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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 6434
IMEV 4029
NIMEV 4029
When the cock in the north hath built his nest
The First Scottish Prophecy — in alliterative cross-rhymed quatrains
Note: For a later adaptation see London, British Library Addit. 28789, f. 239v, pr. Hales and Furnivall (1867), 3.372-73; composite editions: Brandl (1909), 1166; Haferkorn (1932), 109.
Title(s): The First Scottish Prophecy
Subjects: prophecies, political; political poems
Versification: — four-line — abab, alliteration



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Lyell 35, ff. 26-27
2.Source: Cambridge UK, Cambridge University Library Kk.1.5, Part IV, ff. 25-27
First Lines:
QVen the koke in the northe halows his nest
And buskes his birdys and buirnys to slee
þan shall fortune…
Last Lines:
…Wyght a wykede womane woo mytht sho bee
Scho has closede him in a gragge of cornwales coste
Note: 139 lines.
Editions:
Lumby, Joseph Rawson, ed. Bernardus De Cura Rei Famuliaris, with some early Scottish Prophecies. EETS o.s. 42 (1870); repr. 1965: 18-22.
3.Source: Cambridge UK, Gonville & Caius College 249/277, ff. 227v-228
First Lines:
When þe cokke in þe north has bylde hys neste
And gedyrde hys byrdys and buskyth hym to fle₀
Last Lines:
…He schall ende holy in goddes lawe
And in þe vale off Iosaphath beriede schall he be
Note: 40 lines.
Attributed Author: Explicit Quod doctor herrysoun (f. 228)
4.Source: London, British Library Addit. 24663, ff. 13v-17v
5.Source: London, British Library Cotton Rolls II 23, Art. 8
First Lines:
When the cocke in the Northe hath bilde his nest
And buskith his briddes and betrays hem to fle…
Last Lines:
…But he shall ende in goddes lawe
And in Iosephath beryed he shall be
Note: 75 lines.
Editions:
Robbins, Rossell Hope, ed. Historical Poems of the XIV and XV Centuries. New York: Columbia UP, 1959: 115.
6.Source: London, British Library Harley 559, f. 43v
Note: 76 lines.
7.Source: London, British Library Harley 1717, ff. 249vb-250rb
First Lines:
Quen þe kokke in þe north byggis his nest
And buskis his bryddis & bownis thaym to flye…
Last Lines:
…Then he shall ende in cristis lawe
And in Iesephath buryet shall be
Note: 72 lines.
Editions:
Hermentrude, . “Notes on Fly Leaves.” Notes and Queries 3rd ser. 8 (1865): 326-7: 326.
8.Source: London, British Library Lansdowne 762, f. 62
Note: 81 lines; part of 365.
9.Source: London, British Library Sloane 1802, f. 7
10.Source: London, British Library Sloane 2578, ff. 15v-17
11.Source: London, British Library Sloane 2578, ff. 100v-102
Note: Part of 365.
12.Source: London, British Library Sloane 4031, f. 189v
Note: 80 lines.
13.Source: Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales Peniarth 26 [olim Hengwrt 133], pp. 39-41
14.Source: Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales Peniarth 50, pp. 1-3
15.Source: Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales Peniarth 58, p. 18
16.Source: Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales Porkington 10, ff. 192-193v
17.Source: London, Westminster Abbey 27, f. 85ra-85rb
First Lines:
When þe cok in þe north hathe biggid his nest
& gadird his birdis & buskith him to flee…
Last Lines:
…Right schal he mak in goddis lawe
In iosephat beried right schal he be Amen
18.Source: Dublin, Trinity College, Dublin 516, ff. 114-115v
First Lines:
When þe koc in þe northe hath helde his nest
And baskes his byrdes & bownes þayn to fle…
Last Lines:
…But he schal ende in goddis lawe
And in Iosophat schal he buryd be
Note: 8 lines, in 19 cross-rhymed quatrains, the earlier ones alliterative, with two lines repeated and then crossed out; preceded by 6436.
19.Source: Oslo and London, Schøyen Collection 1677/2 [olim Phillipps (single leaf), sold Sotheby’s, London, 21-2 June 1993, lot 49]
First Lines:
And to the lyon be [ ]
Bothe the pycard & the pye shall suffre the [ ]…
Last Lines:
…But he shall ende in goddys lawe
And in Josephat buried be
Note: Fragment; lines 34-40, 70-76. One leaf, rb-va.
Attributed Author: Explicit Assheldon
Editions:
Griffiths, Jeremy, and Irma Taavitsainen. “An Unrecorded Copy of The First Scottish Prophecy in Middle English Verse from the Library of Sir Thomas Phillipps.” Notes and Queries 45 (1998): 432-4: 433-4.



Print Witnesses:
1.Source: STC 17841.7. Merlin, The whole prophesie of Scotland, England, & somepart of France, and Denmark, Waldegrave, 1603 [not pr. by Waldegrave, possibly a London piracy]
Editions:
Laing, David, ed. Collection of Ancient Scottish Prophecies. Bannatyne Club 44. Edinburgh: Ballantyne, 1833: 6.