There are lots of ways in which moments, durations and sequences are marked in Hoccleve’s text. Quantity, though, is not the only significant feature: there are also some very distinct patterns concerning the type and location of the referents in the text. As such, below is a database of all such markings in The Regiment of Princes.

Rationale of Database

But why should we be interested in a list of all of the time markings in this text? After all, every narrative is structured by conceiving and inhabiting rhythms of time that vary in tempo and intensity, and through framing, sequencing, synchronisation and duration. We could claim this chart of time referents has been motivated by the relative paucity of literary reference guides or scholarly apparatus (beyond bibliographies and biographies) for fifteenth-century literature, despite the bourgeoning critical interest that has developed in the last few decades. However, there is a more specific reason as to why this kind of research tool is of value to this specific text. Hoccleve’s text is marked with a desire to understand, to experiment and to question the versatility of roles that time markings can play. The micro referents (listed below) unfold into a macro narrative concerning the poet’s understanding of time in poetic process.

Definition of Time Referents

The first thing to establish is what is meant by ‘micro time referents’. The ceaseless transformations in which nature is engaged – alternations of day and night, of the seasons, of birth to death, of wakefulness and sleep, of the lunar and solar phases – are in any age, in any society, reckoned and managed by devices. The nature, extent and combination of multiple coordinates of time allow for multiple and specifically context-dependent methods of arranging the narrative of time. Measurements of time require an examination of the small-scale impact that individual expressions create, and an investigation of the ways in which repeated use or varying functions of referents contribute to moving the narrative along in a particular, or in multiple, directions. These referents can be described, for instance, as regnal, calendrical, seasonal, mechanical; or as subjective and objective, traditional and modern, functional and aesthetic, structural and descriptive, communal and personal. These labels are not used to imply formulaic categories of medieval perceptions of time. There is no blueprint for exploring micro expressions of time. In one part of the poem a type of referent – such as a tide, a seasonal reference or astrological calculation – can have multiple functions. Rather, each micro expression of time can only be described in relation to its context, to the occasion, in which it is used. To that end, a simple list of the referents does not suffice for this database; an indication of the narrative context (the place where it is used and its effect on the narrative) also accompanies each referent.

Origins of this Database

This database is the result of research I undertook to write the book Imaginings of Time in Lydgate and Hoccleve’s Verse (Ashgate, 2011). However, there was no place within the book to include this list of referents and to that end this digital resource provides an ideal home. This list is intended as a research tool for further studies to be undertaken.

A Summary of Hoccleve’s Temporal Consciousness

In my published study, I concluded that Hoccleve considers the paradoxes of viewing time as an ordering tool while being uneasy about the nature of temporal representation. The time strategies employed by Hoccleve can be characterised as the centrality of consciousness of time in the construction, and the poet’s anticipated reception, of his work. Narrative framing devices and hermeneutical reading habits (involving past and present times, in both the readers’ time and fictional time) reveal the interpretative act as contextual, thereby demonstrating a keen awareness of temporal specificity.

Hoccleve’s interest is in what Mark Currie has described as the ‘correlative issue’ in ‘which the present is experienced in a mode of anticipation’. Currie explains:

Narrative is understood as retrospection more readily than it is understood as anticipation, but it cannot really be one without also being the other. If, in order to look back at what has happened, we tell a story, we must also know that the present is a story yet to be told. The present is the object of a future memory, and we live it as such, in anticipation of the story we will tell later, envisaging the present as past.

(Mark Currie, About Time: Narrative, Fiction and the Philosophy of Time, Edinburgh, 2007)

Although Currie is outlining his theory in relation to modern novels, this emphasis on the present as an anticipatory experience is a useful way to understand Hoccleve’s artistic negotiations with temporal structures. In Hoccleve’s work there is an overwhelming sense of living within the present in anticipation of the story. In The Regiment of Princes, this takes the form of an exchange between an Old Man and the Hoccleve-narrator: the narrator is trapped in his present consciousness with anxieties about the past and his future potential impinging on his current behaviour. Simultaneously, our consciousness of the advisory text that is to follow undermines the didactic reading strategies on offer. Thus temporal consciousness of the processes of interpretation in the Prologue complicates and undermines the universalizing effects of the indefinite time referents in the text-proper. In drawing our attention to how the present is a story yet to be told, Hoccleve gives voice to cultural anxieties about the unease of representations in time, of time management and of the ambiguities in processes of recollecting time.

However, while I have provided one reading of Hoccleve’s temporal strategies there are many more readings that can be made. To that end I have provided this digital archive with the concordance of list of time markings that I compiled in my research.

Scope of database:

This concordance lists all forms of time markings in the Regiment of Princes. Time referents have been understood as the micro markings that mark moments and durations (precise and abstract, objective and subjective) of people, nature and civilisations. Included therefore are: seasonal markings, astronomical, solar and lunar, astrological, planetary and zodiac, liturgical, prophetic, subjective, relative, objective, mechanical, historical, memorial, mnemonic and structural narrative time markings. Such a list of ‘types’ of referents is not intended to suggest a schematic construction or perception of time. Similar time indicators sometimes operate in different ways. Such findings disclose how time indicators act as significant micro structures, playing active, integral and occasionally dynamic roles in enacting the lessons of the narrative. I hope making the list below available will allow for yet more patterns to be discerned.

How to use the database

Listing time markings chronologically as they appear in The Regiment of Princes allows for an insight into Hoccleve’s art in context dependent time expression. It also allows those scholars who wish to explore specific aspects of medieval time consciousness – whether it is a study of the memory or of astronomy for instance, to also use this aid.

Edition used

Ed. Charles R. Blyth. TEAMS Middle English Texts series. Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 1999. See online edition here.


Concordance of Time Referents in The Regiment of Princes

This page is under Construction, but a demo version of a concordance-building tool that is being used to create a display version of this concordance (coded by Mark Watts) is available here:

To access printable files of Karen Smyth’s concordance work, please see its page in the Hoccleve Archive Repository on Texas ScholarWorks:


Bibliography for Concordance of Time Referents in The Regiment of Princes

The titles below are divided into two sections. The first are studies on Hoccleve’s works and general studies on fifteenth-century literature. They do not have as their focus the study of time, but when studying the artistic strategies of Hoccleve’s markings of time, these titles have been influential in my consideration of his writing style. (My study was dated 2010). The second section acts as an indicative bibliography of some of the most influential studies on time in the medieval period, with a particular focus on studies that treat time as a cultural construct, as literary strategy, or linguistic influences.

Section One: Hoccleve and General Studies

Bowers, John M., ‘Thomas Hoccleve and the Politics of Tradition’, Chaucer Review, 36 (2002): 352–69.

Boyd, David Lorenzo, ‘Reading through the Regiment of Princes: Hoccleve’s Series and Lydgate’s Dance of Death in Yale Beinecke MS 493’, Fifteenth Century Studies, 20 (1993): 15–34.

Burrow, J. A., ‘Hoccleve’s Complaint and Isidore of Seville Again’, Speculum, 45 (1970): 564–74.

___, ‘Hoccleve’s Series: Experience and Books’, Fifteenth-Century Studies: Recent Essays, ed. R.F. Yeager (Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1984), pp. 259–73.

___, ‘The Poet and the Book’, in P. Boitani and A. Torti(eds), Genres, Themes and Images in English Literature from the Fourteenth to the Fifteenth Century, The J.A.W. Bennett Memorial Lectures, Perugia, 1986 (Tubingen: Gunter Narr Verlag, 1986), pp. 230–45.

___, Thomas Hoccleve, Authors of the Middle Ages: English Writers of the Late Middle Ages, vol. 1 (Aldershot: Variorum, 1994).

Carlson, David R., ‘Thomas Hoccleve and the Chaucer Portrait’, Huntington Library Quarterly, 54 (1991): 283–300.

Ellis, Roger, ‘Introduction’, My Compleinte and Other Poems: Thomas Hoccleve, ed. R. Ellis (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2001), pp. 1–50.

Ferster, Judith, Fictions of Advice: The Literature and Politics of Counsel in Late Medieval England (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996).

Hammond, E. P. (ed.), English Verse Between Chaucer and Surrey (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1927).

Hasler, Antony J., ‘Hoccleve’s Unregimented Body’, Paragraph, 13 (1990): 164–83.

Knapp, Ethan, The Bureaucratic Muse: Thomas Hoccleve and the Literature of Medieval England (Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2001).

Kohl, Stephan, ‘More than Virtues and Vices; Self-Analysis in Hoccleve’s “Autobiographies”’, Fifteenth Century Studies, 14–15 (1988–1989): 15–27.

Kurtz, B.P., ‘The Source of Occleve’s Lerne to Dye’, Modern Language Notes, 38 (1923): 337–40.

Goldie, Matthew Boyd, ‘Psychosomatic Illness and Identity in London, 1416–21: Hoccleve’s Complaint and Dialogue with a Friend’, Exemplaria, 11 (1999): 24–52.

Greetham, D. C., ‘Self-Referential Artifacts: Hoccleve’s Persona as a Literary Device’, Modern Philology, 86 (1988–1989): 242–51.

Lawton, David, ‘Dullness and the Fifteenth Century’, English Literary History, 54 (1997): 761–99.

Lerer, Seth, Chaucer and His Readers: Imagining the Author in Late-Medieval England (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993).

Matthews, William, ‘Thomas Hoccleve’, in Albert E. Hartung(ed.), MWME, vol. 3 (Connecticut: Archon Books, 1972), pp. 746–56.

Meyer-Lee, Robert J., ‘Hoccleve and the Apprehension of Money’, Exemplaria, 13 (2001): 173–214.

___, Poets and Power from Chaucer to Wyatt (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007).

Mills, David, ‘The Voices of Thomas Hoccleve’, in Catherine Batt(ed.), Essays on Thomas Hoccleve, Westfield Publications in Medieval Studies, vol. 10 (London: Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, University of London, 1996), pp. 85–108.

Mitchell, Jerome, Thomas Hoccleve: A Study in Early Fifteenth-Century English Poetic (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1968).

Mooney, Linne, ‘Some New Light on Thomas Hoccleve’, Studies in the Age of Chaucer, 29 (2007): 293–340.

von Nocklen, Christina, ‘Lerne for to Dye and the Author’s Death in Thomas Hoccleve’s Series’, Essays in Medieval Studies, 10 (1993): 27–43.

Nuttal, Jenni, The Creation of Lancastrian Kingship: Literature, Language and Politics in Late Medieval England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007).

Patterson, Lee, ‘Beinecke MS 493 and the Survival of Hoccleve’s Series’, in Robert G. Babcock and Lee Patterson (eds), Old Books, New Learning: Essays on Medieval and Renaissance Books at Yale, The Yale University Library Gazette Occasional, Supplement 4 (New Haven, CT: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, 2001), pp. 80–92.

___, ‘“What is me?’ Self and Society in the Poetry of Thomas Hoccleve”, Studies in the Age of Chaucer, 23 (2001): 443–4.

Pearsall, Derek, ‘The English Chaucerians’, in D. S. Brewer (ed.), Chaucer and Chaucerians: Critical Studies in Middle English Literature (London and Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson, 1966), pp. 201–39.

___, ‘Thomas Hoccleve’s Regiment of Princes: The Poetics of Royal Self-Representation’, Speculum, 69 (1994): 386–40.

Perkins, Nicholas, ‘Musing on Mutability: A Poem in the Welles Anthology and Hoccleve’s The Regiment of Princes’, Review of English Studies, n.s. 50 (1999): 493–98.

___, Hoccleve’s Regiment of Princes: Counsel and Constraint (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2001).

___, ‘Haunted Hoccleve? The Regiment of Princes, The Troilean Intertext, and Conversations with the Dead’, The Chaucer Review, 43 (2008): 103–39.

Rozenski, Steven, ‘“Your Ensaumple and Your Mirour”: Hoccleve’s Amplification of the Imagery and Intimacy of Henry Suso’s Ars Morendi’, Parergon, 25 (2008): 1–16.

Scanlon, Larry, Narrative, Authority, and Power: the Medieval Exemplum and the Chaucerian Tradition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994).

Scattergood, John, Politics and Poetry in the Fifteenth Century (London: Blanford Press, 1971).

Seymour, M. C. (ed.), Selections from Hoccleve (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981).

Simpson, James. ‘Madness and Texts: Hoccleve’s Series’, in J. Boffey and J. Cowen (eds), Chaucer and Fifteenth-Century Poetry, vol. 5 (London: Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, King’s College London, 1991), pp. 15–28.

___, ‘Nobody’s Man: Thomas Hoccleve’s Regiment of Princes’, in Julia Boffey and Pamela King(eds), London and Europe in the Late Middle Ages (London: Westfield Publications in Medieval Studies, 1996),

___, Reform and Cultural Revolution: 1350–1547, Oxford English Literary History, vol. 2 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002).

___, ‘Chaucer’s Presence and Absence, 1400–1550’, in Piero Boitani and Jill Mann (eds), The Cambridge Companion to Chaucer (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp. 251–69.

Smyth, Karen Elaine, Imaginings of Time in Lydgate and Hoccleve’s Verse (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2011).

Spearing, A. C., Medieval to Renaissance in English Poetry (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985).

Stokes, Charity, ‘Thomas Hoccleve’s Mother of God and Balade to the Virgin and Christ’, Medium Aevum, 64 (1995): 74–84.

Strohm, Paul, England’s Empty Throne: Usurpation and the Language of Legitimation, 1399–1422 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988).

___, ‘Hoccleve, Lydgate and the Lancastrian Court’, in David Wallace (ed.), The Cambridge History of Medieval English Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp. 640–61.

Thompson, John J., ‘A Poet’s Contacts with the Great and the Good: Further Consideration of Thomas Hoccleve’s Texts and Manuscripts’, in Felicity Riddy (ed.), Prestige, Authority and Power in Late Medieval Manuscripts and Texts (Woodbridge & Rochester, NY: York Medieval Press, 2000), pp. 77–101.

___, ‘After Chaucer: Resituating Middle English Poetry in the Late Medieval and Early Modern Period’, in Derek Pearsall(ed.), New Directions in Later Medieval Manuscript Studies: Essays From the 1998 Harvard Conference (Woodbridge & Rochester, NY: York Medieval Press, 2000), pp. 183–99.

___, ‘Thomas Hoccleve and Manuscript Culture’, in Helen Cooney (ed.), Nation, Court and Culture: New Essays on Fifteenth-Century English Poetry (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2001), pp. 81–94.

Thorndike, Lynn, History ofMagic and Experimental Science: Vol. 3, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries Part 1 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1934).

Torti, Anna, The Glass of Form: Mirroring Structures from Chaucer to Skelton (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1991).

Waterhouse, Ruth and John Stephens, ‘The Backward Look: Retrospectivity in Medieval Literature’, Southern Review, 16 (1983): 356–73.

Yeager, R. F., ‘Death is a Lady: The Regiment of Princes as Gendered Political Commentary’, Studies in the Age of Chaucer, 26 (2004): 147–93.

Section Two: Studies on Time

Aveni, Anthony, Empires of Time (New York: Kodansha International, 1995).

Borst, Arno, The Ordering of Time: from the Ancient Computus to the Modern Computer, trans. Andrew Winnard (Oxford: Polity Press, 1993).

Burke, Peter, ‘Reflections on the Cultural History of Time’, Viator: Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 35 (2004): 526–623.

Burrow, J. A., The Ages of Man: A Study in Medieval Writing and Thought (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986).

Burrow, J. A. and Ian P. Wei (eds), Medieval Futures: Attitudes to the Future in the Middle Ages (Woodbridge & Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 2000).

Carruthers, Mary, The Book of Memory: A Study of Memory in Medieval Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990).

Carruthers, Mary, and Jan M. Ziolkowski (eds), The Medieval Craft of Memory: An Anthology of Text and Pictures (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002).

Chapman, Allan, Gods in the Sky: Astronomy, Religion and Culture from the Ancients to the Renaissance (London: Channel 4 Books; Pan Macmillan, 2001).

Cipolla, Carlo M. ‘Clocks and Culture: The European Masters’, in European Culture and Overseas Expansion (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1970), pp. 113–48.

Clanchy, M.T., From Memory to Written Record: England 1066–1307 (London: Edward Arnold, 1979).

Cochelin, Isabelle and Karen Smyth (eds), Medieval Life-cycles: Continuity and Change, International Medieval Research vol. 18 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2012).

Currie, Mark, About Time: Narrative, Fiction and the Philosophy of Time (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007).

Dohrn-van Rossum, Gerhard, History of the Hour: Clocks and Modern Temporal Orders,trans. Thomas Dunlap (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996).

Driver, Martha M., ‘Medievalizing the Classical Past’, in A. J. Minnis (ed.), Middle English Poetry: Texts and Traditions (Woodbridge & Rochester, NY: York Medieval Press, 2001), pp. 211–39.

Garcia, Begona Crespo, ‘The Scientific Register in the History of English: a Corpus-Based Study’, Studia Neophilologica, 76 (2004): 125–39.

Gurevich, Aron I., ‘Ideas of Space and Time in the Middle Ages’, Categories of Medieval Culture, trans. G.L. Campbell(London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985), pp. 26–39.

Higgins, Anne, ‘Medieval Notions of the Structure of Time’, Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies,19 (1989): 227–50.

Jaritz, Gerhard, and Gerson Moreno-Riano (eds), Time and Eternity: The Medieval Discourse,International Medieval Research, vol. 9 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2003).

Landes, David S., Revolution in Time: Clocks and the Making of the Modern World (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 1983).

Leclerq, Jean, ‘The Experience of Time and Its Interpretation in the Late Middle Ages’, Studies in Medieval Culture, 9 (1978): 137–50.

Le Goff, Jacques, Time, Work and Culture in the Middle Ages, trans. Arthur Goldhammer (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980).

Lucas, J. R., The Measurement of Time (London: Methuen, 1973).

Macey, Samuel L., Encyclopaedia of Time (New York: Garland Publishing, 1994).

Mooney, Linne R., ‘The Cock and the Clock: Telling Time in Chaucer’s Day’, Studies in the Age of Chaucer,15 (1993): 91–109.

Pearsall, Derek and Elizabeth Salter, Landscapes and Seasons of the Medieval World (London: Paul Elek, 1973).

Perez-Higuera, Teresa, The Art of Time: Medieval Calendars and the Zodiac (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1998).

Rigg, A.G., ‘Clocks, Dials and Other Terms’, in Douglas Grey and E. G. Stanley (eds), Middle English Studies Presented to Norman Davis (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983), pp. 255–74.

Tester, Jim, A History of Western Astrology (Woodbridge & Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 1987).

Tuve, Rosemond, Seasons and Months: Studies in a Tradition of Middle English Poetry (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1974).

Vance, Eugene, ‘Saint Augustine: Language as Temporality’, Mervelous Signals, Poetics and Sign Theory in the Middle Ages (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1989), pp. 34–50.

Wenzel, H., ‘Multidemensional Aspects of Time During the High and Late Middle Ages’, Zeitschrift fur Germanistik, 6 (1996): 9–20.

White, Lynn, ‘The Iconography of Temperantia and the Virtuousness of Technology’, in T.K. Rabb and J.E.

Wilcox, Donald James, The Development of Florentine Humanist Historiography in the Fifteenth Century, Harvard Historical Studies, vol. 82 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1969).