A þousande and thre hondreth · tweis threttyL.13.274: LR alone read thretty; other B manuscripts have twenty. & ten
A thousande and threhundredthre hundred . ...thriesM.13.273:M's altered reading is unparalleled. Presumably it was originally twies twenty, the reading of most manuscripts. LR have tweis thretty; in Hm syxty and nyne is written over an erasure which seems to have read thries twenty & nyne. Evidently scribes took their own measures to correct an archetypal reading which so obviously got the date (1370) wrong. twenty and ten .
A thousande and thre hundred twyse twenty & ten
A thousand and þre hundred . twies twenty and tenW.13.274: A later hand has written 1350 in the left margin. See the note to W13.271 above.
a thowsand and thre hundryd ...?...?...syxty and nyneHm.13.274: Hm alone reads sixty and nyne against tweis twenty and ten in most B manuscripts. On the text of this line and the insertion of the date 1369 as a gloss in Arabic numerals, see R. W. Chambers, "The Manuscripts of Piers Plowman in the Huntington Library, and Their Value for Fixing the Text of the Poem," Huntington Library Bulletin 8 (1935): 8-9, who explains their origins and history. He suspects that the original, erroneous line in Hm's exemplar was
a thousand and thre hundryd twice twenty and ten, displaying the widely attested error "20" for authorial and historical "30" (thretty) attested in LR. The Hm 128 scribe (hand2) wrote something which is now partly legible, under an erasure: th[ries twenty] & [n]yne. (Conjectured characters are inside square brackets.) The corrector erased this correctly alliterating line (though LR's
twies thretty obtains more common alliteration than Hm's thries twenty) and wrote in the current sixty & nine for unknown reasons. Chambers notes that the events depicted actually occurred in 1370. In sum, Chambers as well as Kane
and Donaldson think that the poet wrote: A thousand three hundred, twice thirty and ten (in Chamber's spelling). For Ralph Hanna's attribution of this date to John Bale see the Introduction, I.11 Provenance..
A thousand and thre hondreth · twies twenty annd ten
A thousend and thre hondrede tweyes thretty and
tene In the right margin opposite these lines, in a thin black, nearly
contemporary hand, someone has written, Chicestre Maior
A thowsande & þre hundred ȝeer / & two & XXty & ten.F.10.279: F's reading is unique. The b-verse in Bx reads "twies þritty and ten," though only LR retain that reading and most beta witnesses have twenty in place of thirty.