Lydgate's Verses on the Kings of England

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Centre for Metropolitan History

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Author

James Gairdner (editor)

Year published

1876

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Pages

49-54

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'Lydgate's Verses on the Kings of England', The Historical Collections of a Citizen of London in the fifteenth century (1876), pp. 49-54. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=45551 Date accessed: 26 November 2014.


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LYDGATE'S VERSES on THE KINGS OF ENGLAND.

Cronycles of alle Kyngys of Englonde aftyr the Conqueste,
as of hyr namys ande where that they bene i-byryede.

Wyllelmus Conquestor.

This myghty Wylliam Duke of Normandye,
As bokys olde make mencyon,
By juste tytylle and hys chevalrye
Made kynge by conqueste of Brutys Albyon, (fn. 1)
Putte owte Harrolde ande toke possessyon,
Bare hys crowne fulle xxj yere,
Beryd at Cane, thys saythe thys croneculere.

Wyllelmus Rufus.

Nexte in ordyr by successyon
Wylliam Rufe his sone crownyde kynge,
Whiche to Godwarde hadde noo devocyon,
Destruyd chyrchis of newe and olde byggynge
To make a foreste plesaunte for hontynge.
xiiij yere he bare hys crowne in dede,
Beryde at Wynchester the cronycle ye may rede.

Henricus Primus.

His brother next, callyde the fryste Henry,
Was to London i-crownyde as I fynde,
Whos brother Robert of Normandye
Ganne hym werry, the cronycle makythe mynde,
Reconsylyd alle rancor sette by hynde.
Fulle xxxiij, by recorde of wrytynge,
Yeres he raygnyde, and ys byryde at Redynge.

Stephanus.

His cosyn Stevyn, when fryste Henry was dede,
Towarde Englonde ganne crosse the sayle;
The Archebyschoppe sette upon hys hedde
A riche crowne, beynge of hys consayle.
xix yere with sorowe and grete travayle
He bare hys crowne he hadde noo reste,
At Feversham lythe byryde in hys cheste.

Henricus Secundus.

Henry the Secunde the sone of the Emperesse
Was crownyd next, a manly knyght
As bokys olde playnely done expresse.
Thys sayde Henry by forwarde force and myghte
Slowe Thomas (fn. 2) for Hooly Chyrche ryght.
Yeres xxxv raygnyde as ys i-made mynde,
At Synt Everard beryd as I fynde.

Richardus Primus.

Richarde hys sone next by successyon,
Fryste of that name, stronge, hardy, and notable,
Was crownyd kynge, callyd Cuer de Lyon,
With Saresenys heddys i-servyd at his tabylle;
Slayne at Gaylarde by dethe lamentable,
The space raynyd fully of ix yere;
Hys herte i-beryd in Rone by the hyghe autere.

Johannes.

Next kyng Richarde raynyde hys brothe[r] John,
And afftre sone entred in to Fraunce.
He loste alle Anjoye and Normandye a non,
This londe enterdytyd by mys governaunce,
And as hit ys put in remembrance,
xviij yere kynge of this regyon,
And lythe at Worcester dede of pyson.

Henricus Tercius.

Henry the iij his sone of ix yere
At Gloucester was crownyde as I fynde;
Longe warre he hadde with hys baronage
Gretely delytede in almys dede.
lvj yere raygnyd he in dede,
Beryde at Westmynstre by recorde of wrytynge
Day of Synt Edwarde Marter mayde and kynge.

Edwardus Primus

The fryste Edwarde with the shankys longe
Was aftyr crownyde, that was soo goode a knyght,
Wanne Scotlonde mawgre the Scottys stronge,
And alle Walys in the dyspyte of ther myghte,
Durynge his lyffe mentaynyd trought and ryght.
xxxv yere he was here kynge
And lythe at Westmynester, thys noo lesynge.

Edwardus Secundus.

Edwarde his sone, callyd Carnarvan,
Succedynge aftyr to make hys allyaunce,
As the Cronykylle welle rehersse canne,
Wedd the doughter of the Kyng of Fraunce;
On Thomas of Lancaster he toke venjaunce.
xix yere he hylde his regallye,
Beryd at Glowcester, as bokys specyfye.

Edwardus Tercius.

The iij Edwarde, borne at Wyndesore,
Whiche in knyghthode hadde soo grete a pryce,
Enherytyer of Fraunce withouten more,
Bare in his armys quartle the floure delyce,
And gate Calys by his prudent devyce.
Regnyd in Englonde lij yere,
And lythe at Westmynyster as sayþe þe cronaculere.

Richardus Secundus.

The sone of Prynce Edwarde, Kyng Richard þe Secunde,
In whoos tyme was pes and grete plente,
Weddyd Queen Anne as hit ys i-founde,
Isabelle aftre of Fraunce he lystede to see.
xxij yere he ragnyde here, parde;
At Langle byryde fryste, soo stode the cas,
Aftyr to Wymynster his body caryd was.

Henricus Quartus.

Henry the iiij next crownyd in certayne
A famos knyght and of grete semblesse;
From his exsyle whenne he come home a-gayne
Travaylede aftyr with werre and grete sekenys.
xiiij yere he raygnyde in sothenysse,
And lythe at Cauntreburye, in that hooly place,
God of hys marcy doo of hys soule grace.

Henricus Quintus.

The v Henry, of knyghthoode lode starre,
Wysse ande manly playnly to termyne,
Ryght fortunate provyde in pes and yn warre,
Gretely experte and marcyalle dyssepleyne,
Spousyde the doughter of Fraunce, Katerynne,
Raynyd x yere, who lyste to have rewarde,
Lythe at Westmynyster, not far fro Synt Edwarde.

Henricus Sextus.

The vj Henry, brought forthe in alle vertu,
By juste tytylle borne by heretaunce,
A forne provyde by grace of Cryste Jesu,
To were ij crownys in Englonde and in Fraunce,
To whom God hathe gevyn soverayne suffycyaunce,
A vertusse lyffe, and chosyn for hys knyght.
Long he hathe rejoysed bothe by day and nyght.

Edwardus Quartus. (fn. 3)

Footnotes

1 In margin: "id est, Englonde."
2 "Bekett" interlined here, in a later hand.
3 There is no stanza added to this title in our MS.; but another copy of the poem in the Harleian MS. 2251, f. 2 b., ends as follows:—
"Comforth al thristy, and drynke with gladnes,
Rejoyse with myrth, though ye have nat to spende.
The tyme is come to avoyden your distres.
Edward the Fourth the old wronges to amend
Is wele disposed in wille, and to defend
His lond and peple in dede with kynne and myght.
Goode lyf and longe I pray to God hym send,
And that Seynt George be with hym in his ryght!"