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by maryage (and adjoyning of other blode, it toke some encreasement. For in her tender Age, she being endued with so grete towardness of Nature and lykelyhode of Enherytance, many sued to have had her to maryage. The Duke of *Suthfolk, which then * Duke of was a Man of grete experyence, moost dylygently MS. Col. Jo. procured to have had her for his Son and Heyre. Of the contrary part, Kyng Henry the Sixth did make meanes for Edmunde his Brother, then the Erle of Rychemonde. She which as then was not fully 'nine years old, doubtfull in her mynde what she were best to do, asked counsayle of an old Gentlewoman whom she moche loved and trusted, which dyde advyse her to commend her self to St Nicholas the Patron and helper of all true maydens, and to beseche him to put in her mynde what she were best to do. This counsayle she follow'd, and made her Prayer so, full often; but specyally that nyghte when she sholde the morrowe after make answere of

2 'Natus es [Hen. VII.], atque in lucem editus a nobilissima Principe genetrice tua, nunc presenti, quæ tum annum non implevit quartum decimum. Rarus profecto partus et insolitus, ipsaque (ut cernimus) non magnæ staturæ femina est at multo tunc (ut asseritur) minoris fuit, adeo ut miraculum cunctis videbatur in illis annis et in illa corporis parvitate gnatum aliquem maxime tam procerum tam elegantem edidisse......Et dum in utero portaret te mater, vix discrimen pestis evasisti quæ teneriores fœtus facile consuevit interimere, de qua et pater tuus Princeps illustris interiit. Mater deinde viro orbata te peperit orphanum.' V. orationem habitam coram Henrico Septimo, Cantabrigiæ; printed at the end of the 2nd Vol. of Leland's Itiner; and supposed by Baker to have been delivered by Bp. Fisher before the King anno 1507.

her mynde determynately. A mervaylous thyng! that same nyght, as I have herde her tell many a tyme, as she lay in Prayer, calling upon St Nycholas, whether slepynge or wakeynge she could not assure, but about four of the clocke in the mornynge, one appered unto her arrayed like a Byshop, and naming unto her Edmonde, bad take hyme unto her Husbande. And so by this meane she did enclyne her mynde unto Edmonde the Kyng's Broder, and Erle of Rychemonde; by whom she was made Moder of the Kyng that deed is (whose Soule God pardon), and Grandame to our Soveraign Lord Kynge Henry the 8th, which now by the Grace of God governeth the Realm. So what by lynage, what by affinite, she had thirty Kings and Queens, within the four Degree of marryage unto her; besydes Erles, Markyses, Dukes, and Princes. And thus much we have spoken of her nobleness.

Seconde, the blessyd Martha is praysed in chastysynge her Body by Christen discyplyne, as in abstynence, fastynge, sharpe Clothes wereing, Chastite, with other which thyng, albeit necessary to every Chrysten Person wyllynge '[to be saved,] yet it is moche more to be praysed in the nobles, havynge this Worldly lybertye; as it was in this noble Princes late deceased; whome my purpose is not vaynly to extol or to magnifye above her merytes, but to the edifyinge of other by the example of her.


I wolde reherce somewhat of her demeanynge in this behalve; her sober temperance in metes and 1 To entre into ye joyes of Heven, MS. Col. Joh.



drynkes was known to all them that were conversant with her, wherein she lay in as grete wayte of her self as ony Person myghte, kepygne alway her strayte mesure, and offendynge as lytell as ony creature myghte: Eschewynge banketts, Reresoupers, byla do joncryes betwixt meles. As for fastynge, for aege both forms and feebleness albeit she were not bounde, yet those days that by the Chirche were appointed she kept them diligently and seriously, and in especyall the holy Lent; throughout that, she restrayned her арpetyte tyl one mele and tyl one Fyshe on the day; besydes her other peculer fastes of Devocyon, as St. Anthony, Mary Maudelyn, St. Katheryne, with other and theroweout all the Yere, the Friday and Saturday she full truely observed. As to harde clothes wearynge, she had her shertes and gyrdyls of heere, which, when she was in helthe, everi weke she fayled not certayn days to weare, sometyme the one, sometyme the other, that full often her skynne, as I heard her say, was perced therewith. As for chastite, though she alway contynued not in her vergynyte, yet in her husband's dayes, long time before that he deyede, she opteyned of him lycence, and promysed to lyve chaste, in the hands of the Reverend Fader, my Lorde of London; which promise she renewed, after her husband's dethe, into my hands agayne. Whereby it may appere the Dyscyplyne of her body.

Thirdly, the blessyd Martha is commended in orderynge of her Soul to God, by often knelynges, by sorrowful wepynges, and by continuall prayers and medytatyons, wherein this noble Prynces somewhat

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toke her part. First in Prayer every daye at her uprysynge, which comynly was not long after five of the clok, she began certain Devocyons, and so after them with one of her Gentlewomen the Matynes of our Lady, which kept her to then she came into her Closet, where then with her Chaplayne she said also Matyns of the Daye; and after that, dayly herde four or fyve Masses upon her knees, so continuing in her Prayers and Devocyons unto the hour of dyner, which of the etynge day was ten of the Clocke, and upon the fastynge day, Eleven. After dyner full truely she wolde goe her statyons to thre Aulters dayly; dayly her Dyryges and Commendacyons she wolde saye, and her Even Songs before souper, both of the day and of our Lady, besyde many other Prayers and Psalters of Davyde thrughout the yeare; and at nyghte before she went to bedde she fayled not to resort unto her Chappell, and there a large quarter of an houre to occupye her [in] 'Devocyons. No mervayle, though all this long time her knelynge was to her paynful, and so paynful that many tymes it caused in her 'backe payne and dysease. And yet nevertheless dayly, when she was in helthe, she fayled not to say the Crowne of our Lady, which, after the maner of Rome, conteyneth sixty and thre Aves; and at every Ave to make a knelynge. As for Meditacyon, she had divers bokes in Frenshe, wherewith she wolde occupye her self when she was weary of Prayer. Wherefore dyvers she did trans

1 MS. Col. Jo.


2 Blake, MS. Col. Jo.


Whereof MS. Col. Jo.

late *out of Frenshe into Englyshe. Her mervaylous wepynge they can bere wytness of, which here before have herde her confession, which

* The Myrroure of

golde. be di- Boke of the

with *The forthe


by Rich.

1504, 4to.5

vers and many and at many seasons in the yere, Jesu Chryst. lyghtly every thyrde day: Can also recorde the same, Pynson. tho' that were present at ony time when she was housylde, which was full nye a dosen tymes every yere; what flodes of teeres there yssued forth of her eyes! She might She might well say, exitus aquarum deduxerunt oculi mei. And moreover to th’entente all her werkes myghte be more acceptable and of greter meryte in the syghte of God, such godly things she wolde take by obedyence; which obedyence she promised to the forenamed Fader, My Lorde of London, for the tyme of his being with her, and afterwards in likewyse unto me; whereby it may appere the dylygent ordre of her soul to God.

Fourthe, the holy Martha is magnifyed for her godly hospytalyte and charytable dealynge to her neybours. Moche besyness there is in kepynge hospitalyte, and therefore our Lorde sayde unto her, Martha, Martha, solicita es et turbaris erga plurima. The Householde Servants must be put in some good ordre; the straungers of honeste which of their curtesy resorteth for to vysyte the Soverayne) must be considered; and the suters also, which cometh com

* Imprynted at London in Fletestrete at the sygne of the Sone by Wynkyn de Worde an. 1522. 8vo.


Enprynted at London in Fletestrete at the Signe of Saynt George by Richarde Pynson 4to. (no date, but in the Preface Henry the VII. is styled our Soverain Lorde &c.) Vid. Append.

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