Letters and Papers: May 1539, 6-10

Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 14 Part 1, January-July 1539. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1894.

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'Letters and Papers: May 1539, 6-10', Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 14 Part 1, January-July 1539, (London, 1894), pp. 436-441. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/letters-papers-hen8/vol14/no1/pp436-441 [accessed 17 June 2024].

. "Letters and Papers: May 1539, 6-10", in Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 14 Part 1, January-July 1539, (London, 1894) 436-441. British History Online, accessed June 17, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/letters-papers-hen8/vol14/no1/pp436-441.

. "Letters and Papers: May 1539, 6-10", Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 14 Part 1, January-July 1539, (London, 1894). 436-441. British History Online. Web. 17 June 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/letters-papers-hen8/vol14/no1/pp436-441.


May 1539

6 May.
R. O.
Thanks her for wine sent now and heretofore. Mr. Hussey will take nothing either for carriage or wine. Asks lady Lisle to let her know the value and the expenses, that it may be paid. Her husband wishes her, being big with child, to go to Belver after Whitsuntide. Asks lady Lisle whether Mrs. Bassett should accompany her. She is as honest a gentlewoman as can be, and everybody seeing and knowing her, liketh her very well. Holiwell, 6 May. Signed.
Her husband and herself desire to be commended to lady Lisle.
P. 1. Add.
6 May.
R. O.
I am anxious for news of you. I am unwell with a catarrh. I beg to know if you have sent word to the English ambassador, (fn. 1) as you promised, to help Madame de Riou in her affliction. I cannot conceal from you the good news I received on Monday last from a woman who is staying at Pont de Remy Castle, and came to see her daughter who is married, at three leagues from Dunkirk. She brought no letters, but said that Madame had asked her to enquire, when she came to the lodging of her daughter, how far it was thence to Dunkirk, and if not far to visit her. On this the good woman went six great leagnes out of her way, and has told me the good news that Mons. de Riou conducts himself quite differently from what he used to do, and shows great kindness to Madame and her little children. In short he is transformed as from night to day. I cannot tell you how much this news has delighted me, but I have some suspicion that Madame de Riou only said it that it might be reported to me, so that I might forget the pain and trouble of which she complained when she asked me to come to her not a year ago. Dunkirk, 6 May.
Hol., Fr., p. 1. Add.
6 [May.]
Calig. E. IV.
B. M.
[Sends] such news as [he can collect].
"[W]her fyrst the Emperowre of [late laid it unto] his subyettes charge in Gaunt that [they had sent] to the French kyng, and offerd hym [possession of] the towne of Gaunt, and that th[ey should] have hym ther lorde and kynge; [which the said] Frenche kyng refusyd, and gaff k [nowledge to the] Emperowre of the same, the governors [desired] eight days' respite to try out the [truth of the] matter, and to make him answer; an[d] ... xij or xiiij wiche is not yett e ... daies of or ther apon the Due [of Cleves] sent a post to Gaunt with letters. [The men of] Gaunt rec[eived] the letters and sent them [in post] to the Emperowre, and after the pos[t had taken] those letters he came to Bruges with other [letters from] the Duke lykewise; and here wor[d was] sent to the Emperowre, who sent h ... Castell. The effect of his letters [was that he] advertysid them of Gaunt them of ... that he was right inheryter to [the Duchy] of Gelder and wrote his tytyll and how [it came] to hym; wherefore his desire was if th[e Emperor] wold make any warre apon hym that [they wold] gyff hym none assystens in a wrong ca[use] ... the effect herof is credably informyd me ... here is moche spekyng of many thynges wyche [1] can not com by any perfytt knowlege." Tell her ladyship that Blont was "departed from [Bruges be]fore my coming, and hath set the goldsmith no ... till he write hither again." Bruges, 6 d[ay] ... ao 1539.
The Venetians have truce with the Turks for six months. Signed: Thoma[s] ... .
Hol., pp. 2. Injured by fire. Add. Endd.: "John (sic) Skreven to my lord Lysley."
6 May.
Kaulek, 97.
Has received his of the 1st. He shall keep up the good disposition of the King of England. Chastillon sur Loing, 6 May, 1539.
French abstract.
* Two modern transcripts are in R. O.
6 May.
Kaulek, 97.
Has received the letter of the 1st. He must be careful that, by too familiar and secret negociation with the King of England, he does not rouse the distrust of the Emperor's ambassador; for the people with whom he has to deal will lose no opportunity of creating it between them.
Touching the bibles in English printed in Paris, it has already been replied many times that the King (Francis), having learnt that several things therein are falsified and erroneous, has resolved not to deliver them; for what is good ean as well be printed in England as in France, but what is bad Francis will not have printed here.
Sends an extract of news of the diet of Frankfort, by which he will learn the suspension of arms with the German princes, both ecclesiastic and secular, and other points which he may communicate. Chasteau Renard, 6 May 1539.
P.S. Has communicated to the Portuguese ambassador Marillac's last letter but one, relative to the pillage of the Anne of Bordeaux. Sends the ambassador's reply: Marillac shall pursue the punishment of the guilty.
French abstract.
* Two modern transcripts are in R.O.
See GRANTS in MAY, No. 15.
7 May.
R. O.
Mr. Boyce affirms that he has had no bills sent him, nor any notice, except from Master Penrede, concerning the custom paid at Calais. Mr. Broke says he has received no letter from you, and will put in no bills except such as be for the common weal. He has received bills, but I cannot learn from whom. I hope you have received my lord Privy Seal's letter, to which an answer is expected. Hears nothing of Mr. Windsor, nor when he will be here. Cannot yet learn what has been motioned or done in the Parliament. London, 7 May.
Hol., p. 1. Sealed. Add.
7 May. R. O. 937. ROBT. LORDE to CROMWELL.
Supposed that the 3,000l. which he received from Mr. Hynnage would have continued for 4 or 5 months. There are above 1,400 workmen to whom he paid on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday last, 859l. for last month. Next month it is likely to be more, for they are increasing the number of workmen for the expedition of the work. Has sent Hynnage a letter for the King. Dealle, 7 May. Signs us: "paymaster of parcel of the King's honourable works."
Hol., p. 1. Add.: Lord Privy Seal. Endd.
7 May.
R. O.
Has done his best to carry out the King's letter ordering him to have 20 able men ready to serve him at an hour's warning. Sent to his lordship of Asshestyd in the county of Sotherey, but his tenants there refuse to serve the King with him, having been previously commanded by Sir Matthew Browne to attend on the King under him. Asks Cromwell to help him to have his own tenants to serve him as in times past. Tyxsall, 7 May. Signed.
P. 1. Add.: Lord Privy Seal. Endd.
7 May.
Vatican MS.
Note that in Consistory, 7 May 1539, the Pope appointed "Dominus Guillelmus," (fn. 2) in his 26th year, to the church of Lismore in Scotland, void "per obitum quondam Ruberti"; (fn. 3) with dispensation for age and retention of all [benefices ?]
Latin. From a modern transcript in R. O.
8 May.
xxxII., 30,
from the
Records of the
of London.
Contemporary description of the muster which was made before King Henry VIII. by the citizens of London, 8 May 31 Hen. VIII.
His Highness, who never ceases his study to advance the public wealth of the realm (of which he alone is King and supreme head under God), was lately informed "that the cankered and venemous serpent Paul, bishop of Rome, by that arch-traitor Reygnold Pole, enemy to God's word and his own natural country, had moved, excited and stirred diverse great princes and potentates of Christendom, not alonely to invade this realm of England with mortal war, but also by fire and sword to extermine and utterly to destroy the whole nation and generation of the same." Thereupon his Highness, in person, took laborious journeys towards the sea coasts, and caused many bulwarks, blockhouses, and fortifications to be made; which shall henceforth keep outward enemies from harbouring in tempestuous weather, or landing, if any should presume to do so. He also caused all harbours and landing places to be viewed, and towers and castles to be made from the Mount to Dover, and so to Berwick. Further, he caused William, earl of Southampton, Great Admiral, to assemble all the navy at Portsmouth, and directed commissions throughout the realm to have his people mustered. One of these was directed to Sir Wm. Forman, lord mayor of London, and his brethren, to certify the names of all men within the city of London between the ages of 16 and 60, with particulars of their harness. Thereupon the mayor and aldermen repaired to their several wards, and, by means of the common council and constables, took the numbers. When the books were viewed it was thought not convenient to admit all, and a new choice was made, putting by all persons who were unable or had no harness. But when the lord mayor and his brethren were informed by lord Thomas Cromwell, keeper of the Privy Seal (to whom the city is and has been much bounden), that the King would himself see his loving subjects muster before him, they assembled again and after long deliberation decided that no alien, even though he were a denizen, should muster, and that Englishmen who had jacks, brigandyns, or coats of fence should not go out, but only such as had white harness and other accoutrements (described) and white caps with feathers. These were all commanded to be in white hose and cleanly shod. When it was known that the King himself would see the muster it was a joyful sight to every Englishman to see how gladly every man prepared himself. Describes how the men of substance and city officers provided themselves with silk raiment, &c., how the "wyffelers" on horse and foot had chains about their necks, and how the minstrels and standard bearers were dressed. Finally, when all was ready, each alderman mustered his own ward, saw that his men had swords and daggers, and turned such as were not meet to be archers to pikes and delivered their bows to such as were meet to be archers.
Then on 8 May, before six in the morning, all were mustered in order of battle in the fields between White Chapel and Mile End. Each company "by hymselff rynged and swayled yn the felde"—a goodly sight, for all the fields were covered with men in bright harness from White Chapel to Mile End, and from Bednall Green to Ratclyff and Stepney. Describes the order of battle. About 8 a.m. they marched forward, the first "battle" led by 13 pieces of light ordnance on carts with powder and stone, followed by drums and fifers, and after them the standard of the city arms. Then came Mr. Sadler, alderman, captain of the guns, well horsed and in coat of black velvet, followed by the guns, five in a rank, ranks five feet apart, and every man's shoulder even with his fellow's, "which guns shot all together in divers places terribly, and especially before the King." Other details of the first "battle," in which marched Ralph Alen, captain of the archers, Mr. Wylford, captain of the pikes, and Sir Ric. Gresham, Sir Wm. Holleys, and Mr. Denham, captains of the bills. Then similar description of the second "battle," in which was the lord mayor in gilt harness, Sir Roger Cholmeley, recorder, with a massy chain, the surgeons of the city "yn whyte cotes with theyr bendes of whyte and grene, bawdryk wyse, and theyr splatters over the bene (which is theyr accustomed cognysance)," and the sheriffs. Then the third "battle."
They entered Aldgate before 9 a.m. and passed through the city to Westminster where the King and all the nobility stood and beheld the muster, before whom the great guns and hand-guns of every "battle" shot very terribly. They passed through the Great Sanctuary at Westminster round St. James's Park into St. James's Field; and then through Holborn to Chepe and Ledenhall, and so severed about 5 p.m. To see the numbers of lords, ladies, and gentlewomen at the windows, and how the streets were crowded, men would have thought that they that mustered had rather been strangers that citizens. They that numbered them can report what pains the wyffelers took to keep the soldiers in array, how rich the jewels, chains, and harness, what goodly, tall and comely men and how many they were; but those who tarried at home must also be reckoned, to show the whole puissance of the city.
8 May.
R. O.
This day the city musters were set in array at Stepney by Sir Chr. Morys, Mr. Richard Cromwell and others. They proceeded to Algate and to Leddyn Halle, through Chepe, and so through Flyt Street to Westminster, where the King viewed them:—thence about the park, where stood my lord Privy Seal and my lord of Oxford, at the back gate of the park which opens towards the Nete, and so returned by St. James's and back again by Holborn, and in at Newgate. They were reckoned at between 20,000 and 25,000; were divided in three battles, each with four pieces of field ordnance. The aldermen were on horseback in coats of black velvet, with great chains of gold, every one with his gytherne, with the arms of the city, and four footmen in a suit of white, their deputies in frocks of white damask satin, taffeta, and velvet, with chains and ouches, with other gold-work upon their head pieces. The constables and citizens were in white silk, damask satin or taffeta, with very rich chains and goldsmith's work:—all the rest in white coats with the city harness. The most had bills, and there was a good number of "hackabywtyers." My lord mayor had the standard of the city borne before him in the middle battalion, with a guard of 12 men and two henchmen in rich coats, with divers banners and "gethernes." "My lord Privy Seal avauncyde the city at his cost with 1,500 men redy armyd." In the last battle followed the master of the Ordnance, Mr. Gregory and Mr. Richard Cromwell. I think the strangers that saw them did little rejoice thereat. London, 8 May.
Hol., Fr., pp. 2. Sealed. Add.
8 May.
R. O.
Informations were lately preferred to them, as appears by a bill enclosed. The matter came to their knowledge through the abbot of Teuxbury, under whose obedience the prior accused is "as datyve and removabull." (fn. 4) 8 May. Signed.
P. 1. Add.: Lord Cromwell, lord Privy Seal. Endd.
9 [May ?]
R. O.
943. JOHN [HILSEY], Bp. of Rochester, to CROMWELJ.
Yesterday, Thursday, the 8th inst., Harry Goodlad, the bearer, told him of many traitorous words spoken by Sir Robt. Handsom, vicar of Mystelden, (fn. 5) and wishes to speak to Cromwell about it. Friday. (fn. 6)
Hol., p. 1. Add.: Lord Privy Seal. Endd.
9 May.
R. O.
St. P. III. 126.
Oneyll and O'Donell promised to meet him on the last of April at Carryck Bradagh, near Dundalk, and to bring young Gerald with them. Was there with the Lord Chancellor, bp. of Meath, Under Treasurer, and Chief Justice, but they came not. Went then with the Under Treasurer and Chief Justice to Armagh, 24 miles off, and sent the Chief Justice to Brode Water, where he concluded articles of peace with Oneyll, as the Council will write. Had they kept appointment and brought young Gerald they should have left him there quick or dead. Would I might have sight of him whom I never yet saw.
Did not report certain words touching the lord Privy Seal which were spoken to him by George Paulett when here, as he expected to be the messenger himself and declare them. Gives the words (purporting that Cromwell was out of favour and that the lord Admiral and Paulett's brother, then Treasurer, ruled all). Begs remembrance of his old suit to repair to the King. Drogheda, 9 May 31 Hen. VIII. Signed.
9 May.
R. O.
Sends the King the news he has received from France this Friday, 9 May. Wishes the munitions to be sent which he asked for at his departure, and sends a list. The fortifications go on well. The people are giving the King eight weeks' work, of which two are already completed. Guysnes, 9 May 31 Hen. VIII. Signed.
P. 1. Add.: Lord Privy Seal. Endd.: My lord Chamberlain.
10 May.
Titus B. I.
B. M.
Ellis, 1 Ser. II.
Supp. of Mon.,
Perceives, at the making of the half year's receipt in Lincolnshire, the giving out of late of superfluous fees by the surrendered houses, first to bailiffs, secondly to general receivers, and thirdly to persons, mostly of no learning, to be of counsel with the house. Indeed they gave counsel to the abbot (fn. 7) to give them a convent seal to rob the King; so they might lawfully be called in at this Parliament and the King would gain 3,000 or 4,000 marks a year. The sale of the King's lead would be very profitable—merchants would give 4l. a fodder and find sureties for payment. Thinks it would bring 20,000l. a year for four years; yet, before the four years were ended every fodder would be worth to the King 20 nobles with the custom in and out, and 100,000 subjects would benefit by the returns. It would also quicken the lead mines, which are now dead. If the other princes would also "redress" their "idle feigned religious houses," they would have so much lead they would care little for ours. Lowthe, 10 May.
Hol. Add.: Lord Privy Seal.
10 May.
R. O.
I thank you and my Lady for your goodness in accepting my daughter (fn. 8) into your household. Nevertheless my lord and lady Rutland have written to ask that she may continue with them, and she is anxious to remain. I am sorry for the mischance with the bird which was given to you, but I send you my own bird, which I know to be the best in all this town. It will be long before I get such another, but I think it well bestowed. I would not do the same for any lord in England, except the King. I hope the stool I sent you has come to hand long ago, though I fear it was the worse for the carriage. Commend me to Mrs. Sturton, my lady Page, and Mrs. Fitzherbert. Calais, 10 May. Signed.
P. 1. Add.


  • 1. Bonner ?
  • 2. Wm. Cunningham.
  • 3. Robert Montgomery, bishop of Argyle (or Lismore) is supposed by Keith (Scottish Bishopries, 172) to have died in his see in 1557 or 1558. He evidently died about 1538 or the beginning of 1539. See No. 195.
  • 4. It appears by the Valor Eeel. II., 484–5, that there were three such priors of cells to Tewkesbury, viz., of Derehurst, St. James' in Bristol, and Cranborne. Which of the three is here referred to cannot at present be ascertained.
  • 5. Missenden Parva in co. Bucks. See Valor Eccl. IV., 248.
  • 6. This letter was written on the 9th of some month, the preceding day being "Thursday the 8th." The only months which will suit during the period to which the letter can possibly be assigned are February, March, and November 1537, August 1538, and May 1539.
  • 7. No particular abbot is referred to, the statement being general.
  • 8. Katharine Basset.