RICHARD, EARL OF WARWICK, TO SIR THOMAS TODENHAM[117.1]
_To owr ryght trusty and welbelovyd Frend, Ser Thomas Todenham._
[Sidenote: 1449(?) / NOV. 2]
Ryght trusty and welbelovyd frend, we grete you well, hertely desyryng to here of yowr welfare, which we pray God preserve to yowr herts desyr; and yf yt please yow to here of owr welfare, we wer in goud hale atte the makyng of this lettre, praying you hertely that ye wyll consider owr message, which owr Chapleyn Mayster Robert Hoppton shall enforme you of.
For as God knowyth we have gret besynesse dayly, and has had here by for this tyme. Wherfor we pray you to consyder the purchas that we have made wyth one John Swyffhcotte, Squier of Lyncolnshyr, of lxxx. and viij_li._ by yer, whereuppon we must pay the last payment the Moneday nexte after Seynt Martyn' day, which sum ys CCCC. and lviij_li._; wherfor we pray you wyth all owr herte that ye wyll lend us x_li._, or twenty, or whet the seyd Maister Robert wants of hys payment, as we may do for you in tym for to com; and we shall send yt you ageyn afor Newyers day wyth the grace of God, as we ar trew knyght. For there is nonne in your cuntre that we myght wryght to for trust so well as unto you; for, as we be enformyd, ye be owr well wyller, and so we pray you of goud contynuaunce.
Wherfore we pray you that ye consyder our entent of this mony, as ye wyll that we do for you in tym to com, as God knowyth, who have you in hys kepyng.
Wreten atte London, on All Salwyn [_All Souls'_] day, wyth inne owr loggyng in the Grey Freys [_Friars_] wyth inne Newgate.
RIC., ERLE WARWYKE.[117.2]
[Footnote 117.1: [From Fenn, i. 84.] Richard Nevill, Earl of Warwick, afterwards famous as the 'King-maker,' succeeded to the title in 1449, and this letter is not unlikely to have been written in that very year. Certainly it is not many years later.
In 1449 and 1450 Warwick was probably in London to attend the Parliament.]
[Footnote 117.2: 'The seal of this letter' says Fenn, 'is of red wax, on which is the Bear and Ragged Staff, the badge of this nobleman, with his motto,--the whole very fair and curious, and around it is a braid of twine.']
[Sidenote: 1449 / DEC. 11]
Copy of a Grant from the Crown to John Bray for services against the King's enemies. Caen, 11th December 149, 28 Henry VI.
[This document is very mutilated and decayed. It is written in French, the spelling of which is very peculiar, and is probably a bad copy by some one who did not know the language.]
[Footnote 118.1: [From Paston MSS., B.M.]]
WILLIAM TAILBOYS TO VISCOUNT BEAUMONT[118.2]
_To my right honorabull and right wurshipful Lord, my Lord Viscont Beaument._
[Sidenote: Before 1450]
Right honorabull and my right wurshipfull Lord, I recomaund me unto your gode Lordship with all my service, evermore desireng to here of your prosperitie and welfare, the which I pray God encres and contynue to his plesur, and after your oone herts desire; thankyng you of the gode Lordship that ye have shewed me at all tymes, beseching you alway of gode contynuance.
Plesid your gode Lordship to be remembred how afore this tyme Hugh Wythom hath said he wold be in rest and peese with me, and not to maligne agayn me otherwise than lawe and right wold; that notwithstandyng, upon Munday last past, he and iij. men with him come unto a servaunt hous of myn in Boston, cald William Shirref, and there, as he sete at his werke, stroke him upon the hede and in the body with a dagger, and wondet him sore, and pulled him out of his hous, and set him in prison without any cause resonabull, or without writ, or any other processe shewid unto him; and that me semes longs not for him to do, bot as he says he is endited, and as your gode Lordship knawes wele, I and all my servaunts are in like wise; bot and any man shuld have done hit, it longs either to the shirref or to your baliff as I conceyve, and other cause he had non to him as fer as I kan knawe, bot awnly for the malissiousness that he hath unto me, ne I kan think non other bot it is so. And now yistre nyght my Lord Welles[119.1] come to Boston with iiij^xx [_four score_] horses, and in the mornyng foloyng toke hym out of prison, saying afore all peepll, 'Fals thefe, you shall be hanged, and as mony of thy maistre men as may be goten' --as your servaunt John Abbot kan report unto your gode Lordship,--and hath taken him away with him to Tatessall, what to do with him I kan not say, bot as I suppose to have him to Lincoln Castell: wherfor I besech your gode Lordship in this matier to be my gode Lord, and it please your gode Lordship to write a letter to the kepere of the Castell of Lincoln, that it liked him to deliver him out of prison undre a sufficient seurety had for him, for and thai may kepe him still be this meyne, thai may take all the servaunts that I have, and so I may do agayn in like wise.
And also, as I am enformed, without he be had out of prison in hast, it will be right gravewis to him to heile of his hurt, he is so sore streken; and if there be any service that your gode Lordship will comaund me to do in any cuntre, plesid you to send me word, and it shal be done to my power with the grace of God, which have you, my right honorabull and wurshipfull Lord, alway in his blessid kepyng. Writen at Kyme,[119.2] upon Wednesday next after our Ladi day the Assumpcion.[119.3]
Also plesid your gode lordship to wit, after this letter was made, there come a man fro Tatessall into my fenne, which owght me gode will, and be cause he wold not be holden suspect, he speke with wemen which were mylkand kyne, and bad theme goo to a preest of myn to Dokdike, and bid him fast goo gif me warnyng how that my Lord Wilughby,[120.1] my Lord Cromwell,[120.2] and my Lord Welles[120.3] proposid theme to set a sessions, and hang the said William Shirref, and thai myght bryng ther entent abowte; and so, as I and your servaunt John Abbot stode to geder, the prest come and gaf me warnyng herof, which I trust for my worship your gode Lordship wold not shuld happen, for it wer to me the grettest shame that myght falle; bot and it plese your gode Lordship to write to all your servaunts in this cuntre, that thai will be redy upon a day warnyng to come when I send theme word, I trust to God thai shal not hang him agayn the lawe, bot I, with help of your gode Lordship, shall be abull to let hit.
By your Servaunt,
[Footnote 118.2: [From Fenn, iii. 282.] This letter is dated by Fenn between 1455 and 1460, but cannot be later than the former of these years, as Lord Cromwell died in the beginning of 1456.
It seems, further, beyond a doubt that the Lord Willoughby, mentioned along with him, was Robert, Lord Willoughby of Eresby, who was connected by marriage both with Lord Cromwell and with Lord Welles; and if so the date cannot be later than 1451, as this Lord Willoughby died in July 1452. Indeed, I have very little doubt it is before 1450, as both Tailboys and Beaumont were of the Duke of Suffolk's party, and it is not likely that the former would have ventured to complain of his powerful neighbours, Lords Willoughby, Cromwell, and Welles after the Duke's fall, especially as we know that in the beginning of 1450 he was in prison for an attempt to murder Lord Cromwell.]
[Footnote 119.1: Leo, Lord Welles.]
[Footnote 119.2: In Lincolnshire, between Tattershall and Sleaford.]
[Footnote 119.3: 15th August.]
[Footnote 120.1: Robert, Lord Willoughby of Eresby, who married Maud Stephen, a niece of Lord Cromwell.]
[Footnote 120.2: Ralph, Lord Cromwell.]
[Footnote 120.3: Leo, Lord Welles, whose son Richard married Joan, a daughter of Robert, Lord Willoughby of Eresby.]
[Footnote 120.4: William, afterwards Sir William, Tailboys of South Kyme, in Lincolnshire, who was attainted under Edward IV.
as an adherent of the House of Lancaster. His family was afterwards ennobled as Barons Talboys. He is most unfavourably mentioned in the impeachment of the Duke of Suffolk, of whom he appears to have been a great adherent, and is accused of having made an attempt to murder Lord Cromwell in the Star Chamber at Westminster, on the 28th November 1449.--See _Rolls of Parliament_, v. 181-200.]
IMPEACHMENT OF THE DUKE OF SUFFOLK[120.5]
_To the King oure Soverayn Lord._
[Sidenote: 1450 / FEB. 7]
Sheweth and piteuously compleyneth youre humble trewe obeisantes Comunes of this youre nobile reaume, in this youre present Parlement, by your high autorite assembled for the seurte of your moste high and royall persone, and the welfar of this your nobile reaume, and of your trewe liege peple of the same, that William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk, late of Ewelme, in the counte of Oxenford, falsly and treyterously hath ymagined, compassed, purposid, forethought, done, and commytted divers high, grete, heynous, and horrible treasons ayenst your most roiale persone, youre corones of your raumes of England and Fraunce, your duchiee of Guyan and Normandie, and youre holde enheritaunce of your countee of Anjoye and Mayne, the estate and dignite of the same, and the universall wele and prosperite of all your trewe subgettes of raumes, [duchies] and counte in maner and in forme ensewyng.
First, the seid Duke the xxti day of Juyll the xxv. yere[121.1] of youre blissid regne, in youre citee of London, in the parich of Sepulcr, in the ward of Faringdon infra, ymagynyng and purposing falsly and treyterously to distroy your moste roiall persone, and this your seid realme, thenne and ther trayterously excited, councelled, provoked, and comforted the Erle of Donas[121.2] [bastard][121.3] of Orliaunce, Bertrande, Lord Pressigny, Maister William Cusinet,[121.4] enemys to you Soverayne Lord, and other your enemeys, subgettes and ambassiators to Charles,[121.5] calling hem selfe king of Fraunce, your grettys adversarie and enemey, to meve, councell, ster, and provoke the same Charles to come in to this your realme, to leve, reise, and make open werr ayenst you, Soverayne Lord, and alle this your reaume with a grete puissaunce and arme to distroy your most roiall persone, and your trewe subgettes of the same realme, to the entente to make John, sone of the same Duke, [King] of this your seid realme, and to depose you of your heigh regalie therof; the same Duke of Suffolk havyng thenne of your graunte the ward and mariage of Margarete, doughter and heire to John, the late Duke of Somerset, purposing here to marey to heis said sonne, presuming and pretendyng her to be nexte enheritable to the Corone of this your realme, for lak of issue of you Soverayn Lord, in accomplishement of heis seid traytours purpose and entent, wheroppon the same Duke of Suffolk, sith the tyme of heis areste, hath do the seid Margarete to be maried to heis seid sonne.
Item, the seid Duke of Suffolk being most trostid with you, and prevyest of your councell of fullong tyme, prepensing that your seid grete enemeye and adversarie Charles schuld conquerr and gete be power and myght your seid realme of Fraunce, duchies, and countee, the xx^ti day of January the xvij. yer[122.1] of your regne, at Westminster, in the shir of Middlesex, and divers othir tymes and places within your seid realme of Engeland, falsly, trayterously, by sotel menes and ymaginacyons, for grete corrupcion of good, taking of money, and other excessyf promises to him made by Charles, Duke of Orliaunce,[122.2] your enemye, councelled and stered of hym selfe only, your heighnesse to enlarge and deliver out of prison the same Duke of Orliaunce, enemye to you Soveren Lord, and to the most victorious noble prince of blyssid memory, the king youre fadir, whom God assoile! takyn be hem prisonere, to th'entent that the seid Charles, calling hym self king of Fraunce, schuld recover, gete, and have be false conqueste, and other desayvabile menes ayenst you, your heirz and successors, your seid realme of Fraunce, duches and counte, be the wyle, subtill councell, might, and ayde of the seid Duke of Orliaunce.
Notwithstanding that be the late wylle and ordinaunce of your seid fadir, for divers thingis moveyng his grete wysdome, contrary ther of was avysed and declared, by wiche councell and stering only of the seid Duke of Suffolk the seid Duke of Orliaunce was soverd [_suffered_] at his liberte to departe of this youre realme to the partee of Fraunce.
Afore wich departer the first day of May the seid xvij. yerr[122.1] of your regne, at London, in the parich of Sent Martyne, in the ward of Farindon infra, the same Duke of Suffolk, trayterously adherent to the seid Charles, calling hym selfe kyng of Fraunce, then and ther falsly and trayterously counseiled, coumforted, stered, and provoked the seid Duke of Orlyaunce to excite and moeve the same Charles, calling hym selfe kyng of Fraunce, your grete enemeye and adversarie, to make and reyse open werr ayenst you in your seid realme of Fraunce and duchie of Normandy, to conquer, and to opteyn falsly be force, myght, and other menes ayenst you, your heiriz and successours, your seid realme of Fraunce and duche of Normandy, Uppon wich adherence, councell, and counfort of the seid Duke of Suffolk, the seid Charles calling hym selfe kyng, hath made open werr a yenst you in your seid realme of Fraunce, and hath it attrochid unto hym, and the most party of your duchie of Normandy, and takyn prisonyrs the ful nobile Lordys and coragyouse Knytys, the Erle of Schrouesbery[123.1] and the Lord Faconberge,[123.2]
with many othir nobles and people of your trewe leiges, to ther likly fynall ondoing, your gretest disheritaunce, and oure grete lamentable losse that ever comen a fore this to you, or ony of your ful noble progenitors, or to your trewe subgettes.
Item, wher the seid Duke of Suffolk late was on of your ambassitours with othir to youre seid adversarie Charles, calling hem self kyng of Fraunce, he, above heis instruccion and power to hym be you committyng, promised to Reyner,[123.3] King of Cesile, and Charles Daungers,[123.4]
heis brothir, your grete enemeys, the deliveraunce of Maunce and Mayne, without the assent andvyse or knowyng of other your seid ambassitours with him thenne accompanyd; and theroppon after heis comyng in to this realme from the same ambassiate, in performing of heis seid promyse, he falsly and trayterously, for grette rewardes and lucre of good to hym yeven by your enemes, caused the said Reyner and Charles Daungers to have deliveraunce of Maunce and Mayne aforeseid, to your over grete disheritaunce and loss irreparable, enforsing and enrychyng of your seid enemes, and grettest mene of the losse of your seid duche of Normandye; and so was the seid Duke of Suffolk falsly and trayterously adherent, aidant, and confortant to your grete enemeys and adversaries.
Item, the seid Duke of Suffolk being reteyned with you in your wages of werr in your seid realme of Fraunche and duchie of Normandye, and therby strostid be you and alle your councellers to knowe the privite of your councell ther, and the purviaunce of your armes, the defence and keping of your townes, forteresses, and places, sieges, purveaunce, and ordinaunce of werr in the same parties for you to be mad, knowyng all [such] privite, and being adherent to your seid grete enemeye, calling hem self kyng of Fraunce, hath eften and many divers tymes falsly and trayterously discoverd and openned to hym, and to heis capytaynes and conductors of heis werr, your enemes, the privite, ordinaunce, and provision of your seid councell, purveaunces of armes, defence keping, townes, forteresses, places, syeges, and ordinaunce, werby your grete adversarie and enemeys have geton and takyn, be the menes of this is treason and falshode, ful many lordchepes, townnes, casteles, fortesses, and places within your seid realme of Fraunce and duchie of Normandie, and letted your capitaynes of your werres to conquer, keppe, and acheve your rithfull enheritaunce ther.
Item, the seid Duke of Suffolk beyng of your grete Privey Councell, and with you best trostid, knowyng the secrenesse therof and of this your realme, the xvj. day of Juyll the xxv^ti yerr[124.1] of your regne, at London, in the parich of Sent Laueraunce Pulteney, in the ward of Sandewyke [_Candewyke_] Strette, and at othir divers tymes and places, falsly and trayterously beyng adherent and aidant to the seid Charles, calling hem selfe king of Fraunce, your grete enemeys, the seid xvj.
day, and in the parich of Sent Laurence aforeseid, openned, declarid, and discovered to the seid Erle of Danas, Bastard of Orlyaunce, Bertrand, Lord Presigni, Maister William Cosinet, your enemeys, subgettes, ambassiatours and conncellours to the seid Charles, calling hem self king of Fraunce, the privitees of your councell, aswell of this your realme for the comyn wele of the same, as for the governauns and ordinaunce for the conquest, conservacion, saufgard, tuycyon of your seid realme of Fraunche and duchie of Normandy; [whereby the great part of your said realm of France and duchy of Normandy][125.1] at that tyme being in your in handys, as [_should be_, is] be the seid Charles, calling hem selfe kyng of Fraunce, and [his] armes goton and takyn out of your handes.