Page images

this. When my lady was at the poynte to departe out off this worlde unto the mercy off God, I hadde pety off hir poure servaunts, and movide hir that suche as hadde done hir goode service, and was but littill recompenside, that it wolde please hir thei might furst be consideride after the wisdome and descrecion of my lorde of Winchestre and me; and she was well contentyde. Upon this occasion thei mayde unto the king greate surewyses that thei shulde have my lady goods dividede amogst them. Wiche putt us to a grete trobill. Ffor all that thei cudde ymagen off evyll agaynst me, thaie gave informaccion unto the kyng, and made him werray hevy lorde agaynst me; for the wiche was moche attendance gyvyn, and moche suyte I made for my self or ever that I might be declarede.

Sixt, after this I was movide by the king to prepayre myself to go unto the generall cownsaill for the Realme, with my lorde of Saynt Johns and others; and because I shulde thene departe, ye recevor of those lands wiche was in feoffment made grete besones for his discharge, because that I hadde recevide parte off that money; so was I fayne to delyvre out off my hands all suche obligacions as I hadde in keping unto Mr Asheton and Mr Hornby, and to declare my self of all rekenings concerning the receyts of the money off that lands or any other. And Mr Hornby receevyde after that as myche as was recevede off the sayde moneye.

Seventh, when I was disapointyde of that jorney, my Lady servants made anew besones; thai saw

that thus thai couthe not prevail, therefore thei causide us to be callide to accompts off all my ladys goods, and to shew a cause whi we shulde keape the kings inheritance frome hyme to the valow off ccccli yerly. And here we brought in our accompts, ffirst before Mr Sothewell wiche was the kings cheaf auditor. And ther I was compellide along tyme to gif attendance upon hym a sundrie places and many tymes, and there straitly our accompts war examynede, and he well pleaside with them, and thought it resonable that tyll all things wer performyde, the profets of the sayde lands shulde remane unto the College. Butt he diede or ever he myght gyff sufficiently informacione herof unto the Kyng, and sett us at a rest, as, after long examinacion of the compte and triall therof made, he thoughtt to bring aboute.

Eyghtt, after this his deathe, by the importune clamor and crye off my sayde Lady servants we were callede off a fresshe before Mr Belknape, wiche then succedide in the rowme of Mr Southewell; and ther we warre more straitelie handelide; and so long delaide, and weriede, and fatigate, that we must neds lett the londe go; notwithstanding all the right that we hadde thereunto, by the graunts off King Edwarde and off King Henry the vii, and the declaracione off my ladys wyll, and the putting off the sayme londs in feoffemente, and also the profe of the sayde will in the chancery as strong as cowthe be mayde by any lernyde counsell; butt all this wolde not serve us; there was no remedy, butt the kyng's counsell wolde take the profects of these londs for the

kyng. Nevertheless with greate and long suyte we optenyde at the last, that some recompense might be hadde unto the College for the performing off it; and so finallie my lady Katyrine, wiche bowght for hir soone the yong lady Lyell, for certayne summys of money was bounden as stronglie as lernyde counsell cowthe dyvise the bonds, to paie for the behave of the same College.

Nynght, considering that this londe thus was taken from us, we made farther suyt to have some hospitall, or some religious housse, or benefice, to be approperde by the kyngs graunte unto the College; and when after long suyte that was grauntide, we divisede a byll to be signede of the king for the hospital of Ospringe, and so finally gatt that same. Butt what labor then I hadde with hyme that was encombent, and how long or we cudde establishe and make it sure both by temporall counsell and spirituall, and how often for this matter ther I roode both to Ospryng, and to London, and to my lorde of Canterbury, or that I cowthe performe all things for the suyrty thereof, it war to long to reherse.


Tenethe, after all this, the lady Lyell dyede; and so my Lady of Devonshire and hir sone lost the profits of hir lands; for the wiche he and she bothe

1 Katherine seventh daughter of Edward IV, wife of William Courtney Earl of Devonshire, deceased an. 3 Hen. VIII, by whom she had an only son Henry Courtney, afterwards created Marquis of Exeter an. 17 Hen. VIII, who married for his first wife Elizabeth Grey daughter and heir of John Viscount Lisle, but had no issue by her. [Sandford, Geneal. Hist. p. 398.]

was comfortide and counselide to paie unto us no more money, according to their obligacione. Thei maide it a materie of conscience because of the deathe of that young lady. After many resonyngs and many metyngs, our cownsell avisede us to make suyte to gett some religious housse; and so finallie, with much labore and payne, we optenyde too Nonryes where was dissolute lyving, and never coude by their ordynaries be broughtt to goode order; and for the assuring off the same, moche payne and labor was taken bothe by my self, and allso by the M1. of the College Mr. Metcalf, who I sent aboute that besones; specially for the Nunrey off Bromehall, wiche was far frome me. He made many jorneys theder, and allso to my Lorde of Salsebury, wiche was ordidinary off a benefice to them approperde; wiche things he dyde with muche lease charge that I cowde have done; and therefor I dide commyt it unto his wisdome.


A Letter sent by King Hen. VIII. to Bishop Fisher for the removeinge of the Prioresse and Nunnes out of Higham to other places of their religion.

Right Reverende in God, right trusty and welbelovede, we grete you well. And whereas we not longe tyme passide, by our other letters to you addresside, willede you by your ordynary power to se the enormytese and misgovernaunces longe tyme heretofore hade, usede, and continuede by the Prioresses and theire Susters for theire tymes beinge in

the religiouse house of Higham of our foundacion within your Diocese, to be redressede; and that ye by due processe of the spirituall lawe shulde procede to remove theyme to other places of theire religyon, where theye might be reduced and brought unto vertuouse levynge, accordynge to theire Rules of theire Religion. In which matter we cannot perceyve that ye have done any thynge therein accordynge to oure request and desire, and youre owne dutie. At the whyche your delynge herein usede, we do nott a littill mervaile. We therefore by these our letters eftsones desire you and nevertheles commande you with celeritie and diligens, all delayes utterly set apart, ye, or your offycers for you havynge your auctoritie, do repayre unto the sayde religiouse house, and by due and ordinarie processes to amove the Susters of that place there nowe beinge, to other religious monasteries within your diocese, if ye conveniently maye soo doo; and alls ye by your letters to advertise us where ye shall thinke other places for them more convenient. We fully myndede and in manner determynede to send twoo of the sayde Susters to our dere and wel belovide in God the Prioresse of 'Sofeham, with our speciall letters for theire furtheraunce, there to be incorporated; trusting that they at our request shall be ther well entertained, and live accordingly to the rules of their professions. Fayll ye not thereof thus to do, as ye tender our pleasure, and mynde the preservation of good religion to be observede and kept.

1 Swaffham.

« PreviousContinue »