The Fraternity of Jesus: Letters Patent of Henry VIII, authorising the collection of alms, 1535

Pages 452-453

Registrum Statutorum et Consuetudinum Ecclesiae Cathedralis Sancti Pauli Londiniensis. Originally published by Nichols and Sons, London, 1873.

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Henricus Octavus, Dei gracia Anglie et ffrancie Rex, fidei defensor, Dominus Hibernie, et in terra supremum caput Anglicane Ecclesie, Omnibus ad quos presentes litere pervenerint, salutem. Inspeximus quoddam breve nostrum de privato Sigillo, dilecto et fideli consiliario nostro Thome Audeley, milti, Cancellario nostro Anglie directum, et in filaciis (fn. 1) Cancellarie nostre residens, in hec verba:

Henry the eight, by the grace of God kynge of Englonde and of ffraunce, defensor of the faith, lorde, of Irelonde, and in yerth supreme hed of the Church of Englonde, To our trusty and right welbiloued counceller sir Thomas Audeley, knyght, our Chauncellor of Englonde, greting. And whereas we of late vpon greate and diuerse vrgent causes and considerac[i]ons vs moving, haue willed and comaunded you by our high and speciall comaundement, that no letters patents of protecc[i]on ffor Religious houses, Monasterys, Hospitalls, Chappells, Gildes and ffraternities, within this our Realme, to collecte and gather any almones or other charitable deuoc[i]ons of our subiects in eny Citie, towne, or borough, for the same, for the supporting and maynteynyng of the said Monasterys, Hospitalls, Gilds and ffraternyties, shulde passe and be sealed vnder our greate Seale without our speciall lycence and comaundement by vs gyuen vnto you for the sealyng and graunting of the same, as by our said comaundement ye haue more perfecte knowledge: Know ye that forasmuche as the ffraternitie of the blessed and holly Name of JJh[es]us kepte within the Cathedrall Church of Seint Paule of London is of our fundac[i]on, and founded by our noble progenitor kynge Henry the Sixth, and moreouer, that the said Gilde and ffraternitie hath no priuileges graunted by the Busshop of Rome nor his predecessors, nor yet lands and possessions, but only the charitable deuoc[i]on, helpe, and ayde of vs and our subiects for the mayntenaunce and supportac[i]on of the said Gilde and ffraternitie: Wherefore we woll and comaunde you that ye do seale and cause to be sealed vndre our grete seale, from yere to yere, at all tymes hereafter, our letters patents of protecc[i]on for the Proctors and Collectors of the said ffraternitie to collecte and gather the devocion and charitable almes of our Subiects in all Shires, Cities, Townes, and Borowes, withyn this oure Realme and other places vndre our obeysaunce: any Statute, acte, prouyc[i]on, ordynaunce, restraynt, or comaundement heretofore by vs to the contrary gyuen notwithstonding. And this our present warraunt shalbe at all tymes a warraunt dormaunt for your discharge in this behalff. Youen vndre our pryvie Seale at our Manour of Westminster, the ix day of June the xxvijth yere of our Reigne.

Nos tenorem brevis predicti ad requisicionem Willielmi Turke et Rogeri Barker, Civium Civitatis nostre London et Gardianorum ffraternitatis sive Gilde predicte, duximus exemplificandum per presentes. In cujus rei testimonium has literas nostras fieri fecimus patentes. Teste Meipso apud Westmonasterium, xxiiij die Julii, Anno regni nostri vicesimo septimo.


  • 1. Filacium: filum crassius, quo in Curiis judiciariis brevia et rescripta trajecta invicem constringuntur, ne pereant. Gallice, filace. Ducange, Glossarium.