A Lost Manuscript of the “Rymes of (…) Randolf Erl of Chestre
Identifies a catalogue entry recording an early, lost manuscript copy of verses about the deeds of Ranulf, earl of Chester (see B.5.396), which once formed part of B.L. MS Cotton Otho B.III. If the verses were in Latin, as seems likely, they would not necessarily present an obstacle to a parish priest such as Sloth, who describes himself as being able to understand administrative language, even though he cannot interpret religious Latin texts. The placement of the verses next to a chronicle parallels some of Robin Hood’s earliest literary appearances from the fifteenth century, in chronicles and in marginal notes accompanying chronicles.