Appendix: The letter of submission

Pages 217-218

The Grey Friars of London. Originally published by Aberdeen University Press, Aberdeen, 1915.

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12th November, 1538.

[This letter is printed in Trollope's History of Christ's Hospital, pp. 21, 22, as the "Deed of Surrender". That of course it is not. It would seem to be a lett er drawn up to accompany the Deed. Trollope states that it was preserved in the Augmentation Office, but I have not succeeded in tracing it. Similar letters were, however, written on behalf of other houses of friars; see p. 236 below. According to Trollope it was signed by Chapman and twenty-five friars (no doubt as in the Deed below; but Trollope found the signatures illegible). He says the seal is attached, showing two friars, one of whom holds a cross with a triangular shrine in which a saint [? St. Paul] is seated; between the friars is a tree with birds thereon. Sigillvm Conventvs Fratrvm Minorvm Londoniar.]

For as moche as we, the Warden and Freers of the howse of Saynt Francis in London, comenly callyd the Gray Freers in London, doo profoundly consider that the perfeccion of Christian liuyng dothe not conciste in dome ceremonies, weryng of a grey cootte, disgeasing our selffe aftyr straunge fassions, dokynge, nodyngs and bekynge, in gurdyng our selffes wythe a gurdle full of knots, and other like Papisticall ceremonyes, wherin we haue byn moost pryncipally practysed and misselyd in tymes past: but the very tru waye to please God, and to liue a tru Christian man, wythe oute all ypocrasie and fayned dissimulacion, is sinceerly declaryd vnto vs by owre Master Christe, his Euangelists and Apostles:— Being mindyd herafter to follow the same, conformyng oure selffe vnto the will and pleasure of owr supreme hed vndre God in erthe, the Kings Majestie; and not to follow hensforth the supersticious tradicions of ony foryncicall potentate or peere: wythe mutuall assent and consent doo submytt owrselffes vnto the mercy of owr saide Soveraygn Lorde. And wythe like mutuall assent and consent doo surrender and yelde vpe into the hands of the same, all owr saide howse of Saynt Francis comenly callyd the Grey Friers in London, wythe all lands, tenements, gardens, medowes, waters, pondyards, fedyngs, pastures, comens, rentes, reuersions, and all other owr interest, ryghtes or titles, aperteynyng vnto the same: mooste humbly besechyng his mooste noble grace to disspose of vs and of the same, as best schall stonde wythe his mooste graciouse pleasure: and further frely to grant vnto euery on of vs his licens vndre wretyng and seall, to chaunge owr habites into secular fassion, and to receve suche maner of livyngs as other secular Priestes comenly be preferryd vnto. And we alle faythfully schall pray vnto allmyghty God long to preserue his mooste noble Grace, wythe increse of moche felicitie and honor. And in witnes of alle and singular the premysses, we the said Warden and Couent of the Grey Freers in London to thes presentes haue putte owr Couent Seall the xij day of Novembre, in the thirty the yere of the raygn of our mooste Souerayne Kinge Henry the yeght: or Anno 1538.