The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume III. Renascence and Reformation.

IV. Barclay and Skelton



The Castell of Laboure. Antoine Vérard, Paris, 1503, known only from fragments in the British Museum (Bagford Fragments, Harl. 5919, No. 214) and in the library of Lambeth Palace. Other editions: Pynson [c. 1505]; Wynkyn de Worde, 1506 and c. 1510; W. de W.’s edition of 1506 reprinted in facsimile with the French text of 1501 and an introduction by A. W. Pollard, for the Roxburghe Club, 1905.

The Ship of Fools.

German original. First edition: Das Narren schyff—at the end: End des narrenschiffs. Hie endet sich, das Narrenschiff, So z nutz heilsamer ler, ermanung, vnd eruolgg, der wiszheit, vernunnft, v&nmacr; gter sytten, Ouch z verachtung, vnd stroff der narrheyt, blintheit Irrsal, vnd dorheit, aller st[char]adt, v&nmacr; geschlecht der menschen, mit besunderm flisz, müg, vnd arbeit, gesamlet ist, durch Sebastianu Brant. In beiden rechten doctorem, Gedruckt z Basel vff die Vasenaht, die man der narren Kirchwich ne&nmacr;et, Im jor noch Christi geburt Tusent vierhundert vier vnd nüntzig.—Jo. B. von Olpe. Standard edition: Sebastian Brants Narrenschiff, ed. Friedrich Zarncke, Leipzig, 1854. Original editions: Bâle, 1494, 1495, 1499, 1506, 1509; Strassburg, 1512. Later original editions: Frankfort, 1553, 1555, 1560, 1566; Bâle, 574;1 Frankfort, 1625. Old unauthorised editions: Reutlingen, 1494; Nuremberg, 1494, Augsburg, 1494. German adaptations: Strassburg, 1494; Augsburg, 1495, 1498, 1531; Strassburg, 1540, 1545, 1549, 1564; Zürich, 1563; Hasleben (Frankfort), 1629; Freystadt, no date.

Translations. Latin: By Jacob Locher, Stultifera Navis, 1497 (Basileae); Augustae Vindelicorum, 1497; Argentorati, 1497; Basil. 1497; Basil. 1498; Paris, 1498; Lugduni, 1498; Argentorati, 1502; Basil. 1572. After Locher, by Jodocus Badius Ascensius: Paris, 1505; Basil 1406 (i.e. 1506); Basil. 1507; Paris, 1507, 1513, 1515.

Low German: Dat narren schyp, Lübeck, 1497. Dat nye schip van Narragonien, Rostock, 1519. French: Poetical translation by Pierre Riviere, Paris, 1497; Prose translation by Jehan Droyn, Lyon, 1498, 1499, 1579; Prose translation, after Locher, author unknown, Paris (after 1520), Lyon, 1529–30. Dutch: Paris, 1500; Bruxelles, 1548; Antwerp, 1584; Leyden, 1610; Amsterdam, 1635.

English: The Shyp of Folys of the Worlde. Translated out of Laten, Frenche, and Doche into Englysshe tonge by Alexander Barclay, Preste.… MCCCCCVIII etc. Pynson. 1509. Edited by T. H. Jamieson. 2 vols. Edinburgh, London, 1874.

The Ship of Fooles.… With diuers other workes … very profitable and fruitfull for all men … Cawood, 1570.

The Shyppe of Fooles, translated out of frenche, by Henry Watson. Wynkyn de Worde, 1509. Another edition. The grete Shyppe of Fooles of this worlde. Wynkyn de Worde, 1517. (Brie, E. Stud. XXXVII, p. 19, has pointed out that the first edition may have appeared even a little before Barclay’s translation.)

Here begynneth the Egloges of Alexander Barclay, prest, wherof the fyrst thre conteyneth the myseryes of courters and courtes of all prynces in generall.… No date, printer’s name or device. (Eclogue I–III.)

The Fourthe Eglogge of Alexandre Barcley, entitled:-“The Boke of Codrus and Mynalcus.…” Pynson. No date.

The fyfte Eglog of Alexandre Barclay of the Cytezen and vplondyshman. Wynkyn de Worde. No date.

The Egloges (I–III). John Herforde. No date. Humfrey Powell. No date.

Certayne Egloges of Alexander Barclay, Priest. Appended to Cawood’s edition of the Ship of Fools. 1570. Spenser Society. 1885.

The Cytezen and Uplondyshman: an Eclogue [the fifth] by Alexander Barclay. Wynkyn de Worde’s edition, ed. Fairholt, F. W. Percy Society [XXII]. 1847.

Here begynneth the famous cronycle of the warre … compyled in latyn by the renowmed romayne Salust. And translated into englysshe by Syr Alexander Barclay preest.… Pynson. No date. (c. 1520.) Another edition. Pynson. No date. Another edition, corrected by Thomas Paynell. Waley. 1557. (Published together in one volume with The Conspiracie of Catiline, written by Constancius, Felicius Durantinus, and translated by Thomas Paynell.)

Here begynneth the introductory to wryte, and to pronounce Frenche compyled by Alexander Barcley compendiously.… Coplande. 1521.

Cf. Ellis, A. J., On Early English Pronunciation, E.E.T.S. Ex. Ser. XIV, Part III, pp. 803–813.

Here begynneth a ryght frutefull treatyse, intituled the myrrour of good maners.… Pynson. (c. 1523.)

The Mirrour of Good Maners. Appended to Cawood’s edition of the Ship of Fools. 1570. Reprinted for the Spenser Society, 1885.

Here begynneth the lyfe of the blessed martyr saynte Thomas. Pynson. No date.

Here begynneth a lytell Cronycle [Haython’s]. Pynson. No date.

Fraustadt, F. Über das Verhältnis von Barclay’s “Ship of Fools” zur lateinischen, französischen und deutschen Quelle. Breslau, 1894.

Herford, C. H. Studies in the literary relations of England and Germany in the Sixteenth Century. Cambridge, 1886. Chap. VI, pp. 323–378.

Reissert, O. Die Eklogen des Alexander Barclay. In Neuphilologische Beiträge. Hannover, 1886. pp. 14–31.

Sommer, H. O. Erster Versuch über die Englishe Hirtendichtung. Marburg, 1888. pp. 33–41.

Ward, A. W. In Dictionary of National Biography, vol. III.

[As to Brant’s Narrenschiff and later treatments of its subject, see ed. Zarneke, F., Leipzig, 1854.]


Here after foloweth the boke of Phyllyp Sparowe compyled by mayster Skelton Poete Laureate. Rychard Kele. No date. Other editions by Robert Toy, Antony Kitson, Abraham Weale, Jhon Walley, John Wyght.

Here begynneth a lytell treatyse named the bowge of courte Wynkyn de Worde. No date. Another edition by Wynkyn de Worde. No date.

Here folowythe dyvers Balettys and dyties solacyous devysyd by Master Skelton Laureat. (Pynson.) No date. Contents: My darlyng dere, my daysy floure; The auncient acquaintance, madam, betwen us twayne; Knolege, acquayntance, resort, favour with grace; Go pytyous hart, rasyd with dedly wo; etc.

Skelton Laureate agaynste a comely Coystrowne.… (Pynson.) No date.

A ballade of the scottysshe kynge. (Richard Fawkes. 1513.)

A Ballade of the Scottysshe Kynge. Reproduced in facsimile with a historical and bibliographical introduction by John Ashton. 1882.

Here after foloweth a litel boke called Colyn Cloute compyled by mayster Skelton poete Laureate. Rycharde Kele. No date. Other editions by John Wyghte, Anthony Kytson, Abraham Veale, Jhon Wallye, all undated.

Here after foloweth a lytell boke, whiche hath to name, Why come ye nat to courte, compyled by mayster Skelton poete Laureate. Richard Kele. No date. Other undated editions by John Wyght, Anthony Kytson, Abraham Veale, John Wallye, R. Toy.

A ryght delectable tratyse upon a goodly Garlande or Chapelet of Laurell by mayster Skelton Poete laureat studyously dyvysed at Sheryfhotton Castell.… Rycharde Faukes. 1523.

A replycacion agaynst certayne yong scolers, abjured of late.… Pynson. No date.

Magnyfycence, A goodly interlude and a mery devysed and made by mayster Skelton poet laureate late deceasyd. (Rastell.) No date (1533?).

Magnyfycence. A Moral Play by John Skelton. Ed. by Ramsay, R. L. E.E.T.S. Ex. Ser. XCVIII. 1908.

Here after foloweth certaine bokes cpyled by mayster Skelt, Poet Laureat, whose names here after shall appere. Speake Parot. The death of the noble Prynce Kynge Edwarde the fourth. A treatyse of the Scottes. Ware the Hawke. The Tunnynge of Elynoure Rummyng. John Kynge and Thomas Marche. No date. Another edition by Jhon Daye, no date; and a third by Richard Lant, for Henry Tab, no date.

Pithy pleasaunt and profitable workes of maister Skelton, Poete Laureate. Nowe collected and newly published. Anno 1568. Imprinted at London in Fletestreate, neare unto saint Dunstones churche by Thomas Marshe.

The Poetical Works of John Skelton: with notes, and some account of the author and his writings. Ed. Dyce, A. 2 vols. 1843. [Standard edition.]

Masteres anne I am your man …, published in E. Stud. XXXVII, p. 29, by Fr. Brie.

Recule against Gaguyne, beginning: How darest thow swere or be so bolde also …, printed in E. Stud. XXXVII, p. 32, by Fr. Brie.


Colyn Cloute. MS. Harl. 2252, fol. 147.—Fragment in MS. Lansdown 762, fol. 75.

Edwarde the forth, Of the death of the noble prince, Kynge.

Gaguyne, Recule ageinst. MS. Trinity College, Cambridge, O. 2. 53, fol. 165 b.

Garlande of Laurell. MS. Cotton. Vitellius E. X, fol. 200.

Garnesche, Poems against. MS. Harl. 367, fol. 101.

Manerly Margery Mylk and Ale. Fairfax MS.—Add. MSS. (Brit. Mus.), 5465, fol. 109.

Masteres anne. Trinity College, Cambridge, R. 3. 47 (on fly-leaf).

Northumberlande, Vpon the doulourus dethe and muche lamentable chaunce of the most honorable Erle of. MS. Reg. 18, D ii, fol. 165.

Rose both White and Rede, The, … Records of the Treasury of the Receipt of the Exchequer. B. 2.8 (pp. 67–69).

Speke, Parrot. MS. Harl. 2252, fol. 133.

Unpublished: Translation of Diodorus Siculus, MS. 357, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. (Edition for the E.E.T.S. in preparation.)

Brie, Friedrich. Skelton Studien. (E. Stud. XXXVII, pp. 1–86.)

Koelbing, Arthur. Zur Charakteristik John Skelton’s. Stuttgart, 1904.

Lee, S. Dictionary of National Biography, vol. LII, pp. 327–332.

Rey, Albert. Skelton’s satirical poems in their relation to Lydgate’s Order of Fools, Cock Lorell’s Bote and Barclay’s Ship of Fools. Berne, 1899.

Saintsbury, G. A History of English Prosody. 1906. Vol. 1, pp. 240 ff.

Thümmel, Arno. Studien über John Skelton. Leipzig-Reudnitz, 1905.


Arber, Edward. English Reprints. William Roy and Jerome Barlow. Rede me and be not Wrothe. 1528. 1895.

—— A Proper Dyalogue betwene a Gentillman and a Husbandman, etc. 1530. 1895.

Black, W. H. The Enterlude of John Bon and Mast Person. Percy Society. 1852.

Hazlitt, W. Carew. Remains of the Early Popular Poetry of England. Collected and edited, with Introductions and Notes. 1866. (Vols. III and IV.)

Herford, C. H. Studies in the Literary Relations of England and Germany in the Sixteenth Century. Cambridge, 1886.

For further works on German influences, see below and also the bibliographies to the cognate sections in the drama volumes of the present work.