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A Letter sent by King Hen. VIII. to some person unknown, requiring him to assist the Bishop, or his officers, at such time as they shall repaire to Higham for the amovinge of the said Prioress and her sisters.
Right trusty and welbeloved, we grete you well; signifying unto you, that we at this tyme by our letters have commanded the right reverend father in god, the Busshope of Rochester, that he himselfe, or his officers by hym auctorisede, (considerynge the grete enormitese of living in tyme passede hade, usede, and contynuede within the religiouse house of Higham of our foundacion, by the prioresses and their susters in the same for theire tymes beinge,) by due order of the lawes spirituall, to procede agenst the susters in the sayde howse now beinge, and to remove them to some other place of that religion; we be credibly informede that the susters in the same place, through the supportacion and mayntenaunce of symple persons theire fautouris, be obstinate, disobedient, and not mynded to be ordred by the sayde Rt. Rev. Father in God, theire Ordinary, and his sayde officers; expressly agaynst our mynde and pleasure, and against the dutyse of theire religione. We therefore woll and desire you, at suche tyme as the sd. Rt. Rev. Father in God, or his Officers in his name by him auctorised, shall repare unto the sayde religious howse, there to procede by the due order of the lawes spiritual to amove the sayde susters, according to our mynde; that ye, at this oure
speciall request, doo geve unto them your good and favourable assestence from tyme to tyme, as the case shall require. And in your thus doinge, ye shall be well assuryd to have our harty thanks for the same. Geven under our signet, at our Castell of Wyndsor, the xxvith day of September.
A Letter sent by King Hen. VIII. to the Bishop of Sarum, commanding him to deliver all the evidences belonging to the Monastery of Bromehall to the bringer thereof.
Right Reverend Father in God, we grete you well. And for the effectuall diligens ye take at our desire, in executing your Pastorall auctoritie, touchynge the excludynge and puttynge owte of the Priores and Nones late of oure Monastery of Bromhall, for such Ennormyties as was by them uside, contrary to their Religion, and for the bestowynge of them in other vertuous Howses of Religion, we give unto you our especiall and harty thanks. And inasmuche as we understonde, that you have in your kepynge certeyne Evydences belongynge to the same Monastery of Bromehall, whiche rightfully belonge unto us by reson of the vacation of the said place, and there be noo Nonnes restant within the same; We therefore woll and command you further, upon the syght hereof, to delyver all the said Evydences unto the Bringer hereof; whome we have appoynted to order that same accordynge to our pleasure. And these our Letters shall be your sufficient warrant and discharge
in this behalfe, at all tymes hereafter. Geven under our signet, at oure Mannor of Richemonde, the xiiith day of December, the xiiith yere of our Reygne.
A Letter sent by Cardinal Wolsey to the Bishop of Sarum, concerning the removinge of the Nunnes out of Bromehall and placing them in some other religious howses, where they may best and most conveniently be bestowed.
Right interelie well beloved Brother in God, we commende us unto you. And for as moche as of late the Kyngs grace did addresse unto you his Letters missyve, Wyllynge you in the same, by your ordinary power, to procede agenyst the enormyties, mysgovernaunces, and slaunderous levynge, longe tyme heretofore hade, usede, and contynuede by the Priores and the Nones for theire tymes beynge in the religius house of Bromhall, beyng of his foundacion, within your Diocese; which we dowte not, but that accordynge to the tenor of his sayde letters, ye have done, as apperteynithe. Herefore efetsone we do signifye unto you by these our presente letters, that for sundry lawfull and resonable considerations, it is the kyng's pleasure, and also ours, by our power of legation, which in the execution of these present, we be contented that ye use as our Depute: and upon sight hereof with all diligens and celerity, ye shall, as well by youre sayde powere and auctorite ordinary, provide and see, as also by oure sayde powere of legacion, that all the sayde nonnes now beyng there
presente be removed unto other places of theire religion, where ye can best and most conveniently bestow them. Specially where they may be brought and inducede into better and more religious levynge, seing them and every of them incorporated in the same place for their suerties.
Not faillynge thus to doo in any wise as ye intende the Kyngs pleasure, and the execution of our sayde auctorite of legacion, by vertue whereof, we not only praye, but also charge you effectually to execute the premisses accordingly. In the doing whereof we shall assist you from tyme to tyme, as nede and case shall require. So fare ye hartily well; from Calise the xxti day of October'.
In reference to the preceding Letters, Baker observes, in his History of the College,-"The King's zeal, and the Cardinal's, is very remarkable in the whole proceeding; their Letters are yet preserved upon our Books, expressing it in so vehement a manner as if it were their own concern; the two Bishops were too slow for them, and these letters are designed to quicken them in their paces.-It can hardly be doubted but the King and Cardinal had different views from our Bishop, otherwise their zeal and diligence can hardly be accounted for. The Cardinal's great design was now brooding, which ended in the dissolution of a crowd of Houses at once; which he was willing to make way for by a reputable and leading example; and though the King might not yet have a general dissolution in view, yet as this led to the Cardinal's design, so the Cardinal's paved the way and led to the King's. And might not the same views that quickened them in their proceedings, retard the Bishop in his good design, and make him slow in prosecuting what he at first desired? For could he have foreseen the consequences that probably attended his undertaking, he would never have entered into these measures. But men and Providence have different ends; and God is wise in effecting his own purposes by our blindness.'
A recitall and acknowledgment of the Bishop of
Rochester's love and care and diligence in the procuringe the foundacion of St. John's Colledge.
[Ex Regr. Col. Joh.]
Quum mortalium memoria, ut Seneca scribit, ex omnibus animi partibus res maxime delicata et fragilis sit, in quam senectus primum incurrens tyrannidem exercet gravem, tum ætate quassans, tum longâ desidiâ enervans et dissolvens; ut, si maxime vellet, antiquum robur et vim præstare non poterit; operæ pretium fore duximus, illi modis omnibus subveniendum, remedio, ut unico, ita præsentissimo, nempe litterarum testimoniis ; quorum beneficio factum videmus, ut præclarissima majorum nostrorum facta, recenti hominum memoriâ passim celebrentur, et hodie vivant, ceu heri acta; quorum alioqui dignitates, dies, tempus, et rerum omnium edax vetustas, non modo obfuscassent indigne, sed et perpetuis oblivii tenebris demersissent. Quod si nullum sit ingratitudinis genus, vel odiosum magis vel modis omnibus execrandum, quam acceptorum beneficiorum inciviliter oblivisci, quanto execrabilius videri poterit, si nos, homines studiosi, et linguâ quam manu meliores, in illud vitii incideremus, a quo quam maxime abesse oporteat. Hoc est, si beneficia libenter accepta, vel non agnosceremus, vel non libenter; quorum