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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
DIMEV 1934
IMEV 1184
NIMEV 1184
Hende in hall an ye will hear / Of elders that before us were
Sir Isumbras — in 12-line stanzas (aabccbddbeeb)
Note: crit. text: Schleich (1901), (804 lines).
Title(s): Sir Isumbras
Subjects: romances
Versification: — twelve-line? — aabccbddbeeb



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 61 (SC 6922*), ff. 9-16v
First Lines:
[H]ende in halle & ȝe schall here
of elders þat be fforn vs were
There lyues how þat dyde lede
I schall ȝow telle A wonder case…
Last Lines:
…And to heuen yer saules wente
When yi dede were
Note: 722 lines.
Attributed Title: ysombras (f. 9)
Editions:
Shuffleton, George. Ashmole 61: A Compilation of Popular Middle English Verse. Kalamazoo, MI: Western Michigan University for TEAMS, 2008: 39-59; 432-7; 599-600.
2.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Douce 261 (SC 21835), ff. 1-7v
First Lines:
LOrdynges lysten and youe shall heare
Of elders that before vs weare…
Last Lines:
…By that he had hym armure dight
All that longed to a knyght
Note: Mid-sixteenth-century transcript of an early print.
Attributed Title: Here begynneth the hystorye of the valyaunte knyght Syr Isenbras (f. 1)
Editions:
Schleich, Gustav, ed. Sir Ysumbras: Eine englische Romanze des 14 Jahrhunderts, im Aschluss an die vorarbeiten J. Zuupitza. Palaestra 15. Berlin: Mayer & Müller, 1901: (critical edition; 804 lines).
3.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Malone 941 (printed) [Launfal fragments], ff. 9v; 9
First Lines:
[That false S]ow[dan for to yelde]
[For the wo] that he hy[m wrought]
[Syr Isenbr]as [al]one [vp stode]
[Ryght e]ger was he o[f mode]…
Last Lines:
…[I shall thee make a knyg]ht
[In a nonry they dyd hy]m leue
Note: Lines 427-440, 459-471; very defective.
Editions:
Zupitza, Julius. “Zum Sir Isumbras.” Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Literaturen 88 (1891): 72-3: 72-3.
4.Source: Oxford, University College 142, f. 128
Transcription:
All þat wyllyn þys romonse here
Of lordes þat be fore ous were
and leued here yn lede
Ihesu þat ys heuen kyng
So grant ham all hys bessyng [sic]
and heuene to here mede
I woll now tell of a knyȝt
þat was herdy man and wytȝ
and duȝty of hys dede
hys name was syr Isambras
So duȝty a knyȝt as he was
leuand none in lede
þat myȝt with hym with oute fayll
In tuement ne In baytayll
to usten opno [sic] a stede
he was a man of muchel strang
With schuldres brode and armus a lang…
Note: Added to originally blank flyleaf at end of volume, by hand of s. xv; a fragment, lines 1-17.
Editions:
Brown, Carleton Fairchild. “A Passage from Sir Isumbras.” Englische Studien 48 (1915): 329: 329.
5.Source: Cambridge UK, Gonville & Caius College 175/96, pp. 98b-107b
First Lines:
Hende in halle & ȝe wole here
Off eldres þat be fore vs were…
Last Lines:
…Geue vs ay hys blessyng
And schylde vs from care
Attributed Title: Hic incipit de milite Ysumbras (p. 98b); Explicit ser ysumbras (p. 107b)
Editions:
Brown, Carleton Fairchild. “A Passage from Sir Isumbras.” Englische Studien 48 (1915): 329: 329.
Hudson, Harriet, ed. Four Middle English Romances: Sir Isumbras, Octavian, Sir Eglamour of Artois, Sir Tryamour. Kalamazoo, MI: Western Michigan University for TEAMS, 1996. 2nd ed. 2006.
6.Source: London, British Library Cotton Caligula A.II, ff. 130ra-134rb
First Lines:
God þat made both erþe & heuene
And all þis worlde in deyes seuene
That is full of myȝthe
Sende vs alle his blessynge
Lasse & more olde & ȝynge
And kepe vs day & nyȝte
I wyll ȝou tell of a knyȝte…
Last Lines:
…Graunte vs all þy blessynge
ffor now & euer more
Note: With variant first stanza (6 lines) and this version in 6-line stanzas aabccb; ends ‘Amen’ at end of last line and ‘Explicit’ beneath last line, f. 134rb.
Attributed Title: Isumbras (in upper margin, f. 13), and as RT on verso leaves thereafter); Isumbras (f. 1, sixteenth-century list of contents)
7.Source: Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, Advocates’ 19.3.1, ff. 48-56v
First Lines:
Hynd in hall yf ye wyll here
Of elders þat be for hus were…
Last Lines:
…he grant vs all his blessyng
Now and euer more Amen
Attributed Title: Explicit quod heeg (f. 56v); Sir ysumbras (RT)
Facsimiles:
Hardman, Phillipa. The Heege Manuscript: A Facsimile of National Library of Scotland MS Advocates 19.3.1. Leeds Texts and Monographs, n.s. 16. Leeds: School of English, 2000.
8.Source: London, Gray’s Inn 20, f. 228
First Lines:
…we axy hem some [mete]
ȝf we mouwe [any] gete…
Last Lines:
…[Sche] sayde lord by char[yte]
[A bowne þat þou wold graunt me]
Wiþoute [any] dwellyng…
Note: A single sheet bound in as flyleaf at the rear, foliated in pencil as ‘228’, lines 226-330.
Editions:
D’Evelyn, Charlotte. “The Gray’s Inn Fragment of Sir Ysumbras.” Englische Studien 52 (1918): 72-6: 73-6.
9.Source: Lincoln, Lincoln Cathedral Library 91 [Robert Thornton MS], ff. 109rb-114va
First Lines:
Ihesu christ lorde of heuene kynge
Graunte vs alle his dere blyssynge
And heuene vn to oure mede
Now hende in haule & ȝe wolde here…
Last Lines:
…Praye we now to heuen es kynge
he gyffe vs alle his dere blyssynge
Nowe and euer mare Amen Amen
Explicit sir ysambrace
Note: 794 lines.
Attributed Title: Here begynnes the romance off sir ysambrace (f. 109rb)
Facsimiles:
Brewer, Derek Stanley, and A. E. B. Owen. “Introduction.” The Thornton Manuscript (Lincoln Cathedral MS. 91). London: Scolar Press, 1975.
Editions:
Halliwell-Phillipps, James Orchard, ed. The Thornton Romances: The Early English Metrical Romances of Perceval, Isumbras, Eglamour, and Degrevant. Camden Society o.s. 30 (1844); repr. F.S. Ellis, Kelmscott Press, 1897: 88-120.
Ellis, Frederick Startridge, ed. Sir Isumbras. Hammersmith: Kelmscott, 1897: (Halliwell text).
10.Source: Naples, Bibl. Nazionale, Naples XIII.B.29, pp. 114a-115a
First Lines:
[H]e þat made beþe hevyn & erthe
& al þis worlde in daies seuyn…
Last Lines:
…our frend of vs shulle be Iirch
ouer londe y rede we fare
Note: Fragment: 122 lines.
Editions:
Kölbing, Eugen. “Das Neapler Fragment von Sir Isumbras.” Englische Studien 3 (1880): 92-105, 273-334: 200-2.
Wright, Thomas, and James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps, eds. Reliquiae Antiquae. 2 vols. London: Smith, 1845: 2.67.



Print Witnesses:
1.Source: STC 14280.5. The hystory of Syr Isembras, [J. Skot, c. 1530]
2.Source: STC 14280.7. The hystory of Syr Isembras, [P. Treveris, c. 1530]
3.Source: STC 14281. The hystory of Syr Isembras, [c. 1560]
4.Source: STC 14282. The history of the Valyent Knyght, Syr Isenbras, Copland, [c. 1565?]
Note: 5 leaves; now British Library C 21c61, Garrick Collection.
Editions:
Utterson, Edward Vernon. Select Pieces of Early English Popular Poetry. London: Davison, 1817: 1.77-112.