Brunne, Robert De

, or Robert Mannyng, the first English poet who occurs in the fourteenth century, was born probably before 1270, as he was received into the order of black canons at Brunne, about 1288. Malton appears to have been his birth-place, but what Malton is doubtful. He was, as far as can be discovered, merely a translator. His first work, says Warton, was a metrical paraphrase of a French book, written by Robert Grosthead, bishop of Lincoln, called “Manuel Pecche” (Manuel des Péchés), being a treatise on the decalogue, and on the seven deadly sins, which are illustrated with many legendary stories. It was never printed, but is preserved in the Bodleian library, Mss. No. 415, and in the Harleian Mss. No. 1701. His second and more important work is a metrical chronicle of England, in two parts, the former of which (from Æneas to the death of Cadwallader) is translated from Wace’s “Brut d’Angleterre,” and the latter (from Cadwallader to the end of the reign of Edward I.) from a French chronicle written by Peter de Langtoft, an Augustine canon of Bridlington in Yorkshire, who is supposed to have died in the reign of Edward II. and was therefore contemporary with his translator. Hearne has edited Robert de Brunne, but has suppressed the whole of his translation from Wace, excepting the prologue, and a few extracts which he found necessary to illustrate his glossary. Mr. Ellis, to whom we are indebted for this article, has given some specimens of de Brunne’s work. 2


Ellis’s Specimens, vol. I. p. 112.~Wartoo’s Hist, of Poetry, vol. I. p. 40, 44, 59, 624—6, 72—78, 95, 9,7, 105, 115, 116, 120—1, 156—8, 161, 166, 173, 193,214, 225, 250.