Part VI

The Croyland Chronicle: Part VI

The Third Continuation of the History of Croyland Abbey: March, 1471 – December, 1476 with Notes


For the said king Edward, being provided with troops and ships by Charles, duke of Burgundy, about the middle of the ensuing Lent after his banishment effected a landing with fifteen hundred English followers in the district of Holdernesse, at the same spot (1) at which Henry the Fourth had formerly landed when about to dethrone king Richard. Passing through the city of York, he assumed no other title beyond that of duke, as being heir to his father; for it was necessary to use some dissimulation there, as many of the people were opposed to him. After this, he arrived, without any resistance being offered, before the city of Coventry, in which the earls of Warwick and Oxford had shut themselves with a great body of troops.

In the meantime, the duke of Clarence before-named, brother to king Edward, had been fully reconciled to the king by the mediation of his sisters, the duchesses of Burgundy and Exeter, of whom, the one without the kingdom, and the other within it, entreated the duke to make peace with his brother: after which, he hurried with a very large force from the western parts of the kingdom to the king’s presence. The numbers on the king’s side thus increasing every day, the earls at Coventry did not dare venture either to proclaim war against the king or to accept the pitched battle which was offered them by him.

Upon this, the king proceeded to London, where he once more seized the person of the before-named king Henry, and George, archbishop of York, the then chancellor of the kingdom. Hardly, however, had he passed two nights there, when he was obliged to leave the city, for the purpose of manfully engaging, without it, the enemy who were hastening onward to capture him in the place. For Easter Day was now close at hand, upon which it was conjectured that the king would be attending more to prayers then arms, and it was their design at the moment when he was intent upon the duties of religion, suddenly to surprise him when unattended by any considerable number of people. This prudent prince, however, took due precautions against this stratagem of the enemy, and, paying more attention to urgent necessity than to absurd notions of propriety, on Holy Saturday in Easter week, quitted the city with his army, and passing slowly on, reached the town of Barnet, a place ten miles distant from the city; and there pitched his camp, on the eve of the day of our Lord’s Resurrection.

In the morning a dreadful engagement took place, in which there fell various nobles of either party. On the side of those who were of king Henry’s party, there fell those two most famous nobles, the brothers, Richard earl of Warwick, and John marquis of Montague. Among those on that side who contrived to escape alive from the field, were Henry Holland, duke of Exeter, and John Vere, earl of Oxford, of whom, the one took sanctuary at Westminster, while the other betook himself to the sea, once more to seek his fortune. On the other hand, king Edward lost two nobles, kinsmen of his, Humphrey Bourchier, lord Cromwell, an another Humphrey, of the same surname, the eldest son and heir of the lord Berners; besides many others who fell in the battle. However, he gained a wonderful, glorious, and un-hoped for victory.

He returned in triumph to London, after midday on the same day, being Easter Sunday, and was honourably escorted thither by multitudes of nobles and people. Still however, he was not allowed to spend many days there for the purpose of refreshing his body, which had been so buffeted about by his varying fortunes. For, just after one battle had been fought, as already stated, in the east, he was obliged to prepare himself and his followers with all his energies for another in the western parts of the kingdom, which was fought under the auspices of queen Margaret and her son.

It so happened that whilst king Edward, on embarking from Flanders, had, contrary to his intentions, been carried by the violence of the tempests to the coasts of Yorkshire, the queen had set sail, with her followers, from Normandy, and making a direct passage, had landed in the counties of Cornwall and Devon. The queen’s army was increased daily, there being many in the west who espoused the cause of king Henry in preference to the pretensions of all others. Upon this, Edmund, duke of Somerset, who had been an exile from his childhood, and who was next in rank in the whole army after prince Edward, with his brother, John Beaufort by name, Thomas earl of Devon, John, lord Wenlock, and brother John Lancostrother, prior to the order of Saint John throughout England, deliberated in council how they might contrive most speedily to pass along the western coast, and, making their way by Bristol, Gloucester, and Chester, reach Lancashire, where great numbers of men skilled in archery were to be found: for they felt quite confident that the nobles and people in those parts, beyond all others throughout the kingdom, were well affected to the Lancastrian side. Nor perhaps would they have been deceived in forming this opinion, had not king Edward used such great expeditioon in marching from London with a small body of troops to meet them, in order that their further passage might be intercepted; an object which was accordingly effected in the county of Gloucester.

When both armies had now become so extremely fatigued with the labour of marching and thirst that they could proceed no further, they joined battle near the town of Tewkesbury. After the result had long remained doubtful, king Edward at last gained a glorious victory. Upon this occasion, there were slain on the queen’s side, either in the field or after the battle, by the avenging hands of certain persons (2), prince Edward, the only son of king Henry, the duke of Somerset, the earl of Devon, and all and every the other lords above-mentioned. Queen Margaret also was taken prisoner and preserved in safety, in order that she might be carried to London, there to appear before the king’s triumphal car; which was accordingly done.

But, while these things were going on, and while king Edward, graced with this twofold victory, would seem, in the judgment of all, most undeniably to have proved the justice of his cause, the fury of many of the malignants was not averted, and especially in Kent; for the hands of these people were still extended [against the king]. Some men of this description, being instigated by certain of the remains of the earl of Warwick’s mercenaries, mariners, and pirates from Calais, met Thomas, the Bastard of Falconbridge; reached London from the most distant parts of the country. Here having surveyed all the inlets and outlets of the city, they studied with all their energies how they might possibly subject this most opulent city to their ravages. For this purpose, they brought up ships, which they had prepared for the purpose, almost into the very port, in order that, putting on board the whole of their spoil, they might obtain subsistence by means therof in other quarters. With this object, many of them collected together upon London Bridge, and many others on the oppostie side of the city at the gate which bears the name of ‘Bishopsgate’; where they made most furious assaults, and laid waste everything with fire and sword, in order, by some means or other, to effect an entrance. The vestiges of their misdeeds are even yet to be seen upon the said bridge, as they burned all the houses which lay between the draw-bridge, and the outer gate, that looks towards the High Street of Southwark, and which had been built at a vast expense.

God, however, being unwilling that a city so renowned, and the capital of the whole kingdom of England, should be delivered into the hands of such wretches, to be plundered by them, gave to the Londoners stout hearts, which prompted them to offer resistance on the day of the battle. This they were especially aided in doing by a sudden and unexpected sally, which was made by Antony, earl Rivers, from the Tower of London. Falling, at the head of his horsemen, upon the rear of the enemy while they were making furious assaults upon the gate above-mentioned, he afforded the Londoners an opportunity of opening the city gates and engaging hand to hand with the foe; upon which they namfully slew or put to flight each and every of them. Then might you have seen all the remnants of this band of robbers hastening with all speed to their ships and other hiding-places.

These abandoned men being thus routed and put to flight, both citizens, guests, and strangers, were greatly rejoiced therat, as well as all other persons who had taken refuge in the place for the sake of additional safety during the ravages of this tempest. All these events took place in the month of May, shortly before the feast of the Assumption of our Lord.

On the vigil of thes feast, king Edward entered London in state for the third time, with a retinue far greater than any of his former armies, and with standards unfurled and borne before him and the nobles of his army. Upon this occasion many were struck with surprise and astonishment, seeing there was now no enemy left for him to encounter. This prudent prince, however, fully understanding the fickle disposition of the people of Kent, had come to the resolution that he would not disarm until he had visited those ravagers with condign punishment for their misdeeds at their own doors. For this purpose, he proceeded into Kent with his horse in hostile form; having done which, he returned, a most renowned conqueror and mighty monarch; whose praises resounded far and wide throughout the land, for having achieved such great exploits, with such wondrous expedtion and in so short a space of time.

I would pass over in silence the fact that at this period king Henry was found dead in the Tower of London; may God spare and grant time for repentance to the person, whoever he was, who thus dared lay sacrilegious hands upon the Lord’s annointed! Hence it is that he who prepetrated this has justly earned the title of tyrant (3), while he who thus suffered had gained that of a glorious Martyr. The body was exhibited for days in St. Paul’s church in London, and was carried thence by the river Thames to the conventual church of the monks at Chertsey, in the diocese of Winchester, fifteen miles from the city; a kind of barge having been solemnly prepared for the purpose, provided with lighted torches. How great his deserts were, by reason of his innocence of life, his love of God and of the Church, his patience in adversity, and his other remarkable virtues, is abundantly testified by the miracles which God has wrought in favour of those who have, with devout hearts, implored his intercession.

The praises of these regal victories having been carried to the most illustrious duke of Burgundy, who was there to be found more glad than he? For being then at war with their common enemy, king Louis, he could not entertain a doubt but that he should receive assistance against him at the hands of his allies. And who was there to be found who was more sorrowful than Louis? through whose craftiness alone so many domestic foes had been thus frequently raised up against the person of king Edward; but now at last all in vain. Certain ambassadors were accordingly sent to the king by the duke, not more for the purpose of congratulating him on his successes, than of reminding him what a degree of ill-will their common enemy had shewn against his serene highness, and advising his majesty to give his early thoughts to making and carrying out preparations for a descent on France, not so much with the object of avenging past injuries, as of regaining the rights of his ancestors, which had been lost in France; while at the same time he was assured that he should have the duke as a sharer in the expedition, and a partner in both his prosperity and his adversity. Having taken so important an offer as this into due consideration, it was at last determined that the king should send some one of his people, for the purpose of enquiring more thoroughly into the duke’s intentions, and of informing the king thereon.

Accordingly, one of the king’s council was sent, a Doctor (4) of Canon Law. He was despatched, however, by way of Boulogne (for at this time Calais had not as yet been reduced to obedience to the king); and he found the duke at a certain great and well-fortified town, situate on the river Somme, which is called Abbat’s Vill or Abbeville, in the county of Pontay. Having fulfilled the object of his embassy, he returned, by way of Calais, which shortly after, with all the marches adjacent thereto, in conformity with the king’s views, received William, lord Hastings, the king’s chamberlain, with all respect and submissiveness and surrendered to him possession of the place. By means of this short embassy were laid the foundations of those mighty preparations of which mention will be found made in the sequel, for recovering the king’s rights in France. In this manner passed the summer of this year, being the eleventh of the reign of king Edward the Fourth, and the year of our Lord, 1471. In the Michaelmas Term after this, by act of Parliament, many persons were attainted and several other measures taken, which it is not worth while individually here to describe. This Parliament lasted nearly two years.

It is my intention here to insert an account of the dissensions which arose during the Michaelmas Term between the two brothers of the king, already mentioned and which were with difficulty quieted. After, as already stated, the son of king Henry, to whom the lady Anne, the youngest daughter of the earl of Warwick, had been married, was slain at the battle of Tewkesbury, Richard, duke of Gloucester, sought the said Anne in marriage. This proposal, however, did not suit the views of his brother, the duke of Clarence, who had previously married the eldest daughter of the same earl. Such being the case, he caused the damsel to be concealed, in order that it might not be known by his brother where she was; as he was afraid of a division of the earl’s property, which he wished to come to himself alone in right of his wife, and not to be obliged to share it with any other person. Still however, the craftiness of the duke of Gloucester, so far prevailed, that he discovered the young lady in the city of London disguised in the habit of a cookmaid; upon which he had her removed to the sanctuary of St. Martin’s. In consequence of this, such violent discussion arose between the brothers, and so many arguments were, with the greatest acuteness, put forth on either side, in the king’s presence, who sat in judgment in the council-chamber, that all present, and the lawyers even, were quite surprised that these princes should find arguments in such abundance by means of which to support their respective causes. In fact, these three brothers, the king and the two dukes, were possessed of such surpassing talents that, if they had been able to live without dissensions, such a threefold cord could never have been broken without the utmost difficulty. At last, their most loving brother, king Edward, agreed to act as mediator between them; and in order that the discord between princes of such high rank might not cause any hindrance to the carrying out of his royal intentions in relation to the affairs of France, the whole misunderstanding was at last set at rest, upon the following terms: the marriage of the duke of Gloucester with Anne before-named was to take place, and he was to have such and so much of the earl’s lands as should be agreed upon between them through the mediation of arbitrators; while all the rest were to remain in the possession of the duke of Clarence. The consequence was, that little or nothing was left at the disposal of the real lady and heiress, the countess of Warwick, to whom the whole of her life the most noble inheritance of the Warwicks and the Despensers properly belonged. However, I readily pass over a matter so incurable as this, without attempting to find a cause for it, and so leave these strong-willed men to the impulse of their own wills; thinking it better to set forth the remaining portion of this narrative, so far as it occurs to my memory, with unbiased words, and, so far as I am aware, without any admixture of falsehood therewith.

During this Parliament, (which was * * presided over by a variety of chancellors, there being first, Robert, bishop of Bath, who did nothing except through his pupil, John Alcock, bishop of Worcester; secondly Lawrence, bishop of Durham, who became quite fatigued and weary with his endless labours; and thirdly, Thomas, bishop of Lincoln, who fully carried out all his purposes to the very end:) the principal object of the king was to encourage the nobles and people to engage in the war aganist France; in the promotion of which object, many speeches of remarkable eloquence were made in Parliament, both of a public and private nature, especially on behalf of the duke of Burgundy. The result was, that all applauded the king’s intentions, and bestowed the highest praises on his proposed plans; and numerous tenths and fifteenths were granted, on several occasions, according to the exigencies of the case, in assemblies of the clergy and of such of the laity as took any part in making grants of that nature. Besides this, those who were possessed of realty and personal property, all of them, readily granted the tenth part of their possessions. When it now seemed that not even all the grants before-mentioned would suffice for the maintenance of such great expenses, a new and unheard-of impost was introduced, every one was to give just what he pleased, or rather just what he did not please, by way of a benevolence. The money raised from grants so large and so numerous as these amounted to sums the like of which was never seen before, nor is it probable that they ever will be seen in times to come.

Besides this, in order that these intentions on the king’s part might not be frustrated by multiplied hostilities, provision was throughtfully made that the Scots should not remain like so many enemies behind our backs, and that the men of the Teutonic Hanse Towns, who had now begun to infest the English seas, should not aid the enemy in person and with their ships, against us. Accordingly, peace was first established with these two countries in our vicinity, an embassy being first despatched to Utrecht, which reached that place in three days, and after that, to Scotland.

In the following year, being the year one thousand (5)* * * * and the fourteenth year of the reign of the said king Edward, in the months of May and June the king transported across all his armed force, together with most noble and most ample equipments, to Calais; where the most illustrious prince, Charles, duke of Burgundy, having arrived with a few followers, held a prolonged debate with the king’s council respecting the course of the two armies, the king’s and his own, and the place at which they might most conveniently meet. You might then have seen certain of our party highly elated; being those who would have gladly returned home leaving the object of the expedition unattained, on the ground that the duke was to blame, for failing to have his troops ready and close at hand. Others however, whose minds were better disposed, and who studied glory rather than their own ease, thought that in acting thus the duke had performed the part of a prudent prince and of one who hoped for the best. For, as he very well knew, the king’s army alone was sufficiently strong in case any attack should be suddenly made upon him. Indeed, so extremely well-prepared was that force, that if they had been his own men, he would not have wished for a larger number, at the head of which to march triumphantly through the midst of France to the very gates of the city of Rome; these were the very words he uttered in public. Besides this, if the whole of the duke’s army had been in sight of ours, it is by no means improbable that the first battle would have been between them, for provisions, quarters, or other things of which they might have stood in need; than which nothing could have been possibly found more gratifying to the common enemy of both.

Nevertheless, the princes proceeded onward on their contemplated route, and while, day after day, they approached nearer and nearer to the territories of the enemy, the duke on one occasion having turned aside to visit his own cities, in some way, I know not how, a suggestion reached us on part of the enemy entering into a treaty of peace. Nor yet, as some persons have asserted, ought the conditions appended thereto to appear unbecoming or in any way disgraceful to our people; the offer being made on the terms, among other things, that the Dauphin should be united with the king’s eldest daughter with a most ample marriage portion, and that a yearly payment should be made to him of ten thousand pounds for the purpose of defraying the expenses of the war that had been commenced, a truce or cessation of warfare, being made for a period of seven years.

However, upon this, the duke refused to have any further dealings with the king who thus purposed to make peace with their adversary, seeing that he had previously engaged him alone to continue the war with their united resources against their common enemy, and accordingly withdrew in a state of discontent. Our Commissioners, having now concluded peace with the opposite side, in due form and to the effect previously mentioned, brought word to the king and his council what steps they had taken; which were for many reasons considered to be very seasonable and peculiarly suitable to the present interests of the persons respectively engaged therein. Upon this, our men spent the whole of their pay, and with good-will (6) on both sides an end was put to the war; which, after preparations made with incredible expense and a degree of diligence and energy unheard-of in this age, had never yet been able to reach a commencement.

After this, a conference was held between the two kings, for the purpose of more firmly establishing the peace that had been made between them. Indeed, there was no kind of pledge, promise, or oath made in public, which king Louis would not willingly give in order to guarantee the due performance of the terms agreed on. Accordingly, our lord the king returned to England, having thus concluded an honorable treaty of peace; for in this light it was regarded by the higher officers (7) of the royal army, although there is nothing so holy or so high a sanction, that it may not have contempt thrown upon it by being ill spoken of. Indeed, some persons, immediately began to cavil at peace being thus concluded, but these soon received condign punishment for their presumption. Others, on their return home, betook themselves to theft and rapine, so that no road throughout England was left in a state of safety for either merchants or pilgrims.

Upon this, our lord the king was compelled, together with his judges, to make a survey of the kingdom; and no one, not even his own domestic, did he spare, but instantly had him hanged, if he was found guilty of theft or murder. These rigorous sentences being universally carried into execution, public acts of robbery were soon put a stop to for a considerable time. However, if this prudent prince had not manfully put an end to this commencement of mischief, the number of people complaining of the unfair management of the resources of the kingdom, in consequence of such quantities of treasure being abstracted from the coffers of each and uselessly consumed, would have increased to such a degree that no one could have said whose head, among the king’s advisers, was in safety: and the more especially those, who, induced by friendship of the French king or by his presents, had persuaded the king to make peace in manner previously mentioned.

There is no doubt that the king felt his perplexed situation in this matter most deeply at heart, and was by no means ignorant of the condition of his people, and how reasily they might be betrayed, in case they should find a leader, to enter into rebellious plans, and conceive a thirst for change. Accordingly, seeing that things had now come to such a pass, that from thenceforth he could not dare, in his emergencies, to ask the assistance of the English people, and finding that (a thing which really was the case) it was through want of money that the French expedition had, in such a short time, come to nothing; he turned all his thoughts to the question, how he might in future collect an amount of treasure worthy of his royal station out of his own substance, and by the exercise of his own energies. Accordingly, having called Parliament together, he resumed possession of nearly all the royal estates, without regard to whom they had been granted, and applied the whole thereof to the support of the expenses of the crown. Throughout all the ports of the kingdom he appointed inspectors of the customs, men of remarkable shrewdness, but too hard, according to general report, upon the merchants. The king himself, also, having procured merchant ships, put on board of them the finest wools, cloths, tin, and other productions of the kingdom, and, like a private individual living by trade, exchanged merchandize for merchandize, by means of his factors, among both Italians and Greeks. The revenues of vacant prelacies, which, according to Magna Carta, cannot be sold, he would only part with out of his hands at a stated sum, and on no other terms whatever. He also examined the register and rolls of Chancery, and exacted heavy fines from those whom he found to have intruded and taken possession of estates without prosecuting their rights in form required by law; by way of return for the rents which they had in meantime received. These, and more of a similar nature than can possibly be conceived by a man who is inexperienced in such matters, were his methods of making up a purse; added to which, there was the yearly tribute of ten thousand pounds due from France, together with numerous tenths from the churches, from which the prelates and clergy had been unable to get themselves excused. All these particulars, in the course of a very few years, rendered him an extremely wealthy prince; so much so, that, for collecting vessels of gold and silver, tapestries, and decorations of the most precious nature, both for his palaces and for various churches, and for building castles, colleges, and other distinguished places, and making new acquisitions of lands and possessions, not one of his predecessors was at all able to equal his remarkable achievements.

In the meantime, and while the king was, for some years, as we have already stated, intent upon accumulating these vast quantities of wealth, he expended a considerable part of them in a solemn repetition of the funeral rites of his father, Richard, the late duke of York. For this most wise monarch, recalling to mind the very humble place of his father’s burial (the house of the Mendicant Friars at Pomfret, where the body of that prince had been interred, amid the disturbances of the time at which he perished), translated the bones of his father, as well as those of his brother Edmund, earl of Rutland, to the fine college of Fodringham (8), which he had founded, in the diocese of Lincoln, attended by two processions, which consisted both of persons distinguished by birth and high rank; the one being of ecclesiastics, and consisting of the prelates, the other various peers and lords temporal. This solemnity was performed on certain days in the month of July, in the sixteenth year of the said king, being the year of our Lord, 1476.

In this year, the before-named John Wysbech, who had in a most praiseworthy manner presided over the monastery of Croyland for nearly seven years, departed the way of all flesh, on the nineteenth day of November. It is my intention here to hand down to remembrance, and, by way of example, to posterity, certain memorable actions of the venerable father, from the time at which he accepted the pastoral office. His first act, after he had received the dignity of abbat, was to cause the chapel of Saint Pega, commonly called Saint Pega of Paylond, to be rebuilt, after the same had been for many years levelled with the ground; for he wisely remembered the passage in the Gospel, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God — and all these things shall be added to you.(9)” He also added greatly to the becomingness of the celebration of Divine service, both in duly reparing the old organ, and in procuring a new one. He also began several fine buildings, as well within the site of the abbey as without; and, using the greatest diligence, completed not only these, but also all the others which had been begun by his predecessor. Among those which stand conspicuous above all the rest, to the honor and glory of the abbey court, are those fine chambers which were begun by abbat Litlyngton, between the western part of the church and the almonry, but were afterwards completed by this father, at a vast expense. He also caused the great granary to be erected which is situate near the bake-house; and had four well-lighted rooms made out of some dark dens near the cloisters, for the use of the abbat’s officers; besides which, a thing that ought on no account be omitted, he erected for the scholars of this palce destined for Cambridge, convenient chambers in Buckingham College (10) belonging to the monks, well suited for the purposes of study and repose. Through his diligence and considerate management, he had the service, not to call it homage, of the vill commuted, by means of a certain fine, from the delivery which had been customarily made yearly to the monastery of Peterborough of four stones of wax, into a payment of twenty-pence; and to the end that more sincere (11) brotherly love might henceforth exist between the brethren of the two monsateries. He, too, was the first most wisely to abolish that ancient (12) custom, or rather corrupt usage of givng knives to every stranger on Saint Bartholomew’s day(13); in consequence of which, the abbats and convent have considerable reason to rejoice at being for ever delivered from a piece of great and needless expense. Besides this, he obatined a bull of dispensation from the pope, which permitted the eating of flesh at Septuagesima. He was a man of distinguished piety in all his actions; the same being manifested in his conduct towards his brethren and the farmers and tenants of the place. In his days there happened a great misfortune — a fire in the vill of Croyland; in consquence of which, although the revenues of the monastery had decreased to the amount of twenty marks per annum, this pious father, entertaining bowels of compassion towards his poor tenants, in his gracious bounty distributed divers sums of money to such as had been damnified thereby, in order to encourage them to rebuild; indeed, he himself would have rebuilt the edifices belonging to the monastery, if his life had been prolonged. He died, as already stated, on the nineteenth day of November, in the sixteenth year of king Edward.

By canonical election, brother Richard Croyland, a Bachelor of Divinity, was appointed in his place, on the seventeenth day of December, in the year of our Lord, 1476, and in the year of king Edward above stated. He had previously filled the office of Seneschal of the said monastery, and of his life and fortunes I shall set forth some particulars, when I come to the year 1483.

In returning to the history of this kingdom, and recalling to memory by what glory and tranquility king Edward had rendered himself illustrious, after having gathered together treasures innumerable from the French tribute and other particulars previously mentioned, let us subjourn certain matters that will admit no denial. A new dissension, which sprang up shortly after, between him and his brother, the duke of Clarence, very greatly tarnished the glories of this most prudent king. For that duke now seemed gradually more and more to estrange himself from the king’s presence, hardly ever to utter a word in council, and not without reluctance to eat or drink at the king’s abode. On account of this interruption of their former friendship, many thought that the duke was extremely sore at heart, because, on the occasion of the general resumption which the king had lately made in Parliament, the duke had lost the noble demense of Tutbury, and several other lands, which he had formerly obtained by royal grant.

Notes on Part VI

  1. Ravenspur, in Yorkshire.
  2. He evidently alludes either to Edward or his brother Richard, duke of Gloucester. Horace Walpole, in his ‘Historic Doubts,’ thinks that the latter is referred to, and his is probably right in his conjecture.
  3. This appears to be a hint of Edward’s complicity.
  4. The writer of this history. –Marginal Note.
  5. A.D. 1474.
  6. This passage appears to be in a very imperfect state. If translated at all literally, it is impossible to make any sense of it.
  7. The fact being, that most of them were bribed.
  8. Fotheringay, in Northamptonshire.
  9. St. Matthew vi. 33. St. Luke xii. 31.
  10. Now Magdalen College.
  11. In the use of the word “sincerior,” the writer probably intends a pun, in allusion to the primary meaning of the word “sinncerus,”, “without wax,” from “sine cerà.”
  12. “Venustum” seems to be a misprint for “vestustam.”
  13. August 24th. This custom originated in an allusion to the knife with which St. Bartholomew was flayed. Some of them bore representations of the whips with which St. Guthlac inflicted self-castigation. They are sill sometimes found at Croyland.