with a settled judgement, althoughe you may iudge this tediouse discourse of my father a needlesse thinge in setting forthe his diligence in breaking the yce, and givinge lighte to others, who may moore easely perfecte then begyne any thinge, for facilius est addere quam Invenire, and so to other matters.

He differeth from Master Speight on Chaucer’s family. Under the tytle of chaucers countaye,4 you seme to make yt probable that Richarde Chaucer vinetener of Londone, was Geffrye Chaucers father, But I holde 13 that no moore then that Johne Chaucer of Londone, was father to Richarde; of whiche Johne I fynde in the recordes in Dorso Rotulor. patent. memb. 24 de anno 30. Ed. 1. in the towre. that kinge Edwarde the firste had herde the compleinte of Johne chaucer of London, who was beaten and hurte, to the domage of one thousand pownde (that some amountinge at this daye to thre thowsande pownde;) for whiche a comissione went forthe to enquire thereof. wherbye yt semethe that he was of some Reconynge. But as I cannott saye that Johne was father to Richarde, or hee to Geffroye: So yet this muche I will deliuer in settinge downe the antiquytye of the name of chaucer, that his anncesters (as you well coniecture) were strangers, as the etymon of his name (beinge frenche in Englishe synyfyinge one who shueth or hooseth a manne) dothe prove, Chausier, one who hoseth or shueth a man. for that dothe the Etymon of this worde chausier presente unto us, of whiche name I have founde (besides the former recyted Johne) on Elias chauseryr lyvinge in the tyme of Henrye the thirde and of Edwarde the firste, of whome the record of pellis exitus in the receyte of the Exchequier in the firste yere of Edwarde ye firste hathe thus noted: “Edwardus dei gratia &c. Liberate de thesauro Nostro Elie chauseryr decem 10 solidos super arreragia trium obulorum diurnorum quos ad vitam suam per litteras domini. H. Regis patris nostri, percepit ad scaccarium nostrum. datum per manum Walteri Merton cancellarii nostri apud West minsterium 24 Julii anno regni nostri primo.” with whiche carractres ys Geffry Chausyer written in the Recordes in the tyme of Edwarde the thirde and Richarde the seconde. So that yt was a name of office or occupatione, whiche after came to be the surname 14 of a famelye, as did Smythe, Baker, Porter, Bruer, Skynner, Cooke, Butler, and suche lyke, and that yt was a name of office apperethe in the recordes of the towre, where yt is named Le Chaucer, beinge more annciente then anye other of those recordes; for in Dorso clause of 10: H. 3 ys this: Reginaldus mirifirs et alicia uxor eius attornaverunt Radulfum le Chausier contra Johannem Le furber et matildem uxorem eius de uno messuagio in London. This chaucer lyvinge also in the time of kinge John. And thus this muche for the Antiquytye and synificatione of Chaucer, whiche I canne prove in the tyme of Edward the 4 to signyfye also, in oure Englishe tonge, bootes or highe shoes to the calfe of the legge: for thus hathe the Antique recordes of Domus Regni Anglie, ca. 53 for the messengers of the kinges howse to doo the kings comannde­mentes: that they shalbe allowed for their Chauses yerely iiijs viijd: But what shall wee stande uppon the Antiquyte and gentry of Chaucer, when the rolle of Battle Abbeye affirmeth hym to come in with the Conquerer. Chaucer his arms injustly undervalued. Under the title of Chaucers countrye, yow sett 15 downe that some Heraldes are of opyny-one that he did not discende of any great howse; whiche they gather by his armes. This ys a slender coniecture, for as honorable howses and of as greate Antiquytye haue borne as meane armes as Chaucer, and yet Chaucers armes are not so meane eyther for 11 coolor, chardge or particione as some will make them. And where you saye, yt semethe lykelye, Chaucers skill in Geometrye considered, that he tooke the groundes and reasons of his armes oute of seuen twentye and eight and twentye propositiones of Euclide’s first booke, that ys no inference that his armes were newe or fyrst assumed by hym oute of Geometricall proportions, because he was skyllfull in Geometrye: for so you maye saye of all the auncient armes of England whiche consyste not of anymalls or vegitalls. for all other armes whiche are not Anymalls and vegitalls, as Cheuerons, pales, Bendes, Checkes, and suche lyke, stande uppon geometricall proportiones. And therfore howe greate so euer their skyll bee, which attribute that choyce of armes to Chaucer [they] had no moore skyle in armes then they needed.

Philippa of Henault came not over with Prince Edward. In the same title also, you sett downe Quene Isabell, &c. and her sonne prince Edwarde withe his newe maried wyfe retourned oute of Henalte. In whiche are two unperfections. the first whereof ys, that his wyfe came oute of Henalte with the prince, but that is not soo, for the prince maryed her not before he came into England, since the prince was onlye slenderly contracted and not maryed to her before his arryvall in Englande, beinge two yeres and moore after that contracte, (betwene the erle of henalt 16 and his mother,) about the latter ende of the seconde yere of his reigne, thoughe others haue the firste, the solempnytye of that mariage beinge donne at Yorke. besides she came not ouer with Quene Isabell and the prince, but the prince sent for her afterwardes, and so I suppose sayeth Hardinge in his cronicle, yf I do not mysconceve yt, not havinge the historye now in my handes. But whether he saye so or no, yt ys not materiall, because the recordes be playne, that he sent for her into Henalte in the seconde yere of his reigne 12 in october, and she came to the kinge the 23 of Januarye followinge, whiche was aboute one daye before he beganne the thirde yere of his reigne, wherunto he entred the 25 of Januarye. and for prooffe of the tyme when and whoome the Kinge sente, and what they were allowed therefore, the pellis exitus of the Exchequier remayninge in master warders office 17 hathe thus sett downe to the forthe daye of februarye Bartholomew de Burgersh sent for Philippa of Henault. “Bartholomeo de Burgershe nuper misso ad partes Douor ad obuiandum filiæ comitis Hannoniæ consorti ipsius Regis &c.” but this recorde followinge is most pleyne, shewing bothe who went for her, the day when they tooke their yourneye towardes henalte, with the daye when and where they presented her to the kinge after their retorne into Englande, and the daye one whiche they wer payed their charges, beinge the forthe of marche one whiche daye yt is thus entred in the records of pellis exitus, Michaell. 2. ed. 3. “Rogero couentry &c Lichefeld episcopo nuper misso in nuntium domini Regis ad partes Hannoniæ pro matrimonio inter dominum Regem et filiam comitis Hannoniæ contrahendo, ab octavo die octobris proxime preterito, quo die reessit de Notingham ipso domino Rege ibidem existente, arripiendo iter suum predictum, versus partes predictas, usque vicesimum tertium diem Januarii proxime sequentem, quo die rediit ad ipsum Regem predictum apud Eborum in comitatiua filiæ comitis Hannoniæ predictæ utroque die computato pro cviij diebus percipiendo per diem vj.s viij.d pro expensis suis.” Thus muche the recorde, whiche confirmethe that whiche I go aboute to prove, that she came not into Englande with prince Edwarde, and that he was not maryed at that tyme, no, not contracted, but only by agremente betwene the erle and his mother. The conjecture that Chaucer’s ancestors were merchants, of no valydytye. Next you seme to implye by a coniecturall argumente, that Chaucers auncesters sholde be merchants, for that in 13 place where they haue dwelled the armes of the marchantes of the staple haue bin seene in the glasse windowes. This ys a mere coniecture, and of no valydytye. For the marchantes of the staple had not any armes granted to them (as I haue bin enformed) vntill longe after the deathe of Chaucers parentes, whiche was 18 aboute the 10 or 12 of Edwarde the thirde; and those merchantes had no armes before the tyme of Henrye the sixte, or muchewhat thereaboutes, as I dobt not but wilbe well proued, yf I be not mysenformed. But admytte the staplers had then armes, yt ys no argumente that chaucers auncesters were merchantes because those armes were in the wyndowes, as you shall well perceave, yf you drawe yt into a syllogisme, and therefore you did well to conclude, that yt was not materiall whether they were merchants or noo.

Master Speight misquoteth Gower. In the title of Chaucer’s educatione, you saye that Gower in his booke entituled confessio amantis termethe Chaucer a worthye poet, and maketh hym as yt were the iudge of his woorkes; in whiche Booke, to my knowledge, Gower dothe not terme hym a worthye poet, (althoughe I confesse he well deserueth that name, and that the same may be gathered oute of Gower comendynge hym,) nether doth he after a sorte (for any thinge I canne yet see) make hym iudge of his workes, (whereof I wolde be glad to be enformed,) since these be Gowers woordes, vttered by Venus in that booke of confessio Amantis:

And grete well Chaucer when ye mete,

As my disciple and my poet:

for in the flowere of his youthe,

In sondrye wise, as he well couthe,

of dytyes and of songes glade

the whiche for my sake he made,

the laude fulfilled is ouer all:

wherefore to hym in especiall

aboue all others I am most holde;


for thy nowe in his dayes olde,

thow shalt hym tell this message,

that he vppon his latter age

sett an ende of all his werke,

as he whiche is myne owne clerke

do make his testament of Love,

as thow hast done thy shrift ab[o]ue,

so that my Courte yt may recorde, &c.


Chaucer submitteth his works to Gower, not Gower to Chaucer. These be all the verses whiche I knowe or yet canne fynde, in whiche Gower in that booke mentioneth Chaucer, where he nether nameth hym worthye poet, nor after a sorte submyttethe his workes to his iudgmente. But quite contrarye Chaucer doth submytte the correctione of his woorks to Gower in these playne woordes, in the latter ende of the fyfte booke of Troylus:

O Morall Gower, this booke I directe

To the, and the philosophicall stroode,

To vouchesafe where nede is to correcte

Of your benignityes and zeales good.

But this error had in you byn pardoned, yf you had not sett yt downe as your owne, but warranted with the auctorytye of Bale in Scriptoribus Anglie, from whence you haue swallowed yt. Gower the poet was not of the Gowers (or Gores) of Stittenham. Then in a marginall note of this title you saye agayne oute of Bale, that Gower was a Yorkshire manne; but you are not to be touched therfore, because you discharge your selfe in vouching your auctor. Wherfore Bale hath muche mistaken yt, as he hath donne infynyte thinges in that Booke de scriptoribus Anglie, beinge for the most parte the collections of Lelande. For in truth your armes of this Sr Johne Gower beinge argent one a cheuerone azure, three leopardes heddes or, do prove that he came of a contrarye howse to the Gowers of Stytenham in Yorkeshyre, who bare barrulye of argent and gules a crosse patye florye sable. Whiche difference 15 of armes semethe a difference of famelyes, vnlesse you canne prove that, beinge of one howse, they altered their armes vppone some iuste occasione, as that soome of the howse maryinge one heyre did leave his owne armes and bare the armes of his moother; as was accustoomed in tymes paste. But this difference 20 of Cootes for this cause, or anye other, (that I colde yet euer lerne,) shall you not fynde in this famelye of Gower: and therefore seuerall howses from the fyrst originall. Then the marginall note goeth further out of Bale, that Gower had one his hedde a garlande of ivye and rooses, the one the ornamente of a knyghte, the other of a poet. Gower’s chaplette for knighthood not for poetry. But Bale ys mystaken, for yt ys not a garlande, vnlest you will metaphoric­allye call euerye cyrcle of the hedde a garlande as Crownes are sometymes called garlandes, from whence they had their originall, nether ys yt of Ivye, as any manne whiche seethe-yt may well iudge, and therefore not there sett for anye suche intente as an ensigne of his poetrye, but ys symplye a chapplett of Roses, suche as the knyghtes in olde tyme vsed ether of golde, or other embroderye, made after the fasshone of Roses, one of the peculier ornamentes of a knighte, as well as his coller of SSS, his guilte swoorde, and spurres. The chaplette of roses a peculiar ornament of honour. Whiche chaplett or cyrcle of Rooses was as well attributed to knights, the lowest degree of honor, as to the hygher degrees of Duke, Erle, &c. beinge knyghtes, for so I haue seene Johne of Gaunte pictured in his chaplett of Rooses; and kinge Edwarde the thirde gaue his chaplett to Eustace Rybamonte, only the difference was, that as they were of lower degree, so had the[y] fewer Rooses placed on their chaplett or cyrcle of golde, one ornament deduced frome the Dukes crowne whiche had thee rooses vppon the toppe of the cyrcle, when the knighte had them onlye vppon the cyrcle or garlande ytselfe. of whiche dukes crowne to be adorned with little rooses, 16 The knighting of Erle Mortone of Normandye. Mathewe Paris, speakinge of the 21 creatinge of Johne erle Mortone, duke of Normandye, in the yere of Christe 1199, dothe saye, Interim comes Johannes Rothomagum veniens in octavis pasche gladio ducatus Normaniæ cinctus est, in matrice ecclesia, per ministerium Waltheri Rothomagensis Archiepiscopi, vbi Archi­episcopus memoratus ante maius altare in capite eius posuit circulum aureum habentem in summitate per gyrum rosulas aureas artifici­aliter fabricatas, whiche chaplett of Rooses came in the ende to be a bande aboute oure cappes, sette with golde Buttons, as may be supposed.In the same title you saye, yt semethe that these lerned menne were of the Inner Temple; Chaucer being a grave man unlikely to beat a Franciscan Fryer but? for that, manye yeres since, master Buckley did see a recorde in the same howse, where Geffrye Chaucer was fined two shillinges for beatinge a Franciscane Fryer in flete-streate. This is a hard collect[i]one to prove Gower of the Inner Temple, althoughe he studyed the lawe. for thus you frame your argumente. Mr Buckley founde a recorde in the Temple, that Chaucer was fyned for beatinge the fryer; ergo, Gower and Chaucer were of the Temple. But for myne owne parte, yf I wolde stande vppon termes for matter of Antiquytye and ransacke the originall of the lawiers fyrst settlinge in the Temple, I dobte whether Chaucer were of the temple or noe, vnless yt were towardes his latter tyme, for he was an olde manne, as appereth by Gower in Confessione Amantis in the xvi yere of R. 2: when Gower wroote that Booke. The lawyers not in the temple till the latter part of Edward III. And yt is most certeyne to be gathered by cyrcumstances of Recordes, that the lawyers were not in the temple vntill towardes the latter parte of the 22 reygne of kinge Edwarde the thirde; at whiche tyme Chaucer was a grave manne, holden in greate credyt, and employed in embassye, so that me thinkethe he sholde not be of that howse; and yet, yf he then were, I sholde iudge yt strange that he sholde 17 violate the rules of peace and gravytye yn those yeares. But I will passe over all those matters scito pede, and leave euerye manne to his owne iudgemente therein for this tyme.

Speight knoweth not the name of Chaucer’s wife, nor doth Thynne. In the title of Chawcer’s mariage you saye, you cannotte fynde the name of the Gentlewomanne whome he maryed. Trulye, yf I did followe the conceyte of others, I sholde suppose her name was Elizabethe, a waytinge womanne of Quene philippe, wyfe to Edwarde the thirde & daughter to William erle of Henalte. but I favor not their oppynyone, for, althoughe I fynde a recorde of the pellis exitus, in the tyme of Edwarde the thirde, of a yerely stypende to Elizabethe Chawcer, domicellæ reginæ Philippæ, whiche domicella dothe signyfye one of her waytinge gentlewomen: yet I cannott for this tyme thinke this was his wyfe, but rather his sister or kinswomanne, who after the deathe of her mystresse Quene philippe did forsake the worlde, and became a nonne at Seinte Heleins in london, accordinge as you haue touched one of that professione in primo of kinge Richarde the seconde.


The children of John of Gaunt born pre-nupt, and legytymated by the Pope and the Parliament. In the Latyne stemme of Chawcer you saye, speakinge of Katherine Swyneforde, Que postea nupta Johanni Gandauensi tertij Edwardi Regis filio, Lancastriæ duci, illi procreavit filios tres et vnicam filiam. Wherbye we may inferre that Johne of Gaunte had these childrene by her after the mariage. Whiche is not soo for he had all his children by her longe before that mariage, so that they beinge all illegitimate were enforced afterwarde vppon that maryage to be legytymated by the poope; & also by acte of Parliamente, aboute the two & twentythe of kinge Richarde the seconde; so that you cannott saye, que postea nupta procreavit Lancastriæ duci tres filios, etc.

Chaucer’s children and their advauncement and of the Burgershes. In the title of Chawcers children and their advauncemente, in a marginall noote you vouche master 18 Campdene that Barthelmewe Burgershe, knyghte of the Garter, was he from whome the Burgershes, whose daughter & heyre was maryed to Thomas Chawcer, did descende. But that is also one error. for this Barthelmewe was of a-collaterall lyne to that Sr Johne Burgershe the father of Mawde wyfe to Thomas Chawcer; and therefore coulde not that Sr Johne Burghershe be descended of this Barthelmewe Burgershe, though hee were of that howse. Serlo de Burgo uncle and not brother to Eustace. Then, in that title, you vouche oute of Mr. Campdene that Serlo de Burgo brother to Eustachius de Vescye builte Knaresborowe Castle. but that ys not right for this Serlo beinge called Serlo de Burgo siue de Pembroke was brother to Johne father to Eustace Vescye, as haue the recordes of the towre, and so vncle and not brother to Eustace. Jane of Navarre maryed to Henry IV., in the 5th year of his reign. for one other marginall noote in that tytle, 24 you saye, that Jane of Navarre was maryed to Henrye the forthe in the fourthe yere of his reygne, wherein you followe a late englishe cronicler whome I forbeare to name.5 But Walsingham bothe in his historye of Henry the fourthe, & in his ypodigma, sayethe that she was maryed the 26 of Januarye in the yere of Christe 1403, whiche was in the fyfte yere of the kinge, yf you begynne the yere of oure lorde at the annuntiatione of the Virgine, as we nowe doo; but this is no matter of great momente. The de la Pools gained advancement by lending the King money, but William was not the first that did so. ffourthlye in that title you seme to attribute the advancemente of the Pooles to Williame de la poole, merchante of Hull, that lente the kinge a greate masse of moneye. But this Williame was not the fyrste advancer of that howse because his father Richarde at Poole beinge a cheife gouernor in hull, and serving the kings necessytye with money, was made pincerna Regis, one office of great accompte; by the same gyvinge the fyrste advancemente to the succedynge famelye. Whereof the Record 19 to prove Ric. de la Poole pincerna Regis is founde in the pryvye seales of the eleventhe yere of kinge Edwarde the thirde, in master wardoures office, the lorde treasurers clerke. Where yt is in this manner: Edwardus dei gratia rex Angliæ et dux Acquitaniæ, &c. Supplicavit nobis dilectus noster Richardus de la Poole Pincerna noster, vt quum ipse de expensis officii Pincernariæ ac omnibus aliis officium illud tangentibus, ad dictum Scaccarium a festo sancti michaelis anno regni 25 nostri decimo, vsque ad idem festum proxime sequens plenarie computaverit, et 2090li: 13s: et 11d et vnus obulus sibi per computum illud de claro debeatur: volumus ei solutionem inde, seu aliàs satisfactionem sibi fieri competentem: Nos eius supplicationi in hac parte, prout iustum est, annuentes, vobis mandamus, etc. Datum apud Westmonas­terium 14 Decembris, anno regni nostri vndecimo. To whose sonne this Williame de la Poole the older, and to his sonne Michaell de la Poole (who was after Chauncelor) and to his heyres, the kinge graunted fowre hundred markes by yere out of the custome of Hull, as apperethe in the record of pellis exitus of 46 Ed. 3. the same Michaell de la Poole recevinge the arrerages of that Annuytye. for thus yt is entred in Michaelmas terme one the first of December of that yere: Michaeli de la poole filio et heredi Willielmi de la poole senioris per Talliam levatam isto die continentem iijc lxxli xviijs 1d ob. eidem michaeli liberat per compotum suum factum ad Scaccarium computator virtute cuiusdam brevis de magno sigillo, Thesaurario et Baronibus Scaccarii directum pro huius compoto faciendo, de quodam annuo certo iiijc marc. per annum quas dominus rex Willielmo de la Poole seniori defuncto, et michaeli filio suo et heredibus suis de corpore suo exeuntibus, de Custumia in portis ville de kingeston super Hull per litteras suas patentes concess: percipendum quamdiu vijc xxxvli 20 xviijs id ob. eidem Michaeli per compotum predictum sic debitum, etc. Dominus Rex mandat vt ei satisfac­tionem vel assignationem competentem (in locis vbi ei celeriter satisfieri poterit) fieret et haberet, per breve de magno sigillo inter mandata de termino Paschæ anno quadragesimo tercio, etc. So that Richarde, Michaell de la Pooles grandfather, (a magistrate of greate welthe in Hull,) was the fyrste that gaue advancemente to that howse: although Williame, 26 father to this michaell, were of lyke estate and a knyghte. nether canne I fynde (nor ys yt lyke) that michaell de la poole was a marchante, (havinge two such welthy marchantes to his ancestors before hym,) notwith­standinge that Walsingham The clergy offended that the temporal men were found as wise as themselves. (moore offended than reasone, as all the Clergye were against temporall menne who were nowe become chief officers of the realme; and the spyrituall menne, till then possessinge those offices, displaced, whiche bredd greate Sorseye in the Church menne againste them); sayethe that michaell de la poole fuerit à pueritia magis mercimoniis (vtpote Mercator Mercatoris filius) quam militia occupatus. A merchant by Attorney is no true merchant. And yet yt may bee that he mighte have some factors in merchandise, and deale by his attorneyes as many noble menne and great persons have donne, whereuppon Walsingham (who wroote longe after) might seme to call hym merchante by reasone of others mens dealinge for hym, althoughe in troothe he was neuer merchante in respecte of his owne persone, (for whiche they are properly called merchantes,) as may be supposed. Alice, the wife of Richard Neville, was daughter of Thomas Montacute. ffyftlye in the same title you saye, that Alice, wyfe of Williame de la poole duke of Suffolke, had a daughter, by her seconde husbande thomas montague erle of Sarisberye, named, after her mother, Alice, maryed to Richarde Neville sonne to Raphe Neuill erle of Westmerlande, by whome he had issue Richarde, Johne, and George. But this is nothinge so. for this Alice, the wyfe of 21 Richarde Neville, (erle of Sarisbery in the righte of the same Alice,) was daughter of Thomas Montacute erle of Salisburye and of Alice his wyfe, daughter of Thomas Hollande erle of Kente; and not of Alice daughter to Thomas Chawcer and widdowe to William de la Poole duke of Suffolke.


He correcteth Master Speight his dates and history of printing. In the latter end of the title of Chawcers deathe you saye, that printinge was brought oute of Germanye in the yere 1471 being the 37. H. 6. into Englande, beinge fyrst founde at Magunce by one Johne Cuthembergus, and broughte to Roome by Conradus one Almayne. But the yere of Christe 1471 was not the 37. H. 6. but the eleuenthe of kinge Edward the fourthe; and, [printinge,] as some have yt, was not fyrste founde at Magonce or mentz but at Strasborowe, and perfected at Magonce. David Chytreus in his historye sayethe, yt was fyrst founde in anno 1440, and brought to Rome by Henricus Han6 a Germane in the yere 1470; whereof Antonius Campanus framed this excellente epigrame:

Anser Tarpeii custos Jovis, vnde, quòd alis

Constreperis, Gallus decidit; vltor adest

Vlricus Gallus, ne quem poscantur in vsum,

Edocuit pennis, nil opus esse tuis.

But others do suppose that yt was invented at Argenterote, as dothe Mathewe Parker in the lyfe of Thomas Bourchier Archbyshoppe of Canterburye; whiche for the incertentye thereof I leave at this tyme to farther examinatione, not havinge nowe presente leysure therefore.

The Romante of the Rose began by Guillm̄ de Loris, and finished by John de la Meune. In the title of the augmente to euerye tale and booke you write, that the Romante of the Roose was made in frenche by Johne Clopinell alias Johne Moone; when in truthe the booke was not made by hym alone: 22 for yt was begonne by Guillame de Loris, and fynished 28 fourtye yeres after the death of Loris, by Johne de Meune alias Johne Clopinell, as apperethe by Molinet, the frenche author of the moralytye vppon the Romante of the Roose, ca. 50. fo. 57. and may further appere also in the frenche Romante of the Roose in verse, which Chaucer with muche of that matter omytted, not havinge translated halfe the frenche Romante, but ended aboute the middle thereof. Againste whiche Booke Gersone compiled one other, intituled La reprobatione de la Romante del Roose; as affirmethe the sayed Molinett, in the 107 chapter of the sayed moralizatione, where he excusethe Clopinell and reprouethe Gersone for that Booke, because Gersone soughte no further meanynge than what was conteyned in the outewarde letter, this Clopinell begynnynge the Romante of the Rose, in these verses of Chaucer:

Alas my wane hoope nay, pardyee;

for I will neuer dispayred bee:

yf happe me fayle, then am I

vngratious and vnworthy, &c.

Why the dream of Chaucer cannot be the book of the Duchess. Secondlye, under that title you saye, the woorke, before this last editione of Chaucer, termed the Dreame of Chaucer, is mystermed, and that yt is the Booke of the Duches, or the Deathe of Blanche. wherein you bee greatlye mysledde in my conceyte, for yt cannott bee the Booke of the Duches or of the Deathe of Blanche, because Johne of Gaunt was then but fowre and twentye yere olde when the same was made, as apperethe by that tretyse in these verses:


Then founde I syttinge euen vprighte

A wonder well faringe knighte,

By the manner me thought so,

Of good mokell, and right yonge thereto,

Of the age of twentye fowre yere,

Vppon his bearde but little heare.


Then yf he were but fowre and twentye yeres of age, being born, as hath Walsingham, in the yere of Christ 1339 the 13. of kinge Edwarde the thirde; and that he was maryed to Blanche the fourtene calendes of June 1359, the 33 of Ed: the thirde; he was at this mariage but twentye yeres of age; who within fower yeres after sholde make his lamentacion for Blanche the duchesse which must be then dedde. But the duchesse Blanche dyed of the pestilence in the yere of xxe 1368, as hath Anonimus MS, or 1369, as hath Walsinghame whiche by the first accompte was the ix. and by the last the x. yere after the mariage, and sixe or at the least five yeres after this lamentatione of Johne of Gaunte made in the fowre and twentye yere of his age. Wherfor this cannott be the boke of the Duches because he colde not lamente her deathe before she was deade. And yf you replye that yt pleinlye 30 apperethe the same treatyce to be mente of the duches Blaunche, whiche signyfyethe whyte, by which name he often termethe his ladye there lamented, but especially in these verses,

Her throte, as I haue memoyre,

semed as a round towre of yuoire,

of good gretnesse and not to greate,

and fayre white she hete,

that was my ladies name righte;

she was thereto fayre and brighte,

she had not her name wronge,

right fayre sholders and body longe, &c.

I will answere, that there is no necessitye that yt must be of Blanche the Duchesse because he sayeth her name was white; since there ys a famelye of that denominatione, and some female of that lyne myghte be both white in name, and fayre and white in personne; and so had not her name wronge or in veyne, as Chaucer sayeth. or yt mighte be some other louer 24 of his called Blanche, John of Gaunt, his incontinency. since he had many paramours in his youthe, and was not verye contynente in his age. Wherefore, to conclude, yt apperethe as before, that yt coulde not be mente of the Duchesse Blanche his wyfe, whiche dyed long after that compleinte. for whiche cause that Dreame of Chaucer in mye opynyone may well (naye rather of righte sholde) contynewe his former title of The Dreame of Chaucer. for that, whiche you will haue the Dreame of Chaucer, is his Temple of Glasse; as I haue seene the title thereof noted, and the thinge yt selfe confirmethe.


Doubteth master Speight’s ability in the exposition of old words, but commendeth his diligence and knowledge. In the expositione of the olde wordes, as you shewe greate diligence and knowledge, so yet in my opynione, unlesse a manne be a good saxoniste, french, and Italyane linguiste, (from whence Chaucer hathe borowed manye woordes,) he cannott well expounde the same to oure nowe vnder­standinges, and therefore (thoughe I will not presume of much knowledge in these tounges) yt semeth yet to mee, that in your expositione, soome woordes are not so fullye and rightlye explaned as they mighte bee, althoughe peradventure you haue framed them to make sence. Wherefore I haue collected these fewe (from many others lefte for moore leysure) whiche seme to mee not to be fully explaned in their proper nature, thoughe peradventure you will seme to excuse them by a metaphoricall gloose.

Aketon or Slevelesse jacket of plate for the war. Aketon or Haketone you expounde a jackett withoute sleves, without any further additione, that beinge an indiffynyte speache, and therefore may be entended a comone garmente daylye vsed, suche as we call a jerken or jackett withoute sleues: But haketon is a slevelesse jackett of plate for the warre, couered withe anye other stuffe; at this day also called a jackett of plate, suche aketon Walter Stapletone, Bishoppe of Excester and Custos or Wardene of Londone, had vppon hym secretlye, when he was apprehended and 25 behedded in the twentyeth yere of Edwarde the seconde.

A besant is a besant, and not a duckett. Besante you expounde a duckett, But a duckett 32 ys farre from a besante, bothe for the tyme of the inventione, and for the forme; and as I suppose for the valewe, not withstandinge that Hollybande in his frenche-Englishe dictionarye make yt of the valewe of a duckett, whiche duckett is for the most part eyther venetiane or spanyshe, when the Besante ys mere Grekishe; a coyne well knowen and vsed in Englande (and yet not therefore one auncient coyne of Englande, as Hollybande sayethe yt was of france,) emongst the Saxons before, and the Normans after the Conqueste; the forme whereof I will at other tyme describe, onlye nowe settinge downe, that this besante (beinge the frenche name, and in armorye rightlye accordinge to his nature, for a plate of golde,) was called in Latine Byzantium, obteyninge that name because yt was the coyne of Constan­tinople sometyme called Bizantium; and because you shall not thinke this any fictione of myne owne, I will warrante the same with Williame of Malmesberye in the fourthe booke De Regibus, who hathe these wordes: Constan­tinopolis primum Bizantium dicta formam antiqui vocabuli preferunt imperatorii nummi Bizantium dicta; where one other coppye for nummi Bizantium hath Bizantini nummi, and the frenche hath yt besante or Bezantine, makinge yt an olde coyne of france, (when he sholde haue sayed one olde coyne in France and not of France,) of the valewe of a duckette.

Fermentacione is fermen­tacione, and not dawbing even metaphoric­ally. Fermentacione you expounde Dawbinge, whiche cannott anye way be metaphoric­allye so vsed in Chaucer, althoughe yt sholde be improperlye or harsely applied. 33 For fermentacione ys a peculier terme of Alchymye, deduced from the bakers fermente or levyne. And therefore the Chimicall philosophers defyne the 26 fermente to bee anima, the sowle or lyfe, of the philosophers stoone. Whereunto agreethe Clauiger Bincing, one chimicall author, sayinge, ante viuificationem id est fermentacionem, whiche is before tinctinge, or gyvinge tincture or cooler; that beinge as muche to saye as gyvinge sowle or lyfe to the philosophers stoone, wherby that may fermente or cooler or gyue lyfe to all other metaline bodyes.

Orfrayes not Goldsmith’s work, but frysed cloth of gold, a manufacture peculiar to the English. Orfrayes you expounde Goldsmythes worke, whiche ys as nere to goldsmythes woorke as clothe of golde, for this worde orefrayes, beinge compounded of the frenche worde (or) and (frays, or fryse,) the Englishe is that whiche to this daye (beinge now made all of one stuffe or substance) is called frised or perled cloothe of gold; in Latyne, in tymes past, termed aurifrisium or aurifrixorium. A thinge well knowen to the Saxons in Englande before, as to the Normans after, the Conqueste, and therfore fullye to satisfye you thereof, I will produce twoo auctorauctors of the weavinge and vse thereof before the conquest and since, wherin you shall pleynely see what yt was, and in what accompt yt was holden, beinge a worke peculier to the Englishe. The lieger booke of Elye, speakinge of Ediswetha daughter to Brightnothus, aldermanne, erle 34 or duke, of northumber­lande before the Conquest sayethe; cui tradita Coveneia, locus monasterio vicinus, vbi aurifrixorie et texturæ secretiùs cum puellis vacabat; and a little after, Tunica Rubra purpura per gyrum et ab humeris aurifri vndique circumdatum. Then, after the conquest, mathew Paris speakethe thereof aboute ornamentes to be sente to the Poope. but because I haue not my mathewe Paris here, I will vouche one whose name hathe muche affinytye with hym, and that is Mathewe Parker Archbyshoppe of Canterburye, who, in the Lyfe of Bonifacius Archbishoppe of that see, hathe these wordes. “Ao. Domini 27 1246, Romæ multi Anglicani aderant Clerici, qui capis vt aiunt chorealibus, et infulis, ornamentisque ecclesi­asticis, ex Anglice tunc more gentis, ex lana tenuissima et auro artificiosè intexto fabricatis, vterentur. Huius modi ornamentorum aspectu et concupi­scentia provocatus Papa, rogavit cuiusmodi essent. Responsum est, aurifrisia appellari, quia et eminens ex panno et lana quam Angli fryse appellant, simul contexta sunt. Cui subridens et dulcedine captus Papa, Vere, inquit,” (for these are the woordes of Mathewe Paris whiche lyved at that tyme,) “Hortus noster delitiarum est Anglia, verus puteus est inexhaustus, et vbi multa abundant, de multis multa sumere licet. Itaque, concupi­scentia illectus oculorum, litteras suas Bullatas sacras misit ad Cister­cienses in Anglia Abbates, quorum orationibus se devotè commendabat, vt ipsi hec aurifrisia specios­issima ad suum ornandum chorum compararent. Hoc London­iensibus placuit, quia ea tum venalia habebant, tantique quanti placuit vendiderunt.” 35 In whiche discourse you not onlye see that orefryes was a weued clothe of golde and not goldsmythe worke, and that Englande had before and since the conqueste the arte to compose suche kynde of delicate Cloothe of golde as Europe had not the lyke; for yf yt hadd, the poope wolde haue made suche prouisione thereof in other places, and not from Englande. And because you shall not thinke that yt was onlye vsed of the Clergye, you shall fynde in a record of the Towre that yt was also one ornamente of the kings garmente, since the Conqueste, for, in Rotulo Patentium 6. Johannis in Dorso (in whiche the kinge comaunded the templers to deliuer suche jewells, garmentes, and ornamentes as they had of the kings in kepinge,) are these wordes: “Dalmaticam de eodem samitto vrlatani de orfreyes et cum lapidibus.” Whiche is to saye, the kings Dalmaticall garmente of the same 28 samitte (spoken of before, whiche was crymsone,) vrled or bordrede (suche as we nowe calle garded) withe orfreyes.

Oundye and Crispe meaneth wavy like water. fforthlye Oundye and Crispe is by you expounded slyked and curled, whiche sence althoughe yt may beare after some sorte; yet the proprytye of the true sence of oundye (beinge an especiall terme appropriate 36 to the arte of Heraldye) dothe signifye wavinge or movinge, as the water dothe; being called vndye, of Latyne vnda for water, for so her haire was oundye, that is, layed in rooles vppone and downe, lyke waves of water when they are styrred with the winde, and not slyked or playne, etc.

Resager is ratsbane or arsenic. ffyftlye You expounde not Resager, beinge a terme of Alchymye; as you leave manye of them vntouched. This worde sholde rather be resalgar, wherefore I will shewe you what resalgar ys in that abstruse science, whiche Chawcer knewe full well, althoughe he enveye againste the sophisticall abuse thereof in the chanons Yeomans Tale. This Resalgar is that whiche by some is called Ratesbane, a kynde of poysone named Arsenicke, which the chimicall philosophers call their venome or poysone. Whereof I coulde produce infynyte examples; but I will gyve you onlye these fewe for a taste. Aristotle, in Rosario Philosophorum, sayethe, “nullum tingens venenum generatur absque sole et eius vmbra, id est, uxore.” whiche venome they call by all names presentinge or signifyinge poysone, as a toode, a dragon, a Basilyske, a serpente, arsenicke, and suche lyke; and by manye other names, as “in exercitacione ad turbam philosophorum,” apperethe, wher aqua simplex is called venenum, Argentum vivum, Cinnabar, aqua permanens, gumma, acetum, urina, aqua maris, Draco, serpens, etc. And of this poysone the treatyce de phenice,7 or the philosophers 29 stoone, written in Gothyshe rymynge verse, dothe saye;

Moribunda, corporis virus emanabat

quod maternam faciem candidam fœdabat.


Begyns are nuns, though it cometh to mean superstitious and hypocritical women from their nature. Begyn and Bigott you expounde supersticious hypocrites, whiche sence I knowe yt maye somewhat beare, because yt sauorethe of the dispositione of those begins, or Beguines, for that ys the true wrytinge. But this woorde Begyn sholde in his owne nature rightlye haue ben expounded, supersticious or hipocriticall wemenne, as appereth by chaucer himselfe, whiche nombrethe them emongest the wemen in the Romante of the Roose when he sayethe,

But empresses, & duchesses,

These queenes, & eke countesses

These abbasses, & eke Bigins,

These greate ladyes palasins.

And a little after, in the same Romante, he doth write,

That dame abstinence streyned

Tooke one a Robe of camelyne,

And ganne her gratche as a Bygin.

A large cover-cherfe of Thredde

She wrapped all aboute her hedde.

These wemene the Frenche call Beguynes or nonnes; being in Latyne called Bigrinæ or Biguinæ. Whose originall order, encrease, and contynuance are sett downe by mathewe Paris and Mathewe Westminster. But as I sayed, since I haue not my mathewe Paris at hand, I will sett you downe the wordes of mathewe Westmynster (otherwise called “Flores Historiarum” or “Florilegus”) in this sorte. Sub eisdem diebus (which was in the yere of Christe 1244, and aboute the 28 of kinge Henry the thirde,) quidam in Almania precipuè se asserentes vitam et habitum relligionis 30 elegisse, in utroque sexu, sed maximè in muliebri, continentiam, cuius vitæ simplicitate profitentes, se voto priuato deo obligarunt. Mulieresque, quas Bigrinas vulgaritèr vocamus, adeò multiplicatæ sunt, quòd earum 38 numerus in vna ciuitate, scilicèt Colonia, ad plus quam mille asseritur ascendisse, etc. After whiche, speakinge yn the yere of Christe 1250 of the encrease of relligious orders, he sayeth, Item in Alemania et Francia mulieres, quas Biguinas nominant, etc.

Citrinatione or perfect digestion. Citrinatione you do not expounde, beinge a terme of Alchymye. Whiche Citrinatione is bothe a color and parte of the philosophers stoone. for, as hathe Tractatus Avicennæ (yf yt be his and not liber suppositi[ti]us, as manye of the Alchimicall woorkes are foysted in vnder the names of the best lerned authors and philosophers, as Plato, Aristotle, Avicen, and suche others,) in parte of the 7 chapter. Citrinatio est que fit inter album et rubrum, et non dicitur coolor perfectus, whiche Citrinatione, as sayethe Arnoldus de Nova Villa, li. i. ca. 5. nihil aliud est quàm completa digestio. For the worke of the philosophers stoone, following the worke of nature, hathe lyke color in the same degree. for as the vrine of manne, being whityshe, sheweth imperfecte digestione: But when he hathe well rested, and slepte after the same, and the digestione perfected: the vrine becomethe citrine, or of a depe yellowe cooler: so ys yt in Alchymye. whiche made Arnolde call this citrinatione perfect digestion, or the cooler provinge the philosophers stoone broughte almoste to the heigh[t]e of perfectione.

Forage is old and hard provision made for horses and cattle in winter, Forage in one place you expounde meate, and in other place fodder. boothe whiche properly cannott stande in this place of chaucer in the reves prologue, where he sayeth, “my fodder is forage.” for yf 39 forrage be fodder, then is the sence of that verse, “my fodder is fodder.” But fodder beinge a generall name for 31 meate gyven to Cattle in winter, and of affynytie withe foode applied to menne and beasts, dothe onlye signyfye meate. And so the sence is, “my meate ys forage,” that is, my meate is suche harde and olde provisione as ys made for horses and Cattle in winter. for so doth this worde forragium in latyne signyfye. and so dothe Chaucer meane. for the word next before dothe well shewe yt, when the Reve sayeth,

I ame olde, me liste not play for age,

Grasse tyme is donne, my fodder is forrage.

or metaphorically, or to help out the ryme it may mean grass. Yet metaphor­ically yt may be taken for other than drye horse meate, although improperlye; as Chaucer hathe, in Sir Topas Ryme, where he makethe yt grasse for his horse, and vseth the woorde rather to make vpp the ryme than to shewe the true nature thereof; sayinge,

That downe he layed hym in that place,

to make his steede some solace

and gyve hym good forage.

Heroner is a long-winged hawk for the heron. Heroner you expounde a certeyne kynde of hawke, whiche is true, for a gowshawke, sparrowe hawke, tassell, &c. be kyndes of hawkes. But this heroner, is an especiall hawke (of anye of the kyndes of longe winged hawkes) of moore accompte then other hawkes are, because the flighte of the Herone ys moore daungerous than of other fowles, insomuch, that when she fyndeth her selfe in danger, she will lye in the ayre vppon her backe, and turne vpp her bellye towardes the hawke; and so defile her enymye with her excrementes, that eyther she will blinde the hawke, or ells with her byll or talons pierce the hawkes brest yf she offer to cease vppon her.


The Hyppe is the berye of the sweet bryer or eglantine. The Hyppe is not simplye the redde berrye one the Bryer, vnlest you adde this epithetone and saye, the redde Berrye one the swete Bryer, (which is the Eglantyne,) to distinguyshe yt from the comone Bryer or 32 Bramble beringe the blacke Berye, for that name Bryer ys comone to them boothe; when the Hyppe is proper but to one, neither maye yt helpe you that you saye the redd Berye, to distinguyshe yt from the Blacke, for the blacke berye ys also redde for a tyme, and then may be called the redde Berye of the Bryer for that tyme.

Nowell meaneth more than Christmas. Nowell you expounde Christmasse, whiche ys that feaste and moore, for yt is that tyme, whiche is properlye called the Advente together with Christmasse and Neweyeres tyde, wherefore the true etymologye of that worde ys not Christmasse, or the twelve dayes, but yt is godd with us, or, oure Godde, expressinge to vs the comynge of Christe in the fleshe, whiche peradventure after a sorte, by the figure synecdoche, you may seeme to excuse, placinge ther xþemasB (Christmasse) a parte of this tyme of Nowell for all the tyme that Nowell conteynethe. for in the same worde is conteyned sometyme xx, but for the most parte thirtye dayes before Christmesse, aswell as the Christmesse yt selfe, that woorde being deduced as hathe Willielmus Postellus in Alphabet. 12 Linguarum, from the hebrue worde Noell: for thus he writethe: ‏נאל‎ noel, sonat deus noster sive Deus nobis advenit, solitaque est hec vox cantari a plebe ante xþi (Christi) natalitia viginti aut triginta dies quodam desiderio.

Porpherye is a peculiar marble, not marble in common. Porpherye you expounde marble, whiche 41 marble ys genus, but porpherye is species, for as there is white and grey marble, so ys there redde marbell, whiche is this porpherye, a stone of reddish purple coolor, distincte or enterlaced with white veynes as you may see in the great pillars entringe into the royall exchange or burse in Cornhill.

Sendale, a sylke stuffe. Sendale you expounde a thynne stuffe lyke cypres. but yt was a thynne stuffe lyke sarcenette, and of a rawe kynde of sylke or sarcenett, but courser and narrower, 33 than the sarcenett nowe ys, as my selfe canne remember.

The trepegett is not the battering-ram, but an engine to cast stones. Trepegett you expounde a ramme to batter walles. But the trepegete was the same that the magonell; for Chaucer calleth yt a trepegett or magonell; wherefore the trepegett and magonell being all one, and the magonell one instrumente to flynge or cast stones (as youreselfe expounde yt) into a towne, or against a towne walles, (an engine not muche vnlyke to the catapulte, an instrumente to cast forthe dartes, stones, or arrowes,) the trepeget must nedes also be one instrumente to cast stones or such lyke against a wall or into a towne, and not a Ramme to batter wales; since the Ramme was no engine to flinge anye thinge, but by mens handes to be broughte and pusshed againste the walles; a thinge farr different in forme from the magonell or catapulte, as appereth by Vigetius and Robertus Valturius de re militari.

Wiuer or Wyvern, a serpent like unto a dragon. Wiuer you expounde not. Wherefore I will tell you, a wyuer is a kynde of serpent of good Bulke, not vnlyke vnto a dragon, of whose kinde he is, a thinge well knowen vnto the Heroldes, vsinge the same for armes, and crestes, & supporters of manye gentle and 42 noble menne. As the erle of Kent beareth a wiuer for his creste and supporters, the erle of Pembroke, a wiuer vert for his creste; the erle of Cumberlande, a wiuer geules for his supporters.

Autenticke meaneth a thing of auctoritye, not of antiquitye. Autenticke you expounde to be antiquytye. But howe you may seme to force and racke the worde to Chaucers meaninge, I knowe not; but sure I ame the proper signyficatione of autenticke is a thinge of auctoritye or credit allowed by menne of auctoritye, or the originall or fyrste archetypum of any thinge; whiche I muse that you did not remember.

Abandone is not liberty though Hollyband sayeth so. Abandone you expounde libertye; whiche in all Italiane, Frenche, and Spanishe, signifyeth relinquere, 34 to forsake and leave a thinge; whiche methinkethe you most hardely stretche to libertye, vnlest you will saye that, when one forsakethe a thinge, he leaveth yt at libertye; whiche ys but a streyned speche, although the frenche Hollybande, not vnder­standinge the true energye of our tongue, hath expounded yt libertye; whiche may be some warrante vnto you.

Vnder the title of youre Annotacions and Corrections.

Of the Vernacle. In youre Annotacions you describe, oute of the 43 prologues, the vernacle to be a broche or figure, wherein was sett the instruments wherewith Christe was crucyfyed, and withall a napkyn whereine was the printe of his face. but the vernacle did not conteyne the instrumentes of his deathe, but only the clothe wherein was the figure of his face; as I conceve yt with others.

Master Thynne would read Campaneus for Capaneus, and giveth reasons. Fo: 1. pa: 2. For Campaneus you wolde reade Capaneus, wherunto I cannott yelde. for althoughe Statius and other latine authors do call hym Capaneus; yet all the writers of Englande in that age call him campaneus; as Gower, in confessione amantis, and Lidgat in the historye of Thebes taken out of Statius, and Chaucer hym selfe in many other places. so that yt semethe they made the pronuntiatione of Campaneus to be the dialecte of our tongue for Capaneus. Besides chaucer is in this to be pardoned, in that taking his knightes tale out of the Thesayde of Bocas, written in Italiane (and of late translated into frenche,) doth there, after the Italiane manner, call him campaneus; for so the Italians pronounce woordes beginninge with cap: with the interpositione of the lettere m, pronouncinge yt camp: for, that whiche the Latins call capitolium, the Italians call campidoglio; and suche lyke. Wherefore since yt was vniversallye receued in that age, to call him Campaneus: lett vs not nowe alter yt, but permytte yt to have free passage accordinge to the 35 pronuntiatione and wrytinge of that age. since, in deducinge woordes from one language to one other, there ys often additione and substractione of letters, or of Sillabes, before, in the middle, and in the 44 ende of those wordes. whereof infynyte examples mighte be produced, whiche I nowe shonne for brevytye.

Liketh the reading of Eros, but preferreth that of Heros, and giveth reasons. Fo: 3. pa: 2. (“Noughte comelye lyke to lovers maladye of Hereos.”) for whiche woorde hereos you reade eros, i. cupide, a very good and probable correctione, well gathered out of Luciane. But (salua patientia vestra, and reservinge to myselfe better iudgmente hereafter yf I nowe mystake yt,) I wolde, for the printed hereos of Chaucer, read heroes. whiche two woordes onlye differ in misplacinge of the letters; a comone thinge for the printer to do, and the corrector to overpasse. for Arcyte, in this furye of his love, did not shewe those courses of gouer[n]mente, whiche the Heroes, or valiante persons, in tymes past vsed, for thoughe they loued, yet that passione did not generallye so farre overrule them (althoughe yt mighte in some one particuler personne) as that theye lefte to contynewe the valor, and heroicke actions, whiche they 45 before performed. for the Heroes sholde so love, as that they sholde not forgett, what they were in place, valor, or magnanymytye, whiche Arcite, in this passione, did not observe “lyke to lovers malady of Heroes.” Whereof I coulde produce six hundred examples, (as the proverbe ys,) were yt not that I avoyde tedious prolixytye.

Of florins and their name from the Florentines. Fo: 6. pa: 2. (“Manye a florence.”) In whiche noote you expounde a florence to be ijs frenche, and a gelder to be the same in dutche. Wherein you mistake the valewe of the florens, suche as was vsed in Chaucers tyme, whiche taking his name of the woorkemenne, beinge florentynes, (of the terrytorye of florence in Italye,) were called Florens; Sterling money taketh its name from the Esterlings. as sterlinge money 36 tooke their name of Esterlinges, whiche refyned and coyned the silver in the tyme of kinge Henry the seconde. for two shillinges frenche ys not equall in valewe (as I nowe take yt) to two shillinges Englishe: and much lesse equall to the florens in Chaucers tyme, whiche was of the valewe of thre shillings, fowre pence, or halfe a noble, or, at the leaste, of two shillinges tenne pence farthinge, as apperethe by recorde and historye: some of them being called florens de scuto or of the valewe of the shelde or frenche crowne and some of them called florens regall. Whereof you shall fynde, in the recorde of pellis exitus in the exchequer in michelmas terme 41. Ed. 3. this note. Bartholomeo de Burgershe militi in denariis sibi liberatis in parte solutionis 8000 florenorum de scuto pretii petii iijs. iiijd. sibi debitis de illis 30000 florenorum de scuto in quibus Rex tenebatur eidem 46 Bartholomeo pro comite de Ventadoure, prisonario suo apud Bellum de Poyters in guerra capto, et ab eodem Bartholomeo ad opus Regis empto, vt patet per litteras Regis patentes, quas idem Bartholomeus inde penes se habet. in Dors. de summa subscripta, per breve de magno sigillo, inter mandata de Term. Michaelis de anno 36 —xxli. To the valewe whereof agreeth Hipodigma Neustriæ, pa. 127, King John of France, his ransom of three millions of florens. where setting downe the ransome of the frenche kinge taken at Poyters to the valewe of thre milliones of florens, he sayethe “of whiche florens duo valebant vjs. viijd.” These florens the same Walsingham in another place callethe scutes or frenche crownes, pa. 170, sayinge: Rex quidem Franciæ pro sua redemptione soluit regi Angliæ tres milliones scutorum, quorum duo valent vnum nobile, videlicet, sex solidos et octo denarios. Whiche scutes in lyke manner, in the tyme of kinge Henry the sixte were of the same valewe, as apperethe in Fortescues commentaries of the lawes of Englande. But as those 37 florens for the redemptione of the frenche kinge, were of the valewe of half one noble: so at the tyme of that kings reigne there were also one other sorte of florens, not of lyke valewe, but conteyned within the price of ijs. xd. see correction called florene regales, as apperethe in this record, of Easter terme, of Pellis exitus before sayed, where yt is thus entred one the sixte of Julye: Guiscardo de Angles. Domino de pleyne martyne, In denariis sibi liberatis per manus Walteri Hewett militis in pretio 4000 florenorum regalium pretii petii —ijs. xd. see correction de quibus florenis regalibus 7 computantur pro tribus nobilibus, eidem Guiscardo debitis. Whereby you see the meanest of these florens did exceed the valewe of ijs. frenche, (although you sholde equall that with iis. Englishe,) as yt did also in other countryes. for in the lowe countryes at those dayes yt was much aboute the valewe of 47 iijs. iiijd. beinge halfe a pistolet Italiane or Spanyshe. for so sayethe Heuterius Delphicus, (in the Historye of Burgundye, in the lyfe of Philippe le hardye,) lyving at that tyme, and sonne to the frenche kinge taken prisoner by the Inglishe. Heuterius’ woordes be these. Illustris viri aliorumque nobilium mors adeò comitem commovit, vt relicta obsidione exercitus ad commeatus ducendos in proxima loca distribuerit. Decem millibus florenorum (moneta Belgica est semipistoletum Italicum pendens) pro Anglicani, aliorumque nobilium cadaverum redemptione solutis, &c.

Of the oken garland of Emelye. Fo: 7. pa: 2. For unseriall you will vs to reade cerriall, for cerrus8 is a kynde of tree lyke one oke, bearinge maste; and therefore by your correctione yt sholde be a garland of grene oke cerriall: But for the same reasone (because cerrus ys a kynde of oke as ys also the Ilex) I judge yt sholde not be redde cerriall but unseriall, that ys, (yf you will nedes have this 38 worde cerriall,) a garlande of greene oke not cerriall, as who sholde saye, she had a Garlande of Grene oke, but not of the oke Cerriall. and therefore a garlande of oke unseriall, signifyinge a garlande that was freshe and Grene, and not of dedd wannyshe Coolor as the oke Cerriall in some parte ys. for the Cerrus, being the tree whiche we comonly call the holme oke, (as Cooper also expoundeth the ilex to be that which wee call holme,) produceth two kyndes; whereof the one hathe greater, and the other lesser 48 acornes, whose leaves beinge somewhat grene one the one syde, and of one ouerrussett and darkyshe Coolor on the other syde, were not mete for this garland of Emelye, whiche sholde be freshe and Grene one everye parte, as were her younge and grene yeres, lyke to the goddesse to whome she sacryfyced, and therefore a garlande of Grene oke unseriall, not beinge of oke cerriall, for yf yt had byn oke serriall, yt wolde haue shewed duskyshe and as yt were of dedishe leaves, and not freshe and orient as chaucer wolde haue her garlande. And this for your e[x]positione of unseriall, in some parte: for I wolde suppose that this worde unseriall dothe not vnaptly signifye perfectione of coolor, so that She having a Garlande of Grene oke unseriall, doth signyfye the oke to be grene and unseriall, that is, (as some do expounde this worde unseriall,) unsered, unsinged, unwithered, of freshe coolor, lyke unto the oke Quercus whiche hath no sered nor withered cooloor in his leafes. And yt was of necessytye that Emely (sacryfysinge to Diana) must haue a garlande of the Grene oke Quercus, because that they whiche sacryfyced vnto Diana, otherwise called Hecate, (which name is attribute to Diana, as natalis Comes affirmethe with statius in his Acheleidos in his first Booke sayinge,

Sic vbi virgineis Hecate lassata pharetris,

being Diana adorned with her bowe and arrowes, 39 called also Triuia because Luna, Diana, and Heccate, were all one, whereof Virgil speaketh,

Tergeminamque Hecaten, tria virginis ora Dianæ,)

were adorned with a crowne of the grene oke Quercus, because that Heccate was wont to be crowned therewith, as hath Pierius Valerianus in his 51 booke of Hieroglyphes, sayinge, Heccate quoquè Quercu coronari solita est. for although Quercus be consecrate to Jupiter, because he gave his oracles in the same in 49 Sylva Dodonea, and therefore called Jupiter Dodoneus; yet Antiqutye adorned and crowned Diana Heccate with the same crowne also. Wherefore I conclude, since she (Emelye) had a garlande of Grene oke, (as Chaucer of purpose addeth that woorde Greene to explane unseriall, whiche signyfyethe unsered, unparched, unwithered in every parte, not lyke to the oke Serriall, whose leafe one the one syde is duskyshe as though yt were somewhat withered,) that the same word unseriall must stand unamended, as well (as I sayed before) by youre owne correctione and the nature of the worde; as for that Diana, called Heccate, was crowned with the oke Quercus and not with the oke cerrus. But yf you obiecte to mee that, in this place, yt must be a garlande of oke cerriall accordinge to the woordes of Chaucer in one other place, because that he in the flower and the leafe (newely printed by you) hath these woordes;

I sie come first all in theire clokes white

a companye that were for delight.

Chapletts freshe of oke serriall

Newly spronge and Trompetts they were all;

I denye that therefore in the Knightes Tale yt must be oke serriall. for yt may well bee, that such meane persons as trompettes might be crowned with so base one oke as the serriall ys, whiche I call base in respecte of 40 the oke Quercus (dedicate to the godd Jupiter) wherewithe Heccate was crowned, and whereof Garlands were gyven to the Romans for their nooble desarts in the warres, as apperethe in the Quernall crowne gyven to those whiche had saved a cytyzen. Wherefore Chaucer dothe rightly (and of purpose with great iudgment in my conceyte) make a difference in the chaplettes of the Trompettes and the garlands of 50 Emelye, in that the trompetts chapletts were of oke seriall newly spronge; and not come to perfectione, whiche yet yf they had byn perfecte wolde not haue byn soo oryente and Greene one bothe sydes as ys the oke Quercus, wherewithe he wolde haue this Emelye crowned, as was her goddesse Heccate Diana (to whom she dyd sacryfyce) accustomed to bee. for so in tymes past (as I sayed before) the sacryfycer sholde be adorned with garlandes of suche thinges, as were consecrate to the goddes to whome they sacryfyced. for whiche cause also I ame not moved, thoughe Caxtone in his seconde editione do call yt one oke serriall. for I knowe (notwith­standinge his fayre prologe of printing that by a true copye) there be manye imperfections in that Booke.

Eyther for euerye, an overnice correction. Fo: 9. pa: 1. For euerye) you will us to reade eyther. But the sence ys good, as well that they dyd ryde one euerye syde of hym, as of eyther syde of him. for they boothe colde not ryde of euerye syde of hym, no moore then they both colde ryde of eyther syde of him; and therefore they two ryding one euerye side of hym, canne haue noone other constructione then that the one did ryde of the one syde and the other one the other side, aud therefore an ouernice correctione, thoughe some coppies do warrant yt:

The intellect of Arcite had not wholly gone, or he would not have known Emelye. Fo: 10. pa: 1. for save only the intellecte,) you wolde haue us to reade “and also the intellecte.” But yf you well consider the woordes of Chaucer, (as 41 I have donne in all the written copyes whiche I haue yet seene,) his meaninge ys not that the intellecte was 51 wholye goonne, as yt wolde bee yf you sholde reade, “and also the intellecte” for “save only the intellecte.” for Chaucers meanynge ys, that all his streng[t]he and vitall Sprites aboute his outewarde partes were gonne, save onlye the intellecte or vnder­standinge, whiche remayned sounde and good, as apperethe after by the followinge woordes, for when deathe approched, and that all outwarde senses fayled, he (Arcite) yet cast eye vppon Emelye, remembringe her, thoughe the cheifest vitall sprite of his harte and his streng[th]e were gonne from hym. but he colde not haue cast his eye vppon Emelye, yf his intellecte had fayled hym. Yet yf you liste to reade, “and also the intellecte,” for saue only the intellecte, yt may after a sorte somewhat be borne withall, notwith­standinge that a pointe at streng[t]he is looste; and a parenthesis includynge (Save only the intellecte, without moore,) will make the sence good in this sort as I have here pointed yt:

And yet mooreouer from his armes two

the vital streng[t]he is lost; and all agoo

(save only the intellecte without moore)

that dwelleth in his hart sicke and sore

gan faylen: When the hart felt death &c.

Straught, a better word than haughte. Fo: 10. pa: 2. For armes straughte you wolde reade yt haughte, when straughte is moore significant (and moore answerable to Chaucers woordes whiche followethe) than haughte ys. for he speakethe of the Bredthe and spredinge of the boughes or armes or branches of the tree, whiche this woorde straughte doth signyfye, and is moore aptlye sett downe for stretched, then this woorde haughte, whiche signyfyethe catchinge holde, or holdinge faste, or (yf 52 you will streyne yt againste his nature) stretching on heigh, 42 whiche agreethe not well with Chaucers meanynge. for these be his words:

And twenty fadome of breedth, armes straughte;

That is to sayen, the Bowes were so broode, &c.

Visage for vassalage, an impertinent correction. Fo: 11. pa: 1. For all forgotten in his vassalage, yow wolde haue vs reade, “for all forgotten is then his visage;” a thinge mere impertinente. for the forgettinge of his visage and personage is not materiall, nor regarded of anye to haue his face forgotten, but yt is muche materiall (and so ys Chaucers meanynge) that his vassalage, and the good service donne in his youthe, shold be forgotten when he waxethe olde. And therefore yt must bee “his vassalage forgotten;” as presently after Chaucer sayeth, better for a manne to dye when he is yonge, and his honor in price, than when he is olde, and the service of his youthe forgotten; whichecoulde dilate and prove by manye examples; but I cannott stande longe vppon euerye pointe, as well for that I wolde not be tedious vnto you, as for that leysure serveth me not thereunto.

Leefe for lothe, a nedeless correction. Fo: 13. pa: 1. For lothe you bidde vs reade leefe, which annotacione neded not to haue byn there sett downe, because the verye woorde in the texte is lefe.

It is more likely that Absolon knocked than that he coughed at the window. Fo: 14. pa: 1. for knocked you reade coughed, but, the circumstance considered, (althoughe they may both stande,) yt is moore probable that he9 knocked at 53 her10 windowe, to make her the better to heare than that he coughed. for although those woordes “with a semely sownde” may haue relatione to the voyce, yet they may as well and with as much consonancye haue reference to a semely and gentle kynde of knockinge at the windowe as to the voyce, and so his meanynge was by that sounde to wake her, whiche wolde rather be by the noyse of a knocke than of a coughe. for so he determyned 43 before to knocke, as apperethe in these verses, when he sayed,

So mote I thryve, I shall at cockes crow

Full priuily knocke at his windowe:

And so apperethe by the tale afterwarde that he knocked, as he did before, although he coughed also at the latter tyme, for he knocked twyce.

Surrye or Russye, indifferent which. Fo: 23. pa: 2. For Surrye you read Russye. true yt is, that some written copies haue Russye, and some Surrye. And therefore indifferent after the written copies, and some auncient printed copies before my fathers editione. But yf I shall interpone my opynione, I wolde more willingly (for this tyme) receve Surrey, because yt is most lykelye that the tartarians whiche dwelt at Sara (a place yet well knowen, and bordering vppon the lake Mare Caspium,) are nerer to Sorria or the countryes adioynynge called Syria, than to Russya. For as Hato the Armeniane, in his Tartariane Historye, sayeth, The cyttye of Sara was 54 auncyently the famous cyttye of the countrye of Cumania; and the Tartarians obteyned the kingdome of Syria in the yere 1240, whiche must be in the tyme of the fyrst Tartariane emperor called Caius canne, Cambuscan is Caius canne. beinge (as I suppose) he whome Chaucer namethe Cambiuscan, for so ys the written copies, such affynytye is there betwene those two names. And, as I gather, yt was after that tyme that the Tartarians had warres in Russia. But I leave yt indifferent at this tyme, as meanynge further to consider of yt.

“That may not saye naye,” better than “there may no wighte say naye.” Fo: 31. pa: 2. for these woordes, “that may not saye naye,” you reade “there may no wighte say naye.” bothe whiche are good, and boothe founde in written coppyes; and yet the firste will better stande, in my conceyte, because [the king of Faerie] there speakinge to his wyfe, he urgethe her that she cannott denye yt; when he sayeth, my wyfe that cannott say naye, 44 as who sholde saye you cannot denye yt because you knowe yt; and experience teacheth yt, so that these woordes, “that cannott say naye,” must be taken as spoken of his wyfes knowledge, and so as good or rather better than “there may no wighte saye naye,” consideringe that these wordes “that cannott saye naye,” dothe signyfye, “whoe cannott saye 55 naye,” in such sorte that this relatyve (that) meanynge (whoe) must haue reference to his antecedente, i. e. this worde wyfe.

Theophraste, not Paraphraste. Fo: 35. pa: 2. For “He cleped yt valerye and theophraste,” you saye some wolde haue vs reade “Valery and his Paraphraste.” But as you haue left yt at libertee to the reader to iudge, so I thinke yt must nedes be Theophraste; as the author [of] Policraticon in his eighte Booke, ca. 11. The wife of Bath’s Prologue taken from the author of Policraticon. (from whome Chaucer borrowethe almost worde for worde a great parte of the Wyfe of Bathes Prologe,) doth vouche yt, for the author of that booke, Johannes Sarisburi­ensis, lyvinge in the tyme of Henrye the seconde, sayethe, Fertur authore Hieronimo Aureolus Theophrasti liber, de nuptiis, in quo quæritur an vir sapiens ducat vxorem, etc. And the frenche molinet, moralizinge the Romant of the roose in frenche, and turnynge it oute of verse into proese, writeth, Ha si i’eusse creu Theophraste, &c. Oh, yf I had beleved Theophraste, I had never maried womanne, for he doth not holde hym wise that marieth anye womanne, be she fayre, foule, poore, or riche; as he sayeth in his Booke Aureolle; whiche verye wordes chaucer doth recyte.


Country, not Couentry. Fo: 38. pa: 2. for this worde Countrye you will vs to reade Couentrye. But in my writtene copies yt is, “in my Countrye,” whiche I holde the truer and for the sence as good yf not better.

Maketh, not waketh. Fo: 41. pa: 1. This woorde makethe is corrected by you, who for the same do place wakethe; whiche cannott well stande, for Chaucers woordes being, “this 45 maketh the fende,” dothe signyfye (by a true conuersione after the dialecte of our tonge, whiche with beawtye vsethe suche transmutacione as I coulde gyve you manye pretye instances,) that the sence thereof ys, “the fende makethe this,” for whiche Chaucer vseth these wordes by Transpositione, (accordinge to the rhethoricall figure Hiperbatone) “This makethe the fende:” Whiche this? Anger: for that comethe, ys made, or occasioned, by the deuell. But yf yt sholde be wakethe, then must the sence bee, that this (whiche is the anger he speakethe of before) wakethe the fende; whiche oure offences cannot do, because he cannott be waked, in that he neyther slumbrethe nor slepethe, but alwayes watcheth and howrely seekethe occasione to destroye us, lyke a roringe lyone. But yf you will nedes saye “this wakethe the fende,” that is, by conuersione after this manner, “the fende waketh this,” whiche signyfyeth the fende waketh or styrreth this in manne, yt may, after a harde and 57 over-streyned sorte, beare some sence, whiche yet hath not that energye, sprite or lyfe, whiche haue Chaucers woordes, “this maketh the fende.” Whiche woordes are in my written copies, and in all written and auncient printed copies whiche I have yet seene.

Hugh of Lincoln. Fo: 96. pa: 2. vppon these woordes, “O hughe of Lincolne sleyne also, &c.” You saye, that in the 29. H. 3. eightene Jewes were broughte [to London] from Lincolne, and hanged for crucyfyinge a childe of eight yeres olde. Whiche facte was [in] the 39. H. 3. so that you mighte verye well haue sayed, that the same childe of eighte yeres olde was the same hughe of Lincolne; of whiche name there were twoe, viz. thys younger Seinte Hughe, and Seinte Hughe bishoppe of Lincolne, whiche dyed in the yere 1200, long before this litle seinte hughe. And to prove [that] this childe of eighte yeres olde and that yonge hughe of Lincolne were but 46 one; I will sett downe two auctoryties out of Mathewe Paris and Walsinghame, whereof the fyrste wryteth, that in the yere of Christe 1255, beinge the 39. of Henrye the 3, a childe called Hughe was sleyne by the Jewes at Lyncolne, whose lamentable historye he delyvereth at large; and further, in the yere 1256, being 40. Hen. 3, he sayeth, Dimissi sunt quieti 24 Judei à Turri London, qui ibidem infames tenebantur compediti pro crucifixione sancti Hugonis Lincolniæ: All whiche Thomas Walsingham, in Hypodigma Neustriæ, confirmeth; sayinge, Ao. 1255. Puer quidam Christianus, nomine Hugo, à Judeis captus, in opprobrium Christiani nominis crudelitèr est crucifixus.

“Where the sunne is in his ascensione,” a good reading. Fo: 86. pa: 8. (Where the sunne is in his ascensione, &c.) You will us to reade for the same,

Ware the soone in his ascensione

Ne fynde you not replete of humors hotte,

For yf yt doe, &c.


But, savinge correctione, the former sence is good: for these woordes: Where the sonne is in his ascensione, must haue relatione to the woordes of the verse before,

Ye be righte colericke of complexione,

and then is the sence, that she [the fair Pertelote] willed hym to purge, for that he was righte (that is, extremelye and in the highest degree) collericke of complexione, where (whiche signyfyeth when) the sonne is in his ascentione. Wherefore he must take heede, that he did not fynde hym repleate (at that tyme of the sonnes being in his ascentione) of hoote humors, for yf he did, he sholde surelye haue one ague. And this will stand with the woordes Where the sonne is in his ascentione, taking where for when, as yt is often vsed. But yf you mislyke that gloosse, and will begyn one new sence, as yt is in some written copyes, and saye, Ware the sonne in his ascentione 47 ne fynde you not repleate, &c. yet yt cannott bee that the other wordes, (for yf yt doo,) canne answer the same, because this pronoune relative (yt) cannot haue relatione to this worde (you) which wente before in this lyne, Ne fynde you not repleate of humors hotte. So that yf you nowe will nedes reade ware for where, yet the other parte of the followinge verse must nedes be, “for yf you doe,” and not “for yf yt dooe;” vnleste you will saye that this woorde (yt) must haue relatione to these woordes, (the sonne in his ascentione,) whiche yt cannott have, those woordes goinge two lynes before, and the pronowne (you) 59 interposed betwene the same and that his correlative (yt.) Wherefore these woordes, (for yf yt doe,) must nedes stande as they did before, though you will correcte “Where the sonne &c.” and saye “Ware the sonne &c.” Whiche yf you will nedes haue, you must correcte the rest in this sorte:

Ware the sonne in his ascentione

that yt fynde you not repleat of humors hotte,

for yf yt do, &c.

But this correctione (savinge, as I sayed, correctione) semeth not so good as the former texte.

Kenelm slain by Queen Drida. Fol: 86. pa: 2. Vppon these woordes, (Lo, in the lyfe of Kenelme we reade,) you saye that Kenelme was sleyne by his sister Quenda, whiche sholde be Quendrida; as Williame of Malmsberye and Ingulphus have. Whiche Quendrida dothe signyfye Quene Drida; as the author of the Antiquyties of Seint Albons and of the Abbottes thereof (supposed to be Mathewe Paris) dothe expounde yt. for that auctor, speakinge of the wyfe of Offa the greate kinge of Mercia, (a wicked and proude womanne because she was of the stocke of Charles the greate,) dothe saye, that she was called Drida, and being the kings wyfe was termed Quendrida, id est, Regina Drida.


Master Speight mistaketh his almanack. Fo: 87. p: 1. Vppon these woordes of “Taurus was fortye degrees and one,” you saye that this place ys misprinted, as well in not namynge of the sygne, as of the misreckonynge of the degrees, that the two and twentye of Marche the sunne is in Aries, and that but eleven degrees or thereaboutes, and hathe in all but thirtye degrees. In whiche, in semynge to correcte the former printe (whiche in truthe deseruethe amendement, but not in that order,) you seme to mee to erre, 60 as farre as heauen and yerthe, in mistakinge Chaucers meanynge and his woordes, as well for the daye of the monthe, as for the signe. for where you suppose that Chaucere meanethe the two and twentithe daye of Marche, you mistake yt. for although yt should be the 22 of the monthe, as the printed booke hathe; yet canne yt not be the 22 daye of Marche, but must of necessytye be the two and twentythe of Aprille: and so the signe Taurus trulye named. But first I must saye, the number of the dayes are misprinted, for where yt is twentye dayes and two, yt must be (and so are my written copies) thirtye dayes and two, whiche must be the seconde of Maye, as you shall well see by the woordes of Chaucer, for whether yowe recken thirtye two dayes, withe the truthe, as hathe the written copye, or xxii dayes, withe the printe: yet must you begynne to recken them from after the last of Marche. for so dothe Chaucer, sayinge Marche was compleate, in these woordes:

When the month in whiche the worlde began,

That hight Marche, when God first made man,

Was complete, and passed were also

Since Marche byganne, &c.

Wherebye you see, that you must begynne to recken the nomber of dayes from the tyme of marche complete; and then woulde the signe fall out to be in Taurus. Yf you holde you to the printe (for the 22 49 daye after Marche, which is the 22 daye of Aprill in which the sonne is aboute xi degrees in Taurus;) or to the written copye of thirtye two dayes, (whiche is the seconde of maye at what tyme the sonne ys also aboute some xxi degrees in Taurus;) the signe is not misreckoned or misnamed, as you suppose. nether canne these woordes, since Marche beganne, helpe you to recken them from the begynnynge of Marche, (as you seme to 61 doo;) because they muste answere and be agreable to the former wordes of Chaucer, whiche sayethe Marche was complete, and, for that we shoulde not dobte thereof, he addethe also farther, And passed were also since Marche beganne; where the worde beganne ys mysprinted for begonne, that is, since marche be gonne, this word begonne being put for is gonne, or gonne bye, or departed. so that the genuyniell sence hereof is, When march was complete, and also were passed, since march is gonne, or gonne by, or departed. for, in many olde inglishe woordes, this syllable (be) is sett before to make yt moore signyficante and of force, as for moone we saye bemone, for sprincled, besprincled; for dewed, bedewed, &c. as in this case for gonne ys sett downe begonne. But although there be no misnaminge of the The degrees of the signe are misreckoned, not the signe itself. signe; yet yt is true the degrees of the signes are misreckoned, the error whereof grewe, because the degree of the signe, is made equall with the degree of the sonne ascended above the Horizon, beinge at that tyme xli degrees in heighte from the Horizon. But to remedye all this, and to correcte yt accordinge as Chaucer sett yt downe in myne and other written copies; and that yt may stande with all mathematicall proportione, whiche Chaucer knewe and observed there, the print must be corrected after those written copies (whiche I yet holde for sounde till I maye disprove them) having these woordes:


when that the month in whiche the worlde beganne,

that hight Marche, when god first made manne,

was complete, and passed were also

since marche begonne thirty dayes and two:

befell that Chanteclere in all his pride,

his seven wives walkinge him beside,

cast vp his eyen to the bright sonne,

that in the signe of Taurus had yronne

Twentye degrees and one and somewhat moore;

And knewe by kynde and by noone other loore

That yt was pryme, and crewe with blisful steven:


The sunne, quoth he, is clomben vp on heaven

Fortye degrees and one, and moore, ywis, &c.

And that this shoulde be mente xxxij dayes after Marche, and the seconde of Maye, there be manye reasons, besides those that Chaucer nameth; which are, that the sonne was not farre from the middle of his ascentione, and in the signe of Taurus. ffurther, since I am now in Chantecler’s discourse, I must speake of one woorde in the same, deservinge correctione, whiche I see you overslipped; and because I thinke you knewe not what to make of yt, (as indede by the printinge few menne canne vnderstande yt,) I will sett downe the correctione of the same; Mereturicke is a corruption of Merecenrycke, or the kingdom of Mercia. being the worde Mereturicke, farr corrupted for Mercenricke, in saxonA Meþecenþÿke which is the kingdome of Mercia, for so was Kenelme the sonne, and Kenulphus the father, both kinges of Mercia; the one reignynge 36 yeres, and the other murdred by his sister Quendrida, as ys before noted. And that yt is the kingdome of Mercia, the etymon of the woorde doth teache; for þÿk in the saxon tonge signyfyethe a kingdome; meþcen signyfyethe markes or boundes or marches of Countryes. So that Mercenricke is regnum Merciæ, or the kingdome of Mercia, or of 63 the boundes so called, because almost all the other kingdoms of the saxons bounded vppon the same, and that lykewise vppon them, since that 51 kingdome did lye in the middle of England, and conteyned most of the shires thereof.

Pilloures of silver borne before Cardinalls. Fo: 90. pa: 2. for pilloure you will vs to reade Pellure, signifyinge furres. but althoughe the Clergye ware furres, and some of them had their outwarde ornamentes thereof when they came to their service, as the Chanons had their Grey amises; yet in this place, to shewe the proude and stately ensignes of the Clergye, he there nameth the popes crowne, and the Cardinalls pilloures, yf I be not deceved. for euery cardinall had, for parte of his honorable ensignes borne before hym, certein silver pillers; as had Cardinall Wolsey, in the tyme of kinge Henrye the eighte, and Cardinall Poole, in my memory. So that pilloure in that place is better than pellure, because pilloures were a note of more pride and maiestye (againste whiche the Plowmanne dothe enveye in those woordes,) than in the weringe of furres.

Liketh best the old reading of “change of many manner of meates.” Fo: 90. pa: 2. for these wordes, with change of many manner of meates, you wolde have vs reade, They eate of many manner of meates. Touchinge whiche, althoughe the sence stande well, yet sure Chaucer followeth this matter in many staues together with this prepositione (cum, with,) and this 64 coniunctione (et, and;)—as, “With pride misledd the poore, and with money filled manye a male, &c.” so he contynuethe yt still with that prepositione, “with change of many meates;” whiche is as good as the other, for euery one knoweth Chaucers meanynge to be that they eate of many meates, when they haue change of many meates; for why sholde they haue change of meates, but for varyetye to please the palates taste in eatynge. And also the old reading of “myters” more than one or two for the sake of the meter. In the next staffe, (for myters moe then one or two) you teache vs to reade, “myters they weare mo then one or two;” whiche, methinkethe, nedeth not. For the wearinge of their myters is included in these woordes, 52 And myters more then one or two. Whiche wordes are curteyled for the verse his cause, that the same mighte kepe an equall proportione and decorum in the verse, whiche would be lengthened one foote or sillable moore than the other verses, yf your readinge shoulde stande. But yf you saye, that in this and other thinges I am overstreyghte laced and to obstinatlye bente to defende the former printed editione, in that I woulde rather allowe one imperfecte sence, and suche as must be vnderstoode, when yt ys not fully expressed, than a playne style, I will answere withe a grounde of the lawe, quod frustra fit per plura quod fieri potest per pauciora, and quod subintel­ligitur non deest. Wherefore yt is nedelesse to make that playner by additione of woordes, when yt maye be as well conceyved in any reasonable mens vnder­standinge without such additione. But on these 65 and suche petit matters, I will not nowe longe insiste, (being things of no greate momente,) vntill I haue further examyned more written copyes to trye, whether wee shall reade the olde texte or your newe correctione.

The lordes sonne of Windsore is in the French Romant of the rose, but is there spelled Guindesores. Fo: 122. pa: 2. The lordes sonne of Windsore.) Vppon these woordes you saye, this maye seme strange bothe in respecte that yt is not in the frenche, as also for that there was no lorde Windsore at those dayes. But yt semeth to me moore strange that these woordes shoulde seme strange to you, not to bee in the frenche, where you shall fynde them. For thus hathe the frenche written Romante, as maye appere in the old frenche vsed at the tyme when the Romante was composed, in this sorte:

Pris a Franchise lez alez

Ne sai coment est apelles,

Biaus est et genz, se il fust ores

Fuiz au seigneur de Guindesores:


Whiche is thus englished: Next to Franchise went a young bacheler, I knowe not howe he was called, he was fayre and gentle, as yf he had byn sonne to the lorde of Windsore. Where in olde frenche this word fuiz (vsed here as in manye places of that Booke) is placed for that whiche we wryte and pronounce at this daye for filz or fitz, in Englishe sonne. and that it is here so mente, you shall see in the Romante of the Roose turned into proese, moralized, by the french Molinet, and printed at Paris in the yere 1521, who hathe the same verses in these woordes in proese. A Franchise s’estoit prins vn ieune Bacheler de qui ne scay le nome, fors bell, en son temps filz du seigneure de Guindesore. Whiche you mighte have well seene, had you but remembered their orthographie, and that the latyne, Italiane, frenche, and spanyshe have no doble w, as the Dutche, the Englishe, and such as 66 haue affynytye with the Dutche, since they vse for doble w (a letter comone to vs) these two letters Gu, as in Gulielmus, which we wryte Willielmus; in guerra, which we call and writte warre, in Gualterus, which we write Walter; in guardeine, which we pronounce and write wardeyne; and suche lyke; accordinge to whiche in the frenche yt is Guindesore for Windesore. Master Thynne knoweth not clearly why the Baron should be called of Windsor. for your other coniectures, whye that Chaucer sholde inserte the loordes sonne of Windesore, they are of [no?] great momente, neque adhuc constat that Chaucer translated the Romante, whene Windsore Castle was in buildinge. for then I suppose that Chaucer was but yonge; whereof I will not stande at this tyme, no moore than I will that there was no lord Windsore in those dayes; althoughe I suppose that sir William Windsore, being then a worthye knighte and of great auctorytye in Englande and in the partes beyond the seas under the kinge of Englande, mighte be lord Windsore, of whom the Frenche tooke notice, being in those partes, and by them called seigneure de Windesore, 54 as euery gouernor was called seigneure emongst them. But whether he were a Baron or no in Englande, I cannott yet saye, because I haue not my booke of Somons of Barons to parliamente in my handes at this instante.

The ordeal was not tryall by fier only, but also by water, nor for chastity only, but for many other matters. Fo: 171. pa: 2. by ordall, &c. Vppone whiche you write thus. “Ordalia is a tryall of chastytye, throughe the fyre, as did Emma, mother of the Confessor, or ells over hoote burnynge culters of yrone barefotte, as did Cunegunde, &c.” But in this describinge definitione, you have commytted manye imperfections. first, that ordell was a tryall by fyre, whiche is but a species of the ordell; for ordalium was a tryall by fyre and water: secondlye, that yt was a tryall of Chastitye whiche was but parcell thereof; for the 67 ordale was a tryall for manye other matters. The fyery ordeal was by going on hote shares and cultors, not going through the fyre. The mother of Edward confessor passed over nine burnynge shares. Thirdlye, you saye yt was by goinge throughe the fyre. when the fyery ordale was onlye by goinge one hoote shares or cultores, or by holdinge a hoote pece of yrone in the hande, and not going through the fyre. fourthlye, that Emma, mother to Edwarde the confessor, receued this tryall by goinge through the fyre: But she passed not through the fyre as you bringe her for one example of your ordale but passed barefotte vppone nyne burnynge shares, fowr for her selfe, and fyve for Alwyne Bishoppe of Winchester, with whome she was suspected with incontynencye, whiche historye you maye see at large in Ranulphus Higden, in his policronicone li: 6. ca: 23, and in other auctors; of whiche ordale I colde make a longe and no commone discourse; of the manner of consecrating the fyre and water, how yt was vsed emongst the saxons before, and the normans since, the Conqueste, and of many other thinges belonging vnto yt. but I will passe them ouer, and only deliuer to you a thinge knowen to fewe, The ordeal taken away by the court of Rome, and after by Henry III. how this ordale was contynued in Englande in the tyme of kinge Johne, as appereth in Claus. 17. Johīs, m. 25, vntill yt was taken awaye by the courte of Rome; 55 and after that, in Englande, by the auctorytye of kinge Henrye the thirde, whereof you shall fynde this recorde in the towre Patente. 3. H. 3. mem. 5, where yt speakethe of iudgmente and tryall by fyer and water to be forbydden by the Churche of Roome, and that yt sholde not be vsed here in Englande; as apperethe in the woordes of that record: Illis vero qui mediis criminibus vectati sunt, et quibus competeret iudicium ignis vel aquæ si non esset prohibitum, et de quibus si regnum nostrum abiurarent, nulla fieret postea, maleficiendi suspitio, regnum nostrum abiurent &c.

The stork bewrayeth not adultery but wreaketh the adultery of his owne mate. Fo: 246. pa: 1. speaking of the storke, you saye that Chaucers woordes “wreaker of adulterye” shoulde 68 rather bee “bewrayer of Adulterye;” whiche in truth accordinge to one propryetye of his nature may be as you saye, but according to another propryetye of his nature, yt sholde be “the wreaker of Adulterye,” as Chaucer hathe; for he ys a greater wreaker of the adulterye of his owne kynde and female than the bewrayer of the adulterye of one other kynde, and of his hostesse one the toppe of whose howse he harborethe. for Aristotle sayeth & Bartholomeus de proprie­tatibus rerum li: 12. cap. 8. with many other auctors, that yf the storke by any meanes perceve that his female hath brooked spousehedde, he will no more dwell with her, but stryketh and so cruelly beateth her, that he will not surcease vntill he hathe killed her yf he maye, to wreake and revenge that adulterye.

These and suche lyke in my conceyte are worthye to be touched in your Annotacions, besides other matters whiche you haue not handled; whereof (because tyme requirethe after all this tedious treatyce to drawe to one ende) I will not now treate; but onlye speake a little moore of fyve especiall thinges, woorthye the animadversione, of which the fyrste ys, The plowman’s tale is wrong placed. that you make the Plowmans tale to go next before the persons tale, 56 suffering the persons corrupted prologue to passe with this begynnynge, “By that the plowmanne had his tale ended,” when all written 69 copies, (whiche I coulde yet see,) and my fathers editione, haue yt, “By that the mancyple had his tale ended.” And because my father colde not see by any Prologues of thee other tales, (whiche for the most parte shewe the dependancye of one Tale vppone one other,) where to place the plowmans tale, he putt yt after the persons tale, whiche, by Chaucers owne woordes, was the laste tale; as apperethe by the persons prologue, where the hooste sayethe, that “euery manne had tolde his Tale before.” So that the plowmans tale must be sett in some other place before the manciple and persons tale, and not as yt ys in the last editione.

Chaucer’s proper works should be distinguished from those adulterat and not his. One other thinge ys, that yt would be good that Chaucers proper woorkes were distinguyshed from the adulterat and suche as were not his, as the Testamente of Cressyde, the Letter of Cupide, and the ballade begynnynge “I have a ladye whereso she bee,” &c. whiche Chaucer never composed, as may sufficientlye be proved by the things themselves.

There were three editions of Chaucer before William Thynne dedicated his to Henry VIII. The thirde matter ys, that in youre epistle dedicatorye to Sir Roberte Cecille, you saye, “This Booke 70 whene yt was first published in printe was dedicate to kinge Henrye the eighte.” But that is not soo. for the firste dedicatione to that kinge was by my father, when diverse of Chaucers woorkes had byn thrise 71 printed before; whereof two editions were by William Caxtone, the firste printer of Englande, who first printed Chaucers Tales in one columne in a ragged letter, and after in one colume in a better order; and the thirde editione was printed, as farre as I remember, by Winkin de Worde or Richarde Pynson, the seconde and thirde printers of Englande, as I take them.11 57 The first editions being very corrupt, William Thynne augmented and corrected them. Whiche three edit[i]ons beinge verye unperfecte and corrupte occasioned my father (for the love he oughte to Chaucers learnynge) to seeke the augmente and correctione of Chaucers Woorkes, whiche he happily fynyshed; the same being, since that tyme, by often printinge much corrupted. of this matter I sholde have spooken first of all, because yt is the first imperfectione of your paynfull and comendable labors: Yet because the proverb ys better late than never, I hold yt better to speake of yt here then not at all.

Master Speight hath omytted many auctors vouched by Chaucer. The fourthe thinge ys, that, in the catalogue of the auctors, you haue omytted many auctors vouched by chaucer; and therefore did rightlye intitle yt, moost, and not all, of the auctors cited by Geffrye Chaucer.

It should be Harlottes, and not Haroldes. The fyfte matter ys in the Romante of the Roose, fo. 144, that the worde Haroldes in this verse,

My kinge of Haroltes shalte thou bee,

must, by a mathesis or transpositione of the letters, be Harlotes, and not Haroltes, and the verse thus,

My kinge of Harlottes shalt thou bee

And so ys yt in the editione of Chaucer’s Works, printed in anno Domini 1542, accordinge to the frenche moralizatione of Molinet, fo. 149. where he is called “Roye des Ribauldez,” The king of Ribalds or Harlottes, an officer of great accompt in times past. whiche is, the kinge of Ribaldes 72 or Harlottes or evill or wicked persons; one officer of great accompte in tymes paste, and yet vsed in the courte of France but by one other name, in some parte beinge the office of the marshall of Englande. All whiche, because you shall not thinke I dreame, (though yt may seme strange to the ignorant to have so greate one officer intituled of suche base persons as to be called kinge or gouernor of Ribauldes,) Johannes Tyllius maketh mention of a Rex Ribaldorum. you shall here Johannes Tyllius (in his seconde booke de rebus Gallicis vnder the title de Prefecto pretorio Regis) confirme in these woordes: In domesticis regum 58 constitu­tionibus, quos proximo capite nominavimus, fit mentio Regis Ribaldorum, officii domestici, quem semper oportet stare extra Portam pretorii, &c. and a litle after the explanynge of their office, he addeth; “sic autem appellantur, quia iam tum homines perditi Ribaldi, et Ribaldæ mulieres puellæque perditæ vocantur. Regis nomen superiori aut Iudici tribuitur, Quemadmodum magnus Cubicularius dicitur Rex Mercatorum,” &c. Where he maketh the “Regem Ribaldorum” an honorable officer for manye causes, Also Vincentius Luparius maketh him an honourable officer. as Vincentius Luparius in his fyrste booke of the Magistrates of france doth also, vnder the title of “Rex Ribaldorum et prouostus Hospitii;” makinge the Iudex pretorianus and this rex ribaldorum or provostus hospitii to seme all one, addinge further (after manye other honorable partes belonginge to this office) that “meretricibus aulicis hospitia assignare solebat.” In whiche pointe, bothe for orderinge and correctinge the harlottes and evill persons followinge the Courte of Englande, (whiche is the duty of the marshall,) the frenche and wee agree. The Rex Ribaldorum was like unto our Marshall. The Marshalls duties and his powers over Harlotts and lost men. Wherefor, touching that parte, you shall heare somewhat of the Marshalls office sett downe and founde in the Customes, whiche Thomas of Brothertonne (sonne to kinge Edwarde the fyrste) challenged to his office of Marshalcye; where, emongst 73 other thinges, are these woordes: eorum (whiche was of the marshalls deputyes executinge that he shoulde ells do hym selfe) interest virgatam à meretricibus prohibere, et deliberare, et habet, ex consuetudine mariscallus ex quâlibet meretrice com[m]uni infra metas hospitii inventa iiijd. primo die. Quæ, si iterum inventa in Balliuâ suâ inveniatur, capiatur; et coram seneschallo inhibeantur ei hospitia Regis et Reginæ et liberorum suorum, ne iterum ingrediatur, &c. And so afterwarde shewethe what shall be done to those women, yf they be founde agayne in the Kinges courte, in suche sorte, that, as by Tillius, this 59 Rex Ribaldorum his auctorytye was over homines perditos, mulieres puellasque perditas. And that yt was, by Lupanus, to assigne to Ribaldes lodginge out of the courte, (for so modestye willeth vs to vnderstande, because they shoulde not offende and infecte the courte with their sighte and manners,) so ys yt our Marshalls office, to banyshe those harlottes the courte, and bestowe them in some other place, where they might be lesse annoyance. Master Thynne being a herold liketh not that false semblance should be thought one. Wherefore I conclude with the frenche, and the former editione of Chaucer in the yere of Christe 1542, that False Semblance was of righte to be made kinge of Harlottes, and not of Haroldes, who wolde mightely be offended to haue them holden of the conditions of false semblance. Nowe here be nugæ in the Romante of the Roose, 74 I cannott (as the proverb ys) take my hand from the table, (fyndinge go manye oversightes in the two last editiones,) but must speake of one thing more, deserving correctione, in these woordes of the Romante, fo. 116 of the last impressione:

Amide saw I hate stonde,

That for wrathe and yre & onde

Semed to be a minoresse;

Hate was a Moueresse or stirrer of debate, not a minoresse. Where this woorde Minoresse shoulde be Moueresse, signyfyinge a mover or styrrer to debate, for these be the frenche verses in the oldest written copye that euer was (to be founde in Englande, yf my coniecture fayle me not,) by the age of the frenche wordes, which are these:

Enz euz le milieu vi hayne,

qui de courouz et datayn

Sembla bien estre moueresse,

et courouse et teucerresse.

Beinge thus englyshed, as of righte they oughte, accordinge to the frenche:


Amyde sawe I hate stonde,

That of wrathe and yre & onde

Semed well to be mooveresse,

An angry wighte and chyderesse.

Molinet calleth Hate a Ducteress, or leader. Whiche woord mooveresse the learned molinet, in his moralizatione of that Romant, dothe turne into Ducteresse, a leader or leadresse, so that they agree yt shoulde not be a minoresse, but a mooveresse or leadresse of and to anger and yre; anye of whose woordes will as well and rather better fytt the sence and verse of Chaucer, and better answere the Frenche originall and meanynge, than the incerted woorde Minoresse.

Thus hooping that you will accepte in good and frendlye parte, these my whatsoever conceytes vttered 75 vnto you, (to the ende Chawcers Woorkes by much conference and many iudgmentes mighte at leng[t]he obteyne their true perfectione and glory, as I truste they shall, yf yt please godde to lend me tyme and leysure to reprinte, correcte, and comente the same after the manner of the Italians who have largely comented Petrarche;) I sett end to these matters; comyttinge you to god, and me to your curtesye.

Clerkenwell Greene,

 the xvi of december 1599.

  Your lovinge frende,


4. Error for family?

5. Stowe.

6. “Hahn,”—German, a cock. “Cognomine Latino Gallus,” Maittaire Ann. Typ. i. 52.

7. A copy of this curious poem in Thynne’s hand-writing, and marvellously illustrated by him, is in the Brit. Mus., MSS. Add. No. 11,388.

8. The Quercus cerris, the mossy cupped oak?

9. [Absolon.]

10. [The Carpenter’s wife’s.]

11. Caxton, 1475–1481-2. Wynkyn de Word, 1495–1498.



Abandone, p. 33.

Absalom, whether he coughed or knocked, p. 42.

Aketon, a sleeveless jacket of plate for the war, p. 24.

Arcite, his intellect, p. 40.

Authentic, a thing of authority, p. 33.

Bath, Wife of, her Prologue, p. 44.

Begyns, superstitious women, p. 29.

Besant, a coin of Bizantium, p. 25.

Burgersh, Bartholomew de, sent into Henault for Philippa, p. 12.

Burgo, Serlo de, built Knaresborough Castle, p. 18.

Cambuscan, or Caius, Cause, p. 43.

Campaneus, reading of, p. 34.

Chaucer, MSS., collection made by William Thynne, p. 5.

Chaucer, MSS., dispersed by his son, p. 8.

Chaucer’s parentage, p. 9.

Chaucer and the Franciscan friar, p. 16.

Chaucer’s marriage, p. 17.

Chaucer’s coat-of-arms, p. 10.

Chaucer’s children, p. 17.

Chaucer, his education, p. 13.

Chaucer, his skyll in Geometrye, p. 11.

Chaucer, his ancestors, whether merchants of the staple or no, pp. 12, 13.

Chaucer, the stemme of, p. 17.

Chaucer, his children and their advancement, p. 17.

Chaucer, Thomas, married to Maude, daughter of Sir John Burgersh, p. 18.

Chaucer, his dream, not the book of the Duchess, pp. 22, 23.

Chaucer, early editions of, p. 56.

Chausier, one who hoseth or booteth a man, p. 9.

Citrination, a term of Alchemy, p. 30.

Colin Clout, written in William Thynne’s house at Erith, p. 7.

Drida, Queen, slayeth Kenelm, p. 47.

Fermentacione, a term of Alchemy, p. 25.

Florius, concerning, p. 35.

Forage, winter provision, p. 30.

Garland, oken of Emelye, p. 37.

Gaunt, John of, his children born pre-nupt, p. 17.

Gaunt, John of, his incontinency, p. 23.

Gaunt, John of, his marriage, p. 23.

Gower, query whether of the

Gowers of Stittenham, p. 14.

Gower, his greeting to Chaucer, p. 13.

Harlottes, King of, p. 57.

Heroner, a hawk for a heron, p. 31.

Hyppe, the berye of the eglantine, p. 31.

John of France, his ransome, p. 36.

Knaresborough Castle, built by Serlo de Burgo, p. 18.


Kenelm, slain by Queen Drida, p. 47.

Leefe, for lothe, p. 42.

Lincoln, Hugh of, p. 44.

Mortone, John, Earl of, the manner of his creation, p. 16.

Merecenrycke, p. 50.

Navarre, Joan of, married to Henry IV., p. 18.

Neville, Richard, Earl of Salisbury, his wife, p. 21.

Nowell, meaning of, p. 32.

Orfrayes, a sort of cloth of gold, p. 26.

Ordeal, the manner of, p. 54.

Oundye meaneth wavy, p. 28.

Philippa, of Henault, her marriage, p. 11.

Pilgrime’s Tale, setting forth the evil lives of churchmen, p. 6.

Plowman’s Tale, not made by Sir T. Wyat, p. 7.

Porpherye, a peculiar marble, p. 32.

Printing, notes on the history of, p. 21.

Pillars, silver, borne before Churchmen, p. 51.

Poole, William de la, Merchant of Hull, lendeth money to the King, p. 18.

Poole, Richard de la, a chief governor of Hull and Pincerna Regis, p. 18.

Poole, Michael de la, Chancellor, p. 19.

Resager, or Ratsbane, p. 28.

Ribalds, king of, p. 57.

Roses, chaplet of, for knighthood, not for poesy, p. 15.

Rose, Romant of, notes on, p. 21.

Sendale, a sylke stuffe, p. 32.

Staple, Merchants of the, had no arms till 10 or 11 Ed. III., p. 13.

Sterling money, p. 35.

Straught, a better word than haughte, p. 41.

Stork, the, wreaketh adultery, p. 55.

Surrye or Russye, p. 43.

Temple, lawyers not in the, till the latter part of Ed. III., p. 16.

Theophraste, not Paraphraste, p. 44.

Trepegett, an engine to cast stones, p. 33.

Thynne, Sir John, reports that the parliament was minded to forbid Chaucer’s tales, p. 7.

Thynne, William, in favour with Henry VIII., p. 6.

Thynne, William, his collection of Chaucer’s MSS., p. 5.

Thynne, William, protecteth John Skelton, p. 7.

Vernacle, of the, p. 34.

Veseye, Eustace de, p. 18.

Visage for vassalage, p. 42.

Walsingham, offended at temporall men being preferred to office, p. 20.

Windsore, Lords son of, p. 52.

Wiuer or Wivern, a serpent like unto a dragon, p. 33.

Wolsey, his enmity to William Thynne, p. 7.

Wolsey, his great power with the King, p. 7.

Wyat, old Sir Thomas, did not make the Plowmans Tale, p. 7.


Transcriber’s Notes

Differences between 1865 and 1876 texts

Neither edition includes a facsimile of the original MS. Readers will have to decide for themselves which differences reflect editorial decisions and which ones are errors in one edition or the other.

Unless otherwise noted, words or letters shown in [brackets] were italicized in the 1865 edition. Other changes are marked in different shades of grey, with mouse-hover popups where appropriate. Within popup text, italics are shown in {braces}, superscripts with leading ^ (caret).

• clear error, almost always corrected from 1876 edition

changed spelling, including handling of expanded contractions and “&” for “and”

changed word, including singular/plural alternation and bracketed letters

added word

missing word

Not noted:

editorial and typographic differences such as punctuation and capital­ization, or the use of boldface type

decorative letterforms, especially final -ll printed with a connecting line

differences that have no exceptions:

• initial v for both u and v (medial u/v is variable)

you replacing both you and you (“your” is variable)

• prices shown inline as ijs. instead of ijs.

Sir for Sr

Common differences:

n for u: some readings were obvious errors and have been marked as such

final e added:

which almost always written whiche or whiche;
verb ending -eth usually spelled -ethe

emongst(e) spelled emongest(e)

than spelled then

could(e), would(e), should(e) spelled cold(e), wold(e), shold(e)

initial J or j printed as capital I

in plurals or possessives of words ending in two consonants (other than -ll-), where 1865 has simple -s, 1876 has italicized -es

y for i, i for e, aw for au (Chawcer)

The two occurrences of it in 1865 may be errors; 1876 has yt, agreeing with all other occurrences of the word.

several occurrences of the word an are read as one

single o changed to oo: goo, moore, woordes

some Latin quotations have final -e for

words ending -or transcribed as -our

variable word divisions such as as( )well, my( )selfe

Non-Roman Scripts

A. In the 1865 text, thorn þ is used for Saxon r ꞃ:

in saxon Meþecenþÿke which is the kingdome of Mercia, for so was Kenelme the sonne, and Kenulphus the father, both kinges of Mercia; the one reignynge 36 yeres, and the other murdred by his sister Quendrida, as ys before noted. And that yt is the kingdome of Mercia, the etymon of the woorde doth teache; for þÿk in the saxon tonge signyfyethe a kingdome; meþcen signyfyethe markes

The 1876 text uses the Saxon letterforms:

Meꞃecenꞃÿke, ꞃÿk, meꞃcen

At the time of preparation (June 2009), Saxon letters had been assigned Unicode values, but font support was extremely limited. Your browser will probably not be able to display the character.

page image

B. Similarly for Greek Χρ (Chi, rho):

placinge ther xþemas (Christmasse) a parte of this tyme of Nowell .... ante xþi (Christi) natalitia viginti aut triginta dies quodam desiderio.

The 1876 text gives only the expanded (Roman script) form of words in Chr-.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Animaduersions uppon the annotacions
and corrections of some imperfection, by Francis Thynne


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