Online Encyclopedia

HUCHOWN

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V13, Page 848 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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HUCHOWN, " of the Awle Ryale " (fl. 14th century), Scottish poet, is referred to by Wyntoun in his Chronicle in these words:—" Hucheon, pat cunnande was in littratur. He made a gret Gest of Arthure, And pe Awntyr of Gawane, Ke Pistil als of Suet Susane. He was curyousse in his stille, Faye of facunde and subtile, And ay to pleyssance hade delyte, Mad in metyr meit his dyte Litil or noucht neuir pe lesse Wauerande fra pe suythfastnes." (Cott. MS. bk. v. II, 4308-4318). Much critical ingenuity has been spent in endeavouring to identify (a) the poet and (b) the works named in the foregoing passage. It has been assumed that " Huchown," or " Hucheorr,",. represents the " gude Sir Hew of Eglyntoun " named by Dunbar (q.v.) in his Lament for the Makaris (i. 53). The only known Sir Hugh of Eglintoun of the century is frequently mentioned in the public records from the middle of the century onwards, as an auditor of accounts and as witness to. several charters. By 136o he had married Dame Egidia, widow of Sir James Lindsay and half-sister of Robert the Steward. His public office and association with the Steward sorts well with the designation " of the Awle Ryalet" if that be interpreted as " Aula Regalis " or " Royal Palace." He appears to have died late in 1376 or early in 1377. The first of the poems named above, the Gest of Arthure of Gest Historyalle (ib. i. 4288), has been identified by Dr Trautmann, " Anglia," Der Dickler Huchown (1877), with the alliterative Morte Arthure in the Thornton MS. at Lincoln, printed by the E.E.T.S. (ed. Brock, 1865). The problem of the second(The Awntyr of Gawane) is still in dispute. There are difficulties in the way of accepting the conjecture that the poem is the " Awn-tyres of Arthure at the Tern Wathelyne " (see S.T.S., Scottish Alliterative Poems, 1897, and Introduction, pp. i1 et seq.), and little direct evidence in favour of the view that the reference is to the greatest of middle English romances, Sir Gawain and the Grene Knight. The third may be safely accepted as the well-known Pistil [Epistle] of Swete Susan, printed by Laing (Select Remains, 1822) and by the S.T.S. (Scottish Alliterative Poems, u.s.). See, in addition to the works named. above, G. Neilson's Sir Hew of Eglintoun and Huchown of the Awle Ryale (Glasgow, 1901), which contains a full record of references to the historical Sir Hew of Eglintoun; Huchown of the Awle Ryale, the Alliterative Poet (Glasgow, 1902) by the same; J. T. T. Brown's Huchown of the Awle Ryale and his Poems (Glasgow, 1902), in answer to the fore-going. See also the correspondence in the Athenaeum, 1900-1901, and the review of Mr Neilson's pamphlets, ib. (Nov. 22, 1902); and J. H. Millar's Literary History of Scotland (1903), pp. 8-14.
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