chapter 15

A brefe rehersall of certayne kynges / and how kyng Edgare came to Chestre. Also howe Leofric, Erle of Chestre, repared diuers churches.

stanza 164

1143 Science encreased, true loue and amite,Learning / love and friendship
Vertue was exalted in all this region;
Monasteries were edified of his benignite,built / through his generosity
Endowed with riches / and riall possession:magnificent
xl. religious places by famous opinion40
Were newly buylded by the sayd noble kyng,
In sondry places of this realme standyng.Lying in various places within this realm

stanza 165

1150 Secular prestes expulsed sothely wereexpelled / truly
From diuers monasteries with great discrecion, 1 many / moral judgement
Religious persones, repleit with vertue clere,filled / excellent
Entred their places cause deuocion;because of
Charite was feruent and holy religion;zealous
The lyues of saynts were soth in eche place,truly
And written in legendes for our comfort and grace. 2

stanza 166

1157Many shyps were made vpon the kynges cost 3 at the King's expense
To serche by the se all his lande about,search / sea
That no alian entre in no-maner cost,So that no foreigner should enter under any circumstances
By policie and manhod to holde all his ennemies out.good government / manly virtue
Danes / norwaies / scottes durst nat ones loke out -did not once dare look out (attempt an attack)
Such drede all nacions had ensuynge the tyme following the time
That kyng Edgare regned by prouidence diuine.

stanza 167

1164In progresse he passed ones in the yerestate journey / once
Eche quarter of the realme with his company,
To se that his subiectes well ordred weresee
And the lawe obserued / iustice with mercy.
Than was none oppression, wronges, nor iniury,Then there was no
Debate, malice, rancour myght nat be founde;Strife
True loue and charite was in all the londe.

stanza 168

1171 Kynge Edgare approched the cite of legions,
Nowe called Chestre / specified afore; 4
Where .viii. kynges mette of diuers nacions,8 / from different nations
Redy to gyue Edgare reuerence and honour,
Legiance and fidelite depely sworne full sore Allegiance / very seriously
At the same cite: after to be obedient,
Promyt at his callyng to come to his parliament. 5 Promised

stanza 169

1178From the Castell he went to the water of Dee
By a priue posturne through the walles of the towne;secret gate
The kyng toke his barge with mycle rialte,great ceremony
Rowyng vpwarde to the church of saynt Iohn:
The forsayd .viii. kynges with hym went alone:8
Kynge Edgare kept the storne / as most principall,stern / important, senior
Eche prince had an ore to labour with-all.oar

stanza 170

1185Whan the kynge had done his pylgrimage
And to the holy roode made oblacion,holy cross / prayer
They entred agayne into the sayd barge,
Passynge to his place with great renowne.
Than Edgare spake in praysynge of the crowne:
'All my successours may glad and ioyfull be
To haue suche homage, honour and dignite.'

stanza 171

1192Also it is to be had in memory
That this sayd Edgare and his princis all
Came with great reuerence vnto the monastery,
To worshyp saynt Werburge with mynde liberall;noble
Where he gaue fredoms and priuileges speciall,
With singular possessions of his charite,special / out of
Confirmynge the olde grauntes by hye auctorite.grants / high authority


Clerics not following the Benedictine monastic rule were removed from the reformed religious houses. Back to context...
Bradshaw alludes here to the revival of religious learning during the Benedictine Reform, and the renewed emphasis on access to hagiography (accounts of saint's lives). Back to context...
A pun may be intended here on cost ('expense') and cost ('coast'). Back to context...
See lines 372-8, above. Back to context...
The account of Edgar's visit to Chester derives ultimately from a brief reference in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (versions DEF) for 973, later much expanded by twelfth-century chroniclers. The version here is consonant with that in Higden, Polychronicon, Book VI, Ch. X (Babington and Lumby, 1865-86, vol. 7, 16-18). Questions over the exact nature of the ceremony performed in Chester - the number and identity of kings present, whether they did in fact row Edgar along the Dee, and whether this was a ritual of submission or a formalisation of diplomatic relationships and obligations - persist in current critical debate. See for example Thornton, 2001, available via Wiley Interscience (subscription only), Barrow, 2001, available via Wiley Interscience (subscription only), and Williams, 2004. Back to context...