The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume II. The End of the Middle Ages.

XII. English Prose in the Fifteenth Century, I



Edward, duke of York. The Master of Game. Ed. Baillie-Grohmann, W. A. and F. 1904. Privately printed.


Works and Critical Accounts

Chronicle of England. Ed. Hingeston, F. C. Rolls Series. 1858.

Liber de Illustribus Henricis. Ed. Hingeston, F. C. Rolls Series. 1858. Also translation, Book of the Illustrious Henries. Ed. Hingeston, F.C. Rolls Series. 1858.

Nova Legenda Angliae. MSS. in York Minster library, etc. printed by Wynkyn de Worde, 1516. [Cf. the earlier writings of Goscelin (fl. 1099), an industrious collector of materials for saints’ lives. Hist Litt. de France, VIII.]

St. Katharine, Life of. Ed. Horstmann, C. Forewards by Furnivall, F. J. E.E.T.S. 1893.

Leland. De Scriptoribus Britannicis, sub nom. for Latin Works.

Tanner, Bibliotheca Brit.-Hiberniae. (See also D. of N. B. for MSS., etc.)

Ten Brink, B. Hist. Eng. Lit. Vol. III, pp. 17 ff. 1902.

Capgrave’s Lives of St. Augustine (of Hippo) and St. Gilbert of “Sempyng ham,” 1451, are extant in a MS. believed to be holograph. Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 36, 704. The former he was begged by a noble gentlewoman to write for her, “pat is to sey to translate hir treuly”; the latter was “translat in the same forme,” “saue sum addiciones,” at the prayer of Nicholas Reysby, Master of the order of St. Gilbert of S., and designed for the anchoresses of that order. It is dated 1451, by “J. C. amonge doctouris lest,” and is mainly a string of St. Gilbert’s miracles. Neither of the Latin originals is now known. The style is clear, somewhat more colloquial than that of the Annals and less compressed; duplicates are few, e.g. “the grave or else the sepulture” of St. G. Spelling is remarkably consistent. Capgrave appends a translated summary of his sermon on the various Augustinian orders, preached in Cambridge, 1422, but revised later, for Reysby and others who wished to know “diffusely” of the subject. See New Palaeographical Society’s Publications, Part III (1905), with facsimile. The two lives are being edited for the E.E.T.S. by J. J. Munro, together with portions of Capgrave’s Life of St. Norbert, in verse, the holograph MS. of which is in the Phillipps collection.


A. Works (printed)

The Book of Faith. Second part and summary of first part, ed. Wharton, Hy. Blackletter. 1688. An edition by Morrision, J. L., is in preparation, from MS. Trinity Coll. Camb. B 1445.

The Repressor of Overmuch Blaming of the Clergy. Ed, Babington, C. 2 vols. Rolls Series. 1860. With introduction and bibliography. The standard work on the whole subject of Pecock and his works.

B. Works (in MS. only)

The Donet. Bodleian Library, No. 916. Also a transcript, James MSS. in Bodleian, No. 14.

The Follower to the Donet, Brit. Mus. Bobl. Reg. 17 D. IX.

The Poor Men’s Mirror, or Outdraught of the Donet. In the Library of Lord Amherst of Hackney, formerly in Tennison’s Excerpts by Wharton, Hy., in Lambeth MSS., No. 594.

The Reule of Cristen Religioun. Phillipps collection.

(For list of lost works see Babington, Introd. to Repressor.)

C. Contemporary Accounts

An English Chronicle. (Cronycullys of England.) Ed. Gairdner, J., in Three Fifteenth Century Chronicles. Camden Soc. sub an. 1457, for trial and abjuration. Full account, copied by Stow, Annals, and from Stow by Holinshed.

Chronicle of the Grey Friars. In Monumenta Franciscana. Vol. II. Ed. Howlett. Rools Series. 1882. sub an. 1457, for Pecock’s abjuration. See also Wilkins, Concilia, vol. III, p. 576.

Gascoigne, Thomas. Liber Veritatum. MS. in Lincoln College, Oxford. Extracts in “Gascoigne’s Loci e Libro Veritatum.” Ed. Rogers, J. E. P. Oxford, 1881. Contains much information by a bitter enemy.

Historical MSS. Commission. 12th Report, Appendix, Part IX (1891), pp. 385, 584.

Rolls of Parliament. Vol. v, p. 279.

Whethamstede, Registrum Abbat. Johannis. Ed. Riley, H.T. 2 vols. Rolls Series. 1872–3. Also, but less correct, in T. Hearne’s Duo Rerum Anglicarum Scriptores Veteres, 1732, vol. II. The view of a bitter enemy.

D. Works of Reference

(Leland, Comment. de Scriptoribus; Foxe, Comment. Rerum; and Wharton, Hist. Angl. Ecclesia are erroneous.)

Bale, J. Illustrium majoris Britanniae scriptorum summarium. Ed. Poole and Bateson. Anecdota Oxon. Med. and Mod. Ser. 4. Pt. IX. Oxford, 1902.

Baronius Annales Eccles. vol. XXIX (i.e. Raynaldus, vol. X), sub an. 1459, for Pius II’s condemnation.

Le Neve. Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae. Ed. Hardy, T. D. Oxford, 1854. Vol. I, p. 71, St. Asaph; p. 247, Chichester. For references to records for promotion, etc.

Tanner, T. Bibl. Britan. Hibern. Good references. Also sub “Regnum” for Gascoigne.

Wharton, H. Hist. Episc… Londin… Assavensis. 1540. Has useful references.

E. Modern Accounts

Hook, W. F. Lives of Archbishops of Canterbury. sub Stafford and Bourchief for Pecock’s ultramontane attitude, and Sermon.

Lewis, John. Life of the Learned and Right Reverend Reynold Pecock, S.T.P. Oxford, 1820. Also in same author’s Life of Wyclif, 1820. Full. Useful extracts, based on Waterland.

Waterland, D. Works. Ed. van Mildert. Oxford, 1856. Vol. VI (Letters to Lewis). Extracts and bibliography in notes. See also ed. 1828, vol. X.

Wood, Anthony, Ed. Gutch, J. Hist. and Antiquities (Annals) of University of Oxford. sub an. 1457. Oxford, 1786–96.

F. Critical Appreciations

Gairdner, J. and Spedding, J. Studies in English History. Edinburgh, 1881.

Jusserand, J.J. Histoire Littéraire du Peuple Anglais. Vol. I. Paris, 1894. English trans. 1895.

Morley, H. English Writers. Vol. VI. 1890. [Also for Fortescue, Capgrave, etc.]

The Brink, B. Geschichte der englischen Literatur. Vol. II. 2 vols. Strassburg, 1893. English trans. Robinson, W. C. 1893.


Sir John Fortescue his Life and Works. Ed. Lord Clermont. 1869. 2 vols. (De Natura Legis Naturae (1461–3); De Laudibus legum Angliae (1471); De Titulo Edwardo Com. Marchiae; Defension juris Domus Lancastriae; A Declaration upon certayn Wrytinges (1471–3); Dialogue between Understanding and Faith (1471) etc.

On the Governance of England. Ed. Plummer, C. With introduction, etc. Oxford, 1885. The best authority on Fortescue. Foss, E. The Judges of England, 1848–64, 9 vols., vol. IV. Taine, H. A. History of English Literature. Eng. trans. vol. I, bk. i, chap. II, [char] viii. 1906.


De Imitatione Christi. Ed. Ingram, J. K. E.E.T.S. Ex. Ser. LXIII. 1893.

The early translation, mid-15th century, also version by Atkynson and the Lady Margaret.

Gesta Romanorum. Translation, c 1440. Wynkyn de Worde. 1524? Also ed. by Madden, Sir F., Roxburghe Club, 1838; Herrtage, S. J., E.E.T.S. Ex. Ser. XXXIII, 1879, with notes on manuscripts. On the whole subject, see Oesterley, H., Berlin, 1872, who discusses date of original compilation and considers it to be English.

Hylton or Hilton, Walter. 1. Scala Perfectionis. 2. Devout Book to a temporal man. 3. Devout Treatise of the song of angels. Early editions by W. de Worde (1 and 2), 1494, 1519, 1525, 1533; Pynson (1 and 2), 1506, (3) 1521; Notary, Julian, 1507; modern editions by Cressy, S. (1 and 2), 1659; Guy, R. E. (1 and 2), London, Dublin and Derby, 1869 (good preface and notes); and Dalgairns, J. B., 1901, reprint of Cressy’s text. See D. of N. B. for MSS.; also Inge, W. R., Studies of English Mystics, 1905.

Juliana of Norwich: Revelations of Divine Love. First printed by Cressy, Dom S., 1670, reprinted 1845; modern editions by Warrack, Grace, 1901; and Tyrrell, Geo., S.J., 1902; also Collins, Hy., London and Derby, 1877. See Blomefield’s Hist. Norfolk, IV, 81; Inge, W. R., Studies of English

Mystics, 1905; Horstman’s Introduction to R. Rolle of Hampole, 2 vols., 1895–6.

Legenda Aurea. 15th century translation and additions. MSS.: Brit. Mus. Add. II, 565, Harl. 4775 and others; Lambeth 72. See, on the whole subject and for specimens, Butler, Pierce, Legenda Aurea, Baltimore, 1899 (valuable); also Horstmann, C., Old English Legendary, E.E. T.S. LXXXVII.

Prymer (i.e. Prayer Book), c. 1400. Ed. Littlehales, H. 2 vols. 1891–2.


Brut or Chronicle of England. Ed. Brie, F. E.E.T.S. 1906. English Chronicle, 1377–1461. Ed. Davies, J. S. Camden Soc. 1856. English Chronicle in Three 15th century Chronicles. Ed. Gairdner, J. Camden Soc. 1880.

Commodities of England (before 1451) in the works of Sir John Fortescue. Ed. Clermont. Vol. I.

Historical Collections of a London Citizen, for Gregory’s Chronicle, etc. Ed. Gairdner, J. Camden Soc. 1876.

Historie of the Arrivall of Edward IV. Ed. Bruce, J. Camden Soc. 1838. A valuable record.

Lincolnshire, Rebellion in. Ed. Nichols, J. G. Camden Soc. Miscellany No. 1. 1847.

St. Albans, First Battle at. Archaelogia, XX, 519.

Warkworth, J. Chronicle of the first thirteen years of the reign of Edward IV. Ed. Halliwell, J. O. Camden Soc. 1839.


Bekynton, Correspondence of. Vol. I. 2 vols. Rolls Series. 1872.

Criginal Letters. Two Series. Ed. Ellis, Sir Henry. 1827.

Epistolae Academiae Oxon. Ed. Anstey, H. Oxford Historical Soc. 1898.

Paston Letters, The. Ed. Gairdner, J. 4 vols. 1901. See also D. of N.B. and Morley’s English Writers, vol. VI, chap. XI.

Plumpton Correspondence. Vol I. Ed. Stapleton, T. Camden Soc. 1839.

For other specimens of 15th century prose, consult Early English Text Society’s publications, e.g.

Book of Quinte Essence (1440–70). Ed. Furnivall, F.J. 1866.

English Conquest of Ireland, The. A.D. 1166–1185. Mainly from the

Expugnation Hibernica of Giraldus Cambrensis. Ed. Furnivall, F. J. [Mid-15th cent. prose.] E.E.T.S. 1896.

Lanfrank’s Cirurgie (1396 and 1420). Ed. Fleischhacker, R. von. 1894.

La Tour Landry (c 1440). Ed. Wright, T. 1868.

Melusine (c 1500). Ed. Donald, A. K. 1895.

Religious Pieces (c 1440). Ed. Perry, G. G. 1867.

Secreta Secretorum. Three prose translations by Yonge, J., 1428. Ed. Steele, R. 1898.

Three King’s Sons (c. 1500). Ed. Furnivall, F. J. 1895.

Two Fifteenth Century Cookery Books. Ed. Austin, T. 1888. Dictionaries:

Catholicon Anglicum (1483). An English-Latin word-book. Ed. Herrtage, S. J. 1881. E.E.T.S. and Camden Soc.

Promptorium Parvulorum. Camden Soc. 1843–65. New edition, Mayhew, E.E.T.S., forthcoming.

On scribes and book trade, see:

Kirchhoff, Albrecht. Handschriftshändler des Mittelaters. Leipzig, 1853. Morley, H. English Writers. Vol. II, chap. xii. 1890.

Wattenbach, W. Das Schriftswesen in Mittelalter. 3rd ed. Leipzig, 1896.

For prices, see hints in Catalogues of MSS. in College Libraries, Cambridge, ed.James, M. R.