The 'gallant' is a late mediaeval villain whose appearance and offences are well known to readers of moral and satirical literature. He is thought to be first named in England in the late fourteenth-century satirical poem 'On the Times'.(1) This first appearance of the 'gallant' is followed by many descriptions of his showy apparel, and records of his crimes throughout the fifteenth century and beyond.(2) Among the written records critics have included Index of Middle English Verse 4255, the poem that Thomas Wright edited under the title 'On the Corruption of Public Manners' and that A Manual of the Writings in Middle English calls 'Against Proud Gallants'.(3)
Apart from being cited briefly in discussions of the gallant tradition, IMEV 4255 has attracted little editorial or critical interest. Editions (of which Thomas Wright's of 1859 is the most recent) have been made from a single manuscript, although two others are now known.(4) Connections with a popular song on apparel have been noticed, and historians of dress have studied the poet's references to mediaeval fashions. The poem has generally been treated as one of those scraps of popular verse on ephemeral subjects that lie outside mediaeval literary tradition and beyond the concerns of those who study that tradition. In this article I shall take a rather different approach, exploring the nature of the poem's marginalization, and arguing that it is its very peripheral position that gives the text its significance and interest. I propose to investigate the alleged relationship of the poem with popular song and to suggest that there are important but hitherto unnoticed relationships between the language and strategies of the poem and those of certain 'official' writings from the period on the subject of priests' apparel. I shall retitle the poem 'Proud Gallants and Popeholy Priests' to highlight its yoking of dandies with clerics.
Thomas Wright based his edition on a copy of the poem found on a column of paper which has been unfolded and stuck into a fifteenth-century miscellany of English poetry, London, British Library, MS Harley 372:
Ye prowd galonttes hertlesse,
With your hyghe cappis witlesse,
And youre schort gownys thriftlesse,
Have brought this londe in gret hevynesse. 4
With youre longe peked schone,
Therfor your thrifte is almost don,
And with youre long here into your eyen,
Han brought this lond to gret pyne. 8
Ye poopeholy prestis fulle of presomcioun,
With your wyde furryd hodes voyd of discrecioun,
Unto your owyn prechyng of contrary condicioun,
Wheche causithe the people to have lesse devocioun. 12
Avauncid by symony in cetees and townys,
Make schorter youre taylis and broder your crounys;
Leve your schort stuffide dowbelettes and your pleytid
And kepe your owyn howsyng, and passe not your boundis. 16
Repreve non other men, I schalle telle you whye,
Ye be so lewyd youer selfe, there settithe no man you bye,
It is not but a schame y[e] wold be callyd holly,
And worse dysposyd people levythe not undir the skye. 20
Ffirst make fre your selfe, that now to syne be bounde,
Leve syne, and drede it, than may ye take on hand
Othir to repreve, and that I undirstonde,
Ye may amende alle other and bryng pese to londe.(5) 24
Fairholt and Owst both drew attention to a correspondence between the poem as edited by Wright and a popular quatrain directed against the attire of Englishmen recorded in The Brut: 'Longe berde hertles, peyntede Hode witles, Gay cote graceles, makep Engl[i]ssheman priftles.' Owst listed the poem as another version of this song.(6) Three of the four rhyme-words of the quatrain correspond to those of the opening stanza of 'Proud Gallants' in the Wright edition. But there the correspondence ends. In the second stanza new material is added on gallants, and at line 9 the subject shifts to the apparel of popeholy priests.
Examination of the other manuscripts supports the inference that the material which relates to the popular song has been added to a piece on popeholy priests.(7) The opening lines against gallants do not appear at all in Oxford, University College, MS 154.(8) Here the poem is a biting denunciation of over-dressed priests which begins with the line 'Ye popeholy prestis fulle of presumcyoun' (fol. [ii.sup.r]). Thereafter, however, there is little substantial textual variation from Harley 372 except that University College 154 has 'Repreue not theis galontis' where Harley 372 reads 'Repreve non other men' (ed. Wright, line 17). In the third manuscript, Cambridge, Trinity College, MS O.2.53, a commonplace book, the part of the poem corresponding to lines 1--8 in Harley 372 varies substantially in both metre and satiric detail:
This prowde Galantis thriftles,
Wyth hy cappis witles,
Stuffid dowblettis and long pykyd shone,
Hath broght this land in grete hevynes,
Therefore ther thryft is allmost done. (fol. [27.sup.r])
The text of the poem known to us from Wright's edition makes it hard to see the seam between the two sections of the poem in this version. Whoever composed the version in Harley 372 took pains to integrate the anti-gallant verses both metrically and satirically. Here the rhyme-scheme hertlesse/witlesse/thryftelesse is expanded into a monorhymed stanza of four lines, matching the section on popeholy priests, and a new stanza is added (lines 5--8). The details of apparel reflect the new fastions: high caps, short, luxurious gowns, long-peaked shoes, long hair. They have also been craftily selected to parallel the attire of the popeholy priests with their wide-furred hoods, short doublets, pleated gowns, minimal tonsures and long tails (these 'tails' are presumably 'liripipes' or 'tippets' on hoods or shoulders, or else dagged garments).(9)
In the Trinity College MS version a rather different device is used to integrate the two sections. Instead of having careful metrical and satiric parallels, here the sections are attributed, by means of headings, to priests and gallants respectively. In the Trinity College MS the opening five lines against gallants are attributed to the authorship of priests in a heading which reads 'Made by prestis ayenst Galantis'. The following lines are headed 'An ansuere to ye same by the Galantis'. The two sections of the poem are thus integrated as two parts of a dialogue. To the first part, 'made by prestis ayenst Galantis', the 'popeholy priests' section is a reply, 'An ansuere to ye same by the Galantis'. The gallants, in short, here become the anticlerical satirists.
Although the text in University College MS 154 lacks the opening 'Proud gallants' verses, it too has a kind of preface to the 'Popeholy priests' attack. Here, above the 'popeholy priests' poem, a few verses have been added in what appears to be the same hand (though the ink is different):
Sing lorel sing,
Euell ioye the wryng,
Evin at thy hart rote.
Make me this in laten,
And pu shalt haue a paten,
To thy croked ffote. (fol. [ii.sup.r])
IMEV describes the stanza as nonsensical.(10) But the details make sense in the light of the gallant stereotype. The 'croked ffote' is surely a reference to the fashion for extremely long peaks on shoes, which were stuffed with moss and curled up to permit walking. The 'paten' was specially designed to be worn with the peaked shoe.(11) The 'euell ioye' and the singing too correspond to the stereotype of the gallant, for 'gallant' (from OF galer 'to make merry') connoted mirth and revelry.(12) An example occurs in the lyric 'Huff! A Galaunt', which has the refrain 'Huff! a galawnt, vylabele!/ Thus syngyth galawntys in here revele'.(13) It was, therefore but a short step to seeing the gallant as a singer of satire. In context the lorel's song (the 'this' of line 4) is identified with the 'popeholy priests' verses, which become, accordingly, the song of the gallant, and 'theis galontis' (line 9 of the 'popeholy priests' verses) are interpreted as including the speaker of those verses.
We have, then, not simply a version of a popular song, but literary experiments which adapt popular material. The 'Sing lorel' stanza has the ring of a popular song, though it is unrecorded elsewhere. The quatrain against Englishmen was widely known and could quite plausibly have been availble for adaptation into the sanzas about proud gallants. According to The Brut it was fastened to the doors of St Peter's Church, Stonegate, York. But it could, equally, have been adapted from some rather more literary source. Two possibilities are suggested by two of the manuscripts. The Trinity College MS heading attributes authorship of the first section of the poem to priests. Clearly, irony is intended, but there is some evidence that the popular quatrain was used by preachers: a version of the poem appears in a sermon-book, while John Benet, a fifteenth-century vicar, copied the quatrain and other material on gallants into his commonplace book.(14) Another possibility is that the song was adapted from The Brut. It is of particular interest to find the anti-gallant section of the poem omitted in University College MS 154 because here the poem occurs on a flyleaf of what is in fact a manuscript of The Brut.(15) The quatrain on apparel and the explanation for its provenace are as follows:
Bot that accordement was sone done ffor the Scottes in skorne made a Ryme of the Englysshemen and taked it vpon dores and sayde 'long berdes hertlesse/ Painted hodes witlesse/ Gay cotes graceles/ maken Englonde thryftelesse'.
A reader of the 'popeholy priests' verses in this manuscript -- or in another manuscript which likewise included both the poem and the chronicle -- had the materials to hand for adapting the old quatrain to the newer anti-gallant satire and for making from this a new introductory section for the verses on priests, amplifying the hint already there in the injunction 'Repreue not theis galontis'.
Before we can ask what might have motivated these experiments with popular satire on apparel it is necessary to consider what evidence there is for dating the texts. The early fourteenth-century date given for the quatrain against Englishmen in The Brut -- if we are to believe it -- gives a terminus a quo. The use of the gallant tradition points to the fifteenth century, and the particular details of the gallants' appearance to the middle decades of the century. High headgear was fashionable throughout the century, but the middle years of the century were distinguished by the adoption of the Flemish fashion for long hair with a fringe on the forehead, over the eyes.(16) Long peaks on
shoes had been fashionable in the fourteenth century. The fashion for this receded by about 1410, then increased to a maximum length around 1460.(17) The external evidence too points to a date in the third quarter of the fifteenth century. The manuscripts in which the poem appears are all fifteenth-century (though Trinity College MS O.2.53 has some sixteenth-century entries); however, it must be remembered that the texts are informal entries which may not be contemporary with the manuscripts. On palaeographic grounds it is likely that the poem in each case was copied in the second half of the fifteenth century. The indications of date given by the internal and palaeographic evidence are corroborated by a note in Trinity College MS O.2.53, where th poem has been dated by the copyist to the reign of Edward IV (1461--70, 1471--83).(18) Another reference to this period occurs on the folio following the poem where the birth of Edward, son of Edward IV, has been recorded with the date 1470.(19)
If it is correct to date the poem to the middle or third quarter of the fifteenth century (always bearing in mind the likelihood that the different versions were composed over a period of time), then we may say that its composition coincided with a renewal of interest among the authorities in standards and modes of dress. In 1463 a statute was issued against excessive and inordinate array among men and women.(20) The objectives were economic ones of securing the market for, and the price of, wool at home by holding foreign imports of luxury fabrics at bay.(21) The statute stated that men and women should dress according to their social rank, gowns and jackets for men should be long enough to cover the privy parts and buttocks, and tailors were forbidden to make short garments and stuffed doublets.
Simultaneously, the question of the clergy's apparel was dealt with by the ecclesiastical authorities. At the Convocation of the Province of Canterbury held 1460--1 the lower clergy put forward an article about clerical dress:
... per habitum debeat distingui condicio omnium clericorum, videlicet, superiorum et inferiorum, modernis tamen temporibus quidam abusus crevit et in publico exercetur quod simplices presbyteri et alii sacerdotes ultra gradum et statum suos in apparatibus suis in modum doctorum seu ceterorum venerabilium virorum canonicorum ecclesiarum cathedralium capuciis cum curtis liripipiis vulgariter Tippettys nuncupatis publice deferre, et eis uti, et in eis incedere non verentur; ita quod vix per habitum modernis temporibus cognoscitur simplex sacerdos qui modicum sit ultra laicum a doctore vel alio venerabili viro perito ecclesiastico, nec e contra; et indumenta sua superiora non deferunt clausa sed per totam anteriorem partem aperta, ita ut verenda sua publice videri valeant ad modum laicorum, et plures hujusmodi presbyteri utuntur caligis clausis et capellis cum liripipiis annexis eisdem et coleriis duploidarum suarum ex scarleto vel alia fulgida veste ultra modum supra togas seu jupas suas publice extendentibus, ad modum illorum qui nominantur Galantes, in magnum scandalum ordinis sacri et derisum et ridiculum laicorum, fiat, si placeat, reformacio.(22)
(... the rank of all clerics ought to be distinguished by their habit, namely of the inferior and the superior; however, in modern times a certain abuse has appeared and is practised in public, that simple priests and other priests over and above their grade and status openly wear their apparel in the manner of doctors or of other worthy men, canons of cathedral churches, with hoods with short streamers called 'tippets' in the vernacular language, and use them, and are not ashamed to parade in them, so that in modern times a simple priest who is little more than a layman can scarcely be distinguished by his apparel from a doctor or other senior churchman, nor vice versa. They do not wear their top garments closed but the whole of the front part open, so that their private parts can be seen publicly in the manner of laymen, and many such priests use tight hose and hoods with tippets joined to them and have the collars of their doublets made of scarlet or other bright outlandish dress publicly showing above their gowns or tunics, in the manner of those who are called 'gallants', to the great scandal of holy orders and the derision and ridicule of the laity. May there be, if it pleases, reform.)
Reform, evidently, was not achieved, for during the 1463 Convocation the archbishop Thomas Bourgchier issued a constitution setting out penalties for offences of dress.(23)
There are striking parallels between 'Proud Gallants and Popeholy Priests' and these records of a crisis over clerical dress in the 1460s and earlier. The offences of apparel for which priests are denounced in the poem, wide-furred hoods, short stuffed doublets, pleated gowns, and long tails -- in short, the adoption of current fashions -- are inveighed against in the ecclesiastical constitution. The constitution states that furred hoods with tippets are only to be worn by those who are university graduates or hold high office in the Church, for simple priests must be distinguished from learned and senior churchmen. Short garments are indecent, exposing the private parts in the manner of laymen; doublets padded about the shoulders deform the body out of its natural shape. The satirist in 'Proud Gallants and Popeholy Priests' deplores the loss of authority which results from the abuses. Evident hypocrisy on the part of those who preach against 'gallants' has led to 'lesse deuocioun' among the people: 'Ye be so lewyd youer selfe, there settithe no man you bye.' Likewise in the documents in Bourgchier's Register it is the lower clergy's complaint that dressing like 'gallants' has led to derision and ridicule of clerics among the laity, and the archbishop recognizes that preaching against offences of dress has failed because of the perception of clerical hypocrisy in the matter; clerics must reform themselves first, lest their subjects perceive a discrepancy between the lives and the preaching of the clergy, lose confidence in their words, and hold in contempt their authority and doctrine.(24)
The critique of clerical dress on which both the experimental little poem and the official documents draw belongs with an ecclesiastical discourse which can be traced back at least as far as the decrees of the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215.(25) Amongst other things, the decrees specified that all clerics must wear the tonsure, that their garments must be neither too long nor too short, and that their outer garments should not have long sleeves. The standards for clerical dress outlined here were subsequently included in diocesan constitutions.(26) In the first half of the fifteenth century the canonist William Lyndwood reviewed the history of the legislation and attempted to put it into some of sort of coherent order in the chapter of his Provinciale called 'De vita et honestate clericorum'.(27)
This sequence of plentiful legislation did not specify a clerical 'uniform'.(28) There was no fixed set of garments that clerics were obliged to wear; indeed, they were advised to follow the customs of the region, in order not to cause offence. They were also to be guided by the choice in clothing of good and honest men.(29) But a standard of clerical dress was evolved, traditionally defined in relation to that used by the layman. For example, clerics were instructed not to appear in the guise of a knight or a layman in John Peckham's Canons of the Council of Lambeth of 1281.(30) In the fifteenth century Lyndwood's glosses on the earlier legislation served to develop the stereotypes of lay and clerical dress put forward by Peckham and others.(31) In these and other such legislative documents, a stereotype of lay dress was developed as one of tightness and shortness, and the standard of clerical dress was defined as an opposite to the lay stereotype.
It is clear from the legislation that the difference between lay and clerical dress invested clerical dress with its meaning. For example, the section on dress in the second series of Winchester Statutes is prefaced with the observation that 'sacerdotes a laicis et secularibus personis habitu distinguantur'.(32) In theory, this external distinction between clergy and laity was a visible sign of the internal difference between them.(33) Transgressions of the standards on apparel were seen to result in a perilous loss of the visible difference between clergy and laity, as Archbishop John Morton noted in 1486.(34) The authority of priests over their subjects was perceived to be particularly endangered by the loss of distinctive dress. The canons of the Fourth Lateran Council prescribed standards of dress for all clerici, yet certain stricter regulations were included for priests and prelates. Subsequent legislation was often more specific, singling out priests as those who must be distinguished from their subjects by dress. Lyndwood paid particular attention to this point when glossing the legislation, attempting to clear up ambiguities.(35) Priests' apparel encoded and asserted their authority over their subjects.
Although 'Proud Gallants and Popeholy Priests' and the documents in Bourgchier's Register draw on the same 'official' language and stereotype, their uses of that language, I would suggest, are opposed. The Bourgchier documents expressly concern visible distinctions between all ranks of clerics, yet focus on two particular groups: those in holy orders or benefice-holders, and those serving the Church in some lower office, whether lower clergy or laity.(36) The documents seem as much designed to maintain the differential between simple priests and the sublimi et litterati as between clergy and laity; one of the principal targets is the cleric who looks like a learned or distinguished ecclesiastic but is actually 'simplex sacerdos qui modicum sit ultra laicum'.(37) Here the perspective on offending priests and lower clergy is from above.
Like the documents in Bourgchier's Register, 'Proud Gallants and Popeholy Priests' is very clearly aimed at priests. Satirical details stress the priestly or beneficed status of the targets: the priests are illicitly promoted 'advanced by simony'; it is a joke ('skaunse')(38) that they wish to be called holy (are in holy orders?); moreover, they are absentees ('passe not your boundis'). One of the charges (as in the ecclesiastical documents) is that the priests wear wide-furred hoods. But the satirist questions priests' moral standing rather than their educational qualifications: the wearers are 'voide of discrecioun'. Like-wise the priests' secular dress is satirized not on the grounds that it is illegal according to church law, or because secular dress is inappropriate for clerics, but because it is evidence of the hypocrisy of 'popeholy priests' who preach against the abuse they themselves practise. Criticisms in the poem are grounded on moral authority rather than on the authority of the church hierarchy.
A further difference between the poem and the documents is that the documents refer to the priests' loss of authority, whereas the poem both refers to and expresses that loss. The gallant--satirist stands as an accusation to the preacher, testimony to the ineffectiveness of his preaching. In the University College MS the satirist's 'evil joy' is lack of devotion and respect for the preacher generated by the priests' hypocrisy. In the Trinity College MS the gallant effectively answers the priest with a crushing parody of the priest's anti-gallant verses. The reversal of relations here between preacher and subject is mirrored in the reversal of registers. The verses 'made by prestis' are metrically more appropriate to a gallant's song; the gallants' verses, with their latinate syntax and diction might seem more appropriate as a register for the preacher (compare, for example, Mercy's speeches in Man-kind). If preachers really did exploit the popular song in sermons against gallants, then the irony would have been even greater.
Like the Bourgchier documents, then, 'Proud Gallants and Popeholy Priests' rebukes the secularization of priests. But whereas the perspective of the legislation is that of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, the point of view of the poem is from below, that of the priests' proud subjects. Use of the popular song assists in the creation of this perspective. The opening verses against gallants are introduced with an ulterior purpose, that of rebuking priests for hypocritically reproving gallants. The gallants, by a cunning reversal of authority, become one with the speaker of the satire. The strategy of the satire is to liberate the priests' subjects and to turn the priests' claims to authority back on them. Such a move called into question the motives and function of the satire: were they moral reproof, or was the satire a song of evil joy?
Using the gallant's viewpoint to satirize priests was rather unusual.(39) There is, however, another text which raises the matters of clerical dress and pastoral authority from the viewpoint of the gallant, The Vision of Edmund Leversedge. The vision was probably written by one of Thomas Bourgchier's subjects, Edmund Leversedge, a cleric in minor orders from Somerset, shortly after 1465, not long after the Bourgchier documents and 'Proud Gallants and Popeholy Priests'.(40)
Leversedge describes how, although a cleric in minor orders (lines 544--8), he used to dress in the manner of 'pes blynd proude peple calling pemselfe galantes' (line 290). In the vision, devils in gallants' apparel produce evidence that his soul should be theirs, 'a similitude and shappis of be facion of my pykis, bolstirs, stuffid dowblettes, schort gownes, hygh bonettes, long heere and of al pe inordinat aray pat ever I usyd' (lines 373--6); this included 'long pykys' (line 406) and 'hyghe bonettes' (line 156). He tells how in his vision a lady appeared to him and instructed him that henceforth he must put away this inordinate array and order a plain doublet and long gown; he was to have his hair cut short to show his face and ears, and was to order a round cap. He was to use loose hose and shoes without peaks (lines 388--407). Leversedge's superiors attract a portion of the blame. His guardian angel advises him that many souls are in peril because his curate has not given his subjects 'dewe teching and informacion as pey aught, in pat he abydith not and dwell[ith] upon pe same' (lines 591--2), while three other priests are also ignorant (lines 597--8). It seems from this that Leversedge, by presenting himself as a reformed gallant, claims authority to write critically both of gallants and of those with cure of their souls. He presents himself as discharging, through the writing of his account, a duty very like the duty of the clerk with cure of souls:
And pus I mene -- to pe discharge of my saule, if I anoper day shuld stand in parelle, if I had not 3ifen 3ou informacyon perof -- and put pe holle charge upon 3ou, and discharge me, that pou, prowd man pat hast arayd pe lyke pe devylle of helle, remembir pe parelle of my saule and put away pi aray fro pe. (lines 674--9)
Both Leversedge's vision and 'Proud Gallants and Popeholy Priests' call into question the authority of priests, by exploiting and inverting the discourse which grants that authority. In both cases the proud gallant, ironically, has the moral authority to reprove the priest and to warn against pride in his place. But a contrast may be drawn between the functions of the two texts if we look at the evidence for their composition and dissemination. Leversedge seems to have imagined -- rightly, it would seem -- that his account of how he was reformed from the ways of the gallant, despite its intensely particular and personal nature, could achieve a wide enough circulation to discharge his obligation of warning others about the sin of pride. He seems to have enlisted the help of a friend at Witham Priory to make a Latin version, and there is evidence that something of his adventure survived long in folk memory.(41)
There is no evidence that 'Proud Gallants and Popeholy Priests' could have had any such moral function. The poem may satirize ineffective preaching against pride of apparel, but it cannot fulfil the function of moral reproof itself. Reform, indeed, is still left to the priests:
Ffirst make fre your selfe, that now to syne be bounde,
Leve syne and drede it than may ye take on hand
Other to repreve, and that I undirstonde
Ye may amende alle other and bryng pese to londe. (ed. Wright, lines 21--4) A brief satirical poem such as this was, like its subject-matter, ephemeral. It is hard to imagine any mechanisms of transmission which could reasonably have brought the poem to the attention of those it berated. The manuscript context tends to confirm what critical and textual analysis have already suggested, that the poem, despite its concern with priests and pastoral care, belongs with another form of discourse, which belonged in the domain of the private and the personal. It is evident from the manner in which the poem has survived -- on a flyleaf, in a commonplace book, and on a single piece of paper -- that these copies of the poem were made or preserved by the readers of the manuscripts for their own personal use. The readers/copyists of the poem provided their own personal literary contextualizations: the headings and date in the Trinity College MS; the 'Sing lorel' stanza in the University College MS; and in MS Harley 372, on the same piece of paper as the poem, a commonplace Latin poem about priests which echoes many of the themes of 'Proud Gallants and Popeholy Priests'.(42)
If 'Proud Gallants and Popeholy Priests' participates in the 'official' public discourse which constructed the authority of clergy over their subjects, it also negotiates independence from that discourse through the satiric exploitation of popular song. The result is not even simply a single poem, but several related texts. They are self-ironizing literary experiments which invite paralles to be made between their satire and the evil joy of the gallant's ephemeral, secular song. They are private, independent and almost literally marginalized scraps of writing. In this inheres their interest and value. If we wish to learn about the literary liberation of the priests' subjects we should not, I would argue, neglect marginal and ephemeral sources such as IMEV 4255 but should attempt to animate them in the context of the 'official' and authoritative mediaeval discourses out of which they generate their own voices, and against which they must be defined.
I am very grateful to Peter Heath and Alastair Minnis for their helpful comments on this article. Responsibility for the conclusions and any errors remains, of course, my own.
(1)Political Poems and Songs, ed. Thomas Wright, 2 vols (London, 1859--61), I, 274. Wright's dating of 1388 (I, 270) seems questionable, but is accepted by John Scattergood, 'Fashion and morality in the late Middle Ages', in England in the Fifteenth Century: Proceedings of the 1986 Harlaxton Symposium, ed. Daniel Williams (Woodbridge, 1987), pp. 255--72 (p. 267), and by Tony Davenport, 'Lusty fresche galaunts', in Aspects of Early English Drama, ed. Paula Neuss (Cambridge, 1983), pp. 111--25 (p. 113).
(2)See a survey of the tradition with special reference to drama in Davenport, 'Lusty fresche galaunts'; Scattergood, 'Fashion and morality', pp. 267--9; and V.J. Scattergood, Politics and Poetry in the Fifteenth Century (London, 1971), pp. 342--4.
(3)Political Poems and Songs, ed. Wright, II, 251; A Manual of the Writings in Middle English 1050--1500, ed. A. E. Hartung (New Haven, Conn., 1975) (hereafter Manual), V, 1470, no. 161. Index of Middle English Verse (hereafter IMEV), ed. Carleton Brown and Rossell Hope Robbins (New York, 1943), no. 4255; cf. Supplement to IMEV, ed. Rossell Hope Robbins and John L. Cutler (Lexington, Ky, 1965), nos. 4254.5 and 4255.
(4)See bibliography in Manual, V, 1470.
(5)Political Poems and Songs, ed. Wright, II, 251, from London, British Library, MS Harley 372, fol. 11[3.sup.r].
(6)The Brut, or The Chronicles of England, ed. F. W. D. Brie, EETS, os 131 (London, 1906), p. 249; IMEV 1934 (manuscripts of 'Proud Gallants' are also listed here); G. R. Owst, Literature and Pulpit in Medieval England, 2nd edn (London, 1961), p. 407 n. 3; Satirical Songs and Poems on Costume, ed. F. W. Fairholt, Percy Society 27 (London, 1849), p. 55; and see further R. M. Wilson, 'More lost literaure in Old and Middle English', Leeds Studies in English, 5 (1936), 1--49 (pp. 45--6); Rossell Hope Robbins, 'A Middle English diatribe against Philip of Burgundy', Neophilologus, 49 (1955), 131--46 (pp. 140--1); and Historical Poems of the XIVth and XVth Centuries, ed. Rossell Hope Robbins (New York, 1959), p. xxxviii.
(7)Supplement to IMEV treats the first two stanzas as a separate poem (no. 4255; the lines which follow are no. 4254.5). Manual, V, 1470 describes the poem as having two parts.
(8)Supplement to IMEV 4255 erroneously cites Oxford, University College, MS 154 as one of the manuscripts which include these verses.
(9)F. W. Fairholt, Costume in England: A History of Dress to the End of the Eighteenth Century, rev. edn H. A. Dillon, 2 vols (London, 1885), II, 273.
(10)IMEV 3114. The last word of the second line has been mistranscribed 'wyng'.
(11)Fairholt, Costume in England, II, 68, 312, and illustrated in vol. I at fig. 135.
(12)See MED, s.v. 'galaunt', n. and adj.; also the discussion in OED, s.v. 'gallant'; and Dictionnaire de l'ancienne langue francaise, ed. Frederic Godefroy (Pairs, 1885).
(13)Historical Poems of the XIVth and XVth Centuries, ed. Robbins, no. 52.
(14)Worcester Cathedral Library, MS F.10, fol. 23[8.sup.r]: 'Longe berdes hertles Streyte cotes graceles Peyntet hodes wytles Longe tepetes redles Partie hosen thryftles Makeyt this world laweles' (quoted in Owst, Literature and Pulpit, p. 407 n. 3); Dublin, Trinity College, MS 516, fols 11[8.sup.v], 12[1.sup.v].
(15)Oxford, University College, MS 154, fol. i[i.sup.r]. For many examples of political and historical poems on flyleaves, see Historical Poems of the XIVth and XVth Centuries, ed. Robbins, p. xxxiv n. 40.
(16)Scattergood, Politics and Poetry, p. 341; The Vision of Edmund Leversedge, ed. Wiesje Fimke Nijenhuis (Nijmegen, 1991), p. 57. Fairholt suggested that the poem should on these grounds be dated no later than 1467, following Planche's revision of Strutt's History of Dress (Satirical Songs and Poems on Costume, ed. Fairholt, p. 55). Wright placed the poem, without explanation, in the reign of Henry VI, i.e. 1422--61 (Political Poems and Songs, ed. Wright, II, 251n.)
(17)The Vision of Edmund Leversedge, ed. Nijenhuis, p. 57; Satirical Songs and Poems on Costume, ed. Fairholt, p. 43.
(18)Cambridge, Trinity College, MS O.2.53, fol. 2[7.sup.4], 'tempore R E iiii[t.sup.i]'.
(19)Cambridge, Trinity College, MS O.2.53, fol. 2[9.sup.v].
(20)The Statutes of the Realm, multivolume (London; repr. 1963), II, 399--402 (3 Edw. IV c.5).
(21)Scattergood, 'Fashion and morality', pp. 261, 271.
(22)Registrum Thome Bourgchier, ed. F. R. H. Du Boulay (Oxford, 1957), p. 92.
(23)Ibid., pp. 109--10.
(24)Ibid., p. 110.
(25)Charles-Joseph Hefele, Histoire des conciles, trans. Delarc, VIII (Paris, 1872), p. 131. Cf. Registrum Thome Bourgchier, ed. Du Boulay, p. xxxi.
(26)Marion Gibbs and Jane Lang, Bishops and Reform (Oxford and London, 1934), pp. 113, 126.
(27)William Lyndwood, Provinciale seu constitutiones Angliae (Oxford, 1679), p. 117.
(28)Peter Heath, The English Parish Clergy on the Eve of the Reformation (London and Toronto, 1969), pp. 108--9.
(29)Lyndwood, Provinciale, p. 124.
(30)Councils and Synods, ed. F. M. Powicke and C. R. Cheney, II (Oxford, 1964), ii, 914.
(31)Lyndwood, Provinciale, pp. 120--3; cf. John Stratford's constitution of 1342 (D. Wilkins, Concilia Magnae Britanniae et Hiberniae (London, 1737), II, 703).
(32)Councils and Synods, II, i, 407; and see also Statutes of York I 1241X1255 (p. 487) and Statutes of Carlisle, 1258X1259 (p. 629).
(33)Councils and Synods, II, ii, 752; see also Wilkins, Concilia, II, 703; and Lyndwood, Provinciale, p. 120.
(34)Wilkins, Concilia, III, 619; cf. II, 703; Councils and Synods, II, ii, 753, 914; and the Preface to Lyndwood's Provinciale.
(35)Lyndwood, Provinciale, pp. 119--20.
(36)Registrum Thome Bourgchier, ed. Du Boulay, p. 110.
(37)Ibid., p. 92.
(38)This is the reading of Cambridge, Trinity College, MS O.2.53 and Oxford, University College, MS 154. London, British Library, MS Harley 372 (ed. Wright, line 19) has 'schame'.
(39)There are other examples of anti-gallant satire used in rebukes of the pastoral clergy, but these are not presented from the gallants' viewpoint: see Political Poems and Songs, ed. Wright, I, 276; Richard the Redeless, in The Vision of Piers the Plowman ... with Richard the Redeless, ed. W. W. Skeat, rev. edn, 2 vols (Oxford, 1969), III.190ff.; and cf. The Piers Plowman Tradition, ed. Helen Barr (London, 1993), p. 123, line 190 and note; 'The Vision of William of Stranton', in St Patrick's Purgatory, ed. Robert Easting, EETS, os 298 (Oxford, 1991), pp. 77--117 (pp. 98--9); Wisdom, in The Macro Plays, EETS, ed. M. Eccles, os 262 (Oxford, 1969), lines 487--90 (devil as gallant); and cf. Davenport, 'Lusty fresche galaunts', p. 119.
(40)The Vision of Edmund Leversedge, ed. Nijenhuis. See also W. F. Nijenhuis, 'Truncated topoi in The Vision of Edmund Leversedge', M/E, 63 (1994), 84--97; and E. Margaret Thompson, 'The Vision of Edmund Leversedge', Somerset and Dorset Notes and Queries, 9 (1904--5), 19--35.
(41)The Vision of Edmund Leversedge, ed. Nijenhuis, p. 71. Nijenhuis makes the interesting observation that the didactic element in the text is in tension with Leversedge's overriding concern for his own soul ('Truncated topoi', pp. 92--3).
(42)BL, MS Harley 372, fol. 11[3.sup.r], 'Sacerdos debet esse sanctus'. Cf. Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Douce 103, fol. 16[4.sup.v].…