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The Chronicles of England, printed by Caxton (Chapter 79-88) Prose Brut Takako Kato Technical Researcher Nick Hayward Based on the 1st edition of the full text available at the EEBO, transcribed by Gav Cole University of Leicester Chronicles of England Prose Brut William Caxton 1480 Notecopy in San Marino, CA, Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery; available at EEBO, STC / 1573:22 Chronicles of England Prose Brut William Caxton 1482 Notecopy in the British Library; available at EEBO, STC / 3:04 Woodcut Capital; 3 line letter; 3 lines of text Woodcut Capital; 3 line letter; 2 lines of text Woodcut Capital; 3 line letter; 3 lines of text Woodcut Capital; 5 line letter; 5 lines of text
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¶ How kyng Arthur auaunced all his men that had trauayled
in his seruice ----- Ca . lxxix
NoteThe virgiles used here are distinctly shorter than Caxton's Morte. NoteA different form of 's' occurs in 'as' and 'paynyms' (e4r line 2) and 'thens' (e5v line 4). NoteMark indicating 'er' abbreviation found in 'after' (e5r line 2), 'letere' (e3r line2) and 'neuer' (e5v line10). Note'qd' has not been expanded.
ANd afterward it befell thus at Estren ther that he helde a
fest at Paris / richly he gan auaunce his knyghtes for hir
seruice that had hym holpen in his conquest
¶ He yafe to his stiward that was called Kay Augien & Angi//
ers / And to Bedeler his Boteler he yafe Normandie that tho
was called Neustrie / And to Holdyne his Chamburlayne
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NoteThe sig. is erroneously numbered as ej.
he yaf Flaundres aud Mance And to Dorell his cosin he yaf bo
loigne And to Richard his nepheu he yaf Pountyf And to all
othir he yaf large lādes and fees after they were of estate NotePossibly an unexecuted paraph mark hereAnd
when Arthur had thus his knyghtes feffed at auerill next after
sneyngsueyng he come ayene in to Britayne his awne land And after
at Whytsontyde next sewyng by cōceill of his barons he wolde be
crouned kyng of Glomergon aud helde a solempne fest and let
sompne kynges Erles and barons that they sholde come thidder
euerichone Ther was Scater kyng of Scotland Cadwere kyng
of southwales ¶ Guillomer kyng of north wales Maded kyng
of Irland Malgam kyng of Gutland Achilles kyng of Ise
land Aloth kyng of Denmark Gonewas kyng of norewey and
Hel his cosin kyng of dorkeny Cador kyng of litell britaigne Mor
wyth erle of Cornewaille Mauran erle of gloucestre guerdon erle
of wynchestre Boel erle of hertford Vrtegy erle of Oxūford Cur
sall erle of Bathe Ionas erle of Chestre Enerall erle of dorsestre
Kymare erle of salisburi waloth erle of Caunterburi Iugerne er
le of chichestre Arall erle of leicestre & the erle of Warwyke & ma
ny othir riche lordes Britons also ther cam mo that is to say dippō
donaud gennes and many othir that be nat here nempned werē
at that fest and many a fair fest kyng Arthur had holde biforne
but neuer none suche ne so solempne & that lastyd xv . dayes with
mochel honour and mirthe

¶ Of the letter that was sent from the cite of Rome for pride to
Kyng Arthur ----- Ca . lxxx

THe iij day as kyng Arthur sate at his mete amonge his
kynges and among hem that seten at the feste byforne
hem come yn xij eldren men of age richely araied and co//
urtoisely salued the kyng and said they come from Rome sent as
messagiers fro the Em{per}our and toke to hym a lrˉe that thus mo
che was to vnderstond ¶ Gretly vs mervaileth Arthure that
thou art ones so hardie with eien in thy hede to make open werre
& contake ayens vs of Rome that owen all the worlde to deme for
thou hast neū yet biforne this tyme proued ne assaied the strēgth
of the Romayns and therfor thou it shalt in a litell tyme For Iul
ius Cesar conquerd all the land of Britaigne and toke ther of
truage and oure folk haue it longe y had and nowe thurgh thy
pride thou wythholdest it ¶ Wherfore we commannde the that
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thou it yelde ayene / and yit hast thou more foly done / that thou hast
slayne Frolle that was our baron of frannce all with wronge / &
ther for all the co~munes of Rome warnen & commaunde the vpon
lyfe & lymme / that thou in hast be at Rome amendes to make of thy
mysdedes that thou hast done / And if it so be that thou come nouzȝt /
we shull passe the hylle of Ioye with strength / and we shull the se
ke wher euer thou may be founde and thou shalt nat haue a fote of
land of thyn owne that we ne shall destroie / audand afterward with
thy body we shull done onrour wyll/ when this lrˉe was rad / & all men
it herd / they were annoied all that were at that solempnite / and the
britons wolde haue slayne the messagiers / but the kyng wold not
suffre hem / and said that the messagiers shold haue none harme / &
mowe by reson none deserue / but commaunded hem to be wurshipp
fully serued / And after mete he toke counceill of kynges erles and
barons / what ansuere he myght yeue ayene to the messagiers and
they counceilled hym at onys that he shold assemble a grete poer of
all the landes of which he had lordshipp. and manly auenge hym
the Em{per}our of the despite that he had sent hym such a lrˉe / &
they sworen by god & by his names that they shold hym pursue &
brenne as moche as they myght / and said that they nold neuer
faille kyng Arthur / and rather to be dede / And they let write a lrˉe
to sende to the Em{per}our by the same messagiers in this maner
¶ Of the bolde ansuere that kyng Arthur sent to the Em{per}our of
Rome & to the romayns ----- Ca . lxxxj.

UNderstondeth amonges yowe of Rome that I am kyng
Arthur of Britaigne & frely it hold and shall hold and
at Rome hastely I wyll be / nat to yeue yow trnagetruage / but
for to axen truage / For Costantine that was Eleynes sone þᵗ was
Em{per}our of Rome & of all the honour that ther to belongeth AudAnd
Maximian kyng conquerd all fraunce and Almayne / and mont
Ioie passed & conquered all lumbardie / and these ij . were myne aun
cestres and that they helde & had / I shall haue thurgh goddes wyll
¶ Of the reuerence that Arthur did to the Em{per}ours messagiers
of Rome ¶ Ca . lxxxij.

WHen this letter was made and enseled kyng Arthur to
the messagiers yafe grete yiftes / and after that the messa//
giers toke hir leue and went thens and come to the court
of Rome ayeneand tolde the Em{per}our how worthely they were vn
derfongen and whiche a rialle companie he had hym to serue / and
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howe he was mor rially serued than the Em{per}our or any kyng li
uyng in the worlde ¶ And when the Em{per}our had sayne the leteer
& herde what was ther yn and saw that Arthur wolde nat be ru
led after hym he let assemble audand ordeyne an huge host for to de//
stroie kyng Arthur yf that he myght. ¶ And kyng Arthur xx
touchyng his poer and partie ordeyned his poer & knyghtes of
the rounde table
¶ Of the kynges and lordes that comen to helpe kyng Arthur a//
yens the Em{per}our ¶ Ca . lxxxiij.

THe kyng of Scotlande and of Irland and of gutland
of denmark & of Almaigne euery of hem had x . M . men
The duc of normādie gastoyne Flādres Pehito & of Bo
loigne had iiij . M . Geryn of Chartres had x . M . Hoel of Britaigne
had xij . M . & hym selfe of his owne land xij . M . and of Arbala//
stiers & of archiers & of othir folk in foot that no man coude hem
nōbre And when all were redy for to wende kyng arthur his lād
& Gūnore his wyfe toke to kepe to one of his nepheus that was a
wys knyght & an hardy that was called Mordred but he was nat
all trewe as ye shull here afterward kyng Arthur toke alle his
reaulme to this Mordred sauf onely the croune And after that
kyng Arthur nōme his host & went to southampton there that the
shippes were bronghtbrought & the folk assembled & they deden hem to the
see & had good wynd & wether at wyll & also sone as they myght
they arrmed at Harflete And as sone as they myght they went
out of hir shippes & spradden all the contre
¶ Howe kyng Arthur fought with a Geaunte in spaigne that
was called Dinabus that queld Eleyne that was kyng hoels co//
sin of litell britaigne ----- Ca . lxxxiiij.

KYng Arthur had not duelled in the cōtre but a litell whi
le that men ne tolde hym that ther was comen a grete ge//
ant in to spayne & had rauysshed fair Eleynˉ that was co
sin to hoel of britaigne & had brought hir vpon an hyll that is cal
led the mounte of seint Bernard & ther was no mā in that cōtre
so bolde ne so hardy þᵗ durst with hym fight ner come nere the place
ther that geant duelled & he was called dinabus that moche sor
we did in the contre ¶ When kyng Arthur herde this tydynge he
called key and Bedewere and cōmaunded hem to go priuely and
espye wher the geant myght be foūde and they comē to the RinageRiuage
ther that men sholde gone to the mounte that was alle enclosed
aboute with water and yit is and euer shall he ¶ And they
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saw abrennyng fire vpon the hille / and ther was also an othir hille
nye that / ther was ther vpon an othir fire brennyng ¶ Key & Be//
dewere comen to the next hill & founden a widewe openhede sittyng
besides a tombe sore wepyng and grete sorwe made / & ofte she said
Eleyne Eleyne And Key and Bedewere axed what hir was and
wherfor she made so moche sorwe / and who lay in that tombe O qd
she what sorwe and mysauenture faire lordes seke ye here / for yf the
Geant may yowe here fynde / ye worth dede anone / Bene stille good
wyfe qd they ther of dismay ye not / but telle vs the soth why thou
makest so moche sorwe and wepyng ¶ Sires qd she / for a damisell
that I norisshed with my brest that was called Eleyne that was
nece to Hoel kyng of Britaigne / and here lieth the body in this tom
be that to me was betaken to norissh ¶ So ther come a deuell a Ge//
ant and rauisshed hir and me also and lad vs both away / and he
wolde haue forlayne that maide that was so yonge and tendre of
age / but she myght it nat suffre / so grete and so huge as the Geant
was / And yf he now come as he is woned to do certis he wyll yow
quelle both to / And therfor fast wende ye hennes And wherfor said
they go ye not hennes ¶ Certes Sir qd she when that Eleyne was
dede the Geant made me to abyde to done and hannte is wyll and
me must nedes it suffre And god it wote I do it not with my good
wyll for me leuer were to be dede / than with hym to dele / So moche
payne I haue when he me forlieth ¶ When Key & Bedewere had
herde all that this woman had tolde they turned ayene and come to
kyng Arthur and tolde hym all that they had seyne and herde / Ar//
thur anone toke hem both with hym and went preuelich by nyght
that none of his hoost it wyst and come on the morwe erly to the ge//
ant and faught with hym strongly and at the last hym slowe And
Arthur bad Bedewere smyte of his heed / and bring it to the hoost
to shewe hem for a wonder / for it was so grete and so huge / When
they comen ayene to the hoost / they tolden wherfor they had bene oute
and shewed to hem the heed / and euery man was glad and Ioifull
of the worthy dede that kyng Arthur had done that was hir lorde
¶ And Hoel was full sorwefull for his nece that was so loste / &
after when he had space he let make a faire chapell of our lady ouer
Eleyns tombe

¶ How kyng Arthur yafe bataille to the Em{per}our in the whiche
bataille the Em{per}our was slayne
Capitulo . lxxxv.
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ARthur and his peple had tydyng that the Em{per}our had
assēbled a grete poer as well of sarasyns as of paynyms
and cristen mē wher of the nombre was lxxx . M . hors mē
and fote men Arthur & his peple ordeyned fast forth in hir way
toward the Em{per}our and passed Normandie and fraunce vn to
Burgoyne and wold euen haue gone to the host For men tolde
hym that the Em{per}ours host wolde come to lucie The em{per}our and
his host in the begynˉyng of August remeued fro rome & cam forth
right the way toward the host Tho comen kyng Arthures espies
and said yf that Arthur wolde he sholde finde ther fast by the Em
{per}our But they said that the Em{per}our had so grete poer with hym
of kynges of the lande and of paynyms yfere and also cristen pe
ple that it nere but grete foly to kyng Arthur to meten with hym
for the espies tolde that the Em{per}our had v. men or vj. ayens one
of his ¶ Kyng arthur was bolde & hardy & for no thyng hym
dismaied and said go we boldely in goddes name ayens the Ro//
mayns that with hem lede sarasins and paynyms that no ma//
ner trust they haue to god but only vpon hir strength. Go we
nowe and sech hem Sharpely in the name of Almyghty god and
slee we the paynyms and cristen men that ben ennmies with hem
for to destroie cristen men and god shall vs helpe for we haue the
right and therfor haue we trust in god and do we so that the ene
mies that be to cristendome and to god mowe be dede and destroied
and that men mowe record the worthynesse of knyght hode When
kyng Arthur had thus said they cried all wyth a high vois.
¶ God fadre almyghty wurshipped be thy name withouten end
amen and graunte vs grace well to done and to destroie our ene//
myes that bene ayens cristendome In the name of the fadre of the
sone and of the holy gost amen and god yeue hym neuer grace ne
worshipp in the world ne mercy of hym to haue that this day shall
feyuten well for to smyte and egrely and so they riden softely and
ordeyned his wynges well and wysely
¶ The Em{per}our herd telle that kyng Arthur and his folk were
redy araied for to fight with hym and thidder they come And
he ordeyned his wynges in the best maner that he myzȝt and more
trust vpon his strength than in god almyghty and that was seyn
afterward ¶ For when tho ij . hostes mette the Em{per}our lost
suche iiij . of his folk as did Arthur and so many were slayne
what in that one side and in that othir that it was grete pite to
wyt and to seen ¶ In this bataill were slayne thurgh kyng
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Arthur v . kynges of the paynyms and of othir wonder moch pe//
ple / And kyng Arthures men foughten so well that the roymains
and paynyms had no more strength to withstonde / than xx . shepe a
yens v . wolfes / And so it befell that in this bataille in showre that
was wondre hard and longe during in that one side and in that o
thir the Em{per}our amonges hem there was slayne / but no mā wist
for soth who him slowe
¶ How kyng ArthutArthur let entier his knyghtes that he had lost in þᵗ
bataille and how he sent the Em{per}ours body to rome that ther was
slayne in bataille ----- Ca . lxxxvj

WHen the romaine wist that the Em{per}our was dede they for
soke the felde and the paynyms also / And kyng Arthure
after hem chaced till it was nyzȝt & so many of hem queld
that it was wonder to telle ¶ And tho turned kyng Arthur ayen
tho it was nyzȝt / & thanked god of his victorie / And in the morwe
he let loke & see all the felde for his knyghtes that he had ther loste
that is to say Borell Erle of Maunt Bedewere and Key and Li//
giers Erle of Boloigne Vrgeti Erle of Baac Aloth erle of wyn
chestre Cursale erle of chestre and after holdein erle of Flaundres
thees were the grete lordes that kyng Arthur lost in that bataille /
amonge othir worthy knyghtes / And some he let entier in Abbeis
by the contre somme he let be borne in to hir owne contre / And the
Em{per}ours body he let take & put vpon a beer & sent it to romeAnd
sent to say the romains that for britaigne and fraunce whiche that
he helde / othir truage wold he none pay / And yf they axed him any
othir truages / right suche truage he wold hem pay ¶ The kyng let
bere Key to kenen his owne Castell and ther he was entered / & Li//
gier was borne to Boloigne ther he was lord / And Holden was
borne to flaundres / and ther he was entered ¶ And all the othir he
let entier with mochell honour in Abbeis & in houses of religion in
the contre ther that they were dede ¶ And Arthur him selfe soiour
ned that same yere in Burgoyne with his host / and thought the sa
me yere folewyng to passe the mounte of Ioye / & haue gone to rome
all for to take the Cite / and haue put the romains in subiection but
the wykked tiraunt Mordred hym lette as after ye shall here
¶ How mordred the traitour to whom kyng Arthur toke his land
to kepe and his castelles and helde it ayens hym ¶ Ca . lxxxvij

WHen kyng Arthur had taken to mordred his Reame to ke
pe and was gone ayens the Em{per}our of Rome & was pas
sed the see / Mordred anone toke homages & feautes of alle
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hem that were in this lande / and wolde haue had the lande to his
owne vse / and toke castelles aboute and let hem araie / And after this
falsenesse he did an othir grete wronge / for ayens the lawe of cristē
te / he toke his owne emes wyfe as a traitour shold & xxxxyned hym
a grete host ayens Arthurs comyng to holde xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx hym
with strength for euermore / And to slee kyng Axxxxx if he myght
and send by the see and land & lete assemble paynyms & cristen pe//
ple / and he sente to saxones & to danois for to helpe him / And also
Mordred sent to Cheldrik to done men to come to him oute of Saxo//
yne / that was a worthy duke / & byhet him yf that he brought with
him moch peple he wold graunte him in heritage for euermore alle
the laudelande from beyonde humber vn to scotland / And all the lande
that Engist had of vortigers yift / when that he spoused his dough
ter ¶ And Cheldrik come with grete strength & poer of peple / and
Mordred had assembled also in his halfe that they had xl . M . of
stronge knyghtes / when that they had nede

¶ How Arthur enchased mordred the traitour & how he was slay
ne & also kyng Arthur wounded to deth ¶Ca.lxxxviij

WHen this tydynge come to kyng Arthur ther that he was
in Burgoyne he was full sore ānoied & toke alle franncefraunce
to hoel for to kepe with haluendel of his men and praied
him that he wolde it kepe till he come ayene / for him selfe wold wēd
in to Britaigne / and anengeauenge him vpon mordred that was his tral
tonrtraitourand forth went his way / and come to Whytsand & made his
men gone in to shippe and wolde haue arriued at sandewych / audand
brought with him a grete host of fraunce also with his owne lande
But er that he myght come to londe with his peple that were comen
oute of his shippes Mordred was comen with all his power / and
yafe a stronge bataille / so that kyng Arthur lost many a man er
that he myght comen to londe ¶ For ther was Gawen his nepheu
slayne and Augnissell that helde scotland and many othir wher of
kyng Arthur was full sory / But after that they were comē to lād
mordred myght not ayens hem endure / but anone was discōfited &
fledde this the same nyzȝt with his men / & vpon the morne to london
but tho of the cite wolde not suffre him to come in / & frō thens he fled
to wynchestre & ther be helde him with his peple that with him comˉ
Kyng Arthur let take the body of Gawen his cosin and the body
of Augnissell and let hem be borne in to Scotland in to hir owne
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contreNoteThe reading of 'o' is dubious. and ther they were entered ¶ And after anone kyng Ar//
thur nōme his wey to destroie Mordred and fled fro thens in to
Cornewaille ¶ The quene Gūnore that was kyng Arthuris wif
that tho soixxrned at yorke and herd that Mordred was fled thēs
that he Wxxxxx must not endure ayens kyng ArthnrArthur she was sore
adrad and xxx grete doute and wist not what was best all for to
done For she wyst well that hir lord kyng Arthur wolde neuer
of hir haue mercy For the grete shame that she to hym had done &
nōme hir wey priuely with iiij . men with oute mo & come to karli
one & ther she duelled all hir lyfe that neuer was sey amonge folk
hir lyfe during ¶ Arthur wyst that Mordred was fledde in to
Cornewaille & let send after his men in to Scotland & northum//
berland vn to humber & let assemble folk withontewithoute nombre & co//
men fro thens in to Cornewaille to seche and pursewe after mor//
dred And Mordred had assembled to hym all the folk of Corne//
waille & had peple withoute nombre and wyst that Arthur was
comyng and had leuer to die & take his chaunce than lenger fle
And abode & yaf an hard bataill to kyng Arthur and to his pe//
ple so that so moche peple was slayne what of that on half and in
that othir that no mā wyst who had the better {per}tie But so it be
fell at the last that Mordred was slayne and all his folk and the
good chiualrie that kyng Arthur had gadred and norisshed of di//
uerse landes And also the noble knyghtes of the rounde table
that so moche was preised thurgh out all the world were there
slayne And Arthur hym self was wounded to the deth but he let
hym he borne in a litter to a vyoun to be heled of his wonndeswoundes &
yit the britons supposen that he lyue in an othir land and that
he shall come yet and conquere all Britaigne but certes this is the
proficie of Merlyn he said that his deth shall be doubtous and said
soth for men ther of yit haue doubte and shulle for euermore as
me saith ¶ For men wyt nat whether that he lyueth or is dede
¶ Arthur was borne to Auyonˉ the xxij . yere of his regne after
the IncarnacionnIncarnacioun of our lord Ihu ˉ crist v C . and xlvj . yere
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