Anon., The Lay of Havelok the Dane

Edited by W. W. Skeat, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1902

The Lay of Havelok the Dane is of particular interest for the Grimsby area, because it tells how Havelok’s foster father Grim came from Denmark and founded the town. The English version reproduced here is the best-known, and dates from about 1300. As discussed in Skeat’s Introduction, there are two earlier French versions and another (very short) English one.

This Web version will be added to from time to time. Apologies for the lack of a glossary at the moment.

The digitized version contains the following Web pages:

About this Web version of Havelok
Differences in the way editors have read the original MS.
Introduction by W. W. Skeat, 1902:
     §§ 1–13: The manuscript; the language of the poem
     §§ 14–20: The metre of the poem
     §§ 21–32: Versions of the story; local traditions; the Grimsby seal
     §§ 33–35: Literature of the subject
Original text in parallel with Skeat’s version
Specimen: lines 632–653 of the MS (photo after Skeat; transcription added)
The Great Grimsby seal: “GRYEM, HABLOC, GOLDEBVRGH” (after Skeat)