The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
DIMEV 3164
IMEV 1933.5
London thou art of towns a per se
To the City of London, attributed to William Dunbar — seven 8-line stanzas with refrain
Author(s): William Dunbar (attrib.)
Title(s): To the City of London
Subjects: eight-line
Versification: — ababbcbc

Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Balliol College 354, pp. 418-419
First Lines:
London thow art of townes a per se
Soverayn of Cyties semlyest by sight…
Last Lines:
…A bove all mayres as master most worthy
London þou art the flowr of Cities all
Attributed Title: A treatice of London (p. 418); Explicit þe treatise of London made / at [Marshaa?] table whan he was mayre (p. 419
Early Manuscripts at Oxford University: Facsimile of Oxford, Balliol MS 354. (
Wright, Thomas, and James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps, eds. Reliquiae Antiquae. 2 vols. London: Smith, 1845: 1.205-7.
Flügel, Ewald. “Liedersammlungen des XVI Jahrhunderts….” Anglia 26 (1903): 94-285: 199-201.
Dyboski, R., ed. Songs, Carols and Other Miscellaneous Poems from Balliol MS. 354, Richard Hill’s Commonplace Book. EETS e.s. 101 (1908); repr. 1984: 100-2.
2.Source: London, British Library Cotton Vitellius A.XVI, f. 200-201
First Lines:
London thou art of Townes A per se
Souerayn of Cities semeliest in sight…
Last Lines:
…aboue all Maires as Maister moost worthy
London thou art the fflour of Cities all
Laing, David. The Poems of William Dunbar. 2 vols. Edinburgh: Laing and Forbes, 1834; Supplement, 1865: 1.277-9.
Small, John, Ae. James George Mackay, George Powell McNeill, and Walter Gregor, eds. The Poems of William Dunbar. 5 pts. Scottish Text Society 2, 4, 16, 21, 29. Edinburgh, 1884-93: 2.276-8.
Eyre-Todd, George. Mediaeval Scottish Poetry. Abbotsford Series of the Scottish Poets. Glasgow: W. Hodge, 1892: 182-4.
Schipper, Jakob. The Poems of William Dunbar. Vienna: Kaiserliche Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1894: 88-90.
Schipper, Jakob, ed. The Poems of William Dunbar. 4 vols. Denkschriften der kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philosophische-Historische Klasse 40/2; 40/4; 41/4; 42/4. Vienna, 1892-93: 1.87-90.
Baildon, Henry Bellyse. The Poems of William Dunbar. Cambridge: University Press, 1907: 36-8.
Arber, Edward. The Dunbar Anthology, 1401-1508. London, New York: Frowde, 1901: 31-3.
Kingsford, Charles Lethbridge. Chronicles of London. Oxford: Clarendon, 1905: 253-5.
MacKenzie, William Mackay. The Poems of William Dunbar. Edinburgh, 1932: 177-8.
3.Source: London, British Library Lansdowne 762, f. 7v
4.Source: London, Corporation of London Records Office [formerly Guildhall] 3313, ff. 292v-294
First Lines:
Londone thow art of Townys a per se
Soverayn of Cytees semelyest In sygth…
Last Lines:
…Above all Mayrys as Mastyr most worthy
London thow art the flower of Cytees all
Note: Introduced in chronicle,‘In the Crystmesse weke ffolowyng the Mayer had to dyner My lord Chanceler whom Accompanyed the fforenamyd Scottysh Ambassadour wyth Many othyr honourable Men In tyme of which dyner a Scottysh preyst Syttyng at oon of the syde tablys made thys Balade here vndyr ffoluyng’ (f. 292v)
Attributed Title: A Scottes Balad (left margin, by scribe, f. 292v)
Mackie, Robert Laird. King James IV of Scotland. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1958; repr. 1976.
Bühler, Kurt. “‘London Thow Art the Flowre of Cytes All.’” Review of English Studies 13 (1938): 1-9: 8-9.
5.Source: New York, Pierpont Morgan Library MA 717, ff. 1-2v
First Lines:
London thow arte of townes Chefe of dygnyte
And saverent of all Cytes semlyste in syght…
Last Lines:
…A bow all meyres ys moste wurthy
london þu art the flowre of Cytes all
Note: Removed from Caxton’s Cordiale, 1479, where probably originally flyleaves.
Attributed Title: A balad made at london when my lorde prince Arthur was wed by a skotte hauyng muche money of dyuerse lordes for hys Indytyng (f. 1)