chapter 16

Of the comyng of Willyam conquerour to this lande, and howe Hug. Lupe, his syster sonne, was founder of Chestre monasterye.

stanza 179

1248For diuerse great causes he came to this countre:
First for deth of Alured, his nere kynsman; 1 because of the death / close kinsman
The proscripcion 2 of Robert archebisshop of Canterbury; 3 law, decree
The periury of Harolde agaynst conscience playne; 4 perjury / clear
The promys of saynt Edwarde made to him, certayne, 5 promise
That the sayd William shulde enioye the crowne,
If the kyng departed without succession.

stanza 180

1255A generall counsell was celebrate at London,held, celebrated
That all bysshops sees by helpe of the conquerour bishops' sees, diocesan seats
From borowes shulde be translate to a famous towneboroughs, small settlements / transferred
Within their diocese / to the greatter honour.
Ryght so they all were / sayth myn auctor; 6
Also the see of Lichfelde was translate to Chester,So / Lichfield
By helpe and sufferaunce of the bysshop Peter. 7 indulgence

stanza 181

1262With Wylliam conquerour came to this region
A noble worthy prynce nominate Hug. Lupus,called
The dukes son of Britayne / and his syster son; 8 son of the duke of Brittany / sister's son
Flourynge in chiualry, bolde and victorious,Flowering
Manfull in batell / liberall and vertuous:Manly / noble
To whom the kyng gaue for his enheritaunce inheritance
The counte of Chesshire, with the appurtinaunce, 9 possessions and privileges pertaining to it

stanza 182

1269By victorie to wynne the forsayd Erledom,
Frely to gouerne it as by conquest right;Freely / govern / through lawful conquest
Made a sure chartre to hym and his succession,
By the swerde of dignite to holde it with myght,sword
And to calle a parlement to his wyll and syght,parliament, assembly
To ordre his subiectes after true iustice govern / subjects / according to true justice
As a prepotent prince / and after statutes to deuise.pre-eminent prince

stanza 183

1276 This valeant knyght with a myghty host
Descended from London to wynne the sayd counte.
But the lordes of Chesshire rose from euery cost,side, borderland
Agaynst hym made batell and had the victorie; 10
Thries they preuayled agaynst the erle, trulie.Three times / prevailed
After he optayned to his fame and honourAfterwards / won
The erledome of Chestre, entred as a conquerour.

stanza 184

1283 He gaue to his knyghtes after theyr desire according to their desire
Lordshyps and franches / and great possession,privileges
With riche mariages, within all Chesshire,
Exalted his seruauntes to hye promocion;high advancement, status
Vnto holy churche had special deuocion,
Maynte[in]ynge iustice / commendyng vertue,Maintaining
Deposyng vice by the helpe of Iesu.Putting down

stanza 185

1290After the departure of his vncle, the conquerour,death
Whan William Ruff. toke the regalite, 11 kingship
Than blessed Anselme, the famous doctour, 12 Then / teacher
Dyd viset this lande oft-tymes of his charite,visit / often / through his devotion
Glad to refourme / and brynge vnto vnite unity
Where was debate / and mycle diuision,Where there was dispute and great division
By diligent labour / and good exhortacion.encouragement

stanza 186

1297This forsayd erle of his benignite,through his good will
Interiously louynge holy religion,Inwardly / loving
Repleit with vertue and feruent charite,Filled
Sende for saynt Anselme vnto London,Sent
To come to Chestre at his peticion request
And there for to founde a religious place
In honour of Werburge by diuine grace.


Alfred, son of Æthelræd II. See entry on William the Conqueror in DNB (subscription only). Back to context...
Apparent error for prescription. Back to context...
Robert of Jumièges, the Norman Archbishop of Canterbury who, according to Norman historians, gave William Edward the Confessor's promise that he should inherit the English throne. See entry on William the Conqueror in DNB (subscription only). Back to context...
William and various Norman sources presented Harold Godwineson (ruled 1066) as a perjurer for reneging on his previous acceptance of William as heir to the English throne. See DNB (subscription only). In this line, the adjective 'playne' may refer either to Harold's 'explicit, overt' perjury, or to the offence against 'clear, honest' conscience. Back to context...
The succession of three alliterating nouns ('proscripcion', 'periury', 'promys') in these lines suggests a mnemonic formula used to help recall this key event in medieval English history. Back to context...
Probably Higden, Polychronicon, Book VII, Ch. III. See Babington and Lumby, 1865-86, vol. 7, 292). Back to context...
Alan Thacker comments on the transfer, which took place in 1075, that 'The new Norman bishop, Peter, may... have seen a chance for diocesan expansion in tandem with the earl's [Hugh I] plans for the conquest of north Wales'. See A.T. Thacker, Early Medieval Chester, Lewis and Thacker, 2003, 16-33, 30, also available via British History Online. Back to context...
Hugh d'Avranches, first earl of Chester (died 1101). See DNB (subscription only). Back to context...
Alan Thacker notes that Early Hugh probably received the city in 1071. See A.T. Thacker, Early Medieval Chester, Lewis and Thacker, 2003, 16-33, 25, also available via British History Online. Back to context...
This may refer to the rising of 1069-70. 'Chester's close ties with the earls of Mercia led to its involvement in the rising of 1069-70'. Under Hugh, Chester also 'quickly became the base for expeditions against both the Welsh and, in the twelfth century, the Irish'. See A.T. Thacker, Early Medieval Chester, Lewis and Thacker, 2003, 16-33, 25, also available via British History Online. Back to context...
William Rufus (ruled 1087-1100). See DNB (subscription only). Back to context...
Anselm, Abbot of Bec and Archbishop of Canterbury. See DNB (subscription only). Back to context...