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DIMEV 5731
IMEV 3632
NIMEV 3632
This mighty William Duke of Normandy
John Lydgate, Verses on the Kings of England (to Henry VI) — generally fifteen stanzas rhyme royal, but there are many variants
Note: Some MSS have further stanzas added, but not by Lydgate; for variant text with prefixed additional kings, see 1472 and for couplet-version sometimes incorporating lines from this one, see 727.
Author(s): John Lydgate
Title(s): Verses on the Kings of England (Lydgate)
Subjects: historical poems; England, kings of
Versification: — seven-line — ababbcc
Bibliographic Ghosts: Oxford, Bodleian Library Digby 196 (SC 1797), ff. 65- : see 3158; London, British Library Lansdowne 210, ff. 14v-42v: moved to 1472; Oxford, Bodleian Library Douce g.2 (SC 22005), a roll: moved to 727; Sotheby Sale, 24 June 1980, lot 42 (New Haven, Yale University, Beinecke Library, Takamiya Deposit 52): moved to 727; Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ashmole 456 (printed book)



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 59 (SC 6943), ff. 75-77
First Lines:
Tus mighty William Duke of Normandie
As bookis olde maken mencyon…
Last Lines:
…Of vertuous lyff chosyn him for his knight
Longe to reioysshe and regne here in his right
Note: Scribe John Shirley
Attributed Title: Nowe here folowen þe names of þe Kinges of England frome þe conquest of Duc William of Normandye (f. 75)
2.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Bodley 48 (SC 1885), ff. 45-46v
First Lines:
This myghtie Willeame duke off normandye
As bookes olde make mencioun…
Last Lines:
…To whom god hath giffen sufficiaunce
Off vertuose lyfe & chose hym for his knyghte &c
Note: Ends imperfectly after line 104, with ‘et cetera
3.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Bodley 131 (SC 1999), ff. C-144
First Lines:
þis myghty william duke of Northmandy
þat by iuste tytill And also by Chyualery
Last Lines:
…Now lord send hym siche gouernaunce
Long to reioyse & reigne in his ryght
4.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Bodley 686 (SC 2527), ff. 184v-186
First Lines:
This mighti William duke of normandie
As bokes olde maketh mencioun…
Last Lines:
…Now lord send hym siche gouernaunce
Long to reioyse & reigne in his ryght
Attributed Author: …be Dan Iohn Lydgate Monke of Bury (f. 184v)
Attributed Title: Here begynneþ a lytel Tretis made and compyled in Balade be Dan Iohn Lydgate Monke of Bury of al the kynges þat hath regned sethen Wyllian Conquerour (f. 184v); Here endeth the tretis of alle the kynges whiche hath regned in this lande sethen þe tyme of William the Conquerour (f. 186)
5.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Bodley 912 (SC 30437), ff. 23-23v
First Lines:
This myȝghty Willeam Duke of Normandie
As bokis olde makyth mencioun…
Last Lines:
…A vertuous lif & chose hym for his knyght
Long to reioyse & regne here yn his myght
6.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Digby 186 (SC 1787), ff. 49v-63v
First Lines:
This myghty duke of Normondy
As bokes ald makes mencion…
Last Lines:
…xxxv yere he was here kynge
lyth att Westmynster This trewth and no lesynge
Note: Stanzas scattered through a Latin chronicle, usually following the verses on the same king in 727; incomplete: first 63 lines, ending with Edward I
7.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Fairfax 16 (SC 3896), ff. 330v-332v
First Lines:
The myghty William duke of Normandye
As bokes olde maken mencyoun…
Last Lines:
…Of vertuouse lyf & chose hym for his knyght
Longe to reioyce & regne here in his right
Note: Added to MS by a contemporary hand; after last line, concludes, ‘Summa annorum a tempore Willelmi ducis normanorum vsque ad tempus henrici sexti CCC xxvti’ (f. 332v)
Attributed Author: …by the Monke of Bury (f. 330v)
Attributed Title: The regnynge of kynges After the conquest by the Monke of Bury (f. 330v)
Facsimiles:
Norton-Smith, John. “Introduction.” Bodleian Library MS Fairfax 16. London: Scolar Press, 1979.
8.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Rawlinson C.48 (SC 11914), ff. 78v-80
First Lines:
[t]His myhti William Duke of Norma[ ]
As bookis old make mencion…
Last Lines:
…Off vertuous liff and chose hym for his knyht
Long to reioisshe and regne heer in his riht
Attributed Author: …by the Monke of Bury (f. 330v)
Attributed Title: The regnynge of kynges After the conquest by the Monke of Bury (f. 330v)
Editions:
Robbins, Rossell Hope, ed. Historical Poems of the XIV and XV Centuries. New York: Columbia UP, 1959: 3-6.
9.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Rawlinson C.316 (SC 12172), ff. 121-122v
First Lines:
This myghty William duck of Normandie
As bookes olde maken mencion…
Last Lines:
…Of vertuous lyf and chose hym for hys knyght
Longe to reioyce and regne here in hys ryght
10.Source: Oxford, Lincoln College Lat. 129, ff. 62v-64v
First Lines:
This myȝty Duke of Normandye
As bokes olde maketh mencyoun…
Last Lines:
…Off vertues lyfe and Chosyn hym for his knyȝt
Longe to reioyce and regne here in his ryȝt
Note: Scribe Thomas Schort; headings, ‘Willelmus Conquestor’, etc. for each stanza
11.Source: Cambridge UK, Cambridge University Library Addit. 6686 [olim Ashburnham 140], pp. 272ra-273rb
First Lines:
This myghti Wyllyam duke of normandy
As bukis old make mencion…
Last Lines:
…Of vertuos lyfe and chose hym to his knight
Long to reioy and reigne here in his right
Note: Written as prose
12.Source: Cambridge UK, Gonville & Caius College 249/277, ff. 127-127v
First Lines:
Thys myghty William Duke off Normandye
As bokes olde makys mencioun…
Last Lines:
…Regned x ȝere qwo so List have reward
Lyth att Westmenstre not ferre from seynt Edward…
Note: Incomplete: first 98 lines, ending with stanza on Henry V; scribe John Herryson
Attributed Title: How long euery Kyng reygned fro Willyam Conquerer vnto kyng henry the vth inclusiue (f. 127)
13.Source: Cambridge UK, Jesus College Q.G.8 (56), ff. 46-47v
First Lines:
[t]his myghty William duke of Normandye
As bookes olde makith mencion…
Last Lines:
…Of vertuos lyif and chose hym for his knyght
Longe to reioyssh and Regne here in his right
Note: Seventeenth-century transcription is Oxford, Bodleian Library Tanner 383 (SC 10210), ff. 51-54
Attributed Title: Incipit tractatus de regibus Anglie post conquestum (f. 46)
14.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College R.3.21 (601), ff. 242-243v
First Lines:
THYS myghty Wyllyam Duke of Normandy
As bokes olde make mencion…
Last Lines:
…Reygnyd with moche trobyll full xxxix yere
And buryed at Chartsey yef ye lyst to here
Note: With additional heading but no stanza for Edward IV
15.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College R.3.21 (601), ff. 319-320v
First Lines:
tHYS myghty Wyllyam Duke of Normandy
As bokes olde make mencion…
Last Lines:
…Reygnyd with moche trobyll full xxxix yere
And buryed at Chartsey yef ye lyst to here
Note: With additional heading but no stanza for Edward IV
16.Source: London, British Library Addit. 31042 [London Thornton Manuscript], ff. 96-96v
First Lines:
This myghty Willyam Duke of Normandy
Als bokes olde maken mensione…
Last Lines:
…Wan scotlande maugre þe Scottis strange
And alle Wales in despite of alle þare myghte…
Note: Incomplete: first 63 lines, ending with Edward I; includes names of kings at head of each stanza, e.g., ‘Willelmus conquestor Dux Normannorum’; scribe Robert Thornton
17.Source: London, British Library Addit. 34360 [olim Phillipps 9053], ff. 60v-62v
First Lines:
[T]His myghti William Duk of normandy
As bokes old makith mencioun…
Last Lines:
…Goode lyf and longe I pray to god hym send
And that seynt George be with hym in his right
Note: 113 lines, with added eight-line stanza to Edward IV; names of kings at head of each stanza, e.g., ‘Willelmus conquestor’
18.Source: London, British Library Cotton Galba E.VIII, ff. 2-2v
First Lines:
Thys myghti [ ]ll[ ] Normandy
As bokes [ ]cyoun
Be iust tityl [ ]rye
Made kynge [ ] albyoun…
Last Lines:
…[ ] lyef & Chose hym for hys knyght
[ ] reyeyse & to regne here in hys ryght
Note: Written as prose; one side of page lost, causing gaps
19.Source: London, British Library Cotton Titus D.XX, ff. 94-96
First Lines:
This mighti William Duc off normandy
As bokys old maken mension…
Last Lines:
…Afftyr to Westmynster hys body cared was
herry the iiij-the next crowned in certeyn…
Note: Incomplete: first 85 lines, ending after first line on Henry IV; with king’s names at head of each stanza, e.g. ‘Willelmus conquerrour’.
20.Source: London, British Library Egerton 1995, ff. 110-112
First Lines:
This myghty William Duke of Normandye
As bokys olde make mencyon…
Last Lines:
…A vertusse lyffe and chosyn for hys knyght
long he hathe reioysyd bothe by day and nyght
Note: Names of kings at head of each stanza, e.g. ‘Willelmus conquestor’
Attributed Title: CROnycles of alle kynges of Englonde aftyr the Conqueste as of hyr namys ande where that they bene I byryde (f. 110)
Editions:
Gairdner, James, ed. Historical Collections of a Citizen of London. Camden Society n.s. 17 (1876): 49-54.
21.Source: London, British Library Harley 2169, ff. 1-2
First Lines:
Thys Wylyam dewke of normandye
As bokys olde makyth mencyun…
Last Lines:
…of wertue lyfe and chose hym for hys knyght
longe to regoyse and reygne yn hys reyght
Note: Portraits of William Conqueror, Henry V and VI, each accompanied by a single stanza written as prose
Editions:
“A Fifteenth-Century Book of Arms.” The Ancestor no. 3 (October, 1902): 185-213: 186-8.
22.Source: London, British Library Harley 2251, ff. 2v-4
First Lines:
This myghti William Duk of Normandye
As bokes old makith mencioun…
Last Lines:
…Of vertuous lyf and chose hym for his knyght
Long to Reioyse and Reigne in his right
Comforth al thirsty and drynke with gladnes
Reioyse with myrth though ye have nat to spend
The tyme is come to avoyden yowre distres
Edward the fourth theold wronges toamend
Is wele disposed in wille and to defend
His lond and people in dede with kynne and myght
Goode lyf and longe I pray to god hym send
And that seynt George be with hym in his right
Attributed Title: Willelmus Conquestor (f. 2v)
23.Source: London, British Library Harley 2261, ff. 446v-448v
First Lines:
This myȝhty William duke of normandye
As bookes olde makethe mencion…
Last Lines:
…With vertuous life and chose hym to his knyȝhte
Longe to reioyce & reigne here in his ryȝhte
24.Source: London, British Library Harley 7333, ff. 149ra-149va
First Lines:
This myghty William duke of Normandy
As bokes olde maken mencyoun…
Last Lines:
…A vertuous lyff & Chosen for his knyght
Longe to reioise and regne here in myght
25.Source: London, British Library Lansdowne 699, ff. 79-80v
First Lines:
This myhti William duke of Normandie
As bookis old make mencioun…
Last Lines:
…off vertuous liff & chose hym for his knyht
long to reioissh & regne here in his riht
Attributed Title: Incipit quedam compilatio de Regibus Angliae (f. 78v)
26.Source: London, British Library Lansdowne 762, ff. 10-12
First Lines:
This myghtie William duke of Normandy
As bokys olde maketh mencioun…
Last Lines:
…And reyned xxiij yere as I tell can
Entired at Westmynstre lyke A noble man
Note: With added stanzas to Henry VII
Attributed Title: Willelmus Conquestor Et Normani Regi A conquestum (f. 10)
27.Source: London, British Library Royal 18 D.II, ff. 181-183
First Lines:
The fyrst William myghty duke of Normandy.
As aunciente Croniculis makithe mencyon.
By Iust titill and conquest gat the monarchy.
Of englande sum tyme called brutes Albyon…
Last Lines:
…God graunte to hym grace of his mercyfull benygnyte.
Longe to InIoye his septure withe honoure and felicite.
Note: Perhaps best characterized as a redaction of Lydgate’s “Kings of England” but with variant text in virtually every line and added stanzas carrying the history down to the reign of Henry VIII.
Attributed Title: IN this litill tretis men may se And be Indusyde To the reyngne of the kingis of Inglande & ther namys withall. ffrom William conqueror to this day yf they take hede Of ther vertuous & of ther vicis it makithe a breue rehersall. Of them whiche shall folow for A memoriall. And also it dothe tell wher euery kinge dothe ly. ffrom kinge William conquerour vii to the viij kinge henry. (f. 181); THe reignes of the kyngis of Englande (f. 183, in rubric)
Facsimiles:
Digital Facsimile of British Library MS Royal 18 D II. 2015; http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/FullDisplay.aspx?ref=Royal_MS_18_D_II.
28.Source: London, British Library Stowe 69, ff. 196-196v
First Lines:
Thys myghty Wyllyam duke of Normondye
As bokes olde makyth messyoun…
Last Lines:
…The space reygnyd fully of ix yere
His hert buryed yn Roon att the hye autyr…
Note: Incomplete: First 42 lines, ending with Richard I
29.Source: Hatfield House, Marquess of Salisbury C.P. 271, ff. 139-141v
30.Source: Ipswich, Suffolk Record Office Ipswich Great Doomsday, Book VI, ff. 237v-239v
First Lines:
This mighty William of Normandy
As Bokys olde makith mencioun…
Last Lines:
…Of vertuos lyffe & chose hym for his knyght
At Wyndesore buried And myracles doth by goddys myght
Note: Added heading, ‘Edwardus quartus’ at end, but no stanza; formerly Ipswich County Hall Deposit C4/4, Percyvale’s Great Doomsday
Editions:
“Rhyming Chronicle of the Kings of England (William I to Edward IV From the Ipswich Great Doomsday Volume, Book VI.” East Anglian n.s. 1 (1885): 38-41: 38-41.
White, C. H. Evelyn. The Great Domesday Book of Ipswich, Liber Sextus. Ipswich: Pawsey & Hayes, 1885: 31-34.
31.Source: London, Lambeth Palace Library 306, ff. 17v-18v
First Lines:
THis myghti William Duke off Normandie
as bokes olde maketh mencion…
Last Lines:
…put downe from the Crowne by all the Comyns
So he Regned kynge here all moste xxxix yere
Note: Written as prose; last stanza re-written, becomes prose
Attributed Title: William Conquerour
Editions:
Gairdner, James, ed. Three Fifteenth-Century Chronicles. Camden Society n.s. 28 (1880): 28-31.
32.Source: Nottingham, Nottingham University Library Mellish Lm 1 [olim Mellish; olim Hadsock Priory nr Worksop], ff. 1va-2va
First Lines:
This myghty William duc of Normandie
As bookes olde maken mencioun…
Last Lines:
…Of uertuous lyf & chose him for his knyght
longe to reioyce & regne here in his ryght
Note: With names of kings at head of each stanza, e.g., ‘Willelmus Conquestor’; followed by 1326
33.Source: New York, Pierpont Morgan Library B17, ff. ii-iiv
First Lines:
This myghtty William duke of Normondy
As bukes old makes mencyoun…
Last Lines:
…Of vertuose life & chose hym for his knyght
long to reiose and regne here in his right
Note: With headings, ‘Willelmus Conquestor’, ‘Willelmus Rufus’, etc.
34.Source: New York City, New York US, John Wolfson (private collection)
35.Source: Dublin, Trinity College, Dublin 516, ff. 28v-30
First Lines:
This myghty William duc of Normandie
As bookis olde maken mensioun…
Last Lines:
…Of vertuous liff and chose him for his knyght
Longe to reioyse and regne here in his ryght
Note: Usual headings, ‘Willelmus Conquestor’ etc., for each stanza
36.Source: Leiden, Leiden University Library Vossius Germ. Gall. Q.9, ff. 92v-94
First Lines:
[t]His mythy William duk off Normandye
As bokis olde make mencioun…
Last Lines:
…Off wertuous lyff & chose hym for his knyht
long to reioissh & regne here in his riht
Attributed Title: Explicit compilatio de Regibus Angliae (f. 94)



Print Witnesses:
1.Source: STC 9983.3. Lydgate, John, This is the cronycle of all the kyng[es] names that haue ben in Englande, and how many yeres they reygned and how many saynt[es] & martyrs haue ben i[n] this lande, and shewith the hole su[m]me, from the makyng of the worlde tyll the co[m]mynge of Brute, ye whiche is iiii.M.lxxvii. yeres and fro[m] the co[m]mynge of Brute to the Incarnation of Christe is M.C.xxii yeres, & from the Incarnacion to the xxiiii yere of Kynge Henry the vi is M.CCCC.xlvi yeres, [S.l.]: Imprinted by Rychard Pynson…, [1518?] , sigs. B.1-B.4
First Lines:
This myghty Wyllyam Duke of Normandye
As bokes olde make mension…
Last Lines:
…Called Iustice Prudence and Temperaunce
And stronge Force all them doth auaunce
Note: Bodl. Wood 336, sigs. B.1-B.4; with further stanzas to Henry VIII
Attributed Title: The cronycle of all the kynges names that haue reyned in Englande syth the conquest of Wyllyam Conquerour (sig. B.1); Thus endeth the cronycle of al the kynges names that haue reygned in Englande sith þe comynge of Wyllyam Conquerour & how longe they reygned (sig. B.4)
2.Source: STC 9983.7. Lydgate, John, Here is a lytell shorte cronycle, begynnynge at the. vii. ages of the worlde, w[ith] the comy[n]ge of Brute: and the reygne of all the kynges with the sayntes and martyrs that haue ben in this lande, [London: [Imprynted by me Wynkyn de Worde, dwellynge in London in flete strete, at the sygne of the Sonne, In the yere of our lorde. M. CCCCC. and .xxx. the .xxv. of Iune]] [1530] part 2
First Lines:
This myghty Wyllyam duke of Normandy
As bokes olde maketh mencyon…
Last Lines:
…Minerua Appollo and Mars armipotent
Ben holy at his highe commaundement
Note: Continued to includes stanzas up to Henry VIII
3.Source: STC 9983. Lydgate, John, The cronycle of all the kynges: that haue reygned in Englande: sythe the Conquest of Wyllyam Conqueroure And sheweth the dayes of theyr crownacion. And howe many yeres they dyd reygne. With the dayes of theyr death. And wher they were buryed, [London: Printed by Robert Wyer, ca. 1552]
First Lines:
THis myghtye Wyllyam Duke of Normandye
As Bokes olde maketh mencion…
Last Lines:
…He reygned xxii yere one month viii dayes and no more
And his body lyeth buryed at Wyndsore
Note: Huntington Library, printed books 13546; broadside format, dated by Huntington Library c. 1590?; twentieth-century transcript in Oxford, Bodleian Library Firth d.14 (NSC 46879), ff. 96-99 (dating it 1483); each stanza followed by four lines on the date of coronation and date of death, the last being, ‘Crowned the xxviii daye of Iune / The yere of our lorde a M iiii C lxi / And dyed the ix day of Apryll / The yere of our lorde a M iiii C lxxxiii’
Attributed Title: The Chronycle of all the Kynges that haue Reygned in Englande Sythe the Conquest of Wyllyam Conqueroure And Sheweth the Dayes of theyr Crownacion And howe many Yeres They dyd Reygne With the Dayes of theyr Death And where they were buryed