The Fifteenth Century X: Parliament, Personalities and Power - Papers Presented to Linda S. Clark 9781843836926

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The Fifteenth Century X: Parliament, Personalities and Power - Papers Presented to Linda S. Clark
 9781843836926

Table of contents :
Frontcover
CONTENTS
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
CONTRIBUTORS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
PREFACE
ABBREVIATIONS
The People and Parliament in Fifteenth-Century England
‘A Beest envenymed thorough … covetize’: an Imposter Pilgrim and the Disputed Descent of the Manor of Dodford, 1306-1481
Henry Inglose: A Hard Man to Please
London Merchants and the Borromei Bank in the 1430s: the Role of Loca lCredit Networks
‘Mischieviously Slewen’: John, Lord Scrope, the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, and the Murder of Henry Howard in 1446
A Fifteenth-Century Medicus Politicus: John Somerset, Physician to Henry VI
‘Domine Salvum Fac Regem’: The Origin of ‘God Save the King’ in the Reign of Henry VI
‘Monuments of Honour’: Clerks, Histories and Heroes in the London Livery Companies
The East Anglian Parliamentary Elections of 1461
Changing Perceptions of the Soldier in Late Medieval England
Thomas More, the London Charterhouse and Richard III
INDEX
TABULA GRATULATORIA
Backcover

Citation preview

spine ??? 31 May 2011

PA P E R S P R E S E N T E D TO L I N DA S . C L A R K

Fifteenth-century studies are very much alive and well... able to generate new and challenging research agendas. ECONOMIC HISTORY REVIEW A strong and established series... continues to push the boundaries of knowledge and develop new trends in approach and understanding, which percolate into the wider domain. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW This volume of papers is presented to Linda Clark to mark her four decades of work for the History of Parliament Trust. Its essays focus above all on the late medieval Parliament and the personalities that served in its chambers, but they also illuminate a wider range of themes that have long concerned students of the later middle ages, including the lawlessness of the gentry and nobility, the acquisition and management of their estates, and their self-expression in pageantry and legend. Other social groups, ranging from the mercantile élite of the city of London and their Italian trading partners to England’s common soldiers, also make an appearance, and papers explore both regional and national issues. Front cover: English gold ‘angel’ of the reign of Edward IV, obverse, showing St Michael slaying the dragon (British Museum, AN 00072285 1001).

THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY X

Parliament, Personalities and Power

The Fifteenth Century X PARLIAMENT, PERSONALITIES AND POWER

Kleineke (ed.)

Boydell & Brewer Ltd PO Box 9, Woodbridge IP12 3DF (GB) and 668 Mt Hope Ave, Rochester NY 14620-2731 (US) www.boydellandbrewer.com

Edited by Hannes Kleineke

THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY VOLUME X

The Fifteenth Century ISSN 1479–9871 General Editor Dr. Linda Clark Assistant Editor Dr. Hannes Kleineke Editorial Advisory Committee Dr. Rowena Archer, University of Oxford Professor Christine Carpenter, New Hall, Cambridge Professor Christopher Dyer, University of Leicester Dr. David Grummitt, University of Kent Professor Tony Pollard, University of Teesside Professor Carole Rawcliffe, University of East Anglia Dr. Benjamin Thompson, Somerville College, Oxford Dr. John Watts, Corpus Christi College, Oxford

This series aims to provide a forum for the most recent research into the political, social, religious and cultural history of the fifteenth century in Britain and Europe. Contributions for future volumes are welcomed; prospective contributors should consult the guidelines at the end of this volume.

THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY X PARLIAMENT, PERSONALITIES AND POWER PAPERS PRESENTED TO LINDA S. CLARK

Edited by HANNES KLEINEKE

THE BOYDELL PRESS

© Contributors 2011 All Rights Reserved. Except as permitted under current legislation no part of this work may be photocopied, stored in a retrieval system, published, performed in public, adapted, broadcast, transmitted, recorded or reproduced in any form or by any means, without the prior permission of the copyright owner First published 2011 The Boydell Press, Woodbridge ISBN 978–1–84383–692–6 The Boydell Press is an imprint of Boydell & Brewer Ltd PO Box 9, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 3DF, UK and of Boydell & Brewer Inc. 668 Mt Hope Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620, USA website: www.boydellandbrewer.com

Disclaimer: Some images in the printed version of this book are not available for inclusion in the eBook. To view these images please refer to the printed version of this book.

A catalogue record for this title is available from the British Library The publisher has no responsibility for the continued existence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this book, and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate Papers used by Boydell & Brewer Ltd are natural, recyclable products made from wood grown in sustainable forests

Printed from camera-ready copy supplied by the editor Printed in Great Britain by CPI Antony Rowe, Chippenham and Eastbourne

CONTENTS List of Illustrations

vii

Contributors

ix

Acknowledgements

xi

Preface

xiii

Abbreviations

xvi

The People and Parliament in Fifteenth-Century England

1

A.J. POLLARD

‘A Beest envenymed thorough … covetize’: an Imposter Pilgrim and the Disputed Descent of the Manor of Dodford, 1306-1481

17

SIMON PAYLING

Henry Inglose: A Hard Man to Please

39

CHARLES MORETON and COLIN RICHMOND

London Merchants and the Borromei Bank in the 1430s: the Role of Local Credit Networks

53

J.L. BOLTON

‘Mischieviously Slewen’: John, Lord Scrope, the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, and the Murder of Henry Howard in 1446

75

JAMES ROSS

A Fifteenth-Century Medicus Politicus: John Somerset, Physician to Henry VI

97

CAROLE RAWCLIFFE

‘Domine Salvum Fac Regem’: The Origin of ‘God Save the King’ in the Reign of Henry VI

121

ELIZABETH DANBURY

‘Monuments of Honour’: Clerks, Histories and Heroes in the London Livery Companies

143

MATTHEW DAVIES

The East Anglian Parliamentary Elections of 1461

167

HANNES KLEINEKE

Changing Perceptions of the Soldier in Late Medieval England DAVID GRUMMITT

189

vi

Contents

Thomas More, the London Charterhouse and Richard III

203

CAROLINE M. BARRON

Index

215

Tabula Gratulatoria

235

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Frontispiece: Linda Clark Simon Payling, ‘A Beest envenymed thorough … covetize’: an Imposter Pilgrim and the Disputed Descent of the Manor of Dodford, 1306–1481 1

The Descent of the Manor of Dodford

28

James Ross, ‘Mischieviously Slewen’: John, Lord Scrope, the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, and the Murder of Henry Howard in 1446 1

Genealogy of the Howard and Mowbray families

77

Elizabeth Danbury, ‘Domine Salvum Fac Regem’: The Origins of ‘God Save the King’ in the Reign of Henry VI 1

Letters patent of Henry VI to the borough of Kingston upon Hull, 1431 (Hull History Centre, C BRC/12).

138

2

England, court of common pleas, plea (de banco) roll, Michaelmas 1459, opening rotulet, detail (TNA, CP40/795, rot. 1). Reproduced by permission of The National Archives.

138

3

Inspeximus and confirmation of Henry VI to Eton College, 1442 (Eton College, ECR 39/8). Reproduced by permission of the Provost and Fellows of Eton College.

139

4

Croydon palace, Surrey, great hall, armorial shield. By permission of The Whitgift Foundation and The Old Palace of John Whitgift School.

140

5

Croydon palace, Surrey, great hall, armorial shield (detail). By permission of The Whitgift Foundation and The Old Palace of John Whitgift School.

141

viii 6

List of Illustrations England, court of king’s bench, plea (coram rege) roll, Trinity 1504, opening rotulet, detail (TNA, KB27/972, rot. 1). Reproduced by permission of The National Archives.

142

Matthew Davies, ‘Monuments of Honour’: Clerks, Histories and Heroes in the London Livery Companies 1

Our Lady Crowned among the Saints in Heaven, in the Book of the Fraternity of the Assumption of Our Lady of the Skinners of London (London Metropolitan Archives, CLC/L/SE/A/004A/MS31692, f. 41r. Reproduced by kind permission of the Worshipful Company of Skinners.)

164

2

Detail from fig. 1, showing a kneeling figure, possibly the clerk of the Skinners, with what may be an ink bulb and pen case hanging from his belt. (Reproduced by kind permission of the Worshipful Company of Skinners.)

165

3

‘Sir John de Hawkwood’, by Thomas Patch (1771), reprinted in F. Blackburne, Memoirs of Thomas Hollis, 2 vols (1780), i. 309–10. The engraving, made for the Society of Antiquaries, was based on the funerary monument of 1436 by Paolo Uccello depicting Hawkwood on horseback (Duomo, Florence).

165

Disclaimer: Some images in the printed version of this book are not available for inclusion in the eBook. To view these images please refer to the printed version of this book.

CONTRIBUTORS Caroline Barron is Professor Emerita of the History of London at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her most recent book is London in the Later Middle Ages: Government and People (2004). She has recently contributed an essay on ‘Thomas More: The Making of a London Citizen’ to the Cambridge Companion to Thomas More edited by George Logan (2011). J.L. (Jim) Bolton is a Professorial Research Fellow in the School of History at Queen Mary, University of London and is still working on The Borromei Bank Research Project. Elizabeth Danbury is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Information Studies at University College London. Her research interests centre on the palaeography, diplomatic and records of late medieval England. Recent publications include articles on illuminated charters, signs and symbols on medieval boxes and chests, and the seals of queens and noblewomen. Matthew Davies is Director of the Centre for Metropolitan History at the Institute of Historical Research, where since 2002 he has directed or co-directed numerous funded research projects on the history of medieval and early modern London. He has published several books and articles on the history of the London livery companies, including The History of the Merchant Taylors’ Company (2004). From 1994 to 2002 he worked on the 1422–61 volumes of the History of Parliament, under the editorship of Linda Clark, for which he wrote the biographies of London’s MPs. David Grummitt is lecturer in British History at the University of Kent. Between 2002 and 2010 he worked alongside Linda Clark on the 1422–1504 section of the History of Parliament, contributing biographies of Kentish, Yorkshire and Northumberland MPs. He is currently writing A Short History of the Wars of the Roses (forthcoming, 2012). Hannes Kleineke is a Senior Research Fellow at the History of Parliament. He is the author of Edward IV (2009) and Parliamentarians at Law (2009), and has published widely in 15th-century political history. Charles Moreton is a Senior Research Fellow at the History of Parliament. He is the author of The Townshends and their World (1992) and of various articles also relating to the late medieval and early Tudor gentry. Simon Payling is a Senior Research Fellow at the History of Parliament.

x

Contributors

A.J. Pollard is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Teesside. His most recent book is Warwick the Kingmaker: Politics Power and Fame (2007). Carole Rawcliffe worked with Linda Clark as co-editor of the 1386–1421 volumes of The History of Parliament before moving to the University of East Anglia, where she is now Professor of Medieval History. She has published several books and articles on medieval medical practice, hospitals and health, and is currently completing a study of Urban Bodies: Public Health in Late Medieval English Towns and Cities, which has been funded by the Wellcome Trust. Colin Richmond taught history at Keele University 1964–1997, mainly medieval, but some modern. Fell for the fifteenth century in 1956 and is still in love. James Ross is a medieval records specialist at the National Archives. He has published a number of articles on East Anglian politics and society in the fifteenth century, and is the author of John de Vere, Thirteenth Earl of Oxford, 1442–1513 (2011).

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This volume was first planned in 2008, and it was no easy task to keep the volume a secret from its recipient. I am indebted to all the contributors for remaining tightlipped, and for producing their pieces to an ultimately tight schedule. I owe particular gratitude to Professor Carole Rawcliffe and Dr. Simon Payling, who provided invaluable advice and support. Caroline Palmer, editorial director at Boydell & Brewer, was an integral part of the conspiracy from the outset: I am extremely grateful for her encouragement and practical support. Several of the papers in the volume draw on unpublished biographies of fifteenth-century Members of Parliament. These were made available by kind permission of the trustees of the History of Parliament Trust, conveyed through the Director, Dr. Paul Seaward. London, March 2011

H.W.K.

PREFACE An editor must never expect thanks (sometimes they come, but they must always be seen as a bonus). We must always remember that we are only midwives – if we want praise for progeny we must give birth to our own.1 It was in the early summer of 2010, in the final stages of the production of volume IX of The Fifteenth Century, and with a sigh of resignation, that Linda Clark quoted these lines from Diana Athill’s autobiography. Unknown to her, at that point friends and colleagues past and present were already conspiring to prove them wrong. Now, the present collection of essays has reached completion, and the conspirators may come out into the open to offer them to their recipient as a mark of affection, respect and gratitude. During a long career, Dr. Clark has placed the editing and promotion of the research of others ahead of the publication of monographs of her own: as an editor of the volumes of the History of Parliament for 1386–1421,2 and currently for 1422–1504; as general editor of The Fifteenth Century series, which incorporates many of the papers presented at the annual Fifteenth Century conferences (of which she has been a stalwart since their inception in the 1970s); as editor and coeditor of two special issues of the journal Parliamentary History,3 published by the Parliamentary History Yearbook Trust, of which she is also a trustee; and as one of the convenors of the Late Medieval Seminar at the University of London’s Institute of Historical Research. At the same time, it is hard to overstate the extent of Linda Clark’s own scholarly ‘progeny’, which has established her as one of the foremost living biographers of the late medieval English gentry, as well as one of the leading historians of the medieval parliament. She authored (or co-authored) no fewer than 1,554 of the biographical entries (as well as seventy constituency articles) in the 1386–1421 volumes of the History of Parliament;4 by the end of 2010 she had drafted a further 711 biographies and thirty-five constituency surveys for the 1 2

3

4

Diana Athill, Stet: An Editor’s Life (New York, 2000), p. 38. The History of Parliament: The Commons 1386–1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, Linda Clark and Carole Rawcliffe (4 vols., Stroud, 1992). Parliament and Communities in the Middle Ages, ed. Carole Rawcliffe and Linda Clark, Parliamentary History, ix (1990), pt. 2; Parchment and People: Parliament in the Middle Ages, ed. Linda Clark (Edinburgh, 2004). Whereas Linda Clark is credited by her married name on the cover and title page of the 1386–1421 volumes, the individual biographies that she wrote appear under her maiden name of L.S. W[oodger] in the text, thereby causing considerable confusion to more than one reviewer (e.g. Michael Prestwich, ‘Middle Age MPs’, The Times Literary Supplement, 4 June 1993, p. 30; R.B. Dobson, ‘Members Only’, London Review of Books, 24 Feb. 1994, p. 25), a circumstance that was flagged up by Joel Rosenthal in his own review article (‘The History of Parliament: The House of Commons, 1386–1421’, Medieval Prosopography, xiv (1993), 135–58, at p. 157).

xiv

Preface

forthcoming volumes for 1422–1504; and she has contributed a dozen articles to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, many of them on Speakers of the House of Commons.5 Appropriately, real lives in all of their many facets are central to the essays gathered here. The contributions of Carole Rawcliffe, Charles Moreton and Colin Richmond, James Ross, and Caroline Barron each focus on a single individual. Rawcliffe charts the life and career of John Somerset, the only physician known to have been returned in the medieval period, and describes the changing fortunes of a professional man at the heart of Henry VI’s troubled court. Moreton and Richmond examine the estate management of Sir Henry Inglose, a friend of Sir John Fastolf rather better known for his martial exploits than for his pastoral interests. Ross investigates the murder of a junior scion of an East Anglian gentry family, the Howards, who were marked out for later greatness as dukes of Norfolk. Barron takes a fresh look at the posthumous Lives of the ostensibly familiar figure of Sir Thomas More, one-time Speaker of the parliamentary Commons and chancellor of England. Larger groups of individuals feature in the other contributions. Jim Bolton’s piece, based on the author’s extensive study of the records of the Borromei bank, charts the commercial transactions and credit networks of the bank’s English clients. David Grummitt explores the image of the often unruly, if mostly anonymous, late medieval soldier, while other forms of disorderliness loom large in Simon Payling’s account of the long-running dispute over the manor of Dodford, in which the figure of a woman impersonating a pilgrim in a court of law strikes an unintentionally comic note. Not surprisingly, parliament plays its part in many of the papers. Tony Pollard examines popular views of and attitudes to the Lords and Commons, while Hannes Kleineke’s paper revisits the disputed Norfolk elections of 1461 and uses new documentary evidence to provide some regional context. Petitions in parliament play their part in Payling’s and Grummitt’s contributions, and the individuals discussed by Rawcliffe, Moreton and Richmond, and Barron all served their time among the parliamentary Commons. In a volume intended to celebrate an academic career it is only proper to include an element of pageantry, and this is found in the contributions of Matthew Davies and Elizabeth Danbury, respectively concerned with the emergence of heroic figures in the historiography of late medieval and early modern London, and the origins of the invocation ‘God save the King’ in the reign of Henry VI. The geographical focus of much of the volume is provided by East Anglia and the south-east of England: aptly so, since Linda Clark’s own early work was concerned with the Bourgchier earls of Essex,6 even though it has since expanded to take in much of southern and south-central England. Finally, the temporary displacement of Linda Clark as editor of The Fifteenth Century has opened up one further opportunity. In her preface to volume IX, Dr. 5

6

Entries for Sir William Bagot, John, Lord Beauchamp, Sir Thomas Blount, Henry Bourchier, earl of Essex, Thomas Bourchier, cardinal archbishop of Canterbury, Sir John Cheyne, and the Speakers William Allington, Richard Baynard, John Doreward, Sir John Gildesburgh, John Russell, and John, later Lord Tiptoft: ODNB, sub nominibus. Linda Woodger, ‘Henry Bourgchier, Earl of Essex and his Family (1408–83)’ (Oxford Univ. D.Phil. thesis, 1974); Linda Clark, ‘The Benefits and Burdens of Office: Henry Bourgchier (1408–83), Viscount Bourgchier and Earl of Essex, and the Treasurership of the Exchequer’, in Profit, Piety and the Professions in Later Medieval England, ed. Michael A. Hicks (Gloucester, 1990), 119–36.

Preface

xv

Clark expressed her regret at having ruled out any further alliterative titles to the individual volumes of this series.7 The editor of the present collection fortunately signed no such pledge, and this volume can thus with a clear conscience take the traditional ‘P’-alliteration of the series to new extremes. Hannes Kleineke

7

The Fifteenth Century IX: English and Continental Perspectives, ed. Linda Clark (Woodbridge, 2010), p. ix.

ABBREVIATIONS AN BIHR BJRL BL BNF Bodl. CAD Cal. Inq. Misc. CChR CCR CFR CIPM CP CPL CPR EcHR EETS EHR Foedera HMC HR Oxford DNB PCC PPC PROME RO Rot. Parl. Statutes TNA TRHS VCH

Archives Nationales, Paris Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research Bulletin of the John Rylands Library British Library, London Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris Bodleian Library, Oxford Catalogue of Ancient Deeds Calendar of Inquisitions Miscellaneous Calendar of Charter Rolls Calendar of Close Rolls Calendar of Fine Rolls Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem G.E. Cokayne, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, ed. V. Gibbs et al. (12 vols., 1910–59) Calendar of Papal Registers. Papal Letters Calendar of Patent Rolls Economic History Review Early English Text Society English Historical Review Thomas Rymer, Foedera, Conventiones, Literae, et Cujuscunque Generis Acta Publica (20 vols., 1704–32) Historical Manuscripts Commission Historical Research Oxford Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to the Year 2000, ed. H.C.G. Matthew and Brian Harrison (61 vols., Oxford, 2004) Prerogative Court of Canterbury Proceedings and Ordinances of the Privy Council of England, ed. N.H. Nicolas (7 vols., 1834–7) Parliament Rolls of Medieval England, 1275–1504, ed. Chris Given-Wilson et al. (16 vols., Woodbridge, 2005) Record Office Rotuli Parliamentorum (6 vols., 1767–77) Statutes of the Realm (11 vols., 1810–28) The National Archives, Kew Transactions of the Royal Historical Society Victoria County History

Unless stated otherwise, the place of publication of books cited is London.

THE PEOPLE AND PARLIAMENT IN FIFTEENTH-CENTURY ENGLAND A.J. Pollard A fuller understanding of the participation of relatively humble people in the politics of the kingdom1 and the importance of the public realm2 in the fifteenth century has emerged in recent years. In this body of work, however, little attention has been paid to the specific question of the engagement of the people with parliament. A broad assumption remains that this was one arena from which they were excluded. After all, we seem to have no better authority for this than Bishop John Russell of Lincoln, chancellor of England in 1483. As he intended to declare to the Lords that summer, warning of the risks ahead during a minority, it was selfevident that government and good order belonged to the nobles rather than ‘the whole generality of the people’. As far as parliament went, he asserted, ‘the people, must stand afar and not pass the limits’. Yet when one considers in more detail the relationship between the people and parliament in the fifteenth century, Russell’s insistence that they should stand afar was prescriptive, rather than descriptive. This paper reviews the evidence concerning popular engagement with parliament.3

1

2

3

See particularly G.L. Harriss, ‘The Dimensions of Politics’, in The McFarlane Legacy: Studies in Later Medieval Politics and Society, ed. R.H. Britnell and A.J. Pollard (Stroud, 1995), 1–20, in which four dimensions are identified: the country, the court and parliament and popular politics; I.M.W. Harvey, ‘Was there Popular Politics in Fifteenth-Century England?’, in The McFarlane Legacy, ed. Britnell and Pollard, 155–74; C.C. Dyer, ‘The Political Life of the Fifteenth-Century English Village’, in The Fifteenth Century IV: Political Culture in Late Medieval Britain, ed. L.S. Clark and M.C. Carpenter (Woodbridge, 2004), 135–58; R.B. Goheen, ‘Peasant Politics? Village Community and the Crown in Fifteenth-century England’, American Historical Review, xcvi (1991), 43–62; R.W. Hoyle, ‘Petitioning as popular politics in Early-sixteenth-century England’, HR, lxxv (2002), 365–89. But see Jane Whittle and S.H. Rigby, ‘England, Popular politics and Social Conflict’, in A Companion to Britain in the Later Middle Ages, ed. S.H. Rigby (Oxford, 1993), 65– 78 for the persistence of the older view that the only way for ordinary people to make their influence felt was through resistance, ranging from large-scale rebellion to local confrontation. J.L. Watts, ‘Public or Plebs: The Changing meaning of “The Commons”, 1381–1549’, in Power and Identity in the Middle Ages: Essays in Memory of Rees Davies, ed. Huw Pryce and J.L. Watts, (Oxford, 2007), 242–60; idem, ‘Politics, War and Public Life’, in Gothic: Art for England, 1400– 1547, ed. Richard Marks and Paul Williamson (2003), 35–6 in which he draws attention to a ‘mass public with an interest in its own political, moral and spiritual health’ and idem, ‘The Pressure of the Public on Later Medieval Politics’, in The Fifteenth Century IV, ed. Clark and Carpenter, 181–94, in which he discusses the way that this public interest affected political action and decision making. Elements of what follows were delivered as papers read at the University of Rochester, the University of Western Australia and as the Roger Virgoe Lecture at the University of East Anglia. It has benefited greatly from the comments and questions of the audiences on those occasions.

2

A.J. Pollard

First, what actually did Russell have to say about the people and parliament? He took as his text Isaiah 49. 1 ‘Audite insule, Et attendite populi de longe, Dominus ab utero vocavit me’. He began by reminding his audience that all public bodies in Christendom were composed of three parts, the prince, the nobles and the people and that he had chosen his text appropriate to the particular moment and germane to an occasion when he was having to speak to all three.4 His exegesis identified the lords as the rock solid islands in a sea of uncertainty. It is incumbent upon them, in a minority, to be at one. And the reason why the lords ought more readily accord and each amiably to hearken apon one another, than the whole generality of the people, is plain and evident enough considering how the politic rule of every region well ordained standeth in the nobles. This was so in ancient Rome, when the ‘thynge public’ (his literal Anglicisation of res publica) was instituted by Romulus, and also earlier for the people of Israel, when led by Moses.5 ‘To you, my lords,’ he continued, thus falleth the duty of executing justice. Ye be lyke to Moyses and Aaron, which escend unto the mount where the lawe is given: The people must stond a forr and not pass the lymittes; ye speke with the prince, whyche is quasi deus noster in terris, as they did with God mouthe to mouthe; but it suffiseth the people to recyve with due obeisance the prince’s commandements by the direccion of hys wise ministers and officers.6 He then adjures ‘ye people that stond ferre of’, to give attendance to the lordes and nobille men whyche be in auctorite: they come from the welehedd, ye stond a longe. I speke not to yowe that nowe represent the hele, but to them that ye come fro, whome for the grete and confused nombre and multitude nature can not wele suffer to assemble in one place for the makynge of a lawe.7 We must bear in mind that the context for this intended lecture was an opening of parliament in which the Speaker and others attended the house of Lords on behalf of the house of Commons to hear the chancellor. Russell elaborated this point. Just as in Rome, when the number of citizens rose to such an extent that they could not all attend to consent to new laws, they appointed a tribune to be their president in their consultations with the senate, so in this realm, the Commons appoint their Speaker. ‘In the tyme of holdynge of parliaments, this is the howse of the senate’ and the ‘Commons have thers apart’. Thus ‘the princes and the lordes have the ffyrst and pryncipalle undrestondynge and knowledge of every gret thynge necessarye to be redressed, the lower people and commons herkene and attende upon them’.8 4 5 6 7 8

S.B. Chrimes, English Constitutional Ideas in the Fifteenth Century (1936), 168. Ibid., 172. Ibid., 173. Ibid., 173–4. Ibid., 174–5.

People and Parliament

3

It was perhaps the exigency of addressing the Lords in parliament that led him into a tangle in his text over what he meant by ‘the lower people and commons’. At some points it is the house of Commons (most clearly in the likening of their Speaker to the tribune); but at others it is clear he means the people as a whole, all the commons (‘the whole generality of all the people’, ‘in their great and confused number and multitude’). Had he seen the house of Commons as a house of tribunes, with their Speaker as a tribune of tribunes so to speak, he might have more successfully sustained his analogy. But he did not. Nevertheless, in so far as the whole generality of the people are concerned he was but giving voice to a common place of late medieval political analysis. Parliament was the preserve of the enfranchised elites: the great and confused number and multitude were excluded. It seems likely that he had the well-worn metaphor of the body politic in mind, though his meaning is ambiguous, when he declared that he spoke ‘not to yowe that nowe represent the hele, but to them that ye come fro’, the great and confused multitude and number. It was considered not just ridiculous, but dangerous that the feet should tell the head (‘the welehedd’) what to do. Richard Morison drew on the same stereotype and word fifty years later in A Remedy for Sedition, directed at the Pilgrims of Grace, when he condemned as monstrous any body in which ‘the heels make unlawful requests and very mad petitions’. It was, he added, ‘no part of the people’s play to discuss acts made in parliaments’.9 Historians of the fifteenth century have followed where Russell and his near contemporaries have led. Parliament was not for the people. As Gerald Harriss has recently put it, the people as a whole were represented indirectly through the knights of the shire and the burgesses, who stood midway between the divinely guided king and the ‘brute plebs’. As mediators between the polarities of king and plebs, the role of MPs was to respond to the grievances of the commons and procure redress before they provoked revolt. Thus the house of Commons was ‘a conduit for the common concerns of the people’. but not one in which they were directly involved.10 One might suppose that this was the view of the knights of the shire and leading burgesses themselves. It is exactly the way they would have wished to see it, putting themselves in the role of intermediaries and negotiators between the rude multitude on the one hand and the crown and lords on the other. It is not, however, the whole story. As Morison’s assertion implied, the people saw themselves as being more than mere spectators of this political theatre. They claimed to be players, if only spear carriers, upon the parliamentary stage. Before examining the ways in which the people interacted with and participated in parliament we need first to consider the term, the ‘People’, itself. It is apparent from its frequent use in fifteenth-century political discourse, in chronicles, letters, and treatises (and of course Russell’s sermon), whether in Latin (plebs) or increasingly in the vernacular, that it was used to encompass all those of lower social status who, in the conventional world view, had no part in political decision making. In a much quoted passage about the state of the realm in 1459, the author of the continuation of the Brut known as ‘An English Chronicle’ wrote of the 9

10

Humanist Scholarship and Public Order: two tracts against the Pilgrimage of Grace by Richard Morrison, ed. D.S. Berkowitz (1974), 117–18. G.L. Harriss, Shaping the Nation: England, 1360–1461 (Oxford, 2005), 69–70, 174–5.

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A.J. Pollard

‘ymposicions …. put to the peple’ and how because of the misgovernance of the realm, ‘the hertes of the peple were turned awey’ from Henry VI. John Warkworth, a few years later, in recalling the excessively bloodthirsty punishments handed out by John Tiptoft earl of Worcester in 1470, commented that he was for ever after ‘gretely behated emonge the peple’. The people had also ‘grocchede sore’ over the taxation levied by Edward IV. Yet it was not only their grievances that were noted. Margaret Paston recorded in October 1460 that ‘the people report full worshipfully of the earl of Warwick’: five years later she reported that the people loved and dreaded the duke of Norfolk more than any other except the king and my lord of Warwick. And Bishop Langton of St. David’s wrote in 1483, in the first heady months of Richard III’s reign, that ‘he contents the people where he goes best that ever did prince’.11 The ruling elites were thus highly conscious of the opinion and mood of the people over whom they ruled. They were deeply anxious about their contentment. They therefore sounded out and listened carefully to the vox populi. In September 1450, Humphrey, duke of Buckingham, wrote from Maxstoke in Warwickshire to Lord St. Amand to inform him, and through him the king, that he had taken steps to find out what the voice of the people was touching the duke of York, who had recently returned from Ireland. This was, no doubt, a sensible precaution since York’s name had been linked three months earlier with Cade’s Rebellion.12 There is no need to dwell on the weight of evidence that there is concerning the attempts by governments and their opponents to influence popular opinion by proclamations, manifestos, sermons, posters and public display. How ubiquitous the practice of appealing for popular support became in mid century is revealed by the confession of John Staines in 1452 or 1453. He and another servant in the employ of Sir William Tailboys had produced and distributed posters libelling Ralph, Lord Cromwell, in 1451. These ‘billes and lettres’ were posted at taverns in Sandwich, Canterbury and Rochester, on St. Paul’s door, at the Cross in Cheapside, at the Standard in Cheapside, at the Standard in Cornhill, and on the stulpes (wooden piles) of London Bridge. Thirty or more were distributed in the north, where Tailboys held land, at Doncaster, York, Hull, the market cross in Thirsk and four in Newcastle.13 The distribution of bills and letters became a feature of political campaigning in the mid fifteenth century. Richard Neville, earl of Warwick, took it to a new height after 1459. The cause here, however, was a private feud, not some great matter of state. Nevertheless, Tailboys went to enormous trouble and expense to win public support by blackening his enemy as a traitor who had helped betray France. In all this ‘the People’ were invariably represented and approached as an undifferentiated mass, largely passive, unless provoked by misgovernment or 11

12 13

An English Chronicle, 1377–1461, ed. William Marx (Woodbridge, 2003), 78; John Warkworth, A Chronicle of the First Thirteen Years of the Reign of Edward the Fourth, ed. J.O. Halliwell (Camden Society, old series, x, 1839), 3, 9; The Paston Letters, ed. James Gairdner, (6 vols, 1904), iii. 239, 250; iv. 207; Christ Church Letters, ed. J.B. Sheppard (Camden Society, new series, xix, 1877), 46. Surrey RO, LM/COR/1/19. I am grateful to Mark Page for this reference. Roger Virgoe, ‘William Tailboys and Lord Cromwell, Crime and Politics in Lancastrian England’, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, lv (1973), reprinted in East Anglian Society and the Political Community of Late Medieval England, ed. Caroline Barron, Carole Rawcliffe and J.T. Rosenthal (Norwich, 1997), 298–9. Presumably Newcastle was targeted because Tailboys, of Kyme in Lincolnshire, was also a significant landowner in Northumberland.

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mobilised by self-serving lords and gentry. Russell referred to them in his sermon as ‘a great and confused multitude and number’. He may been thinking of their own confusion. He may also have had in mind the complex social hierarchy of status and income groups ranging from yeoman, husbandman, all artisans, lesser traders and retailers, through wage labourers and servants, to beggars and the poverty stricken, and encompassing lay and clergy, men and women, young and old in town and country. In this confused multitude, whose voice was the voice of the people? It surely was a great and confused multitude of voices. Emphasis has been placed recently on the role of rumour, gossip, and what the government designated seditious talk, to suggest that wage labourers, servants, the illiterate and other less fortunate sections of society had a voice.14 But the loudest, the most frequently heard and most seriously taken was the voice of the better off, the ‘weightier householders’, ‘chief inhabitants’, the ‘better sorts’, the ‘local worthies’: in short ‘the mediocres’, or ‘middling sorts’.15 Yet even the ‘middling sorts’ encompassed varied and disparate groups with a significant range of occupations, income and status. It is from this band of society, however, that the lowest level of royal, manorial and borough as well as parish office holding was drawn. The ‘middling sorts’ were property holders and employers. They were literate (in the vernacular) and numerate (in that they often handled accounts). They served as jurors, constables, local commissioners, tax collectors, reeves, bailiffs, coroners, customs collectors and church wardens. They were the framers of bylaws and guardians of local conduct. They were the respectable members of fraternities and guilds. Broadly they were conservative in outlook: they accepted the social order and their place in it. They were far from desiring that the world be turned upside down; they had too much to lose. By and large, what they desired was cheap government for the common good, low taxation, law and order, charity targeted at the deserving poor, family values, woman’s place in the home, immigrants repatriated or penalised (especially Welsh, Irish, Flemish and Italians), and continental Europe kept at arms length (especially the French, except of course when they were being defeated). We do not know enough about this upper tier of ‘the People’: their individual mark on the surviving record is slight. It is significant, however, that the government of the realm depended locally on men of this class. By this very fact they were politically engaged. One way or another many of them were also tied into the networks of aristocratic clientage and patronage that dominated local politics affairs. Directly, or indirectly as mediated through such relationships, they were a part of the governing process.16 Thus those that articulated most clearly a popular voice, the more prosperous and substantial of the people, were engaged in politics outside parliament on a regular basis. In the practice of government and local politics they occupied a significant intermediary ground. All this was surely known to the lords, higher clergy and gentry. How could it be otherwise – but the 14

15

16

See for instance Simon Walker, ‘Rumour, Sedition and Popular Protest in the Reign of Henry IV’, Past and Present, clxvi (2000), 31–65. Harriss, Shaping the Nation, pp. 252–3 draws a distinction between the perspectives of the village elites and the rest of the peasantry, acknowledging that ‘they stood at the threshold of political society and were caught up in its tentacles, but were debarred from entering it in their own right’. A.J. Pollard, Imagining Robin Hood: the Late Medieval Stories in Historical Context (2004), 177– 82; idem, Late-Medieval England, 1399–1509 (2000), 253–5.

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conventional representation of the people as the ‘brute plebs’ or ‘confused multitude’ served to conceal it. These in particular are the kind of people who were involved in Parliament as members, electors and petitioners. I First some of the middling sorts sat in the house of Commons, serving not as knights of the shire, but as burgesses. There is a long tradition of playing down the significance of the burgesses. Once more we have contemporaries to thank for concentrating in their reportage on the knights of the shire. The author of Mum and the Sothsegger recounts at one point in his satire that in their house the ‘chevalleris’, shire-knights, or knights of the ‘comunete’, met together to ‘carpe of the maters with citiseyns of shiiris’. Later it is the knights of the commons alone who assembled ‘forto shew the sores of the royaulme’. Walsingham did not even recognise the existence of the burgesses in passing, invariably describing members of the house of Commons as parliamentales milites.17 It is undoubtedly the case that the seventy-four knights of the shires dominated the proceedings of the house: they occasionally deliberated separately, they virtually monopolised committees, and the Speaker was invariably drawn from their ranks.18 But it does not follow that the 162 to 178 burgesses were mere lobby fodder. For one, they were themselves socially diverse. At the top, in some cases in terms of wealth and influence more significant than all but the greatest knights of the shire, were the dozen or so who were great merchants or professionals representing the cities of London and Norwich, the towns of Bristol and Newcastle and other significant commercial centres. Then there is the well documented invasion of the ‘carpet baggers’, county gentry, royal servants, aristocratic retainers and lawyers, who in increasing numbers came to represent the smaller boroughs. This trend has dominated recent historiography. Calculations have shown that the percentage of boroughs not represented by residents grew from some ten per cent at the end of the fourteenth century to twenty-five per cent in 1422, fifty per cent in 1449–50 and nearly sixty per cent in 1478. This trend is particularly noticeable in the far western counties of Devon and Cornwall. Yet this still leaves a significant if dwindling number, perhaps down to one fifth by the last quarter of the century, who might be categorised as genuine representatives of small boroughs from the ranks of the urban middling sorts: maybe oligarchs and men of substance in their own small communities, but not by any stretch of the imagination of the political élite of the realm.19 17

18

19

Mum and the Sothsegger, ed. Mabel Day and Robert Steele (EETS, original series, cic, 1936), 24, ll. 29, 32, 40–41; 59, ll. 1119–20; Thomas Walsingham, Historia Anglicana, ed. H.T. Riley (2 vols., Rolls Series, xxviii, 1863–4), ii. 273 and elsewhere. The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1386–1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, Linda Clark and Carole Rawcliffe (4 vols., Stroud, 1992), i. 42–53. May McKisack, The Parliamentary Representation of the English Boroughs in the Middle Ages (Oxford, 1932), 106–10; R.E. Horrox, ‘The Urban Gentry in the Fifteenth Century’, in Towns and Townspeople in the Fifteenth Century, ed. J.A.F. Thomson (Gloucester, 1988), 22–44. J.S. Roskell, The Commons in the Parliament of 1422 (Manchester, 1934), 127–33; Patricia Jalland, ‘The “Revolution” in Northern Borough Representation in Mid-Fifteenth-century England’, Northern History, xi (1975), 27–51; Hannes Kleineke, ‘The Widening Gap: The Practice of Parliamentary

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We can see something of their social characteristics in the first two decades, when their numbers were still substantial, from the biographies produced for the History of Parliament for 1386–1421. Some were on the make: men whose roots lay in local trade and office in their native towns, but who rose through shrewd investment, professional careers and diligent service into the ranks of the local gentry. One such family were the Portmans of Taunton, who acquired Orchard Portman just outside the town in the early fourteenth century. Father and son, William and Walter, represented Taunton at least twenty-one times between 1362 and 1435.20 If we set wholesale merchants, international traders and financiers, leading lawyers and the arrivistes, such as the Portmans, alongside the knights of the shire, the vast majority of the house, representing both the shires and the boroughs, was indeed drawn from ranks of the gentry, royal servants and groups of equivalent social and economic standing.21 Yet a significant minority were undoubtedly of their local communities. Of some of them little or nothing is known, apart from their names. Others can be confidently placed in the ranks of the middling sorts resident in the small towns that were their constituencies. Included among their ranks were many local wool, wine and cloth traders, shipmen, grocers, butchers, tailors, skinners, rope makers, barbers, hackneymen, yeomen and husbandmen. Several served as mayors, bailiffs, clerks, and port reeves. Devizes in the early fifteenth century is typical of this pattern. Four weavers, two clothiers, two ‘merchants’, a butcher, a dyer and a shoemaker represented the borough between 1386 and 1421. The most prominent were four members of the Coventre family of Devizes, four of whom represented the town twenty times between 1383 and 1433. John I was a weaver; two of his three sons rose to be clothiers trading on a significant scale in Wiltshire in the first half of the century. They were founders of chantries in the parish church and of an almshouse.22 Less is known about the occupations of the men who represented East Grinstead in the same period. Almost all were local, many of whom, according to their historian, seemed to make a living from agriculture. One, John Woghere (or perhaps today Woodger), who sat six times between 1414 and 1437, was designated a husbandman in the 1420s. There was a small number of men of similar modest means who, like Woghere, sat frequently in the house of Commons. Four generations of the Alfray family represented East Grinstead between 1391 and 1478, rising only modestly from yeomen to gentlemen over the decades.23 The business and social networks of men like these linked them to and gave them an awareness of the mood of the surrounding countryside, as well as of their own urban communities. Mayors and bailiffs in their turn, several held office as tax collectors and aulnagers in their county. Local clothiers like the Coventre brothers are likely to have been aware of the views of their suppliers as they rode around the county; inn-keepers, such as Robert Warner of Marlborough, had their ears bent by

20 21

22 23

Borough Elections in Devon and Cornwall in the Fifteenth Century’, in Parchment and People: Parliament in the Middle Ages, ed. Linda Clark (Edinburgh, 2004), 128–35. The Commons 1386–1421, ed. Roskell, Clark and Rawcliffe, iv. 122–4. For the role of the burgesses in the parliament of 1406, see A.J. Pollard, ‘The Lancastrian Constitutional Experiment Revisited: Henry IV, Sir John Tiptoft and the Parliament of 1406’, Parliamentary History, xiv (1995), 110–12. The Commons 1386–1421, ed. Roskell, Clark and Rawcliffe, i. 695–8; ii. 674, 677, 679. Ibid., i. 654–5; ii. 24–5.

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thirsty customers coming into the town on market day.24 Resident burgesses, especially in the southern counties where small boroughs were more numerous, were thus in a position to represent directly the views of local country people as effectively as the views of their fellow townsmen. Undoubtedly their numbers dwindled as the century progressed, but they were a presence.25 We should not assume that because the lesser burgesses were socially inferior and outnumbered, they were entirely passive. If they did in fact attend when elected, which we should not take for granted, we must surely allow for the possibility that they expressed their views on, or indeed carped about, matters touching their interests.26 Besides taxation, the representatives of small towns, many of which were ports, would have been concerned about the keeping of the seas, especially in Henry IV’s reign and the last decade of Henry VI’s, the abuse of purveyance in the same periods, the state of trade, and the whole issue of social and economic policy. It is inconceivable that the lesser burgesses, especially those who attended several parliaments, did not occasionally bring petitions forward or join in debates about them. Much of the routine business of the house and its legislation touched them directly. II When not representing their boroughs, these men and their fellow burgesses, in a whole range of urban constituencies and franchises, were electors.27 So too, after 1429, were forty-shilling freeholders in the counties. Thanks to the recent work of Simon Payling we now have a much better understanding of the social inclusivity of the county franchise. The Commons petition of 1429 that led to the franchise act wished to exclude the poor and those without property, avowedly in order to prevent popular disorder, but it left the franchise wide enough to include many yeomen, substantial husbandmen and rural artisans; all freeholders with property. Rising disposable incomes may in the course of the century have enfranchised more than intended.28 Moreover, in an age without a voting register, with complex tenancy patterns, and without the means accurately and objectively to verify whether someone was indeed technically enfranchised, many of relatively humble background could, if they wished or were mobilised, travel to the county court and cast a vote. The sheriff was required to examine each voter, who was to swear on oath that he was qualified, but this was hardly fraud-proof, probably dispensed with on most occasions, and difficult to enforce in a hotly contested election. 24 25

26

27 28

Ibid., i. 695–8, 705–8; iv. 774. It will be possible to see whether the social profiles of this dwindling band of residents of lesser boroughs shared a similar profile later in the century when the new volumes of the History of Parliament are published. For the problems of the cost of attendance and the resulting compromises see Kleineke, ‘Widening Gap’, 130–1. For the urban franchise and elections see ibid., 122–7. S.J. Payling, ‘County Parliamentary Elections in Fifteenth-Century England’, Parliamentary History, xviii, (1999), 237–60; idem, ‘The Widening Franchise – Parliamentary Elections in Lancastrian Nottinghamshire’, in England in the Fifteenth Century, ed. Daniel Williams (Woodbridge, 1987), 167–85. It will be apparent that I owe much to Dr. Payling’s work.

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Since 1406 the names of all the electors were to be listed in an indenture, which was returned with the result. Rarely were all attestors in fact listed; just the more socially prominent, ‘et alii’. Simon Payling has drawn attention to growth in the numbers of attestors listed until the virtual failure of returns in 1478. Even so, he found only thirty-three returns in which over 100 names were given. One cannot be sure whether this indicates a larger electorate, or reflects the custom of particular sheriffs’ offices to include more names, or is principally a feature of contested elections. Where large numbers are named, it is sometimes difficult to know their status, since this information was not required by statute. In Norfolk and Suffolk the indenture frequently failed to give such details. In the 1482 return for Norfolk, for instance, 210 out of 273 are given no style. But sometimes the returns do, and this can be helpful.29 Alan Rogers produced biographical notes on well over 600 attestors to Lincolnshire elections between 1407 and 1460. Of these he identified some fifteen per cent who might be deemed to have been men on the margins of gentility or below as indicated by their status in other documents as yeomen or husbandmen, the limited nature of their known crown employment as jurors or occasional tax collectors, or their recorded income of £5 or less in the 1436 tax. Of only a very few, however, can one be confident that they unequivocally had no claim to gentility. A William Hoyot of Pinchbeck, husbandman, attestor in 1436, would be one, William Okeham of Wootton, husbandman, in 1411 another, as were Robert Symond of Louth, husbandman in 1427 and John Thywell of East Deeping, styled both yeoman and husbandman, in May 1421.30 Far more revealing is the evidence of popular participation contained in the petitions presented to parliament in the course of disputed results. Almost all of the surviving documentation for disputed elections derives from greater East Anglia, where there tended to be larger numbers of attestors. Eight elections in Norfolk and Suffolk were attested by more than 100.31 The ‘middling sorts’ were particularly numerous and prominent in Norfolk and Suffolk, where after 1400 there was a highly developed market economy, probably the most advanced in England. The two counties were highly urbanised and industrialised, with a large sector of nonagricultural employment and a large wage labour force. As Mark Bailey writes of rural Suffolk, there was a sense of independence and individualism and a keen awareness of wider political issues at all social levels.32 It is in East Anglia, perhaps, that we might expect to find most frequently the involvement of people taken to be forty-shilling freeholders in elections. 29

30

31 32

The Commons 1386–1421, ed. Roskell, Clark and Rawcliffe, i. 55–68; Payling, ‘County Parliamentary Elections’, 249–51; Roger Virgoe, ‘An Election Dispute of 1483’, HR, lx (1987) reprinted in East Anglian Society, ed. Barron et al., 337–42. Alan Rogers, ‘Parliamentary Electors in the Fifteenth Century’, Lincolnshire History and Archaeology, iii (1968), 41–79, esp. 72 (Hoyot); iv (1969), 33–53, esp. pp. 41 (Okeham), 52 (Symond); v (1970), 47–58; vi (1971), 67–81, esp. 71 (Thywell) . They attested 934 times between them in twenty-four elections. The largest number of attestors was 119 in 1427, the smallest sixteen in December 1421. Okeham and Thywell were each one of only twenty-four attestors on the occasions on which they attested in 1411 and 1421; Symond was one of the 119 in 1427; Payling ‘County Parliamentary Elections’, 252–7, uses the same lists to examine the relationship between the places of residence of electors and elected. Payling, ‘County Parliamentary Elections’, 250, table 1. Jane Whittle, The Development of Agrarian Capitalism: Land and Labour in Norfolk, 1440–1580 (Oxford, 2000), 305–15; Mark Bailey, Medieval Suffolk: An Economic and Social History, 1200– 1500 (Woodbridge, 2007), 290–8, esp. p. 291.

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What does the evidence presented in the course of East Anglian election disputes show? First there is the evidence of canvassing of the popular vote. In Cambridgeshire in 1439, it was alleged that Sir James Ormond’s men rode and sent about to the commons of the shire, charging them to give their voices at the election to such men as he and his allies would have, with threats of violence and reprisals if they did not. Come election day, Ormond’s men, it was further asserted, tried to bar all from the castle except those that would vote for him. One should not necessarily take such a hostile representation of Ormond’s actions at face value, in particular the accusation of intimidation of the voters and seeking to rig the election. It is possible that the worst possible colour was put by his rivals on the election campaign run by Ormond’s men. Seen more neutrally, the evidence suggests that candidates did, in contested elections, seek to win the support of the more humble voters by various means, including no doubt bribery and treating, to come to the hustings to vote for them.33 Secondly there are the claims, in the Cambridgeshire election, and those for Suffolk in 1453, Norfolk in 1461 and Norfolk again in 1482, that unqualified votes were counted. These were of two kinds. One is that the voters were not residents of, or property holders in, the county; the other is that as residents and property holders they were not forty-shilling freeholders. In the disputed Suffolk election of 1453, for instance, the burden of the case made by the duke of Norfolk against the result was that the electors were not resident or holding property in the county.34 In the Cambridgeshire election of 1439, it was claimed that of the 500 who finally gathered to elect Ormond’s nominees, only forty were qualified (‘abille to gefe her voyce’). The rest were from other shires, or ‘chamberdekyns and mennes servaunts of Cambregge, thressherss and all oder laborers, servauntes and noghtymen of the shire’.35 The evidence from the Norfolk election dispute of 1461 is more complex.36 Sir John Howard, the sheriff, claimed that he was unable to conduct a legal election because of the actions of John Paston and John Berney. The first attempt on 10 August was abandoned in confusion; the second attempt on the next shireday, 10 September, dissolved into violence and no result was secured. Paston and Berney, it was alleged, came with a thousand armed men. On the second attempt one of Howard’s men lunged at Paston with his dagger. The particular interest for us is the matter that Howard reported concerning the forty-shilling franchise. He endeavoured to admit to the hustings only those eligible to vote, those whom he had ‘examined and tried’, presumably on their oaths, to see whether they were resident and forty-shilling freeholders. The attempt failed because his men were overwhelmed by the crowd, many armed, brought along by Paston and Berney. Paston rode up and declared that all at the court could vote, regardless of their 33

34

35

36

Roger Virgoe, ‘The Cambridgeshire Election of 1439’, BIHR, xlvi (1973), reprinted in East Anglian Society, ed. Barron et al., 49, and see also Payling, ‘County Parliamentary Elections’, 247–8 for a discussion of intimidation, bribery and treating during elections. Roger Virgoe, ‘Three Suffolk Parliamentary Elections in the Mid-fifteenth Century’, BIHR, xxxix (1966), reprinted in East Anglian Society, ed. Barron et al., 61. Virgoe, ‘Cambridgeshire Election’, 50. Chamber deacons could mean menial household servants in general; alternatively, and more specifically, they could be poor scholars of a university, unattached to a college, who made ends meet by serving well-heeled students. C.H. Williams, ‘A Norfolk Parliamentary Election’, EHR, xl (1925), 81–6.

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condition.37 His cry was taken up and quoted, in English, as given by Howard in his report: Nay Playnly shirif ye shall try no sufficiente here for every man shall have his election and gif his voice as our Master Paston hathe made his crie, and so shall ye shiriff make youre retourne and ellys ye shall dy for it.38 He was forced to return Paston and Berney, he later reported, against his will. In his report Howard identified, by place of residence and status, over sixty persons whom he claimed were guilty of affray and overawing the election on behalf of Paston and Berney. He claimed twenty of these were not forty-shilling freeholders: they included a clerk, a yeoman, three husbandmen, nine labourers, two tailors, a cook, a plumber and a carpenter. The other forty or so, whom he apparently accepted as ‘sufficient’, included more yeomen (nine) and husbandmen (nine) and fewer labourers (six) but still had a dozen or so assorted artisans amongst their number, including two blacksmiths, a baker, a butcher, a miller, a weaver, a draper and another cook. Even if we accept that Howard had been able accurately to separate the qualified sheep from the unqualified goats in the chaos of the election day, it is hard to discern a fundamental difference in social status between one group and the other. More remarkable, however, is Paston’s alleged claim that the statute of 1429 did not apply, taken up by the crowd in the cry that every man should have his election and give his voice. What are we to make of these apparently revolutionary words? Even if the words, or words like them, were not uttered, it nevertheless seemed plausible for Howard to have reported that they were. It is likely that Paston and Berney’s principal supporters, named by Howard, led and orchestrated the cry. But there would not have been much point, unless there had been an underlying popular opinion that all men should have a vote. Of course these voters, on both sides, in this and other contested elections, were mobilised by the candidates and their agents. Contested county elections reflected upper-class factional rivalry. A crowd of armed men at the hustings, imposing two candidates on the sheriff, might be likened to one of those fellowships, or gangs, of ruffians which feature frequently in the Paston Letters, ransacking a property here, or assaulting a neighbour there. But this is to overlook the fact that large numbers were qualified to vote, and even where there was no reported violence or disputed result, were mobilised to support rival candidates.39 In the account of the riotous Cambridgeshire election of 1439, it is alleged that the sheriff, being aware that there were 2,000 misruled armed men full of malice swarming in and around the castle, and thus fearing loss of life, called off the election. But it is also asserted that these men were ‘of diverse opinions of gefeng of her voices’.40 Moreover, in the Huntingdonshire election of 1450 it was claimed that the defeated candidate was attended by 300 ‘goode communers’ as well as seventy freeholders who were ineligible to vote by both residence and status. The 37 38 39

40

Ibid., 83. Ibid., 85. Payling, ‘County Parliamentary Elections’, 245–8, concludes that intimidation was relatively infrequent and electioneering and getting out the vote by less violent means more frequent. Virgoe, ‘Cambridgeshire Election’, 50.

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‘goode communers’ one takes it, were men of substance, forty-shilling men, who were found by the sheriff not to be freeholders and thus disqualified on that ground. They may have been mobilised by rival candidates, but the contest gave them an opportunity to participate.41 It may be that many men believed they were excluded from the franchise by the 1429 act and sought to exercise a right to vote nevertheless. In East Anglia, in mid century, it seems, there was a lively popular electorate asserting its right to give its own voice. Once in parliament, no knight of the shire could completely ignore the views of the electorate, if only when it came down to the question of whether to vote fifteenths. The taxpaying net was cast wide. We do not know enough about how the tenths and fifteenths were allocated and collected. Christopher Dyer, however, has shown that there seems to have been acceptance of a graduated contribution to the levy, set for each vill in 1334, that was based on ability to pay.42 This itself implies a local mechanism for determining individual contributions. Paying taxes, then as now, was highly political, both locally and nationally; in 1468 the people ‘grocchede sore’ about their taxes. III When not serving as burgesses and participating in elections, voters and taxpayers were well aware of the procedures of parliament and petitioning. Richard Hoyle has shown that after 1500 petitioning was a widespread form of interaction between the people and the state,43 but less is known about earlier practice and the mechanism of how petitions were got up in the constituencies and taken to the house of Commons. Gwilym Dodd has shown how in the fourteenth century ordinary people occasionally took advantage of the procedure, especially tenants of the ancient demesne. In 1331, five named trenants of Helston and neighbouring manors in Cornwall went up to London with a petition on behalf of themselves and other tenants. Petitions were submitted in the name of ‘the People’ or ‘the commons’, such as that by the people of Sussex in 1377 concerning the delapidation of Bramber Castle, or by ‘the pore commune’ of the Wirral to request that the act of disafforestation be confirmed.44 But the presentation of petitions in the name of the People or the communes is problematic, for, while they may have been put forward in their name, they may well conceal the action of specific interest group within the county elites.45 A small number of surviving Commons bills presented in the fifteenth century in the name of ‘the poor commons’, ‘inhabitants’, ‘lieges’ or the ‘people’ of 41

42

43 44

45

J.G. Edwards, ‘The Huntingdonshire Parliamentary Election of 1450’, in Essays in Medieval History Presented to Bertie Wilkinson, ed. T.A. Sandquist and M.R. Powicke (Toronto, 1969), 393–5. Christopher Dyer, ‘Taxation and Communities in Late-Medieval England’, in Progress and Problems in Medieval England, ed. R.H. Britnell and John Hatcher (Cambridge, 1996), 168–90. Hoyle, ‘Petitioning as Popular Politics’, passim. Gwilym Dodd, Justice and Grace: Private Petitioning and the English Parliament in the Late Middle Ages (Oxford, 2007), 209–11, 262–3, 335–6. For the drawing up of petitions by professional scribes, see pp. 302–16. Ibid., 260–5. Note the examples of the ‘commons of Kent’ requesting that the labour laws be enforced in 1377 and the ‘good people of Yorkshire’ complaining that sheriffs were appointing men of insufficient means to assize juries.

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constituencies, continue the same practice. Many were inevitably to do with matters of taxation. The ‘inhabitants’ of Andover requested in 1435 that they be discharged all tenths and fifteenths for twenty years to defray the cost of rebuilding after the town was destroyed by fire. The ‘people’ of Dunwich in 1402 asked for their fee farm to be remitted because the sea was destroying the port. It was not just taxation. The ‘commons and dwellers’ of the liberty of the Isle of Ely asked in 1449 that an agreement reached a few years earlier between themselves and the commons of the rest of Cambridgeshire be implemented. This was to buy out their contribution to the wages and expenses of the county’s MPs by a one-off payment of £200. The ‘people’ of Cirencester wanted the setting up of a paving commission for town improvement. They only achieved an extension to the next parliament, which proved to be short lasting. Perhaps most interesting, in about June 1450, was the petition of Robert Horner, Thomas Torold, Thomas Sparow and Alice, widow of John Ankes, and all the poor tenants and inhabitants of Spalding and Pinchbeck. They requested that twenty-five followers of Lord Welles, many of whom were his tenants in neighbouring Deeping, be called to account for the murder of Ankes and attacks on them and their property.46 These petitions are subject to the same caveats raised by Dodd. The presentation of petitions in the name of the commons, for instance, does not exclusively mean the common people; the word can encompass all grades of society in the sense of communes.47 One should not assume that these poor commons, inhabitants and people had themselves necessarily taken the initiative. Thus the request of the commons of Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Shropshire, Somerset, Bristol and Chester in 1449 for the perpetual extension of the ordinance of 1442 condemning Welsh thieves as traitors is most likely to be in the name of the communities of those shires. In the case of Ely, one suspects the bishop’s administration had a hand. The Spalding and Pinchbeck petitioners and murder victim have all been identified as prominent villagers and local leaders. Tenants of the duchy of Lancaster, they seem to have been acting independently and on behalf of their communities at a particularly fraught time in the course of a long-running dispute with the people of Deeping over the use of the fenland that lay between them.48 It is reasonable to assume that in other cases as well the poor commons or inhabitants were aware that petitions were being put forward in their names and had some notion of the process involved. In this way at least they shared in the business of parliament and were part of the broader public to which parliament was accessible. Some of the people were thus involved some of the time in the parliamentary processes of the kingdom, from being elected members, being electors and promoting petitions, albeit at a subordinate and limited level. Knowledge of parliamentary procedure was also widespread. Public protestors represented themselves as exercising a right to petition the Crown as if they were presenting a bill for parliament. The first articles of petition drawn up by the commons of Kent in 1450 reveals a sophisticated understanding of governmental process and the working of parliament. It details very specific irregularities in the collection of the 46 47 48

TNA, SC8/90/4477, 22/1086, 27/1342, 30/1459, 117/5831, 117/5840. Dodd, Justice and Grace, 257–9; Watts, ‘Public or Plebs’, 244–51. Jonathan Mackman, ‘“To Theire Grete Hurte and Finall Destruction”: Lord Welles’s Attacks on Spalding and Pinchbeck, 1449–50’, in Foundations Of Modern Scholarship: Records edited in honour of David Crook, ed. Paul Brand and Sean Cunningham (York and London, 2008), 183–95.

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last fifteenth, the sheriff’s administration of justice and the holding of elections, as well as to request the holding of separate sessions of the peace in the east and west parts of the county ‘to relieve the vexation of the people’. At least nine of seventeen separate ‘items’ in this list of ‘compleints’ might well in more normal times have been petitions to parliament. The final version of the manifesto reveals knowledge of the current discourse about the constitution, which looks back to the deposition of Richard II. The second clause claims that the evil councillors about the king have advised him that he is above the law, whereas, as his coronation oath reveals, the contrary is true. The third objects that these ministers have argued that the king should live upon his commons, and that their bodies and goods are his, whereas the contrary is true, for if it were, he would never have needed to call parliament to ask goods of them.49 Both the author of Gregory’s Chronicle in the mid fifteenth century and Richard Morison in the early sixteenth (and Walsingham before them) represented these popular upheavals as forms of madness, in which the feet kicked the head of the body politic. Yet they nevertheless drew attention to the manner in which the participants in both Cade’s Revolt and the Pilgrimage of Grace saw themselves as petitioners to the Crown for the common weal. The author of Gregory’s chronicle wrote apoplectically that the rebels in London in 1450 acted as men ‘that had been half besides their wits’, ‘who in that furnish they went, as they said, for the common weal of England’.50 Morison, and his contemporary Thomas Starkey went as far as to acknowledge that ‘the people’ were a political force with a stake in the commonwealth and whose opinion had to be accommodated. Ethan Shagan has recently pointed out that the gathering of the Pilgrims at Pontefract in October 1436 was conducted as if it were a parliament.51 The gathering of Cade’s men at Blackheath in the summer of 1450, which also drew up articles of petition, might also have seen itself as a quasi-parliament. Indeed the Magdalen articles, the final version of Cade’s ‘unlawful request and very mad petition’, reveal a detailed and sophisticated understanding of the workings of parliamentary procedures and the interconnection between the house of Commons and the constituencies.52 Two commentators were able to recognise the protestors’ own representation of their actions. Thus the author of the English Chronicle later recalled that Cade said that he and his company were gathered and assembled for to redress and reform the wrongs that were done in the realm, and to withstand the malice of them that were destroyers of the common profit, …and showed unto them the articles of their petitions concerning and touching the mischiefs and misgovernance of the realm,…. Whereof a copy was sent to the parliament

49

50

51

52

The Politics of Fifteenth-Century England: John Vale’s Book, ed. M.L. Kekewich, Colin Richmond, A.F. Sutton, Livia Visser-Fuchs and John Watts (Gloucester, 1995), 204–5; I.M.W. Harvey, Jack Cade’s Rebellion of 1450 (Oxford, 1991), 89. The Historical Collections of a London Citizen in the Fifteenth Century, ed. James Gairdner (Camden Society, new series, xvii, 1876), 191. E.H. Shagan, ‘The Pilgrimage of Grace and the Public Sphere?’, in The Politics of the Public Sphere in Early Modern England, ed. Peter Lake and Steven Pincus (Manchester, 2007), 34–8. John Vale’s Book, ed. Kekewich et al., 204–5; Harvey, Cade’s Rebellion, 189–91.

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held that time at Westminster, whereof the said captain desired that such grievance should be amended and reformed by the parliament.53 Thomas Gascoigne, too, acknowledged that the protestors represented themselves as the king’s true liegemen petitioning in arms for reform as a legitimate part of the political process – asking as ‘public petitioners for public justice’.54 To illustrate how fine the line was between mass petitioning and popular uprising one can return to East Anglia and the opposition to the ‘Amicable Grant’ of 1525 in Suffolk. Richard Hoyle has drawn attention to the way in which mass meetings were called in Lavenham and Sudbury in early May to organise a petition to the Crown against the tax. The dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk confronted the protestors outside Lavenham and negotiated with their nominated representatives, drawn no doubt from the ranks of the local middling sorts, which resulted in the dukes agreeing to intercede with the king for a pardon (not to present the petition, be it noted). Some of the petitioners were in fact later indicted for treason.55 This, however, was an entirely peaceful gathering. What was perceived by the dukes and the Crown as a seditious assembly (one is reminded of the later Riot Act), for which a pardon had to be sued, was perceived by the commons of southern Suffolk as a loyal rally, in the absence of parliament, of public petitioners for public justice. What the Crown condemned as rebellion, participants themselves perceived as an extension of parliamentary politics by other means. They did not rebel, they petitioned in strength, even vi et armis. This is exactly what the Yorkists did on at least three occasions in the 1450s. York represented his actions in 1452, 1455 and 1459 as legitimate, not acts of treason. The commons claimed the same right. But to the Crown, petitioning in strength, or armed demonstration, by the people was nothing but rebellion. It threatened all political and social order. This view is graphically demonstrated in the account of Cade’s Revolt given in Gregory’s Chronicle. In his outrage the author disparaged the rebels’ lack of order, in which ‘Jack Robin was as good as John at the Noke, for all were as high as pigsfeet.’ ‘He wot not what to name it for a multitude of riff-raff, which acted as men half besides their wits and who went, as they said, for the common weal of England.’56 For the author it was inconceivable that such a mob could act in a rational or ordered way or have had any concern for the common good. And so we return to Russell, who may have sympathised with the chronicler’s views. In 1450, most commentators agreed, the people had passed the limits. Russell in his sermon made it clear what he considered those limits to be. The Lords in parliament, he added,

53 54

55 56

English Chronicle, 68. Thomas Gascoigne, Loci e Libro Veritatum, ed. J.E.T. Rogers (Oxford, 1881), 189. John Watts has written persuasively about the ‘common profit’ and ‘public justice’ in the discourse of popular politics in ‘Public or Plebs’. Hoyle, ‘Petitioning as Popular Politics’, 380–1. Historical Collections, 190; See also David Grummitt, ‘Deconstructing Cade’s Rebellion: Discourse and Politics in the Mid-Fifteenth Century’, in The Fifteenth Century VI, ed. Linda Clark (Woodbridge, 2006), 107–22.

16

A.J. Pollard Speke with the prince, whyche is quasi deus noster in terris as did [Moses and Aaron] with God mouthe to mouthe; but it suffiseth the peuple to receyve with due obeissaunce the prince’s commandementes by the direccion of hys wise ministers and offycers [by implication the lords themselves].57

The people begged to differ. Some of them were in fact the ‘prince’s wise ministers’, albeit very junior functionaries, carrying the local burden of royal administration. Many of them were engaged in parliament as electors, a few even as MPs. They were accustomed to petition crown and parliament. They knew the procedures of the House. They had a voice, and asserted the right to express that voice by mass petitioning if all else failed. In practice, and surely Russell knew it, the people, the middling sorts in particular, pressed his limits all the time. We should not call upon Russell as an impartial witness to the political system. The reason why he took the line he did in 1483 doubtless relates to a fear that some of the lords would call upon the people to support them, just as Warwick had done only a dozen years earlier. But his prescription also fits into a general trend of closing down the scope and scale of popular involvement in politics after 1471.58 In the fifteenth century some of the people for some of the time enjoyed a measure of involvement not only in politics as a whole, but also, to a limited extent, in parliamentary affairs.

57 58

Chrimes, English Constitutional Ideas, 173. A.J. Pollard, Warwick the Kingmaker: Politics, Power and Fame (2007), 147–65, esp. 163–5; Watts, ‘Pressure of the Public’, 179.

‘A BEEST ENVENYMED THOROUGH … COVETIZE’: AN IMPOSTER PILGRIM AND THE DISPUTED DESCENT OF THE MANOR OF DODFORD, 1306-1481∗ Simon Payling The dispute over the valuable manor of Dodford, a few miles west of Northampton, was intermittently in agitation for 175 years.1 Its longevity recommends it as a subject of study, as does the survival of a narrative statement, drawn up in the late 1470s, outlining the case of one of the disputants and providing some curious details about what the compiler of the narrative professed to take as the origin of the manor’s disputed ownership.2 Such narratives, more extended than simple statements of title, are infrequent survivals. This one, drawn up to answer a lost declaration of a claim, is not as vivid as some more famous and free-flowing examples, such as the much-longer description of the dispute between the Pilkingtons and the Ainsworths or the vituperative opening passages of the ‘Armburgh Papers’,3 yet it has enough of interest to repay attention. Further, the ∗ 1

2

3

I am grateful to the Trustees of the History of Parliament Trust for their permission to draw on material to be published by the History in The Commons, 1422–61, ed. Linda Clark (forthcoming). The manor’s clear annual value was, through the period of the dispute, about £50 p.a.: TNA, C135/187/16 (a detailed extent of 1366); Northants. RO, Knightley MSS, LXVIII 730, 731(a), 732– 6 (manorial accounts, 1467–78). The original is in the papers of the Knightley family, now in Northants. RO, Knightley MSS, CXIII 1104. It was printed, in extensive and accurate calendar, by George Baker, The History and Antiquities of the County of Northampton (2 vols., 1822–41), i. 352–3. I am grateful to Viscount Gage for his permission to quote from the original. HMC Various Collections, ii. 28–59; J.G. Bellamy, Bastard Feudalism and the Law (1989), 61–4, 66–9, 73–7, 93–4; The Armburgh Papers: the Brokholes Inheritance in Warwickshire, Hertfordshire and Essex, c.1417–c.1453, ed. Christine Carpenter (Woodbridge, 1998), 61–7. Two other 15thcentury examples are found among the archives of the Catesbys: TNA, E163/29/11; 6/46 (printed in J.B. Post, ‘Courts, Councils and Arbitrators in the Ladbroke Manor Dispute, 1382–1400’, in Medieval Legal Records Edited in Memory of C.A.F. Meekings, ed. R.F. Hunnisett and J.B. Post (1978), 308–38). By a strange coincidence, the second of these involved Alice Cardigan, who also played a part in the Dodford dispute. Of a slightly different type are the dispute narratives in monastic chronicles: eg. Registrum Abbatiae Johannis Whethamstede, ed. H.T. Riley (2 vols., Rolls Series, xxviii, 1872–3), i. 136–7, 202–16, 428, 430–1; Thomas Walsingham, Gesta Abbatum Monasterii Sancti Albani, ed. H.T. Riley (3 vols., Rolls Series, xxviii, 1867–9), ii. 227–57 (discussed in Chris Given-Wilson, The Royal Household and the King’s Affinity: Service, Politics and Finance, 1360–1413 (New Haven and London, 1986), 145–6); C.S. Perceval, ‘Remarks on some Charters and other Documents relating to the Abbey of Robertsbridge’, Archaeologia, xlv (1879), 435–43 (discussed in Nigel Saul, Scenes From Provincial Life: Knightly Families in Sussex, 1280–1400 (Oxford, 1986), 94–7).

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dispute provides a valuable illustration of a recurring theme of late-medieval landholding: uncertainty, once introduced into title, tended to echo down the generations. This not only posed difficulties for those who inherited or, unaware of the difficulties, purchased the disputed property, it also attracted the speculative interest of calculating opportunists. For the latter, who were often lawyers or royal servants, the complexity of a title might be an encouragement rather than a deterrent, a chance to acquire property at a discount on the speculation that they had influence enough to protect their possession.4 Such opportunist interventions perpetuated the dispute over Dodford, and ensured that title would not lie quietly in the hands of any tenant between the early fourteenth and late fifteenth centuries. The troubled descent of Dodford also illuminates a related theme. Ambiguity as to right title frequently grew out of compound entails, that is, entails which limited a number of remainders. These called into legal being a series of non-alienable hereditary interests, or, to put it more accurately in respect of such settlements made before the mid-fourteenth century, the judges retrospectively and unwisely interpreted them as having done so. The legislators who framed the statute De Donis Conditionalibus of 1285, which gave birth to the entail, appear to have been thinking only in term of settlements restraining alienation for a single generation.5 Similarly, those responsible for the settlement which stood at the beginning of the Dodford dispute, a final concord levied in 1306, are unlikely to have considered that, by adding several remainders, they were creating long-lasting future interests. Indeed, as the statute was then interpreted, they were not. Their purpose, as with those making similar settlements, was much more limited, namely, to determine descent, in all reasonably foreseeable circumstances, into the next generation. Later judicial interpretation, however, established entails as perpetual.6 In a society where the land market was far from stagnant, this had damaging consequences for security of tenure. Unwary purchasers could find their titles compromised by heirs under old settlements that had acquired an afterlife unintended at the moment of their framing. The more involved the settlement, the greater the potential room for future dispute. Time had a tendency to multiply heirs. Hence the longer an entail ran, the less likely it was to end in a tenant in fee simple. If the issue of the original grantees survived beyond more than a couple of generations, there were likely to be junior lines as potential beneficiaries under the entail if the senior line failed. This process operated with even simple entails – limited to a couple and their issue with remainder over in fee simple – but clearly its effect was enhanced in compound ones which, from the moment of settlement, involved more than one line of descent. In these the end of one entail might simply spark another into life and so increase the probability that confusion and dissention would arise in the determination of heirs. Further, although, when settled, the multiple remainders of a compound settlement may have appeared appropriate to the prevailing family situation, when the rights they conveyed eventually became real, they might appear

4

5 6

For the prominence of lawyers and royal servants as purchasors: Joseph Biancalana, The Fee Tail and the Common Recovery in Medieval England, 1176–1502 (Cambridge, 2001), 325–7. Ibid., 3–4, 87–9. Ibid., 83–140.

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incongruous and inequitable. This was particularly so when the entailed lands were in the hands of one who had purchased in good faith and now found his title challenged by a distant cousin of the seller. In other words, while a purchase made to the disinheritance of a son or grandson of a property entailed on his parents or grandparents would be a clear contradiction of contemporary norms, there was much less reason to object to the disinheritance of one who, fortuitously and unpredictably, fell heir as remainderman under a settlement made generations before. Purchasers troubled by such old titles had strong grounds in equity to feel aggrieved. Yet as Chancery came to make writs of formedon available to claimants increasingly remote from the first tenant in tail, they might find themselves without adequate defense at common law. As these old titles proliferated over time, a function of the continual creation of new entails and the growing durability of some existing ones, so too did those instances when a purchaser lost his purchase to one who had rights under an ancient entail. This, in turn, emphasized the need for a means of barring entails, found first in the doctrine of collateral warranty and then, from the mid-fifteenth century, in the more universal remedy of the common recovery.7 Yet, even when no sale or other alienation was involved, compound entails could raise difficulties. At the end of one line of descent, there were more questions to answer and hence more potential claims than in the case of a tenant in fee simple who died with no near common-law heir. Under a compound entail, the search was not merely for the common-law heir of the last tenant, but for the potentially superior title of a remainderman or reversioner. Take, as a baronial example, the case of Thomas, Lord de la Warre. He died in 1427, unmarried, having inherited from his brother after he had taken major orders. His common-law heir was his second cousin, once removed, John Griffin, but the several entails that bound his extensive estates took them to his nephew in the half blood, Sir Reynold West, who inherited both lands and title.8 Other cases were yet more complex. In de la Warre’s case the descents were clear and undisputed, but, in others, the identification of the next heir might depend upon the tracing of intricate and sometimes intractable pedigrees. The weighing of these respective titles depended on chronology as well as descent. The validity of a claim as distant heir-in-tail (who would often, in such cases, be the common-law heir) might depend on discovering when the line of descent of the claimant divided from that of the last tenant-in-tail. If it were before the creation of the entail then the claim of a reversioner or remainderman under the entail would be superior. Just such a question arose at the end of the dispute over Dodford. As a result of such uncertainties a single manor could become, even without fraud, subject to a series of potential titles. A careful purchaser would find it necessary to buy out the interest not only of the tenant but also of others with remoter claims, some of which might be based on pedigrees that, although dubious, were difficult to disprove. The purchase of the Rutland manor of Woodhead in Bridge Casterton by Sir William Hussey, chief justice of the king’s bench from 1481 to 1495, provides a good example. When he bought the manor from the tenant, Richard Blount, in about 1486, it was bound by three earlier

7 8

Ibid., 195–312. CIPM, xxii. 782–9; CP, iv. 150–4.

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entails, each identifying a different right heir distinct from the seller, whose own title depended on recent purchase. To make his title secure, Hussey, in 1489, gave one of these claimants 100 marks and a life annuity of £8 in return for a release, and soon after he paid another £200. Not until after his death, with the payment of 50 marks by his son to Thomas West, Lord de la Warre (grandson of Sir Reynold West), the heir under an entail of 1359, were all rival claims laid aside.9 There was thus both a market in real property and another in unrealized titles. The market in the latter grew in strength as the reach of the entail increased, and it was not until the last quarter of the fifteenth century, with the acceptance of the common recovery as a universal remedy for the barring of entails, that the entail’s contribution to this market was diminished. This multiplicity of titles was both a frustration and an opportunity to the potential purchaser. On the one hand, an investment in a property in good faith at the full market price could be undermined by a neglected entail; but, on the other, a speculator, ready to confront difficulties, could acquire a bargain from a tenant whose contentious title made him ready to sell cheaply. For this reason, it would be wrong to see purchasers of entailed property as, invariably or perhaps even usually, the unwary victims of dishonesty. In the Dodford case, the courtier, William Brantingham, who acquired the manor against an entail in the 1370s, was the perpetrator rather than the victim of fraud, fabricating an heir and then claiming her supposed title. A century later, Philip Purefoy, a claimant under that entail, but without possession, sold his claim to the powerful Wydevilles, and it was to refute their claim that the narrative was drawn up. Yet, although those who purchased entailed property or claims to it were sometimes speculators, they were speculators who looked only at the short term. They themselves might have the skill and influence to secure possession against the heir-in-tail, but their own heirs might have difficulty doing the same. After the judicial acceptance of the common recovery as a means of barring entails, purchasers found security easier to acquire in that an heir-in-tail, ready to sell, could bar claims under the entail by which he held, yet, as Hussey’s acquisition of Woodhead illustrates, claims under other entails might remain to be sued or sold. The origins of the dispute over Dodford lay in a series of alienations made by Sir Robert Keynes, who, in 1282, at the age of about ten, had inherited an estate scattered over five counties with its principal manors at Dodford and Tarrant Keynston, near Blandford Forum, in Dorset.10 On 10 December 1299 he informed the tenants of his Wiltshire manor of Somerford Keynes that the property had been sold to Hugh, Lord Despenser; and, on the following day, he entered into a bond to Despenser, undertaking, on pain of 1,000 marks, to alienate to him not only that

9

10

VCH Rutland, ii. 232–3; CIPM, xiii. 57; TNA, C1/80/76; E326/5446, 5664–5, 5667, 6033, 10403, 10482, 11666, 11780; Biancalana, Common Recovery, 322, 395–6. His other manors lay at Coombe Keynes in Dorset, Somerford Keynes, Ashton Keynes (near Cricklade), Purton Keynes and Chelworth (to which was appurtenant the hereditary forestership of Braydon) in Wiltshire, Oxhill in Warwickshire and Newton Nottage (near Porthcawl) in Glamorgan: CIPM, ii. 433. Robert was of age by 6 April 1294, when he was granted livery of his father’s lands: CPR, 1381–5, p. 537.

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manor but also the nearby manor of Chelworth with the bailiwick of Braydon forest. The process of alienation was completed in the following autumn, when, by final concord, the manors and bailiwick were settled on him to hold as Despenser’s life tenant, saving the reversion to the Despensers.11 There must be some doubt about whether he entered into this extensive sale willingly. The bond in as much as 1,000 marks hardly suggests a friendly acquisition enthusiastically embraced by the seller. Further, his brother, Sir William, later complained that Despenser, ‘par soun poair et par sa seigniorie’, had ousted the family from Somerford Keynes.12 This may be no more than the formulaic language of petitions for redress, but the well-documented ruthlessness of the Despensers in other acquisitions endows the words with an air of plausibility.13 Indeed, there are grounds for believing that Sir Robert himself was unhappy about the situation, with one hand entering into agreements with Despenser, and with the other colluding with his family to thwart them. Even before the first alienation he had taken measures to protect the interests of his wife, Eleanor, daughter of his late guardian, Amaury St. Amand (d.1285).14 A fortnight before informing his tenants at Somerford Keynes of the identity of their new lord, he had granted his nearby manors of Ashton Keynes and Purton Keynes to his brother-in-law, Master John St. Amand, as a prelude for their settlement on his wife for life. Later, by a final concord levied in Hilary term 1302, the valuable manor of Tarrant Keynston was settled on himself and Eleanor in tail general.15 Here matters might have rested to the reasonable satisfaction of the Keynes family, with a couple of inessential manors lost, but the bulk of the inheritance preserved to maintain the family’s honour and provide for its members. Yet events soon took a more sinister turn, threatening Eleanor with the loss of her jointure and, yet worse, the family with complete disinheritance. On 13 September 1302 Sir Robert undertook, on a ruinous penalty of 3,000 marks and in blatant disregard of the final concord of a few months earlier, to enfeoff Despenser of the manor of Tarrant Keynston and two thirds of that of Newton Nottage, and to secure to him the reversion of his mother Hawise’s dower, saving, in respect of all, his own life interest.16 The inconsistency of his actions strongly suggests that, in alienating to Despenser, he was acting under an external compulsion that made him unable to follow his natural inclination to do the right thing by his wife and wider family. The Keynes family was now faced with impoverishment, and this prompted the levying of another fine as Sir Robert’s mother reacted to protect her other children. Indeed, it was fortunate for the family’s future that Sir Robert’s right of disposition

11

12 13 14

15

16

TNA, E40/4822, 4845; CP25(1)/252/28/42; CPR, 1292–1301, p. 536. In 1304 he surrendered to Despenser even his life interest in Somerford Keynes: TNA, E40/4837, 4855. TNA, SC8/207/10348. Nigel Saul, ‘The Despensers and the Downfall of Edward II’, EHR, lxxxxix (1984), 22–5, 32. In 1283 St. Amand had undertaken to pay 800 marks for the wardship of Robert’s lands and a further 200 marks for his marriage: CFR, i. 177; CPR, 1281–92, p. 185. BL, Harleian Charters 52 C 54, 55; CCR, 1330–3, p. 521; CPR, 1292–1301, p. 570; TNA, CP25(1)/48/24/142. TNA, E40/5848.

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was limited by her interest.17 A widow’s charge on an estate was not always disadvantageous to the interests of the broader family, and the fact that Dodford and other properties had been assigned to her effectively saved them for her descendants. This is the context of the fine of 1306. Its purpose was to disinherit Sir Robert of the manor, the family’s caput honoris, and to protect Hawise’s life interest. It settled the manor on her for life with successive remainders in tail to her younger son, William, her daughter, Lettice, and her three nephews, Lettice’s sons by William Ayot of Ayot St. Lawrence in Hertfordshire. The naming of the three nephews, who can have been no more than infants, was out of the ordinary, but even more so was the saving of the reversion to her and her heirs: she had had no hereditary interest in the manor before the fine was levied.18 Nonetheless, her main purpose is clear, that is, to unite her immediate family against the efforts being made to disinherit them. Sir Robert himself seems, as far as he was able, to have colluded in this protective campaign. Such a conclusion is consistent with three other transactions. First, on 15 April 1306, two days before the Dodford fine, a writ was issued for the holding of an inquisition ad quod dampnum in respect of a proposed grant by Sir Robert of another of the properties his mother held for life, the manor of Coombe Keynes, to his younger brother in fee. Just like the fine settling Dodford, this grant, carried through by a final concord levied in 1308, was in clear contradiction of the promise he had made to Despenser.19 Second, on 2 July 1309, he entered into a statute staple at Oxford in the huge sum of £2,000 to his mother and brother, presumably with the intention of placing so great a charge upon his estates as to compromise the Despensers. Six years later, in 1315, another of the properties held by Hawise in dower, the manor and advowson of Oxhill, was settled by fine on William and Margaret, his wife, in tail.20 Sir Robert died soon after this last settlement.21 In March 1319 Despenser came to terms with his widow in respect of her dower rights in the alienated properties, conceding to her an annual rent of £21 from the manors of Somerford Keynes and Chelworth.22 In respect of the other Keynes properties, however, the Despenser claim was in abeyance pending Hawise’s death, and her survival until after the Despensers fell in 1326 did much to save the bulk of the family’s lands. In the meantime, Sir William had, understandably but unwisely, committed himself to the Contrariant opposition to the Despensers and forfeited what little of the family patrimony he held.23 But the revolution of 1326–7 promised him recovery of not only what he had forfeited but also all his brother had alienated. Unfortunately for him, however, his hope of a full restoration was to be disappointed. The Crown, as it was entitled to do, treated the manors of Somerford Keynes and Chelworth as Despenser forfeitures, assigning Eleanor her dower in them, but granting the manor of Chelworth to Queen Isabella and Somerford Keynes to Sir William

17

18 19 20 21 22 23

Her dower consisted of the manors of Dodford, Coombe Keynes, Oxhill and a third of that of Newton Nottage: CCR, 1279–88, pp. 167, 225; TNA, E40/5848. TNA, CP25(1)/175/60/498. CPR, 1301–7, p. 454; TNA, C143/62/6; CP25(1)/48/26/11. TNA, C241/64/61; CP25(1)/245/42/47. He was alive in 1316 but dead by July 1318: Feudal Aids, ii. 43; CFR, ii. 364. Cal. Inq. Misc., ii. 486. TNA, SC6/1146/13.

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23

Clinton.24 Sir William Keynes petitioned the King and council against the latter grant, and, although the matter was referred to the justices, their decision was in favour of the grantee.25 This marked the final loss of the manor to the family, and, on Eleanor St. Amand’s death in 1332, the third she held in dower was committed to Clinton by the Crown.26 Nonetheless, Sir William could congratulate himself that his brother’s actions had not caused much greater damage. With the deaths of his sister-in-law and aged mother – Hawise last appears in the records in November 1329, when she sued out a protection as about to depart on pilgrimage – the bulk of the family’s ancient inheritance was reunited in his hands.27 On his death in the autumn of 1344, Sir William was succeeded by his son, John (b.c.1318).28 His widow Margaret’s jointure in the family’s Dorset manors significantly diminished John’s holdings during the first part of his career, but, after her death in 1361,29 he made a marriage (his second) that promised far more than adequate compensation for earlier losses from the family patrimony.30 His second wife, Joan, was one of the two daughters of Sir John Mautravers (d.1349), and coheiress of her grandfather, Sir John Mautravers (d.1364) of Lytchett Mautravers, who had been briefly summoned to Parliament under the régime of Isabella and Mortimer. The match came through ties of neighbourhood, for, after his mother’s death, Sir John appears to have moved from Dodford to Tarrant Keynston, only a few miles from Lytchett Mautravers.31 The marriage was, in potential at least, a double blessing to Sir John, for it not only promised him new lands, but also gave him the chance, relatively late in life, of issue. Two daughters were followed by a son, christened John, born to the couple on 30 January 1366, with great prospects as heir to a substantial gentry inheritance and coheir to the even more extensive Mautravers lands.32 Bright prospects, however, were quickly dimmed. Sir John did not live long enough to see his offspring grow beyond childhood. He died on 2 March following his son’s birth. Only a fortnight later the Crown granted the wardship and marriage of his heir to Queen Philippa.33

24 25 26

27

28

29 30

31

32

33

CCR, 1327–30, pp. 132–3, 139; CIPM, vii. 9. TNA, C260/39/15; SC8/207/10348; CCR, 1330–3, pp. 38–9. CPR, 1330–4, pp. 254, 379; CFR, iv. 336. Clinton, earl of Huntingdon from 1337, died seised of the manor with reversion to the King: CIPM, x. 193. CPR, 1327–30, p. 455; CFR, iv. 340; CCR, 1330–3, p. 521. The wooden effigy surviving in Dodford church has been identified as her memorial: A.C. Fryer, ‘Wooden Monumental Effigies in England and Wales’, Archaeologia, lxi (1909), 493, 511. CFR, v. 372; CIPM, viii. 504. The fine purbeck marble tomb in Dodford church is generally ascribed to Sir Robert: VCH Northamptonshire, i. 399; F.H. Crossley, English Church Monuments, 1150– 1550 (1921), 178, 210. But it is far more likely to commemorate Sir William: Claude Blair, ‘The Conington Effigy’, Church Monuments, vi (1991), 6–7. CCR, 1343–6, pp. 411–12; CIPM, viii. 504; CFR, vii. 169, 196. Nothing is known of his first wife, save that her name was Eleanor and that she was alive in 1352: TNA, CP25(1)/177/78/335; C260/96/46. CIPM, xi. 592; CP, viii. 586. In Apr. 1364 the abbess of Tarrant Keynston secured a commission of oyer and terminer against him for assaulting her: CPR, 1361–4, p. 538. The survival of the elder Sir John Mautravers’s widow, Agnes Bereford, who enjoyed an extravagant jointure, kept Joan out of her moiety of the Mautravers inheritance until 1375: CP, viii. 584–5. CFR, vii. 344; CIPM, xii. 66; CPR, 1364–7, pp. 226, 227.

24

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Queen Philippa’s death in 1369 led to new arrangements for the infant John’s wardship. The constituent parts of the estates were granted to farmers, probably in confirmation of arrangements already made by the queen, and, on 28 May 1370, the wardship and marriage of the young heir together with the rents due from these farms were granted to the King’s esquire, John Beverley.34 As it transpired, the grant to Beverley proved the beginning of the dispute’s second phase. According to the narrative, he transferred the wardship and marriage to Thomas Brantingham, bishop of Exeter, former and future treasurer of England, who passed them to his brother, William Brantingham, and this was the origin of William’s baneful interest in the matter.35 There is no reason to doubt either this or what the narrative goes on to relate of William’s actions in the aftermath of the deaths of Sir John’s two young children. John died on 1 May 1375 at the age of only nine, and his elder sister, Gwenllian, who owed her unusual name to her maternal grandmother, survived him by only a few months.36 It was confusion over the girl’s heir that provided Brantingham with the opportunity to annex her inheritance. That confusion owed much to an unusual circumstance. Gwenllian’s commonlaw heirs and her heirs-in-tail in respect of the manor of Dodford were, theoretically at least, her aunt, the unmarried Elizabeth, and Simon Daventry, the son, according to the narrative, of another aunt, Hawise, by Sir Robert Daventry.37 On the most convincing interpretation of the evidence, Elizabeth, like Hawise, was dead, but, since her death occurred when she was on a pilgrimage abroad, the fact of her death was not yet known, or not certainly so, at the time of her young niece’s demise. Next in line of inheritance, both in common-law and in tail in respect of Dodford, was Simon Daventry’s niece, Alice Ladbroke, wife of Lewis Cardigan. After her were the descendants of Gwenllian’s great-aunt, Lettice, remainderman in the fine of 1306. On Gwenllian’s death, they were Lettice’s

34 35

36

37

CFR, viii. 32, 64; TNA, SC6/947/15; CPR, 1367–70, p. 416; CCR, 1369–74, p. 145. William owed his influence to his brother. He himself never rose beyond the ranks of the minor officials of the royal household. Serjeant of the Household buttery by 1374, he was promoted to avener in 1377, an office he retained into the reign of Henry IV. For his career: The History of Parliament: The Commons 1386–1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, Linda Clark, and Carole Rawcliffe (4 vols., Stroud, 1993), ii. 338–41. CIPM, xiv. 233. Gwenllian died between late July and early Sept. 1375: ibid. 234; TNA, SC6/101/5026. The freestone effigy surviving in Dodford church and lying next to the earlier wooden effigy, both out of their original positions, have been attributed to her: VCH Northamptonshire i. 409. Painted on the recess of the canopy associated with this later effigy was once a representation (now obliterated) of a soul being borne to heaven: M.H. Bloxam, ‘On the Medieval Sepulchral Antiquities of Northamptonshire’, Archaeological Journal, xxxv (1878), opp. 258; E.A. Greening Lamborn, ‘Souls in Transport’, Notes and Queries, clxxxv (June–Dec. 1943), 286. If this elaborate tomb was intended for Gwenllian, one supposes that her mother rather than Brantingham was responsible for its erection. Sir Robert Daventry of Daventry and Grimscote (Northants.) had been MP for Northants. in five Parliaments between 1326 and 1340. The narrative is the only source for his marriage to Hawise, but Simon Daventry’s part in the Dodford dispute shows that the marriage was made. More questionable is the narrative’s identification of Simon as son of this match, for, in 1376, a Simon is described as Sir Robert’s grandson and heir: KB27/462, rex rot. 23. Baker resolved this difficulty by giving Sir Robert both a son and a grandson named Simon: Baker, County of Northampton, i. 309. As far as the Dodford dispute is concerned, however, the matter is academic, for Simon, whether son or grandson and heir of Hawise Keynes, had the same rights of inheritance to that manor.

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25

granddaughters, Margaret and Maud, the daughters of Laurence Ayot (d.1353) of Ayot St. Lawrence and the wives respectively of two Hertfordshire gentry of modest standing, William Wotton of Hemel Hempstead and Edmund Cressy of Wheathampstead.38 Brantingham’s fraud involved denying these other claims by making the dead, or at least absent, Elizabeth sole heir to the Keynes inheritance and then taking the lands as her grantee. That he was able to do so illustrates what could be achieved by the unscrupulous manipulation of juries charged with returning heirs to dead tenants-in-chief. Such juries played a crucial role in the transmission of property and one that, when the descent was contested, they were ill-equipped to discharge. That their findings were a function of their own unprompted local knowledge was a convenient fiction. In general, they simply endorsed the facts presented to them by the family of the deceased.39 When the descent was uncontested, the only loser in respect of any falsehood was the Crown in either wards concealed or their lands undervalued. But when the descent of the manor was open to question, the jurors played a critical part. Sitting before a relatively minor local official in the escheator, they were far more open to the exploitation of local influence than a jury called to rule on a plea of land in the much more solemn presence of the justices of common pleas or of assize. The narrative eloquently emphasises the point: Please it your lordshippes to pondre and considre whether a mater tried betwix party and party by the affirmatiff and the negatiff pro et contra to fore Jug[es] assigned aught to be taken of gretter evidence [and] effecte or an office called a fore an Escheatour through the cantelouse labour and exhortacion of a desseyuable persone.40 Often the jurors simply accepted the evidence placed before them by the most powerful or most adept of the rival claimants.41 The potentially adverse impact of this weakness was magnified by the central importance of inquisition findings in land disputes. Their effect was both immediate and distant. First, they determined the title which, in the first instance at least, was acknowledged by Chancery. Second, they formed important evidence of descent in later, sometimes much later, litigation, providing litigants with genealogical evidence in the same way as deeds. Interestingly, the author of the narrative, although anxious to emphasise the potential weakness of such findings, places much emphasis on their interpretation. Indeed, when the relevant deeds were in the hands of the opposing party,

38

39 40 41

Margaret may already have been a widow. Wotton died between and 10 Aug.1374 and 6 May 1376: Herts. RO, Abel Smith MSS, DE/AS/2867; CCR, 1385–9, pp. 630–1. Cressy, although a representative of a junior branch of the wealthy Cressys of Hodsock (Notts.), was an insubstantial figure. His father, Ralph, had purchased the manor of ‘Rothamsted’ in Wheathamstead in the 1350s, but this was the extent of Edmund’s inheritance: VCH Hertfordshire, ii. 303. Christine Carpenter, ‘General Introduction’, in CIPM, xxii. 20–3. Northants. RO, Knightley MSS, CXIII 1104. E.g. S.J. Payling, ‘Arbitration, Perpetual Entails and Collateral Warranties in Late-Medieval England’, Journal of Legal History, xiii (1992), 41–46; M.A. Hicks, Warwick the Kingmaker (Oxford, 1998), 42–8.

26

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inquisitions, searchable among the royal archives, might be the only such evidence available.42 The first phase of Brantingham’s campaign to secure the inheritance took place in the last months of 1375. Inquisitions held in Dorset, Warwickshire and Wiltshire all returned Elizabeth as Gwenllian’s heir.43 There can be no doubt that these findings were engineered by Brantingham. He also acted more directly, exploiting his influence in the royal administration. On 18 October, three days after the second of these inquisitions, he sued out a pardon for a series of unlicensed entries and conveyances by which he had acquired from Elizabeth the manors of Dodford, Oxhill, Purton Keynes and Coombe Keynes, together with the reversion of that of Tarrant Keynston expectant on the death of Gwenllian’s mother, Joan Mautravers. He claimed that Elizabeth had entered these properties without suing livery of seisin; that she, a woman he had almost certainly never met, had then granted them to him in fee; and that he had then secured quitclaims from her heirs.44 Brantingham thus both exploited the inquisition system to have Elizabeth returned as heir, and then claimed directly in Chancery that he had her title. As a result of this truncated process, it was no longer necessary for Chancery to issue letters to the various escheators ordering the livery of seisin to a dead woman, a proceeding that would have revealed Brantingham’s fraud. The victims of this opportunistic dishonesty were left to act in defense of their compromised positions. One of these rivals, Sir Robert Rous, who had married Sir John Keynes’s widow, was well-equipped to do so, for he was a far more prominent courtier than Brantingham.45 He prevented the latter’s acquisition of the reversion the manor of Tarrant Keynston, which the widow held in dower, by acquiring the interest of one of the rival claimants, Margaret Wotton. His purpose was not to take it for himself but rather to alienate it to the local convent at Tarrant Keynston, an ancient foundation of the Keynes family.46 On 6 May 1376, in the priory of Redbourne in Hertfordshire, a cell of the abbey of St. Albans, he appeared before the abbot to register an agreement: Margaret was to quitclaim and warrant the manor to him and Joan in return for 100 marks, far less than the market value of property. Later in April 1380, on Rous’s complaint that ‘certain persons of malice would impugn’ this release, the abbot of St. Albans formally confirmed the sale. These ‘certain persons’ were almost certainly Brantingham and his associates, for the Cressys seem to have been ready to accept the loss. By a final concord in the following Trinity term they conceded their right in their moiety of Tarrant Keynston to Rous and Joan. Thereafter the manor was alienated in

42 43 44 45

46

P.S. Lewis, ‘Sir John Fastolf’s Lawsuit over Titchwell, 1448–55’, Historical Journal, i (1958), 11. CIPM, xiv. 234. CPR, 1374–7, p. 178. From 1373 Rous enjoyed a royal annuity of as much as 100 marks: CPR, 1370–4, pp. 263, 288. Described as an ‘outstanding knight’ by Walsingham, he was captain of Cherbourg and a member of Richard II’s minority council in the late 1370s, and, by 1381, a chamber knight: Thomas Walsingham, Chronica Maiora, trans. David Preest with J.G. Clark (Woodbridge, 2005), 79; T.F. Tout, Chapters in the Administrative History of Mediaeval England (6 vols., Manchester, 1920–33), iii. 343n., 344; iv. 346. CCR, 1364–8, p. 227; VCH Dorset, ii. 87.

The Descent of the Manor of Dodford

27

mortmain to the abbey to fund two chaplains to celebrate divine service in the abbey church for the souls of Rous and Joan.47 For Brantingham’s other victims, however, it was far more difficult to undo the consequences of the fraud perpetrated against them. One of the most curious aspects of the case was the failure of Simon Daventry, from a prominent Northamptonshire family, to pursue his claim. As Elizabeth was, all but certainly, dead, he was sole heir to the Keynes inheritance, yet, on 30 November 1377, he quitclaimed the manor of Dodford with warranty to feoffees headed by Brantingham’s brother, the bishop of Exeter.48 One can only suppose that he did so because he was childless and had no interest in protecting the inheritance of his niece, Alice, daughter of his sister Hawise by Sir John Ladbroke.49 The narrative offers a reason why this should have been so. It alleges that Ladbroke, for displeaunce that he had unto [Alice] for she had taken to husbond … Lowys Cardigan whiche was his seru[a]nt and his cook desherited her and aliened his part of lyvelode from her notwithstondyng that she was founde his heir after his deceasse as by evident record redy to shew pleynely apperith etc. uppon the whiche the said Brentyngh[a]m to take bett[er] hold to satisfie his seid corupte entent ffounde in the name and by supportacion of his Brother Bisshopp of Excestr[e] to purchase and optayne a Relees of the said Symon of Daventre of the said maner of Dodford wherof the record is redy to shewe etc. The whiche Simon decessed son after withouten issue The said Alice then stondyng next enheritier to the maner of Dodford entailed by the ffyne etc. So the said Brentynh[a]m consideryng that the said Alice was cast from the conceite of her ffrendes as is aforeseid he laboured by mony kroked meanys to disherite her of the said maner of Dodford and also other lyuelode meoved by her moder.50 The story cannot be accepted literally – at her father’s death in 1349 Alice had been neither his heir nor of years to marry herself – although it is possible that her later marriage to the obscure Cardigan compromised her standing.51 She, at any event, was to cause Brantingham no difficulty until years later and then only in respect of the manor of Oxhill rather than Dodford.

47

48 49

50 51

CCR, 1385–9, pp. 630–1; CPR, 1381–5, p. 231; CPR, 1388–92, p. 17; TNA, CP25(1)/51/48/15–16; SC8/226/11258. CCR, 1377–81, p. 108. The possibility can be discounted that his mother, Hawise, was the half-sister rather than the full sister of Sir John Keynes, and thus that Simon Daventry and Alice were excluded from inheriting at common law from Gwenllian by the half-blood rule. This exclusion was unsuccessfully pleaded in 1417 against Alice’s claim to Coombe Keynes: TNA, C260/142/88; CP40/626, rot. 278. But, in any event, since the half-blood rule did not apply to estates tail, the question is of no relevance in respect of the dispute over Dodford. Northants. RO, Knightley MSS, CXIII 1104. Post, ‘Courts, Councils and Arbitrators’, 291

Sir Robert Keynes = Hawise Lisle d. 1282 d. c.1330   Sir Robert Keynes = Eleanor St. Amand Sir William Keynes = Margaret … William Ayot = Lettice Keynes d. c.1318      d. 1332 d. 1344 d. 1361 of Ayot St. Lawrence

Sir John Keynes = Joan Mautravers = Sir Robert Rous Sir Robert Daventry = Hawise Keynes Elizabeth Keynes Lawrence Ayot William Ayot d. 1366 d. 1383 pilgrim d. 1353 d.s.p.

John Keynes Gwenllian Keynes Simon Daventry Sir John Ladbroke = Hawise Daventry Edmund Cressy = Maud Ayot William Wotton = Margaret Ayot d. 1375 d. 1375 d.s.p. d. 1349 d. 1369 d.s.p. Lewis Cardigan = Alice Ladbroke d. 1425

John Cressy d. 1407

William Hathwick = Katherine Cardigan Sir John Cressy d. 1457 d. 1445 John Hathwick John Cressy d. 1453

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Much more troublesome to Brantingham were the claims of Lettice’s granddaughters, Margaret Wotton and Maud Cressy. Later events imply that it was they, perhaps acting with Rous’s support, who, on 10 February 1376, some four months after Brantingham had dishonestly secured livery, sued out writs to the escheators of Northamptonshire, Dorset, Warwickshire and Wiltshire for an inquiry into Gwenllian’s lands. Soon after, on 21 May, they obtained an exemplification of the 1306 fine, presumably because the Keynes archive was in Brantingham’s hands.52 The writs bore fruit. On 10 June 1376 a Dorset jury returned findings that gave what was probably the true story: they said that Elizabeth would have been Gwenllian’s heir, had she been alive at her niece’s death, but, at Christmas 1373, she had set off for the Holy Land with some of her neighbours, who, on their return about a year before (that is, shortly before Gwenllian’s death), had reported her demise. Accordingly the jurors returned as the heirs Maud and Margaret, as Lettice’s granddaughters. This was itself an untrue finding, for Simon Daventry should have been returned as heir, and the jurors were no doubt simply rehearsing information put before them by the advocates of the two women. None the less, the story of Elizabeth’s death abroad carries more conviction that Brantingham’s claim that she had simply surrendered her claim to him. With this favourable inquisition finding behind them, the Cressys and Margaret now took advantage of their exemplification of the 1306 fine. In Michaelmas term 1376 they claimed Dodford, as heirs-in-tail under that fine, against Brantingham, the three farmers of the manor, and two Northamptonshire vicars.53 Brantingham responded by dividing the opposition. He persuaded Margaret, who was childless, to alienate her right to him in return for a life annuity of £20 assigned upon the manor, and she duly defaulted when the case on the fine came back to court in Michaelmas term 1377.54 The Cressys, however, who had the interests of their children to protect, proved stubborn in their opposition. They asserted, in a petition to the King and council, tentatively to be dated to the end of 1376, that, after they had refused to sell, Brantingham had caused an impersonator, a strange woman ‘del age et de lastature’ of Elizabeth, to represent herself before the mayor and bailiffs of Southampton as a pilgrim recently returned from the Holy Land and, as Elizabeth, to make to him a charter of feoffment with warranty. The later narrative echoes, in dramatic language, this accusation of impersonation. It claims that Brantingham, after Gwenllian’s death, caused a woman to impersonate Elizabeth as late coming from the Holy Land, in white clothyn as it were in estate of Innocencye wher through discrete examynacion she was founde a beest envenymed thorough the covetize of the said Brentyngh[a]m and they bothe shamesly confused etc. The whiche was then so noted that it abideth yet in evydent writyng and remembraunce to meny men

52 53 54

CFR, viii. 376; TNA, C260/87/21. TNA, CP40/464, rot. 498. The only source for this agreement is the narrative, the compiler of which claimed to have a French indenture outlining its terms. Margaret’s default implies that the compiler was telling the truth.

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As it stands this is mere rhetoric – no man lived to remember the events of a hundred years before – but the writer of the narrative must have had before him evidence of the alleged shameless confusion other than a copy of this Cressy petition. The petition went on to claim that Brantingham then falsely claimed in Chancery that the Cressys and Elizabeth had released to him and so secured licence to acquire Dodford and the other Keynes’s lands. The chronology here is muddled: that licence was obtained on 18 October 1375 and the alleged impersonation in Southampton is dated in the petition to 8 March 1376. Nonetheless, the allegations seem to have been true in outline, if not in detail. In the first Parliament of the new reign the Cressys presented a further petition, addressing the inconsistencies of the first. This claimed that Brantingham, in the wake of Gwenllian’s death, had presented Elizabeth’s impersonator before the escheators and jurors of Northamptonshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and Warwickshire, and then sued out livery presenting false deeds in Chancery showing that the real Elizabeth, who, as this petition asserted, had died three years before Gwenllian, had made estate to him and that the Cressys had released their right to him.55 All this, however, was to avail the Cressys nothing. The quitclaim made by Simon Daventry to Brantingham’s nominees on 30 November 1377, a few days before the end of the Parliament in which they presented their second petition, represented a considerable setback to them; so too did Brantingham’s election for Northamptonshire to the Parliament of April 1379, for it both implied that he enjoyed local support and deterred the presentation of another parliamentary petition. By the mid 1380s Brantingham’s victory, in respect of all the Keynes properties save Tarrant Keynston, seems to have been complete, and he set about strengthening his position. In February 1385 he sued out of Chancery, as tenant of the Keynes manors of Dodford and Purton Keynes, exemplification of various documents relating to the two manors. By final concords levied in the following Trinity term Margaret Wotton acknowledged his right in the manor of Dodford, Purton and Coombe Keynes.56 He then instigated a new campaign of false inquisitions, designed to convert his title to one derived not only from Elizabeth, miraculously brought back from the dead a decade before to alienate the property to him, but also from Margaret. By an inquisition held at Northampton on 21 December 1385 it was returned that Elizabeth had died on 5 November 1376 and that Margaret was her heir. This finding was repeated in an inquisition held at Wimbourne Minster on 4 September 1386, and the escheator of Dorset was duly ordered to give Margaret seisin of Coombe Keynes.57 The problem with this falsehood was that Margaret could only claim as coheir with her sister Maud. If the narrative is to be accepted, Brantingham addressed this difficulty with new chicanery: he ‘efforted hym to p[ro]ve the said Mawde bastard and not able to enherite’. The narrative implies that this forced the Cressys to concede, albeit

55

56 57

TNA, SC8/101/5026, 103/5110. For another instructive example of alleged ‘phantom’ heirs returned by inquisition jurors: Armburgh Papers, ed. Carpenter, 6, 61, 88–9, 193. CPR, 1381–5, pp. 537–8; TNA, CP25(1)/178/87/79; 289/54/132. CPR, 1385–9, pp. 106–7; CIPM, xvi. 254–5; CFR, x. 162.

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temporarily: Maud’s son, John Cressy (d.1407), ‘granted’ Dodford to Brantingham. This might have brought the matter to a conclusion, with Dodford and the other Keynes properties left to descend to Brantingham and his heirs. Long-term victories were, however, difficult to attain in such disputes. A change in circumstances could offer new hope to defeated parties and so it proved here. Margaret’s death without issue strengthened the position of the Cressys, and Brantingham, although he retained his place in the royal household after the deposition of Richard II, was probably diminished in standing after his brother, the bishop’s death in 1394. He may even, as his age advanced, have come to regret his subterfuges, particularly as he had no children to whom to pass what they had gained him. But, whatever the reason, he came to terms with the Cressys. By a series of conveyances in December 1399 he leased Dodford to John Cressy for the term of 100 years, subject to the payment of rent to him of £30 p.a. for his life and then £20 p.a. payable to his widow Joan.58 This occasioned a further shift in the focus of the dispute. The threat to both Brantingham and Cressy was now the claim of the elderly Alice Cardigan, who, in 1405, was pursuing an assize of novel disseisin in respect of Oxhill.59 This renewed agitation of this claim provides the context for the narrative’s assertion that, in 1404, Brantingham obtained letters testimonial, sealed by ‘worsshipfull men’ at Tarrant Keynston and ‘many Gentilmen’ of Northamptonshire, denying the existence of Hawise, the pilgrim Elizabeth’s sister, through whom Alice traced her claim. The compiler of the narrative, who, for reasons made clear below, was anxious to defend Alice’s right, cited against these other testimonials ‘of gretter approbation’ under the seals of Richard Beauchamp, earl of Warwick, and others. This question of Hawise’s existence was to be a central point in litigation after the death of Brantingham, at over seventy years of age, in July 1413. In a series of actions the persistent Alice won the manors of Oxhill, Coombe Keynes and Purton Keynes against his nephew and heir, John Brantingham.60 The manor of Dodford, however, descended on Brantingham’s death to Edmund Cressy’s grandson, John, a minor in royal wardship. This John, knighted at the coronation of Henry VI in 1429 and a prominent soldier, remained possessed of the manor, where he resided when not campaigning. He died in Lorraine on 4 March 1445, while on the great embassy charged with escorting Henry VI’s betrothed, Margaret of Anjou, to England.61 Just as Sir John Keynes had done nearly eighty years before, he left a young son as his heir, and, in a further echo of

58 59 60

61

CPR, 1405–8, p. 375; CIPM, xix. 373. TNA, JUST1/1514, rot. 44d. TNA, C260/142/28; CIPM, xxii. 555. In a further example of how contentious titles prompted sales, she sold Purton to a prominent Wiltshire lawyer, Robert Andrew, steward of duchy of Lancaster in six southern counties: The Commons 1386–1421, ii. 35–8. His magnificent tomb survives in Dodford church: VCH Northamptonshire, i. 410–11; Arthur Gardner, Alabaster Tombs of the Pre-Reformation Period in England (Cambridge, 1940), nos. 27, 73, 215. For his career: S.J. Payling, ‘Sir John Cressy’, The Commons 1422–61, ed. Clark (forthcoming).

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earlier events, that son soon died, with serious doubts as to the identity of his heir.62 Indeed, on the boy John Cressy’s death in January 1453, the search was for heirs, rather than an heir, for his common-law heir was not the same as his heir-in-tail with respect to Dodford. The identity of the former was disputed, but this was of no relevance to the dispute over Dodford, for none of the candidates was a descendant of Maud, wife of Edmund Cressy. These descendants were exhausted by the boy’s death.63 Yet, while it is clear that no Cressy was heir-in-tail to Dodford, that heir was equally in doubt. According to a later unreliable testimony, Sir John had told his brother-in-law, Robert Grey (half-brother or brother of his wife, Constance, daughter of Reynold, Lord Grey of Ruthin), that, should his issue fail, the right heir to the manor of Dodford was his distant cousin, William Purefoy of Shalstone in Buckinghamshire, an alleged descendant of Lettice Keynes. The difficulty here, as the narrative pointed out at length, was that Purefoy’s claim was based on a false descent. He was not, as he claimed, a direct descendant of William, brother of Lawrence Ayot (d.1353) of Ayot St. Lawrence and the youngest of the three sons of Lettice Keynes named in the 1306 fine, for that William had died childless. Purefoy’s ancestors were rather another branch of the Ayot family, long established at Shalstone. This branch had ended in an heiress, Marion, daughter of Alan Ayot (d.c.1416) and grandmother of William Purefoy, but that heiress brought the Purefoys no legitimate claim to Dodford.64 Nonetheless, Purefoy was quick to assert his claim.65 In July 1453 he sued Sir John’s surviving feoffees – Christine, the elderly mother of Sir John Cressy, Thomas Billing, a Northamptonshire lawyer who was later to be chief justice of the king’s bench, and Sir John’s cousin, Thomas Wylde – for the manor as remainderman under the terms of the 1306 fine. What followed suggests that the feoffees (or at least one of them) were sympathetic to his cause, and the possibility cannot be discounted that Sir John, perhaps unaware of the true descent, had told them to convey to him. He must, after all, have disclosed to them his idea of the right heir to Dodford. In Hilary term 1456 a Northamptonshire jury came into the court of common pleas and found in favour of Purefoy, accepting that he was descended from Lettice through her younger son, another William, brother of Lawrence, father of Margaret Wotton and Maud Cressy.66 The jury’s appearance at Westminster, rather than at a more convenient location by writ of nisi prius, is enough to suggest collusion and, in the narrative, collusion is alleged. In this account the jurors were presented with the testimonial of an elderly

62

63

64

65

66

The inquisitions taken after Sir John’s death returned that he died without landed property; all was in the hands of feoffees, although the inquisition jurors returned no details: TNA, C139/120/48. This did not, however, prevent another John Cressy, grandson of Edmund’s brother, William, suing Sir John’s feoffees in Chancery for Dodford: TNA, C1/24/58–60. Purefoy’s claim depended on the conflation of a mythical Lawrence, the supposed son of the William named in the 1306 fine, with another Lawrence Ayot, lord of Shalstone: VCH Buckinghamshire, iv. 224. The latter was of age by c.1313 and thus cannot have been the son of one who was a minor in 1306. Purefoy, who, aside from the Ayot manor of Shalstone, also held the manors at Shirford in Burton Hastings (Warws.) and Misterton (Leics.), was a j.p. in Warwickshire in the 1440s and sheriff of Warwickshire and Leicestershire in 1448–50, but his career was an undistinguished one. TNA, CP40/772, rot. 471; CP40/778, rot. 436.

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Northamptonshire esquire, John Mauntell, made a few days before (on 8 January), to the effect that Alan Ayot,67 said to be the great-grandson of Lettice, had told him, some forty years before, that his issue would inherit the manor of Dodford if the Cressys failed in the male line, asking him ‘tenderly to hearken thereon and, if such case fell, to let him have knowledge thereof’.68 Mauntell also claimed that, some twenty winters before, Christine had told him the same. This was, however, according to the narrative, a plain lie. Indeed, when Christine ‘understode suche allegacion made in her name she reproved the seid John Mauntell as an untrewe and disseiveable man in his seyng and testifieng’. However this may be, the jurors, according to the narrative, had another reason for passing in favour of Purefoy. One of the feoffees, Thomas Wylde, had entered into an agreement with him: Wylde was to have the manor for life with payments of £40 each to himself and his mother, Christine, from Purefoy, and, in return, Wylde was to prevail on the jury to appear and, presumably, to pass for Purefoy. There is an obvious contradiction here, for it is hard to see why Christine should have been ready, on the one hand, to repudiate Mauntell’s testimomy that Purefoy was the heir, and, on the other, to accept a payment from him to accept him as heir. Even so, for whatever reason, Purefoy had won a victory at law. It was, however, a Pyrrhic one. By the time the jurors returned their verdict, other claims had been asserted against his. One of these, judged simply on its legal merits, should have prevailed. Had it not been for Brantingham’s intervention in the 1370s, Dodford would have already been the property of Katherine, widow of William Hathwick of Harbury (Warwickshire) and the daughter and heiress of Alice Cardigan, who had died in 1425.69 After John Cressy’s death, she had been able successfully to assert her claim to the manor of Oxhill, taken from her by Sir John Cressy. In 17 July 1454 a jury, in an assize of novel disseisin she had sued against two of the feoffees, Thomas Wylde and Christine, awarded her costs and damages of £30 and recovery of seisin.70 She also sued for Dodford. On 1 February 1455 she brought a bill against Wylde, claiming damages of £200 for an illegal entry there; and in the following Trinity term she sued the feoffees on the 1306 fine.71 In respect of Dodford, however, her claim had a weakness that her Oxhill claim did not share. Since her ancestor, Simon Daventry, had alienated that manor with warranty and died without issue, that warranty descended collaterally to her and thus barred her claim under the 1306 entail against any who could claim the title of Simon’s alienees. Perhaps this weakness, although never pleaded in court, contributed to the assertion of remoter claims. One of these was quickly set aside. In Michaelmas term 1455 Sir John Lisle of Wotton (Isle of Wight) sued a writ of scire facias on the fine of 1306 against the feoffees, claiming the manor as a descendant of Hawise, widow of Sir Robert Keynes (d.1281), to whom the final remainder had been limited in that fine. He traced his descent from Geoffrey Lisle,

67 68 69 70

71

For Alan Ayot: The Commons 1386–1421, ed. Roskell, Clark and Rawcliffe, ii. 89–91. Northants. RO, Knightley MSS, CXIII 1104. CIPM, xxii. 555. TNA, JUST1/978/6. The findings of this assize were later cited in the narrative as proof that Hawise Daventry was the daughter of Sir William Keynes, the link on which the Hathwick claim depended. TNA, KB27/775, rot. 23; CP40/778, rot. 125.

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Simon Payling

whom he identified as Hawise’s brother. There is no reason to doubt either this identification or his descent, but he quickly abandoned his claim, perhaps because Katherine Hardwick, even on the assumption that her title as heir-in-tail of Lettice Keynes was barred by collateral warranty, had a superior claim to Lisle as common-law heir of Hawise, widow of Sir Robert Keynes.72 Even, however, this gentle statement of a claim demonstrates how widespread was speculation as to the heir of Dodford, and this, in turn, helps to explain how a claim even more remote than Lisle’s came to be made. This claim belonged to Isabel, wife of Sir Thomas Chaworth of Wiverton (Nottinghamshire), and Eleanor, widow of Sir Humphrey Stafford of Grafton (Worcestershire), the daughters and heiresses of Sir Thomas Aylesbury (d.1418) of Milton Keynes (Buckinghamshire). This was first asserted at the inquisition held at Northampton castle on 7 November 1453 after the death of John Cressy, when the jurors, contentiously and remarkably, returned them as heirs to Dodford as the descendants of Sir Robert Keynes, father of the Sir Robert who had alienated to Despenser, and Hawise, who had tried to prevent her son from doing so.73 The question arises of why this claim was ever made, for in the first instance it was based on a false descent: the two women were descended not from Sir Robert and Hawise but from Sir Robert’s third cousin, Sir Robert Keynes of Milton Keynes, and as such had no claim at all. Its assertion thus represents a failure of either knowledge or honesty. The dispute quickly resolved itself into a contest between Purefoy and the Aylesbury daughters. In Easter term 1454 the latter matched the action of scire facias on the 1306 fine that the former had pending against the feoffees, and they also presented a petition to the chancellor, asserting that the feoffees were bound to make estate to them.74 Later, after Purefoy had won the unexpected verdict of Hilary term 1456, they sued two writs of decies tantum against the jury.75 Yet it was not these conventional suits that were to do most to forward their claim. It was rather the inquisitions held in the aftermath of Katherine Hardwick’s death on the following 13 December. This provided another forum for the weighing of the merits of the rival claims and of the testing of the influence of the respective claimants. What followed was another example of how these inquisitions could be employed not to protect the inheritance of heirs but to deprive them of what should have been theirs. On 20 October 1457, after two earlier juries had made contradictory returns, a new jury returned that the heir to the manor of Oxhill was not Katherine’s son, John Hathwick, but rather the Aylesbury daughters as the seventh cousins once removed of the John Cressy who died in 1453. Although this verdict gave Eleanor and Isabel their correct descent, tracing it from the ancestor they had in common with John Cressy, namely Ralph Keynes, great-grandfather of both Sir Robert Keynes of Dodford and Sir Robert Keynes of Milton Keynes, this finding was absurd. Nonetheless, it was acted upon. On 12 November, four days

72

73 74 75

TNA, CP40/779, rot. 415. For Lisle’s long and distinguished career: L.S. Clark, ‘John Lisle II’, in The Commons 1422–61, ed. Clark (forthcoming). TNA, C139/150/39. TNA, CP40/773, rot. 131; 778, rot. 131; C1/24/51, 58. TNA, CP40/782, rots. 122d, 327; 783, rot. 329; 791, rot. 524; 794, rots. 423, 467d.

The Descent of the Manor of Dodford

35

after the inquisition reached Chancery, the escheator of Warwickshire was ordered to divide the manor, valued at about £7 p.a., between the Aylesbury daughters.76 This victory probably respects the superior influence of the two women over that of Purefoy. Eleanor was the widow and Isabel the wife of two of the richest gentry in England; Purefoy was of more modest wealth and rank. This disparity is reflected in the later course of the dispute. It is not known when the feoffees divested themselves of Dodford, but, by 1458, and probably before, the Aylesbury daughters were in firm possession of that manor as well as Oxhill. Purefoy’s response, like that of many before him who found themselves losing ground in a dispute, was to seek the support of the powerful. To that end, he conveyed the manor, or, more accurately, his supposed interest in it, to feoffees headed by John Talbot, earl of Shrewsbury, and James Ormond, earl of Wiltshire. His frustration is understandable. His title was not legitimate, but nor was the one being successfully asserted against him. The feoffees he chose were almost all adherents of Queen Margaret’s militant Lancastrian régime, and it is likely that he saw the divisions in national politics as the best means of forwarding his claim. Again, however, he was to be disappointed. Although the feoffees brought actions for illegal entry against the Aylesbury daughters, these had come to nothing when the feoffees’ influence was ended with the fall of the house of Lancaster.77 The first years of Yorkist rule saw the penultimate act of the long dispute. For reasons that are unclear, after the death of Isabel in November 1458 and her husband, Chaworth, soon afterwards, their son, William, showed no interest in the matter, and Eleanor was left as both the sole representative of the Aylesbury claim and sole tenant of Dodford. On 15 February 1462 two Northamptonshire juries awarded her damages of £60 against Purefoy in actions for illegal entries into Dodford and nearby Farthingstone.78 She then set about, rather as William Brantingham had done in the 1370s and 1380s, remodeling her own title to make it strong enough to resist future challenges. To do so she reached a compromise with John Hathwick, who had been deprived of Oxhill by the false inquisition taken on his mother’s death.79 By an assize of novel disseisin collusively taken on 18 February 1463, the validity of his title to Oxhill under the final concord of 1315 was recognized; in return, ten days later, Hathwick granted Dodford to feoffees acting for Eleanor.80 Further collusive action then followed to replace her poor hereditary claim with one of purchase from the feoffees of Sir John Cressy, and, at

76 77 78

79

80

TNA, C139/163/3, 7; E159/233, recorda Easter rot. 15d; CFR, xix. 205–6. TNA, CP40/790, rot. 368d; CP40/791, rot. 304; CP40/796, rot. 120. TNA, CP40/794, rots. 335d, 425. Purefoy sued the jurors for making false oath, but his actions came to nothing: CP40/805, rot. 307; CP40/807, rot. 310d. Hathwick, resident at Harbury in Warwickshire, was of modest standing in comparison with Eleanor, but he was not a negligible figure. In the 1440s he had served on the Warwickshire bench and, in a lawsuit of 1451, he had been described as a servant of Richard Neville, earl of Warwick: TNA, CP40/762, rot. 300d. Yet, by the 1460s he was elderly and childless, and this probably explains his readiness to compromise. TNA, JUST1/1547, rot. 5; E41/345; CCR, 1461–8, p. 188. In 1482, shortly before his death, he sold Oxhill to William Catesby, for £200, another example of a lawyer speculating in uncertain titles: TNA, E40/4575, 8407.

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the same time, to extinguish the Hathwick claim, superior to that of the Cressy line, by prevailing upon a jury to deny the existence of the ancestor, namely Hawise Daventry, on which it was based. The agreement between Hathwick and Eleanor was then embodied in a final concord levied in Trinity term 1465: Hathwick formally surrendered his claim to the manor of Dodford in return for an annual rent of £10 to him and his wife, Agnes, for their lives.81 This agreement was crucial to Eleanor, for, when later she had to defend her title against Sir Edward Wydeville, she did so as purchaser from Hathwick, that is, with the title of the right heir at common law, rather than with her own spurious claim. For the first time since the death of the Keynes children in the 1370s, the manor was now in the hands of a tenant with true title. This would probably have marked the end of the dispute, had not William Purefoy’s son, Philip, soon after succeeding his father in 1466, carried a step further the tactic his father had unsuccessfully tried in the late 1450s. Instead of seeking influential supporters for the pursuance of his claim, he sold that claim to the queen’s mother, Jacquetta of Luxembourg.82 It is hard to imagine that Jacquetta was here acting in good faith.83 Her lawyers must have known, or, at least, could easily have found out, that Purefoy was never seised or possessed of the manor and that his claim was questionable. On this reading, the purchase was a speculation, and an illustration of the sinister aspect of the market in unrealized titles. A title unrealizable in the hands of one might be realizable in the hands of another more powerful or more legally adept. Here only the improper exercise of influence could make it good. The first indication of Jacquetta’s interest in Dodford dates from 1468 when she sued three local gentlemen for trespass. Much more worryingly for Eleanor, on 21 April 1469 Jacquetta’s husband, Richard, Earl Rivers, Edmund Grey, earl of Kent, and others, formerly Purefoy feoffees, but now acting for the queen’s mother, sued a special assize of novel disseisin for the manor against her and her younger son, Thomas Stafford.84 No record of the taking of this assize has been found, but, not for the first time in its long history, the Dodford dispute became a part of wider political events. Jacquetta’s opportunistic claim to the manor almost certainly informed Thomas Stafford’s political sympathies when, soon after the claim was made, Richard Neville, earl of Warwick, rose against Edward IV. Thomas was among those who, with the earl and George, duke of Clarence, had their lands seized in April 1470 in the aftermath of the aborted Lincolnshire rebellion. In the following June he was one of the many appealed by Jacquetta for the murder of her husband on 12 August 1469.85 Yet, despite these troubles, Thomas and his

81 82

83

84 85

TNA, KB27/808, rot. 76; CP25(1)/179/96/11. TNA, C140/19/5. Shortly before his death, William Purefoy had sold his manor at Misterton, and it may be that the family found themselves, in the mid-1460s, financially compromised: TNA, CP25(1)/126/78/10. For a negative assessment of Jacquetta and her children: Michael Hicks, ‘The Changing Role of the Wydevilles in Yorkist Politics’, in idem, Richard III and his Rivals: Magnates and their Motives in the Wars of the Roses (1991), 209–28. TNA, KB27/830, rot. 19d; C66/524, m. 16d CPR, 1467–77, pp. 218–19; TNA, KB27/836, rot. 61d.

The Descent of the Manor of Dodford

37

mother maintained their hold on Dodford.86 They responded to the new threat by seeking to strengthen their title further. By two common recoveries begun in Michaelmas term 1471, but, perhaps significantly, not completed until after Jacquetta’s death on the following 30 May, Eleanor’s servant, Edmund Acton, recovered the manor against her; and she recovered it against John Hathwick, thus bringing a final end to that title.87 Almost immediately afterwards, on 20 June, Acton demised and confirmed the manor to Eleanor to have to her, her heirs and assigns, and, a week later, she rewarded Hathwick and his wife with an annual rent of £10 from Dodford. The process was completed five years later when, on 10 March 1477, she settled the manor on Thomas Stafford in fee tail with remainder to her right heirs.88 It was at this point that these careful arrangements were threatened by the assertion of Sir Edward Wydeville’s claim as purchaser, through his mother Jacquetta, from Purefoy. Although this claim was only briefly in agitation, it led to the drafting of the narrative. This was drawn up, in Eleanor’s interest, in reply to articles setting out Sir Edward’s title, and was intended for presentation to ‘your lordshippes’. These ‘articles’ cannot date to before 1476, for the narrative refers to Mauntell’s testimonial of 8 January 1456, cited in these articles, as having been compiled more than twenty years before. Clearly, then, the matter was in agitation before some tribunal in the late 1470s, and there can be no doubt that the narrative was among those documents referred to in an award made by Edward IV on 16 June 1481 as presented ‘at diu[er]s tymes and many aswele affore us as diu[er]s of oure lordes as affore diu[er]s of oure Juges and other discrete persones of oure counsaille’. This award brought a final end to the dispute. The manor was bestowed upon Thomas Stafford in tail with remainder to Eleanor and her heirs, to have against Sir Edward Wydeville and any other who might have any title ‘by reason of the last will’ of Jacquetta. In return, Thomas and Eleanor were to pay Sir Edward £200, about a fifth of the market value of the manor, with the King taking upon himself the bulk of the cost of compensating Sir Edward. He undertook to grant him lands worth £50 p.a., approximately the value of Dodford, in fee tail, with remainder as laid down in Jacquetta’s will.89 On the following 30 July the King made the promised grant to Sir Edward, because, ‘per nostram contemplacionem’, he had surrendered his claim to Dodford to Thomas Stafford.90 This award was of an unusual type in that it involved a third party, namely, the crown, compensating the disappointed disputant, and it appears that Edward IV was deliberately combining provision for one of his brothers-in-law with the

86

87 88 89

90

On 24 October 1471, for example, Thomas received £5 from the issues of Dodford on the order of his mother: Northants. RO, Knightley MSS, LXVIII 731(b and c). He had quickly regained favour. Named to a commission of array on Edward IV’s restoration, he went on to serve in the 1475 invasion of France: CPR, 1467–77, p. 284; TNA, E101/71/6/995. TNA, CP40/843, rots. 126, 129d; Biancalana, Common Recovery, 393. Northants. RO, Knightley MSS, CXIII 1106, 1108; CCR, 1468–76, no. 909; TNA, C142/35/85. Northants. RO, Knightley MSS, CXIII 1105 (printed in Baker, County of Northampton, i. 353–4, where it is misdated to 15 June 1481). TNA, DL42/19, ff. 22v–23.

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settlement of a potentially troublesome local dispute.91 The solution proved effective, even though the major change in political circumstances four years later would have provided promising conditions for the reassertion of the Wydeville claim. The Staffords were compromised by their support for Richard III – indeed, Thomas’s elder brother, Humphrey, was executed in July 1486 for rebelling against Henry VII, a rebellion in which Thomas was implicated – and Sir Edward held a privileged position after his niece’s marriage to Henry VII.92 Perhaps, had not Sir Edward met his death soon afterwards, Thomas’s title would have been rechallenged. As it was, however, he remained in peaceful possession until his own death, as an old man, in 1517, and the manor remained with the family until its sale in 1546.93 The long dispute over Dodford cannot be cited as typical, for it presented some unusual features, not least the fact that, at a crucial moment in the transmission of the property, it was not known whether one of the right heirs was dead or alive. Such points of uncertain transmission, another of which was to occur on the death of Sir John Cressy’s son, John, in 1453, were uncommon. Nonetheless, the dispute illustrates some important general features. In the long term the successful prosecution of a claim depended as much upon the manufacturing of a strong title as it did on acquiring the physical possession of the disputed property. Paradoxically this illustrates the strength of late-medieval property law: that law, sometimes haltingly but generally effectively, protected ‘true title’. This, however, prompted disputants to resort to fraud in the pursuit of that title, and a tempting target for such frauds was the inquisition system and the local juries on which it depended. False returns by such juries played a determining role in the descent of Dodford at the two crucial points of transmission on the deaths of Gwenllian in 1375 and John Cressy nearly eighty years later. Yet, although dishonesty and manipulation played an important part in the dispute, violent disseisins did not. Although title did not lie quietly in the hands of any tenant of Dodford for the most of the period from 1306 to 1481, possession appears to have done. The dispute, at least as far as the evidence goes, was waged exclusively in the courts, even though the period in which title was most acutely contested coincided with a deeply disturbed period in national politics. It thus corresponds with the increasing trend of modern historiography which perceives the violent assertion of claims to land as the exception rather than the norm.94 One reason for this may have been the greater efficacy of fraud.

91

92

93 94

The award has been cited to show that the King, ‘far from being putty in the hands’ of the Wydevilles, was ‘able to put himself above factional politics’: Christine Carpenter, Locality and Polity: a Study of Warwickshire Landed Society, 1401–1499 (Cambridge, 1992), 545. This may be to claim too much for it, but the award was certainly a wise one. Rosemary Horrox, Richard III: A Study of Service (Cambridge, 1991), 193; C.H. Williams, ‘The Rebellion of Humphrey Stafford in 1486’, EHR, xliii (1928), 181–9. TNA, C142/35/85; Baker, County of Northampton, i. 354. Payling, ‘Perpetual Entails’, 54.

HENRY INGLOSE: A HARD MAN TO PLEASE Charles Moreton and Colin Richmond The first few decades of the fifteenth century were glorious ones for English arms in France, giving the landed classes the opportunity to follow a traditional and honourable calling and to win fame, if not fortune, across the Channel. In some cases fortunes were made, and successful soldiers like the well-known East Anglian knight, Sir John Fastolf, invested their newly acquired wealth in land at home. Whether Fastolf received a good return from his considerable investments is a matter for debate but he was far from an uninterested landowner. He kept a close eye on the management of his estates and proved a hard, frequently harsh, taskmaster in his dealings with his employees and tenants.1 One of Fastolf’s brothers-in-arms was a fellow East Anglian, his friend and relative, Sir Henry Inglose.2 Like Fastolf, he enjoyed a successful military career and a litigious and irascible old age. Again like Fastolf, he invested some of his spoils of war in land at home, and a series of accounts for one of his acquisitions, the Norfolk manor of Haveringland, suggests that he took a similarly keen interest in estate management. Unlike Fastolf, he fathered several surviving children, although, perversely, he failed to provide properly for them in his will. In the will he ordered the sale of much of his estates – although not Haveringland – so ensuring that his family slid down the social scale after his death. If the content of the accounts, which span (with some gaps) the years 1413–51,3 is nothing remarkable, they are nevertheless worthy of notice for the documents attached to some of them, as transcribed or summarised below. Most of these documents are letters that Inglose, lord of Haveringland for the greater part of this period, sent to successive bailiffs of the manor, which lay a few miles north-west of Norwich. They serve as a useful reminder that there was a more humdrum side to the lives of war heroes, of which Inglose was certainly one. Although far less well known than the famous Sir John Fastolf, he is nevertheless worthy of attention in his own right. From a family long established at Loddon in south-east Norfolk,4 Sir Henry inherited property in that parish and those of Ashby and Gunton in Suffolk from 1 2

3

4

K.B. McFarlane, England in the Fifteenth Century (1981), 175–97. Inglose’s maternal grandmother Margaret was a Fastolf: A.R. Smith, ‘Sir John Fastolf’ (Oxf. Univ. D.Phil. thesis, 1982), 107. BL, Add. Chs. 9327–55. There are no accounts covering the years 1420–1, 1422–4, 1438–9, 1440– 2, 1446–7, 1448–50. It is assumed that the account mistakenly dated ‘Mich. 10 Henry V–Mich. 1 Henry VI’ (Add. Ch. 9334) is that for 1421–2. F.W. Blomefield, An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk (11 vols, 1805–10), x. 158.

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Charles Moreton and Colin Richmond

his father and namesake. The elder Sir Henry Inglose had married Anne, the daughter and eventual heir of Sir Roger Genney of Dilham, and in due course their son was to augment the Inglose estates by acquiring several former Genney manors. Both of Inglose’s parents died before the end of the fourteenth century, and he had come of age by 1396 when he presented a new incumbent to the church at Loddon, an Inglose family living.5 By the second decade of the fifteenth century, Inglose had begun to involve himself in public affairs, for he attested the returns of the knights of the shire for Norfolk to the Parliaments of 1410 and 1411.6 In 1412– 13 he was a member of the retinue that went to France with the lieutenant of Gascony, Thomas, duke of Clarence,7 and in the spring of 1415 he contracted to return to that duchy with its newly-appointed seneschal, Sir John Tiptoft.8 In the event, Henry V ordered him and his retinue to join the invasion of Normandy instead,9 and he was probably the ‘Henry Ynglish’ who fought at Agincourt.10 Whatever the case, he tried subsequently to claim wages from Tiptoft and challenged him to a duel, but details of the dispute, heard in the court of chivalry, have not survived.11 In August 1417 Inglose returned to France, and on 4 September he was the first Englishmen to fight his way into Caen. By then he was already a captain in the Cotentin, and his feat of arms must greatly have enhanced his reputation,12 which was acknowledged by the knighthood bestowed on him (albeit in unknown circumstances) in the first half of 1418.13 During the second half of the same year, Inglose took part in the siege of Rouen, which finally fell in January 1419.14 In March 1421 he fought under Clarence at Baugé, a defeat for the English in which the duke was killed and he himself was captured. It is not known exactly when he was released, although he may have regained his freedom through an exchange of prisoners organized by his friend Sir John Fastolf. He was back in England by November 1422, making arrangements to secure the freedom of another English captive, Sir William Bowet. Some time previously he and Bowet, a northerner who had acquired a connection with East Anglia through his first marriage, had become brothers-in-arms, so he was now honour-bound to raise his fellow knight’s ransom.15 In the same November Inglose obtained letters of protection as a member 5

6 7 8

9 10

11 12 13

14 15

Harry Brittain, ‘Dilham Castle’, Norfolk Archaeology, xv (1904), 190–3, at p. 192; CFR, xi. 154; Norfolk RO, Norwich consistory ct. Reg. Heyden, f. 125; Colin Richmond, The Paston Family in the Fifteenth Century: The First Phase (Cambridge, 1990), 210n. TNA, C219/10/5, 6. William of Worcestre, Itineraries, ed. J.H. Harvey (Oxford, 1969), 359. The History of Parliament: The House of Commons, 1386–1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, Linda Clark and Carole Rawcliffe (4 vols., Stroud, 1992), iv. 623. M.G.A. Vale, English Gascony, 1399–1453 (1970), 76. N.H. Nicolas, A History of the Battle of Agincourt (2nd edn., 1832, repr. New York, 1970), 386. But Richmond, Paston Family, 208n, argues that Inglose did in fact go to Gascony with Tiptoft. The Commons 1386–1421, ed. Roskell, Clark and Rawcliffe, iv. 623. Richmond, Paston Family, 208; Worcestre, Itineraries, ed. Harvey, 359. Rotuli Normanniae in Turri Londinensi asservati, Johanne et Henrico V, Angliæ regibus, ed. T.D. Hardy (1835), 359; The Forty-Fourth Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records, (1883), p. 605. Worcestre, Itineraries, ed. Harvey, 361. Richmond, Paston Family, 207; CPR, 1422–9, p. 54. There survives a letter of 5 November but not dated by year from Sir John Fastolf to Inglose and John Berney. This shows that Sir John had secured their release and that of John Mautby from captivity, by means of an exchange of prisoners

Henry Inglose

41

of the retinue of William de la Pole, earl of Suffolk, the governor of Lower Normandy, but it is possible that he returned to France in pursuit of Bowet’s freedom rather than for action in the field.16 As it happened, Bowet died soon afterwards and Inglose married his widow Anne. The daughter of Sir John Wythe of Smallburgh, Norfolk, Anne had married Bowet after the death of her first husband John Calthorpe.17 She was the second wife of Inglose, whose previous spouse had been Denise, a daughter of the Norfolk esquire Nicholas Wychyngham. The mother of Inglose’s eldest son and heir, Denise had been buried at Langley Abbey near Loddon following her early death.18 Notwithstanding the need to find Bowet’s ransom, and the other setbacks he had encountered at Baugé and elsewhere, Inglose had already gained enough wealth as a soldier to begin investing in the land market at home. Following the death of his childless maternal uncle Sir John Genney in 1423,19 he bought the manors of Pickworth in Rutland and Dilham and Haveringland in Norfolk from Sir John’s executors, paying 1,000 marks for Pickworth and £300 for the other two properties.20 He also purchased a town house called ‘Berneys Inne’ in Norwich,21 a city with which he developed a close connection, from Joan, Lady Bardolf. Inglose was to end his days at Norwich although for most of his life his castle at Dilham, for which he had left his old ancestral home at Loddon, was his main residence. It was as ‘of Dilham’ that Inglose took out royal letters of protection in the autumn of 1426, prior to accompanying John, duke of Bedford, across the Channel for further service in France.22 In January 1429 he was a member of the retinue that his friend Sir John Fastolf had assembled at Chartres for the siege of Orleans. It is not however certain that he was at the siege when Joan of Arc appeared with a relieving force three months later, or that he was with Fastolf at the battle of Patay, another English defeat, in the following June. Little is known about his military career after the 1420s, although in 1437 he was the deputy of Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, lieutenant of Calais, and in July 1438 an unspecified number of Flemish prisoners of his received safe conducts to return home to raise their ransoms.23 The continuing association of Inglose and Fastolf is testimony to an abiding friendship between the two men. Back in England, Inglose was one of those who acted as a feoffee for Fastolf, for whom he also stood proxy at Windsor when Sir John was admitted to the Order of the Garter in 1426. During the 1430s he contributed a loan of 100 marks towards the castle that Fastolf was then building for himself at Caister near Great Yarmouth, where in the following decade a

16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

with the French, a transaction that must have occurred before Mautby’s death in 1433 and probably well before that date: Richmond, Paston Family, 123. The letter in question is printed in Paston Letters and Papers of the Fifteenth Century, ed. Norman Davis, Richard Beadle and Colin Richmond (3 vols., EETS, supplementary series xx–xxii, Oxford, 2004–5), iii. 46–7, where the problem of its date is fully discussed. The Forty-Eighth Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records (1887), p. 221. Brittain, ‘Dilham Castle’, 192. Blomefield, Topographical History, x. 149. Norfolk RO, Norwich consistory ct., Reg. Hyrnyng, ff. 114–15. Richmond, Paston Family, 209. Norfolk RO, Norwich consistory ct., Reg. Betyns, ff. 62–63. Forty-Eighth Annual Report, p. 244. Richmond, Paston Family, 208n; BL, Add. Ch. 11611; Forty-Eighth Annual Report, p. 324.

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comfortably furnished room was always kept reserved for him.24 In later years it was rumoured that he was seeking to marry one of his daughters to Fastolf’s stepson Stephen Scrope, although no such match took place.25 The friendship between Fastolf and Inglose also ensured that they co-operated rather than competed with each other in the East Anglian land market. In spite of his absences in France, Inglose began taking an increasingly active role in East Anglian affairs after the accession of Henry VI. Returned to the Parliament of 1423 as a knight of the shire for Suffolk, he was re-elected to the Commons in 1425, although this time for Norfolk, for which he also sat in the Parliaments of 1429, 1432, 1435, 1437 and February 1449.26 In the mid 1430s his status as a leading figure in the region was recognised by his summons to the great council of April and May 1434. He was also called to a meeting of the King’s council in February 1439, perhaps because military matters, in which by now he had considerable expertise, were discussed.27 During the Parliament of 1435 Inglose sat alongside Sir Thomas Tuddenham, a follower of William de la Pole, earl of Suffolk. He himself was on good terms with the earl at this date,28 but after Sir John Fastolf fell out with de la Pole later in the decade he chose to forfeit his own relationship with the latter, rather than to forego the friendship of his fellow knight. Even though that lord was not then all-powerful in East Anglia, it was a courageous decision to make, an episode to Inglose’s credit. Some years later, Sir Henry himself quarrelled directly with Suffolk. In September 1444 he and several of his servants were indicted for having forcibly entered part of the manor of Hempstead, Norfolk, a property which had once belonged to a maternal uncle, James Genney, but over which de la Pole, by then marquess of Suffolk, was now staking a claim. In the event, Inglose was acquitted of forcible disseisin when the matter was referred to a jury in 1448, by which date he was associated with the duke of Norfolk, de la Pole’s chief rival in East Anglia.29 At the beginning of 1451 he was siding with Fastolf in opposing the activities of Sir Thomas Tuddenham and John Heydon, two of the leading de la Pole henchmen in East Anglia.30 In the following May, just six weeks before he died, Inglose settled his estates in Norfolk on a group of feoffees appointed to act to the use of his last will. Headed by Walter Lyhert, bishop of Norwich, they also included his younger son Robert, his sons-in-law Sir John Colville and Thomas Beaupre, respectively the husbands of his daughters Anne and Margaret, his brother-in-law Edmund Wychingham and his old friend Sir John Fastolf.31 In the will, dated 20 June 1451,32 he asked to be buried in the Benedictine priory of Horsham St. Faith, beside his second wife, Anne. He made bequests to the priory and to numerous other religious houses and parish churches in Norfolk, including that at Dilham. The will also refers to no 24 25 26 27 28 29

30 31 32

Richmond, Paston Family, 208, 208n. Paston Letters, ed. Davis, Beadle and Richmond, i. no. 18. TNA, C219/13/2–3; C219/14/1, 3, 5; C219/15/1, 6. PPC, iv. 212; v. 108. Richmond, Paston Family, 235n. Ibid.; TNA, KB27/734, rex rot. 37; Blomefield, Topographical History, ix. 309; L.E. Moye, ‘The Estates and Finances of the Mowbray Family, Earls Marshal and Dukes of Norfolk, 1401–1476’ (Duke University Ph.D. thesis, 1985), 449, 450; CCR, 1441–7, p. 215; CPR, 1446–52, p. 145. Paston Letters, ed. Davis, Beadle and Richmond, ii. nos. 1003–4. CAD, iv. A7907; Richmond, Paston Family, 210n. Norfolk RO, Norwich consistory ct., Reg. Betyns, ff. 62–3.

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fewer than 25 servants, as well as his confessor Master Peter of Horsham St. Faith. Inglose bequeathed plate, arras hangings and other valuable household items to his eldest son Henry, to whom he left all his livestock at Loddon and Dilham, a half share of the crops at Dilham and his flock of sheep at Ashby, Suffolk. He added that Henry should forfeit all these bequests if he impeded the will in any way, an indication that relations between father and son were not as cordial as they might have been. Inglose also left plate, jewellery, linen, a gown, hangings, 500 sheep and a primer to his younger son Robert and made smaller bequests to his daughters Anne Colville and Margaret Beaupre and other family connections. These other connections included Sir William Bowet’s daughters and coheirs, Elizabeth and Sibyl, respectively the wives of Sir Thomas Dacre (the son and heir of Thomas, Lord Dacre of Gilsland) and Robert Osbern. Elizabeth was Bowet’s daughter by his first marriage to Joan, daughter and heir of Sir Robert Ufford, and Sibyl his child by Anne Inglose.33 The most striking part of the will is that dealing with Inglose’s lands. Sir Henry left his eldest son and namesake no more than four manors, Dilham, Loddon and Wassingford (in Loddon) in Norfolk and Ashby in Suffolk, again stressing that he should not interfere with the performance of the will, while his younger son, Robert, was to have that of Haveringland, along with lands in Haveringland, Brandeston, Cawston and Eccles by the Sea. He ordered his executors – Edmund Wychingham, his son Robert Inglose and the priest John Parham – to sell ten other manors in Norfolk, Suffolk and Rutland and to use the money thereby raised to settle his debts and perform his will. Attached to the will is a codicil of the same date by which he directed the executors to sell his Norwich town house, along with two other properties in Worstead, and to use the money arising from these sales to pay off his debts and to spend on good works. He also instructed them to pay £100 to the executors of Joan, Lady Bardolf, in full satisfaction of his purchase from her of Berneys Inne. It is hard to understand why Inglose left little to his heir, so ensuring that his descendants could not occupy the same position that he had enjoyed among the ranks of the upper gentry, a drastic step counter to the mores of his age. Perhaps personal dislike was a significant factor, since he did not mention any serious debts in his will and there is no evidence that financial problems prompted him to order the selling of land. If he had possessed property in France, he would have lost it in the latter stages of the Hundred Years War, but his lands at home must have provided him with a significant income. The £66 p.a. at which these properties were assessed for tax purposes in February 1451 was almost certainly an underestimate.34 He had not lacked for resources earlier in his career: although twice taken prisoner by the French and obliged to raise a ransom for Sir William Bowet, he had soon afterwards bought the three Genney manors. If he had overextended himself in doing so, his marriage to Bowet’s widow would have provided timely relief. Anne had brought him £1,000 in money and jewels, along with another 500 marks that Bowet had raised by selling the inheritance of his daughter Sibyl. Inglose had also gained 800 marks from the sale of the wardship 33 34

Richmond, Paston Family, 215. Roger Virgoe, ‘A Norwich Taxation List of 1451’, Norfolk Archaeology, xl (1987), 145–54, at p. 149.

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and marriage of his stepson William Calthorpe (the son of Anne Inglose by John Calthorpe) to Reynold, Lord Grey of Ruthin, who married the young man to his daughter Elizabeth. Furthermore, he possessed commercial interests, since he was a shipowner and possessed a quay at Great Yarmouth, a port through which he imported wine.35 Inglose made his will at Norwich, and it was there that he died on the night of 31 June/1 July 1451. Margaret Paston, who was staying in the city at the time, informed her husband John of his death in a letter of the following day. She wrote that Inglose’s body had been taken to the priory at Horsham St. Faith at 9 o’clock that morning, acquisitively adding that if ‘ye desyer to bey any of hys stuff I pray you send me word ther-of in hast’ and she would speak to the executors. An inquisition post mortem was held in Rutland a few months after Inglose’s death, but another two years passed before the Norfolk escheator convened an inquiry about his lands in that county.36 As mean as Inglose was towards his children, it was his treatment of less immediate family connections that was to cause the most trouble after his death. Soon after he died, his stepdaughter Sibyl and her husband Robert Osbern complained that he had failed to ensure that she received a rightful share of the Bowet estates. Furthermore, Sibyl’s elder half-sister Elizabeth Dacre had also suffered at Inglose’s hands, since he had made a preposterous claim to the three Norfolk manors of Great Hautbois, Horsford and Burgh St. Margarets, all part of her inheritance, and had occupied lands belonging to her in Suffolk. To make matters worse, Inglose’s treatment of Elizabeth and Sybil caused a quarrel between the two women. On his deathbed he informed Elizabeth that he had enfeoffed Great Hautbois on the cleric, Master Henry Bowet, to the use of her and her heirs, but he had also previously directed that the Osberns should take the issues and profits from the property during Sibyl’s lifetime and that Elizabeth should pay them the sum of £100. Not surprisingly, the latter resisted these claims and during the ensuing dispute Henry Bowet was murdered.37 Another person with good reason to resent Sir Henry’s treatment of him was his stepson William Calthorpe. Calthorpe’s primary grievance was Inglose’s failure to pay in full to him a certain sum that he should have had at the time of his marriage to Elizabeth Grey, although the two men had also quarrelled over much more minor matters, like the state of a sheephouse on the manor of Smallburgh, part of Calthorpe’s maternal inheritance, that William alleged Sir Henry had allowed to fall into ruin. The bickering over a farm building might suggest that Calthorpe was commendably interested in estate management; but it is more likely that relations between him and his stepfather had deteriorated so badly that they were ready to quarrel about anything. After Sir Henry’s death, Calthorpe also fell out with the younger Henry Inglose, with whom he was engaged in a property dispute in the later 1450s.38

35

36

37 38

TNA, C1/19/40A; KB27/702, rot. 20; Richmond, Paston Family, 216; Norfolk RO, Great Yarmouth ct. rolls, 153, m. 16d; 156, m. 1. Paston Letters, ed. Davis, Beadle and Richmond, i. 243; TNA, C139/141/9; C139/151/48. The later Norfolk inquisition erroneously found that Inglose had died on 20 July. Richmond, Paston Family, 217–20. Richmond, Paston Family, 216; TNA, C1/31/509.

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By the middle of the same decade, the younger Henry was quarrelling with his father’s executors,39 and in the same period, perhaps corrupted by bitterness at his fate, he appears to have committed an apparently unrelated murder, or murders, at Tunstead.40 Before the decade was out, the executors were involved in yet more litigation, this time in Chancery against Sir John Colville for resisting a sale of part of the Inglose estates.41 The later 1450s also saw Robert Danvers of Oxfordshire, a judge of the common pleas, sue John Browe of Rutland over the manor of Pickworth. They were rival bidders for the manor, which Danvers had bought from the executors and which the younger Henry Inglose, acting in breach of his father’s will, had sold to Browe.42 If the sale to Bowe smacks of a desperate measure on the part of the younger Henry, he was evidently determined to try to gain something from a property that he must once have expected to inherit but which was denied to him by his father’s meaness. The break-up of the Inglose estates was a particularly cruel irony for the unfortunate younger Henry, given that his father appears to have taken an active interest in them during his lifetime. As the letters in the appendix indicate, during the 1420s and early 1430s, a period in which he was sometimes campaigning in France, Sir Henry found time for matters relating to Haveringland, perhaps because it was a recently acquired property. In his latter years the previous lord, Sir John Genney, had farmed out the property to the Norwich fletcher William Lound, previously his bailiff at Haveringland, but Inglose took a far more direct interest in the estate, taking it out of farm and placing it once again under a bailiff. The accounts among which these letters are found show that that there was a strikingly high turnover of such officers under his lordship. His first bailiff, Walter Aillemer (otherwise Ayleward), took up his responsibilities at Michaelmas 1424 and remained in office until Michaelmas 1428. His successor was John Stanmore, the bailiff until Michaelmas 1430, when John Bert took over. Aillemer and Stanmore were still alive at this date, since they both feature in Bert’s account of 1430–1, in which they are respectively recorded as owing Inglose arrears of 58s. 9¾d. and 101s. 9d. A later account shows that Stanmore (rather than his widow or another acting on his behalf) repaid his debt in 1432–3, by which stage Bert was no longer bailiff. He had lasted for just a year, for at Michaelmas 1431 he was replaced by John Pye, formerly the warrener and keeper of the woods at Haveringland. Pye remained in office for longer than Bert, since his own successor, James Trippe, took over at Michaelmas 1434. Two years later, Robert Grygges replaced Trippe, but by Michaelmas 1439 Grygges had in turn given way to John Shillyng. At Michaelmas 1443 Shillyng was succeeded by Robert Smyth who, like Bert, served for just a year, as did Smyth’s successor John Cay, bailiff in 1444–5. John de Howe, the man who replaced Cay, was bailiff for two years at the very most, since William Skot was bailiff in 1447–8. Ingloses’s last appointee as bailiff, Henry Couper, assumed

39 40 41 42

TNA, KB27/782 rot. 8d. Colin Richmond, The Paston Family in the Fifteenth Century: Endings (Manchester, 2001), 202. TNA, C1/26/135. TNA, C1/26/618; CP40/794, rot. 309; KB27/799, rot. 1.

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office at Michaelmas 1450 but owing to a gap in the run of accounts it is not certain that he was Skot’s immediate successor.43 Perhaps the most likely explanation for such a high turnover – at least 12 bailiffs in just over quarter of a century – is Inglose’s dissatisfaction with the way that his servants were performing their duties. Such discontinuity in personnel might be thought to have hindered improvements in the running of Haveringland, yet it is possible that the manor rose in value after he had acquired it. A few of the accounts record its ‘value’ or ‘profit’ in a given year, usually about £30 in Sir John Genney’s time but £40 or over under the lordship of Inglose.44 No doubt Sir Henry was not an easy man to work for, a hypothesis which is quite in keeping with what we know of such an unattractive character and which seems to be borne out by the letter that his clerk, Jankyn Hethingham, sent to John Stanmore in October 1428. Stanmore is told that he must ‘ordeyne for hym [Inglose] al the money that may be had or maad’ in order to retain his employer’s ‘goode lordschipe’ and ‘good maisterschipe’. He is instructed to bring the money he had collected from Haveringland to Inglose’s inn at Norwich, ‘or ellys I muste certefie my lord ayen whan I come to London what answere I have of yow &c’.45 With regard to his estates in general, Inglose was an enthusiastic and aggressive litigant. Between 1422 and 1442 he was the most active plaintiff in the court of King’s bench at Westminster, pursuing no fewer than thirty-nine suits, of which thirty-three involved property matters. Mostly he sued his social inferiors, including twelve husbandmen whom he accused of illegally cutting turf on his manor of Dilham in 1433 and against whom he was awarded £40 in Easter term 1435. In spite of the verdict, it was not a clear-cut victory, since just before the jury found for him in King’s bench the defendants had possessed sufficient courage and resources to file a bill in Chancery, claiming the customary right to cut turf. Their tactic appears to have had the desired effect for Inglose later dropped his claims against all but one of the husbandmen. Presumably the threat of proceedings in Chancery, hardly a dignified scenario for him given his opponents’ rank, had persuaded him to treat leniently with them.46 No doubt an out of court ‘accord’ that he reached with John Topy of Winterton in August 1438 was a more satisfactory outcome to a quarrel with an opponent of lesser means.47 On the other hand, Inglose did not shy away from challenging fellow landowners, including his own social superiors. As the Haveringland account of 1430–1 records, he sent his men to take a distress from nearby Whitwell, held of Haveringland by the Lords Roos. Following the death of Thomas, 8th Lord Roos, in 1430, the guardians of his infant son and heir were dilatory in paying an obligatory relief of 100s. to Inglose as the feudal overlord, so prompting Sir Henry’s action.48 As already noted, in the following decade Inglose clashed with William de la Pole over the manor of Hempstead. While keen on defending his own property rights, Inglose was also guilty of double standards since he did not always pay due respect to those of other landlords. In the mid 1420s, for instance, he was found to have used the warren at 43 44 45 46 47 48

BL, Add. Ch. 9335–55. BL, Add. Chs. 9327, 9330–3, 9337–8, 9340–1. Although in 1416–17 it was just under £40. BL, Add. Ch. 9339C, for which see below. Philippa Maddern, Violence and Social Order (Oxford, 1992), 35, 135–7. A transcript is included below. BL, Add. Ch. 9340.

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Tunstead, a duchy of Lancaster manor neighbouring his own property at Dilham, as a hunting ground for his greyhounds.49 If, as the Haveringland accounts suggest, Inglose took a keen interest in estate management, he was far from unique, even though his subsequent willingness to alienate so much of his estates, in a manner more befitting a testator lacking in immediate heirs, is perplexing. Though largely rentiers, the greatest later medieval landowners commonly took more than a perfunctory interest in the administration of their lands, and such attention was all the more necessary for members of the gentry, including well established families like Sir Henry’s. ‘New men’, typically lawyers who had invested in land, are often seen as archetypal ‘hands-on’ landowners, but evidently Inglose did not consider it beneath his dignity to take a close interest in minor affairs at Haveringland. An estate based on rents rather than a directly managed demesne still required constant attention, in order to ensure that tenants and farmers paid their rents and fulfilled other obligations. While the ‘improving’ great magnate worked through a council and a staff of administrators, the supervision exercised by lesser landowners was much more personal and direct.50

49 50

TNA, DL30/102/1423. K.B. McFarlane, The Nobility of Later Medieval England (Oxford, 1973), 50–3, 229–30; Christopher Dyer, An Age of Transition? Economy and Society in England in the Later Middle Ages (Oxford, 2005), 96–97, 102–3, 106; C.E. Moreton, The Townshends and their World: Gentry, Law, and Land in Norfolk c.1450–1551 (Oxford, 1992), 138–77; C.E. Moreton and Colin Richmond, ‘“Beware of grazing on foul mornings”: a gentleman’s husbandry notes’, Norfolk Archaeology, xliii (2000), 500–3.

APPENDIX In the following, common abbreviations have been expanded, the use of u and v standardised, and a degree of punctuation introduced. Interlineations have been indicated by angular brackets (< >), editorial interventions by square brackets ([ ]) 1. Letter of Sir Henry Inglose to Walter Aillemer, 26 May 1426 (BL, Add. Ch. 9335B; attached to the Haveringland manorial account of 1424–5). Secretary hand; mark of seal. By Henry Inglose Walter Aillemer, bailly of my maner of Heveryngland, I do yow to wyten that I have assigned to William Lound of Norwich xiijs. iiijd., an hundrid of fagottes and an hundrid astell, be thyn handes of my saide maner of Heveryngland on to the saide William for the terme of Michelmasse last passed to be delivered. Wherfore chargynge the, that the make on to the saide William delyveraunce as well as of the saide money, as of the fagottes and astell foresaid, understandyng that this my letter ensealed with my seal shal be thy warant of thyn alloaunce at thyn accounte. Wrete at Dilham, the xxvj day of Maij the yer of Reygne of kyng Henry the sixthe aftur the conqueste the fourthe.1 2. Letter of Sir Henry Inglose to Walter Aillemer, 7 January 1427 (BL, Add. Ch. 9337D; attached to the Haveringland manorial account of 1426–7). Secretary hand; mark of seal. Walter Aillemer I charge yow and comaunde that ye paie or don paie to William Lound of Norwich his annuite of xiijs. and iiijd. be yere and an hundrid fagottes and an hundrid astell, as he oughte to have of right of my maner of Heveringland, that is for to say for the terme of Seynt Michell last passed a fore the date of this bille vjs. viijd. and for the terme of Esterum now next comyng vjs. viijd. and this bille shal be youre warant and descharge at youre nexte acounte. Writen at Dilham,

1

As noted in the introduction, Lound was Sir John Genney’s bailiff and afterwards farmer at Haveringland. Faggots were bundles of sticks, twigs or small branches of trees bound together for use as fuel, and astels were chips or splinters also used for firewood. The accounts show that Inglose likewise allowed Sir John Genney’s widow, Alice, who resided at Norwich after her husband’s death, regular assignments of firewood from Haveringland. In 1435–6 she paid his bailiff, James Trippe, 17s. 6d. for the conveyance to her at Norwich of no fewer than 15 carriage loads of such fuel: BL, Add. Ch. 9346. Alice died in late 1438 or early 1439: Norfolk RO, Norwich consistory ct., Reg. Aleyn, f. 33.

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the vij day of Januar the yer and regne of kyng Henry the sixthe aftur the conqueste the fyfthe. By Henry Inglose 3. Letter of Sir Henry Inglose to Walter Aillemer, 18 June 1427 (BL, Add. Ch. 9338C; attached to the Haveringland manorial account of 1427–8). Secretary hand; mark of seal. Walter Aillemer I grete yow wel and I charge and comaunde yow that ye delyver to Thomas Baldock, Taillour of Norwich, as mochel wode of my park of Heveringland as cometh to the summe of xxs., and that he faille naut there of, and this bille shal be youre warant of descharge at youre next acounte. Writen at Dilham, the xviij day of Jun the yer of kyng Henry the sixthe aftur the conqueste the vth. By Henry Inglose 4. Letter of Sir Henry Inglose to Walter Aillemer, 7 January 1428 (BL, Add. Ch. 9338D; attached to the Haveringland manorial account of 1427–8). Secretary hand; mark of seal. Walter Aillemer I charge yow and comaunde that ye paie or do paye to William Lound of Norwich of the issues and profites of my maner of Heveringland xxs., which that is dewe on to the saide William for diverse thynges of hym bought. Item I charge yow that ye paie to the saide William his fee, that is to seyne a mark by yere, which that is assigned hym out of the saide maner of Heveringland at termes assigned terme of his lif,2 and an hunded astell and an hundred ffagets, and this bille shal be youre waraunt at youre accounte of descharge. Writen at Dilham, the vij day of Januer the yer of kyng Henry the vjth aftur the conqueste the sixthe. By Henry Inglose 5. Letter of Sir Henry Inglose to John Stanmore, 28 May 1429 (BL, Add. Ch. 9339B; attached to the Haveringland manorial account of 1427–8). Secretary hand; fragment of seal. [Inglose commands John Stanmore (Aillemer’s successor as bailiff) to deliver to Thomas Baldock, tailor of Norwich, 500 faggots of ‘my wode of Heveringland’. Dated at Dilham, 28 May 1429.]

2

Perhaps Lound was granted the fee in return for giving up his farm. He probably died in the early 1430s when he ceased to feature in the accounts.

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6. Letter of Jankyn Hetheringham, clerk of Sir Henry Inglose, to John Stanmore, ?27 Oct. 1428 (BL, Add. Ch. 9339C; attached to the Haveringland manorial account of 1428–9). Marks of seal and of folding. Stanmore, I grete yow wel and charge yow on my lordes name and be comaundement that I hadde of my lord that I shuld come to yow or sende to yow, that as ever ye wolde desire to have his goode lordschipe & or good maisterschipe, that ye shulde ordeyne for hym al the money that may be had or maad. Wherfore for as mochel as I may naut come to yow my self, I charge yow in my saide lordes name that yow come to Norwich to my lordes In3 on satirday next aftur Simond and Jude and bryng with yow your money, or ellys I muste certefie my lord ayen whan I come to London4 what answere I have of yow &c. Item my lord bad that ye shulde ordeyne for hym ij quarters of Rye and sende it to Dilham and bad ye wole paie ther fore. Sende it to the bailly of Dilham and he shal paye ther fore &c. Item that ye make redy al youre barly in as hasty tyme as it may be possible, and let Walle have wrytyng ther of &c. Write at Dilham, in vigilia apostolorum Simonis & Jude5 for I go a yen to London. By Jankyn Hethingham, Ingloses clerk [Endorsed:] To John Stanmore, Bailly of Hever[ing]land 7. Letter of Sir Henry Inglose to John Bert, 17 Sept. 1430 (BL, Add. Ch. 9341B; attached to the Haveringland manorial account of 1430–1). Secretary hand; fragment of seal with part of tape still attached. John Bert, I charge yow that ye Receyve John Pye, bryngere of this bille, and that ye yeve hym his charge of myn wareyn and of my woodys at Hever[ing]land to walle hem and to kepe hem. And that ye ordeyne for the saide John Pye an hous to unbyde in, yn to tyme that my wolle be voyded out of the chambre atte gate.6 And also that that ye deliver on to the saide Pye xld. or ellys a noble7 in to tyme that I speke with yow. And also that ye gete yow a man in al haste that ye don make a doseyn of dagge Fallys8 whiche as he shal enforme yow, or of ij doseyn &c. Write at Dilham, on sonday next aftur holy rode day.9 Ye kepynge this bille for youre descharge &c. By Henry Inglose 3 4 5 6

7 8 9

Presumably Berney’s Inn. Evidently Inglose was in the city at this time. Presumably 27 Oct. 1428, given the date of the account to which the letter is attached. This seems to suggest that the chamber at the gate was the residence intended for Pye as warrener but that he could not occupy it immediately because it was being used to store Inglose’s wool. As the accounts show, sheepfarming was one of the activities at Haveringland. The flock there was the responsibility of a shepherd rather than the bailiff. The accounts also show that by the mid fifteenth century the warren was being farmed out rather than directly managed. 6s. 8d. Meaning not known. 17 September 1430.

Henry Inglose

51

[Endorsed:] To John Bert, my Bailly at Hever[ing]land 8. Letter of Sir Henry Inglose to John Bert, 18 July 1431 (BL, Add. Ch. 9341C; attached to the Haveringland manorial account of 1430–1). [Inglose directs Bert to ensure that William Lound received his annuity of 13s. 4d. and the usual deliveries of faggots and ‘astells’. Dated at Dilham 18 July 1431.] 9. Letter of Sir Henry Inglose to John Bert, 8 January 1431 (BL, Add. Ch. 9341D; attached to the Haveringland manorial account of 1430–1). Part of seal still adhering. John Bert, baily of my maner of Heverynglond, I charge the that yow make redy lx quarters of Barly wh[…] arerre of my ferme corne of Heverynglond and delyver it un to Watyre Colke of Yippiswych at Wroxham […] Coste swych day as I shal assyngne the in short tyme, understondyng on thi party that this bille inselyd w[…] be thi waraunt of discharge of the corne forsayd at thin acounte. Wretyn ther viij day of Januar t[…] regne of kynge Henry the vj after the conquest ix. [added in another hand; certainly autograph:] quech corne aforsaid yow deliver be fortenyth after the date of this p[…] 10. Letter of Sir Henry Inglose to John Bert, 3 April ?1432 (BL, Add. Ch. 9342C: letter attached to the Haveringland manorial account of 1431–2). [In favour of William Lound (as above, no. 8). Dated at Norwich 3 April.] 11. Letter of Sir Henry Inglose to John Bert, 28 October ?1432 (BL, Add. Ch. 9343F: letter attached to the Haveringland manorial account of 1432–3). [Inglose orders the bailiff to pay 26s. 8d. to Edmund Dompyng of Norwich. Dated at Norwich 28 October.] The account for 1432–3 also has attached to it ten bills, one of which was in acknowledgement that Inglose had received 13s. 4d. from Thomas Bettes, priest, the latter’s amercement ‘for huntyng of connys’.10 12. Record of a ‘rekeneyng’ between Sir Henry Inglose and ‘Ser Edmund, prior of Montjoye’11 (BL, Add. Ch. 9346). 10 11

BL, Add. Ch. 9343I. Edmund de Walsingham, prior of Mountjoy, a minor house of Augustinian canons that William Genney had founded in the late 12th century, situated within the parish of Haveringland. By the later Middle Ages it had no more than two canons: VCH Norfolk, ii. 387–8.

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[The prior owes Inglose 7 nobles and 21d. for ‘ferme barly’; 2s. 2½d. for rent; 3d. for a capon; 6s. 8d. ‘of mercyment for Ser William [-] chanon of the same place’; for the pasture 4s. ‘upon the lord’s grace’. ] 13. Record of an accord between Sir Henry Inglose and John Topy the younger, 18 August 1438 (BL, Add. Ch. 17232).12 The seal has been cut off. To alle men be it knowe that this wryting seen or heryn that I Henry Inglose, knight, am ful acorded wyth John Topy of Wynterton the youngere of an accion of trespas doo to me at Stalham be the seide John Topy and othere named in my writ. Qwerfore I pray the undershirreve of Norffolk and alle his baylyes and other ministres to surcecyn of alle maner execucions of my sayde accion ageyn the seide John Topy be me taken in the comone lawe, and no more doo to hym from hens forth, and I my self shal aquite and paye the shirreves fees quech longyn to his ofys. In wytnessynge of quech thynge to this my wrytynge I have set my seal and also my signe manuel, quech wrytynge I wole remaigne and abyde with the seide John Topy. Wretyn and mad at Dilham the moneday next aftur the Assumpcion of oure lady the xvj yeer of kyng henry the sexte. [elaborately signed] H. Inglose

12

This document is barely abstracted in the The Paston Letters, ed. James Gairdner (6 vols., 1904), ii. 43. Although it does not relate to Haveringland, its connection with Inglose makes it worthy of inclusion here.

LONDON MERCHANTS AND THE BORROMEI BANK IN THE 1430s: THE ROLE OF LOCAL CREDIT NETWORKS∗ J.L. Bolton Italian merchants were not liked in fifteenth-century England, if contemporary propaganda is to be believed. They were accused of all manner of commercial and financial crimes, from selling their imports dear and buying English goods for export cheaply to rigging international exchange transactions so that both the balance of trade and payments was in their favour and bullion drained from the land.1 If this was generally true of late-medieval attitudes, then it was even more the case between 1435 and 1439–40. The Burgundian decision to change sides in the Hundred Years War and, by the Treaty of Arras of 1435, to abandon the English alliance led to an attack on Calais and a four-year interruption in the wool export trade through the Staple there, and to a ban on the sale of English cloth in Holland, Zeeland and Brabant. This supposedly hit the London merchants hard. Their principal markets for the sale of cloth and the purchase of linen cloth and other mercery wares for import were at the Brabantine fairs. Flanders had long been closed to them since the duke of Burgundy had banned the sale of English cloth there some eighty years earlier. Now they could neither export wool through Calais nor cloth through the Brabantine fairs at Antwerp and Bergen-op-Zoom. Their exports slumped and only the Italians seemed to benefit from this sharp contraction in English overseas trade. Small wonder then that they were, as Holmes has shown,2 the chief target of the well-known poem, the ‘Libelle of Englyshe Polycye’. Yet it was precisely in these circumstances, and presumably with full knowledge of the current state of Anglo-Burgundian relations, that the Borromei of Milan decided to establish a branch of their Bruges bank in London in 1436, to be known as Filippo Borromei e compagni di Londra. The initial capital of £1,600 flemish (16,000 flemish écus) or £1,431 13s. 1d. sterling at an exchange rate of 21 5/12 sterlings per écu was transferred from Bruges to London and Giovanni Bindotti, a trusted servant of the Borromei, opened the branch in January 1436. ∗

1

2

This article was first given as a paper at the International Economic History Conference held at Helsinki in 2006. I am grateful for the comments made then and subsequently by those who attended the session on ‘The tools of the trade’ at the conference. My thanks also go to my colleague Dr. Francesco Guidi Bruscoli for his help and advice. J.L. Bolton, ‘Alien Merchants in England in the reign of Henry VI, 1422–61’ (Oxford Univ. B.Litt. thesis, 1971), 7–17; idem, ‘The city and the crown 1450–61, The London Journal, xii (1986), 11–24, pp. 18–20. G.A. Holmes, ‘“The Libel of English Policy”’, EHR, lxxvi (1961), 193–216, pp. 193–6, 199–202.

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From March 1436 it was managed by Giovanni Micheli from Lucca, with Niccolò Micheli as the cashier.3 It is not the purpose here to discuss the role of a major Milanese bank in the commercial and financial markets of north-west Europe but to look specifically at its local credit networks.4 London was England’s gateway city. Through its port and its outports at Sandwich and Southampton it handled about 60 per cent of all English overseas trade, even by the 1430s.5 London’s merchants had established a controlling share in the native trade and in the redistributive trade in Italian and Hanseatic imports. They had access to a larger credit market than any other group of merchants, it is argued, and this gave them a great advantage compared with their counterparts in provincial towns such as York, Beverley and Hull.6 That may well have been the case, but in the 1430s the crisis in overseas trade coupled with a European wide shortage of bullion is thought to have led to a major contraction in credit which hit the Londoners hard. Nightingale’s arguments have found wide acceptance but they are essentially based on secondary evidence.7 With one exception there are no surviving accounts of late medieval English merchants before the Cely letters of the 1470s and 1480s, and even they are letters rather than properly kept ledgers.8 Until now, most of our information on credit transactions has had to come from court cases, where something had gone wrong, or from bonds registered in the Staple courts. There are well-known difficulties in using legal evidence. Rarely does one find the decision in the case, since most actions were taken to force the defendant to arbitration, formal or informal. Each side exaggerated for effect and it is as well to note that penalty clauses attached to

3

4

5

6

7

8

Francesco Guidi Bruscoli and J.L. Bolton, ‘The Borromei Bank Research Project’, in Money, Markets and Trade in Late Medieval Europe. Essays in Honour of John H.A. Munro, ed. Lawrin Armstrong, Ivana Elbl and Martin Elbl (Leiden and Boston, 2007), 460–88, pp. 461–6; J.L. Bolton and Francesco Guidi Bruscoli, ‘When did Antwerp replace Bruges as the commercial and financial centre of north-western Europe? The evidence of the Borromei ledger for 1438’, EcHR, 2nd series, lxi (2008), 360–79, pp. 365–7. The bank at Bruges had been founded in 1435, also in the name of Filippo Borromei e compagni, which is probably best translated as ‘Filippo Borromei and partners’, but the more familiar title of ‘and company’ is used here. Filippo was the eldest son of the head of the family, Count Vitaliano Borromei, and both the banks were essentially partnerships between Vitaliano and the local managers, with Filippo as his nominee. That the family were kept well informed of events in England can be seen by the existence in their archives of a copy of the bullion ordinance of 1429, A[rchivio] B[orromeo] d[ell’] I[sola] B[ella], box 661/39. For a revised history of the family and its various branches and banks, see Guidi Bruscoli and Bolton, ‘Borromei Bank Research Project’, 461–6; Bolton and Guidi Bruscoli, ‘Antwerp’, 365–7. Bolton, ‘Alien Merchants’, 102–5; Pamela Nightingale, ‘The growth of London in the medieval economy’, in Progress and Problems in Medieval England, ed. Richard Britnell and John Hatcher (Cambridge, 1996), 89–106. Jennifer Kermode, ‘Money and credit in the Fifteenth Century: Some Lessons from Yorkshire’, Business History Review, lxv (1991), 475–501; eadem, ‘Medieval indebtedness: the regions versus London’, in England in the Fifteenth Century, ed. Nicholas Rogers (Harlaxton Medieval Studies iv, Stamford, 1994), 72–88. Pamela Nightingale, ‘Monetary contraction and mercantile credit in late medieval England’, EcHR, 2nd series, xliii (1990), 560–75. The Cely Letters 1472–1488, ed. Alison Hanham (EETS, cclxxiii, Oxford, 1975); Alison Hanham, The Celys and Their World. An English Merchant Family of the Fifteenth Century (Cambridge, 1985).

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bonds were usually for twice the value of the disputed transaction, something that also applied to Statute Merchant recognizances.9 What the Borromei ledger for London, 1436–9, supplies is reality, evidence of the actual workings of the credit and exchange markets and of other services offered to London merchants by an Italian bank. The ledger, and its counterpart for Bruges for the year 1438, were not meant for public scrutiny.10 Both were the end products of the various journals and cash books kept by the staff of the banks, which have not, alas, survived. They are ‘final’ ledgers, kept in double entry, with full records of profits and losses to be transferred to the libro segreto, the partners’ private ledger which no longer exists. As such, they record in detail transactions between the bank and its clients, amongst whom there were some 190 English men and at least three English women,11 most of them Londoners. Not all of them have, as yet, been positively identified and the method here has been to take the accounts of sixty-four individuals or partnerships as a sample. It could not be taken at random. Inputting data from the London ledger on to the Borromei Bank Research Project’s database is still in progress and so the accounts were chosen according to the following criteria. The identity of the account holder and the trade or occupation he followed had to be certain. Niccolò Micheli, who compiled the ledger, had much the same problem with English names as the royal customs clerks had with the Italians. Both are essentially garbled, with Hugh Dyke, mercer, becoming ‘Ugodyk merciere’ and Giovanni Arnolfini ‘John Arnolfyn’. A certain amount of guesswork is required in establishing the identity of the Borromei’s London clients, but the names and occupations of those included in the sample have been thoroughly checked against external sources and by other scholars.12 9

10

11 12

R.C. Palmer, English Law in the Age of the Black Death, 1348–1381. A Transformation of Governance and Law (Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 1993), 63. The two ledgers are kept in the Borromeo-Arese family archive on Isola Bella (ABIB) as libro mastro number 7 (London 1436–9) and libro mastro number 8 (Bruges 1438). The year in both cases runs from 1 January to 31 December. The ledgers are hereafter referred to in the footnotes as BBr and BLon. The folio number on which the account appears is given first, followed by its position on the folio. So the account of Thomas Bateill, mercer, in 1437 is given as BLon, f. 150.2 showing that it is the second account to be recorded on folio 150. The original folio numbers have been used. The Borromei Bank Research Project, at Queen Mary, University of London, and the Università degli Studi di Firenze is grateful to the Principessa Bona Borromeo-Arese for her permission to use this and other material from the archive and to the Economic and Social Research Council of Great Britain (Award no. R000239125) for funding the first three years of its research. Isabella Clapson, Isabella Norman, silkwoman, and Annabell Furnell, widow of a grocer. The external sources used were Calendar of Plea and Memoranda Rolls of the City of London, 1413–1437, ed. A.H. Thomas (Cambridge, 1943); Calendar of Plea and Memoranda Rolls of the City of London, 1437–1457, ed. P.E. Jones (Cambridge, 1954); Calendar of Plea and Memoranda Rolls of the City of London, 1457–82, ed. P.E. Jones (Cambridge, 1964); Calendar of Wills Proved and Enrolled in the Court of Hustings of London, ed. R.R. Sharpe (2 vols., 1890); Calendar of Letter Books of the City of London. Letter Book ‘K’, ed. R.R. Sharpe (1910); the relevant volumes of the Calendars of Close and Patent Rolls; index to wills proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, now available on-line at www.ahds.ac.uk; Acts of Court of the Mercers’ Company, 1452–1527, ed. Laetitia Lyell and F.D. Watney (Cambridge, 1936); Matthew Davies and Ann Saunders, The History of the Merchant Taylors’ Company (Leeds, 2004); Pamela Nightingale, A Medieval Mercantile Community. The Grocers’ Company and the Politics and Trade of London, 1000-1485 (New Haven and London, 1995); A.F. Sutton, The Mercery of London. Trade, Goods and People, 1130–1578 (Aldershot, 2005). We are especially grateful to the members of staff at the History of Parliament Trust, to Dr. Matthew Davies, Director of the Centre for Metropolitan History, School of Advanced Study, University of London, Professor Caroline Barron of Royal Holloway, University of London,

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Secondly, the sample provides a reasonable spread of those who were engaged mainly in the redistributive trades and those who were also involved in overseas trade, at least as far as their dealings with the Borromei were concerned. The turnover in the individual accounts also has a wide range, from £8 7s. 3d. sterling at the bottom to £1,179 13s. 5d. sterling at the top and, finally, each account had to be spread over more than one year.13 Where double-entry accounts are kept manually, there is always the problem of space, that there will not be sufficient room on the folio for all the business to be recorded. The practice was simply to carry the account forward to another folio in the same ledger or in the same year where, as in the case of London, there were several years in one volume. That meant carrying debit or credit balances forward to the new entry. This was also true of any account that was carried forward at the end of one year to the beginning of the next, say from 31 December 1436 to 1 January 1437. To arrive at the true value of the account, such transfers have to be eliminated and that has been done here.14 In the double entry system of accounting both sides of the account, that is debit (dare) and credit (avere), have to balance. Fig. 1: Turnover value of the sample accounts by year. Total value over four years = £st14,464.01 Source: ABIB Libro Mastro no. 7, Filippo Borromei e compagni di Londra.

Turnover value £sterling

6000

5209.081

5366.697

1438

1439

5000 4000

3541.706

3000 2000 1000

345.93

0 1436

1437

Year 1 January–31 December

13

14

Dr. Eleanor Quinton of the University of Nottingham and Dr. Anne Sutton, who have all looked at our long list of garbled names and have been able to identify many of them. All values hereafter are given in the £ sterling unless otherwise stated. ‘Spread over more than one year’ means that the account holder either had a separate account in each year or that he had a running account which carried forward from one year to the next. This explains the difference between the value of Thomas Osterich’s account as given in Girolamo Biscaro, ‘Il banco Filippo Borromei e compagni di Londra (1436–39)’, Archivio Storico Lombardo, 4th series, xi (1913), 37–126, 283–386, at p. 69 and that given here, in the appendix. Biscaro calculated its value as £1226 8s. 1d. but with transfers eliminated it amounts to £1165 12s. 11d.

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To act as a check that they did, the balance was given on both sides and, again, there is a danger of double counting. That has been avoided in the usual way by taking the dare values only. The amount of credit offered to its clients by the bank has been calculated by adding together the debit balances carried forward to the next year or, at the end of 1439, to the next ledger. This method has many flaws. It takes no account of credit taken up and repaid within a year which could easily be done if goods were purchased early in that year. It also exaggerates the amount of credit given because payment for goods bought or for a bill of exchange taken up in December would not be made until the opening months of the next year. However, the debits carried forward do provide a rough indication of the credit offered by the bank to these sixty-four clients. Fig. 2: Debit carried forward from year to year. Total value over four years = £st3,220.439. Source: ABIB Libro Mastro no. 7, Filippo Borromei e compagni di Londra. 1600

1377.033

1400

1182.46

£sterling

1200 1000 800

582.12

600 400 200

72.823

0 1437–37

1437–38

1438–39

1439–40

Debit carried forward 1436–40

If the volume of credit offered was linked to the money supply, then it is worth comparing Figure 2 with Figure 3 which shows turnover in the cash accounts. By their nature, cash accounts should have a zero balance, since money can only be paid out if it is first paid in. All that Figure 3 shows is the total value of the cash accounts for each year, remembering that the same coins were used again and again and that all the bank’s clients paid money into and received money from these accounts, not just the sample of sixty-four being considered here. The similarity between the profiles of Figures 1, 2 and 3 is, however, worth noting. Figure 4 breaks down the general value of all the sixty-four accounts into six bands, over £1000 (2); £500–£990 (5);

J.L. Bolton

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£250–£499 (11); £100–£249 (16); and up to £49 (18).15 So far, no attempt has been made to show the information by year, and here Figure 1 can act as a control, in the sense that it shows most business being done in 1438 and 1439. Finally, figure 5 shows the value of exchange transactions in which the sample of clients was involved, by destination, that is to and from Bruges, Antwerp, Middleburg, Bergen-op-Zoom, Venice and Calais.16 Fig. 3: Turnover in the cash accounts by year. Total turnover in four years = £st28,164.9 Source: ABIB Libro Mastro no. 7, Filippo Borromei e compagni di Londra. 11370.47

12000

Turnover £sterling

10000

9182.46

8000 5422.52

6000 4000 2189.45 2000 0 1436

1437

1438

1439

Years

The London bank extended credit to its clients and, simultaneously, accepted it from them when it bought wool, cloth and tin for export. Most of the woolmen with whom it dealt came from outside London, from Burford (Oxon.), Chipping Campden (Gloucs.) and from the Marches of Wales, and their accounts have not been included in this sample. In 1438 the Borromei did buy wool from one Londoner, Thomas Beamond, salter, thirty-two sarplers and one poke of wool for £727 14s. 0d. When the ledger closed on 31 December 1439, Beamond was still owed £527 14s. 0d. which was carried forward to the libro nero for 1440. But main focus here is not on exports but on what the bank had to offer to its London clients by way of imports and the credit terms it offered them. It sold them, on its own 15

16

The second band, £500–£999 has not been divided into two sections, £750–£999 and £500–£749 simply because only one client falls into the lower band with an account worth £727 18s. 5d. For the distribution of wealth in the merchant class of London see Sylvia Thrupp, The Merchant Class of Medieval London (Ann Arbor, 1962), 108–26. Sutton, Mercery, 315, comments on the London mercers: ‘They operated as individual small businesses and one year’s excellent trade could lead to a season devoted solely to sales.’ See the appendix below for the names of the sixty-four account holders and the turnover in their accounts.

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behalf, for the Borromei Bruges and on commission for other Italian clients, precious cloths, satins, velvets and damasks of various colours; needles and armour from Milan; fustian from South Germany, bought at the Brabantine fairs; linen cloth from Hainaut, again bought at the fairs; pepper, some of which was bought in Germany, at Frankfurt-am-Main, and sent on to London; saffron and other spices; dates and almonds; cotton; and madder bought at Middleburg.17

£sterling

Fig. 4: Turnover value of accounts in each band. Total turnover = £st14,464.01 Source: ABIB Libro Mastro no. 7, Filippo Borromei e compagni di Londra. 5000 4500 4000 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0

4409.68 3821.341 2592.238

2345.318

2

£1000+

5

11

16

£500–999 £250–499 £100–249

813.106

482.327

12

18

£50–99

£0–49

Turnover Value of Accounts The number of accounts in each band is shown in the columns

As might be expected, the terms of trade differed quite widely. Sometimes it was a matter of cash down. John Beke, grocer, bought 12 hundredweights, 3 quarters and 6lb of wax worth £22 2s. 6d. from the Borromei on 21 February 1437. He had already paid £12 in cash to Niccolò Micheli, the cashier, on 16 February, in advance of the purchase, and on the day it was recorded he paid a further £9 cash. 17

For examples of purchases of cloth, see the accounts of Thomas Bateill, mercer, BLon, f. 150.2 (1437) and William Dawtre, mercer, f. 158.4. The purchase of fustian and madder at the fairs and at Middleburg is discussed fully by Bolton and Guidi Bruscoli, ‘Antwerp’, 371–5. The pepper account for 1438 is at BLon, f. 163.1, the saffron was sold on behalf of a Catalan, Francesc Junyent, BLon, f. 168.1. It was expensive, at £42 8s. 4d. per sack weighing 65 1/4lb net: account of Thomas Cannings, BLon, f. 83.3 (1437). The Borromei were sent two bales of Hainaut cloth containing 2551 ells on ‘the galley from Flanders’ where it had been bought for them by their agent Domenic Provana: BLon, f. 163.1 (1438). The needles account is at BLon, f. 182.2 (1438). Provana also sent them 14 bales of madder, weighing 77 hundredweights, 32lb, bought at Middleburg and shipped from Zerikzee: BLon, ff. 163.1, 178.7 (1438). For purchases of madder by Nicholas Wyfold, grocer, see BLon, f. 336.4 (1439). Henry Purchas, grocer of London and Sandwich, bought dates and pepper from the Borromei, BLon, ff. 310.2, 353.1 (1439) and Robert Hulle, grocer, almonds, f. 291.4 (1439). The cotton was also sold to the grocers: account of Thomas Gybbes, BLon, f. 135.4 (1437). The bank’s Italian clients were usually charged two percent commission on sales, along with brokerage fees.

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To settle his account in full he made a payment for the bank to another of its clients, messer Aimone Pinelli, the Borromei’s agent at Sandwich. These transactions all took place between 16 and 25 February, with no credit apparently being asked for or given.18 This was not common practice. Most clients seemed to have asked for and been given up to a year to pay for their purchases, sometimes longer. Thomas Osbarne, mercer, was one of the few London merchants who kept an account with the Borromei from 1436 to 1439, carrying over a debit balance to the ledger for 1440. On 15 June 1436 the bank made a payment of £21 1s. 4d. on his behalf to Lorenzo di Poggio, from whom he had bought precious cloth earlier in the year. This was done by a simple book transfer across accounts but on 3 October Osbarne bought two pieces of grey satin worth £14, this time from the bank acting on commission for Goffredo Rapondi of Bruges. Including a small cash payment to him, Osbarne’s account for 1436 came to £35 19s. 9d. It was paid off gradually between 28 July and 30 November and he started 1437 neither in credit nor in debit to the bank. Thereafter the story is different. Between 4 January and 27 July 1437 he bought velvets, satins and baldechins worth £141 11s. 10d. He began paying for it on 24 April, with £10 in cash and there followed a series of cash payments of between £5 and £10 each up until the last day of the year, 31 December. But he still owed the bank £73 12s. 10d. which was carried forward to the next year. By 20 September 1438 he had brought his overdraft down to £39 12s. 10d., again by small cash payments, but between 23 October and 15 November he bought yet more cloth worth £76 18s. 0d. and carried forward a debit of £88 10s. 10d. to 1439. In that year he scaled his purchases of precious cloth down to £10 19s. 6d. and by 31 December, yet again through cash payments starting on 21 February and continuing until 31 October he had cleared off almost all of his debts. He still owed the bank £15 16s. 8d. for cloth purchases in 1439, and £4 17s. 2d. of old debts, both carried forward to 1440.19 In Osbarne’s case, payment dates were only specified once, when on 23 October 1438 he bought cloth worth £47. He was to pay £9 at Easter 1439, the same at St. John the Baptist, Michaelmas and Christmas, and then £11 at Easter 1440. In all that would have been 14 months credit but as has just been seen the whole sum had been gradually repaid before the end of 1439. This pattern of steady cash repayments was typical. Henry Purchas, a grocer of both London and Sandwich, opened his account with the Borromei in July 1437 with the purchase of a sack of saffron worth £42 7s. 0d. He then bought a second sack of saffron from them for £53 2s. 7d. on 23 September but did not begin paying for the first sack until 9 November 1437 and carried forward the cost of the second sack to 1438, although payment had been specified as at Christmas next. His account for 1438 shows him making the necessary repayments in cash between 10 and 31 January. The only other business he did with the bank in this year was to buy from them two bales of pepper, for one of which he was given (or perhaps took) two months credit, paying cash down for the other. Osbarne was therefore in good standing with the bank at the beginning of 1439 and was allowed – or chose – to buy saffron, alum and dates worth £158 16s. 0d. Various payment dates were specified in both 1439 and 1440 but there was no real correlation between them and the times when he actually paid 18 19

BLon, f. 84.1 Osbarne’s accounts are in BLon, ff. 25.4, 71.2, 154.2, 154.3, 272.2.

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sufficient cash into his account to cover about two thirds of the sum he owed, the remaining £53 17s. 4d. being carried forward to 1440.20 Only rarely was a written obligation to secure repayment recorded in the ledger. A partnership between four mercers, Alexander Orable, Robert Arneway, John Burton and John Stokton, bought seven balets of linen cloth from Hainaut from the bank on 9 September 1439, worth in all £118 15s. 0d. The payment terms were complex. Orable and Arneway were to pay £59 4s. 4d. of the total price, one third on 16 December 1439, one third on 16 April 1440 and the final third on 16 August 1440, just under a year’s credit in all. Burton and Stokton had to pay £59 11s. 6d. also by thirds and on the same days. To secure all the payments the Borromei required written obligations, but they do not seem to have been necessary. By the end of 1439 nearly half the total purchase price had been handed over in cash, much of it before the due date of 16 December, and only £66 17s. 10d. was carried forward to 1440.21 It was this flexibility, allowing clients to pay for their purchases by instalments irrespective of the dates when they were due, that seems to characterize the Borromei’s approach to sale credits throughout these four years. Their clients adopted a similar approach when the bank bought from them. Thomas Pike, draper, was one of the two Londoners whose accounts were worth more than £1,000, spread over the three years 1437 to 1439. He sold substantial quantities of cloth to the Borromei and gave them ‘time to pay’ of between one year and fourteen months. His is one of the more complex of the accounts in the ledger, with an exceptional degree of mutual indebtedness. For the most part, however, it was the clients who were in debt to the bank in what seems to have been an easy working relationship.22 Sale credits were one way of financing trade: another was for clients to borrow by way of exchange. The origins of the bill of exchange have been much discussed. De Roover saw them as instruments for the transfer of the funds necessary to pay for goods in long distance commerce. He also argued that bills were widely used as a means of circumventing the Church’s usury laws and that interest was hidden by differences in exchange rates.23 Munro, by contrast, believes that the bill developed in response to the increasingly harsh restrictions passed by European rulers from the late thirteenth century onwards on the export of bullion from their lands.24 If payments could not be made in coins or ingots, then some other way had to be found for transferring the funds necessary for waging foreign wars, for making payments to the Court of Rome or simply for trade. Both explanations could well be true: they are not mutually exclusive. What matters here is that by 1436 the bill of exchange was a well-established and much-used financial instrument, both for the transfer of funds to finance international trade and for extending short-term credit. The Borromei banks in Bruges and London used bills in both ways. They had to move funds from Venice and Barcelona to London via Bruges to cover the 20 21 22 23

24

Purchas’s accounts are in BLon, ff. 109.6, 160.4, 187.4, 310.2, 353.1. Their account is in BLon, f. 404. Pike’s accounts are in BLon, ff. 79.3, 139.5, 197.1, 278.3, 329.5. Raymond de Roover, The Rise and Decline of the Medici Bank, 1397–1494 (New York, 1966), 13, 109–40. J.H.A. Munro, ‘Bullionism and the bill of exchange in England, 1272–1663’, in The Dawn of Modern Banking, ed. Fredi Chiappelli (New Haven, 1979), 169–239.

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shortfall between the profits from the sale of their imports in England and the costs of wool and cloth bought for export. At the same time, situated as they were at either end of the main axis of English overseas trade, London to the Low Countries, they could transfer funds for their clients and make them loans by way of exchange.25 In its most common form the bill of exchange involved four parties, the deliverer and taker in one country and the payor and payee in another. The deliverer did exactly as his name suggests. He paid the taker a sum of money in the first currency either in cash or by a book transfer between accounts where both parties were clients of the same bank. The taker agreed to accept this and to arrange for the money to be paid by the payor to the payee, usually at ‘usance’, that is, after a period of time, three months between London and Italy and one month between London and Bruges. Bills could however be paid ‘at sight’ or at so many days after sight. They might be for a period longer than ‘usance’ and if this was the case then it would also be stated. As an exchange of currencies would take place, since the bill was to be paid in another country in another currency, the rate between the two, the £ flemish and the £ sterling say, or the £ sterling and the Venetian ducat, would be given. The deliverer would send three copies of the bill to the payee, as to notify him or them that the payment was being made, whilst the taker similarly sent copies of the bill to the payor, ordering payment to be made. If the bill was being drawn on Barcelona or Venice, then in the Borromei’s case it might go to Filippo Borromei and company of Barcelona or to messer Antonio Borromei and Lazzaro di Giovanni of Venice. In other European banking centres they would have different agents or correspondents and even in Venice they used Cecco di Tommaso and brothers nearly as much as messer Antonio Borromei and Lazzaro di Giovanni. Alternatively the bill might be drawn on a named individual, a well-known and credit-worthy London merchant for example. The payor of the bill would then pay it to the payee when it became due, again either in cash or by book transfer between accounts. Profit was taken by the banks involved through differences in exchange rates and the art of exchange banking lay precisely in guessing how rates might move between countries.26 The fortunate survival of the Borromei Bruges ledger for 1438 and the corresponding section of their London ledger makes it possible to see exactly how bills of exchange worked in practice rather than in theory. On 19 June the Borromei Bruges delivered to Ralph March, the attorney in the Low Countries of John Broddesworth, a London mercer, £23 flemish, the equivalent of £20 sterling at the current exchange rate of 92 groschen per English noble of 6s. 8d. This sum was to be paid eight days after the sight of the bill by Broddesworth, in London, to the Borromei London. The bill was entered on his account in the London ledger on 11 July but he had already paid them £20 in cash three days earlier. This was an unusual bill, both because it was payable on sight rather than at a month’s usance and for the prompt repayment of the sum owed to the Borromei London. It was

25 26

Guidi Bruscoli and Bolton, ‘Borromei Bank Research Project’, 467–81. Ibid., 471–3. Bills were usually ‘at usance’, that is they would be paid at a specified period after delivery. Usance between London and Italy was three months and between London and Bruges one month.

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probably a short-term loan contracted by March to help meet the cost of business done at Pinxstenmarkt, the Whitsun fair at Antwerp. 27 Fig. 5: Value of exchange transactions to and from specified places. Total value = £st5,313.684. Source: ABIB Libro Mastro no. 7, Filippo Borromei e compagni di Londra. 1600

1497.931

1400 1026.309

1000 800 596.75

600

590

502.591 370.103

400

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Other bills from Bruges, Middleburg and Antwerp show more staggered payments in London. Robert Elmham, the attorney in the Low Countries of John Derham, mercer, was the taker in a bill for £55 flemish on 22 November 1438. This was delivered to him by the Borromei Bruges and was to be repaid in London by Derham to the Borromei London at usance, the settlement date being the following 22 December. The exchange rate was 88 groschen per English noble of 6s. 8d. which would mean that Derham had to pay the Borromei London £50 sterling. Derham’s account in the London ledger records this bill on 27 December when he promised to pay them the agreed sum. In fact he had already started his payments on 10 December and by 31 December had paid over all but £22 sterling. This sum was carried forward to his account for 1439 and settled in cash on 7 January (£12) and 22 January (£10). Effectively he had had a loan of £55 flemish in the Low Countries from 22 November 1438 with the last instalment being repaid in London on 22 January 1439 over two months later.28 The Bruges ledger gives many more details about bills taken up in the Low Countries than does its London counterpart. Niccolò Micheli, the cashier in London, often recorded their arrival and payment without quoting the exchange 27 28

The £ flemish used in the ledger was of 240 groschen to the £ and 24 groschen to the écu. BBr, f. 348.2; BLon, ff. 260.1, 292.4.

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rate or giving any details of the financial arrangements behind them. John Young, the attorney of Thomas Cannings grocer, took up £121 flemish from the Borromei Bruges on 20 June 1438. The exchange rate was 88 groschen per noble which would yield £110 sterling in London. The bill, however, was to be held in Bruges and repaid two months later on 20 August at the fair held at Antwerp (Bamesmarkt). On 23 September the repayment date was extended when the Borromei Bruges agreed to destroy this bill and Young took up another, but this time at the less favourable exchange rate of 84 groschen per noble. Cannings was to repay the Borromei London £115 14s. 9d. on 23 December, three months later. His account shows a promise to pay the bill on that day but in fact the whole sum was carried over to 1439 when payment was made in cash on 10 January (£50 sterling) and on 17 January (£65 4s. 9d. sterling). Through his attorney Cannings had taken up a loan in the Low Countries on 20 June 1438 and had finally repaid it in London nearly seven months later. For that he had paid £5 14s. 9d. sterling, an interest rate of about 5.2 per cent. The details of this loan would not have been known had it not been possible to match the entries in the Bruges and London ledgers.29 Borrowing by exchange worked both ways. Money could also be delivered in London to be transferred to the Low Countries. Geoffrey Boleyn, great-grandfather of the ill-fated Anne, was a leading London mercer. He apparently delivered £200 sterling in London on 27 March 1438 to be paid to his attorney in the Low Countries, Thomas Et or Het, at an exchange rate of 90 groschen per noble. This seems to be a straightforward transfer of funds until one looks at the avere side of his account. Here Boleyn can be seen paying the £200 by instalments between 29 March and 17 May, in cash and by a cash payment made to the bank on his behalf by Battista Spinola. The bill had reached Bruges by 14 April and Et was paid £225 flemish on 3 May, when only £100 sterling had actually been delivered in London. Payment was to be ‘at will’, perhaps when the Borromei London were satisfied that the rest of the money would be or had been paid and had so informed the Borromei Bruges. This cannot be known for certain, but Boleyn was effectively receiving short-term credit in London for payment of a bill in the Low Countries. Et also borrowed on behalf of his master at Bruges and Antwerp, taking up three bills of exchange on 15 and 17 June 1438 for a total of £251 10s. 0d. flemish. This time the exchange rate was less favourable, at 92 groschen per noble, which yielded £220 sterling. The bills reached London on 4, 27 and 30 July and the Borromei London had received payment in full for them by 23 July. Nothing is recorded in the London ledger as to what may have lain behind these bills but there must be a strong suspicion that Boleyn was borrowing and repaying in London by way of exchange. If so, he paid a high price for his money, something like 10 per cent over five months. Alternatively, Et could simply have been financing his master’s trade in the Low Countries, but there is a suspicious roundness between the amounts involved in these two sets of bills.30 29

30

BBr, ff. 80.6, 117.2; BLon, ff. 156.4, 272.4. For another example of Cannings taking up a loan of £120 18s. 7d. sterling in Middleburg on 5 February 1439 which was not finally repaid until 1440, see BLon, f. 272.4. The accounts of John Olney, mercer, show a similar pattern of borrowing and reborrowing in Middleburg, Antwerp and London in 1438–9, BLon, ff. 182.3, 251.2, 383.4. BLon, ff. 197.2, 224.3; BBr, ff. 56.3, 83.4, 308.1.

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There were two other routes for exchange involving Londoners, to Calais and to Venice. Robert Whittingham, mayor of the Staple at Calais, transferred £1,078 sterling from Calais to London in 1439, almost certainly for wool bought there by the Borromei Bruges. Three quarters of this sum had been paid into his account by Paolo da Castagnolo, manager of the Bruges partnership, and the other quarter by Tommaso de’ Marchili, the Borromei’s agent in Calais. The 1438 Bruges ledger shows that the company did buy wool at the Staple for resale to clothiers in Brabant and that it was an important part of their local trade. Payment in London was to be made to a group of merchants including William Estfield, Thomas Hawkyn and John Trusbot, all of them account holders and part of the sample of sixty-four. As the ban on the export of wool to Calais was not lifted until 1439, it is not possible to say whether such transfers of large sums by the Staple to London were typical or not. But this transaction, or series of transactions, was unusual in another way. No exchange of currencies was involved, since the £ sterling was current in Calais. For this reason it has not been included in the totals shown in Figure 5, since it was a straightforward transfer of funds, sterling to sterling. The letters made by Castagnolo and Marchili transferring the sums were dated 3 and 12 August and paid into Whittingham’s account in the London ledger on 8 October. He, or rather the bank, began to pay the creditors on 7 October and the transfer was complete by the end of that month. What this represents is the safe transfer of funds across the Channel from Calais for commercial purposes and it may well be that had the ledger for 1440 survived there would be evidence of other such transactions as the wool trade revived.31 Within England, the Borromei London also transferred money from Southampton to London by what was written as a bill of exchange, with deliverer, taker, payor and payee, but again in sterling. So far, only three examples of these ‘bills’ have been found, all of them involving the bank and its Italian agents in Southampton. There is as yet no evidence that the Borromei London offered this facility to its English clients although it would surely have been extremely useful to them. Whether these written instruments were the forerunners of the inland bills of exchange of the seventeenth century is perhaps an argument too far, however.32 Exchange to Venice was almost the lifeblood of the Borromei banks in Bruges and London. Venice was the main money market in Southern Europe, perhaps in all Europe, and as has been seen, the Borromei’s correspondents there were messer Antonio Borromei and Lazzaro di Giovanni and Cecco di Tommaso and brothers. Two of the sixty-four London clients under survey here took advantage of these links. Both Thomas Pike, draper, and Geoffrey Chittok, draper, seem to have been borrowing by way of exchange in London through bills drawn on Venice and Bruges, in the case of Pike, and on Venice in the case of Chittok. Pike took up two bills of exchange in London on 23 December 1439, with the Borromei London as deliverer. The first, drawn on the Borromei Bruges as both payor and payee, was for £98 15s. 0d. sterling at an exchange rate of sterlings (pennies) 19 ¾ per 31

32

Whittingham’s account is at BLon f. 400.1; for purchases of wool at Calais by the Borromei in 1438 and its re-sale to Brabant clothiers see BBr, ff. 238.1, 248.1, 377.2, 379.1, 382.2, 386.1. This local trade is discussed in Bolton and Guidi Bruscoli, ‘Antwerp’, 375–6. Eric Kerridge, Trade and Banking in Early Modern England (Manchester, 1988), 45–75; Craig Muldrew, The Economy of Obligation: the culture of credit and social relations in early modern England (1998), 114–15.

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Flemish écu, which amounted to £120 flemish. The second was to Venice and here Pike received £106 5s. 0d. from the Borromei London, and the payor and payee in Venice, Cecco di Tommaso and brothers, was to receive 600 Venetian ducats, the exchange rate being 42 ½ sterlings per ducat. Usance to Bruges was one month, to Venice three months, and it has to be remembered that the loan period could be extended if, and usually by prior arrangement, the payor protested the bill and refused to pay. This was common practice and usually agreed in advance by the parties involved. Had it been done here, then Pike would eventually have had to repay the Borromei London more than he had first borrowed with the costs of the protest. As we do not have the ledger for 1440, the history of these bills of exchange cannot be known, but in 1439 Pike had borrowed £205 sterling from the Borromei London by way of exchange.33 Chittok’s case is slightly different since in 1438 he was almost certainly in Venice, and his attorney in London was one John Davis. By 1439 he was back in London, and his attorney in Venice was then Bartolomeo Brun, who sounds suspiciously like an Englishman called Bartholomew Brown. What Chittok was doing in Venice is not known, but on 29 December 1437 he acted as taker in London for a bill drawn on ser Francesco Balbi of Venice, the payee being Cecco di Tommaso of Venice. The Borromei London delivered the sum of £52 10s. 0d. sterling to him, of which £9 sterling was paid in cash to his servant, the same Bartholomew Brown, on 29 December 1437 and the remainder in two instalments on 10 and 14 January 1438. Balbi in Venice refused to pay the bill and it was returned to Chittok, being entered in his account on 22 May 1438. The bill was now worth £57 3s. 8d. sterling, however, as a result of the difference in the exchange rates. The bill going to Venice was taken at 42 sterlings per ducat, the bill coming back at 45 ⅔ sterlings per ducat plus 2s. for the protest. Chittok was given until 27 June to repay the bill but on 4 July his attorney in London, Davis, took another bill from the Borromei London for exactly the same amount. The exchange rate was 41 sterlings per ducat; Chittok was the payor and the payee was again Cecco di Tommaso. This bill was returned on 29 November at 45 sterlings per ducat, plus 2s. for the protest, in all £62 18s. 3d. sterling. By 31 December 1438 £20 of this had been repaid in cash and £42 18s. 3d. was carried over to his account for 1439. The bank in London paid Chittok’s servant Brown a further £6 13s. 4d. in cash on 20 May 1439, by which time, on 16 May, he, Chittok, had taken another bill for the Borromei London, for £51 5s. 0d. at 41 sterlings per ducat, payable to Cecco di Tommaso as 300 Venetian ducats by Chittok’s attorney in Venice, Brown, at one month more than usance (16 September 1439).34 This bill may well have been paid since on 2 December 1439 he was promising to pay the bank £1 17s. 6d. for a bill from Venice, with Brown as the taker. There cannot be a much better example of how to borrow money in London and repay most of it nearly two years later in Venice. This was a facility which only an Italian bank based in London could offer to its local clients.35

33 34

35

BLon. f. 443.3 This amount was the sum of the £42 18s. 3d. carried over to 1439, £6 13s. 4d. paid in cash to Brown and £1 13s. 5d. paid into the bank’s profits account by Chittok on 26 May 1439. BLon, ff. 94.1, 145.3, 173.6, 213.6, 258.3, 292.8, 434.5.

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Fig. 6: Borrowing by way of exchange: Geoffrey Chittock London 29 Dec. 1437 Bill of exchange to Venice £st52 10s 0d at 42st. per v.d. = £venetian 30 Deliver: Borromei London Taker: Chittok Payor: Balbi Payee: Cecco di Tommaso Usance: 29 March 22 May 1438 Returned bill of exchange £st57 1s 8d + 2s for protest = £st57 3s 8d 4 July 1438 Bill of exchange to Venice £st57 3s 8d at 41 st per v.d. = 335 v.d or £venetian33, 5 ducats. Deliverer: Borromei London Taker: John Davis Payor: Cecco di Tommaso Payee: Cecco di Tommaso Usance: 4 October 1438 29 November 1438 Returned bill of exchange £st62 18s 3d + 2s for protest = £st62 18s 3d 20 December 1438 £st20 repaid; £st 42 18s 3d c/f to 1439 1439 Dare 1 January £st42 18s 3d b/f from 1438 23 May £st 6 13s 4d to Bartholomew Brown, his servant 26 June £st1 13s 5d credited to profits account Soma: £st51 5s 0d Avere 16 May Bill of exchange to Venice £st51 5s 0d at 41st per v.d. = v.d.300 or £venetian30 Deliverer: Borromei London Taker: Geoffrey Chittok Payer: dno. Giovanni Santini di Cassarnolo Payee: Cecco di Tommaso Usance: one month more than usance = 16 September 1439

Venice



Payor refuses to pay.



Returned to Chittok at 45 2/3 st. per v.d.



Payor refuses to pay



Returned to Chittok at 45st per v.d.



Paid? Bartholomew Brown sends bill of exchange to London 10 v.d. at st. 45 per v.d. = £st 1 17s 6d. which he had in Venice from the Tomassi. Paid in to Chittok’s a/c 2 December 1439. This is carried forward in London to 1440.

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Measured crudely, exchange accounted for about 40 per cent of the total value of transactions recorded for the sixty-four clients. But this gives a false impression, since many of the Londoners made no use at all of the exchange facilities offered by the bank. As this is only a preliminary survey, it would be unwise to make too much of such loans, but the division between London merchants who actively engaged in overseas trade and those who simply profited from the redistributive trade of a great port and from supplying the needs of England’s only major city has been noted by other scholars.36 It is also important to understand that the Borromei saw their two banks as one entity commercially. The Bruges bank which would be better called Filippo Borromei and company of Bruges, Antwerp, Bergen-op-Zoom and Middleburg, sold very little directly to its clients in the Low Countries. Most of the silks, velvets, damasks, fustian, Hainaut cloth, saffron and madder went on to London where they found ready buyers. The lack of local trade in the same commodities in Bruges could well have been the result of a temporary downturn in its economy resulting from the huge indemnity it had to pay for rebelling against the duke of Burgundy and the serious consequences of famine in 1437–8.37 Yet the Views of Hosts, kept under the hosting statute passed by the Parliament of 1439– 40, show that Londoners were equally keen to buy the same goods between 1440 and 1444 and this may have been a long-term trend. The function of the Bruges bank in 1438 was to borrow heavily from Venice and Barcelona to finance the purchase and export of English wool and cloth from London and its outports, Southampton and Sandwich, to Italy. There they could be sold at profits which would probably have covered the losses made in Bruges. the two banks in northwestern Europe should not be studied separately but together. Being able to draw on the biggest money market in Europe considerably extended the sums that the Borromei could spend on exports and, presumably, the amount of credit that it could offer its clients in London.38 Nonetheless, there are some interesting differences between operations in Bruges and London in 1438.The first is that throughout the Bruges ledger there are records of exchanges between many different currencies, exchanges in the sense of accepting so many Burgundian ‘riders’ at the cash account for the equivalent value in Flemish écus, at the current exchange rate.39 Private exchange of this kind was forbidden in England and could only be done at the king’s exchanges at the Tower 36

37

38

39

C.M. Barron, London in the later Middle Ages: Government and People, 1200-1500 (Oxford, 2004), 82; Sutton, Mercery, 213–27; Sylvia Thrupp, ‘The Grocers of London. A Study of Distributive Trade’, in Studies in English Trade in the Fifteenth Century, ed. Eileen Power and M.M. Postan (1933), 247–92, pp. 272–84; Nightingale, Mercantile Community, 366–8, 395, 436–7, 448–51, 483–4; Davies and Saunders, Merchant Taylors’ Company, 65. Jan Dumolyn, De Brugse opstand van 1436-1438, Standen en Landen 101 (Kortrijk-Heule, 1997); idem, ‘The “Terrible Wednesday” of Pentecost: Confronting Urban and Princely Discourses in the Bruges Rebellion of 1436-38’, History, xcii (2007), 3–20. TNA, E101/128/30, 31. Dr. Helen Bradley has prepared an edition of the Views which is to be placed on line at the Centre for Metropolitan History’s website, http://www.history.ac.uk/cmh; Guidi Bruscoli and Bolton, ‘Borromei Bank Research Project’, 466–87 discusses further the operations of the Borromei and their banks. The rider (or more correctly rijder) was a gold coin struck on the orders of Philip the Good of Burgundy during his monetary reforms of 1433. It was worth 4s. or 48 groschen: J.H.A. Munro, Wool, Cloth, and Gold. The Struggle for Bullion in Anglo-Burgundian Trade, 1340-1478 (Toronto, 1972), 101–2, and especially 102, n. 23.

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mint and in Lombard Street.40 The other main difference is the lack of business with innkeepers in London and, more importantly, in Sandwich and Southampton. The Bruges bank had active contacts with innkeepers or hostellers in Antwerp and Mechelen/Malines, using them to warehouse goods and act as agents for their sale. The Borromei London did not appear to need their services. They had their own warehousing in London and agents in Sandwich and Southampton, messer Aimone Pinelli and Cristofano Cattano and Gherardo Galganetti, who could arrange all the services they needed. This could lead the argument along an interesting path, since Murray has argued that it would not be far-fetched to see in the hosteller-led commercial system of fourteenth-century Bruges the embryo of future ‘bourses’ in Antwerp and Amsterdam.41 The first Borromei bank in London came to an end at some point in 1441. It was still making profits but the Bruges branch had incurred heavy losses and, in any case, both partnership contracts had run their five-year course. But its manager, Giovanni Micheli, the cashier Niccolò Micheli, Alessandro Palastrello and Felice da Fagnano stayed on in London, selling precious cloth to the same clients as they had in 1436–9 and buying wool and cloth for export.42 No ledgers have survived for the second Borromei bank, which was a partnership between Count Vitaliano, Felice da Fagnano and Alessandro Palastrello of Piacenza. It was to be known as Felice da Fagnano e compagni and it opened its doors for business on 1 January 1444. None of the ledgers or other records of the second bank have survived. Count Vitaliano did consider closing it in 1448 because of bad management, an allegation discussed fully by Paula C. Clarke in her study of Giovanni da Marcanuovo and his dealings with the bank. From this it appears that Count Vitaliano may have been right in his judgment but it should be remembered that in the last year or so of his life his main focus of attention was the political situation in Milan after the death of the last Visconti duke in 1447 and the formation of the Ambrosian Republic. His apparent republican sympathies belied his actual support for the condottiere Francesco Sforza which, when discovered, forced his very hurried flight from Milan. After his death in October 1449 his eldest son, Filippo, finally became head of both the family and the banking business and his interests lay elsewhere, in Genoa more than in Milan. The second Borromei bank in London was finally closed in 1452. The competence of its managers may be in doubt,43 but the amount of goods and services it offered its local clients remains and is likely to remain completely unknown. It would, however, be surprising if they differed much in kind from those of its predecessor.44 Developing any arguments about the size, organization and flexibility of credit market in London on the evidence from one ledger of one Italian company would 40

41 42

43

44

T.F. Reddaway, ‘The King’s Mint and Exchange in London 1343–1543’, EHR, lxxxii (1967), 1–27, pp. 7–9. J.M. Murray, Bruges, Cradle of Capitalism, 1280-1390, (Cambridge, 2005), 205–15. TNA, E101/128/30, mm. 14, 15; E101/128/31, mm. 1, 2, 4, 7, 24 for the views of hosts for Giovanni and Niccolò Micheli, Felice da Fagnano and Alessandro Palastrello. P.C. Clarke, ‘The commercial activities of Giovanni Marcanova di Giacomo’, in Cittadini Veneziani del Quattrocento: i due Giovanni Marcanova, il mercante et l’umanista, ed. Elisabetta Barile, P.C. Clarke and Giorgia Nordio (Venice, 2006), 249–373, pp. 354–65. ABIB, Box file 1051 for the contract and Box file 661 (unnumbered) for the dissolution.

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be dangerous. The warnings given earlier about how typical that evidence is should be taken seriously. The pattern of exchange transactions might, for example, be the result of the temporary collapse of the wool trade through Calais. The Staplers would not have been able to deliver money to the London mercers and drapers at the Brabantine fairs, as Eileen Power argued so long ago,45 because they had no wool to sell to their customers in the Low Countries. London merchants borrowed from and lent to each other through complex relationships based on family, kinship, service and guild, and the total amount of their mutual credits and debits probably never will, nor ever can, be known. But at least until the 1460s and 1470s, Italian bankers were providing valuable services to their London clients year in and year out, services that were not available to their provincial competitors and which may have helped mitigate the effects of any contraction in credit related to a fall in the money supply. Filippo Borromei of London was not the only Italian company operating in Bruges and London in the 1430s. The Venetian branch of the family also had banks in both centres, in the name first of Galeazzo Borromei and Antonio di Francesco and then, after Galeazzo’s death in 1438, of Alessandro Borromei and Antonio di Francesco. The Milanese companies referred to them as ‘li consorti’, as opposed to ‘i nostri’, ours of Bruges and London. How closely these two separate branches of the family worked together is something still under consideration.46 One of the most important clients in both the London and Bruges ledgers was Ubertino de’ Bardi and company of Florence, whose business seems to have been much the same as the Borromei’s, and Bertuzzo Contarini, the Venetian consul in London, was another.47 As yet we know little about the services offered by Venetian and Genoese merchants resident in London, but they were there in some force.48 That makes it impossible even to guess what the total volume and value of goods and services offered by the Italians to their London clients in the 1430s might have been. The turnover of Filippo Borromei and company of London in its first year of business was £28,630 sterling, but that is the sum of all accounts, not just those of the Londoners. Until all the material has been entered on the Borromei Bank Project database the turnover in subsequent years cannot even be estimated, but all the evidence given here suggests that it grew rapidly between 1437 and 1439. Our work on the Bruges bank has shown that its turnover in 1438 was the equivalent of £240,000 sterling and whilst the London branch probably did not achieve that, it may have come close.49 Filippo Borromei and company of London offered its clients a whole range of commercial and financial services that could be accessed simply by entering its premises on St. Nicholas Lane, rented from the 45

46 47

48

49

Eileen Power, ‘The Wool Trade in the Fifteenth Century’, in Studies in English Trade in the Fifteenth Century, ed. Power and Postan, 39–90, pp. 68–9. Guidi Bruscoli and Bolton, ‘Borromei Bank Research Project’, 460–5, 481–7. For Ubertino de Bardi’s accounts in Bruges and London, see BBr, ff. 23.1, 52.1, 105.1, 118.1, 237.2 and BLon, ff. 15.5, 33.2, 76.4, 104.1, 143.3, 173.1, 175.5, 188.3, 188.4, 219.3, 240.3, 240.4, 243.6, 299.1, 352.1, 413.2. Bertuzzo Contarini appears only in London: BLon, ff. 44.2, 70.1, 121.5, 121.6, 139.7, 169.4, 203.1, 214.4, 234.7, 236.1, 286.3. Bolton, ‘Alien Merchants’, 174–82; Helen Bradley, ‘The Italian Community in London c. 1350– c.1450’ (London Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1992), 25–35. The turnover for the London bank in 1436 and for the Bruges bank in 1438 have been calculated by from our database. In the case of Bruges, its value in £ flemish has been converted to £ sterling using the prevailing exchange rate.

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tailor Alexander Farnell.50 There they had a counter, at which deposits and withdrawals of cash were made, if the client preferred money in coin rather than by a credit transfer to his account.51 Orders could be given for payment of debts to other Italian or English clients by book transfers and bills of exchange negotiated. Here was a banking organization outside the ties of family, kinship or service which seemed to dominate the credit market in the rest of England, although the pattern of mutual credit and debit was much the same as elsewhere. If the Borromei could do this, then so could other Italian bankers, and it is in a sense ironic that we are likely to find most of our evidence on how credit worked in practice from the ledgers of the ‘hated’ Italians. But comparisons are essential, however odorous Dogberry may have found them. The ledgers of other Italian companies based in London and Bruges have survived and it is hoped that at some time in the future they will provide the evidence needed to test the arguments advanced here.52

50 51 52

Calendar of Wills, ed. Sharpe, ii (2), 490. Farnell’s property was in the parish of St. Nicholas Acon. Setting it up cost the bank 16s. 4d. in 1436: BLon, f. 7.4. William Shakespeare, Much Ado about Nothing, act 3, sc. 5, line 21 (1594 edn.). The ledgers, cash and day books of Jacopo Salviati and company of London for the late 1440s and early 1450s are held in the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa and the ledger only of Bernardo Cambi and Forese da Rabatta of Bruges from 1435–59 in the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze, Ginori Conti, 8. These sources could provide the comparative evidence needed.

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APPENDIX Accounts used in the sample, ranked by turnover value. Year Range £1000+ 1437–9 1437–9 £500–£999 1438–9 1437–9 1438–9 1436–9 1438–9 £250–£499 1437–9 1437–9 1438 1438–9 1437–9 1437–9 1437–9 1437–9 1436–9 1436–9 1437–9 £100–£249 1436–9 1438–9 1438–9 1438–9 1438–9 1438–9 1438–9 1438–9 1437–8 1436–9

Surname

Forename

Trade/Occupation

Turnover £st

Broddesworth Pike

John Thomas

Mercer Draper

Beamond Osterich Brokeley Cannings Forster

Thomas Thomas John Thomas Stephen

Salter Haberdasher Draper Grocer Fishmonger

979.175 970.525 925.545 806.515 727.920

Stevens (and?) Hawkyn Boleyn Olney Bateill Purchas Wyfold Feldyng Osbarne Dyke Chittok

William Thomas Geoffrey John Thomas Henry Nicholas Geoffrey Thomas Hugh Geoffrey

Mercer Grocer Mercer Mercer Mercer Grocer/Lndn/S’wch Grocer Mercer Mercer Mercer Draper

466.675 447.874 422.125 408.250 362.016 325.220 308.470 300.683 270.449 258.139 251.098

Merchant Derham Notebroun Hall Smyth Estfield Derham/Oliver Orable Furnell Acre

John John John Henry John William John/William Alexander Annabell Saier

Vintner/F'monger Mercer Mercer Grocer Mercer Mercer Mercers Mercer Widow/Grocer Grocer

231.832 231.558 200.000 190.845 190.000 186.666 172.600 160.000 148.720 146.655

1179.670 1165.648

The Role of Local Credit Networks 1439 1438.1 1437–9 1438–9 1438–9 1438–9 £50–£99 1437–9 1437–8 1437–9 1437,1439 1438 1436–9 1438–9 1438–9 1438–9 1437–8 1438 1438–9 £0–£49 1437–9 1438 1438 1437–9 1437 1439 1438–9 1436–8 1438 1437–8 1437–8 1438–9 1437–8 1438–9 1437–8 1437–8 1437–8 1438–9 Total All A/Cs

73

Orable+partners Weldon Cokkes Salman/Edwards Trusbot/Barron Hulle

Alexander Nicholas Thomas John/Richard John/Robert Robert

Mercers Grocer Grocer Mercers Mercers Grocer

140.708 136.799 123.120 119.000 108.128 105.612

Wyche Humberstone Beke Brown Somerton Dawtre Yoo Fowcher Seymer Gybbes Gill Cantelowe

Hugh Thomas John Stephen John William Nicholas Matthew John Thomas John John

Mercer Mercer Grocer Grocer Grocer Mercer Mercer Mercer Mercer Grocer Tailor Mercer

97.083 89.920 81.737 76.462 75.762 63.256 60.325 56.000 56.000 53.433 53.028 50.100

Derby Toly Traynell Semy Hawkyn/Ely Hulle/Purchas Chalton Cantelowe Venables Dene Hunt Davit or Davy Toulond Spicer Brown Colburn Kent (Chint) Barret

John Richard Thomas Adam Thos/Richard Robt/Henry Thomas William John Hugh Walter Thomas William William William William Nicholas John

Draper Vintner Mercer Shearman Grocer/Draper Grocers Mercer Mercer Grocer Vintner Grocer Tailor Mercer Grocer Grocer Grocer Vintner Mercer

44.116 43.500 43.500 41.983 38.704 35.891 35.437 32.012 29.333 24.266 24.150 21.008 15.833 13.644 10.666 10.179 9.720 8.395 14464.016

‘MISCHIEVIOUSLY SLEWEN’: JOHN, LORD SCROPE, THE DUKES OF NORFOLK AND SUFFOLK, AND THE MURDER OF HENRY HOWARD IN 1446∗ James Ross Murders of members of the gentry committed by peers, or on the orders of peers, were not common in the later middle ages. The few that did occur tended to generate much contemporary comment, such as the notorious murder of the westcountry lawyer Nicholas Radford by Sir Thomas Courtenay, son and heir of the earl of Devon, in 1455.1 The murder of Henry Howard, esquire, by servants of John, Lord Scrope of Masham, in 1446, however, is almost unknown to historians, not least because there is no reference to it in any chronicle, or in the early Paston letters; this is compounded by the obscurity of Henry Howard himself. Yet there are several surviving records of the king’s bench that allow the events of 11 June 1446 to be unravelled. Perhaps more importantly they illuminate the effective legal manoeuvres mounted by the experienced Scrope in defence of himself and his men, and the problems encountered by the magnate most closely identified with the judicial response to the murder, John Mowbray, third duke of Norfolk. Finally, they demonstrate one facet of the problems caused by the inadequacy of Henry VI and the regime of William de la Pole, marquess of Suffolk. I By the first quarter of the fifteenth century, the Howard family was one of the wealthiest and most prestigious gentry lines in England. However, Henry Howard ∗

1

I am very grateful to Dr. Hannes Kleineke for initially drawing my attention to the recorda material in KB145, which sparked my interest in the whole affair, and to comments and suggestions made by him and others when a version of this paper was delivered at the Late Medieval Seminar at the Institute of Historical Research in Michaelmas term 2008. I would like to thank Anne Crawford and Dr. Rowena E. Archer for reading earlier drafts of this paper, and making a number of very helpful suggestions and comments. I am also grateful to Dr. Stephen O’Connor for his advice on aspects of the Latin documents. All manuscript references are to The National Archives: Public Record Office unless otherwise stated. R.L. Storey, The End of the House of Lancaster (1966), 167–9; The History of Parliament: The House of Commons, 1386–1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, Linda Clark and Carole Rawcliffe (4 vols., Stroud, 1992), iv. 168–70. Other examples, by extension to the ecclesiastical ranks, include the murder of the Norfolk lawyer, Edmund Clippesby, by servants of the bishop of Norwich in 1392: Roger Virgoe, ‘The Murder of Edmund Clippesby’, Norfolk Archaeology, xxxv (1970–3), 302–7.

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was the youngest son, by his second wife, of Sir John Howard the elder (died 1437), and little of the wealth of the Howard family found its way to him.2 The great bulk of the Howard estates had gone via the line of Sir John Howard’s son by his first marriage, the younger Sir John, and then to the latter’s daughter Elizabeth who married John de Vere, twelfth earl of Oxford.3 The Howard estates and Elizabeth’s inheritance from her mother, Joan Walton, totalled twenty-five manors in Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, worth in the region of £700 a year.4 Henry Howard and his older brother Robert were left to share the estates of their mother, Alice Tendring, who died in 1424. Robert received the family residence and manor of Stoke-by-Nayland and the manors of Buxhall and Wrethenham, in Suffolk. According to Alice’s will Henry was to receive Alice’s tenements of Sprottisland and Burhous in Polstead, Suffolk, and two manors in Norfolk, Terrington and East Walton, though there may have been some rearrangement of the properties within the family.5 Together these properties would have given Henry an income of £30 per annum.6 Henry was normally resident at Boxted, just over the Suffolk border in Essex, and may have purchased some further property there. This modest income was partly mitigated by some very good aristocratic connections. He was a distant cousin to the de Vere earl of Oxford, but more importantly his brother Robert had contracted a hugely beneficial marriage to Margaret, aunt of John, third Mowbray duke of Norfolk, who came of age in 1436. Robert had died that same year, but his son John was to go on to be one of Mowbray’s most prominent servants, and nearly fifty years later was granted the dukedom of Norfolk as co-heir to the last Mowbray, Duchess Anne. Born a few years after 1391, Henry married Mary, the daughter of Henry Hussey, of Harting in Sussex. The only known child of this marriage was a daughter, Elizabeth, who made a respectable marriage to Henry Wentworth, esquire, of Codham in Essex.7 Nonetheless, despite his good birth and connections, his subsequent career can be delineated more by what he did not do, rather than by what he did. 2 3 4

5

6

7

For his career see The Commons, 1386–1421, ed. Roskell, Clark and Rawcliffe, iii. 431–3. See the genealogy below, p. 77. Rainham Hall, Norfolk, Box 24 (by kind permission of Marquess Townshend); Norfolk RO, Towns. 196, MS 1615. PROB11/3, ff. 49–50v (Alice’s will). Sprottisland and Burhous were to pass to Henry in tail seven years after Alice’s decease, during which time they were to be held by her executors for the performance of her will. Terrington was to go to Henry after the decease of his father, Sir John, and East Walton was intended to descend to him immediately on Alice’s decease, although it appears in the inquisition post mortem of her husband Sir John thirteen years later. Alice’s will also directed that the manor of Garboldisham was to pass to Henry, but this property instead came into the possession of Elizabeth, countess of Oxford. Henry’s Norfolk manors were valued at about £16 p.a. in the inquisition post mortem of Sir John Howard the elder in 1437, and £10 in the inquisition of Henry Howard’s son-in-law, Henry Wentworth, in 1482: C139/88/56; C140/82/11; Francis Blomefield, An Essay Towards a Topographical History of Norfolk (11 vols., 1805–10), ix. 87, 145. The two Polstead tenements, as ‘Boorhous and Sprottis’, earned John Howard £13 13s. 4d. in an account of 1463–4: The Household Books of John Howard, Duke of Norfolk, 1462–71, 1481–3, ed. Anne Crawford (Stroud, 1992), xlv. John Howard must have purchased them from Henry Wentworth after Henry Howard’s death, as they were entailed to the heirs of Henry’s body, not the Howard male heir, in Alice’s will of 1424 (see n. 5 above). The Visitation of Suffolk, 1561, ed. Joan Corder (2 vols., 1981–4), i. 165; The Visitation of Norfolk, 1563, ed. Walter Rye (Harleian Society, xxxii, 1891), 162.

(1) Margaret Plaiz = Sir John Howard = (2) Alice Tendring Thomas Mowbray d. 1391 d. 1437 d. 1426 d. 1399 duke of Norfolk

Sir John Howard = Joan Walton Henry Howard = Mary Hussey Robert Howard = Margaret Mowbray d. 1410 d. 1425 d. 1446 d. 1436 d. 1459 the younger

John Mowbray d. 1432 duke of Norfolk

John de Vere = Elizabeth Howard Elizabeth Howard = Henry Wentworth d. 1462 d. 1473 of Codham earl of Oxford

John Mowbray d. 1461 duke of Norfolk

John Howard d. 1485 duke of Norfolk

John Mowbray d. 1476 duke of Norfolk

Anne Mowbray d. 1482

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No trace can be found of him in the documents of his cousins, the earl of Oxford or the duke of Norfolk, or in the accounts or retinues of the bishop of Norwich, another regional power-broker. He does not appear in the records of the central courts as far as can be ascertained, save those touching his murder. He was never appointed a justice of the peace or a royal commissioner. He does not appear in any surviving parliamentary election indenture.8 There is no evidence of him serving in France, which, given that his adult career coincided almost exactly with the period between Agincourt and the truce of Tours, is suggestive of a quiescent, unadventurous man. Just a couple of business documents survive to prove that Howard was not totally physically or mentally incapacitated in some way. He was jointly enfeoffed of twelve acres of land in Diss, Norfolk, by Thomas Morstede, esquire, in 1433, and he also acted as a mainpernor in 1437 for John Bekyswell, for the latter’s keeping of the manor of Bexwell and other property in Norfolk, and neither would have occurred if Howard was a congenital idiot.9 However, whether as a consequence of a modest income, personal disinclination, or a physical ailment, Henry Howard did not have much of a public career, and this made him a very unlikely candidate for a brutal murder. John, Lord Scrope of Masham is, by contrast, well known.10 Brother of Henry, Lord Scrope, who was executed in 1415 for his participation in the Southampton plot, John inherited a desperate position when he succeeded to the title after the death of another brother in 1418. Many of the Scrope estates had been granted in 1417 to Henry, Lord Fitzhugh, in tail male.11 Partly through hard work campaigning in France between 1419 and 1421, partly through what appears to be a spectacular campaign of forgery of important evidence, by 1425 Scrope had recovered from Fitzhugh estates which he claimed were entailed to him. Fitzhugh petitioned for these estates again in 1439, on the basis that Scrope had forged evidence of the entail, but in May 1442 a compromise was reached, despite proof of the forgery. Scrope granted a small number of manors to Fitzhugh, and agreed to pay £1,000 in return for undisputed possession of the bulk of his estates.12 Despite these troubles, Scrope maintained a reasonable income, being assessed at the respectable sum of £557 p.a. in the income tax of 1436.13 Scrope’s success in recovering, and retaining, his ancestral estates may have owed much to his close association with Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, which dated from the 1420s. He 8

9

10

11

12

13

C219/12–15; Linda Clark, ‘Magnates and their Affinities in the Parliaments of 1386–1421’, in The McFarlane Legacy, ed. R.H. Britnell and A.J. Pollard (Stroud, 1995), 128–9. Norfolk RO, Phi/107 577X1; CFR, xvi. p. 324. Morstede was a neighbour, holding property in Boxted: Philip Morant, The History and Antiquities of Essex (2 vols., 1768), ii, 240. A grant of the manor of Great Munden in Hertfordshire (E329/439, 440) to a Henry Howard and Margaret his wife in 7 Henry IV is to a different Henry Howard, as is clear from VCH Hertfordshire, iii. 125. See generally Brigette Vale, ‘The Scropes of Bolton and of Masham, c.1300–c.1450: A Study of a Northern Noble Family with a Calendar of the Scrope of Bolton Cartulary’ (unpublished York Univ. D.Phil thesis, 1987), esp. 224–34. CPR, 1416–22, pp. 56, 117. The main grant comprised thirteen manors within the liberty of Richmond, Yorkshire, worth approximately £260 p.a. For the recovery see Vale, ‘Scropes of Bolton and Masham’, 225–7; C.D. Ross, ‘The Yorkshire Baronage, 1399–1435’ (unpublished Oxford Univ. D.Phil thesis, 1950), 177–86. The final agreement was recorded in the form of a fine, CP25/1/280/158, no. 42. The sums mentioned in this type of document were often nominal, but it seems likely in this case that the £1,000 was paid. E163/7/31/2, no. 21 (Miscellanea of the Exchequer, file of returns relating to 1436 income tax); H.L. Gray, ‘Incomes from Land in England in 1436’, EHR, xlix (1934), 617.

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was a member of the king’s council throughout that decade, and in February 1432, under the aegis of Duke Humphrey, he was appointed Treasurer.14 His was not a successful tenure, and politics put paid to any ideas of a long occupation of the office. Two months after the duke of Bedford’s return in June 1433 Gloucester’s nominee was replaced by Lord Cromwell. He was then little involved in national affairs, especially after Gloucester lost most of his political influence when his wife was convicted of witchcraft in 1441, and Scrope was only an occasional attendee of the royal council between 1443 and his death in 1454.15 These then were the men at the heart of the drama that was to follow. In typical fashion, the legal documents give a tantalising level of detail, enough to establish roughly what happened, but not nearly enough to be definitive in answering broader questions; the evidence reveals when, where, how, and perhaps who was involved, but not why. There are three sources that detail the events of 11 June 1446, two indictments and a report of a petition by Lord Scrope, all of which are now among the records of the court of king’s bench. All three agree that on the Saturday before Trinity Sunday, at the house of one John Halstede, a smith, in Thorrington Street in Stoke-by-Nayland in Suffolk, some of Scrope’s men ‘with force and arms, viz swords, bows and arrows’ murdered Henry Howard, esquire. Exactly who among Scrope’s entourage actually committed the deed was crucial to the subsequent judicial proceedings. An inquest before a coroner ought to have taken place within a few days of the murder. It is possible that the record has not survived, but it is more likely that no inquest was taken, as neither of the two inquisitions before the justices of the peace refer to one before the coroner, and the first indictment took place so soon after the murder that it may have pre-empted any exercise of the coroner’s authority.16 Exactly one week after the murder, on 18 June, at Ipswich, a jury of presentment was sworn in before John Mowbray, duke of Norfolk, the royal justice Sir Thomas Fulthorp, Gilbert Debenham, John Andrews, John Ulverston and William Jenney, justices of the peace. The jurors presented that three men of Masham in Yorkshire, John Geldere, John Ledale and John Plumtree, along with many others whose names the jurors did not know, murdered Howard. In this crime, the murderers were aided and abetted by Lord Scrope himself, John Scrope his son and heir, and eleven other named men from Masham in Yorkshire. The indictment does not contain any details concerning the murder weapon(s) and the wounds inflicted that a coroner’s inquest should have provided, nor other circumstantial evidence about, for example, angry words exchanged, which might give a hint as to why it occurred.17 Five weeks after this first indictment was heard, a second was taken at Henhowe, near Bury St. Edmunds, in Suffolk, before Sir Robert Corbet, Reginald 14

15

16

17

CPR, 1429–36, p. 187; R.A. Griffiths, The Reign of Henry VI: The Exercise of Royal Authority, 1422–1461 (1981), 41–3. J.L. Watts, Henry VI and the Politics of Kingship (Cambridge, 1996), 150, 211. For his occasional involvement in national affairs between 137 and 1443 see PPC, v. 25, 108, 133–4, 153–4, 157, 159, 163, 167, 169, 171, 173, 181, 210, 213, 218–19, 232. He is not mentioned in the scanty sources covering the later 1440s in the following volume. His son did become a king’s esquire by 1446: CPR, 1446–52, p. 62. R.F. Hunnisett, The Medieval Coroner (Cambridge, 1961), 11–13; Select Cases from the Coroners’ Rolls 1265–1413, with a Brief Account of the History of the Office of Coroner, ed. Charles Gross (Selden Society, ix, 1896), xxiv. KB9/252/2, no. 14. Printed below, 93–4.

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Rous, Thomas Higham and William Jenney, where a different set of jurors presented that three different Yorkshiremen, John Wallegh, John Kendale and Hugh Flemmyng, committed the violent deed, and that they were aided and abetted by two Essex gentlemen, John Breton of Layer Breton and Peter Boxstede of Colchester. Lord Scrope, his son, and the fourteen Yorkshiremen named in the first indictment were not named in the second, either for the murder or for aiding and abetting.18 The third source for what actually happened emanates from Scrope himself. The king’s bench recorda file for that year contains a number of items relating to the case. A letter in Henry VI’s name rehearses a statement by Scrope that ‘two of his servants, that oon called Willeygh, that other Kendale, mischievously slewen atte Stoke Neylond in Suff oon Henry Howard squyer unto his grete heaviness and displesance but as thai saide in theire defense upon whiche knowleche of murder by examination of thaim made by the said lord Scrop on Trinite Sunday in the morning withoute any tarrying he putte thaim under arrest and the same day sent them to our Gaole of Bury there to abyde oure lawe’.19 This then bears some resemblance to the second indictment, but is a clear admission by Lord Scrope that two of his men were responsible for the killing, though as they ‘saide in theire defense’ they were evidently claiming they had acted in self-defence. In the absence of firm evidence, one is left to speculate what the motive behind the murder could have been. Unlike the murder of Nicholas Radford, a crime described as the ‘most notorious private crime of the century, an outrage which is distinguished from most other violent deeds of the time by the fact it was so obviously premeditated’,20 the most likely explanation is that Howard’s killing was unplanned and accidental. There is no accusation of premeditation in either indictment. Howard was not at his own residence, though he may have been either on his way home, as Boxted is near to Stoke-by-Nayland, or he may have been visiting his nephew, John Howard, or his sister-in-law, Lady Margaret Mowbray, at his old family residence. The actual location of the murder within the village, at the house of a smith, suggests a random encounter with some of Scrope’s men, from which a verbal argument and then a physical mismatch between a fifty-yearold gentleman and two (or more) Yorkshiremen ensued. Scrope’s presence in the vicinity was also not surprising, as he held three manors in adjacent parishes to Stoke-by-Nayland: the manor of Nayland in Suffolk, Great Horkesley in Essex, as parcel of the manor of Nayland, and he had recently acquired the manor of Boxted, where Henry Howard was resident.21 An inspection of his estates in the area would be natural enough, as part of a journey to or from London. There is one other possible explanation, certainly for Scrope’s presence in the area, and possibly, by inference at least, for Howard’s murder by Scrope’s men. Proceedings in the court of Common Pleas in the terms preceding June 1446 show

18 19

20 21

KB9/254, no. 38. Printed below, p. 94. KB145/6/25, items B and C. Printed below, pp. 95–6, and for the form of the document see note 31 below. Storey, End of the House of Lancaster, 167. C139/161, no. 12 (Suffolk, inquisition post mortem of John, Lord Scrope, 1455), and no. 16 (Essex); see also Cal. Inq. Misc., 1399–1422, pp. 288–9; C140/21, no. 41.

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problems over ownership of the manor of Boxted.22 In the Easter term of 1446, Lord Scrope, and three feoffees, John Harleston, Thomas Broun and John Joseph, brought a case against Robert Naunton of Alderton, Suffolk, and Henry Aleyn of Boxted, gentlemen, under the statute of forgery of 1 Henry V, for troubling their possession of the manor of Boxted.23 Both Naunton and Aleyn had separate claims to the manor. Henry Aleyn had contested possession of the manor of Boxted in a plea dating from the autumn of 1439, based on an alleged demise of the manor by Margaret, wife of Peter de Boxted, junior, in 1427.24 No verdict was recorded, but given that the plea was against Richard Boxted, grandson of Peter de Boxted, junior, who two years later sold the estate to John Rympyngden, it would appear that he lost.25 Naunton was claiming the manor as grandson of Katherine de Boxted, daughter and alleged heir of Peter de Boxted the elder (d.1366). This claim conflicted with Richard Boxted’s possession of the manor in the 1440s, and his sale to Rympyngden. Nonetheless Naunton undertook a common recovery against three men, Richard Dogat and Philip Berney, esquires, and John Squyer, clerk, in the Hilary term of 1446, of the manor of Boxted.26 Scrope’s case against Naunton and Aleyn was postponed until the quindene of Trinity, though no trace of the case can be found on the plea rolls of that term, or on that of the following Michaelmas, possibly as a result of the fact that the Naunton claim was passed onto Sir Robert Corbet by exchange for the manor of Little Dunham in Norfolk by 7 May 1446, shortly after Scrope brought his case against Naunton and Aleyn, and within a year Corbet and Scrope were in violent dispute over the property.27 It would seem, therefore, from the array of legal cases, that there were three conflicting claims to the manor, but that only two were serious – one descending via Richard Boxted, John Rympyngden and then Scrope, the other via Naunton to Corbet – and that process in law continued for both independently. The fact that Scrope had an active case in the court of Common Pleas over the manor might easily explain his presence in the area at that time. None of these disputes over the possession of the manor of Boxted involved Henry Howard directly, despite his residence there, and he may have been an entirely disinterested observer of the quarrel.28 Nonetheless, it 22

23

24 25 26 27

28

Neither VCH Essex, x. 59 or Morant, History and Antiquities of Essex, ii. 239–40 discovered the full extent of the disputes over the manor. CP40/741, rot. 418d, postponed until following term, though the case does not appear in CP40/742 (Trinity, 24 Hen. VI), or 743 (Michaelmas, 25 Hen. VI). There is also what appears to be an unconnected case from the summer of 1445, where one John Wayte broke the close and house of Scrope, Harleston, Broun and Joseph at Boxted, the plaintiffs claiming that grass worth £10 had been trampled and wasted, and asking for total damages of £40 to be awarded. Wayte was found guilty, and damages were granted to the plaintiffs, though at the rather more realistic sum of 13s. 4d.: CP40/740, rot. 134. C44/28/1 (Court of Chancery: Common Law Pleadings, Tower Series, 18 Hen VI). Feet of Fines for Essex, ed. P.H. Reaney and Marc Fitch (4 vols., Colchester, 1899–1964), iv. 29. CP40/740, rot. 304. An inquisition was taken by the escheator in Essex on that date, rehearsing this exchange: C139/121, no. 4. It is now among the series of inquisitions post mortem, but does not in fact note the death of Robert Naunton. A more complete rehearsal of the descent occurs in a slightly later hearing, now among the inquisitions miscellaneous: Cal. Inq. Misc., 1422–85, p. 122. For Corbet and Scrope, see below, note 42. There was a second manor in Boxted, Rivers Hall, held by Sir John Wood, which was not part of the dispute, and Howard was just as likely to have been a tenant of this manor, rather than the Scrope/Naunton estate: VCH Essex, x. 60.

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is not impossible that Howard was advising Aleyn or Naunton, perhaps was a feoffee for one or other, or was acting behind the scenes with any of them, which would provide a motive for a quarrel, or even an assault, though surely not a murder. Yet Howard’s lack of a public, or indeed much of a private, career would raise doubts about him being heavily involved in the legal shenanigans over the manor, and the probability is that his killing was accidental. II By July 1446 two indictments had been taken and various of Scrope’s household had been accused of the murder. The case was clearly of import to the judicial authorities, and two separate writs dated 24 June and 14 October ordered that copies be made of the two indictments and sent to Westminster, though surprisingly into Chancery, not king’s bench, which may be an indication that this was taken very seriously if the Chancellor was involved from the start.29 The fact that they were not sent directly into king’s bench may also explain why it was not until the Trinity term of 1447, nearly a year after the murder, that the case was written up onto the rex side of the Coram Rege roll of king’s bench, though it is clear from other evidence that proceedings were ongoing.30 However, well before the cumbersome machinery of the common law got round to recording the case in full, the normal course of justice was interrupted. A sequence of four letters was written in the King’s name, two dated 14 November 1446 and addressed separately to the clerk of the crown, Thomas Greswold, and to the chief justice of king’s bench, ordering them to ‘surseesse of any processe oute making ayenst any of the said persones soo endited of or for the dethe of the said Henri unto the tyme that ye have otherwise in commaundement from us’. A second set of more detailed letters was sent to the same two officials on 30 November, ordering the same cessation of process.31 What prompted this royal interference in the judicial process? It is clear that Scrope had already petitioned the king as the letters note that ‘We understande by supplication of our right trusty and welbeloved John Lord Scrope.’ The petitioning was almost certainly done in person, as Scrope was apparently continuously with the royal court at Westminster and Sheen in November and December 1446, 29 30 31

KB9/252/2, no. 13; KB9/254, no. 37. KB27/745, rex rot. 27d. KB145/6/25 (King’s Bench Recorda file, 25 Hen. VI). Documents within this file are unnumbered. There are five documents touching the Henry Howard case in the file, which will be labelled A–E in what follows. In chronological order (and therefore in reverse to the order they appear in the file) D and E are letters in the king’s name, identical to each other bar the addressee, D being to Thomas Greswold, clerk of the crown, E to the chief justice of king’s bench (John Fortescue), both are dated 14 November, and both are orders to stop all process against anyone indicted for the murder because of specified problems with the indictment process. B is to the chief justice, 30 November 1446, and C is to Greswold, undated, but as identical to B, probably 30 November. Both again order the cessation of all process, but contain the acknowledgement that two of Scrope’s men killed Howard, name all the men indicted, and order process against Scrope himself stopped, as a peer of the realm, which D and E do not. All four letters are signed by Richard Langport, a clerk of the privy seal office. Document A is a rehearsal of the letters patent of pardon, and an order to cease all actions against the named men, dated 13 July 1447.

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participating in council, and witnessing a royal charter, which would have given him ample time to put his side of the case to the king and his leading ministers.32 Scrope’s supplication focussed on two alleged problems with the judicial process. Firstly, having been indicted for aiding and abetting the murderers, Scrope pointed out that he was a peer, and the king ‘willing ym to enioye the freedom whiche as we be enformed belongith to alle the lordes of this oure Reaume that wol aske it’, agreed that he should be ‘treted and adiugged by [his] peeres in any action or accusement of Crime and felonye’ and therefore ordered that all process against Lord Scrope himself be stopped. The more serious problem was that Scrope claimed that the first indictment, made before the duke of Norfolk, was inaccurate and inherently malicious: after the dethe of Henri Howard the Sessions of pees were at Gippiswiche the Saturday next after Trinity Sunday last passed there being oure right trusty and right welbeloved cousin the Duc of Norff, Fulthorp our justice and other justices of pees at the wyche tyme the said Duc as it is said seing that he might not doo endite the said lord Scrop nor noone of his maynee for the dethe of the said Howard, continued of his own wille the Sessions into the morne the Sunday when Fulthorp and the most partie of the Justices were departed as we be enformed and there by xii men of his own did endite the said lord Scrop, his eldest son and diverse other men of felony for the dethe of the said Howard not withstanding that the said lorde Scrop as he seith on the Trinity Sunday afore sent thaum that knowlached the dethe of the said Howard to our Gaole of Bury. In whiche enditement as it is doon us to understande fulle piteously and untrewly were endited men sum thaine being of good record in our Citee of York, sum being oute of Engeland, sum being syke foule leper, sum being dede long before and sum named suche persones as no suche is and thai that did the dede unendited as it is saide.33 On these grounds the process against all the named men from both indictments was stopped on the king’s express command. There are problems with the accusations levied by Scrope, and rehearsed in the royal letters, against the process of the indictment. Scrope claimed that the first indictment was made on a Sunday in the absence of Justice Fulthorp. It seems likely that having Fulthorp present would have been to Scrope’s benefit, as in 1436, before Fulthorp became a royal justice and while he was still a sergeant at law, he was retained by Scrope at the rate of 40s. p.a. paid from Scrope’s manor of Nayland.34 However, as far as the evidence shows Scrope’s allegation on this count was not correct. The indictment states that it was made before John, duke of Norfolk, Thomas Fulthorp, and four other justices of the peace on the Saturday. It is not impossible that the date and place on the document was falsified, but, given the public nature of these hearings, this is fairly unlikely. Scrope next stated that 32

33 34

Scrope was at court on 5 November (C53/189, m. 35, calendared, without witness list, in CChR, vi. 72), 10 and 28 November, and 6, 14 and 17 December (C81/1546, nos. 13, 16–18; E28/77, nos. 9, 14, 15). KB145/6/25, items D, E. E163/7/31/2, m. 22.

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the jury was made up of twelve men of Mowbray’s own choosing. Apart from the fact that there were thirteen jurors, the accusation is partly born out by the evidence. It was in fact a rather high powered jury, comprising seven esquires, Robert Clifton, George Felbrigge, Thomas Curson, Thomas Cavendish, Thomas Gray, John Straunge, and John Leventhorpe, and six men without title, Robert Bour, William Curson, William Barnebe, Thomas Rowyngton, John Bernard and William Ovehand. Of these thirteen, five can be clearly connected to Mowbray, as annuitants or estate officials in some capacity. 35 Others may have been, though the two detailed modern studies of the family and their estates and officials do not suggest any further connections. Yet, while it is clear that some were Mowbray men, Mowbray’s seat of Framlingham was only twenty-five miles from Stoke-byNayland, he owned a large amount of property in the area, a large proportion of south Suffolk gentry society were associates or retainers and a large proportion of lesser men his tenants. It might indeed have been quite tricky to have empanelled a jury of local men with no Mowbray connections. However, while some of these men were Mowbray associates, this was balanced by the fact that two of the justices of the peace at the indictment, John Andrews and John Ulverston, were closely connected with William de la Pole, marquess of Suffolk.36 The first reaction of county society, regardless of local political affiliation, would surely have been outrage and a demand for justice, and there is no reason to suppose that a Mowbray orientated jury, and a balanced judicial bench, would have produced a deliberately biased indictment. Scrope’s final accusation – that the men named in the indictment were not present – is harder to verify. Most of the named men would have been Scrope’s household servants, and in the absence of a household account dating from this period, it is extremely difficult to assess the accuracy of the indictment, despite the existence of two other sources for the Scrope affinity. One is the list of the thirty annuities granted by letters patent of Scrope, which was part of the 1436 income tax assessment. Just one man in this list appears in the indictments, William Hardy from Yorkshire, retained at the rate of 66s. 8d. p.a.37 The second source is Scrope’s will of 1453, which lists bequests to thirty-one individuals. Of these, three or four are named in the June 1446 indictment – William Manfeld, gentleman and Scrope’s secretary, Robert Newsam, William Turner, and possibly Nicholas alias

35

36

37

Robert Clifton was paid an annuity of 10 marks a year between at least 1439 and 1453; Cavendish had been paid an annuity by the Mowbray family since 1419; John Straunge held the fishery of the Mowbray manor of South Walsham; Rowyngton was the bailiff and farmer of Earl Stonham around this time, and John Leventhorpe was the treasurer of the duke’s household: L.E. Moye, ‘The Estates and Finances of the Mowbray family, earls Marshal and dukes of Norfolk, 1401–76 (unpublished Duke Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1985), 384, 424, 433, 435, 438; R.E. Archer, ‘The Mowbrays, earls of Nottingham and dukes of Norfolk, to 1432’ (unpublished Oxford Univ. D.Phil. thesis, 1984), 343– 354. John Andrews was closely connected with John Heydon and John Ulverston: Paston Letters and Papers of the Fifteenth Century, ed. Norman Davis (2 vols., Oxford, 1971–6), i. 169, 225. Ulverston was steward of the duke’s estates in Suffolk, and continued in that office for his widow in 1453–4: H.R. Castor, The King, the Crown and the Duchy of Lancaster. Public Authority and Private Power, 1399–1461 (Oxford, 2000), 98; BL, Egerton Roll 8779. E163/7/31/2, m. 22; Vale, ‘Scropes of Bolton and Masham’, 229–30. There are a number of illegible entries in this list.

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Colin Frenchman, who might be the ‘Colyn’ recorded in the will.38 One further man indicted, John Cheshire, was connected to Scrope, having acted as his attorney in a land transaction in Nayland in 1442.39 The fact that some men were correctly named, and were connected to the Yorkshire lord, does not of course prove that they had been present at the murder. Scrope’s complaint to the king focussed exclusively on the alleged problems with the first indictment. What then of the second indictment, taken five weeks later? The justices of the peace in the second indictment, like those of the first, show a local political balance. At least one of them was very well connected indeed to the marquess of Suffolk. Reynold Rous, of Dennington in Suffolk, was an experienced lawyer, business associate of the notorious Thomas Tuddenham and Henry Heydon by 1437, and by 1440 he was ‘feid wyth myn lord of Sowthfolke and mech he is of hese consel’.40 Balancing Rous, William Jenney was closely connected to the duke of Norfolk, serving as his legal counsel by the mid1440s, and sitting in parliament for the Mowbray borough of Horsham in 1449.41 Perhaps the most interesting presence is Sir Robert Corbet, who must have known that he was on a collision course with Scrope, as Corbet had recently acquired the counter-claim to Scrope’s possession of the manor of Boxted. Indeed by July 1447, Scrope was petitioning the king for a special assize to be granted to investigate Corbet’s damage to, and occupation of, the manor of Boxted.42 This was not, as far as Scrope was concerned, likely to be a sympathetic judicial bench. The second indictment made no reference at all to the first, nor mentioned the same men. When the case was written up on the king’s bench plea roll, both indictments were rehearsed without comment, treating them as complimentary rather than as incompatible.43 While there was no bar in law to there being two separate and entirely different indictments made for the same crime, nevertheless 38

39

40

41

42

43

Testamenta Eboracensia, ed. J. Raine et al. (6 vols., Surtees Society, iv, xxx, xlv, lxxix (vi), 1836– 1902), ii. 193. WARD2/57B/205/31 (appointment of Cheshire and John Hazilton, esquire, as attorneys to deliver seisin of a tenement in Nayland to one Geoffrey Bishop for a rent of 4d., a grant made in the following document (no. 32) dated at Nayland, 27 May). Paston Letters, ed. Davis, ii. 517–19; C.E. Moreton, ‘Reynold Rous’, The History of Parliament: The Commons 1422–61, ed. Linda Clark (forthcoming). He was still being feed by Suffolk’s widow, Alice Chaucer, in 1453–4: BL, Egerton Roll 8779. C.E. Moreton, ‘William Jenney’, The Commons 1422–61, ed. Clark (forthcoming). He was described as Norfolk’s servant at some point before 1443: Paston Letters, ed. Davis, ii. 23. ‘Please hit your highnesse of youre most habundant grace to consider hou John Lord Scrop’ youre suppliant was seised in his demesne as of fre hold of the maner of Boxstede with the appertenance in the counte of Essex unto tyme that upon his possession entred forcibly & riotously Robert Corbet knyght and brend a hous of youre seid beseechers, fell doun the wodes and tymbre, brake up his fissh pondes and did much other wast and destructon and yette continueth in so keeping out youre seid suppliant to his grete hurt and finall disheritance without your graciouse socour and heruppon to graunt a speciall assise diretted in due fourme to my lordes John duc of Excestre and Edmond marquis and erle of Dorset and to John Fortescu and Richard Neuton, knyghtes, John Fray, Richard Byngham, John Portyngton and Thomas Broun to be taken at certeyn day and place withynne the seid shire to be limited in fourme of youre noble lawe of this lands and he shall pray god for you’: C81/1446, no. 18 (endorsed with date of 20 July). KB27/745, rex rot. 27d. The entry on the plea roll begins with the bland ‘Alias scilicet’, and then a rehearsal of the second indictment. The first indictment follows immediately, introduced by the equally bland ‘Item alias scilicet’, and the pleading of the pardon succeeds the rehearsal of the indictments with the by now predictable ‘Et inde scilicet’.

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two indictments were rather unusual, and had the case come to pleading at common law, doubtless Scrope’s lawyers would have made hay with them. Why then was the second taken? It may well be that it became clear that there were errors in the first indictment, particularly as it did not mention John Wallegh and John Kendale, the two men Scrope said had committed the murder; therefore the second indictment was taken to ensure accuracy. Perhaps, in the period between the first indictment and the second, Scrope had left the area, and one of the justices of the peace had questioned someone who might know better than the first jurors who had been present with the riding household of Lord Scrope, such as the local estate officials, the reeve or bailiff of Scrope’s estates at Boxted or Nayland, or perhaps even the prisoners in the gaol at Bury St. Edmunds if Scrope had left them there. The process of accusation was obviously confused, but it seems likely that the first indictment was clumsy, and Mowbray acted before he had all the facts, hindering rather than helping the course of justice. Given the duke was the leading figure behind the initial judicial response to the murder, the second indictment, taken in an attempt to ensure accuracy, might well have been at his behest, but given the balance of the judicial bench, still with the agreement of prominent local gentry.44 It is clear that the duke of Norfolk tried to react decisively over the murder. It was not normal for magnates to be present at an indictment, and, from the surviving evidence, this was the only occasion in Norfolk’s career up to this point where he personally sat as a justice of the peace.45 It is also clear that at least some of the presenting jurors were Mowbray’s men. The duke would have had two reasons for action. Firstly, although a distant relative by marriage, Norfolk would have acknowledged kinship ties to Henry Howard, and would presumably also have had John Howard, a senior member of his household, and his aunt, Margaret Mowbray, Henry Howard’s sister-in-law, at his elbow urging action. Secondly, to have an extraneous lord arrive in Mowbray’s backyard, witness the lord’s household servants kill a respectable member of Suffolk society, and to have taken no action would not have been to his ‘worship’ in the eyes of the same county gentry; by heading the indictment against a violent intrusion of a peer foreign to county society, he was representing the political community of Suffolk in the wider realm. Mowbray’s standing in the county of his residence had already been damaged as a result of two embarrassing episodes earlier in the 1440s, and he must have been very conscious of his wounded dignity.46 For the maintenance of his good lordship, Mowbray had to act. 44

45

46

Quick and ‘stern’ responses from gentry communities to murders among their number can be seen in equivalent cases, e.g. that of John Chaworth in 1464: S.J. Payling, ‘Murder, Motive and Punishment in Fifteenth-Century England: Two Gentry Case-Studies’, EHR, cxiii (1998), 12. He had been a justice of the peace in Norfolk and Suffolk since 1436 and the East Riding of Yorkshire since 1437 (CPR, 1436–41, pp. 586, 587, 590, 593, 594; CPR, 1441–6, pp. 474, 479, 481), but the surviving indictments between 1436 and June 1446 in the presence of named justices of the peace do not mention him: KB9/227/1–252/1. He is named as hearing numerous pleas within the verge of the household by virtue of his hereditary office of Earl Marshal, but it is unclear how reliable such naming was; the other household officer before whom such pleas were held was the steward of the household, William de la Pole, and he was named as being present at hearings at Southwark or elsewhere in the home counties when he was demonstrably in France: KB9/245, no. 24 (1 May 1444); KB9/248 (8 Mar. 1445); KB9/250, no. 81 (9 Mar. 1445). See below, 90–1.

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In November 1446, all process against Scrope and his men had been suspended by a direct royal command to the chief justice of king’s bench. This hiatus ended after eight months, when on 14 July 1447, notwithstanding the king’s orders, the process resumed in king’s bench, ‘the aforesaid indictments being heard’.47 The imminent resumption of the proceedings must have been known by, or initiated on behalf of, Lord Scrope, as two days before, on 12 July, the last document in the judicial process, a full pardon to all involved, was issued. The letters patent of pardon stated that ‘whereas Mary, who was the wife of Henry Howard, esquire, alias Henry Howard of Boxted, esquire, before us as well as many magnates and other lieges of our realm of England, both orally and otherwise, maliciously accused and slandered of the death and murder of the said Henry our beloved esquire John Lescrop [and almost all the other named men in both indictments]48 to their no little loss and damage and to the manifest violation and injury of their degree, fame and name’, and, ‘considering that the accusation and slander aforesaid had proceeded from malice of forethought and not by truth’ a pardon was issued of the king’s suit against them, with a specific note that their good name should be held in repute.49 The reasons given for the pardon in this florid letter patent were extraordinary. For the document to state that there was no truth in the accusations that any of the men named were involved in the murder, when Scrope had admitted to the king two of the men named in the pardon committed the crime, and then to desire specifically their names to be held in good repute, was reprehensibly inaccurate. It is not clear to what the allegation that Mary had slandered Scrope and the others before the king and other magnates, both orally and in writing, refers. Had Mary, perhaps at the Bury St. Edmunds parliament in February 1447, made an entreaty to 47

48

49

KB27/745, rex rot. 27d. Despite Trinity term ending on 5 July that year, the date given for the hearing of the indictments, and the appearance of Scrope and others, is the Friday next after the quindene of St. John the Baptist, which in 1447 was 14 July. On the same day, six men stood as mainpernors for all those named in the pardons: C237/42, no. 50. Three men named in the pardon, Thomas Stabeler and Adam Wilson, yeomen, and William Johnson, a groom, had not been named in either indictment. Of these, only Wilson can be proved to be connected to Scrope, receiving a bequest of 20s. in his will: Testamenta Eboracensia, ed. Raine et al., ii. 193. Equally, three men named in the indictments were not among those pardoned. Two, accused in the first indictment, were yeomen, John Stokdale and a ubiquitous John Smyth. It is not impossible that these were errors, as Scrope alleged. The third man was Hugh Flemmyng, who was accused directly of the murder in the second indictment along with Wallegh and Kendale. However, Flemming was described as being ‘of Masham, yeoman’ in the second indictment, ‘of Upsale, groom’ in the royal letter of November 1446, and is missed entirely out of the proceedings entered onto the plea roll (including the rehearsals of the two indictments), which might explain his omission from the pardon. Given the tenor of the pardon, it seems likely that it was intended to bring an end to the whole process, and that the three men who were omitted, were omitted either in error, or because they had been incorrectly named in the first place. Equally, the three men added into the pardon who were not indicted may well have been with Scrope in Suffolk at the time of the murder, and their inclusion was to ensure that no process was begun against them at a later date. C66/464, m. 22, printed below, p. 96. The Patent Roll calendar has ‘they having been impeached of malice before the king and many magnates and other lieges of England, by Mary, late the wife of Henry Howard, of having murdered her said husband’, which misses some of the flavour of the original: CPR, 1446–52, p. 62. Mary appears to have been the recipient of some charity in the aftermath of the murder of her husband, as she was granted the manor of Peldon in Essex, held by feoffees of the Teye family, for the term of her life on 25 November 1446, with reversion to John Teye, esquire: E327/741; Morant, History and Antiquities of Essex, ii. 418.

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the king and council? If so, it does not survive. As the widow of the murdered man Mary was entitled to make a formal appeal, which would normally have been entered onto the plea side of the coram rege roll of king’s bench, but none was enrolled.50 The pardon was incorrect anyway, as the king’s suit against the Yorkshiremen was not as a result of her ‘malice aforethought’, but to two legal indictments, headed by one magnate and half a dozen prominent gentry justices of the peace, and it was the two indictments that were rehearsed in king’s bench two days later, not an appeal by Mary. In the absence of any evidence of an appeal, and in the knowledge that she would in any case have correctly identified some of Scrope’s men as guilty, rather than maliciously slandering blameless men, the pardon seems a cruel attempt to shift the blame for the initiation of the judicial proceedings onto an innocent victim. One reason why the pardon was such a partial document was that Scrope or his lawyers drafted it. He petitioned the king in a document that, while undated, is likely to have been submitted on 12 July, which asked that the king grant letters patent after the form of a schedule annexed. The schedule contained the exact form of words of the future letter patent, and was passed without comment or alteration, being authorised by the king’s own sign manual; the only other addition on the document was a memorandum that on 13 July the bill was passed to the chancellor to execute.51 Pardons were easily available in the later middle ages, even for a crime as serious as murder.52 There was contemporary criticism of this practice, both general pardons, restricted by statute in 1390, and special pardons, but Henry VI was ‘undoubtedly readier to grant special pardons for serious offences than his Lancastrian predecessors or Yorkist successors’.53 This being the case, there can have been little hope amongst the extended Howard family that Scrope, his son and heir or the senior members of his household would stand trial for the murder.54 Henry VI had neither the inclination nor the political strength of Henry VIII who was able to execute Thomas Fiennes, Lord Dacre, in 1541 for the murder of a servant of Nicholas Pelham.55 There might, however, have been an expectation that the lesser men, including those who did the deed, would stand trial, as occurred in other equivalent cases, not least as this was not part of a factional dispute or a revenge killing where the circumstances were murkier.56 Henry VI was within his prerogative rights to grant the pardon, but it is clear that something had gone wrong when it was granted on such spurious grounds, and without either any 50

51 52 53

54

55 56

The right of appeal by the widow for the death of her husband was enshrined in Magna Carta, c. 34, and was later extended to the heir male of the dead man. In the case of the murder of James Andrew (see below, p. 90), the widow appealed a number of men for the murder, although there was already a crown prosecution under the indictments against them, and the appeal proceedings were copied up onto KB27/697, rots. 85ff. C81/1484, nos. 23–4. Helen Lacey, The Royal Pardon. Access to Mercy in Fourteenth-Century England (York, 2009). Payling, ‘Murder, Motive and Punishment’, 10 (quotation); Marjorie Blatcher, The Court of King’s Bench, 1450–1550. A Study in Self-Help (1978), 82; Statutes of the Realm, ii. 69. ‘The royal judicial system was likely to back down in the face of threats from the nobility’: Barbara Hanawalt, ‘Fur-Collar Crime: the Pattern of Crime Among the Fourteenth-Century English Nobility’, Journal of Social History, viii (1975), 1–17 (quotation, p. 10). Helen Miller, Henry VIII and the English Nobility (Oxford, 1986), 73–4. For lesser men standing trial, see below, 91, and Payling, ‘Murder, Motive and Punishment’, 11, n. 2. For revenge killings, see ibid., 10, especially n. 3; Virgoe, ‘Murder of Edmund Clippesby’, 302–7.

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assessment of the veracity of the claims of the draft pardon or any further judicial action after the suspension of the process eight months earlier; it was not dropped over a legal issue, but, as far as can be ascertained, on the grounds of a wholly inaccurate accusation of slander against the murdered man’s widow. Whatever the accuracy of Scrope’s allegations against the judicial process initiated by Mowbray, it is nonetheless extraordinary that for a crime that even Scrope acknowledged as having been committed by two of his men, who were legally indicted at the second inquisition, all those connected, including the two men whose lord admitted that they had done the deed, were pardoned in letters patent drafted by Scrope. Henry VI was infamous for signing bills put before him, but even then it was usually on behalf of those who had personal access to him, and could urge a course in person.57 Clearly Scrope had urged the suspension of judicial process in November 1446 in person; it is less evident that he was present in July 1447 when the pardon was issued. Not only does the covering note to the draft pardon indicate that Scrope was not present at court to present his case, but also the scanty records of royal charter witness lists or attendance at the royal council do not suggest that he was at court in July, but this is not conclusive. If he was not present, he might have required a patron at court to present it to the king, and to push through the grant without, apparently, any assessment of the veracity of the claims contained within the pardon. Furthermore the suspension of judicial process for eight months could have been reversed by anyone with Henry’s ear; the fact that it was not, along with the issues of Scrope’s ignoring of the second indictment in his November plea and the blatant partiality and inaccuracy of the petition for pardon, make it feasible, if not likely, that he had a highly placed ally at court. III What follows is speculative, and must be so in the absence of clear evidence, but one wonders how much the quashing of the judicial process was a result of the duke of Norfolk being the leading man in the early judicial proceedings. The man who would benefit most on a local level from blocking the duke of Norfolk’s attempts to improve his local standing was the king’s leading minister William de la Pole, marquess of Suffolk. Most historians are agreed that de la Pole froze Mowbray out of power and influence in East Anglia, despite, in Helen Castor’s words, Norfolk’s ‘claim to an interest in local rule [being], after all, based on a significant territorial stake in the region’.58 For Castor, Suffolk faced a dichotomy between his personal position as a territorial lord and head of regional power bloc based on the duchy of Lancaster; in the former capacity ‘Suffolk had every incentive to oppose and if possible to overcome Norfolk’s attempt at selfassertion’, and in the latter capacity, ‘with his responsibility for the management of

57

58

Watts, Henry VI, 154, and for attempts in the later 1440s to try and restrict the king’s uncontrolled use of patronage, 213–18; Griffiths, Henry VI, 595. Castor, King, Crown and the Duchy of Lancaster, 101; Bertram Wolffe, Henry VI (1981), 121–2; Griffiths, Henry VI, 585–6; Storey, End of the House of Lancaster, 54–7. For the Mowbray family’s power in East Anglia up to 1432, and their landed estates in the region, which were mainly held by dowagers during the second duke’s lifetime, see Archer, ‘Mowbrays’, esp. 149, 283–4.

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royal authority’ it was necessary to acknowledge Norfolk’s claim to a local role.59 For Colin Richmond, Suffolk’s rule of East Anglia was artificial in its creation, and malign in its influence: Suffolk ‘owed his local power to the power he had at Westminster. William could exert his power in such a high-handed manner in East Anglia because those whom he had mistreated ... had no recourse in either the central or local courts of law, and no one was able to stand up for them at the royal court.’60 The practical results of Suffolk’s power were damaging to Norfolk’s attempts to establish his authority in the region, and embarrassing to the duke personally. John Watts has commented that Norfolk’s exclusion from power ‘was manifested principally in [his] inability to obtain justice’ and there is plenty of evidence to support this.61 The affinities of the two magnates had come into conflict as early as 1435, when a number of Mowbray’s retainers were indicted for aiding and abetting, and a few of actually committing, the murder of one of Suffolk’s men, James Andrew, though the murder sprang from a dispute that was not connected to any rivalry between the two magnates. The minority council called both before them, and they gave surety to keep the peace. Some of Mowbray’s men were found not guilty at an ensuing trial, three of the more prominent secured pardons from the king, but several were outlawed, and a number paid fines to the king.62 In 1440, Norfolk had been imprisoned in the Tower by the king and council as a result of actions by his retainer Sir Robert Wingfield, and for which he was forced to make a bond for 10,000 marks for his good behaviour towards Suffolk’s man John Heydon, and he was to be imprisoned once more in August 1448, as part of a dispute with Wingfield, with whom he had fallen out. 63 In January 1448, before a special commission, a long list of Wingfield’s misdeeds against the duke was presented, including assaults, robberies and intimidating jurors. Wingfield had also allegedly offered 500 marks for the head of one of Norfolk’s retainers. The knight had been bound over to keep the peace in 1447, and as a result of the commission’s hearings, Wingfield was called into king’s bench to explain why he should not forfeit his bond.64 Appearing on 9 February 1448, he pleaded not guilty, and a date was appointed for his trial, but five days later Wingfield received a royal pardon for all his offences and forfeited securities.65 What part, if any, Suffolk had played in this reprieve is not known, but as far as Mowbray was concerned, it was the

59 60

61 62

63

64

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Castor, King, Crown and the Duchy of Lancaster, 101. Colin Richmond, ‘East Anglian Politics and Society in the Fifteenth Century’, in Medieval East Anglia, ed. Christopher Harper-Bill (Woodbridge, 2005), 187–8. Watts, Henry VI, 239. For this interesting case, see Roger Virgoe, ‘The Murder of James Andrew: Suffolk Faction in the 1430s’, Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History, xxxiv (1980), 263–7. CCR, 1435–41, p. 381; Storey, End of the House of Lancaster, 226–7, 260n.; Griffiths, Henry VI, 586–7. KB9/257, nos. 44, 53–9. The actions against Norfolk also included breaking into the house of Mowbray’s chaplain and stealing certain charters, breaking and entering the duke’s park at Earl’s Soham, and stealing 5 bucks, breaking Robert Wingfield out of Melton gaol, where he had been placed after Norfolk had arrested him (all no. 44), and many other crimes. He had also been ordered by a royal signet letter to remain seven miles distant from Mowbray, which he had failed to obey (no. 53). KB27/747, rex rot. 7; CPR, 1446–52, p. 130; Storey, End of the House of Lancaster, 227.

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second time in six months that a perfectly legitimate case, affecting his interests, had been quashed by a royal pardon before the case had come to trial.66 There is no direct evidence that Suffolk was acting as Scrope’s advocate in the Henry Howard case; the result may have been achieved through the auspices of another leading courtier, though with the death of his erstwhile patron, Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, in 1447, he had few other obvious allies at court; Scrope may also have exploited his direct access to the king to achieve his ends. However, the indictment before one magnate of another magnate’s men for murder, and indeed of the peer himself for aiding and abetting, was a serious matter for the king and the council. No historian doubts that Suffolk was the king’s leading minister at this period, and it is likely that de la Pole would have been involved in some discussion of this serious matter during the year between the murder and the pardon. The murder of Henry Howard was not a result of local political conflict, or an assault by Mowbray on Suffolk’s power structures. It was a crime committed by outsiders, beyond the confines of East Anglian politics, and for which redress was sought through the medium of common law. Clearly, the events of the Henry Howard case, in so far as the king directly authorised at least the pardon and perhaps the suspension of proceedings, are to the discredit of Henry VI personally, though this case is hardly novel in suggesting such a conclusion. The case, whether or not de la Pole was personally involved, also brought into disrepute Suffolk’s national regime; the result was either because of somebody’s malicious use of their influence over the king or a failure to manage him. Discussing a similar murder case the same year, Simon Payling has commented not only did the granting of a pardon ‘alienate those who suffered directly from it, but it created a culture of misgovernance which stood as a general indictment of Henry VI and his ministers.’67 The comparison with the proceedings over the murder of James Andrew ten years earlier is striking. Then, Norfolk was not able to secure pardons for most of the lesser men involved; some stood trial, which none of Scrope’s men did, and others paid some monetary compensation. The king’s council was also directly involved, ensuring matters did not get out of hand, in contrast to the Suffolk dominated regime of the mid-1440s. Ten years after Howard’s murder in 1457, in an equivalent case, Thomas Courtenay was pardoned, two years after his brutal murder of Nicholas Radford.68 Courtenay’s pardon does not surprise, given the fractured political state of the realm, when the support of perhaps the most powerful peer in the south-west would have been of huge importance to the beleaguered Lancastrian dynasty, and any tool to attract his loyalty had to be used. In 1447, however, Suffolk headed a regime that was meant to represent all interests, and that in the name of Henry VI should have been dispensing justice even-handedly. 66

67 68

For a petition dating from late 1444 or early 1445 from the duke relating to yet another suspension of judicial process, this time regarding Ralph Garneys, who had allegedly committed offences against the duke, and asking for a resumption of the proceedings of the oyer and terminer commission appointed to investigate, see C81/1482/58; CPR, 1441–6, pp. 337, 338. Payling, ‘Murder, Motive and Punishment’, 9. Even in this case one of the men responsible was hanged, though not until 1463, under a Yorkist regime publicly committed to ‘good governance’: KB27/809, rex rot 2; Hannes Kleineke, ‘Why the West was Wild: Law and Disorder in Fifteenth-Century Cornwall and Devon’, The Fifteenth Century III: Authority and Subversion, ed. Linda Clark (Woodbridge, 2003), 80.

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The ease with which pardons could be acquired and judicial process subverted meant that punitive justice was hard to achieve for all those indicted of a felony, but the pardon of everybody indicted for the death of Henry Howard appears to be a particularly blatant abuse of the system. There is likely to have been a general response among Suffolk gentry society of disgust at the murder of one of their own by an outsider – de la Pole and Mowbray men sat as justices of the peace at both indictments – so the quashing of the prosecution might have appeared both cynical and unsettling. It may be in this case, that counter to received wisdom about late medieval society, the involvement of a great man may have hindered the likelihood of achieving justice; that Norfolk’s involvement made it more political than judicial. For the duke of Norfolk, it would have been humiliating, as in the Howard case, Norfolk was probably trying to act on behalf of county society, rather than directly in his own interest. That he failed to achieve his aims would only have added to his dislike of Suffolk and the court-based regime, and perhaps was in some small way responsible for his later attachment to the Yorkist cause, but it surely reflected no credit at all to the regime in the eyes of Suffolk gentry society, many of whom were de la Pole men.

APPENDIX In the following, abbreviations have been silently expanded, capitalisation modernised and some punctuation added. Interlineations and glosses in the original documents have been indicated by angular brackets (< >), editorial interventions by square brackets ([ ]). Use of ‘u’ and ‘v’ and ‘i’ and ‘j’ has been modernised. 1. Inquisition into the murder of Henry Howard, taken at Ipswich on 18 June 1446 (KB9/252/2, no. 14) Inquisitio capta apud Gippewicum die Sabbati proximo post festum Corporis Christi anno regni regis Henrici sexti post conquestum vicesimo quarto1 coram Johanne, duce Norffolcie, Thoma Fulthorp, milite, Gilberto Debenham, Reginaldo Rous, Johanne Andrewes, Johanne Ulverston et Willelmo Jeney, custodibus pacis domini Regis ac justiciariis suis ad diversa felonias, transgressiones et malefacta in comitatu Suffolcie audienda et terminanda assignatis per sacramentum Roberti Clyfton, armigeri, Georgii Felbrygge, armigeri, Thome Curson, armigeri, Thome Cavndyssh, armigeri, Roberti Bour, Willelmi Curson, Thome Gray, armigeri, Johannis Straunge, armigeri, Willelmi Barnebe, Thome Rowyngton, Johannis Leventhorp, armigeri, Johannis Bernard and Willelmi Ovehand, juratorum. Qui dicunt super sacramentum suum quod Johannes Gelder nuper de Masham in comitatu Eboraci, yoman, Johannes Ledale nuper de Masham in eodem comitatu Eboraci, yoman, et Johannes Plumtre nuper de Masham in eodem comitatu, grome, aggregatis sibi quampluribus malefactoribus et pacis domini Regis perturbatoribus quorum nomina ad presens ignorantur, per excitacionem, procuracionem et abettamentum domini Johannis Lescrop nuper de Masham predicta, militis, Johannis Lescrop , filii eiusdem domini Johannis, nuper de eadem, armigeri, Alexandri Twyer nuper de eadem, gentilman, Johannis Chesshire , nuper de eadem, gentilman, Willelmi Manfeld nuper de eadem, gentilman, Johannis Smyth nuper de eadem, gentilman, Willelmi Hardy nuper de eadem, gentilman, Ricardi Assheton nuper de eadem, gentilman, Willelmi Polthorp nuper de eadem, yoman, Roberti Newsam nuper de eadem, yoman, Johannis Shepey nuper de eadem, yoman, Johannis Sookdale nuper de eadem, yoman, Nicholai Frensheman, alias dicti Colyni Frensheman nuper de eadem, yoman, Willelmi Turner nuper de eadem, yoman et Willelmi Ferrour nuper de eadem, yoman, vi et armis, videlicet gladiis, arcubus et sagittis, die sabbati in vigilia Sancte Trinitatis anno regni regis Henrici sexti post

1

18 June 1446.

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conquestum vicesimo quarto2 domum Johannis Halstede, smyth, apud Stoke iuxta Neylond in dicto comitatu Suffolcie in quodam vico vocato Thoryngtonstrete intraverunt et in Henricum Howard, armigerum, ibidem insultum fecerunt verberaverunt, vulneraverunt et ipsum Henricum ad tunc et ibidem felonice interfecerunt et murdraverunt, contra pacem etc. Et dicunt ulterius quod predicti dominus Johannes Lescrop, Johannes filius eius, Alexander, Johannes Chesshire, Willelmus Manfeld, Johannes Smyth, Willelmus Hardy, Ricardus Assheton, Willelmus Polthorp, Robertus Newsam, Johannes Shepey, Johannes Stokdale, Nicholaus Frensheman, alias dictus Colynus Frensheman, Willelmus Turner et Willelmus Ferrour statim post predictam feloniam sic factam scientes predictos Johannem Gelder, Johannem Ledale et Johannem Plumtre feloniam predictam in forma predicta fecisse et perpetrasse, ipsos Johannem Gelder, Johannem Ledale et Johannem Plumtre apud Neylond in dicto comitatu Suffolcie die et anno supradictis felonice receperunt, hospitaverunt et cibaverunt, contra pacem domini Regis etc. 2. Inquisition into the murder of Henry Howard taken at Henhowe on 25 July 1446 (KB9/254, no. 38) Inquisitio capta apud Henhowe in comitatu predicto die lune proximo post festum Sancte Margarete Virginis anno regni regis Henrici sexti post conquestum vicesimo quarto3 coram Roberto Corbet, milite, Reginaldo Rous, Thoma Higham, Willelmo Jenney et sociis suis custodibus pacis domini Regis ac justiciariis suis ad diversa felonias transgressiones et malefacta in comitatu predicto audienda et terminanda assignatis per sacramentum Johannis Saxe, Johannis Norys, Johannis Neve, Willelmi Buxton, Thome Branston, Johannis Wylde, Roberti Sparwe, Johannis Godfrey, Johannis Hoberd, Roberti Dunch, Roberti Burghassh et Johannis Weston, juratorum. Qui dicunt super sacramentum suum quod Johannes Waller alias dictus Johannes Quallegh , alias dictus Johannes Wallegh nuper de Upsale in comitatu Eboraci, yoman, Johannes Kendale nuper de Eboraco in dicto comitatu Eboraci, yoman, et Hugo Flemmyng nuper de Masham in comitatu Eboraci, yoman, die Sabbati in vigilia Sancte Trinitatis anno regni regis Henrici sexti post conquestum vicesimo quarto4 vi et armis in Henricum Howard nuper de Boxstede armigerum apud Stokeneylond in quodam vico vocato Thoryngton Strete cum gladiis, arcubus et sagittis felonice insidiati fuerunt et predictum Henricum adtunc et ibidem felonice interfecerunt et murdraverunt, et Johannes Breton de Leyrbreton in comitatu Essex, gentilman, et Petrus Boxstede de Colcestre in comitatu Essex, gentilman, scientes prefatum Johannem Waller, Johannem Kendale et Hugonem predictam feloniam fecisse eos dictis die et anno apud Stokeneylond in comitatu Suffolciae receperunt, hospitaverunt et consortaverunt felonice.

2 3 4

11 June 1446. 25 July 1446. 11 June 1446.

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3. Royal privy seal letter to the justices of King’s bench, ordering the cessation of process over the murder of Henry Howard against John, Lord Scrope, and his servants (KB145/6/25, item B [see note 30 above]). Henry etc. to our chief justice of plees before us. We have understande by supplicacion of our right trusty and welbeloved John, Lord Scrope, that where on Trinite even at night last passed5 two of his servants, that oon called Willeygh, that other Kendale, mischievously slewen atte Stoke Neylond in Suff’ oon Henry Howard, squyer, unto his grete hevinesse and displesance, but, as thai saide, in theire defense, upon whiche knowlache of murder by examinacion of thaim made by the said Lord Scrop on Trinite Sunday6 in the morning withoute any tarrying he putte thaim under arrest, and the same day sent them to our gaole of Bury, there to abyde oure lawe, and whereupon on Saturday than next following7 were sessions of pees at Gippiswiche, and that day passed on the morn on the Sonday8 untrewely, as it is saide, were endited for the said murder by xii men of our right trusty and welbeloved cousin, the Duc of Norff’, aswell the eldest sone of the said Lord Scrop diverse folk and he, sum as principalle and sum as accessories, of which sum were his servants thenne being in Yorkshire, and sum theire owen men, and sum othermen servants, and to the said Lord Scrop, as he seith, unknowen where they were atte that tyme, sum lepere, sum named no suche men knowen being in any cuntre, the names of whom there and in other places sithen endited for the said cause, except the said Willeygh and Kendale, knowlache of the dede afore said ben these that folowen: John Gelder, late of Masham in the countee of York, yeman, John Ledale late of Massham in þe same countee, yoman, John Plumtre, late of Masham in the same counte, grome, John Lescrop, sone of Sir John Scrop, knyght, in the same countee, squyer, Alexandre Twyer, late of the same, gentilman, John Chesshire, late of the same, gentilman, William Manfeld, late of the same, gentilman, John Smyth, late of the same gentilman, William Hardy, late of the same, gentilman, Richard Assheton, gentilman, William Polthorp, late of the same, yoman, Robert Newsam, late of the same, yoman, John Shepey, late of the same, yoman, John Stokdale, late of the same, yoman, Nicholas Fresshman, otherwise called Colin Frenshman, late of the same, yoman, William Turner, late of the same, yeoman, William Ferrour, late of the same, yeoman, Hugh Flemmyng of Upsale, grome, , John Breton of Leyrbreton in the countee of Essex, gentilman, Piers Boxstede of Colchestre in the countee of Essex, gentilman, Henry Beckwith, late of Neylond in the countee of Suff’, skynner, and we, having consideracion to the premises and that the said Lord Scrop is a lord and a peer of this oure lande, being of age, as he seith, lxvii yere,9 willing hym to enioye the freedom whiche, as we be enformed, belongith to alle the lordes of this oure Reaume that wol aske it, that is to say, to be treted and adiugged by theire peeres in any action or accusement of crime or felonye, charge you therefore straitely that ye surceesse and your handes close of any processe makyng ayenst 5 6 7 8 9

11 June 1446. 12 June 1446. 18 June 1446. 19 June 1446. This would make him some nine years older than the only other known source for his age, his brother’s inquisition post mortem, which gave John’s age as 30 or more in July 1418: CIPM, xxi. 1.

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the same lord Scrop upon any enditement or appell yeven inne or to be yeve inne for the deth of the said Howard, commaundyng you furthermore to surseesse of any proceding or processe making upon any of the said persones so endited of or for the deth of the said Henri unto the tyme ye haue otherwise in commaundment from us in this behalf, and that ye leue not this in noo wyse. Yeven undre oure priue seel at Westm’ the last day of Nouembre the yere of oure Reyne xxv.10 4. Royal pardon to the alleged murderers of Henry Howard and their accessories, 12 July 1447 (C66/464, m. 22 [calendared in CPR, 1446–52, p. 62]). Rex omnibus ballivis et fidelibus suis ad quos etc. salutem. Sciatis quod cum Maria que fuit uxor Henrici Howard, armigeri, alias dicti Henrici Howard, nuper de Boxstede, armigeri, dilectum nostrum Johannem Lescrop, filium et heredem apparentem Johannis, domini Lescrop, ac quosdam Johannem Chesshire, gentilman, Alexandrum Twyer, gentilman, Ricardum Assheton, gentilman, Willelmum Hardy, gentilman, Johannem Breton, gentilman, Petrum Boxstede, gentilman, Willelmum Manfeld, gentilman, Johannem Gelder, yoman, Johannem Ledale, yoman, Willelmum Polthorp, yoman, Willelmum Turner, yoman, Nicholaum Frenshman, yoman, Johannem Shepey, yoman, Robertum11 Newsam, yoman, Willelmum Ferrour, yoman, Thomam Stabeler, yoman, Adam Willisson, yoman, Johannem Whalley, yoman, Johannem Kendale, yoman, Johannem Plumtre, groom, et Willelmum Johnson, groom, tam nobis quam pluribus magnatibus et aliis ligeis regni nostri Anglie tam oretenus, quam aliter, de morte et murdro prefati Henrici maliciose impetiverit12 et scandelizaverit, in ipsorum dampnum non modicum et gravamen ac gradus fame et nominum suorum violacionem et lesionem manifestas, nos impeticionem et scandalum supradicta ex malicia precogitata et non veritate facti processisse ponderantes volentesque statum, gradum, bonam famam, nomen et honestatem predictorum Johannis, Johannis, Alexandri, Ricardi, Willelmi, Johannis, Petri, Willelmi, Johannis, Johannis, Willelmi, Willelmi, Nicholai, Johannis, Roberti, Willelmi, Thome, Ade, Johannis, Johannis, Johannis, et Willelmi veraciter divesti in omnibus et reputari, ipsos mundos et innocentes ab omni labe seu reatu mortis seu murdri predicti, quantum in nobis est, acceptamus et tenemus et habemus et reputamus ac sic teneri haberi et reputari volumus, ipsisque, quibuscumque nominibus censeantur, sectam pacis nostre et omne id quod ad nos versus ipsos seu eorum aliquem pro morte seu murdro prefati Henrici Howard pertinet seu pertinere poterit pardonavimus, remisimus, et relaxavimus et firmam pacem nostram eis inde concedimus, ita tamen, quod stent et quilibet eorum stet recto in curia nostra si quis versus eos seu eorum aliquem inde loqui voluerit. In cuius rei testimonum has litteras nostras fieri fecimus patentes absque aliquo fine vel feodo nobis seu ad opus nostrum pro aliqua re causa vel materia superius specificata seu pro aliquo sigillo nostro in hac parte solvendo. Teste Rege apud Westmonasterium xii die Julii.13 Per ipsum Regem et de data. 10 11 12 13

30 Nov. 1446. MS Robertus. MS impetuerit. 12 July 1447.

A FIFTEENTH-CENTURY MEDICUS POLITICUS: JOHN SOMERSET, PHYSICIAN TO HENRY VI∗ Carole Rawcliffe Medical doctors play a large part in personal history; it is therefore surprising that they make so slight an impact on public affairs, on politics. We can easily read a whole library of history without encountering the name of a single medical doctor, so modest and inconspicuous are the physicians of the body.1 At first glance, the return of John Somerset as a shire knight for Middlesex to the parliament of 1442 seems unsurprising, if not predictable. Although, unlike his fellow representative, Thomas Charlton, he did not come from an established county family, he had occupied the manor of Ruislip as a life tenant of the crown since 1437, had served on the local bench for just over two years, and had already acquired the extensive estate in and around Osterley where he was to build a ‘great messuage’.2 And if these unimpeachable local connexions failed to convince the electors of Middlesex, his position at court and influence over a young, impressionable monarch would surely have silenced any residual opposition. He had assumed his first major administrative offices, as chancellor of the exchequer and warden of the exchange and mint in the Tower of London, in December 1439. Just over a year later he became almoner of the royal household and was also by then busily engaged in the acquisition of estates earmarked for the king’s new colleges at Eton and Cambridge, in whose management he remained closely involved.3 Since the most pressing and potentially acrimonious item of business on the forthcoming parliamentary agenda was the vexed question of household expenditure and the need to impose ‘good and sadde rule’ upon an increasingly profligate establishment, it is easy to see why his presence in the Commons must have seemed so desirable to the crown.4 Yet Somerset’s election would still have struck his contemporaries as unusual, and, indeed, now renders him ∗ 1 2

3

4

I am most grateful to Dr. Hannes Kleineke for his generous assistance in the preparation of this article. Hugh Trevor-Roper, ‘Medicine in Politics’, The American Scholar, li (1981), 23–41, at 23. Somerset was appointed to commissions of the peace for Middlesex from November 1439 until his death: CPR, 1436–41, p. 586; 1441–6, p. 474; 1446–52, p. 591; 1452–61, p. 671. His acquisitions of property are described more fully below. CPR, 1436–41, pp. 418, 454, 471, 512; TNA, E28/66/18–19; B.P. Wolffe, Henry VI (1981), 137, 139. Rot. Parl., v. 63; D.A.L. Morgan, ‘The House of Policy: The Political Role of the Late Plantagenet Household’, in The English Court from the Wars of the Roses to the Civil War, ed. David Starkey (1987), 26–35, 43.

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unique, because, so far as we can tell, he was the only university trained physician ever to sit in a medieval parliament. Nor were any other members of his profession, however well-regarded and astute, able to play such a significant role at the centre of government as did Somerset during most of the twenty-five years that he spent in royal employment. The shire knights and burgesses who assembled at Westminster in January 1442 would have been impressed as much by Somerset’s appearance as his official status. Even by the standards of an age which set such store upon external display, the fifteenth-century court physician cut an opulent figure. A long tradition of advice literature urging him to dress soberly in a manner befitting his profession sat uneasily with the need to advertise. Attacks made in France on the type of ‘pernicious and diabolical’ impostor who posed as a successful practitioner by strutting about in ‘superb and magnificent clothes, wearing at his neck chains of gold which he, perhaps, borrowed from a goldsmith,’ underscore the fact that Somerset and his colleagues had earned their handsome apparel.5 Testamentary evidence confirms that they were generously rewarded with jewellery and expensive clothing by grateful patients.6 As a physician to the royal body, Somerset received a basic annual allocation from the wardrobe of ten yards of blood-red and of yellow or green cloth for a livery that was lined throughout with fur. But he was also given more exotic items, including the length of costly violet grosgrain and hood lined with miniver which he sold in 1443–4, presumably because they were surplus to requirements.7 He ranked in these accounts alongside other senior exchequer officials, but, irrespective of their administrative duties, court physicians invariably enjoyed at least the same rank and privileges as an esquire of the royal household and, as we shall see, were generally remunerated at far higher rates.8 By any reckoning, then, Somerset was a man of consequence. As he arrived at court for his daily consultations with the king, whose own sartorial standards paled in comparison, a mere glance revealed his authority. How had he come to wield such influence? The particular circumstances of Henry’s early reign, during which a long minority was followed by several years of conciliar rule, accorded members of the royal household unusual opportunities for advancement. And, even when the king had ostensibly begun to govern in person, it remained easy for an ambitious courtier to corner more than his fair share of patronage. Yet Somerset’s own spectacular rise from modest beginnings was due to more than simple good fortune in finding employment in the service of a pliable and unworldly sovereign. His rigorous academic training, his enthusiasm for both education and philanthropy and his gifts as a communicator would have appealed to a prince whose inclinations were monastic rather than military and whose involvement in affairs of state was at best sporadic. A general tendency to compartmentalise his various activities and to underestimate the importance of his role as Henry’s medical advisor has, nevertheless, consigned him to

5

6 7 8

A.K. Lingo, ‘Empirics and Charlatans in Early Modern France: The Genesis of the Classification of the “Other” in Medical Practice’, Journal of Social History, xix (1986), 583–603, at p. 586. Carole Rawcliffe, Medicine and Society in Later Medieval England (Stroud, 1995), 115–16. PPC, iv. 131; BL, Add. MS 17721, f. 38; TNA, E101/409/2, f. 42v; E101/409/12, ff. 9v, 12, 77v. A.R. Myers, The Household of Edward IV: The Black Book and the Ordinance of 1478 (Manchester, 1959), 124.

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a marginal position in studies of the Lancastrian court, which clearly merits reappraisal.9 Before embarking upon a more detailed assessment of Somerset’s career, it will be useful to outline some of the salient features of elite medical education and practice in fifteenth-century England. That the dependence of a head of state upon those who care for his health may, in certain cases, have lasting political repercussions is a phenomenon widely recognised by historians of the twentieth century as well as earlier periods.10 By and large, however, the deeply personal nature of the physicianpatient relationship seems most often to have flourished when there were fewer viable alternatives to preventative medicine.11 A chronically sick or mentally unstable ruler inevitably needed medical support, but the overwhelming emphasis placed in medieval therapeutics upon the conservation of health meant that the fit and active were (in theory, if not always in practice) also expected to follow a personalised regimen and thus to consult regularly with their physicians. Being universally recognised as ‘the first instrument of medicine’, diet assumed particular prominence, necessitating the constant regulation of royal eating habits. The principal, and no doubt often thankless, task of Edward IV’s physicians was to attend at mealtimes, ‘councelyng or awnswering to the kinges grace wich dyet is best according’, while collaborating with the cook and other officials in an attempt to restrain his voracious appetite.12 Nor was it enough to watch what one ate. The whole of life, including sexual activity, had to be carefully monitored in accordance with the advice of a medical expert, whose academic studies equipped him especially well for the service of learned and cultivated patrons.13 Galen’s conviction that the physician ‘ought not to visit the courts and halls of princes until he has acquired a knowledge of books’ was frequently reiterated by medieval practitioners, many of whom were, indeed, distinguished scholars.14 It would be hard to dismiss men of the stamp of Gilbert Kymer, chancellor of Oxford University and physician to both Henry VI and his uncle Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, or John Arundel, another of Henry’s medical staff, who became bishop of Chichester, as ‘corrupt and ineffective placemen, wheeler-dealers on the fringes of power, fully part neither of the court nor of the intellectual world of the universities’.15 Even so, our image of the medieval court physician is all too often based upon a misconception of the nature of contemporary practice. This is due in part to the 9

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12 13

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The biography of Somerset in J.C. Wedgwood and A.D. Holt, History of Parliament: Biographies of the Members of the Commons House, 1439–1509 (1936), 780–1, is especially wanting in this and other respects. See, for example, J.M. Post and R.S. Robins, When Illness Strikes the Leader: The Dilemma of the Captive King (New York, 1993); and Hugh Trevor-Roper, Europe’s Physician: The Various Life of Sir Theodore de Mayerne (New Haven and London, 2006). Louis XI’s dependence upon his physician, Jacques Cotier, furnishes a striking example: Philippe de Commynes, Mémoires, ed. Joseph Calmette (3 vols., Paris, 1924–5), ii. 314–16, 319. Myers, Household of Edward IV, 123–4. See, for example, E.A. Hammond, ‘Doctor Augustine, Physician to Cardinal Wolsey and King Henry VIII’, Medical History, xix (1975), 215–49. F.M. Getz, ‘The Faculty of Medicine before 1500’, in The History of the University of Oxford II: Late Medieval Oxford, ed. J.I. Catto and Ralph Evans (Oxford, 1992), 391. Vivian Nutton, ‘Introduction’, in Medicine at the Courts of Europe 1500–1837, ed. idem (1990), 9. For Arundel and Kymer, see C.H. Talbot and E.A. Hammond, The Medical Practitioners in Medieval England (1965), 60–3, 115–16; A.B. Emden, Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to 1500 (3 vols., Oxford, 1957–9), i. 49–50; ii. 1068–9.

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anachronistic assumption that, as is the case today, medicine must have concentrated almost exclusively upon the treatment of the sick, rather than seeking, first and foremost, to prevent the onset of disease. Nor has much attention been paid to the pedagogic and advisory role assumed by many physicians, notably with regard to the young, which was, in fact, how Somerset first gained entry to the royal household. He and his colleagues were members of a small and select academic elite, whose ubiquity and influence were entirely disproportionate to its size.16 Physic had by then become an essentially theoretical subject, studied at English universities in a way that was already beginning to appear both outdated and parochial.17 Yet, to advocates of this system, Hippocrates’ first aphorism, ‘ars longa, vita brevis’, justified an education which built on the solid foundations of the liberal arts. For them the trivium (grammar, rhetoric and logic) and quadrivium (mathematics, music, geometry and astronomy) provided the necessary groundwork for a medical career, especially one to be pursued in high places, where learning, urbanity and an easy social manner carried a high premium. The study of rhetoric, for example, allegedly enabled a physician to hone his powers of analysis and rational thought, to manage difficult or fearful patients, and to establish the reputation for eloquence which was an essential part of his professional persona.18 As the production of horoscopes (which would reveal a patient’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the safest time for treatment) became a standard part of the practitioner’s stock in trade, the ability to use complex tables and equipment to calculate the position of celestial bodies likewise assumed particular importance.19 Although, as we shall see, the plaudits heaped upon him as an astrologer may have been undeserved, Somerset could certainly hold his own in the council chamber. At some point shortly before June 1442, the king’s secretary, Thomas Bekynton, who had been sent to Bordeaux to negotiate a marriage for Henry with the count of Armagnac’s daughter, wrote to him in desperation. Complaining that the mission seemed likely to founder ‘withoute hasty remedy be hadde in this behaf’, he urged his ‘right welbeloved and entirely trusted Maister’ to ‘sture and call upon my lords of the king’s counsaill to pourvey such remedye in this partie, in all goodely hast, as yt may be to the king’s pleasure, and the wele of us all’, a punning request which highlights Somerset’s oratorical gifts, as well as his medical qualifications.20 As John Watts reminds us, this was a time when King Henry’s shortcomings as a ruler gave the more persuasive of his ‘mandarins’ a striking amount of political freedom.21 Once in possession of the degree of bachelor – and preferably master – of arts, students of physic could begin to specialise. A minimum of three years’ attendance at lectures and a text-based examination super practicam were deemed necessary for 16

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D.R. Leader, A History of the University of Cambridge I: The University to 1546 (Cambridge, 1988), 202; Getz, ‘Faculty of Medicine’, 382, 394. Getz, ‘Faculty of Medicine’, 283–93. Vivian Nutton, ‘Murders and Miracles: Lay Attitudes towards Medicine in Classical Antiquity’, in Patients and Practitioners: Lay Perceptions of Medicine in Pre-Industrial Society, ed. Roy Porter (Cambridge, 1985), 36–7. Roger French, ‘Astrology in Medical Practice’, in Practical Medicine from Salerno to the Black Death, ed. Luis Garcia-Bellester et al. (Cambridge, 1994), 30–59. Letters of Queen Margaret of Anjou, ed. Cecil Munro (Camden Society, old series, lxxxvi, 1863), 85–6. Bekynton was a personal friend of the physician, whose home he visited: Memorials of the Reign of King Henry VI: Official Correspondence of Thomas Bekynton, ed. George Williams (2 vols., Rolls Series, lvi, 1872), ii. 244. John Watts, Henry VI and the Politics of Kingship (Cambridge, 1996), 167.

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approval to graduate as a bachelor of medicine at Cambridge. Candidates hoping to obtain a doctorate had to attend lectures for a further five or six years, as well as themselves lecturing on set works and engaging in formal academic disputations for another two. Actual experience of medical practice was also required. After inception they were expected to spend the next two years at university as teachers, but few fulfilled this obligation, being anxious to seek preferment elsewhere.22 Although both Oxford and Cambridge opted for what was, by continental standards, an extremely conservative syllabus, we know that many students, of whom Somerset furnishes a notable example, read far more widely and were avid collectors of books. The Canon of Avicenna, a comprehensive digest of the works of Galen which occupied pride of place in the syllabuses of French and Italian universities, was undoubtedly the most glaring omission from the list of set texts, but Somerset owned at least two copies, one of which he gave to his Cambridge college and the other to the library of St. Paul’s Cathedral.23 A selectively generous as well as an enthusiastic bibliophile, he loaned his protégé, the physician Roger Marchall, a composite volume containing a Tractatus utilis de regimine sanitatis, as well as extracts from the so-called Medicine Aristotelis ad regem Alexandrum.24 Both works belonged to a rapidly expanding genre of literature on the conservation of health through strict adherence to the Galenic principles of temperance and moderation.25 Many of these regimina derived from the medical parts of the Secreta secretorum, a text of Arab origin comprising exhortatory, albeit entirely fictitious, letters supposedly sent by Aristotle to his pupil, Alexander the Great, on the conduct and lifestyle befitting a successful prince.26 By the fourteenth century it had become essential reading for any monarch. A lavishly illuminated copy of the Secreta was, for example, produced in 1326 for the young Edward III, just before he became king;27 and Edward IV owned another.28 Whatever their limitations in other respects, English medical students were certainly well equipped to translate these ideas into practice. Following respected authorities such as Aldobrandino of Siena, who had devised a comprehensive regimen in 1256 for Queen Eleanor, they were schooled in the belief that mastery of the art of healthy living represented the principal objective

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F.M. Getz, ‘Medical Education in Late Medieval England’, in The History of Medical Education in Britain, ed. Vivian Nutton and Roy Porter (Amsterdam, 1995), 85–7; Leader, History of the University of Cambridge I, 202–3. M.R. James, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of Pembroke College, Cambridge (Cambridge, 1905), 136–7; Emden, Biographical Register of the University of Oxford, iii. 1728. BL, Sloane MS 59. The book was bequeathed by Somerset in reversion to Peterhouse, Cambridge: L.E. Voigts, ‘A Doctor and his Books: The Manuscripts of Roger Marchall (d.1477)’, in New Science Out of Old Books, ed. Richard Beadle and A.J. Piper (Aldershot, 1995), 250, 281. For his other gifts to Peterhouse, see M.R. James, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of Peterhouse (Cambridge, 1899), 8, 284. Carole Rawcliffe, ‘The Concept of Health in Medieval Society’, in Le interazioni fra economia e ambiente biologico nell’Europa preindustriale. Secc. XIII–XVIII ed. Simonetta Cavaciocchi (Florence, 2010), 317–34. F.M. Getz, Medicine in the English Middle Ages (Princeton, 1998), 53–64; Three Versions of the Secreta Secretorum, ed. Robert Steele (EETS, extra series, lxxiv, 1898). BL, Add. MS 47680; The Treatise of Walter de Milemete, ed. M.R. James (1913), pp. xxxviii–lxiii, 159–86. BL, Royal MS 12 E. XV, notably ff. 19–116.

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and pinnacle of medical science.29 It is worth noting that, at a key moment in his career, Somerset chose to describe himself not as a royal physician, but as ‘domini regis ad personam servitor et sanitatem vitaeque conservationem consulens’.30 He was, first and foremost, a guide who, like Aristotle, would direct his young pupil along the path to health, virtue and wisdom, thereby equipping him to minister as a physician to his people.31 That King Henry proved to be no Alexander may, paradoxically, have strengthened Somerset’s professional authority. Somerset owed his august reputation to years of scholarly endeavour, which began on his arrival at Oxford at the start of the fifteenth century to study the liberal arts. He had apparently not yet passed beyond the trivium when plague struck the university, prompting his departure for Cambridge, which remained his beloved alma mater for the next four decades until a bitter dispute over property terminated the relationship.32 By 1410 he had become a fellow of Pembroke College, and eight years later, artium et grammatices [sic] professor et bachilarius in medicinis, was poised to mount the first rungs on the ladder of preferment.33 In common with that of many other scholars, his family background remains tantalisingly obscure. Attractive as it may be in explaining his subsequent influence at court, there is no evidence whatsoever to support Bertram Wolffe’s assumption that he was the ‘John bastard of Somerset’ who received a legacy from Cardinal Beaufort in 1447, and therefore ‘probably’ an illegitimate son or grandson of Beaufort’s elder brother, John, earl of Somerset (d. 1410).34 Given that he described himself as a Londoner, he is more likely to have been related to the draper, Robert Somerset, a minor figure in civic politics and warden of his guild during the later fourteenth century.35 All we know for certain, however, is that his sister, Alice, became a nun at the Cistercian priory of Wintney in Hampshire, eventually serving as prioress for eight years before her death in 1460, during which time she assumed the care of their widowed mother, who lived there as a pensioner at his expense.36 Although its complaints about poverty were less justified than they had been in the

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Marilyn Nicoud, Les régimes de santé au moyen âge (2 vols., Rome, 2007), i. 116–18; Peter Murray Jones, Medieval Medical Miniatures (1984), 132–6. BL, Add. MS 18850, f. 256. Following this long tradition, contemporary political theorists, such as Christine de Pizan, argued that ‘to govern the body of the public polity well, it is necessary for the head to be healthy, that is virtuous’: Le Livre du Corps de Policie, ed. A.J. Kennedy (Paris, 1998), 3. Thomae de Elmham Vita et Gesta Henrici Quinti, ed. Thomas Hearne (Oxford, 1727), 350. Emden, Biographical Register of the University of Oxford, iii. 1727. Wolffe, Henry VI, 45, n. 57. Vita et Gesta Henrici Quinti, ed. Hearne, 354. He was also posthumously described as a citizen of London: TNA, E13/146, rot. 51. For Robert, see Calendar of the Letter Books of the City of London, H, ed. R.R. Sharpe (1907), 78, 94, 239, 270, 344, 367; Calendar of Select Plea and Memoranda Rolls of the City of London, 1381–1412, ed. A.H. Thomas (Cambridge, 1932), 29. John Somerset’s popularity as a trustee and mainpernor among London merchants, tradesmen and booksellers may simply reflect his status and interests: Corporation of London RO, Husting Rolls 158/45, 53; 178/31; Calendar of Plea and Memoranda Rolls of the City of London, 1437–1457, ed. P.E. Jones (Cambridge, 1954), 176; C.P. Christianson, A Directory of London Stationers and Book Artisans, 1300–1500 (New York, 1990), 80. He was, however, connected with the church of St. Stephen in Colman Street (below, n. 43), an area of London where Robert had been active. VCH Hampshire, ii. 151. After Somerset’s death, Alice became involved in litigation for the reversion of a substantial part of the 100 marks which he had previously set aside to support their mother, Margaret, by then also deceased: TNA, C1/26/329A and B. He also gave money to the priory in his lifetime: C1/19/65.

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previous century, Wintney was not the type of fashionable convent that would have appealed to the nobility or more affluent gentry. Whatever ambitions he may have nursed, Somerset’s first appointment on leaving Cambridge in July 1418 was to the relatively humble post of master of grammar at Bury St. Edmunds’ school, on a modest salary of 40s. a year.37 Clearly anxious for more tangible recognition, he continued with his doctoral studies, and by 1423 had progressed sufficiently to be named, along with the Oxford-educated physician, Thomas Southwell, as a surveyor of the newly constituted ‘Faculte of Phisyk’ which sought to control the practice of both medicine and surgery in London. The moving spirits behind this belated attempt to introduce a continental system of training, licensing and regulation were the above-mentioned Gilbert Kymer, who was chosen to head the Faculty, and the eminent royal surgeon, Thomas Morstede. Neither the latter’s close relationship with the mercantile elite, nor the support proffered by leading members of the aristocracy, who had observed other European models at first hand, were enough to win popular approval for the venture, which failed within eighteen months.38 Evidence of only one item of business survives, involving a claim for damages brought against another prominent surgeon, whom Somerset and his fellow arbitrators exonerated from any blame attaching to the mutilation of a patient. Their argument rested upon a learned display of astrological expertise which, under the circumstances, can have done little to convince ordinary Londoners that the Faculty served their best interests.39 Short lived though it may have been, Somerset’s involvement in this enterprise enabled him to consolidate valuable connections with the foremost members of his profession and their employers. Whether or not he owed his post at Bury to the support of Thomas Beaufort, duke of Exeter, whom he described as his first patron, his subsequent entry into the ducal household represented a signal mark of confidence, being perhaps facilitated by Thomas Morstede, who was Beaufort’s surgeon. Both men attended the duke during his protracted last illness, and headed the list of witnesses to the will drawn up on his deathbed in December 1426.40 Service at court now beckoned, although competition for places was intense, not least because members of the royal family and aristocracy tended to favour French or Italian physicians on account of their superior training. Those English graduates who managed to secure a coveted position in the royal household tended to be in holy orders, and thus to enjoy the undoubted advantage of ministering to their patients’ spiritual as well as physical ailments. Men such as Gilbert Kymer (who allegedly put aside the wife of an early marriage in order to further his career) could therefore draw upon an almost limitless reserve of ecclesiastical patronage, which they exploited to the full.41 Somerset, who was twice married, belonged to the relatively new breed of lay physician more usually to be found in Italy, where many eminent practitioners and 37 38

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BL, Cotton MS Tiberius B IX, f. 180. Calendar of the Letter Books of the City of London, K, ed. R.R. Sharpe (1911), 11, 41; Theodore Beck, The Cutting Edge: Early History of the Surgeons of London (1974), 63–7; Getz, ‘Faculty of Medicine’, 401–3. Calendar of Plea and Memoranda Rolls of the City of London, 1413–1437, ed. A.H. Thomas (Cambridge, 1943), 174–5. Vita et Gesta Henrici Quinti, ed. Hearne, 348; The Register of Henry Chichele, ed. E.F. Jacob (4 vols., Oxford, 1937–47), ii. 362. Thomas Gascoigne, Loci e libro veritatem, ed. J.E. Thorold-Rogers (Oxford, 1881), pp. lxvi, 43.

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teachers of medicine had wives.42 Like his clerical colleagues, however, he too relied initially upon the support of a ‘good lord’, who in this instance was singularly well placed to act on his behalf. In 1422 the dying Henry V had appointed Thomas Beaufort governor of the person of his infant heir, and it was natural that, despite his failing health, he should press his talented young physician’s qualifications as both a medical practitioner and a teacher.43 Somerset had been employed at court for the best part of a year ‘a son tresgraunt et importable charge’ when his salary of £40, with robes, was finally confirmed by royal letters patent dated February 1428.44 Although he had by then obtained his doctorate, he did not abandon his earlier interest in education, being specifically retained to teach the young king as well as to preserve his health. The two activities were, indeed, deemed synonymous. ‘It is greet honuere and greet good’, ran one late medieval advice manual, ‘when Princes have knowlege and undirstandinge of clergie and science ... and in especiall that they undirstande and convenabely speke latyn ... for than shall they more wysely and sagely governe both thayme self and theire lordshippes.’45 His appointment was clearly intended to smooth Henry’s transition, formalised in the following June, from ‘the female world of the nursery’ to the care of his new guardian, Richard Beauchamp, earl of Warwick, and to assist him in the tuition of ‘good manners, letters, languages, nurture and courtesy’.46 Since, at this stage, his pupil appeared lively, intelligent and strong, the award ‘for services about the king’s person’ of a corrody at Cirencester abbey in 1431 and of another, larger annuity worth £60 one year later must have seemed well deserved.47 In his dual

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Leader, History of the University of Cambridge I, 43. In May 1441 Somerset and his first wife, Agnes, were awarded a joint corrody at Merton priory by King Henry as a reward for his ‘praiseworthy service’: CCR, 1435–41, p. 479. She died before August 1446, by which time Somerset had married Alice, the widow of John Cerf (d.1444), a Yorkshire lawyer and sometime colleague of his in the exchequer, where he had served as treasurer’s remembrancer: TNA, DURH3/49, m. 2; J.C. Sainty, Officers of the Exchequer (List and Index Society, special series, xviii, 1983), 54; M.P. Davies, ‘John Cerf’, The History of Parliament: The Commons 1422–61, ed. Linda Clark (forthcoming). I am grateful to the Trust for allowing me to see this and other articles cited below in draft. Alice was allegedly the daughter of another Yorkshire landowner, Adam Cawood, and thus possibly the sister of Robert Cawood, clerk of the pipe between 1431 and 1449 (Thomas Burton, The History and Antiquities of the Parish of Hemingbrough, ed. James Raine (York, 1888), 300; Sainty, Officers of the Exchequer, 63). In 1448 Henry VI permitted the endowment of a chantry at St. Stephen’s church, Colman Street, where prayers were to be said for Agnes’s soul and for the salvation of Somerset and Alice: CPR, 1446–52, pp. 176–9. Ralph Griffiths, The Reign of King Henry VI (1981), 51. There is no evidence to support the assumption, evidently based upon confusion with Gilbert Kymer, that Somerset joined the duke of Gloucester’s service after Exeter’s death and was introduced by him to the royal household: ibid., 245–7. CPR, 1422–9, p. 460; CCR, 1429–35, p. 196; PPC, iii. 282–3, 287–8. The grant was confirmed for life in July 1439, but rescinded in the following December: CPR, 1436–41, pp. 299, 359. Four English Political Tracts of the Later Middle Ages, ed. J.-P. Genet (Camden Society, 4th series, xviii, 1977), 205. For a detailed account of a physician’s involvement in the education of a young prince, see Journal de Jean Héroard, ed. Madeleine Foisil (2 vols., Paris, 1989), i. 1–249, passim, notably 43–51. A firm grasp of medical theory also seemed desirable in a ruler, who was urged to act as a physician, or even surgeon, towards his people: J.-L.G. Picherit, La métaphore pathologique et therapeutique à la fin du moyen âge (Tübingen, 1994), 19–20, 31; Watts, Henry VI, 20–3. Morgan, ‘House of Policy’, 36; Griffiths, Reign of King Henry VI, 52–3. CPR, 1429–36, p. 241; CCR, 1429–35, pp. 120, 196. The corrody was withdrawn in 1441: CCR, 1435–41, p. 461. It seems likely that Somerset helped to arrange Henry’s visit to his former home of

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capacity as pedagogue and physician, Somerset had meanwhile cemented his close, almost paternal relationship with Henry by accompanying him to France in April 1430 for his second coronation. His presence beside the nine-year-old monarch in Rouen during the Christmas festivities was, indeed, proudly recorded by him on the fly-leaf of the presentation copy of the Bedford Book of Hours.48 It was evidently during Henry’s extended two-year visit that he seized the opportunity to develop his professional connections, claiming later to have garnered many plaudits from the physicians of Paris and Rouen, as well as London.49 Because of his impressive academic background, Somerset has been named as a putative author of the anonymous Tractatus de regimine principum ad regem Henricum Sextum, which survives in one fine presentation copy, probably intended for the monarch himself. Since he was not, as the writer describes himself, religiosus, this seems unlikely, although he would have been more than capable of producing such a manual.50 There can, however, be no doubt of his major role in implementing, and perhaps even devising, two major educational projects, which finally began to take shape a decade later. In September 1440 he was commissioned first to assess the goods of the alien priories in England and then to act as custodian of their confiscated lands and rents, preparatory to the endowment of a royal collegiate foundation at Eton, ‘the lady mother and mistress of all other grammar schools’.51 At the same time, he and John Langton, a royal chaplain who was then also chancellor of Cambridge University, were empowered to acquire land in Cambridge and elsewhere to the value of £200 for the support of a new college of St. Nicholas there.52 According to the terms of the foundation charter, which was issued in the following February, the two colleagues were also among those trusted members of the royal household charged with the production of its statutes, a task from which they were temporarily released in July 1443, as either they or King Henry revised their plans in favour of a larger establishment (to be known as King’s College) that would be more closely linked with the school at Eton.53 No doubt as an earnest of these developments, Somerset had by then been made surveyor of the works at Eton, as well as at the Tower and at the royal palaces of Sheen and Westminster, both of which were badly in need of repair before Henry’s forthcoming marriage to Margaret of Anjou.54 In the new round of endowments that followed, he played a significant part in setting up ‘the Quenes collage of sainte Margerete and saint Bernard’, which was envisaged as a companion

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Bury St. Edmunds, which is commemorated in a sumptuous presentation copy of John Lydgate’s life of St. Edmund: BL, Harley MS 2278, ff. 4v, 6. BL, Add. MS 18850, f. 256; The Bedford Inventories: The Worldly Goods of John, Duke of Bedford, Regent of France, 1389–1435, ed. Jenny Stratford (1993), 120. Before the household left England, ‘nostre cher bien ame meistre Johan Somerseth’ was assigned expenses of 40 marks as an additional reward: TNA, E404/46/299; PPC, iv. 30. He had already attended Henry’s English coronation in 1429: TNA, E361/6, rot. 44. Vita et Gesta Henrici Quinti, ed. Hearne, 348. Four English Political Tracts, ed. Genet, 40–168. Ralph Griffiths’ attribution of authorship to Somerset is based upon the mistaken belief that he was a priest: Reign of Henry VI, 245–7, 265, n. 47, 332. CPR, 1436–41, pp. 454, 471; Rot. Parl. v. 48; Griffiths, Reign of Henry VI, 246. Wolffe, Henry VI, 137; CPR, 1436–41, pp. 557, 565; 1446–52, p. 172. CPR, 1436–41, pp. 521–2; 1441–6, p. 197. In December 1446 Somerset, Langton and the others were empowered to devise new statutes: Calendar of Charter Rolls, 1427–1516, pp. 74–5. CPR, 1441–6, p. 82. The appointment ‘came to nothing’, according to R. Allen Brown, H.M. Colvin and A.J. Taylor, The History of the King’s Works I: The Middle Ages (1963), 191, n. 8.

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to King’s, not only helping to draw up the statutes in 1447–8, but also donating funds of his own for its support.55 The full extent of Somerset’s involvement in this ambitious programme, which has been regarded by some historians as a rare, if not unique, expression of King Henry’s personal wishes, remains open to debate. Was his role more influential than at first appears? That, as a respected teacher and academic, he helped to direct a ‘corporate enterprise’ planned and executed by leading members of Henry’s familia with little in the way of active royal engagement is by no means impossible.56 It seems likely, at the very least, that he and Langton encouraged the young king to favour Cambridge, rather than Oxford, a decision reinforced not only by Oxford’s previous associations with heresy, but also the suspect connections currently maintained by some of its alumni with the household of Humphrey, duke of Gloucester. An incessant and outspoken critic of the ‘prive counsaille’ of courtiers who had, in his eyes, usurped his own rightful place as helmsman of the ship of state, Gloucester had long posed an obstacle to those whose views on the conduct of government at home and abroad differed so markedly from his own. The trial of his second wife, Eleanor Cobham, in the summer of 1441 on the charge of conspiring with others to forecast the imminent death of King Henry and her own accession as queen came at such an opportune moment that it has been seen as part of a well orchestrated plot. Although few such suspicions were raised at the time, it was certainly the occasion of a personal coup for Somerset, who moved quickly to stem the tide of rumour and speculation.57 Despite the stringent restrictions that circumscribed their use of astrology, many physicians were tempted to stray into the forbidden field of divination in order to satisfy the political aspirations of powerful patrons. One such was Somerset’s former colleague, Thomas Southwell, who had joined with Roger Bolingbroke, a priest and alleged ‘necromancer’ in the duke’s employment, to predict Henry’s demise. Both men, who had studied at Oxford, were condemned to death in July 1441, while Somerset and Langton, then residing at Sheen with the king, undertook to produce a more optimistic horoscope which would allay concerns about the precarious future of the Lancastrian dynasty.58 Notwithstanding the extravagant praise bestowed upon his astrological skills by others, Somerset appears not to have made all the complex calculations himself, probably entrusting them to his young friend, Roger Marchall, another Cambridge scholar.59 Contrived ‘with a great show of learning’ that masked 55

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W.G. Searle, History of the Queen’s College of Saint Margaret and Saint Bernard in the University of Cambridge, 1446–1560 (Cambridge, 1867), 15–16, 19; CPR, 1446–52, pp. 143–4; TNA, C1/19/65. Watts, Henry VI, 168–71. For a perceptive analysis of the various influences (other than Somerset’s) which may have prompted either Henry or his councillors to favour Cambridge over Oxford, see Barrie Dobson, ‘Henry VI and the University of Cambridge’, in The Lancastrian Court, ed. Jenny Stratford (Harlaxton Medieval Studies xiii, Donington, 2003), 53–67. R.A. Griffiths, ‘The Trial of Eleanor Cobham: An Episode in the Fall of Duke Humphrey of Gloucester’, BJRL, li (1968–9), 381–99. The impact of these predictions has been underestimated, not only because the 1441 proceedings are often regarded as little more than a show trial, but also because political historians do not always appreciate the growing importance of judicial astrology in court circles: H.M. Carey, Courting Disaster: Astrology at the English Court and University in the Later Middle Ages (1992), 138–53. Vita et Gesta Henrici Quinti, ed. Hearne, 339; Voigts, ‘A Doctor and his Books’, 252–3; J.D. North, Horoscopes and History (Warburg Institute Surveys and Texts, xiii, 1986), 142–9. They based their calculations on the natal horoscope of King Henry cast by John Holbrook, who died in 1437 and

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some rather dubious conclusions, their efforts can only have intensified the rivalry between the two universities that Henry’s recent foundation of St. Nicholas/King’s College had done little to assuage.60 A former chancellor of Oxford, who had already used his influence as Gloucester’s physician to secure part of his impressive library for the university, Gilbert Kymer seems, not surprisingly, to have been sidelined during the crisis despite his superior credentials as an astrologer.61 The previous decade had, meanwhile, witnessed a gradual transition from conciliar government by the great lords of the realm to a form of personal rule that was effectively exercised by members of the king’s household. Since those with regular access to the royal person were singularly well placed to influence the distribution of patronage, Somerset’s growing authority as a trusted servant of the chamber was matched by a corresponding improvement in both his official position and finances.62 In 1437 alone, he exchanged his annuity of £60 for a more lucrative life tenancy of the manor of Ruislip, for which he was soon paying no rent, and which, almost certainly on his recommendation, was to revert to Cambridge University when he died.63 The award of a pension of £33 a year (soon increased to £40) from Bury St. Edmunds followed shortly afterwards, to be augmented in 1439 by the annual revenues of at least £45 which, on a conservative estimate, he claimed to receive as warden of the mint.64 Since, as we have seen, he also became chancellor of the exchequer at this time, funds were readily available for the purchase of an estate of some 760 acres in and around Osterley and Norwood, conveniently close to the royal palace at Sheen.65 But his interests soon spread beyond Middlesex, as is apparent from the gift to him and his heirs of a messuage in Northallerton, Yorkshire, in 1440, followed two years later by the lease for life of two-thirds of the manor of Bassingbourn and the bailiwick of Badburgham in Cambridgeshire, initially at an annual rent of 100 marks, but soon completely free of charge. He was also able to secure yet another life tenancy, in the manors of Sheen, Petersham and Ham in Surrey, at a minimal rent.66 His marriage to

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could not therefore have collaborated with them, as Leader supposes: History of the University of Cambridge I, 154. J.D. North, ‘Astronomy and Mathematics’, in History of the University of Oxford II, ed. Catto and Evans, 107–8. Emden, Biographical Register of the University of Oxford, ii. 1069. In retrospect, given his tortuous marital history, Duke Humphrey ought to have followed Kymer’s warning, delivered in a personal regimen of 1424, that he should curb his sexual appetite: BL, Sloane MS 4, ff. 63–104; Getz, Medicine in the English Middle Ages, 63, 86, 127. In addition to his service on the Middlesex bench, Somerset was appointed to at least six commissions between 1439 and 1449, ranging from inquiry into the evasion of the wool custom to raising a war loan: CPR, 1436–41, pp. 372, 373, 454; 1441–6, pp. 153, 296, 371; 1446–52, p. 298. He was also made searcher of ships throughout England in June 1444, and assigned a moiety of any forfeited goods as expenses: CPR, 1441–6, pp. 272, 291. CPR, 1436–41, pp. 46, 187, 286; TNA, E159/213, brevia Easter rots. 21, 29; E159/216, recorda Trin. rots. 1–1d, brevia Mich. rot. 5; Rot. Parl., v. pp. 87–8. On losing the manor through what he regarded as a betrayal of trust by the university authorities, Somerset was to claim that none of his other fees had ever been paid: Vita et Gesta Henrici Quinti, ed. Hearne, 148. At the time of his death, in 1453, he was also leasing land in Ruislip from the canons of St. George’s chapel, Windsor: Archives of St. George’s chapel, Windsor, XV.48.23, m. 8. CPR, 1436–41, pp. 70, 130, 418; TNA, E159/214, recorda Hil. rots. 3, 5d; C1/19/65. An inquisition ad quod damnum, held in Nov. 1464 over a decade after his death, placed a value of £19 on these properties, most of which had been acquired by 1441: TNA, C145/319/20; CCR, 1441– 7, pp. 147–8; VCH Middlesex, iii. 109–10. CPR, 1436–41, p. 480; 1441–6, pp. 150, 234.

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Alice, the widow of his exchequer colleague, John Cerf, brought him an interest in the Yorkshire estates and other properties in Lincolnshire which she had acquired in fee simple on his death in 1444, although her decision to take a second husband cost her the life tenancy of other property that was conditional upon her remaining single.67 Additional windfalls, such as the goods of a condemned heretic who was executed in 1440, and the securities of £60 forfeited by the unlucky mainpernors of a serial lawbreaker in 1445, formed the tip of a large iceberg composed of gifts, douceurs and gratuities, whose depths can just occasionally be glimpsed.68 It was, for example, in return for his ‘notable industry and labour expended with the king for expediting [the award of] the new charter, and other arduous business assiduously facilitated and undertaken by him,’ that in 1445 the Corporation of London awarded Somerset a robe, a fur-trimmed cloak and 20 marks a year for life, along with a one-off cash payment of 100 marks. As a further proof of its ‘reverence’ for the physician, his friend, the royal brick-maker William Veysey, was admitted to the freedom shortly afterwards, having perhaps already secured his post as water-bailiff of the Thames through Somerset’s intervention behind the scenes.69 The two men appear to have established a close relationship through their joint involvement in successive royal building projects, including Eton; and it was almost certainly because of this connection that Veysey was returned to the two parliaments of 1449. In return, he undertook to serve as Somerset’s feoffee and eventually as the administrator of his estate.70 In the light of such evidence, Somerset’s assertion, made a decade later, that he had never taken ‘brybes for forderaunce of men ... ne for spedyng of causys, bot evere [have] kepte myn handys inpollute fro accepcions of gyftys and lyved on esy lyvelod that never man of myn occupacions in any kynges tyme of so lytel lyved’, seems hard to credit.71 Yet it would be unduly cynical to dismiss his protestations as little more than a well-aimed jibe at the venality of his eventual nemesis, William de la Pole, duke of Suffolk, or a belated attempt to distance himself from the charges of ‘covetise’ levelled against the king’s advisers in 1450.72 He was as anxious to gain a reputation for personal probity and generosity towards the poor as he was to achieve professional recognition, not least because the two goals were closely connected. In an attempt to improve their rather tarnished image, medical authorities from Galen onwards had urged successful practitioners to distance themselves from the crudely commercial aspects of their work by avoiding excessive charges, leading morally unimpeachable lives and engaging in conspicuous acts of charity. Such conduct seemed particularly desirable in those who cared for kings and princes, since they provided a model for the monarch, as physician of the body politic, to follow.73 As almoner of the royal

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TNA, PROB 11/3, f. 226d (Yorkshire); DURH3/49, m. 2d (Lincolnshire); above, n. 41. CPR, 1436–41, p. 426; 1441–6, p. 334. Conveniently, in view of the number of awards made to him by the crown, he was granted the right to sue out writs and letters patent free of charge for life in 1443: CPR, 1441–6, p. 164. Corporation of London Record Office, Journal 4, ff. 84, 90v, 144. L.S. Clark, ‘William Veysey’, The Commons 1422–61, ed. Clark (forthcoming). Along with Somerset, Veysey was another of the spiritual beneficiaries of the chantry at St. Stephen’s Colman Street described above, n. 42. TNA, C1/19/65. Morgan, ‘House of Policy’, 40; Watts, Henry VI, 40–1. Nutton, ‘Murders and Miracles’, 28–9; Picherit, Métaphore pathologique, 55–6.

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household, Somerset would have been further reminded of the need to lead by example. Late medieval satirists none the less found more to censure than admire, compounding the acute sensitivity already felt by Somerset and his peers to allegations of cupidity.74 His decision to found a chapel, religious fraternity and almshouse in Brentford constituted a suitably robust response to such criticism, reinforced by a royal licence of 1446 for the acquisition in mortmain of property worth £40 a year for its support. King Henry’s readiness to lay the foundation stone of the chapel ‘with our own hands and at our charges and expenses’ demonstrates the personal attachment – even deference – that he felt towards his ‘beloved and faithful attendant’, who reciprocated by funding a priest to pray there for him and Queen Margaret and by dedicating his foundation to the Nine Orders of Angels.75 This novel dedication appears to have been the first of its kind (the almshouse was designed, appropriately, to accommodate nine ‘blind, lame, decayed, weak and impotent’ men), but the cult itself was already popular in royal circles. It flourished at the nearby Bridgettine nunnery of Syon, a Lancastrian house with which Somerset maintained close connections, and numbered among its adherents the king’s former ‘Master’, Richard Beauchamp, earl of Warwick.76 That the City of London furnished an appropriate model for Somerset’s endowment is hardly surprising: the appearance of Reginald Pecock among the original feoffees and co-founders suggests a desire to profit from his long experience as master of Richard Whittington’s almshouse and college of St. Michael Paternoster, while another of them, John Colop, had helped to implement the late mercer’s numerous philanthropic bequests.77 Somerset’s earlier association with John Carpenter (d. 1442), Whittington’s principal executor, may also have proved formative in this respect.78 As well as attracting the support of local notables and many of Somerset’s 74 75

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Rawcliffe, Medicine and Society, 115–17. CPR, 1446–52, p. 29. The full Latin text of Henry VI’s licence appears in Wendy Scase, Reginald Pecock (Authors of the Middle Ages, III, no. 8, Aldershot, 1996), 125–7; and G.J. Aungier, The History and Antiquities of Syon Monastery (1840), 215–20, 459–64. Since the almshouse was ‘builded with bricke’ (216, n. 1), it seems more than likely that William Veysey supplied the materials for its construction. Somerset was a tenant and ‘special benefactor and friend’ of Syon Abbey. Prayers were requested on his behalf in its mortilegium, which also records a gift of £10 made in his name: BL, Add. MS 22285, ff. 6v, 70v. After his death, the administrators of his estate sold his residence at Osterley to the abbey, presumably on his instructions: VCH Middlesex, iii. 109–10. For the religious and intellectual background to Somerset’s foundation, see Anne F. Sutton and Livia Visser-Fuchs, ‘The Cult of Angels in Late Fifteenth-Century England’, in Women and the Book: Assessing the Visual Evidence, ed. Lesley Smith and J.H.M. Taylor (1996), 242–3. Significantly, William Wode, who had served with Somerset in the household of Thomas Beaufort, was then decorating his church at Salle, Norfolk, with a flamboyant combination of Lancastrian heraldry and angelic imagery: David King, ‘Salle Church – The Glazing’, Archaeological Journal, cxxxvii (1980), 333–5. Sutton and Visser-Fuchs, ‘Cult of Angels’, 242–3; Jean Imray, The Charity of Richard Whittington (1968), 7–8, 13–37, 39, n. 1. Pecock had been a feoffee of Somerset’s Middlesex estates since March 1443: CCR, 1441–7, pp. 147–8. In 1440–1 they acted together as trustees of land in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, and Brentford, Middlesex: CPR, 1436–41, pp. 510–11, 551; A Calendar of the Feet of Fines for London and Middlesex, ed. W.J. Hardy and William Page (3 vols., 1892–3), i. 192. The fulsome tribute to the trivium and quadrivium offered in one of the pageants composed by Carpenter and John Lydgate to mark Henry VI’s official entry into London in 1432, after his return from France, constituted an indirect compliment to Somerset, who was almost certainly in the royal procession: The Minor

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colleagues in the royal household and exchequer, the fraternity appealed to the pious and well-educated Londoners among whom he felt so much at home. It might, indeed, be argued that their ‘innovative thinking about the administration and function of charity’, which embraced schools and libraries as well as more conventional schemes for poor relief, also influenced his approach to the king’s more ambitious educational projects.79 Somerset was subsequently to claim that, contrary to appearances, his extravagant ‘dedys of devocion, mercy and pitee’ had reduced him to poverty.80 Further testimony to his largesse, or at least to his desire for recognition as a philanthropist, may be found in the dedicatory epilogue appended by an anonymous chronicler (now known as Pseudo-Elmham) to the second recension of his Vita Henrici Quinti. The work had originally been commissioned by Somerset’s colleague at court, Walter, Lord Hungerford (d. 1449), evidently to improve upon an earlier vita by the Italian humanist, Tito Livio, who was writing as much to glorify his patron, the duke of Gloucester, as the late king.81 Composed in a florid, rhetorical Latin that would surely have appealed to its recipient, the address paid a fulsome tribute to Somerset’s knowledge of medicine, astrology and the natural sciences and praised him (without irony) for raising Henry VI so successfully as a learned, virtuous and healthy prince. Above all, though, it extolled his compassion for the needy. With a fitting choice of metaphor, the author dispatched his ‘poor and naked’ little book as a supplicant for charity, not to the court, where Somerset would be closeted with the king, but along the well-trodden road past his beautiful new chapel: There, when you see the footprints made by the barefoot poor, flooding to his house, and find the marks made when they return shod after his alms have given them leather shoes, and when you see the naked, the hungry and the wretched hastening on the same path to his house, and meet them clothed, fed and joyful because of his liberal charity, you will know that this is the most reliable and direct way to his residence, which you seek.82 Other assessments of his character were far less flattering, especially as the political climate grew increasingly turbulent. Gloucester’s sudden death in incriminating circumstances, in February 1447, removed a bitter opponent of the court party, as well as a great patron of learning. On the questionable presumption that the duke had died intestate, a commission was promptly set up to administer his effects, Somerset being an obvious choice to serve upon it.83 His probity was, however, soon called into question. Having been promised a further consignment of books from the ducal library (and having appointed Gilbert Kymer for a second term as chancellor in the hope of expediting the gift) the Oxford authorities wrote first to the king and then, in April, to

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Poems of John Lydgate, ed. H.N. MacCracken (2 vols., EETS, extra series, cvii, 1911, original series cxcii, 1934), ii. 638–9. Scase, Reginald Pecock, 90. TNA, C1/19/65. C.L. Kingsford, English Historical Literature in the Fifteenth Century (Oxford, 1913), 56–62; Antonia Gransden, Historical Writing in England, II, c.1307 to the Early Sixteenth Century (1982), 213–17. Vita et Gesta Henrici Quinti, ed. Hearne, 340; Gransden, Historical Writing, 215. CPR, 1446–52, p. 45; TNA, E159/223, brevia Easter rot. 1.

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‘the most celebrated doctor’, in a vain attempt to implement Gloucester’s wishes. Their oleaginous tone, larded with praise for Somerset’s capacity to combine a life of scholarship with more worldly concerns, soon changed to one of exasperation bordering on outright vilification.84 Three years later, when Somerset and most of his fellow courtiers were facing a vicious backlash for years of misrule, they seized the moment to petition parliament for help in recovering the elusive ‘latyn bokes’. Meanwhile, the university proctor warned ominously that ‘a steadfast and good man will not be made to swerve from the path of justice by interest or cupidity’, urging Somerset to clear his name of suspicion. By September 1450 matters were looking very serious indeed. Lord Saye, another of the administrators, had been beheaded by the Kentish rebels and demands were being made for Somerset’s removal from court, when the archbishop of Canterbury wound up the commission and ordered an enquiry into its conduct. The belated gift of Alexander Neckham’s De naturis rerum and other unspecified books, along with a set of gold-embroidered vestments, made by Somerset in 1452 served to mollify the Oxford authorities, who acknowledged his generosity in elegant terms. They did not, however, abandon their quest.85 Not coincidentally, in the spring of that year, after long delays and constant prompting, the ecclesiastical commissioners appointed eighteen months earlier by Archbishop Stafford to investigate the alleged ‘dissipation, waste and consumption’ of Duke Humphrey’s estate, pronounced their verdict. Confirming that Somerset had, indeed, ‘paid to creditors and converted to pious uses whatever came into his hands’, they commended the fact that he had invariably ‘been prompt and ready to reply by writings and witnesses to any person bringing accusations or arguments against him’, and had, moreover, ‘so demeaned himself from the beginning of the enquiry … as to earn the repeated commendations of the commissaries’.86 Since the investigation was headed by his old friend and sometime fellow courtier, Thomas Bekynton, who had collaborated with him on the endowment of Eton, we may, perhaps, be entitled to view his exoneration with a degree of scepticism, especially since the famosissimus arcium medicineque doctor had already presented at least one of the duke’s ‘lost’ books to Gonville Hall, Cambridge, as a personal gift.87 In other respects, too, the year 1447 marked a turning point for Somerset, whose authority as one of the longest serving and most highly regarded employees of the royal chamber encountered a far more serious challenge than that posed by Oxford’s disgruntled academics. However specialised their services may have been, physicians and surgeons were just as vulnerable as other courtiers to the threat presented by rapacious newcomers, hungry for preferment. His tenure of two particularly remunerative posts made him an obvious target, especially after the marquess of 84 85

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Epistolae academicae Oxon., Part I, 1421–1457, ed. Henry Anstey (Oxford, 1898), 251–3. Epistolae, ed. Anstey, 285–7, 294–303, 309–10, 313–14, 318–19; David Rundle, ‘Two Unnoticed Manuscripts from the Collection of Humfrey, Duke of Gloucester: Part II’, Bodleian Library Record, xvi (1998), 299–313, at 306–10. The Register of Thomas Bekynton, ed. H.C. Maxwell-Lyte and M.C.B. Dawes (2 vols., Somerset Record Society, xlix–l, 1934), i. 732, 749. Wolffe, Henry VI, 135–6; Rundle, ‘Two Unnoticed Manuscripts’, 308–10. Rundle notes that some of Gloucester’s books found their way to King’s College, presumably with the consent of the other administrators. Duke Humphrey acquired many works on medicine that would have attracted a collector like Somerset: V.L. Bullough, ‘Duke Humphrey and His Medical Collections’, Renaissance Notes, xiv (1961), 87–91.

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Suffolk’s appointment as chamberlain in February 1447, when an ‘old guard’ of longserving household men was obliged to cede ground to the mercenary band of ambitious parvenus who hitched their fortunes to those of the king’s new favourite.88 Within a matter of days the vultures were circling in anticipation of rich pickings, and Somerset faced an uncomfortable interview about his future as chancellor of the exchequer and warden of the mint. The unedifying scramble for his offices would have gone unrecorded but for a deposition submitted by him to the court of Chancery some five years later as evidence in an action concerning the terms of a debt allegedly contracted at this time. Suffused with righteous indignation, his testimony (which appears below in its entirety) is predictably self-serving, yet still paints a convincing picture of the dog eat dog world of a deeply fissured royal household in which large sums of money were gambled on the trade in reversions and the marquess lined his own pockets with backhanders from hopeful clients. Well aware that, as a potential rival for the king’s ear, he ‘stode not gretely’ in Suffolk’s ‘luf and affeccion’, Somerset was in no position to resist peremptory demands that he should surrender the wardenship of the mint immediately, while also releasing whatever right he might have to dispose of the reversion of the chancellorship after his death. He did not, however, depart empty-handed. His affront at Suffolk’s casual arrogance (he was kept standing ignominiously by a ‘cupborde’ throughout their encounter) was assuaged by a substantial payment of 1,000 marks from his successor, John Lemanton, which by 1452 he claimed to have spent on a precisely itemised list of ‘goddys werkys’.89 The story did not end here, though, for having accepted the sweetener of 100 marks proffered by Lemanton on the assumption that he was about to acquire a long-term (and thus eminently marketable) interest in both offices, Suffolk allegedly changed his mind in favour of a more determined suitor. His readiness to concede the reversion of the chancellorship to Thomas Thorpe ‘aftur Lemanton, to have to hym self and hys heyres malys’ underscores the extent to which this cutthroat trade was fuelled by the need to satisfy a growing number of petitioners from a shrinking reserve of royal patronage.90 That hereditary titles to major offices of state were now being contested by ambitious careerists served further to undermine any semblance of government control over promotions and, of course, to raise the stakes for those prepared to play such a potentially risky game. Thorpe made a formidable adversary, whom Somerset may well have been inclined to favour, partly because of his smarting sense of grievance, but also as a colleague of long standing. Already in office as summoner of the exchequer when Somerset became chancellor, Thorpe had secured the post of

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CPR, 1446–52, p. 45; Watts, Henry VI, 216–19; Morgan, ‘House of Policy’, 39–42. The only significant award made to Somerset after 1447 was a general pardon accorded in March 1448: CPR, 1446–52, p. 147. Yet he clearly remained close to King Henry, being confirmed as a trustee of crown estates for the performance of his will at this time: Testamenta Vetusta, ed. N.H. Nicolas (2 vols., 1826), i. 22. He had first assumed this role in order to facilitate the endowment of Eton and King’s College: Rot. Parl., v. 70–3; Watts, Henry VI, 185–6. Lemanton, a northerner, entered royal employment through the patronage of John Mowbray, duke of Norfolk, who secured his return as MP for Reigate to the parliament of 1442, where he served alongside Somerset. He settled in London and subsequently represented Middlesex in the Commons: M.P. Davies, ‘John Lematon’, The Commons 1422–61, ed. Clark (forthcoming). Somerset’s uncharacteristic tribute to his courtesy suggests that they knew each other well: TNA, C1/19/65. Watts, Henry VI, 216–19.

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remembrancer in 1442 through a brazen exploitation of royal patronage reminiscent of the physician’s earlier success in gaining preferment.91 Efforts by Lemanton and his agent, the London draper Piers Caldecote, to outmanoeuvre Thorpe by renegotiating the terms of his original letters patent to include two or three of his younger brothers as co-recipients with him in survivorship proved acrimonious as well as futile. It was, indeed, the refusal of Lemanton’s executors to honour a bond worth 200 marks surrendered by him to Caldecote that gave rise to the Chancery case, since they alleged that it had been conditional upon the latter’s ability to obtain such letters and was therefore now void. Somerset’s lofty dismissal of their claim does not, significantly, allude to the fact that the money had initially been owed jointly to Caldecote and Robert Cawood (d. 1449), another exchequer official, who may have been his brother-in-law and was certainly a relative by marriage.92 Although, in this instance, his attack upon the executors’ unscrupulous conduct was probably justified, we should bear in mind that Somerset may have been a less impartial witness than he sought to appear. Nor did his sanctimonious refusal to reimburse the disappointed Lemanton reflect well upon him. Outside his immediate circle, few Englishmen would have felt much sympathy for the beleaguered physician. Rising levels of disorder in the provinces, anger at English losses in France and indignation over financial mismanagement at home had by 1449 provoked a major crisis in government. Whatever tensions and rivalries may have existed within the familia regis, most of its members were deemed guilty by association with Suffolk and held personally responsible as his ‘false progeny’ for the excesses and failures of a corrupt regime. His murder in May 1450, while crossing the Channel to begin a period of exile overseas, unleashed a storm of violent recriminations. As both chancellor of the exchequer and principal physician of the royal body, Somerset ranked prominently among the upstart favourites who, in the words of Cade’s rebels, had clustered ‘dayly and nyghtely abowte his hyghnesse’ and who were indicted before a commission of oyer and terminer at Rochester in August 1450.93 One version of the satirical dirige composed after the death of ‘Jake Napes’ asked rhetorically: Where is Somerset Whi aperes he not here To synge Dies ire & miserie? God graunte Englond alle in fere, For thes traitours to synge Placebo & Dirige.94

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S.J. Payling, ‘Thomas Thorpe’, The Commons 1422–61, ed. Clark (forthcoming). During the early 1440s Thorpe occasionally acted as a financial agent for Somerset in the exchequer, while sharing with him custody of the estates of a ward of the archbishop of Canterbury: TNA, E403/747, m. 1; E403/749, m. 11; E403/751, m. 2; E403/757, m. 8; CFR, xvii. 262–3. TNA, C1/19/60–4; above, n. 42. Watts, Henry VI, 207; Kingsford, English Historical Literature, 359, 364–5. Political, Religious and Love Poems, ed. F.J. Furnivall (EETS, original series, xv, 1866), 9. The designation ‘Master Somerset’ in another version of this ballad seems to eliminate any confusion with Edmund Beaufort, duke of Somerset, as suggested by Watts, Henry VI, 269, n. 29.

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For once, at least, Somerset was not employing empty rhetoric when he referred in his Chancery deposition of 1452 to the tumult of popular opinion at the end of days.95 His world had, clearly, come dangerously near to collapse. That Somerset’s professional calling legitimised his constant attendance upon a weak and vulnerable monarch carried little weight with the Commons of 1451. He was listed among the undesirables whose ‘misbehaviour’ about the king made their expulsion from court a matter of national importance.96 Even so, the concession that ‘certein persones which shall be right fewe in nombre, the which have been accustumed contynuelly to waite uppon his persone,’ should remain at Henry’s side effectively secured a reprieve, which may have been made easier because of his minimal involvement in foreign policy. Having narrowly escaped banishment, he received his customary livery from the royal wardrobe in both 1451 and 1452, and against all odds continued in office as chancellor until at least May 1453.97 He had, nonetheless, sailed perilously close to the wind, and it is easy to see why the loss of the manor of Ruislip came as such a blow both to his pride and his pocket. Not even he could avoid the comprehensive Act of Resumption that was also passed in 1451, prompting King’s College to assert its reversionary interest in the manor and seize possession. His novel, but entirely characteristic, riposte took the form of a Queremonia ... de ingratitudine universitatis Cantebrigiae, written at about the same time as his Chancery deposition in eighty-two lines of alternately splenetic and selfpitying Latin hexameters.98 Demonstrating an understandable sensitivity to charges of financial impropriety, he again claimed to have kept a clean pair of hands by refusing all emoluments and taking no fees during his quarter-century at court.99 Since he concluded with a nostalgic recollection of his early years at Oxford, we may assume that these lines were intended as an olive branch, perhaps to accompany the conciliatory gifts that he made to the university in 1452. There was, however, to be no rapprochement. Having fallen ‘into a seknesse’, Somerset died childless at some point between November 1453 and the following May, most probably on 19 April (the feast of St. Alphegus), on which day Syon Abbey celebrated his obit.100 Perhaps because his charitable projects had, indeed, proved financially crippling, his executors refused to act, and in early June the bishop of London’s commissary appointed his servant, William Pocklington, the abovementioned William Veysey and William Barnaby, chaplain, to administer his estate. The task proved arduous, not least because of the problems they encountered in honouring some of the deathbed bequests that Somerset had made. For example, the widow of his former exchequer colleague, Andrew Kebell, refused to surrender a tally for £20 due to Somerset from the fee farm of Shrewsbury, which he had promised to a

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TNA, C1/19/65. Rot. Parl. v. 216. He had previously been exempted from the 1450 Act of Resumption: Rot. Parl. v. 198. TNA, E361/6, rots. 44, 45d. He is still described as chancellor on 16 May 1453: Register of Thomas Bekynton, ed. Maxwell-Lyte and Dawes, i. 749. Vita et Gesta Henrici Quinti, ed. Hearne, 347–50. Somerset, who clearly enjoyed turning his hand to verse, is said to have written a tract De facultate metrica, now lost: F.M. Powicke, The Medieval Books of Merton College (Oxford, 1931), 257. TNA, C1/29/517; E13/146, rot. 51; BL, Add. MS 22285, f. 6v.

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servant, thereby prompting a round of unwelcome litigation.101 It was not until 1462 that the two surviving administrators finally conveyed his property in and around Isleworth to the trustees of the chapel he had built at Brentford so that a priest, a clerk and five poor persons could be paid to pray there for the benefit of his soul.102 Although other late medieval royal physicians, such as Somerset’s protégé, Roger Marchall, moved easily between the worlds of university, court, city and government, none did so with such consummate skill or success.103 Paradoxically, however, given the fact that his influence in these areas ultimately derived from the status he enjoyed as the king’s medical advisor, we know less about this aspect of Somerset’s career than any other, even at the time of Henry’s mental collapse in the summer of 1453. It is unclear if he had already retired from court when Henry succumbed to the catatonic stupor that was to render him insensible for the next seventeen months, although he must surely have played some part in whatever attempts were initially made to restore the royal wits. He had clearly relinquished any responsibility for his patient by March 1454, at which point the five practitioners by then charged with this invidious task sought formal permission to deploy more aggressive surgical measures. Since, when it eventually came, Henry’s recovery was far from complete, Somerset might be considered fortunate to have escaped the daunting challenge faced by his successors.104 Yet, although they proved less dramatic, his years as Henry’s physician cannot have been easy, especially once it became obvious that the young king was, in a very literal sense, temperamentally unfit to rule. In the eyes of his contemporaries, whose understanding of the human body was predicated upon humoral theory, Henry must have displayed signs of a potentially dangerous imbalance long before his collapse in 1453, which some historians consider to be the first evidence of sickness on his part.105 Notwithstanding Thomas Southwell’s prediction that he would succumb to melancholia, he presented a text book example of the phlegmatic temperament, which was unstable, effeminate, withdrawn and forgetful. An excess of this watery humour made such men fearful, pallid and childish, their moonlike faces reflecting an affinity with luna, the planet of madness. This was a heavy cross for any individual to bear, but for a king – and for the distempered body politic – the burden must have seemed especially cruel. Although intended to provide evidence of Henry’s sanctity, and thus to counteract far less flattering interpretations of his erratic behaviour, the posthumous memoir compiled by his confessor, John Blacman, offers a classic list of symptoms to be found in any late medieval encyclopaedia or medical manual under the general heading of ‘superflyte of flueme’.106 If, as seems likely, Henry gave cause for alarm long before the 1450s, his physicians would, at the very least, have been expected to monitor his behaviour with 101

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TNA, C1/29/517. While chancellor, Somerset may have connived at sharp practice on the part of Kebell and other clerks: L.S. Clark, ‘Andrew Kebell’, The Commons 1422–61, ed. Clark (forthcoming). CAD, i. B.1525–6; v. A.13416. All three were accorded royal pardons in their capacity as administrators in 1455–6: TNA, C67/41, mm. 5, 12, 22. Voigts, ‘A Doctor and his Books’, 267. Rawcliffe, Medicine and Society, 63–4, 94. See, for example, Griffiths, Reign of King Henry VI, 715; Wolffe, Henry VI, 18, 267. Henry the Sixth: A Reprint of John Blacman’s Memoir, ed. M.R. James (Cambridge, 1919), 25–44. For a typical definition of the phlegmatic man, see On the Properties of Things: John Trevisa’s Translation of Bartholomaeus Anglicus, De Proprietatibus Rerum, ed. M.C. Seymour (3 vols., Oxford, 1975–88), i. 156–7.

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unusual vigilance, constantly adapting his regimen in an attempt to restore some element of equilibrium.107 And, when these efforts proved futile, Somerset’s erudite and reassuring presence would have smoothed the way for others to rule in the king’s name. Indeed, given the demonstrable similarities between the human body and the corpus mysticum of the state, and the applicability of Galenic principles to both, he was himself singularly well placed to translate theory into practice and assume a more active role in government. The full extent of his influence is now hard to judge, but it would not be unreasonable to regard him as a precursor of those eminent sixteenthcentury medici politici who were to play such an important part in the counsels of European monarchs.108 That his conduct did not always accord with the Hippocratic ethic still espoused by members of his profession serves as yet another illustration of the irresistible opportunities for advancement and financial gain enjoyed by King Henry’s favourites.

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The decision to suspend the customary kiss of homage exchanged between Henry and his tenants in chief in the parliament of 1439 because of fears that he might contract ‘an infirmite most infectif’ was almost certainly made on Somerset’s recommendation, with reference to the opinion of ‘noble fisisseanes and wise philosofers bifore this tyme’: Rot. Parl., v. 31. It may also have served as a pretext to shield him from unwelcome scrutiny. Jacob Soll, ‘Healing the Body Politic: French Royal Doctors, History and the Birth of a Nation 1560–1634’, Renaissance Quarterly, lv (2002), 1259–86.

APPENDIX The Deposition of John Somerset to the Court of Chancery (TNA, C1/19/65) In the following, common abbreviations have been silently expanded, capitalisation standardised, and some punctuation introduced. Interlineations in the MS are indicated by angular brackets (< >), editorial interventions by square brackets ([ ]). Towchyng John Lemantonys executoures beyng at contrauersy with Perys Caldecote for certayn dettys that the seyd Perys asketh of hem by an obligacion symple, wherfore the seyd executoures makyn a sewte upon the said Perys by meruelous sotile meenys, as it is said, for also moch as the mater towchith sumwhat vn to me, John Somerseth, servaunt of the kyngys, my petite honour and my conscience, I wol declar a grownde to my knowlech as I can deduce by testimony sufficient.1 First, I sey þat many men war a bout to haue the reuersion of the chancelership of th’escheker of the wardeynschip of the mynt that I myht have no rest for her besynesse, of whom I was gretely vexid for importunyte of sewte. Þis knewe John Lemanton, and wylyly he went to my lord of Suff’ and prayed hym to be meene to me þat he schuld be preferryd therto afore any other. And what he yaf my lord I wote wel ynowh: an C marces by hys owne relacion. Þan sone aftir, whan I was comyn to Westm’, I was sowht al a bout þat I shuld a none forth with come to my said lordes chaumbre and speke with hym; and so I did when he was sette down at his mete, albe it þat I stode not gretely in hys luf and affeccion. And a none when he sawe me he roose up fro the bord and spake to me at the cupborde, prayng with me with most instavnce þat noman shuld be preferrid afore the said Lemanton yf he wold aggre me alswele as any oþer, the whyche I gravntid and durst not say nay. Bot aftirward there were made meenys ynowe to bring the bargeyn aboute, ever rehercyng of the plesavnce or displesavnce of my said lord. At last we aggreyd that I shuld depart fro the wardeynschip for a ful doo, and put Lemanton in possession þerof, and so lese yerely xlv li. payable to me by myn owne handes, whiche was a grete harme to me, and more shuld be if I schuld lyve longe, the grettist þat ever I had, for losse of xxx d. a daye and more was a grete hyndryng to my kechyn. And also my lord entretyd for the reuersyon of the chavncelerschip of th’eschekre, and I withseid hym not, ner durst, etc. Bot in performyng of theis said covenavntes by condycions I shuld haue to me payed ml marces, whiche was paied truly and bi me 1

Caldecote was seeking to enforce the terms of a bond which had by then passed into the hands of Philip Malpas, administrator of the estate of the Lombard merchant, Percival Macheran. He claimed that the bond, whereby the late John Lemanton had agreed to pay him £200, was unconditional, and that the latter’s executors should honour it: TNA, C1/19/60–4.

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spent on goddys werkys, as sufficiently at eye apperith. Other condicions I dare sey were not made at þoo tymes, bot ever Perys Caldecote was Lemantonys meene to make me wel willyd to al Lemantonys profyte al þat he myht or cowd, as to my parceyvyng.2 So þat I do all men to knowe þat al that tyme and longe aftir was no labour for Lemantonys breþer. Thus my lord of Suff’ gate the bylle sygned and so forthe the patentys ensealyd,3 bot Lemanton sette not bi the covnsel of wyse Caton, in mortem alterius spem tu tibi ponere noli,4 bot abode forth in good hope of myn passage. And yet, God knowith, I fonde hym kynde and gentyl. Aftirward a goode whyle, Thomas Thorp sewid in a Cristemesse tyde to the kyng for a reuersyon aftur Lemanton, to have to hym self and hys heyres malys, whiche was a mervelous bylle endocyd of sotelest contentys þat ever I and my consayl sawe, whiche I can schewe þat may not here be rehercyd. And, never the lesse, for al that Lemanton had yevyn before tyme to my lord, yet my lord tvrnyd to Thomas Thorpys entent. Than was Lemanton wode wroth; and than he desirid to have his broþer in joynt patentys, for if he had desiryd at begynnyng my lord of Suff’ wold have gotyn the patentes to hym and hem. Than made he meenys to have þeis joyntours in newe patentys, bot it cowd never be gotyn and my lord of Suff’ was never besy þer about, etc., what was the cause, etc. Þis is the cause Lemanton was so angry, þat my lord was Thorpys frende and doer, þat he had neuer joy to yefe hym money aftre.5 Than whan there was gret labour in Estre tyde to haue out lettrys patentes for Thomas Thorp it was so purveyd for that al was revokyd.6 And ever aftir was Lemanton gretely sewyng þat his breþer schuld be with him in [ – ]7 patentys in joyntour. How shuld þan Perys Caldecote make covenaunt or clause of warantyse to John Lemanton to gete him þeis patentys? Þey þat seyn presumyn to fore up on the kyng, and us also, for I made never covenant with man to warant hym such a fortheravnce. God ferbede or I had bene so importune or malapart vp on my souerayn lord, nor Perys also, that we schuld warant such gravntys. And the obligacion made of Lemanton to Perys was made longe before the gravnt of Thorpys bylle, so þat Perys had no power upon me to make such warantyse; and, as God knowith, he was wel willyd to stere me to their fortheravnce and I to the kyng and to my frendys, bot yet it wold not be. So that it hath no bark of colour to seye that suche an obligacion was made to Perys undir 2

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Caldecote was a London draper, some of whose kinsmen were Northamptonshire gentry. He eventually became a warden of London Bridge, but did not hold civic office at this time: CCR, 1447–54, pp. 101, 133; Calendar of Letter-Books of London, K, ed. Sharpe, 399. The letters patent are dated 29 May 1447: CPR, 1446–52, p. 54. ‘Do not pin your hopes on another’s death’: Dionysii Catonis disticha de moribus ad filium (Amsterdam, 1759), liber I.19. This collection of sayings attributed to Marcus Porcius Cato was extremely popular in the later middle ages. Lemanton’s breach with Suffolk either occurred shortly after January 1449, when they shared a fifty-year grant of all Welsh and English lead, silver and copper mines outside the West Country, or had been mended by then: CPR, 1446–52, p. 213. Matters were not quite so straightforward. On 10 Oct. 1449, just three days after Lemanton made his deathbed will, the influential courtiers, Lord Beauchamp of Powick, and his kinsman, Lord St. Amand, were promised the reversion of the chancellorship after Somerset’s death, no mention being then made of Thorpe. Their letters patent were not revoked in Thorpe’s favour until 22 Nov. 1452, when the political climate was more favourable. Meanwhile, on 25 Oct. 1449, Thomas Montgomery, a marshal of the hall, secured the reversion of the wardenship of the mint: TNA, PROB 11/1, f. 140; CPR, 1446–52, pp. 54, 305; 1452–61, p. 43. MS faded.

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such condicion. It is one the unlyklyest and untrewist mater that ever I hard devysyd to myn arbitrement, vpon my salvacion, bot they fare with him as he that bare his dogge on hande þat he was woode for he wold have his skyn. Nowh wil I telle of my takyng of þis seid money and my conscience, bicause that forster hath huntyd about to make men to move me of conscience to restore sum of the money to him þat I had of John Lemanton, whom I do to wytte þat if I had þe dowble payment I wold not yefe þeis executourys one peny, to teche men to by reversions by mayntenawnce of lordys, etc. Item, I sewed neuer on Lymanton by me ner by no meane, bot I myht have no rest by hym and hys meenys. Item, I stoode evere in perile in tyme of such reuersions of my lyfe, and yet do, not I trow for John Lemanton bot for his willers, and in oþer many wys þat I wil not reherse. Item, I have spent that money þat I toke of hym with in v 3ere, and also moche more in dedys of devocion, mercy and pitee at the chapell of All Seynt Aungelles and the almes house annexid be [sic] beside Braynforde Brygge,8 and on Our Ladyes chapel and on the steple of Our Lady Histilworth,9 and on the chirche and steple of Our Lady of Twykenham, and of the chapel of Our Lady of Norcote,10 and on the chapel of Seynt John Evaungelist of Hennowe,11 and on the Colegge of Seynt Margarett and Seynt Bernard in Cambrigge,12 and on Penbroke Halle of Seynt Trynytes in Cambrigge,13 and on reparacion of the pore priory of Seynt Mary Magdaleyn in Wynteney,14 and on the stonyn brygge of Braynford, and on the weye betwyx Houndyslowe and Brayntford15 and ellys where in dyuerse placys, neuer wollyng be mogerere of good, neuer gete good ner holde with wronge title, neuer takyng in the kynges covrt brybes for forderaunce of men in to the kynges covrt, ner in to offyces, ner for spedyng of causys, bot ever kepte myn handys inpollute fro accepcions of gyftys, and lyved on esy lyvelod, þat neuer man of myn occupacions in any kynges tyme of so lytel lyved, and unspottid of any thyng þat can or may be nortaryly prevyd on me sithe I cam in to the kynges service, for al the false voyce and noyce þat þe fende reysith nowh on good men ungylty, quia vox populi16 is nowh vox diaboli, qui est mendax et pater mendacij17

8 9 10 11 12 13

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See above, nn. 75, 76. Isleworth, Middlesex. Now Norwood, Middlesex. Henhowe, near Bury St. Edmunds, where Somerset served as a school master: above, n. 37. Queens’ College, which he helped to found: above, n. 55. Pembroke College, of which he was a fellow from 1410: Emden, Biographical Register of the University of Oxford, iii. 1727. Wintney in Hampshire, where his sister was prioress: see above, n. 36. The road between Hounslow and Brentford covers about two and a half miles. ‘Vox populi vox Dei (the voice of the people is the voice of God)’, a fallacy against which Alcuin warned his pupil, Charlemagne: Alcuini opera omnia, I (Patrologiae Latinae, x, 1863), epistola clxvi, col. 438, cap. 9. See Watts, Henry VI, 20 for late medieval usages of what had become a popular saying, and ibid., 246, 273 for claims by critics of the court party to represent the voice of the people. Vulgate, John 8. 44: ‘Vos ex patre diabolo estis … cum loquitur mendacium ex propriis loquitur quia mendax est et pater eius (You are of your father the devil … when he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar and the father thereof).’

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to vs to whom devenerunt fines seculi.18 Thus am I vngylty of any thing executoures can make obiections of ageyn me. I wold wytte that if I had deyed with in a month aftir owr convencion wold Lemanton or his executoures have gevyn me ouht of the profitz of the ij officys? Whi shuld I than, if he dyed, yef his executoures ever gapyng for good gotyn by wyles? For as towchyng Piers Caldecote, I know him not gilty ayenst John Lemanton and his breþer, ner any of hem. Item, þeys þre yere I have lost of the wardeynschip of the mynt vjxxxv li. that was payable to me by myn owne handys; and yf god wolde make me to lyve xx yere it wold come to ixc li. And if it avaylid hym one yere viijxx li., as he seid it did - albe it þat I knowe not if it were sewed and gotyn for hast of deth and slauth of him in custume of wolle by vertu of that office of the toure - if he had yerly so moche, as he purposyd to have had moche more, it wolde come in xx yere iijml and ijc li., whiche maner of doyng avaylid me never j d., for I was no merchavnt of wollys.19 And if Piers Caldecote shuld have covenauntid as þei surmite in þer bylle it were to deme that he wold have laborid to me, þerfore consequitur falsum,20 for tyl Thomas Thorp had his bylle endosyd ther was spoke no word of neyþer bi Lemanton nor by Caldecote. And, as I vndirstonde, Lemantonys obligacion to Caldecote berith date of my hand a yere afore. Item, the seid Piers Caldecote promysed to the seid John Lemanton dyuerse tymes if he wold leve and for go the saide offyces of the wardeinschip of the mynt and the reuersion of the chauncelerschip of the escheker that he schuld have al his ml marces with all other costys don þer a bout and a C li. to hem boþe to vaile. And the seid John Lemanton answerid and seid that if he myht have a ml marces more þen it cost hym he wold never leve it, and prayed the seid Perys Caldecote yf he wold ever have his love or frenshipp that he schuld neuer labour more in þat mater. Thus than lat this mater be enserchid seriously and I trust to God þat Cryst shal be on our syde in lawe and conscience, bot Mammona iniqvitatis21 shal be with the adverse party, for, as I am informyd, thei have laboured to defraude in lyche wyse summe of oþer persoones of hir obligacions, etc. Wherfore it is pitee þat Piers Caldecote shuld be lette and taried of his dwe processe in lawe bi such cavellacious and sinistre informacion.22

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Vulgate, I Corinthians 10. 10: ‘Scripta sunt autem ad correptionem nostrum, in quos fines saeculorum devenerunt (and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come).’ As a leading merchant of the Calais Staple, Lemanton’s brother and executor, Richard, was heavily involved in the export of wool, notably through the port of Hull, where he collected customs: CPR, 1446–52, p. 316; CFR, xviii. 134, 135, 138. Lemanton himself shipped wool from the same port, not always successfully: TNA, SC1/57/91. Somerset’s training in rhetoric is here apparent. He is referring to St Augustine, De doctrina Christiana, liber II, cap. 32.50: ‘Qui dicit “Cum falsum est, quod consequitur, necesse est, ut falsum sit, quod praecedit”, uerissime dicit (He who says “When the consequent is false the antecedent must be false”, says what is most true)’. St Augustine, De civitate Dei contra paganos, liber I, cap. 10.3: ‘Si autem torqueri quam Mammona iniquitatis prodere maluerunt, boni non erunt (if, however, they preferred to be tortured rather than to surrender the Mammon of unrighteousness they were not good).’ On 8 May 1452, Thomas and Richard Lemanton entered four bonds for the payment of £85 to Caldecote over the next 18 months, which suggests that he won his case: CCR, 1447–52, p. 352.

‘DOMINE SALVUM FAC REGEM’: THE ORIGIN OF ‘GOD SAVE THE KING’ IN THE REIGN OF HENRY VI∗ Elizabeth Danbury Domine salvum fac regem: et exaudi nos in die qua invocaverimus te.1 ‘God save the king’ is by far the best known of all royal acclamations in the English language. The origins of the phrase lie in the first part of the tenth verse of psalm 19 in the Vulgate text. It first appeared in Latin as a royal motto in the reign of Henry VI, was adopted by his successors and, after its translation into English, was inserted at the foot of royal proclamations, incorporated into the coronation service and eventually reached its apotheosis as the refrain of the national anthem. This paper aims to investigate certain aspects of the origin and development of the use of the phrase in England through a discussion of its adoption as a motto and its employment in ritual, liturgy and royal propaganda. Research into the early use of the phrase ‘God save the king’ has been largely limited to its place in the lyrics of the English national anthem, the oldest of all national anthems.2 The genesis of the anthem, both words and music, remain obscure. The earliest known source is a printed volume of songs published in 1744 under the title ‘Harmonia Anglicana’, though the words ‘God save the king’ set to the first four notes of a catch by Henry Purcell (?1658–1695), ‘Since the duke is returned’, suggest a longer history.3 Unquestionably the acclamation ‘God save the king’ was well known long before the eighteenth century. There were two main reasons for the widespread currency of the phrase in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The first was its appearance at the foot of royal proclamations from the late fifteenth century onwards.4 The second, and probably the most important single influence on the popularity of the phrase, was its inclusion in the King James Bible, first published in 1611, as the acclamation of the people after the anointing of King Solomon by the priest Zadok.5 Thereafter it was incorporated ∗

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I am very grateful to Professor Carole Rawcliffe for her invaluable advice, constructive criticism and encouragement and to Margaret Condon and Dr. Hannes Kleineke for their most helpful comments and guidance. Psalm 19.10 (Vulgate text). Malcolm Boyd, ‘National anthems’, in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. Stanley Sadie (2nd edn., 29 vols., 2001), xvii. 654, 659–61. Boyd, ‘National Anthems’, 659–60. Society of Antiquaries of London, Collection of Royal Proclamations, vol. 1, Edward IV to Henry VIII: 1464–1536. 1 Kings 1.39. The acclamation of the people in the equivalent verse of the Vulgate was ‘Vivat rex Salomon’.

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into English coronation ordines (compilations of the prayers, hymns and anthems used in coronation ceremonies),6 initially at the coronation of Charles I (2 February 1626) as the acclamation of the people when he was presented to them by the archbishop of Canterbury, and, at his anointing, when the choir sang the anthem ‘Zadock the Preist and Nathan the Propehett anointed Solomon king: and all the people rejoiced and said “God save the King for ever”’.7 From then on it has featured prominently not only in successive coronation ordines, but in coronation anthems, most famously in George Frederick Handel’s ‘Zadok the priest’, one of the four anthems he composed for the coronation of George II in October 1727. However, the origins of the phrase ‘God save the king’ as an acclamation for the sovereign in England have to be sought much earlier than its translation into the vernacular. Personal mottoes, European coronation ordines and church liturgy are sources which may provide at least part of the answer. Mottoes A motto has been variously defined as ‘a written word or phrase assumed by an individual, usually retained by his descendants’ and as ‘an aphorism, the interpretation of which is often obscure and known only to the armiger who adopted it’.8 No single explanation can be found for the adoption of mottoes in the Middle Ages. Some were undoubtedly war cries, such as the French royal motto ‘Monjoye St. Denis’ and various Irish mottoes ending with the phrase ‘a boo’ (‘for ever’). Scottish examples, such as ‘A Home! A Home!’, which was used to rally supporters of the Home family, and ‘St. Bennet and set on’, the call to arms of the Setons, are matched by English equivalents including ‘Esperance en Dieu’ or ‘Esperance Percy’ of the Percy family.9 However, by no means all mottoes owe their origin to the battlefield. When used in conjunction with heraldry, they could incorporate a punning or canting reference to the name of the bearer of the arms, or a direct reference to the heraldry itself; some might relate to both name and heraldic bearings or have no connection whatsoever with either, being religious, military, amatory or personal in nature.10 Mottoes could appear on banners, stained glass, carved on wood or stone or woven in tapestries or cloth, but most of those associated with persons not of aristocratic birth survive today as legends on personal seals. Members of the nobility customarily employed heraldic seals; and the legends on these seals defined the object and its owner, user or purpose. However, by no means all legends on heraldic seals demonstrate a heraldic connection. For example, the legend used by Patrick, sixth earl of Dunbar (1248–89), on his seal reads ‘Sigillum amoris’, while that adopted by his son and successor Patrick, 6

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R.A. Jackson, Vive le Roi!: A History of the French Coronation from Charles V to Charles X (Chapel Hill, 1984), 24. L.G. Wickham Legg, English Coronation Records (1901), 250, 258. C.N. Elvin and Rosemary Pinches, Elvin’s Handbook of Mottoes: Revised with Supplement and Index by R. Pinches; Based on the Original Edition of 1860 by C.N. Elvin (2nd edn., 1971), 8; A New Dictionary of Heraldry, ed. Stephen Friar (1987), 248. The Oxford Guide to Heraldry, ed. Thomas Woodcock and J. M. Robinson (Oxford, 1990), 112. Elvin and Pinches, Elvin’s Handbook of Mottoes, pp. viii–xi.

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seventh earl of Dunbar, was ‘Je su sel de amur lel’ (I am the seal of loyal love), a popular motto by no means confined to one individual or to the nobility.11 Indeed, such legends, usually inscribed on the outside border of the seal, were often favoured by non-armigerous owners or users. They either reflect the design, imagery or purpose of the seal or relate to a particular individual’s interests or tastes. Purely functional, descriptive legends were obviously not mottoes, but many of the legends on British medieval personal seals were clearly phrases of considerable personal significance, and it is often impossible to discover why they were first chosen. All that can be said is that they had meaning and importance for the first user.12 They can range from devotional prayers, such as ‘ave Maria gracia plena’, ‘in domino confido’ and ‘sancta Margareta ora pro me’, to epigrams such as ‘be war the world’, ‘pur moy’, ‘tout loyal’ and ‘pensez de bien fere’, as well as the motto beguilingly ascribed by Chaucer to the Prioress in The Canterbury Tales: ‘amor vincit omnia’.13 The employment of royal mottoes in England can be traced back to Edward III, who adopted ‘Honi soit qui mal y pense’ for his foundation of the Order of the Garter.14 He also used a number of less celebrated ones, including ‘Hay, hay the white swan, by God’s soul I am thy man’ and the enigmatic ‘It is as it is’; livery rolls and accounts of the great wardrobe for 1347–9 and 1350–1 record payments for bed-hangings, clothes and garters displaying these and other mottoes.15 A manuscript of English statutes written before 1435 ascribes the motto ‘sauns departier’ to Richard II, ‘ma soveraine’ to Henry IV and ‘un(e) sanz plus’ to Henry V.16 Richard II’s motto was embroidered on clothes made for him, and Henry V’s, with that of his queen, Catherine of Valois (‘Humblement le requier’), on red cloth for the royal barge.17 From the reign of Henry IV onwards royal mottoes were also added to the initial letters of some decorated and illuminated royal charters and letters patent, as well as appearing on clothes and hangings, on objects such as the scabbard and hilt of the Dublin civic sword, possibly presented to the city by Henry IV himself, and on monuments, including Henry’s own tomb in Canterbury cathedral.18

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P.D.A. Harvey and Andrew McGuinness, A Guide to British Medieval Seals (1996), 59. Ibid., 89, 113–9. Ibid., 114–8. H.E.L. Collins, The Order of the Garter 1348–1461: Chivalry and Politics in Late Medieval England (Oxford, 2000), 11–12. M.P. Siddons, Heraldic Badges in England and Wales (3 vols. in 4, Woodbridge, 2009), i. 176–81; Juliet Vale, Edward III and Chivalry: Chivalric Society and its Context 1270–1350 (Woodbridge, 1982), 79–82. Merton College, Oxford, MS 297B, ff. 225, 273, 304; R.M. Thomson, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Medieval Manuscripts of Merton College, Oxford (Woodbridge, 2009), 231–2 and colour plate 14. Thomson ascribes the motto ‘Un sanz plus’ to Henry VI, but notes that all the entries on ff. 304– 26 relate to statutes of Henry V (ibid., 232). Siddons, Heraldic Badges, i. 192, 274. Richard II’s motto appears above his crown in the full page miniature at the beginning of the manuscript of Philippe de Mézières’s Epistre au roi Richart, BL, Royal MS 20 B. vi, f. 1v. Elizabeth Danbury, ‘The decoration and illumination of royal charters in England, 1250–1509: An introduction’, in England and her Neighbours 1066–1453: Essays in honour of Pierre Chaplais, ed. Michael Jones and Malcolm Vale (1989), 173–5; eadem, ‘Enluminure et décoration des chartes royales anglaises au Moyen Age’, in Les chartes ornées en Europe, Xe–XVIe siècle, ed. Ghislain

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Evidence for the origin of two of the most enduring royal mottoes, ‘Dieu et mon droit’ and ‘Domine salvum fac regem’, dates from the reign of Henry VI. Both phrases were adopted and adapted by Henry’s successors and are still used to this day. ‘Dieu et mon droit’ is the motto of the British monarch and appears on a scroll under the shield of the royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom. It was employed in the decoration of several important royal grants in the reign of Henry VI, including the letters patent of 12 February 1441 founding King’s College, Cambridge, where it appears twice on elaborate scrolls attached to the initial letter ‘H’.19 Perhaps not surprisingly, it was repeated on two grants to Henry VI’s other scholarly foundation at Eton: letters patent dated 14 January 1442, awarding the provost and college two casks of red Gascon wine yearly, and a charter of 24 December 1443 permitting the college to hold two annual fairs.20 It also features, together with ‘Domine salvum fac regem’, on the charter of 9 March 1447 creating Southampton a county in its own right.21 An elaborately written and illuminated manuscript of poems and romances presented by John Talbot, first earl of Shrewsbury (d.1453), to Margaret of Anjou on the occasion of her marriage to Henry VI in 1445 contains a full-page miniature displaying the English and French lineage of Henry VI, in which an antelope (Henry VI’s heraldic supporter) holds a lance wrapped in a scroll bearing the motto ‘Dieu et mon droit’ and a banner bearing the impaled heraldic arms of the royal couple.22 There is no doubt that this particular motto was a ubiquitous feature of Henry’s court. Between 1434 and 1444, the accounts of the keeper of the great wardrobe record payments to embroiderers and other craftsmen for decorating the liveries of Henry VI’s retainers with royal badges and the words ‘Dieu et mon droit’.23 One of the king’s most devoted and favoured courtiers was Sir John Norris (Norreys) (d.1466). He sat in parliament as a knight of the shire for Berkshire and Oxfordshire and as a burgess for Truro on various occasions between 1439 and 1453, in addition to holding office as sheriff of Oxfordshire and Berkshire, of Wiltshire, of Somerset and of Dorset between 1437 and 1446. He was keeper of the great wardrobe from 1444 to 1446, chamberlain of the Exchequer from 1446 until 1450 and an esquire of the body to Henry VI from 1441 until after 1454.24 Sir John built a house near Bray in Berkshire known as Ockwells (or Ockholt) manor in about 1450. The

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Brunel, Olivier Guyotjeannin and Marc Smith (Bibliothèque de l’École des chartes, clxviii/1, forthcoming). Cambridge, King’s College Muniments, KC/11 (former reference A1); CPR, 1436–41, pp. 521–3; Danbury, ‘Introduction’, 174. Eton College, ECR 16/98, no.1; 31/413. Southampton City RO, SC1/1/8; CChR, 1427–1516, p. 76; Danbury, ‘Introduction’, 174. The charter is transcribed and translated in The Charters of the Borough of Southampton, I: 1199–1480, ed. H.W. Gidden (Southampton Record Society, vii, 1909), 70–81. There is a physical description in The Charters of the Borough of Southampton, II: 1484–1836, ed. Gidden (Southampton Record Society, ix, 1910), 207. BL, Royal MS 15 E VI, f. 3. The manuscript is discussed in Diana Dunn, ‘Margaret of Anjou, Chivalry and the Order of the Garter’, in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, in the Later Middle Ages, ed. Colin Richmond and Eileen Scarff (Windsor, 2001), 39–56. I owe this reference to Carole Rawcliffe. Siddons, Heraldic Badges, i. 276–9. L.S. Clark, ‘Norris, John I’, The History of Parliament: The Commons 1422-61, ed. Linda Clark (forthcoming). I am grateful to the History of Parliament Trust for allowing me to consult this article in draft.

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eighteen surviving windows of the hall, attributed to Henry VI’s own glazier John Prudde (d.1460/1), feature the heraldic arms of the king and queen, as well as those of leading courtiers and relatives of the Norris family.25 The windows specifically dedicated to Margaret of Anjou and Henry VI not only depict their arms and heraldic supporters, but also display their mottoes: in her case ‘humble et loiall’ and in his ‘Dieu et mon droit’ in diagonal stripes across the glass. The earliest example so far discovered of the use of the second motto ‘Domine salvum fac regem’, in Henry VI’s reign occurs in 1431. The words are written on the rim of the open crown above the initial letter ‘H’ of letters patent to the borough of Hull dated 17 July of that year (fig. 1).26 The motto then features twice in the complex decorative programme of the charter of inspeximus of 25 January 1442 confirming, with the authority of parliament, the foundation and endowment charters of Eton College (fig. 3).27 The illumination of this document, which may perhaps be added to the corpus of work attributed to the famous English illuminator, William Abell,28 depicts Henry VI seated within the initial letter ‘H’, crowned and holding a copy of the charter in his right hand. Above the initial letter is an imperial closed crown flanked by two antelopes. Below the crown is a scroll featuring the motto ‘Domine salvum fac regem’, while to the left of the initial letter is the coat of the royal arms of England (England quartering France modern) surrounded by a blue garter displaying the motto of the Order of the Garter. Both garter and shield are surmounted by a second closed imperial crown. In addition, the decoration of the charter incorporates shields bearing the arms of St. Edward the Confessor and St. Edward the Martyr, to each of whom Henry had a particular devotion, and the phrase ‘Domine in te speravi: non confundebar in eternam’, which comprises the last two lines of the ‘Te Deum Laudamus’, a canticle of thanks and praise closely linked with the consecration and coronation of kings. Several other grants made by Henry VI bear the motto ‘Domine salvum fac regem’. Letters patent of 19 August 1444 incorporating the Leathersellers’ Company of London are illuminated in a style very similar to that of the Eton charter. Here, the crowned figure of the king appears seated in majesty within the initial letter ‘H’, receiving the petition of the liveried members of the newly incorporated company, who are portrayed in the left-hand margin, and the acclamation of stags, hinds and goats, from whose skins the company created its 25

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VCH Berks., iii. 93–5; Everard Green, ‘The identification of the eighteen worthies commemorated in the heraldic glass in the hall windows of Ockwells Manor House, in the parish of Bray, in Berkshire’, Archaeologia, lvi (1899), 323–36; The Buildings of England: Berkshire, ed. Geoffrey Tyack, Simon Bradley and Nikolaus Pevsner (New Haven and London, 2nd edn., 2010), 413–16. For the attribution of the glass at Ockwells to John Prudde, see Prudde’s biography by Richard Marks in Oxford DNB, sub nom. Hull History Centre, C BRC/12 (former reference Kingston upon Hull City Record Office, BRC 12); CPR, 1429–36, p. 141; Danbury, ‘Introduction’, 174. Henry VI was a particularly generous patron to Hull, granting it county status in 1440 and extending its rights in 1447: see J.R. Boyle, Charters and Letters Patent granted to Kingston upon Hull (Hull, 1905), 31, 34–49. I am grateful to Martin Taylor, Head of History Services at Hull History Centre, for his advice on the Hull city charters. Eton College, ECR 39/8; Danbury, ‘Introduction’, 174; eadem, ‘Enluminure et décoration’ (forthcoming). J.J.G. Alexander, ‘William Abell “lymnour” and fifteenth-century English illumination’, in Kunsthistorische Forschungen Otto Pächt zu zeinem 70. Geburtstag, ed. Artur Rosenauer and Gerold Weber (Salzburg, 1972), 166–72.

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merchandise, in the right-hand margin.29 Men and animals have scrolls above their heads, or coming out of their mouths, with the words ‘Domine salvum fac regem’ inscribed on them. An extended variation of this motto, ‘Domine salvum fac regem Henricum fundatorem nostrum’, is inscribed on a scroll round the vertical stroke of the initial letter ‘H’ in letters patent of 30 October 1449 granting Eton College the reversion of the wardenship and hospital of St. James, Westminster.30 This royal motto was also used to embellish other documents. The ‘P’ of Particule in the heading of the account book of Robert Rolleston, keeper of the great wardrobe for the year ending Michaelmas 1444, is decorated with the motto, repeated three times.31 It also features in some of the headings of the rolls of pleas in the courts of king’s bench and common pleas, which from the fifteenth century onwards were often embellished with emblems, badges, mottoes and elaborate penwork.32 On both king’s bench and common plea rolls, the ‘P’ of Placita, the first word in the heading, and, on king’s bench rolls, the name of the chief justice of king’s bench were the most likely to be decorated in this way. The earliest example of the motto being used to decorate a plea roll of the court of king’s bench dates from the Easter term 1450, where it is attached to the ‘ff’ of the name of the chief justice, Sir John Fortescue (c.1397–1479); it appears also in the heading for the Easter term of 1460, within the letter ‘P’ of Placita, which portrays the king seated in majesty between two lawyers. 33 The headings of several of the common plea rolls from the Michaelmas term of 1459 to the Hilary term of 1461, all decorated by the same hand and produced at a time of great disturbance within the kingdom, include the motto, and on two of the rolls, for Michaelmas 1459 and Easter 1460, extend its wording to include not only the king, but also the queen and their son, Prince Edward: ‘Domine salvum fac regem reginam et principem’.34 The illustration of the heading of the common plea roll for Michaelmas 1459 represents Henry VI in full armour, looking rather less convincing as a warrior than his supporters might have wished, with the words ‘Domine salvum fac regem reginam

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London, Worshipful Company of Leathersellers, MS 1; CPR, 1441–6, pp. 278–9; Gothic: Art for England 1400–1547, ed. Richard Marks and Paul Williamson (2003), 270; W.H. Black, History and Antiquities of the Worshipful Company of Leathersellers of the City of London; with Facsimiles of Charters and other Illustrations (1871), 26–9 and colour facsimile. Eton College, ECR 39/100; CPR, 1446–52, p. 296. TNA, E101/409/12 f.1 (cited in Siddons, Heraldic badges, i. 278). The plea rolls of the king’s bench (TNA, KB27) and common pleas (TNA, CP40) are now available in a digitized format through the O’Quinn Law Library at the University of Houston Law Center, USA: http://aalt.uh.edu. The first scholar to investigate the decoration on the plea rolls of King’s Bench was Erna Auerbach, Tudor Artists: A Study of Painters in the Royal Service and of Portraiture on Illuminated Documents from the Accession of Henry VII to the Death of Elizabeth I (1954). The writing and decoration of the king’s bench and common plea rolls in the second half of the fifteenth century is discussed in two recent articles: A.F. Sutton, ‘An unfinished celebration of the Yorkist accession by a clerk of the Merchant Staplers of Calais’, in The Fifteenth Century VIII: Rule, Redemption and Representation in Late Medieval England and France, ed. L.S. Clark (Woodbridge, 2008), 135–61; and William Connor, ‘The Esholt Priory charter of 1485 and its decoration’, Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, lxxx (2008), 121–52. TNA, KB27/756, rot. 1; 796, rot. 1. TNA, CP40/795, rot. 1, and 797, rot. 1, expand the motto as ‘Domine salvum fac regem reginam et principem’. See also CP40/796, rot. 1; 798, rot. 1; 800, rot. 1 (the heading of CP40/799 is damaged).

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et principem’ on the upright and bow of the ‘P’ and, within the letter itself, the phrase ‘Rex regit regna sua’ (fig. 2).35 Parchment was not the only medium to broadcast this motto, which appeared on other objects too. Indeed, it can still be seen on one architectural feature in the great hall of Croydon palace, the summer residence of the medieval archbishops of Canterbury.36 This hall was originally built by Archbishop William Courtenay between 1381 and 1396 and rebuilt by Archbishop John Stafford between 1443 and 1452.37 It is decorated with shields bearing the heraldic arms of members of the Stafford family and of other courtiers of Henry VI, and on the west wall is the largest and most complex of them all (it has been moved several times since the hall was built). Under a closed imperial crown is a shield bearing the arms of Edward the Confessor (azure, a cross fleury between five martlets or) impaled with those of England and France modern (quarterly, gules three lions passant guardant or and azure three fleurs de lys or). This shield of arms is supported by two angels, while beneath it a third angel holds a scroll with the words ‘Domine salvum fac regem’ (figs. 4 and 5).38 The heraldry appears to be unique. Richard II had impaled the heraldic arms of St. Edward the Confessor with his own from 1395; and these arms appear on the exterior right wing of the Wilton Diptych in the National Gallery. It is not thought that any monarch other than Richard II adopted this device. Further, the heraldry on the Wilton Diptych features the arms of France ancient (semé of fleurs de lis), whereas after 1405 English kings followed French practice in reducing the number of fleurs de lis to three, as they appear on the Croydon shield. In his account of the history and architecture of the palace, Andrew Ducarel suggested that this unique coat of arms was placed there soon after 1444 by archbishop Stafford as a compliment to Henry VI. The occasion for the erection of the shield was the agreement by the convocation of the province of Canterbury to a request made by Henry VI on 15 October 1444 that, in future, the feast of the translation of St. Edward the Confessor (13 October) should be observed as a double feast and holy day throughout the province.39 Henry’s personal devotion to Edward the Confessor, the fact that the motto was connected so closely with the king and Archbishop Stafford’s attachment to Croydon as his country retreat all support this assumption.40 The adoption of these mottoes in the reign of Henry VI raises further questions. The first of these is: who initially chose them and why? ‘Dieu et mon droit’ reads and sounds as if it should be connected with Henry V rather than his son, but no

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TNA, CP40/795, rot. 1. Croydon palace is now the Old Palace School of John Whitgift. I am very grateful for permission to visit the school and for the help I received from the staff there. The Buildings of England: Surrey, ed. Ian Nairn, Nikolaus Pevsner and Bridget Cherry (2nd edn., Harmondsworth, 1971), 184. A.C. Ducarel, ‘Some account of the town, church and archiepiscopal palace of Croydon, in the county of Surrey, from its foundation to the year 1783’, in Bibliotheca Topographica Britannica, ed. John Nichols (10 vols., 1780–90), ii. 64. Lambeth Palace Library, Register of Archbishop Thomas Arundel (sic), vol. ii, f. 29 (gathering ff. 28–33v of Canterbury convocation business from 1444 to 1445 bound into this register in error); Ducarel, ‘Some account’, 65–6. For Archbishop Stafford’s preference for Croydon as his country retreat, see his biography by R.G. Davies in ODNB, sub nom.

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contemporary evidence to support this theory has so far come to light.41 The earliest examples of the use of both mottoes by Henry VI predate his coming of age in 1437. As has been shown, ‘Domine salvum fac regem’ was incorporated into the decoration of the letters patent to Hull of 17 July 1431, when the king was only nine years old. It is possible, but unlikely, that the decoration was added much later than the date of issue of the document.42 Furthermore, the references in the accounts of the keeper of the great wardrobe to payments for embroidering ‘Dieu et mon droit’ on the liveries of members of the royal retinue date from 1434. It seems doubtful that Henry VI chose either of the mottoes himself. Rather, the decision would seem more likely to have been made by one or more members of the council of regency or by John, duke of Bedford as regent of France. Undoubtedly Bedford and his council took great pains to emphasise the young king’s right to the crown of France through the design of coins, and the commissioning of poems, pageants and propagandist genealogies and genealogical charts large enough to be posted on the walls of major churches in northern France.43 Both English and French sought to advance their causes in a variety of media.44 The choice of appropriate words and symbols to represent Henry VI was an essential part of the English propaganda campaign. The other issue raised by the employment of both of Henry VI’s mottoes as part of the decorative programme for the royal grants founding King’s College, Cambridge, and Eton College is specific to the origin of these two institutions. Might a study of the original documents add something to the debate about Henry VI’s own part in their foundation? The debate centres on whether Henry VI may or may not have been the initiator and motivating force behind the foundation of Eton and King’s College, or whether a group of clerical and lay members of his household acted on his behalf and in his name.45 The decorated and illuminated charters, both royal and private, of Eton and King’s College, link both foundations firmly to God and His saints, to parliament and to the king himself. An investigation of the motivating ideas behind the decorative programmes of the charters, particularly of the impressive and relatively unknown collection at Eton

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J.H. and R.V. Pinches, The Royal Heraldry of England (1974), 96, ascribe it to Henry V on later evidence; Thomas Willement, Regal Heraldry: the Armorial Insignia of the Kings and Queens of England from Coeval Authorities (1821), 35, attributes it to Henry VI, citing contemporary evidence. Danbury, ‘Introduction’, 162–3. J.W. McKenna, ‘Henry VI of England and the Dual Monarchy: Aspects of Royal Political Propaganda, 1422–1432’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, xxviii (1965), 145–62. BL, Royal MS 15 EVI, f.3 is a copy of the genealogical chart commissioned by the duke of Bedford: ibid. 151. See also above, note 22. For example: M.A. Norbye, ‘Genealogies and dynastic awareness in the Hundred Years War. The evidence of A tous nobles qui aiment beaux faits et bonnes histoires’, Journal of Medieval History, xxxiii (2007), 297–319; Elizabeth Danbury, ‘English and French Artistic Propaganda during the period of the Hundred Years War: Some Evidence from Royal Charters’, in Power, Culture and Religion in France c.1350–c.1550, ed. Christopher Allmand (Woodbridge, 1989), 75–97. Bertram Wolffe, Henry VI (1981), 135–45; John Watts, Henry VI and the Politics of Kingship (Cambridge, 1996), 167–71. Barrie Dobson, ‘Henry VI and the University of Cambridge’, in The Lancastrian Court: Proceedings of the 2001 Harlaxton Symposium, ed. Jenny Stratford (Donington, 2003), 53–67, also cites Katherine Selway, ‘The Role of Eton College and King’s College, Cambridge, in the Policy of the Lancastrian Monarchy’ (Oxford Univ. D. Phil. thesis, 1993).

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College and the identity of the persons who authorised these images, might provide some additional evidence to advance the discussion.46 Although, as argued above, it is often very difficult, if not impossible, to discover why particular mottoes were adopted, it may be that ‘Domine salvum fac regem’ is an exception to this rule. Henry VI, in whose reign this phrase is first recorded as a royal motto, was the focus of a ceremony not experienced by any of his English predecessors or successors. He was crowned king of France and it is in the medieval coronation ordines of French kings that the possible source of inspiration leading to the adoption of the motto in his reign may lie. Coronation rituals and ordines All medieval European coronation ordines have some aspects in common, as well as many variations. All include the elements of sacring and vesting with the insignia of sovereignty, though the form of words used varies from ceremony to ceremony, as does the choice of canticles, psalms, prayers and antiphons. The invocation ‘Domine salvum fac regem’ does not appear to have played any part in medieval English coronation services. By contrast, four medieval French coronation ordines include it as an antiphon to be sung by the clergy entering the cathedral at the commencement of the service to consecrate and crown the new king.47 Even though there is no conclusive evidence that the first two of these ordines, one dated between 1000 and 1050 and the other between 1150 and 1200, were actually used at any Frankish or French coronation, or that they were consulted in the preparation of later French ordines, the verse was unquestionably part of the ceremony of a twelfth-century Norman coronation: that of Roger II of Sicily, which took place at Palermo cathedral on Christmas day 1130.48 As in the French ordines, the verse was sung as an antiphon by the clergy at their entry into the cathedral at the very beginning of the ceremony.49 It was also employed as a prayer in one – and one only – of the German ordines for the coronations of medieval emperors and empresses. Der Staufische Ordo dates from the end of the twelfth century, and stipulates that the following prayer should be recited at the outset: Salvum fac servum tuum, Domine. Mitte ei auxilium de sancto. Domine, salvum fac Regem.50 46

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The decoration of some of the royal and private charters to Eton College is discussed in Danbury, ‘English and French artistic propaganda’, 83–6, 90–4. Ordines coronationis Franciae: Texts and Ordines for the Coronation of Frankish and French Kings and Queens in the Middle Ages, ed. R.A. Jackson (2 vols., Philadelphia, 1995–2000), i. ordo XVI, section 8, p. 204; i. ordo XVIII, section 5, p. 242; i. ordo XIX, section 7, p. 251; ii. ordo XXI, section 6, p. 345. Reinhard Elze, ‘The Ordo for the coronation of King Roger II of Sicily: An example of dating from internal evidence’, in Coronations: Medieval and early Modern Monarchic Ritual, ed. J.M. Bak (Berkeley, 1990), 165–78. Elze, ‘Ordo for the coronation of King Roger II’, 170. Die Ordines für die Weihe und Krönung des Kaisers und der Kaiserin, ed. Reinhard Elze (Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Fontes iuris Germanici antiqui in usum scholarum ex

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The significance of ‘Domine salvum fac regem’ in French coronation ordines in the high and later middle ages is underlined by its appearance as an antiphon in a manuscript of an ordo of 1200, which was preserved in the cathedral of Reims, where French monarchs were traditionally crowned, until the French Revolution and demonstrably consulted for reference in the centuries after it was written.51 Again, the verse was sung as an antiphon by the clergy on their entry into Reims cathedral at the start of the service, a position it also retains in an ordo of 1250.52 The verse makes its final appearance in the records of medieval French coronations in the ordo of Charles VIII. This document is described by its editor as ‘not a generic ordo but a precise and full description of a specific event’: the lengthy ceremonies took place over the five days from 29 May to 2 June 1484.53 In this explicit context, the phrase is not recorded as an antiphon, but as a versicle spoken by the archbishop of Reims, eliciting the choir’s response with the second part of the verse from the psalm: ‘et exaudi nos in die qua invocaverimus te’.54 The verse continued to figure in French ceremonial after the end of the fifteenth century. Jean Mouton (d.1522), one of the principal court composers, wrote a polyphonic motet, ‘Domine salvum fac regem’, for the coronation of Francis I on 25 January 1515. It was included in a choirbook of motets dedicated to Lorenzo II de’ Medici, duke of Urbino, on the occasion of his marriage in 1518 to Madeleine de la Tour, daughter of the count of Auvergne.55 Jean Maillard and Guillaume Costeley also composed similar polyphonic motets in the later sixteenth century, but the verse itself did not become popularly known in France until the seventeenth century when it was set to the ‘ton royal’ and sung at high masses on Sundays.56 The chant continued to be used long after the fall of the Ancien Régime, though the actual form of words varied according to the nature of different governments: under Napoleon they were ‘Domine salvum fac imperatorem nostrum Napoleonem and under the nineteenth and twentieth-century French republics ‘Domine salvam fac Rempublicam’, while the version currently employed at the Latin mass in the church of St. Eugène and Ste. Cécile in Paris is ‘Domine salvam fac Galliam’.57 The argument in favour of an origin for the English royal motto ‘Domine salvum fac regem’ in the ritual of a French coronation might be compelling, were it not for the fact that the verse does not figure in the records of the French coronation ceremony of Henry VI. Craig Wright’s detailed study of the remarkable series of

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monumentis Germaniae historicis separatim editi, 9: Ordines coronationis imperialis, Hannover, 1960), no. XVII, p. 64. Ordines coronationis Franciae, ed. Jackson, i. 248–51. Ibid., ii. Ordo XXI, section 6, p. 345. Ibid., ii. 555. Ibid., ii. 572. E.E. Lowinsky, The Medici Codex of 1518: a choirbook of motets dedicated to Lorenzo de’ Medici, Duke of Urbino (Chicago, 1968), 157–60. The only child of Lorenzo de’ Medici and Madeleine de la Tour was Catherine de’ Medici, wife of Henry II of France. Lowinsky, Medici Codex, 158; Léon Séché, Les Origines du Concordat, (2 vols., Paris 1894), ii. 250; W.H.C. Smith, The Bonapartes: The History of a Dynasty (2005), 41; T.F. Bumpus, The Cathedrals of Northern France (New York, 1910), 26. http://www.schola-sainte-cecile.com/2007/08/06/domine-salvam-fac-galliam-du-vieme-ton-royal/. Settings of ‘Domine salvum fac regem’ were written by Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643–1704), Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632–1687), Henri Du Mont (1610–1684) and other composers at the French court.

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contemporary manuscripts which record the coronation in detail reveals that the verse was not used, either as an antiphon or in any other form. 58 The ceremony for the coronation of the young Henry VI, which took place at Notre Dame in Paris on Sunday 16 December 1431, was based on the coronation ordo of Charles V of France. The writing of the most important surviving manuscript of this ordo was personally supervised by Charles, who signed it himself and added it to his own library.59 The French royal library was acquired by John, duke of Bedford, Henry VI’s uncle and regent of France, by June 1425; and, in almost all particulars, Charles V’s ordo is identical with the book prepared for the chapter of Notre Dame for Henry VI’s French coronation.60 It was Bedford who seems to have taken main responsibility for the arrangements for the coronation; Notre Dame’s capitular registers record details of the discussions on 12 December 1431 between the dean of his chapel and the chapter of Notre Dame concerning the musical and liturgical aspects of the ceremony.61 A reconstruction of the coronation procedure from the surviving documents shows that the various sung responsories, antiphons and anthems did not include ‘Domine salvum fac regem’.62 On the day of the actual coronation, 16 December 1431, Henry was escorted to Notre Dame while the clergy of the cathedral sang the responsory ‘Ecce mitto angelum meum’ (Behold I send my angel, who shall go before thee: Exodus 23.20–3). The procession entered Notre Dame to the antiphon ‘Domine in virtute tua laetabitur rex’ (The king shall rejoice in thy strength, O Lord: Psalm 20.1). Other choral works sung during the ceremony included ‘Veni creator spiritus’ and ‘Te Deum laudamus’, the antiphon ‘Unxerunt Salomon’ (Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anointed Solomon king: 1 Kings 1.38–9) and ‘Desiderium anime’ (Thou hast given him his heart’s desire: Psalm 20.2). ‘Domine salvum fac regem’ is entirely absent, as it is from the ordo of Charles V. Nevertheless, the importance of this ordo and its impact on coronation ritual in England, as well as France, was very great. Several elements from it were incorporated into Henry VI’s English coronation on 6 November 1429.63 ‘Ecce mitto angelum meum’ was added to the music and was also sung at the entry of both Richard III and Henry VII into Westminster Abbey when they were crowned.64 In spite of the fact that the verse ‘Domine salvum fac regem’ did not feature in either the English or French coronation ceremonies of Henry VI, a French origin may still be proposed for its adoption in England. Its prominence over a long 58 59 60

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C.M. Wright, Music and Ceremony at Notre Dame of Paris, 500–1500 (Cambridge, 1989), 208–17. BL, MS Cotton Tiberius B VIII, ff. 43–74v; Ordines coronationis Franciae, ed. Jackson, ii. 455. Craig M. Wright, Music and Ceremony, 209–14; Jenny Stratford, ‘The Manuscripts of John, Duke of Bedford: Library and Chapel’, in England in the Fifteenth Century: Proceedings of the 1986 Harlaxton Symposium, ed. Daniel Williams (Woodbridge, 1987), 339 and note 40. Wright, Music and Ceremony, 209. The following section is based on Wright, Music and Ceremony, 208–13, which analyses the preparations for Henry VI’s French coronation and provides a detailed account of the ceremony. For information about Henry VI’s court in France on this occasion, see Anne Curry, ‘The “Coronation Expedition” and Henry VI’s Court in France, 1430 to 1432’, in Lancastrian Court, ed. Stratford, 29– 52. Roy Strong, Coronation: A History of Kingship and the British Monarchy (2005), 167–9. The Coronation of Richard III: the Extant Documents, ed. A.F. Sutton and P.W. Hammond (Gloucester, 1983), 207; L. Wickham Legg, English Coronation Records, 232.

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period in French ritual and liturgy is telling, as is the care taken by the young Henry VI’s guardians to promote his cause in France. The research which necessarily underpinned the English propaganda machine is likely to have involved an exhaustive search for appropriate material. That one of Henry VI’s new mottoes should have longstanding associations with the French coronation ceremony fitted well with the strategy of the regent in France. Its use in surviving documents of Henry VI’s reign may support this argument. For example, the illustration of the heading of the common plea roll for Michaelmas 1459 (fig. 2) includes the two phrases ‘Domine salvum fac regem reginam et principem’ and ‘Rex sua regna regit’. The inclusion of a motto relating to Henry VI’s French claims might be interpreted as a declaration that Henry VI still had two kingdoms to rule, even though the battle of Castillon had ended any realistic English ambitions six years earlier. The argument in favour of a French origin for the motto ‘Domine salvum fac regem’ does not obviate the need to search for other possible sources, one obvious alternative being English medieval ecclesiastical liturgy. Liturgy It is tempting to assume from a study of English vernacular bibles that the phrase ‘Lord save the king’ and its Latin equivalent must have been relatively unfamiliar to worshippers. The translation of verse 10 of Psalm 19 (firmly renumbered as verse 9 of Psalm 20 by sixteenth-century scholars) bears little immediate relation to the Vulgate text, either in content or in the placement of the flexa, the semicolon which divides the verse into two halves for the benefit of those singing or reciting it. The verse in the Great Bible of 1539 reads ‘Save, Lord, and hear us, O king, when we call (upon thee)’.65 In the Geneva Bible of 1560 it is translated as ‘Save, Lord: let the king hear us in the day that we call’, while in the King James Bible of 1611 it reads ‘Save, Lord: let the king hear us when we call’. All these translations are very similar to one another and reflect the fact that the scholars working on them returned to the original Hebrew to ensure that their text was as authentic as possible.66 It does not, however, follow that English worshippers in the fifteenth century were unaware of the phrase ‘Domine salvum fac regem’. First, it derived from a psalm; and the book of psalms was a vital component of the medieval liturgy. Psalms were chanted or recited as part of the divine office each day and would have been familiar to many people, both clerical and lay, if only by dint of repetition. Furthermore, the phrase was specifically included in the liturgy of several of the services set out in the Use of Sarum, which was the form of worship most commonly followed in England during the later middle ages.67 ‘Domine

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Reproduced in facsimile in The Psalter of the Great Bible of 1539: A Landmark in English Literature, ed. John Earle (1894), 28. I am indebted to Mitzi Kalinsky for advice on the Hebrew text of the verse. The spread of the Use of Sarum is discussed in R.W. Pfaff, The Liturgy in Medieval England: A History (Cambridge, 2009), 350–444. See also N.J. Morgan, ‘Books for the liturgy and private prayer’, in The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain: Volume II: 1100–1400, ed. N.J. Morgan

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salvum fac regem’, together with its response (the second part of the verse) ‘et exaudi nos in die qua invocaverimus te’, featured in the Mass, in certain of the daily offices and on some ceremonial occasions. At weekday mass throughout the year, except from Easter to the first Sunday after Trinity, it was one of the series of versicles and responses said or sung between the ‘Sanctus’ and the ‘Pax Domini’.68 The phrase was also incorporated into the ceremony with which a king was customarily received by the clergy of Salisbury cathedral, at least according to a fifteenth-century record of this ritual.69 In the case of the formal reception of a queen, the wording would be changed to ‘Domine salvam fac ancillam tuam’, a form also used in the service for the purification of women after childbirth.70 The phrase received its ultimate sanction and place in the liturgy, when it was incorporated into services at Westminster Abbey at the beginning of the sixteenth century. By a series of agreements between the monks of Westminster and Henry VII, the king was to build and endow a perpetual memorial in the Abbey, in the form of a great new Lady Chapel which would house his tomb.71 In return, the monks were required to maintain prayers for his safety and welfare during his lifetime and, after his death, for the salvation of his soul. The elaborately illuminated foundation indentures bipartite of 16 July 1504 specified the prayers and psalms to be used.72 During Henry’s lifetime all chapter masses were to include ‘Domine salvum fac regem nostrum Henricum Septimum’ in the versicles and responses to be made by the celebrant and the choir. The importance of this phrase was underlined by the fact that the whole of psalm 19, together with psalm 20, ‘Domine in virtute tua laetabitur rex’, was to be said or sung in full during the canon of the mass. The personalised verse 10 of psalm 19 was also added to the responses. The phrase gained in strength through continuous repetition became linked ever more closely with the ruling royal house.73 A missal according to the Use of Sarum was printed by Richard Pynson, at the request of Henry VII, before the end of 1504; a few fifteenth-century and many later English and European sixteenth-century editions survive. Though all services conducted according to the Use of Sarum were ordered to be abrogated by an injunction of 1559, the Use was nevertheless extremely influential in the

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and R.M. Thomson (Cambridge, 2008), 291–306; R.W. Pfaff, Medieval Latin Liturgy: A Select Bibliography (Toronto, 1982). Missale ad usum insignis et praeclarae Ecclesiae Sarum, ed. F.H. Dickinson (Burntisland, 1861– 83), 634; The Sarum Missal in English, ed. F.E. Warren (2 vols., Alcuin Club Collections, xi, 1913), i. 59. Ceremonies and Processions of the Cathedral Church of Salisbury Edited from the Fifteenth Century MS No. 148 with additions from the Cathedral Records and Woodcuts from the Sarum Processionale of 1501, ed. Christopher Wordsworth (Cambridge, 1901), 118. The phrase appears in the Liber Pontificalis of Edmund Lacy, Bishop of Exeter: A Manuscript of the Fourteenth Century, ed. Ralph Barnes (Exeter, 1847), 280, but this is a misreading of the text in Exeter Cathedral, MS 3513, f. 101v. Ceremonies and Processions, ed. Wordsworth, 118; Manuale ad usum percelebris Ecclesie Sarisburiensis, ed. A.J. Collins (Henry Bradshaw Society, xci, 1958 [published 1960]), 44. Margaret Condon, ‘God Save the King! Piety, Propaganda and the Perpetual Memorial’, in Westminster Abbey: The Lady Chapel of Henry VII, ed. Tim Tatton-Brown and Richard Mortimer (Woodbridge, 2003), 59–97. I am very grateful to Margaret Condon for many helpful discussions on this subject. TNA, E33/1; BL, Harleian MS 1498; Condon, ‘God Save the King!’, 85, 95. Condon, ‘God Save the King!’, 85–6 and note 143.

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development of the Anglican liturgy. A literal translation of the phrase ‘Domine salvum fac regem’ was incorporated into the liturgy for Matins in the 1549 Prayer Book74 and remains in use at Matins and Evensong in those churches which still follow the 1662 Prayer Book services. In both Matins and Evensong ‘Lord save the king’, together with its response ‘And mercifully hear us when we call upon thee’, is included among the versicles and responses sung or spoken after the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. From Domine salvum fac regem to God save the King Henry VI’s successors, Edward IV and Richard III, had their own personal mottoes (respectively ‘Comfort et liesse’ and ‘Loyauté me lie’), but also adopted and adapted the royal mottoes which had emerged in the reign of Henry VI. Although the reasons for their assumption by the Yorkist kings are not known, both ‘Dieu et mon droit’ and ‘Domine salvum fac regem’ are appropriate for any monarch, not just one individual. The decoration of an elaborately illuminated pedigree roll, probably made to commemorate Edward IV’s accession to the throne in 1461, includes multiple repetitions of his personal motto and also, at the foot of the document, within the illuminated framework containing his name and parentage, the words ‘Domine salvum fac regem Edwardum’.75 The decoration of the ‘P’ of Placita in the heading of the common plea roll for the Easter term 1462 (created by the same hand as that of the common plea rolls in the last years of Henry VI) incorporates the phrase ‘Domine salvum fac regem’.76 Following the young king’s controversial marriage, the motto in the heading of the common plea roll for Michaelmas 1465 is expanded to read ‘Domine salvum fac Regem Edwardum ac Reginam Elizabeth’.77 Royal grants of Edward IV also display the motto, both in an extended and its original form. The words ‘Domine salvum fac regem reginam et principem’ feature on a scroll round the initial letter ‘E’ of letters patent of 6 April 1473 to the city of Gloucester.78 As ‘Domine salvum fac regem’, together with ‘Dieu et mon droit’, it also appears on the elaborately illuminated letters patent awarded to the College of Minor Canons of St. Paul’s Cathedral on 2 August 1468.79 74

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F.E. Brightman, The English Rite: Being a Synopsis of the Sources and Revisions of the Book of Common Prayer (2nd edn., 2 vols., 1921) i. 146–9; The Two Liturgies, A.D. 1549, and A.D. 1552: With other Documents Set forth by Authority in the Reign of King Edward VI, ed. Joseph Ketley (Cambridge, 1844), 34; The Clerk’s Book of 1549, ed. John Wickham Legg (Henry Bradshaw Society, xxv, 1903), 22. Philadelphia, Free Library, MS Lewis E 201; Siddons, Heraldic Badges, i. colour plate 1. TNA, CP40/804, rot. 1. TNA, CP40/817, rot. 1. The full text reads ‘Domine salvum fac Regem Edwardum ac Reginam Elizabeth ac Ricardum, comitem War’, while the name and title of Robert Danby, chief justice of common pleas, are written in scrolls within the upright stroke of the ‘P’. The political content of the decoration of the initial letters of the common plea rolls from 1459 to 1465 is the subject of an ongoing research project by Dr. Hannes Kleineke. Gloucester City Museum and Art Gallery, GBR 1/21; Danbury, ‘Introduction’, 174–5. London, Metropolitan Archives, CLC/314/MS29413 (former reference London, Guildhall Library, MS 29413); CPR, 1467–77, p. 135; K.L. Scott, Dated and Datable English Manuscript Borders, c. 1395–1499 (2002), 90–1, plate xxxix; Danbury, ‘Enluminure et décoration’ (forthcoming).

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Archival and architectural evidence surviving for the short reign of Richard III indicates that he too adopted both of the mottoes dating from the reign of Henry VI. The ‘P’ of Placita in the heading of the king’s bench plea roll for the Hilary term 1485 is embellished with strapwork, Yorkist roses and the two mottoes ‘Dieu et mon droit’ and ‘Domine salvum fac regem’ and the motto ‘Dieu et mon droit is inscribed on the rim of the crown above the initial letter ‘R’ in Richard III’s letters patent of 28 November 1484 confirming Edward IV’s previous grants to Bristol.80 It is also displayed on the east window in Nercwys church in Flintshire, together with Richard’s heraldic arms and supporters, the lion of March and the white boar.81 ‘Domine salvum fac regem’ continued to appear as a royal motto on documents and in the decorative arts during the reigns of Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI and Mary. The words ornament the ‘P’ of Placita on the plea roll of king’s bench for the Easter term 1504, and, together with ‘Dieu et mon droit’, decorate the initial letter of the plea roll for the Trinity term 1504 (fig. 6).82 The headings of the plea rolls of king’s bench in the first two law terms of Henry VIII’s reign – Easter and Trinity 1509 – and several of his royal grants, including two letters patent to Southampton, dated 2 October 1510 and 23 November 1514, also feature the motto in Latin.83 The same Latin motto was also attributed to at least two of Henry VIII’s children. The reformer and antiquary John Bale (1495–1563), appealed for the preservation of some of the contents of dissolved monastic libraries in his book Illustrium maioris Britannie scriptorium, hoc est, Angliae, Cambriae ac Scotiae summarium. One copy, printed at Wesel in 1548, was produced as a gift for Edward VI. The title page depicts Bale presenting his book to the young king, and its German binding is embellished with several Latin inscriptions, possibly chosen by Bale himself, which include the acclamation ‘Domine salvum fac regem’.84 One of the miscellaneous books of the court of augmentations recording crown leases and other business for the reign of Mary Tudor has an illuminated title page representing the queen enthroned in majesty within the initial letter ‘M’. The mottoes ‘Vivat Regina Maria’ and ‘Dieu et mon droit’ are written in gold to her right and left, and ‘Domine salvam fac reginam’ on the canopy above her head. 85 It was in Edward IV’s reign that the motto was first translated into the French vernacular and is rendered as ‘le dew salve le Roye’ on the heading of the plea roll of king’s bench for the Trinity term 1481.86 The choice of word for the translation of ‘dominus’ is significant, for ‘dieu’ was preferred to ‘seigneur’: a usage that was 80

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TNA, KB27/894, rot. 1; Bristol RO, 01226, enrolled on the confirmation rolls, TNA, C56/2, no. 7. The decorated documents of Richard III’s reign are illustrated and discussed in detail in Connor, ‘Esholt priory charter’, 121–52. Siddons, Heraldic Badges, i. colour plates 3 and 4. TNA, KB27/971, rot. 1; KB27/972, rot. 1. TNA, KB27/991, rot. 1; KB27/992, rot. 1; Southampton City RO, SC1/1/15 and SC1/1/16; The Charters of the Borough of Southampton, II, ed. Gidden, 4–5, 10–11, 208. The initial letter ‘H’ of the letters patent of 1510 is illustrated in Edwin Welch, Southampton City Charters (Southampton Papers, iv, Southampton, 1966), plate 2. R.J.D. Harding, ‘Authorial and editorial influence on luxury bookbinding styles in sixteenth-century England’, in Tudor Books and Readers: Materiality and the Construction of Meaning, ed. J.N. King (Cambridge, 2010), 124–5 and plate 3. TNA, E315/226, f. 1; Auerbach, Tudor Artists, 98 and plate 29. TNA, KB27/879, rot. 1.

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followed in the English translation, when the prayer became ‘God save the king’, not ‘Lord save the king’. The Latin ‘Dominus’, when employed in biblical and other sacred texts, was synonymous with ‘Deus’;87 either ‘dieu’ or ‘seigneur’ could have been used, but possibly ‘dieu’ was deemed to be more forceful. This translation was favoured by Henry VII, and decorates the ‘P’ of Placita on the plea roll of the court of king’s bench for the Trinity Term 1488 both as ‘deu salve le Roy Henr’ and as ‘Salve le roy’, together with the other royal motto ‘deu et mon droyt’ and the reverent aspiration ‘tout in deu’.88 No evidence has so far been found to suggest that the motto was translated into English before 1485. It seems to have been in the reign of Henry VII that Domine salvum fac regem first became ‘God save the king’. The prayer ‘God save our noble king harry the vij and preserve Margaret his moder. Also preserve harry arturis broder’ appears on a scroll surrounding the heraldic arms of Henry VII on a page of Lady Margaret Beaufort’s copy of the statutes of Christ’s College, Cambridge, which she founded in 1505.89 It is unlikely that this marks the first appearance of the phrase in English, although it has not yet been found on any of Henry VII’s charters or letters patent and does not feature on any of the plea rolls of king’s bench or common pleas. However, it may well have been displayed in the reign of Henry VII as an acclamation at the foot of royal proclamations. Few original proclamations from Henry VII’s reign survive, and those which do have often been cropped at the head and foot, which makes it impossible to know whether the phrase was originally there or not. It does not appear in any issued by Edward IV, though it was at this time that the texts of royal proclamations were almost invariably written for the first time in English and not Latin.90 The Latin words at the foot of Edward’s proclamations attest the king’s personal responsibility for the documents: ‘per ipsum regem’ or ‘teste me ipso’, both reflecting the fact that the original warrant for the proclamations was issued under the king’s sign manual.91 But nowhere in Edward IV’s proclamations is ‘God save the king’ to be found. The acclamation in English (‘And God save the king’) does appear at the foot of Henry VII’s proclamation of 12 December 1498 concerning the quality of the currency.92 This document is now part of the Society of Antiquaries’ collection of original royal proclamations, but it is a seventeenthcentury copy. The first surviving original royal proclamation which undoubtedly reproduces the acclamation at the foot is Henry VIII’s accession pardon of 1509,

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Charles du Fresne, Sieur du Cange, Glossarium Manuale ad Scriptores Mediae et Infimae Latinitatis (6 vols., Halle, 1772–84), iii. 204–6. TNA, KB27/908, rot. 1. Cambridge, Christ’s College Archives, Lady Margaret Beaufort’s copy of the statutes, f. 11v; Danbury, ‘Introduction’, 175. Alison Allan, ‘Royal propaganda and the proclamations of Edward IV’, BIHR, lix (1986), 146–54, esp. 153–4. Society of Antiquaries, Collection of Royal Proclamations, vol. 1, nos. 1–6; A Chronicle of the first Thirteen Years of the Reign of King Edward IV by John Warkworth, ed. J.O. Halliwell (Camden Society old ser., x, 1839), 53, 56, 59. Society of Antiquaries, Collection of Royal Proclamations, vol. 1, no. 8; Tudor Royal Proclamations, ed. P.L. Hughes and J.F. Larkin (3 vols., 1964–9), does not indicate which proclamations contain the acclamation.

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published by Richard Faques.93 Embellished at the head with Henry VIII’s arms and badges and with a decorative border round three sides, it was clearly intended to impress. But it was not necessarily innovative. It seems more likely that a practice begun in the reign of Henry’s father was being continued. Thomas Berthelet, king’s printer to Henry VIII, certainly included the phrase ‘God save the king’ at the foot of many of the proclamations he produced. For example, Berthelet printed two proclamations in June 1530, one concerning the punishment of vagabonds and sturdy beggars, the other condemning erroneous books and heresies and prohibiting the translation of holy scripture into the vernacular. The first of these is completed by the salutation ‘God save the king’ and the second by the almost identical ‘And God save the king’.94 Nor was the maxim limited to proclamations. It appears at the foot of a printed indulgence, published at some date between 1515 and 1529, in favour of the church of Our Lady and St. George the Martyr of Southwark.95 And, naturally, it became a feature of printed books. The frontispiece to The Great Bible of 1539 shows Henry VIII, enthroned at the top of the page and blessed by God from above, handing bound copies of the Bible, entitled ‘Verbum Dei’, to his clerical and lay courtiers, including Thomas Cranmer and Thomas Cromwell. The word of God from this book is preached to the people below, who greet it with joy and affirm their gratitude with cries of ‘Vivat Rex’ and ‘God save the king’. It is apparent that this paper has raised more questions than it has answered and that more research is needed. Mottoes are one of the relatively little-researched constituent elements of heraldry and sigillography, though royal mottoes continue to have significance. High over London, though invisible to the naked eye, the prayer ‘Domine Salvam fac Reginam nostram Victoriam primam’ is inscribed in gilt letters under the clock faces on all four sides of the tower housing Big Ben, and the shorter motto ‘Domine salvam fac reginam’ forms part of Augustus Welby Pugin’s decorative programme within the palace of Westminster. ‘God save the king’, together with ‘Dieu et mon droit’, remains a meaningful symbol of the British monarchy. Moreover, when studied in the context of coronation ritual, church liturgy and original historical records, mottoes can play their part in the illustration and illumination of propaganda, politics and history in England in the later middle ages.

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Early English Books Online: http://0-eebo.chadwyck.com.catalogue. For Richard Faques, see E.G. Duff, The Printers, Stationers and Bookbinders of Westminster and London from 1476 to 1535 (Cambridge, 1906), 171–2. Society of Antiquaries Collection of Royal Proclamations, vol. 1, nos. 55 and 56. J.O. Halliwell, A Catalogue of Proclamations, Broadsides, Ballads and Poems Presented to the Chetham Library, Manchester (1851), 221 and frontispiece.

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Fig. 1: Letters patent of Henry VI to the borough of Kingston upon Hull, 1431 (Hull History Centre, C BRC/12).

Disclaimer: Some images in the printed version of this book are not available for inclusion in the eBook. To view the image on this page please refer to the printed version of this book.

Fig. 2: England, court of common pleas, plea (de banco) roll, Michaelmas 1459, opening rotulet, detail (TNA, CP40/795, rot. 1).

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Fig. 3: Inspeximus and confirmation of Henry VI to Eton College, 1442 (Eton College, ECR 39/8).

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Fig. 4: Croydon palace, Surrey, great hall, armorial shield.

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Fig. 5: Croydon palace, Surrey, great hall, armorial shield (detail).

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Disclaimer: Some images in the printed version of this book are not available for inclusion in the eBook. To view the image on this page please refer to the printed version of this book.

Fig. 6: England, court of king’s bench, plea (coram rege) roll, Trinity 1504, opening rotulet, detail (TNA, KB27/972, rot. 1).

‘MONUMENTS OF HONOUR’: CLERKS, HISTORIES AND HEROES IN THE LONDON LIVERY COMPANIES∗ Matthew Davies In celebrating Linda Clark’s contribution to the study of late medieval history, it seems fitting to write something which reflects both on the importance of archives, and on the lives of individuals in shaping our perspectives on the medieval past. This essay seeks to look at some of the ways in which the city of London guilds (or livery companies as they became known) developed a sense of their own histories, and in particular at the emergence of heroic figures within guild and civic culture, from the fourteenth to the early seventeenth centuries. In doing so, one is rightly conscious of the efforts of John Stow. His Survey of London, which first appeared in 1598, includes many references to sources, as well as statements as to how he obtained information. The City companies were, of course, one of his main subjects of study – he wanted to know in particular about their origins, the building of their Halls, and some of their celebrated members – especially those who were donors and benefactors of charities. Stow set out to gain access to the archives of the companies – above all the ‘Great Twelve’, those which had supplied the overwhelming majority of mayors and aldermen over the centuries. His efforts were not always successful: in a famous passage in the first edition of the Survey he recounts his experience at Vintners’ Hall, where he asked the Court of Assistants: as being one of the principall companies in this cittie (of whome I meant therfore to write the more at large) if they knew any more which might sound to their worship or commendation, at their leysure to send it me, and I wold ioyne it to my former collection: at which time I was answered by some that tooke vpon them the speech, that they were none of the principall, but of the inferiour companies, and so willing me to leaue them I departed, and neuer since heard from them, which hath somewhat discouraged me any farther to trauail amongst the companies.1



1

Earlier versions of this paper were read to the Late Medieval Seminar at the Institute of Historical Research (2009) and at the North American Conference on British Studies, Baltimore (2010). I am grateful to those attending for their comments and suggestions, especially Ian Archer and Caroline Barron. John Stow, A suruay of London Contayning the originall, antiquity, increase, moderne estate, and description of that citie, written in the yeare 1598 (STC 23341: 1598), 192.

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The second edition of the Survey, published in 1603, shows that he had continued to discuss matters with the companies: he left out his experiences with the Vintners (probably after they supplied him with more information), and he included a short section on the Corpus Christi procession after prompting from the Skinners’ Company.2 The episode with the Vintners represents what may seem a familiar institutional mindset which can sometimes emphasise the ‘private’ as opposed to the ‘public’ functions of archives and the information they contain. The Vintners’ selfdeprecation and reticence was tied very closely to the way the livery companies had developed over the centuries, as organisations which had clear criteria for membership, an increasingly complex internal ritual life, and which emphasised discretion and the keeping of company and trade secrets.3 Yet this attitude stood alongside a much more public conception of the roles and functions of the companies. Indeed by the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries the histories and traditions of the London companies were much more in the ‘public realm’ than ever before. In particular, the election of the Lord Mayor was an opportunity for writers to demonstrate their literary skill through the elaborate shows commissioned by the city companies.4 The surviving texts, written by men such as John Webster and Anthony Munday, reveal not only the flamboyant nature of these staged shows, but also an overriding concern with matters historical – they were a mass of literary and historical allusions, with speeches given by fictional characters as well as famous Londoners. William Walworth was a frequent star in Fishmongers’ shows and was hailed as the saviour of London for his part in defeating Wat Tyler and protecting the Crown in 1381. The writers of these shows also looked back to the legendary foundation of London as the ‘New Troy’ by Brutus, descendant of Aeneas, and to heroic city figures who might be appropriated by particular companies, even if they pre-dated the known existence of these organisations.5 These writers could occasionally come unstuck, especially when it came to delving into the early history of the city. Anthony Munday relied heavily on Stow’s Survey for the shows he produced in the 1610s. In 1614 Munday’s text for his 2

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For the Skinners and Corpus Christi see John Stow, A Survey of London, ed. C.L. Kingsford, 2 vols (Oxford, 1908), i. 230–1. For Stow and the companies see also I.W. Archer, ‘Discourses of History in Elizabethan and Early Stuart London’, Huntington Library Quarterly, lxviii (2005), 205–26, at 205–6. The development of the London guilds and companies is discussed in C.M. Barron, London in the Later Middle Ages: Government and People 1200–1500 (Oxford, 2004), 199–234; Matthew Davies, ‘Artisans, Guilds and Government in London’, in Daily Life in the Late Middle Ages, ed. R.H. Britnell (Stroud, 1998), 125–50. The importance of plays, ritual, feasting and ceremonial is a feature of much of the literature on guilds, but see especially Gervase Rosser, ‘Going to the fraternity feast: commensality and social relations in late medieval England’, Journal of British Studies, xxxiii (1994), 430–46, and idem, ‘Party list: making friends in English medieval guilds’, in London and the Kingdom: Essays in Honour of Caroline M. Barron, ed. Matthew Davies and Andrew Prescott (Donington, 2008), 118–34. The literature on the Lord Mayors’ Shows and their producers/composers is voluminous, but see in particular: Imagining Early Modern London: Perceptions of the City from Stow to Strype, 1598– 1720, ed. J.F. Merritt (Cambridge, 2001); Lawrence Manley, Literature and Culture in Early Modern London (Cambridge, 1995); Tracey Hill, Pageantry and Power: A Cultural History of the Early Modern Lord Mayor’s Show, 1585–1639 (Manchester, 2010). Archer, ‘Discourses of History’, 217.

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show for the draper Thomas Hayes contained an apology: he admitted that he had got it wrong in an earlier show of 1611 (for the goldsmith John Pemberton) when he had assigned the first mayor of London, Henry Fitz Ailwin (d.1212), to the Goldsmiths. He blamed the error on Stow, who had assumed that because Fitz Ailwin had been Master of the Mint he must have been a goldsmith. Instead, Munday stated, Fitz Ailwin should be allocated to the Drapers’ Company. Munday rather pointedly sought to shift the blame away from his own failure to check his sources: ‘What more free confession can any man make, than of his blinde misleading by a blinder guide.’6 Nevertheless, the shows reveal vividly the extent to which the companies, by the early seventeenth century, could deploy a whole raft of characters, myths and assumptions in speeches and tableaux designed by some of the leading writers of the day. To do this, they needed to draw on a body of accumulated ideas and archives, stretching back many centuries. It is this accumulation which I want to focus on in the first part of this essay, particularly in the formative years of the city guilds in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries when they began to create and develop their archives, and also to articulate ideas relating to their own histories and the lives of their members. I What is clear to begin with is that the sources are rather more problematic in an era before the kinds of guild histories written about by Ian Gadd and others.7 Late medieval city chronicles, for instance, tend not to include accounts of the histories of institutions such as the craft and merchant guilds, even though membership would sometimes influence the tone and content of such chronicles. For chroniclers, the companies – like parish churches – were part of a patchwork of London institutions with which the City government and individuals interacted. The guilds were usually mentioned in the context of particular events, such as royal entries, civic works or economic disputes.8 Records of civic drama and pageantry are another potential source, and as Anne Lancashire has shown, by the fifteenth century the guilds were becoming ever more active as contributors to civic ceremonial as well as putting on entertainments in their own halls.9 What is less easy to gauge is the extent to which these entertainments were opportunities for the guilds to reflect on their own histories or the lives and achievements of some of their members. In part this is because of the particular forms that these performances took. The Mercers and Goldsmiths celebrated William Estfield’s election as mayor in 1429 with a ‘mumming’ or ‘disguising’, one of several commissioned from John Lydgate, which drew on an existing tradition of 6

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Anthony Munday, Chrusothriambos. The Triumphes of Golde (STC 18267: 1611); idem, Himatia Poleos. The Triumphes of Olde Draperie, or the rich Cloathing of England (STC 18274: 1614), 3–4. For Fitz Ailwin’s career see Oxford DNB, sub nom. I.A. Gadd, ‘Early Modern Printed Histories of the London Livery Companies’, in Guilds, Society and Economy in London 1450–1800, ed. I.A. Gadd and Patrick Wallis (2002), 29–50. For examples of the guilds’ appearances in these sources see Davies, ‘Artisans, Guilds and Government in London’, 125–50. See Anne Lancashire, London Civic Theatre: City Drama and Pageantry from Roman Times to 1558 (Cambridge, 2002), 69–117.

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entertainments that were offered by Londoners to the King, especially at Christmas, but presented in a new context.10 But rather than connecting Estfield explicitly with an historical narrative relating to his guild (as later Lord Mayors’ shows would do), the drama focused on the ways in which he exemplified certain civic and moral values, with the supporting cast made up of saintly and biblical figures. Old Testament and Classical figures predominate: King David was a key character in the ‘Mumming for the Goldsmiths’, leading a procession of mummers carrying the Ark of the Covenant to the mayor, who (rather than the king) is the central focus of the poem.11 The intertwining of civic and religious culture did, however, allow for the invocation within civic drama of patron saints such as St. Dunstan (Goldsmiths) and St. John the Baptist (Tailors), acting both as quasiheroic figures and as proxies for the guilds they represented. As we shall see, the tradition of evoking Classical and Old Testament ‘Worthies’ was one which was well-established, and could itself be adopted fruitfully for civic purposes. Less glamorous, but perhaps a little more useful for the historian seeking to understand the emergence of historical ideas and representation within the guilds, are the returns made to a national enquiry of 1388–9 into the activities of guilds and fraternities all over the country. The background to this is well-known, the enquiry taking place amidst a climate of concern in government about the aims and purposes of the proliferating religious and craft associations in late fourteenthcentury England. More than 500 returns survive, including 42 for London, and among these are returns for guilds relating to particular crafts as well as the purely religious guilds in parish churches. The returns provide historians with a fascinating snapshot of guild activity at the end of the fourteenth century, particularly in terms of the range of associations which existed, including many which subsequently disappeared. In direct response to the aims of the enquiry they listed information about property-holding, and charitable and religious activities, such as the provision of funerals for deceased members, which was one of the raisons d’être of guilds of all kinds. As reflections of historical origins and development they need to be treated carefully, of course, given their purpose – there was rarely any mention of economic functions, for instance, and so the returns for ‘craft’ and ‘religious’ fraternities were often identical. Formulaic responses were the norm in some towns and cities, with clerks doubtless commissioned to write up the returns in a standard form to be sent to Chancery. However, there are occasionally details which give a sense of how guilds looked back on their history, and in particular the importance attached to archives and documents. In London, both the Girdlers and the Saddlers, for example, attached their charters to their returns, while other guilds mentioned them explicitly.12 Charters were cited both to persuade royal government of their legitimacy in law, but also as a fixed point in time that gave solidity to their rhetorical claims to a long history of corporate existence. They were already important as authorising documents, representing the ‘accretion of custom and past practice’.13 It was for 10 11 12 13

Maura Nolan, John Lydgate and the Making of Public Culture (Cambridge, 2005), 85–7. Ibid., 89–95. TNA, C47/46/467 (Girdlers), 468 (Saddlers). Archer, ‘Discourses of History’, 207, where the author discusses the importance of charters for the early modern companies.

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this reason that several guilds, including the Saddlers and Mercers, were so keen in 1389 to secure the return of the charters seized by Nicholas Brembre.14 The Carpenters took a similar approach, but this time using their own administrative records – they produced in Chancery an ordinance book that was said to have been begun on 1 September 1333.15 Ordinances provided not only proof of ‘good character’, but also represented a kind of historical narrative, showing how the guild had evolved over a period of 50 years or so. In the absence of documents, other guilds made claims about their origins: the four wardens of the Brewers referred to the establishment of a fraternity in All Hallows London Wall ‘six years before the great pestilence’.16 The Pouchmakers, one of a few guilds whose return is in English, produced a very evocative statement this brothered is begonne in Londoun of godemen of the craft of powchemakeres in norishing of loue and charite amonges hem & in helthe of here soules by werkes of almesdede to hem that falle pouere thurwy auenture of godes sonde & in ffyndyng of ligt that is ordeyned in honour of the ffestes foreseid & was begonne in the yeer of our lord .M.CCClvje [1356].17 By the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, the creation of these kinds of narratives within the London guilds, as it was within the city government, was the responsibility of professional clerks, either employed for particular tasks or increasingly as salaried officials. The craft and merchant guilds were not merely administrative and supervisory bodies, responsible for keeping a record of apprentice enrolments and regulating the trades, but had developed a range of other activities associated with fraternities, such as charity, the administration of chantries and anniversaries, and participation in ceremonial occasions. Much of this was underpinned by the income from property holdings, and indeed the rise of the guilds or companies as property-holders is a particularly striking feature of this period of London’s history.18 The clerks appointed or commissioned by the guilds were responsible for drafting documents (often of a legal nature), record-keeping in general, and an array of other tasks, including making sure that arrangements for chantries went smoothly and that the guild’s estates and finances were run properly. They also had a public role, coordinating much of the communication with the City government, Parliament and the Crown. The demand was increased by the tendency of the companies to acquire charters of incorporation, formalizing their rights to hold property and also enabling them to sue and be sued in court. The clerks who served the guilds in this period deserve much greater study, particularly in the broader context of the legal, financial and scribal services that were developing in late medieval London, but also as generators of historical ideas. 14

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16 17 18

For these events see C.M. Barron, ‘London: 1300–1540’, in The Cambridge Urban History of Britain I (600–1540), ed. D.M. Palliser (Cambridge, 2000), 405–6; and Matthew Davies, ‘Crown, City and Guild in Late Medieval London’, in London and Beyond: Essays in Honour of Derek Keene, ed. Matthew Davies and Jim Galloway (forthcoming, 2011). C.M. Barron and Laura Wright, ‘The London Middle English Guild Certificates of 1388–9’, Nottingham Medieval Studies, xxxix (1995), 113. TNA, C47/42/206, 46/47. Transcribed in Barron and Wright, ‘Guild Certificates, 140–1. See below, p. 153.

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J.L. Bolton, for example, has drawn attention to the increasing numbers of scriveners and notaries who appear in the City records in the mid fifteenth century, and their involvement with a variety of institutions – including the city companies, parishes and organisations such as the Borromei Bank, and some of the prominent Italian trading families resident in London.19 William Stifford, a notary imperial, was a prominent supplier of scribal and legal services from his house in Lombard Street, especially for the Italian mercantile community. His day-book is one of only a small number of scriveners’ registers to survive from this period, and reveals in great detail the extent and range of his business services.20 Members of the Scriveners’ Company became ever more important as suppliers of the legal and scribal skills needed, and men who had been apprentices and taken the oath as scriveners were increasingly employed by the guilds, either as clerks, or working on a more casual basis, for instance when a guild was agitating for a new charter.21 Meanwhile, the confluence between literary and civic culture in the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries has been examined by several scholars, including Linne Mooney and Estelle Stubbs, who have suggested that a number of leading clerks in the early fifteenth-century Guildhall, such as John Marchaunt and Richard Osbarn, were involved in the copying of literary manuscripts by Chaucer, Langland and others.22 In terms of the guilds themselves, Marion Turner in particular has drawn attention to the connections between Thomas Usk and the Goldsmiths, for whom he acted as clerk in the 1380s.23 Mooney has suggested that the author of the famous petition of the Mercers to the Merciless Parliament of 1388, Adam Pinkhurst, who drew up their accounts in 1391–2, was the scribe used by Chaucer. The petition is certainly a remarkable document that links together the worlds of literature, politics and commerce through its articulation of the Mercers’ complaints.24 Later examples of these mediating figures included John Brynchele, the Tailors’ first known clerk, whose will of 1421 contains the earliest recorded bequest of the ‘Talys of Caunterbury’, as well as other books in both Latin and English.25 So, too, in a rather different way, was John Stodeley, who took the Scriveners’ Company oath in April 1433 and became their warden in 1446.26 He is perhaps better known to political historians as the author, in 1454, of the famous ‘newsletter’ to the duke 19

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22 23

24 25

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J.L. Bolton, ‘Notaries imperial, scriveners and the recording of debt in fifteenth century London’, paper delivered to the Late Medieval Seminar at the Institute of Historical Research, 16 Mar. 2007. I am grateful to Professor Bolton for permission to see and cite this unpublished paper. See Wendy Childs, Anglo-Castilian Trade in the Later Middle Ages (Manchester, 1978), 192, n. 130. Scriveners’ Company Common Paper 1357–1628, with a continuation to 1678, ed. F.W. Steer (London Record Society, iv, 1968). However, it is likely, as argued by Bolton (above), that the Scriveners’ Company itself was not especially effective as an institution until the later fifteenth century. Linne Mooney and Estelle Stubbs, Scribes and the City (forthcoming, 2012). Marion Turner, Chaucerian Conflict: Languages of Antagonism in Late Fourteenth-Century London (Oxford, 2007), 104–14. Linne Mooney, ‘Chaucer’s Scribe’, Speculum, lxxxi (2006), 97–138. London Metropolitan Archives, DL/C/B/004/MS09171/003, f. 64v; and see Matthew Davies and Ann Saunders, The History of the Merchant Taylors’ Company (Leeds, 2004), 43. More research is needed into the clerks working in and around Chancery in the same period, as it is clear that they were also heavily used by some of the London guilds. Scriveners Common Paper, ed. Steer, 68.

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of Norfolk in which he conveyed information ‘espied and gadred’ by him, John Leventhorpe and other informants concerning political events in London. He was also, very unusually, an MP, being returned for Reigate in 1450 and Gatton in 1460, almost certainly at Norfolk’s instigation.27 By this time Stodeley had been associated with the London Mercers for a number of years, drawing up their accounts in the 1430s and providing other drafting services for them in a period when the official post of Clerk had not yet been created.28 As Anne Sutton has noted, one of Stodeley’s successors was Robert Bale, more famous as a notary and city chronicler than for the services he provided for the Mercers.29 This reminds us of the importance of literary skills for the guilds, and the need for people who could draw up effective petitions to the King and to Parliament, drawing attention to historical claims about their origins, rights and privileges. Here the use of English as well as Latin or French was becoming important as a means to communicate and convince. The most famous example is perhaps William Porland, the Brewers’ clerk from 1418 onwards, who was responsible for switching the company’s records into English – citing explicitly the use of the vernacular by Henry V. He was also in charge of facilitating much of the Brewers’ concerted lobbying of the City, Crown and Parliament over the next couple of decades in connection with the supply and price of malt.30 Clerks such as Porland allowed the companies to expand and improve their record-keeping, providing the raw materials both for day-to-day business dealings and also for more significant moments – such as making the case for a new charter, or responding to a royal or city inquiry. At a very basic level this meant making sure that records were properly kept. In 1418 the Goldsmiths decided to reorganize their property records, following the rather embarrassing loss or destruction of various important documents. They set about filing them into various chests and boxes ‘each according to the tenement they belong to’. They also had each document copied into a book of 400 folios, again arranged by tenement, and made good some of the gaps in the record using copies obtained from the Guildhall.31 This was what is described in other contexts as a ‘book of evidences’, and one can see the same process at work with Liber Albus, compiled by John Carpenter at about the same time to prevent records from being ‘scattered without order or classification’ and hence causing ‘disputes and perplexity’.32 Companies that were not as well-developed institutionally made similar arrangements later in the century: in 1477 the Pewterers put a copy of their new charter on display in a

27

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30 31

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See the biography of Stodeley, to be published in The History of Parliament: The Commons 1422– 61, ed. Linda Clark. I am grateful to the History of Parliament Trust for permission to cite this article. For Stodeley’s ‘newsletter’ see The Paston Letters, ed. James Gairdner (6 vols., 1904), ii. 295–9. Anne Sutton, The Mercery of London: Trade, Goods and People, 1130–1578 (Aldershot, 2005), 255–6. Sutton, Mercery, 179; Lisa Jefferson, The Medieval Account Books of the Mercers of London: an Edition and Translation (2 vols., Aldershot, 2008), i. 12–14; C.L. Kingsford, ‘Robert Bale, Chronicler of London’, EHR, xxxi (1916), 126–8. R.W. Chambers and Marjorie Daunt, A Book of London English (Oxford, 1931), 16. Wardens’ Accounts and Court Minute Books of the Goldsmiths’ Mistery of London 1334–1446, ed. Lisa Jefferson (Woodbridge, 2003), 383. Oxford DNB, sub ‘Carpenter, John (d. 1442)’.

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‘Koffyn’ – a chest or box – and produced their own book of evidences.33 Sheila Lindenbaum makes an interesting point in relation to the proliferation of these books, which ties in once again with the literary ambitions and skills of some of the company clerks. Many civic chronicles, she argues, were in their own way also ‘books of evidences’ – compilations of texts of different kinds, organised by mayoral year; and the similarities between institutional records and chronicles can perhaps be illustrated by the less than scrupulous actions of a clerk of the Grocers, who in about 1458 compiled semi-fictional lists of wardens to fill a gap in an account book relating to the year 1362.34 The clerks were, in other words, responsible for the institutional memory of the guilds. The Goldsmiths’ ordinances were made ‘a durer en perpetuel remembrance’, and here and in other guilds, the word ‘remembrance’ was often used as a noun, describing the array of ordinances, regulations and other matters that were enacted.35 The accounts of some companies typically began with the phrase ‘fait a remember que ce sont les accompts de....’ before listing the names of the wardens. Clerks were also responsible for drawing on their archives for public purposes, combining this evidence with wider claims that also employed the language of memory and tradition. Petitions to Parliament and other authorities included both specific and general appeals to historical tradition: the Goldsmiths in 1404 in a dispute with the Cutlers claimed that ‘du temps dont memorie ne court’ they had rights of search in London and nationally for worked gold and silver.36 In 1503 the Tailors made a rather more outrageous claim when they said that since time immemorial they had ‘in many parts or realms of the world, frequented, traded, occupied and exercised all and singular kinds of merchandise’.37 The recourse to memory, whether confirmed by documents or not, was a powerful tool for political and economic advancement, and the evocative but conveniently imprecise phrase ‘since time immemorial’ was frequently used in petitions in Parliament and at Guildhall.38 A particular occasion for self-reflection and promotion came in the wake of an Act of Parliament in 1504, which required guilds and companies to have their ordinances approved by the Lord Chancellor, rather than the Mayor – a move which was perceived as being directly counter to an earlier act of 1437 which had given justices of the peace (the mayor in London’s case) the right to approve guild regulations. The actions of Henry VII’s government have been examined very effectively by Helen Miller and Paul Cavill, but the responses to the Act are worth

33

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35 36 37 38

Charles Welch, History of the Worshipful Company of Pewterers of the City of London: Based Upon Their Own Records (2 vols., 1902), i. 42. Sheila Lindenbaum, ‘London Texts and Literate Practice’, in The Cambridge History of Medieval English Literature I, ed. David Wallace (Cambridge, 1999), 295–7; Pamela Nightingale, A Medieval Mercantile Community: the Grocers’ Company and the Politics and Trade of London, 1000–1485 (New Haven, 1995), 47; J.A. Kingdon, Facsimile of the First Volume of MS. Archives of the Worshipful Company of Grocers, A.D. 1345–1463, (2 vols., 1883–6), i. 42. Goldsmiths’ Accounts and Court Minute Books, ed. Jefferson, 72, 127. PROME, viii. 258. Davies and Saunders, Merchant Taylors, 84–6. A keyword search on British History Online (http://www.british-history.ac.uk) reveals at least sixtyone instances of Latin or French variants of this phrase in the Parliament Rolls, and twenty-nine in the Calendar of Letter Books.

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looking at more closely from the perspective of corporate history.39 In some cases the statute prompted some grudging compliance – the Carpenters spent 40s. 10d. for ‘the confyrmacyon of our Corporacyon’, language which is similar to that typically used in relation to a charter, which gives a sense of how seriously this was viewed. The Skinners spent a much larger sum – £26 8s. 8d. Elsewhere, the Coopers and Founders both experienced bouts of in-fighting, with actions being brought by disgruntled members against the guild wardens.40 Although the evidence is not always very clear, it seems that the statute – because of its specific reference to the relationship between Crown, city and guild – did prompt a certain amount of introspection. It has been suggested by Elspeth Veale that the statute of 1504 may have provided the impetus for some of the embellishment of the wonderful registers of the fraternities of Corpus Christi and of the Assumption, expensively illuminated books that drew on earlier registers to record the many important people associated with the company over almost two centuries, and allowing them to claim deep roots and wide support.41 Once more, the role of the company clerk was crucial here, and it has been proposed that the kneeling figure on a folio of the Assumption Register is indeed the clerk, depicted with what looks like a pen case and ink bulb hanging at his waist (figs. 1 and 2).42 The Tailors took a slightly different approach. They too produced an illuminated book and in this case there is clear internal evidence that it was compiled in 1507– 8 when evidence was being assembled to present to the Lord Chancellor. It is perhaps the nearest we can get to a ‘guild history’ in this period, although its aims – like the returns to the guild enquiry of 1388 – were to emphasise religious and charitable activities. As well as grants of arms, charters and ordinances, it contains a description of what they termed their ‘goostly treasure’ – their chapels, chantries and charities, as well as details of papal privileges granted to them, and the patronage of successive bishops of London. A list of their confraternal links with nine religious houses in and around London is included, all established between 1350 and 1450. All of this was written up by their remarkable clerk, Henry Mayour, ‘in my dwelling house’, and it is pretty clear that his sources included both written records and also a gilded wooden board, listing their grants and privileges, which had been set up in St. Paul’s cathedral in 1464. Interestingly, the book continued to be used for collecting together evidence of this kind until the late sixteenth century. Its importance was underlined by the very careful crossingout of the religious material at the Reformation – it was too important a book to destroy entirely as it represented so much of the company’s history and indeed its

39

40

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Stat. 19 Hen. 7, c.7; Helen Miller, ‘London and Parliament in the reign of Henry VIII’, BIHR, xxxv (1962), 128–49; Paul Cavill, ‘Henry VII and Parliament’ (Oxford Univ. D.Phil. thesis, 2005), 249– 50. Cavill suggests that although presented as a Commons petition, the bill was in fact a government initiative. Wardens accounts of the Founders’ Company 1497–1681, ed. Guy Parsloe (1964), 23; Cavill, ‘Henry VII and Parliament’, 250, n. 110. E.M. Veale, The English Fur Trade in the Later Middle Ages (Oxford, 1966; repr. London Record Society, 38, 2007), 101. In 1508–9 the fraternities spent more than £26 on confirming their ordinances, which were presented in a ‘pamflete’ to the Lord Chancellor: Records of the Skinners of London, Edward I to James I, ed. J.J. Lambert (1933), 157. See the description of the Skinners’ Fraternity Book by Janet Backhouse in the V&A exhibition catalogue Gothic: Art for England 1400–1547, ed. Richard Marks and Paul Williamson (2003), 271.

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corporate memory.43 The reaction to the statute of 1504 therefore has some echoes of the responses to the guild enquiry of the 1380s, in that it forced the companies to articulate a version of their own histories and present-day activities that would enable them to survive royal scrutiny. In the early sixteenth century the responses of guilds such as the Skinners and Merchant Taylors – perhaps because of their ambitions – were lavish and drew upon a couple of centuries of memory and written record. Leaping forward almost four hundred years, it is interesting to note a similar kind of reaction to the livery companies commission, set up in the 1880s to investigate the affairs of the companies. The returns to the commission are in effect modern-day ‘books of evidences’, produced to tell a story, and, in this instance, justify their existence in a very public arena.44 II For the second section of this essay I want to return to the theme of individual lives and careers in evolving notions of guild history. In his work on memorialisation within the early modern city companies, Ian Archer has emphasised both the continuities with the city’s pre-Reformation traditions, and the greater emphasis upon the achievements of individuals from the 1550s onwards. These were evoked in recitations of the wills of benefactors, heraldic glass windows, portraits, company plate and even statues. Livery company halls became what Archer calls ‘theatres of memory’, in which the elite constantly recalled the charitable acts of previous members.45 In the public arena the celebrations accompanying the Lord Mayor’s procession took off in that period as expressions of civic and corporate identity, often channelled through shows which extolled the virtues and achievements of figures such as Richard Whittington or William Walworth, as well as those of the new Lord Mayor. The continuities with the pre-Reformation past should perhaps be explored further – not simply as an exercise in revisionism but to understand how ideas of corporate and individual history developed and were intertwined in the late medieval as well as in the early modern city. Within the London guilds the remembrance of the deceased was already well embedded in ritual and ceremony by the early sixteenth century, for example through the annual reciting of names on a ‘bede roll’, or the assemblies of liverymen at Mass before the annual feast. But there were plenty of visual reminders too: in 1484 the Carpenters paid 2s. for ‘the making of the table for the brethren and sistyrs’ and another 13s. 4d. to have it painted and gilded. The Skinners in 1509–10 spent 7s. 4d. ‘for new writing of the old Bede Roll into book fashion and for limming of it and for stuff to the same’.46 As the chantry returns of 1546 and 1548 vividly show, the ritual year for the wealthiest London guilds could encompass as many as thirty 43

44 45

46

London Metropolitan Archives, CLC/L/MD/A/004/MS34004; Davies and Saunders, Merchant Taylors, 19, and plates IIIa and VIb. For Henry Mayour see The Merchant Taylors’ Company of London: Court Minutes 1486—1493, ed. Matthew Davies (Stamford, 2000), 8–12. City of London Livery Companies’ Commission: report and appendix, Vols. I–V (1884). I.W. Archer, ‘The Arts and Acts of Memorialisation’, in Imagining Early Modern London, ed. Merritt, 89–113. Records of the Worshipful Company of Carpenters. Vol. 2: Warden’s account book, 1438–1516, ed. Bower Marsh (Oxford, 1914), 66; Records of the Skinners, ed. Lambert, 157.

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obits, spread across several city churches, in addition to the numerous perpetual and temporary chantries that they administered on a daily basis. Indeed, the dramatic rise of the guilds as property-holders in many towns and cities was directly related to their popularity as trustees of post obit arrangements. By the second half of the fifteenth century several London guilds, such as the Mercers, Tailors and Skinners, had income from property well in excess of £150 p.a., almost all of which was connected to the celebration of regular services for deceased members or other benefactors.47 As noted above, the provision of a funeral was central to the existence of medieval guilds, and this function was adapted by the London companies to enable them to remember individual careers in a corporate as well as a familial context, for instance by funding the costs of the funerals of liverymen and commissioning lavishly embroidered hearse-cloths, such as those still owned by the Merchant Taylors, Vintners, Saddlers and Fishmongers.48 The creation and use of archives was part and parcel of this activity – books containing the wills of benefactors were kept from the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, alongside the more detailed records of property holdings that were used, until the Reformation to fund services, as well as other charitable works. Particularly successful members of the guilds were memorialized in other ways: gifts of plate and tapestries were bequeathed, often incorporating the arms of the donors, and these were listed and catalogued in inventories kept by some of the companies from the late fifteenth century onwards.49 While many of these arrangements were abolished at the Reformation, the companies continued to thrive as institutional trustees, responsible for a host of charitable and religious activities, albeit shaped by the new religious imperatives. So while the Reformation did in many ways represent ‘an act of forgetting, or perhaps more accurately, the erasure of memory’, medieval benefactors, because of the importance of their estates, were rarely forgotten, and so they were often reintegrated into corporate commemoration and events such as the Lord Mayor’s shows from the mid sixteenth century.50 Remembrance, then, was already becoming a powerful means to link together individual achievements and corporate histories, providing the stories, the raw materials for later writers such as Stow, Munday and Webster to draw upon. Key to the later versions of these stories was a combination of tradition and imagination, famously so in the case of Richard Whittington, but also in the flourishing of interest (however fleeting) in the careers of other medieval Londoners such as Simon Eyre, hero of Thomas Deloney’s The Gentle Craft (1597) and Thomas

47

48

49

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The London and Middlesex Chantry Certificate, 1548, ed. C.J. Kitching (London Record Society, xvi, 1980), 81–95. For the income of the major companies see, for example, Davies and Saunders, Merchant Taylors, 27; Medieval Account Books of the Mercers, ed. Jefferson; J.C.L. Stahlschmidt, ‘Lay subsidy, London, 1411–12’, Archaeological Journal, xliv (1887), 56–82; S.L. Thrupp, The Merchant Class of Medieval London (Chicago, 1948; repr. Ann Arbor, 1962), 386. George Unwin, The Gilds and Companies of London (4th edn., 1963), 214–16. For the religious activities of the Tailors see Davies and Saunders, Merchant Taylors, 23–31. See for example the treasury accounts and inventories (1491 and 1503) of the Merchant Taylors, which list numerous items of bequeathed plate and other goods: Memorials of the Merchant Taylors’ Company, ed. C.M. Clode (1875), 69–92. Archer, ‘Discourses of History’, 215.

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Dekker’s The Shoemakers’ Holiday (1600).51 John Stow’s researches, in particular, helped to revive and popularize stories relating to particular individuals. In his Chronicles of England (1580) he wrote about the occasion when the fourteenthcentury vintner and mayor, Henry Picard: dyd sumptuouslye feaste Edwarde King of Englande; Iohn King of Fraunce, the King of Cipres (then arriued in England) Dauid king of Scottes, Edward Prince of Wales, wyth many noble men and other, and after the sayde Henrie Picarde kepte his Hall against all commers who soeuer, that were willing to play at Dice and Hazard.52 By the end of the seventeenth century, when Joshua Barnes published his History of Edward III (1688), the number of crowned heads attending had grown to five, and the ‘Feast of the Five Kings’ had entered Vintner mythology. It is likely that Stow was drawing upon an earlier source, the ‘Liber Niger’ (c.1485) of Westminster Abbey (which was much more vague about the nature of the occasion), and hence on some sort of inherited tradition relating to Picard’s mayoralty and personal achievements as the King’s butler. There has inevitably been much debate among historians about the feasibility of such a dinner and its likely date, with the some placing it in the winter of 1357–8 when four kings might well have been able to attend.53 The Picard story shows the way in which legends associated with the city’s merchants and guilds evolved over time, and were given a boost by Stow and his contemporaries, particularly by writers associated with the companies and their public presentation. The shaping and re-shaping of such stories was intimately related to fashions in historical writing, and ways in which particular themes were linked together. Just as the story of Picard celebrated his, and hence London’s, connection to the Crown, there were other legends which relied on the intertwining of themes such as chivalry, apprenticeship, and humble origins. This connection was very apparent during the Hundred Years’ War, when, just like their early modern successors, chroniclers were adept at emphasizing the humble birth of some of the leading military figures of their day. Jean le Bel, an influence on Froissart, whose travels brought him to England and Scotland in the late 1320s, wrote this account of the alleged origins of Sir Robert Knolles, the celebrated soldier and mercenary: Et sachiez que cil Robert Canolle [sic] don’t je vous ay parlé, estoit parmentier de draps, quant ces guerres commencherrent; sy devint brigand et soldoyer à pyé, et estoit Alemand.54

51

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53

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For Whittington, see James Robertson, ‘The Adventures of Dick Whittington and the Social Construction of Elizabethan London’, in Guilds, Society and Economy, ed. Gadd and Wallis, 51–66; for Eyre, Oxford DNB, sub nom. John Stow, The Chronicles of England from Brute vnto this present yeare of Christ. 1580 (STC 23333: 1580), 455. For a summary of the historiography see Anne Crawford, A History of the Vintners’ Company (1977), 263–7; and R.L. Axworthy’s account in the Oxford DNB, sub nom. Chronique de Jean le Bel, ed. Jules Viard and Eugène Depréz (2 vols., Paris, 1805), ii. 251.

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Leaving aside Knolles’s actual, well-attested origins among the lesser landowners of Cheshire, rather than German drapers, Le Bel was engaged in a common process of idealizing Knolles’s alleged humble background, and then linking those virtues to those of chivalry and military success.55 Thomas Walsingham, in turn, described Knolles as a ‘poor and humble valet’ who rose to become a ‘great leader of soldiers, possessed of regal riches’.56 More pertinent to the history of London, and to our civic heroes, is the case of Sir John Hawkwood (fig. 3), whose remarkable career began in the service of Edward III and took him to Italy where he captained the White Company and saw service for and against several Italian city-states and the Papacy before his death in 1394.57 Hawkwood’s alleged origins as a London apprentice remain a subject of debate amongst historians, and have generally been viewed sceptically. We do know, though, that he acquired property interests in the city, including the Leadenhall. This was bought using money earned while in Papal service, and the transactions were handled using London agents as well as Lucchese merchants operating through Bruges. Letters in English relating to Hawkwood’s interest in the Leadenhall, which his agents conveyed to the City in 1411, can be found in the Plea and Memoranda Rolls. Two of his agents in London were members of the Tailors’ guild.58 What matters most for our purposes here, though, is the way in which his London origins were taken up and deployed by contemporary writers and their successors, until he was eventually firmly ensconced among livery company ‘heroes’. Hawkwood’s origins as a London apprentice were suggested by the Monk of Westminster who wrote of the death of ‘the famous knight, Sir John Hawkwood, who from being a poor apprentice of a hosier in London went to Lombardy’.59 Writing at about the same time, the continuator of the Polychronicon, said to be John Malvern, wrote of his origins as follows: Hic Johannes in Anglia, videlicet in Estsexia de mediocribus parentibus erat natus, artem sartoriam ut asscritur, Londoniae aliquando exercens, postea ut architenens in comitiva Regis Anglia vel principis in Franciam transfretavit.60 The transformation of Hawkwood into a civic and guild hero was far from instantaneous, despite this promising start. Even if he had been linked with a London craft, neither the Hosiers or the Tailors appeared to recognise a connection. Nor did fifteenth-century civic chronicles note the link with London which their monastic predecessors mentioned: one chronicler simply noted (for 1369) that ‘Sir 55 56

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For Knolles’ career, see Oxford DNB, sub nom. Thomas Walsingham, Historia Anglicana, ed. H.T. Riley (2 vols., Rolls Series, xxviii, 1863–4), i. 286. For the alleged humble origins of the leading mercenaries see K.A. Fowler, Medieval Mercenaries: the Great Companies (Oxford, 2001), 11. On Hawkwood, see most recently Oxford DNB, sub nom. The classic account is John TempleLeader and Giuseppe Marcotti, Sir John Hawkwood (L’Acuto); Story of a Condottiere (Florence, 1889). Calendar of the Plea and Memoranda Rolls of the City of London, 1381–1412, ed. A.H. Thomas (Cambridge, 1932), 257–8, 308–10. The Westminster Chronicle, 1381–1394, ed. L.C. Hector and B.F. Harvey (Oxford, 1982), 520–1. Polychronicon Ranulphi Higden monachi Cestrensis, ed. J.R. Lumby, (9 vols., Rolls Series, xli, 1865–86), viii. 282–3.

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John Haukwode floresshed that tyme in Lumbardie.’61 As we have already seen, although individual achievements were celebrated by the late medieval guilds, they seem on the whole to have been channelled through the structures and mechanisms of pre-Reformation religious culture, rather than in public performance or literature. The key to the shift seems to lie partly in the gradual reinvigoration of interest in the forms and ideals of chivalry in the civic context. This has been examined by Caroline Barron, who argues that Londoners, unlike their counterparts in other European cities (notably in the Low Countries), were not especially enthusiastic about chivalric spectacles, such as tournaments, and the association of chivalry with civic values until the later fifteenth century.62 While chivalric romances were certainly circulating in London, they were rarely bequeathed, making it hard to judge the value placed upon them in London’s mercantile culture. Similarly much of the pageantry of the early fifteenth century emphasised religious and instructional, rather than chivalric, messages. Despite this, London instead appears to have developed its ‘own brand of chivalric spectacle’ in the Marching Watch at Midsummer, combining certain elements of the chivalric tournament with a distinctive bourgeois character.63 That said, Barron also notes a gradual resurgence of interest in ‘civic chivalry’ from the mid fifteenth century onwards, notably in the enthusiasm of the guilds for acquiring Arms and in the remarkable painted depictions of London’s aldermen commissioned in the late 1440s, which were closely modelled on drawings in the Garter Book of William Bruges. The reign of Edward IV appears to have given a new vitality to chivalric values and models, not least through the famous Smithfield tournament of 1467.64 By the turn of the century, chivalric values came much more to the fore in London’s civic culture, not least through a revival of interest in Arthurian legends and, once more, the myth of London’s foundation by Brutus as the ‘New Troy’. In political discourse, London’s role in the nation came to be framed in propaganda by the language of feudal loyalty and chivalric honour, encapsulated by the visit of Charles V to London in 1522, when he was treated to an Arthurian pageant at the Conduit in Cornhill.65 While accepting that Londoners were somewhat ‘late adopters’ of chivalric imagery and heroes, one might also see some continuities in the ways in which historical figures were deployed for civic purposes. Here we can turn to the theme of the ‘Nine Worthies’, popular in many European countries since the early fourteenth century. The traditional line-up of nine men emphasised values of chivalry, wisdom and good government, and comprised three Pagans, three Jews, and three Christians: Hector, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Joshua, David, Judas Maccabeus, Arthur, Charlemagne and Godfrey de Bouillon. The Nine Worthies first came to prominence in an early fourteenth-century work, Voeux du Paon (‘The Vows of the Peacock’) by Jacques de Languyon, and their virtues and achievements were depicted in poetry, sculpture, tapestries and art in many parts of 61 62

63 64 65

The Great Chronicle of London, ed. A.H. Thomas and I.D. Thornley (1938), 42. C.M. Barron, ‘Chivalry, Pageantry and Merchant Culture in Medieval London’, in Heraldry, Pageantry, and Social Display in Medieval England, ed. Peter Coss and M.H. Keen (Woodbridge, 2002), 219–23. Ibid., 228. Ibid., 234–5. Manley, Literature and Culture in Early Modern London, 186.

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Western Europe. In England, the mid fourteenth-century Parlement of the Thre Ages contains a long (if rather tedious) récit by Elde on the virtues of the Nine.66 The adaptation of the Worthies as a formal group to the urban context appears to have been a gradual process. As we have seen with the mummings for William Estfield, the depiction of historical figures such as David was an essential part of urban pageantry and performance by the early fifteenth century. An assemblage of figures might therefore echo the membership of the Nine Worthies, and certainly reflected a set of assumptions as to which classical, biblical and Christian figures were deemed to reflect particular civic values. In January 1426, for example, John, duke of Bedford (then Lord Protector) returned from France to be greeted by mayor and citizens of London on the Surrey bank of the Thames. He was escorted to the City where London Bridge provided the stage for an elaborate pageant display, which included effigies of various figures such as Abraham, Isaac, Moses, Joshua, the duke of Bedford himself, Hector and Hercules.67 Specific references to the Nine Worthies can, meanwhile, be found in other urban-related sources of the same period. John Lydgate’s Disguising at London celebrates them, and in his Troy Book Henry V is praised as being equal to the Nine.68 The Nine Worthies can increasingly be found in civic ceremonial: in Coventry in 1456 pageants of the ‘ix conqueroures’ were devised for the visit of Queen Margaret; while in London in 1477 the Drapers contributed a pageant to the Midsummer Watch, paying 28s. 9d. ‘for the morisse daunce and for costs of the ix worthi’, which perhaps confirms Barron’s conclusion about the Watch’s importance as a civic counterpart to traditional chivalric spectacles.69 The chivalric revival was able to draw very effectively on the Nine Worthies as exemplars. In his preface to his 1480 edition of Malory’s Morte d’Arthur, William Caxton connected the story of Arthur explicitly to the ‘ix worthy & the best that euer were’. Over the next few years he published a number of works on other Worthies, such as Godefroy of Boloyne (1481) and Charles the Grete (1485).70 There was also a growing sense that things were not what they used to be: in a 66

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Les Neuf Preux in France, i Nove Prodi in Italy. See R.S. Loomis, ‘Verses on the Nine Worthies’, Modern Philology, xv (1917), 211–19; J.J. Rorimer and M.B. Freeman, ‘The Nine Heroes Tapestries at the Cloisters’, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, vii (1949), 243–60; The Parlement of the Thre Ages, ed. Israel Gollancz (1915). There was also a comparable, albeit rather variable, list of nine female worthies who often appeared alongside their male counterparts, for instance during Henry VI’s entry to Paris in 1431: Calendar of letter-books preserved among the archives of the Corporation of the City of London, A-L, ed. R.R. Sharpe (1899–1912), K, 135–7. Lancashire, London Civic Theatre, 137–8; C.M. Barron, ‘Pageantry on London Bridge in the Early Fifteenth Century’, in ‘Bring Furth the Pagants’: Essays in Early English Drama Presented to Alexandra F. Johnston, ed. D.N. Klausner and K.S. Marselek (Toronto and London, 2007), 91–104. John Lydgate, ‘Disguising at London’, in John Lydgate, Mummings and Entertainments, ed. Claire Sponsler (Kalamazoo, Mich., 2010), l. 264 and n. Coventry, ed. R.W. Ingram, Records of Early English Drama (Toronto and Manchester, 1981), pp. 31–34; A.H. Johnson, The History of the Worshipful Company of the Drapers of London (5 vols., Oxford, 1914–22), ii. 273–4. William Caxton, preface to Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte D’Arthur (STC 801: 1484); Godefroy of Boloyne (STC 13175: 1481); Charles the Grete (STC 5013: 1485); William Kuskin, ‘Caxton’s Worthies Series: The Production of Literary Culture’, English Literary History, lxvi (1999), 511–51. Two short plays of the Nine Worthies also found their way into the ‘commonplace book’ of a Norfolk scribe at about this time; see The Commonplace Book of Robert Reynes of Acle: an edition of Tanner MS 407, ed. Cameron Louis (New York, 1980).

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similar preface to his edition of Ramon Llull’s The Book of the Ordre of Chyvalrye, Caxton bemoaned the poor state of English chivalry. This time, rather than drawing upon the ancient Worthies, he urged his readers to ‘look in the latter days at the noble acts since the conquest; as in the days of Richard Coeur de Lion; of Edward I and III; and of his noble sons; of Sir Robert Knowles, Sir John Hawkwood and Sir John Chandos’.71 The re-emergence of Hawkwood brought him to wider attention, and in a sense marked him out as a sort of minor ‘worthy’ in the context of the chivalric nostalgia of the period. However, despite this the specific connection between Hawkwood and London does not seem to have been a feature of the literature of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. In part this was almost certainly because of a lack of knowledge of the particular sources that historians such as Stow were later to draw upon. Moreover, as we have seen, many of the public articulations of company history in the middle of the sixteenth century tended to be confined still to celebrations of important benefactors and their charitable achievements. In the case of the Merchant Taylors, for instance, the arms of Sir John Percyvale and Sir Stephen Jenyns, two pre-Reformation benefactors, were depicted in the Company’s early Lord Mayor’s shows, with Sir Thomas White’s joining them after his death in 1567.72 The re-claiming of Hawkwood by Londoners was a result of the detailed research and new historical works of later sixteenth-century writers, who for the first time since the late fourteenth century explicitly linked Hawkwood to the city of London and its trades. Holinshed’s Chronicle, first published in four volumes in 1577, lists Hawkwood among a group of famous medieval knights, stating This man was borne in Essex as some write, and at the fyrste became a Taylor in London, and afterwardes going into the warres in Fraunce, serued in roomth of an archer, but at length, he became a Captayne and leader of men of warre, highly comended and liked of amongst the souldiers.73 Fifteen years later, John Stow employed the same printer, Ralph Newberie, to print his Annales of England. In this case he chose to mark Hawkwood’s death in 1394 with a detailed description of his career, but the account of his origins suggests a similar source to Holinshed, although with additional (and accurate) details concerning his parentage: I find by good record that this John Hawkwood was born in Essex … the son of Gilbert Hawkwood tanner, in his youth was bound as an apprentice with a taylor in the citie of London and from thence was pressed in the musters for service of King Edwarde the third in the warres of Fraunce.74 71

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William Caxton, preface to Ramon Llull, The book of the ordre of chiualry or knyghthode (STC 3356.7: 1484). See Lord Mayors’ Pageants of the Merchant Taylors’ Company in the 15th, 16th & 17th centuries, ed. R.T.D. Sayle (1931). Raphael Holinshed, Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland (STC 1897: 4 vols., 1577), iv. 1001. John Stow, The annales of England faithfully collected out of the most autenticall authors, records, and other monuments of antiquitie, from the first inhabitation vntill this present yeere 1592 by Iohn Stow citizen of London (STC 23334: 1592), 485–6.

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The emphasis in both Holinshed and Stow on the martial qualities and adventures of Hawkwood is important, as it ties in once more with interest in chivalry and Arthurian legend, which had a further revival at the end of the sixteenth century. A fellowship of Arthurian knights had been set up in the 1540s, for example, and its leaders in the 1580s, Sir Hugh Offley and Thomas Smythe, were responsible for staging a ‘costly show of Prince Arthur’ for the queen in 1587.75 It was in this context that Richard Johnson published, in 1592, a pamphlet whose full title brings together many of the themes discussed in this essay: The Nine Worthies of London explaining the honourable exercise of armes, the virtues of the valiant, and the memorable attempts of magnanimious minds. Pleasant for gentlemen, not vnseemely for magistrates, and most profitable for prentises.76 The theme of the Nine Worthies, which, as we have seen, was well-embedded in urban culture, was combined with that of chivalric achievement in a series of verses recounting the lives of nine men, whose actual or supposed connections with London were used as a means to provide models for apprentices. Johnson in fact describes himself as a ‘poore prentis’, although little else is known of him.77 What seems clear, though, is that Johnson was responding to specific contemporary concerns about the moral condition of London’s apprentices. While disorder and violence among apprentices and servants in London was nothing new, of course – the most famous example being Evil May Day of 1517 – with London’s population growing rapidly in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, worries about disorder and collective action increased, fed by reports of conspiracies, immorality and violence. Rioting, or the threat of disorder, was never far away: in 1592 the Privy Council closed the theatres after apprentice riots in Southwark that summer. These reports and rumours helped to create what has been described as a ‘group portrait’ of apprentices and other young men which entered the popular imagination.78 Sermons were one of the most popular means of trying to control apprentices and improve their moral condition, and there are dozens of examples of sermons preached in the city churches, many of them commissioned by the livery companies. A 1608 pamphlet, The Prentises Practise in Godlinesse, was aimed at ‘those religiously disposed and virtuous young men the apprentices of the city of London’.79 Johnson was trying another route, by appealing to what Peter Burke and other historians have identified as a strand in ‘apprentice culture’ in this period: the importance of tales of chivalry and heroism, foreign adventure and social mobility,

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Archer, ‘Discourses of History’, 213; Manley, ‘Literature and Culture’, 186. Richard Johnson, The Nine worthies of London explaining the honourable exercise of armes, the virtues of the valiant, and the memorable attempts of magnanimious minds. Pleasant for gentlemen, not vnseemely for magistrates, and most profitable for prentises (STC 14686: 1592). Oxford DNB, sub nom. See Paul Griffiths, Youth and Authority: Formative Experiences in England, 1560–1640 (Oxford, 1996), p. 162. The literature on the social problems and governance of London in the 1590s is extensive, but see in particular I.W. Archer, The Pursuit of Stability: Social Relations in Elizabethan London (Cambridge, 1991); S.R. Rappaport, Worlds Within Worlds: Structures of Life in SixteenthCentury London (Cambridge, 1989); A.L. Beier, ‘Social Problems in Elizabethan London’, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, ix (1978), 204–5. The prentises practise in Godlinesse, and his true freedome Diuided into ten chapters. Written by B.P. (STC 19057: 1608).

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in creating a strong sense of fraternity.80 Johnson saw part of the solution to these social ills in the revitalisation of chivalric culture in London at the end of the sixteenth century. This was at a time when many writers were gradually turning to satire and an emphasis on moral degeneracy and social crisis. Johnson himself, in a work published some years later, called Look on Me, London, used the device of a gentleman warning his son about the dangers of the big city, urging him to study law or become a merchant, thereby enriching the country through trade but not falling into wicked ways and spending his whole substance to the utter undoing of his posterity and great shame of his kindred.81 In The Nine Worthies, Johnson was seeking to transform and redeem this corrupt and evil London, using the natural chivalric values of citizens turned knights. This would strengthen London’s merchants as they went about their important business of making money through international trade in particular, bolstering London’s financial as well as its moral fortunes. Whether or not such messages were received, let alone understood, is a moot point. Archer, Woolf and others have rightly pointed to the problems of gauging the impact, or ‘social circulation’, of historical ideas, but have nevertheless emphasised the popularity of romances among middling Londoners who could thereby ‘participate vicariously in the honour culture’.82 Almost all of Johnson’s Worthies made their mark in the fourteenth or early fifteenth century, principally during the Hundred Years’ War – constructing very vividly and deliberately a notion of a ‘golden age’ in London’s chivalric heritage which was echoed in the Lord Mayors’ shows of the time.83 To do this, Johnson employed the figure of Fame, who brings the muse of history, Clio, to introduce each of the Worthies in turn and outline their careers and achievements. Whittington is notably absent from the list, despite his growing popularity, and so it is clear that Johnson was focussing here on those he felt fitted with his theme.84 William Walworth, for instance, is again celebrated for his deeds during the Peasants’ Revolt, which helped to keep Richard II on the throne. In the case of the grocer and mayor William Sevenoak, Johnson includes the well-known story that he was a foundling from Kent who was taken on as an apprentice in London, and took the opportunity to emphasise the virtues of a good apprentice: To please the honest care my master tooke, I did refuse no toyle nor drudging payne, My handes no labor euer yet for sooke 80

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Peter Burke, Popular Culture in Early Modern Europe (3rd edn., Aldershot, 2009), 71; S.R. Smith, ‘The London Apprentices as Seventeenth-Century Adolescents’, Past and Present, lxi (1973), 149– 61. Richard Johnson, Looke on me London I am an honest English-man, ripping vp the bowels of mischiefe, luring in thy sub-vrbs and precincts. Take heed the hangmans halter, and the beadles whip, will make the foole dance, and the knaue to skip (STC 14676: 1613). Archer, ‘Discourses of History’, 213; D.R. Woolf, The Social Circulation of the Past: English Historical Culture, 1500–1730 (Oxford, 2003). The full list of Johnson’s Nine Worthies is: Sir William Walworth, Sir Henry Pritchard [sic], Sir William Sevenoak, Sir Thomas White, Sir John Bonham, Christopher Croker, Sir John Hawkwood, Sir Hugh Calverley, Sir Henry Maleverer. Robertson, ‘Adventures of Dick Whittington’, 52. Johnson was to make amends with his own ‘Song of Sir Richard Whittington’, published in 1612 in A Crowne-Garland of Goulden Roses (STC 14672: 1612).

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Whereby I might encrease my masters gayne He then describes a wholly fictitious period of service in the wars in France: at one point Sevenoak is even said to have fought the Dauphin in single combat. He returned to London, resumed his career as a grocer, became Mayor (1418), and founded an almshouse and a school in the parish of his birth – although these achievements are recounted in just a few lines. The vintner Henry Picard is also included (as ‘Pritchard’), along with his famous feast with its illustrious guests. In several cases the London credentials are extremely doubtful, as with the soldier Sir Hugh Calverley (an associate of Sir Robert Knolles), who is linked with silkweaving, or the more obscure Christopher Croker, who was said to have begun an apprenticeship as a vintner in London before becoming a soldier. Tales, often very tall ones, were woven around these figures: one of Calverley’s main achievements was apparently ridding the kingdom of Poland of a marauding wild boar.85 Johnson’s account of Hawkwood’s life adds only a little to earlier descriptions of his origins. The main embellishment is the location of his apprenticeship as a tailor in Lombard Street, possibly a deliberate nod to his later service in Lombardy, and a period of ‘a few wilde yeares for striplings farre vnmeete’ immediately afterwards. He was then pressed into service with Edward III before becoming a soldier of fortune, leading a company of 1,500 Englishmen to the walls of Milan: There did the Italians tearme me Iohn Acute Because I had their foes in such pursute. What is common to Johnson’s Nine Worthies, and to other works of the period – such as the versions of the life of Richard Whittington discussed by James Robertson, or the accounts of Simon Eyre – is the creation of a myth of the metropolitan experience. This emphasised good fortune and mobility, rather than the more complex realities of life as an apprentice, servant or citizen in London.86 The Nine Worthies depicts the careers of apprentices in terms of luck, opportunity and success. The transition from apprentice to soldier, and then back to successful merchant and Lord Mayor, is seen as straightforward: as long as an apprentice serves his master properly he is set on the road to success, whether inside or outside the city. This sort of message was clearly at odds with realities on the ground, where fewer than half of all apprentices completed their terms, and where the control of some companies over their crafts, in a rapidly expanding metropolis, was just beginning to diminish.87 That was the point, of course: just as the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries were seen as a golden age in chivalric terms, so too was that period idealised and made relevant to later generations in terms of the

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Johnson, Nine Worthies, passim. Robertson, ‘The Adventures of Dick Whittington’, 52–7. For apprentice completion rates see Patrick Wallis, ‘Apprenticeship and Training in Premodern England’, Journal of Economic History, lxviii (2008), 832–61; Rappaport, Worlds Within Worlds, 394–5.

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governance of the city, its ancient rules and customs, the roles of the companies, and the careers and expectations of Londoners.88 The successors to Holinshed, Stow and Johnson took these stories and made them central to narratives of livery company history, as presented in the Lord Mayor’s shows. The 1624 show, Monuments of Honor for the Merchant Taylor John Gore, produced by John Webster, gave Hawkwood top billing, with a speech drawing attention to his humble birth and his rise from a lowly soldier to captain and then a knight. He was to be followed in the procession by a chariot depicting the arms of the company and figures of eight Kings of England, all of whom had been made honorary members of the Company. The other main theme of the show was a celebration of charity and learning, which was presented in relation to the career of Sir Thomas White, another of Johnson’s Nine Worthies and in fact the only ‘non-medieval’ worthy and the only one not depicted with a military career.89 By the late seventeenth century, the lives of men such as Richard Whittington and John Hawkwood had made their way into a wide range of publications, and the stories about them became ever more fanciful and entertaining. Interestingly, this did not mean that they were necessarily disowned by the companies, as there was an enduring sense that ‘heroic’ and legendary figures could be included as part of a historical narrative. In 1687, William Winstanley, a poet and biographer, published a work entitled The honour of the taylors, or, The famous and renowned history of Sir John Hawkwood, Knight containing his many rare and singular adventures, witty exploits, heroick atchievements, and noble performances relating to love & arms in many lands. Winstanley’s pamphlet is essentially a heavily fictionalised account of Hawkwood’s career, recounting his life as an apprentice, his love for his master’s daughter, and his adventures as a soldier. It is interspersed with the complicated romantic rivalry of two of his fellow apprentices, and several other loosely related sub-plots, involving characters such as a lecherous lawyer and a Moroccan prince. After lengthy accounts of his battles in Italy, the main part of the book concludes with a description of the honours bestowed on Hawkwood by the city of Florence and his glorious return after yet another victory. Winstanley then, for good measure, has Hawkwood hunt down a dragon that was said to be terrorising the rural inhabitants of the city-state: he eventually found it, harmlessly sunning itself by a mossy river bank, and killed it after a long and bloody duel. Throughout the book Winstanley ensures that Hawkwood and his deeds are linked with the Merchant Taylors, and at the end he turns his attention from the fictional and dramatic to a more sober account of the origins and history of the Merchant Taylors’ Company. He does this having ‘shown you the noble achievements of some few of the renowned society of Merchant Taylors, to enumerate them all

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Although in reality, completion rates for apprentices in medieval London, for example, were little better than they were in the early modern metropolis: S.R. Hovland, ‘Apprenticeship in Later Medieval London, c.1300–c.1530’ (London Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 2006). John Webster, Monuments of honor Deriued from remarkable antiquity, and celebrated in the honorable city of London, at the sole munificent charge and expences of the right worthy and worshipfull fraternity, of the eminent Merchant-Taylors (STC 25175: 1624). For White see Robert Tittler, ‘Sir Thomas White of London: Civic Philanthropy and the Making of the Merchant-Hero’, in idem, Townspeople and Nation: English Urban Experiences, 1540–1640 (Stanford, 2001), 100–20.

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would require more than one man’s life to set them down, their number exceeding the bounds of arithmetic’.90 The dependence of Stow, Holinshed and their contemporaries upon the efforts of past chroniclers and other writers is self-evident. It is almost certain that Stow used the late medieval chronicles (or their derivatives) in which Hawkwood’s origins are described, and that we know that in his researches for the Survey of London he made extensive use of company archives. In 1602, for example, the Merchant Taylors themselves paid Stow 10s. ‘for great paynes by him taken in searching for such as have byn maiors, sheriffs and aldermen of this companie’, and the 1603 edition of the Survey confirms this, with a detailed account of the company’s early history which relied heavily on its archive.91 What they also inherited was a set of traditions and assumptions in historical writing. Some of these were institutional: the importance of the medieval clerks and scribes of the companies lay in the way in which they compiled and organised their guilds’ records and ‘remembrances’, writing the tablets and illuminated books which celebrated key events and benefactors. In doing so they provided the raw materials for later writers, as well as informing their own efforts in constructing particular kinds of history, whether for public consumption or not. Other traditions were cultural and literary, and particularly striking is the manner in which chivalry ebbed and flowed as a theme in historical literature and performance, with the Nine Worthies a useful device for linking enthusiasm for the heroic with civic values, whether in the pursuit of good government or a successful career as an apprentice and guild member.

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William Winstanley, The honour of the taylors, or, The famous and renowned history of Sir John Hawkwood, Knight containing his many rare and singular adventures, witty exploits, heroick atchievements, and noble performances relating to love & arms in many lands (Wing H2599: 1687). This drew heavily on his earlier work, The honour of merchant-taylors wherein is set forth the noble acts, valliant deeds, and heroick performances of merchant-taylors in former ages, their honourable loves, and knightly adventures (Wing W3064: 1668). Sayle, Lord Mayors’ Pageants, 70–2; Davies and Saunders, Merchant Taylors, 8–10.

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Disclaimer: Some images in the printed version of this book are not available for inclusion in the eBook. To view the image on this page please refer to the printed version of this book.

Fig. 1: Our Lady Crowned among the Saints in Heaven, in the Book of the Fraternity of the Assumption of Our Lady of the Skinners of London, (LMA Fig. 5: Norwich, parish church of St. Peter Mancroft, paneloffrom the CLC/L/SE/A/004A/MS31692, f. 41r. Reproduced by permission the Worshipful Fig. 4: Norwich, parish church of St. Peter Mancroft, panel from the Toppes window, c.1450–5: St. Alban. Company of Skinners). Toppes window, c.1450–5: Jew arresting the Funeral of the Virgin Mary.

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Fig. 2: Detail from fig. 1, showing a kneeling figure, possibly the clerk of the Skinners, with what may be an ink bulb and pen case hanging from his belt. (Reproduced by permission of the Worshipful Company of Skinners.)

Disclaimer: Some images in the printed version of this book are not available for inclusion in the eBook. To view the images on this page please refer to the printed version of this book. Fig. 3: ‘Sir John de Hawkwood’, by Thomas Patch (1771), reprinted in F. Blackburne, Memoirs of Thomas Hollis, 2 vols (1780), i. 309–10. The engraving, made for the Society of Antiquaries, was based on the funerary monument of 1436 by Paolo Uccello depicting Hawkwood on horseback (Duomo, Florence).

THE EAST ANGLIAN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS OF 1461∗ Hannes Kleineke In the aftermath of the decisive battle of Towton, fought on Palm Sunday (29 March) 1461, King Edward IV remained at York for several weeks, before moving north to Durham and Newcastle. Only in May did he set out for the south-east and the capital once more, but at a leisurely pace and taking in some of the western midlands. He had thus only reached Manchester when on 23 May he issued writs for a parliament to be held at Westminster in July, probably with a view to put in place a permanent constitutional settlement. The parliament called in Henry VI’s name in July 1460 had disbanded, probably in some disarray, in the wake of the arrival of Queen Margaret’s forces before the gates of London in February 1461, and fresh elections were thus needed. The practice of seeking parliamentary sanction for the successive changes of dynasty and ruler that marked the history of fifteenth-century England had been begun by Henry IV in 1399, and had been readopted in the political crisis of 1460–1.1 It could be expected that the new parliament would be asked to lend its authority to Edward IV’s assumption of the crown, to attaint the leading adherents of Henry VI and his son, Prince Edward, but also to begin to make good the new king’s promise to redress the grievances of the realm. Yet, Lancastrian resistance in the provinces proved stronger than expected, and even before King Edward returned to his capital it was clear that he would need to make further progresses during the summer. On 13 June it was decided to postpone the parliament, while the king progressed into Kent, and subsequently by way of the south-west into the Welsh marches. Over the course of the summer and early autumn elections were conducted in the English shires and parliamentary boroughs, and on 4 November the Lords and Commons finally gathered at Westminster. Our knowledge of the lords’ attendance and their proceedings in this parliament is unusually full, on account of the survival of early modern copies of several fragments of the Lords’ journal. Conversely, however, very little is known even of the composition of the Commons, since the original election returns (in common with all those for the period between 1461 and 1523, except for those of 1467, ∗

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I am grateful to Drs. Simon Payling and James Ross for their comments on drafts of this essay. Unless otherwise indicated, all manuscripts cited are in The National Archives: Public Record Office, Kew. Lucy Brown, ‘Continuity and Change in the Parliamentary Justifications of the Fifteenth-Century Usurpations’, in The Fifteenth Century VII: Conflicts, Consequences and the Crown in the Late Middle Ages, ed. Linda Clark (Woodbridge, 2007), 157–73.

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1472 and 1478), have been lost from the Chancery files.2 The names of a few Members can be established from local records and from the records of later disputes over the payment of parliamentary wages, but only for the county of Norfolk do we possess some details of the events surrounding the choice of parliamentary representatives during that summer.3 These details derive chiefly from an account of the disrupted election in the shire court which the sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk, Sir John Howard, sent into Chancery in lieu of an election indenture, and which found its way onto the record of the court of King’s bench.4 This account was published by C.H. Williams from its enrolment on the controlment roll as long ago as 1926, and has been discussed by a number of scholars.5 In archival terms, however, the disruption of the Norfolk elections had an additional, fortuitous, consequence. John Howard’s report on the Norfolk election formed an integral part of his return of the parliamentary writ and was consequently sewn into a bundle of election indentures for all the parliamentary seats in his double-bailiwick of Norfolk and Suffolk.6 In mid November 1461, when Chancellor Neville turned the Norfolk report over to Chief Justice John Markham, he submitted the entire East Anglian bundle (that is, the two writs with the documents making up the shrieval return) to the king’s bench, where it was placed among the court’s recorda. Here it remains to the present day, and has thus uniquely survived the loss of the other election returns for the parliament of 1461. While none of the other East Anglian elections of that year matched the Norfolk contest for drama, the bundle of returns provides an important regional context for that well-known election dispute.7 2

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An isolated copy of the return of the Cornish shire election to the Parliament of June 1483 survives among the papers of the Trevelyan family: Trevelyan Papers prior to A.D. 1558, ed. J.P. Collier (Camden Society, old series, lxvii, 1857), 87–8. J.C. Wedgwood, History of Parliament: Register of the Ministers and of the Members of both Houses 1439–1509 (1938), 305–10 found the names of just fifty-six Members of the 1461 Parliament in local and government records; the other names he provided were based on guesswork. The newly discovered East Anglian returns aside, the names of the Members of the Commons of 1461 are known only for the shire counties of Berkshire, Staffordshire, Surrey, Sussex, Wiltshire and Yorkshire, and the urban constituencies of Barnstaple, Bridgnorth, Bristol, Canterbury, Exeter, Hythe, Hull, London, New Romney, Norwich, Nottingham, Reading, Rye, Salisbury, Sandwich, Shrewsbury, Southampton, Wells, Wilton, Worcester and York. C.H. Williams, ‘A Norfolk Parliamentary Election, 1461’, EHR, xl (1925), 79–86. Variants of the writs are printed in Reports from the Lords Committees Touching the Dignity of a Peer of the Realm (5 vols., 1829), iv. 951–2, 955. See e.g. K.B. McFarlane, ‘Parliament and “Bastard Feudalism”’, TRHS, 4th ser., xxvi (1944), 53– 79, repr. in England in the Fifteenth Century: Collected Essays (1981), 1–21, pp. 6–9; Jennifer Bernard, ‘A Contested Parliamentary Election of 1461’, The Ricardian, iv (1978), 31–3; Colin Richmond, The Paston Family in the Fifteenth Century: Fastolf’s Will (Cambridge, 1996), 123–4; Helen Castor, Blood and Roses (2004), 149–50. The small bundle, sewn together at one end, consists of the writ of 23 May 1461 to the sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk, ordering the election of knights of the shire and burgesses to attend a Parliament at Westminster on 6 July, a second writ, dated 13 June 1461, delaying the assembly of Parliament until 4 November, and of the original election indentures between the sheriff, Sir John Howard, and the electorates of the county of Suffolk and of the boroughs of Dunwich, Ipswich, Great Yarmouth and Bishop’s Lynn. The final document in the bundle is Howard’s account of the disruption of the Norfolk county elections. Internal evidence shows that the file of writs and indentures was returned to Chancery by the sheriff at some point after 30 October 1461, the date of the last election recorded within. Subsequently, it was removed from the files by the Chancellor, Bishop George Neville of Exeter, and delivered to the

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I In the summer of 1461, East Anglia was one region of England that conspicuously did not receive the monarch’s personal attention. Ostensibly, the two leading magnates in the area, John Mowbray, duke of Norfolk, and the young John de la Pole, duke of Suffolk, were supporters of the new regime who could be trusted to keep their house in order. Norfolk had been a supporter of the duke of York even in the 1450s, while Suffolk was married to Edward IV’s sister Elizabeth. Yet, as became apparent during that same summer, both dukes were entirely prepared to put their own interests first, and to add to the disorder of the region by pursuing these with armed might. Even less clearly defineable were the loyalties of the third magnate of the region, John de Vere, earl of Oxford, who within a year would be indicted of treason. In addition, both counties of Norfolk and Suffolk possessed strong and factionalised gentry interests which had long made political life particularly volatile, an inherent political instability well illustrated by the frequency with which parliamentary elections resulted in open violence. In this respect, however, there were important differences between the various constituencies in the region. After the fall of William de la Pole, duke of Suffolk, in early 1450, the dominant magnates in the region had undeniably been Norfolk and Oxford. In the autumn of 1450 Norfolk and the duke of York agreed joint candidates to serve as knights of the shire for Norfolk, and Oxford apparently acquiesced in their choice.8 It seems, however, that the county electorate had different ideas, for while one of the ducal nominees, the Mowbray retainer Henry Grey of Ketteringham, was indeed returned, the other, Sir William Chamberlain of Gedding, failed to secure election. Five years later, York and Norfolk once again joined forces, and on this occasion their support evidently served to override the disapproval of some of the electorate at the choice in Norfolk’s kinsman John Howard of a man without landholdings in the shire.9 In neighbouring Suffolk, by contrast, the parliamentary elections throughout the 1450s were almost invariably troubled. In the autumn of 1450 Sir Geoffrey Radcliff (apparently unsuccessfully) challenged the return of Thomas Cornwallis to the Parliament of November 1449 in the courts, and in 1453 there were open

8

9

Chief Justice, Sir John Markham, who placed it on the King’s bench files on 14 November, ten days after Parliament had assembled (KB145/7/1, no. 351d). Proceedings in court continued until May 1462, when Edward IV issued letters of privy seal ordering the termination of the legal process. This was, however, not the end of the matter, for in December 1487 Henry VII ordered the resumption of all lawsuits from which profit might arise to the Crown, and which had been interrupted by privy seal letters of the Yorkist Kings (KB27/906, rex rot. 7). In Michaelmas term 1508 the suit was allowed to peter out once more, but it was not until the spring of 1521 that the long-dead defendants were at last formally exonerated under the terms of an act of Parliament of 1515 (KB29/92, rots. Mich. 15–16; C65/136, m. 15). The act in question is not specified, but the reference is probably to the King’s general pardon (7 Hen. VIII, c.11), rather than to the act on penal statutes (7 Hen. VIII, c. 3). The recorda files of the King’s bench, which by the fifteenth century chiefly relate to the court’s appellate jurisdiction, are among the oldest series of records of the court: C.A.F. Meekings, ‘King’s Bench Files’, in Legal Records and the Historian, ed. J.H. Baker (1978), 97–139, esp. 98–9, 103–4; J.C. Davies, ‘Common Law Writs and Returns Richard I to Richard II’, BIHR, xxvi (1953), 125–56, at 153–6. Paston Letters and Papers of the Fifteenth Century, ed. Norman Davis (2 vols., EETS, special series, xxi, xxii, 2004), ii, nos. 464–5. Ibid., ii, nos. 524, 527–8.

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clashes in the county court, comparable to the later Norfolk events in 1461. According to the account given by the sheriff, Thomas Sharneburne, on 12 February a gathering of Mowbray retainers had invaded the shire court, threatened the undersheriff, and forced him to return their master’s nominees, Thomas Danyell and John Wingfield. A month later, however, Sharneburne had held a fresh election and had returned the courtier Sir Philip Wentworth and the local esquire Gilbert Debenham instead. Two years later, when Wingfield himself was sheriff, he presided over the election of two of Norfolk’s retainers, his own brother Robert, and the lawyer William Jenney, only to find himself subject to repeated challenges in the law courts.10 The urban constituencies of East Anglia, the boroughs of Dunwich, Ipswich, Great Yarmouth and Bishop’s Lynn, and even the shire incorporate of Norwich, were by the 1450s evidently regarded as ready prey by the gentry of the region. In October 1450 William Wayte presented John Paston with an entire list of nominations for Norwich and Great Yarmouth, later (in 1472) Paston’s son had to discover that the Yarmouth seats had already been promised to others when he applied, and in January 1483 Anthony Wydeville, earl Rivers (who controlled the Mowbray interest in East Anglia as tutor of the young Richard, duke of York and Norfolk, widower of the last Mowbray duke’s sole daughter) commented with some indignation that ‘thay of yarmowthe haue poynted ij of thayr own burgesses…’.11 The common theme that ostensibly connects the electoral experience of the various East Anglian constituencies is the resistance of the local electorates to magnate pressure. Nor were the voters unsophisticated in their demands. As remarked earlier, in 1455 the electors of Norfolk objected to the candidature of Sir John Howard on the grounds that he held no lands in the county, and in 1461, as we will see, it was the extent of the franchise that was at issue. II At the end of nearly two years of open civil war directly affecting many parts of England, it is no surprise to find East Anglia once more in turmoil during the summer of 1461. The well-known correspondence of the Paston family lends colour to events in the region, and has made familiar names of Thomas Denys, the county coroner murdered in early July, and the former Fastolf properties of Caister and Dedham, respectively seized with armed might by the dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk.12 Small surprise, then, that the Norfolk elections for parliament should also 10

11

12

Roger Virgoe, ‘Three Suffolk Parliamentary Elections of the Mid-Fifteenth Century’, BIHR, xxxix (1966), 185–96, repr. in East Anglian Society and the Political Community of Late Medieval England: Selected Papers of Roger Virgoe ed. Caroline Barron, Carole Rawcliffe and Joel T. Rosenthal (Norwich, 1997), 53–64, p. 57; idem, ‘An Election Dispute of 1483’, HR, lx (1987), 24– 44; Parliamentarians at Law: Select Legal Proceedings of the long Fifteenth Century relating to Parliament, ed. Hannes Kleineke (Oxford, 2008), 14. Paston Letters, ed. Davis, ii. 460; May McKisack, The Parliamentary Representation of the English Boroughs during the Middle Ages (Oxford, 1934), p. 62; E.W. Ives, ‘Andrew Dymmock and the Papers of Antony, Earl Rivers, 1482–3’, BIHR, xli (1968), 216–29, p. 227. See eg. Colin Richmond, The Paston Family in the Fifteenth Century: The First Phase (Cambridge, 1990), 237–8; idem, The Paston Family in the Fifteenth Century: Fastolf’s Will (Cambridge, 1996), 113–14; idem, ‘The Murder of Thomas Dennis’, Common Knowledge, ii (1993), 85–98. For the

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once again have been disrupted. The Pastons had a direct interest in the parliamentary contest, since the head of the family, John Paston, was himself a candidate. Paston apart, three other men were contesting the Norfolk seats. John Berney of Great Witchingham was a distant kinsman of Paston’s wife Margaret Mautby, but it is not clear that even Paston was anything more than lukewarm about his candidature. Henry Grey the younger was the somewhat unruly son of the Mowbray retainer of the same name who had represented Norfolk in 1450, and he himself evidently also sought election as the duke’s nominee. The fourth candidate, Sir William Chamberlain, was another member of the duke of Norfolk’s circle, who in 1450 had failed to secure election as a knight of the shire for Norfolk despite his patron’s open support. He was a veteran of Henry VI’s French wars, whose principal landholdings lay in Suffolk, but whose military renown was nevertheless sufficient to allow for his elevation to the ranks of the order of the Garter in the first year of Edward IV’s reign.13 To Paston and his correspondents the events in the county court were too well known to need rehearsing in their letters. For details of what occurred, we thus have to rely on the account of the sheriff, John Howard, a version of events that from the outset received a uniformly bad press. It is likely that the sheriff’s statement was the ‘byll þat Howard hathe made a-yens you and odyr’, which, as Margaret Paston wrote to her husband on 20 November 1461, ‘set the pepyll in [Norfolk] a rore’.14 K.B. McFarlane suggested that Howard exaggerated the disruption to the county elections caused by John Paston and his cousin John Berney and their supporters, while more recently Simon Payling has roundly dismissed the sheriff’s account as ‘a fabrication to serve his own ends’.15 Combining information from the Paston letters and Howard’s report with the evidence of the newly rediscovered election returns, and the claims put forward by John Paston in the Exchequer of Pleas in early December, it is possible to construct a broader picture of the parliamentary elections of 1461 throughout East Anglia. As far as we can establish, the sequence of events was as follows. For some reason, it took three weeks for the royal writ of 23 May, ordering the election of knights of the shire, citizens and burgesses for a parliament which was to assemble at Westminster on 6 July, to reach Norfolk, where it was purportedly delivered to the undersheriff, William Pryce, by Richard Radley on 14 June.16 It seems that news of the impending elections was tightly controlled, for on 5 June Richard Calle wrote from Norwich to John Paston that he had heard ‘no word ... of the writtes for the parlament’.17 On the morning of 15 June the shire court met in the course of its normal four-weekly cycle, and – allowing for the partisan nature of Howard’s report into Chancery – there was evidently some disagreement between the

13

14 15 16 17

background to the disorder during the 1450s see Helen Castor, The King, the Crown and the Duchy of Lancaster (Oxford, 2000), 156–89. Details of the younger Henry Grey’s career will be found in his father’s biography: C.E. Moreton, ‘Henry Gray’, The History of Parliament: The Commons 1422–61, ed. Linda Clark (forthcoming). For Chamberlain, see D.J. King, ‘Anne Harling Reconsidered’, in Recording Medieval Lives: Proceedings of the 2005 Harlaxton Symposium, ed. Julia Boffey and Virginia Davis (Donington, 2009), 204–5. Paston Letters, ed. Davis, i, no. 165. McFarlane, ‘Parliament and “Bastard Feudalism”’, 7–9; Payling, ‘County Elections’, 246. E13/147, rot. 30. Paston Letters, ed. Davis, ii, no. 632.

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supporters of the four candidates over the extent of the electoral franchise. The sheriff’s account claimed that Berney’s supporters had behaved in a threatening manner towards the undersheriff, forcing him to abandon the election without sealing an indenture, and to slip away under the protection of Thomas Wingfield, Richard Southwell and Gilbert Debenham. There may be some truth in this claim, for three days later Pryce wrote to John Paston to confirm the true election result, which in his view was that Grey and Paston should have been elected. Pryce insisted that he intended to return this result, although, as he emphasized, he was subject to a master, the sheriff, to whom he, like other undersheriffs to their masters, was probably bound by an obligation for a substantial sum of money.18 That the franchise was indeed at issue is confirmed by John Paston himself, who had not been present at the disrupted shire court, but who recommended in a letter written on 12 July that as wele Berney as Grey shuld get a record of all suche þat myght spend xl s. a yere þat were at the day of eleccion, whech of them þat had fewest to geve it vp as reson wold.19 In the interim, Parliament had been postponed until 4 November, and to this effect writs had been issued from Chancery on 13 June. It did, however, take time for these writs and news of their contents to reach the shires. Undersheriff Pryce had evidently not received the second writ when he presided over the Norfolk county court on 15 June; on 21 June James Gresham wrote from London to John Paston that ‘the Kyng ... shall not þe parlement holde, but writtes shall goo in-to euery shire to gyve them þat ar chosyn knyghtes of þe shire day after Michelmesse’;20 not long after Thomas Playter reported talk ‘þat þe parlement shal be prorogued tyl þe iiij day of Nouembre, and þe Kyng wol jn-to Scotlond in al hast’;21 and on 25 June, 30 June and 1 July respectively, the boroughs of Ipswich, Bishop’s Lynn and Dunwich all elected their representatives on the strength of shrieval precepts apparently issued on the authority of the original writ of 23 May.22 The second writ, it appears, had nevertheless reached William Pryce by 18 June, when (according to John Paston) he delivered it to Sir John Howard.23 John Paston was at this time in London, from where he reported on 12 July that ‘the shreve ys in a dought whedyr he shall make a newe eleccion of knyghtes of the shyre be-cause of [John Berney] and Grey’.24 According to John Howard’s account, the undersheriff was prevented from holding the next shire court on 13 July. Certainly, the popular mood in Norfolk, particularly among John Berney’s supporters, was all the while growing increasingly ugly, and, in particular, unfavourable to the undersheriff. On 17 July 1461 Berney wrote to John Paston:

18 19 20 21 22 23 24

Ibid., ii, no. 633. Ibid., i, no. 58. Ibid., ii, no. 635. Ibid., ii, no. 641. KB145/7/1. E13/147, rot. 30. Paston Letters, ed. Davis, i, no. 58.

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And as for my playn dysposyssyon towardes the vndyrshrewe, I wyll hym noo bodyli hurt, nor shalnot be hurt by me nor by noo man that I may rewle; but the comynnes throw all the shyer be movyd again hym for cause of his lyght demeanyng towardes them for this elexsyon of knygttes of the shyer for þe parlement. And I suppose yf that he wyll he maybe hastyli easyd as thus: lat hym make notys vnto the seyd comynnes that this theyr eleccyon shall stande, or ellys lat hym purchas a new wryt and lat hym make wrytyng vnto them what day they shall come, and they to make a new eleccyon acordyng vnto the law.25 As no indenture had been sealed at the shire court of 15 June, the former course of action was clearly not open to the undersheriff, but the second writ delaying the meeting of parliament until 4 November could have provided a convenient excuse for a fresh election, had he so desired. Yet, nothing was popularly known in Norfolk of this second writ even after the original meeting date of Parliament had passed. Not until 1 August did John Paston write to his wife Margaret indicating for the first time that a writ for a new election had been issued, but suggesting that this was a consequence of the undersheriff’s complaint about the disruption of the original poll. Paston enclosed a copy of the writ with his letter to his wife, instructing her to deliver it to the undersheriff, but according to the sheriff’s account it was Howard himself who presided at the shire court of 10 August, having by then received the writ delaying the Parliament.26 According to Howard’s account, the forty-shilling-freeholders assembled in the shire house on that day nominated Sir William Chamberlain and Henry Grey junior, but John Paston, arriving on horseback, made a renewed claim to a general franchise independent of income, and caused a mob of his and John Berney’s supporters to threaten the sheriff. To have more space, Howard then moved proceedings to the castle yard, where, so he claimed, Paston and his supporters prevented him from examining the assembled crowd as to their income, and forced him to seal an election indenture confirming Berney and Paston as knights of the shire. If the sheriff’s story was, as McFarlane suggested, exaggerated, there certainly seems to have some form of disturbance in the shire court. In his letter of 1 August John Paston had anticipated it, reporting a rumour that ‘the peple is disposed to be at the shire at Norwich on Sen Lauerauns Day for th’affermyng of that thei have do afore’.27 Three weeks later, John Paston the younger had heard of an altercation between Howard and his father, in the course of which the latter had been stabbed with a dagger by one of the sheriff’s men.28 In the interim, on 17 August, Sir John Howard successfully conducted the Suffolk election in the shire court of that county, although a further Norfolk shire court on 7 September was apparently disrupted. Rather late in the day, on 30 October, five days before the Commons were due to assemble, the burgesses of Great Yarmouth finally certified their

25 26

27 28

Ibid., ii, no. 639. Ibid., i, no. 59. McFarlane, ‘Parliament and “Bastard Feudalism”’, 8 misdates this second shire court: St. Laurence’s day was 10 August, which in 1461 fell on a Monday, the normal county day in Norfolk. Paston Letters, ed. Davis, i, no. 59. Ibid., i, no. 231.

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choice, thus completing the set of election returns that Howard needed to send to Westminster. John Howard was replaced as sheriff on 4 November by Sir Thomas Montgomery, like him a knight of King Edward’s household, but rather less hostile to the Pastons. Yet, although Howard had sent election returns for the remainder of the constituencies in his bailiwick into Chancery, he had not submitted the indentures for the county of Norfolk that he claimed to have sealed under duress on 10 August, sending instead his report on the disruption of the shire courts of 15 June, 13 July, 10 August and 7 September to explain this omission. Also on 4 November, Parliament assembled at Westminster. If we accept that the later practice of requiring MPs to produce a copy of their electoral indentures by way of accreditation applied in 1461, the Norfolk Members were thus unable to take their seats. On 17 November a writ of attachment against Paston, Berney and their adherents was delivered to the sheriff’s deputy in the King’s bench.29 On 1 December John Paston appeared in the court of the Exchequer to sue Sir John Howard for his failure to make a return.30 On 21 December parliament was prorogued until the following May. The unrest in Norfolk continued regardless. On 29 December 1461 Richard Calle wrote to John Paston that on the previous day there had been moche people at Norwich at the shire, be-cause it was noyced in the shire that the vndresheriff had a writte to make a newe aleccion; wherfore the people was greved be-cauce they had labored so often, seyng to the sherif that he had the writte and pleynly he shulde not a-wey vnto the tyme the writte were redd. The sherif answerd and seyd that he had no writte, nor west who had it. Hervppon the people peacyd and stilled vnto the tyme the shire was doone, and after that doone the people called vppon hym, ‘Kylle hym, heede hym!’ And so John Dam, with helpe of other, gate hym out of the schirehows and with moche labour brought hym in-to Sporyer Rowe. And there the people mett a-yenst hym, and so they a-voided hym into an hows and kept fast the dores vnto the tyme the mayer was sent fore, and the sherif, to strenght hym and to convey hem a-wey, or ell he had be slayne.31 And about the same time, Thomas Playter reported that at þe last shire was moche pepoll and ille gouerned, for they wold not be rewled be no body. They had almost a slayne the vnderschryf, for they told hym wryttes of eleccion was sent doun and he kept it on syde for to be-gyle hem and to make hem labour a-yen; and ther-for he that kepyth it is to blame, me thynketh.32

29 30 31 32

KB29/92, rot. 16. E13/147, rots. 29–30. Paston Letters, ed. Davis, ii, no. 653. Ibid., ii, no. 654.

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III By contrast with the controversy which surrounded the 1461 Norfolk elections, the situation in neighbouring Suffolk, which had seen similar conflicts in 1449, 1453 and 1455, appears to have been remarkably quiet.33 The evidence of the sheriff’s election return suggests that this situation reflected the balance of power in the shire. The Yorkist victories at Northampton and Towton had removed the influence of Henry VI’s court, which in 1459 had allowed for the return of two Lancastrian loyalists, Sir Philip Wentworth and William Tyrell, and had given a free hand to the duke of Norfolk, one of the leading supporters of the house of York among the peerage, whose cousin, Sir John Howard, held the shrievalty from November 1460.34 Consequently, both men elected as knights of the shire for Suffolk in 1461 were closely connected with the duke. Thomas Wingfield was Mowbray’s first cousin of the half blood, while his colleague, Gilbert Debenham, was the heir of a family of established Mowbray retainers.35 Both had been among the men who had facilitated Undersheriff Pryce’s escape from the Norfolk shire court two months earlier. A closer examination of Howard’s return, and a comparison with the Suffolk election indentures of 1459 and 1467 (those of 1460 and 1463 are lost) confirms this picture. The Suffolk indenture of 1461 was attested by seventy-eight named individuals. This was a substantial increase on the forty men who were named in the election return of 1459, and also a rather greater number than the forty-seven men who set their seals to the sheriff’s indenture in 1467. It has been argued that an abnormally high number of attestors named in an election return was often an indicator of a contested election, but in this instance the number in question, while at face value unusual, may not in fact be substantial enough to suggest a contest.36 The indentures for the disputed Suffolk elections of 1455 and 1472 named 156 and 188 men respectively, and from the late 1440s it was not unusual for between sixtyseven and eighty-eight attestors to set their seals to the county’s election returns. It may be that in 1461 it was simply the recent experience of a disrupted election in neighbouring Norfolk, or perhaps even a further contest in Suffolk, that inclined the sheriff to seek to have the election indenture confirmed by a substantial number of individuals.37 In view of the partisan nature of the election of 1459, it is not 33

34

35

36

37

Virgoe, ‘Three Suffolk Elections’, 57; CP40/759, rot. 433. I owe the latter reference to Dr. S.J. Payling. For the Suffolk elections of 1459 see Virgoe, ‘Three Suffolk Elections’, 58. For Mowbray’s Yorkist sympathies see e.g. Colin Richmond, ‘The Nobility and the Wars of the Roses: The Parliamentary session of January 1461’, Parliamentary History, xviii (1999), 261–70, p. 264. For Debenham, who had previously sat in Parliament for Ipswich in 1455, see J.C. Wedgwood and A.D. Holt, History of Parliament: Biographies of the Members of the Commons House, 1439–1509 (1936), 265–6; for his father ibid., 264–5; W.I. Haward, ‘Gilbert Debenham: A Medieval Rascal in Real Life’, History, new series xiii (1928–9), 300–14. New biographies of these men by Dr. C.E. Moreton will appear in The Commons 1422–61, ed. Clark (forthcoming). S.J. Payling, ‘County Parliamentary Elections in Fifteenth-Century England’, Parliamentary History, xviii (1999), 237–59, pp. 250–51; Virgoe, ‘Three Suffolk Elections’, 54. The chronology of the elections appears to support such an interpretation: whereas Sheriff Howard took the first opportunity to hold the Norfolk shire elections on 15 June, he did not proceed to do so in Suffolk until more than two months later on 17 August. He thus had at least two Suffolk county days (in June and July) at which he might have attempted to conduct an election, no record of which now survives.

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surprising that there was very little overlap between the electorates of that year and of 1461. Excluding the two county coroners, who sealed the indentures ex officio, just eleven men appear on both indentures, amounting to just one sixth of the total electorate of 1461. More striking is the number of (as far as it is possible to tell) complete newcomers. Some forty-five individuals, accounting for fifty-seven per cent of the total number, are not previously found attesting one of the surviving indentures.38 A closer examination of the named electors is instructive. The vast majority of the Suffolk attestors of 1461 hailed from the eastern half of the county, the heartlands of the estates of the Mowbray dukes of Norfolk and de la Pole dukes of Suffolk. Two years earlier, by contrast, the smaller electorate was more evenly distributed about the county, with a number of attestors from the south and west of the county.39 In view of the changed political realities of 1461, it is not surprising to find men with connections to the duke of Norfolk prominent among the electors. Thomas Bourgchier, who headed the list of names, was a younger son of Henry Bourgchier, earl of Essex, and by 1471 was in receipt of a livery from Norfolk’s son and heir, then the fourth duke.40 Sir John Wingfield, in recognition of Bourgchier’s superior rank named second among the attestors despite being a belted knight, was first cousin of the half blood to the duke of Norfolk, and consequently related in the same degree to the sheriff, Sir John Howard. In addition, Wingfield – the elder brother of Thomas Wingfield, one of the elected knights of the shire – had long been a servant of the King’s father, Richard, duke of York.41 Several other attestors also had connections with Mowbray. Walter Fulburne was the duke’s understeward, and Gilbert Debenham the elder – father of the second man elected – his surveyor general, while Thomas Rowyngton, Thomas Burton and Richard Church received annuities from the duke.42 Other longstanding Mowbray clients were John Framlingham and Charles Nowell (who in addition possessed impeccable political credentials from the point of view of the Yorkist administration, as in February 1453 both had been accused of treasonably seeking to make the duke of York ‘king and governor’ of England), John Strange, John Pulham and John Walworth.43 Alongside the Mowbray retainers, the group of men who sealed the election indenture also included some established country gentlemen like Edward Grymston, or the former sheriff Thomas Brewes, who had 38

39

40

41

42 43

This statistic needs to be qualified by the observation that on account of the loss of the Suffolk election return it is not possible to tell how many of the ‘newcomers’ were present at the elections to the Parliament of 1460, summoned after the Yorkist victory at Northampton. On the complex tenurial patterns in the region see Castor, King, Crown and Duchy, 56–8. For the difficulties inherent in the analysis of the electors by their places of residence, Payling, ‘County Elections’, 251. L.S. Woodger, ‘Henry Bourgchier, earl of Essex, and his Family (1408–83)’ (Oxford Univ. D.Phil. thesis, 1974), frontispiece; KB145/7/11 (unfoliated). This Thomas appears a more likely candidate than his first cousin and namesake, a younger son of John Bourgchier, Lord Berners (for whom see Wedgwood and Holt, Biographies, 95–6). Mowbray, Howard and Wingfield shared a grandmother, Elizabeth Fitzalan. Wedgwood and Holt, Biographies, 955–6; CP, ix. 610; L.E. Moye, ‘The Estates and Finances of the Mowbray Family, Earls Marshall and Dukes of Norfolk, 1401–1476’ (Duke Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1985), pp. 459–60; Virgoe, ‘Three Suffolk Elections’, 56. New biographies of Howard and Wingfield by Dr. C.E. Moreton will appear in The Commons 1422–61, ed. Clark (forthcoming). Moye, ‘Mowbray Family’, pp. 424, 434–36. Castor, King, Crown and Duchy, 177; Moye, ‘Mowbray Family’, 433, 435, 437; KB9/118/2/165.

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ties with the de la Pole dukes of Suffolk, but who had retained sufficient independence to be appointed to crown office both before and after 1461,44 the latter’s son William, or the former undersheriff Simon Poley.45 Nevertheless, the absence of prominent members of the de la Pole affinity, like the long-serving steward John Ulverston, illustrates the less active part in county politics taken by the nineteen-year-old duke of Suffolk (the king’s brother-in law), and his mother, the dowager duchess Alice, at this time. At both Ipswich and Dunwich the election indentures of 1461 were attested by groups of established and respected members of the local communities who regularly set their seals to these documents. At Ipswich each man so recorded had previously attested at least one election, and all but two had done so at least twice. At Dunwich, four of the fourteen men sealing the indenture are not known to have previously exercised their vote, but the loss of the election indenture of 1460 makes it impossible to be sure. The remaining ten men were regulars among the Dunwich electorate, and included at least four men who had previously served as bailiffs of the town. The election indentures for the two Norfolk boroughs of Bishop’s Lynn and Great Yarmouth are less informative. The Lynn return merely states that the borough’s representatives had been elected by the mayor and community, but gives no indication of the individuals involved.46 Great Yarmouth elected its burgesses very late, just five days before Parliament was to assemble at Westminster, and this may be one of the reasons for the return of one of the serving bailiffs, Thomas Iryng. As at Bishop’s Lynn, none of the attestors were explicitly named.47 Evidence from the Paston collection and other contemporary correspondence indicates that, despite the relative prosperity of the four East Anglian boroughs, their parliamentary seats were regarded as fair game by the regional gentry and nobility.48 On occasion, however, a local community might nevertheless resist external pressure and return local men. At Great Yarmouth, this was the case in 1461, when the electorate insisted on choosing two of their own number, men with no previous parliamentary experience, but with strong connections among the merchant community. Both MPs, the bailiff, Thomas Iryng, and his parliamentary colleague, Thomas Edmunds, were serving customs officers at Yarmouth and district. Both were evidently acceptable servants to the Yorkist regime, for Iryng was appointed in the first days of January 1461 – as was customary, on the authority of the treasurer, then Henry, Viscount Bourgchier49 – and whereas Edmunds’s appointment had first been authorised by Treasurer Tiptoft in 1452, it 44 45 46

47

48

49

Castor, King, Crown and Duchy, 99, 159–60, 162, 188. CP40/782, rot. 250d; Paston Letters, ed. Davis, ii, no. 548. On the parliamentary representation of medieval Bishop’s Lynn more generally see May McKisack, ‘The parliamentary representation of King’s Lynn before 1500’, EHR, xlii (1927), 583–9. It is possible that, as at Bishop’s Lynn, there had been another election earlier in the year: cf. below, p. 178. See e.g. Paston Letters, ed. Davis, ii, no. 460; Ives, ‘Andrew Dymmock’, 227. On the link between economic prosperity and parliamentary representation see Hannes Kleineke, ‘The Widening Gap: the Practice of Parliamentary Borough Elections in Devon and Cornwall in the Fifteenth Century’, in Parchment and People: Parliament in the Middle Ages, ed. Linda Clark, Parliamentary History, xxiv (2004), 121–35, pp. 124, 134–5. Hamon Le Strange, Norfolk Official Lists from the Earliest Period to the Present Day (Norwich, 1890), 157; CFR, xix. 283; C1/27/357; E122/152/4.

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had subsequently been renewed by Bourgchier in the late summer of 1460. Edmunds in particular may have been regarded by the men of Yarmouth as a safe choice in a volatile political situation, for there is an indication in his successive appointments to commandeer ships, mariners and supplies for the fleets of Henry VI in March 1460 and of Edward IV in July 1462 that he was skilful (as well as useful) enough to avoid too close an association with the supporters of either York or Lancaster.50 Great Yarmouth was, however, not alone in seeking to be represented by trusted local men in the first Parliament of the new reign. A similar pattern may be observed in each of the neighbouring East Anglian boroughs. At Ipswich, the two men who had represented the borough in the previous Parliament until the early months of 1461 were re-elected. Both William Baldry and Richard Felawe had held multiple offices in the port and town, and were thus probably regarded as safe pairs of hands to represent the town in the first Parliament under a new dynasty, but another consideration, potentially significant, was that both had commercial connections with Sheriff Howard and the Mowbrays, and thus by implication with the new regime.51 Perhaps more susceptible to outside influence than Ipswich or Great Yarmouth was Dunwich, which, as previously in 1455, elected as one of their representatives the influential local esquire John Strange, a man with close ties to the duke of Norfolk, and one of the men present at the shire elections.52 By contrast, Strange’s colleague, Robert Vincent, had impeccable local credentials. He was a leading Dunwich burgess, who had attested the borough’s parliamentary return in 1453, and served as its bailiff in 1459–60, when he had himself presided over the elections to the Coventry Parliament.53 The situation at Bishop’s Lynn was more complex. The town’s hall book shows that an election was indeed held on 30 June, as suggested by the sheriff’s indenture, but that the men elected were Henry Thoresby and William Caus. The election result was, however, not allowed to stand, and on 2 September a new election was held, at which Walter Cony (the presiding mayor) and Henry Birmingham were chosen. This election in turn was overturned on 9 October (after the start of the new mayoral year) when Simon Pigot and Henry Birmingham were elected.54 Beyond the postponement of the meeting of Parliament until 4 November, there is no obvious explanation for the need for these multiple elections, and the personal circumstances of the men chosen may have played a role. The writs delaying Parliament were issued on 13 June, but the phrasing of Lynn’s indenture indicates that the news had not reached the borough by the time of the first election on 30 June. The resulting document is a curious hybrid, giving the date of the original Lynn election, as well as the originally intended date for the opening of Parliament, but naming the two burgesses elected in October who, we 50

51

52 53 54

CFR, xviii. 232–4; CFR, xix. 58, 60, 97, 254–55, 257; CPR, 1452–61, p. 606; E122/151/70; E122/152/3, 5; C1/66/55; C4/26/26. Wedgwood and Holt, Biographies, 36, 315; The Household Books of John Howard, Duke of Norfolk, 1462–1471, 1481–1483, ed. Anne Crawford (2 pts., Stroud, 1992), i. 154, 161–2, 185–6, 188, 191–2, 198, 225, 269–70, 274, 280, 286, 301, 337, 396, 456; ii. 43. Wedgwood and Holt, Biographies, 819; Moye, ‘Mowbray Family’, 433. C219/16/2; C219/16/5. Norfolk RO, King’s Lynn records, KL/C7/4, pp. 159, 162, 167. I owe these references to Dr. Charles Moreton.

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may assume, went on to represent the borough in the Commons. The indenture shows no evidence of erasure or alteration, and its dating may indicate the use of an earlier document drawn up at that date as a template for the election return submitted to the sheriff. IV Over the last ten years the work of scholars such as Colin Richmond, Roger Virgoe, Helen Castor and James Ross has done much to illuminate the tangled politics of East Anglia in the 1450s and early 1460s. In the wake of the Yorkist triumph of 1460–61, and during the minority of John de la Pole, the young duke of Suffolk, John Mowbray, duke of Norfolk, could reasonably expect to play the dominant part in regional politics to which he had laid claim almost a decade earlier.55 The evidence of the election returns of 1461 suggests that in Suffolk he had succeeded in doing so. Here, the electorate was heavily dominated by Mowbray’s retainers, and county and boroughs alike returned men linked with him. The situation in Norfolk was rather different. The sheriff’s apparent preferred candidates, Sir William Chamberlain of East Harling and Henry Grey the younger of Ketteringham, were respectively a renowned veteran soldier and a youthful ruffian, who possessed connections with the Mowbrays. Crucially, both were probably candidates agreeable to the young king, who before the end of the year received Chamberlain into the order of the Garter and appointed Grey to the keepership of the armoury at the Tower of London. Their failure to secure election in spite of the sheriff’s personal opposition to the alternative candidates, Paston and Berney, is instructive. It illustrates the limitations of the electoral patronage of the Crown, as much as of regional magnates, in the face of determined resistance by local electorates. In 1461, such resistance seems to be in evidence not only in Norfolk, but also in the parliamentary boroughs there and in neighbouring Suffolk, at other times ready targets for placemen seeking seats in the Commons, which that year almost uniformly opted for local candidates. In regions like the south-west of England peppered with more pocket boroughs than the regional gentry required to fulfil their need for parliamentary seats, the Crown and local magnates found little difficulty in securing the return of their place-men. Elsewhere, the would-be rulers had to be more circumspect. Magnates, like the dukes of York and Norfolk in 1450 and 1455, might agree on suitable candidates and might even issue explicit voting instructions to their retainers,56 but they were not guaranteed success, and might even attract open criticism, like that voiced in 1455 by the lawyer John Jenney, who wrote to John Paston that it was ‘no wurshipp to my lord of Yorke not to my lord of Norffolk to write for [an outsider]’.57 The Crown needed to display an even greater degree of impartiality. In the reign of Henry VI, as previously, the Crown relied on the informal efforts of the sheriffs of the counties to secure the return of

55 56 57

The Paston Letters, ed. James Gairdner (Library edn., 6 vols., 1904), ii. 259. Paston Letters, ed. Davis, ii, nos. 464–65, 524, 528. Ibid., ii, no. 528.

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its supporters to Parliament.58 Even in the crisis of 1459, as Simon Payling has shown, Queen Margaret’s partisan administration shied away from openly ordering a re-run of elections to pack the Commons.59 The systematic packing of the Commons by the Crown as yet belonged to a later age.60 It was not for another two years that Edward IV’s goverment took a first step down the road to royal control of parliament, when royal letters were sent to the shire gentry exhorting them to attend the county elections.61

58

59

60

61

For an early, and blatant, example of a sheriff’s illicit activity, see Parliamentarians at Law, ed. Kleineke, pp. 106–7. S.J. Payling, ‘The Coventry Parliament of 1459: A Privy Seal Writ concerning the Election of Knights of the Shire’, HR, lx (1987), 349–52. See e.g. Graham Haslam, ‘The Duchy and Parliamentary Representation in Cornwall, 1547–1640’, Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, new series, viii (1980), 224–42; J.K. Gruenfelder, Influence in Early Stuart Elections, 1604–40 (Columbus, OH, 1981); P.M. Hunneyball, ‘Prince Charles’s Council as Electoral Agent, 1620–24’, Parliamentary History, xxiii (2004), 316–35. Paston Letters, ed. Davis, ii, no. 172.

APPENDIX In the following, the writs and returns for Suffolk, Dunwich, Ipswich, Great Yarmouth and Bishop’s Lynn have been printed; the Norfolk return corresponds closely to its enrolment on the controlment roll printed by Williams, and has consequently not been given in full. Also included is an abridged version of the suit brought by John Paston against Sir John Howard in the Exchequer of Pleas in December 1461. All documents printed are in the National Archives (Public Record Office), Kew. In this edition, common abbreviations have been expanded, capitalization and the use of u and v standardised, and a degree of punctuation introduced. Interlineations have been indicated by angular brackets (< >), editorial interventions by square brackets ([ ]).1 1. Writ of 23 May 1461 to the sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk, ordering the election of knights of the shire and burgesses to attend parliament at Westminster on 6 July 1461 (KB145/7/1, no. 345).2 Edwardus dei gracia rex Anglie et Francie et dominus Hibernie vicecomiti Norffolcie et Suffolcie salutem. Quia de avisamento et assensu consilij nostri et quibusdam arduis et urgentibus negociis nos statum et defensionem regni nostri Anglie ac ecclesie Anglicane concernentibus quoddam parliamentum nostrum apud Westmonasterium sexto die Julij proximo futuro teneri ordinavimus et ibidem cum prelatis magnatibus et proceribus dicti regni nostri colloquium habere et tractatum tibi precipimus firmiter iniungentes quod facta proclamacione in proximo comitatu tuo utriusque comitatuum predictorum post recepcionem huius brevis tenendo de die et loco predictis duos milites cinctos magis idoneos et discretos utriusque comitatuum predictorum et de qualibet civitate utriusque comitatuum illorum duos cives et quolibet Burgo duos Burgenses de discrecioribus et magis sufficientibus libere et indifferenter per illos qui proclamacioni huius modi interfuerunt iuxta formam statutorum inde editorum et provisorum eligi ac nomina eorundem militum, civium et Burgensium sic eligendorum in quibusdam indenturis inter te et illos qui huiusmodi eleccioni interfuerunt inde conficiendis licet huiusmodi eligendi presentes fuerunt vel absentes inseri eosque ad diem et locum venire facias. Ita quod ijdem milites plenam et sufficientem potestatem pro se et communtatibus comitatuum illorum ac dicti cives et Burgenses pro se et communitatibus civitatum et Burgorum predictorum divisum ab ipsis habeant ad faciendum et consenciendum hiis que tunc ibidem de communi consilio dicti regni nostri favente domino contingeret ordinari super negociis antedictis Ita quod per defectum potestatis huiusmodi seu propter inprovidam eleccionem militum, civium aut Burgensium predictorum dicta negocia infacta non remaneant quonis modo 1 2

The file KB145/7/1 is at present unfoliated. An example of this writ is printed in Reports on the Dignity of a Peer, iv. 951–2.

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Nolumus autem quod aut aliquis alius vicecomes dicti regni nostri aliqualiter sit electus et eleccionem illam in pleno comitatu tuo utriusque comitatuum predictorum factam distincte et aperte sub sigillo tuo et sigillis eorum qui eleccioni illi interfuerunt nobis in cancellariam nostram ad dictos diem et locum certifices indilate R[e]mittens nobis alteram partem indenturarum predictarum presentibus consutam una cum hoc brevi. Teste me ipso apud Westmonasterium xxiij die Maij anno regni nostri primo. Per ipsum Regem – Fryston. 2. Writ of 13 June 1461 to the sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk, delaying the meeting of Parliament until 4 November 1461 (KB145/7/1, no. 344).3 Edwardus dei gracia rex Anglie et Francie et dominus Hibernie vicecomiti Norffolcie et Suffolcie salutem. Licet nuper de avisamento et assensu consilij nostri et quibusdam arduis et urgentibus negociis nos, statum et defensionem regni nostri Anglie ac ecclesie Anglicane concernentibus, quoddam parliamentum nostrum apud Westmonasterium sexto die Julij proximo futuro teneri ordinaverimus et ibidem cum prelatis, magnatibus et proceribus dicti regni nostri colloquium habere et tractatum, pro eo tamen, quod ut certitudinaliter informamur rebelles, inimici et adversarij nostri Scocie regnum nostrum Anglie hostiliter sunt ingressi, civitatem nostram Carlioli cum magna potencia et vi armata obsedendo, ac omnimoda mala que facere poterunt seu excogitare nedum civitati predicte, verum eciam toti regno nostro Anglie ac cunctis ligeis fidelibus et subditis nostris omnibus viribus suis inferre satagunt et proponunt, nos eorum malicie quantum in nobis est deo duce cum omni festinacione possibili obviare et resistere volentes, ut tenemur quod si dictum parliamentum nostrum apud Westmonasterium predicto sexto Julij tentum foret commode fieri non poterit. Ideo parliamentum predictum apud Westmonasterium quarto die Novembris proximo futuro de avisamento dicti consilij nostri teneri volumus et haberi. Et ideo tibi precipimus firmiter iniungentes quod si milites pro comitatibus predictis ac cives et burgenses pro civitatibus et burgis comitatuum illorum de veniendo ad parliamentum predictum dicto sexto die Julij pretextu cuiusdam prioris brevis nostri tibi nuper directi electi fuerint tunc eis et eorum cuilibet de eodem parliamento apud Westmonasterium dicto quarto die Novembris ut predictum est tenendo intimari et notificari et si ipsi nondum electi existant tunc facta proclamacione in proximo comitatu tuo utriusque comitatuum predictorum post recepcionem huius brevis nostri de dictis quarto die Novembris et loco eosdem milites, cives et burgenses iuxta vim, formam et effectum dicti prioris brevis nostri eligi ac ipsos sic electos sive eligendos ad eosdem quartum diem Novembris et locum venire ceteraque omnia alia et singula in eodem priori brevi nostro contenta debite et fideliter exequi et observari facias taliter te in execucione premissorum habens ne per tui defectum negocia predicta remaneant Remittens nobis hoc breve simul cum priore brevi nostro supradicto. Teste me ipso apud Westmonasterium xiij die Junij anno regni nostri primo. Per ipsum Regem – Fryston.4

3

An example of this writ is printed in Reports on the Dignity of a Peer, iv. 955.

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3. Indenture of 25 June 1461 attesting the election of Richard Felawe and William Baldry as parliamentary burgesses for the borough of Ipswich to attend parliament at Westminster on 6 July 1461 (KB145/7/1, no. 347). Hec indentura facta apud Gippewicum vicesimo quinto die mensis Junij anno regni Regis Edwardi quarti post conquestum primo, inter Johannem Howard, militem, vicecomitem Suffolcie ex parte una, et Thomam Denys et Willelmum Ridout, ballivos domini Regis ville sue Gippewici, Johannem Creyk et Johannem Ryver, coronatores domini Regis eiusdem ville Gippewici, ex altera parte testatur quod nos, ballivi predicti, coronatores ac portmanni, et Johannes Blankpayn, Johannes Gosse, Rogerus Tough, Willelmus Style, Johannes Campyoun, Willelmus Wynter, burgenses ville predicte, et alij burgenses eiusdem ville in plena curia ville predicte elegimus Ricardum Felawe et Willelmum Baldry, burgenses residentes et commorantes infra eandem villam Gippewici, burgenses pro eadem villa ad essendum ad parliamentum dicti domini Regis apud Westmonasterium tenendum sexto die Julij proximo futuro post datum presencium ad faciendum et concensiendum hijs que tunc ibidem de communi consilio regni Anglie favente domino contigerit ordinari pro ut in quodam mandato ex parte domini Regis per vicecomitem predictum nobis inde directo in se exigerit et requirerit. In cuius rei testimonium uni parti huius indenture penes prefatum vicecomitem remanenti Nos predicti ballivi, coronatores, portmanni et burgenses supradicti sigillum nostrum communem apposuimus, alteri vero parti eiusdem indenture penes nos prefatos ballivos, coronatores, portmannos et burgenses memorate ville Gippewici remanenti predictus vicecomes sigillum suum apposuit. Datum die, anno et loco supradictis. 4. Indenture of 1 July 1461 attesting the election of John Strange, esquire, and Robert Vincent as parliamentary burgesses for the borough of Dunwich to attend parliament at Westminster on 6 July 1461 (KB145/7/1, no. 346). Hec indentura facta testatur quod nos, Johannes Sewale et Johannes Scherlyng, Ballivi libertatis ville Donewici, virtute cuiusdam mandati domini Regis nobis directi eligi fecimus in presencia Thome Bemond, Willelmi Bonbrook, coronatorum eiusdem ville, Roberti Codon, Nicholai Schypman, Thome Peers, Roberti Thorpp, Walteri Peers, Willelmi Rabett, Roberti Schypman, Johannis Melton, Thome Lunneys, Johannis Weybrede et aliorum multorum Burgensium residencium infra villam predictam iuxta formam statuti inde nuper editi et provisi Johannem Strawnge, armigerum, Robertum Vincent, Burgenses residentes ville predicte, ad essendum ad parliamentum domini Regis tenendum apud Westmonasterium sexto die Julij proximo futuro, prout in breve domini Regis continetur, ad faciendum et concensiendum hijs, qui tunc ibidem de communi consilio dicti domini Regis favente domino contigerit ordinari. In cuius rei testimonium hijs indenturis tam sigillum commune ville predicte, quam sigillum officium ballivorum libertatis dicte ville duximus apponendi. Data apud 4

Endorsed ‘Responsa quo ad elecciones pro comitatibus Norffolcie et Suffolcie et burgis eorundem comitatuum patent in quibusdam cedule et indenturis huic brevi et priori brevi consutis. Nomen Vicecomitis: Johannes Howard, miles’.

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Donewicum predictum, primo die mensis Julij anno primo regni Regis Edwardi quarti. 5. Indenture of 17 August 1461 attesting the election of Thomas Wingfield, esquire, and Gilbert Debenham junior, esquire, as knights of the shire for the county of Suffolk to attend parliament at Westminster on 4 November 1461 (KB145/7/1, no. 348). Hec indentura facta apud Gippewicum in pleno comitatu ibidem tento die Lune proximo post festum assumpsionis beate Marie virginis anno regni Regis Edwardi quarti primo inter Johannem Howard, militem, vicecomitem Suffolcie ex una parte, et Rogerum Aylmere, Willelmum Wursop, coronatores domini Regis in dicto comitatu, Thomam Bourghchier, Johannem Wyngfeld militem, Thomam Brewes, Johannem Hevenyngham, Gilbertum Debenham seniorem, Edwardum Grymston, Johannem Framlyngham, Willelmum Brewes, Johannem Straunge, Willelmum Joos, Johannem Banyard, Thomam Curson, Edmundum Stratton, Johannem Bernad [sic], Robertum Sampson, Johannem Martyn, Karolum Nowell, Johannem Chapman, Robertum Curson seniorem, Willelmum Andrewe, Johannem5 Rendelesham, Johannem Pulham, Johannem Walworth, Simonem Poley, armigeros, Thomam Wodeburne, Willelmum Blaxhale, Ricardum Church, Thomam Burton, Johannem Letteres, Thomam Warde, Johannem Mors, Alanum Grene, Thomam Thornham, Willelmum Dykeman, Robertum Byrd, Walterum Fulburn, Willelmum Kane, Johannem Dod, Johannem Manerd, Willelmum Gerold, Laurencium Fedyon, Willelmum Balston, Robertum Bowre, Johannem Hyll, Johannem Hyll juniorem, Galfridum Hyll, Johannem Pelse, Thomam Kene, Ricardum Hoxon, Johannem Page juniorem, Thomam Jeffrey, Thomam Rowyngton, Willelmum Kene, Johannem Stefnes, Johannem Dade, Thomam Kemp, Simonem Broke, Johannem Doket, Willelmum Colman, Johannem Godyng, Johannem Herman, Robertum Nunne, Willelmum Holm, Radulfum Toke, Petrum Bedyngfeld, Willelmum Maryot, Ricardum Thurban, Willelmum Reydon, Henricum Parker, Thomam Masselyn, Johannem Byrd, Willelmum Levesson, Thomam Waryn, Johannem Bettys,6 Willelmum Stebbyng et Thomam Crowe ex altera parte testatur quod facta proclamacione virtute brevium huic indenture consutorum predicti coronatores, Milites et armigeri et alij homines supradicti elegerunt Thomam Wynfeld armigerum et Gilbertum Debenham juniorem armigerum milites pro comitatu predicto commorantes et residentes infra comitatum predictum ad essendum ad parliamentum domini Regis apud Westmonasterium tenendum quarto die Novembris proximo futuro ad faciendum et consenciendum hijs que ibidem de communi consilio Regni Anglie favente domino contingeret ordinari. In cuis rei testimonium uni parti huius indenture penes coronatores, milites, armigeros et alios homines supradictos remanenti prefatus vicecomes sigillum suum apposuit, alteri vero parti huius indenture penes prefatum vicecomitem remanenti prefati coronatores et alij eleccioni predicte interessentes predicti sigilla sua apposuerunt. Datum die, loco et anno supradictis.

5 6

MS Johannes. et crossed out.

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6. Indenture of 30 June 1461 attesting the election of Simon Pigot and Henry Birmingham as parliamentary burgesses for the borough of Bishop’s Lynn to attend parliament at Westminster on 6 July 1461 (KB145/7/1, no. 349). Hec indentura facta apud Lenn’ Episcopi die Martis ultimo die mensis Junij anno regni Regis Edwardi quarti primo inter Johannem Howard militem vicicomitem Norffolcie ex parte una et maiorem et communitatem ville sive Burgi Lenn’ predicte ex parte altera, testatur quod predicti maior et communitas die confectionis presencium, virtute cuiusdam precepti per predictum vicicomitem Norffolcie pro eleccione burgensium Parliamenti infra villam sive burgum Lenn’ predictam eligendi ad interessendum Parliamento domini Regis sexto die Julij proximo futuro apud Westmonasterium tenendo eidem maiori directi pro se et communitate Lenn’ predicte eligerunt in burgenses ad interessendum Parliamento predicto Symonem Pigot et Henricum Bermyngeham burgenses ville sive burgi Lenn’ predicte ibidem commorantes et residentes. In cuius rei testimonium uni parti istarum indenturarum penes dictum vicicomitem remanenti predicti maior et communitas sigillum officij maioratus ville sive burgi Lenn’ predicte apposuerunt. Alteri vero parti istarum indenturarum penes prefatos maiorem et communitatem remanenti predictus vicecomes sigillum officij sui apponi fecit. Datum die, anno et loco supradictis. 7. Indenture of 30 October 1461 attesting the election of Thomas Iring and Thomas Edmunds as parliamentary burgesses for the borough of Great Yarmouth to attend parliament at Westminster on 4 November 1461 (KB145/7/1, no. 350). Hec indentura facta apud Magnam Jernemutham die Veneris proximo post festum apostolorum Simonis et Jude anno regni Regis Edwardi quarti post conquestum primo inter Johannem Howard militem vicecomitem Norffolcie ex una parte, et Radulfum Lampet, armigerum, et Thomam Iryng, ballivos, ac communitatem dicte ville Magne Jernemuthe ex altera parte, testatur quod ijdem ballivi et communitas eorum unanimi assensu elegerunt Thomam Iryng et Thomam Edmundes, burgenses ville predicte commorantes et residentes infra burgum predictum, essendi burgenses pro burgo predicto in parliamento domini Regis apud Westmonasterium quarto die Novembris proximo futuro, ad consenciendum hijs, que tunc ibidem de communi consilio regni Anglie, favente domino, contigerit ordinari, prout breve domini Regis dicto vicecomiti inde directum in se exigit et requirit. In cuius rei testimonium uni parti huius indenture, penes dictos ballivos et communitatem remanenti, predictus vicecomes sigillum suum apposuit. Alteri vero parti huius indenture, penes dictum vicecomitem remanenti, dicti ballivi et communitas sigillum officij apposuerunt. Datum die, loco et anno supradictis. 8. Return of Sir John Howard, sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk, describing the disorders which prevented him from conducting an election for two knights of the shire for the county of Norfolk (KB145/7/1, no. 351). [A version of this text was printed from its enrolment on the controlment roll (KB29/92, rots. 15–16), by C.H. Williams, ‘A Norfolk Parliamentary Election, 1461’, EHR, xl (1925), 81–86.]

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[Endorsed:] Per manus Episcopi Exonie, Cancellarij Anglie, deliberatum Johanni Markham militi, Capitali Justiciario etc. Quiquidem capitalis Justiciarius die Sabbati proximo post festum Sancti Martini anno primo R[egis] E[dwardi] quarti coram eodem Rege apud Westmonasterium istud returnum deliberavit. 9. Proceedings brought by John Paston against Sir John Howard, former sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk in the Exchequer of Pleas, Dec. 1461 (E13/147, rots. 29–30). Johannes Paston, armiger, venit coram baronibus huius scaccarij primo die Decembris hoc termino per Thomam Harryson, attornatum suum, et queritur per billam de Johanne Howard, chivaler, nuper vicecomite comitatuum Norff’ et Suff’, presente hic in curia eodem die super visu compoti sui de officio vicecomitatus comitatuum predictorum hic ad hoc scaccarium reddendo per Thomam Depden, attornatum suum, de eo quod predictus nuper vicecomes ei iniuste detinet centum libras argenti quas ei debet, [...] [recites the electoral statutes of 8 and 23 Hen. VI] Et cum dominus Rex nunc Edwardus mandaverit breve suum sub magno sigillo suo extra cancellariam suam, cuius datum apud Westmonasterium vicesimo tercio die Maij anno regni sui primo, directum vicecomiti dictorum comitatuum Norff’ et Suff’, [...] [recites the parliamentary writ of 23 May 1461, printed above] Quod quidem breve die dominica proximo post festum Sancti Barnabe apostoli anno regni dicti domini Regis nunc primo quidem Ricardus Radley apud civitatem Norwici deliberavit cuidam Willelmo Prys, adtunc subvicecomiti dicti defendentis, adtunc vicecomitis dicti comitatus Norff’, qui quidem defendens per dictum subvicecomitem suum ad plenum comitatum tentum apud Norwicum in le Shirehouse in dicto comitatu Norff’ die Lune proximo post idem festum Sancti Barnabe et proximo post idem breve deliberatum legit proclamavit idem breve secundum formam statutorum et brevis predictorum, virtute cuius proclamacionis probi et sufficientes homines dicti comitatus Norff’ ad eundem comitatum et proclamacionem adtunc ibidem libere et indifferenter bene et debite eligerunt et nominaverunt predictum querentem, adtunc existentem absentem, et quendam Johannem Barney, adtunc armigeros et generosos homines de nativitate et adtunc abiles essendi milites et adtunc et predicto vicesimo tercio die Maij commorantes et residentes infra dictum comitatum Norff’ milites essendi ad idem parliamentum pro eodem comitatu et ipsis ad habendum plenam sufficientem potestatem pro ipsis et pro eodem comitatu ad faciendum et consenciendum hijs que ad parliamentum predictum forent ordinata secundum formam statutorum et brevis predictorum. Et quod postea dictus dominus Rex nunc per aliud breve suum, cuius datum est terciodecimo die Junij anno regni sui primo, directum vicecomiti dictorum comitatuum Norff’ et Suff’, [recites the parliamentary writ of 13 June 1461, printed above]

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Quod quidem breve deliberatum fuit decimo octavo die Junij dicto anno primo prefato defendenti, adtunc vicecomiti dicti comitatus Norff’, per manus Willelmi Prys. Nichilominus idem defendens, qui fuit vicecomes dicti comitatus Norff’, dicto vicesimo tercio [die] Maij et continue post predictum vicesimum tercium diem Maij usque quartum diem Novembris et eodem die minime ponderans precepta predicta in brevibus predictis contenta, nec statuta et penas in casu predicto inde provisas, nec eciam eleccionem proborum hominum predictorum, non retornavit super brevibus predictis ei directis, nec aliquo eorum, ad dictum quartum diem Novembris dicto domino Regi in cancellaria dictum querentem fore unum militum electorum pro eodem comitatu Norff’ essendi ad dictum parliamentum pro eodem comitatu iuxta eleccionem predictam, prout ipse secundum formam et effectum statutorum et brevium predictorum facere debuisset, per quod accio accrevit prefato querenti ad exigendum et habendum dictas centum libras de prefato defendente, quas quidem centum libras, aut aliquam parcellam inde, idem defendens prefato querenti nondum solvit, licet ipse ad hoc faciendum per predictum querentem sepius fuerat requisitus, set illas solvere contradixit et adhuc contradicit. Et unde predictus querens deterioratur et dampnum habet ad valenciam viginti librarum. Et hoc offert etc. Et predictus Johannes Howard, vicecomes, per predictum attornatum suum, presens etc., petit auditum bille predicte, et ei legitur etc. Qua audita, dicit quod ipse ad presens non est avisatus ad respondendum prefato Johanni Paston in premissis, et petit diem inde loquendi usque octabas Sancti Hillarij, citra quem etc., quod per curiam concessum est ei. Et idem dies datus est prefato Johanni Paston hic etc. Ad quem diem partes predicte veniunt hic per predictos attornatos suos. Et predictus Johannes Paston petit quod predictus Johannes Howard ei respondeat in premissis. Et super hoc idem Johannes Howard dicit quod ipse nondum est avisatus ad respondendum prefato Johanni Paston in premissis, et petit ulterius diem inde loquendi usque a die Pasche in xv dies, citra quem etc. quod per curiam concessum est ei. Et idem dies datus est prefato Johanni Paston hic etc. Ad quem diem partes predicte veniunt hic per predictos attornatos suos. Et predictus Johannes Paston petit quod predictus Johannes Howard ei respondeat in premissis. Et super hoc idem Johannes Howard dicit quod ipse nondum est avisatus ad respondendum prefato Johanni Paston in premissis et petit ulterius diem inde loquendi usque octabas Sancte Trinitatis, citra quem etc., quod per curiam concessum est ei. Et idem dies datus est prefato Johanni Paston hic etc. Ad quem diem partes predicte veniunt hic per predictos attornatos suos. Et predictus Johannes Paston petit quod predictus Johannes Howard ei respondeat in premissis. Et super hoc idem Johannes Howard dicit quod ipse nondum est avisatus ad respondendum prefato Johanni Paston in premissis et petit ulterius diem inde loquendi usque octabas Sancti Michaelis, citra quem etc., quod per curiam concessum est ei. Et idem dies datus est prefato Johanni Paston hic etc. Ad quem diem partes predicte veniunt hic per predictos attornatos suos. Et predictus Johannes Paston petit quod predictus Johannes Howard ei respondeat in premissis. Et super hoc idem Johannes Howard dicit quod ipse nondum est avisatus ad respondendum prefato Johanni Paston in premissis et petit ulterius diem inde loquendi usque octabas Sancti Hillarij, citra quem etc., quod per curiam concessum est ei. Et idem dies datus est prefato Johanni Paston hic etc.

CHANGING PERCEPTIONS OF THE SOLDIER IN LATE MEDIEVAL ENGLAND∗ David Grummitt In the summer of 1514 a curious case came before the mayor’s court in Norwich. It concerned a Lancashire priest, Adelston Attylsey, who had come to Norwich to serve in the household of Sir Philip Calthorpe. Attylsey had got his hands on ‘an Englysshe boke in print’, entitled Thordre and behauyoure of the right honourable Erle of Surrey tresour and Marshal of Englande ayenst the kynge of Scottes and the Inuasions howe the same kynge at the Batayle of Brakston was slayne by the sayd erle. This was an account of Surrey’s famous victory at Flodden printed by the king’s printer, Richard Pynson, which sought to magnify the Howards’ role in the battle. Attylsley, riled by the slanderous accusations levelled against the Cheshire contingents and his hero, Sir Edward Stanley (who, the work alleged, had fled the field), took up his pen and ink, scratched out the word ‘honourable’ and changed the title to read ‘the horrorable Erle of Surrey’. His defacement of the book was soon discovered, however, and he fell into a heated argument with Sir Philip’s other household servants, who were ‘of the company of Norf’ and Suff’, over who had fought bravely and who had fled. The ensuing disturbance resulted in Attylsey having to explain himself to the mayor of Norwich and his fellow justices of the peace.1 As well as providing a fascinating insight into early sixteenth-century tavern life, this case is important because of what it reveals about the way in which war and the military service of local communities were perceived in early Tudor England. The Norwich men evidently felt pride in their fellow citizens’ participation in the battle of Flodden and the connection they had to the Howard family. Equally, the Lancashire priest was willing to risk life and limb to champion the role played by Stanley and the men of the north-west in the defeat of the Scots. In the early sixteenth century achievement in war, and particularly war in the service of the prince, was a source of pride to local communities.2 Those who went ∗ 1

2

I am grateful to Hannes Kleineke for his helpful comments and references to misbehaving fifteenthcentury soldiers. Norfolk RO, Norwich Mayors’ Court Book 1510–32, unfoliated. No copies of the printed version of Thordre and behauyoure survive, but a manuscript copy can be found at BL, Add. MS 29506. See also V.J. Scattergood, ‘A Defining Moment: the Battle of Flodden and English Poetry’, in Vernacular Literature and Current Affairs in the Early Sixteenth Century: France, England and Scotland, ed. Jennifer and Richard Britnell (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 2000), 62–79. Steven Gunn, David Grummitt and Hans Cools, War, State and Society in England and the Netherlands, 1477–1559 (Oxford, 2008), 208–9, 269.

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to war, whether nobles or commoners, were revered and celebrated and the obligation to serve was recognised and accepted. But, I want to suggest in this essay, this defining feature of the early Tudor polity had not been a commonplace throughout the fifteenth century. For much of the first half of the century the soldier was vilified and the profession of arms synonymous with crime, violence and even treason. The predominantly negative connotations that surrounded war and military service were only slowly transformed in the years after 1450 and it was not really until the early sixteenth century that war emerged once again as a cohesive force within the English polity. In the middle of the fourteenth century, at the height of Edward III’s victories, English perceptions of the soldier and of war more generally were overwhelmingly positive. These ideas drew upon long-established traditions in both English and European thought. In the middle of the twelfth century John of Salisbury had written that being a soldier brought out the best in a man: hard work, loyalty and piety were the qualities associated with those under arms.3 Salisbury’s views were still widely shared in the first half of the fourteenth century. The campaigns of Edward I and Edward III, with their large armies comprised of well-to-do commoners and an increasingly militarised aristocracy, reinforced the ideal of the virtuous soldier acting to defend the interests of the whole community of the realm. This common obligation had, of course, been enshrined in the 1285 Statute of Winchester, and was perpetuated through the institution of the commission of array. The language used to describe early fourteenth-century armies also underlined the socially inclusive nature of military service. A variety of terms describing a specific social status and tactical role within the host (such as hobilar, denoting a mounted soldier of non-aristocratic, but nevertheless respectable, status), pointed to armies whose composition reflected the breadth of lay society and in which service was deemed to serve a public interest and common good. This inclusivity and the sense in which fourteenth-century armies represented the political nation was at no time better illustrated than in April 1360, when an army led by Edward III himself and including the prince of Wales, the duke of Lancaster, the earls of Northampton and Warwick and nearly 10,000 of the king’s subjects assembled before the walls of Paris.4 Towards the end of the fourteenth century, however, this positive image of the soldier began to change. As Nigel Saul has observed, criticism of war in the early part of the century had tended to concentrate on the burdens created by war – taxation, purveyance and the oppression of officials. By the 1380s criticism had moved beyond these to attack the conduct of war itself and the motivation of those involved in it.5 In his Vox Clamantis, written between 1378 and 1382, John Gower 3 4

5

John of Salisbury, Policraticus, ed. C.J. Nederman (Cambridge, 1990), 104–24. Andrew Ayton, Knights and Warhorses: Military Service and the English Aristocracy under Edward III (Woodbridge, 1994); idem, ‘English Armies in the Fourteenth Century’, in Arms, Armies and Fortifications in the Hundred Years War, ed. Anne Curry and Michael Hughes (Woodbridge, 1994), 21–38; Michael Prestwich, Armies and Warfare in the Middle Ages: The English Experience (New Haven, 1999); David Simpkin, The English Aristocracy at War from the Welsh Wars of Edward I to the Battle of Bannockburn (Woodbridge, 2008). Nigel Saul, ‘A Farewell to Arms? Criticism of Warfare in Late Fourteenth-Century England’, Fourteenth Century England II, ed. Chris Given-Wilson (Woodbridge, 2002), 131–45.

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had attacked the motivation of knights serving in France. Part of a social group constituted for the defence of the two other orders (those who pray and those who toil), knights, Gower wrote, were now more interested in lining their own pockets. The public good had been replaced by private greed as the principal motivation for military service. By the time he penned Confessio Amantis (c.1390–3) Gower had moved to a more general condemnation of war, in which the common soldier was just as culpable as the knight in prolonging the war purely for his own ends: And in this point for evidence Of hem that suche werres make Thou miht a gret ensample take, How thei her tirannie excusen Of that thei wrongfull werres usen, And how thei stonde of on accord, The souldeour forth with the lord, The povere man forth with the riche As of corage thei ben liche, To make werres and to pile For lucre and for no other skyle (ll. 2350–60). Similarly, in one of his later poems, In Praise of Peace, Gower stated ‘The were is modir of the wronges alle’ (l.106) and exalted peace as ‘beste above alle erthely thinges’ (l.63).6 Gower was not alone among English writers in his sweeping criticism of war and those who participated in it. Geoffrey Chaucer made derisive comments on soldiers in a number of his poems, while Henry Knighton in his chronicle described the robbery of Leicestershire peasants by Cheshire archers in 1386. In Adam of Usk’s chronicle, too, Cheshire soldiers were synonymous with violent disorders, despoiling churches in 1399. Even amidst the victories of Henry V’s reign, the unease surrounding soldiers and their behaviour resurfaced. This was a concern for John Lydgate, expressed in his Siege of Thebes, where he worried about the consequences of knightly prowess, flushed with victory in war, and how might could triumph over right. John Page’s poetic account of the siege of Rouen in 1418–19 also stressed the cruelty of the English soldiers and the terrible destruction of the town amidst its celebration of the king’s conquests and his knights’ prowess.7 Nigel Saul has suggested that many of these sentiments grew out of English reversals in the Hundred Years War in the last quarter of the fourteenth century, but they were also part of a wider anti-war literature which flourished in England and France at this time. The horrors of war were a commonplace among French 6

7

The Major Latin Works of John Gower, ed. E.W. Stockton (Seattle, 1962), 207–8; The Complete Works of John Gower, ed. G.C. Macaulay (4 vols., Oxford, 1899–1902), ii. 289–90; iii. 483–4. Knighton’s Chronicle 1337–1396, ed. G.H. Martin (Oxford, 1995), 402–3; The Chronicle of Adam Usk 1377–1421, ed. Chris Given-Wilson (Oxford, 1997), 52–7; ‘John Page’s Poem on the Siege of Rouen’, in The Historical Collections of a Citizen of London in the Fifteenth Century, ed. James Gairdner (Camden Society, new series, xvii, 1876), 1–46; R.W. Kaeuper and Montgomery Bohna, ‘War and Chivalry’, in A Companion to Medieval English Literature and Culture, c.1350–1500, ed. Peter Brown (Oxford, 2007), 282–4.

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writers of the fourteenth century. Eustace Deschamps, writing in the 1370s, observed, ‘The worst occupation is war. It destroys everything. War is nothing but damnation’, and advised Charles VI to eschew war with the English. Equally, to other French writers of the late fourteenth century the soldier was a tyrant, sent by God to prey on the common people as a punishment.8 This perception of soldiers was also due to changes in the practice of war in the later fourteenth century. The proportion of knights in English armies in the third quarter of the century declined and there is certainly a sense in which the English aristocracy’s involvement in the campaigns of 1369, the 1370s and 1380s was less representative of English society as a whole. Retinues were ideally comprised of equal numbers of mounted men-atarms and mounted archers suited to the new style of warfare of the chevauchee or raid. These raids, designed to damage the social and economic fabric of French society, rather than engage the forces of the Valois kings in decisive battle, increasingly distanced the soldier from the civilian.9 The fourteenth-century French canonist Honoré Bouvet wrote caustically that ‘the man who does not know how to set places on fire, to rob churches and … imprison the priests, is not fit to carry on war’. 10 Thus by 1400 an increasingly negative view had grown up in England of those who followed the profession of arms. Avarice, violence and cruelty were words synonymous with soldiers and there is evidence that by the reign of Henry VI these sentiments had come to be held as commonplaces. In the wake of the 1413 Statute of Additions, ‘soldier’ became an increasingly common way of describing the occupation or ‘mesteer’ of those accused of theft or violence. Indeed, while the successes of Henry V’s reign may have temporarily lifted the reputation of the profession of arms in England among some, it is perhaps noteworthy that the king appears to have considered service in France a good occupation for those with a record of violence back home.11 During Henry VI’s reign the records of the court of King’s Bench contain numerous soldiers indicted for assault, robbery and murder. A good example comes from 1439 when John Bendebowe of North Wales, soldier, and John Howell of Tenby, soldier, with ‘divers other unknown fures et latrones’, were accused of a cattle- and horse-stealing spree in Middlesex which lasted several days. In the same year the churchwardens of Westerham in Kent accused Robert Welles, a Lincolnshire cook turned ‘sowdeour’, of ambushing them and stealing a missal and other church goods. The jury found Welles guilty of the robbery and he was hanged.12 Perhaps more importantly, however, the ‘soldier’ emerged as an anonymous Lancastrian bogeyman. In 1429 the commons of Kent and Sussex complained in Parliament of the predations of soldiers mustered for service in France as they passed through the counties, while in 1443 soldiers 8

9

10 11

12

C.T. Allmand, ‘Changing Views of the Soldier in Late Medieval France’, in Guerre et Société en France, en Angleterre et en Bourgogne XIV–XV siècle, ed. Philippe Contamine, Maurice Keen and Charles Giry-Deloison (Lille, 1991), 172–3; H.J. Hewitt, The Organisation of War under Edward III (Manchester, 1966), 95, 134–5. C.J. Rogers, War Cruel and Sharp: English Strategy under Edward III, 1327–1360 (Woodbridge, 2000), 385–422. Honoré Bonet, The Tree of Battles, trs. G.W. Coopland (Liverpool, 1949), 189. Edward Powell, ‘The Restoration of Law and Order’, in Henry V: the Practice of Kingship, ed. G.L. Harriss (Oxford, 1985), 71–2. TNA, KB27/715, rots. 10, 25d, rex rot. 15d.

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awaiting embarkation had caused chaos in Portsmouth, attracting the attention of both contemporary chroniclers and MPs. Moreover, the records of several towns – such as Exeter, Sandwich and Canterbury – reveal an anxiety about soldiers and the violent disorder that was associated with them.13 Following Henry V’s conquest of Normandy, the nature of the English military organisation in France had again changed. The royal campaigns of 1415 and 1417 had both mustered armies in excess of 10,000 men; thereafter, until the fall of Lancastrian Normandy in 1450 the largest expeditionary force was the 4,500 mustered by John Beaufort, duke of Somerset, in 1443. The largest English military commitment during the later Hundred Years Wars was in fact in the Norman garrisons, which numbered between 3,000 and 5,000 between 1422 and 1448. The garrisons were mainly comprised of archers, or men receiving 6d. a day, and there were regularly commanded by ‘professional soldiers’ (men like Matthew Gough), rather than knights and esquires who were part of the English land-owning classes. Moreover, the ordinary soldiers of the garrison led a precarious life, frequently cashiered when wage payments failed and forced to live off the Norman countryside, or, after the truce of Tours in 1444, ordered to return to England. These changes in the nature of warfare itself, like those of the third quarter of the fourteenth century, contributed to the increasingly negative perception of the soldier in England. Those who followed the profession of arms were both physically and emotionally distinct from civilian society.14 These anxieties reached a climax in 1450, beginning with the unrest that followed in the wake of English defeats in Normandy. The connection between returning soldiers and domestic disorder was, of course, not new. As Mark Ormrod has pointed out, the 1330s had seen ‘a widespread belief that soldiers returning from the wars were responsible for increasing levels of crime and violence’ and this sentiment had resurfaced periodically throughout the century, but 1449–50 saw this reach new levels in the public imagination.15 In January 1450 soldiers, awaiting payment of their wages, were implicated in the murder of Adam Moleyns, the unpopular bishop of Chichester and keeper of the privy seal, alongside that other occupational group notorious for unruly behaviour in mid fifteenth-century England, shipmen. In August of the same year disbanded soldiers threatened the peace of the London and royal court. The mayor and aldermen assembled 300 of their own men against the ‘sowdeours’ and the author of ‘Bale’s Chronicle’ noted ‘ffor the world was so strange that tyme that noo man might well ride ... wtout a strength of ffelauship but þt he wer robbed’. Eventually Lord Scales was commissioned to disband them and given 100 marks to distribute among them. In the same year the council of Exeter sent a quart of red wine to ‘divers soldiers’, presumably a bribe to induce them to leave. In 1452 in Sandwich two former 13 14

15

PROME, x. 409–10; Six Town Chronicles of England, ed. Ralph Flenley (Oxford, 1911), 116. Anne Curry, ‘English Armies in the Fifteenth Century’, in Arms, Armies and Fortifications, ed. Curry and Hughes, 39–68; Simon Payling, ‘War and Peace: Military and Administrative Service amongst the English Gentry in the Reign of Henry VI’, in Soldiers, Nobles and Gentlemen: Essays in Honour of Maurice Keen, ed. Peter Coss and Christopher Tyerman (Woodbridge, 2009), 240–60, at n. 14. W.M. Ormrod, ‘The Domestic Response to the Hundred Years War’, in Arms, Armies and Fortifications, ed. Curry and Hughes, 83–101; idem, The Reign of Edward III: Crown and Political Society in England 1327–1377 (New Haven, 1990), 55.

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soldiers murdered a pregnant woman, ‘great bellyed [and] near her time’. This incident, which resulted in their hanging, was considered notorious enough to be included in the town’s annals.16 Such fears persisted throughout the decade and manifested themselves in proclamations and prohibitions against soldiers as an anonymous group. The oath taken by the sheriff of Kent in 1460 is explicit in this regard, containing the promise that ‘Ye shal do your peyne and diligence in eschuyng and restraynt of the manslauters, robberies &c as ben done daily, nameli by such as name themselves soldeours …’17 Fear of soldiers by civilian society was also evident in the reaction to Margaret of Anjou’s Lancastrian army of 1461. This was not merely a clash of north and south; the townsmen of Beverley in Yorkshire secured a copy of John, Lord Neville’s proclamation against plunder to protect themselves.18 Abbot Whethamstede records how the Lancastrian army plundered the town of St. Albans and it was only the protection of the martyr himself that saved the monastery. As Andy King has convincingly argued, the northerners’ behaviour may have been related to the practice of warfare in which they had been trained. In the early fifteenth century warfare on the Anglo-Scottish marches had descended into a series of cross-border raids, burning property and stealing cattle. It was precisely this behaviour – a chevauchée on English soil – that had so outraged Abbot Whethamstede during the first battle of St. Albans in 1455, when, in the aftermath of the Yorkist victory, the northern retainers of the earl of Salisbury, led by the Northumberland knight Sir Robert Ogle, had plundered the town. The northerners, he complained, ‘could no more stay their hand within the realm among their neighbours than outside it among their enemies’.19 More significantly, however, the 1450s saw the association of soldiers with treason and the belief that, through their greed and ‘covetese’, they threatened the destruction of the common weal. The forms that this took were many and complex, but the charges were made at all levels of the military hierarchy. A Chancery petition submitted in the 1450s by soldiers who had served in the garrison at Caen recognised the crimes committed by their number but laid the blame on unscrupulous captains who had withheld their pay: Þey wer fayn to aventur theym vpon þe kinges Enemyes þat some wer taken prysoner some mourdered & slayn some sworn frensshe for defaute of payment And þoo þat hadde no horse ne harneys robbed & pilled þe kinges

16

17

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Six Town Chronicles, ed. Flenley, 127–8, 134–5; An English Chronicle of the Reigns of Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V and Henry VI, ed. J.S. Davies (Camden Society, old series, lxiv, 1856), 64; Anne Curry, ‘The Loss of Lancastrian Normandy: an Administrative Nightmare’, in The English Experience in France, c. 1450–1558, ed. David Grummitt (Aldershot, 2002), 44–45; Devon RO, Exeter receiver’s acct. 29–30 Hen. VI, m. 4d; Kent RO, SA/LC/9. Literae Cantuarienses: The Letter Books of the Monastery of Christ Church, Canterbury, ed. J.B. Sheppard (3 vols., Rolls Series, lxxxv, 1887–9), iii. 237. Anthony Goodman, The Wars of the Roses (2nd edn., 2005), 60–1. ‘nescientes magis infra regnum inter proximos quam ad extra apud hostes continere manus suas’, Registrum Abbatiae Johannis Whethamstede, ed. H.T. Riley (2 vols., Rolls Series, xxviii, 1872–3), i. 171, 394; Andy King, ‘The Anglo-Scottish Marches and the Perception of “the North” in Late Medieval England’, (forthcoming).

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true subgettes which hath ben oone of þe [...] losyng & losse of þe said duchie & conquest.20 This same charge had been made at the time of Suffolk’s impeachment and was one that implicated the entire profession of arms in the defeat. It was a charge, if we are to believe John Payn’s letter written in 1465 to John Paston, that found resonance among Jack Cade’s followers in 1450. Payn was taken by Cade’s followers on Blackheath and brought before the rebels’ leader. His master, Sir John Fastolf, was accused of being a traitor responsible for diminishing the garrisons in Normandy and Maine, ‘the whech was the cause of the lesyng of all the Kyngs tytyll and right . . . that he had by yonde see’. Fastolf was accused, moreover, of assembling the returning soldiers with a view to leading them against the commons of Kent.21 While Cade and his men branded soldiers as traitors and enemies of the commonweal, the writers of the London chroniclers, faced with this unruly host camped on Blackheath, naturally likened the rebels themselves to soldiers. The author of ‘Gregory’s Chronicle’ highlighted the rebels’ military knowledge and how they had turned their camp into ‘a londe of warre’, although unlike ‘real’ soldiers ‘they kepte ordyr among them’.22 The potential falseness and untrustworthiness of those who followed the profession of arms is also evident in the chroniclers’ discussion of Andrew Trollope, the veteran of Normandy and the Calais garrison who deserted the Yorkist lords at Ludford bridge in October 1459 and betrayed their secrets. Trollope was exemplary of the kind of men who prospered in Lancastrian Normandy. He came from a minor gentry family in county Durham but excelled as a soldier, serving under the Beauforts and Sir Richard Wydeville, and received land grants in Normandy. The Burgundian chronicler, Jean de Waurin, described him as ‘ung tres subtil homme de guerre’. When Richard, duke of York, heard of Trollope’s defection to the king (and remember he would have sworn an oath to York’s ally, Richard Neville, earl of Warwick, as captain of the Calais garrison) it ‘made the duke full sore a-frayde when he wyste that sum of olde soudyers went from hym unto the Kynge’. In other contemporary accounts Trollope is transformed from a hero and erstwhile defender of the Lancastrian conquests in France to the archetypal soldier-villain, a ‘great captain, as if a leader in war’, who with Scots, Welsh and other aliens sacked several towns along the Great North Road in 1461.23 Significantly, while the public perception of soldiers in late Lancastrian England was a generally negative one, in France during the early fifteenth century ideas about the soldier and the nature of military service were undergoing important 20 21

22 23

TNA, C1/19/348. Paston Letters and Papers of the Fifteenth Century, ed. Norman Davis (2 vols., Oxford, 1971–6), ii. 314. Historical Collections, ed. Gairdner, 190. Letters and Papers Illustrative of the Wars of the English in France during the Reign of Henry the Sixth, King of England, ed. J. Stevenson (2 vols in 3, Rolls Series, xxii, 1861–4), ii. 264, 330; Jean de Waurin, Recueil des croniques et anchiennes istories de la Grant Bretaigne, a present nomme Engleterre, par Jehan de Waurin, seigneur du Forestel, ed. E.L.C.P. Hardy (5 vols., Rolls Series, xxxix, 1864–91), v. 325; Historical Collections, ed. Gairdner, 214; Chronicles of London, ed. C.L. Kingsford (Oxford, 1905), 169, 175; Three Fifteenth-Century Chronicles, ed. James Gairdner (Camden Society, new series, xxviii, 1880), 154–5, 161.

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changes. As we have seen, in fourteenth-century France soldiers were typically portrayed as threats to both the kingdom and royal authority. They preyed on the civilian population and their behaviour was tyrannical. However, as Christopher Allmand has shown, from the 1430s both the royal government and a number of French writers refashioned the image of the soldier. The royal ordinances of 1439 placed those under arms under the crown’s control; their preamble recognised that under the proper control of captains appointed by the king soldiers should be servants of the commonweal and guardians of civilian society. This led, of course, in 1445 to the creation of the compagnies d’ordonnance, the first standing military forces under royal command. Drawing on both biblical authority, such as Augustine and Gregory, and theorists from Imperial Rome, notably Vegetius, several authors also helped redefine the public perception of the soldier and his role in the polity. Alain Chartier (c.1392–1430), Jean Juvénal des Ursins (1388– 1473) and Jean de Bueil (1406–1477) were among the most prominent of those that expressed this new found optimism in the role that soldiers could play in latemedieval French society.24 Interestingly, as Craig Taylor has observed, there is little evidence that contemporary French writings on war, chivalry and military service circulated widely in England before the 1450s. While other French texts were freely copied and translated into English manuscripts, the same is not true of the works of Honoré Bouvet, Christine de Pisan, Chartier and other writers on warfare. Indeed, John Talbot’s manuscript containing Bovet’s Arbre de batailles and Pisan’s Le livre des fais d’armes et de chevalerie presented to Margaret of Anjou in 1445 was very much the exception among late Lancastrian libraries.25 The level of interest in England in military and chivalric texts was, however, transformed in the years after 1450. As Cath Nall has argued, the third quarter of the fifteenth century saw the translation into English of Chartier’s Quadralogue Invectif, Pisan’s Livre du corps de policie, as well as a proliferation of other military and chivalric texts. This took place within the context of a private and public debate over the causes and nature of England’s defeat in the Hundred Years War and the relationship between external war and internal disorder.26 It also coincided with important changes in the nature of military service in England. These were in part driven by technological and tactical innovations, as Yorkist armies in the 1470s and 80s began to resemble those assembled by the duke of Burgundy or the king of France, with handgunners and pikemen taking their place besides the more traditional English longbows and bills. The proportion of archers (that is, those soldiers paid at 6d. a day) to men-at-arms increased to 8:1 in the army of 12,000 that Edward IV led to France in 1475. This was not, as J.R. Lander assumed, evidence of the lack of support for the campaign among the political elite,27 but rather a reflection of changing patterns of warfare. The new battlefield tactics of the later fifteenth century, and growing importance of firearms and pikes, demanded more infantry and the ratio in Edward’s army in 1475 mirrored that in the contemporary ordonnance companies of Charles the Bold. At the same time as 24 25

26

27

Allmand, ‘Changing Views’, 177–84. Craig Taylor, ‘English Writings on Chivalry and Warfare during the Hundred Years War’, in Soldiers, Nobles and Gentlemen, ed. Coss and Tyerman, 64–84. C.R. Nall, ‘The Production and Reception of Military Texts in the Aftermath of the Hundred Years War’ (York Univ. D.Phil. thesis, 2004). J.R. Lander, Government and Community: England 1450–1509 (Cambridge, Mass., 1980), 289.

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changes in the art of war were altering the composition of English armies, the kingdom’s military resources were also gradually shifting from the private power of the great nobles and their ability to raise men independently of the crown to the public authority of the king, raising men through the crown lands, royal officers and licensed retinues. One example of this is the way in which the commander of the Calais garrison changed his title during the course of the 1470s and 80s from the captain to the king’s lieutenant, and to the king’s deputy. Redeployed under firm royal command and reinstated as guardians of the commonweal engaged in ‘werre outwarde’, the conditions were present for a change in the perception of the soldier in late-medieval England.28 This perception did alter overnight, however. There is still plenty of evidence in Yorkist England of negative perceptions of soldiers and military service. In the parliament of 1463 Elizabeth, the widow of the recently murdered lawyer, William Bastard, presented a petition calling for justice for her late husband. Bastard’s archenemy, Thomas Thornbury (whose own father had allegedly been disinherited by Bastard’s machinations), had assembled ‘a wicked company’ and ‘cursed fellowship’ led by two Londoners described as ‘soldiers’ and had brutally murdered William.29 In the early 1480s, as men were assembled for Richard, duke of Gloucester’s campaigns in Scotland, soldiers were still greeted by ambivalence in some local communities. In December 1482 one resident of York was reported to the mayor and aldermen for claiming ‘that the sochers of this citie was ill worthie to have thar waghys, for that dyd nothyng for it bot made whypys of thar bow strynges to dryve cariage with’.30 Nevertheless, it is clear from other evidence that soldiers and their achievements were becoming increasingly celebrated and the negative connotations that had attended the word for much of the fifteenth century were being replaced with notions of honourable service to the prince and self-sacrifice for the common good. The Paston correspondence around the 1475 French campaign demonstrates this rehabilitation of the soldier in late-medieval English society. When Margaret wrote to her son Sir John in May of that year she hoped that he and his brother would ‘thynk best for here sauegarde, for som off them be but yonge sawgeres and wote full lytyll what yt meneth to be as a saugere, nor for to endure to do as a sowgere shuld do’. John was, of course, himself an enthusiastic soldier, eager to perform some feat of arms and whose disappointment in the 1475 campaign was tangible, but he was also part of a military community whose communal identity cut across social divisions. William, Lord Hastings, appealed to a such sense of identity when, in a letter written to Sir John Paston and Sir John Middleton in September 1473, he asked to be remembered to ‘my felawes the souldeours’. In 1482 Hastings ordered the guns to be fired in celebration of Gloucester’s capture of Berwick, resurrecting the tradition of celebrating military victories and achievements that would become a feature of Tudor England.31 28

29 30 31

David Grummitt, The Calais Garrison: War and Military Service in England 1436–1558 (Woodbridge, 2009), 48, 62–68; idem, ‘The Court, War and Noble Power in England, c.1475–1558’, in The Court as a Stage, ed. Steven Gunn and Antheun Janse (Woodbridge, 2006), 145–7. TNA, SC8/92/4571. The York House Books 1461–1490, ed. L.C. Attreed (2 vols., Stroud, 1991), i. 273. Paston Letters, ed. Davis, i. 376; ii. 410; M.K. Jones, ‘1477 – the Expedition that Never Was: Chivalric Expectation in Late-Yorkist England’, The Ricardian, xii (2000–02), 275–92; Steven

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The early Tudors built up these Yorkist precedents to further enhance the prestige of the profession of arms and military service in general. Clearly the ‘propaganda’ attendant upon Henry VIII’s 1513 French campaign and the parallels drawn with the great martial achievements of Edward III and, particularly, Henry V were important but the rehabilitation of the soldier in English society entailed more fundamental changes in English political culture. Again, developments in the organisation of military resources were important. The reissuing of the Statute of Winchester in 1511 reminded Englishmen of their common obligations to defend the commonweal. The importance of the increasing size of early Tudor armies should not be underestimated. The army with which Henry V had conquered Normandy was just over 10,000 strong; that which Edward IV led in 1475 probably numbered about 12,000; in 1492 Henry VII invaded with as many as 14,000. But by 1513 Henry VIII’s army was over 30,000 strong and in 1544 it contained over 44,000 with 37,000 Englishmen among its ranks. This growth in the size of early Tudor armies was made possible by a move away from the indenture system of raising armies developed during Edward III’s reign to one in which county levies, assembled by the mechanism of the commission of array, provided the bulk of the army. As Cliff Davies had pointed out, by the 1540s England was a militarised society with a larger proportion of its population under arms than either contemporary France or Spain. Simply put, early Tudor England became a nation of soldiers.32 Evidence of this rehabilitation of the soldier can be found in a variety of places. Soldiers became a source of pride for towns, rather than something to be despised and feared. Town governors spent lavishly on their equipment and uniforms, raising taxes from their own inhabitants to meet the cost. In Canterbury in 1514 the soldiers wore coats that combined the traditional red cross on a white background with the city’s arms, while urban contingents throughout England marched off to serve the king fortified with ale and food brought in anticipation and celebration of their achievements in the king’s wars.33 Town authorities also came down hard on those individuals who shirked their responsibilities. In Norwich in 1497 several of the soldiers chosen to go with the earl of Oxford to Scotland ‘did feyne such vnresonable excuses’ and refused to serve. The reluctant soldiers were committed to ward until they saw the error of their ways.34 In early Tudor England then soldiers – or at least English soldiers – were not distinct from, but very much part of, civilian society. There is evidence from early Tudor subsidy rolls that those who participated in Henry VIII’s campaigns in France and Scotland in the 1540s were drawn from all levels of local society, not just the poor, landless or younger

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Gunn, ‘War, Dynasty and Public Opinion in Early Tudor England’, in Authority and Consent in Tudor England: Essays Presented to C.S.L. Davies, ed. G.W. Bernard and S.J. Gunn (Aldershot, 2002), 135. C.S.L. Davies, ‘The English People and War in the Early Sixteenth Century’, in Britain and the Netherlands VI, ed. A.C. Duke and C.A. Tamse (The Hague, 1977), 1–18; idem, ‘Henry VIII and Henry V: the Wars in France’, in The End of the Middle Ages, ed. J.L. Watts (Stroud, 1998), 235– 62; Gunn, Grummitt and Cools, War, State and Society, 240–1; Grummitt, ‘Court, War and Noble Power’, 148–55. Canterbury Cathedral Archives, FA 10, f. 89, FA 11, f. 178v; Records of the Borough of Nottingham, ed. W.H. Stevenson (3 vols., Nottingham, 1885), i. 385; Norfolk RO, Norwich chamberlains’ accts. iii. ff. 130–4. Norfolk RO, Proceedings of the Municipal Assembly, 1491–1553, f. 44.

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sons. The English soldier also largely disappears from criminal records as a perpetrator of crimes against civilians in the early sixteenth century. In Southampton, for example, there is no evidence that the passage of soldiers resulted in an upsurge of violent crime. When soldiers did cause trouble in early Tudor England they seem, more often than not, to have been foreign mercenaries, such as the ‘Germans’ who desecrated Kentish churches in the 1540s or the ‘Burgundians’ sent against Kett’s rebels in 1549.35 Indeed, during the reign of Henry VIII the soldier emerged as the exemplary Englishman, while early Tudor propagandists stressed that all early Tudor Englishmen were, in effect, soldiers. On the eve of the battle of Flodden the earl of Surrey encouraged the men with him to fight ‘like Englishmen’, while Richard Morison’s An Exhortation to styrre all Englyshe men to the defence of theyr countreye (1539) remembered the exploits of previous generations at Crécy and Agincourt and the ‘feates, that Englyshe men haue done in battayles’. Morison took his argument further, stressing the mutual obligations that bound the prince and subjects in war. War, then, was the ultimate expression of the Tudor commonweal in action: It is a princis part, to se that his subiectes, haue capitaynes, vnder whom they may shewe, what hartes they beare to theyr countrey, what loue they owe to theyr soueraygne … And as kynges are bound to omyt nothynge, that they iudge woll serue for the defence of their people, soo is it the bounden duetie of all subiectes, of what degree so euer they be, to serue theyr contreye in suche sorte, as theyr prynce and heed shall appoynt them.. spending bodyes, goodes, and lyues to, for theyr countreys sake.36 Other early Tudor writers joined in this praise of war in the service of the prince. While much has been made of Humanistic critiques of war in the early sixteenth century, the fact remains that English writers set their arguments in the context of the virtues of service to the prince. Thomas Becon in The New Pollecy of Warre (1542) identified war as a punishment sent by God to chastise those who had not embraced His Word. Becon, however, set his argument within a framework of patriotic loyalty and obedience to the king. He exhorted his readers to assist in the ‘public affairs of their country’ by unquestioning obedience to the prince, even where necessary fighting his wars.37 Churchmen in the 1530s and 1540s also used patriotism to justify war and develop a new theory of just war based upon service and obedience to the prince. In 1552, for instance, Hugh Latimer preached on the subject of war in the king’s service: 35

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Gunn, Grummitt and Cools, War, State and Society, 53–4, 276–80, 302, 308. This is in marked contrast to the Low Countries and, significantly, France, where concerns over the disruptive influence of soldiers on civilian society grew during the early sixteenth century, especially during the 1520s and 1540s: David Potter, Renaissance France at War: Armies, Culture and Society, c.1480–1560 (Woodbridge, 2008), 248–54. Richard Morison, An Exhortation on to styrre all Englyshe men to the defence of theyr countreye (1539), A3; Gunn, Grummitt and Cools, War, State and Society, 317. The Early Works of Thomas Becon, ed. John Ayre (Cambridge, 1843), 233–7. For Humanist critiques of war see Ben Lowe, ‘War and Commonwealth in Mid-Tudor England’, Sixteenth Century Journal, xxi (1990), 171–91.

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… when thou art commanded by the king or his officers to go to war, to fight against the king’s enemies; go with a good heart and courage, not doubting but that God will preserve thee … Peradventure God hath appointed thee to die there, or be slain; happy art thou when thou diest in God’s quarrels. For to fight against the king’s enemies, being called unto it by the magistrates, it is God’s service … To go to war in presumptuousness, without an ordinary calling, such going to war I allow not: but when thou art called, go in the name of the Lord …38 Similarly, John Hooper defined the just war as one fought ‘against vice and to punish sin’. Subjects were to follow the magistrate’s direction ‘when he resisteth unjust force, whether it be of foreign enemies, or of his own rebellious subjects’. Significantly, in rejection of the medieval abhorrence of shedding Christian blood, Hooper argued ‘that God will favour the magistrate that fighteth against his own brother, if it be to amend vice and to kill sin; for in manner the whole tribe of Benjamin was destroyed for the defence of adultery’. Hooper condemned lazy and corrupt captains who pocketed their soldiers’ wages and who ‘have made war a means and way to all robbery and spoil’ but concluded that ‘True men were wont to go to battle, and such as prepared themselves with the fear of God to live and die for their magistrate and country.’39 Strangely enough, though, it is popular rebellion against the crown that best reveals how deeply militarised England had become by the middle decades of the sixteenth century. While Kentish constables had probably used the local mechanisms of the commission of array to gather together the rebels who marched under Jack Cade to Blackheath in 1450, by 1536 the leaders of the Pilgrimage of Grace could employ a system of warning beacons, bells and local musters to field an army of at least 30,000 men organized into a vanguard, middleward and rearward, mirroring the organisation of royal armies. Moreover, the Pilgrims were strengthened by hundreds of veterans of the Scottish wars and represented, as the duke of Norfolk told the king, ‘the flower of the north’. Remarkably, Richard Morison found virtue even in this display of disobedience to princely power. The Pilgrimage had been a wake-up call, mobilising a generation of Englishmen and preparing them for their martial duty in the service of Henry VIII: We many nowe see, if we be not blynder than betels, why god suffered suche a nomber to rise in the North, and after to do no hurte to this realme, but rather excedynge moche good. For besydes, that suche were wieded away, as myght haue done hurte, if our enemies had come betymes, how dyd that co~motion furnisshe almooste all Englande, with weapons, with harneys, and other thynges necessarye for warre? howe sone were both the Sotherne and Northern men in a redynesse, wantynge nothynge fytte, eyther for men that 38 39

The Sermons of Hugh Latimer, ed. G.E. Corrie (2 vols., Cambridge, 1844), i. 416–17. The Early Writings of John Hooper, ed. Samuel Car (Cambridge, 1843), 474–6. Even Thomas Becon, once he had escaped the stigma of heresy in Henry VIII’s reign, returned to advocating a more conventional and unquestioning obedience of the prince: The Catechism of Thomas Becon, ed. John Ayre (Cambridge, 1844), p. 107.

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intended hurte to other, eyther for theym that purposed theyr owne safetie? Howe many yonge Ientylmen, that than were ashamed they coulde ryde no better, ryde wel now? how many, that than lacked almoste all thynge mete for a warry our, be nowe furnyshed for all assayes? God vndoubted dydde moche for vs, that of so euyll a thyng, we receyued so many commodities. Harneys, bowes, bylles, gunnes, with the rest of the furnitures for soudiours, were prepared than. See the goodnes of god, that wold them all to be prepared than, and all to be preserued hole, sounde, vnhurte for a better season.40 It was the Pilgrimage of Grace, the largest rebellion against the Tudor monarchy, that paradoxically, Morison suggested, had transformed England into a military power of the first rate and would enable Henry VIII to send the largest English army ever mustered (some 37,000 Englishmen) to France in 1544, while simultaneously fighting a successful campaign on the Scottish borders. Even amidst the religious turmoil and economic and social chaos of the ‘MidTudor crisis’ local communities appear to have retained their overwhelmingly positive attitude towards soldiers. Cliff Davies has pointed out how, at a national level, the war of 1557–8 afforded disaffected individuals, such as William Herbert, earl of Pembroke, or Henry Manners, earl of Rutland, the opportunity for reconciliation with the Marian regime.41 Similarly, at a local level it provided an occasion to restate communal identity and civic harmony. The city of Canterbury’s preparations for the force mustered for the abortive relief of Calais in December 1557 reveals the inclusivity apparent in military preparations. By the 1550s taxes raised locally to pay for urban contingents were a commonplace in English towns and in Canterbury this was done to ensure the town’s men were well harnessed in newly-refurbished armour, equipped with new longbows and resplendent in the city’s livery. Similarly in Norwich, the town’s contingent was sent off to their muster at Ipswich with a lavish civic breakfast and to the accompaniment of the sound of a new drum, specially purchased for the occasion by the city’s chamberlains. Not even the loss of Calais the following month, it seems, could dampen local enthusiasm. Rather than being vilified, the defeated garrison was welcomed back into English civilian society. In Canterbury, for example, the citizens found 20s. for the ‘relief and comfort’ of one Bartholomew Morgan, ‘late a man at arms of Calys’.42 The century following the end of the Hundred Years War witnessed a major transformation of the perception of soldiers in England. From being a pejorative term, synonymous with notions of greed, crime and violence, soldiers had become, by the middle of the sixteenth century, the exemplars of the good Tudor subject. Risking their well-being in the service of the prince and the commonweal, soldiers were celebrated in writing by churchmen and propagandists, and by local 40

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Morison, Exhortation, B4; Montgomery Bhona, ‘Armed Force and Civic Legitimacy in Jack Cade’s Revolt, 1450’, English Historical Review, cxviii (2003), 563–82; R.W. Hoyle, The Pilgrimage of Grace and the Politics of the 1530s (Oxford, 2001), 292–3. C.S.L. Davies, ‘England and the French War, 1557–9’, in The Mid-Tudor Polity c.1540–1560, ed. Jennifer Loach and Robert Tittler (Basingstoke, 1980), 159–85. Canterbury Cathedral Archives, FA 16, ff. 23–33v; CC/AC/2, f. 127; Norfolk RO, Norwich chamberlains’ accts. 1551–67, ff. 107–8, 125–35v.

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communities who were willing to pay their expenses and dress them in their towns’ liveries. This stands in contrast to developments elsewhere in north-west Europe. In the Low Countries in the early sixteenth century soldiers were more likely to have been Spanish professionals or German mercenaries than native troops; thus the general attitude towards those who followed the profession of arms was a more negative one and the behaviour of soldiers a constant source of tensions between rulers and subjects. Equally, in France the relationship between soldiers and civilians was an ambiguous one, with many commentators seeing the ordinary French peasant as unwilling or unable to serve as a soldier in the king of France’s army, while decrying the employment of foreign mercenaries. In England, on the other hand, the early Tudors succeeded in elevating the status of soldiers. While changes in the art of war facilitated a process whereby more and more of the king’s subjects were given the opportunity to serve in his armies, a rhetorical campaign transformed the discursive context in which such service was carried out. In theory, if not quite in practice, the early Tudors returned soldiering to the golden age of Crécy and Poitiers, when the composition of English armies reflected the whole community of the realm and where those hosts of ‘true Englishmen’ carried all before them for the good of the king and commonweal.

THOMAS MORE, THE LONDON CHARTERHOUSE AND RICHARD III Caroline M. Barron The summer of 1535 saw the first high-profile martyrs executed for the Catholic cause in England. In March 1534 Parliament had passed the Act of Succession which recognised the validity of the king’s marriage (in January 1533) to Anne Boleyn, and this was followed in November that year by the Act of Supremacy which acknowledged the king as supreme head on earth of the Church of England. Subjects were required to take oaths accepting both acts, or to suffer the penalties for treason. Thomas More, seeing the way the wind was blowing, had resigned the chancellorship in May 1532; in April 1534 he had refused to swear to the Act of Succession and was sent to the Tower, where he busied himself writing treatises on the sufferings of Christ. He likewise refused to swear to the Act of Supremacy later that year. The monks of the London Charterhouse, led by Prior John Houghton, were also facing demands that they should swear to accept both acts. At first they resisted, but then, in May 1534, led by Houghton, they reluctantly accepted the Act of Succession. But this did not save them from further pressure to conform. Houghton was visited by two other Carthusian priors, Robert Laurence from Beauvale and Augustine Webster from Axholme. The three men were arrested on 20 April 1535, together with Dr. Richard Reynolds, a brother from Syon, and taken to the Tower. On 28 April the men were tried: they refused the oath and argued that obedience to the pope was necessary to preserve the spiritual unity of the mystical body of Christ.1 They were condemned to die as traitors and on 4 May they were drawn on hurdles to Tyburn where they were hanged, drawn and quartered wearing their monastic habits. They were watched on their journey from the Tower by Thomas More and his daughter Margaret, who reported that her father pointed out to her that the blessed fathers went as cheerfully to their deaths as bridegrooms going to their marriages.2 After Houghton had been removed, Humphrey Middleton was in charge of the London Charterhouse, and he had as his principal counsellors William Exmewe and Sebastian Newdigate. When the three men refused to take the oath they were taken to the Marshalsea prison where they remained for a fortnight, chained by neck and legs to posts. Finally on 11 June they were tried and 1 2

Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, ed. J.S. Brewer et al. (21 vols., 1862–1932), viii, no. 801, p. 302. William Roper and Nicholas Harpsfield, Lives of Saint Thomas More, ed. E.E. Reynolds (1963), 39– 40.

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condemned to death and executed ten days later.3 Bishop John Fisher of Rochester, a humanist and theologian who had been tried alongside the three Carthusians for refusing to accept the Act of Supremacy, was executed by beheading on Tower Hill on 22 June. After these executions, special commissioners headed by Sir Thomas Audley, More’s successor as chancellor, were sent to examine More and he was brought to trial in Westminster Hall. He maintained his refusal to take the oath to accept the Act of Supremacy, and after a legal battle of wills with Audley, the jury found him guilty of treason on one of the four charges against him. He was sentenced and on 6 July he was executed on Tower Hill, as Fisher had been. The tribulations of the London Charterhouse continued: some of the monks were sent to other houses and finally, in May 1537, when the Council threatened to suppress the house out of hand, if the oath was refused, a division was created. Some brothers (including the chronicler Maurice Chauncy) agreed to take the oath to preserve their way of life, but ten (three priests, a deacon and six lay brothers) refused to swear. They were sent to Newgate and chained to posts, where all but one died of starvation or disease during the summer. The London Charterhouse was surrendered to the king in June and finally disbanded in November 1537. In all, eighteen professed Carthusian monks were executed in the summer of 1535, seventeen of them from the London Charterhouse.4 At the time, and in the popular imagination ever since, the deaths of Thomas More, John Fisher and the Carthusian monks have been closely associated. But there were differences, which their common fate has obscured. In the first place, Fisher and More were beheaded on Tower Hill, rather than being dragged through the city and executed as traitors at Tyburn, or starved to death in prison. It may have been their elevated status as an ex-bishop and ex-chancellor that secured for these two men a less terrible death. Thomas More was, also, the only layman among this group of martyrs and his choice of the life of a secular married man and lawyer, rather than that of a celibate priest, placed him lower on the scale of perfection than the clergy who had suffered alongside him that summer. Finally, Thomas More had all along attempted to keep to himself his reasons for refusing the oaths and he had defended his actions as a lawyer, rather than as a churchman. He was happy, if silence was taken to imply consent. Only after he had been found guilty of treason did More speak out clearly and unequivocally against the Act of Supremacy as repugnant to God’s law and the beliefs of the Catholic Church. A local law could not override the general law of Christendom, as expressed through the General Council of the Church (More was not an advocate of papal supremacy, only of papal primacy). His objections to the Act of Supremacy were as much legal, as theological or moral.5 For all these reasons, the claims of Thomas More to be canonized were far from clear cut at the time, however saintly and impressive his life may now seem to be. His earliest biographers wrote with their sights set ‘on More’s recognition as a martyr and a saint’,6 and so they told the story of his life with a clear purpose in 3 4

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E.M. Thompson, The Carthusian Order in England (1930), 408. Ibid., 476–9; David Knowles, ‘The London Charterhouse’, in The Religious Houses of London and Middlesex, ed. C.M. Barron and Matthew Davies (2007), 247–60, at 257. For an excellent discussion of the issues at stake in More’s refusal to take the oaths, see John Guy, Thomas More (2000), chs. 9 and 10. Ibid., 7.

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mind. They were to some extent successful. In 1579 Fisher and More were recognised as martyrs, although they were not beatified until 1886 and canonized in 1935. It was, however, only in 1970 that the three Carthusian priors and Richard Reynolds were numbered among the forty Catholic martyrs of the years 1535 to 1679 selected for canonization. There are five early biographies of Thomas More written between 1557 and 1620 and in this essay it is proposed to look carefully at what these different writers have to say about a particular period in More’s life, namely the years between his admission to Lincoln’s Inn in February 1496 and his marriage to Jane Colt in January 1505. This period in More’s life has been characterised as ‘The Charterhouse years’ and it is More’s connection with the London Carthusians at this time which needs to be explored more carefully.7 I About Thomas More’s early life (before his marriage) we know a remarkable amount, thanks to his biographers, but very little of it can be corroborated by external evidence. Thomas’s birth, on 6 February 1478, together with the birth dates of his brothers and sisters, was recorded by his father, John More, in his copy of Walter of Bibbesworth’s treatise on French vocabulary.8 This much we know for certain, but we have to rely on More’s biographers for the information that he was sent to St. Anthony’s school in London, then placed by his father in the household of Cardinal Morton, at that time archbishop of Canterbury, who sent him to study at Oxford, whence he was called back to London by his father who wanted him to embark on a legal career. He began his legal studies at New Inn, an inn of Chancery, and then on 12 February 1496 he was admitted to Lincoln’s Inn, a fact recorded in the admissions registers of the Inn. At this time we know that More was developing friendships with the leading English humanist scholars of the day: John Holt, John Colet, Thomas Linacre, William Grocyn and William Lilly. More wrote Latin epigrams for John Holt’s grammar book for children, Lac Puerorum, published in c.1497, and Holt was the addressee of More’s earliest surviving letter (c. November 1501), in which he refers, among other things, to the magnificence of the reception in London for Katherine of Aragon and the outlandish appearance of the Spanish nobles who accompanied her.9 In 1499 Erasmus visited England and he and More met for the first time and initiated a friendship which was to be of great importance to both men. The only other letter of Thomas More to have survived from this period of his life was written in October 1504 to John Colet, who was away from London. More begins the letter by saying that he had encountered Colet’s servant ‘as I was walking in the Law Courts the other day...’.10 Among the few certain events in the life of Thomas More between his entry to Lincoln’s Inn in 1496 and his marriage early in 1505 is the death of his mother 7

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Guy, Thomas More, 38; see also Peter Ackroyd, The Life of Thomas More (1998), ch. 10 for a thoughtful interpretation of More’s inner and outer conflicts in these years. C.M. Barron, ‘The making of a London citizen’, in The Cambridge Companion to Thomas More, ed. G.M. Logan (Cambridge, 2011), 3–20, p. 7 and nn. 35 and 36. Sir Thomas More: Selected Letters, ed. E.F. Rogers (New Haven and London, 1961), 1–3. Ibid., 3–6.

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Agnes in 1499. We know very little about Agnes Graunger, who had married John More in 1474, lived with him in Milk Street in the parish of St. Lawrence Jewry and bore him six children (the last in 1482). When she died, she was buried in the tomb of her brother-in-law, Abel More, a civil lawyer who had died thirteen years earlier and had been buried in the neighbouring parish of St. Michael Bassishaw. We know this because Thomas More wrote the Latin verse epitaph for their joint tomb. Within weeks of his wife’s death, John More had remarried: to Johanna Marshall, the widow of a mercer, John Marshall, who was also a parishioner of St. Lawrence Jewry and had died early in 1499.11 These are the bare facts. What they indicate about life in the household of John More is open to interpretation. It was extremely unusual, if not unique, in medieval London for a wife to be buried with her brotherin-law, rather than her husband. Thomas’s new stepmother appears to have been a difficult woman, and she certainly fell out with Thomas’s sister Elizabeth and her husband, the printer John Rastell.12 For whatever reason, Thomas More may have decided at this point to move out of the family home in Milk Street. The years between the time when he was eighteen and entered Lincoln’s Inn and his marriage when he was twenty-seven were crucial in determining the course of Thomas More’s later career. For part of this time, so some (but not all) of his biographers believed, More lived with the Carthusians at the London Charterhouse and considered becoming a monk there. It may be useful to consider these accounts carefully. The earliest description of More’s life during these years is provided by Erasmus who knew More at this time and wrote an account of him to the German humanist Ulrich von Hutten in July 1519. Erasmus noted that ‘cum aetas ferret’ More was not indifferent to the attractions of young women, although he assured his correspondent that More’s interest was ‘citra infamiam’: he preferred gifts that were offered, rather than having to seize them, and he was attracted by like minds rather than ‘coitus’. Erasmus then goes on to explain that when More was a young man he had studied Greek and philosophy (probably at Oxford, but Erasmus does not say so), but in response to his father’s wishes he gave up ‘verae literae’ (true learning) in favour of the study of law at which he excelled. But alongside his legal studies, More found time to study theology, and he lectured on St. Augustine’s City of God in his parish church of St. Lawrence Jewry. He applied his mind ‘ad pietatis studium’ with vigils, fastings and prayers to test his vocation for the priesthood. The only obstacle to becoming a priest was More’s inability to abandon ‘uxoris desyderium’. So, in the end he preferred to be a chaste married man, rather than a lewd (impurus) priest.13 Erasmus presents More during these years as torn between the study of the law or the classics, and between remaining a layman or becoming a priest. There is no mention of the Charterhouse, or of the monastic life, and a good deal of emphasis is placed on More’s sexuality and his father’s influence on him. More presumably saw this account, and although it may not tell the whole story, it cannot all be fictional, or More would surely have challenged it. The next surviving account of these years was written nearly forty years later by William Roper, who had married More’s daughter Margaret in 1521. Roper wrote 11 12 13

Barron, ‘London citizen’, 15 and nn. 67 and 68. See John Guy, A Daughter’s Love: Thomas and Margaret More (2008), 19, 23, 78–9. Opus Epistolarum Des. Erasmi Roterodami, ed. P.S. Allen (12 vols., Oxford, 1906–58), iv. 13–23.

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his biography of More in, or soon after, 1557 and his declared purpose was to demonstrate that in his lifetime More had been considered a man ‘worthy [of] perpetual famous memory’.14 He wanted to place More’s legalistic defiance of Henry VIII on a par with the theological stance taken by John Fisher and he hoped, by doing so, to secure canonization for his father-in-law.15 Roper had known Thomas More for some fifteen years and he would have heard him talk of his youth, and he might also have heard his wife Margaret talk about her father. He was encouraged to write the biography by William Rastell, More’s nephew, who brought out an edition of More’s English Works in 1557. This included many of More’s letters and copies of some of his unpublished works. Roper had access to all this material. He writes of More’s entry to Lincoln’s Inn, his lectures on St. Augustine’s City of God at St. Lawrence Jewry and his appointment as Reader at Furnival’s Inn,16 ‘after which time he gave himself to devotion and prayer in the Charterhouse of London, religiously living there, without vow, about four years’. But, Roper went on to record that More then decided to get married, and pursued his legal career with renewed vigour.17 Roper’s account of More is brief, vivid and purposeful. Roper was a good friend of Nicholas Harpsfield, a scholar, archdeacon of Canterbury in Mary’s reign, and a loyal supporter of Cardinal Reginald Pole. Harpsfield was commissioned by the Roper family, some of whom he had got to know while they were all in exile in Louvain in the reign of Edward VI, to write an official account of More’s life using material supplied by Roper, but adding considerably to Roper’s Life, particularly in his account of More’s trials. Harpsfield’s purpose was to define and expound on the ‘peerelesse woorthines’ of this man and to point out ‘that he was the first of any whatsoever laye man in Ingelande that dyed a martyr for the defence and preservation of the unitie of the catholike Churche. And that is his speciall peerelesse prerogative.’18 But he has nothing to add to Roper’s account of More’s ‘Charterhouse years’, except some verbosity. And all this while was he unmarried, and seemed to be in some doubt and deliberation with himselfe what kinde and trade of life he should enter, to folowe and pursue all his longe life after. Surely it seemeth by some apparant coniectures that he was sometime somewhat propense and inclined either to be a priest, or to take some monasticall and solitary life; for he continued after his foresaide reading fowre yeres and more full vertuously and religiously in great devotion and prayer with the monkes of the Charterhouse of London, without any maner of profession or vowe, eyther to see and prove whether he 14 15 16

17 18

Roper, in Lives of Saint Thomas More, 3. Guy, Thomas More, 8. The surviving records of Lincoln’s Inn do not record the appointment of Thomas More as the Reader at Furnival’s Inn, but Roper is probably accurate on this point. In 1502–3 there was a dispute about the election of the Principal of Furnival’s Inn and the Lord Chancellor chose ‘Moore de Lincoln’s Inn’ (who may have been Thomas More, or his father) to examine the case; see D.S. Bland, Early Records of Furnival’s Inn: Edited from a Middle Temple Manuscript (Newcastle upon Tyne, 1957), 39 and n. 25. Roper in Lives of Saint Thomas More, 4. Nicholas Harpsfield, The Life and Death of Sr Thomas Moore, knight, sometymes Lord high Chancellor of England, ed. E.V. Hitchcock and R.W. Chambers (EETS, 1932), 209.

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could frame himselfe to that kinde of life, or at least [for a time] to sequester himselfe from all temporall and worldly exercises.19 It is clear that Harpsfield knew nothing more of this period of More’s life than he could glean from Roper’s text, but he expands Roper’s brief account and glosses it. Harpsfield goes on to recount how the monastic life retained its attraction for More because when he was in the Tower he told his daughter Margaret that the confinement did not trouble him ‘for if it had not beene for respect of his wife and children, he had voluntarily longe ere that time shutt him selfe in as narrowe or narrower a roome then that was’.20 Harpsfield’s intention was twofold: to demonstrate that More was a priest manque, but had been called to serve God as a layman and his life fully justified that calling. He was, in the end, a peerless, lay martyr.21 About thirty years later, another English exile, Thomas Stapleton, wrote an ‘official’ life of Thomas More in Latin. He was in contact with Dorothy Harris in Douai, who had been Margaret Roper’s maid, and was the widow of John Harris, who had been More’s secretary. She had a collection of More’s letters to which Stapleton had access. He also used the lives written by Roper and Harpsfield, and collected personal reminiscences from those still alive who had known More, so he records the reputation More enjoyed in Catholic circles some fifty years after his death. Of the period of More’s young manhood he wrote: For, even as a youth, he wore a hair shirt, and slept on the ground or on bare boards with perhaps a log of wood as his pillow. At the most he took four or five hours sleep, and he was frequent in his watchings and fastings. Although he was practising such austerities, yet he hid them so carefully that no sign of them could be perceived. He debated with himself and his friend Lilly the question of becoming a priest. For the religious state he had an ardent desire, and thought for a time of becoming a Franciscan. But as he feared, even with the help of his practices of penance, that he would not be able to conquer the temptations of the flesh that come to a man in the vigour and ardour of his youth, he made up his mind to marry. Of this he would often speak in after life with great sorrow and regret, for he used to say that it was much easier to be chaste in the single than the married state.22 Stapleton goes on to write, with the benefit of hindsight, that it may have been the laxness of the religious communities, whose utter destruction soon followed, which deterred More from the religious life. It might be that God had called More to be a layman, ‘to accept the honours and to meet the difficulties of public life ... and to lead him to the highest perfection of sanctity’.23 At the end of his biography Stapleton reflects on More’s achievement: he was the only layman, and one of great 19 20 21

22

23

Ibid., 17. Ibid., 17–18. Ibid., 205, where Harpsfield claims that he has fulfilled his promise to explain why ‘that Sir Thomas More did not pursue the life contemplative at the Charterhouse’. Thomas Stapleton, The Life and Illustrious Martyrdom of Sir Thomas More, trans. P.E. Hallett and ed. E.E. Reynolds (New York, 1966), 8–9. Ibid., 9.

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reputation, to give his life for the cause of religion in that early period; although the deaths of the Carthusians and of John Fisher were equally precious in the eyes of God, yet they did not impress men as More’s death did. Perhaps, Stapleton suggests, men might have thought that they were simply defending the privileges of their class. Those men were eminent ‘for piety and learning alone, but More in addition was a successful man of affairs, a brilliant lawyer, who had occupied with the praise of all, the highest offices in the state’. Men hung on his words and so his judgements on the royal divorce and the primacy of the pope were of the gravest importance.24 Stapleton is anxious to justify, indeed to extol, More’s lay state and, in so doing, makes it clear why Henry VIII believed it necessary that More should accept the parliamentary acts or die. But it is interesting that although Stapleton develops the idea that More seriously considered becoming a priest, he makes no mention of the Charterhouse, in spite of having access to the biographies of Roper and Harpsfield, who had both claimed that More spent time with the Carthusians. Stapleton’s work was printed in Douai in 1588, and had a wide circulation in Europe. Another composite life of Thomas More was put together by a writer known only as ‘Ro. Ba.’ around 1599. Although there are eight extant manuscripts, the work was not printed until 1950. The author adds some hagiographic anecdotes and, like Stapleton, writes with hindsight: In his youth or tender yeares he used to were a Cilice (blood-stained shirt) or hearshirt, and lay many nightes on the ground, often on a borde, or els he used a blocke under his head. His sleepe was very short, seldome or never above fowre or five howres ... It seemed probable by some apparant coniectures that he had a mind to be a preist, or to have accepted the habit of some religion. For he continued, after his reading above said (ie at Furnivall’s Inn), some fowre yeare or more, very orderly, in great devotion and prayer in the Charter house in London amongst the monckes, but without any manner of vowe or profession. Some perhaps will say, seeing the comtemplative life farre exceedes the active...why did he not followe that inclination or inspiration to be religious? Perhaps the tymes fitted not in England to have Cloysters aunswerable to theire rules, so that at that tyme they were much debosht from their former sanctitie, which soone after appeared by the wast and havocke made of those places; or els god peculiarlie chose this man in an other kinde of liffe therein to serve him more for the glorie of his holy name, the Churches benefitt, and his owne soules good. And as god appointed that worthy man John Fisher, Byshop of Rochester, to be the Champion of the Clergie, so he reserved Thomas More in the degree of the laitie, to be the proto-Martyr of England that suffered for the defence of the union of the Catholicke Church.25 This anonymous author clearly had access to the earlier biographies, and so his work is an amalgam of Roper and Stapleton. But he throws no light on the

24 25

Ibid., 193–4. The Lyfe of Syr Thomas More, Sometymes Lord Chancellor of England by Ro. Ba., ed. E.V. Hitchcock, P.E. Hallett and A.W. Reed (EETS, 1950), 25–6.

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relationship between More and the London Charterhouse, although like Harpsfield and Stapleton he is anxious to explain, and elevate, More’s status as a layman. The last author to write a biography of More with any degree of authority was More’s great-grandson, Cresacre More (1572–1649), who was just old enough to have known people who knew More. Cresacre included the information that More wore a hair shirt and continued to do so even when he became chancellor but he added the further detail that his grandmother, Anne Cresacre, who had married More’s son John in 1529, apparently caught sight of More’s hairshirt one hot summer day and laughed at it, ‘not being much sensible of spiritual exercises, being carried away in her youth with the bravery of the world ... and not knowing what is the true wisdom of a Christian man’.26 Cresacre, who clearly knew Stapleton’s account, and possibly also that of Ro. Ba., goes on to recount that More was inclined to chastise himself with a whip on Fridays, to fast, keep watch and sleep on the bare ground with a log for a pillow. He practised these strictures so that he might better enter the narrow gate of heaven. Cresacre continued: For this cause he lived four years amongst the Carthusians, dwelling near the Charter-House, frequenting daily their spiritual exercises, but without any vow. He had an earnest mind also to be a Franciscan friar, that he might serve God in a state of perfection. But finding that at that time religious men [the printed copies add ‘in England’] had somewhat degenerated from their ancient strictness and fervour of spirit, he altered his mind. He had also, after that, together with his faithful companion [William] Lillie, a purpose to be a priest; yet God had allotted him for another state, not to live solitary, but that he might be a pattern to remind married men how they should carefully bring up their children; how dearly they should love their wives, how they should employ their endeavours wholly for the good of their country, yet excellently perform the virtues of religious men, as piety, charity, humility, obedience, yea, conjugal chastity.27 Here Cresacre More is simply developing what he had read in Stapleton and Harpsfield/Ro. Ba.: the reference to the possibility of More becoming a Franciscan, the degenerate state of the English religious communities, and the significance of God’s call to More to serve him as a lay married man. But Cresacre does not exactly follow these authors in his account of More’s association with the London Charterhouse. He does not ignore it altogether, as Stapleton (and Erasmus) had done, nor does he say (as Roper, Harpsfield and Ro. Ba. did) that More lived religiously (very orderly) in the Charterhouse without vow for four years, but rather that ‘he lived amongst the Carthusians, dwelling near the Charter-House’ and ‘frequenting their spiritual exercises, but without any vow’. Even at a distance of nearly a century from the events he is describing, it would seem likely that Cresacre More was correct in his assessment of More’s ‘Charterhouse years’. It is likely that the impressive martyrdoms of so many of the London Carthusians at the same time that More himself died may have led later biographers to place greater emphasis on More’s earlier association with the Charterhouse than was 26 27

Cresacre More, The Life of Sir Thomas More, ed. Joseph Hunter (1828), 24–5. Ibid., 25–6.

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justified. Moreover, their anxiety to explain and justify More’s lay status led them to emphasise More’s early desire to be a monk or a secular priest: in their eyes he was no less a saint for having been a layman, and he might well have become a priest: only his scrupulous conscience held him back from a life which he might have preferred, but which he might not have been able to fulfil perfectly. Cresacre More, in a sense, let the cat out of the bag: More did not live in the Charterhouse as a religious man, but without taking a vow: rather he lived near the Charterhouse and joined in the services of the monks when he could.28 He may well, as Erasmus suggested, have practised abstinence in eating and sleeping, and it is very likely that he considered becoming a priest, as so many of his humanist friends were: Erasmus, Grocyn, Colet and Linacre. But in the end he chose, like his friend William Lilly, to be married and to pursue humanist studies as a layman. For Thomas More also, a glittering career in the law (encouraged by his father) tempted him away from service at the altar and in the cloister. There is little doubt that at the time when More was associated with the Charterhouse, it was a flourishing and impressive institution. In 1500 an Irishman of great holiness, William Tynbygh, had become prior and remained there for nearly thirty years. He maintained a high standard of discipline and observance in the house, and encouraged the study of the works of mystics, such as Richard Rolle, Walter Hilton and the author of The Cloud of Unknowing. In the early sixteenth century The Imitation of Christ attributed to Thomas a Kempis was widely studied in the London Charterhouse.29 The monks, who lived in separate cells, met in almost complete darkness in their church to chant the service of Matins at eleven at night, and visitors could watch them from a gallery. The Carthusians met together only at the daily services, for a weekly communal meal (there was absolute abstinence from meat), and a Sunday walk outside the Charterhouse. Thomas More may have been able to read in their library, attend their services and join them in their walks, but he was neither an oblate, nor a lay brother, and he took no vows. But it is clear from his later writings that he knew, understood and admired the Carthusian way of life, even if he had rejected it in favour of a career in the world. In Utopia More praises the dark temples of the Utopians, because ‘excessive light makes the thoughts wander, whereas scanter and uncertain light concentrates the mind and conduces to devotion’.30 More noted that the service of Matins as said (or sung) in parish churches was not as lengthy ‘as it is in the Charterhouse’.31 In his Confutation of Tyndale’s Answer, More wrote As for the munkes of the charter house, wolde god we were no ferther from very vertuouse devocyon than those good men be from unlawfull

28

29

30

31

See the discussion of this point by Guy, Thomas More, 29–30 and by E.V. Hitchcock in Harpsfield, Life and Death of Sr Thomas Moore, 310–11. Thompson, The Carthusian Order, 313–30; Roger Lovatt, ‘The Imitation of Christ in late Medieval England’, TRHS, fifth series, 18 (1968), 97–122, esp. 107–13; Knowles, ‘The London Charterhouse’, 259. Utopia (c.1515): Thomas More, The Complete Works of St. Thomas More (15 vols., New Haven and London, 1963–c.1997), IV: Utopia, ed. Edward Surtz and J.H. Hexter, 3231–2. Apology (1533): Complete Works, IX: The Apology, ed. J.B. Trapp, 103.

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superstytyon, amonge whom ... we se many lyve to a very greate age, and never herde I yet that any dyed for lacke of eatynge flesshe.32 While he was a prisoner in the Tower, More’s thoughts turned again to the Carthusians: in A Dialogue of Comfort against Tribulation he discusses the discomforts, and advantages, of imprisonment and calls to mind the hardiness of the ‘monkes, I mean of the charterouse order, such as never passe their selles, but onley to the church set fast by their celles, and thence to their celles agayne’,33 and when he reflected on Christ’s passion he observed that when Christ said he would eat no more until in the kingdom of God he meant that He would never eat again, in the same way as when a dying man, or one entering a charter house, might say ‘I will never eat flesh more in this world.’34 But when his loyalty to Erasmus and the humanists came into conflict with his admiration for the Carthusians, the humanists won. When John Batmanson, a scholarly, but traditional, young monk who had joined the Charterhouse in 1510, criticised Erasmus’ edition of the Greek New Testament with his new translation into classical Latin published in 1516, More wrote a long and excoriating attack, not only on Batmanson’s scholarship (and temerity), but also on monastic abuses more generally.35 As Daniel Kinney, the most recent editor of More’s rejoinder to Batmanson, points out, More insisted that there was ‘absolute discontinuity between Erasmus’ scholarly pursuits and the proper concerns of contemplatives like Batmanson, whom he actually attacks for his interest in Erasmian learning’. He goes on to suggest that ‘More’s theoretical sense of a radical and total dichotomy between the life of withdrawal and the life of engagement reflects ... an unresolved tension in More’s own mind between a powerful activist impulse and an equally powerful impulse toward retiring asceticism.’36 Although it is possible that during his ‘Charterhouse years’ More might have lived briefly as a guest in the Charterhouse, it is unlikely that he would have done so for four years. It seems more likely that, as Cresacre More suggested, he lived near the Charterhouse, presumably in lodgings, from where he might easily attend their services and also walk westwards to Lincoln’s Inn, or to Furnival’s Inn on the south side of Holborn. It is possible that More had lodgings in Redcross Street, which led north from Cripplegate towards the Charterhouse. II Among the most famous of Thomas More’s writings was his biography of Richard III, written in both English and Latin some time between 1514 and 1524, although 32

33

34

35

36

Confutation of Tyndale’s Answer (1532/3): Complete Works, VIII: The Confutation of Tyndale’s Answer, ed. Louise Schuster et al., 126. A Dialogue of Comfort against Tribulation (1534): Complete Works, XII: A Dialogue of Comfort against Tribulation, ed. Louis Martz and Frank Manley, 276. Treatise on the Passion (1534/5): Complete Works, XIII: Treatise on the passion, Treatise on the blessed body, Instructions and Prayers, ed. Garry Haupt, 122. See Letter to a Monk (c.1519), in The Complete Works, XV: In Defense of Humanism, ed. Daniel Kinney; and introduction, pp. xli–xlii. Ibid., p. lxxxix.

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the work was not published until after More’s death.37 This influential and compelling work firmly attributes to Richard the ambition to be king on the death of his brother Edward IV, and also accuses him of the murder of his two young nephews, Edward’s sons. The portrait of Richard’s ambition is enhanced by a telling anecdote. Howbeit, this have I by credible information learned, that the self night in which King Edward died, one Mistlebrook, long ere morning, came in great haste to the house of one Potyer, dwelling in Redcross Street without Cripplegate; and when he was with hasty rapping quickly letten in, he showed unto Potyer that King Edward was departed. ‘by my troth, man’ quod Potyer, ‘then will my master the duke of Gloucester be king.’ What cause he had so to think, hard it is to say – whether he, being toward him, anything knew that he such thing purposed, or otherwise had any inkling thereof: for he was not likely to speak it of nought.38 In the Latin version More adds that he heard this story from his father who had been told it by someone who had overheard the conversation.39 The two men can be identified. William Mistlebrook had been a servant of Edward IV and was appointed by Richard as an auditor of the South Parts of the Duchy of Lancaster in April 1483, that is, while the young Edward V was still nominally king. Mistlebrook appears later to have made the transition into the administration of Henry VII and died in the king’s service at Denbigh in 1492.40 ‘One Potyer’ (Pottyer; Pottier) was probably Richard Potyer who had been admitted to Furnival’s Inn by 1481 and was appointed as an attorney in the chancery of the duchy of Lancaster by Richard III in September 1483. He was also a member of the commission to arrest and imprison rebels in Somerset and Dorset in the same year. Only a little more is known of him: he had probably left Furnival’s Inn by 1498 and he was sued concerning bonds in Kent in 1502/3, although nothing is heard of him after that date.41 But in the detailed rental drawn up for the London Charterhouse by Dom. Philip Underwood, who was the procurator (or steward) of the house from 1492 to 1500, the tenants of all the Charterhouse properties are listed.42 Most of the Charterhouse income at this time came from rents in the streets lying close to the house itself. Underwood’s rental listed all the tenants street by street and recorded the amounts they owed in rent. Under the heading ‘Barbican/Redcross Street’ there were thirteen tenants paying rents ranging from 6s. 8d. to 20s. One of those paying the highest rent of twenty shillings in 1492 was a man named Richard Porter and he 37

38

39 40 41

42

See Thomas More, The History of King Richard the Third, ed. G.M. Logan (Bloomington, Ind., 2005), pp. xxi–xxiii. Ibid., 12–13. This is a somewhat modernised English version. For the sixteenth-century text, see Complete Works, II: The History of King Richard III, ed. R.R. Sylvester, 9. Ibid., 9. Ibid., 170 and Rosemary Horrox, Richard III: A Study of Service (Cambridge, 1989), 211. Information about Richard Potyer has been kindly supplied by J.H. Baker, see his publication The Men of Court (Selden Society, supplementary series), forthcoming; also Complete Works, II, ed. Sylvester, 170. TNA, SC12/25/55; for an excellent discussion of this document and of Philip Underwood’s work as procurator, see Andrew Wines, ‘The London Charterhouse in the late Middle Ages: An Institutional History’ (Cambridge Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1998), ch. 4.

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was still living there in 1500. He is not listed among those who had failed to pay his rent.43 It is surely possible that this Richard Porter is the man who was a servant of the duke of Gloucester living in Redcross Street, who – we may presume eagerly – opened the door to William Mistlebrook during the night of 9 April 1483 and heard the news that led him to surmise that his master would soon be king. And if Thomas More was lodging near to the Charterhouse, perhaps in Redcross Street, or even with Richard Porter himself, some fifteen years later, the two men would have been likely to fall into conversation about a matter of such recent interest to them both as the usurpation and death of Richard III. And surely Thomas More’s attempt to conceal his source, while retaining its verisimilitude, by attributing it to an unknown eavesdropper who passed the story to More’s father, is characteristic of his lawyerly caution. More needed the detail of the anecdote to give it credibility and to enhance the authenticity of the portrait he was painting, but he wanted at the same time to create some distance between himself and his source. So, we suggest, as a young man Thomas More lived for several years close to the monks of the London Charterhouse, and probably attended their services, admired their rigour and to some degree imitated their austerities. He may well have been attracted to the monastic life, or to the life of a secular priest. But he was also pursuing the study and practice of the law at Lincoln’s Inn and as the Reader at Furnival’s Inn. He was cultivating his literary and scholarly friendships with John Colet and William Grocyn and, above all, with Erasmus whom he had met for the first time in 1499. He was lecturing in his parish church of St. Lawrence Jewry on St. Augustine’s City of God while at the same time debating with William Lilly, the humanist master of Colet’s refounded grammar school at St. Paul’s, the conflicting merits of the celibate and married states. And we may suggest that he was also collecting material for his biography of Richard III which, it might be presumed, if properly constructed would gain him the favour of Henry VII. Later in More’s career, the attractions of the life of the monks of the London Charterhouse may have seemed greater as, in the 1530s, the clouds gathered around the traditional church. The sufferings of the stalwart Carthusian monks in the summer of 1535, and More’s evident admiration for their austere way of life, may have led some of his later biographers to exaggerate his earlier connection with the London Charterhouse, and to exaggerate also More’s desire to be a priest. More’s youthful lustiness and his skill as a lawyer both led him away from the priesthood and into marriage, but it is more than likely that, as he moved into middle age, he expressed a nostalgic regret about that decision. And there were good reasons why More’s later biographers, with an eye to his canonization, should also reinterpret their subject’s years spent near the Charterhouse, as a time of deep spiritual significance. Whether Thomas More as a young man abandoned ‘all temporall and worldly exercises’44 quite as reluctantly as he, and his biographers later thought, may be open to doubt.

43 44

TNA, SC12/25/55, mm. 1, 37, 45. Harpsfield, Life and Death of Sr Thomas Moore, 17.

INDEX Aaron, biblical prophet 2, 16 Abell, William 125 Abraham, biblical patriarch 157 Acre, Saier, grocer of London 72 Acton, Edmund 37 Acts of Parliament, see Statutes Aeneas, legendary Trojan refugee 144 Agincourt, battle of (1415) 40, 78, 199 Aillemer (alias Ayleward), Walter, bailiff of Haveringland 45, 48, 49 Ainsworth family 17 Alcuin 119n Alexander the Great 101, 102, 156 Aleyn, Henry 81, 82 Alfray family 7 Allmand, Christopher 196 Amicable Grant (1525) 15 Amsterdam, Holland 69 Andover, Hants 13 Andrew, James 88n, 90, 91 Andrew, Robert, steward of the duchy of Lancaster 31n Andrewe, William 184 Andrews, John 79, 84+n j.p. in Suffolk 93 Ankes, Alice, wife of John 13 John 13 Anne Boleyn, queen of England 64, 203 Antwerp, Flanders 58, 63, 64n, 68, 69 fair at 53, 63, 64 Arc, Joan of 41 Archer, Ian 152, 160 Aristotle 101, 102 Armagnac, count of 100 Armburgh Papers 17 Arneway, Robert, mercer 61 Arnolfini, Giovanni 55 Arras, treaty of (1435) 53 Arthur, legendary king of Britain 156, 157 Arthur, prince of Wales 136 Arundel, John, bishop of Chichester 99 physician to Henry VI 99 Ashby, Suff. 39, 43 Ashton Keynes, Wilts. 20n, 21 Assheton, Richard 93, 94, 95, 96 Attylsey, Adelston 189 Audley, Sir Thomas, chancellor of England 204 Augustine, Saint 196 De civitate Dei contra Paganos 120n, 206, 207, 214 De doctrina Christiana 120n

Auvergne, count of 130 Avicenna, Canon 101 Axholme Charterhouse, Lincs., priors, see Webster Aylesbury, Eleanor, see Stafford Isabel, see Chaworth Sir Thomas 34 Aylmere, Roger, coroner of Suffolk 184 Ayot family 32 Alan 32 Lawrence, of Ayot 25, 32 Lawrence, of Shalstone 32n Lettice (née Keynes), wife of William 22, 25, 29, 32, 33 Margaret, see Wotton Marion 32 Maud, see Cressy William 22, 32+n Ayot St. Lawrence, Herts. 22, 32 Badburgham, Cambs. 107 Bailey, Mark 9 Balbi, Francesco 66, 67 Baldock, Thomas, of Norwich 49 Baldry, William, MP for Ipswich 178, 183 Bale, John 135 Illustrium maioris Britannie scriptorium 135 Bale, Robert, scrivener 149 Bale’s chronicle 194 Balston, William 184 Banyard, John 184 Barcelona, Aragon 68 Borromei bank in 61, 62 Bardi, Ubertino de’ 70+n Bardolf, Joan, lady Bardolf 41, 43 Barnaby, William, chaplain 114 Barnebe, William 84, 93 Barnes, Joshua, History of Edward III 154 Barnstaple, Devon, MPs for 168n Barret, John, mercer 73 Barron, Caroline 156 Robert, mercer of London 73 Bassingbourn, Cambs. 107 Bastard, Elizabeth, wife of William 197 William 197 Bateill, Thomas, mercer 55n, 59n, 72 Batmanson, John 212 Baugé, battle of (1421) 40, 41 Beamond, Thomas, salter of London 58, 72 Beauchamp, John, Lord Beauchamp of Powick 118n

216 Beauchamp, Richard, earl of Warwick, tutor of Henry VI 104, 109 Thomas, earl of Warwick 190 William, Lord St. Amand 4, 118n Beaufort family 195 Edmund (d.1455), duke of Somerset 113n marquess of Dorset 85n Henry, cardinal bishop of Winchester 102 John (d.1410), earl of Somerset 102 John, bastard son of 102 John (d.1444), duke of Somerset 193 Margaret, countess of Richmond 136 Thomas, duke of Exeter 103, 109n death of 103, 104n governor of Henry VI 104 surgeon of, see Morstede Beaupre, Margaret (née Inglose), wife of Thomas 42, 43 Thomas 42 Beauvale Charterhouse, prior of, see Laurence Beckwith, Henry 95 Becon, Thomas, The New Pollecy of Warre 199, 200n Bedford, duchess of, see Jacquetta duke of, see John Bedyngfeld, Peter 184 Beke, John, grocer of London 59, 73 Bekynton, Thomas 111 secretary of Henry VI 100+n Bekyswell, John 78 Bel, Jean le 154, 155 Bemond, Thomas, coroner of Dunwich 183 Bendebowe, John 192 Bereford, Agnes, see Mautravers Bergen-op-Zoom 58, 63, 68 fair at 53 Berkshire, MPs for 168n, and see Norris Bernard, John 84, 93, 184 Berney, John 10, 11, 171, 172, 174, 179 MP for Norfolk 173, 186 Berney, John sen. 40n Berney, Philip 81 Bert, John, bailiff of Haveringland 45, 50, 51 Berthelet, Thomas, printer 137 Berwick, capture of 197 Bettes, Thomas, priest 51 Bettys, John 184 Beverley, John 24 Beverley, Yorks. 54, 194 Bexwell, Norf. 78 Bibbesworth, Walter of 205 Bible, see Geneva Bible, Great Bible, King James Bible Billing, Thomas, c.j.k.b. 32 Bindotti, Giovanni 53 Birmingham, Henry, MP for Bishop’s Lynn 178, 185 Bishop, Geoffrey 85n Bishop’s Lynn, Norf. 168n, 170, 181

Index mayor 185, and see Cony MPs for, see Birmingham, Caus, Cony, Pigot, Thoresby parliamentary elections in 172, 177, 178, 185 Black Death 147 Blackheath, Kent 14, 195, 200 Blacman, John, confessor to Henry VI 115 Blandford Forum, Dors. 20 Blankpayn, John 183 Blaxhale, William 184 Blount, Richard 20 Boleyn, Anne, queen, see Anne Geoffrey, mercer 64, 72 Bolingbroke, Roger 106 Bolton, J.L. 148 Bonbrook, William, coroner of Dunwich 183 Bonham, Sir John 160n Book of Common Prayer (1549) 134 (1662) 134 Bordeaux, Gascony 100 Borromei family of Milan 53, 54n Alessandro 70 Antonio 62, 65 Filippo 54n, 62, 68, 69, 70 Galeazzo 70 Vitaliano, count 54n, 69 Bour (Bowre), Robert 84, 93, 184 Bourgchier, Henry, earl of Essex, treasurer of England 176, 177 John, Lord Berners 176n Thomas 176, 184 Thomas (another) 176n Bouvet, Honoré 192, 196 Arbre de batailles 196 Bowet, Anne (née Wythe), wife of Sir William 41, 43 Elizabeth, see Dacre Joan (née Ufford), wife of Sir William 43 Master Henry 44 Sibyl, see Osbern Sir William 40, 41, 43 Bowre, Robert, see Bour Boxted (Boxstede), Katherine de 81 Margaret, wife of Peter de, jun. 81 Peter 80, 94, 95, 96 Peter de, jun. 81 Peter de, sen. 81 Richard 81 Boxted, Ess. 76, 78n, 80, 81, 85+n, 86 Rivers Hall in 81n Brabant 53, 59, 65 fairs in 70 Bramber castle, Suss. 12 Brandeston, Suff. 43 Brandon, Charles, duke of Suffolk 15 Branston, Thomas 94 Brantingham, Joan, wife of William 31 John 31

Index Brantingham (cont.) Thomas, bishop of Exeter 24, 27, 31 treasurer of England 24 William 20, 24+n, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 33, 35 serjeant of the buttery of the household 24n MP for Northants. 30 Bray, Berks. 124 Braydon forest, Wilts. 20n, 21 Brembre, Nicholas 147 Brentford, Mdx. 109n, 119 chapel of All Angels 119 fraternity 109, 110 Somerset’s almshouse 109+n, 119 Somerset’s chantry 115 stone bridge 119 Breton, John 80, 94, 95, 96 Brewes, Thomas 176, 184 William 177, 184 Bridge Casterton, Rutl., Woodhead in 19, 20 Bridgnorth, Salop, MPs for 168n Bristol 135 commons of 13 Edward IV’s charter to 135 MPs for 6, 168n Britain, kings of, see Arthur, Brutus Broddesworth, John, mercer of London 62, 72 Broke, Simon 184 Brokeley, John, draper of London 72 Broun, Thomas 81+n, 85n Browe, John 45 Brown (Brun), Bartholomew 66+n, 67 Brown, Stephen, grocer of London 73 Brown, William, grocer of London 73 Bruges 58, 62, 63, 64, 66, 68, 69, 155 Borromei bank in 53, 54n, 55, 59, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 68, 69, 70+n Cambi and Rabatta bank in 71n Bruges, William, Garter Book 156 Brut chronicle, continuations 3 Brutus, legendary king of Britain 144, 156 Brynchele, John 148 Buckingham, duke of, see Stafford Bueil, Jean de 196 Bullion Ordinance (1429) 54n Burford, Oxon. 58 Burgh St. Margarets, Norf. 44 Burghassh, Robert 94 Burgundy, dukes of 53, 68, 196, and see Charles, Philip Burgundy, ordonnance companies 196 Burhous (in Polstead), Suff. 76+n Burke, Peter 159 Burton Hastings, Warws. 32 Burton, John, mercer of London 61 Thomas 176, 184 Bury St. Edmunds, Suff. 79 gaol 80, 83, 86, 95

217 Bury St. Edmunds abbey, Suff. 104n, 107 Bury St. Edmunds School, grammar master, see Somerset Buxhall, Suff. 76 Buxton, William 94 Byngham, Richard 85n Byrd, John 184 Robert 184 Caen, Normandy 40 garrison 194 Caesar, Gaius Julius 156 Caister, Norf. 170 castle 41–2 Calais, Picardy 53, 58, 62, 65, 201 captain 19, and see Neville deputy lieutenant, see Inglose garrison 195, 197 king’s deputy 197 king’s lieutenant 197, and see Humphrey staple of 53, 70, 120n mayor, see Whittingham Caldecote, Piers, draper of London 113, 117+n, 118+n, 120+n warden of London bridge 118n Calle, Richard 171, 174 Calthorpe, Anne (née Wythe), wife of John 41, 44 Elizabeth (née Grey), wife of William 44 John 41, 44 Sir Philip 189 William 44 Calverley, Sir Hugh 160n, 161 Cambi, Bernardo 71n Cambridge, Cambs. 10, 105 Cambridge university 101, 102, 103, 106+n, 107+n chancellor, see Langton Christ’s college, statutes 136 Gonville Hall 111 King’s College (college of St. Nicholas) 97, 105, 106, 107, 111n, 112n, 114, 124 foundation charter 128 statutes 105+n, 106 Pembroke College 102, 119 fellows, see Somerset Peterhouse 101n Queens’ College (college of SS. Margaret and Bernard) 105, 119 Cambridgeshire 76 commons of 13 parliamentary elections in 10, 11 sheriff 11 Campyoun, John 183 Cannings, Thomas, grocer of London 59n, 64+n, 72 Cantelowe, John, mercer of London 73 William, mercer of London 73

218 Canterbury, archbishops of 122, 127, and see Courtenay, Morton, Stafford Canterbury, archdeacon, see Harpsfield Canterbury, Kent 4, 193, 201 cathedral, tomb of Henry IV 123 MPs for 168n soldiers from 198 Canterbury, province of, convocation of 127 Cardigan, Alice (née Ladbroke), wife of Lewis 17n, 25, 27+n, 31 Katherine, see Hathwick Lewis 25, 27 Carlisle, Cumb. 182 Carpenter, John 109+n, 149 Castagnolo, Paolo da 65 Castillon, battle of (1453) 132 Castor, Helen 89, 179 Catesby, William 35n Catherine de’ Medici, queen of France 130n Catherine of Valois, queen of England, motto of 123 Cato, Marcus Porcius 118+n Cattano, Cristofano 69 Caus, William, MP for Bishop’s Lynn 178 Cavendish, Thomas 84+n, 93 Cavill, Paul 150 Cawood, Adam 104n Alice, see Cerf, Somerset Robert, clerk of the pipe of the exchequer 104n, 113 Cawston, Norf. 43 Caxton, William 157, 158 Charles the Grete 157 Godefroy of Boloyne 157 Cay, John, bailiff of Haveringland 45 Cely family, correspondence of 54 Cerf, Alice (née Cawood), wife of John 104n, 107 John 104n, 107 Chalton, Thomas, mercer of London 73 Chamberlain, Sir William 169, 171, 173, 179 knight of the Garter 171, 179 Chancery 19, 168+n, 172, 186, 187 clerks, see Fryston clerks of the Crown, see Greswold court of 45, 46, 82 Chandos, Sir John 158 Channel, the 39, 41 Chapman, John 184 Charlemagne, Holy Roman emperor 119n, 156 Charles I, king of England 122 coronation 122 Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy 196 Charles V, Holy Roman emperor 156 entry into London (1522) 156 Charles V, king of France, coronation 131 Charles VI, king of France 192 Charles VIII, king of France, coronation 130

Index Charlton, Thomas, MP for Middlesex 97 Charpentier, Marc-Antoine 130n Chartier, Alain 196 Quadralogue Invectif 196 Chartres, France 41 Chaucer, Alice, see Pole Geoffrey 148, 191 Canterbury Tales 123, 148 Chauncy, Maurice 204 Chaworth, Isabel (née Aylesbury), wife of Sir Thomas 34, 35 John 86n Sir Thomas 34, 35 William 35 Chelworth, Wilts. 20n, 21, 22, 23 Cherbourg, Normandy, captain, see Rous Cheshire, archers from 191 Cheshire, John 85+n, 93, 94, 95, 96 Cheshunt, Herts. 109n Chester, Ches., commons of 13 Chichester, bishops, see Arundel, Moleyns Chipping Campden, Gloucs. 58 Chittok, Geoffrey, draper of London 65, 66+n, 67, 72 Church, Richard 176, 184 Cirencester, Gloucs. 13 Cirencester abbey, Gloucs. 104 Clapson, Isabella 55n Clarence, dukes of, see Lancaster, Plantagenet Clark, Linda 143 Clarke, Paula C. 69 Clifton, Robert 84+n, 93 Clinton, Sir William, earl of Huntingdon 23 Clio, muse 160 Clippesby, Edmund 75n Cloud of Unknowing, The 211 Cobham, Eleanor, duchess of Gloucester 79, 106 Codham, Ess. 76 Codon, Robert, 183 Cokkes, Thomas, grocer of London 73 Colburn, William, grocer of London 73 Colet, John 205, 211, 214 Colke, Walter, of Ipswich 51 Colman, William 184 Colop, John 109 Colt, Jane, see More Colville, Anne (née Inglose), wife of Sir John 42, 43 Sir John 42, 45 Common pleas, court of 80, 81, 126 justices, see Danvers Contarini, Bertuzzo 70+n Cony, Walter, mayor of Bishop’s Lynn 178 MP for Bishop’s Lynn 178 Coombe Keynes, Dors. 20n, 22+n, 26, 27n, 30, 31 Corbet, Sir Robert 79, 81, 85+n, 94 Cornwall 12

Index Cornwall (cont.) parliamentary boroughs in 6 parliamentary elections in 168n Cornwallis, Thomas, MP for Suffolk 169 Costeley, Guillaume 130 Cotentin 40 Cotier, Jacques, physician to Louis XI 99n Couper, Henry, bailiff of Haveringland 45 Court physicians, attire of 98 Courtenay, Sir Thomas 75, 91 Thomas (d.1458), earl of Devon 75 William, archbishop of Canterbury 127 Coventre family, of Devizes 7 John, MP for Devizes 7 Coventry, Warws., pageants in 157 Cranmer, Thomas 137 Crécy, battle of (1346) 199, 202 Cresacre, Anne, see More Cressy family 25n, 26, 31, 32 Christine (née Wylde), wife of John 32, 33 Constance (née Grey), wife of Sir John 32 Edmund 25+n, 29, 30, 31, 32+n Sir John (d.1445) 31+n, 32, 33, 35, 38 John (d.1407) 30, 31 John (d.1453) 31, 33, 34, 38 John (grandson of William) 32n Maud (née Ayot), wife of Edmund 25, 29, 30, 31, 32 Ralph 25n William 32n Creyk, John, coroner of Ipswich 183 Cricklade, Wilts. 20n Croker, Christopher 160n, 161 Cromwell, Ralph, Lord Cromwell 4 treasurer of England 79 Thomas 137 Crowe, Thomas 184 Croydon palace, Surr. 127 Curson, Robert sen. 184 Thomas 84, 93, 184 William 84, 93 Dacre, Elizabeth (née Bowet), wife of Sir Thomas 43, 44 Sir Thomas 43 Thomas, Lord Dacre of Gilsland 43 Dacre, Lord, see Fiennes Dade, John 184 Dam, John 174 Danvers, Robert, j.c.p. 45 Danyell, Thomas, MP for Suffolk 170 Daventry, Hawise (née Keynes), wife of Robert 21, 22, 23, 24+n, 27n, 31 Hawise, see Ladbroke Sir Robert 24+n MP for Northants. 24n Simon 24+n, 25, 27+n, 29, 30, 33 David, biblical king 146, 156, 157 David II, king of Scots 154

219 Davies, C.S.L. 198, 201 Davis, John 66, 67 Davit (Davy), Thomas, tailor 73 Dawtre, William, mercer of London 59n, 73 Debenham, Gilbert jun., MP for Suffolk 170, 172, 175, 184 Gilbert sen. 79, 184 j.p. in Suffolk 93 surveyor general of the duke of Norfolk 176 Dedham, Ess. 170 Deeping, Lincs. 13 Dekker, Thomas, The Shoemakers’ Holiday 153–4 Deloney, Thomas, The Gentle Craft 153 Denbigh, Denbs. 213 Dene, Hugh, vintner of London 73 Denys, Thomas, bailiff of Ipswich 183 Thomas, coroner of Norfolk 170 Depden, Thomas 186 Derby, John, draper 73 Derham, John, mercer 63, 72 Deschamps, Eustace 192 Despenser family 21 Hugh, Lord Despenser 20, 21+n, 22, 34 Devizes, Wilts., almshouse 7 MPs for 7, and see Coventre Devon, earl of, see Courtenay Devon, parliamentary boroughs in 6 Dilham, Norf. 41, 42, 43, 46, 48, 49, 50, 51 bailiff of 50 castle 41 Diss, Norf. 78 Dod, John 184 Dodd, Gwilym 12, 13 Dodford, Northants. 17–38 Dogat, Richard 81 Doket, John 184 Dompyng, Edmund, of Norwich 51 Doncaster, Yorks. 4 Dorset 213 escheator of 29, 30 Dorset, marquess of, see Beaufort Douai, Picardy 208, 209 Du Mont, Henri 130n Dublin, Ire., civic sword 123 Ducarel, Andrew 127 Dunch, Robert 94 Dunstan, Saint 146 Dunwich, Suff. 13, 168n, 170, 181, 184 bailiffs, see Scherlyng, Sewale, Vincent coroners, see Bemond, Bonbrook MPs for, see Straunge, Vincent parliamentary elections in 172, 177, 178, 183 Durham 167 Dyer, Christopher 12 Dyke, Hugh, mercer of London 55, 72 Dykeman, William 184

220 Earl Stonham, Suff. 84n bailiff, see Rowyngton Earl’s Soham, Suff. 90n East Grinstead, Suss., MPs for 7, and see Woghere East Walton, Norf. 76+n Eccles by the Sea, Norf. 43 Edmunds, Thomas, MP for Great Yarmouth 177, 185 Edward I, king of England 158, 190 Edward III, king of England 101, 154, 158, 161, 190 books 101 mottoes 123 victories 198 Edward IV, king of England 4, 36, 37, 99, 135, 136, 167, 168n, 169, 172, 178, 186, 213 books 101 French campaign (1475) 196, 197, 198 marriage 134 mottoes 134 physicians 99 voracious appetite 99 Edward of Lancaster, prince of Wales 126, 167 Edward the Confessor, Saint, arms of 125, 127 feast of the translation of 127 Edward the Martyr, Saint, arms of 125 Edward V, king of England, murder of 213 Edward VI, king of England 135 Edward, the Black Prince, prince of Wales 154, 190 Edwards, Richard, mercer 73 Eleanor of Provence, queen of England 101 Elizabeth I, queen of England 159 Elmham, Robert 63 Ely, Isle of, Cambs. 13 Ely, Richard, draper of London 73 England 154, 198 alien priories in 105 arms of 125, 127 chancellor 82, 88, 150, 151, 207n, and see Audley, Neville, Russell coronations 122, 129, 131 Italian merchants in 53 kings of, see Charles, Edward, Henry, Richard king’s council 42, 159, 204 nation of soldiers 198, 199 national anthem 121 queens consort, see Anne, Catherine, Eleanor, Isabella, Margaret, Philippa queens regnant, see Elizabeth, Mary sheriffs 8, 9, 14 taxation 4 treasurers, see Bourgchier, Scrope, Tiptoft

Index Erasmus, Desiderius 205, 206, 210, 211, 212, 214 Essex 76, 158 escheator of 81n Essex, earl of, see Bourgchier Estfield, William, mercer of London 65, 72, 157 mayor of London 145, 146 Et (Het), Thomas 64 Eton College, Bucks. 97, 105, 108, 111, 112n, 124, 125, 126 foundation charter of 128, 129+n Evil May Day (1517) 159 Exchequer 110 chamberlains, see Norris chancellors, see Lemanton, Somerset clerk of the pipe, see Cawood remembrancer, see Thorpe summoner, see Thorpe Exchequer of pleas 171, 181 Exeter, bishops, see Neville Exeter, Devon 193 MPs for 168n Exeter, dukes of, see Beaufort, Holand Exmewe, William 203 Eyre, Simon 153, 161 Fagnano, Felice da 69+n Faques, Richard 137 Farnell, Alexander 71 Farthingstone, Northants. 35 Fastolf, Sir John 39, 40+n, 41, 42, 195 Fedyon, Laurence 184 Felawe, Richard, MP for Ipswich 178, 183 Felbrigge, George 84, 93 Feldyng, Geoffrey, mercer of London 72 Ferrour, William 93, 94, 95, 96 Fiennes, James, Lord Saye, death of 111 Thomas, Lord Dacre 88 Fisher, John, bishop of Rochester 204, 205, 207, 209 FitzAilwin, Henry, mayor of London 145 master of the mint 145 Fitzalan, Elizabeth 176n Fitzhugh, Henry, Lord Fitzhugh 78 Flanders 53 Flemmyng, Hugh 80, 87n, 94, 95 Flodden, battle of (1513) 189, 199 Florence, Bardi bank in 70 dragon in 162 Forster, [-] 119 Stephen, fishmonger of London 72 Fortescue, Sir John, cj.k.b. 82n, 85n, 126 Fowcher, Matthew, mercer of London 73 Framlingham, John 176, 184 Framlingham, Suff. 84 France 43, 78, 86n, 132, 158, 191, 195, 196, 198, 202

Index France (cont.) arms of 127 compagnies d’ordonnance 196 coronations 129, 130, 131, 132 emperors, see Napoleon English wars in 4, 39, 40, 41, 45 kings 192, 196, and see Charles, Francis, Henry, John, Louis court of 130n queens of, see Catherine regent of, see John royal library 131 Francesco, Antonio di 70 Francis I, king of France, coronation of 130 Franciscan order 210 Frankfurt-am-Main 59 Fray, John 85n French Revolution 130 Frenchman, Nicholas alias Colin 84–5, 93, 94, 95, 96 Froissart, Jean 154 Frulovisi, Tito Livio 110 Fryston, -, clerk of Chancery 182 Fulburne, Walter, understeward of the duke of Norfolk 176, 184 Fulthorp, Sir Thomas 79, 83 j.p. in Suffolk 93 Furnell, Annabell, widow 55n, 72 Gadd, Ian 145 Galen 99, 101, 108 Galganetti, Gherardo 69 Garboldisham, Norf. 76n Garneys, Ralph 91n Garter, order of the 41, 123, 179 motto 125 Gascoigne, Thomas 15 Gascony, duchy of 40+n lieutenant of, see Thomas Gatton, Surr., MP for, see Stodeley Geldere, John 79, 93, 94, 95, 96 Geneva Bible (1560) 132 Genney, see Jenney Genoa 69 George II, king of Great Britain, coronation of 122 Germany, south 59 Gerold, William 184 Gill, John, tailor 73 Giovanni, Lazzaro di 62, 65 Gloucester, Gloucs., Edward IV’s charter to 134 Gloucestershire, commons of 13 Godfrey de Bouillon, king of Jerusalem 156 Godfrey, John 94 Godyng, John 184 Gore, John, merchant tailor of London 162 Gosse, John 183 Gough, Matthew 193

221 Gower, John, Confessio Amantis 191 In Praise of Peace 191 Vox Clamantis 190–1 Graunger, Agnes, see More Gray, Thomas 84, 93 Gray, also see Grey Great Bible (1539) 132, 137 Great Britain, kings of, see George Great Council (1434) 42 Great Hautbois, Norf. 44 Great Horkesley, Ess. 80 Great Munden, Herts. 78n Great Wardrobe, keeper, see Norris, Rolleston Great Yarmouth, Norf. 44, 168n, 170, 173, 178, 181 bailiffs, see Iryng, Lampet MPs for, see Edmunds, Iryng parliamentary elections in 177, 185 Gregory, Saint 196 Gregory’s Chronicle 14, 15, 195 Grene, Alan 184 Gresham, James 172 Greswold, Thomas, clerk of the Crown in Chancery 82+n Grey, also see Gray Grey, Constance, see Cressy Edmund, earl of Kent 36 Elizabeth, see Calthorpe Henry jun. 171+n, 172, 173, 179 keeper of the armoury at the Tower 179 Henry sen., MP for Norfolk 169, 171 Reynold, Lord Grey of Ruthin 32, 44 Robert 32 Griffin, John 19 Grocyn, William 205, 211, 214 Grygges, Robert, bailiff of Haveringland 45 Grymston, Edward 176, 184 Gunton, Suff. 39 Gybbes, Thomas, grocer of London 59n, 73 Hadham, William 95 Hainaut 59, 61 Hall, Henry, grocer of London 72 Halstede, John 79, 94 Ham, Surr. 107 Handel, George Frederick, ‘Zadok the priest’ 122 Harbury, Warws. 35n Hardwick, Katherine 33, 34 Hardy, William 84, 93, 94, 95, 96 Harleston, John 81+n Harmonia Anglicana 121 Harpsfield, Nicholas, archdeacon of Canterbury 207, 208, 210 Life of Sir Thomas More 207–8, 210 Harris, Dorothy, wife of John 208 John, secretary to Sir Thomas More 208 Harriss, Gerald 3

222 Harryson, Thomas 186 Harting, Suss. 76 Hastings, William, Lord Hastings 197 Hathwick, Agnes, wife of John 36 John 34, 35+n, 36, 37 j.p. Warws. 35n Katherine (née Cardigan), wife of William 33 William 33 Haveringland, Norf. 39, 41, 45, 46, 47, 48+n, 49, 50, 51+n bailiffs of 39, 46, and see Aillemer, Bert, Cay, Couper, Grygges, Howe, Lound, Pye, Shillyng, Skot, Smyth, Stanmore, Trippe warrener, see Pye Hawkwood, Gilbert, tanner 158 Sir John 155, 156, 158, 159, 160n, 161, 162, 163 captain of the White Company 155 Hawkyn, Thomas, grocer of London 65, 72, 73 Hayes, Thomas, draper 145 Hazilton, John 85n Hector, legendary Trojan prince 156, 157 Helston, Cornw. 12 Hempstead, Norf. 42, 46 Henhowe, Suff. 79, 94 chapel of St. John the Evangelist 119 Henry II, king of France 130n Henry IV, king of England 123, 167 motto of 123 tomb of, see Canterbury cathedral Henry V, king of England 40, 104, 149, 157 French campaigns of 193 lives of 110 mottoes of 123, 127 victories of 192, 193, 198 Henry VI, king of England 4, 42, 75, 82, 83, 85, 88, 89+n, 91, 102, 106, 109, 110, 112n, 118, 119, 121, 124, 125, 126, 127, 132, 134, 167, 178 almoner, see Somerset chamberlain, see Pole confessor, see Blacman coronation (English) 31, 105n, 131 coronation (French) 105, 129, 130, 131+n council 79, 83, 88, 90, 91, 128 court 82, 99, 114, 175 death 106 entry into London 109n entry into Paris 157n governor of, see Beaufort horoscope 106+n household 104n, 105, 106, 107, 110, 112, 113 steward, see Pole marriage of 100, 105, 124 mental collapse 115

Index minority 98 mottoes 123n, 127, 128+n, 129, 132 physicians, see Arundel, Kymer, Somerset secretary, see Bekynton shortcomings of 100 tutor, see Beauchamp Henry VII, king of England 38, 133, 135, 136, 168n coronation 131 French campaign (1492) 198 Scottish campaign (1497) 198 tomb of, see Westminster abbey Henry VIII, king of England 15, 88, 135, 136, 137, 200, 201, 203, 207, 209 arms and badges of 137 as duke of York 136 French campaign (1513) 198 French campaign (1544) 198, 201 Scottish campaign (1544) 201 Herbert, William (fl.1557), earl of Pembroke 201 Hercules, legendary demi-god 157 Herefordshire, commons of 13 Herman, John 184 Het, Thomas, see Et Hethingham, Jankyn, clerk 46, 49 Hevenyngham, John 184 Heydon, Henry 85 John 42, 84n, 90 Higden, Ranulph, Polychronicon 155 Higham, Thomas 80, 94 Hilton, Walter 211 Hippocrates 100 History of Parliament 7, 8n Hoberd, John 94 Holand, John, duke of Exeter 85n Holbrook, John 106n Holinshed, Raphael, Chronicle 158, 159, 162, 163 Holland 53 Holm, William 184 Holmes, G.A. 53 Holt, John 205 Lac Puerorum of 205 Holy Land 29 Holy Roman emperors, see Charlemagne, Charles Home family, motto of 122 Hooper, John 200 Horner, Robert 13 Horsford, Norf. 44 Horsham St. Faith priory, Norf. 42, 44 Horsham St. Faith, Master Peter of 43 Horsham, Suss., MPs for, see Jenney Houghton, John, prior of the London Charterhouse 203, 205 Hounslow, Mdx. 119 Howard family 75, 76, 88

Index Howard (cont.), Alice (née Tendring), wife of Sir John 76+n Elizabeth, see Vere, Wentworth Henry 75, 76+n, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82+n, 83, 86, 87+n, 91, 92, 94, 95, 96 Henry (another) 78n Joan (née Walton), wife of Sir John 76 Margaret (née Mowbray), wife of Robert 76, 80, 86 Margaret, wife of Henry 78n Mary (née Hussey), wife of Henry 76, 87+n, 88, 96 Robert 76 Sir John (d.1437) 76+n Sir John (d.1485) 76, 80, 86, 170, 173, 181 duke of Norfolk 76+n MP for Norfolk 169 sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk 10, 11, 168+n, 171, 172, 174, 175+n, 176+n, 178, 182n, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187 Thomas (d.1524), earl of Surrey 189, 199 Thomas (d.1554), duke of Norfolk 15, 200 Howe, John de, bailiff of Haveringland 45 Howell, John, of Tenby 192 Hoxon, Richard 184 Hoyle, Richard 12, 15 Hoyot, William, of Pinchbeck 9 Hull, see Kingston upon Hull Hulle, Robert, grocer of London 59n, 73 Humberstone, Thomas, mercer of London 73 Humphrey of Lancaster, duke of Gloucester 78, 79, 91, 104n, 106, 107n, 110, 111 death of 110 household of 106 library of 107, 110, 111+n lieutenant of Calais 41 physician, see Kymer Hundred Years War 43, 53, 154, 160, 191, 192, 193, 196, 201 Hungerford, Walter, Lord Hungerford 110 Hunt, Walter, grocer 73 Huntingdonshire, parliamentary elections in 11 Hussey, Henry 76 Mary, see Howard Sir William, c.j.k.b. 19, 20 Hutten, Ulrich von 206 Hyll, Geoffrey 184 John 184 John jun. 184 Hythe, Kent, MPs for 168n Inglose family 40 Anne (née Jenney), wife of Sir Henry I 40 Anne (née Wythe), wife of Sir Henry II 41, 42 Anne, see Colville

223 Denise (née Wychingham), wife of Sir Henry II 41 Sir Henry I 40 Sir Henry II 39–52 deputy lieutenant of Calais 41 MP for Norfolk 42 MP for Suffolk 42 Henry III 43, 44, 45 Margaret, see Beaupre Robert 42, 43 Ipswich, Suff. 79, 83, 93, 95, 168n, 170, 181, 184, 201 bailiffs, see Denys, Ridout coroners, see Creyk, Ryver MPs for, see Baldry, Felawe parliamentary elections in 172, 177, 178, 183 Ireland 4 Iryng, Thomas, bailiff of Great Yarmouth 177, 185 MP for Great Yarmouth 177, 185 Isaac, biblical patriarch 157 Isabella of France, queen of England 23 Isleworth, Mdx. 115 chapel of St. Mary 119 Israel, people of 2 Italy 155 Jack Cade’s Rebellion (1450) 4, 14, 15, 111, 113, 195, 200 Jacquetta of Luxembourg, duchess of Bedford, countess Rivers 36, 37 Jeffrey, Thomas 184 Jenney (Genney), Alice, wife of Sir John 48n Anne, see Inglose James 42 Sir John 41, 45, 46, 48n John 179 Sir Roger, of Dilham 40 William 51n, 79, 80, 85, 94 j.p. in Suffolk 93 MP for Horsham 85 MP for Suffolk 170 Jenyns, Sir Stephen 158 Jerusalem, kings of, see Godfrey John II, king of France 154 John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster 190 John of Lancaster, duke of Bedford 41, 79, 157 library of 131 regent of France 128 John the Baptist, Saint 146 Johnson, Richard 162 A Crowne-Garland of Goulden Roses 160n Look on Me, London 160 The Nine Worthies of London 159, 160, 161, 162 William 87n, 96

224 Joos, William 184 Joseph, John 81+n Joshua, biblical hero 156, 157 Junyent, Francesc 59n Juvénal des Ursins, Jean 196 Kane, William 184 Katherine of Aragon, princess of Wales 205 Kebell, Andrew 115n widow of 114 Kemp, Thomas 184 Kempis, Thomas a, The Imitation of Christ 211 Kendale, John 80, 86, 87n, 94, 95, 96 Kene, Thomas 184 William 184 Kent (Chint), Nicholas, vintner of London 73 Kent 167, 192, 213 commons of 195 sheriff of 194 Kent, earl of, see Grey Kett’s Rebellion (1549) 199 Keynes family 21 Eleanor (née St. Amand), wife of Sir Robert 21, 22, 23 Eleanor, wife of Sir John 23n Elizabeth 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31 Gwenllian 24+n, 25, 26, 27n, 29, 30, 38 Hawise (née Lisle), wife of Sir Robert 33, 34 Hawise, see Daventry Joan (née Mautravers), wife of Sir John 23+n, 26, 27 Sir John (d.1366) 23, 24, 27n, 31 John jun. 23, 24 Lettice, see Ayot Margaret, wife of Sir William 22, 23 Ralph 34 Sir Robert (d.1282), of Dodford 33, 34 Sir Robert (d.c.1318), of Dodford 20+n, 21+n, 22, 34 Sir Robert, of Milton Keynes 34 Sir William 21, 22, 23, 33 King James Bible (1611) 121, 132 King, Andy 194 Kings bench, court of 46, 75, 79, 80, 82, 85n, 87, 88, 126, 168+n, 174, 192 chief justice 82, 87, and see Billing, Fortescue, Hussey, Markham Kingston upon Hull, Yorks. 4, 54, 120n Henry VI’s charter to 125, 128 MPs for 168n Kinney, Daniel 212 Knighton Henry 191 Knolles, Sir Robert 154–5, 158, 161 Kyme, Lincs. 4n Kymer, Gilbert 103, 104n chancellor of Oxford university 99, 107, 110

Index physician to Henry VI 99 physician to Humphrey, duke of Gloucester 99, 107+n wife of 103 Ladbroke, Alice, see Cardigan Hawise (née Daventry), wife of Sir John 27, 33, 35 Sir John 27 Lampet, Ralph, bailiff of Great Yarmouth 185 Lancashire, Anne 145 Lancaster, duchy of 13, 46, 89 auditor, see Mistlebrook chancery of 213 steward, see Andrew Lancaster, dukes of, see John Lander, J.R. 196 Langland, William 148 Langley abbey, Norf. 41 Langport, Richard, clerk of the privy seal office 82n Langton, John, chancellor of Cambridge university 105+n, 106 Thomas, bishop of St. David’s 4 Languyon, Jacques de, Voeux du Paon 156 Latimer, Hugh 199–200 Laurence, Robert, prior of Beauvale 203, 205 Lavenham, Suff. 15 Ledale, John 79, 93, 94, 95, 96 Leicestershire 191 Lemanton, John 112n, 113, 117+n, 118+n, 119, 120+n chancellor of the exchequer 112 MP for Middlesex 112n MP for Reigate 112n Richard 120+n Lepers 83, 95 Letteres, John 184 Leventhorp, John 93, 149 treasurer of the household of the duke of Norfolk 84+n Levesson, William 184 Libelle of Englyshe Polycye 53 Lilly, William 205, 210, 211 master of St. Paul’s school 214 Linacre, Thomas 205, 211 Lincoln, bishops, see Russell Lincolnshire Rebellion (1470) 36 Lincolnshire, parliamentary elections in 9+n Lindenbaum, Sheila 150 Lisle, Geoffrey 33 Hawise, see Keynes Sir John 33, 34 Little Dunham, Norf. 81 Llull, Ramon, The Book of the Ordre of Chyvalrye 158 Loddon, Norf. 39, 40, 41, 43 Wassingford manor in 43 Lombardy 155, 156, 161

Index London 12, 14, 46, 50, 53, 54, 56, 58, 59, 60, 62, 64+n, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 80, 109, 167, 193, 205 as ‘New Troy’ 144, 156 bishop of 151 commissary of 114 Borromei bank in 53, 55–71, 148 Charterhouse 203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214 prior, see Houghton, Middleton, Tynbygh procurator, see Underwood chronicles 150 guilds 143, 144n, 145, 146, 147, 148, 151, 152, 161, 162 clerks of 147, 148+n, 149, 150 Brewers’ Company 147 clerk, see Porland wardens of 147 Carpenters’ Company 147, 151, 152 ordinances of 147 Coopers’ Company 151 Cutlers’ Company 150 Drapers’ Company 145, 157 Fishmongers’ Company 144, 153 Founders’ Company 151 Girdlers’ Company 146 Goldsmiths’ Company 145, 148, 149 ordinances 150 Grocers’ company, clerk of 150 wardens of 150 Hosiers’ Company 155 Leathersellers’ Company, Henry VI’s charter to 125–126 Mercers’ Company 145, 147, 149, 153 petition to parliament 148 Merchant Taylors’ Company 152, 153, 158, 162, 163 Pewterers’ Company 149 ‘Faculte of Phisyk’ 103 Pouchmakers’ Company 147 Saddlers’ Company 146, 147, 153 Scriveners’ Company 148+n warden, see Stodeley Skinners’ Company 144, 151, 152, 153 clerk of 151 fraternities of Corpus Christi and of the Assumption 151 Tailors’ Company 146, 150, 151, 153, 155 clerk, see Mayour ordinances 151 Vintners’ Company 143, 144, 153, 154 Liber Albus 149 Lord Mayor’s Show 144+n, 145, 146, 152, 153, 158, 160, 162 mayor 144, 146, 150, 152, 157, and see Estfield, FitzAilwin, Picard, Sevenoak MPs for 6, 168n

225 Midsummer Watch 156, 157 parishes and parish churches All Hallows London Wall, Brewers’ fraternity in 147 St. Lawrence Jewry 206, 207, 214 St. Michael Bassishaw 206 St. Nicholas Acon 71n St. Stephen Colman Street 102n chantry 104n, 108n physicians of 105 St. Anthony’s school 205 St. Paul’s cathedral 4, 151 college of Minor Canons 134 grammar school 214 master, see Lilly library 101 Salviati bank in 71n soldiers from 193 streets and places Bridge 4, 157 warden, see Caldecote Barbican 213 Cheapside, cross 4 Cornhill, Conduit 156 Standard 4 Cripplegate 212, 213 Furnival’s Inn 207+n, 212, 213 principal of 207n reader, see More Guildhall 148, 149, 150 Holborn 212 Leadenhall 155 Lincoln’s Inn 205, 206, 207+n, 212, 214 Lombard Street 148, 161 Exchange 69 Milk Street 206 New Inn 205 Newgate prison 204 Redcross Street 212, 213, 214 St. Nicholas Lane 70 Smithfield, tournament in (1467) 156 Tower 90, 203, 208, 212 armoury, keeper, see Grey mint 68–9 masters, see FitzAilwin, Somerset Tower Hill 204 Vintners’ Hall 143 Lorenzo II de’ Medici, duke of Urbino 130 Lorraine 31 Louis XI, king of France 99n physician, see Cotier Lound, William, of Norwich 48+n, 49+n, 51 bailiff of Haveringland 45, 48n Louvain, Brabant 207 Ludford Bridge, battle of (1459) 195 Lully, Jean-Baptiste 130n Lunneys, Thomas 183

226 Lydgate, John 109n, 145 Disguising at London 157 Life of St. Edmund 104n Siege of Thebes 191 Troy Book 157 Lyhert, Walter, bishop of Norwich 42 Lytchett Mautravers, Dors. 23 Maccabeus, Judas 156 Macheran, Percival 117n Madeleine de la Tour, duchess of Urbino, wife of Lorenzo II 130 Magna Carta 88n Maillard, Jean 130 Maine 195 Maleverer, Sir Henry 160n Malory, Sir Thomas, Morte d’Arthur 157 Malpas, Philip 117n Malvern, John 155 Manchester, Lancs. 167 Manerd, John 184 Manfeld, William 84, 93, 94, 95, 96 Manners, Henry, earl of Rutland 201 Marcanuovo, Giovanni da 69 March, earl of, see Mortimer March, Ralph 62 Marchall, Roger, physician 101, 106, 115 Marchaunt, John 148 Marchili, Tommaso de’ 65 Margaret of Anjou, queen of England 31, 35, 105, 109, 124, 125, 126, 157, 167, 180, 194, 196 Markham, Sir John, c.j.k.b. 168+n, 186 Marshall, Johanna, wife of John 206 John, mercer of London 206 Martyn, John 184 Mary I, queen of England 135 Maryot, William 184 Masham, Yorks. 79 Masselyn, Thomas 184 Mauntell, John 32, 33, 37 Mautby, John 40n Margaret, see Paston Mautravers, Agnes (née Bereford), wife of Sir John Mautravers 23n Joan, see Keynes, Rous Sir John (d.1349) 23 Sir John (d.1364) 23 Maxstoke, Warws. 4 Mayour, Henry, clerk of the Tailors’ Company 151 McFarlane, K.B. 171, 173 Mechelen (Malines), Flanders 69 Medical education, medieval 99, 100, 101 Medicine Aristotelis ad regem Alexandrum 101 Melton, John 183 Melton, Suff., gaol of 90n Mercenaries 199

Index Merchant, John, vintner of London 72 Merton priory, Surr. 104n Micheli, Giovanni 54, 69+n Niccolò 54, 55, 59, 63, 69+n Middleburg, Zeeland 58, 59+n, 63, 64n, 68 Middlesex 192 jps in, see Somerset MPs for, see Charlton, Lemanton, Somerset Middleton, Humphrey, prior of the London Charterhouse 203 Sir John 197 Milan 59, 69, 161 Ambrosian Republic 69 Borromei bank in 70 dukes of 69 Miller, Helen 150 Misterton, Leics. 32n, 36n Mistlebrook, William 214 auditor of the duchy of Lancaster 213 Moleyns, Adam, bishop of Chichester 193 keeper of the privy seal 193 Montgomery, Sir Thomas, marshal of Henry VI’s hall 118n sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk 174 Mooney, Linne 148 More, Abel 206 Agnes (née Graunger), wife of John 206 Anne (née Cresacre), wife of John 210 Cresacre 210, 211, 212 Elizabeth, see Rastell Jane (née Colt), wife of Thomas 205 Johanna, wife of John 206 John 205, 206, 207n, 213 John (son of Thomas) 210 Margaret, see Roper Sir Thomas 203, 204, 205, 206 chancellor 203 reader of Furnival’s Inn 207+n, 209, 214 Confutation of Tyndale’s Answer 211– 12 A Dialogue of Comfort against Tribulation 212 History of King Richard III 212–13, 214 Utopia 211 secretary of, see Harris Morgan, Bartholomew 201 Morison, Richard 3, 14, 200, 201 An Exhortation to styrre all Englyshe men to the defence of theyr countreye 199 A Remedy for Sedition 3 Mors, John 184 Morstede, Thomas 78+n surgeon to the duke of Exeter103 Mortimer, Roger, earl of March 23 Morton, John, cardinal archbishop of Canterbury 205

Index Moses, biblical prophet 2, 16, 157 Mountjoy priory, Norf., prior, see Walsingham Mouton, Jean 130 Mowbray family 84+n, 89n, 176, 178, 179 Anne, duchess of Norfolk 76, 170 John (d.1461), duke of Norfolk 10, 42, 75, 76, 78, 79, 83, 84, 85, 86, 89, 90+n, 91, 92, 93, 95, 112n, 148–9, 169, 170, 171, 175+n, 176+n, 178, 179 earl marshal 86n surveyor general of, see Debenham treasurer of the household of, see Leventhorp understeward of, see Fulburne John (d.1476), duke of Norfolk 4, 176 Margaret, see Howard Mum and the Sothsegger 6 Munday, Anthony 144–5, 153 Munro, J.H.A. 61 Murray, J.M. 69 Nall, Cath 196 Napoleon I, emperor of France 130 Naunton, Robert 81+n, 82 Nayland, Suff. 80, 83, 85+n, 86, 94 Neckham, Alexander, De naturis rerum 111 Nercwys, Flints. 135 Neve, John 94 Neville, George, bishop of Exeter, chancellor of England 168+n, 186 John, Lord Neville 194 Richard, earl of Salisbury 194 Richard, earl of Warwick 4, 16, 35n, 36 captain of Calais 195 New Romney, Kent, MPs for 168n Newberie, Ralph 158 Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumb. 4+n, 167 MPs for 6 Newdigate, Sebastian 203 Newsam, Robert 93, 94, 95, 96 secretary of John, Lord Scrope 84 Newton Nottage, Glam. 20n, 21, 22n Newton, Sir Richard 85n Nightingale, Pamela 54 Norfolk 42, 43, 76, 169, 179 coroners, see Denys escheator of 44 MPs for 169, and see Berney, Grey, Howard, Inglose, Paston, Tuddenham parliamentary elections in 9, 10, 40, 168+n, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175+n, 179, 181, 185, 186 shire court 171, 172, 173+n, 174, 175, 186 undersheriff 52, 173, 174 Norfolk, dukes of, see Howard, Mowbray Norfolk and Suffolk, sheriff 168n, 181, 182, and see Howard, Montgomery, Sharneburne, Wingfield

227 Norman, Isabella, silkwoman 55n Normandy 193, 195, 198 loss of 193 Normandy, Lower, governor, see Pole Norris family, arms of 125 Sir John 124 chamberlain of the exchequer 124 esquire for Henry VI’s body 124 keeper of the great wardrobe 124 MP for Berkshire 124 MP for Oxfordshire 124 MP for Truro 124 sheriff of Oxon. and Berks. 124 sheriff of Som. and Dorset 124 sheriff of Wilts. 124 Northallerton, Yorks. 107 Northampton, Northants. 17, 30 castle 34 Northampton, battle of (1460) 175, 176n Northampton, earl of 190 Northamptonshire, escheator of 29, 30 MPs for, see Daventry Northumberland 4n Norwich, Norf. 39, 41, 43, 44, 48n, 50, 170, 173, 186, 187, 201 Berney’s Inn 41, 43 castle yard 173 chamberlains 201 Inglose’s Inn 46 mayor’s court 189 MPs for 6, 168n shirehouse 174, 186 soldiers from 198 Spurior Row 174 Norwich, bishop of 75n, 78, and see Lyhert Norwood, Mdx. 107 chapel of St. Mary 119 Norys, John 94 Notebroun, John, mercer of London 72 Nottingham, Notts., MPs for 168n Nowell, Charles 176, 184 Nunne, Robert 184 Ockwells, Berks. 124 Offley, Sir Hugh 159 Ogle, Sir Robert 194 Okeham, William 9+n Oliver, William, mercer 72 Olney, John, mercer 64n, 72 Orable, Alexander, mercer of London 61, 72, 73 Orchard Portman, Som. 7 Orleans, siege of (1428–9) 41 Ormond, Sir James 10 earl of Wiltshire 35 Ormrod, Mark 193 Osbarn, Richard 148 Osbarne, Thomas, mercer of London 60+n, 72 Osbern, Robert 43, 44

228 Osbern (cont.) Sibyl (née Dacre), wife of Robert 43, 44 Osterich, Thomas, haberdasher of London 56n, 72 Osterley, Mdx. 97, 107, 109n Ovehand, William 84, 93 Oxford, Oxon. 22 Oxford university 101, 102, 106+n, 110, 111, 114, 205, 206 chancellor, see Kymer proctor 111 Oxfordshire, MPs for, see Norris Oxfordshire and Berkshire, sheriffs, see Norris Oxhill, Warws. 20n, 22+n, 26, 27, 31, 33, 34, 35 Page, John 191 John jun. 184 Palastrello, Alessandro 69+n Palermo, Sicily, cathedral 129 Parham, John, priest 43 Paris 105, 190 church of SS. Eugène and Cécile 130 Notre Dame 131 physicians of 105 Parker, Henry 184 Parlement of the Thre Ages 157 Parliament 1, 2, 3, 6, 14–15, 16, 23, 98, 128, 147, 149, 150 (1377 Oct.) 30 (1379) 30 (1388 Feb.) 148 (1423) 42 (1425) 42 (1429) 42, 192 (1432) 42 (1435) 42 (1437) 42 (1439) 68, 116n (1442) 97, 98 (1447) 87 (1449 Feb.) 42 (1449 Nov.) 170 (1450) 111, 114 Commons in 114 (1459) 178, 180 (1460) 167 (1461) 167, 168n, 173, 174, 178, 182 (1463) 197 (1483 June) 168n (1529) 203 Parliament, Commons in 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 12, 14, 16, 180 constituencies 6 elections to 6, 8, 9, 10+n, 11+n, 12, 16, 40, 78, 167, 177, 180, and see individual constituencies lords in 2, 3, 15, 167

Index petitions 8, 12, 13, 14, 30, 150, 151n Speaker 2, 3, 6 Parliamentary boroughs 6 Paston family 171, 174 Sir John 197 John 10, 11, 44, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 179, 181, 186, 195 MP for Norfolk 173, 186, 187 John jun. 170, 173 Margaret (née Mautby), wife of John 4, 44, 171, 173, 197 Paston Letters 75, 170, 171, 177 Patay, battle of (1429) 41 Patrick, 6th earl of Dunbar 122 Patrick, 7th earl of Dunbar 122–3 motto 123 Payling, Simon 8, 9, 12, 91, 171, 179 Payn, John 195 Peasants’ Revolt (1381) 160 Pecock, Reginald, master of Whittington’s almshouse and college of St. Michael Paternoster 109+n Peers, Thomas 183 Walter 183 Peldon, Ess. 87n Pelham, Nicholas 88 Pelse, John 184 Pemberton, John, goldsmith 145 Pembroke, earl of, see Herbert Percy family, motto of 122 Percyvale, Sir John 158 Petersham, Surr. 107 Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy 68n Philippa of Hainault, queen of England 24 Picard (Pritchard), Sir Henry, vintner 160n, 161 mayor of London 154 Pickworth, Rutl. 41, 45 Pigot, Simon, MP for Bishop’s Lynn 178, 185 Pike, Thomas, draper of London 61+n, 65, 66, 72 Pilgrimage of Grace (1536) 3, 14, 200, 201 Pilkington family 17 Pinchbeck, Lincs,, people of 13 Pinelli, Aimone 60, 69 Pinkhurst, Adam 148 Pizan, Christine de 102n, 196 Le livre des fais d’armes et de chevalerie 196 Livre du corps de policie 196 Plantagenet, George, duke of Clarence 36 Richard (d.1460), duke of York 4, 15, 169, 176, 179, 195 Richard (b.1473), duke of York 170 murder of 213 Playter, Thomas 172, 174 Plumtree, John 79, 93, 94, 95, 96 Pocklington, William 114 Poggio, Lorenzo di 60

Index Poitiers, battle of (1356) 202 Poland, wild boar in 161 Pole, de la, family 176 Alice de la (née Chaucer), duchess of Suffolk 85n, 177 Elizabeth de la, duchess of Suffolk, wife of John 169 John de la, duke of Suffolk 169, 170, 177, 179 William de la, earl, marquess and duke of Suffolk 41, 42, 46, 75, 84, 85, 89, 90, 91+n, 92, 108, 112, 113, 117, 118+n, 169, 195 chamberlain of Henry VI 112 death of 113 governor of Lower Normandy 41 steward of the household 86n steward of, see Ulverston Pole, Reginald, cardinal 207 Poley, Simon 177, 184 Polthorp, William 93, 94, 95, 96 Pontefract, Yorks. 14 Porland, William, clerk of the Brewers’ Company 149 Porter, Richard 213–214 Porthcawl, Glam. 20n Portman family 7 Walter, MP for Taunton 7 William, MP for Taunton 7 Portsmouth, Hants 193 Portyngton, John 85n Potter (Potyer), Richard 213 Power, Eileen 70 Prentises Practise in Godlinesse, The 159 Privy Seal Office, clerk, see Langport Privy seal, keeper of, see Moleyns Provana, Domenic 59n Prudde, John 125+n Pryce (Prys), William, undersheriff of Norfolk 171, 172, 175, 186, 187 Pseudo-Elmham, Vita Henrici Quinti 110 Pugin, Augustus Welby 137 Pulham, John 176, 184 Purcell, Henry 121 Purchas, Henry, grocer of London 59n, 60, 61n, 72, 73 Purefoy, Philip 20, 36, 37 William 32, 33, 34, 35+n, 36+n j.p. in Warws. 32n sheriff of Warws. and Leics. 32n Purton Keynes, Wilts. 20n, 21, 26, 30, 31+n Pye, John, bailiff of Haveringland 45, 50 warrener at Haveringland 45 Pynson, Richard 133, 189 Rabatta, Forese da 71n Rabett, William 183 Radcliff, Sir Geoffrey 169 Radford, Nicholas 75, 80, 91

229 Radley, Richard 171, 186 Rapondi, Goffredo, of Bruges 60 Rastell, Elizabeth (née More), wife of John 206 William 207 Reading, Berks., MPs for 168n Redbourne priory, Herts. 26 Reformation, the 151, 152, 153 Reigate, Surr., MPs for, see Lemanton, Stodeley Reims, France, cathedral 130 archbishop of 130 Rendelesham, John 184 Reydon, William 184 Reynolds, Dr. Richard 203, 205 Richard I, king of England 158 Richard II, king of England 160 arms 127 council 26n deposition 14, 31 motto 123+n Richard III, king of England 4, 37, 213, 214 badges 135 coronation 131 mottoes 134, 135 as duke of Gloucester 197, 213, 214 Scottish campaign 197 Richmond, Yorks., liberty of 78 Richmond, Colin 90, 179 Richmond, countess of, see Beaufort Ridout, William, bailiff of Ipswich 183 Rivers, countess, see Jacquetta earls, see Wydeville Ro. Ba., Life of Sir Thomas More 209, 210 Robertson, James 161 Rochester, Kent 4, 113 Rochester, bishops, see Fisher Roger II, king of Sicily, coronation of 129 Rogers, Alan 9 Rolle, Richard 211 Rolleston, Robert, keeper of the great wardrobe 126 Rome, ancient 2 Rome, court of 61 Romulus, king of Rome 2 Roos, Thomas (d.1430), Lord Roos 46 Roover, Raymond de 61 Roper, Margaret (née More), wife of William Roper 203, 207, 208 William 207, 208, 210 Ross, James 179 Rouen, Norm. 105 physicians of 105 siege of (1418–19) 40, 191 Rous, Joan (née Mautravers), wife of Sir Robert 23+n, 26, 27 Reginald 79–80, 85, 94 j.p. in Suffolk 93 Sir Robert 26+n, 27, 29

230 Rous, Sir Robert (cont.) captain of Cherbourg 26n Rowyngton, Thomas 84, 93, 176, 184 bailiff of Earl Stonham 84n Ruislip, Mdx. 97, 107+n, 114 Russell, John, bishop of Lincoln, chancellor of England 1, 2, 3, 5, 15, 16 Rutland 43, 44 Rutland, earl of, see Manners Rye, Suss., MPs for 168n Rympyngden, John 81 Ryver, John, coroner of Ipswich 183 St. Albans abbey, Herts. 26, 27 abbot 26, and see Whethamstede St. Albans, battle of (1455) 194 St. Amand, Amaury 21+n Eleanor, see Keynes Master John 21 St. Amand, Lord, see Beauchamp St. David’s, bishops, see Langton Salisbury, earl of, see Neville Salisbury, John of 190 Salisbury, Wilts., cathedral 133 MPs for 168n Salle, Norf., church 109n Salman, John, mercer 73 Salviati, Jacopo 71n Sampson, Robert 184 Sandwich, Kent 4, 54, 59n, 60, 68, 69, 193 MPs for 168n Santini di Cassarnolo, Giovanni 67 Sarum Use 132, 133 Saul, Nigel 190, 191 Saxe, John 94 Saye, Lord, see Fiennes Scales, Thomas, Lord Scales 193 Scherlyng, John, bailiff of Dunwich 183 Schypman, Nicholas 183 Robert 183 Scotland 154, 172 kings of, see David Scots, the 182, 189 Scrope, Henry (d.1415), Lord Scrope 78 John jun. 79, 80, 83, 88, 93, 94, 95, 96 John, Lord Scrope of Masham 75, 78, 79, 80, 81+n, 82+n, 83, 84, 85+n, 86, 87+n, 88, 89, 91, 93, 94, 95+n, 96 treasurer of England 79 secretary of, see Newsam Stephen 42 Secreta secretorum 101 Semy, Adam, shearman 73 Seton family, motto of 122 Sevenoak, Sir William, mayor of London 160+n, 161 Sewale, John, bailiff of Dunwich 183 Seymer, John, mercer of London 73 Sforza, Francesco 69

Index Shagan, Ethan 14 Shalstone, Bucks. 32n Sharneburne, Thomas, sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk 170 Sheen, Surr. 82, 107 palace 106, 107 Shepey, John 93, 94, 95, 96 Shillyng, John, bailiff of Haveringland 45 Shirford, Warws. 32n Shrewsbury, Salop 114 MPs for 168n Shropshire, commons of 13 Sicily, king of, see Roger Siena, Aldobrandino of 101 Skot, William, bailiff of Haveringland 45 Smallburgh, Norf. 44 Smyth, John 87n, 93, 94, 95 John, mercer of London 72 Robert, bailiff of Haveringland 45 Smythe, Thomas 159 Solomon, biblical king 121 Somerford Keynes, Wilts. 20+n, 21+n, 22, 23 Somerset 213 commons of 13 Somerset and Dorset, sheriffs, see Norris Somerset, Agnes, wife of John 104n Alice (née Cawood), wife of John 104n, 107–8 Alice, nun and prioress of Wintney 102+n John 97–117 almoner of the household 97, 108 books of 101 chancellor of the exchequer 97, 107, 112, 113, 114+n, 115n, 117 De Facultate Metrica 114n death of 114 estates of 109n fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge 102, 119n grammar master of Bury St. Edmunds school 103 j.p. in Middlesex 97+n, 107n MP for Middlesex 97 philanthropy of 110, 111, 112, 119 physician to Henry VI 104, 113, 115, 116+n searcher of ships 107n surveyor of works 105 warden of the exchange and mint 97, 107, 112, 117, 120 Margaret 102+n Robert, draper 102+n Somerset, dukes and earls of, see Beaufort Somerton, John, grocer of London 73 South Walsham, Norf. 84n Southampton 54, 65, 68, 69, 199 Henry VI’s charter to 124 MPs for 168n Southampton Plot (1415) 78

Index Southwark, Surr. 86n church of Our Lady and St. George 137 marshalsea prison 203 riots in 159 Southwell, Richard 172 Southwell, Thomas, physician 103, 106, 115 Spain 198 Spalding, Lincs., people of 13 Sparow, Thomas 13 Sparwe, Robert 94 Spicer, William, grocer of London 73 Spinola, Battista 64 Sprottisland, Suff. 76+n Squyer, John, clerk 81 Stabeler, Thomas 87n, 96 Stafford family, arms of 127 Eleanor (née Aylesbury), wife of Sir Humphrey 34, 35+n, 36, 37 Sir Humphrey, of Grafton 34, 38 Humphrey (d.1460), duke of Buckingham 4 John, archbishop of Canterbury 111, 127+n Thomas 36, 37, 38 Staffordshire, MPs for 168n Staines, John 4 Stalham, Norf. 52 Stanley, Sir Edward 189 Stanmore, John, bailiff of Haveringland 45, 46, 49, 50 Stapleton, Thomas 208, 210 Life of Thomas More 208–209 Starkey, Thomas 14 Statutes and acts of parliament Additions (1413) 192 De Donis Conditionalibus (1285) 18 elections (1429) 11, 12, 186 elections (1445) 186 forgery (1413) 81 guild regulation (1437) 150 guild regulation (1504) 150–151, 152 hosting (1439) Resumption (1450) 114n Resumption (1451) 114 Riot Act 15 Succession (1534) 203 Supremacy (1534) 203, 204 Winchester (1285) 190 Winchester (1511 reissue) 198 Stebbyng, William 184 Stefnes, John 184 Stevens, William, mercer of London 72 Stifford, William 148 day-book of 148 Stodeley, John, scrivener 148 MP for Gatton 149 MP for Reigate 149 warden of the Scriveners’ Company 148 Stokdale, John 87n, 93, 94, 95

231 Stoke-by-Nayland, Suff. 76, 79, 80, 84, 94, 95 Stokton, John, mercer 61 Stow, John 158, 162, 163 Annales of England 158, 159 Chronicles of England 154 Survey of London 143, 144, 145, 153, 163 Stratton, Edmund 184 Straunge (Strange), John 84+n, 93, 176, 184 MP for Dunwich 178, 183 Stubbs, Estelle 148 Style, William 183 Sudbury, Suff. 15 Suffolk 9, 15, 43, 44, 76, 87n, 92, 169, 171, 179, 181 coroners of 175–6, and see Aylmere, Wursop j.p.s in, see Andrews, Debenham, Fulthorp, Jenney, Rous, Ulverston MPs for, see Cornwallis, Danyell, Debenham, Inglose, Jenney, Tyrell, Wingfield parliamentary elections in 9, 10, 171, 173, 175+n, 176+n, 179, 181, 184 shire court 170 undersheriff of 170 Suffolk, duchess of, see Pole dukes of, see Brandon, Pole earl of, see Pole marquess of, see Pole Surrey, earls of, see Howard Surrey, MPs for 168n Sussex 12, 192 MPs for 168n Sutton, Anne 149 Symond, Robert, of Louth 9+n Syon abbey, Mdx. 109+n, 114, 203 Tailboys, Sir William, of Kyme 4+n Talbot, John, 1st earl of Shrewsbury 124, 196 Talbot, John, 2nd earl of Shrewsbury 35 Tarrant Keynston, Dors. 20, 21, 23, 26, 27, 30, 31 Tarrant Keynston abbey, Dors. 26 abbess of 23n Taunton, Som. 7 MPs for, see Portman Taylor, Craig 196 Tendring, Alice, see Howard Terrington. Norf. 76+n Teye family 87n John 87n Thames, river 157 Thirsk, Yorks., market cross 4 Thomas of Lancaster, duke of Clarence 40 lieutenant of Gascony 40 Thordre and behauyoure of the ... Erle of Surrey 189 Thoresby, Henry, MP for Bishop’s Lynn 178 Thornbury, Thomas 197

232 Thornham, Thomas 184 Thorpe, Thomas 112, 113+n, 118+n, 120 summoner of the exchequer 112 remembrancer of the exchequer 113 Thorpp, Robert 183 Thurban, Richard 184 Thywell, John, of East Deeping 9+n Tiptoft, John, earl of Worcester 4 treasurer of England 177 Tiptoft, Sir John, seneschal of Gascony 40+n Toke, Ralph 184 Toly, Richard, vintner 73 Tommasi family of Venice 67 Tommaso, Cecco di 62, 65, 66, 67 Topy, John, of Winterton 46, 52 Torold, Thomas 13 Tough, Roger 183 Toulond, William, mercer of London 73 Tours, truce of (1444) 78, 193 Towton, battle of (1461) 167, 175 Tractatus de regimine principum ad regem Henrici Sexti 105 Tractatus utilis de regimine sanitatis 101 Traynell, Thomas, mercer of London 73 Trevelyan family 168n Trippe, James, bailiff of Haveringland 45, 48n Trollope, Andrew 195 Truro, Cornw., MPs for, see Norris Trusbot, John, mercer of London 65, 73 Tuddenham, Sir Thomas 42, 85 MP for Norfolk 42 Tunstead, Norf. 45, 46 Turner, Marion 148 William 84, 93, 94, 95, 96 Twickenham, Mdx., church of St. Mary 119 Twyer, Alexander 93, 94, 95, 96 Tyburn, Mdx. 203, 204 Tyler, Wat 144 Tynbygh, William, prior of the London Charterhouse 211 Tyrell, William, MP for Suffolk 175 Ufford, Joan, see Bowet Sir Robert 43 Ulverston, John 79, 84+n j.p. in Suffolk 93 steward of the duke of Suffolk 84n, 177 Underwood, Philip, procurator of the London Charterhouse 213 Urbino, duchess of, see Madeleine duke of, see Lorenzo Usk, Adam of 191 Thomas 148 Veale, Elspeth 151 Vegetius (Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus) 196 Venables, John, grocer 73 Venice 58, 63, 65, 66, 67, 68

Index Borromei bank in 61, 62, 65, 70 Tommasi bank in 62, 65, 66 Vere, Elizabeth de (née Howard), countess of Oxford, wife of John 76+n John de, 12th earl of Oxford 76, 78, 169, 198 Veysey, William 109n, 114 king’s brick-maker 108+n MP 108 water-bailiff of the Thames 108 Vincent, Robert, bailiff of Dunwich 178 MP for Dunwich 178, 183 Virgoe, Roger 179 Visconti family 69 Wales, marches of 58, 167 princes of, see Arthur, Edward princess of, see Katherine Wallegh (Quallegh, Waller, Whalley), John 80, 86, 87n, 94, 95, 96 Walsingham, Edmund de, prior of Mountjoy 51+n, 52 Thomas 6, 14, 155 Walton, Joan, see Howard Walworth, John 176, 184 Sir William 144, 152, 160+n Warde, Thomas 184 Warkworth’s Chronicle 4 Warner, Robert, of Marlborough 7 Warwick, earls of, see Beauchamp, Neville Warwickshire, escheator of 29, 30, 34 j.p.s in, see Hathwick, Purefoy Warwickshire and Leicestershire, sheriffs, see Purefoy Waryn, Thomas 184 Watts, John 90, 100 Waurin, Jean de 195 Wayte, John 81n William 170 Webster, Augustine, prior of Axholme 203, 205 John 144, 153, 162 Weldon, Nicholas, grocer of London 73 Welles, Lord 13 Welles, Robert, cook 192 Wells, Som., MPs for 168n Wentworth, Elizabeth (née Howard), wife of Henry 76 Henry 76+n Sir Philip, MP for Suffolk 170, 175 Wesel 135 West, Reynold, Lord de la Warre 19, 20 Thomas (d.1427), Lord de la Warre 19 Thomas (d.1525), Lord de la Warre 20 Westerham, Kent, churchwardens 192 Westminster, Mdx. 15, 82, 117, 167, 171, 174, 177, 182, 184, 186 hospital of St. James 126 palace, clock tower 137

Index Westminster (cont.) Westminster Hall 204 Westminster abbey, Mdx. 131, 132 Henry VII’s lady chapel 133 Liber Niger154 tomb of Henry VII 133 Westminster Chronicle 155 Weston, John 94 Weybrede, John 183 Wheathampstead, Herts. 25n Whethamstede, John, abbot of St. Albans 194 White, Sir Thomas 158, 160n, 162 Whittingham, Robert, mayor of the Calais staple 65 Whittington, Richard 109, 152, 153, 160, 161, 162 Whitwell, Norf. 46 William, canon of Mountjoy 52 Williams, C.H. 168, 181 Wilson, Adam 87n, 96 Wilton Diptych 127 Wilton, Wilts., MPs for 168n Wiltshire, earl of, see Ormond Wiltshire, escheator of 29, 30 MPs for 168n sheriffs, see Norris Wimbourne Minster, Dors. 30 Winchester, bishops of, see Beaufort Windsor, Berks., castle, Berks. 41 St. George’s chapel 107n Wingfield, Sir John 176+n, 184 MP for Suffolk 170 sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk 170 Sir Robert 90+n MP for Suffolk 170 Thomas 172, 176 MP for Suffolk 175, 184 Winstanley, William, The honour of the taylors 162–163 Wintney priory, Hants 102+n, 103, 119 prioress, see Somerset Wirral, the, people of 12 Wode, William 109n Wodeburne, Thomas 184 Woghere, John, MP for East Grinstead 7 Wolffe, Bertram 102 Wood, Sir John 81n Woolf, D.R. 160 Worcester, Worcs., MPs for 168n Worcester, earls of, see Tiptoft Worstead, Norf. 43 Worthies, Nine 156, 157+n, 158, 159, 163 Wotton, Margaret (née Ayot), wife of William 25, 26, 29+n, 30, 31, 32 William 25+n Wrethenham, Suff. 76 Wright, Craig 130 Wroxham, Norf. 51 Wursop, William, coroner of Suffolk 184

233 Wyche, Hugh, mercer of London 73 Wychingham, Denise, see Inglose Edmund 42, 43 Nicholas 41 Wydeville family 20 Anthony, earl Rivers 170 Sir Edward 36, 37, 38 Sir Richard 195 Richard, earl Rivers 36 Wyfold, Nicholas, grocer of London 59n, 72 Wylde, Christine, see Cressy John 94 Thomas 32, 33 Wynter, William 183 Wythe, Anne, see Bowet, Calthorpe, Inglose Sir John, of Smallburgh 41 Yoo, Nicholas, mercer of London 73 York 4, 54, 83, 167 aldermen of 197 mayor 197 MPs for 168n soldiers from 197 York, dukes of, see Plantagenet Yorkshire 95 MPs for 168n Young, John 64 Zadok, biblical priest 121 Zeeland 53 Zerikzee, Zeeland 59n

TABULA GRATULATORIA Rowena E. Archer Caroline Barron David Bates Judith M. Bennett Michael Bennett J. L. Bolton Clive Burgess Paul Cavill Dorothy J. Clayton Paul Cockerham Anne Crawford Heather Creaton Elizabeth Danbury Matthew Davies Lucia Diaz Pascual Barrie Dobson J. T. Driver Diana Dunn Robin Eagles Charles Farris Jessica Freeman Ralph Griffiths David Grummitt D. W. Hayton Michael Hicks

Maureen Jurkowski Nicholas Kingwell Hannes Kleineke Chris R. Kyle Doreen Leach John Milner Shelagh Mitchell Charles Moreton Philip Morgan Stephen O’Connor Caroline Palmer Simon Payling A. J. Pollard Carole Rawcliffe Colin Richmond Jonathan Rose J. T. Rosenthal James Ross Dean Rowland Brendan Smith Christian Steer Anne F. Sutton Penny Tucker Livia Visser-Fuchs John Watts

CONTENTS OF PREVIOUS VOLUMES I Concepts and Patterns of Service in the Later Middle Ages ed. Anne Curry and Elizabeth Matthew (2000) P.J.P. Goldberg Chris Given-Wilson Virginia Davis Jeremy Catto David Morgan R.A. Griffiths

Kathleen Daly Michael Jones Alexander Grant

What was a Servant? Service, Serfdom and English Labour Legislation, 1350– 1500 Preparation for Service in the Late Medieval Church Masters, Patrons and Careers of Graduates in FifteenthCentury England The Household Retinue of Henry V and the Ethos of English Public Life ‘Ffor the myght off the lande, aftir the myght off the grete lordes thereoff, stondith most in the kynges officers’: the English Crown, Provinces and Dominions in the Fifteenth Century Private Vice, Public Service? Civil Service and chose publique in Fifteenth-Century France The Material Rewards of Service in Late Medieval Brittany: Ducal Servants and their Residences Service and Tenure in Late Medieval Scotland, 1314–1475

II Revolution and Consumption in Late Medieval England ed. Michael Hicks (2001) Christopher Woolgar Alastair Dunn Shelagh M. Mitchell Alison Gundy T.B. Pugh Jessica Freeman

Fast and Fast: Conspicuous Consumption and the Diet of the Nobility in the Fifteenth Century Exploitation and Control: The Royal Administration of Magnate Estates, 1397–1405 The Knightly Household of Richard II and the Peace Commissions The Earl of Warwick and the Royal Affinity in the Politics of the West Midlands, 1389–99 The Estates, Finances and Regal Aspirations of Richard Plantagenet (1411–60), Duke of York Middlesex in the Fifteenth Century: Community or Communities?

John Hare John Lee Miranda ThrelfallHolmes Winifred Harwood P.W. Fleming

Regional Prosperity in Fifteenth-Century England: Some Evidence from Wessex The Trade of Fifteenth-Century Cambridge and its Region Durham Cathedral Priory’s Consumption of Imported Goods: Wines and Spices, 1464–1520 The Impact of St. Swithun’s Priory on the City of Winchester in the Later Middle Ages Telling Tales of Oligarchy in the Late Medieval Town

III Authority and Subversion ed. Linda Clark (2003) Keith Dockray and Peter Fleming Alastair Dunn James Ross Clive Burgess Ian Forrest Hannes Kleineke Peter Booth Frank D. Millard J.L. Laynesmith David Grummitt James Lee

Authority and Subversion: A Conference on FifteenthCentury England Henry IV and the Politics of Resistance in Early Lancastrian England, 1399–1413 Seditious Activities: The Conspiracy of Maud de Vere, Countess of Oxford, 1403–4 A Hotbed of Heresy? Fifteenth-Century Bristol and Lollardy Reconsidered Anti-Lollard Polemic and Practice in Late Medieval England Why the West was Wild: Law and Disorder in FifteenthCentury Cornwall and Devon Men Behaving Badly? The West March Towards Scotland and the Percy-Neville Feud An Analysis of the Epitaphium Eiusdem Ducis Gloucestrie Constructing Queenship at Coventry: Pageantry and Politics at Margaret of Anjou’s ‘Secret Harbour’ Public Service, Private Interest and Patronage in the Fifteenth-Century Exchequer Urban Recorders and the Crown in Late Medieval England

IV Political Culture in Late-Medieval Britain ed. Linda Clark and Christine Carpenter (2004) Christine Carpenter Simon Walker Maurice Keen Alan Cromartie

Introduction: Political Culture, Politics and Cultural History Remembering Richard: History and Memory in Lancastrian England Early Plantagenet History through Late Medieval Eyes Common Law, Counsel and Consent in Fortescue’s Political Theory

Benjamin Thompson Miri Rubin Caroline M. Barron Christopher Dyer John Watts Jenny Wormald

Prelates and Politics from Winchelsey to Warham Religious Symbols and Political Culture in FifteenthCentury England The Political Culture of Medieval London The Political Life of the Fifteenth-Century English Village The Pressure of the Public on Later Medieval Politics National Pride, Decentralised Nation: The Political Culture of Fifteenth-Century Scotland

V Of Mice and Men: Image, Belief and Regulation in Late Medieval England ed. Linda Clark (2005) Jon Denton S.A. Mileson Alasdair Hawkyard Jenni Nuttall Clive Burgess Anne F. Sutton Thomas S. Freeman P.R. Cavill Colin Richmond

Image, Identity and Gentility: The Woodford Experience The Importance of Parks in Fifteenth-Century Society Sir John Fastolf’s ‘Gret Mansion by me late edified’: Caister Castle, Norfolk ‘Vostre Humble Matatyas’: Culture, Politics and the Percys A Repertory for Reinforcement: Configuring Civic Catholicism in Fifteenth-Century Bristol Caxton, the Cult of St. Winifred, and Shrewsbury ‘Ut Verus Christi Sequester’: John Blacman and the Cult of Henry VI The Problem of Labour and the Parliament of 1495 Mickey Mouse in Disneyland: How Did the Fifteenth Century Get That Way?

VI Identity and Insurgency in the Late Middle Ages ed. Linda Clark (2006) Anthony Goodman Andrea Ruddick Katie Stevenson Jackson Armstrong Matthew Tompkins

The British Isles Imagined Ethnic Identity and Political Language in the King of England’s Dominions: a Fourteenth-Century Perspective ‘Thai War Callit Knychtis and Bere the Name and the Honour of that Hye Ordre’: Scottish Knighthood in the Fifteenth Century Violence and Peacemaking in the English Marches towards Scotland, c.1425–1440 ‘Let’s Kill all the Lawyers’: Did Fifteenth-Century Peasants Employ Lawyers when they Conveyed Customary Land?

Simon Payling David Grummitt Jacquelyn Fernholz and Jenni Nuttall Maureen Jurkowski Carole Hill

Identifiable Motives for Election to Parliament in the Reign of Henry VI: The Operation of Public and Private Factors Deconstructing Cade’s Rebellion: Discourse and Politics in the Mid Fifteenth Century Lydgate’s Poem to Thomas Chaucer: A Reassessment of its Diplomatic and Literary Contexts Lollardy in Coventry and the Revolt of 1431 Julian and her Sisters: Female Piety in Late Medieval Norwich

VII Conflicts, Consequences and the Crown in the Late Middle Ages ed. Linda Clark (2007) Christine Carpenter Anne Curry James Ross Michael Brown J.L. Bolton Catherine Nall Hannes Kleineke Lucy Brown Peter Fleming Anthony Goodman G.M. Draper

War, Government and Governance in England in the Later Middle Ages After Agincourt, What Next? Henry V and the Campaign of 1416 Essex County Society and the French War in the Fifteenth Century French Alliance or English Peace? Scotland and the Last Phase of the Hundred Years War, 1415–53 How Sir Thomas Rempston Paid His Ransom: or, The Mistakes of an Italian Bank Perceptions of Financial Mismanagement and the English Diagnosis of Defeat ‘Þe Kynges Cite’: Exeter in the Wars of the Roses Continuity and Change in the Parliamentary Justifications of the Fifteenth-Century Usurpations Identity and Belonging: Irish and Welsh in FifteenthCentury Bristol The Impact of Warfare on the Scottish Marches, c.1481– c.1513 Writing English, French and Latin in the Fifteenth Century: a Regional Perspective

VIII Rule, Redemption and Representations in Late Medieval England and France ed. Linda Clark (2008) Carole Rawcliffe Kathleen Daly Lucy Rhymer

Dives Redeemed? The Guild Almshouses of Later Medieval England War, History and Memory in the Dauphiné in the Fifteenth Century: Two Accounts of the Battle of Anthon (1430) Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, and the City of London

Jonathan Mackman Colin Richmond David King Anne F. Sutton Ruth Lexton

‘Hidden Gems’ in the Records of the Common Pleas: New Evidence on the Legacy of Lucy Visconti Sir John Fastolf, the Duke of Suffolk, and the Pastons Reading the Material Culture: Stained Glass and Politics in Late Medieval Norfolk An Unfinished Celebration of the Yorkist Accession by a Clerk of the Merchant Staplers of Calais Henry Medwall’s Fulgens and Lucres and the Question of Nobility Under Henry VII

IX English and Continental Perspectives ed. Linda Clark (2010) Christine Carpenter Sarah Rose Frederik Buylaert and Jan Dumolyn Vincent Challet Juliana Dresvina Andy King Jessica Lutkin Alessia Meneghin

Henry VI and the Deskilling of the Royal Bureaucracy A Twelfth-Century Honour in a Fifteenth-Century World: The Honour of Pontefract The Representation of Nobility and Chivalry in Burgundian Historiography: A Social Perspective Tuchins and ‘Brigands de Bois’: Peasant Communities and Self-Defence Movements in Normandy During the Hundred Years War A Heron for a Dame: A Hitherto Unpublished Middle English Prose Life of St. Margaret of Antioch in BL, Harley MS 4012 Sir William Clifford: Rebellion and Reward in Henry IV’s Affinity Luxury and Display in Silver and Gold at the Court of Henry IV Nursing Infants and Wet-Nurses in Fifteenth-Century Florence: Piero Puro di Francesco Da Vicchio and his Wife, Santa di Betto Da San Benedetto

The Fifteenth Century aims to provide a forum for the most recent research into the political, social, religious and cultural history of the fifteenth century in Britain and Europe. Contributions are invited for future volumes. Draft submissions or informal inquiries should be sent to The General Editor, Dr. Linda Clark, at 18 Bloomsbury Square, London WC1A 2NS, e-mail [email protected]. Authors should submit one copy of their contribution typed on A4 paper (double spacing throughout), with notes set as footnotes, as well as an electronic version. Contributions should not be longer than 10,000 words. ‘Notes for Contributors’ are available on request. Typescripts will not normally be returned if not accepted for publication. Authors submitting manuscripts do so on the understanding that the work has not been published previously. Neither the General Editor nor the publisher accepts responsibility for the views of the authors expressed in their contributions. Authors wishing to include illustrations in their articles should contact the General Editor prior to submission. It is the author’s responsibility to obtain the necessary permission to use material protected by copyright.

spine ??? 31 May 2011

PA P E R S P R E S E N T E D TO L I N DA S . C L A R K

Fifteenth-century studies are very much alive and well... able to generate new and challenging research agendas. ECONOMIC HISTORY REVIEW A strong and established series... continues to push the boundaries of knowledge and develop new trends in approach and understanding, which percolate into the wider domain. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW This volume of papers is presented to Linda Clark to mark her four decades of work for the History of Parliament Trust. Its essays focus above all on the late medieval Parliament and the personalities that served in its chambers, but they also illuminate a wider range of themes that have long concerned students of the later middle ages, including the lawlessness of the gentry and nobility, the acquisition and management of their estates, and their self-expression in pageantry and legend. Other social groups, ranging from the mercantile élite of the city of London and their Italian trading partners to England’s common soldiers, also make an appearance, and papers explore both regional and national issues. Front cover: English gold ‘angel’ of the reign of Edward IV, obverse, showing St Michael slaying the dragon (British Museum, AN 00072285 1001).

THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY X

Parliament, Personalities and Power

The Fifteenth Century X PARLIAMENT, PERSONALITIES AND POWER

Kleineke (ed.)

Boydell & Brewer Ltd PO Box 9, Woodbridge IP12 3DF (GB) and 668 Mt Hope Ave, Rochester NY 14620-2731 (US) www.boydellandbrewer.com

Edited by Hannes Kleineke