chapter 3

A litel descripcion of the foundacion of Chestre / and of the abbay-churche within the sayd cite / where ye holy shryne by grace remayneth.

stanza 73

505That season the britons remayned vnder licence with permission, under special privilege
Of Angles and saxons within the sayd cite,
Tyll the dayes of Offa, kynge of merciens, 1 Until
Regnyng in the west marche with great victorie;Reigning / West March, Welsh Marches
Whiche kynge expulsed by power and chiualrieexpelled
All brutes and walshemen clere out of his londe,Britons / Welsh people / completely
In peyne of punysshement none there to be fonde.pain / found

stanza 74

512Whan the said churche, hauynge great liberte,
Dayly augmented in vertue and holyness,grew / holiness
Prestis and clerkes praysed the holy trinite
And the sayd apostoles with great mekenes,humility
The cite encreased in worshyp and ryches;
Churches were edified with feruent deuocion devotion
In sondrie places within the sayd towne.various

stanza 75

519This noble kyng Offa agaynst the pagans
Of .xvii. batels had euer the victorye;seventeen / always had the victory
Confederate was with great Charles, kyng of Fraunce, 2 Was allied
And edified saint Albans monasterye;
Of Englande first toke the hole monarchie First became monarch of the whole of England
Gaue Peter pens vnto the court of Rome; 3
Translate to Lichefelde the se of Canturbury ;Transferred the see of Canterbury to Lichfield
xxxix. yere regned fully in this region.39 years

chapter 4

A brefe rehersall of the first foundacion of the mynstre of Chestre / and of the institucion of secular chanons in the tyme of kyng Edwarde senior.

stanza 76

527The yere of grace .D.CCC. seuynte and fyue,875 C.E.
Kyng Alured regned vpon this region, 4
The relique, the shryne full memoratyue relic / memorable
Was brought to Chestre for our consolacion,
Reuerently receyued, set with deuocionReverently received
In the mouther-churche of saint Peter and Paule,
(As afore is sayd), a place moost principall.

stanza 77

534In whiche holy place vnto this present day
She bodilye resteth by diuine prouidence,rests in body
And so by his grace shall continue alway,
In honour, worshyp / and mycle reuerence;great
A deuout oratorie of vertue and excellence,devout / oratory, place for praying
Prepared by our lorde / where speciall remedy
Is agayne all greuans in soule and in body.against all sickness of soul or body

stanza 78

541The primatyue gyftes gyuen to the place first gifts
Immediatly were after her comynge Were immediately after her coming
Of deuout people replet with grace From / full of grace
In the dayes of the forsayd Alured kyng:
Of landes and libertes they made moche offerynge 5 legal privileges
To god and saint Werburge / after theyr possession,according to what they owned
Tristyng to her prayer and sure protection.Trusting

stanza 79

548 The people with deuocion and mynde feruent zealous mind
Gaue diuers enormentes vnto this place:various ornaments
Some gaue a coope / and some a vestement,cope
Some other a chalice / and some a corporace,corporas
Many albes and other clothes offred ther was,albs / were offered there
Some crosses of golde / some bokes / some belles;
The pore folke gaue surges / torches / and towelles. 6 candles

stanza 80

555 The citezens offered to the sayd virgine
For the great miracles amonge them wrought
Many riall gyftes of Iewels to the shrine,royal, noble / jewels
Thankynge our lorde, that hath vs all bought,who has redeemed us all
And blessed Werburge in worde, dede, and thought - 7 deed
Women and children she mynded full gracious,she remembered very mercifully
As testifieth the archebisshop Antoninus. 8 stipulates, prescribes


Offa, King of the Mercians (ruled 757-796). See PASE or 'English Kingdoms of the 8th Century' in the Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies. Back to context...
Charlemagne, King of the Franks (ruled 768-814). See Story, 2005, 195-210. Back to context...
'Peter's pence' or romescot / romefeoh in Old English refers to the tax raised in England and sent to Rome in support of the Holy See. This practice was reportedly begun by King Offa in the eighth century. See Jensen, 1901, available via JSTOR (subscription only). Back to context...
King Alfred (ruled 871-899). See PASE. Back to context...
Here libertes implies the lands held within particular privileges and jurisdictions. Back to context...
This stanza includes a number of technical terms relating to equipment and clothing used within the medieval church. The cope is a form of cloak worn by the priest during the liturgy, the alb is a long white linen tunic, whilst 'vestement' refers to the priest's ceremonial garments in general. The chalice is the cup used to administer wine at mass, and the corporas is the cloth used to cover the consecrated sacrament (bread). Other tools of the liturgy mentioned here include crosses, books and bells, whilst the gifts of less wealthy donors to the church include candles, torches and simple cloths used either for cleaning or possibly to cover altars and tombs. Back to context...
The phrase 'worde, dede, and thought' recalls the formula 'cogitatione, verbo, et opere' ('in thought, word and deed') used, for example, in the Confiteor or prayers of confession in the medieval liturgy. See The Medieval Sourcebook: Mass of the Roman Rite Latin / English. Back to context...
This line presents some difficulties. The Middle English Dictionary does admit 'to stipulate' as a possible (though apparently infrequent) meaning for the verb testifien. '[A]rchebisshop Antoninus' probably refers to Antoninus, Archbishop of Florence (1389-1459). Antoninus was an influential figure in late-medieval Europe, whose theological writings emphasise the duty of individuals and the state to offer protection and assistance to the needy or vulnerable in society. His thought has been described as centring on a 'civic theology' based on 'the interconnectedness of the heavenly and earthly cities'. See Howard, 1995, esp. 199, 201 and Finn, 2007, available via Wiley Interscience (subscription only). Antoninus's works circulated widely, particularly in the universities, and Bradshaw may have encountered this material during his time at Oxford, if he was indeed a student at Gloucester College as Anthony Wood suggests. There is also a reference to Antoninus lines 505-6 of the Lyfe of Saynt Radegunde, usually attributed to Bradshaw, where he is described as 'myn auctor... [t]he venerable Antoninus' (see Literature Online - subscription only). In this instance, Bradshaw probably drew on Antoninus's Chronicon, a collection of saints' lives derived from other sources, which includes a brief account of St Radegund. See Petrus Maturus, 1586, vol. 2, 292-4. Back to context...