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well beloved servant, 9 A. B. hath a full grant of Mr. A.' to be the farmer of his parsonage with you ; and forasmuch as my said servant intending for his most surety and profit to abide thereupon, supposeth by reason he is destitute of a convenient mansion for that behalf, that he cannot more expediently bestow himself and his household, if he might thereunto obtain your favour, than with you: in consideration hereof, and forasmuch as your vacant houses be now most apt for him that shall be farmer of the said parsonage, I heartily require you to owe unto him your lawful favour herein, and that the rather at this mine instance, which I were loth you should consider, in case I thought it should not be more for your commodity in this your solace, than his profit. From my manor of Ottforde, the ijde day of October.
To the Parson of Che(vening).
I.. To the PRIORESS AND CONVENT OF WILTON. In my right hearty wise I commend me unto you : and Harl. MSS. where I am advertised by your authentic letters unto me,
6148. fol. addressed by this bearer, Sir Robert F., how desirous ye are, for the zeal ye bear unto the good order of your religion, to have an election' of an abbess, whereunto by those your
9 [Thomas Abberforde. See Letter lviu.!
(Richard Astall, parson of Chevening. See Letters XXXVII. lvm.] s [There seems to be an error bere, for the parson is spoken of in the Letter as a third person.]
'[In 1528 the election of an Abbess of Wilton was the cause of a serious misunderstanding between Hen. VIII. and Wolsey ; the Cardinal having been instrumental to the success of Isabella Jordayn, the Prioress, against the wishes of both the King and Anne Boleyn. See some curious Letters on the subject in State Papers, vol. i. p. 313, &c. and Harl. Misc. vol. in. p. 58; froin which it appears, that the house at that time was badly regulated and in much need of reformation. Some of the nuns resisted so obstinately the shutting up of certain doors and “ ways," that it was thought necessiry“ to put three or four of the cap“ tains of them in ward." The present election seems to have terminated in favour of Cecil Bodenham, who was pensioned at the dissolution, together with the Prioress and thirty-one nuns. Willis, Hist. of Abbeys, vol. ii. App. p. 29.)
said letters you move and also require of me aid concerning
well beloved sister and sisters
LI. To Wellbeloved, I greet you well, &c. your supplication by 6148. fol. this bearer I have received, whereby I perceive your griefs,
which to redress some part after your mind, (the King's Grace's pleasure known therein,) I shall be as glad to do and accomplish, as any that hath been in such a room as God now hath called me unto. From my manor of Otteford the vth day of October, &c.
LII. To GRESHAM. Harl. MSS. Master Gresham“, I heartily commend me unto you: 6148. fol.
thanking you for your credit unto Master Gerves for me; 32.
and also for your letter, where I am now more ascertained of
my day, (which I understand is past,) than I was before; by reason whereof I am not even now in a very readiness to accomplish your mind herein ; notwithstanding I trust you shall be in no danger, for shortly I will send to the said Master Gerves to require of him a little respite unto my next audit at Lambeth, which will not be long unto, and then I trust to satisfy him, and be glad to do for you as great pleasure by the grace of God, &c. From Otteford the vith day of October.
u [This may have been either Sir Richard the father, or Sir John the uncle of the celebrated Sir Thomas Gresham. They were both opulent merchants in the city of London. Ward, Life of Gresham.]
LIII. To LORD RocHFORDX.
My Lord, in my right hearty wise I commend me unto Harl. MSS. your good Lordship: and where this bringer P. M. sueth 6148. fol. unto me to write unto you in his favour, that
would be so good lord unto him, as to move my Lord of Northfolke at your request to prefer the same to my Lord of Richmonde'sy service to the room of a secretary, which, as I perceive, is now void: in consideration hereof, and forasmuch that at your request I took his brother ? to my service, whose diligence and fidelity I do now much esteem, I heartily require your Lordship to tender this his said suit; and that the rather at this my request ye do therein the more effectually, as your discreet wisdom in that behalf doth think best for his furtherance: for I myself have this confidence in him, that by reason he is brother unto my said servant, he will do no less diligent service unto my said Lord of Richmond than his brother doth now unto me; as knoweth God, who preserve you, my good Lord Rocheford. From my manor of Otteford the vith day of October, &c. To my very singular good Lord, my
Lord of Rocheforde, &c.
LIV. TO COLLMANA, Master Collman, I commend me unto you, &c. pray- Harl. Mss. ing you, as my trust and fidelity is in the same, to pro-30.6.
6148. fol. ceed in making of a sale in Buchurste of such woods as
* [The unfortunate brother of Anne Boleyn.]
2 [Probably Rate Morice, a secretary in whom the Archbishop had great confidence. See Strype.]
2 (John Colman was, in 1535, the Archbishop's bailiff for Wyngham and its dependencies. Val. Eccles.]
shall be thought most best by your discretion for my profit, according to such informations as my officers made unto you at their last being at Canterbury; and in thus doing you shall at this time do me pleasure. And for your further surety herein, this my writing shall be a sufficient warrant for you at all times in this behalf, &c. vii. day of October.
To Mr. Collman at Canterbury.
LV. To his CHANCELLOR.
Harl. MSS. Master Chancellor, I greet you well. And forasmuch as 6148. fol.
I am credibly informed that the nomination of a Vicar unto 32.
the vicarage of Withbroke in the diocese of Coventry and Lychfield belongeth unto me in the vacation of the bishop there a, which said nomination I have given unto the Prior of Coventry, [I will that] ye do dispatch the said Prior according to your form devised by the law in that behalf, and
shall think most convenient, &c. To Master Chancellor.
LVI. TO THE CURATE OF SUNDRIDGE. Har). MSS. I commend me unto you, &c. And where I am adver6148. fol. tised by this bringer, John Pers, that for lack of a banns
asking you defer the same from solemnizing of his matrimony, the default whereof he reporteth was [in] one, who in his absence for him should have given money to the clerk for the intimation thereof: I will therefore that
you further lets or impediments herein, advertising the same, that forasmuch as in considering the premises there appeareth in his behalf no coven or deceit, I am content at this time to dispense with him. From Otteford, &c. To the Curate of Sunriche.
[Geoffrey Blythe, Bishop of Coventry and Litchfield, died the latter end of 1533. Rowland Lee, his successor, was elected the 10th of Jan. 1534, consecrated the 19th of April, and restored to the temporalities the 6th of May following. Le Neve, Fasti.]
LVII. TO THE Prior of Christ's Church, CAN
TERBURY. Brother Prior, in my right hearty wise I commend me Harl. mss. unto you: heartily thanking you for your good and kind 6148. fol. token which I have received by your brothern and mine, not deserved as yet ; nevertheless you should have done me much more greater pleasure, if you had lent it me full of gold, not for any pleasure or delectation that I have in the thing, but for the contentation of such as I am indebted and dangered unto; which I assure you hath grieved me more of late, than any worldly thing hath done a great season ; in this I am bold to show you my necessity, thinking of good congruence I might in such lawful necessity be more bolder of you, and you likewise of me, than to attempt or prove any foreign friends. Wherefore, trusting in your benevolence and of all my brethren for the premises, I shall so recompense the same again, according as ye shall be well contented and pleased withal. Thus fare ye well. To the Prior of Christ's Church in
LVIII. TO THE Parson of CHEVENING b. Master Astall, I commend me unto you. And where Harl. MSS. you were contented that I should have the farm of your
6148. fol. 6 [See Letters XXXVII. XLIX.]
(The furming of benefices was the ordinary practice in those days, (See Foxe, Acts, &c. vol. iii. p. 167;) and must not be confounded with fee farming, which seems to have crept in shortly afterwards. The latter system is explained to have been a permanent arrangement, or commutation, and was bitterly inveighed against by Latymer. This plain spoken preacher did not scruple to ascribe it to the machinations of Satan. “ What an unreasonable devil is this? He “provides a great while beforehand for the time that is to come: " he hath brought up now of late the most monstrous kind of covetous
ness that ever was heard of: he hath invented fee farming of bene“fices, and all to decay this office of preaching ; insomuch that when
any man hereafter shall have a benefice, he may go where he will, for “ any house he shall bave to dwell upon, or any glebe land to keep hos
pitality withal; but he must take up a chamber in an ale-house, " and there sit to play at tables all the day. A goodly curate !" Sirth Sermon before Edv. VI 1549.]