(Winchester f.1-34v; Caxton I-II.19; Vinaver, Vol. I, pp. 7.1-92.20; Shepherd pp. 3.1-61.4)


f. 9 (I.10)

kynge Arthure and his courte and to helpe hym in hys warrys · that he wolde

be sworne vnto them to helpe hem in their warrys a gaynst kynge Claudas

Now what sey ye vnto thys counceyle seyde Merlyon Thys ys well councelde

seyde the kynge And in all haste ij· barownes ryght so were ordayned to go on

thys message vnto thes ij kyngis and lettirs were made in the moste plesantist

wyse accordynge vnto kynge Arthurs desyre and Ulphans And Brastias were

made the messyngers and so rode forth well horsed and well I armed and as þe

gyse was that tyme and so passed the see and rode towarde the cite of Beawyes

and there be sydes were viij knyghtes that aspyed hem and at a strayte passage

they mette with Ulphuns & Brastias and wolde a takyn them presoners / So they

preyde them that þey myght passe for they were messyngers vnto kyng Ban

and Bors / I sente frome kynge Arthure There fore seyde the knyghtes ye shall

Dey othir be presoners / for we be knyghtes of kynge Claudas And there with

ii of them dressed þer sperys vnto Ulphuns & Brastias and they dressed þer sperys

and ran to gydir with grete raundon And Claudas his knyghtes brake þere

spearis And Ulphuns & Brastias bare the ij knyghtes oute of there sadils to

the erth and so leffte them lyynge and rode Þer wayes And the oþer vi knyghtes

rode be fore to a passage to mete with them a yen And so Ulphuns & Bras

tias othir ij· smote downe and so paste on hir wayes And at the fourþe pas//

sage there mette ij· for ij and bothe were leyde vnto the erthe So there was

none of the viij· knyghtes but he was hurte sore othir brused And whan they

com to Benwyke hit fortuned both the kynges be there Ban & Bors Than

was hit tolde the ij kyngis How þer were com ij messyngers And anone þer was

sente vnto them ij knyghtes of worship that one hyght Lyonses lorde of the

contrey of Bayarne And Sir Pharyaunce a worshipfull knyght And a

none asked them from whens they com And they seyde from kyng Arthure

kynge of Ingelonde and so they toke them in theire Armys and made grete Ioy

eche of othir But anone as they wyste they were messyngers of Arthurs

there was made no taryynge but forth with they spake with þe kyngis and

they welcommed them in the moste faythfullyst wyse And seyde they were

moste welcom vnto them be fore all the kynges men lyvynge And þer with

they kyssed the lettirs and delyvird them And whan kynge Ban & Bors

vndirstoode them & þe lettirs than were they more welcom þan þey were to fore


f. 9v (I 10-11)


And aftr the haste of the lettirs they gaff hem thys answere that they wolde fulfille

thy Desire of kyng Arthurs wrytynge And bade sir Ulphuns & Sir Brastias

tarry there as longe as they wolde for they shulde haue such chere as myght

be made for them in thys marchis Than Vlphuns & Brastias tolde the kynge

of theire adventure at the passagis for the viij· knyghtes ·A·ha· seyde Ban &

Bors they were oure good frendis I wolde I had wyste of them and they sholde

nat so ascaped So thes ij knyghtes had good chere and grete gyfftis as much as

they myght bere away and had theire answere by mowth · and by wrytynge

that the ij kynges wolde com vnto Arthure in all the haste that they myght

So thes ij knyghtes rode on a fore and passed the see and com to þer lorde And

tolde hym how they had spedde Where fore kyng Arthure was passyng glad

And seyde how suppose you at what tyme woll thes ij kynges be here // Sir they

seyde be fore all Halowmasse // Than the kynge lette purvey for a grete feste

And also he lette cry both turnementis and Iustis thorow oute all his Realms

And the day appoynted and sette at all Halowmasse And so they tyme Drove

on and all thynges redy I purveyed Thes ij noble kynges were entirde the

londe and comyn ovir the see with iij· hondred knyghtes full well a rayed

both for the pees and also for the werre And so royally they were resceyved

and brought towarde the cite of London // And so Arthure mette þem x· myle

oute of London and there was grete Ioy made as canthe be thought And on

all Halowmasse Day at the grete feste sate in the halle the iij· kynges And Sir

Kay the senesciall served in the hall And Sir Lucas the butler that was Duke

Corneus son And Sir Gryfflet that was the son of Gad of Cardal · thes iij

knyghtes had the rule of all the seruyse that serued te kyngis And anone as

they were redy on horsebak and waysher all the knyghte that wolde Iuste

made hem redy And be than they were redy on horse bak there was vij C·

knyghtes And kynge Arthure Ban & Bors with þe archebyssop

And kynge Arthure Ban & Bors with þe archebysshop of Caunter//

byry And Sir Ector Kays fadir they were in a place covirde with clothys of

golde lyke vnto an halle with ladyes and Iantill women for to be holde

who dud beste and there on to gyff a Iugemente And kyng Arthure with

the ij kyngis lette departe the vij hondred knyghtes in ij partyes And þer were iij

hondred knyghtes of the realme of Benwyke and Gaule that turned on þe

othir syde and they dressed þer shyldis and be gan to couche hir sperys many


f. 10 (I 11)


good knyghtes So Sir Gryfflet was the firste that sette oute And to hym com

a knyght hys name was Sir Ladynas And they com so egirly to gydir that

all men had wondir and they so sore fought that hir shyldis felle on shie

pecis and both horse and man felle to the erthe And both the frensh · knyȝt

And the englysh knyght lay so longe that all men wente they had bene dede

whan Lucas the butler saw Sir Gryfflet ly so longe he horsed hym a

gayne a none and they too ded many mervelous dedis of armys with many

bachelers Also Sir Kay com oute of a bushemente with v· knyghtes with hym and

they vi· smote othir vi downe But Sir Kay · dud that day many mervay//

lous dedis of armys that there was none that dud so welle as he that day

Than there com ladynas and Grastian ij· knyghtes of fraunse and dud pas//

synge well that all men praysed them Than com In Sir Placidas a good

knyght that mette with Sir Kay · and smote hym downe horse and man where

fore Sir Gryfflet was wroth · and mette with Sir placidas so harde that horse

and man felle to the erthe // But whan the v knyghtes wyst that Sir Kay·

had a falle they were wroth oute of mesure And there with all ech of them v·

bare downe a knyght / Whan kynge Arthur and the ij· kynges saw hem be

gynne wexe wroth on both partyes they leped on smale hakeneyes And lette

cry that all men sholde departe vnto theire lodgynge And so they wente home

and vnharmed them and so to evynsonge and souper And aftir souper þe iij·

kynges wente in to a gardyne and gaff the pryce vnto Sir Kay And vnto Sir

Lucas the butler And vnto Sir Gryfflet And than they wente vnto coun//

ceyle and with hem Gwenbans brothir vnto kynge Ban & Bors a wyse

clerke and thidir wente Ulphuns Brastias & Merlion And aftir they had

in her counceyle they wente vnto bedde And on the morne they harde masse

and to dyner and so to theire counceyle and made many argumentes What

were beste to do So at the laste they were concluded that Ml· sholde go with a

tokyn of kynge Ban that was a rynge vnto hys men And kynge Bors

Gracian & placidas sholde go a gayne and kepe þer castels and theire contreyes

And as for kynge Ban of Benwyke and kynge Bors of Gaule had or//

dayned them all thynge and so passed the see and com to Benwyke And

whan the people sawe kynge Bannys rynge and Gracian & placidas þey

were glad and asked how theire kynge fared and made grete Ioy of þer welfare


f. 10v (I.11-12)


and accordyng vnto theire soueraigne lordis desire and the man of warre

made hem redy in all haste possible so that they were xv·Ml on horse backe

and foote and they had grete plente of vitayle by Merlions provisions // But

Gracian & Placidas were leffte at home to furnysh · and garnysh the castell

for drede of kyng Claudas Ryght so Merlion passed the see well vitayled boþe

by watir and by londe And whan he com to the see he sente home þe foote men

a gayne and toke no mo with hym but x Ml· men on horse bake the moste party

of men of armys and so happed and passed the see in to Inglonde and londed at

Dovir and thorow the wytte of Merlion · he ledde the oste northwarde the

pryveyst wey that coude be thought vnto the foreste of Bedgrayne And

there in a valey lodged hym secretely Than rode Merlion to Arthure and

to the ij kynges and tolde hem how he had spedde where of they had grete

mervayle that ony man on erthe myght spede so sone to and go and com · So

Merlion · tolde them how x· thousande were in the forest of Bedgrayne well armed

at all poyntis · Than was þer no more to sey but to horsebak wente all þe oste

as Arthure had before prouyded so with xxti Ml he passed by nyght and day bu þer

was made such an ordinauce a fore by Merlyon that there sholde no man of warre

ryde nothir go In no contrey on this syde trente watir but if he had a tokyn frome

kynge Arthure where thorow þe kynges enemyes durst nat ryde and þey dud to fore

nd so wyth In a litill whyle the iij kyngis com to the forest // to aspye

of Bedgrayne and founde there a passynge fayre felyship and well

be sene where of they had grete Ioy and vitayle they wanted none Thys was

the causis of the Northir hoste that they were rered for the despite and rebuke

that the vij kyngis had at Carlyon · and tho vi kyngis by hir meanys gate

vnto them v· othir kyngis and thus they be gan to gadir hir people And how

they swore noþer for well nothyr wo they sholde nat lyve tyll they had destroyed

Arthure And than they made an othe And the first that be gan the othe was

the deuke of Candebenet that he wolde brynge with hym vi·Ml · men of armys

the which were redy on horse bakke Than swore kynge Brandegorys of

Strangore that he wolde brynge with hym v·Ml· men of armys on horse

backe Than swore kynge Clarinaus of Northumbirlonde wolde brynge in

Ml· men of armys with hym Than swore the kynge with þe C knyghtes

that was a passynge good man and a yonge that he wold brynge iiij· Ml·


f. 11 (I.12-14)


good men of armys on horse backe  Than there swore kynge Lott a passyng

good knyght and fadir vnto Sir Gawayne that he wolde brynge v· Ml

good men of armys on horsebak Also the swore kynge Uryens that was

Sir Uwaynes fadir of the londe of Gore And he wolde brynge vi Ml· men

of armys on horse bak Also there swore kynge Idres of Cournwalle that

he wolde brynge v·Ml· men of armys on horse bake // Also there swore kynge

Cradilmans to brynge v·Ml men on horsebacke Also there swore kyng An//

gwysshauns of Irelonde to brynge v· Ml men of armys on horsebak ·//

Also there swore kynge Nentres to brynge v·Ml men on horsebak Also Þer

swore kynge Carados to brynge v·Ml· men of armys on horsebak // So hir

hole oste was of clene men of armys on horse backe was fully Fyffty

Ml and on foote x·Ml of good mennes bodyes Than they were sone redy &

mounted vppon horsebacke and sente forthe be fore the fore ryders For

thes a xi· kynges in hir wayes leyde a sege unto the castell of Bedgrayne

And so they departed and drew towarde Arthure and leffte a fewe to byde

at the sege for the castell of Bedgrayne was an holde of kynge Arthurs

And the men that were with In were kynge Arthure men all

o by· Merlyons advice there were sente fore ryders to skymme Þe

contrey and they mette with the fore ryders of the northe & made

hem to telle which way the oste com // And than they tolde kynge Arthure

And by kynge Ban & Bors his counceile they lette brenne and destroy all

the contrey be fore them there they sholde ryde The kynge of the hondred

knyghtis that tyme mette a wondir dreme ij· nyghtes be fore the batayle that

there blew a grete wynde and blew downe hir castels and hir townys

And aftir that com a watir and bare hit all a way And all that herde

of that swevyn seyde hit was a tokyn of grete batayle // Than by counceile

of Merlion whan they wyst which wey the an xi kynges wolde ryde and

lodge that nyght at mydnyght they sette vppon them as they were in Þer pa//

vilions But the scowte wacche by hir oste cryed lordis to harneys for here be 

oure enemyes at youre honde

han kynge Arthure and kynge Ban & Bors with hir good & trusty

knyghtes sette vppon them so fersely that he made them ouer throwe hir pavilons


f. 11v (I 14)


on hir hedis but the xi kynges by manly provesse of armys toke a fayre champion

but there was slayne that morow tyde x· Ml· good mennes bodyes And so Þey had

be fore hem a stronge passage yet were there fyffty Ml of hardy men Than hit

drew toward day // Now shall ye do by myne advice seyde Merlyon vnto the

iij· kyngies and seyde I wolde kynge Ban & Bors with hir felyshyp of x·Ml·

men were put in a woode here be syde in an Inbusshemente and kept Þem prevy

and that they be leyde or the lyght of the day com and that they fare nat

tyll that ye and youre knyghtes and fought with hem longe And whan

hit ys day lyght dresse youre batayle evyn be fore them and the passage that

they may se all youre oste for than woll they be the more hardy whan they

se you but a boute xx thousande and cause hem to be the gladder to suffir you

and youre oste to com ouer the passage all the iij kynges and the hole barownes

seyde how · Merlion devised passynge well and so hit was done So on Þe morn

whan aythir oste saw othir they of the northe were well comforted Than

Ulphuns & Brastias were delyvirde iij· thousand men of armys And they

sette on them fersely in the passage and slew on the ryght honde and on Þe

lyffte honde that hit was wondir to telle // But whan they xi kynges saw

that there was so few a felyship that dud such dedis of armys they were a

shamed and sette on hem a gayne fersely · And there was Sir Ulphuns horse

slayne but he dud merveylously on foote // But the duke of Eskause of Candebenet

And kynge Clarinaunce of Northehumbirlonde were all wey grevously set on

Vlphuns Than Sir Brastias saw his felows y fared so with all he smote Þe

duke with a spere that horse and man felle downe That saw kyng Clary

nauns and returne vnto Sir Brastias and eythir smote othir so that horse

and man wente to the erthe and so they lay longe a stoned and theire horse

knees braste to the harde bone Than com Sir Kay the seneciall with vi fe//

lowis with hym and dud passynge well // So with that com the xi kyngis

and there was Gryfflette put to the erth horse and man And Lucas the

butler horse and man kynge Brandegoris and kyng Idres and kynge1

Augwyshaunce than wexed the medlee passyng harde on bothe parties whan

Sir Kay saw · Sir Gryfflet on foote he rode vnto kynge Nentres and smote

hym downe and h ledde his horse vnto Sir Gryfflette and horsed hym a

gayne // Also Sir Kay with the same spere smote downe kynge lotte & hurte












f. 12 (I.14)


and hurte hym passynge sore That the kynge with the C· knyghtes and ran

vnto Sir Kay · and smote hym downe and toke hys horse and gaff hym kynge

lotte where of he seyde gramercy // Whan Sir Gryfflet saw sir Kay and Sir

lucas de butler on foote he with a sherpe spere grete and square rode to Pynnel·

a good man of armys and smote horse and man downe and than he toke

hys horse and gaff hym vnto Sir Kay Than kyng lotte saw kynge Nentres

on foote he ran vnto Meliot de la roche and smote hym downe horse and

man and gaff hym to kynge Nentres the horse and horsed hym a gayne

Also the kynge with the C· knyghtes saw kynge Idres on foote he ran vnto

Gwymarte de bloy and smote hym downe horse and man and gaff kynge

Idres the horse and horsed hym a gayne That kynge Lotte smote downe

Clarinaus de la foreyste saveage and gaff the horse vnto duke Estans And

so whan they had horsed the kyngis a gayne they drew hem all xi kynges

to gydir and seyde they wolde be revenged of the damage that they had takyn

that day The meane whyle com In kyng Arthure with an egir countenans

and founde Vlphuns and Brastias on foote in grete perell of dethe that were

fowle defoyled vndir the horse feete Than Arthure as a lyon ran vnto

kynge Cradilment of North Walis and smote hym thorow the lyffte syde Þat

horse and I man felle downe Than he toke the horse by the reygne and led

hym vnto Ulphine and seyde haue this horse myne olde frende for grete

nede hast Þou of an horse // Gramercy seyde Vlphuns Than kynge Arthure

dud so mervaylesly In armys that all men had wondir Whan the kyng

with the C· knyghtes saw kynge Cradilmente on foote he ran vnto Sir

Ector Sir Kayes fadir that was well I horsed and smote horse and man

downe and gaff the horse vnto the kynge and horsed hym a gayne And

Whan kynge Arthure saw that kynge ryde on Sir Ectors horse he was

wrothe and with hys swerde he smote the kynge on the helme that a quarter

of the helme and shelde clave downe And so the swerde carve downe vnto

the horse neck and so man and horse felle downe to the ground Than

Sir Kay com vnto kynge Morganoure Senesciall with the kynge of the C·

knyghtes and smote hym downe horse and man and ledde the horse vnto

hys fadir Sir Ector Than Sir Ector ran vnto a knyght Þat hyght Lardans


f. 12v (I.14-15)


and smote horse and man downe and lad the horse vnto Sir Brastias

that grete nede had of an horse and was gretly defoyled // Whan Brastias be

helde Lucas the butler that lay lyke a dede man vndir the horse feete And euer

Sir Gryflet dud mercyfully for to rescow hym And there were all wayes

xiiij· knyghtes vpon Sir Lucas And than Sir Brastias smote one of them

on the helme that hit wente vnto his tethe and he rode vnto a noÞer & smote

hym that hys arme flowe into the felde Than he wente to the thirde & smote

hym on the shulder that sholdir and arme flow vnto the felde Than he wente

to the thirde And whan Gryfflet saw rescowis he smote a knyght on the

templis that hede and helme wente of to the erthe And Gryfflet toke that

horse and lad hym vnto Sir Lucas and bade hym mownte vppon Þat horse

and revenge his hurtis For Sir Brastias had slayne a knyght to fore and

horsed Sir Lucas Than Sir Lucas saw kynge Angwysshaunce that nyght had

slayne Maris de la roche and Lucas ran to hym with a sherpe spere that was

                                    grete and he gaff hym suche a falle that Þe horse felle downe to the erthe·

                                    Also Lucas founde Þer on foote Bloyas de la Flandres and Sir Gwynas ij har

                                    dy knyghtes and in that woodnes that Lucas was In he slew ij bachelers and

horsed them a gayne Than wexed the batayle passynge harde one bothe partyes

But kynge Arthure was glad that hys knyghtes were horsed a gayne And

than they fought to giders that the noyse and the sowne range by the watir

and woode // Where fore kynge Ban & Bors made hem redy and dressed

theire shyldis and harneysse and were so currageous that Þer enemyes shooke

and byverd for egirnesse All thys whyle Sir Lucas · Gwynas · Bryaunte ·

and Bellias of Flaundres helde stronge medle a gaynste vi kynges which were

kynge kynge Lott kynge Nentres kynge Brandegoris kynge Idres kyng Uriens

and kynge Angwysshauns · So with the helpe of Sir Kay and of Sir Gryfflet

they helde thes vi kyngis harde that vnneth they had ony power to deffende

them But whan kynge Arthure saw the batayle wolde nat be ended by no

maner he fared woode as a lyon and stirred his horse here and there on the

ryght honde and on the lyffte honde that he stynted nat tylle he had slayne

xxti knyghtes Also he wounded kynge Lotte sore on the shulder and made hym

to leve that grownde For Sir Kay with Sir Gryfflet dud with kynge Arthure


f. 13 (I.15)


grete dedis of armys dud there Than Sir Vlphuns Brastias & Sir Ector

encountirde a gaynste the duke Estans and kynge Cradilmante and kynge

Clarmauns of Northhumbirlonde And kynge Carados and the kynge with the C·

knyghtes So thes kynges encountird with thes knyghtes that they made them

to avoyde the grounde // Than kynge Lotte made grete dole for his damagis &

his felowis and seyde vnto the kyngis But of we woll do as I have devised

we all shall be slayne and destroyed // Lette me haue the kynge with the C· knyghtes

and kynge Angwysshaunce and kynge Idres and the duke of Candebenet and

we v· kyngis woll haue v Ml· men of armys with vs and we woll go on one

party whyle the vi kynges holde the medle with xij Ml· And whan we se that ye

have foughtyn with hem longe · than woll we com on freysshly and ellis shall

we neuer macche them seyde kynge lotte but by thys means So they departed as they

here devised and thes vi kyngis made theire party stronge a gaynste kyng Arthure

and made grete warre longe in the meane whyle Than brake the bushemente of

kynge Banne and Bors and Lionse and phariaunce had that advaunte garde

and they ij knyghtes mette with kynge Idres that was nere discomfited That saw

kynge Angwysshaunce and put Lyonses & phariaunce in poynte of dethe For Þe

duke Candebenet com on with a grete felyship So thes ij knyghtes were in grete

daungere of Þer lyves that they were fayne to returne but all weyes they

rescowed hem selff and hir felyship merveylously // Whan kynge Bors

saw Þo knyghtes put on bak hit greved hym sore Than he com on so faste that

his felyship semed as black as Inde Whan kynge Lotte had aspyed kynge Bors

he knew hym well and seyde Jhu defende vs frome dethe and horryble may//

mes for I se well we be in grete perell of dethe for I se yondir a kynge on of Þe

moste worshipfullyst and of the best knyghtes of the worlde be Inclyned vnto

his felyship // What ys he seyde the kynge with the hudirde knyghtes hit ys

he seyde kynge Bors of Gaule I mervayle seyde he how they com vnto this

contrey with oute wetynge of vs all // Hit was by Merlions advice seyde a

knyght // As for me seyde kynge Carados I woll encountir with kynge Bors

and ye woll rescow me whan myster ys Go on seyde they for we woll all

that we may Than kynge Carados and hys oste rode on a soffte pace tyll

they com as nyȝe kynge Bors as a bowe draught Than eythir lette theire


f. 13v (I.15-16)


horsys renne as faste as they myght And Bleobris that was godson vnto Þ

kynge Bors he bare his chyeff standard that was a passyng good knyght /

Now shall we se seyde kynge Bors how thes northirne bretons can bere

theire armys So kynge Bors encountird with a knyght and smote hym

thorow oute with a spere that he felle dede vnto the erthe And aftirwarde

drew hys swerde and dud mervaylous dedis of armys that all partyes

had grete wondir there of And his knyght falyed nat but dud hir parte And

kynge Carados was smytten to the erthe // With that com the kynge with

the C· knyghtes and rescowed kynge Carados myghtyly by force of armys

for he was a passynge good knyght and but a yonge man Be than com

In to the felde kynge Ban as ferse as a lyon with bondis of grene And Þer

vppon golde ·A· ha· seyde kynge Lott we muste be discomfite for yondir I se

the moste valiante knyght of the worlde and the man of moste renowne·

For such ij brethirne as ys kynge Ban & kynge Bors ar nat lyvynge where

fore we muste nedis voyde or dye · And but if we avoyde manly & wysely

there ys but dethe So whan thes ij kyngis Ban & Bors com In to Þe batayle

they com In so fersely that the strokis rebounded a gayne fro the woode & the

watir // Where fore kynge Lotte wepte for pite and dole that he saw so many

good knyghtes take Þer ende // But thorow the grete force of kynge Ban

they made bothe the northirne batayles that were parted hurteled to gidirs

for grete drede And the iij· kynges and Þer knyghtes slew on euer that hit was

pite to se and to be holde the multitude of peple that fledde // But kyng Lott

and the kynge with the C· knyghtes and kynge Morgause Morganoure  gadird

the peple to gydir passynge knyghtly and dud grete prowes of armys and

helde the batayle all the day lyke harde // Whan the kynge with the hundred

knyghtes be holde the grete damage that kynge Ban he threste vnto hym with

his horse and smote hym an hyȝe on the helme a grete stroke and stoned hym

sore Than kynge Ban was wood wrothe with hym and folowed on hym

fersely the othir saw that and caste vp hys shelde and spored hys horse

forewarde But the stroke of kynge Ban downe felle and carve a cantell

of the shelde and the swerde sloode downe by the hawbirke by hynde hys

backe and but thorow the trappoure of stele and the horse evyn in ij pecis


f. 14 (I 16)


that the swerde felle to the erth· / Than the kynge of the hundred knyghtes voy//

ded the horse lyghtly and with hys swerde he broched the horse of kynge

Ban thorow and thorow // With that kynge Ban voyded lyghtly from Þe

dede horse and smote at that othir so egirly on the helme that he felle to

the erthe Also in that Ire he felde kynge Morganoure and there was

grete slawghtir of good knyghtes and muche peple Be that tyme com In

to the prees kynge Arthure and founde kynge Ban stondynge amonge the

dede men and dede horse fyghtynge on foote as a wood lyon that Þer com none

nyghe hym as farre as he myght reche with hys swerde but he caught

a grevous buffette // Where of kynge Arthure had grete pite And kynge

Arthure was so blody that by hys shylde there myght no man know hym

for all was blode and brayne that stake on his swerde and hys shylde

And as kynge Arthure loked be syde hym he sawe a knyght that was pas//

syngely well horsed And there with kynge Arthure ran to hym and smote

hym on the helme that hys swerde wente vnto his teeth · and the knyght

sanke downe to the erthe dede And anone kynge Arthure toke hys horse

by the rayne and ladde hym vnto kynge Ban and seyde fayre brothir

haue ye thys horse for ye have grete myster there of and me repentys

sore of youre grete damage // Hit shall be sone revenged seyde kynge Ban

for I truste in god myne hurte ys none suche but som of them may sore re//

pente thys I woll welle seyde kynge Arthure for I se youre dedys full actuall

neuertheles I myght nat com to you at that tyme But whan kynge Ban

was mounted on horsebak than there be gan a new batayle whych was

sore and harde And passynge grete slaughtir And so thorow grete force kyng

Arthure kynge Ban and kynge Bors made hir knyghtes a lyght to wyth//

draw hem to a lytyll wood and so ouer a litill ryvir and there they rested

hem for on the nyght be fore they had no grete reste in the felde And than

the xi kyngis put hem on an hepe all to gydirs as men a drad and oute

of all comforte But there was no man that myght passe them Þey helde

hem so harde to gydirs bothe be hynde and be fore that kynge Arthure

had mervayle of theire dedis of armys and was passynge wrothe ·

A· Sir Arthure seyde kynge Ban and kynge Bors blame hem not for they


f. 14v (I.16-17)


do as good men ought to do For be my fayth seyde kynge Ban they ar Þe beste

fyghtynge men and knyghtes of moste provesse that euer y saw oÞer herde off

speke And tho xi kyngis ar men of grete worship And if they were longyng

to you there were no kynge vndir hevyn that had suche xi kyngis noÞer off

such worship · I may nat love hem seyde kynge Arthure for they wolde des//

troy me · That know we well seyde kyng Ban and kynge Bors For Þey

ar your mortall enemyes And that hathe bene preved be fore honde And

thys day they have done theire parte and that ys grete pite of Þer wylfulnes

Than all the xi kynges drew hem to gydir And than seyde kynge  ^ Lordis ye          Lott

muste do othir wyse than ye do othir ellis the grete losses ys be hynde for ye

may se what peple we haue loste nad what good men we lese be cause

we wayte all weyes on thes foote men And euer in savyng of one of Þes

foote men we lese x· horse men for hym There fore thys ys myne ad//

vise lette vs putte oure foote men frome vs for for hit ys nere nyght

For thys noble kynge Arthure woll nat tarry on the foote men for

they may save hem selff the woode ys nere honde And whan we horse

men be to gydirs looke euery of you kyngies lat make such ordinaunce that

none breke vppon payne of deth· And who that seeth · any man dresse

hym to sle lyghtly that he be slayne for hit ys bettir we sle a cowarde

than Þorow a coward all we be slayne // How sey ye seyde kynge Lotte

answere me all ye kynges ye say well seyde kynge Nentres So seyde Þe

kynge with the C· knyghtes the same seyde kynge Carados And kynge

Vryens so seyde kynge Idres and kynge Brandegoris so dud kyng Cradil//

masse and the duke of Candebenet the same seyde kynge Claryaunce &

so dud kynge Angwysshaunce and swore they wolde neuer fayle oÞer for lyff

nothir for dethe And who so that fledde all they sholde be slayne Than

they amended Þer harneyse and ryghted Þer sheldis and toke newe speris

and sette hem on theire thyghes and stoode stylle as hit had be a plumpe

of woode // Whan kynge Arthure and kynge Ban & Bors be helde Þem

and all hir knyghtes they preysed them much for Þer noble chere of chevalry

so the hardyeste fyghters that euer they herde oÞer sawe So furth with there

dressed a fourty knyghtes and seyde vnto the iij· kynges they wolde breke Þer

batayle and thes were Þer namys / Lyonses Phariaunce · Vlphuns Brastias

f. 15 (I.17)


Ector · Kayns · Lucas de butler · Gryfflet la fyse de deu · Marrys de la roche · Gwy//

nas de bloy · Bryaunte de la foreyste saveage // Bellaus · Monans of Þe castel ·

maydyns · Flaundreus of Þe castel of ladyes Annecians that was kynge Bors

god son a noble knyght & Ladinas de la rouse · Emerause · Caulas · Gracieus

le castilion · Bloyse de la case · And Sir Colgreveaunce de Goore all Þes knyȝtes

rode on be fore with sperys on theire thyghes and spurred Þer horses myghtyly

And the xi kyngis with parte of hir knyghtes rushed furthe as faste as they

myght with hir sperys and there they dud on bothe partyes merveylous dedes

of armys So there com Into the thycke of thes prees Arthure Ban & Bors

and slew downe ryght on bothe hondis that hir horses wente in blood vp to Þe

fittlockys But euer the xi kyngis and the oste was euer in the visage of Arthure

Where fore kynge Ban & Bors had grete mervayle consyderynge Þe grete

slaughter that Þer was · but at the laste they were dryven a backe ouer a litill

ryver // With that com Merlion on a grete black horse and seyde vnto

kynge Arthure · thou hast neuer done hast Þou nat done I now of iij· score

thousande thys day hast Þou leffte on lyve but xv· Ml· there fore hit ys

tyme to sey who for god ys wroth with the for Þou wolt neuer haue done · For

yondir a xi kynges at thys tyme woll nat be ouer throwyn But and Þou tary

on them ony lenger thy Fortune woll turne and they shall encres // And Þer

fore withdraw you vnto youre lodgynge and reste you as sone as ye may

and rewarde youre good knyghtes with golde and with syluer for they have

well deserved hit there may no ryches be to dere for them for of so fewe

men as ye haue there was neuer men dud more worshipfully in proves

than ye haue done today For ye haue macched thys day with Þe beste

fyghters of the worlde That ys trouthe seyde kynge Ban & Bors Than

Merlyon bade hem with draw where ye lyste for thys iij· yere I dare vn//

dirtake they shall nat dere you And by that tyme ye shall hyre newe

tydyngis // Than Merlion seyde vnto Arthure thes xi kyngis haue more

on hande then they ar ware off For the sarezynes ar londed in Þer contrees

mo than fourty thousande and brenne and sle and haue leyde syege

to the castell Wandesborow and make grete destruccion there fore drede

you nat thys yere // Also sir all the goodis that be gotyn at this batayle lette 


f. 15v (I.17)


hit be serched and whan ye haue hit in your hondis lette hit be geffyn frendly

vnto thes ij· kyngis Ban & Bors that they may rewarde Þer knyghtes wyth all

and that shall cause straungers to be of bettir wyll to do you servyse at nede

Also ye be able to rewarde youre owne knyghtes at what tyme som euer hit

lykith you // ye sey well seyde Arthure and as Þouhaste devised so shall hit

be done // Whan hit was delyverde to thes kynges Ban & Bors they gaff the

godis as Frely to theire knyghtes as hit was gevyn to them Than Merlion

toke hys leve of kynge Arthure and of the ij kyngis for to go se hys mayster

Bloyse that dwelled in northhumbirlonde and so he departed and com to hys

mayster that was passynge glad of hys commynge And there he tolde how

Arthure and the ij kynges had spedde at the grete batayle And how hyt

was endyd and tolde the namys of euery kynge and knyght of worship Þat

was there And so Bloyse wrote the batayle worde by worde as Merlion

tolde hym how hit be gan and by whom And in lyke wyse how hit

was ended and who had the worst // And all the batayles that were done

in Arthurs dayes Merlion · dud hys mayster Bloyse wryte them Also

he dud wryte all the batayles that euery worthy knyght ded of Arthurs

courte // So aftir this Merlion departed frome his mayster and com to kynge

Arthure that was in the castell of Bedgrayne that was one of the

castels that stondith in the foreyste of Sherewood // And was so dis//

gysed that kynge Arthure knew hym nat for he was all be furred in

blacke shepis skynnes and a grete payre of bootis And a boowe & arowis

in a russet gowne and brought wylde gyese in his honde And hit was

on the morne aftir Candilmasse day But kynge Arthure knew hym

nat // Sir seyde M· vnto the kynge woll ye geff me a gyffte // Where fore

seyde kynge Arthure sholde I gyff the a gyffte chorle // Sir seyd ye were

bettir to gyff me a gyffte that ys nat in youre honde than to lose grete Ry//

chesse // For here In the same place there the grete batayle was ys grete

tresoure hydde in the erthe // Who tolde the so chorle // Sir Merlyon tolde

me so seyde he· Than Vlphuns & Brastias knoew hym well I nowȝe

and smyled // Sir seyde thes ij knyghtes hit ys Merlion · that so spekith ·

vnto you // Than kynge Arthure was gretly a baysshed & had mervayle


f. 16 (I 17-18)


of Merlion And so had kynge Ban & Bors So they had grete disporte at hym

Than in the meane whyle there com a damesell that was an erlis douȝter

hys name was Sanam and hir name was Lyonors a passyng fayre da//

mesell and so she cam thidir for to do omage as oÞer lordis ded aftir that

grete batayle And kynge Arthure sette hys love gretly on hir and so ded

she vppon hym and so the kynge had a do with hir and gate on hir a

chylde and hys name was Borre that was aftir a good knyght and of

the table rounde / Than the com worde that kynge Ryens of north walis

made grete warre on kynge Lodegreaunce of Camylarde for the Whiche

kynge Arthure was wrothe for he loved hym welle and hated kyng Royns

for all wayes he was a ȝenst hym // So by ordinauns of the iij kynges that Þey

were sente home vnto Benwyke and wolde departe for drede of kynge Clau//

das thes knyghtes Pharyaunce Antheines Graciens Lyonses & Payarne

were the leders of them that sholde kepe the ij kynges londis

nd than kynge Arthure kynge Ban & kynge Bors departed with hir

felyship a xxti thousand and cam with In vij dayes in to the con

trey of Camylarde And there rescowed kynge Lodegraunce and slew there muche

people of kynge Ryons vnto the numbir of x Ml and putte hem to flyght And

than had thes iij kynges gretl grete chere of kynge Lodegraunce & thanked

them of theire grete goodnes that they wolde revenge hym of his enemyes

And there had Arthure the firste syght of queene Gwenyuere the kyngis

daughter of the londe of Camylarde and euer afftir he loved hir and aftir

they were wedded as hit tellith in the booke // So breffly to make an ende they

toke there leve to go in to hir owne contreyes / for kynge Claudas dud grete

destruccion on Þer londis / Than seyde Arthure I woll go with you nay seyde

the kyngis ye shall nat at thys tyme fo ye haue much to do yet in Þys londe

There fore we woll departe with the grete goodis that we haue gotyn in Þis

londe by youre gyfftis / we shall wage good knyghtes and withstonde Þe kynge

Claudas hys malice For by the grace of god and we haue nede we woll sende

to you for succour · And ye haue nede sende for vs and we woll nat tarry by

the feythe of oure bodyes // Hit shall nat nede seyde Merlion · thes ij· kynges

to com a gayne in the wey of warre But I know well kynge Arthure

may nat be longe frome you · For with In a yere or ij ye shall haue grete nede  


f. 16v (I.18-19)


than shall he revenge you of youre enemyes as ye haue done on his ·

For thes xi· kyngis shall dye all in one day by the grete myght & provesse

of armys of ij valyaunte knyghtes as hit tellith aftir hir namys Balyne le

saueage and Balan hys brothir that were merveylous knyghtes as ony was

Þo lyvynge // Now turne we vnto the xi kynges that returned vnto a cite

that hyght Surhaute which cite was with In kynge Vriens londe and Þer

they refreysshed them as well as they myght and made lechys serche for

Þer woundis and sorowed gretly for the deth of hir people So with that Þer com

a messyngere and tolde how Þer was comyn in to theyre londis people Þat were

lawles as well as sarezynes a fourty thousande and haue brente and

slayne all the people that they may com by with oute mercy and haue leyde

sege vnto the castell Wandesborow alas seyde the xi kyngis here ys sorow

vppon sorow and if we had nat warred a gaynste Arthure as we haue

done he wolde sone a revenged vs And as for kynge Lodegreaunce he loviÞe

Arthure bettir than vs And as for kynge Royens he hath y now a do with

kynge Lodegreauns for he hath leyde sege vnto hym So they condescended

to gydir to kepe all the marchis of Corunwayle of Walis and of the norÞe

So firste they put kynge Idres in the cite of Nauntus in Bretayne with iiij·

Ml men of armys to wacche bo the watir and the londe Also they had of

othir men of warre mo than viij· Ml· for to fortefye all the fortresse in the

marchys of Corunwayle Also they put mo kyngis in all the marchis off

Walis and Scotlonde with many good men of armys and so they kept hem

to gydirs the space of iij· yere and euer alyed hem with myghty kynges and

dukis And vnto them felle kynge Royns of northewalis which was a

myghty kynge of men And Nero that was a myghty man of men And

all thys whyle they furnysshed and garnysshed hem of good men of armys

and vitayle and of all maner of ablemente that pretendith to warre to

a venge hem for Þe batayne of Bedgrayne as hit tellith in Þe book of aventures

han aftir the departynge of kynge Bans & Bors kynge Arthure

rode vnto the cite of Carlyon and thydir com vnto hym kynge

Lottis wyff of Orkeney In maner of a message but she was sente thydir

to aspye the courte of kynge Arthure and she com rychely be seyne with

hir iiij· sonnes / Gawayne · Gaheris · Aggrauayne · & Gareth · with many oÞer






f. 17 (I.19)


knyghtes and ladyes for she was a passynge fayre lady where fore Þe kynge

caste grete love vnto hir and desired to ly by her And so they were agreed and

be gette vppon hir Sir Mordred and she was syster on the modirs syde Igrayne     

vnto Arthure So there she rested hir a monthe and at the laste she departed           

Then the kynge dremed a mervaylous dreme where of he was sore a drad

But all thys tyme kynge Arthure knew nat kynge Lottis wyff was his

sister // But thus was the dreme of Arthure hym thought Þer was com In

to hys londe Gryffens & serpentes and hym thought they brente & slowȝe

all the people in the londe and than he thought he fought with them and

theyd dud hym grete harme and wounded hym full sore but at Þe laste

he slew hem // Whan the kynge waked he was passynge hevy of hys

dreme And so to putte hit oute of thought he made hym redy with many

knyghtes to ryde on huntynge and as sone as he was in the foreste the

kynge saw a grete harte be fore hym Thys harte woll I chace seyde

kynge Arthure and so he spurred hys horse and rode aftir longe And so

be fyne force oftyn he was lyke to haue smytten the herte Where fore

as the kynge had chased the herte so longe that hys horse lost his brethe

and felle downe dede Than a yoman sette the kynge a noÞer horse So

the kynge saw the herte vnboced and hys horse dede he sette hym

downe by a fowntayne and there he felle downe in grete thought //

And as he sate so hym thought he herde a noyse of howndis to the

som of xxxti And with that the kynge saw com towarde hym Þe stron//

geste beste that euer he saw or herde of So thys beste wente to Þe welle

and dranke and the noyse was in the bestes bealy · And there with Þe beeste

departed with a grete noyse where of the kynge had grete mervayle &

so he was in a grete thought and there with he felle on slepe // Ryght

so Þer com a knyght on foote vnto Arthure and seyde knyght full of Þouȝt

and slepy telle me if Þou saw any stronge beeste passe thys way Such

one saw I seyde kynge Arthure that ys paste nye ij· myle What wolde

ye with that beeste seyde Arthure Sir I have folowed that beste longe

and kylde myne horse so wolde god I had a noÞer to folow my queste

Ryght so com one with the kyngis horse And whan Þe knyght saw Þe


f. 17v (I.19-20)


horse he prayde the kynge to gyff hym the horse for I haue folowed Þe queste

thys xij· monthe and othir I shall encheve hym othir blede of the beste

bloode in my body Whos name was kynge Pellynor that tyme folowed the

questynge beste and afftir hys dethe Sir Palomydes folowed hit Sir knyȝt

seyd the kynge leve that queste and suffir me to haue hit and I woll folowe

hit a nothir xij· monthe // A foole seyde the kynge vnto Arthure hit ys in

vayne thy desire for hit shall neuer be encheved but by me oÞer by my nexte

kynne And there withe he sterte vnto the kyngis horse and mownted into

the sadyl and seyde gramercy for this horse ys myne owne // Well seyde the

kynge Þou mayste take myne horse by force but and I myght preve hit I

wolde meete wheÞer Þou were bettir worthy to haue hym or I // Whan Þe kynge

herde hym sey so he seyde seke me here whan Þou wolte and here nye thys

well Þou shalte fynde me and bade hys men fecche a noÞer horse as faste

as they myght // Ryght so com by hym Merlyon lyke a chylde of xiiij· yere

of ayge and salewed the kynge and asked hym whye he was so pensyff

I may well me pensiff seyde the kynge for I haue sene the meruaylist syght

that euer I saw // That know I well seyde as welle as thy selff and of all

thy thoughtes but Þou arte a foole to take thought for hit Þat woll nat amende

the // Also I know what Þou arte and who was thy fadir and of whom Þou

were be gotyn for Kynge Vther was thy fadir and be gate the on Igrayne

that ys false seyde kynge Arthure how sholdist Þou know hit for Þou arte

nat so olde of yerys to know my fadir / yes seyde Merlyon I know hit bettir

than ye or ony man lyvynge I woll nat be leve Þe seyde Arthure and was

wrothe with the chylde // So departed Merlyon and com a yen In the lyknesse

of an olde man of iiij· score yere of ayge where of the kynge was passynge

glad for he semed to by ryght wyse // Than seyde the olde man why ar ye

so sad I may well be sad seyde Arthure for many thynges for Ryght now Þer

was a chylde here and tolde me many thynges that me semythe he sholde

nat knowe for he was nat of ayge to know my fadir // yes seyde Þe olde

man the chylde tolde you trouthe and more he wolde a tolde you and he

wolde a suffirde hym // But ye haue done a thynge late that god ys disple//

sed with you for ye haue lyene by youre syster and on hir ye haue gotyn a 


f. 18 (I.20-1)


childe that shall destroy you and all the knyghtes of youre realme // What ar

ye seyde Arthure that telle me thys tydyngis · Sir I am Merlion and I was

he in the chyldis lycknes /· A seyde the kynge ye ar a mervaylous man · But I ·

mervayle muche of thy wordis that I mon dye in batayle · Mervayle nat

seyde M· for hit ys goddis wylle that youre body sholde be punyssed for your

fowle dedis / But I ought euer to be hevy seyde for I shall dye a shamefull

dethe to be putte in the erthe quycke and ye shall dey a worshipfull dethe

And as they talked thus com one with the kyngis horse and so the kynge mown//

ted on hys horse and M· on a nothir and so rode vnto Carlyon And anone

the kynge askyd Ector & Vlphuns how he was be gotyn And they tolde hym

how kynge Vther was hys fadir and quene Igrayne hys modir So Merlion

tolde me I woll that my modir be sente for that I myght speke with hir And if

she sey so hir selff than woll I beleve hit So in all haste the quene was

sente for and she brought with hir Morgan Le fay hir doughter that was a

fayre lady as ony myght be And the kynge welcommed Igrayne in Þe beste

maner Ryght so com In Vlphuns and seyde opynly that the kynge and all

myght hyre that were fested that day · ye ar the falsyst lady of Þe worde &

the moste traytoures vnto the kynges person // Be ware seyde kynge Arthure

what Þou seyste Þou spekiste a grete worde / Sir I am well ware seyde Vlphuns

What I speke and here ys my gloove to preve hit vppon ony man that woll

sey the contrary that thys quene Igrayne ys the causer of youre grete damage

and of youre grete warre for and she wolde have vttirde hit in the lyff of

Vther of the birth of you And how ye were be gotyn · than had ye had neuer

had the mortall warrys that ye haue had for the moste party of your barownes

of youre realme knewe neuer whos sonne ye were ne of whom ye were be

gotyn And she that bare you of hir body sholde haue made hit knowyn

opynly in excusynge of hir worship and youres and in lyke to all Þe realme

where fore I preve hir false to god and to you and to all youre realme And

who woll sey the contrary I woll preve hit on his body // Than spake Igrayne

and seyde I am a woman and I may nat fyght but rather than I sholde be

dishonored there wolde som good man take my quarell But Þus she

seyde Merlion knowith well and ye Sir Vlphuns how kynge Vther com to


f. 18v (I.21-2)


me in to the castell of Tyntagyl in the lyknes of my lorde that was dede iij

owres to fore and there be gate a chylde that nyght vppon me and aftir

the xiij· day kynge Vther wedded me And by his commaundemente // Whan Þe

chylde was borne hit was delyvirde vnto and fostred by hym and so

I saw the childe neuer aftir nothir wote nat what ys hys name for I knew

hym neuer yette Than Vlphuns seyde vnto M· ye ar than more to blame

than the queene // Sir well I note I bare a chylde be my lorde kynge vther

But I wote neuer where he ys be com // Than the kynge toke M· by the honde

seyng thys wordis ys this my modir · For sothe Sir yee And there with com

In Sir Ector and bare wytnes how he fostred hym by kynge vthers

commaundemente And there with kyng Arthure toke his modir quene

Igrayne in hys armys and kyssed her and eythir wepte vppon oÞer Than

the kynge lete make a feste that lasted viij· dayes So on a day Þer com In

to the courte a squyre on horse backe ledynge a knyght to fore hym woun//

ded to the deth · and tolde how there was a knyght in the foreste that

had rered vp a pavylon by a welle that hath slayne my mayster a good

knyght hys name was Myles where fore I be sech you that my maystir

may be buryed And that som knyght may revenge my maystirs dethe

Than the noyse was grete of that knyghtes dethe in the courte and euery

man seyde hys aduyce // Than com Gryfflet that was but a squyre

and he was but yonge of ayge So he be sought the kynge for all hys

seruyse that he had done hym to gyff hym the order of knyghthoode ·

Thou arte but yonge and tendir of ayge seyd kynge Arthure for to take

so hyghe an orde vppon you Sir seyde Gryfflett I be seche you to make me

knyght // Sir seyde M· hit were pite to lose Gryfflet for he woll be a

passynge good man whan he ys of ayge and he shall a byde with you Þe

terme of hys lyff And if he aventure his body with yondir knyght at

the Fountayne hit ys in grete perell of euer he com a gayne for he ys one

of the beste knyghtes of the worlde and the strengyst man of armys //

well seyde Arthure at thyne owne desire Þou shalt be made knyght // Now

seyde Arthure vnto Gryfflet sith I haue made the knyght Þou muste gyff

me a gyffte // What ye woll seyde Gryfflet Þou shalt promyse me by thy 


f. 19 (I.22-3)


feyth of thy body whan Þou haste Justed with that knyght at Þe Fountayne

wheÞer hit falle ye be on horsebak othir on foote that ryght so ye shall com

a gayne vnto me with oute makynge ony more debate // I woll promyse you

seyde Gryfflet as youre desire ys / Than toke Gryfflet hys horse in grete

haste and dressed hys shelde and toke a spere in hys honde and so he rode a

grete walop tylle he com to the fountayne And there by he saw a ryche

pavilion and there by vndir a cloth stood an horse well sadeled and bry//

dyled and on a tre hynge a tre sheld of dyuers coloures and a grete spere Þer by

Than Gryfflet smote on the shylde with the butte of hys spere that the

shylde felle downe // with that the knyght com oute of the pavilion and

seyde fayre knyght why smote ye downe my shylde Sir for I wolde Juste with

you seyde Gryfflet Sir hit ys bettir ye do nat seyde the kynge for ye ar but yonge

and late made knyght and youre myght ys nat to myne // As for that seyde

Gryfflet I woll jouste with you That ys me loth seyde the knyght But

sitthyn I muste nedis I woll dresse me Þer to // Of whens be ye seyde Þe knyght

Sir I am of kynge Arthurs courte So the ij knyghtes ran to gydir Þat Gryff

lettis spere all to shevirde And there with all he smote Gryfflet thorow

the shelde and the lyffte syde and brake the spere that the truncheon stake

in hys body and horse and man felle downe to the erthe // Whan Þe knyght

saw hym ly so on the grounde he a lyght and was passyng hevy for he

wente he had slayne hym And than he vnlaced hys helme and gate

hym wynde and so betoke hym to god and seyde he had a myghty herte

And seyde if he myght lyve he wolde preve a passyng good knyght And

so rode forthe Sir Gryfflet vnto the courte where of passyng grete

dole was made for hym But thorow good lechis he was heled and saved

Ryght so com In to the courte xij knyghtes that were aged men whiche

com frome the Emperoure of Rome And they asked of Arthure trwage

for hys realme othir ellis the emperour wolde destroy hym and all hys

londe well seyde kynge Arthure ye ar messyngers there fore ye may

sey what ye woll othir ellis ye sholde dye Þer fore // But hys ys myne

Answere I owȝe the emperour no trewage noÞer none woll I yelde hym but on 


f. 19v (I.23)


a fayre fylde I shall yelde hym my trwage that shall be with a sherpe spere

othir ellis with a sherpe swerde And that shall nat be longe by my fadirs

soule vther and there with the messyngers departed passyngly wrothe And

kynge Arthure as wrothe for in an evyll tyme com they But the kynge

was passyngly wrothe for the hurte of Sir Gryfflet And so he commaunded

a prevy man of hys chambir that or hit were day his beste horse and

armoure And all that longith to my person be with oute the cite or to

morow day // Ryght so he mette with his man and his horse and so

mownted vp and dressed his shelde and toke hys spere and bade hys

chambirlayne tary there tylle he com a gayne And so Arthure rode a

soffte pace tyll hit was day And than was he ware of iij· chorlys chasyng

Merlion and wolde haue slayne hym // Than the kynge rode vnto them

and bade hem fle chorlis Than they fered sore whan they sawe a knyȝt

com and fledde A· Merlion seyde Arthure here haddist Þou be slayne for

all thy crafftis had nat I bene Nay seyde Merlyon nat so for I cowde a saved

my selffe and I had wolde But Þou arte more nerth nere thy deth Þan

I am for Þou goste to thy dethe warde and god be nat thy frende So as Þey

wente thus talkynge they com to the fountayne and the ryche pavilion

Þer by hit Than kynge Arthure was ware where sat a knyght armed

in a chayre // Sir knyght seyde Arthure for what cause a bydist Þou

here that Þer may no knyght ryde thys way but yf he Juste with the I rede

the to leve that custom // Thys custom seyde the knyght have I vsed and

woll vse magre who seyth nay And who that ys a greved with my custum

lette hym a mende hit That shall I amende seyde Arthure And I shall

defende the seyde the knyght // And anone he toke hys horse and dressed

hys shelde and toke a grete spere in hys honde and they com to gydir so

harde that eythir smote oÞer in mydde the shyldis that all to shevird theire

speris // There with anone Arthure pulled oute his swerde Nay nat so

seyde the knyght hit ys bettir that we twayne renne more to gydirs

with sherpe sperys I woll well seyde Arthure and I had ony mo spe

rys here I haue I now seyde the knyght So Þer com a squyre & brought

forthe ij sperys And Arthure chose one and he a noÞer So they spurred


f. 20 (I 23-4)


theire horsis and com to gydir with all theire myghtes that eyÞer brake Þer

sperys to Þer hondis / Than Arthure sette honde on his swerde Nay seyde

the knyght ye shall do bettir ye ar a passyng good Juster as euery mette

with all and onys for the hyghe order of knyghthode lette vs Jouste a

gayne · I assente me seyde Arthure and a none there was brought forth ·

ij grete sperys and a none euery knyght gate a spere and there with Þey

ran to giders that Arthures spere all to shevirde · but this oÞer knyght

smote hym so harde in myddis the shelde that horse and man felle to the erthe

And there with Arthure was egir and pulde oute hys swerde and seyde

I woll assay the Sir knyght on foote for I haue loste the honoure on horse

backe seyde the knyght · kynge // Sir I woll be on horse backe stylle to assay

the Than was Arthure · wrothe and dressed his shelde towarde hym with

his swerde drawyn // Whan the knyght saw that he alyght For hym

thought no worship to haue a knyght at such · avayle he to be on horse

backe and hys aduersary on foote and so he a lyght and dressed his shelde

vnto Arthure · And there be gan a stronge batayle with many grete strokis

and so they hew with hir swerdis that the cantels flowe vnto the feldys

and muche bloode they bledde bothe that all the place there as they fought was

ouer · bledde with bloode and thus they fought longe and rested them And Þan

they wente to the batayle agayne and so hurteled to gydirs lyke too Rammes

that aythir felle to the erthe So at the laste they smote to gyders that bothe hir

mette evyn to gyders But kynge Arthurs swerde brake in ij pecis Where

fore he was hevy // Than seyde the knyght vnto Arthure Þou arte in

my daungere whethir me lyste to save the or sle the And but Þou yelde

the to me as ouer com and reqeaunte Þou shalt dey ·//  As for that seyde

kynge Arthure dethe ys well com to me whan hit commyth · But to yelde

me vnto the I woll nat And there with all the kynge lepte vnto kynge

Pellynore and toke hym by the mydddyll and ouer threw hym and

raced of hys helme So whan the knyght · felte that he was a

dradde for he was a passynge bygge man of myght And so forthe

with he wrothe Arthure vndir hym and raced of hys helme And

wolde haue smytten off hys hede // And Þer with all com M· & seyde knyght


f. 20v (I.24-5)

holde thy honde for and Þou sle that knyght Þou puttyst thys realme in the

gretteste damage that evir was realme for thys knyght ys a man of more

worship Þan Þou wotist off // Why what ys he seyde the knyght for hit

ys kynge Arthure seyde Merlyon Than wolde he haue slayne hym for

drede of hys wratthe and so he lyffte vp hys swerde And there with Merlion

caste an Inchauntemente on the knyght that he felle to the erthe in a grete

slepe // Than Merlion toke vp kynge Arthure and rode forthe on Þe knyghtes

horse // Alas seyde Arthure what hast Þou do M· hast Þou slayne thys

good knyght by thy craufftis for Þer lyvith nat so worshipffull a knyght as

he was For I had levir than the stynte of my londe a yere that he were

on lyve Care ye nat seyde M· for he ys holer than ye he ys but on slepe

and woll a wake with In thys owre · I tolde you seyde Merlyon what a

knyght he was Now here had ye be slayne had I nat bene // Also Þer lyvith

nat a bygger knyght than he ys one And afftir this he shall do you goode

seruyse And hys name ys kynge Pellinore And he shall have ij sonnes

that shall be passyng good men as ony lyvynge save one in thys worlde

they shall haue no felowis of provesse and of good lyvynge and hir na//

mys shall be percyvall and Sir Lamorake of Walis And he shall telle you

the name of youre owne son be gotyn of youre systir that shall be the

destruccion of all thys realme // Ryght so the kynge and he departed & wente

vnto an ermytage and there was a good man and a grete leche So Þe

Ermyte serched the kynges woundis and gaff hym good salves And so

the kyng was there iij· dayes And than wer his woundis well amended

that he myght ride and goo and so departed And as they rode kynge Arthur

seyde I haue no swerde No force seyde Merlyon here by ys a swerde that

shall be youre and I may So they rode tyll they com to a laake Þat was a

fayre watir and brode And in the myddis Arthure was ware of an

arme clothed in whyght Samyte that helde a fayre swerde in that honde

so seyde Merlion yondir ys the swerde that I spoke off So with that they

saw a damesell goynge vppon the laake seyde M· there ys a grete roche

and there In ys as fayre a paleyce as ony on erthe and rychely be

sayne And thys damesel woll com to you a none And than speke


f. 21 (I.25)


speke ye fayre to hir that she may gyff you that swerde So anone com Þis

damesel to Arthure and salewed hym and he hir a gayne Damesell

seyde Arthure What swerde ys that yondir that the arme holdith aboven

the watir I wolde hit were myne for I haue no swerde Sir Arthure

seyde the damesel · that swerde ys myne And if ye woll gyff me a gyffte

whan I aske hit you ye shall haue hit Be my feyth seyde Arthure I woll             

gyff you what gyffte that ye woll aske // Well seyde the damesell go ye in        

to yondir Barge and rowe youre selffe to the swerde and take hit and Þe                   

scawberde with you And I woll aske my gyffte whan I se my tyme So kynge      

Arthure & Merlion alyght and tyed Þer horsis vnto ij treys and so they                   

wente in to the barge and whan they com to the swerde that Þe honde hylde              

Than kynge Arthure toke it vp by the hondils and bare hit with hym and                     

the arme and the honde wente vndir the watir And so he com vnto the

londe and rode forthe And kynge Arthure saw a ryche pavilion what

signifieth yondir pavilion Sir that ys the knyghtes pavilys Þat he fought

with laste Sir paw pellynore but he ys oute he ys nat at home for he

hath had a do with a knyght of youres that hyght Egglame & Þey had

foughtyn to gyddyr But at the laste Egglame fledde and ellis he had

bene dede and he hath chaced hym evyn to Carlion And we shall mete

with hym anone in the hyghe way That ys well seyde seyde Arthure

now haue I a swerde I woll wage batayle with hym and be avenged

on hym Sir seyde M· nat so for the knyght ys wery of fyghtynge and

chasynge that ye shall have no worship to have a do with hym Also he

woll nat lyghtly be macched of one knyght lyvynge And Þer fore hit ys

my counceile latte hym passe for he shall do you good seruyse In shorte

tyme and hys sonnes afftir hys dayes / Also ye shall se that day in shorte

space that ye shall be ryght glad to gyff hym youre syster to wedde for hys

good seruyse There fore haue nat ado with hym whan ye se hym I woll

do as ye avise me Than kynge Arthure loked on the swerde and lyked

hit passynge well Than seyde Merlion whethir lyke ye better Þe swerde

othir the scawberde I lyke bettir the swerde seyde Arthure ye ar Þe more

vnwyse for the scawberde ys worth x· of the swerde for whyles ye haue

f. 21v (I.25-6)


the scawberde vppon you ye shall lose no blood be ye neuer so sore wounded · there fore

                        kepe well the scawberde all weyes with you // So they rode vnto Carlion and

by the wey they mette with kynge Pellinore But Merlion had done suche

a crauffte vnto kynge Pellinore saw nat kynge Arthure And so passed by

with oute ony wordis · I mervayle seyde Arthure that the knyght wold nat

speke Sir he saw you nat for had he seyne you ye had nat lyghtly parted

So they com vnto Carlion · where of hys knyghtes were passynge glad // And

Whan they herde of hys adventures they mervayled that he wolde Jouparde

his person so a lone But all men of worship seyde hit was myrry to be vnder

such a chyfftayne that wolde putte hys person in adventure as oÞer poure

knyghtis ded // So thys meane whyle com a messyngere frome kynge Royns

of northe walis and kynge he was of all Irelonde and of Iles and Þis

was hys message gretynge well kyng Arthure on thys maner of wyse sayng

that kynge Royns had discomfite and ouercom xi· kyngis and euery of Þem

dud hym omage And that was thus to sey that gaff theire beardes clene

slayne off as much as was bearde Where fore the messyngere com for

kynge Arthures berde // For kynge Royns had purfilde amantell with kynges

berdis and there lacked one place of the mantell where fore he he sente

for hys bearde othir ellis he wolde entir in to his londis and brenne and

sle and nevir leve tylle he hathe the hede and the bearde bothe // Well

seyde Arthure Þou haste seyde thy message the whych ys Þe moste orgulus

and lewdiste message that evir man had I sente vnto a kynge Also Þou

mayste se my bearde ys full yonge yet to make off a purphild // But telle

Þou thy kynge Þus that I owȝe hym ne none of myne elders but or hit

be longe to he shall he do me omage on bothe his knees oÞer ellis he shall

lese hys hede by the fayth of my body for thys ys the moste shamefullyste

message that euery herde speke off · I haue a spyed thy kynge neuer yette mette

with worshipfull man But telle hym I woll haue hys hede with oute he

do me omage Than thys messyngere departed · Now ys Þer ony here that

knowyth kynge Royns Than answerde a knyght that hyght Naram·

Sir I know the kynge well he ys a passynge good man of hys body as fewe

bene lyvynge and a passynge proude man And Sir doute ye nat he woll

make on you a myghty puyssaunce // Well seyde Arthure I shall ordayne for


f. 22 (I.26-7; II.1)


hym in shorte tyme // Than Kynge Arthure lette sende for all the children Þat

were borne in may day be gotyn of lordis and borne of ladyes for Merlyon

tolde kynge Arthure that he that sholde destroy hym and all the londe sholde

be borne on may day where fore he sente for hem all in payne of dethe

and so there were founde many lordis sonnys and many knyghtes sonnes and

all were sente vnto the kynge And so was Mordred · sente by kynge lottis

wyff and all were putt in a shyppe to the se and som were iiij· wekis olde

and som lesse and so by fortune the shyppe drove vnto a castelle and was

all to ryven and destroyed the moste party save that Mordred was cast vp

and a good man founde hym and fostird hym tylle he was xiiij· yere

of age and than brought hym to the courte as hit rehersith aftirward

and towarde and towarde the ende of the morte Arthure So many lordys

and barownes of thys realme were displeased for hir children were so loste

and many putte the wyght on Merlion more than of Arthure So what

for drede and for love they helde Þer pece But whan the messynge com to Þe

kynge Royns than was he woode oute of mesure and purveyde hym for

a grete oste as hit rehersith aftir in the booke of Balyne le saueage that

folowith nexte aftir that was the adventure how Balyne gate Þe swerde after

fftir the deth · of Vther regned Arthure hys son which had grete

warre in hys dayes for to gete all Inglonde Into hys honde for

Þer were many kyngis with in the Realme of Inglonde and of Scotlonde Wa//

lys and Corunwayle So hit be felle on a tyme Whan Kynge Arthure

was at London there com a knyght and tolde the kynge tydyngis how the

kynge Royns of northewalis had rered a grete numbir of peple and were

entred in the londe and brente and slew the kyngis trew lyege people

Iff thys be trew seyde Arthure hit were grete shame vnto myne astate

but that he were myghtyly with stonde // hit ys trouthe seyde the knyght

for I saw the oste my selff well seyde the kynge I shall ordayne to wyth

stonde hys malice Than the kynge lette make a cry that all the lordis

knyghtes and Jantilmen of armys sholde draw vnto the castell called

Camelot called in Þo dayes and there the kynge wolde lette make a coun//

ceile generall and a grete Justus / So whan the kynge was com thidir


f. 22v (II.1)


with all his baronage and logged as they semed beste Also there was com

the which was sente from the grete lady Lyle of Avilion · And whan she

com be fore kynge Arthure She tolde fro whens she com and how she was

sente on message vnto hym for thys causis Than she lette hir mantell

falle that was rychely furred and than was she gurde with a noble swerde

where of the kynge had mervayle and seyde damesel for what cause ar

ye gurte with that swerde hit be semyth you nought · Now shall I telle

you seyde the damesell thys swerde that I am gurte with all doth me grete

sorow · and comberaunce for I may nat be delyuerde of thys swerde but by

a knyght and he muste be a passynge good man of hys hondys and of

hys dedis and with oute velony oÞer trechory and with oute treson And if

I may fynde such a knyght that hath all thes vertues he may draw oute

thys swerde oute of the sheethe for I haue bene at kynge Royns for hit

was tolde me there were passyng good knyghtes and he and all his knyȝtes

hath assayde and none can spede // Thys ys a grete mervayle seyde

Arthure if thys be sothe I woll assay my selffe to draw oute the swerde

nat presumynge my selff that I am the beste knyght but I woll be gynne

to draw youre swerde in gyvyng an Insample to all the barownes Þat

they shall assay euery chone aftir othir And Whan I haue assayde Than

Arthure toke the swerde by the sheethe and gurdil · and pulled at hit egirly

but the swerde wolde nat oute // Sir seyd the damesell ye nede nat for

to pulle halffe so sore for he that shall pulle hit oute shall do hit with

litill myght ye sey well seyde Arthure · Now assay ye all my barownes

but be ware ye be nat defoyled with shame trechory noÞer gyle for than

hit woll nat avayle seyde the damesel · for he muste be a clene knyght

with oute vylony and of jantill strene of fadir syde and of modir syde

The moste parte of all the barownes of the rounde table that were Þer at Þat

tyme assayde all be rew but Þer myght none spede // Where fore Þe dame

sel made grete sorow oute of mesure and seyd alas I wente in this courte

had bene the beste knyghtes of the worlde with oute trechory oÞer treson

Be my faythe seyde Arthure here ar good knyghtes as I deme as ony be

in the worlde But Þer grace ys nat to helpe you where fore I am sore dis//


f. 23 (II.1-2)


pleased Than hit be felle so that tyme there was a poore knyght with kynge

Arthure that had bene presonere with hym half a yere for sleyng of

a knyght which was cosyne vnto kynge Arthure And the name of thys

knyght was called Balyne and by good meanys of the barownes he

was delyuerde oute of preson for he was a good man named of his body and

he was borne in northehumbirlonde and so he wente pryvaly in to the

courte and saw thys adventure where off hit reysed his herte & wolde

assayde as othir knyghtes ded but for he was poore and poorly arayde

he put hym selff nat far in prees But in hys herte he was fully as//

 sured to do as well if hys grace happed hym as ony knyght that Þer was

 And as the damesell toke Þer leve of Arthure and of all the barownes so

 departynge thys knyght Balyn called vnto her and seyde damesell I pray 

 you of youre curteysy suffir me as well to assay as thes oÞer lordis Þoughe              

 that I be pourely arayed · yet in my herte me semyth I am fully assured as             

 som of thes oÞer and me semyth in myne herte to spede ryght well // Thys                

 damesell than be helde thys poure knyght and saw he was a lyckly

man but for hys poure araymente she thought he sholde nat be of no

worship with oute vylony or trechory And than she seyde vnto Þat knyght

Sir hit nedith nat you to put me to no more payne for hit semyth nat

you to spede there as all thes othir knyghtes have fayled // A fayre da//

mesell seyde Balyn worthynes and good tacchis and also good dedis Is nat

only in a raymente · but manhode and worship with In a mannes person &

many a worshipfull knyght ys nat knowyn vnto all peple And there

fore sorship and hardynesse ys nat In a raymente // Be god seyde the

damesell ye sey soth · there fore ye shall assay to do what ye may // Than

Balyn toke the swerde by the gurdyll and shethe and drew hit oute

easyly And whan he loked on the swerde hit pleased hym muche · Than

had the kynge and all the barownes grete mervayle that Balyne had

done that aventure many knyghtes had grete despite at hym Sertes seyde

the damesell thys ys a passynge good knyght and the beste that euery founde

and moste of worship with oute treson trechory or felony And many mer//

vayles shall he do // Now jantyll and curtayse knyght geff me the swerde


f. 23v (II.2-3)


a gayne · Nay seyde Balyne for thys swerde woll I kepe but hit be takyn

fro me with force // well seyde the damesell ye ar nat wyse to kepe Þe swerde

fro me for ye shall sle with that swerde the beste frende that ye haue and

the man that ye moste love in the worlde and that swerde shall be youre

destruccion · I shall take the aventure seyde Balyn · that god woll or//

dayne for me // But the swerde ye shall nat haue at thys tyme by Þe feyÞe

of my body ye shall repente hit with In shorte tyme seyde the damesell

for I wolde haue the swerde more for youre avauntage than for myne

for I am passynge hevy for youre sake for and ye woll nat leve Þat swerde

hit shall be youre destruccion and that ys grete pite · So with that departed

the damesell and grete sorow she made // And anone afftir Balyn ·

sente for hys horse and armoure and so wolde departe frome the courte

and toke his leve of kynge Arthure Nay seyde the kynge I suppose ye

woll nat departe so lyghtly from thys felyship I suppose that ye ar disple//

syd that I have shewed you vnkyndnesse But blame me the lesse for

I was mysse infourmed a yenste you But I wente ye had nat bene such

a knyght as ye ar of worship and provesse And if ye woll a byde In

thys courte amonge my felyship I shall so avaunce as ye shall be plea//

sed God thanke youre hyghnesse seyde Balyne youre bounte may no

man prayse halff vnto the valew but at thys tyme I muste nedis

departe be sechynge you all way of youre good grace // Truly seyde the

kynge I am ryght wroth of youre departynge But I pray you fayre

knyght that ye tarry nat longe frome me And ye shall be ryght well

com vnto me and to my barownes and I shall amende all mysse Þat

I haue done a gaynste you · God thanke youre good grace seyde Balyn

and there with made hym redy to departe Than the moste party of Þe

knyghtes of the rounde table seyde that Balyne dud nat Þis adven//

ture ony by myght but by wycche crauffte // So the meane whyle Þat

that that thys knyght was makynge hym redy to departe Þer com In

to the courte the lady of the laake and she com on horsebacke rychely

be seyne and salewed kynge Arthure and there asked hym a gyffte

that he promysed her whan she gaff hym the swerde · That ys sothe


f. 24 (II.3)


seyde Arthure a gyffte I promysed you but I haue forgotyn the name

of my swerde that ye gaff me · The name of hit seyde the lady ys Ex//

calibir that ys as muche to sey as kutte stele // ye sey well seyde the kynge

aske what ye woll and ye shall haue hit and hit lye in my power to

gyff hit // Well seyde thys lady than I aske the hede of thys knyght that

hath wonne the swerde othir ellis the damesels hede that brouȝt hit I take

no force Þough · I haue both theire hedis for he slew my brothir a good

knyght and a trew and that jantill woman was causer of my fadirs

deth Truly seyde kynge Arthure I may nat graunte you noÞer of theire

hedys with my worship there fore aske what ye woll els and I shall

fulfille youre desire · I woll aske none oÞer thynge seyde the lady // So whan

Balyn was redy to departe he saw the lady of the lady of the lake which

by hir meanys  had slayne hys modir And he had sought hir iij· yere be

fore And whan hit was tolde hym how she had asked hys hede of k                                

hede of kynge Arthure he wente to hir streyȝt and seyde evyll be e founde                       

ye wolde haue myne hede and Þer fore ye shall loose youres And with hys            

swerde lyghtly he smote of hysr hede be fore kynge Arthure Alas for                            

shame seyde the kynge · why haue ye do so ye haue shamed me and all my

courte fo thys lady was a lady that I was much be holdynge to & hyder

she com vndir my sauffconduyȝte there fore I shall neuer for gyff you that

trespasse // Sir seyde Balyne me for thynkith of youre displeasure for Þis

same lady was the vntrwyte lady lyvynge and by Inchauntement and

by sorcery she hath bene the destroyer of many good knyghtes And she was

causer that my modir was brente thorow hir falsehode and trechory //

For what cause so euer ye had seyde Arthure ye sholde have for borne in

my presence There fore thynke nat the contrary ye shall repente hit

for such a nothir despite had I nevir in my courte there fore with draw you

oute of my courte in all the haste that ye may Than Balyn toke vp Þe

hede of the lady and bare hit with hym to hys ostry and there mette

with hys squyre that was sory he had displeased kynge Arthure and so

they rode forthe oute of towne // Now seyde Balyne we muste departe

there fore take Þou Þys hede and bere hit to my frendis and tell hem

how I haue spedde and tell hem in Northhumbirlonde how my moste


f. 24v (II.3-4)


foo ys dede Also telle hem how I am oute of preson and what adventure

be felle me at the getynge of this swerde Alas seyde the squyre ye ar gretly

to blame for to displease kynge Arthure as for that seyde Balyne I woll

hyghe me in all haste that I may mete with kynge Royns & destroy

hym othir ellis to dye there fore and iff hit may happe me to wynne

hym Than woll kynge Arthure be my good frende Sir shall I mete

with you seyde his squyre In kynge Arthurs courte seyde Balyne I woll

hyȝe me in all the haste that I may to mete with kynge Royns So his squyre

and he departed at that tyme Than kynge Arthure and all the courte made

grete dole and had grete shame of the lady of the lake Than Þe kynge bu//

ryed hir rychely // So at that tyme there was a knyght the which was

the kynges son of Irelonde and hys name was Launceor the which

was an orgulus knyght and accounnted hym selff one of the beste of Þe

courte And he had grete despite at Balyne for the enchevynge of Þe

swerde that ony sholde be accounnted more hardy or more of provesse

And he asked kynge Kynge Arthure licence to ryde afftir Balyne

and to revenge the despite that he had done Do youre beste seyde Arthur

I am ryght wrothe with Balyne I wolde he were a quytte of Þe despite

that he hath done vnto me and my courte Than thys Launceor wente

to his ostre to make hym redy So in the meane whyle com Merlyon

vnto the courte of kynge Arthure and anone was tolde hym the ad//

venture of the swerde and the deth of the lady of the lake // Now shall

I sey you seyde Merlion thys same damesell that here stondith Þat brouȝt 

the swerde vnto youre courte I shall telle you the cause of hir com//

mynge she ys the falsist damesell that lyveth she shall nat sey nay

for she hath a brothir a passyng good knyght of proves and a full trew

man And thys damesell loved a nothir knyght that hylde her as

paramoure And thys good knyght her brothir mette with the knyght Þat

helde hir to paramoure and slew hym by force of hys hondis And whan

thys false damesell vndirstoode this she wente to the lady lyle of Avy//

lion and toke hir hys swerde and be sought hir of helpe to be re//

venged on hir owne brothir





                                                And so Þis


f. 25 (II.5)

Nd so thys lady Lyle of Avylion toke hir this swerde Þat she brouȝt

with hir and tolde Þer sholde no man pulle hit oute of the sheeÞe

but yf he be one of the beste knyghtes of thys Realme and he sholde be hardy

and full of provesse And with that swerde he sholde sle hys brothir thys

was the cause damesell that ye com In to thys courte I know hit as well

as ye · god wolde ye had nat com here but ye com neuer in felyship of wor//

shipfful · folke for to do good but all wayes grete harme And that knyght

that hath encheved the swerde shall be destroyed thorow the swerde for Þe which

woll be grete damage for Þer lyvith nat a knyght of more provesse than he ys

and he shall do vnto you my lorde Arthure grete honoure and kyndnesse

and hit ys grete pite he shall nat endure but a whyle for of his stren//

gthe and hardinesse I know hym nat lyvynge hys macche So thys ·

knyght of Irelonde armed hym at all poyntes and dressed his shylde

on hys sholdir and mownted vppon horse backe and toke hys glayve

in hys honde and rode aftir a grete pace as muche as hys horse myght

dryve and with In a litill space on a mowntayne he had a syght of

Balyne And with a lowde voice he cryde a byde knyght for ells ye

shall a byde whethir ye woll oÞer no and the shelde that ys to fore you

shall nat helpe you seyde thys Iryshe knyght there fore com I affter you //

Peradventure seyde Balyne ye had bene bettir to have holde Þou at home

For many a man wenyth to put hys enemy to a rebuke and ofte hit

fallith on hym selff Oute of what courte be ye com fro seyde Balyn

I am com frome the courte of kynge Arthure seyde the knyght of Irelonde Þat

am com hydir to revenge the despite ye dud thys day vnto kyng Arthure

and to his courte / well seyde Balyne I se well I muste have a do with you

that me forthynkith that I haue greved kynge Arthure or ony of hys

courte and youre quarell ys full symple seyde Balyne vnto me for

the lady that ys dede dud to me grete damage and ellis I wolde haue

bene lothe as ony knyght that lyvith for to sle a lady Make Þou redy

seyde the knyght Launceor and dresse you vnto me for that one shall a byde

in the fylde Than they fewtred Þer spearis in Þer restis and com to gidirs


f. 25v (II.5-6)


as muche as Þer horsis myght dryve And the Irysh knyght smote Balyn

on the shylde that all wente to shyvers of hys spere And Balyne smote  

hym a gayne thorow the shylde and hawbirk perysshed and so bore hym

thorow the body and ouer the horse crowpen and anone turned hys horse

fersely and drew oute hys swerde and wyst nat that he had slayne hym

Than he saw hym lye as a dede corse he loked a boute hym and was

ware of a damesel that com rydynge full faste as the horse myght dryve

on a fayre palferey And whan she aspyed that Launceor was slayne

she made sorow oute of mesure and seyde A Balyne ij bodyes Þou haste

slayne one herte and ij· hertes in one body and ij soules Þou hast loste

and there with she toke the swerde frome hir love that lay dede and felle

to the grounde in a swowȝe And whan she arose she made grete dole oute

of mesure which sorow greved Balyn passyngly sore And he wente vn

to hir for to haue tane the swerde oute of hir honde but she helde hit so

faste he myght nat take hit oute of hir honde but yf he sholde have hurt

hir and suddeynly she sette the pomell to the grounde and rove hir selff

thorow oute the body // Whan Balyne aspyed hir dedis he was passynge

hevy in his herte and a shamed that so fayre a damesell had destroyed

hir selff for the love of hys dethe Alas seyde Balyn me repentis sore Þe

dethe of thys knyght for the love of thys damesel for Þer was muche trw

love be twyxte hem And so for sorow he myght no lenger be holde Þem

but turned hys horse and loked towarde a fayre foreste And Þan was

he ware by hys armys that Þer com rydyng hys brothir Balan And

whan they were mette they put of hyr helmys and kyssed to gydirs and

wepte for joy and pite // Than Balan seyde brothir I litill wende to

have mette with you at thy suddayne adventure but I am ryȝt glad

of youre delyueraunce and of youre dolerous presonment for a man tolde

me in the castell of iiij· stonys that ye were delyuerde and Þat man had

seyne you in the courte of kynge Arthure And there fore I com hydir

in to thys contrey for here I supposed to fynde you And a none Balyne

tolde hys brothir of hys adventure of the swerde and the deth of the lady

of the laake And how kynge Arthure was displeased with hym where


f. 26 (II.6-7)


fore he sente thys knyght afftir me that lyethe here dede and the dethe

of thys damesell grevith me sore so doth hit me seyde Balan · But ye must

take the adventure that god woll ordayne you / Truly seyde Balyne I am

ryght hevy that my lorde Arthure ys displeased with me for he ys Þe moste

worshypfullist kynge that regnith · now in erthe and hys love I woll gete

othir ellis I woll putte my lyff in adventure for Kynge Ryons lyeth at

the sege of the castell Terrable and thydir woll we draw in all goodly

haste to preve oure worship and provesse vppon hym I woll well seyde

Balan that ye so do and I woll ryde with you and put my body in aduen//

ture with you as a brothir ouȝt to do //  Now go we hense seyde Balyne

and well we beth mette The meane whyle as they talked there com a

dwarff frome the cite of Camelot on horse backe as much as he myght

and founde the dede bodyes where fore he made grete dole and pulled

hys heyre for sorowe and seyde which of ij knyghtes haue done Þis dede

where by askist Þou seyde Balan for I wolde wete seyde the dwarff · hit

was I seyde Balyn that slew this knyght in my defendaunte for hyder

he com to chase me and othir I muste sle hym oÞer he me And Þis dame

sell slew hir self for his love which repentith me and for hir sake I

shall owȝe all women the bettir wylle and seruyse all the dayes of my

lyff Alas seyde the dwarff Þou hast done grete damage vnto thy selff

For thys knyght that ys here dede was one of the moste valyauntis

men that lyved and truste well Balyne the kynne of thys knyght woll

chase you thorow the worlde tylle they haue slayne you As for that seyde

Balyne the I fere nat gretely but I am ryght hevy that I sholde displease

my lorde kynge Arthure for the deth of thys knyght So as they talked

to gydirs there com a kynge of Corunwayle rydyng which hyght kyng

Marke And whan he saw thes ij bodyes dede and vndirstood howe

they were dede the ij knyghtes a boven seyde made to the kynge grete sorow

for the trewlove that was be twyxte Þem and seyde I woll nat departe

tyll I haue on thys erth made a towmbe and Þer he pyght his pavy//

lyons and souȝt all the contrey to fynde a towmbe and In a chirch

they founde one was fayre and ryche and than Þe kyng lette putte


f. 26v (II.7-8)


                                    hem bothe in the erthe and leyde the tombe vppon them and wrote Þe namys

                                    of hem bothe on the bombe How here lyeth Launceor the kyngis son of Ire//

                                    londe that at hys owne rekeyste was slayne by the hondis of Balyne and

                                    how this lady Columbe and paramour to hym slew hir self with hys swerde

                                    for dole and sorow The meane whyle as thys was a doynge In com M·

                                    to kynge Marke and saw all thys doynge // here shall be seyde Merlion in Þis

                                    same place the grettist bateyle be twyxte ij men that euer was or euer shall

be and the trewyst lovers and yette none of hem shall slee oÞer and Þer Merlion

wrote hir namys vppon the tombe with lettirs of golde that shall feyght

in that place which namys was Launcelot du Lake and Trystrams Thou

a merveylous man seyde kynge Marke vnto Merlion that spekist of such ·

mervayles Þou arte a boysteous man and an vnlyckly to telle of suche

dedis / What ys thy name seyde kynge Marke at thys tyme seyde M I woll

nat tell you But at that tyme Sir Trystrams ys takyn with his soueraigne

lady than shall ye here and know my name and at that tyme ye shall

othir tydynges that shall nat please you · A Balyne seyde Merlion Þou

haste done thy selff grete hurte that Þou saved nat thys lady that slew

her selff for Þou myghtyst have saved hir and then haddist wold // By

the fayth of my body seyde Balyne I myght nat save hir for she slewe

hir selff suddeynly · Me repentis hit seyde seyde M be cause of the dethe

of that lady Þou shalt stryke a stroke most dolerous that euer man stroke

excepte the stroke of oure lorde Jhu cryste for Þou shalt hurte Þe trewyst

knyght and the man of moste worship that now lyvith and thorow Þat

stroke iij kyngdomys shall be brought in to grete poverte miseri & wrecched//

nesse xij· yere And the knyght shall nat be hole of that wounde many

yerys Than Merlion toke hys leve Nay seyde Balyn nat so for and

I wyste Þou seyde soth I wolde do so perleous a dede that I wolde sle my self

to make the a lyer There with M· vanysshed a way suddeynly And Þan

Balyn and his broÞer toke Þer leve of kynge Marke But first seyde the

kynge telle me youre name Sir seyde Balan ye may se he beryth ij·

swerdis and there by ye may calle hym the knyght with Þe ij swerdis

And so departed kynge Marke vnto Camelot to kynge Arthure and 


f. 27 (II.8-9)


Balyne toke the way to kynge Royns and as they rode to gydir they mette

with M· disgysed so that they knew hym nought But whoÞerward ryde

ye seyde M· we had litill a do to tell you seyde thes ij knyghtes to to But 

what ys thy name seyde Balyn at thys tyme seyde M· I woll nat telle

hit ys an evyll sygne seyde the knyghtes Þat Þou arte a trew man Þat Þou

wolt nat telle thy name as for that seyde Merlion be as hit be may but

I can telle you where fore ye ryde thys way for to mete with Kynge Royns

but hit woll nat avayle you with oute ye haue my counceyle A seyde

Balyn ye ar M we woll be ruled by youre counceyle Com on seyde M·

and ye shall haue grete worship and loke that ye do knyghtly for ye

shall haue nede As for that seyde Balyne dred you nat for we woll do

what we may Than Þer lodged M· and thes ij knyghtes in a woode amonge

the levis be sydes the hygh· way and toke of the brydyls of Þer horsis

and putte hem to grasse and leyde hem downe to reste tyll hit was nyȝe 

mydnyght Than Merlion bade hem ryse and make hem redy for here

commyth the kynge nyȝe honde that was stoolyn a way frome his oste

with a iij· score horsis of hys beste knyghtes and xxti of them rode to fore

the lorde to warne the lady de vaunce that the kynge was commynge

for that nyght Kynge Royns sholde have lyen with hir which ys the

kynge seyde Balyn a byde seyde M· for here in a strete ye shall mete with

hym And there with he shewed Balyn and hys brothir the kynge

And anone they mette with hym and smote hym downe and wounded

hym freyshly and layde hym to the grownde and there they slewe on

the ryght honde and on the lyffte honde mo than fourty of hys men

and the remanaunte fledde // Than wente Þey a gayne vnto Kynge Royns

& wolde haue slayne hym had he nat yelded hym vnto hir grace Than

seyde he Þus knyghtes full of provesse sle me nat for be my lyff ye may

wynne & by my dethe litill ye say sothe seyde the knyghtes and so leyde

hym on an horse littur So with that Merlion vanysshed and com to

kynge Arthure a fore honde and tolde hym how hys moste enemy

was takyn and discomfite By whom seyde kynge Arthure by ij· knyȝtes

seyde M· that wolde fayne have youre lordship and to morow ye shall


f. 27v (II.9-10)


know what knyghtis ye ar they ar So anone aftir com the knyght with Þe ij·

swerdis and hys brothir and brought with Þem kynge Royns of northe

waalis and there delyuerde hym to the porters and charged hem with hym

and so they ij returned aȝen in the dawnyng of the day Þan kynge

Arthure com to kynge Royns and seyde Sir kynge ye ar well com by what

adventure com ye hydir Sir seyde kynge Royns I com hyder by an harde

adventure // Who wanne you seyde kynge Arthure Sir seyde he Þe knyȝt 

with the ij swerdis and hys brothir which ar ij mervayles knyghtes of pro//

vesse I know hem nat seyde Arthure but much am I be holdynge vnto

them A sir seyde Merlion I shall telle you hit ys Balyn Þat encheved

the swerde and his brothir Balan a good knyght there lyveth nat a

bettir of proves noÞer of worthynesse and hit shall be the grettist dole of

hym that euery knew of knyght for he shall nat longe endure // Alas seyde

kynge Arthure that ys grete pite for I am muche beholdynge vnto hym

and I haue evill deserued hit a gayne for hys kyndnesse // Nay nay sede

Merlion he shall do much more for you and that shall ye know in haste

But Sir ar ye purveyde seyde M· to morne for the oste of kynge Nero

kynge Royns brothir woll sette on you or none with a grete oste and

Þer fore make you redy for I woll departe frome you

han kynge Arthure made hys oste redy in x· batayles & Nero

was redy in the fylde afore the castell Terrable · with a grete oste

and he had x· batayles with many mo peple than kynge Arthure had

Than Nero had the vawarde with the moste party of the people And M

com to kynge Lotte of the Ile of Orkeney and helde hym with a tale of the

prophecy tylle Nero and his peple were destroyed And there Sir Kay Þe

senesciall dud passyngely well that dayes of hys lyff Þat the worship

wente neuer frome hym And Sir Hervis de Reuel · that dud merueylous

dedys of armys that day with Arthur And kynge Arthure slew that

day xxti knyghtes and maymed fourty So at that tyme com In Þe knyght

with the ij· swerdis and his brothir but they dud so mervaylously that

the kynge and all the knyghtes mervayled of them And all they Þat

be helde them seyde they were sente frome hevyn as angels oÞer devilles


f. 28 (II.10)


frome helle And kynge Arthure seyde hym self they were the douȝtyeste

knyghtes that euer he sawe for they gaff such strokes that all men had won//

dir of hem / So in the meane whyle com one to kynge Lotte and tolde hym

whyle he tarryed there how Nero was destroyed and slayne with all hys

oste Alas seyde kynge Lotte I am a shamed for in my defaute there ys

none oste vndir hevyn were able to have macched vs But thys

faytoure with hys prophecy hath mocked me // All that dud M· for he

knew well that kynge Lotte had bene with hys body at Þe first batayle

kynge Arthure had be slayne and all hys peple distressed And well M

knew that one of the kynges sholde bed dede that day And lothe was M·

that ony of them bothe sholde be slayne But of the tweyne he had

levir kyng lotte of orkeney had be slayne Than Arthure seyde what

ys beste to do seyde kynge lotte wheÞer ys me bettir to trete with kynge Arthur

othir to fyght for the gretter party of oure people ar slayne and distressed

Sir seyde a knyght sette ye on Arthure for they ar wery & for foughtyn

and we be freyssh As for me seyde kynge Lott I wolde that euery knyȝt

wolde do hys parte as I wolde do myne Than they avaunced baners and

smote to gydirs and brused hir sperys And Arthurs knyghtes with Þe helpe

of the knyght with ij swerdys and hys brothir Balan put kynge Lotte &

hys oste to the warre // But all wayes kynge Lotte hylde hym euer in the

fore fronte and dud merveylous dedis of armys for all his oste was

borne vp by hys hondys For he a bode all knyghtes alas he myght nat

endure the whych was grete pite so worthy a knyght as he was one

that he sholde be ouer macched that of late tyme be fore he had bene a

knyght of kynge Arthurs and wedded the syster of hym And for be cause

that kynge Arthure lay by hys wyff and gate on her Sir Mordred There

fore kynge Lott helde euer a gaynste Arthure So there was a knyght

that was called the knyght with the strange bestes And at that tyme

hys ryght name was called Pellynore which was a good man off

provesse as few in Þo dayes lyvynge and he strake a myghty stroke

at kynge lott as he fought with hys enemyes and he fayled of hys

stroke and smote the horse necke that he foundred to the erthe with kyng


f. 28v (II.10-11)


lott and there with anone kynge Pellinore smote hym a grete stroke Þorow

the helme and hede vnto the browis Than all the oste of Orkeney fledde for

the deth of kynge Lotte and there Þey were takyn and slayne all the oste

But kynge Pellynore bare the wyte of the dethe of kynge lott and there

were takyn and slayne all the hole oste where fore Sir Gawayne reven//

ged the deth of hys fadir the x· yere aftir he was made knyght and slew kynge

Pellynor hys owne hondis / Also there was slayne at that batayle xij kynges

on the syde of kynge lott with Nero and were buryed in the chirch of seynte

Stevins in Camelot and the remanent of knyghtes and oÞer were buryed

in a grete roche // So at the enterement com kyng lottis wyff Morgause

with hir iiij· sonnes · Gawayne · Aggravayne · Gaheris · & Gareth · Also

Þer com thydir kyng vryens Sir uwaynes fadir and Morgan le fay his

wyff that was kynge Arthurs syster all thes com to the enterement but

of all the xij kyngis kynge Arthure lette make the tombe of kynge lotte

                                    passynge rychely and made hys tombe by hym selff And than Arthure

                                    lette make xij Images of laton and Carper and ouer gylte with golde in Þe

                                    syge sygne of the xij· kynges and eche one of hem helde a tapir of wexe

                                    in hir honde that brente nyght and day And kynge Arthure was made

                                    in the sygne of a fygure stondynge a boven them with a swerde drawyn

                                    in hys honde and all the xij fygures had countenaunce lyke vnto

                                    men that wer ouer com All thys made Merlion by hys subtyle craufte

                                    and there he tolde the kynge how that whan he was dede Þes tapers

sholde brenne no lenger aftir the adventures of the sankgreall Þat shall

com a monge you and be encheved Also he tolde kynge Arthure how

Balyn the worshipfull knyght shall gyff the dolerouse stroke where

of shall falle grete vengeaunce // A where ys Balyne Balan and

Pellinore As for kynge Pellinore seyde M· he woll mete with you soone

And as for Balyne he woll nat be longe frome you but the oÞer brothir

woll departe ye shall se hym no more Be my fayth seyde Arthur they

ar ij manly knyghtes and namely that Balyne passith of proves off

ony knyght that euery founde for much am I be holdynge vnto hym · wolde

god he wolde a byde with me Sir seyde loke ye kepe well Þe scaweberd

of Excaleber for ye shall lose no bloode whyle ye haue the scawberde


f. 29 (II.11-12)


vppon you thouȝe ye haue as many woundis vppon you as ye may haue

So aftir for grete truste Arthure be toke the scawberde vnto Morgan le

fay hys sister and shed loved anoÞer knyght bettir than hir husbande kynge

uriens othir Arthure And she wolde haue had Arthure hir broÞer slayne

and there fore she lete make a nothir scawberd for Excaliber & Þe knyghtes

name was called Accolon that aftir had nere slayne kynge Arthure

But aftir thys Merlion tolde vnto kynge Arthure of the prophecy that Þere

sholde be a grete batayle be sydes Salysbiry and Mordred hys owne sonne

sholde be a gaynste hym Also he tolde hym that Bagdemagus was his

cosyne germayne And vnto kynge vryens So with In a day or ij· kynge

Arthure was som what syke and he lette pycch hys pavilion in a

medow and there he leyde hym downe on a paylet to slepe but he

myght have no reste // Ryght so he herde a grete noyse of an horse and

there with the kynge loked oute at the porche dore of the pavilion and

saw a knyght commynge evyn by hym makynge grete dole // A byde fayre

sir seyde Arthure and telle me where fore Þou makyst Þis sorow · ye may

still amende me seyde the kyght knyght and so passed forth to the castell of

Meliot And anone aftir that com Balyne and whan he saw kyng Arthur

he a lyght of hys horse and com to the kynge one foote and salewed hym

Be my hede seyde Arthure ye be well com ·// Sir ryght now com rydynge

thys way a knyght makynge grete mone And for what cause I can nat

telle where fore I wolde desire of you of your curtesy and of your jantilnesse

to secche a gayne that knyght othir by force othir by his good wylle // I shall

do more for youre lordeship than that seyde Balyne othir ellis I woll

greve hym So Balyn rode more than a pace and founde the knyght

with a damesell vndir a foreyste and seyde Sir knyght ye muste com

with me vnto kynge Arthure for for to telle hym of youre sorow That

woll I nat seyde the knyght for hit woll harme me gretely and do you

none avayle Sir seyde Balyne I pray you make you redy for ye muste

go with me othir ellis I muste fyght with you and brynge you by fore

And that were me lothe to do // woll ye be my warraunte seyde Þe knyght

and I go with you // yee seyde Balyne othir ellis by the fayth of my body  


f. 29v (II.12-13)


I woll dye Þer fore and so he made hym redy to go with Balyne and leffte Þe

damesell stylle And as they were evyn be fore Arthurs pavilion there

com one in visible and smote the knyght that wente with Balyn Þorow

oute the body with a spere // Alas seyde the knyght I am slayne vndir youre

conduyte with a knyght called Garlonde There fore take my horse Þat is

                                    bettir than youres and ryde to the damesell and folow the queste Þat I was In

                                    as she woll lede you and revenge my deth whan ye may That shall I do

                                    seyde Balyn and that I make avow to god and knyghthode and so he depar//

                                    ted frome kynge Arthure with grete sorow So kynge Arthure lette bury

                                    this knyght rychely and made mencion his tombe how here was

                                    slayne Berbeus and by whom the trechory was done of the knyght

                                    Garlonde But euer the damesell bare the truncheon of the spere with hir

                                    that Sir Harlens le Berbeus was slayne with all

O Balyne and the damesell rode in to the foreyste and Þer mette with

a knyght that had bene an hontynge And Þat knyght asked Balyn

for what cause he made so grete sorow // Me lyste nat to telle seyde Balyn ·

Now seyde the knyght and I were armed as ye be I wolde fyght with you

but iff ye tolde me That sholde litell nede seyde Balyne I am nat a

ferde to telle you and so tolde hym all the case how hit was A seyde the

knyght ys thys all here I ensure you by the feyth of my body neuer to departe

frome you whyle my lyff lastith and so they wente to Þer ostre and armed

hem and so rode forthe with Balyne and as they com by an Ermytage

                                    evyn by a chyche yerde Þer com Garlonde in visible and smote Þis knyght

                                    Peryne de mounte belyarde thorow oute the body with a glayve Alas seyde Þe

                                    knyght I am slayne by thys traytoure knyght that rydith in visible

                                    Alas seyde Balyne thys ys nat the firste despite that he hath done

                                    me And there the ermyte and Balyne buryed the knyght vndir a

                                    ryche stone and a tombe royall and on the morne they founde letters

                                    of golde wretyn how that Sir Gawayne shall revenge his fadiers deÞe

                                    on kynge Pellynore And anone aftir this Balyne and the damesell

                                    rode forth tylle they com to a castell And anone Balyne alyȝte & wente       

In And as sone as they were with the portecolys were lette downe

at his backe And there many men a boute the damesell and


f. 30 (II.13-14)


wolde haue slayne hir // Whan Balyne saw that he was sore greved

for he myght nat helpe her But than he wente vp in to a towre and

lepte ouer the wallis in to the dyche and hurte nat hym selff And a

none he pulled oute his swerde and wolde have foughtyn with them And

they all seyde naythey wolde nat fyght with hym for they dud no thynge

but the olde custom of thys castell and tolde hym that hir lady was syke

and had leyne many yeres and she myght nat be hole but yf she had

bloode in a syluer dysshefull of a clene mayde and a kynges doughter And

there fore the custom of thys castell ys that Þer shall no damesell passe

thys way but she shall blede of hir bloode a syluer dysshefull // well seyde

Balyne she shall blede as much as she may blede but I woll nat lese Þe lyff

of hir whyle my lyff lastith // And so Balyn made hir to bleede by hir good

wylle but hir bloode holpe nat the lady and so she and he rested Þer all Þat

nyght and had good chere And in the mornynge they passed on Þer wayes

And as hit tellith aftir in the Sangkreall · that Sir Percivall · his syster

holpe that lady with hir blood where of she was dede Than they rode

iij· or iiij· dayes and nevir mette with adventure And so by fortune

they were lodged with a jantilman And as they sate at souper Balyn

herde one complayne grevously by hym in a chambir // What ys thys

noyse seyde Balyn for sothe seyde his oste I woll telle you I was but

late at a Justynge and there I Justed with a knyght that ys brothir

vnto kynge Pellam and wyse I smote hym downe And than he pro//

mysed to quyte me on my beste frende And so he wounded Þus my

son that can nat be hole tylle I haue of that knyghtes bloode And he

rydith all in visyble but I know nat hys name A seyde Balyne I

know that knyghtes name which ys Garlonde and he hath slayne ij

knyghtes of myne In the same maner There fore I had levir mete with

that knyght than all the golde in thys realme for the despyte he hath

done me // Wells seyde hys oste I shall telle you how kynge Pellam off

Lystenoyse hath made do cry in all the contrey a grete feste that shall

be with in thes xxti dayes and no knyght may com there but he brynge

hys wyff with hym othir hys paramoure and that your enemy & myne


f. 30v (II.14)


ye shall se that day · Than I promyse you seyde Balyn parte of his bloode

to hele youre sonne with · all // Than we woll be forewarde to morne

seyde he So on the morne they rode all iij· towarde kynge Pellam and

they had xv · dayes Journey or they com thydir And that same day be

gan the grete feste and so they a lyght and stabled Þer horsis and wente

in to the castell But Balynes oste myght be lyght lette In be cause

he had no lady // But Balyne was well receyved and brought vnto

a chambir and vnarmed hym and there was brought hym robis to

his plesure and wolde haue had Balyn leve his swerde be hynde

hym Nay seyde Balyne that woll I nat for hit ys the custom of my

contrey a knyght all weyes to kepe hys wepyn with hym oÞer ells seyde

he I woll departe as I am Than they gaff hym leve with his swerde &

so he wente Into the castell and was amonge knyghtes of worship

and hys lady a fore hym So aftir this Balyne asked a knyght and      

seyde ys Þer nat a knyght in thys courte which his name ys Garlonde

yes sir yondir he goth · the knyght with the blacke face for he ys the

mervaylyste knyght that ys now lyvynge And he destroyeth many

good knyghtes for he goth · in visible // Well seyde Balyn · ys that he

Than Balyn avised hym longe and thought If I sle hym here I shall

nat ascape And if I leve hym now paraventure I shall neuer mete with

hym a gayne at such a stevyn and much harme he woll do and he

lyve // And there with thys Garlonde aspyed that Balyn vysaged

hym so · he com and slapped hym on the face with the backe of hys

How Balyn                  honde and seyde knyght why be holdist Þou me so for shame · Ete

slew Garlon                 thy mete and do that Þou com fore // Thou seyst soth seyde Balyne

 the knyȝt                    thys ys nat the firste spite that Þou haste done me And there fore I

 Þat wente                   woll do that I com fore And rose hym vp fersely and clave his hede

   in visi                        to the sholdirs // Now geff me youre troncheon seyde Balyn that he

     ble                          slew youre knyght with And anone she gaff hit hym for all wey

                                    she bare the truncheoune with hir And there with Balyn smote

hym thorow the body and seyde opynly with that troncheon thou   


f. 31 (II.14-16)


slewyste a good knyght and now hit stykith in thy body Than Ba/

lyn called vnto hys oste and seyde now may ye fecche blood I nowȝe

to hele youre son withall // So anone all the knyghtes rose frome the

table for to sette on Balyne And kynge Pellam hym self arose vp

fersely and seyde knyght why has Þou slayne my brothir Þou shalt dey

Þer fore or Þou departe // well seyde Balyn do hit youre selff yes seyde kyng

pellam there shall no man haue a do with the but I my selff for Þe love of

my brothir Than kynge Pellam a grymme wepyn and smote egirly

at Balyn but he put hys swerde be twyxte hys hede and the stroke

and there with hys swerde braste in sundir And whan Balyne

was wepynles he ran Into a chambir for to seke a wepyn fro cham//

bir to chambir and no wepyn coude he fynde And all wayes kyng

Pellam folowed afftir hym And at the last he enterde In to a chambir

was mervaylously dyght and ryche And a bedde a rayed with cloth

of golde the rychiste that myght be and one lyyng Þer In And there by

stoode a table of clene golde And vppon the table stoode a mervaylous

spere strangely wrought // So whan Balyn saw the spere he gate hit

in hys honde and turned to kynge pellam and felde hym and smote

hym passyngly sore with that spere that kynge pellam downe in a sowȝe

And there with the castell brake rooffe and wallis and felle downe

to the erthe And Balyn felle downe and myght nat styrre hande nor

foote and for the moste party of that castell was dede thorow the dolorouse

stroke // Ryght so lay kynge Pellam and Balyne iij· dayes Than Merlion

com thydir and toke vp Balyn and gate hym a good horse for hys was

dede and bade hym voyde oute of that contrey // Sir I wolde haue my dame//

sell seyde Balyne / loo seyde Merlion where she leyth dede And kynge

pellam lay so many yerys sore wounded and myght neuer be hole tylle Þat

Galaas the hawte prynce heled hym in the queste of the Sankgreall

for in that place was parte of the bloode of oure lorde Jhu cryste which ·           

Joseph · off Aramathy brought in to thys londe and there hym selff                               

in that ryche bedde and that was the spere whych Longens smote oure                

lorde with to the herte And kyng pellam was nyȝe of Joseph hys kynne                  


f. 31v (II.16)


And that was the most worshipfullist man on lyve in tho dayes & grete

pite hit was of hys hurte for thorow that stroke hit turned to grete

dole tray and tene // Than departed Balyne frome Merlyon for he seyde

nevir in thys world we parte noÞer meete no more So he rode forÞe Þorow

the fayre contreyes and citeys and founde the peple dede slayne on euery syde

And all that evir were on lyve cryed and seyde a Balyne Þou hast

done and caused grete vengeaunce in thys contreyes for the dolerous

stroke Þou gaff vnto kynge Pellam · thes iij· contreyes ar destroyed and

doute nat but the vengeaunce woll falle on the at the laste // But whan

Balyn was past Þe contreyes he was passynge fayne And so he rode

viij dayes or he mette with many adventure And at the last he com

in to a fayre foreyst in a valey and was ware of a towne and Þer

be syde he mette with a grete horse tyed to a tree and be syde Þer sate a

fayre knyght on the grounde and made grete mournynge and he was

a lyckly man and a well made / Balyne seyde god you save why be

ye so hevy tell eme and I woll amende hit and I may to my power

Sir knyght he seyde Þou doste me grete gryeff for I was In my Þouȝte

and now Þou puttist me to more payne // Than Balyn went a litill

frome hym and loked on hys horse // Than herde Balyne hym sey Þus

A fayre Lady why have ye brokyn my promyse for ye promysed me to mete

me here by noone And I may curseyou that euer ye gaff me that swerde

for with thys swerde I woll sle my selff and pulde hit oute // And Þere

with com Balyne and sterte vnto hym and toke hym by the honde //

lette go my hande seyde the knyght or ellis I shall sle the That shalt

nat nede seyde Balyn for I shall promyse you my helpe to gete you

youre lady and ye woll tele me where she ys // What ys your name

seyde the knyght // Sir my name ys Balyne le saveage A Sir I know

you well I nowȝe ye ar the knyght with the ij swerdis and Þe man

of moste proves of youre hondis lyvynge // What ys youre name

seyde Balyne my name ys Garnysh · of the mownte a poore mannes

sonne and be my proves and hardynes a deuke made me knyght &

gave me londis hys name ys duke Harmel · and hys doughter ys 


f. 32


[page missing]


f. 32v


[page missing]


f. 33


[page missing]


f. 33v


[page missing]

f. 34 (II.19)


bade a knyght that stood be fore hym to handyll that swerde And he

assayde hit and myght nat handyll hit // Than M· lowȝe // Why lawȝe

ye seyde the knyght // Thys ys the cause seyde M· There shall neuer

man handyll thys swerde but the beste knyght of the worlde And

that shall be Sir Launcelot othir ellis Galahad hys sonne And

Launcelot with hys swerde shall sle the man in the worlde that he

lovith beste that shall be Sir Gawayne And all thys he lette wryte

in the pomell of the swerde Than M· lette make a brygge of Iron

and of steele in to that Ilonde and hit was but halff a foote brode

And there shall neuer man passe that brygge noÞer haue hardynesse

to go ouer hit but yf he were a passynge good man with oute tre//

chery or vylany Also the scawberd off Balyns swerde M lefte

hit on thys syde the Ilonde that Galaad sholde fynde hit Also M·

lette make by hys suttelyte that Balynes swerde was put in to

a marbilstone stondynge vp ryght as grete as a mylstone and

hoved all wayes a bove the watir and dud many yeres And so

by adventure hit swaume downe by the streme vnto the cite of Ca//

melot that ys in englysh called Wynchester And that same day

Galahad the haute prynce com with kynge Arthure And so Gala

ad brought with hym the scawberde and encheved the swerde Þat

was in the marble stone hovynge vppon the watir And on Whyt//

sonday he enchevyd the swerde as hit ys rehersed in the booke of

the Sankgreall Sone aftir thys was done M· com to kynge Arthur

and tolde hym of the dolerous stroke that Balyn gaff kynge pellam

And how Balyn and Balan fought to gydirs the merveylous ba//

tayle that evir was herde off And how they were buryed boÞe

in one tombe // Alas seyde kynge Arthure thys ys the grettist pite

that euer I herde tell off of ij knyghtes for in thys worlde I knewe

neuer such ij knyghtes // Thus endith the tale of Balyn & Balan

ij brethirne that were borne in Northhumbirlonde that were

ij passynge good knyghtes as euer were in Þodayes


                            Explicit ·  




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