The prologe of the translatour of this lytell treatyse in the seconde boke.

stanza 1

1Now whan we consyder / with mynde dylygent
The merueylous maners / & synguler condycion
Of the comyn people 1 / symple and neclygent,
Whiche without lytterature / and good informacyon
Ben lyke to Brute beestes / as in comparyson,
Rude / wylde / and boystous / by a prouerbe, certan,
'Good maners and conynge / maken a man'. 2

stanza 2

8 Saynt Paule sayth / shewynge to the Romans 3
How all thynge wryten / in holy scrypture
Is wryten for our doctryne / and ghostly ordynans , 4
For our great conforte / and endeles pleasure.
All thynge is knowen playnly / by lytterature,
Morall vertues / be noted by it full playne
From vyce and neclygence / to abstayne, certayne.

stanza 3

15 What were mankynde / without lytterature? 5
Full lytel worthy / blynded by ignoraunce.
The way to heuen it declareth ryght sure
Thrugh perfyte lyuynge / and good perseueraunce;
By it we may be taught / for to do penaunce
Whan we transgresse / our lordes commaundyment;
It is a swete cordyall / for mannes entent.

stanza 4

22How shulde the seuen / scyences lyberall 6
Haue ben preserued / vnto this day,
The wysdome / of the phylosophers all,
But alone by lernynge / it is no nay.
The notable actes / of our fathers, I say,
(yf litterature were nat) myght nat nowe be tolde,
Nor auncient histories and cronycles olde.

stanza 5

29 The lawe of ciuile / and of holy canon 7
By study be preferred with moche honour
To execute iustice / and for due reformacion;
The most blessed doctrine of our sauiour,
The actis of the apostoles / with the doctours four ,
Be preserued by wrytyng / and put in memorie,
With the lyues of saintes many a noble storie.

stanza 6

36Of whiche histories 8 we purpose speciall
To speke of saint Werburge / vnder your protection, 9
Declaryng the ende of her lyfe historiall
As we haue begon / and made playne mencion
In the fyrst volume by breue compliacion, 10
There playnly descriuyng her liniall discens
Of .iiii. myghty kyngdomes by true experience; 11

stanza 7

43Also we haue shewed in the sayd littell boke
Her goodly maners / and vertuous disposicion
Of her yonge age / who-so lyst theron to loke;
And howe her bretherne suffred martyrdome; 12
Of her fathers realme a litell discripcion:
Howe she was professed in the place of Ely; 13
Of her conuersacion within the sayd monastery;

stanza 8

50After for her vertue / howe she was made abbasse
Of diuers monasteries, 14 flouryng in vertue;
And of the great miracles whiche there done was
For her great charite / by the grace of Iesu;
Howe diuers of her kynrede dyd clerely exchewe
All wordly pleasures and honours transetory,
Professyng obedience at the place of Ely;

stanza 9

57Also we haue shewed vnder your licence
Of her departure from this lyfe mortall, 15
And of her sepulture at the place of Hamburgence ; 16
The manyfolde myracles shewed by grace supernall,
The wofull lamentacion of her systers all;
And howe after .ix. yere of her translacion 17
By diuine ordinaunce miracles were done.

stanza 10

64We humble require you of your charite
To this seconde abstract to graunt pardon, 18
Conysderynge we omytte whilom the historie
And speke of cronicles / makyng a digression;
It is of no ignoraunce / nor presumption,
But to enlarge the mater and sentence,
To gladde the auditours / and moue their diligence.

stanza 11

71In our seconde boke expresse nowe wyll we,
Vnder your licence and speciall tuicion,
Of this blessed virgin / flourynge in chastite,
Why and wherfore she came to Chestre towne,
Principally by miracle / and diuine prouision,
And how for synne / vice / and wykednes
Danes oppressed this lande with wretchednes,

stanza 12

78And how she was receyued at Chestre citie;
Of the fyrst foundacion of towne and the place;
Of the great myracles there shewed openlie
To chanons and monkes / by singular grace,
Vnto euery creature in extreme case,
Howe Werburge delyuered the towne from enmite,
From dredfull fire / and plages of miserye.

stanza 13

85Also encronicled foloweth here expresse
A brefe compilacion of kynge Edwarde seniour 19
Of kyng Ethelstam 20 / the great worthynes,
Of humble kyng Edgare regnyng as emperour, 21
Of his comyng to Chestre / of his great honour;
And howe Erle Leofrice 22 repared of his charite
The mynstre of Werburge, gyuyng therto liberte;

stanza 14

92Of the seconde foundacion of the sayd monastery
From secular chanons to monkes religious
Soone after the conquest, sayth the historye,
By the erle of Chestre nominat Hug. Lupus, 23
With counsell and helpe of blessed Anselmus; 24
And of the great compas of the sayd abbay,
Enuired with walles myghty to assay;

stanza 15

99How Richard erle of Chestre by myracle ryght 25
Was preserued from daunger of Walshemen ,
And howe he was drowned about mydnyght
Purposyng to distroye the monastery, certen. 26
Celestiall signes were shewed to men and women,
To chidren and innocentes by singular grace
Of blessed Werburge, patronesse of the place:

stanza 16

106These miracles specified / and many other mo
This virgin shewed within Chestre cite,
Whiche at this tyme we let ouer go,
Lest to the reders tedious it shulde be.
Almyghty god, both one two and thre,
Sende vs of theyr grace to make a good ende:
Helpe, lady Werburge, this warke to amende. 27

chapter 2

Howe the people of Hambury brought the shryne to Chestre / and of the solemne receuyung of it by all the inhabitauntes of Chesshyre.

stanza 34

232In meane tyme the danes pitously destroyed
The monasteries of Werburge / Trentam & Wedon,
As they many other places had euyll oppressed
In the north and eest part of this region;
The kyngdome of Kent suffred lyke punicion,
The Ile of Wyght endured moche turment:
So dyd the Westmarches / for punysshement. 28

stanza 35

239 The people of Hambury, wysely consyderyng
The comynge of danes vnto Repton,
And of the departure of Burdred, theyr kyng, 29
Howe all Englande was in great affliction,
And howe they were next to endure punicion -
Whiche forsayd Repton was distaunt from Hambury
The space of .v. mile, sayth the history - 30

stanza 36

246The Hamburgenses with all the comons and clergy,
Dredynge full sore the pagans flagellacions, 31
Of their lyues desperate / but for the shryne specially,
To our blessed sauiour made dayly inuocacions
With vigils, prayers and feruent meditacions,
To preserue the countrey / the relique / the shryne
From daunger of enmite and miserable ruyne.

stanza 37

253As they continued in cotidian prayer,
The best remedie sekyng for to fynde
To auoide vexacion and all greuous daunger
Of theyr great ennemies cursed and vnkynde,
The holy goost inspired theyr mynde
To take the shryne with great humilite
And brynge it to Chestre from perill and enmyte.

stanza 38

260 They toke this riall relique of reuerence
With great mekenes, deuocion and feruour,
Through the grace of god, theyr helpe and defence,
Came to-warde Chester with diligence and honour -
A place preordinat by our sauiour
Where he body shulde rest and worshipped be,
Magnified with miracles next our ladie.

stanza 39

267Whan the clergie of Chestre and the citezens 32
Herde tell of the comynge of this noble abbasse,
They made preparacion and great diligence,
In theyr best-maner worship and solace
To mete this relique of singular grace;
The great estates / and rulers of the countray
Were redy to honour saint Werburge that day.

stanza 40

274First was ordeyned a solemne procession,
With crosses / and baners / and surges clere lyght,
The belles were tolled for ioye and deuocion;
The ministres of god in coopes redy dight,
With censours of siluer / to encense her body right;
All prestis and clerkes redy to say and synge
Proceded in ordre / this holy virgin praysyng. 33

stanza 41

281Next to the clergie approched in degree
The lordes of the shyre, knyghtes, barons, all
With feruent deuocion / praysyng the trinite
Whiche sent to them suche comfort spirituall.
The citezens ensued with gladness cordiall,
With bokes and beades / magnifieng our maker
For this great treasure to kepe them from daunger.

stanza 42

288 Venerable virgins next sette in ordre clere,
With lilies in theyr handes 34 / coronate with chastite,
Good widowes and wuyes appoynted well were,
Gyuynge true thankes vnto this virgin fre.
Nex[t] them assemble all the commonte
In all goodly maner, dyuised by discrecion,
Praysyng saynt Werburge with humiliacion.

stanza 43

295Whan they approched to her hie presence
And comon were afore this relique most riall,
They kneled all downe with mycle reuerence,
Salutynge the shryne with honour victoriall, 35
Magnifying with melodye and tunys musicall
This glorious virgin / nothyng done amis,
Syngynge Te deum to the kyng of blysse.

stanza 44

302The lordes / the citezins / and all the commons 36
Mekely submytted them-selfe to the shryne,
With manyfolde prayses and humble supplicacions,
With interiour loue / and morall discipline,
Trustyng all in her to saue them from ruyne,
From greuous daunger / and cruell enmite
By her entercession vnto the trinite.

stanza 45

309They gaue due thankes vnto this abbasse,
Deuoutly sayenge knelyng vpon kne:
'Welcome, swete lady, replet with grace,
The floure of mekenes / and of chastite,
The cristall of clennes and virginite; 37
Welcome thou art to vs euerychone,
A speciall comfort for vs to trust vpon!

stanza 46

316'Welcome, swete princesse / kynges doughter dere,
Welcome, faire creature / and rose of merciens ,
The diamonde of dignite / and gemme shenynge clere ,
Virgin and moiniall of mycle excellence;
Welcome, holy abbasse of hie preeminence,
The rutilant saphire of syncerite, 38
Welcome, swete patronesse, to Chestre cite!

stanza 47

323 Thou art our refuge / and singular succour,
Our sure tuicion, next to the trinite,
Oure speciall defence at euery houre
To releue thy seruauntes in all necessite;
Thou art our solace and helpe in eche degre,
Oure ioye / trust / and comfort / and goostly treasure:
Welcome to this towne, for euer to endure!'

stanza 48

330Agaynst her comynge into Chestre cite
The stretes were strawed with flours fragrant,
The mancions and halles edified rialle
Were hanged with arras precious and plesaunt,
Torches were carried on eche syde flagrant;
Also ouer the shryne was prepared a canaby
Of cloth of golde and tissewe riche and costly. 39

stanza 49

337Thus with great worship, decoure and dignite
Of all clergie, lordis and citezens
She was receuyed with great humilite
Into the cite with humble reuerence,
The clergie syngyng with mycle diligence,
The comons prayeng with loue feruent,
Folowynge this relique after their entent.

stanza 50

344In procession they passed all in to the towne,
With ioye and great gladnes, ye may be sure,
In ordre togyther, in charite and deuocion,
Praysyng our sauiour and this virgin pure;
They brought full solemple with gostly p[l]easure
This riall relique to the moost noble place
Within all the cite, as our lordes wyll was.

stanza 51

351 This seconde translacion of this virgin bright 40
From Hambury abbay vnto Chestre cite
Was celebrate, with ioye and gladnes full right,
The yere of our saueour in his humanite
viii. hundreth complet .v. and seuentie;
Alured regned than kyng of this region,
Victorious and liberall / coronate at London. 41

stanza 52

358 This kyng deuyded in .iiii. partes his richesse:
One parte to the poore, the seconde to religion,
The thyrde part to scholers / the fourth to bild churches; 42
And of a day naturall / he made trium diuision:
viii. houres to rede and praye with feruent deuocion,
viii. houres occupied with businesse naturall,
And other .viii. houres to rule his realme riall.

stanza 52a

364aNobilitas innata tibi probitatis honorem,
Armipotens Alurede, dedit / probitasque laborem,
Perpetuumque labor nomen: cui mixta dolori
Gaudia semper erant: spes semper mixta timori.
Si modo victus erat / ad crastina bella parabat,
Iam post transactos regni viteque labores /
Christe ei sit vera quies / sceptrumque perenne. 43

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 53

365Two cites of legions in cronicles we fynde: 44
One in south-Wales / in the tyme of Claudius 45
Called Caeruska / by britons had in mynde, 46
Orels Caerleon / buylded by kyng Belinus; 47
Where somtyme was a legion of knyghtes chiualrous. 48
This cite of legions was whilom the bysshops se
Vnto all south-wales / nominat Wenedocie . 49

stanza 54

372Another cite of legions we may fynde also
In the west part of Englande / by the water of Dee,
Called Caerlleon of britons longe ago,
After named Chestre, by great auctorite;
Iulius the emperour sende to this sayd cite 50
A legion of knyghtes / for to subdue Irelande; 51
Like-wyse dyd Claudius (as we vnderstande). 52

stanza 55

379The founder of Chestre / as sayth Policronicon,
Was Lleon Gauer / a myghty stronge gyaunt, 53
Whiche buylded caues and dongions many one,
No goodly buyldyng / propre ne pleasaunt;
But the Kynge Leil, a briton sure and valiaunt, 54
Was founder of Chestre by pleasaunt buyldyng,
And of Caerleil also named by the kynge. 55

stanza 56

386 Ranulphus in his cronicle yet doth expresse
The cite of Chestre edified for to be
By the noble romans prudence and richesse
Whan a legion of knyghtes was sende to the cite,
Rather than by the wysdome of the Britons or policie ;
Obiectyng clere agaynst the britons fundacion,
Whiche auctour resteth in his owne opinion. 56

stanza 57

393 Kyng Marius, a bryton, regnyng in prosperite 57
In the West partie of this noble region,
Ampliat and walled strongly Chestre cite
And myghtyly fortified the sayd foundacion.
Thus eche auctour holdeth a singular opinion. 58
This Marius slewe Reodric, kyng of pictis lande,
Callyng the place of his name Westmarilande. 59

stanza 58

400 This 'cite of legions', so called by the Romans, 60
Nowe is nominat in latine of his proprete
Cestria quasi castria / of honour and pleasance: 61
Proued by the buyldynge of olde antiquite
In cellers and lowe voultes / and halles of realte
Lyke a comly castell / mighty, stronge and sure,
Eche house like a toure, somtyme of great pleasure.

stanza 59

407Vnto the sayd Chestre all northwales subiect were
For reformacion, Iustice and iugement;
Theyr bysshops see also it was many a yere
Enduryng the gouernance of brutes auncient;
To saxons and britons a place indifferent;
The inhabitauntes of it manfull and liberall,
Constant, sad and virtuous / and gentyll continuall.

stanza 60

414Of frutes and cornes there is great habundaunce,
Woddes / parkes / forestes / and beestis of venare,
Pastures / feeldes / commons / the cite to auaunce,
Waters / pooles / pondes of fysshe great plente;
Most swete holsome ayre by the water of dee:
There is great marchaundise / shyps and wynes strang,
With all thing of pleasure the citezens amonge.

stanza 61

421The yere of our lorde a hundred sixe and fyfty
Reigned vpon this lande a briton kyng Lucius,
Whiche with great desire required instantly
His realme to be baptized of pope Eleutherius.
Whose charitable mocion was harde full gratius:
The pope enioyed / graunted his peticion
And sende .ii. doctours to conuerte this region. 62

stanza 62

428The doctours by prechyng and singular grace
In short tyme conuerted the greatter Britayne; 63
The people confessed their synne and trespase,
Batpized all were / forgyuenes dyd attayne;
Idolatrie cessed through-out this lande, certayne;
With grace circumfulced and lyghtned was Englande,
By faith to god professed was all Wales and scotlande.

stanza 63

435 Kynge Lucius ordeyned / by the doctours mocion
xxxviii. bisshops in this realme for to be,
And .iii. archebisshops, for gostly exhortacion,
To reduce the people to vertue and humilite.
At London was set the chiefe archebisshops se,
The seconde in south-Wales at cite of legions, 64
The thyrde was at yorke, all subiect to the britons.

stanza 64

442Churches were edified in many a place
Here in the more Britayne with diligent labour,
Christis faith encreased by speciall grace,
Faithfull religion delated euery hour;
Diuine seruice was songon & sayd with great honour,
True faith and deuocion wre dayly encreasynge,
Namely in Chestre by grace continuall abidynge.

stanza 65

449Certaynly, sith baptym came to Chestre cite,
Soone after Lucius / and afore kynge Arthure,
By the grace of god and their humilite,
The faith of holy churche dyd euer there endure
Without rediciuacion and infection / sure;
Wherefore it is worthy a singular commendacion,
Aboue all the citees and townes of this region.

stanza 66

456The perfect begynnyng and fyrst foundacion
Of the monasterie within the sayd cite
Was at the same tyme by famus opinion
That baptym began within this countre;
The great lordes of Chestre of landes and auncetre
First edified the churche for comfort spirituall
In honour of the apostels Peter and Paule.

stanza 67

463 Whiche churche was principall to all the citie,
And the mouther-churche called withouten doubt;
It was their buriall by great auctorite,
To all this sayd cite / and .vii. myle without;
The cemiterie was large to compase it about.
But what by sufferaunce and processe of tyme
Many olde customes ben brought now to ruyne.

stanza 68

470In whiche mother-churche of Peter and Paule
All holy sacramentes ministred dayly were,
With great encreasement of vertues all,
Continuall endurynge more than .CCC. yere,
In the britons tyme / of blodde noble and clere,
Afore the comyng of saxons to this lande,
Which with apostasie enfected all Englande.

stanza 69

477So after that the Angles / Iutes / and saxons 65
By fortune of batell / power and policie
Had clerely subdued all the olde britons
And them expulsed to wales and wylde countre,
The faith of holy churche remayned at chestre cite
In the sayd churche, truely, by singular grace alone,
Like as the faith of Peter neuer fayled at Rome.

stanza 70

484What tyme saint Austin, the doctour of Englande, 66
Had baptized Ethelbrut, kynge of Kent, 67
And by relacion dyd fully vnderstande
That the faith of Christ most digne and excellent
In the cite of legions was truely remanent,
In the churche of the apostoles Peter and Paul,
He magnified our lorde with thanke speciall.

stanza 71

491That season there was a noble monasterie
xii. myles from Chestre, nominate Bangour,
Where religious monkes lyued vertuouslye,
Almost .iii. thousande / obedient euery houre,
Without possessions / lyuyng by theyr labour:
Vnto whiche place he sende for helpe at nede,
To conuert the saxons (sayth venerable Bede). 68

stanza 72

498 Saynt Austin approched the cite of legions,
Where the sayd couent afore hym were present: 69
Whom he required to preche to the saxons
The faith of holy churche and baptym diligent.
To whose humble prayer / they were disobedient,
Obseruyng no charite / yet for theyr great pride
Many of them were slayne by kyng Ethelfride. 70

stanza 73

505That season the britons remayned vnder licence
Of Angles and saxons within the sayd cite,
Tyll the dayes of Offa, kynge of merciens, 71
Regnyng in the west marche with great victorie;
Whiche kynge expulsed by power and chiualrie
All brutes and walshemen clere out of his londe,
In peyne of punysshement none there to be fonde.

stanza 74

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

stanza 75

519This noble kyng Offa agaynst the pagans
Of .xvii. batels had euer the victorye;
Confederate was with great Charles, kyng of Fraunce, 72
And edified saint Albans monasterye;
Of Englande first toke the hole monarchie
Gaue Peter pens vnto the court of Rome; 73
Translate to Lichefelde the se of Canturbury;
xxxix. yere regned fully in this region.

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,
Kyng Alured regned vpon this region, 74
The relique, the shryne full memoratyue
Was brought to Chestre for our consolacion,
Reuerently receyued, set with deuocion
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,
And so by his grace shall continue alway,
In honour, worshyp / and mycle reuerence;
A deuout oratorie of vertue and excellence,
Prepared by our lorde / where speciall remedy
Is agayne all greuans in soule and in body.

stanza 78

541The primatyue gyftes gyuen to the place
Immediatly were after her comynge
Of deuout people replet with grace
In the dayes of the forsayd Alured kyng:
Of landes and libertes they made moche offerynge 75
To god and saint Werburge / after theyr possession,
Tristyng to her prayer and sure protection.

stanza 79

548 The people with deuocion and mynde feruent
Gaue diuers enormentes vnto this place:
Some gaue a coope / and some a vestement,
Some other a chalice / and some a corporace,
Many albes and other clothes offred ther was,
Some crosses of golde / some bokes / some belles;
The pore folke gaue surges / torches / and towelles. 76

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,
Thankynge our lorde, that hath vs all bought,
And blessed Werburge in worde, dede, and thought - 77
Women and children she mynded full gracious,
As testifieth the archebisshop Antoninus. 78

stanza 81

562Diuine seruice was obserued deuoutly
Euery day, encreasyng with feruent adoracion
As the feest required / and the solemnite,
To the honour of our lorde and hie glorificacion;
Preistis and clerkes with pure meditacion
Obseruynge their dutie gaue vertuous example
Of great perfection to the comon people.

stanza 82

569After kyng Alured / regned his son
Edwarde senior, by liniall discence, 79
Crowned the yere of grace .ix. hundreth and one,
[W]ith wordly glorie and great preeminence;
Buylded castles, townes of myghty defence,
Subdued the danes .vii. tymes in batell;
Encreased his realme manfully and well.

stanza 83

576That tyme the realme of merciens was translate
By the kynge / and gyuen to duke Ethelrede, 80
A noble man of auncetre / politicke and fortunate,
Whiche maried his syster, lady Elflede, 81
Doughter to the forsaid valiant kynge Alurede;
The sayd gentilman was wyse and vertuous,
Sad and discrete, pacient and famous.

stanza 84

583This lady Elflede, duchesse of merciens, 82
Had speciall loue and singular affection
To blessed Werburge, and true confidence:
Wherfore she mynded with great dilectacion
To edifie a mynstre, a place of deuocion,
To this holy virgin, for profite of her soule,
Enlargynge the churche of Peter and of Paule. 83

stanza 85

590 She moued her husbande with great mekenes
To supplie the same dede of his charite, 84
And diuers other nobles of theyr goodnes
For aide in that cause after their degree.
Ioyfull was the duke of the mocion gostle,
Glad were the nobles within all the shire
To founde a mynstre after her desire.

stanza 86

597Afore the holy roode in a table writen is
At saint Iohans churche without the sayd cite, 85
Howe that prince Edmunde, the thyrde son e-wis
Of Edward senior, true foundour shulde be - 86
To whom lady Elflede was aunt by auncetre.
So betwix twayne was founded in short space
An holy mynstre, of vertue full and grace.

stanza 87

604 They sende for masons vpon euery syde,
Counnynge in geometrie / the foundacion to take
For a large mynstre, longe, hie, and wyde,
Substancially wrought / the best that they can make,
To the honour of god / for saynt Werburge sake;
At the est end taken theyr sure foundacion
Of the apostoles churche / ioynynge both as one.

stanza 88

611Whan it was edified / and curiously wrought
And all thyng ended / in goodly proporcion,
Than riche enormentes were offred and brought
Of the said nobles with great deuocion
Temporall landes / rentes / possession
Were gyuen, for euer to mayntayne the place
Of blessed Werburge by singular grace. 87

stanza 89

618 Spirituall ministres were elect also:
Secular chanons, of great humilite, 88
To synge and psalmodise oure sauiour vnto,
Within the sayd mynstre hauynge a perpetuite;
Prebendes were assigned to that fraternite,
With townes / borowes / and fredomes manifest,
Continually encreasyng vnto the conquest.

stanza 90

625And the olde churche of Peter and of Paule
By a general counsell of the spiritualte
With helpe of the duke moost principall 89
Was tranlate to the myddes of the sayd cite;
Where a paresshe-churche was edified, truele,
In honour of the aforesayd apostoles twayne ,
Whiche shall for euer by grace diuine remayne.

stanza 91

632Also we may note, holdyng none opinion,
This lady Elflede of her charite
Of the sayd mother-churche translate the patron,
Caused the sayd oratorie reconciled to be
In the honour of the most blessed trinite
And of saynt Oswalde, martyr and kyng,
For the loue she had to hym continuynge. 90

stanza 92

639 The yere of our lorde .ix. hundreth and .viii.
This noble duchesse with mycle royalte
Reedified Chestre / and fortified it full ryght,
Churche / house / and wall, decayed piteousle.
Thus brought vnto ruyne was Chestre cite
First, by Ethelfride, kyng of Northumberlande, 91
And by danes / norwaies, vexyng all Englande. 92

stanza 93

646Also she enlarged this sayd old cite
With newe myghty walles stronge all-about,
Almost by proporcion double in quantite
To the forther byldynge brought without dout;
She compassed in the castell enemies to hold out
Within the sayd Walles, to defende the towne
Agaynst danes and walshemen, to dryue them all downe.

stanza 94

653After the deth of her husband Ethelrede 93
She ruled the realme of mercelande manfully, 94
Buylded churches / and townes repared in dede,
As Staforde / Warwike / Thomwort / and Shirisbury ;
Of newe she edified Runcorn and Edisbury.
The body of saynt Oswalde also she translate
From Bardeney to Gloucetur , there to be tumulate: 95

stanza 95

660 Where she edified a noble monastery,
With licence of her brother 96 afore nominate,
In honour of saint Peter / ouer the blessed body
Of the sayd saynt Oswalde / kyng and martyr coronate.
In wiche monastery this lady was tumulate,
The yere of our lorde .ix. hundreth and nyntene;
Whom myn auctor prayseth in this wordes serene:

stanza 95a

666aO Elfleda potens / o terror virgo virorum:
Victrix nature, nomine digna viri.
Te quoque splendidior fecit natura puellam,
Te probitas fecit nomen habere viri.
Te mutare docet sed solum nomina sexus,
Tu regina potens / rexque trophea parans.
Iam nec cesarei tantum meruere triumphi,
Caesare splendidior virgo virago. Vale. 97

chapter 5

Of the notable myracles of saynt Werburge shewed in the tyme of chanons / and fyrst howe she saued Chester from distruction of walshemen.

stanza 96

667 This glorious Werburge and virgin pure
By singular grace of god omnipotent
Shewed many myracles to euery creature,
To blynde / dombe / halt / lame / and impotent,
In the cite of Chestre / whan her shryne was present,
Like-wyse as in her lyfe at Wedon / at Hambury -
Witneseth the same her true legende and history. 98

stanza 97

674Wher[for]e the honour / prayse / and laudacion
Of Iesu / the seconde persone in trinite ,
And of this virgin a speciall commendacion,
We purpose to reherce nowe with charite,
Vnder the protection of you that shall the reders be,
Parte of the myracles / with mynde diligent
In this humble stile / and sentence consequent. 99

stanza 98

681The first myracle / that our blessed sauiour
Shewed for his spouses / after her translacion 100
To Chestre: was nye the tyme of Edwarde seniour, 101
Son to kyng Alured, famous of renowne.
The Name of britons was chaunged that season, 102
Were named walshemen, in the montaynes segregate,
Euer to the saxons hauynge inwarde hate.

stanza 99

688 The Walshemen that tyme had ouer them a kyng
Called Griffinus / to be theyr gouernour, 103
Electe by the comons their appetite folowyng,
Endurate with malice / couetise and rancour,
Ennemies to englisshemen / as is said before.
This kyng entended by mortall enuy 104
The cite of Chestre to spoyle and distrye. 105

stanza 100

695A myghty host discended from the mountans,
Well armed and strongely approchyng the cite,
Prepared for batell, with them great ordinaunce.
The sayd Griffinus and all his company
With his power passed ouer the water of Dee -
Whiche ryuer adioynneth to the sayd towne,
Betwene Englande and Wales a sure diuision. 106

stanza 101

702 This kynge layd siege vnto Chestre cite
With all his great host / there honour to wyn -
By policie of warre / encreasynge myghtyle.
For whiche the citezens remaynynge within
[W]ere sore disconsolate, like for to twyn:
With wofull heuy hearts they dyd call and crye
Vpon blessed Werburge for helpe and remedye.

stanza 102

709The charitable chanons with great deuocion
Toke the holy shryne of theyr patrones ,
Set it on the towne-walles for helpe and tuicion,
Trustynge on her to be saued from distres.
But one of the ennemyes with great wyckednes
Smot the sayd shryne in castyng of a stone,
And it empaired / piteous to loke vpon.

stanza 103

716Anone great punysshement vpon them all lyght:
The kyng and his host were smytten with blyndnes,
That of the cite / they had no maner of syght;
And he that smote the holy shryne, doubtles,
Was greuously vexed with a sprite of darkenes,
And with hidous payne expired miserably -
The kynge was sore a-dred / and all his company.

stanza 104

723Shortly the kynge remoued his great host,
Departed from the cite without any praye,
And gaue in commaundement in euery cost
Saynt Werburge landes to meynteyne alway,
Assigned her possessions euer after that day
With the signe of the crosse, a token euident,
In pleasyng this virgin / for drede of punysshement.

chapter 7

Howe saynt Werburgesaued Chestrefrom innumberable barbarike nacions / purposynge to distroye and spoyle the sayd cite.

stanza 109

758An other tyme innumerable barbarike nacions
Came to spoyle Chestre, to robbe it and distry,
(Sayth the historye) from diuers regions: 107 .
Harolde kyng of danes / the kynge of gotes & galwedy ,
Maucolyn of Scotlande, and all theyr company,
With baners displayed, well armed to fyght;
Theyr tentes rially in hoole heth were pyght. 108

stanza 110

765They set theyr ordinaunce agaynst the towne
Vpon euery side / timorous for to se,
Namely at the northgate they were redy-bowne
By myght, police to haue entered the cite.
The citezens, dredyng to be in captiuite,
Made intercession vnto this holy abbasse
For theyr deliueraunce in suche extreme case.

stanza 111

772 The deuout chanons sette the holy shryne
Agaynst theyr enemies at the sayd northgate,
Trustyne to Werburge to saue them from ruyne
And shewe some myracle to them disconsolate.
For the citezens were of their lyues desperate,
Passynge mannes mynde to escape theyr daunger
But all-only by merite of this virgin clere.

stanza 112

779As the kynges were sautynge this forsayd cite,
Trustyne for a praye to haue it euery hour,
One of the sayd ennemies, replet with iniquite,
Nat worshyppyng ye virgin / nor dredyng our sauiour,
Smote this riall relique with a stone in his rancour,
Brake therof a corner, curiously wrought,
Cast all to the grounde: than sorowe came vnsought.

stanza 113

786The sayd malefactour nat passynge the place
Vexed with the deuill for his greuous offence,
Roryng and yellyng his outragious trespase,
Tore his tonge a-sonder in wodely violence,
Miserable exspired afore them in presence;
Satan ceased nat to shewe great punysshement
Vpon his soule and body / by signes euident.

stanza 114

793 These kynges considerynge this soden vengeaunce
Amonge them all lyght so soone and hastely,
Shortly remoued theyr great ordinaunce,
Departed from the cite with theyr company;
Callyng on this virgin fast for grace and mercy,
Promyttynge neuer after to retourne agayne
To disquiete her seruauntes and cite, in certayne.

chapter 10

Howe an other woman vnlaufully wurkynge was made blynde / and by saynt Werburge restored was to her syght agayne.

stanza 126

877Within the same cite afore the abbay-gate
Dwelled a woman / which brake the commaundement
Of god and holy churche / hye sabbot-day dyd violate
Unlaufully wurkynge: 109 wherfore great punysshement
Fell vpon this woman with peynes equiualent,
Sodaynly smytten / wurkynge full busely
With greuous blyndnes / and mycle miserye.

stanza 127

884This woman, consyderynge her syght was gone,
The pleasure of this worlde, her helpe and succour,
Hauynge to lyue by / small riches or none,
Cried maynly 'out out, alas' euery hour,
'Wo is me wretche, fulfylled with dolour!
Alas, I was borne to abyde this wofull day
My maker to displese! / alas, what shall I say?'

stanza 128

891She called to memorie with hye discrecion
The myracles that Werburge shewed to mankynde:
By grace she repented / with suche contricion
That water distilled from her eyes blynde,
Dolefully lamentynge / that she was so vnkynde; 110
Ruthfully was brought to Werburge oratory,
Trustyng in this virgin to haue remedy.

stanza 129

898As she continued in her supplicacion,
Wofully wepynge / abidyng the special grace
Of blessed Werburge / with singular inuocacion,
Anone she was cured to helth and solace,
Restored to her eye-sight / she passed the place,
Praysed our lorde and this virgin pure,
Was a holy woman after, ye may be sure.

chapter 12

Howe a yonge man thries hanged vnlaufully, was thries delyuered by saynt Werburge from dethe to lyfe and lyberte.

stanza 135

940 Almyghty god gaue in commaundement
By moises lawe to his people echone,
No innocent to slee by wrongfull iudgement
Nor causeles to punysshe by greuous oppression,
Also to beware of lyght suspection. 111
Wherof a myracle we shall nowe expresse,
Done in Chestre cite by Werburge theyr patronesse.

stanza 136

947A certayne younge man dwelled in the cite,
Honest in maners / and of good conuersacion,
Disposed to vertue and humilite:
Was arrest and taken of a lyght suspicion
By the officers and rule[r]s of the sayd towne,
Gyltles accused most innocently,
Condemned and iudged to deth shamfully.

stanza 137

954After sentence gyuen / ministres were all redy
Vpon the iudgement to do execucion:
He was fettred and brought to the gebbet by and by
And as a stronge thefe hanged ther-vpon.
His frendes and cosyns for hym made great mone - as
Alas, what tonge myght expresse the wo
They made that tyme departynge hym fro?

stanza 138

961And as this innocent hang in his payne,
He called to mynd the manyfolde goodnes,
The myracles of Werburge, shewed her, certayne,
Howe she had saued many in great distres: 112
So, whan he myght no wordes expresse,
In mynde he required her / and humblie dyd pray
From shamfull deth to saue hym that day. 113

stanza 139

968Whan all the officers departed were thens
Supposynge the soule seperate from the body,
A white doue descended afore them in presence
And lyght vpon the gebbet immediatly;
The byrde with his byll brake the rope, truely,
The prisoner escaped that tyme from deth,
Shortly reuiuynge toke naturall breth. 114

stanza 140

975Whiche thynge notified, so meruailous in syght,
The ministres returned / theyr labour in vayne:
Toke this innocent by power and myght,
Vpon the sayd gebbet hanged hym agayne.
Thus he was delyuered by myracle from payne:
The tortuous turmentours cessed their tyrranny,
Permytted the prisoner to go at liberte. 115

stanza 141

982Whiche myracle knowen / his frendes and cosyns all
Returned agayne with glad mynde and chere.
The prisoner mette them, louyng god in speciall
And blessed Werburge in his best manere
The deuout citezens approched them nere,
Went all to the shryne the virgin thankyng;
The belles were tolled for ioy of this thyng.

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 159

1108Afterthe decesse of kynge Edwarde seniour 116
Ethelstan his sonne was coronate at London 117
Kynge of this lande / regnyng in honour
With power, regalite by true succession;
Valeant in chiualry and actes euerychone,
Subdued danes / scottes / norwayes / britons all,
Opteyned triumphe / and dignite imperiall. 118

stanza 160

1115The fourth year of his reigne / and the yere of grace
viii. hundreth .ii. and seuenty by full computacion
Guy erle of Warwike by fortune slayne hase
Colbrond the gyaunt / floure of danes nacion.
The sayd kyng Ethelstan by power and renowne
Thries subdued danes / and slewe the kyng of Irelande,
Nominat prince Anlaff / as we vnderstande. 119

stanza 161

1122 This noble Ethelstan was good and gracious
To all-holy churche / namely to religion,
Ryghtfull in iudgement / liberall and piteous
To his true subiectes through his dominion;
To mynstres and holy places had great affection,
Confirmed theyr foundacions with libertes clere,
Whose noble actes be touched on a lytell here:

stanza 161a

1128aRegia progenies produxit nobile stemma
Cum tenebris nostris illuxit splendida gemma
Magnus Ethelstanus patrie decus orbita recti
Illustris probitas a vero nescia flecti. 120

stanza 162

1129After Ethelstan regned Edmunde, his brothur, 121
Fyue yeres in honour / hauying great victory.
Princis Elred and Edwyn succided eytherothur, 122
In great business with scottes and danes, truly.
Next whom meke Edgare / sayth the history,
xvi. yere of age / coronate at Kyngston, 123
With peace and quietnes first ruled this region.

stanza 163

1136 In whose natiuite the blessed Dunstan
Herde angles singe with mycle melody. 124
'Peace is nowe come to Englande, certan,
Quitenes / and rest / honour / and victory.'
Of cornes and frutes that tyme was plentie;
Danes / norwaies / scottes / britons in euery place
Submytted them-selfe to the kynges grace.

stanza 164

1143Science encreased, true loue and amite,
Vertue was exalted in all this region;
Monasteries were edified of his benignite,
Endowed with riches / and riall possession:
xl. religious places by famous opinion
Were newly buylded by the sayd noble kyng,
In sondry places of this realme standyng.

stanza 165

1150 Secular prestes expulsed sothely were
From diuers monasteries with great discrecion, 125
Religious persones, repleit with vertue clere,
Entred their places cause deuocion;
Charite was feruent and holy religion;
The lyues of saynts were soth in eche place,
And written in legendes for our comfort and grace. 126

stanza 166

1157Many shyps were made vpon the kynges cost 127
To serche by the se all his lande about,
That no alian entre in no-maner cost,
By policie and manhod to holde all his ennemies out.
Danes / norwaies / scottes durst nat ones loke out -
Such drede all nacions had ensuynge the tyme
That kyng Edgare regned by prouidence diuine.

stanza 167

1164In progresse he passed ones in the yere
Eche quarter of the realme with his company,
To se that his subiectes well ordred were
And the lawe obserued / iustice with mercy.
Than was none oppression, wronges, nor iniury,
Debate, malice, rancour myght nat be founde;
True loue and charite was in all the londe.

stanza 168

1171 Kynge Edgare approched the cite of legions,
Nowe called Chestre / specified afore; 128
Where .viii. kynges mette of diuers nacions,
Redy to gyue Edgare reuerence and honour,
Legiance and fidelite depely sworne full sore
At the same cite: after to be obedient,
Promyt at his callyng to come to his parliament. 129

stanza 169

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

stanza 170

1185Whan the kynge had done his pylgrimage
And to the holy roode made oblacion,
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;
Where he gaue fredoms and priuileges speciall,
With singular possessions of his charite,
Confirmynge the olde grauntes by hye auctorite.

stanza 172

1199 This Edgare was nominate in cronicles expresse
'The floure of Englande', regnyng as emperour,
Lyke-wise Romulus to romains was of prowes,
Cyrus to the persis / to the grekes their conquerour,
Great Charles to frenchemen / to troians Hectour;
Famous in victorye, preignant in wysdome,
Vertuous and pacient / feruent in deuocion. 130

stanza 172a

1199a Auctor opum, vindix scelerum / largitor honorum,
Sceptriger Edgarus regna superna petit.
Hic alter Solomon / legum pater / orbita pacis,
Quod claruit bellis / claruit inde magis.
Templa deo / templis monachos / monachis dedit agros:
Nequitie lapsum / iusticieque loquum. 131

stanza 173

1206Also from the byrthe of our blessed sauiour
A thousande fyfty yere / and seuen expresse,
In the tyme of saynt Edwarde kyng and confessour, 132
As William Maluesbury beareth wytnes, 133
Than Leofricus, a man of great mekenes, 134
Was erle of Chestre and duke of merciens ,
Son to duke Leoffwin by liniall discence.

stanza 174

1213This noble Leofric, sayth policronicon, 135
Of his deuocion and beningne grace,
Namely by the counsell and vertues mocion
Of his lady Godith, countes whiche was, 136
Reedified churches decayed in many a place,
Also he founded the monastery of Leonence ,
By the towne of Herforde and the place of Wenlecence .

stanza 175

1220 This erle repareled a noble olde monastery,
Euesham vpon Auen / gaue them great riches;
Also founder was of the abbay in couentre ,
Made the cite free, for loue of his countesse: 137
At the cite of Chestre of his great goodnes
He repared the College-churche of saynt Iohn,
Endowed it with riches and enormentes many on.

stanza 176

1227This erle of Chestre, the sayd Leofricus,
Of his charite / and feruent deuocion
To the honour of god / reedified full gracious
The mynstre of Werburge within the sayd towne,
Gaue vnto it riches and singular possession,
Endowed the sayd place with fredoms and liberte
And speciall priuileges, confirmed by auctorite.

stanza 177

1234So the sayd place encreased in honour,
In great possessions / fredoms / and richesse;
With singular deuocion vnto our sauiour
And prayse to saynt Werburge, theyr patronesse,
The chanons obserued vertue and clennes,
Daily augmentyng by diuine sufferaunce
Vnto the comyng to this lande of normans.

chapter 16

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

stanza 178

1241The yere of grace .M. sixe and thre-scour,
The .xiii. day of the moneth of october
The duke of normandy / William conquerour, 138
Pight a stronge batell / displayed his baner,
Of normans and frenchemen hauynge great power,
Subdued kyng Harolde / opteyned all the londe,
Was coronate at London / made saxons all bonde.

stanza 179

1248For diuerse great causes he came to this countre:
First for deth of Alured, his nere kynsman; 139
The proscripcion 140 of Robert archebisshop of Canterbury; 141
The periury of Harolde agaynst conscience playne; 142
The promys of saynt Edwarde made to him, certayne, 143
That the sayd William shulde enioye the crowne,
If the kyng departed without succession.

stanza 180

1255A generall counsell was celebrate at London,
That all bysshops sees by helpe of the conquerour
From borowes shulde be translate to a famous towne
Within their diocese / to the greatter honour.
Ryght so they all were / sayth myn auctor; 144
Also the see of Lichfelde was translate to Chester,
By helpe and sufferaunce of the bysshop Peter. 145

stanza 181

1262With Wylliam conquerour came to this region
A noble worthy prynce nominate Hug. Lupus,
The dukes son of Britayne / and his syster son; 146
Flourynge in chiualry, bolde and victorious,
Manfull in batell / liberall and vertuous:
To whom the kyng gaue for his enheritaunce
The counte of Chesshire, with the appurtinaunce, 147

stanza 182

1269By victorie to wynne the forsayd Erledom,
Frely to gouerne it as by conquest right;
Made a sure chartre to hym and his succession,
By the swerde of dignite to holde it with myght,
And to calle a parlement to his wyll and syght,
To ordre his subiectes after true iustice
As a prepotent prince / and after statutes to deuise.

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,
Agaynst hym made batell and had the victorie; 148
Thries they preuayled agaynst the erle, trulie.
After he optayned to his fame and honour
The erledome of Chestre, entred as a conquerour.

stanza 184

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

stanza 185

1290After the departure of his vncle, the conquerour,
Whan William Ruff. toke the regalite, 149
Than blessed Anselme, the famous doctour, 150
Dyd viset this lande oft-tymes of his charite,
Glad to refourme / and brynge vnto vnite
Where was debate / and mycle diuision,
By diligent labour / and good exhortacion.

stanza 186

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

stanza 187

1304 Blessed Anselme at the erles supplicacion
Came vnto Chestre with gladde chere shortly:
Where he founded an abbaye of holy religion,
A pleasaunt place and a noble monasterye,
In worshyp of god / and saynt Werburge, sothely,
The yere of grace by full computacion
A thousande .iiii. score .xiii. yere alon. 151

stanza 188

1311All secular prestes / and chanons also,
Within the sayd place afore-tyme dwellyng
Were clerely dismyssed / and letten go;
Religious monkes, perfect in lyuynge,
Receyued were gladly their rule professynge.
Saynt Anselme ordeyned Richard of Beccense
To be their abbot with great preeminence. 152

stanza 189

1318Landes / rentes / libertes / and great possession,
Franches / fredoms / and priuileges riall
Were gyuen mekely to that foundacion,
Maners / borowes / townes / with the people thrall,
And many faire churches / chapels withall,
Wardes and mariages were gyuen that season
To god and saynt Werburge, cause of deuocion; 153

stanza 190

1325 Kyng Wyllyam Ruff, son to the conquerour, 154
Confirmed the foundacion / with great auctorite,
Endowed the monastery with mycle honour
Of fredoms / franches / also liberte.
The place that tyme was made as fre
As the sayd erle was in his castell,
Or as hert myght thynke / or tonge myght tell.

stanza 191

1332 Saynt Anselme departed thence vnto London
And was made archebisshop of Canturbury.
To the place he gaue a sure confirmacion,
With singular priuileges to be had in memory;
Of whom it is written here folowyng, truly:
Hic vir dum vixit, extirpantes maledixit
Werburge iura presentia siue futura. 155

stanza 192

1339 This noble prince gaue of his charite
Riall riche enormentes vnto the sayd place,
Coopes / crosses / Iewels of great rialte,
Chales / censures / vestures and landes dyd purchace;
A librarie of bokes to rede and synge there was -
Of whiche riall iewels and bokes some remayne
Within the sayd monastery to thys day, certayne.

stanza 193

1346 The founder also buylded within the monasterie
Many myghty places / conuenient for religion,
Compased with stronge walles on the west partie
And on the other syde with Walles of the towne,
Closed at euery ende with a sure postron ,
In south part the cimiterie inuironed rounde about.
For a sure defence ennemies to holde out.

stanza 194

1353The .ix. yere aftre this riall foundacion,
This noble founder the .xxvii. day of Iuly
Departed to-warde the heuenly mancion. 156
Next whom his son Richarde succeded, truly, 157
Than regnyng in honour was the first kyng Henry. 158
Also the place had their fraunches and fredom
Afore the sayd cite a hundreth yere and one. 159

chapter 20

Howe a great fire, like to distroye all Chestre, by myracle ceased / whan the holy shryne was borne about the towne by the monkes.

stanza 229

1598From the incarnacion of our sauiour
A thousand / a hundreth yere, .lxxx. also,
On sonday in mydlenton / the .viii. houre,
Whan euery paresshen theyr churche went to
As all christen people of dutie shulde do,
A fyre by infortune rose vp sodeinly,
All flamyng feruent or the people dyd espy. 160

stanza 230

1605This fearefull fire encreased more and more,
Piteously wastyng hous / chambre / and hall;
The citezens were redy their cite to succour,
Shewed all their diligence / and labour continuall,
Some cried for water / and some for hookes dyd call, 161
Some vsed other engins by crafte and policy,
Some pulled downe howses afore the fire, truly.

stanza 231

1612Other, that were impotent / mekely gan praye
Our blessed lorde / on them to haue pite;
Women and children cried 'out and waile-a-way',
Beholdyng the daunger and perill of the cite;
Prestes made hast diuine seruice to supple,
Redy for to succour their neyghbours in distres
(As charite required) and helpe their heuynes.

stanza 232

1619The fire contynued without any cessynge,
Feruently flamyng euer contynuall,
From place to place meruaylously rennyng,
As it were tynder consumyng toure and wall.
The citezens sadly laboured in vayne all;
By the policie of man was founde no remedy
To cesse the fire so feruent and myghty.

stanza 233

1626Alas, great heuynes it was to beholde
The cite of Troye all flamyng as fire; 162
More pite of Rome cite was manyfolde,
Feruently flagrant / empeiryng the empire: 163
As to the quantite, the cite of Chestire
Myght be assembled this styme in like case
To the sayd citees, remedeles, alas!

stanza 234

1633 Many riall places fell adowne that day,
Riche marchauntes houses brought to distruction,
Churches and chapels went to great decay:
That tyme was brent the more part of the towne;
And to this present day is a famous opinion
Howe a myghty churche, a mynstre of saynt Michaell,
That season was brent and to ruyne fell. 164

stanza 235

1640Whan the people sawe their power insufficient,
By diligent labour / wysdome and policye,
To subdue the fire / but styll dyd augment:
To almyghty god they dyd call and crye
And to saynt Werburge, the gracious lady,
For helpe and succour in such wretchednes,
Wepyng and waylyng for woo and heuynes.

stanza 236

1647 Thabbot and couent of the sayd monasterie
Religiously lyuyng in holy conuersacion,
Repleit with mekenes and feruent charite,
Toke the holy shryne in prayer and deuocion,
Syngyng the letanie bare it in procession,
Compasyng the fyre in euery strete and place,
Trustyng in Werburge for helpe, aide and grace.

stanza 237

1654Whan they had ended the holy letanye
From place to place procedyng in stacion,
Anone a stremyng sterre appered sodaynlye,
A white doue descended afore the congregacion
Approchyng as to helpe them / a signe of consolacion.
The people reioysed of that gostly syght
And praysed saynt Werburge with power and myght.

stanza 238

1661So by >the merite of this blessed virgin
The fire began to cesse - / a myracle clere -
Nat passyng the place / where the holy shryne
Was borne by the bretherne / as playnly dyd appere.
The citezens dyd helpe in their best manere;
The feruent great fire extincted was in-dede
By grace aboue nature / in story we may rede. 165

stanza 239

1668 The clergie, the burges / and the comons all,
Consyderynge the goodnes of this virgin bright,
With tendernes of hert and loue in speciall
Magnified and praysed our lorde god almyght
And blessed Werburge by day, also nyght,
Whiche hath preserued of her great charite
Chestre from distruction in extreme necessite.

stanza 240

1675Vnto her shryne the people all went,
The clergie before, in maner of procession,
Thankyng this virgin with loue feruent
For her mercy and grace shewed them vpon;
Deuoutly knelynge there made oblacion,
Sayeng full sadly / 'we shall neuer able be
The place to recompence for this ded of charite'. 166

chapter 21

A breue rehersall of the myracles of saynt Werburge after her translacion to Chestre

stanza 241

1682These fore-sayd myracles and signes celestiall, 167
By diuine sufferaunce shewed manifestly,
Magnifien this virgin and blessed moiniall
With mycle worshyp, honour and victory,
Playnly declaryng vnto your memory
What singular grace / worshyp / and excellence
Our sauiour shewed for his spouse openly, 168
As is rehersed at masse in her sequens. 169

stanza 242

1690To expresse all myracles written in the place
In a boke nominate the third passionarye, 170
It wolde require a longe tyme and space,
To the reders tedious (no meruayle sothly).
Wher[for]e we omytte to writte of them specially,
But touched in generall vnto your audience,
To reioyse and comfort your hertes inwardly,
As ye may considre in her sequens.

stanza 243

1698Certaynly, it is knowen by bokes express:
Sith that saynt Werburge came to Chestre cite,
By the power of god and myracle, doutles,
She hath defended the towne from ennemite,
From barbarike nacions full of crudelite,
Of who we haue shewed with diligence,
Preseruyng her seruauntes / and the monastery,
As is declared in her true sequence.

stanza 244

1706Also of her goodnes preserued she hase
The sayd towne from fire in extreme necessite;
Many diuers tymes to their ioye and solace
Releuyng the citezens in wo and penalite.
For it is well knowen, by olde antiquite
Sith the holy shryne came to their presence,
It hath ben their comfort and gladnes, truly,
As playnly appereth in her sequens.

stanza 245

1714Also to blynde men she hath gyuen syght,
To dombe men speche right perfectly,
To deffe men their heryng pleasaunt and right,
And helth to sicke men repleit with debilite,
Delyuered prisoners from captiuite,
Passage to lame men / to mad men intelligence;
Suche myracles shewed this blessed lady,
As ye may vnderstande in her sequens.

stanza 246

1722Women with childe by her had good delyueraunce,
Virgins defended from shame and vilany;
Her seruauntes were cured from wofull greuaunce,
Marchantes and mariners delyuered from ieopardye;
Other were saued from hangyng shamfully;
A speciall comfort, succour and defence
To all carefull creatures sekyng for remedy,
By singular grace / as sayth the sequens.

stanza 247

1730No wofull person in payne and wretchednes,
Man, woman, childe / who-so-euer they be,
Comynge to the abbay with perfit mekenes,
Makyng supplicacion to this lady free,
But they departed ioyfull and merie
To theyr dwellyng-place by her beniuolence,
And for their lyuyng had all thyng necessarie,
As written is playnly in her sequens.

stanza 248

1738For whiche great myracles and signes continuall
This blessed Werburge, floure of humilite ,
Of the people is called for grace supernall
'Patrones of Chestre' / protrectrice of the countre.
Where next our sauiour and his mother Marie
She hath great honour, prayse and preeminence,
As most condigne to beare the principalite,
In witnes wherof recordeth her sequens.

stanza 249

1746This holy abbasse and lady imperiall
Hath ben president in Chestre monasterie,
Theyr trust / theyr treasure / and defence speciall
In mycle reuerence .vii. hundreth yere, trulie;
And so shall continue, by grace of god almyghty,
To the worldes ende, in hie magnificence.
To whom be honour, worship and glorie
Euer to endure / as sayth her sequens.


Bradshaw's use of the terms 'comyn people' here may imply a specific allusion to the medieval social theory of the 'three estates': church, nobility and 'commoners'. Bradshaw defines the commoners by their lack of access to literature and learning - and thus to good manners and refined behaviour. For a discussion of the 'three estates' in medieval social ideology and literature, see Mohl, 1962 and 'Medieval Estates and Orders: Making and Breaking Rules: An Overview', Norton Topics Online. Back to context...
Variants of the phrase 'manners make the man' occur in a range of Middle English texts, including the Proverbs of Wisdom or Wise Man's Proverbs. See Schleich, 1927, 222. Back to context...
Romans 15:4 Back to context...
Ultimately deriving from Paul's Letter to the Romans, the assertion that 'all is written for our doctrine' is a commonplace in later medieval English literature. See for example Chaucer's Retractions to The Canterbury Tales or Caxton's Preface to Malory's Morte Darthur See Benson, 1988, 328 and Vinaver, 1971, xv. Back to context...
Christopher Cannon has commented on the innovative use of the term 'lytterature' here, and the role of Bradshaw's discussion in establishing a new 'category of literature'. See Cannon, 2008, 150-1 and Cannon, 2002, 321 and 345-7. Back to context...
The seven liberal arts were the combined disciplines of the Trivium (grammar, rhetoric, logic) and Quadrivium (geometry, arithmetic, music, astronomy) as taught in the medieval university, and formed the basis of medieval knowledge and learning. See Rait, 1912, or for a more detailed discussion Wagner, 1983. Back to context...
Bradshaw makes a basic distinction between civil (secular) law and ecclesiastical or ecclesiastical-influenced (canon) law). For an introduction to different systems of law in the Middle Ages, see 'Illuminating the Law: Legal Manuscripts at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge' . Back to context...
Bradshaw locates his Life of St Werburge within the category of hagiography or saints' lives. Back to context...
In this line Bradshaw addresses the reader directly. See also below, line 57, line 64, and line 72. Back to context...
The term 'compilacion' draws attention to the nature of the text as an assimilation of earlier sources relating to the life of St Werburgh. See similarly 'compilacion' below, line 86, and 'abstract', line 65. Back to context...
See Goscelin, Life of St Wærburh, Ch. 1. (Love, 2004, 30-1.) Back to context...
See for example Book I, lines 1982-2275 (Horstmann or via Literature Online - subscription only) and Goscelin, Life of St Wærburh, Ch. 1, pp. 28-33. Back to context...
Following his sources, Bradshaw tells us that Werburgh entered the monastic life at Ely. See Book I, lines 1485-1547 (Horstmann, 1887 or via Literature Online - subscription only) and Goscelin, Life of St Wærburh, Ch. 2 (Love, 2004, 34-7). Back to context...
Werburgh was abbess at Weedon, Trentham, Hanbury, Minster in Sheppey and Ely. See Book I, lines 1982-2611 (Horstmann or via Literature Online - subscription only) Back to context...
See Book I, lines 3061-3174 (Horstmann, 1887 or via Literature Online - subscription only). Back to context...
See Book I, lines 3175-3244 (Horstmann, 1887 or via Literature Online - subscription only). Back to context...
Bradshaw gives an account of the translation of Werburgh's body (at Hanbury) in Book I, lines 3280-3455 (Horstmann, 1887 or via Literature Online - subscription only). Back to context...
Bradshaw's reference to his text as an 'abstract' or 'abridgement' emphasises its nature as an assimilation of earlier sources relating to St Werburgh and medieval history. Back to context...
King Edward the Elder (ruled 899-924). See PASE [Invalid PASE ID: PASE URL] and below, line 1108. Back to context...
King Æthelstan (ruled c. 924-939). See PASE and below, lines 1109-1128. Back to context...
King Edgar (ruled Northumbria and Mercia from 959 and all of Anglo-Saxon England until 975). See PASE and below, lines 1133-1205. Back to context...
Leofric, Earl of the Mercians (died 1057). See PASE and below, lines 1210-1240. Back to context...
Hugh d'Avranches, first Earl of Chester (died 1101). See DNB (subscription only) and below, lines 1262-1359. Back to context...
Anselm, Abbot of Bec and Archbishop of Canterbury (c.1033-1109). See DNB (subscription only) and below, lines 1262-1359. Back to context...
Richard Earl of Chester, son of Hugh d'Avranches (died in the White Ship disaster, 1120). See the end of the entry on Hugh d'Avranches, DNB (subscription only). Back to context...
Book II, lines 1416-1485 (Horstmann, 1887 or via Literature Online - subscription only). Back to context...
The pleas to the Holy Trinity and Werburgh to help 'make a good ende' and 'this warke to amende' are multivalent, sugesting both the 'end' of the textual 'work' which Bradshaw is producing, as well as the 'end' of the 'work' of a good Christian life. Bradshaw's concern with 'making a good end' perhaps gains further significance as we know that he died, perhaps still as a relatively young man, shortly after completing the Life of St Werburge. See Horstmann, 1887, vi-vii. Back to context...
The idea of the Danish raids as a 'punishment' or divine retribution enacted on the people of Britain dates back to contemporary texts from the Anglo-Saxon period. See for example Alcuin, The Destruction of Lindisfarne in Godman, 1985, 127-39 and Wulfstan of York, Sermo Lupi ad Anglos, Whitelock, 1963 or Melissa Bernstein Ser, ed., The Electronic Sermo Lupi ad Anglos. Back to context...
Burgred, King of the Mercians (ruled 852-874). See PASE. Back to context...
Bradshaw's account of the translation of Werburgh is an expanded version of that in Higden's Polychronicon, Book V, Ch. XVIII. See Babington and Lumby, 1865-86, vol. 5, 126-8. Back to context...
Through the metaphor of 'flagellacion', associated with the extreme penitential practice of scourging, Bradshaw further reinforces the idea of the Danish invasions as a penance imposed by God. Back to context...
Bradshaw uses the term 'citizen' in its conventional medieval sense to apply to those residents of the city who had particular rights and privileges. See E.L. Skip Kox, Medieval Society: Towns Back to context...
Bradshaw's stylised description of the procession through the streets of Chester allows him to set out an idealised version of medieval society, adapting the theory of the 'three estates' to depict the well-ordered hierarchy of Chester and its inhabitants. The clergy (the first estate) are followed by the secular nobility (the second estate). After the nobility of the shire come the citizens of Chester - those particular inhabitants of the city who have the full rights and privileges of citizenship. Following the citizens we have the higher-ranking women of Chester, including virgins, widows and wives - the three conditions of woman or 'female estates'. Finally, the commoners (the third estate) end the procession. Bradshaw's vision of the ranks and orders of society represents his own late-medieval experience and ideology, rather than the realities of ninth-century Anglo-Saxon social organisation. For further discussion of the 'three estates' in medieval society and literature see Mohl, 1962 and Medieval Estates and Orders: Making and Breaking Rules: An Overview (Norton Topics Online). Back to context...
The lily is a conventional symbol of virginity and chastity in medieval literature. Back to context...
'Victoriall' appears in several late Middle English texts in specific collocations which refer to the (actual or metaphorical) pilgrim's badge or symbol of victory. See for example 'crownys victoriall' in Wisdom, Eccles, 1969, 150. Bradshaw's choice of language this subtly casts the Chester procession as proto-pilgrims approaching Werburgh's shrine. The particular incidence of 'victoricall' in medieval English dramatic texts might also suggest its association with a performative, ritual context, such as that depicted by Bradshaw here. Back to context...
Here again Bradshaw distinguishes three groups amongst urban secular society: the nobility, fully enfranchised citizens, and the commoners - either inhabitants of the city or those living outside who did not enjoy the full status and rights of a citizen. Back to context...
The words of the prayer to Werburgh echo those of the Marian prayer Ave Maria ('Hail Mary'), in which the Virgin is addressed as 'gratia plena' ('full of grace'). The other metaphors used here for Werburgh ('floure of mekenes', 'cristall of clennes', also 'rose' in line 317 and 'diamonde' or 'gemme' in line 318 also recall the conventional imagery of medieval Marian hymns. Back to context...
The sapphire is a common epithet for the Virgin Mary in medieval literature. Bradshaw seems specifically to suggest a yellow sapphire here, which was associated with powers of healing and protection in medieval gemology. See for example Evans and Serjeantson, 1933, 100-123 and 120 or Stones in Sharon Coolidge, Medieval Literature Annotated Bibliography. Back to context...
The pageantry accompanying the arrival of Werburgh's relics into Chester suggests the pomp and ceremonial of the medieval 'civic triumph' or 'royal entry', in which a monarch was welcomed into an - obedient and celebrating - city. For discussion of the practice, see Kipling, 1998, and for a late-medieval literary account, see Richard Maidstone's Concordia (Carlson, 2003 or the TEAMS online edition). Back to context...
Werburgh's body had already been translated once at Hanbury, nine years after her death. See Book I, lines 3280-3455 (Horstmann, 1887 or via Literature Online - subscription only). Back to context...
King Alfred 'the Great' (ruled 871-899). See PASE. Back to context...
See Asser's Life of King Alfred the Great, Ch. 102 in Smyth, 2002, 50-1 or via the Online Medieval and Classical Library. Back to context...
These lines are taken from a longer panegyric to Alfred in Henry of Huntingdon’s Historia Anglorum. The text given by Diana Greenway is largely identical, except for a few differences in orthography and punctuation, although Bradshaw’s version reverses the order of the fifth and sixth lines and changes them from a direct second-person address to the third person. There are also some errors in Bradshaw’s transcription. Greenway’s translation of the Henry of Huntingdon lines used by Bradshaw runs thus: 'Inborn nobility gave you, valiant Alfred, the dignity of prowess, and prowess gave you toil, and toil gave you an everlasting name. For you rejoicing was always accompanied by grief, hope always mixed with fear. If today you were among the victors, you trembled for tomorrow’s battles; if today you were defeated, you made ready for the battles of tomorrow. Now after the labours he performed in his life and reign, may Christ be his true rest and an everlasting sceptre'. See Greenway 1996, 298, 299. Back to context...
The description of the city of Chester and account of its origins in the subsequent stanzas follows Higden's Polychronicon, Book I, Ch. XLVIII (Babington and Lumby, 1865-86, vol. 2, 74-6). Back to context...
The Roman Emperor Claudius I (ruled 41 C.E. - 54 C.E.), whose reign saw the conquest of Britain. Back to context...
Caeruska means 'the city on the river Usk'. Back to context...
Caerleon means 'the city of Legions'. Belinus is a legendary king of the Britons. See Geoffrey of Monmouth, The History of the Kings of Britain, Part III (Thorpe, 1966, 90-100). 'He restored existing cities wherever they had fallen into decay and he founded many new ones. Among the others which he founded was a certain city on the bank of the River Usk, near to the Severn Sea: this was the capital of Demetia [south Wales] and for a long time it was called Kaerusc. When the Romans came the earlier name was dropped and it was re-named the City of the Legions, taking its title from the Roman Legions who used to winter there' (99). Back to context...
Bradshaw imagines the Roman legionaries in the style of the chivalrous knights of medieval romance. See also below, line 377. Back to context...
Line 371 seems to reflect an error in reading Higden. Higden's Polychronicon describes Caerleon or Caerusk as an important city in south Wales. However, it is Chester 'quae tempore Britonum caput fuit et metropolis Venedotiae, id est, Norwalliae' ('which in the time of the Britons was the chief city of Wenedocia, that is, North Wales'). Wenedocia is in fact North Wales, and in addition Bradshaw seems to have confused the two 'cities of legions'. See the Polychronicon, Book I, Ch. XLVIII (Babington and Lumby, 1865-86, vol. 2, 78). Back to context...
The Roman Emperor Julius Caesar (ruled 49 B.C.E. - 44 B.C.E.), who led the first Roman invasion of Britain in 55 B.C.E. Back to context...
Higden, Polychronicon, Book I, Ch. XLVIII (Babington and Lumby, 1865-86, vol. 2, 78). Back to context...
In these stanzas, Bradshaw unpicks the different names applied to places within Britain to reveal a narrative of invasion, conquest and cultural change. Yet Bradshaw constructs these different names as historical layers, replaced in chronological progression, eliding the reality that alternative names exist for sites, including Chester, within his own period (e.g. English - Chester, Welsh - Caer). These stanzas implicitly relegate cultural difference to history, obscuring the multiple cultural communities and multiple names still operating along the Welsh Marches in Bradshaw's present. Back to context...
Higden does not in fact name Chester's founder, saying that Chester is a city 'cujus fundator ignoratur' ('whose founder is unknown'), but adding that the city appears to many observers to be 'giganteo labore' ('the work of giants'). See Higden, Polychronicon, Book I, Ch. XLVIII (Babington and Lumby, 1865-86, vol. 2, 78). The name Lleon Gauer appears to be an extrapolation from Caerleon, combined with an approximation of the Welsh for giant (gawr). Back to context...
Leil or Leir, mythical king of the Britons. See Geoffrey of Monmouth, The History of the Kings of Britain, Part II (Thorpe, 1966, 79-80). Back to context...
Carlisle in north-west England. See Geoffrey of Monmouth, The History of the Kings of Britain, Part II (Thorpe, 1966, 80). 'Leil took advantage of the prosperity f his reign to build a town in the northern part of Britain which he called Kaerleil after himself.' Whilst Higden also refers to Leil as the founder of Carlisle, he does not make the connection with Chester. See Higden, Polychronicon, Book I, Ch. XLVIII (Babington and Lumby, 1865-86, vol. 2, 68). Back to context...
Higden is in fact somewhat ambiguous on the foundation of Chester. Having stated that the founder of Chester is unknown, Higden remarks that the city would seem to the observer to be 'Romano seu giganteo labore, quam Britannico sudore fundata' ('founded on the work of giants or Romans, rather than the effort of Britons' (Book I, Ch. XLVIII. See Babington and Lumby, 1865-86, vol. 2, 78). Bradshaw (seemingly wilfully) mis-reads Higden at this point, in order to emphasise his own claims for the British origins of the city. Back to context...
See Geoffrey of Monmouth, The History of the Kings of Britain, Part IV (Thorpe, 1966, 123-4). Back to context...
Here Bradshaw notes the existence of different, competing foundation myths for Chester. Back to context...
'Reodric' corresponds with 'Sodric' in Geoffrey of Monmouth's account. See Geoffrey of Monmouth, The History of the Kings of Britain, Part IV (Thorpe, 1966, 123): 'A little later on in his reign a certain King of the Picts called Sodric came from Scythia with a large fleet and landed in the northern part of Britain which is called Albany. He began to ravage Marius' lands. Marius thereupon collected his men together and marched to meet Sodric. He fought a number of battles against him and finally killed him and won a great victory. In token of his triumph Marius set up a stone in the district, which was afterwards called Westmorland after him'. Higden gives the name as 'Rodricus'. See Higden, Polychronicon, Book IV, Ch. IX (Babington and Lumby, 1865-86, vol. 4, 416-19) Back to context...
'City of legions' translates the Welsh Caerleon. Back to context...
The phrase 'Cestria quasi Castria' corresponds with the first line of Higden's poem in praise of Chester, 'Cestria de castro nomen quasi Castria sumpsit' ('Chester, like a fortress, assumes the name of a castle'). The subsequent references to the buildings of Chester in this stanza also derive from Hidgen's poem. See Higden Polychronicon, Book I, Ch. XLVIII (Babington and Lumby, 1865-86, vol. 2, 80-2). Back to context...
See Geoffrey of Monmouth, The History of the Kings of Britain, Part IV (Thorpe, 1966, 124-6): '[Lucius's] great wish was that he should end in even greater esteem than he had begun, and he therefore sent a letter to Pope Eleutherius to ask that he might be received by him into the Christian faith... What he asked for in his pious petition was granted to him: for the Holy Father, when he heard of the devotion of Lucius, sent him two learned and religious men, Faganus and Duvianus, who preached the Incarnation of the Word of God and so converted Lucius to Christ and washed him clean in holy baptism'. See also Bede, Ecclesiastical History, Book I, Ch. 4 (Colgrave and Mynors, 1969, 24, 25). Back to context...
'Greater Britain' as opposed to Bretagne, the region in the north-west of present-day France. Back to context...
That is, Caerleon in south Wales. Back to context...
Bradshaw's reference to the three Germanic tribes of the Angles, Saxons and Jutes is a commonplace of medieval English historiography, following Bede's narrative in the Ecclesiastical History, Book I, Ch. 15. See Colgrave and Mynors, 1969, 48-53. Back to context...
Saint Augustine, sent by Pope Gregory to convert the Germanic tribes living within Britain. See Bede Ecclesiastical History, Book I, Ch. 23 (Colgrave and Mynors, 1969, 68-71) and PASE. Back to context...
King Æthelberht of Kent (ruled c.580-616). See Bede, Ecclesiastical History, Book I, Ch. 25-6 (Colgrave and Mynors, 1969, 72-79) and PASE. Back to context...
See Bede, Ecclesiastical History, Book II, Ch. 2 (Colgrave and Mynors, 1969, 136-143). Back to context...
That is, Augustine approaches Chester where the monks of Bangor await him. Back to context...
Æthelfrith of Northumbria (died 616). Ruled the kingdom of Bernicia from c.593 and the kingdom of Deira from c.604, making him the first king of the area later known as Northumbria. See Bede, Ecclesiastical History, Book I, Ch. 34 (Colgrave and Mynors, 1969, 116-7) and Book II, Ch. 2 (Colgrave and Mynors, 1969, 134-143). Higden also refers to the massacre of the Bangor monks at Chester, giving the number of those killed as 2,200. See Higden, Polychronicon,Book V, Ch. X (Babington and Lumby, 1865-86, vol. 5, 420). Back to context...
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...
Edward the Elder (ruled 899-924). See PASE. Back to context...
Æthelræd of Mercia (ruled c. 833-911). Whilst ruling Mercia as 'earl' or 'ealdormann', Æthelræd was subject to the authority of King Alfred of Wessex, as Bradshaw explains here. Back to context...
See PASE. As Bradshaw notes in the following line, Æthelflæd was the eldest daughter of King Alfred, so a distant female relative of Æthlraed. Back to context...
This appellation echoes the title 'Lady of the Mercians', given to Æthelflæd in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (DEF versions) and in later texts. See for example the entry for 918 'Her Æthelflæd forðferde Myrcena hlæfdige' ('In this year Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians, died') (Irvine, 2004). Back to context...
Bradshaw is the only extant source for this late tradition that Æthelflæd enlarged the church of St Peter and Paul and re-dedicated it to Werburgh, founding a new church of St Peter in the centre of the city. See below, lines 625-31 and A.T. Thacker, Medieval Parish Churches, Lewis and Thacker, 2005, 133-155, 153, also available via British History Online. Back to context...
Bradshaw appears to allude to the popular medieval tradition that Æthelflæd was the true power behind her husband's rule. Back to context...
Though there is no specific evidence for the inscription Bradshaw mentions, Alan Thacker notes that fragments of tenth-century memorial stones were recovered from St John's churchyard in the late nineteenth century. See A.T. Thacker, Collegiate Church of St. John, Lewis and Thacker, 2005, 125-133, 125, also available via British History Online. Back to context...
These lines refer to Edmund I King of England (ruled 939-46), son of Edward the Elder and grandson of King Alfred. See PASE. Back to context...
As in line 545, above, and lines 622-4, below, Bradshaw again uses legalistic language here to indicate the legitimate, rightful endowments and possessions of St Werburgh's. Back to context...
Secular canons lived in communities like monks, subject ro regulations, but were also ordained as priests. For a full discussion of the status of canons, see Loyn, 1991, 232-3. Back to context...
That is, Earl Æthelræd. Back to context...
Alan Thacker observes that 'the parish church of St. Oswald, king and martyr, originated in association with the minster church which eventually became the Benedictine Abbey of St. Werburgh. A late tradition [found in Bradshaw] that the cult of St. Oswald was introduced when the minster was re-founded by Æthelflæd of Mercia gains plausibility from the fact that she translated the same saint's remains to Gloucester in 909'. See A.T. Thacker, Medieval Parish Churches, Lewis and Thacker, 2005, 133-155, 149-50, also available via British History Online. Back to context...
See line 504, above. Back to context...
Lines 642-5 look back to the period of ruin and decay before Æthelflæd's intervention and restoration of Chester. See A.T. Thacker, Early Medieval Chester, Lewis and Thacker, 2003, 16-33, 17, also available via British History Online. Back to context...
Æthelræd died in 911. Back to context...
Due to her power and authority, together with her skills as diplomat and military tactician, medieval sources remember Æthelflæd as a woman capable of acting 'manfully'. The twelfth-century chronicler Henry of Huntingdon, for example, remarks that 'This lady is said to have been so powerful that in praise and exaltation of her wonderful gifts, some call her not only lady, or queen, but even king'. See Greenway, 1996, 309 and below, lines 666a-h. Back to context...
See line 637, and note, above. Back to context...
The brother of Æthelflæd was Edward the Elder, son of King Alfred (ruled 899-924). See PASE. Back to context...
Bradshaw derives this verse epitaph from Henry of Huntingdon, Historia Anglorum (Greenway, 1996, 308, 309). The epitaph is discussed in (Hessler, 1923, available via JSTOR (subscription only). Diana Greenway presents the verse and its translation as follows: O Eilfleda potens, O terror uirgo uirorum, Victrix nature, nomine digna uiri. Te, quo splendidior fieres, natura puellam, Te probitas fecit nomen habere uiri. Te mutare decet, sed solam, nomina sexus, Tu regina potens rexque trophea parans. Iam nec Cesarei tantum meruere triumphi, Cesare splendidior, uirgo uirago uale. O mighty Athelflaed! O virgin, the dread of men, conqueror of nature, worthy of a man's name! Nature made you a girl, so you would be more illustrious; your prowess made you acquire the name of man. For you alone it is right to change the name of your sex: you were a mighty queen and a king who won victories. Even Caesar's triumphs did not bring such great rewards. Virgin heroine, more illustrious than Caesar, farewell. Back to context...
The miracles of Werburgh narrated in this chapter and those following are apparently derived from Bradshaw's source, the 'third passionary'. See below, line 1691 and note. Back to context...
Whilst this stanza refers to Bradshaw's 'humble stile' it in fact offers a good example of the difficult language and high style he often chooses to employ in The Life of St Werburge. For example, he pairs the noun 'prayse' with the synonym 'laudacion', rhyming with 'commendacion' and investing the stanza with prestigious Latinate vocabulary. 'Sentence consequent' is also a deliberately Latinate and also potentially difficult phrase: whilst 'sentence', referring to a text's meaning or message, is a common term in late Middle English literature, the participle 'consequent' ('resulting, consequent') is less usual. Back to context...
'Spouses' here refers to the Christian people in Chester (and more widely) in general, alluding to the biblical idea of the Church as the Bride of Christ (see for example 2 Corinthians 11:2). Bradshaw may have specifically selected this metaphor in order to foreground relevant metaphors of femininity and female virtue or obedience. Back to context...
Edward the Elder (ruled 899-924). See PASE. Back to context...
Bradshaw’s comment on the change of names from ‘britons’ to ‘walshemen’ is significant. He regards the Britons as prestigious, honourable ancestors, who nurtured Christianity at Chester after the withdrawal of Rome and who founded the city itself. Indeed, Bradshaw places great emphasis on the perceived British origins of the city, celebrating (and perhaps inventing) the role of ‘Kynge Leil, a Briton sure and valiant’ (see line 383). For Bradshaw, the change in nomenclature to ‘Welsh’ reflects his perception of the degeneracy of the Britons in the medieval period. His inclusion of this remark in conjunction with an observation that the Welsh became ‘segregate’ at this time perhaps also suggests his knowledge of the Anglo-Saxon etymology of the term from wælisc (‘foreign, alien’). Back to context...
Though Bradshaw dates these events to the reign of Edward the Elder, 'Griffinus' is probably to be associated with Gruffudd ap Llewelyn, King of Gwynedd (ruled 1055-1063). See further notes at line 694, below. Back to context...
'Mortall' here may suggest either Griffin's doomed martial ambitions regarding Chester (which are thwarted by Werburgh), or the deadly nature of envy itself as one of the seven cardinal sins. Back to context...
Alan Thacker suggests that, whilst 'puzzling', this story 'may represent some confused memory of the 1050s, when Gruffudd intrigued with Earl Ælfgar of Mercia, Magnus, son of King Harald Hardrada of Norway, and the men of the Isles'. See A.T. Thacker, Early Medieval Chester 400-1230, Lewis and Thacker, 2003, 16-33, 24, also available via British History Online. Back to context...
Brashaw's remark that the Dee represents a 'sure diuision' between England and Wales contrasts with the comments of Gerald of Wales, who notes that '[t]he local inhabitants maintain that the Dee moves its fords every month and that, as it inclines more towards England or Wales in this change of channel, so they can prognosticate which nation will beat the other or be successful in war in any particular year'. See Thorpe, 1978, 198. Back to context...
Here Bradshaw refers again to his source, the 'third passionary'. See below, line 1691 and note Back to context...
Alan Thacker suggests that this episode is to be associated with 'Edward the Confessor and Harold Godwinson's conflict with Gruffudd ap Llewelyn, king of Gwynedd, in the 1050s and early 1060s'. See A.T. Thacker, Early Medieval Chester 400-1230, Lewis and Thacker, 2003, 16-33, 24, also available via British History Online Back to context...
Bradshaw alludes here to commandments eight and ten amongst the 'Ten Commandments (Exodus 20), which exhort 'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy' and 'the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your manservant or your maidservant, or your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates'. Back to context...
For discussion of the late-antique and medieval convention that tears demonstrate sincere emotion, see Rosenwein 2006, 49-50. Back to context...
This probably recalls Moses' prescriptions regarding justice and the law in Exodus 20. Back to context...
The hanged man's recollection of Werburgh's previous acts of mercy, as well as his prayers, provide a set of precedents which seemingly move the saint to act. Back to context...
Robert Barrett reads this episode as evidence of the tensions between St Werburgh's and the secular civic authorities in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, observing how here '[t]he saint's intervention repudiates corrupt civic justice'. However, despite the pro-monastic propagandist intent, this story and others in the Life of St Werburge turn out to be 'ineffectual fantasies'. See Barrett, 2009, 49. Back to context...
This stanza, with its stylised scene of the white dove freeing the innocent man from the gallows, is marked by a particularly intense use of alliteration. This is most evident in lines 970-2. Back to context...
These stanzas, in the form printed by Pynson, are problematic. The chapter heading refers to the man who was 'thries hanged' ('hanged three times'), yet the narrative only refers to the man being hanged twice (lines 956-7 and lines 977-8). The adverb 'Thus' at the beginning of line 979 is also puzzling, as no explanation of how the prisoner has been freed is given. Back to context...
King Edward the Elder died in 924. Back to context...
King Æthelstan (ruled c.924-939). See PASE. Back to context...
This stanza alludes to Æthelstan's claimed status as King of All Britain. Contemporary charters refer to him as 'imperator' ('emperor') and 'King of the whole of Britain'. See PASE. The reference to 'danes / scotes / norwayes / britons' in line 1113 may specifically recall the poem The Battle of Brunanburh in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (versions A-D) for the year 937, which gives an account of a successful battle led by Æthelstan against various Scandinavian and British armies (see Campbell, 1938). Bradshaw may have known the poem via its translation into alliterative Latin verse by Henry of Huntingdon (see Greenway, 1996, 310-11). Back to context...
This condensed account of the exploits of Æthelstan and Guy of Warwick derives from medieval romance tradition. ‘This condensed account of the exploits of Æthelstan and Guy of Warwick derives from medieval romance tradition. M. Dominica Legge notes that ‘Guy of Warwick never existed, but his name may be derived from Wigod of Wallingford, Edward the Confessor’s cup-bearer, one of whose daughters married Robert d’Oilli; and some of his exploits may be borrowed from Brian Fitzcount, husband of his other daughter, who defended Wallingford in 1139. The fight between Guy and the Dane Colebrand is supposed to have been inspired by the Battle of Brunanburgh. It became, in England, the most popular incident in the story…’. See Legge, 1963, 162. Clearly this association between Guy, Æthelstan and Brunanburh is the reason for the allusion here. Romances of Guy of Warwick enjoyed great popularity in England in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, with further versions composed in the Early Modern period and beyond. For a full discussion of this romance tradition, see the essays collected in Wiggins and Field, 2007. As a writer influenced in many ways by Lydgate (see for example Horstmann, 1887, xxxi), Bradshaw may be specifically recalling the verse version of the romance by John Lydgate, produced between 1442 and 1468. See MacCracken, 1934, 516-38. Back to context...
These lines are inset in the Pynson text in a smaller typeface. They appear to be integral to Bradshaw's poem, as they supply the detail alluded to in the preceding line ('Whose noble actes be touched on a lytell here'). The verses derive from William of Malmesbury's Gesta Regum Anglorum, Book II, Chapter 133. In Chapter 132, William comments that he disovered an old poem on Æthelstan in an 'ancient volume' ('uolumine uetusto'), and he includes the full thirty lines in his text, of which Bradshaw gives the first four. The Oxford Medieval Texts edition gives the translation as follows: 'Noble was the scion put forth by our royal stock, when on our darkness dawned the radiance of that splendid jewel, great Æthelstan, glory of his native country, the narrow path of virtue, shining integrity that knew not how to deviate from the truth.' See Mynors, 1998-9, 210-11. Back to context...
King Edmund 'the Elder' (ruled 939-946). See PASE. Back to context...
Edmund's sons Eadred (ruled 946-955) and Eadwig (ruled 955-957 and continued as king of Wessex and Kent only until 959). See PASE (Eadred) and PASE (Eadwig). Back to context...
King Edgar (ruled Northumbria and Mercia from 959 and all of Anglo-Saxon England until 975). See PASE. Edgar's first coronation at Kingston-upon-Thames was followed by a later 'imperial' coronation at Bath in 973. Edgar was monarch during the Benedictine Reform movement of the late tenth century, during which many monastic houses were re-founded or newly endowed. For recent discussions of the reign of Edgar, see Scragg, 2008. Back to context...
Archbishop Dunstan, a key figure in the Benedictine Reform. See PASE, or detailed discussion in Ramsay, 1992. Back to context...
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...
In this stanza, Bradshaw compares Edgar, as flower and champion of the English, to great leaders of other nations from history and myth. These include Romulus, founder of Rome; Cyrus the Great, founder of Persia; the 'conquerour' of the Greeks, probably Alexander the Great; 'Great Charles' or Charlemagne, founder of the Carolingian empire; and Hector, the prince of Troy and leader in the Trojan War. This selection of figures recalls the tradition of the 'nine worthies' in later medieval art and literature. See 'King Arthur - Romancing Politics: Texts and Contexts', Norton Topics Online. Back to context...
These lines derive from a slightly longer panegyric to Edgar in Henry of Huntingdon’s Historia Anglorum. The text given by Diana Greenway is largely identical, except for a few differences in orthography and punctuation, although the first word varies between manuscript versions and she prefers ‘Tutor’ (‘Protector’). Bradshaw’s version would give the alternative opening epithet ‘Giver of treasure’). Greenway’s translation of these lines runs thus: 'Protector of treasure, avenger of crimes, distributor of honours, Edgar the sceptre-bearer seeks the celestial kingdoms. A second Solomon, the father of laws, the way of peace: he was all the more glorious for having no wars. He gave churches to God, monks to churches, lands to monks, a fall to wickedness, and a place to justice'. See Greenway 1996, 322, 323. Back to context...
Edward the Confessor (ruled 1042-1066). See PASE. Back to context...
Bradshaw refers to one of his sources, the twelfth-century chronicler William of Malmesbury. William of Malmesbury gives an account Leofric, for example, in the Gesta Regum Anglorum, Book II, Ch. 196 (Mynors, 1998-9), 348-51. Back to context...
Leofric, Earl of the Mercians (died 1057). See PASE. Back to context...
Higden, Polychronicon, Book V, Ch. XXVI (Babington and Lumby, 1865-86, vol. 7, 198-201). Back to context...
Godgifu or 'Godiva', wife of Earl Leofric. See PASE. Back to context...
Bradshaw alludes here to the popular mythology surrounding Godgifu or 'Lady Godiva', and the story of her riding naked through the streets of Coventry in order to free the citizens from a punitive tax. See Higden, Polychronicon, Book VI, Ch. XXV (Babington and Lumby, 1865-86, vol. 7, 198-200); Donoghue 2003 . Back to context...
William I or William the Conqueror (Duke of Normandy from 1035 and ruled Normandy and England 1066-87). See DNB (subscription only). Back to context...
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...
See A.T. Thacker, Early Medieval Chester, Lewis and Thacker, 2003, 16-33, 31, also available via British History Online. Back to context...
Richard, a monk from Anselm's monastery in Normandy, became the first abbot. See Higden, Polychronicon, Book VII, Ch. VII (Babington and Lumby, 1865-86, vol. 7, 360). Back to context...
This stanza includes many legal terms which underpin the rights and possessions granted to St Werburgh's - many of which would still have been crucial to the abbey's status and wealth in Bradshaw's own time. Back to context...
See line 1291, above. Back to context...
'While this man [Anselm] lived, he cursed those who would eradicate the rights of Werburgh, whether present or future.' Back to context...
This line recalls the biblical phrase 'In my father's house [i.e. heaven] are many mansions' (John 14:2). Back to context...
Richard d'Avranches, second Earl of Chester, drowned in the White Ship disaster, 1120. See the end of the entry on Hugh d'Avranches in DNB (subscription only). Back to context...
King Henry I (ruled 1100-1135). See DNB (subscription only). Back to context...
Here Bradshaw makes the point that the monastery of St Werburgh's enjoyed freedom and independence long before the same privileges were granted to the city of Chester. The date of the charter to the city of Chester which Bradshaw is probably recalling is 1300, when Edward I recognised its mayoralty and granted the city certain concessions. See See A.T. Thacker, Later Medieval Chester 1230-1550, Lewis and Thacker, 2003, 34-89, 37 and 43-4, also available via British History Online. Bradshaw's comment hints at possible tensions and rivalries between secular and religious institutions and authorities in medieval Chester. Back to context...
Alan Thacker remarks on the story of the Chester fire attributed to the 'third passionary', commenting that '[T]hat story was undoubtedly current almost immediately after the events it purported to describe, since it was also recorded by Lucian in his De Laude Cestrie, written and the abbey in the 1190s. See A.T. Thacker, Early Medieval Chester, Lewis and Thacker, 2003, 16-33, 31, also available via British History Online. Back to context...
These hooks may have been those fixed to the top of ladders for climbing buildings or hooks used for pulling down structures in the path of the fire. Back to context...
In these lines Bradshaw compares the destruction of Chester during the great fire to the burning of Troy or Rome. These epic comparisons with the great cities of classical myth and history elevate the status of Chester and present the fire as a momentous, legendary event. Back to context...
The slightly contrived use of the verb empeiren here enables word-play on 'empeiryng' and 'empire'. Back to context...
Alan Thacker notes that 'in the mid 12th century a "monastery" of St. Michael in Chester was supposedly among the gifts of William fitz Niel to Norton priory. It was presumably the "mighty minster" of St. Michael later said [by Bradshaw] to have been burned down in the great fire of 1180'. See A.T. Thacker, Medieval Parish Churches, Lewis and Thacker, 2005, 133-155, 146, also available via British History Online. This monastery of St Michael was not the same as the medieval parish church of St Michael, which apparently stood on the same site as the present-day St Michael's church building. Back to context...
Bradshaw's reference to 'grace aboue nature' recalls the medieval theory of miracles, as outlined by authors such as Anselm, which defines a miracle as an event above and beyond the laws of nature or human skill and action. See Ward, 1982, 3-19. Back to context...
Robert Barrett notes that Bradshaw 'includes the idea of impossible recompense as a preemptive strike against a citizenry all too ready to enter into conflict with the abbey - and all too capable of winning that struggle'. See Barrett, 2009, 45. Back to context...
In this chapter (as well as chapters 22 and 23), the stanzas increase in length to 8 lines, indicating the higher subject matter and more elevated style here in these final panegyric sections. Back to context...
Werburgh is Christ's 'spouse', having entered into a symbolic marriage with him through her religious vows. However, as the whole church may be understood as the 'spouse' or 'bride of Christ (see for example Revelations 21:2), Bradshaw's choice of metaphor implies Christ's demonstration of grace to Christians more widely. Back to context...
In this chapter each stanza ends with the word 'sequens', foregrounding the formal commemoration of Werburgh in the liturgy and the church (specifically the monastery of St Werburgh) in Chester as the custodian of her memory. Back to context...
Bradshaw's apparent source, the 'third passionary' (no longer extant) seems to have been a compilation bringing together various different hagiographic and miracle texts relating to Werburgh. Alan Thacker notes that '[l]egends about the saint, together with a Life, probably that attributed to Goscelin of Saint-Bertin, were said in the 16th century [by Bradshaw] to be preserved in a book called the "third passionary". The corpus of miracle stories was probably put together in the late 12th century: it comprised wonders associated with both the canons of the old minster and the monks of the new abbey, extending, it was claimed, from the reign of Edward the Elder (899-924) to 1180'. Thacker remarks further that '[t]he evidence suggests that in the 12th century the monks of St. Werburgh's were actively presenting their patroness as the special protector of the earls and their city', and the 'third passionary would fit within this programme of commemoration and promotion. See A.T. Thacker, Early Medieval Chester, Lewis and Thacker, 2003, 16-33, 31, also available via British History Online. In her edition of Goscelin of Saint-Bertin's Life of St Werburgh, Rosalind Love makes a good case for identifying the 'third passionary'. 'London, Gray's Inn Library 3 is the first and only surviving volume of a four volume legendary, written in the early twelfth century at St Werburgh's Chester... Inserted paper flyleaves (fols. ii, iii) contain a list, in an early sixteenth-century hand, of the contents of the present volume, and of three others which are now lost, in alphabetical order of saints with a reference for each Life to the number of the volume and the leaf within it... The list of contents includes, for leaf 172 of the now-lost third volume of the legendary, the item "Werburg et sic consequenter de Sexburga, Ermenilda etc'"... Presumably, then, this was a copy of the [Life of St Werburgh] ... though quite what might have been encompassed by "etc." is another question, frustratingly unanswerable. Corroboration of this information comes from the English version of the Life of St Wærburh by the Chester monk Henry Bradshaw, who refers more than once to the presence of a Latin Life of Wærburh in "the third Passionarie" of Chester'. See Love, 2004, lviii. Back to context...