Thursday, February 28, 2013

Illuminations of Sir Gawaine


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London, British Library MS Cotton Nero A.x. (art. 3): A Digital Facsimile

This resource is one part of London, British Library MS Cotton Nero A.x. (art. 3): A Digital Facsimile and Commented Transcription. Publications of the Cotton Nero A.x. Project 3 (Calgary: Cotton Nero A.x. Project, 2012).
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Alphabet from the Golden Bible, late 15th Century

Letters of Queen Margaret of Anjou and others

FantasticAlphabet3 The Fantastic Alphabet, Meister E. S.











: ' C 





FOR THE YEAR 1863-64. 



JOHN BRUCE, ESQ. F.S.A. Director. 

The COUNCIL of the CAMDEN SOCIETY desire it to be under- 
stood that they are not answerable for any opinions or observa- 
tions that may appear in the Society's publications; the Editors 
of the several Works being alone responsible for the same. 



I. A Letter to King Henry the Fifth from one of his 
Chaplains, immediately after the Battle of Agin- 
court ........ 1 

II. A Letter to King Henry the Fifth, written from the 

Council of Constance ..... 7 

III. A Letter from the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland to 
one of high rank in England, respecting a pre- 
sentation of Thomas Polton to the Prebend of 

Swords 12 

IV. A Letter from the Treasurer of Calais to Henry V. 14 
V. A Letter from the Treasurer of Calais to the King 15 

VI. A Letter from King Henry V. to the Lieutenant 

and Treasurer of Calais . . . . . 17 
VII. A Letter to King Henry V. from the Lieutenant 

and Treasurer of Calais . . . . . 18 
VIII. A Letter to King Henry V. from an Officer having 

the charge of Public Works at Calais . . 19 
IX. A Letter from certain Officers at Calais to the King 21 
X. A Letter from the same Officers to the Duke of 

Bedford 23 

XI. A Petition by J. B. (a suspected Lollard) to King 

Henry V 24 

XII. A Letter from the Sovereign to . . 28 

XIII. A Declaration or Memorandum of Thomas Rowley 29 

XIV. A Letter from to Richard Flemmyng, 

Bishop of Lincoln . . . . . , 81 



XV. A Letter from an Officer at Calais on behalf of him- 
self and others to the Duke of Bedford . . 34 
XVI. A Letter from the Duke of Bedford to the Officers 

at Calais ........ 38 

XVII. A Letter from Richard Bokeland to . 

XVIII A Letter from to Richard Bokeland . . 41 

XIX. A Letter from Richard Bokeland to Richard Wydvile 42 
XX. A Letter from R. B., a Member of the Council of 
the Duke of Bedford, excusing himself from 
coming to Parham, on the ground of important 
business concerning the Duke his Master . . 43 
XXI. A Letter from J. B. to the Officer holding the sub- 
sidy of Wools (probably) at Calais ... 45 
XXII. A Royal Letter to the Mayor and Aldermen of Lon- 
don, recommending a Clerk for the next avoidance 
of the Parish Church of St. Peter in Cornhill . 46 
XXIII. A Letter to the Abbot of Abingdon 
XXIV. A Letter from one of Ducal Rank, respecting Jewels 

of his in Pawn to Merchants at Bruges . . 47 

XXV. A Letter from Cardinal Beaufort to E. L. B. . 48 

XXVI. A Letter from E. L. B. to Cardinal Beaufort . 50 

XXVIL A Letter from E. L. B. to the Duke of Bedford . 51 

XXVIII. A Letter from Cardinal Beaufort to John Duke of 

Bedford 52 

XXIX A Letter to the Abbot of Westminster 
XXX. A Mandate from the King to the Lord Privy Seal, 
commanding him to direct Letters to the Lord 
Chancellor of England, that he issue a Conge" 
d'Elire to the Prior and Convent of the Monas- 
tery of Reading, on the death of Thomas Henley, 
the last Abbot thereof ..... 54 
XXXI. A Mandate from the King to the Lord Privy Seal, 
signifying the Royal Assent to the Election of 
John Thorn, as Abbot of Reading ... 55 
XXXII. Confirmation of John Thorn as Abbot of Reading . 56 



XXXIII. A Letter from Henry VI. to Thomas Beckington, 

Bishop of Bath and Wells .... 57 

XXX IV. A Letter to the Lord Sudeley, Lord High Treasurer 58 
XXXV. A Mandate, to the Lord Chancellor respecting the 
Election of William Babyngton, D.D., as Abbot 
of the Monastery of St. Edmundsbury, on the 
death of William Curteys .... 59 

XXXVI. Two Mandates to the Chancellor of the Duchy of 
Lancaster, for a Cong d'Elire to issue to the 
Prior and Convent of Walden, on the death of 
John Horkesley, the last Abbot thereof, and for 
the Confirmation of the new Abbot, Richard 

Wilesey 60 

XXXVII A Letter from the King (Henry VI.) to James Lord 

Berkeley . 63 

XXXVIII. A Letter from King Henry VI. to his Agent at 
Rome, respecting William Westkarre, Doctor of 

Theology - . 66 

XXXIX. A Letter from the King to the Lady Strange . 67 
XL. A Letter from the King to the Earl of Northumber- 
land 68 

XLI. A Letter to the Lord Zouch .... 

XLII. A Letter from the King to . . . 69 

XL1IL A Letter to Lord Suffolk 77 

- XLIV. A Letter from Thomas Beckington to John Noreys 78 

XLV. A Letter from Thomas Beckington to Lord Suffolk 
XL VI. A Letter from Thomas Beckington to James Fenys 79 
XLVII. A Letter from Thomas Beckington to Sir Edmund 

Hungerford ...... 80 

XL VIII. A Letter from Thomas Beckington to King 

Henry VI 

XLIX. A Letter from Thomas Beckington to the Lord 

Chancellor 82 

L. A Form of Letter from Thomas Beckington to Lord 

Suffolk and to others 83 



LI. A Letter from Thomas Beckington to the Bishop of 

Salisbury 84 

LII. A Letter from Thomas Beckington to Sir John 85 

LIIL A Letter from Thomas Beckington to Master John 

Somerset ....... 

LIV. A Skeleton Letter from Thomas Beckington to King 

Henry VI 86 

LV. Litera missa per Dominum D. Secret. Duci Glouc. 
LVI. Litera missa Cardinal! Angliae .... 87 

LVII. Litera missa Cardinali Eboracensi ... 

LVIII. Litera missa Cancellario Angl. .... 88 

LIX. Litera missa Comiti Suff. ..... 

LX. A Letter by the Queen to R. Kent . . . 89 
LXI. A Letter from the Queen to the Parker of Ware . 90 
LXII. A Letter from the Queen to the Abbess of Shaftes- 
bury, respecting the Promotion of her Chaplain, 

' Michael Tregory 91 

LXIII. A Letter from the Queen to Thomas Forest, Exe- 
cutor of John Forest, late Dean of Wells . . 93 
LXIV. A Letter from the Queen to the Master of St. Giles- 

in-the-Fields, beside the City of London . . 95 
LXV. A Letter from Queen Margaret to Dame Jane Carew 96 
LXVI. A Letter from the King to the Queen . . , 98 
LXVIL A Letter from the Queen to the Corporation of 
London, touching Injuries done to her Tenants of 


LXVIII. A Letter from the Queen to the Archbishop of Can- 
terbury 99 

LXIX. A Letter from the Queen to the Keeper of Apchild 

Park 100 

- LXX. A Letter from the Queen to the Executors of Car- 
dinal Beaufort . . . . . .101 

LXXL A Letter from the Queen to the Abbess of Barking, 

Essex 103 

LXXII. A Letter from the Queen, acknowledging that Sir 



John Montgomery, Knight, holds Land of her in 
Enfield as tenant in capite . . .104 

LXXIII. A Letter from the Queen to the Keeper of Falborne 

Park, or his Deputy there .... 105 

^LXXIV. A Letter from the Queen to the Duke of Exeter . 106 
LXXV. A Letter from the Queen to the Bailiff, etc. of her 

Manor of Great Waltham . . . .108 
LXXVI. A Letter from the Queen to the Earl of Northum- 
berland 109 

LXXVIL A Letter from the Queen to the Mayor and Sheriffs 

of London . . . . . . .111 

LXXVIII. A Letter from the Queen to John Somerton, one of 

the Custuraers of Southampton . . . 

LXXIX. A Letter from the Queen to Marmaduke Lumley, 

Bishop of Carlisle 112 

LXXX. A Letter from the Queen to the Mayor and Corpo- 
ration of Southampton . . . . .113 
LXXXI. A Letter from Queen Margaret to the Wife of a 
Man of High Bank, thanking her for Assistance 
given to George Assheby, Clerk of her Signet, 
and requesting her further Benevolence . . 114 
LXXXII. A Letter from the Queen to the Duke of Somerset 115 
L XXXIII. A Letter from the Queen to her Wardrober . . 
LXXXIV. A Letter from the Queen to the Archbishop of Can- 
terbury 116 

LXXXV. A Letter from the Queen to the Duchess of Somerset 117 
LXXXVI. A Letter to the Duke of Somerset . . . 118 
LXXXVIL A Letter from the Queen to the Bishop of Norwich 119 
LXXX VIII. A Letter from the Queen to Master W[illiam] 

S[croop] . .... 120 

LXXXIX. A Letter from the Queen to the Bishop of Durham 121 
XC. A Letter from the Queen to the Lord Bourchier . 122 
XCI. A Letter from the Queen to the Officers of the 

King's Ports, respecting Antony Hewet of Rome 1 23 
XCIL A Letter from the Queen to the Abbot of St. Osy 124 



XCIII. A Letter from the Queen to Nicholas Straunge of 
Iseldon (Islington) respecting the Marriage of 
his Daughter Katherine . . . . .125 

XCIV. A Letter from the Queen to Edmond Pyrcan, Squire 126 
XCV. A Letter of Reproof from the Queen to Sir John 
Forester, Knt. ....... 

XCVI. A Letter from the Queen to the Deputy of the 

Keeper of the Privy Seal 128 

XCVII. A Letter from the Queen to the Abbot and Convent 

ofEamsey 129 

XCVIIL A Letter from (most probably) the King to the 

Prior of St. Mary Overies .... 

XCIX.A Letter from the Queen to John Godwyn . . 131 

C. A Letter from the Queen to the Lord Chancellor . 

CI. A Letter from the Queen to Sir John Bourchier, Knt. 1 32 

CII. A Letter from the Queen to the Park Keeper of 

Pleshy ^134 

-CIII. A Letter from the Queen to Master Gilbert Kymer, 
Chancellor of Oxford and Dean of Wymborne 

Minster .135 

CIV. A Letter from the Queen to all Searchers, Custu- 

mers, and Keepers of Ports, &c. . . . 136 

CV. A Letter from the Queen to the Keeper of Shene 

Park, or his Deputy there .... 137 

CVI. A Letter from the Queen to the Bishop of Exeter . 138 
CVII. A Letter from the Queen to the Abbot and Convent 

of Peterborough ...... 

C VIII. A Letter from the Queen to the Mayor, Bailiffs, 

and Commons of Coventry . . . . 139 

CIX. A Letter from the Queen to the Steward of her 

Lordships of Haseley and Periton . . .140 
CX. A Letter from the Queen to Robert Hiberdon . 141 
CXI. A Letter from the Queen to the Custumers of the 

Port of Boston ...... 

~CXII. A Letter from the Queen to John Stanley, Squire - 142 



CXIII. A Letter to W. Chaterley, Yeoman of the Crown . 143 
CXIV. A Letter to Sir John Denham, Knt. . . . 144 

-CXV. A Letter from the Queen to certain Officers and 

Tenants of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York . 145 
CXVL A Letter from the Queen to the Lord Ferrers of Groby 146 
CXVII. A Letter from the Queen in aid of Letters Patent of 
Safe-conduct granted to Guille Alany, Master of 
a Ship of Britany clept the Jenet . . .147 
CXVIIL A Letter from the Queen to Thomas Brown, Squire 148 
CXIX. A Letter from the Queen to the Lord Chancellor, 

the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury . . . 149 
CXX. A Letter from the Queen to Sir Edmond Ingoldes- 
thorpe, Knight, touching Henry Chevele, a ser- 
vant of his ....... 150 

CXXI. A Letter from the Queen to Master Piers Stewkeley, 

Warden of the College of Maidstone . . . 151 
CXXII. A Letter from the Queen to William Gastrik or 
Gaskryk, proposing a Match between his Daughter 
and Thomas Fountains, Yeoman of the Crown . 152 
CXXTII A Letter from the Queen to Thomas Bawlde, Squire 154 
CXXIV. A Letter from the Queen to the Duke of Norfolk . 155 
CXXV. A Letter from the Queen to the Bishop of Chester, 

her Chancellor . . . . . .156 

CXX VI. A Letter from the Queen to the Lord Chancellor, 

Archbishop of Canterbury .... 

CXX VII. A Letter from the Queen to Sir John Steward . 157 
CXX VIII. A Letter from the Queen to John Gedney, Citizen 

and Alderman of London . . . . .158 

CXXIX. A Letter from the Queen to John Joyse, Squire, 

Steward of Ashbourne . . . . .159 

CXXX. A Letter from the Queen to the Archbishop of Can- 
terbury . .... 160 

CXXXI. A Letter from the Queen to the Sheriffs of London 161 
CXXXII A Letter from the Queen to the Sheriffs that next 

shall be of the City of London . . . .162 



CXXXIII. A Letter from the Queen to the Mayor of the City 

of London . . . . . . . 163 

CXXXIV. -A Letter from the Queen recommending Darne 

Maud Everyngham to be Prioress of Nuneaton . 
CXXXV. A Letter from the Queen to the Abbot and Convent 

ofByland . . * 165 

CXXXVI. A Mahometan Manifesto 166 


ANTIQUITIES have been defined by a great master to be " history 
defaced, remnants of history, which have casually escaped the 
shipwreck of time." a The documents contained in this volume are 
emphatically "remnants," and, if they do not shed much light on 
the history of the times to which they relate, they will be admitted 
to be at least curious, from the celebrity of the writers, and from 
their very age. These documents are not printed from originals, but 
from an ancient MS. book containing copies, pronounced by com- 
petent judges to have been made in the fifteenth century. 

The book in question was accidentally found, in the year 1861, 
amongst many other valuable documents, in a loft at Emral, the 
ancient seat of the Puleston family in Flintshire. b 

a Advancement of Learning, book ii. 

b Emral is a fine old ivy-covered mansion about seven|Mi miles east of Wrexham, 
surrounded by a moat, in the midst of an ancient park, through which a brook called 
the Elphin flows, in a north-westerly direction, to the Dee. Adjoining the park to the 
northward is the village of Worthenbury, a family living, of which the Rev. Theophilus 
Puleston is the present rector. The Pulestons have resided uninterruptedly at Emral 
ever since the early part of the fourteenth century. The name (Puleston), originally De 
Pyvelisdon, seems always to have been pronounced, as it now is, Pilston. There are 
extant two letters, one from Edmund Earl of Richmond, father of Henry VII., dated 
in 1456, and the other from Jasper Earl of Pembroke, dated in 1470, both of which are 
addressed " Rogero Pylston, armigero " (Archaeol. Cambrensis, vol. i. pp. 146, 147), 
and Leland says, " Pilston, knight, hath much land yn Hanmere, but his chefe howse is 
yn Worthembre paroche, at a place caullid Emerhaule." (Leland's Itinerary, vol. v. p. 31.) 



This manuscript was first brought under my notice by Frederick 
Peake, Esq., of Gray's Inn Square, the family solicitor of the 
Pulestons; and, at my request, I was, most kindly, entrusted with 
it by the Rev. Theophilus Puleston, to whom I was previously 
unknown, with permission to publish the whole, or such part of it 
as I might think proper. Availing myself of Mr. Puleston's 
courtesy, I am happy to be allowed to produce the work under 
the auspices of the Camden Society. 

The manuscript, which is in perfect preservation, may be de- 
scribed as follows: It is a small folio, very nearly, but not quite, 
of foolscap size, containing two hundred and twenty-seven pages. 
The cover is of soft sheepskin, limp and inartificial, and somewhat 
ragged at the sides. The paper is stout, of a good colour, not very 
white; two water-marks, one a star of eight sharp points, another 
of seven irregular and blunt points, pretty equally dividing the 
book. The handwriting, which I believe to be the same throughout, 
is thoroughly mediaeval, firm, with characters, for the most part, 
distinct and well shaped. a 

The contents of the book are very miscellaneous. 

The earlier pages contain precedents of agreements, bonds, and 
powers of attorney; the middle consists of the letters comprised in 
this volume, with some other documents in an imperfect state; 
and the remaining pages are devoted to accounts, deeds, and other 
entries in Latin, Welsh, and English ; some extracts from religious 
works in Latin; and some old receipts for curing the ailments of 
horses and hawks. 

The letters, which extend from p. 22 to p. 136 of the manuscript, 
may be divided into three periods: 

a All the letters are certainly written by the same person ; there may be some memoranda 
at the beginning and end of the book by a different hand. 


1. Letters written during the reign of Henry the Fifth, and 
during the reign of Henry the Sixth, before his marriage. This 
period, comprising forty-two letters, extends from 1415 to about 

2. Letters of Bishop Beckington, seventeen in number, written 
for the most part in the month of June 1442, when, being then 
the King's Secretary , a he was on the point of embarking as ambas- 
sador to the Count of Armagnac. 

3. Letters of Queen Margaret of Anjou after her marriage, which 
took place in 1445. This period embraces about ten years, com- 
mencing very shortly after the royal marriage. b 

The whole space of time covered by the letters may be stated, 
roughly, at about forty years, beginning with the battle of Agin- 
court, and ending with the commencement of the civil war popu- 
larly known as " The Wars of the Roses." 

I will now state the history of the manuscript, so far as I have 
been able to gather it. 

The words " Constat Johanni Edwards" are at the beginning, 
within the cover, written in the same hand in which the body of 
the volume is written; and in other books, found amongst the 
Puleston MSS., and plainly of the same period, the same name is 
found, with the addition of " Chirkland" I conclude, therefore, 
that the transcriber and owner was John Edwards of Chirkland, 

a Beckington was Secretary from June 1439 to July 1443, when he was made Keeper 
of the Privy Seal (Acts of the Privy Council, vol. vi. pp. civ. cv. ; and Life of Beckington, 
by Sir H. Nicolas, p. Ivi.) It is not known who succeeded him in his office of Secretary. 

b The documents contained in this division are seventy- seven in number: seventy-five 
letters of Queen Margaret, one letter from the King to the Queen, and the last document 
in the book, which I have called a " Mahometan Manifesto. 1 ' Of the Queen's letters, 
fifteen are dated from Windsor, fourteen from her " Manoir of Fleshy," and six from 
Eltham. The dates of the remainder have not been preserved. 


and that he lived in the fifteenth century. Amongst the Vaughan 
MSS. in the possession of W. W. E. Wynne, Esq., of Peniarth, M.P. 
for Merionethshire, is a pedigree showing that a connexion existed 
between the House of Tudor and the Edwards family; and from 
this pedigree it appears that, in the reign of King Henry the 
Seventh, John Edwards was appointed Receiver of Chirkland by 
the Crown, by Letters Patent bearing date the 2nd June, in the 
13th year of that king. William Edwards of Plas Newydd, son 
of John, was of the King's household, Keeper of the Black Park 
(which is close to Chirk), and Constable of Chirk, by letters patent 
dated 3rd Dec. 15 Hen. VII. He died in 1532. a The family of 
Edwards continued to reside at or near Chirk during the sixteenth 
and seventeenth centuries, until, near the end of the seventeenth 
century, an alliance took place between the families of Edwards and 
Puleston by the marriage of Katherine, sole daughter and heir of 
William Edwards of Chirk, with Sir Roger Puleston of Emral. b 
On this occasion it was, as I conceive, that the manuscript volume 

a See the MSS. of Robert Vaughan of Hengwrt, a Merionethshire antiquary of eminence, 
in the possession of W. W. E. Wynne, Esq. Leland says, " At Chirk self be a few houses; 
and there is, on a smaul hille, a mighty large and stronge castel, with dyvers towers, alate 
welle repayred by Sir William Standeley, the Yerle of Darby's brother. There hath beene 
2 parkes. One yet remaynith, caullid Blake Park." (Leland's Itinerary, vol. v. p. 31.) And, 
amongst the " Gentilmen of Chirk " he enumerates " Edward's Sunne, dwelling not far 
from Chirk Castel." (Ibid.} This was, no doubt, William the son of John Edwards. 
Neither of the patents alluded to in the text appears to have been preserved. There is, 
however, amongst the Ministers' Accounts at the Record Office, an entry of the payment to 
John Edwards of his salary as Receiver of Chirk for one year ending Michaelmas 13 
Hen. VII. That Welsh letters patent should not be found in England is not, I am told, 
extraordinary. Carnarvon formerly had its own Record Office for Carnarvon, Merioneth, 
and Anglesea. Some years since, the records were nearly all thrown into the Menai, or 
sold to tailors, for measures. 

b Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, p. 883. 


containing the letters was brought, with many other family deeds 
and papers, to Emral. 

The family of Edwards of Chirk is said to be now extinct.* 
But how are we to account for the possession by John Edwards 
of Chirk of the original letters, which he transcribed into a book, in 
the fifteenth century? I cannot satisfactorily account for it, but 
I have a theory on the subject, which, in the absence of direct 
knowledge, may be entitled to consideration. 

There being a family connexion with the House of Tudor, and 
John Edwards being in the service of the Crown, under Henry the 
Seventh, we may, not unreasonably, conclude that he and his 
family were Lancastrians. Chirk was a royal castle; and it is not 
improbable that, in. one or more of the hurried journeys that Queen 
Margaret and her ill-starred consort that "ruler not ruling" 
were compelled to make, during the " Wars of the Roses," they 

a Following William Edwards, who died in 1532, there was a John Edwards of Chirk 
(probably a son of William), who died 4 and 5 Philip and Mary (1557). He was suc- 
ceeded by his son John Edwards, who died 25 Eliz. (] 563),* and was followed by another 
John Edwards, who with a son, also named John, defended a suit in Chancery, com- 
menced against them in 1615 by Sir Thomas Middleton, knight, who purchased the 
manor of Chirk of Lord St. John in 37 Eliz. (1595). [Extracted from what appears to be 
the brief of defendants' counsel in Middleton v. Edwards in 1615, found at Emral.] At 
this period the family of Edwards was Roman Catholic (Lansd. MS. No. 153, fol. 51), and 
John Edwards, the elder defendant, then resident at Newhall or Plas Newydd, is described 
in documents extant in the Court of Chancery (Sherborne v. Lloyde, 8th Sept. 1619, 
Reg. Lib. A. 1618, fo. 1189); and also amongst the State Papers of the reign of James I. 
(Domestic Series (Calendars), 16111618, pp. 191 and 220; and 1619 1623, pp. 104, 
105, and 112,) as an obstinate popish recusant, convicted upon the Statute of Prsemunire,- 
for refusing the oath of allegiance. His house at Chirk is picturesquely described as 
surrounded by a moat, crossed by a drawbridge both in front and at the rear. 

* The existence of the Edwards family at or near Chirk, in Queen Elizabeth's reign, is 
attested by T. Churchyard in his poem on the " Worthines of Wales." 


may have occasionally spent a short time at Chirk. Some secretary, 
chaplain, or other officer, in attendance on their persons, and who 
had charge of the royal correspondence, may have unintentionally 
left, or intentionally hidden, at Chirk, on being suddenly called 
away, the letters of which he was the official depositary. This 
theory would account for the letters being found, as they, or most 
of them probably, were, at Chirk, when John Edwards entered 
on his office there, in the reign of Henry the Seventh. Under 
Edward the Fourth the penalties of treason were denounced and 
executed against those who were guilty of having in their posses- 
sion letters from the Queen. a But when I recollect the circumstances 
of her life, and the energy with which she strove to uphold the 
Lancastrian cause (which was her own), I cannot but think that her 
correspondence with her partisans throughout England must, have 
been considerable ; and I still hope that some more of it may be 
recovered. It will be a matter of satisfaction to me if the present 
publication, which is a proof that all her letters have not perished, 
should lead to the discovery of others. The reign of Henry the Sixth 
has been said to be amongst the darkest of our annals perhaps light 
may yet be shed upon it. There are, I -am convinced, still many 
muniment rooms, and other family repositories, in this country, 
which have not been sufficiently searched; and, remembering the 

R In Feb. 1461 (1 Edw. IV.), six noblemen and gentlemen were arrested on suspicion 
of having received letters from Queen Margaret; and all except one were beheaded on 
Tower Hill. Will. Wyrc. Annales Rerum Anglic. (Lib. Nig. Scacc.) vol. ii. p. 492 
(Hearne). Sir Henry Ellis had not met with any of Queen Margaret's letters, but he 
thought it probable that some must exist, either in English or French. (Original Letters, 
2d series, vol. i. p. 94.) Miss Strickland goes much further; she says, "Of the many 
private letters written by her, not even a copy of one appears to have been preserved." 
(Lives of the Queens of England, vol. iii. p. 252, n. London, 1844). The present pub- 
lication supplies an answer to this somewhat hazardous assertion. 


singular chance which attended the discovery of the present letters, 
I cannot despair.* 

With regard to Bishop Beckington's letters, of which there are 
seventeen in this volume, (with none of which Sir Harris Nicolas 
was acquainted,) there does seem to be a glimmer of a reason why 
they should have been found in North Wales. I find in the Acts 
of the Privy Council, that, in the year 1444, he petitioned "that 
money due on account of his embassy to Guienne might be paid to 
him by the Chamberlain of North Wales that now is, or that for 
the time shall be." b This seems to imply that he had some intimate 
connexion with North Wales. It is observable that some of the 
letters of Bishop Beckington, contained in this volume, bear marks 
of coming from a book or register kept by the bishop's amanuensis 
or private secretary. It seems to be a well ascertained fact that, 
formerly, official persons deemed themselves at liberty to retain, as 
their private property, documents, of which, at the present day, 
they would be considered as having the custody only during their 
tenure of office, and which therefore they would be bound to 
deliver over to their successor. 6 Perhaps the amanuensis or private 
secretary of Bishop Beckington was an Edwards, and an ancestor, 

* See some remarks on the subject of MSS. in private depositories by Mr. Hardy, the 
Deputy Keeper of Records, in the Preface to the first volume of his Catalogue of Materials 
relating to the History of Great Britain and Ireland, p. Ixxi. 

b Acts of Privy Council, vol. vi. p. 24. 

c This custom seems to have been so thoroughly understood to be the rule of official 
life, in former times, that to it is attributable, as is well remarked by Mr. Bruce in his 
Letters between Queen Elizabeth and James VI. of Scotland, published by the Camden 
Society (Preface, pp. i. and ii.), the finding in private repositories so many documents 
which we should now consider public property. To its operation we may also attribute 
the fact, that in the Court of Chancery no order book exists anterior to 1545, although the 
office of Registrar is much more ancient. It is said that the earlier registrars considered 
the books their own private property, and appropriated them accordingly. 


or near relation, of John Edwards of Chirk, who was Receiver of 
Chirk under King Henry VII. 

It is not, by any means, necessary that all the letters should 
have to come to John Edwards from the same source. Those of 
Bishop Beckington, and those of the reign of Henry the Fifth, and 
of the earlier part of that of Henry the Sixth, may have been in his 
possession, before he came to Chirk. 

Nevertheless the question, how the originals came to the hands 
of John Edwards, is involved in much obscurity. 

I must not omit to mention, that John Edwards seems to have 
copied the letters before him, without regard to their dates; and 
that I have attempted to reduce them to something like chrono- 
logical order with what success the reader will judge. 

I have striven to identify the several persons named ; and, often 
with unexpected success. Some names, however, have utterly 
eluded every attempt I have made to discover anything relating 
to them. 

It only remains that I request the gentlemen, from whom I have 
received so much and such kind aid, to accept my very sincere 
thanks for their courtesy. 

To Mr. Hardy, the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records, and 
to all the gentlemen of that department, with whom I have had 
the pleasure of coming in contact, to the Rev. Joseph Stevenson, 
to Mr. William Hardy of the Duchy of Lancaster office, and to 
Mr. Courthope, Somerset Herald, I owe especial thanks. 

I am also very much indebted to Mr. Carew of Exeter, to the 
Rev. W. D. Macray of Magdalen College, Oxford, and to Mr. 
Wynne of Peniarth, for information, which was most readily given, 
and which I could not have obtained elsewhere. 


Let me also offer to my distinguished friend M. Francisquc 
Michel, whose reputation is European, my hearty thanks for his 
zealous and never-failing advice and help. 

I owe much to Mr. John Gough Nichols, for his suggestions, and 
for his careful supervision of the text, while passing through the 
press; and my thanks are also due to Mr. Cleghorn the engraver, 
who has enabled me to prefix to Queen Margaret's letters her badge, 
the daisy, copied from that splendid MS. volume in the British 
Museum, usually called the Shrewsbury Book. 

I am conscious that, in endeavouring to illustrate these letters, 
I must, from want of leisure and imperfect knowledge, have com- 
mitted many errors; where that is the case, I shall be very glad 
to have them pointed out. 

C. M. 

July, 1863. 







THIS letter from one of his chaplains to King Henry the Fifth was written, 
as it appears to me, between the 25th of October 1415 (the day of the 
battle of Agincourt) and the octave of St. Martin following, i.e. the 18th 
of November of the same year. It contains many "swelling words of vanity," 
and much absurd declamation. It is, moreover, exceedingly obscure, and 
the text is so corrupt, that I have been compelled, in one place, to desist 
from the attempt to affix a meaning to it. It will be seen, however, through 
the haze of words in which his meaning is almost stifled, that the writer con- 
gratulates the King on having, within the space of nine weeks, taken Harfleur, 
marched through a part of France, and, finally, fought a battle to which no- 
thing which had hitherto occurred in history, whether sacred or profane, could 
be compared. It was indeed a most glorious victory, obtained in a war of which 
the main object, as remarked by a great living author, was " plunder.*" The 
writer of the letter also mentions the great sickness which had prevailed in the 
English army, and appears to allude to the term " Prince of Priests," which was 
early ascribed to Henry on account of his subserviency to the clergy . b I am unable 

a Lord Brougham's History of England and France, p. 99. 

b Foxe's Acts and Monuments, vol. iii. pp. 397, 579 (ed. Townsend, 1844). The title 
of c Christianissimus Ecclesice pugil ' was also applied to Henry the Fifth. See Acts and 
Proceedings of the Privy Counci^, vol. iii. p. 3. 



to say who wrote this letter, but I have sometimes felt inclined to suspect that 
it was Henry Bishop of Winchester, afterwards Cardinal Beaufort, the King's 
uncle, and, at this time, Lord Chancellor. It somewhat resembles a speech of 
his to the Parliament (Parl. Hist. vol. i.), and no letter in this collection was 
written except by a person of rank. The fact that the writer calls himself the 
King's "devoted chaplain" is by no means conclusive against his having been 
a Prince of the Church . ft The letter was probably received by the King at 
Calais, where he arrived on the fourth day after the battle of Agincourt, and 
where he remained a fortnight. 6 

GLORIOSISSIME PRINCEPS et invictissime domine, ipsam quam sit 
aut possit capellanus devotus domino suo in terris suppremo recom- 
mendacionem humillimam. Omnipotenti regi regum, cuius judicia 
semper justa sunt, ipsas quas valeo cotidianas gratiarum actiones 
suplex exsolvo. Dum iam, quod din sperabam, qiiod optaveram et 
anteqnam ab hac luce migrarem videre rogaveram, oculos ante meos 
conspicio (unde meum ex intimis animum speciali gaudio refocillo) 
inclitissimi videlicet regni Anglic gloriam et honorem, a diu sopor- 
tam (sopitam ?), etiam prope e memoria elapsam, sompno de gravis- 
simo suscitatam. Jam enim yemps abiit et recessit; flores apparue- 
runt ; vinee florentes odorem dederunt ; yemps videlicet pigricie et 
desidie, ne dicam timoris aut vecordie ; flores apparuerunt strenuis- 
sime iuventutis et milicie ; vinee florentes, propago ilia nobilissima 

MOST GLORIOUS PRINCE, and invincible Lord, the devoted chaplain, in as 
humble wise as he can or may, recommends himself to his supreme Lord on 
earth. To the omnipotent King of Kings, whose judgments are ever just, I 
humbly address such daily thanksgivings as I can. Now, what I long hoped for 
and wished to see before I left this world, I behold before my eyes, whereby I 
feel my heart warmed with special delight, viz. the glory and honour of the 
famous realm of England, for a long time wholly lulled to sleep and forgotten, 
roused from its heavy slumber. For now winter is gone the winter, that is, 
of sloth and idleness, that I say not timidity or madness. Flowers have ap- 
peared the flowers of vigorous and warlike youth ; and flourishing vines 

* In a Petition addressed to Henry the Sixth, dated 14 May, 1426 (when the King was 
four years old), the cardinal styles himself the King's "humble ehapellain." Bibl. Cotton. 
Cleop. E. in. fo. 30b. 

b Hunter's Tracts (Agincourt) , p. 20. 


regum ct procerum Anglic, que, virtuosis artibus radicata, suos quon- 
dam palmites mundi per climata diffudit; odorem dcderunt fame et 
probitatis dignissime, et a seculo inaudite victorie ; que, cuntis regni 
benevolis, mire suavitatis fragranciam, inimicis terrorem, et iura regni 
detinentibus spiritum aufert amplius reluctandi. Postulavit regni 
iusticia, pugnavit certantium prudeneia, assistebat incolarum depre- 
cacio assidua, et colluctuntes respexit summus iudex, cuius non est 
victoria in multis vel in paucis, qui superbis resistit, et humilibus 
graciam subrninistrat. Quis, queso, prudens, expedicionis tante 
successus futuris temporibus conspiciens, non mirabitur, et ipsius Dei 
potencie non ascriberet? que gesta sunt ut, in novem hebdomadarum 
spacio, opidum fortis'simum, hominum reputacione invincibile, por- 
tusque gloriosi regni Francie tutissimus obtinere possint, et per tarn 
spaciosas inimicorumque refertas provineias pateret progressus, et 
finaliter tarn gloriosa inter regum annales merito aggreganda victoria 
haberetur. A- seculo non est auditum simile neque lectum ; non 
Machabeoram tempore, quorum historic hoc in temporc in ecclesia 

whereby I understand that noble progeny of kings and nobles of England, 
which, rooted in virtuous arts, formerly spread their branches throughout the 
world, have given forth the odours of fame and of worthiest probity and of 
victory unheard of in all time ; which to all the wellwishers of the realm are a 
savour of rare sweetness, to its enemies a terror, and deprives those who would 
cripple the rights of England of all courage for further resistance. National jus- 
tice has required, the wisdom of the combatants has struggled, the prayers of 
the population have worked for [this consummation]. He whose victory is nei- 
ther to the many or the few who, the supreme judge of all, resists the proud and 
gives grace to the humble hath looked on the combatants. What wise man, I 
ask, beholding, in future times, the success of such an expedition, will not marvel, 
and ascribe it to the power of God himself? How great are the events that 
have happened ! when it is considered that, within nine weeks, a fortress of great 
strength, generally esteemed impregnable, and the safest port of the glorious 
realm of France, were taken ; a progress opened through so many spacious and 
hostile provinces ; and, finally, a victory obtained, which may well be deemed 
glorious in royal annals. Nothing like it has been heard or read of in all 
time. Not in the time of the Maccabees, whose history is still read in the 


lecte sunt, non Sauli a propheta inuncto, non David Israelitice plebis 
rcgi preelecto, non Salamoni mortalium sapientissimo, aut Alexandro 
fortunatissimo, huiuscemodi data leguntur. Estimat et pro firmo 
tenet ut reor magestas regia quod non sua, sed Dei manus extenta, hec 
fecerit universa, ad ipsius laudem, Anglorum plebis decus et gloriam, 
regalis nominisque memoriam sempiternam. In qua summe consider- 
andura quid nobis fecerit Deus, ut, dum nos forte propter nostra 
crimina aliquantulum puniri voluerit, non in manus inimicorum, qui 
parcere non noscunt, tradidit, sed sue castigacionis virgam, pestem ali- 
qualem, inter nos transmiserit; ac, ne gloriam tante victorie, qui forte 
non meruissent, sibimet ascriberent, ipsos absentes esse voluit, ut sibi 
gloria, et vobis, tanquam suo ministro, victoria preberetur. Sed sum- 
opere cavendum consulo, ne, post tantas victorias, vincant victorie 
comites, quales sunt superbia, vana gloria, iactancia, verborum pompa, 
crudelitas, rabies, et vindicandi furor, qui victorum sunt hostes hor- 
rendi, a quibus sepe victores clarissimi victi sunt. Qain magis assit 
hurnilitas, modestia, graciarum accio, pietas, clemencia et ignoscendi 

church ; not in that of Saul, the anointed of the prophet ; not in that of David, 
the chosen king of the Israelitish people ; not in that of Solomon, the wisest of 
men ; not in that of Alexander, the most fortunate, has anything similar been 
read. Thy royal majesty deems and firmly holds, as I presume, that not thy hand, 
but the outstretched hand of God, hath done all these things, for His own praise, 
the honour and glory of the English nation, and the eternal memory of the royal 
name. In which it is chiefly to be considered what God has done for us ; that 
whilst it was His will, perchance, to punish us to some extent, on account of 
our sins, he did not deliver us into the hands of our enemies, who know not 
how to spare ; but he sent among us a plague, the rod of His displeasure ; 
and, lest the glory of such a victory should be claimed by the men who 
perchance did not deserve it, it was His will that they should be absent, 
that the glory of the victory should be to Him, and to you as His minister. 
Chiefly let us beware lest, after such victories, the accompaniments of victory 
vanquish the victors such as pride, vainglory, boasting, swelling words, 
cruelty, rage, and the fury of revenge ; all of which are enemies greatly to be 
dreaded by conquerors, and by which the most famous victors have been 
themselves conquered. Much more let humility, modesty, giving of thanks, 


zelus. Restat igitur, princeps invictissime, ut internis aiFectibus 
Deo laudes pro hiis magnalibus referantur, et bene vivendo sibique 
scrviendo suppliciter deprecemur, ut opus tarn gloriosum ad finem 
perducat sibi gratum. Vosque, princeps metuendissirne, ne in va- 
cuum (in vanum ?) gloriam Dei recipiatis, sed ad juris vestri perse- 
cucionem, abiecta dominandi libidine, postpositis et fugatis dolosis 
partis adversi tractatibus, viriliter incedatis, et ne vires interim recol- 
ligant vigilancius insistat[is]. Nemo autem mittens manum ad ara- 
trum et retro respiciens aptus est regno : continuatum autem studium 
communiter ducit ad profectum; et, secundum Tullium, perfecte 
virtutis est non quod actum sed quod gerendum, non quod assit sed 
quod desit, inspicere. Regiam insuper decet cclsitudinem non de 
quesito gloriari, sed de querendo solicitum esse; nee nos retrahat 
inimicorum potencia, conturbet astudicia, aut quemvis seducant pro- 
inissa pulcra. Usque quo ipsam, in corde vestro fixam et diu desi- 
deratam, cum iusticia, pacem apprehendere, et perhenniter stabilire, 
possitis, ferrum ignitum securis ad axem messis multa aptissima ma- 

piety, clemency, and a warm desire to pardon, prevail. There remains, there- 
fore, invincible prince, that, with our inmost affections, praises be rendered to 
God for these great things ; and, living righteously and serving him, let us 
suppliantly pray that He may bring so glorious a work to an end pleasing to 
Him. And you, most dread Prince, receive not the glory of God in vain, but 
for the prosecution of your right, casting away the lust of power, go forward 
manfully (the false dealings of the adversary being retarded and put to flight) 
and insist, with the utmost vigilance, that he shall not regain his strength. 
No man putting his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the king- 
dom [of heaven]; but continued effort usually leads to success; and, ac- 
cording to Tully, it is the part of true virtue not to look on what has been done, 
but what remains to be done ; not what a man has, but what he is wanting in. 
Moreover, it is fitting that your royal highness should not boast of the past, 
but be anxious for the future ; neither let the power of our enemies drag us 
back ; let not their astuteness disturb us ; nor let any fair promises seduce any 
one. Until you may be able to bring about and establish, on a basis of justice, 
a permanent peace, which has so long been the fixed desire of your heart . . . 
fitting matter will not be wanting, nor 


teria non desit, aut tepescat executor sedulus, qui quantum possibile 
est cliristianomm sanguini parcat, et, cuncta cum misericordia tem- 
perans, perducat feliciter usque finem. Sane, regurn princeps dig- 
nissime, de regni subsidiis, et spiritualiter et temporaliter, in hoc casu 
faciendis timere non oportet ; quia in tantum gaudet populus vester 
fidelissimus, in tarn felicibus auspiciis, ut se et sua vobis offerant et 
pieces devotissimas incessanter pro vobis efFundant, et ea de causa in 
parliamento vestro presencialiter congregantur, clerusque regni vestri 
devotissimus in Octabis Sancti Martini proximo futuro Londoniam 
convenient, quo in tempore, non dubito, suum principem (et eorum 
alludarn vocabulo principem presbiterorum, nuper a quibusdam 
vocitato,) taliter respicient, ut luculenter apparere poterit quod non 
tantum voce vel labiis vos laudent, sed magis operibus gloriose 
magnificent, et super eos diutissime regnaturum corditer concupis- 
cant. Ad regni vestri Anglie decus, gloria in et magestatem vest ram 
conservet incolumem suramus Deus. Scriptum, etc. 

ought a careful executor [of the divine will] to falter, who, as far as possible, 
should spare Christian blood, and, tempering all .things with mercy, bring them 
happily to an end. Truly, most worthy Prince, it behoveth you not to fear 
for the subsidies of your realm, both spiritual and temporal, to be raised in 
this matter ; because your faithful people so delight in their present happy 
auspices, that they offer to you themselves and their goods, and pour out for 
you unceasingly their devout prayers ; and therefore they are now met together 
in Parliament; and the devout clergy of your realm will meet in London, on 
the Octave of St. Martin next coming. At which time, I doubt not that they 
will so regard their Prince (I allude to the phrase lately used by certain per- 
sons, " the Prince of Priests,") that it will appear plainly, that they not only 
laud you with their voices, but rather gloriously magnify you with their deeds, 
and heartily desire that you may long reign over them. To the honour of 
your realm of England may the great God safely preserve your glory and ma- 
jesty ! Written, &c. 




THIS letter was certainly written from the Council of Constance, and as cer- 
tainly addressed to King Henry the Fifth. By whom it was written does not 
appear; but there can be little doubt that, being sent to the King of England, 
the writer was one of the numerous embassy, composed mainly of ecclesiastics, 
despatched by Henry to that famous assembly.* The letter, while giving the 
current news and rumours of the day, bears, I think, sufficient impress of the 
hand of a churchman to make it not unlikely that it emanated, either from 
Robert Hallam, Bishop of Salisbury, or Thomas Polton, then a prebendary of 
York, the two most distinguished English ecclesiastics present at the Council. 1 * 
The Council opened the 5th November, 1414, and closed its sittings in May 1418. 
John Huss was burned 6th July, 1415. c Notice of this event was probably con- 
tained in the letter of which John Hervy was the bearer. d Before the end of 
July 1415 the Emperor Sigismond quitted Constance for Spain, on the very 
vain mission to induce Peter de Luna, the Antipope, calling himself Benedict 
the Thirteenth, to renounce his claim to the Popedom. Benedict was sup- 
ported by Ferdinand the First, King of Aragon,e and some other princes ; but, 

L'Enfant, Hist, du Cone, de Constance, p. 42. 

b L'Enfant, pp. 42, 456. In Rymer, ix. 773, is a letter to the King of 30th June 1419, 
from Florence, signed by John Ketterick, Bishop of Lichfield, and Thomas Polton, 
beginning Invictissime Regum Princeps, precisely as this letter begins. 

c L'Enfant, p. 275. 

d John Hervy (a mediaeval form of Hervey} was, I conceive, of Thurleigh, Beds. He 
was employed by Henry the Fourth in 1403, in a negotiation with Owen Glendower; and 
also, as on this occasion, at Constance, by Henry the Fifth. He must have died before 
1419, as his wife's second husband is said to have died in that year. He is buried at 
Thurleigh. See Paper by the Rev. Lord Arthur Hervey on the family of Hervey as 
connected with Ickworth, Suffolk. Lowestoft, 1858, pp. 54, 55, 110, 111. Collins's 
Peerage, iv. 141. 

e Benedict was of the blood royal of Aragon. He was at this time 78 years of age, 
and is said to have harangued the emperor for seven consecutive hours, "sans gu'ilparut 
aucune alteration dans sa voiz, ni sur son visage" L'Enfant, p. 355. Benedict never 
submitted to the Council, and never despaired of his own cause. He retired to the fortress 
of Peniscola, on the coast of Valencia, and thence, from his own centre of unity, excom- 
municated Ferdinand King of Aragon, regularly, every day, until the King died in 1416 
Benedict survived until 1424. L'Enfant, pp. 366, 575. 


finding him irreclaimably obstinate, they at length renounced his obedience, 
and entered into articles of agreement to that effect, which were executed at 
Narbonne the 13th December 1415, and are called the Capitulation of Narbonne. 
This capitulation was read in the Council the 30th January 1416. a The letter 
notices an irruption of the Turks into the territories of the Emperor during 
his absence on the affairs of the Church. This news seems to have reached 
the Council in August 1415. b It also notices the marriage of Joanna the 
Second, Queen of Naples, with Jacques de la Marche, as having taken place the 
10th September, 1415. c The marriage was shortly followed by the arrest, torture, 
and execution of Pandolfello Alopo, a former favourite of the Queen. d This 
event is referred to in the letter, as also a false report of the death of a "great 
soldier of fortune," probably Ludovico Sforza, who was at this time in a Nea- 
politan dungeon, who had also undergone torture, and barely escaped with 
life. 6 The ambassadors of Ladislas, King of Poland, arrived at Constance 
towards the end of November 1415. f On the 7th of December 1415, the Council 
received an autograph letter from Angelo Corario, who, as Antipope, had for- 
merly borne the title of Gregory XII. confirming the cession of his claim, 
which had been already made by proxy.g It is probably to this occurrence 
that the closing sentences of the letter refer. Comparing the circumstances 
mentioned above with L'Enfant's History of the Council of Constance, I con- 
clude that this letter was written in December, 1415. The King had already 
returned home after the battle of Agincourt. h In March 1416 Sigismund 
arrived in Paris on his way to England. In April 1416 the death of Ferdi- 
nand King of Aragon, whose illness is mentioned in the letter, took place ; and 
on the 7th May 1416 Sigismund arrived in London. 1 The object of his jour- 
ney was to make peace between England and France. He remained in Eng- 
land until the following August, and then returned to the Continent. 11 He 
did not reappear at Constance until the 27th January 1417. 

a L'Enfant, p. 361. 

b L'Enfant, p. 312. 

c Sismondi (Rep. Ital. vi. 175,) says 10th August. 

d Sismondi, vi. 175. 

e Ibid. p. 176. Sforza did not die until 1424, when he was drowned in the Pescara. 
Sismondi has given a very graphic account of his death (Rep. Ital. vol. vi. p. 229). 

f L'Enfant, 721. s Ibid. p. 350. 

h He arrived in London 24th November 1415. Hunter's Tracts (Agincourt), p. 20. 

* L^Enfant, p. 723. Pauli, Geschichte von England, v. 132. Hume takes no notice of 
the Emperor's visit. 

k English Chron. p. 43. 


INVICTISSIME REGUM PRINCEPS, citra decimumnonum mensis 
Augusti diem vestri [vestrae] celsitudini per dominum Johannem 
Hervy occurrencia nobiscum nova scripsi, quo ad in Consilio 
[Concilio] gesta, pauca emerserant relatione digna. Quinymo [quin- 
immo] a christianissimi principis Romanorum Regis recessu re- 
formacionis Ecclesie materiam in capite et in membris tractandam 
solum [Concilium] duxerat, et tractavit. Nee ad tempus, quo de ipsius 
principis prospero successu super factis Ecclesie, pro quibus legitime 
decertans tot sudatos labores a temporibus sustinuit et in presentia- 
rum sustinet, certa recepit, alia pertractare disponit ; ea in ipsa re- 
formacione iam statuens, que dum, suo tempore, mundo publicentur, 
veluti Deo grata, universalis Ecclesie decorativa, cuntis uti speratur 
merito venient applaudenda. Nichilominus, serenissime Princeps, 
super conclusione quavis cum Aragonum rege et Petro de Luna prin- 
cipe habita, nil certi recepimus; licet et spes firmissima sit, ex multis 
que concilio scribuntur, finis optati. Infirmitas vero, qua rex ipse Ara- 
gonum valde deprimitur, in causa putatur prodilationis et more. In- 

IN VINCIBLE SOVEREIGN, since the 19th day of the month of August, when 
I wrote to your Highness by Mr. John Hervy the latest occurrences 
amongst us, very little has arisen, so far as the proceedings of the Coun- 
cil are concerned, worthy of mention. In fact, since the departure of the 
most Christian prince the King of the Romans, the matter of the reformation 
of the Church in its head and members is the only one which the Council has 
thought worthy to be taken in hand, and has treated of. Nor, at this time, 
when it has received certain intelligence of the success of the Prince himself in 
matters relating to the Church, striving lawfully for which he has borne in 
times past and still bears many wearisome labours, does it choose to entertain 
any other questions ; being now engaged in establishing, in connexion with 
this very reformation, things which, when, at the proper time, they shall be 
published to the world, will, as being acceptable to God and to the honour of 
the universal Church, be deservedly applauded, as it is hoped, by all men. 
Nevertheless, most serene Prince, as touching any agreement come to with the 
King of Aragon and the Prince Peter de Luna, we have received no certain 
intelligence; although, from many written communications received by the- 
Council, we have strong hopes of the desired issue. The illness, how- 
ever, by which the King of Aragon is so much pulled down, is thought to be 



super, serenissime Princeps, literatore nobiscum refertur, Turcos, qui 
tanta potencia et sui spiritu furoris Christianorum terras et regnorum 
Romanorum Regis fines, precipue iam a temporibus invaserant, Christi- 
colarurn plebe permaxima sepius (procli dolor !) ense perempta, sicuti 
serenitatem vestram multorum scripturis,meisque inter ceteras, estimo 
concepisse, et iam, post multa, manus Cliristicola,Deo laudes,pro parte 
maxima trucidavit. Licet et principes aliqui Regnorum Croacie et 
Dalmacie, viri valde potentes, Regis Romanorum in odium, cuius 
tamen erant, vel esse saltern debuerant, Turcis memoratis adheserunt, 
quorum singulos inopinatus casus emergens, non minus miraculose 
quam mirabiliter, primitus extinxit. Resque mira, sicuti relatores asse- 
runt, secuta est. Nam qui supersunt ex infidelibus ipsis, antiquissima 
per eos scriptura reperta, convincuntur, qua dictatur eos infra se- 
quentes annos quinque a Christianis funditus opprimi, vel ad fidern 
Christianas religionis omnino converti. E quibus minus confusi ad 
propria, sicuti refertur, dispersi remeant. Hii pauci vivi relicti. Insuper , 
serenissime Princeps, super statu Regine Neapolitane Comitisque 

the cause of the delay. Furthermore, most serene Prince, we are informed 
by a correspondent (?), that the Turks, who with their immense power and the 
energy of their native ardour had invaded the lands of the Christians in times 
past, specially the dependencies of the King of the Romans, slaying with the 
sword (alas !) great numbers of Christians (as I presume your serenity Avill 
have understood by the writings of many, and by mine amongst others), have 
(praise be to God !) been, for the most part, destroyed by a Christian band ; 
and this although some princes of Croatia and Dalmatia, men of great power, 
adhered to the aforesaid Turks, out of hatred to the King of the Romans, whos% 
subjects, nevertheless, they were or ought to have been; every one of whom 
has been destroyed by a sudden chance not less miraculous than wonderful. 
A wonderful circumstance, as is related, occurred. For the survivors of the 
infidels themselves are convinced, by a very ancient writing found amongst 
themselves, in which it is declared that, within the next five years, they will be 
wholly conquered by the Christians, or converted to the faith of the Christian 
religion. Of the survivors, those who had kept some order are, as it is said, 
returning, in different directions, to their homes. Moreover, most serene 
Prince, with regard to the condition of the Queen of Naples and the French 


Marchio de Francia, qui cum ea Septembris x matrimonium con- 
firmavit, legato in urbe existcnte, Concilio pridie plurima scribente, 
nova venerant, que cedula continet liiis inclusa ; cuius tenor sibi, 
prout asserint (asserunt ?), a civitate Neapolitana viro magnifico 
transmissus est. Et legatus ipse, suis literis posterioribus, Concilio 
directe affirmat Pandolfellum generalem, cle quibus in cedula simi- 
liter, et fortune capitaneum magnum ibidem, qui contra ecclesiam 
fuerat, lam a diebus subito morti datos. Insuper, metuenclissime 
doinine, ex parte Regis Polonie, Ambassiatoribus suis in Concilio 
cxistentibus, pridie scriptum est, de spe firma quam habet super 
reduccione Grecorum ad ecclesiam Romanam, etc. de illis saltern 
qui sunt regnis suis; in quibus sunt ducenti episcopatus, ut ipsi 
ambassiatores affirmant. Et ob finem istum, confirmiterque ad 
reducendum ad vitam nostram populum quasi infantinum in Russia, 
sue dicioni subiecta, qui necdum fidei catholice professores exist- 
unt, de quo eius spes existat, ut scribit Constantino Policionem ( ?) 
vicarium generalem, in Latino, Greco et Tartarico ydeomatibus 

Count de la Marche, who confirmed his marriage with her on the 10th of 
September, much news came the day before yesterday from one writing to the 
legate attending the Council in this city, which is in the schedule inclosed- 
herein ; the tenor of which, it is said, has been transmitted hither from the 
city of Naples by a man of high rank. And the legate himself directly informs 
the Council, from his later letters, that the General Pandolfello, and the great 
soldier of fortune there who was against the Church, as to both of whom also 
see the schedule, had lately died. Furthermore, most dread Lord, letters were- 
received the day before yesterday from the King of Poland, by his ambassadors 
now present at the Council, of the firm hope he has of reducing the Greeks of 
his dominions to [the obedience of] the Roman Church, &c. amongst whom, 
the ambassadors say, there are two hundred bishoprics. To this end, and 
also for the purpose of bringing over permanently to our [mode of] life the- 
simple population of that part of Russia, which is subject to his rule, which 
does not yet profess the Catholic faith, he has sent to the King of the Romans 
and the Council, on his own behalf, as a .... writes, a Vicar General sufficiently 
versed in the Latin, Greek, and Tartaric languages, in order to gain certain 
favours and letters necessary for the aforesaid matters ; who confidently hopes 


sufficienter instructum, ad Komanorum Kegem et Concilium, pro se 
pro consequendis favoribus certis literisque ad premissa neces- 
sariis transmisit, qui firmissime sperat ad finem prosperum in brevi 
reducere que prernisi. Et sic, invictissime Princeps, firme credatur 
Altissimum, cuius res agitur, hiis postremis temporibus, velle sui 
gregis dominici imperii, ut juxta ab antique promissa unum fiat 
ovile, et pastor unicus, ecclesie sue sancte. Cardinale[s] nuper Gre- 
gorii, infra octo dies, omnes ad Constanciam venient, indistincte. 
Officialibus suis aliis nobiscum iam existentibus, et iam diu est, inter 
nostros, ut rationis est, cum honore receptis. Ad victoriosum trium- 
phum, votivis uti successibus, diu valeat et vigeat vestra celsitudo. 
Scrip turn, etc. 

to be able shortly to bring to a prosperous end the business I have referred to 
above. And thus, most puissant Prince, let us firmly believe that the Most 

-High, whose cause it is, means, in these last times, as promised of old, that His 
flock and empire shall form one fold, and that there shall be one shepherd of 
His Holy Church. The cardinals, lately adherents of Gregory, are all, without 
exception, expected at Constance within eight days. His other officials, now 
and for some time past with us, have been received, as was right, with 
honour. May your Highness long thrive and flourish in victory and success. 

Written, &c. 



AFTER much consideration I have come to the conclusion that this letter was 
written, between the years 1414 and 1419, by Sir John Talbot, Lord Furnival, 
who for his valour in the French wars was created Earl of Shrewsbury A.D. 


1442.* The writer was a Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, whose acting deputy 
was his brother. Now, Sir John Talbot was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 
A.D. 1414 to A.D. 1419 ; and his brother, Richard Talbot, Archbishop of 
Dublin, was his Deputy. b I have not found any other Lord Lieutenant and 
Deputy standing in the same relation to each other, during the period within 
which the letter was probably written, nor am I at all able to say to whom the 
letter was addressed. Thomas Polton, LL.D. who has been already mentioned, 
was an English ecclesiastic of considerable note, during the early part of the 
loth century. He was a prebendary of York in 1408, and, in 1416, was 
elected dean of that see. d As one of the King's ambassadors he attended the 
Council of Constance (1414 to 1418), where he appears to have highly dis- 
tinguished himself by upholding the rights and dignity of England.e Consi- 
dering the nature of the arguments by which he maintained the right of Eng- 
land to be deemed " a nation," we of the present day may perhaps be pardoned 
if we incline to think that the Ambassador's reasons were less convincing than 
the victories which had been lately gained by the English. Thomas Polton, 
who, in addition to his English honours, had the title of Pope's Notary, was, by 
Papal provision, promoted to the see of Hereford, A.D. 1420. f Early in 1422 
he was translated to Chichester;? and, in 1425-6, to Worcester. 11 He was pre- 
sent at the Council of Basle, and died there 23rd August, 1433.* The name of 
Thomas Polton does not occur in the list of the Prebendaries of Swords. The 
Prebend of Swords, which belonged to the Church of St. Patrick, Dublin, was 
so valuable that it was called " the Golden Prebend." In 1431 the revenues 
were divided into three parts by Archbishop Talbot, and a part only was re- 
served to the prebendary. k 

HIGH AND MIGHTJE PRINCE, and my right noble and gracious 
lorde, I recommende me unto youre high and noble lordeship, with 
right humble hert, and souveraine desire, certainly to wete alle gra- 
cious and comfortable tidings of youre noble persone, as yo r most 

a Synopsis of Peerage by Sir H. Nicolas, vol. ii. p. 633. 
b Annals of the Four Masters, p. 214, note (1). 
c Fasti Eccles. Anglic, vol. iii. pp. 196, 215. 
d Ibid. vol. iii. p. 124. 

e L'Enfant, Hist, du Concile de Constance, vol. i. p. 456; and Seward's Anecdotes, 
vol. i. p. 18. 

f Fasti Eccles. Anglic, vol. i. p. 464. 

s Ibid. vol. i. p. 245. h j^id. vol. iii. p. 60. 

Ibid. vol. iii. p. 60, and Anglia Sacra, p. 805. 

k Cotton's Fasti Eccl. Hib. vol. ii. p. 136. 


gentil liert best can ymagin, to my most especial comforte ; Lowly 
thankynyoure said noble lordeship, of mony gracious supportacons, and 
noble helpes, to me shewid, afore this tyme, in my greet nede, without 
eny desert on my behalve ; the which Gode rewarde, where I may not. 
Lowly beseking you, my gracious Lorde, for my perseverance (?). 

High and myghte Prince, and my Right noble and gracious 
Lorde It liketh to youre high Lordeshipe beningly [benignly] to 
understond, that youre gracious letters for maister Thomas Polton, 
touching his prebende of Swerdes, to me sent, I have reverently and 
humbly received. Highly having (? marvailing), my right noble 
lorde, of that, that the said Maister Thomas stirred your gra- 
cious lordeshipe to write to me in wise, where no gilte ne deffaute 
was in my personne, in that matere. For, my Right noble Lorde, 
his possession of the seid prebende was never emblemisshed by me, 
nor by none other, by myne ordinance. For, when I granted- him a 
presentacon therof at London, in oure most souveraing Liege Lordes 
name, [I] therupon wrote to my brother, that was my Deputee in 
Yreland, for to put hym in execucon. The which was duely exe- 
cute, as I supposed, so fer forthe that the said procuratours of the 
said maister Thomas couthe finde no faulte therein. And (if) they 
had founden any faulte in me or my brother, or any other persounes 
towards me, and wolde have certified therof, hit shulde have be 
remedied, without delaye; as I declared, openly, afore Thomas La- 
vington servant to the said Maister Thomas, to his procurators now 
at his being here. 



IT appears to have been the custom for the Captain of Calais to indent, i.e. 
bind himself by deed to the King, to maintain a certain military establishment, 
on receiving a certain daily pay. In Dugdale's Baronage,* mention is made of 

* Dugd. Bar. vol. i. pp. 244, 245. 


two indentures of this kind having been entered into by Richard Beauchamp 
Earl of Warwick. This letter seems to imply that, if the Captain were unin- 
dented, the whole charge was provided for by the Crown. The Earl of Warwick 
was Captain of Calais throughout the greater part of the reign of Henry the 
Fifth, and during a part of that of Henry the Sixth. I conclude this letter to 
have been written towards the close of the former reign. 

SOUVERAINE LORDE, yn as humbly wise as any true liege man 
can thinke or devise, I recommend me unto youre noble grace. 
Please yow to wite, that I have received your gracious letters writen 
at Saintliz [Senlis ?] the xxj day of Juil, charging me to certiffie 
yow the cause, why that I restreined the souldeours of youre toune 
of Caleys, xl dayes in a yere, for to goo into youre remne [realm] of 
England, for to dispose for suche thinges as they had to doo there, 
leving a sufficient man [number of men] in hire [their] stede. Sou- 
veraine lorde, I restreined never non, (the more harme hathe be yours). 
Bote, I being in youre full noble Keamne, and [of] the counseil of 
my lorde of Warrewic, Capitain of youre seid toune, I desired of my 
full worthye lordes of youre counseil, that the Capitain shulde en- 
dente [indent] with yow, after youre laste appointment for the pees. 
And your counseil wold not grante eche souldeour xl dayes, with- 
outen special commandement from yow in writing. And soo youre 
saide Capitaine standeth unendented with alle, and none restreined, 
ne no rekenyng can be made with hym, for his retenue [retinue], to 
greet harme to yow, and to me greet charge withoute youre gra- 
cious lordship. Lowly I beseke (beseche) youre hight (high) discre- 
cion, that hit may be hastely remedied, whan it best list yow, for 
youre prouffite and my discharge. 



THIS letter being from Calais, relating to the payment of money, and being 
addressed to the King in person, I conceive to have been written by the trea- 


surer of Calais (probably Richard Bokeland)" to King Henry the Fifth. Of 
the three persons named in it, John Skott, Guy Bussh, and Sir Raulf Racheford 
or Rochford, the only one of whom I can recover any trace is the last. Sir 
Ralph Rochford appears to have been much trusted by King Henry the Fifth, 
and was often employed by him.t> Sir Ralph Rochford was lieutenant of 
Calais 1421 ; c it is probable therefore that the letter was written in that year. 

SOUVERAINE LORDE, in as humble wise as any true liegeman can 
thinke or deme, I recommend me unto youre noble grace. Like it 
youre highnesse to conceive, that I have received your gracious let- 
ters, charging me to receive of John Skott and Guy Bussh xlvi pri- 
sonners, paying and contenting thayme resonably for thaire costages. 
Yf it please youre highnesse, I have received of the seid John Skott 
and his ffellawship xxix prisonners,and I content theym of thaire cost- 
ages. And, truly, they er poure men, of no value, and gret cost drawers;- 
noughtwithstandyng that they er kepte as straitely, and in as esy 
dieting, as I can deme, after youre commaundement. And, as touching 
the xvi prisouners that hit liked [you] to charge me to receive of Guy 
Bussh, he wold not dely ver thaime to me, unless thanne I wold have 
content for hym every prisonner, in the weke, a crowne, beyng in his 
keping, at that tyme, by the space of xii wekes. Thinking to me these 
costages askyng unresonable. Wherupon I charged hym, on youre 

* Richard Bokeland was of a Northamptonshire family, and he sat for the county in 
the 3rd and 9th parliaments of Henry VI. (Bridges's Northamptonshire, vol. i. p. 10.) 
He was treasurer of Calais from 9 Hen. V. (1421) to 14 Hen. VI. (1436). (Calais Ac- 
counts, Record Office.) He was also victualler of Calais for some time. (Rymer, vols. 
ix. and x. passim.) In the 2 Hen. VI. (1423) he bought the manor of Edgecote in 
Northamptonshire, about four miles north of Banbury in Oxfordshire, for the use of 
himself and Joan his wife; and, by his will, which is extant in the register of Wills of 
Gray, Bishop of Lincoln, he bequeathed Edgecote to his widow for life, with remainder to 
their daughter and heir Agnes Whitingham. (Bridges, vol i. p. 120.) A pedigree of the 
Bokeland family is to be found in Baker's Northamptonshire (vol. i. p. 493); but as the 
pedigree commences with Richard Bokeland, I have been unable to learn anything as to his 
descent. He was one of the executors of the will of the Duke of Bedford (Test. Vet. vol. 
i. p. 242), who died 14 September, 1435, and whom he survived barely a year, dying 10 
August, 1436. (Bridges, vol. i. p. 118.) 

b Rymer, ix. passim. Acts P. Council, ii. 155 n. 205%.; Carte's French Rolls, ii. 
246. < Acts of P. C. ii. 365. 



bchalvc, in the presence of Sir Raulf Rachcford, and your Marshal 
of youre toune of Caleys, and many moe persounes of youre seid toune, 
that the seid Guy Bussh shulde kepe thaime savely , as he wold answere 
unto yo r Highnessc, unto the tyme that I hold other commaunde- 
ment from you. Souveraine Lorde, I beseche Almightie gode, etc. 



THIS letter was found amongst the Calais accounts of the reign of Henry V. 
preserved at the Public Record Office. It is so intimately connected with the 
letter which follows it, that I am glad to be able to publish them together. It 
is impossible to determine with certainty the date of the King's letter ; but 
after carefully examining vols. ix. and x. of Rymer,. and other authorities,* 1 
strongly incline to the conclusion that it was written in the year 1421. The 
Duke of Burgundy mentioned in the letter was Philip the Good, son of John 
the Fearless, who was treacherously murdered at the bridge of Montereau, at 
the junction of the Yonne and the Seine, 6 the 10th September, 1419, in the 
presence, if not by the command, of the Dauphin, afterwards Charles the 
Seventh. John of Luxemburg was a staunch adherent of the English and of 
the House of Burgundy. I conceive that Sir Ralph Rochford was Lieutenant, 
and Richard Bokeland was Treasurer, of Calais at this time, and that the letter 
was addressed to them. d Thomas de la Croix (Delia Croce) was an envoy 
sent by Filippo Maria, Duke of Milan, to King Henry V. as early as 1414.* 
He appears to have afterwards taken service with the King, and to have been 
highly esteemed by him. f The minute directions given by the King, prescribing 
the route of the horse and its attendants from Calais to Paris, are very curious ; 
and strongly indicative of the then disturbed state of the country. Notwith- 
standing these directions, the horse appears not to have arrived at its destina- 
tion ; hence a second letter from the King which seems to have perished, to 
which the next letter is a reply. 

a Pauli, Geschichte von England, vol. v. p. 169. 

b Montereau-fault- Yonne. c Biog. Univ. 

d Acts of Privy Council, vol. ii. pp. 363, 365, 367. 

e Rymer, ix. 118. '' Rymer, x. 137, 139. 




Trusty & welbeloved, forasmuclie as we be enfourmed Thomas 
de la Croix hath sent hors & certain armerers, and harnois, for us 
unto our town of Caleys, We wol & charge yow expressly yat ye 
ordaine yat y e saide hors, and y e men yat ar comen with hem, come 
to us in al seure haste, and send sum trusty man for to go with hem, that 
may have the oversighte & gouveurnance of hem alle, and yat [they] 
be seurely & saufly conducted fro thens to St. Omer & so to Arras, 
and fro thens to Amyas [Amiens], there abidinge unto the tyme they 
have seure conduct from our brethre [brother] of Burgoigne or fro 
Sir Johan de Luxemburgh, to y e whiche we have writen for her sauf 
passage fro thens to Aubmalle [Aumale], fro whens our garnisons 
with God's grace shallen conduct hem to Parys, where we wol they 
shal abyde til they have heard of our wille and, they comen to 
Parys, we wol that he that shal come fro you with them sende us 
woord of theire corny ng thider. Yeven under our signet in our 
castel at Seint Denys de Moronval beside Dreux, the last day of Juill. 
To the Lieutenant and Treasurer of our towne of Caleys and eche 
of them. 



THE horse and its attendants not arriving, as stated in the introduction to 
the last letter, the King writes a second letter respecting it, of the 18th of 
September, and sends it to Calais by Blanc Turcell, a pursuivant. The receipt 
of this message from the King is acknowledged by the officers of Calais ; who in 
reply state, that they have had a similar letter from the Duke of Burgundy, 
which they inclose, and also another letter giving an account of some mishap 
that had attended their convoy, whereat they much marvel. 

FULL HIGH AND MIGHTIE oure moste douted Souveraine lorde, 
also [as] lowly as yn any wise we most [best] can or deme, We us 


recommende unto your High, noblesse, unto the which please hit to 
understand that your gracious letters, yeven at Mewen [Meung] 
beside Baugency, a in date of the xviij. day of the monethe of Sep- 
tembre, hider broght by Blanc Turcell, the Poursuivant, makyng 
mention of the horse and other things, that Thomas De la Crosse 
has sent to your Highnesse, out of Lumbardy, [have been received']. 
Whereupon, ful high and mightie and cure most douted souve- 
raine liege lorde, the soth [the truth] is, that upon that high and 
mightie Prince the Due of Borguigne had, for the same cause, 
writen unto youre tresorer here, and to me, by his letters, whiche 
beeth closed within this, the men, with the same horsse, and other 
things that they brojt [brought], departed from hens the xxij. day 
of August last passed ; withoute that we have sithen had tidings of 
hem unto ester [yester] day, that [when] unto youre seid tresorer 
and me was broght a letter of the same matere, which also is closed 
within these. Mervailing right inly moche, truly, bothe he and I, 
that they have be soo demened [behaved] as the letter makith 




MENTION being made of a servant of Thomas de la Crosse being at Calais 
when this letter was written, and of his having been the bearer of it to the 

a The name of the town in the MS. is written Mewes, but, as there is no town of that 
name on the Loire, and that there is a town "beside Beaujency" called Meun, which is 
not unfrequently written in English as Mewen, I have corrected the text. Meun, Mehun, 
or Meung-sur--Loire, is a small town not far from Orleans, the birth-place of Jean de 
Meun, surnamed Clopiuel, '' parcesqidl tait boiteux," a ^et, who, in the 13th century, 
completed the Roman de la Rose. (Biog. Univ.) He is also known as the earliest trans- 
lator into French verse of Boethius de Consolatione Philosophise. (Pantheon Litteraire, 
Philosophie Chretienne, Paris, 1835; and the notice of the author, by Buchon, prefixed.) 
Both Thomas de Montacute, the brave Earl of Salisbury, who was mortally wounded at the 
siege of Orleans in 1428, and Charles VII. of France, died at Meun. 


King, I conceive, but not without hesitation, that it is attributable to the year 
1421. It is plain from the contents that it was written in time of war, and 
that the King had (probably not long before) been at Calais. Henry was in 
England from the 3rd February to the 10th June 1421. On the last men- 
tioned day he landed at Calais from Dover, and with very slight delay pro- 
ceeded to Rouen. a Caen stone has always enjoyed a good reputation for build- 
ing,* and linseed oil is noted for its hardening qualities. 

SOUVERAINE LORDE, in as humbly wise as any true liegeman can 
think or deme, I recommend me unto youre noble grace ; having 
in myne hert continuelly emprinted, amonges youre other high 
comaundments, yeven to me at youre departyng from Caleys, that 
speciall commandment, by the whiche ye charged me, that I shulde 
algates write unto youre highnesse, from tyme to tyme, of all matiers 
that me semed necessarie or expedient to signiffie unto youre high- 
nesse. In parformyng of the which youre commaundement, . like it 
youre highnesse to conceive, that the fundament of youre chappell, 
withinne youre castell of Caleys, and the walles over (height above 
the grounde, in the lowest place, viij. fete) wherof I send yow the 
patrone [pattern] by John Makyn, servant to Thomas De la Crosse, 

bringer of this And, as touching the stone of this cuntre, 

that shuld be for the jambes of your dorres and windowes of your 
seid chapell, I dare not take upon me to sett * no more therof upon 
your werkes, hit freteth and fareth so foule with himself, that, had 
I not ordained lynnesede oyle to bed [bathe ?] hit with, hit wolde not 
have endured, ne plesed youre Highnesse. Wherfore I have pur- 
veyed xiij. tons tight [weight ?] of Cane stone, for to spede youre 
werkes withall. And more I shall purveye, in all the haste possible, 
for I cannot see that none other stone wolle be so proffitable for 
youre seide werkes; and, for God's love, souveraine lorde, like yow, 
of youre benign grace, to have me excused, no we and at al tymes, of 
my rude and uncunnyng writyng to youre highnesse; the which 

a Pauli, Geschichte von England, v. 166, 169. 

b As to the use of Caen stone in the middle ages, see Mr. Hardy's Descriptive Cata- 
logue of Materials relating to the History of Great Britain and Ireland, vol. i. preface, xxxi. 


ambasspth [shameth] me ful mochel, to write unto youre high 
estate of any matter, savinge youre wille and coinmandement afore- 
said; the which I shall ever obeye and periburme, to the uttermoste 
that is possible unto me, whiles my lyf endureth. Souveraine lorde, 
I beseche Almightie gode kepe yovv in continuel prosperitec, to his 
plesaunce, and youre herts desire, #nd send yow victorye of all your 
enemys for his muche mercye. 



RICHARD WIDVILLE, esquire of the body to King Henry the Fifth, and 
chamberlain to the Duke of Bedford, 8 was the bearer of letters to Calais, from 
the King and the Duke, to which this and the following letter are replies. 
They are therefore attributable to the reign of Henry the Fifth ; but I am 
unable to affix to them any more precise date ; nor can I state, except as ap- 
pears from the letters themselves, under what circumstances they were written. 
Richard Beauchamp Earl of Warwick, then or lately Captain of Calais, was 
absent from his government, having left in charge the writers of the letters. 
During his absence they are commanded to deliver over the town (apparently) 
to another governor. They are anxious to stand well with the King, the 
Duke and the Earl, and tfcis causes them no small embarrassment, as seems to 
me plain, from the language of their replies. They intimate, however, that, 
being deputies of the Earl of Warwick, they can do nothing without his know- 
ledge and concurrence. 

* Richard Wydvile, Widvil, or Woodville, was one of the bravest, and, according to 
Miss Strickland (Lives of the Queens, vol. iii. p. 308), handsomest men of his day. He 
was of a Northamptonshire family of note, and, in 7 Hen. IV., was sheriff of that county, 
and governor of Northampton Castle. He served with distinction under Henry the 
Fifth, and was one of the esquires of his body. In 3 Hen. VI. (1425) he was made con- 
stable of the Tower; and, on Whit-Monday, 1426, received the honour of knighthood, 
at Leicester, from the King, who, being then of the age of four years, had himself been 
knighted the same day by his uncle the Duke ef Bedford. In 15 Hen. VI. (1437) he 
was fined one thousand pounds for marrying Jaquetta Duchess of Bedford, without licence 
from the Crown. For his valiant conduct in France, he was created Baron Rivers in 26 
Hen. VI. (1448). Lord Rivers remained firm in his allegiance to the House of Lancaster 
until the accession of Edward IV. Soon after this, however, his daughter Elizabeth, 



Ful high and mightie Prince and oure right gracieux and most 
douted souveraing Lord : We youre humble and true obeisant sub- 
jectes recommende us lowly unto your high and mightie rioll [royal] 
maiestie. Unto the whiche plese hit to understande, that we re- 
ceived, nowe late, by the handes of youre squier and servant 
Richard Wideville, youre gracieux letters of prive seal, the teneur 
of the which we have wel understand, conceyving ther with all the 
credence by hym to us exposed. Upon the teneur of the saide 
letters [we] beseching youre saide rioll maiestie, oure right gracieux 
and moste douted souveraigne lorde, That we, youre humble be- 
sechers, (which alwaie have ben, beeth, and ever shal be, [and] wol 
be, duryng oure lyves, youre verraye and trewe obeisant subgetes,) 
mowen been done to and demened in manere and fourme liche 
[like] as contenen [are contained 'in] certaine articles closed with 
inne this same. And we at all tymes aren, and, with Godds grace, 
shallen be redy, at the comandemeiit, ordinance, and be charge of 

Jetters, under seal of right worshipfull and oure ful dere lorde 
therle of Warrewic, be whos comandement and charge (as he that 
for the saufgarde and seure keping of the toune of Caleys, was and 

_is, unto yow oure souveraing lorde, be these letters, and seurly 
bounden in bodye, goodes, liflode, and heritages), and yet not dis- 
charged thereof, as we understanden, we have charge and com- 
aundement of the keping and governaunce [i.e. of Calais] and to 
whom, be all haste possible, and incontinent after tharrivaille of 
youre seid squier and servant, we have sent certaine messages 
[messengers] for the same cause, to obey and fulfill youre noble 

widow of Sir John Grey, having captivated the King, he was taken into favour, and 
great honours and trusts were conferred on him. He was made Treasurer of the Ex- 
chequer, Lord High Constable of England, and advanced to the rank of an Earl. After 
a brilliant career, the common story is that, in 9 Edw. IV. he was seized in his house at 
Grafton near Towcester, by Sir William ConyerS a Lancastrian partisan, who, under the 
name of Robin of Ridsdale, raised an insurrection against the Yorkist government; that 
he was hurried to Northampton, and there beheaded. (Dugd. Bar. vol. ii. p. 230; 
Warkworth's Chronicle, p. 6.) 


charge and comandement, touching the delyverance of this youre 
toune of Caleys. And, full high and mightie prince, and oure right 
gracieux and moste douted souverainge lorde, God of his might and 
grace ever preserve and kepe unto his plesaunce your noble per- 
sonne, with perfit encres of yeres and right good lif and longe, for 
his muche mercy, etc. Writen 



FULL high and mightie Prince and oure right gracieux douted 
lorde, also [as] lowly as in any wise we best mowen or cannen we 
us recomande unto yo r high and mightie lordeship, unto which 
plese it to understand, that we received no we late, by the haiides%of 
worshipfull Squier Richard Wydebyle, youre counseller and cham~ 
berlayn, youre honorable letters in date of the xv. day of Ffeverer 
[February], with certain credence therupon be him to us exposed 
the teneur of which we have well conceived and understande [un- 
derstood] as wel as the teneur of other gracieux letters of the Kinges 
oure souverainge lorde, now late be youre saide counseller and 
chamberlayn to be delivered and declared. Unto which letters of 
the Kinges oure forsaid souveraing lorde, and credence upon the 
same, we, [who] alwaye han ben^ beth [are], and wol be, during 
oure lyves, his veray trewe and obeissant subjetes, as trewly disposed 
to oure ligeance, hanen, after oure simple pouer [poor] discrecions, 
devised answers suche as we trusten to Almightie God shalbe unto 
his plesaunce. Beseching yo r saide lordeshippe, ful high and 
mightie prince, and our right douted gracious lorde, that where as 
we hanen now late, and incontinent forthwith, at tharrivaille of y our 
said counseller and chamberlayn at this said town of Caleis, sent 
certain messages [messengers ?] ffelawes of oures, unto oure worship- 


full and right derc lorde therle of Warrewick, now late oure 
capitaine, to lete him have knowleche of the said letters, as wel as 
of the will of oure forsaide souveraing lorde, touching the de- 
liverance of this his toune of Caleis; of which in al haste possible 
[we] truste to have answere, [and that] hit be unto yo r highness no 
displesaunce ; bot that oure poore worshippes and honestees in that 
partie mowen bee favourably recommended unto youre said high 
and mightie lordeship ; submitting us hooly ther inne unto youre 
good grace and ordinance, as they that hertely beeth disposed to 
obeye all youre honorable desires and doo youe true service at oure 
simple pouers. And, full high and mightie prince, and oure right 
douted and gracieux Lorde, God of his might and grace ever youe 
preserve and kepe, with perfite helthe of personne, and right good 
lyf and longe, for his muche mercy. 



IT is very difficult to say what manner of man J. B. the author of this 
curious petition was. That he was an ecclesiastic, and considered himself sus- 
pected of Lollardism, there is no doubt ; but, although there were grounds for 
suspicion, he was nevertheless no Lollard. Still he greatly fears and distrusts 
the ecclesiastical authorities, and has no hope of justice except from the King 
himself. He had been compelled by false leasings to take sanctuary at West- 
minster, and is anxious that the King should himself determine his cause. He 
asks, first, that a particular service or manual of devotion to our Lady in Latin, 
" containing all the Bible, with great part of Catholic doctors for the better 
understanding of the same Bible," may be freely used by any one, and specially 
that it may be used by what he terms "a private religion," meaning, as I con- 
ceive, a religious confraternity called " Christ's Knights." This is what he 
mainly aims at ; but, inasmuch as he intimates, besides, a very orthodox desire 

11 Ps. iv. 2 ; v. 6. 


to " werry the heathen and other heretics," in order to consolidate the unity 
of the Church under "our holy Father the Pope of Home'" one would have 
thought the Bishop of London would have deemed the purity of his faith unim- 
peachable. He was, however, accused of having affixed some letter to the 
gate of Thomas Falconer, Lord Mayor in 1414-15, and had been cast into 
the Penitentiary of St. Paul's.' He was further accused of favouring Lord 
Cobham ; of possessing a Lollard book " they clepe the Lanthorn of Light ;" 
and of lately organizing and abetting a Lollard rising at Coventry. He 
denies the truth of all and every of these allegations ; but the possession 
of the book was suspicious. A copy of the "Lanthorn of Light" "bound 
in red leather, of parchment, written in a good English hand," had been 
found in the hands of one John Claydon, a currier, a poor relapsed Lollard, who, 
a few years earlier, had been delivered over to the secular arm. The examination 
of the book was on that occasion referred to a committee of ecclesiastics, one of 
whom was the famous William Lyndwood, author of the "Provinciate" and, if their 
report is to be trusted, it was highly abusive of the Pope and the bishops. It is, 
however, remarkable that, amongst the fifteen heretical propositions which the 
committee found in the book, one (the sixth) is directly condemnatory of 
" private religions," the very institutions one of which J. B. wished to intro- 
duce. 6 Lord Cobham, who was condemned for heresy by Archbishop Arundel, 
10th October, 1413, c was executed in December, 1417. d The Duke of Bedford 
was Lieutenant of the kingdom in 1415, and again in 1417, when the King was 
absent from England. 6 The Duke of Gloucester was appointed to the post, 
30th December, 1419. f Tfae King was at home from February to June, 1421,* 

a It is not very clear what the words " Penitauncery of Poules " mean. I conceived 
them to indicate an ecclesiastical court ; but it has been suggested, on high authority, 
that they, more probably, mean an episcopal prison, the use of which, as regarded sus- 
pected heretics, was sanctioned by an Act of the 2 Henry IV. I do not however find, in 
Dugdale's History of St. Paul's, any trace of either a court or prison so named attached to 
the metropolitical cathedral. Under the word " Peenitentiaria,' 1 '' Ducange has "Tri- 
bunal Romanum cui praeest Poenitentiarius Major," and he defines " Poenitentiarius ' 1 
to be a dignity instituted in cathedral churches by the Council of Trent (Session 24, 
cap. 8, and Sess. 14, cap. 7), having power to absolve in reserved cases. He adds, how- 
ever, that this dignity existed long before the Council of Trent. (Ducange, v. 326.) The 
name of an office might very soon pass into the name of a place; and, in modern Eng- 
lish, this change has occurred with reference to this very word. 

b Foxe, Acts and Monuments, vol. iii. p. 532. "The Lanthorn of Light" was after- 
wards printed by Robert Redman. Ames's Typog. Antiq. (Dibdin's edit.) vol. iii. p. 246. 

c Rymer, ix. 61. Pauli, v. 147, 148. 

e Rymer, ix. 305, 475. f Rymer, ix. 830. 

* Pauli, v. 166, 169. 


and the Duke of Bedford was reappointed the 10th June, 1421 . I conceive 
this petition to have been presented to the King in the spring of 1421. The 
Bishop of London of the period was Richard Clifford. b The text is both obscure 
and corrupt; but I must leave the document and its apparent contradictions as 
I find them. 

SADELY, mekely and truely bcsecheth youre true liegeman and 
continuel devoute bedrnan J. B., that sythen, by fals lesinges, he is 
neded to holde youre and god is Seintwary [God's sanctuary] of 
Westminster, ffor drede of fals prisonnement and gratter wronges, 
that ye wolde yeve him leev and hardiness to plaine to yow, and 
ye youreself, in youre owne solempne propre personne, withouten 
any other Juge, spirituel or temporel, be youe or any other, to be 
assigned in this cas, as fer [as] youre pouer streches, to here him ; 
And who that wol obiect ayainest him, on bothe sides, to alegge and 
prove; And thann youre owene self, at thende, whann ye have all 
thinges wel herd and conceived, yeve sentence diffinityf. And, 
namely, of a service of oure ladye, in laten, contening al the bible, 
with gret part of Catholic Doctours for the better understanding of 
that same bible. And this service for devocion take it whoo so wol, 
who so nil leef, and hit fully to be saide, foure tymes a yeere, or, at 
the lest, twice; and the labour, on the day, no^t fully Hi houres; which 
fourme of service he asketh to be confermed soo, that, whooever wol 
use hit, mo we bodely [boldly?], withouten sclaundre or defame of all 
manere unleeffulness ; and also the same he asketh for a privat religion, 
named cristys Knightis, for the same service to use. And also to 
werry [make war, (Chaucer)'] on the hethen and other heretikes, 
bothe gostely & bodely, in all law full manere, to make oo [one] 
foulde and one herde, oure Lorde Jhu [Jesu] criste, and his chief 
Vicar in erthe, oure hooly ffader the pope of Rome. Of which ma- 
tiers the same John [viz. J. B. before mentioned] toke up thre 
bookes, to be examined, to his ordinarie, bishop of London, sone 
after Estir last was ; asking therof aunswere. Bote he maye none 
yet have, ne his bookes neithr, ne of divers billes [letters] that he 

Rymer, x. 129. b F ast i Eccl. Angl. vol. ii. p. 294. 


hath sent sithen. Of whech therfor he asketh youe, liege lorde, 
both aunswer and deliverance; and also of fals lesinges falsly he 
[knoweth] not by whome put on him, that ye wolde holde and 
declare him ful innocent, ffor, got wote, soo he is. Of which lesings 
one is, that he shulde have made a letter y sett upon Faukener is 
gate thanne maire of London, and [he is] cast into the Penitauncery 
of Poules. [The 2d not stated.] The thridde, in declaring [himself 
in favour ?] of John Oldecastell, Knyght. The fourthe, a booke thei 
clepe the launtern of light ; the v te that he shulde, at Coventre, Sun- 
day thre wekes nexte bifore Lammesse day last was, have taught and 
stirred Loullers to rise; the vi te . that he shulde have made vi hun- 
dred tabardes for the same entent. And, to fore god, liege lord, al 
is fals and falsly fayned; and that he is ever redy to declare him- 
self, oonely yn yo r noble presence, right as ye and youre rightwise 
la we wolle: and yet, every day, they countrefet nue lesinges, soo 
that he may not poursue aunswer of his service and religion aforsaide. 
And therfore, liege lorde, til these matiers be al finisshed, he asketh, 
freely, youre true and faithfull highest and most free and gracious 
protection, in all manere causes to ayeinst all manere of men, of what 
condition ever it be, he in no wise be letted : bote alwaye mowe 
safe goo at large, to poursue his nedes in this cas; and to take his 
ful counsseil withoute al manere of prisonnement, and othir letting 
whatever, ye mowe deffende. And also, evermore, to have free 
honest commynge unto youre owen rial presence, in due time and 
place, withouten any lettyng, at his owen wille; ffor he findeth youe 
god and at hese to borogh (?). That that he wol never this flye, but 
redi appere^ and youre lawfull sentence ever abyde, and with goode 
will take. And, on this condicion, bote not elles, he forsaketh all 
other priviliges and libertees of Sanctewary, ever bounden to yow 
and to youre righwys laws; ffor, god wote, he toke never Sante- 
wary bote for fere of fals prisonnementes, and therfor he besecheth 
you leeveth [that ye believe] not lyers against him, ffor [fore] god, 
he saith ne meneth bote treuthe. And all this, liege lorde, as fer as 
god may be plesed, and ye not displcsed, he requireth you, bifore 


godc, at his endelcs dome, [that ye hear] and also that ye see and 
conceive an Informacion in latin of the same Religion, which he 
tooke to myn excellent and worthie lorde your brother, thanne youre 
lieutenant, also noble Due of Bedford. And, more over, he asketh 
you al that ever he shulde, pertening and helping to this matiere, 
and all that is impertinent and harmyng to be had awaye. And 
ever to have libertee to adde and minise [minish ?] chaunge and 
amende, as hit may him most speede ; and in noo waye delay e ne 
hinder, thogh he [knowjnot what it is. Therfore evermore, he asketh 
yow also al manere true and faithfull counsseill in this matier; for 
he is bot right simple, ne greet truste hath not ferrer [further?] 
thanne in god and yow. Lete hym not therfore be deceived, for 
godds love allmighte. And therfore, if ayenst this peticion any 
processe be made of any maner Juge spirituel or temporell, and soo 
the same John have wronge, thanne he provoketh and appelleth 
this cause directly to the rightwisness of god and to the liege lorde, 
ffor other juges in this matere he hath utterly suspecte, for greet 
wronges that he hath had, dreding to have more. He therfor hem 
utterly recuseth, and herto he fully him submitteth. Al this and 
eche parcel therof he asketh yow, and requireth oonly to have right, 
for god is [God's] love, etc. 



THIS letter seems to have been written by Henry the Fifth, or Henry the 
Sixth, (I incline to think by the former sovereign,) from France ; but to whom 
I am wholly unable to say. The only particular of any importance it discloses, 
is notice of the fact that, at one period, the King of England felt so sure of 
retaining France, that it was contemplated having one chancellor for both 
realms. I cannot discover who W. M. was ; but Richard Leyot was a person 
of some note. I have not found that he ever held any distinct office under 
the Crown ; but he was a churchman mentioned more than once in Rymer as 


having been employed, during the reigns of both Henry the Fifth and Henry 
the Sixth. He was a prebendary of Lichfield in 1431, a and advanced to the 
dignity of Dean of Salisbury in 1446. He died 16 June 1449. b This letter is 
merely a fragment. 

EIGHT trusty and welbelovyd. We grete yow wel. And for as 
muche as that we ben advised for to have but oon Chaunceller, bothe 
for oure metiers that we have adoo in this land, and also in England^ 
We writen at this tyme unto oure right trusty & welbelovyd 
Clerc, Maistre Richard Leyot, for to send us over into this lande, in 
all, goodely haste, oure seal that he hathe in his keping. And we 
wol that he be forthe of oure counssail, as that he was bifore, and 
more over, sith that oure lorde hathe taken owte of this worlde W- 
M., that in his lyf was oure trewe servant, as we truste verraly, 
whoos soule god for his mercy assoille: we wol and charge yow 
that ye sende unto us oure Signett, that he hadd in kepinge, and 
certilfie us alweys, fro tyme to tyme, by comers betwene, of suche 
tidings as that ye han. 



JAMES THE FIRST, King of Scotland, had been most unjustly arrested in the 
year 1406, when a child, by King Henry the Fourth, while on his way to 
France. He remained in confinement during the reigns of Henry the Fourth, 
Henry the Fifth, and until the second year of Henry the Sixth (1423). In 
this year he was released, on an undertaking to pay, within six years, the sum 
of 40,000^., not for ranson, but for his "support and education." Before return- 
ing home, he espoused in London, Joanna, niece of Richard the Second by the 
mother's side, and, through her father, John Duke of Somerset, granddaughter 
of John of Gaunt, and was presented on his marriage-day with a discharge for 
10,000/., being one quarter of the stipulated sum. c The 10,000 marks men- 

Fasti Ecc. Ang. vol. i. p. 601. b n,id. vol. ii. p. 616. 

Scott's Hist, of Scotland, vol. i. p. 258. 


tioned in this memorandum were no doubt another instalment of the sum in 
question. A " cedul " appears to have been added to the original document 
sealed by Thomas Roweley. Thomas Roweley, Roulle, or Roule, was an eccle- 
siastic, and chaplain to James the First, King of Scotland. He seems to have 
been a diplomatic agent whose services were often required by his master. 4 

IN the yere of grace MIIII C XXVI, Theffriday vi te day of the monethe 
of Decembre, Maister Thomas Koweley Clerc, for certain causes 
y commen from high and mighte Prince the Kyng of Scotland, unto 
the Kyng oure Souverainge Lorde, and to his greet Counseill. After 
certain communication y had at Westminster, betwene hym and 
Richard Bok eland, Tresorer and Vitailler of Caleys, as touching the 
paiement of the some of x m 1 marcs be the saide Kinge of Scotland, 
owing, as be terme runnen, after the stablement of the same, and due 
to be paied unto the Kynge our saide souverainge lorde in the Cite 
of London, made hym strange, b as in the saide Kinges name of Scot- 
land, and said unto the saide Kichard Bokeland at the saide West- 
minster, That at the ferthest be the ferste Sunday Clene Lenton c 
nexte comynge the seid somne of x m 1 marcs holy shulde & shalbe redy 
in money to the value of good nobles, mountyng, the same somne 
to be paied within the toune of Bruges in Flaundres, unto all suche 
personnes or personne as thereof han or shullen have pouer & auc- 
torite sufficient, be the Kinge our saide Souverainge lorde, and that 
withouten any longer delaies makyng hym strange. d Over [further?] 
that the said Maister Thomas permitting that, upon that the said 
Kinge of Scotland in al goodly haste shall sende his letters seeled 
under his seel unto the lordes of the Counsseil of oure said souve- 
rainge lorde, promising & afferming the same. In Witenesse of 
whiche thing the said Maister Thomas unto this cedul hath sett his 
seel day & yere aboven rehersed. 

Acts of Privy Council, vol. iii. p. 357; Rot. Scot. vol. ii. pp. 258a, 2596, 261a, 2626, 
2656, 2696, 275ct & b, and 282a; Rymer, x. pp. 428 and 431. 
b Made it a matter of difficulty. See Canterbury Tales, 11,535. 
See Paston Letters, xxii. vol. i. p. 297. 
d i.e. without any further difficulty. 





THE bishop to whom this letter was addressed was a Bishop of Lincoln, Slea- 
ford having been formerly a residence of the Bishops of Lincoln. His Lord- 
ship was plainly " in trouble," and, from his having to sue the King's Council 
for his temporalities, I conclude this was the "trouble" and "adversity" that 
is alluded to in the letter. This circumstance seems to point out Richard 
Flemmyng, who was Bishop of Lincoln from 1419-20 to 1430-1.* Richard 
Flemmyng was born in Yorkshire of a good family, b and educated at University 
College, Oxford. He took his degrees of B.A. and M.A., and was a proctor in 
1407 and 1408. In early youth he inclined strongly to the doctrines of Wick- 
liffe ; but, " his mouth being stopped with preferment" not only his zeal cooled, 
but he became a determined enemy to all church reform." He was made 
Rector of Boston in Lincolnshire, Prebendary of South Newbald, and (by ex- 
change) of Langtoft, d both in the arch-diocese of York, and, in 1419-20, was 
promoted to the see of Lincoln. 6 In 1423 he was present at the Council of 
Sienna f (Senense), and so distinguished himself there that the Pope (Martin 
V.)*made him his Chamberlain,^ and the following year (1424) promoted him 
to the Archbishopric of York. This preferment Richard Flemmyng unwarily 
accepted without the permission of the King's Council. 11 The Council there- 
upon seized the temporalities of Lincoln, compelled the prelate to renounce 
the archbishopric, and the Pope was fain to retranslate him (in 1425) by the 
style of Richard Archbishop of York to his former see. 1 It was on this occa- 

a Fasti Eccles. Anglic, ii. 17. 

b Illustribus in Anglia natus parentibus (Pitseus, t. 1, p. 615). 

c Antiq. Oxon. (Gutch) iv. 234. When I first walked up the nave of Lincoln Cathedral 
I almost forgave Richard Flemmyng for wishing to preserve things as they were. 

d Ibid. 234 n. (4). e Fasti Ecc. Angl. ii. 17. 

f Pitseus, t. i. p. 615. This author gives, as the date of this Council, 1424, sed vide 
contra Chron. of Hist. (Nicolas) 252. Anthony Wood, by mistake, calls it the Council of 
Sens (Antiq. Oxon. 234), which was held in 1485 (Nicolas, 253). 

8 See the Latin epitaph published by Anthony Wood as having been formerly on the 
tomb, but which was not there in 1640 (Antiq. Oxon. (Gutch) iv. 235, 236). 

h The King's Council had assented to the election of Philip Bishop of Worcester to the 
Archbishopric. (Acts of Privy Council, vol. iii. xxviii. 71.) 

1 Fasti Eccl. Angl. vol. ii. p. 17, where see, in the footnote, a very remarkable letter 


sion that Richard Flemmyng petitioned, in most abject style, for the restitution 
of his temporalities,* and they were restored 3rd August, 1426. b Richard 
Flemmyng obtained a royal license, dated 12 Oct. 1427, to found Lincoln 
College in Oxford, to educate persons who should write, preach, and dispute 
against the " damnable doctrine " of Wickliffe. He died, however, at Lincoln, 
the 25th January, 1430-1, before his college was actually founded. I am 
struck with the unrelenting hostility shown by this bishop to the memory of 
one, whom in his youth he had so much admired. He it was who was selected 
by the Council of Sienna to execute the decree of the Council of Constance, 
which directed that the bones of the great reformer should be exhumed ; to 
which, as one of Wickliffe's biographers observes, he, in his zeal, added the 
burning thetn.<* I believe this letter to have been written in 1426; and I have 
a suspicion that Bishop Beckington, at that time archdeacon of Buckingham, 
was the writer. I can discover nothing with regard to " Alisaundre the Lum- 
bard" Anderby, Thomas Soresby, or Wyche. There was a Richard Wychc, 
who may have been living in 1426, who, like Richard Flemmyng, had once 
been a follower of Wickliffe, and who was compelled to recant. 6 Perhaps he 
was the last of the persons named. 


RIGHT Worsliipfull ffadir in Gode, .and my worshipfull lorde, I 
recommende me unto youre lordeshipe, yn all due wise; and like hit 
youre lordeshipe to wite, that I have received youre letters writen at 
Sleford the x day of Januer, rehercyng, muche things, the which, as 
ye affirme, is iche [each] worde true, on peyne of your unworshipe. 
By the which youre letters I understand, yn especial, that, touching 
the cxxx 11 , that I paied of myn owen goods to Alisaundre for your 
bulles, the same Alisaundre muste paye me ayen; and Anderby to 
hym the said somme, as ye writen. Sir, I mervaille right muche, 
and can noght have mer vailed to muche, that ye soo writen, consi- 
dering, namely, how, at your departing hens, and many tyme before, 

from the Council to the Lord Chancellor, on the occasion. There is in Flemmyng's 
Register, circa 1424, very distinct intimation of the see being then vacant. 

Rot. Parl. iv. 311. "a Fasti Eccl. Anglic, ii 17 

c Antiq. Oxon. (Gutch) iv. 236, 237. Reg. Flem. fo. 36. 

d L'Enfant, Hist, du Cone, de Const, lib. ii. vol. i. p. 157; Lewis's Life of Wickliffe, 
p. 280; Godwyn de Prsesulibus Anglise, p. 297; and Lynd wood's Provinciate, lib. v. tit. 4, 
p. 284, note c. Lyndwood's annotator seems, however, to consider the " burning " as having 
been ordered by the Pope. e Fasc> Zizan> p 501> 


withe much more langage thanne is now to be reherced, ye desired 
and praied me, with greet instance, to sue unto my lordes of the kinges 
counsaille for deliverance of youre temporaltees ; like as y did, full 
diligently, God knoweth. And, also, ye praied me to spede your 
bulles towards you, as soone as thei werecomen; ye rehercyng, how 
greetly the delaying of youre said bulles might skaythe you. The 
which bulles hider commen, because that they might not be geten 
oute of the Lumbard J s hands, on lasse than the forsaide somme first 
paied, as youre servants Maister Thomas Soresby and Wyche 
knowen well, and also the Lumbard wol recorde, thei besoght and 
praied me right instantly, on youre behalve, to content the Lumbard 
of the said somme ; and soo I did, with right good wille (God 
knoweth) in thaire presence, the xxvi day of August; receyving of 
~Alisaundre a cedul of the said somme, upon good and justrekenyng, 
betwix you and hym. And this is so clere, that hit may no3t be 
said nay unto (I am seure) yf they be wel avised. Wherefore I 
may well mervaille of that ye write, that ye had no knowlege that 
I paied for yow the forsaid somme. Of which paiement Alisaundre 
also saieth, playnely, he certified yow, by letters diverse; and therby 
he wol abide. The which bulles, yn wise beforsaid, by me receyved, 
I sent thaym to yow, by youre seid servants, havyng, at all tymes, 
ful grete tendernesse and rewth ( God knoweth) of your adversitie, 
thogh it be litill considered. And, as touching the c u . that, as ye 
write, ye spake to Anderby of at Sleford, etc. trewly, as me seemeth, 
I quyte me soo to yow in that matere, amonges other, as were thanke 
worth, and [if] it be well remembred. Natheles, of that and muche 
more I passe over, at this tyme, and praye yow hertely that, consi- 
dered this that here is reherced, and the remenant that might be 
reherced, of my trew and kynde service unto yow, in youre trouble, 
ye wolle ordaine, in savyng your owen worship and me harmeles, 
that I be paied, as reason and good conscience wollen ; soo that, for 
deffaute of paiement, I be nojt constreint to pourvey me of othir 
remedye, that were me lothe ; the which, after answere of this letter 
had from yow, I must nedes and thenke [think] to doo, on lesse than 



ye woll content me. And, sir, I am seure ye wol no3t gruche so to 
doo, wel avised; ffor hit were to muche ayeinst youre worship, 
ayeinst good conscience, and ayeinst all gentilnesse, that I shulde 
thus straungely be quyte [requited] for my kyndenesse, and, pera- 
venture, cause many men herafter, that han will to do you service, 
wittyng herof, to be warre by me that God deffende [forbid] for 
youre sake, more than for myn. Right worshipfull, etc. the hooly 
Trinitee have yow evermore in his kepyng. Writen, etc. 

XV. (1). 


I HAVE no hesitation in assigning the five following letters to the year 1428. I 
have less confidence in my having placed them in their right order. They 
chiefly relate to the displeasure shown by Richard Beauchamp Earl of War- 
wick towards Richard Bokeland,* Treasurer of Calais, Richard Wydvile, b 
Chamberlain to the Duke of Bedford, Regent of France, and Lowis John, 
Warden of the Mint in London and. at Calais, in consequence of their having, 

Ante, p. 16. b Ante, p. 21. 

c Lowis, Lewis, Lodowick, or Lodewyke John was the representative of an ancient 
family (which also bore the name of Fitz-Lewis) formerly possessing property in Herts, 
but much more in Essex. It is said that the first of the family was the offspring of an 
intrigue of Prince Lewis (afterwards Lewis VIII.) of France with an English lady, when, 
in 1216, that prince invaded England, at the invitation of the barons opposed to King 
John. (Morant, vol. i. pp. 212, 213, note p.) It must, however, be admitted that the 
name Lewis John is intensely Welsh ; and that he, in a petition presented by him to Par- 
liament, in 1414, speaks of himself as of Welsh extraction. (Rot. Parl. iv. 45.) Lewis 
John was Warden of the Mint at London and Calais, and also Master of the Mint under 
Henry the Fifth. (Ruding's Annals of British Coinage, vol. i. pp. 33, 57.) The Hertford- 
shire property of this family was near Hatfield, where the name of Ludwick's or Lodwick's 
Hyde still lingers. (Clutterbuck, vol. ii. p. 357; Chauncy, p. 311.) Members of this 
family represented the county of Herts in 27 and 31 Edward III. and 1 Hen. IV. Lewis 
John was married three times, and Horndon or Thorndon Hall, in the parish of West 
Thorndon, with other lands in Essex, came to him by his third marriage, in 1438, with an 


as he conceived, caused his removal from the captainship of Calais. The 
charge is most strenuously denied by one of the three, who I believe to have 
been Richard Bokeland ; but, although the Duke of Bedford interested him- 
self warmly on their behalf, both by word of mouth and by letter, the Earl 
seems to have remained still of the same mind. Wydvile appears to have 
vainly attempted to exculpate himself by throwing the blame on Bokeland and 
Lowis John ; the latter, so far as appears, was silent. How far the Earl was 
justified in his suspicions it is impossible now to say, but a very sufficient rea- 
son for his ceasing to command at Calais existed in his being called upon, on 
the first of June of this year, to preside over the education of the young King 
Henry VI. a a duty which would of course require his presence in England, 
and which, very likely, he thought more honourable than agreeable, especially 
in time of war. The Duke of Bedford, who had lately been in England, had 
now returned to France. There is no doubt that he had at this period suc- 
ceeded in detaching the Duke of Britanny from his alliance with King Charles 
VII. b of France ; but I have not discovered any trace of the particular meeting 
of the two Dukes, which, it would seem, was expected to take place on the 
20th of May at Rouen. Thomas de Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, whose 
coming is said to be "right needful and expedient," landed from England at 
Calais in July, 1428, with reinforcements, taking the Earl of Warwick's place 
with the Duke of Bedford, who was now at Paris. d He proceeded southwards, 
and was killed, 3rd November, 1428, at that fatal siege of Orleans, where the 
English, in the spring of 1429, received their first check from Joan of Arc." 
The Duke of Bedford was made Captain of Calais by patent bearing date the 
5th December, 1428. f The office of Treasurer of England was held at this 
time by Walter Lord Hungerford.s 

Essex heiress. (Magna Brit. Essex, p. 684.) He died in 1442. (Inquis. post mortem, 
21 Hen. VI.) 

Ry. x. 399; Rot. Parl. v. 41 la; Acts of Privy Council, iii. 296; and Pat. 6 H. VI. 
p. 2, m. 5. The "Articles declaring how the Earl of Warwick took charge of Henry VI." 
which Sir John Fenn has prefixed to the Paston Letters, were not entered into on this 
occasion, but are of a later date (11 Hen. VI.). 

b Lobineau, Hist, de Bretagne, torn. i. p. 572. 

c Acta Regia, vol. ii. p. 244. d Hall, 143. 

e Lord Salisbury was mortally wounded at Orleans, but died at Meung sur-Loire, the 
3rd November, 1428. Of him an old French author (Lefebre de St. Denis), quoted by 
a modern historian, writes thus: "Plus vaillant homme que lui ne fut en Angleterre, ni 
ne put tre sous le soleil." (Martin, Hist, de France, vii. 7, 41, 47, 48.) 

1 Rot. Franc. 7 Hen. VI. m. 1. 

g Walter Lord Hungerford held high office under the Crown, during the reigns of 


Letter 1 was certainly addressed to the Duke of Bedford, probably to Paris, 
by certain officers at Calais ; and, although Bokeland, Wydvile, and Lowis 
John are named in the third person, it is clear from the Duke's reply that 
they were the writers. "Oure Lorde youre brother" must refer to Humphrey 
Duke of Gloucester, who conducted the home government as Protector, in the 
absence of the Duke of Bedford, but who seems at this time to have had some 
command at Calais. 

Letter 2 is from the Duke of Bedford to the writers of Letter 1. He has 
spoken to the Earl of Warwick, and now incloses a letter to him respecting 
" the hevynesse " he entertains towards Bokeland and his friends, and he tells 
them how they ought to conduct themselves towards him. The advice given 
as to certain payments due to the Earl seems to refer to some letter from 
them, which has not been preserved. 

Letter 3 from Bokeland to a friend (perhaps a brother) in personal at- 
tendance on the Duke of Bedford, expresses much gratitude to the Duke, 
and affection to his correspondent, who seems to have written Bokeland a 
letter, which has been also lost. Notwithstanding the Duke's letter, the Earl 
maintains his " hevy lordship " to Wydvile, Lowis John, and him, but specially 
to him. He hopes the Duke will still stand his friend, or he fears he must resign 
his post. He also states his reasons for feeling a difficulty in complying with 
the Duke's wishes, with regard to the payments due to the Earl of Warwick. 

Letter 4 was, I conceive, written to Bokeland from Paris by his friend in 
attendance on the Duke, probably early in May 1428. From its contents it would 
seem to have been sent to Calais with the Duke's letter. The notices of Lords 
Salisbury and Talbot are interesting. The siege mentioned at the end of the 
letter, as in preparation, was probably not of Laval, but Orleans. 

Letter 5 was certainly written by Bokeland to Richard Wydvile, who, 
being Chamberlain to the Duke of Bedford, was probably with him at Paris. 
Bokeland complains that Wydvile has tried to make his peace with the Earl, 
at the expense of his friends. He professes great difficulty in believing that 

Henry the Fourth, Henry the Fifth, and Henry the Sixth. He served in France under 
Henry the Fifth, received grants in that country, and \vas made a Knight of the Garter. 
He was also one of the King's executors. He was, for many years, Lord Treasurer of 
England, and sat in Parliament as Baron Hungerford from 4 Hen. VI. (1426) to 27 
Hen. VI. (1449). He died in 1449, and was buried in Salisbury cathedral. (Dugd. Bar. 
vol. ii. pp. 204, 205, 206.) Notwithstanding the minute directions given by this nobleman 
m his will (Test. Vet. vol. i. p. 257) as to his place of sepulture, scarcely a trace of it 
exists. Walter Lord Hungerford resided chiefly at Farley Castle, otherwise Farley Mont- 
ford, on the borders of "Wilts and Somersetshire. The remains of Farley Castle are said 
to be very trifling. (Hungerfordiana, p. 102.) 


Wydvile can have so acted. He ends his letter, however, by giving his corre- 
spondent a piece of news with which Wydvile, from his position with the Duke, 
was probably well acquainted. 

OURE right dredfull and moste gracious lorde, with entier hum- 
bless of oure poure and obeissaunts hertes, we recommande us unto 
youre high and noble grace. Like hit unto youre highness to un- 
derstand, how that wee ben enformed by the Tresourer of England, 
that he is instructed by yo r highness for to reforme youre patent of 
the Capitaineshippe of the toune and castell of Caleys. Whereupon 
he desireth us, youre poure servants, to sue it forth ; whiche we 
dare not take upon us, with outen special commandement and sup- 
portacion of yow therin; considering that nowe oure lorde of 
Warrewik sheweth himself alwaye hevy lorde to Wydevile, Lowis 
John, and Kichard Bokeland, surmetting upon thayme that they 
were causers therof [i. e. of his removal from the Captainship 
of Calais], which God knoweth the contrary, saving yo r com- 
mandement, that all youre trewe ferendes as all youre poure ser- 
vants dyd and as thayme owe of right to doone [as they ought of 
right to have done], and ever woll, to thaire lyves ende, in that and 
maters other. Wherfor, and it like unto yo r goode grace, we 
thenke that it were right necessarye to directe youre letters unto 
oure lorde youre brother, as well as unto the lordes of the Counsail, 
to have us, yo r poure servants, recommended unto thaire goode 
grace, as for al suche matere as we shall poursue unto thayme in 
yo r behalf, and in especial in this matere abovesaid ; and for how 
many yeres that ye desire to have [your patent made out] . Oure 
right, etc. We besech the blessed and gracieux Trinitee ever to 
preserve yow in honneur and prosperitee, and sende yow victory e 
of alle yo r enemys. 


XVI. (2). 



EIGHT trusty and wel-belovyd, We grete you well, And doo you 
to wite that we han received and seen yo r letters that ye han nowe 
late sent us, and fully che understanden the contenue of thayme ; of 
the whiche we thanke yow right hertely, and pray yow that, for oure 
comforte, ye wol continue to write forth unto us, and certiffie us, 
from tyme to tyme, of all suche tidings as that ye shall have; and, 
as touching unto the hevynesse that oure cousyn of Warrewyk hath 
unto yow, we have spoken unto hym therof, and praied him, that, 
by contemplacion of oure praier, he wol be yowr goode lorde, and 
remoeve his saide hevynesse from yowe. And nowe we writen unto 
hym also for the same cause, rijt tenderly, by oure letters; the 
whiche we sende yow with these, prayeng yow hertely, that ye 
wol gouvern yow unto him in alle wise goodely and frendely , as that 
ye owe to doo; and, as unto that that [ye] desire, by yo r said let- 
ters, for to be certiffied from us, howe that we wol that ye shall 
gouvern and demene yow from hens forthwards, in the payments 
that ye shall make unto oure saide Cousyn, we wol and pray yow, 
that, by youre goode discrecion, ye gouvern yowe in suche wise 
therin, as that ye thenke that ye owe to doo of right and reason; 
tendering in asmuche as that ye goodely may oure saide Cousyn in 
his forsaide payments. And oure Lorde, etc. 

XVII. (3). 

RIGHT worshipfull Brother, I commende me to yow, etc. and have 
received my lordes letters, oon direct to piy lorde of Warrewik, 


another to me, of whiche I beseche yow to tlianke lowly his 
goode and gracious lordeship on my poure behalf, with due 
recommendacion, etc. And grauntmercy, brother, hertely of youre 
kynde and gentill letter to me (right welcome at this tyme 
and at all tymes, prayeng yow entierly of continuance, at suche 
tymes as ys yo r goode Iay3er,) and mene commyng betwix for 
my recomfort singular [i.e. thanking you for your intervention], 
certiffieng me also, yf ther be anything that lyeth in me here 
to doo to youre plesaunce as hym that ye shall fynde als well 
willing and as hertely doo hit to my powaire as that that toucheth 
myn owen personne treuly. And, brother, touching thanswer of 
youre letter, wol ye wite, that my maisters, etc. presented my 
lordes letters unto my lorde of Warrewik, with as goodely Ian- 
gage of lowly submission on my behalf, that I might be received to 
myn answer and excuses, as we cowthe devyse. Natheles, yn con- 
clusion, it wol nojt be, as yet, me to greet sorowe and hevyness, 
that never, at my witting, yave any cause or occasion of suche dis- 
plesaunce unto his lordeshipp, but have doo [done] and wolde doo, 
God knoweth, to my saide lorde of Warrewyk any servyce to my 
connyng and powaire, that him luste [that he may choose to] com- 
maunde me with all myn hert, for to stande yn grace and favour of 
his goode lordeshipp, as I have ever desired. But, as I am lerned, 
he surmittethe to me as for cause principal of his offense and hevy 
lordeshipp to me wardes, like as he doeth to my cousin Wydvyle 
and to Lowis John, but principally to me, that I shulde have be 
the first fynder, chief sterer, and grettest causer that my lorde [i.e. 
the Duke of Bedford] hadd thoffice of Capitaine of Caleys, as I have 
certified youe or [ere] this, the which cause wele considered, hit 
t semeth to many men here, that hit fitteth my lorde to supporte, 
socour, and remedy his poure servants here yn suche cas and sem- 
blable, bering maugree [ill-will] for his service, yf they shul 
darre to doo his lordeshipp trew and profitable service in his 
absence, the whiche, withoute his special supportacion, can no3t be 
don, and eche day wers than other. Wherfor, brother, I pray yow 


right hertely, and as instantely as I can, meveth [to move] my lords 
counssail there, to stere him to tendre the poure degree of all his 
servants here, and specially of me, amonges other, that at this tyme 
here [bear] mooste maugre, the which, withouten socour of his 
lordeshipp, may not doo him suche service as were thaire desire and 
dutee ; and if like to my lordes grace to write any more in this ma- 
tere unto my lorde of Warrewyk for me, I pray you, brother, 
sendeth [send] me a cope of my lordes letters closed in youres for 
my more redy instruccion, ffor my lorde of Warrewyk is soo sore 
meved ayenst me in this matere, as I am plainely enformed that, 
onless than my lorde shewe me the better and more singular lorde- 
ship, men sayen hit hadde be muche better for me to have surcesed 
of my service longe or this. And therfor, brother, as ye be that 
personne that I have singular truste and affeccion unto, amonges all 
the servants that longeth to my lorde, I beseche yow doo suche dili- 
gence anenst my lorde for remedy of this maugree be youre goode 
discrecion, as I, with other his servants here, may stande in herts 
ese and seuretee for to doo him service here, like as, amonge all 
erthely desirs, is my special desire, and ever hope hath be to doo; and 
that I might have answer herof in alle goodely hast. Also, brother, 
there as my lordes letters maketh mencion, that I shulde gouvern 
me as tenderly as I can in preferring the payments due to my saide 
lorde of Warrewyk, God knoweth my will were to plese my lord 
of Warrewyk in that or in any other thing to me possible ; but it is 
harde for me to preferre thos payments withouten importable [insup- 
portable] maugre on other parties. Considering that all thassigne- 
raents of Caleys wol no3t suffice yerely to paye my lorde and his 
soudeours and the remenant of the Cappitaines of the Marches, that 
is to saye, my lord of Gloucestre and his souldeours of theire part, 
and semblably other captaines of theires, so that the preferment of 
of my saicie lorde of Warrewyk moste [must] of necessite cause my 
lorde and his souldeours to renne [run] muche the more in dette, 
the whiche I mooste charge. Natheles, yf my lorde wol, algates, that 
it so be, I pray yow certify me therof, and I shal be redy til obeye 


his commandement with right good wille, as my dutee requireth, yn 
that, and in all other, to my powaire, while I leve, with Gods 
grace, that ever have yow in his hooly keping, and grante yow 
right goode lyf and longe. Also, brother, for as muche as me semeth 
hit were expedient that my lorde see this letter, and redde hit, I 
beseche yow, as I truste yow entierly, that, yf you seme it be to doo, 
ye wol, at goode Iay3er, shewe hit til his lordeship, and clerely cer- 
tiffie me, by your nexte letter, what he wol say thertoo, and how he 
taketh it. 

XVIII. (4). 

MY right worshipfull maister, I recommende me unto yow as 
humbly and entierly, with all myn herte, as that I can or best maye; 
thanking yow, in as muche as that in any wise I suffice, of youre 
goodely letters that it hath liked youe to send me at this tyme ; the 
whiche I have received, unto my greet comforte. And, as touching 
the hevynesse that my lorde of Warrewik ha the unto yow, my lorde 
hath spoken unto hym therof, before this (as he hath tolde me); and 
praied him that he wold be [to] youe good lorde, at the reverence of 
him, and by contemplacion of his prayere; and remoeve his saidc 
hevynesse from yowe. And nowe he writeth unto hym also right 
tenderly thereof, and,*as that ye see that he doeth, ye may writen 
agenn (and it like youe) and I shall enfourme my lord therof, that 
he may therupon write eftersoones unto him, yf that nede be. [And] 
as unto [that] ye wolde be certiffied by my lorde, howe that he 
wolde that ye shulde demene yow in the payments that [ye] shall 
make unto my saide lorde of Warrewik, my lorde saith, that he wol 
that ye gouvern yow unto hym, in making of youre said payments, 
in such wise, as that ye owe to doo of right, and as that goode feith 



and conscience wolde, tendering him in asmuche as that ye goodely 
may. As anendeth the convention that shulde be betwix my lorde 
and the Due of Bretaigne, my lorde hath appointed hit to be at 
Rouen, the xx day of May nexte comyng; but wheder that the 
saide Due wol agree him therunto or not, my lorde is not yet 
plainely certiffied alweys; and it [he] wolde, I shall doo as muche 
in youre mater as that lyeth in my powaire, with all the help 
that I may geete, truly and in good feith. And as unto tidinges 
of thees parties [parts], I have enfourmed the berer of thees of 
all suche as that we han here, and prayed him for to make yow 
reporte therof. Hit were right nedefull and expedient that my 
lorde of Salisbury were here, for this same day my lorde hath 
tithinges from my lorde Talbot, that thenemys been assembled, and 
wol, within thes x dayes, leye siege unto Laval, or to sum other 
place. My Right Worshipfull, etc. 

XIX. (5). 

RIGHT worshipful Cousyn, etc. like it yow to wite, that my lorde 
of Bedford wrote late a letter to my lord of Warrewik, for to remeve 
his displesaunce anenst my personne, touching his discharge of [the] 
Capitaineship of Caleys, the which letter, whann hit was presented 
unto my said lorde of Warrewik, he saide, as I -am enfourmed, that 
ye had be besy to excuse youreself unto his lordeship, and surmitted 
the defaulte hooly upon Lowys John and me; the whiche nojtwith- 
standing, he hathe yow never the more excused, as it is saide. 
Saying also, more over, that other he hathe, or hathe seyn, a letter 
that the saide Lowis John and I shulde have writen to yow against 
his lordeship, yn that matier; the which I cannot suppos yn yow, 


Cousyn, treuly; fFor hit sliulde be to me to greet mervaile, yf it so 
were. For God knoweth that, yf a cas felle, that touched my wor- 
ship, or the contrarye, as muche as were possible, I durste right well 
disclose hit unto yow, as for truste of trouthe and secretness, as muche 
as to any personne liffyng. And, treuly, I can not remembre me, 
that ever I wrote to yow any thing that sliulde cause my saide lorde 
of Warrewyk to be thus displesed towardes my personne ; but in 
writyng, worde, and dede [I have] geven cause the contrary, at all 
tymes; ever desiring yow to be the mene, that I might stand under 
the favour of his goode lordeship. Also, Cousyn, my lorde of Warre- 
wik is appointed to have the King in gouvernaunce ; the manere 
and fourme I can not certiffie yow. 



THREE personages are named in this letter, the Duke of Bedford, Regent of 
France, Sir John Salvayne, and Fulthrop. The Duke of Bedford was Regent 
of France from the death of Henry the Fifth (1422) until his own death 
(1435), and Sir John Salvayne died in 1432. Therefore this letter was writ- 
ten between the years 1422 and 1432. The writer, R. B., who was a member 
of the Council of the Duke of Bedford, I conceive to have been Richard Boke- 
land, Treasurer of Calais, a strong adherent of that prince, and one of his exe- 
cutors. I find that Robert the sixth Lord Willoughby d'Eresby, a distin- 
guished captain in the French wars, was at this time owner of Parham in 
Suffolk, and he is twice mentioned by Hall in connection and close association 
with the Duke of Bedford and Sir John Salvayne. a I think, therefore, that it 

Hall, pp. 121 and 163. 


may be assumed, that it was to him the letter was written. Parham in Suffolk was 
erected in 1547 into a barony in favour of a descendant of Robert Lord Willoughby 
d'Eresby, who took the title of Lord Willoughby of Parham. Parham was the 
family seat until the end of the 17th century, when the property was sold to 
John Currance or Corrance, esq. of Rendlesham, whose descendant is the pre- 
sent owner. A Sir John Fulthorpe is also mentioned by Hall 8 as having been 
with the Duke, Lord Willoughby, and Sir John Salvayne, at the siege of 
Lagny near Paris (11 H. VI.). Sir John Salvayne was the second son of Sir 
Gerard Salvayne of Herswell and North Duffield, county Durham, and he 
died 19th of January, 1432. The family of Salvin still flourishes in the county 
palatine of Durham. What the matters were affecting the Duke of Bedford 
and Sir John Salvayne, to which the letter refers, cannot now, it may be fairly 
presumed, be ascertained. 

MY right worshipfull lorde and noble lorde, I recommend me unto 
youre goode lordeshipp, with my trewe hert and service. And please 
yow to understande, that I have received your worshipfull letters, by 
the bringer herof. By the which letters ye wol me to be with yow, 
at Parham, the xxii day of Cristenmasse, for a certaine matter 
touching Sir John Salvayn, as in youre said letters is more plainely 
expressed. Touching the which youre desire, like it youre Lordeshipp 
to wite, that my lorde of Bedford, Regent of the Reaume of Fraunce, 
hath late yeven in commandement by his letters to his counssail in 
this lande, and soo to me amongs other of his servants here, that we 
shulde mete to gederes atte London, upon ffridaye nexte after the 
date of this letter, for certaines chargeable matiers conserving [con- 
cerning?] his high and noble astate. Atte which tyme I muste of 
verraye necessitee be ther present with other of my saide lorde is 
[his] counssaile, after his commandement. And also hit standeth soo 
that Fulthrop, withouten whoom the saide matiers might not 
precede to an effectual conclusion, is not here present, soo that I 
may not fulfill youre entencion, as to be with yow at the saide xxij 
day, like as my desire were in that and in all other to obbey youre 
commandement. Wherfore I beseche youre goode lordeshippe to 

Hall, p. 163. 


have me excused as of my commyng to Parham at this tyme, con- 
sidering the forsaid causes. And that it like you, my lorde, for the 
greet truste that the said Sir John Salvayn hathe in youre goode 
lordeshipp, that ye wol appointe suche of your counssail as yow 
liketh to be here atte the begynnyng of this terme, with soufficeant 
powaire and instruccion, for to conclude the saide matiere, with 
Godd's grace. Atte which tyme I suppos Fulthrop wolbe here, 
and I truste to God that we shall soo demene us in that mater, as 
youre lordeshipp shalbe plesed, as ferre as longeth to the partie of 
Sir John Salvayne, etc. K. B. 



I judge this letter to have been written by John Duke of Bedford, Regent 
of France, and during the early part of the reign of Henry VI. I have no 
means of more accurately determining its date. 

TRUSTY and welbiloved, We greet you often tymes well. And 
for as much as Kichard Bokeland, tresorer of Caleys, ys assigned to 
receive by youre handes, [out] of the remennj [remainder] of the 
subside of the wolles C 11 ., for money which he lent to the Kinge : 
We wolle and praye yow, that ye see he be paied, and content of 
the seid some, in the haste that ye may goodly receiving of hym a 
toale [tale ?] thereof, for youre discharge. And Gode have youe in 
his keping. Writen, etc. J. B. 




THE Church of St. Peter Cornhill was one of the most ancient in the city of 
London, perhaps in England. It was burnt in the Great Fire in 1666, but was 
rebuilt. The manor of Leaden-Hall, with the appurtenances, and the advow- 
son of St. Peter's Cornhill, was in 1411 confirmed by Richard Whittington and 
others, citizens of London, to the Corporation of London, and they have been 
patrons of the Church ever since. I have not found any incumbent during the 
reign of Henry VI. whose initials were T. B., nor have I any means of deter- 
mining the date of this letter. 

TRUSTY and welbeloved, We grete you wel. And for as moch as 
we be enfourmed that the Paroish chirch of Saint Petre in Corne- 
hull is like, withinne shorte tyme, to voide, wherof ye be patrons, as it 
is said. We therfore, havyng consideracion unto the vertues and 
konnyng which be reported unto us to be and rest in the personne 
of o r welbeloved Thomas B., whoom the paroisshiens of the said pa- 
roish have in greate tendrenesse, for the good conversacion that he 
long tyme hathe beknowen amongst theym to be of, pray you 
affectuously that, at reverence and contemplacion of us, ye wol have 
hym unto the said benefice, at such tyme as hit shal nexte voide, 
before all other especiall recommended. Wherinne ye shall do unto 
us, etc. 

To the Mair and Aldermen of London. 



THE vicarage of St. Aldate's Oxford was formerly in the alternate presenta- 
tion of the Abbots of Abingdon and St. Frideswide's Abbey, now Christ Church. 


It afterwards came to the Crown, and was bestowed by Charles I. on Pembroke 
College, by which college it has been lately sold to Mr. Simeon's trustees. 
There does not appear to be any record of the presentation of Kobert Mark- 
ham either at Christ Church or at Lincoln, in which diocese Oxford formerly 


TRUSTY and welbelovyd in God, we greet yow wel, and late yow 
wite, that we be enformed how the chirch of Saint Aides, withinne 
oure Universite of Oxon, being of yo r patronage, is voide or like 
hastely to void, by the decesse of thincumbent of the same. Wher- 
fore we, considering the vertueux cunnyng and goode zeal and dis- 
posicion, that, as we be enformed, resten in the personne of oure 
welbeloved Maister Kobert Markham, desire and hertely praye you 
that, at the reverence of us, ye wol have him unto the saide chirche 
if it be voide, or at suche tyme as hit shall nexte void, especially 
recommended. Wherinne ye shall doo unto us good pleasure. 
Yeven, &c. the xxvi day of Feverer. 

Thabbot of Abyndon. 



I can only conjecture that the writer of this letter, who was of ducal rank, and 
who had lately lost his wife, may have been the Duke of Bedford, whose first 
wife Anne, sister to the Duke of Burgundy, died at Paris the 13th or 14th 
November, 1432. He married again 20th April, 1433. The Duke was at this 
time Captain of Calais, and perhaps the letter was addressed to Richard Boke- 
land, who was still Treasurer of Calais. The pawning of jewels by persons of 
high rank was very common in the 15th century. I can discover nothing 
respecting the Flemish merchants, Carles Giles and Johan Martyn. If I am 
right in my conjecture as to the writer of this letter, it would have been written 
between November 1432 and April 1433. 


EIGHT trusty and welbelovyd, We grete yow well; and for as 
moche as it hathe liked cure blessed Createure [Creator] , now late to 
take oute of this worlde unto his pardurable blisse, as we truste, oure 
wif the Duchesse that was, whoos soule God assoille ; wherethorough 
we have greet nede to recovere oure Joialux, and hire beyng yet in 
Bruges, with and in the handes of Carles Giles and Johan Martyn, 
Marchaunts of lignes (?) and dwelling in Bruges for the some of 1 l m 
ix c iiij. etc. of Flandres, or the value of thayme, as thei be worth in 
London. We pray yow hertly that, fore the quityng oute of oure 
said Joialux, ye wol, in all goodely haste, doo all youre goode devoir 
and possible diligence, taking all oure said Joiaulx hooly into youre 
handes and warde, and keping theyme stille unto the tyme that ye 
be fully paied and content by us ayein of all youre goode, that ye 
shall paye for the said cause. Withoute that ye wol not faille herof 
in any wise, as oure truste is unto youe, and as ye desire oure 
goode lordshippe ; witting that ye may do us therin bothe worsjiipp 
and greet hertsease; and God, etc. Yeven under oure Signett, atte 
etc. the daye, etc. 



Or the four following letters I believe the first and the last (which seems to 
be only a fragment) to have been written by Henry Bishop of Winchester, 
commonly called Cardinal Beaufort, Cardinal of Winchester and Cardinal of 
England. His Roman title was Cardinal of St. Eusebius. The first letter was 
addressed to E. L. B.; who wrote the second to the Cardinal, in reply to the 
first ; and the third, addressed by E. L. B. to the Duke of Bedford, was sent to 
the Cardinal to be delivered to the Duke, and was probably inclosed in the 
second. Who E. L. B. was I have no means of ascertaining ; but the tone of 
the Cardinal's letter to him and of his reply shews him, I think, to have been a 
personage of very high rank. The reader will note the curious present, the 
" ampulle " or phial, which E. L. B. sends to the Duke. The fragment which 
is all that remains of the fourth letter from the Cardinal to the Duke is an 


instance, as far as it goes, of that singular commixture of business and piety, 
which the churchmen of the fifteenth century knew so well how to exhibit. 

The letters were certainly written soon after the 23rd June, 1433, when 
Richard Chichester, named in the first letter, was presented to his living,* 
and before the 14th September, 1435, when the Duke of Bedford died. I 
strongly suspect that they were written in July, 1435, just before Cardinal 
Beaufort left England to attend the Congress of Arras. The last siege of 
Mont St. Michel by the English, where the Cardinal's ship "cleped 'The Mary 
of the Toure' " was taken by the Bretons, occurred in 1423. In the Ashmolean 
MSS. No. 789, p. 164, is a fragment of a Latin letter, said in the Catalogue to 
be from Henry VI. to a certain prelate (ad prcelatum quendam) dated 18th 
February, 1437-8, promising tbfe restoration of a ship of his taken at Mont St. 
Michel off the coast of Britanny. The prelate was perhaps the Bishop of Win- 
chester. I have been unable to discover anything about the Moot Hall (eo 
nomine) at Calais, and the shops underneath it. I find, however, in certain 
Calais accounts of the year 1439, still extant at the Record Office, mention 
made of '* octo shopas in fine occidentali magne aule in foro Cales. b " Perhaps 
Thomas Christopher's shops, which the Cardinal promises to " see unto," were 
amongst these. 

HIGH and mighte, and my full noble Lorde, I recommend me 
unto yower good lordeship, in as humble wise as I can, or may, in 
any wise; desiring (as I am full moche beholden) to wite of the 
welfare and prosperities of youre high and noble estate, the whiche 
I beseche our Lorde alwaies governe and preserve, after his pleasaunt 
wolle, and your owen noble desires. Signiffiing unto your said 
lordeshippe, that I have received your worshipfull letters^ by the 
which ye comaunde me, that I shulde see unto certaines shoppes 
that youre Squier Thomas Xtofer hathe within the toune of Caleys ; 
and to lete theym to ferme to his moste proffit, etc. touching the 
whiche your comaundement, as well in that mater as in all othir ? 
that is possible to me to execute, I shall, with Godd's grace, doo 
such diligence, as youre seid lordeshippe shalbe pleased, I hoope; 

* Bishop Laey's Register, vol. ii. fo. 79. I have to thank Mr. John Carew of Exeter 
for his kindness in examining the Bishop's Register, which has enabled me to determine 
the date of these letters. See also Pole's Devon, pp. 384 and 524. 

b Accounts of Ro. Whityngham, Treasurer of Calais (17 H. VI). 


and, if ther be any thing, there or elles where, that ye wott of, yo r 
lordeshippe comaunde me, youre servant, and [I] alweys shall 
be redy to obey youre noble comaundements, to my powaire. Upon 
Friday nexte, I am purposed, with Godd's grace, to departe out of 
this toune towards Caleis, and, soone after my comyng thither, other 
[either] to ride my self, or to send, unto my Lorde the Regent of 
France, to pursue for restitution of my shippe, that was late taken in 
the Kinges service ; beseeching youre good and gracious lordeshippe, 
that yow like to write unto my forseid Lorde youre letters of reco- 
mendation, for the better expedicion of my pursuite in that partie. 
Ferthermore, my Lorde, ther is a good frende of myne, oon Richard 
Chichestre, a clerc with my lorde the Bishop of Excestre, late pre- 
sent to a chirche called Litiltory, a within the dioces of Excestre; 
and the seid clerke is institute and induct in corporal possession. 
The which chirche is within the taxe, as my maister Clerc of the 
Rolles certified you, by a bill under his seall. Like it unto youre 
seid lordeshippe, I beseche yow, my lorde, to graunt to the forseid 
Richard a ratification of the forseid chirche, for the fortiffication of 
his title, and possession in the same. High and myghte, and my 
full noble Lorde, I beseche the Blessed Trinitee have yow ever in 
his holy keping, and grante yow right goode lyf and longe. 

H. W re . 



RIGHT dere and welbelovd Cousin, We grete yow well ; Doyng youe 
to wite, that we have sent yow a letter, to be take unto my Lorde of 
Bedford; whiche we praye yow to take hym, other elles [or else] 

The name of the parish to the church of which Richard Chichester was presented is 
Little Torrington (Torrington Parva) Little Torrinton or Little Toryton. See Bishop 
Lacy's Reg. vol. ii. fo. 79; Pole's Devon, pp. 384, 524. 


that ye ordaine that it be take to hym, after youre discrecion. Also 
we have sent yow an ampulle, which we praye yow to approve, in 
presence of my lorde forsaid, and take him, in oure name. No 
more; but Allmightie gode save yowe, and encres yow unto his 

E. L. B. 



UNTO the Right High, "Worthie, Right Mightie, and noble Prince, 
my right douted Lorde the Due of Bedford, Regent of France. 

Right trustie and welbeloved, We grete you well ofte tymes. 
And for as muche as oure welbelovyd Squier, Thomas Christopher, 
hath, within the toune of Caleys, certaines shoppes, undernethe the 
Mootehall, whiche were wonte to yelde hym x marcs of rent by 
yere; and it is now soo, that this three [years] passed, and moo, he 
had not therof but vii. nobles, as he saith ; we praye yow hertely 
that, considered that the said Christopher may not goodly be oute of 
our service, at this tyme, ne en tend [attend] to the better gover- 
nance of his said rent; ye" wol, at reverence of us, and throw con- 
templacion of these our prayers, ordeine soo for lettyng of the said 
shoppes, as oure greet truste is unto yow, that they may be of as 
great avayle unto hym, yf it be possible as we trust hit shall wele, 
thorowe youre good pollicie and governance as they have be here 
to fore. And soo, in all wise, pourveying therfore, to his prouffite, 
as ye wolde doo and they were youre owen. And, moreover, that ye 
woll receive of oon Thomas Hende, a servant of the staple, vm u ., 
which is due unto oure seid Squier, by an obligacion (as he saith) 
by the seid Hende ; whiche obligacion is in the keping of Jankyn 
Loundey of Caleys, or of his wyf. And for as muche as the same 


Loundcy hath had the governance of the seide shoppes all these iii. 
yere and more, yelding no more unto oure seid Squier bote, etc. 
hit were his entent that ye shulde take accomptes of the same 
Loundey , and receive of hym that ye fynde due ; and answere oure 
seid Squier thereof. In which thing ye shall doo us right greet 
pleasure; and God have youe in his keping, etc. Writen, etc. 




HIGH and mightie Prince, my full noble and full gracious Lprde, 
I recommend me unto your good and gracious lordeship, in the most 
lowly wise that I can or may, yn any wise. Desiryng full entirely, 
as a trew servant oweth of duetee til his lorde, to wite of the wel- 
fare and prosperite of youre noble astate, the which I beseche hertely 
Almighty god preserve and encres, in the best wise that other can 
be wished or desired. And, for as muche as it is knowen unto your 
lordeship, as I suppose, that, by auctoritee and commandement of 
yow, my gracious lorde, a shippe of myne cleped The Mary of the 
Toure, was arested to doo the King service and yow, atte the siege 
of Mont Saint Michel, and there abode truly in the Kyngs service, 
and was taken by certaines enemys, Bretons, unto right greet losse 
and harmyng of me youre poure man 



THE patronage of St. Magnus, at the foot of London Bridge, was formerly and 
down to the dissolution of religious houses in Henry the Eighth's time, in the 


Abbot and Convent of Westminster and the Abbot and Convent of Bermond- 
sey, who presented alternately. Queen Mary, in 1554, gave it to Bonner 
Bishop of London, and to his successors, with whom it still remains. This 
letter was written by the King, between 1434 and 1444, and does not appear 
to have been successful. The name of Thomas Gascoigne is not to be found 
in the list of Rectors, tempore Hen. VI. published by Newcourt. Thomas 
Gascoigne was four times Chancellor of Oxford,* but on not one of those 
occasions was there a vacancy at St. Magnus, at which the Abbot of West- 
minster could have presented. The King had been misinformed. Newcourt 
remarks, on the authority of Wood, of this Thomas Gascoigne, that, although 
he was a man of great eminence and worth, he was never offered any church 
preferment of any kind. b This seems, from this letter, not to have been lite- 
rally true. 

TRUSTY and welbeloved in God, We grete, etc. And for asmoche 
as the paroissh chirch of St. Magnes (Magnus) in London is now 
voide by the decesse of the last incumbent of the same, and beying 
to youre disposicion, as hit is said, We, considerynge the vertues 
[and] greet conyng of our trusty and welbeloved chapeleyn, M. T. 
Gascoigne, Doctor in Theologie, and Chauncellor of our Universite of 
Oxon, desire and praye you hertly that, at reverence of us, and 
namely for contemplacion of his merites, ye woll have hym espe- 
cially recommended unto the said benefice, before all other; wherinne 
ye shall worshipfully dispose the said chirch unto the pleasir of God, 
as we trust, and, over [beyond] that, do unto us right good pleasir. 
Yeven, etc. 

To Thabbot of Westminster. 

In 1434, 1442, 1443, and 1444, Antiq. Oxon. (Gutch) iv. pp. 45, 48, 49, and 50. 

b Newc. Rep. vol. i. p. 525, note d. Thomas Gascoigne is said to have been some 
time a commoner of Oriel. He presented books to this and other colleges at Oxford, but 
chiefly to Lincoln College. At Lincoln College is Gascoigne's Theological Dictionary, 
still remaining in manuscript, a work continually quoted, and which appears to be 
replete with information respecting the English Church of the 15th century. A volume 
of the Harl. MSS. (No. 6949) is full of extracts from this work. 





THOMAS HENLEY was abbot of Reading from 1430 to llth November, 1445. 
The conge d'elire is dated the 13th November, 24 Hen. VI. (1445). The 
election of John Thome took place 7th January, 1446. The Lord Chancellor 
was John Stafford, Archbishop of Canterbury. The Bishop of Salisbury, who 
confirmed John Thorn in his post of Abbot, was William Ascough, afterwards 
murdered. All Berkshire was at this time within the diocese of Salisbury. 


SINCERE DILECTE, Cum monasterium nostrum Radinge per 
mortem fratris Thome Henley ultimi Abbatis ibidem sit pastoris solacio 
destitutus, supplicaveruntque perinde nobis humiliter et devote 
Prior et Conventus ejusdem loci, ut eis alium in ipsorum et dicti 
monasterii abbatem licenciam elegendi concedere dignaremur, sicuti 
per literas suas patentes sigillatas, quas vobis presentibus mittimus 
interclusas, plenius poterit apparere : Nos igitur, eorum supplicationi 
in ea parte favorabiliter inclinati, licenciam ipsam duximus conce- 
dendam. Et ideo vobis mandamus quod sub privato sigillo nostro 

WELLBELOVED, Whereas our monastery of Reading by the death of Bro- 
ther Thomas Henley, the last Abbot thereof, is deprived of the comfort of a 
pastor, and the Prior and Convent of the same place have prayed us humbly 
and devoutly that we will deign to grant them leave to elect another Abbot of 
their said monastery, as by their letters patent sealed, which we send inclosed 
within these presents, may more fully appear : We, therefore, being favourably 
inclined to their supplication in that behalf, have thought fit to grant them 
the said licence. Therefore we command you that ye cause to be made letters 


literas super hoc nostras Cancellario nostro Anglie dirigendas in 
forma debita fieri faciatis. Et presentes litere nostre vobis erunt 
sufficientes in warrantum. Dat. sub signeto nostro in palacio nostro 
Westm. xiii. die Novembris anno, etc. xxiiii 10 . 




SINCERE DILECTE, Vacante nuper Monasterio Radinge per mor- 
tem fratris Thome de Henlee ultimi Abbatis ibidem : Prior et Con- 
ventus dicti monasterii,petita de nobis in ea parte,ut est moris,licencia 
pariter et obtenta, fratrem Johannem Thorn Sacre Theologie Bacalla- 
reum in eorum dicti monasterii abbatem per viam Spiritus Sancti 
concorditer et unanimiter elegerunt, prout per literas eorundem 
Prioris et Conventus, quas vobis transmittimus presentibus interclusas, 
plenius poterit tipparere. Nos igitur, dictam eleccionem merito ac- 

under our privy seal in this matter, the same to be directed to our Chancellor 
of England in due form. And these our present letters shall be your sufficient 
warrant. Given under our signet, in our Palace at Westminster, 13th day of 
November, in the 24th year of our reign. 

WELLBELOVED, Whereas our monastery of Eadinge being lately vacant 
by the death of Brother Thomas de Henlee, the last Abbot there, the Prior 
and Convent of the said monastery, having besought us in that behalf, as is 
usual, to grant our licence (which they obtained), have, with the assistance 
of the Holy" Ghost, unanimously elected Brother John Thorn, S.T.B., to be 
abbot of their said monastery, as by the letters of the same Prior and Convent, 
which we send you inclosed within these presents, may more fully appear. 


ceptantes, dicte eleccioni et electo regium nostrum assensum adhibe- 
mus cum favore. Et ideo vobis mandamus quod literas super hoc nos- 
tras Cancellario nostro Anglie dirigendas sub private sigillo nostro in 
forma debita et consueta fieri faciatis ; et hec litere nostre vobis erunt 
sufficientes in warrantum. Datum sub signeto nostro apud etc. 




SINCERE DILECTE, Sciatis quod Reverendus inChristo pater Wil- 
lielmus Sarum Episcopus, per suas patentes literas, quas vobis trans - 
mittimus presentibus interclusas, riobis nuper intimavit qualiter ipse 
eleccionem fratris J. Thorn monachi in Abbatem monasterii nostri 
Radinge, per mortem fratris Thomae Henlee ultimi Abbatis ibidem de- 
functi vacantis, electi, adhibita juris solempnitate confirmari, ac eidem 
manibus benedictionis impendi fecit, justicia id suadente. Suppli- 
cavitque perinde nobis idem Reverendus Pater ut prefatum fratrem 

Wherefore we, worthily accepting the said election, do willingly give our royal 
consent to the said election and elected [clerk]. And therefore we command 
you, that ye cause to be made our letters in that matter to our Chancellor of 
England to be directed, under our privy seal, in usual and accustomed form ; 
and these our letters shall be unto you sufficient warrant. Given under our 
signet at, &c. 

WELLBELOVED, Know ye that the Reverend Father in Christ William 
Bishop of Sarum, by his letters patent, which we transmit to you inclosed 
within these presents, hath lately informed us how he hath caused to be con- 
firmed the election of Brother J. Thorn, a monk, as Abbot of our Monastery 
of Radinge, vacant by the death of brother Thomas Henlee, the last abbot there, 
deceased, with all lawful solemnity thereunto appertaining, and hath blessed him 
by the imposition of hands, as was right and just. The same reverend father 
hath besought us that we will deign to accept the aforesaid Brother J. chosen, 


J. electura confirmatum ct benedictum acceptare, sibiquc regium 
favorem nostrum impendere, ac cetera jura temporalia ad predictum 
monasterium nostrum spectancia, juxta morem et consuetudinem 
Kegni Anglic, concedere dignaremur. Nos igitur dictam eleccionem 
confirmatam et benediccionem ac fidelitatem eidem duximus. 

Et ideo vobis mandamus, et cet. 



THOMAS BECKINGTON was consecrated Bishop of Bath and Wells 13th Octo- 
ber, 1443.* John Forrest, Dean of Wells, died the 25th March, 1446, and 
appears to have been succeeded for a short time by John Delabere, the King's 
Great Almoner, b the person named in the King's letter to Beckington. Some 
obscurity hangs over the election of Delabere to the deanery. He seems to 
have been opposed by Nicholas Carent, who had a majority of the Canons in 
his favour, and who was confirmed by Beckington. Nevertheless the claim 
of Delabere to the vacant dignity, which was supported by the royal letter, 
and also by a papal bull," appears to have prevailed; but he was never 
installed, and, on the 15th September, 1447, Delabere became Bishop of St. 
David's. 4 Subsequently he resigned his see." Gascoigne says Delabere was 
a very indifferent character. Nicholas Carent succeeded Delabere as Dean of 
Wells. I conceive this letter to have been written 29th March, 1446. 


REVEREND fader in God, &c. We grete yow often tymes wel. 
We suppose that ye have wel in remembrance how that at divers 

confirmed and blessed (consecrated?) and that We would think fit to* bestow 
on him our royal favour, and to grant all other temporal rights relating unto 
our said monastery, according to the usage and custom of the realm of England. 
We therefore, &c. 

Fasti Eccl. Ang. i. 141. Life of Beckington (Nicolas), Ivi. b Fasti, i. 152. 

: Phelps's Somerset, ii. 144. d Fasti, i. 298. e Ibid. 



tymes herbefore we desired and prayed yow hertly to be goode and 
favorable lorde unto oure trusty and welbelovyd clerk Maister J. 
Delabere, oure greet Aumsner [Almoner], whensoever the Deanry 
of Welles shulde voide; at which tymes ye were well willed and 
made ful promesse unto us to doo youre peyne and diligence to the 
performyng of oure desire, yf the cas shulde happen ; wherof we cun 
yow right good thanke. And, for as moche as the seid Deanry is 
now void, by the decesse of M. J. Forest, last incumbent of the 
same, We therefore write unto yowe at this tyme, and pray yow, as 
hertely as we can, that, in performyng of yo r said promesse, ye wolbe 
goode and special lorde, in this matier, unto oure saide clerke, and do 
all yo r possible diligence to sollicite yo r brethren Chanons of Welles, 
to have hym specially recommended to the seid Deanry, in theire 
next elleccion; so 'tenderly and effectuelly acquiting yow herin, 
that we may verayly understand that, by oure good mediation, the 
saide mater may the rather come to a good conclusion, after then- 
tente of this oure special desire, as oure greet truste is in yow; and, 
over this, we wol that ye yeve credence unto the bringer herof, in 
that he shall secretely open unto yow by oure commandement, in 
this behalve. Yeven at Westm r the xxix day, &c. 
To the Bishop of Bath. 



SIR RALPH BOTELER, Lord Sudeley, was Lord Treasurer from 1444 to 
1447." James (not John) Grysacre ceased to be Escheator for the counties of 
Herts and Essex in 1445 (24 Hen. VI.). b This letter was probably written in 
that year. The successor of Grysacre was Thomas Scargill ;c John Bourgh 
therefore, who was a Yeoman of the Crown, d was unsuccessful. 

Parl. Hist. vol. i. b Esch> Acc< Egsex and Hert8 ( Hen . V I.). 

c Ibid. a Acts Pt c v 224. 


R. TRUSTY, etc. We grete, etc. And for as moch as John Cri- 
sacre, late Eschetour of the Countees of Essex and Hertford, is now 
passed to God; We, consideryng that o r welbeloved squier and menial 
servant John Bourgh is inherited in both the shires, and can and 
may do unto us good service in the said occupacion. as hit is said, 
wol and praye you hertly that ye wol do your parte, asmoch as in 
you is, that our said squier may be deputed to be, at this time, our 
Eschetour in the said countees before all other, shewing herinne 
your binevolence unto hym, as we may have cause to thank you for 
his sake. Yeven, etc. 

To the Lorde Seudeley, Tresorer of England. 



WILLIAM CURTEYS was abbot of St. Edmundsbury from 1429 to his death in 
1446, when he was succeeded by William Babyngton. During the abbacy of 
William Curteys King Henry VI. paid a long visit to the monastery.* The 
Lord Chancellor was John Stafford, Archbishop of Canterbury. 


KEVERENDISSIME in Christo pater, nobis confise et sincere 
dilecte, Vacante nuper monasterio nostro Sancti Edmundi de Bury 
ordinis Sancti Benedicti, Norwicensis dioc., per mortem fratris Will! 


MOST Reverend Father in Christ, our trusty and wellbeloved, Our monastery 
of St. Edmundsbury, of the order of St. Benedict, in the diocese of Norwich, 
being lately vacant by the death of brother William Curteys, the last Abbot 

Dugd. Mon. iii. 113, 114, 115. 


Curteys ultimi Abbatis ibidem, Prior et Capitulus dicti loci, petita de 
nobis in ea parte ut est moris licencia pariter et obtenta, venerabilem 
et religiosum virum fratrem Wiftm Babyngton decretorum Doctorem 
in ipsorum et dicti monasterii nostri Abbatem, imanimi voluntate et 
consensu, uno spiritu et una voce, concorditer elegerunt, prout per 
literas eorundem Prioris et Conventus, quas vobis transmittimus pre- 
sentibus interclusas, plenius poterit apparere. Nos igitur dictam 
eleccionem merito acceptantes, dicte eleccioni et electo Kegium nos- 
trum assensum pariter et consensum adhibemus omni favore. Et 
ideo mandamus quod literas super hoc nostras sub magno sigillo 
nostro, in custodia vestra existente, in forma debita et consuetudine 
fieri faciatis. Et hec litere nostre, etc. 



THE Benedictine Abbey of Walden in Essex, dedicated to St. Mary and St. 
James, was founded A.D. 1136 by Geoffrey de Mandeville first Earl of Essex 

there, the Prior and Chapter of the said place, having petitioned us in that be- 
half, as is customary, for leave (which they have obtained), likewise have 
unanimously, and with one consent, mind, and voice, elected that venerable 
and religious man, brother William Babington, doctor of decrees, as their Abbot 
and of our said monastery, as by the letters of the same Prior and Convent, 
which we transmit you inclosed within these presents, will more fully appear ; 
We, therefore, accepting with all good will the said election, do give to the 
same, and to the elected [abbot], our royal assent and consent. And therefore 
we command you that you cause to be made our letters in this behalf under our 
great seal remaining in your custody in the usual and customary form. And 
these our letters, etc. 


of that family.* Geoffrey endowed it with many possessions, amongst others 
with the Hermitage of Hadley (heremitagium de Hadeleya), in the county of 
Middlesex, with appurtenances and common of pasture for cattle in his park, 
where that hermitage stood (in parco meo in quo heremitagium illud situm 
est). b Walden formed part of the inheritance of the Bohuns ; and, on the 
partition between Henry the Fifth and Anne Plantagenet, Lady Bourchier, 
which took place in 1421, Walden fell to the King, and was incorporated with 
the Duchy of Lancaster. Hence it is that this mandate is addressed to the 
Chancellor of the Duchy. 

On the resignation of Thomas Bennington, 17th Abbot of Walden, on the 
13th December, 1438, John Horkesley was instituted by Eobert Gilbert, 
Bishop of London. d The date of the death of Abbot Horkesley appears not 
to be known ; but, as the mandate next following that event for the institution 
of Richard Wilesey, his successor, is addressed to Robert Bishop of London, 
who died in 1448, e the death of Horkesley must have occurred either pre- 
viously to or in that year. The Chancellor of the Duchy, to whom both man- 
dates were addressed, was either Walter Sherington or William Tresham/ 
Audley End is built upon the site of Walden Abbey. The second mandate is 
said to be " given under our signet of the eagle." This is the only occasion 
on which I have met with any reference to " the eagle " amongst these 


SINCERE DILECTE, Cummonasterium de Walden, ordinis Sancti 
Benedict!, London, dioc., per mortem fratris Johannis Horkesley 
ultimi Abbatis ejusdem, sit pastoris solacio destitutum, supplica- 


WELL BELOVED, Inasmuch as the Monastery of Walden, of the order of 
St. Benedict, within the diocese of London, by the death of brother John 
Horkesley, the last Abbot thereof, hath been deprived of the comfort of a 
pastor, and the Prior and Convent of the same place have petitioned us by 
their letters patent, inclosed within these presents, that we might be pleased to 

Morant, vol. ii. p. 548. k Dugd. Mon. iv. 133, 149. Morant. vol. ii. p. 547. 

d Stevens's Hist, of Abbeys, vol. i. p. 299. Dugd. Mon. iv. 135. Newcourt, vol. ii. 623. 

e Fasti Eccl. Angl. vol. ii. p. 296. f Baines's Lancashire, vol. i. p. 183. 

8 As to the "seal of the eagle," see a note of Sir H. Nicolas in the Index to " Beck- 
ington's Journal of an Embassy to the Count of Armagnac," pp. 113 and 129, and the 
authorities there referred to. 


verunt nobis Prior et Conventus ejusdera loci, per literas suas patentes, 
presentibus interclusas, quatenus alium ipsorum, [et] dicti monas- 
terii, Abbatem licenciam elegendi eis concedere dignaremur; Nos, 
eorum supplication! favorabiliter inclinati, dictam licenciam duximus 
concedendam ; et ideo vobis mandamus quod hanc super hoc, sub 
sigillo nostro ducatus nostri Lancastrie, in forma debita, fieri fa- 
ciatis. Et presentes litere nostre vobis erunt sufficientes in war- 
rantum. Dat. etc. 


SINCERE DILECTE, Cum, nupervacantemonasterio Sancti Jacobi 
de "Walden, London, dioc., per mortem fratris Johannis Horkysley, 
ultimi Abbatis ejusdem, petitaque a nobis per eos prout decuit licencia 
eiset eidem monasterio alium elegendi in Abbatem et per nos concessa, 
religiosum virum fratrem Rlcardum Wilesey priorem monasterii sui 
predict! in suum et dicti monasterii sui Abbatem concorditer elege- 
runt et pastorem, ac eundem fratrem Ricardum suum, ut premit- 
titur, electum nobis per Willimum Barnwell suum confratrem et 
comonachum procuratorem suum sufficienter et libere per eos in 

grant them licence to elect another as their Abbot of the same monastery ; We, 
being favourably inclined to their supplication, held that the said licence 
ought to be granted ; and therefore we command you that hereupon ye cause 
the same to be made out under the seal of our Duchy of Lancaster in due 
form. And for this, these our present letters shall be your sufficient warrant. 
Given, &c. 


WELL BELOVED, The Monastery of St. James of Walden, in the diocese of 
London, being lately vacant by the death of brother John Horkysley, the last 
Abbot thereof, and they (i.e. the monastery) having duly besought us to grant 
unto them our licence to elect another Abbot for the same monastery, and 
it having been conceded by us, they have with one accord elected the 
religious man brother Richard Wilesey, the prior of the same monastery, 
to be the Abbot and pastor of the said monastery, and they have presented 
to us the same brother Richard, elected as aforesaid, by William Barn- 


parte constitutum presentaverunt ; prout per has suas patentes, quas 
vobis mittimus hiis interclusas, plenius poterit apparere; Nos, per- 
sonam dicti electi recommendatam habentes, et predicte eleccioni 
sue nostrum consensum regium liberaliter impendentes, vobis man- 
damus quod, sub sigillo nostro Ducatus nostri Lancastrie in vestra 
custodia existente, literas nostras pro confirmacione ejusdem Reve- 
rendo in Christo patri Roberto Dei gratia London. Episcopo eorum 
ordinario in debita forma fieri faciatis. Et presentes literae nostre 
vobis erunt sufficientes in warrantum. Dat. sub nostro agle signeto. 
Cancellario nostro Ducat, nostri Lancast. 



THIS letter is addressed to James Lord Berkeley, nephew and heir to Tho- 
mas 12th Baron Berkeley," who died in 1416, leaving an only daughter and 
heir Elizabeth, who married Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick. As next 
heir male to the last Baron, James Lord Berkeley claimed Berkeley Castle, 
but was dispossessed by the Earl of Warwick and his wife, who, although Lord 
James was found to be the rightful inheritor, still kept possession of the castle 
against him, nor did they give it up until commanded to do so by King Henry 
the Fifth. a After the death of the King, Lord Warwick again laid siege to 
Berkeley Castle, and, although, by the interposition of the Bishop of Worces- 
ter and sundry gentlemen of the county, he raised the siege, many lives were 

well, his brother and fellow monk, his proxy sufficiently and freely con- 
stituted in that behalf, as by these their letters patent, which we send you 
inclosed, may more fully appear; We, having the person of the said elected 
person recommended unto us, and freely giving our royal consent to his said 
election, command you that, under our seal of our Duchy of Lancaster remain- 
ing in your custody, ye cause to be made our letters for the confirmation of 
the same to the Reverend Father in Christ Robert by the grace of God Bishop 
of London, their ordinary, in due form. And these our present letters shall be 
unto you sufficient warrant. Given under our signet of the eagle. 
To our Chancellor of our Duchy of Lancaster. 

11 Twelfth Baron by tenure, fifth Baron by writ. (Nicolas.) 


lost. Through the intervention of Humphrey Duke of Gloucester matters 
were arranged, and Jaines Baron Berkeley was summoned to Parliament, and 
continued to be summoned until 1 Edw. IV. 1461 . His life appears to have been 
very far from a quiet one, and he was involved in continual suits, contentions, 
and quarrels with the three daughters of the Earl of Warwick. Of these 
Margaret, the eldest, wife of John Talbot, the great Earl of Shrewsbury, was 
the most violent. She surprised Berkeley Castle, carried off Lord James and 
his four sons to Bristol, where she kept them in prison for eleven weeks until 
they bound themselves to pay 12,280Z. Notwithstanding these and other 
exactions, Lord James was not righted. His wife was imprisoned by Lord 
Shrewsbury at Gloucester until her death in 1452, and two of his sons were 
forcibly sent abroad, where one (James) died in battle, and the other (Tho- 
inas) was taken prisoner. Lady Shrewsbury was able to keep Lord James for 
two years out of Berkeley Castle " and out of the lands and lordships thereto 
belonging, in the meantime making great spoil and waste upon them." The 
whole story is detailed in Dugdale's Baronage (vol. i. pp. 36 1-363), and I have 
abridged it, in order to give the reader an idea of the state of society in Eng- 
land in the 15th century. Lord Warwick died in 1439, Lord Shrewsbury in 
1453. I cannot affix a date to the letter; but, powerful as both these noble- 
men were at the court of Henry VI. it is not too much to suppose that it may 
have been obtained by one of them as a further means of inflicting injury on 
Lord Berkeley. This nobleman, who, though much sinned against, was not 
wholly sinless, b died in November 1463, and is buried under a tomb of alabas- 
ter in a chapel on the south side of the high altar in the parish church at 
Berkeley, which chapel he built. (Dugd. Bar. i. 364.) 


EIGHT trusty and welbelovyd, We late yow wite that, unto oure 
greet displesir, we have late understande of the greet attemptats that 
certain yo r servants,' and suche other as be drawyng unto yow, have 
late made, and cesse not yet to make, as hit is saide ; which, if they be 

a See Acts of Privy Council, vol. ii. p. 286. 

b On being served with a subpoena to appear in Chancery, he not only beat one IJavid 
Woodburne, the process-server, ' but will he nill he inforced the said David to eat the 
subpoena, wax and parchment.' Smythe*s Lives of the BerTceleys, in Fosbroke's Berkeley 
MSS. p. 152. It would have been more tolerable perhaps if this nobleman had acted as 
another contemnor of the Court of Chancery, one Henry Parramore,*did, about 150 years 
later. It is recorded of him that he compelled one Pyers Thomas to eat the label of a 
writ, and ' then sent for drinkefor him, which he cawsed him to drinlce, with cromes of bread 
in the same: See AberfvrOu v. Hall, 25 May, 1598. Reg. Lib. B. 1597. fo. 829. 


not hastily seen unto and remedied, been likely to turne to greet 
inconvenients and manslaughter, that God defende ; wherfore we, con- 
sideringe the premisses, charge yow straitly upon your liegeance that 
ye commande youre servants, and suche other as be drawyng unto 
yow, to cesse, and that ye see also that no thing be attempted, which 
might turne to the breche of oure paix, as ye wol answere unto us, 
at yo r peril. And furthermore we charge yow that, immediate after 
the receyving of these oure letters, ye comme unto oure presence, as 
ye wol eschewe our displesir. Yeven at Westm r , the laste day of 
Fever r . etc. 

To the Lorde Berkeley . a 

a The following letter was written by Lady Berkeley to her husband, while absent from 
him in London : 

" To my right worshipful and reverend Lord and Husband be these delivered. 


" I recommend me to you, with all my whole hart, desiring alwayes to hear of your 
good welfare, the which God mayntayne and encrease ever to your worship; and it please 
you to hear how I fare, Sir, squall and squall. Thomas, Roger, and Jacket have asked 
surety of peace of mee, for their intent was to bringe me into the Towre; but, I trust in 
God, to-morrowe they shall go in bayle unto the next term, and soe to goe home, and then 
to come agayne; and, Sur, I trust to God and you will not treat with them, but keep 

your own in the most manlyest wyse; yee shall have the land for ones, and 

was ware of Venables, of Alderly, of Thomas Mull, and all your false counsaill. Keep 
well your place. The Earl of Shroesbury lyeth right nigh by you, and shapeth all the 
wyles that he can to distresse you and yours, for he will not meddle with you openly no 
maner wise, but to be with great falsdome, that he can bringe about to beguile you, or else 
he causeth that yee have to fewe peopull about you ; then will he set on you ; for he sayeth 
I will never come to the King agayne till he have done you an ill turne. Sur, your 

matter speedeth, and right well, save my costeth great good. For the reverence 

of God, send money, or else I must lay my horse to pledge, and come home on my fete. 
Keep well all about you till I come home, and trete not without mee, and then all things 
shall be well, with the grace of Almighty God, who have you in his keeping. Written at 
London, the Wednesday next afore Whitsunday. 

" Your Wife the Lady of Berkeley." 
(Fosbroke, Berkeley Manuscripts, p. 153.) 






WLLLIAM WESTKARRE, D.D. and Canon regular of St. Mary's Oxford, was 
commissary or deputy of the Chancellor in 1442, 1443, 1444, and 1445. In 
the last year he was senior resident Theologus and Cancellarius Natus, a and 
in that capacity exercised all the j urisdiction of the Chancellor of the Univer- 
sity during a vacancy of that office.b If, as is most likely, the King's letters 
to the Pope, and to his agent at Rome, were written at this period, the Pope 
would be Eugenius the Fourth, who was Pope from 1431 to 1447, and the 
agent either Vincent Clement, the friend of Bishop Beckington, and also of 
Bishop Pecocke, c or Richard Chester, one of the King's Chaplains, both of 
whom were dispatched to Rome about this time. The term " in Court ." (in 
Curia) meant, in the language of the day, " in Curia Romana," or simply " at 
Rome. " 


TRUSTY and welbeloved, we grete you well; lating you wite, that 
we write our lettres unto our holy fader, at this tyme, for our trusty, 
etc. Maister William Westkerr [Westkarre] Doctour of Theologie, 
as by the copy of the same cure lettres, which we sende unto you 
here enclosed, ye may understande the mater more at large. Wher- 
fore we wol and praye you, in as moch as we greetly tendre the same 
mater, that ye, taking with you such of oure subgietts, being in Court, 
as shalbe thought unto you behovefull, in that partie, presente the 
same our lettres unto his Holinesse, and doyng firther yor good dili- 
gence and labour, unto theffectuell conclusion of our desire, com- 
prised in the same. As our singler trust is in you. Yeven, etc.