Early Modern Mythological Texts: Troia Britanica XVI, Notes3

Thomas Heywood. Troia Britanica (1609)

Notes to CANTO XVI (stanzas 71-end)


Ed. Nick MYERS


Fredegunde: F, Tredegunde. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4549/588, fol. 157v: “Laudrie, one of the Dukes of Soysons [Soissons] in France, fearing that his advoutry committed with the queen Fredegunde should be disclosed, by her counsel slew Chilperich, the king”. The full story of Chilperic’s assassination by his wife’s lover is told by Robert Fabyan (Cronycle, fol. 52r-v), who borrows it from Robert Gaguin’s Compendium super Francorum Gestis (Paris: Thielman Herver, 1500), II, fol. 14r-v. It originates in the anonymous Liber Historiae Francorum (early eighth century), ed. Bruno Krusch, Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptorum Rerum Merovingicarum Tomus II (Hanover: Hahnian, 1888), pp. 215-328, chapter 35. Back to text

Lawdrie: See preceding note. Heywood borrows the name from Cooper, whose Laudrie derives from Fabyan’s Laundrye, itself a deformation of Landeric (Landericus), the name used by Gaguin and the Liber Historiae Francorum (eighth century). Back to text

’Gainst Gregory ... improved: i.e. against all reason, John the Patriarch reproached Gregory with improving the Church’s primacy. From Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4569/608, fol. 157r: “John the Patriarch of Constantinople, of an intolerable pride, made suit to Mauritius the emperor to be called the Universal Bishop, whom Gregory, then bishop of Rome, vehemently withstood and wrote against him very extremely in divers epistles”. Cooper is referring to Pope Gregory I, who vigorously contested the right of the Patriarch of Constantinople to claim the title of “oecumenical bishop”, that is, having universal jurisdiction over all churches in Christendom.

Mahomet: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4586/625, fol. 159v: “Mahomet of Arabia [...] devised a law or kind of religion called Alcaron”. Back to text

Brunchild: Brunichildis in Latin, otherwise Brunehilde or Brunehaut. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4588/627, fol. 160r: “Brunichild, a woman of perverse and evil disposition, maligned alway against Clothaire, king of France [Clotaire II], her nephew, and therefore excited one Sigisberde to claim the land of Austracie. But in the end, this Sigisberde was taken and slain and Brunichild for her manifold mischiefs put to most vile and shameful death, which in her turn had been occasion of the death of 10 princes, beside other”. Cooper sums up Fabyans Cronycle (fol. 61r-v), according to which “Brunechyelde”, who maligned ever again Lothayr”, convinced her grandson Sigebert to claim Austrasia (the kingdom of Metz); when they were defeated, “the king rehearsed unto her a long process of all her murders, conspiracies, and wicked deeds, affirming that she had been the occasion and cause of the death of 10 princes, beside other mean persons. [...] He then commanded her to be bounden to a wild horse tail by the hair of her head and so to be drawn while she was dead”. Fabyan follows Gaguin’s Compendium super Francorum Gestis, III, fol. 19r. A slightly different version of her ordeal in either 613 or 614 is given in the Liber Historiae Francorum (early eighth century), ed. Bruno Krusch, Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptorum Rerum Merovingicarum Tomus II (Hanover: Hahnian, 1888), pp. 215-328, chapter 40. The cloud of black legends surrounding this queen makes any serious historical appreciation virtually impossible. She is presented in iconography and legend as a latter-day Jezebel. Back to text



635: F, 335.

Cadwallin: Cadwallon [Caedwalla] ap Cadfan. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4596/635, fol. 161r: “Cadwallyne, the son of Cadwane, began his reign over the Britons. He was valiant and mighty and warred strongly upon the Saxons”. The Christian king of the region of Gwynedd (north Wales), Cadwallin allied himself with the Saxon Penda, and defeated and killed the Northumbrian king, Edwin, in 633. He was in turn defeated and killed by Ethelfrid’s son Oswald, in 635. He is Cadvallo in the 1508 and 1517 eds of Geoffrey of Monmouth (fol. 95r), Cadvallo or Kadwallo in the mss of Geoffrey, Cadwallo for Hardyng (fol. 87r), Cadwallus or Cadwalyne for Fabyan (V, 133, fol. 67v). His reign is summed up in Spenser’s Faerie Queene, III, iii, 36-40. Back to text

Benet the monk: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4617/656, fol. 162v: “Bennet, the monk, and master of the reverent Beda, was famous in Britain. This Bennet brought first the craft of glazing into this land”. Cooper (and Heywood after him) refer to Benedict Biscop, who founded the monastery of Wearmouth, as Bede recalls: “when the work was drawing nigh to completion, he sent messengers to France, which should bring over makers of glass (a sort of craftsman till that time unknown in Britain) to glaze the windows of the church, its side-chapels and clerestory”, Life of the Abbots, translated by J. E. King (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1930), 5, pp. 402-3. Back to text

The Saracens … Jerusalem: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4600/639, fol. 161v: “The Arabians, their name being changed and called Saracens, by the leading of Mahomet invaded Persia and overcame their king Ormisda, by which mean Persia was subdued to Mahomet and his law”; and 4603/642, fol. 161v: “They conquered Damascus, took Phoenicia, spoiled Antioch, besieged Hierusalem and subdued to their signory all Egypt”. Back to text

Ormisda: Probably Hormizd VI (who is considered by some historians of ancient Persia to be Hormizd V, since they do not recognize a usurper who took that name and title), the last Sasanian king, who reigned from 630 to 632, before being overthrown by invading Islamic armies. Back to text



Cadwallader: Cadwaladr ap Cadwallon, king of Gwynned. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4644/683, fol. 164v: “Cadwallader was ordained king of Britain and ruled only three years”. Cooper adds that he “forsook his kingly authority and became a religious man. He was the last king of Britain” (4647/686, fol. 165r). This agrees with Geoffrey of Monmouth who reports that he died in Rome, after having renounced his project to reconquer the lost kingdom of the Britons, in 689 after Christ’s birth. But Welsh chronicles (e.g. Annales Cambriae) report that he died of the plague in 682: Annales Cambriae, ed. John Williams ab Ithel (Rolls Series 20), 1860, p. 8. It is Caedwalla, king of the West Saxons (c. 659-689), who, according to Bede’s Ecclesiastical History, V, 7, abdicated in 688 to be baptized in Rome, where he died in 689. Cadwallader is Cavalladrus in the 1508 and 1517 eds of Geoffrey of Monmouth (fol. 100r), Cadvalladrus and Cadwalladrus in the mss of Geoffrey, Cadwaladrus and Cadwallader for Hardyng (fol. 117v), Cadwaladrus and Cadwalladyr for Fabyan (V, 140, fol. 73v); On Cadwallader as “last king of Britain”, see Spenser, Faerie Queene, III, iii, 40-41. Back to text

Ine: F, Ive. The mispelling “Ive” in F concords with Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4644/683, fol. 164v, where he appears as “Iew”, with Fabyans cronycle, where he is presented as “Iewe or Iue” (London: William Rastell, 1533), fol. 84v, after Ranulf Higden’s Polychronicon, where he is called “Iue” (Westminster: Caxton, 1482), fol. 262r, a spelling also adopted by John Hardyng. Ine, king of the West Saxons, reigned from 688 to 726. By this time the Saxons of Wessex were more or less cohabiting with the Britons, with whom they now shared a common faith. See Bede’s Ecclesiastical History, V, 7.

impaled his head: i.e. was crowned. Back to text

Ethelard: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4685/724, fol. 170v: “After him [Ine] Ethelarde was king of the West Saxons, in whose time the reverent Beda was famous”. In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Æthelheard is mentioned as having succeeded to Ine, and having reigned over Wessex for fourteen years. He is mentioned as a relative, but his exact relation to Ine remains obscure: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, ed. and trans. D. Whitelock, D. C. Douglas and S. I. Tucker (New Brunswick, N. J.: Rutgers University Press, 1961), s. a. 726. John Stow repeats the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Æthelheard reigned from 726 to 740. Back to text

Beda: Bede. He finished his Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum in 731. It remains the supreme testimony to the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons and the far-reaching cultural changes that ensued throughout the several kingdoms that formed Britain by that point. He lived his entire life as a monk at Monkwearmouth and Jarrow, from 673 to 735. His collected writings constitute the most copious and important Latin works since Saint Augustine. The “Threescore and eighteen volumes” that Heywood attributes to him echo Ranulf Higden’s Polychronicon (V, 24, fol. 268r) and Fabyan’s Cronycle (fol. 79r), which mention “lxxviii bokes”, as well as John Foxe’s remark that Bede wrote treatises “which came in all to the number of 37 volumes, which he digested into 78 books”, Acts and Monuments (London: John Day, 1583), p. 127. Back to text



Cuthred: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4690/729, fol. 171r: “Cuthbert was king of West Saxons in England”. King of Wessex (or West Saxony), 740-756. Cooper calls him Cuthbert, but Heywood uses the alternative form, Cuthred, also in common use.

whom succeeds: i.e. who was succeeded by. Back to text

Sigebert: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4706/745, fol. 172v: “Sygebert was auctorised king of West Saxons in Britain. He was cruel and tyrannous toward his subjects and turned the ancient laws and customs after his own will and pleasure. And because a certain noble man somedeal advertised him to change his manners, he maliciously caused the same person to be put to death. And for so much as he continued in his malice and would not amend, he was deprived of all kingly authority, and lastly, as a person desolate and forlorn, wandering alone in a wood, was slain of a swineherd whose lord and master he, being king, had wrongfully put to death. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, ed. and trans. D. Whitelock, D. C. Douglas and S. I. Tucker (New Brunswick, N. J.: Rutgers University Press, 1961), s. a. 756, 757 [texts A, E], West Saxon councillors led by Cynewulf deposed Sigeberht “because of unjust acts”. Among other acts, Sigeberht is known to have killed his most faithful ealdorman. Revenge for this was in effect carried out by the ealdorman’s swineherd.  Early modern chronicles vary on the dates of Sigeberht’s reign: 745-46 for Fabyan, Cooper, and accordingly Heywood; 756-57 for John Hardyng. Back to text

Kinulphus: Cynewulf, King of Wessex, 757-786. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4709/748, fols. 172v-173r, for the beginning of his reign and 4738/777: “Kenulphus, king of West Saxons in Britain, as he haunted to a woman which he kept at Merton, was slain by treason of one Clito, the kinsman of Sigebert late king”. He was murdered, along with all his escort, by Cyneheard, Sigeberht’s brother. When the main body of Cynewulf’s army arrived, they in turn slaughtered Cyneheard and his followers: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, ed. and trans. D. Whitelock, D. C. Douglas and S. I. Tucker (New Brunswick, N. J.: Rutgers University Press, 1961), s. a. 757, 786 [texts A, E]. Back to text



4702/749: a probable misprint. The dates would be 4710/749 or 4702/741 in Lanquet and Cooper’s system, but those do not correspond to any of the events mentioned in stanzas 74 and 75. 

Rhodes they wasted: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4618/657, fol. 162v: “The Saracens, which with great cruelty and continual wars, had spoiled Asia and Africa, pierced Europe. They subdued Rhodes, wasted and pilled Sicily, and with unspeakable tyranny afflicted the islands called Cyclades”. This was during the wars between Muslim armies and the Byzantine empire. They had first raided Rhodes in 653 and occupied it from 672 to 679. Back to text

The firmament two days appears to burn: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4625/664, fol. 163r: “Here about this time the element seemed to burn like fire the space of ten days. A blazing star appeared two months. Wonderful storms of rain fell continually from above and so great plenty of thunder and lightning, that the like therof had not been seen”. According to Sabellicus, during Adeodatus II’s pontificate (672-676), “Coelum maximo spectantium terrore decem dies est visum ardere; et mox eo trienno crinita stella tribus mensibus apparuit; cecideruntque e coelo imbres perpetui et tonitrua horrenda, qualia nunquam hominum memoria fuerant audita”, Enneades, VIII, 6, fol. 180v. Sigebert of Gembloux’s Chronicon (Paris: Jean Petit, 1513) mentions some of those prodigies s. a. 676. Back to text

Constantine: Constantine IV, Byzantine emperor from 668 to 685, stopped the progression of the Saracens. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4640/679, fol. 164r: “Constantine the emperor vanquished the Saracens and made them tributary to him. At which time fell of the Saracens 30 thousand”. Landolfus Sagax’s addition to the Historia Romana (Basel: Froben, 1532) reported that after Constantine successfully repelled the First Siege of Constantinople (674-678), the Muslim fleet was heavily damaged in a storm while on land, the Greek captains Florus, Petronas and Cyprianus vanquished the Muslim troops, causing 30 000 casualties (p. 266). Back to text

Justinian: Justinian II reigned from 685 to 695. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4648/687, fol. 165r: “Justinian, son of Constantine, succeeded the imperial authority. He vanquished the Saracens and forced them to be with him at league, by conditions whereof he received again Africa and Lybia”. Back to text



Brithricus: Beorhtric, king of the West Saxons from 786 to 802. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4739/778, fol. 173v: “Brithricus, of the blood of Cerdicus, was made king of West Saxons and knightly ruled his land the space of eighteen years”—sixteen according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, ed. and trans. D. Whitelock, D. C. Douglas and S. I. Tucker (New Brunswick, N. J.: Rutgers University Press, 1961), s. a. 786 [texts A, E]. Back to text

Cerdicus: Cerdic. see Cooper in preceding note; from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, ed. and trans. D. Whitelock, D. C. Douglas and S. I. Tucker (New Brunswick, N. J.: Rutgers University Press, 1961), s. a. 786 [texts A, E].

the Danes: Mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, ed. and trans. D. Whitelock, D. C. Douglas and S. I. Tucker (New Brunswick, N. J.: Rutgers University Press, 1961), s. a. 789 [texts A, E]. It was some time in Beorhtric’s reign that three Danish ships made a hostile landing on the coast of Wessex. This was the first direct incursion into the British Isles from that quarter. Not much noticed at first, it presaged the arrival of the Vikings during the coming century. Back to text

Ethelburgh: Eadburh, daughter of the powerful King of Mercia, Offa. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4755/794, fol. 174v: “Brithricus, king of West Saxons, was poisoned by his wife Ethelburga, for which deed the nobles ordained that from thence forth the kings’ wives should not be called queens, nor suffered to sit with them in places of state”. Eadburh’s poisoning of Beorhtric and the allegedly subsequent downgrading of West Saxon queens derives from Asser’s Life of King Alfred, ed. William Henry Stevenson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1904) 13-14, pp. 11-13. Back to text

Saint Albans, Winchcombe: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4721/760, fol. 172r: “Offa, king of Mercia in Britain, builded the church of Wichcom [Winchcombe] and the abbey of Saint Albans”. Heywood’s syntax might be taken to suggest that it was Beorhtric who founded these abbeys. In fact, they were founded for the Benedictine order, most probably by Offa. Back to text

Blood rained etc.: Not mentioned in Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle. It was reported in Ranulf Higden’s Polychronicon (Westminster: Caxton, 1482), V, 27, fol. 272v; it was repeated in Holinshed’s Chronicle (1587), History of England, VI, 7, p. 135 and in John Stow’s English Chronicle (London: John Windet, 1607), p. 37. The information was originally given in the Annales Laureshamenses s. a. 787, Monumenta Germaniae Historica, ed. G. H. Perez (Hanover: Hahnian, 1826), vol. 1, p. 33. Back to text



Egbert: Ecgberht, king of the West Saxons from 802 to 839. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4756/795, fol. 174v: “Egbert the Saxon, which by Brithricus was chased out of the realm of Britain, having knowledge at this time of the death of Brithricus, returned out of France and in so knightly wise him demeaned that he obtained the governance of West Saxons. He tamed the Welshmen, vanquished Berthulfus, king of Middle England, and subdued to his signory and obeisance the Kentish Saxons, East Saxons, and Northumbers, and reigned as king over the more part of England the space of 37 years. He first commanded this land to be called Anglia and the inhabitants thereof Englishmen or Angles”. Returning from Francia, where he had been under the protection of Charlemagne, he succeeded to the West Saxon throne in 802. Ultimately, he initiated the growing dominance of Wessex (which corresponded to the decline of Mercia), which would be inherited by his grandson, Alfred. Back to text

Charles the Great: Charlemagne, reigned from 758 to 814. The name Carolus Magnus was attributed posthumously by Nithard, chronicler of the Franks. To the consternation of Byzantium, for whom there could be only one true Emperor of the Romans, in Constantinople itself, he was subsequently crowned Emperor in Rome by Pope Leo III, in 800 after Christ’s birth. Cooper gives a nuanced portrait of him in Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4762/801, fol. 175r-v. Back to text

Eighteen etc.: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4759/798, fol. 175r: “The sun lost his light the space of 18 days”. Sigebert of Gembloux’s Chronicon (Paris: Jean Petit, 1513) noted that “Sol obtenebratus est per dies 17”, s. a. 798.

Hyren: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4759/798, fol. 175r: “Hyrenes being sore grieved with the ill demeanour of her son Constantine, the emperor, by privy means got him into her hands and putting out his eyes, cast him in prison, where, for sorrow, he died, and his mother reigned after him 4 years”.  Irene, Empress of Byzantium. She deposed her son, the seventeen-year-old Constantine VI, in 790. She initially seized all practical power and, hearing of a conspiracy against her, had her son imprisoned. (He had played no part in the conspiracy.) Reacting to Irene’s coup d’etat, the imperial forces in Asia Minor revolted, Constantine was freed from prison, and his mother was effectively placed under house arrest. When after a lapse of time he recalled his deeply unpopular mother, a plot was hatched to place Caesar Nicephorus—one of the brothers of Leo IV—on the throne, replacing both mother and son. Hearing of it, Constantine had the pretender blinded. He also had the other four uncles’ tongues cut out. He proved to be both a cruel and cowardly emperor subsequently, militarily ineffective against the Saracen armies constantly eroding imperial control over its territories. Back to text

However, Constantine’s mother never forgave him for the temporary deposition. In 797 (Cooper gives 798), she had him ambushed and then blinded in Constantinople, consequently becoming sole ruler, and the first female emperor, over the Byzantine Empire (the Salic Law did not obtain in Byzantium). She was definitively deposed by her alienated subjects in 802 after Christ’s birth, and died in exile a year later.

entreat: OED, to deal with, act towards (a person etc.). Back to text



Ethelwolf: Æthelwulf. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4793/832, fol. 177v: “Ethelwolphus, the son of Egbert, began his reign over the more part of England. This man, in his youth, was willing to have been a priest, and entered the order of subdeacon. How be it, after, he married a wife of whom he received 4 sons, which reigned after him successively”. Æthelwulf succeeded to the throne of West Saxony (or Wessex) in 839. He left on pilgrimage for Rome in 855, leaving Æthelbald, his eldest surviving son, to rule in his place, but ruled formally until his death in 858. Back to text

Oxford erected: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4811/850, fol. 179r: “Ethelwolphus, king of England, first founded the university of Oxenforde, which some writers attribute to Offa, king of Mercia, that was in the time of Charles the Great, 60 years before this time”. In his chronicle (London: William Rastell, 1533), VI, 92, fol. 92r, Fabyan wrote that according to “one chronicler”, Æthelwulf founded the University of Oxford, but rather thought it was founded by king Offa because Alcuin, who lived in Offa’s time, was reported to have founded “the school of Paris”, “Parisiensis schola, quam universitatem vocant”, in Robert Gaguin’s words, Compendium super Francorum Gestis (Paris: Thielman Herver, 1500), IV, fol. 28v. Back to text

The warlike Danes: i.e. the Vikings. The first serious attacks on the various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms began c. 836, and they became permanently established as a (hostile) presence in the land from 851 onwards. Their attack on Canterbury and London and Æthelwulf’s victorious battle against them at a place called “Aclea” is reported in The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, ed. and trans. D. Whitelock, D. C. Douglas and S. I. Tucker (New Brunswick, N. J.: Rutgers University Press, 1961), s. a. 853 and in Asser’s Life of King Alfred, ed. William Henry Stevenson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1904), 5, pp. 5-6. Although Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle does not mention them, they were repeated by Ranulph Higden (Polychronicon, V, 31, fol. 278v), Holinshed (Chronicles, The History of England, 1587, VI, 10, p. 141), and John Stow (Summary of English Chronicles, 1607, p. 38). Back to text

Sergius: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4804/843, fol. 178v: “Sergius was ordained bishop of Rome, who before was called Osporci, that is hog’s snout, which name, because it seemed vile and unclean, he was permitted to choose the name of one of his predecesors bishops, which custom remaineth among them to this day”. A confusion occurred between Sergius II (Pope from 844 to 847) and Sergius IV Buccaporci (Pope from 970 to 1012). Back to text



Four sons: Æthelwulf’s sons, listed below. All were of course kings of the now dominant West Saxony, although it is not possible to say that an English state, or even kingdom, existed at that point.

855: F, 845. Back to text

Ethelwald: Æthelwulf’s eldest surviving son was in fact Æthelbald, but Heywood reproduces the spelling in Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4804/855, fol. 179r, which itself models itself on Higden’s and Fabyan’s Ethelwaldus.  There had been, two centuries earlier, a King Æthelwald, King of East Anglia, but Æthelwulf was succeeded by his son, Æthelbald, who was sole king between his father’s death in 858 and his own in 860. Back to text

Ethelbert: Æthelberht. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4817/856, fol. 179v: Ethelbert, the brother of Ethelwald [Æthelbald], was ordained king over the more part of England”. He reigned from 860 to 865.

Ethelred: Æthelred. reigned from 865 to 871. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4824/863, fol. 179v: “Ethelred, the third son of Ethelwalphus [Æthelwulf], took on him the governance of West Saxons and other provinces of England. [...] He lived in continual war with the Danes”; and 4832/871, fol. 180v: “but in the end he was put to the worse and received a wound whereof he died”. The early chronicles do not say exactly in what circumstances Æthelred died. But Fabyan inferred that “manifold adversities and troubles sinking in the king’s mind —with bruise or hurt ensuing of the wound before taken at the battle beside Merton—shortened his days”, Cronycle (London: William Rastell, 1533), VI, 170, fol. 98v. Back to text   

who after slaughtered were by the fourth son: Alfred the Great, who effectively, after a long period during which the West Saxons had been very much on the back foot, succeeded in stemming the Viking tide with several striking military victories, which included the recapture of London. The Vikings were not “slaughtered”, nor were they expelled from the British Isles. See below, stanza 80. Back to text

Brixium: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4821/860, fol. 179v: “At Brixium, a city in Italy, 3 days together it rained blood”. The date of that phenomenon varies. Sabellicus reported that it happened at the beginning of the reign of the emperor Louis II (855-875) and the end of Nicolas I’s pontificate (858-867), Enneades, IX, 1, fol. 207; Sigebert of Gembloux situates it as late as 874. Other chroniclers vary between 855 and 873. Brixium is the Italian town of Brescia, in Lombardy. Back to text



Young Alured: Alfred the Great, youngest son of Æthelwulf, reigned from 871 to 899. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle gives his portrait, 4833/873, fol. 180v, without mentioning the length of his reign. John Stow specified that he died “the xxix year and vi month of his reign”, Summary of English Chronicles (London: John Windet, 1607), p. 39. Back to text

Hungar and Hubba: the second is often spelt Ubba or sometimes Ubbe. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4835/874, fols. 180v-181r: “About this time, as saith the Scottish history, Hungar and Hubba, the brethren of Cadanus, king of Denmark, with a great company of Danes invaded Scotland, with whom their king Constantine met and at the first encounter put them to the worse, but after, by the negligence of his soldiers, he was vanquished, taken, and slain with 10 000 Scots when he had reigned 30 years”. Cooper’s “Scottish history” alludes to Hector Boece's Scotorum historiae a prima gentis origine (Paris: Josse Bade, 1527), X, fols. 213r-214v—in John Bellenden's translation, Croniclis of Scotland (Edinburgh: Thomas Davidson, 1540?) X, 16-17, fols. 146r-147v. Back to text

Bells: Lanquet and Cooper's Chronicle, 4836/875, fol. 181r: "Bells were first used in Grece". In his influential Rationale Divinorum Officiorum (thirteenth century), Guillelmus Durandus explained that bells—in latin campanae—were so called because they were first invented in the Italian province of Campania. In Italia Illustrata (first published in Rome in 1474), Flavio Biondo explained that in 870, Urso I, doge of Venice, offered twelve bells to the Bizantine emperor Basil I and concluded that they were the first bells ever seen in Greece: Biondo Flavio's Italia Illustrata, Text, Translation and Commentary, ed. Catherine J. Castner (Binghamton, New York: Global Academic Publishing, 2005), vol. 1, pp. 154-5. Back to text 

In six set battles: in 791 alone it is known that nine battles were fought between the Vikings and the West Saxons, without results always by any means being favourable to the latter.

Edward: Lanquet and Cooper's Chronicle, 4862/901, fol. 183r: "Edward, the elder son of Alured, began his reign over the more part of England and governed this land well and nobly 24 years". Edward the Elder ruled from 899 to 924. Back to text



Nine popes etc.: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4867/906, fols. 183v-184r: “In this time, within the space of nine years had been in Rome nine bishops, of the which Bennet the 4th [Benedict IV] reigned 3 years. And none of any estimation, or learning, but all cruel, malicious and proud. at which time the bishops of Rome, setting aside all honesty, began to be openly naught, as Platine, that writeth their lives, doth greatly complain”. Cooper refers to Bartolomeo Platina’s De Vitis Pontificum Romanorum (first published in 1479), where are described the reigns of the nine successive popes, from Formosus I to Sergius III, between 896 and 904: Platinae de Vitis Pontificum Romanorum (Louvain: Johannes Bogardus, 1572), pp. 111-4. See also John Foxe, Acts and Monuments (London: John Day, 1583), vol. 1, pp. 145-146. Back to text

Adelwald: Æthelwold. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4866/905, fol. 183v: “Adelvoldus, the brother of king Edward of England, being excited of the Danes of Northumberland, made war upon his brother; whom Edward vanquished and so egrely pursued that he constrained him, with many of the Danes, to forsake the land and fly to France”; and 4867/906, fol. 184r: "Ade[l]voldus, the brother of king Edward, with a company of Danes, landed again in England, where after sore fight, in the which Adelwalde was slain, peace was concluded between Edward and the Danes". Heywood reproduces Cooper's confusion between Æthelweard, Edward's younger brother, and Æthelwold, the son of Alfred's older brother, Æthelred. It is Æthelwold who rebelled against his cousin Edward. Back to text

appalled: OED, II. 8a, “to dismay, shock, discomfit, terrify”.

The Huns and Hungars: Lanquet and Cooper's Chronicle, 4868/907, fol. 184r: “The huns or hungares [hungarians] molested all parts of Europe with most cruel wars”. It was generally accepted that Huns and Hungarians were the same people. “Credibile est”, wrote Estienne, "Hunnos eos esse, qui etiam hodie Pannoniam incolunt, paucis immutatis literis Hungari apellati”, Dictionarium Historicum ac Poeticum (Lyon: Hercules Gallus, 1579), s. v. Hunni. In Cooper's source, Sabellicus indicated that “Hungari pro Hunnis vulgo dicti s[u]nt”, Enneades (Paris: Josse Bade, 1513), IX, 1, vol. 2, fol. 208r. Heywood seems to have thought they were two different kinds of invaders. Back to text

Elflede: Æthelflæd or Ethelfleda. Lanquet and Cooper's Chronicle, 4872/911, fol. 184r: “In this time, a noble woman, named Elfleda, sister to king Edward, governed the province of Middle England. This woman, when she had once assayed the pains that women suffer in travailing with child, ever after hated the embracings of her husband, saying that it was not seemly for any noble woman to use such fleshly liking, whereof should ensue so great sorrow and pain.” Edward's sister, Æthelflæd, ruled over Mercia. She successfully repulsed Danish/Viking incursions and joined forces with her brother to repel them from both kingdoms (i.e. Mercia and West Saxony). She died in 918. Her attitude to pregnancy is reported in Fabyans Cronycle (London: William Rastell, 1533), VI, 180, fol. 105v. Back to text 



Adelstane: Lanquet and Cooper's Chronicle, 4886/925, fol. 185v: “Adelstane, after the death of Edward his father, began his reign in England. He was a prince of worthy memory, valiant and wise in all his acts, and brought this land to one monarchy, for he expelled utterly the Danes, subdued the Scots, and quieted the Welshmen”. Æthelstan succeeded to the throne of Mercia in 924, and accomplished the conquest of Northumbria in 926. He achieved a resounding victory over combined forces of Danes, Scots and Britons at the Battle of Brunanburh in 937. He died in 939. Back to text

935: F, 915.

Hetruria: Etruria. Lanquet and Cooper's Chronicle, 4896/935, fol. 186v: “The Saracens of Africa with a mighty company entered Italy and, spoiling the sea coasts of Hetruria, took Geane [Genoa] and most cruelly entreated man, woman and child, sparing no kind, condition, or age”. Once the Fatimids had established dominion over Sicily, they used it as a base for incursions into other regions in the peninsula, without, however, enjoying enduring success in occupying mainland Italy. Back to text

Gæan: Genoa, which was temporaily occupied by the Muslim forces in 934.

Where blood etc.: Lanquet and Cooper's Chronicle, 4893/932, fol. 186r: “At the city of Gean [Genoa] flowed a well of blood”. Cooper has two separate entries on the fountain of blood (932) and the Saracens’ sack of Genoa (935), which are made to appear as unconnected events. Heywood’s presentation, however, suggests they are related. For Sabellicus, the portentous prodigy announced the imminent capture of the city, Enneades (Paris: Josse Bade, 1513), IX, 2, vol. 2, fols. 211v-212r. In his 11th century Chronicon (Paris: Jean Petit, 1513), s. a. 935, Sigebert of Gembloux expressed that opinion, thus repeating the words of Liudprand of Cremona in Antapodosis, IV, 5: The Works of Liudprand of Cremona, translated by P. A. Wright (New York: Dutton & Co, 1930), p. 144. Back to text   



Gui of Warwick: The defeat of the giant Colbrand by the national hero Guy of Warwick is not mentioned in Lanquet and Cooper's Chronicle. The story, which took its source in an Anglo-Norman poem, Gui de Warewic (circa 1230), became immensely popular as from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. In the sixteenth century, it was reported in the chronicles of Fabyan, Grafton, Holinshed and Stow. In A brief discourse of the most renowned actes and right valiant conquests of those puisant princes, called the nine worthies (London: R. Ward, 1584), Richard Lloyd counted Guy of Warwick as one of the Nine Worthies. See Ronald S. Crane, "The vogue of Guy of Warwick from the close of the Middle Ages to the Romantic Revival", PMLA, 30, 2 (1915), pp. 125-94; Alison Wiggins and Rosalind Field, eds., Guy of Warwick: Icon and Ancestor, Studies in Medieval Romance (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2007). "Colbrand the Giant" is mentioned by Shakespeare in King John, I.i.225; and with Guy of Warwick in Henry VIII, V.iii.21. Back to text

Edmond: Edmund I. Lanquet and Cooper's Chronicle, 4901/940, fol. 187r: “Edmund, the brother of Ethelstane [Æthelstan], took on him the governance of this realm of England.” Edmund I ruled from 939 to 946. Back to text

Adelstane: Æthelstan. John Stow, Summary of English Chronicles (London: John Windet, 1607), p. 41: “He reigned 15 years and lieth at Malmesbury.”

Slain: according the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, ed. and trans. D. Whitelock, D. C. Douglas and S. I. Tucker (New Brunswick, N. J.: Rutgers University Press, 1961), s. a. 946 [text D], Edmund was stabbed by the robber Liofa, at Pucklechurch (Gloucestershire). John Stow, Summary of English Chronicles (London: John Windet, 1607), p. 41: “[he] was slain when he had reigned 5 years and was buried at Glastonbury.” Back to text

946: F, 949.

Eldred: Eadred. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4907/946, fol. 187v: “Edmund, king of England, ended his life, after whom succeeded his brother Eldred, for Edwin and Edgar his sons were thought too young to take on them so great a charge.” Eadred ruled from 946 to 955. He only gained control of the whole kingdom when the Northumbrians drove the Viking Erik Bloodaxe from their territory. He died at Frome (Somerset). Back to text



France etc.: Lanquet and Cooper's Chronicle, 4899/938, fol. 186v: “The Hungars wasted with fire the countries of Germany, France and Italy.” See Sigebert of Gembloux, Chronicon, s. a. 938: “Hungari per Austrasiam et Alemanniam multis civitatibus igne et gladio consumptis; Vuarmaciae regno transito usque ad oceanum Gallias vastant et per Italiam redeunt” (In Austrasia and Alemannia, the Hungarians destroyed many cities with fire and sword; they crossed the palatinate of Worms and reached the ocean, wasted Gaul and returned through Italy). Back to text

Tuskayne: Tuscany, by which Heywood means Italy.

Hugh King of Italy: Lanquet and Cooper's Chronicle, 4902/941, fol. 187r: “Hugh, king of Italy, besieged Fraxinetum and by the help of Romanus, the emperor, burned and destroyed the navy of the Saracens.” Hugh of Arles (also known as Hugh of Provence) was king of Italy from 924 to 947. Fraxinetum in Provence (now La Garde-Freinet) had been occupied by the Muslims since 889. Hugh of Arles took the place with the help of the Byzantine emperor Romanos I. These events were first reported by Liudprand of Cremona in his tenth-century Antapodosis, printed twice in the sixteenth century (Paris: Jean Petit, 1514; Basel: Herwagen, 1532). See Antapodosis, V, 16, pp. 186-87 in The Works of Liudprand of Cremona, translated by F. A. Wright (New York: Dutton & Co, 1930). Back to text

Fraxinetum: F, Traxinetum.

Edwin: Eadwig, or Edwy, son of Edmund. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4916/955, fol. 189v: “Edwyne succeeded his uncle Eldrede in the kingdom of England.” Eadwig held sway only over England south of the Thames while his brother Edgar reigned in Mercia and the north, when the kingdom was divided in 957. He reigned from 955 to 959.

Kingston: Not in Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle. John Stow, Summary of English Chronicles (London: John Windet, 1607), p. 39: “Edwin succeeded his uncle Eldred; he was crowned at Kingston [in Surrey].” Back to text

Dunstan: originally appointed Abbot of Glastonbury by Edmund, and often considered to be at the origin of the Benedictine Reforms in the Church. He is thought to have angered Eadwig because he dragged him away from the embraces of his lover, one, Ælfgifu, recalling him to the duties and attendance at his coronation feast. The episode is mentioned in Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle and in Stow's Summary of English Chronicles. Back to text

his near niece upon his crown-day ravished: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4916/955, fol. 189v: “In the self day of his coronation, he [Eadwig] suddenly withdrew himself from his lords and in the sight of certain persons, ravished his own kinswoman, the wife of a noble man of his realm, and afterward slew her husband, that he might have the unlawful use of her beauty.” The story of the king's improper behaviour and Dunstan’s exile is first narrated in the Vita Sancti Dunstani, composed circa 1000. See Memorials of Saint Dunstan, ed. William Stubbs, Rolls Series, 63 (1874), pp. 32-34. Eadwig’s subsequent marriage to Ælfgifu was dissolved by Archbishop Oda because they were too closely related: Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, ed. and trans. D. Whitelock, D. C. Douglas and S. I. Tucker (New Brunswick, N. J.: Rutgers University Press, 1961), s. a. 958 [text D]. Back to text



he was deprived etc.: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4916/955, fol. 188v: “he became odible to his subjects and of the Northumbers and people of Middle England that rose against him; [he] was deprived of his regality when he had reigned 4 years.” Eadwig was not deposed, but died in 959. According to Holinshed, his grief at being dispossessed of half his kingdom caused his premature death: The Historie of England, VI, 22, p. 159 in The first and second volumes of Chronicles (London: Henry Denham, 1587). Back to text

Edgar: King Edgar, called Edgar Pacificus, reigned until 975. Lanquet and Cooper's Chronicle, 4920/959, fol. 189r: “Edgar, brother of Edwin, began his reign in England.” According to Fabyan, he started his reign at the age of 16, but “was not crowned king till he had reigned the full term of 12 years, which term ended and expired, he was anointed and crowned king in the city of Bath”: Cronycle, VI, 193 (London: William Rastell, 1533), fol. 116v. Cooper, Stow and Holinshed insist on his rigorous justice, but the focus on witches and sorcerers seems to be of Heywood's invention. Back to text

Ludwallus: F, Ludwallis. Lanquet and Cooper's Chronicle, 4920/959, fol. 189r: “Ludwallus, prince of Wales, payed to him yearly, in way of tribute, 300 wolves, by mean whereof, within 4 year, in England and Wales might scantly be found one wolf.” Back to text



Forty-seven monasteries: John Stow, Summary of English Chronicles (London: John Windet, 1607), p. 42: “[he] restored and new founded 47 monasteries”. Back to text

Red crosses: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4919/958, fol. 188r: “At this time appeared the figure of crosses in the garments of divers men”. This information, given by Cooper without any precise context, gives the impression of relating to Edgar’s reign in Heywood’s stanza. Sabellicus had noted that in the troubled times of the church under the reigns of popes John XII, Benedict V, and Leo VIII, terrifying prodigies occurred, including the sudden appearance of bloody crosses on people’s clothes, foreboding impending calamities, Enneades (Paris: Josse Bade, 1513), IX, 2, vol. 2, fol. 213r. Sigebert of Gembloux situated the event in 959. Heywood might have known of it independently from Lycosthenes’s Prodigiorum ac Ostentorum Chronicon (Basel: Henricus Petrus, 1557), p. 363, s. a. 963. Back to text  

Duffus: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4927/966, fol. 189v: “King Duffus reigned among the Scots 4 years, and was slain by the treason of a noble man called Donewalde. After his death appeared no sun, moon, nor star in the firmament the space of 6 months”. The story of king Duffus is told by Hector Boece, Scotorum Historia (Paris: Josse Bade, 1527), XI, fols. 227v-230r, with the conclusion that “Sex insequutos menses totos nec sol Scotorum in regno interdiu illucescens, nec nocte luna, neque coelum serenum conspectum”. In Macbeth, Shakespeare borrowed some elements from Holinshed’s account of Donwald’s murder of king Duffe. Back to text

Turks: i.e. Saracens.

Enecus: F, Evecus. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4922/961, fol. 189r: “A noble man, called Enecus, earl of Bigorre, delivered the province of Spain called Navarre from the dominion of the Saracens and was therefore named the first king of Navarre, after whom reigned his son Garsias”. According to Volaterranus in his Commentariorum Urbanorum ... Libri, first published in 1506, the kingdom of Navarra “coepit circiter annum DCCCCLXI, a quondam Eneco comite Bigorrae. Hic e montibus Pyreneis in vicinam Navarrae planitiem cum exercitu descendes, omnem eam regionem a Saracenis liberavit; pro quibus meritis, rex in eo loco primus apellatus; successorem habuit filium Garsiam” (Basel: Froben, 1540), II, fol. 12v. Michael Ritius gave the same date 961 for the accession of “Enecus, vel ut alii scribunt, Innicus” to the throne of Navarra, Michaelis Ritii Neapolitani De regibus ... (Basel: Froben, 1517), fol. 28v. The reference is to Iñigo Arista of Pamplona, who is thought to have been in power from 824 to 851/2. Back to text

Bygar: Bigorre, in the western Pyrenees.



sixteenth: that is, the sixteenth year of his reign.

4936: F, 4939. Back to text

Edward: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4936/975, fol. 190r: “Edward, the son of Edgar by his first wife, began his reign over this realm of England, contrary the mind and pleasure of Elfride [Ælfthryth] his stepmother and other of her alliance. [...] Elfride ever maligned against him for so much as she desired to have the governance of the realm for her own son Egelrede [Æthelred]”; and 4938/977, fol. 190v: “Edward, king of England, while he was hunting in New Forest, by chance lost his company and rode alone to refresh him at the castle of his stepmother Alphrede [Ælfthryth], where he was by her counsel traitrously murdered as he sat on his horse. After his death God showed for him divers miracles wherfore he is numbered among the saints and martyrs”. The murder is mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, ed. and trans. D. Whitelock, D. C. Douglas and S. I. Tucker (New Brunswick, N. J.: Rutgers University Press, 1961), s. a. 978 [text E]. Back to text

Ethelred: Æthelred II, known as Ethelred the Unready, reigned from 978 to 1016. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4939/978, fol. 190v: “Egelrede or Ethelrede, the son of king Edgar and Alfrede, was ordained king of England”. Heywood borrows the spelling of this king’s name from John Stow, who also mentions that this same “king Etheldred erected the bishopric of Exeter”, Summary of English Chronicles (London: John Windet, 1607), p. 43. According to Fabyan, “king Ethelrede  [...] founded the house or college of canons at Exeter”, cronycle (London: William Rastell, 1533), VI, 171, fol. 98v. But this was Æthelred I, King of Wessex, who reigned from 866 to 871. Back to text

Swayne: Svein Forkbeard. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4963/1002, fol. 192v: “Sveno or Svayne, king of Denmark, hearing of the murder of the Danes in England and being sore moved therewith, landed with a strong army in divers parts of this realm and so cruelly, without mercy and pity, spoiled the country and slew the people, that the Englishmen were brought to most extreme and unspeakable misery. But yet after a certain space peace was entreated, for which the Englishmen paid 30 000 pounds. Howbeit, divers princes of the Danes still continued, wasting the land in divers places”. Svein Forkbeard Haraldsson, who reigned over Denmark circa 987–1014, campaigned extensively in England during Æthelred’s reign, between 991 and 1005. Back to text



Stephen: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4961/1000, fol. 192r: “Stephen was made the first king of Hungary, and reigned 39 years”. Son-in-law to Henry, Duke of Bavaria, the exact date of his accession is considered uncertain. 1000 or 1001 after Christ’s birth are usually cited as plausible dates. He died in 1038 and was later canonised. Back to text

Alphons of Spain: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4961/1000, fol. 192r: “Alphons, king of Spain, besieging the city Viseum, was wounded with an arrow and thereof died”. Alfonso V of León reigned from 999 to 1028, when he was killed by a Moslem arrow from the walls while he besieged the city of Viseu in Portugal. Back to text

Viseum: F, Visenum. Modern Viseu, in Portugal.

All the Lord Danes: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4961/1000, fol. 192r: “Egelrede [Æthelred] [...] sent forth into all parts of his realm secrete and strict commissions charging the rulers that upon a certain day and hour assigned, the Danes, which proudly used great cruelty in the land, should be suddenly slain.” The Saint Brice Day’s massacre (13 November 1002) was not carried out by “English wives”. During Queen Elizabeth’s visit at Kenilworth in 1575, a Coventry Hock Tuesday play was presented, at the conclusion of which the defeated Danes were “led captive for triumph by our English women”; the show was described in Laneham’s letter (London: s. n., 1575), reprinted by William Patten (London: s. n., 1585). Back to text

Jerusalem: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4970/1009, fol. 192v: “The Turks took the city of Hierusalem”. From Sabellicus, Enneades (Paris: Josse Bade, 1513), IX, 2, vol. 2, fol. 217v, based on Platina’s De Vitis Pontificum Romanorum (first published in 1479), Platinae de Vitis Pontificum Romanorum (Louvain: Johannes Bogardus, 1572), pp. 126 and Flavius Blondus, Historiarum ab Inclinatione Romanorum Imperii Decades (Venice: Octaviano Scoto, 1483), II, 3. The reference is to the destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Jerusalem was already under Fatimid rule, and had been so for many years. Back to text

Venetian Duke: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4968/1007, fol. 192v: “The Saracens dividing their hosts in two sundry parts, landed in Italy, took Capua and besieged Barum, against whom Urceolus, duke of Venice, and Gregory, a captain of Constantinople, joining together their puissance, went in all haste and obtained of them a noble victory”. Heywood’s compressed syntax might suggest—misleadingly—that Pietro II Orseolo freed Jerusalem. He repulsed a Saracen attack on the Italian peninsula in 1002. Back to text



Edmond: Edmund Ironside. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4977/1016, fol. 193v: “King Ethelred ended his life when he had reigned 38 years, after whose death variance fell between the Englishmen for the election of their king, for the citizens of London, with certain other, named Edmund, the son of Ethelred [...] surnamed Ironside. But the more part favoured Canutus the Dane. By means thereof between these two martial princes were fought many great battles in the which either part sped diversely to the great slaughter of them that took their parts. But lastly it was agreed that the two captains should try their quarrel between themselves only. In which fight, although Edmund seemed to have the upper hand, yet he condescended to divide the realm and make Canutus fellow with him in the kingdom, which agreement was at last concluded”. Edmund came to the throne in 1016 and died in the same year, after suffering a serious military setback against the Danish forces of Cnut, which restricted him to rulership over Wessex and the south, leaving dominion over Mercia and the north to the Danish king. The episode of the duel is not mentioned in The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, but told by Henry of Huntingdon, pp. 195-96. Back to text

Swanus, Canutus:  the Latin names of Svein Forkbeard and Cnut, as used by Fabyan, Grafton, Holinshed and John Foxe.



Edrick of Stratton: Eadric Streona. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4978/1017, fol. 193v, calls him Edrick. He appears as Edrick of Stratton in a few early modern chronicles. The story of his treacherous murder of Edmund is neither to be found in The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle nor in Florence of Worcester. It derived from Geffrei Gaimar’s Estoire des Engleis and Henri of Huntingdon’s Historia AnglorumBack to text

four kingdoms: John Stow, Summary of English Chronicles (London: John Windet, 1607), p. 44: “He subdued the Scots, whereby he was king of England, Scotland, Denmark, and Norway”, with the marginal note “Canutus, king of 4 kingdoms”. As Frank Stenton noted, the most expansive of the titles assigned to him in ancient records—King of Englishmen, Danes, Norwegians, and part of the Swedes—suggests that he did not regard this dominion as an organized state but as a number of separate peoples: Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1943; 2001), p. 406. Back to text 

atoned: reconciled.

doom: the day of his death. 

pilgrimage to Rome: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4993/1032, fol. 194r. In fact, Cnut was in Rome in 1027, to attend the coronation of the Holy Roman Emperor Conrad II. Back to text



Robert the Norman Duke: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4998/1037, fol. 194v: “William, the son of Robert, after his father’s departure towards Hierusalem, was proclaimed Duke of Normandy, being yet very young”. Robert II, duke of Normandy, merely undertook a pilgrimage to the Holy Land (and was not involved in any military activities there, the Crusades being much later in the century) in 1035. He died in that year. He was succeeded by his son William, born in 1027/8, who was Duke of Normandy from 1035 to his death in 1087 and became William I, king of England in 1066. Back to text

4899: F, 4896.

Harold Harefoot: F, Harrold Harefoot. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4999/1038, fol. 194v: “Harold, the son of Canutus, by his wife Elgina for his swiftness surnamed Harefoot, began his reign over the realm of England”. His legitimacy was vigorously contested by other claimants to the throne. Buried in Westminster, his body was dug up and thrown into a marsh, by order of Harthacnut (see below), according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, ed. and trans. D. Whitelock, D. C. Douglas and S. I. Tucker (New Brunswick, N. J.: Rutgers University Press, 1961), s. a. 1040 [text C].

at Oxford: John Stow, Summary of English Chronicles (London: John Windet, 1607), pp. 44-5: “He reigned three years, died at Oxford, and was buried at Westminster”. From the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, ed. and trans. D. Whitelock, D. C. Douglas and S. I. Tucker (New Brunswick, N. J.: Rutgers University Press, 1961), s. a. 1039 [text E]. Back to text



Hardicanutus: Harthacnut. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 5002/1041, fol. 195r: “Hardikinitus, king of Denmark, after the death of Harold, was ordained king of England. [...] He burdened his subjects with exaction and tribute, and in meat and drink was so prodigal that his tables were spread 4 times in the day and the people served with great excess. When he had reigned 3 years, he died suddenly, not without suspection of poisoning”. Heywood chooses John Stow’s version of Harthacnut’s death, according to which “In the midst of his cups he departed this life, the third year of his reign”, Summary of English Chronicles (London: John Windet, 1607), p. 45. He lived from 1020 to 1042, became King of England in 1040 until his death in 1042. He was the last Danish king of England. Back to text

Edward: Edward the Confessor. The half-brother of Harthacnut and son of Æthelred II, he came back from his exile in Normandy before his half-brother’s death, and ruled over England from 1042 to 1065. Responsible for the building of Westminster Abbey, the largest church built north of the Alps since the fourth century. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 5004/1043, fol. 195v.

Goodwin: Godwine, earl of Wessex and Kent. John Stow, Summary of English Chronicles (London: John Windet, 1607), p. 45: “He [Edward] took to wife Edgitha [Edith], the daughter of Earl Goodwine”. Back to text

One and twenty: “23 years, seven months and odd days” according to Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 5026/1065, fol. 198r; “23 years, six months and odd days” according to John Stow, Summary of English Chronicles (London: John Windet, 1607), p. 46. Harthacnut died on 8 June 1042; Edward was crowned at Winchester on 3 April 1043 and died on 4 or 5 January 1066. Back to text  



Alphred: Alfred Ætheling, second son of Æthelred II and Emma of Normandy. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 5003/1042, fol. 195r: “In this time was an earl in England called Godwine, a man of great power, and ruled much this land, which unjustly slew Alfred, the son of Etheldrede [Æthelred] and brother of Edward, and used extreme cruelty toward the Normans which accompanied the said Alfred when he came out of Normandy to visit his mother Emma”. Earl Godwine reportedly handed over Alfred to Harold Harefoot. Alfred was killed, allegedly on Harold Harefoot’s orders. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle [texts C and D] gives 1036 as the date. Back to text

his sovereign mother: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 5008/1047, fol. 196r: “By the counsel of earl Godwine and Robert, bishop of Canterbury, Emma, the mother of king Edward of England, for unjust accusations was put to great injuries and was delivered by miracle, passing over 9 ploughshares burning hot as fire without hurt or damage”. Emma was accused of having an affair with Ælfwine, bishop of Winchester. How she underwent the ordeal of the ploughshares in 1043 is narrated in the Annales Monasterii de Wintonia, in Annales Monastici, ed. Henry Richards Luard, 5 vols., Rolls Series 36, 1864-9, vol. 2, pp. 20-24. Back to text  

he by the bit was choked: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 5016/1055, fol. 196v: “As earl Godwine sat at the table with king Edward, it happened one of the cup bearers to stumble and recover again, so that he did shed none of the drink, whereat Godwine laughed and said: Now, that one brother hath sustained that other. With which words, the king, calling to mind his brother’s death, that was slain by Godwine, beheld the earl, saying: So should my brother Alphred have holpen me, ne had Godwine been. Godwine then fearing the king’s displeasure to be newly kindled, after many words in excusing himself, said: So might I safely swallow this morsel of bread as I am guiltless of the deed. But as soon as he had received the bread, forthwith he was choked”. This account originates in Aelred of Rievaulx’s twelfth century Vita Sancti Edwardi Regis, in Migne, Patrologia Latina, vol. 195, cols. 766-67. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle merely says that “he suddenly sank towards the foot-stool, bereft of speech and of all his strength […] he continued like this without speech or strength right on to the Thursday and then lost his life”, ed. and trans. D. Whitelock, D. C. Douglas and S. I. Tucker (New Brunswick, N. J.: Rutgers University Press, 1961), s. a. 1053 [text C]. Back to text

Goodwin’s sands: John Stow, Summary of English Chronicles (London: John Windet, 1607), p. 57: All the lands that sometime belonged to earl Goodwin by breaking in of the sea was covered with sands and there is yet called Goodwin sands”. Also Holinshed, Chronicles (London: John Hunne, 1577), The Historie of Scotland, p. 259. Back to text



England’s crown / Promised: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 5014/1053, fol. 196v: “William, bastard duke of Normandy, about this time came with a goodly company into England and was honorably received, to whom the king made great cheer, and at his return enriched him with great gifts and pleasures; and, as some write, made promise to him that if he died without issue, the same William should succeed him in the kingdom of England”. Supposedly, Edward sent Robert of Jumièges to France to inform William that he was the designated heir, circa 1051. At this point Edward had no heir by his wife, Edgitha (Edith). The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (D manuscript) claims that William visited Edward late in 1051, but there are virtually no other contemporary or near contemporary sources for this, despite the fact that it is relayed by much later chronicle traditions, such as the ones that Heywood draws on. Edith (or Edgitha) was Godwine’s daughter. The visit and promise would thus have been an act directly hostile to the whole Godwine clan—who, in 1051, had been exiled by the king. On these issues, see Frank Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1943; 2001), pp. 565-6; Richard Huscroft, The Norman Conquest (Harlow: Pearson/Longman, 2009), pp. 89-91; David Bates, William the Conqueror (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016), pp. 46-47. Back to text

Harrold: Harold Godwineson. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 5024/1063, fol. 197v: “Harold, the son of earl Godwine, went into Normandy, where he made faithful promise to duke William that after the death of Edward he would keep the kingdom to his behalf, on which condition he brought with him at his return his brother Tosto”. On the debatable question of Harold’s oath, see Frank Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1943; 2001), pp. 577-78. Back to text



Harrold usurps the seat: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 5027/1066, fol. 198r: “Harold, the eldest son of Godwine, being of great power in England and therewith valiant and hardy, took on him the governance of this land, nothing regarding the promise that he made to William of Normandy. Whereof, when William sent to him ambassades admonishing him of the covenants that were agreed between them, Harold would in no wise surrender to him the kingdom, which William claimed not only for the promise that was made to him but also because he was next of king Edward’s blood”. Harold’s “usurpation”, as Heywood calls it, may have not been felt to be so at the time. As David Bates remarks: “For all the variations and ambiguities in the sources’ treatment of Edward the Confessor’s deathbed and of his apparent designation of Harold as his successor, it is as good as certain that such a designation did happen; or at the very least, that the events which took place made it possible for the vast majority of contemporaries in England to believe that something sufficiently resembling a designation had occurred, so that Harold could be regarded as a legitimate king”, William the Conqueror (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016), p. 212. In view of the very considerable debate about the so-called “Norman Yoke” throughout the late sixteenth century and right through the following one, it is interesting that Heywood and his immediate sources relay Harold’s usurpation as an inert certainty. Back to text

Tauston: F, Fauston. Tosto, Toston and Tostius in early modern chronicles. The Norwegian king joined forces with Tostig, Earl of Northumbria.

Norway king: Harald Hardraada, sometimes referred to as Harald Hard-Ruler, whose claim to the throne was based on a treaty made between Harthacnut and Magnus Olafsson of Norway, signed in 1036.

battle: Stamford Bridge, 1066. Back to text

In this heat: in this urgent matter: see King Lear, I.i.297, “We must do something, and i’ th’ heat”; Othello, I.ii.40, “It is a business of some heat”. F, in t’is heare, is probably corrupt.

in the field: Battle of Hastings, 1066.

William: William the Conqueror ruled over England, 1066-1087. Back to text


Notes to Heywood’s endnotes

Lanquet: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 2855-63/1108-00, fol. 28r, notes that in Brut’s time,  “Aeneas Sylvius the fourth king of Latins, reigned 31 years”; “Dercylus, the 31st emperor of Assyria, reigned 40 years”; “Athletes likewise first king of Corinth reigned 35 years”; “Pypinus governed the Thuscans”; “Codrus, king of Athens, reigned 21 years”; and, 2877/1086, fol. 28v: “The ark of God was taken by the Philistines”. Back to text

Dercilus: F, Dercitus. Eusebius described him as the 29th king of the Assyrians, Chronicon ... Eusebii Pamphili Caesariensis D. Hieronymo interprete (Basel: Henricus Petrus, 1529), fol. 34v. Lanquet’s description as the 31st Assyrian king, anno mundi 2860, corresponds to Johann Funck’s Chronologia (Nuremberg: Georgius Wachterus, 1545), fol. 34 r.

Athletes: F, Athletets. Alethes, sometimes spelt Athletes. Mentioned in Eusebius’s Chronicon (Basel: Henricus Petrus, 1529), fol. 35r and Funck’s Chronologia (Nuremberg: Georgius Wachterus, 1545), fol. 34 v, anno mundi 2880. Back to text

Pipinus: Unknown of Eusebius but acknowledged in Funck’s Chronologia (Nuremberg: Georgius Wachterus, 1545), fol. 34 v, anno mundi 2880, which borrows the information from Nanni of Viterbo’s Pseudo-Manethon (1498), according to which Pipinus reigned over the Tuscans 72 years after the destruction of Troy: Auctores Vetustissimi (Venice: Bernardinus Venetus, 1498), n. p.

Codrus: Mentioned in Eusebius’s Chronicon (Basel: Henricus Petrus, 1529), fol. 35r as Melanthus’s son and in Funck’s Chronologia (Nuremberg: Georgius Wachterus, 1545), fol. 34 v, anno mundi 2880 as having reigned 21 years. Back to text

Ark of God taken by the Philistines: Samuel: 1, 5-6.

David: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle places the beginning of Locrine’s reign in  2879/1084, fol. 28v and David’s anointment as king of Israel in 2889/1704, fol. 29r.

Guendoline: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, fol. 29v, 2899/1064: “Guendoleyne, the wife of Locrine, governed this realm of Britain 15 years during the nonage of her son Madan” and 2901/1062: “David committed homicide and adultery”. Heywood explicits the allusion to 2 Samuel: 11.

Bersheba: Bath-sheba, 2 Samuel: 11, 3. Back to text

Salomon: Solomon. Heywood brings together Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 2910/1053, fol. 29v: “Madan, son of Locrine and Guendoleyn, took on him the governance of Britain” and 2934/1029, fol. 30r: “In the fourth year of his reign [Salomon] began to build the temple of the Lord and finished it in the ‘leventh year”.

Stow: Heywood could read in Stow that “The Romans being troubled with wars in France and Italy, neglected the defence of Britain. This happened about the sixteenth year of Theodosius the Younger, the year of Christ 443” and that the Romans’ government in Britain “had continued 483 years”, Summary of English Chronicles (London: John Windet, 1607), pp. 21-22. Back to text

Saxons: John Stow, Summary of English Chronicles (London: John Windet, 1607), p. 47: “Thus endeth the reign of the Saxons, who had now continued sometimes in wars with the Britons, then with the Danes, and now with the Normans, the space of six hundred years”.

Harding and Hugh Genesis: see note to stanza 7 above, and “Heywood’s Library”. Back to text

Albina: F, Albiana.

Marian.: Marianus Scotus. See note to stanza 8 above.

doubtful to the world: Heywood voices the opinion expressed in Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle (2855/1118, fol. 27v) that “Albeit that this realm of England may easily contend with any other nation for the antiquity thereof, as being continually inhabited with people, from that time that all other countries received inhabitants, yet by the often civil wars and invasions of outward enemies, the monuments and remembrances of the histories passed being destroyed, it hath caused no little ambiguity and darkness to the certain knowledge of the original beginning thereof”. Back to text

Mirandula: either Giovanni Pico della Mirandola or his nephew Gianfrancesco Pico della Mirandola, both of whom Heywood also refers to in Gynaikeion and The Hierarchie of the blessed Angells, in widely differing contexts.

Eusebius: Eusebius’s Chronicon is at the root of such chronologies. Heywood quotes Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 3211/752, fol. 35v: see note to stanza 17 above. Also reported by Stow, Annals, p. 15; Summary (London: Thomas Marsh, 1565), fol. 12v. Back to text

Rivallo: “In the time of this Rival’s reign was the city of Rome builded, after the accordance of most part of writers”, Holinshed, 1577, I, 5, 21, p. 20. Geoffrey of Monmouth situated the foundation of Rome during Cunedagus’s reign, The History of the Kings of Britain, tr. and ed. Michael A. Faletra (Peterborough: Broadview, 2008), II, 32, p. 68. Back to text


How to cite

Nick Myers, ed., 2019.  Troia Britanica Canto XVI (1609).  In A Dictionary of Shakespeare's Classical Mythology: A Textual Companion, ed. Yves Peyré (2009-).


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