The Halliwell Manuscript, sometime called referred to as the Regius Poem is considered among many to be the earliest of the 'Old Charges'. It is written in Old English, in rhyme - however, at the end of the PDF document we have there is a more modern English translation. The manuscript came into the possession of the Royal Library in 1757, but before that it's origins are obscure. The manuscript itself was largely over looked by early Freemasons, perhaps in part because of the way it was cataloged with the Royal Library, however, when James Halliwell published a paper on the early history of Freemasonry in England, he based it largely off of the Regius poem. The manuscript itself was dated to the late 1300's and because of its literary composition it is believe it originated in Shropshire.
The manuscript (MS) known as the Cooke Manuscript is the second oldest MS of the 'Old Charges'. The Cooke MS differs from the Halliwell MS because many of the writing found in the Cooke MS can be found in later constitutions and therefore it is clear that it was used as a source document for this constitutions. The MS in questions was published by R. Spencer, London in 1861 and edited by Matthew Cooke. Though it was officially published in 1861 the MS itself dates back to about 1450 and determined to be composed somewhere in the West Midlands based on literary composition.