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"pyte. Lyke a spere, it perced the hertes of all her true "servaunts, that was about her, and made them cry alsoe "of Jhesu for helpe and socoure, with grete haboundance "of teares: But specyally when they saw the dethe so 5"hast upon her, and that she must nedes depart from "them, and they sholde forgoe so gentyll a maistris, so 'tender a lady, then wept they mervaylously, wept her "ladys and kyneswomen, to whom she was full kinde, 'wept her poore gentylwomen, whom she had loved so 10" tenderly before, wept her chamberers, to whome she "was full deare, wept her chaplayns and preests, wept "her other true and faythfull servants"."


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The bishop thus appeals to a portion of his auditory as to her behaviour at the hour of death:

"How hertly she answered, whan the holy sacrament "contaynyng the Blessed Jhesu in it was holden before "her, and that questyon made untyll her, whether she "byleved that there was verayly the Son of God, that "suffered his blessed passyon for her and for all mankynde 20" upon the crosse. Many here can bere recorde, how with "all her herte and soule, she raysed her body, to make answere thereunto and confessed assuredly, that in that "sacrament was conteyned Chryst Jhesu, the Sone of "God, that dyed for wretched synners upon the crosse, in 25 "whome holy she putte her truste and confydence."


The character of the countess of Richmond is thus delineated by bishop Fisher:

"She was bounteous and lyberal to every person of "her knowlege or acquaintance. Avarice and covetyse "she most hated, and sorowed it full moche in all persons, but specially in ony that belong'd unto her. She "was also of syngular easyness to be spoken unto, and "full curtayse answere she would make to all that came

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1 Mornynge Remembrance 21. 35 One who had been the countess of Richmond's servant (supposed to be John Walcot esq.), and who had lived in her family 16 years, was author of "An English collec40 tion of the Antiquities of Croyland

Abbey." He highly extols the countess on every occasion. Additions to the History of Croyland (in Biblioth. Topog. Britann. III 163-173).

2 Mornynge Remembrance 34.

"unto her. Of mervayllous gentyleness she was unto all "folks, but specially unto her owne, whom she trusted "and loved ryghte tenderly. Unkynde she wolde not be "unto no creature, ne forgetfull of ony kyndness or ser'vyce done to her before, which is no lytel part of veray 5 "nobleness. She was not vengeable, ne cruell, but redy "anone to forgete and to forgyve injuryes done unto her, "at the leest desyre or mocyon made unto her for the "same. Mercyfull also and pyteous she was unto such as was grevyed and wrongfully troubled, and to them that IO "were in poverty or sekeness or any other mysery. To "God and to the chirche full obedient and tractable, "sechyng his honour and plesure full besyly. A wareness "of her self she had alway to eschewe every thyng, that "myght dishonest ony noble woman, or distayne her 15 "honour in ony condycyon. Fryvelous thyngs, that were "lytell to be regarded, she wold let pass by, but the "other that were of weyght and substance, wherein "she myght proufyte, she wolde not let for any payne or "labour, to take upon hande1."

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The bishop adverts to the loss the nation sustained by her death in most forcible terms:


"All Englonde for her dethe had cause of wepynge. "The poor creatures, that were wonte to receyve her "almes, to whom she was always pyteous and mercyfull, 25 "the studentes of both the unyversytees, to whom she

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was as a moder, all the learned men of Englonde, to

whome she was a veray patroness, all the vertuous and "devoute persones, to whom she was as a lovynge syster, "all the good relygyous men and women, whome she so 30 "often was wonte to vysyte and comforte, all good "preests and clercks, to whome she was a true defendresse, "all the noblemen and women, to whome she was a "myrroure and exampler of honoure, all the comyn people "of this realme, for whome she was in theyr causes 35 "a comyn medyatryce, and toke right great displeasure "for them, and generally the hole realm hath cause to "complayne and to morne her dethe "."

1 Mornynge Remembrance 5, 6, 7.

2 Ibid. 22.

Fuller describes the countess as "the exactest patterne "of the best devotion those dayes afforded, taxed with no "personal faults but the errors of the age she lived in1."

No apology seems necessary for transferring to these 5 pages the following sketch of the countess's character from the elegant pen of the late Mr Lodge:

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"We must form our opinion of this illustrious lady “rather from inferences than from facts. The darkness of "the distant age in which she lived allows us but an IO "uncertain view of the several features of her character, but cannot wholly shroud from our observation the mild 'splendour which seems to rest on every part of it. She appears to have united to the strictest piety the practice "of all the moral virtues and to have chastened, while 15" she properly cherished, the grandeur of royalty by the "indulgence of domestic affections and the retired exer"cise of a mind at once philosophic and humble. She stepped widely, it is true, out of the usual sphere of her "sex to encourage literature by her example and her 20" bounty, but she cautiously confined herself within it to


"avoid any concern in the government of the state after "Henry had mounted the throne. She loved him as her "son and obeyed him as her sovereign with equal sim"plicity, and seemed to have forgotten that in the opinion 25" of no small party he reigned in some measure by her "tacit appointment. History surely has treated her "rather with complaisance than with justice; but we "have lost in the lapse of years most of the positive evidence of her merits, and the careless wit of the most 30" accomplished and popular recorder of biographical anec'dotes that our day has produced, has yet further depreciated those merits by wanton and misplaced ridicule”.”


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Miss Halsted throughout her recently published life of the countess of Richmond speaks of her in terms of the

1 History of Cambridge 94.

2 Memoir of Margaret of Lancaster 1. It is perhaps hardly necessary to state that the "accomplished "and popular recorder of bio40 "graphical anecdotes" to whose

"wanton and misplaced ridicule"
Mr Lodge adverts, was Horace
Walpole. See his Catalogue of
Royal and Noble Authors, edit. Park
I 225.

most enthusiastic admiration. From amongst a great variety of eulogistic observations, the following summary of her character has been selected:

"She was the friend of the friendless, the comforter "of the afflicted, the munificent patroness of learning, the 5 "meek but strenuous supporter of religion1."

1 Miss Halsted's Life of Margaret Countess of Richmond 236.


Will. Funeral sermon.


Monument. Seal and arms. Portraits. St. John's college. Divinity professorships. Cambridge preacherships. Chantry and school at Winborn.

THE Countess's will bears date the 6th June 1508, but was not proved till more than three years after her death, having been the subject of a protracted suit in the court of chancery.

After bequeathing her soul to Almighty God, St. Mary the Virgin and the whole company of heaven, and directing that her body should be buried in the chapel of Henry the seventh at Westminster, she gives minute directions as to the religious services consequent upon her death in 10 her own chapel, in the church of the parish where she should die and the 15 adjoining parishes, in every parish through which her body should pass, and in all the churches where her body might be deposited for the night.



She bequeaths legacies for masses to the four orders of friars, the convents of Christ Church, St. Mary Spital, St. Bartholomew, St. Mary Mountgrace, the Crutched friars, and Elsyngspyttell in London; to the abbeys of Westminster and Bermondsey, and to St. Stephen's college and St. Margaret's church in Westminster.

On the day of her death she wills that £133. 6s. 8d. or more be distributed in alms amongst poor people1.

1 Distributions of this kind at the funerals of the wealthy were common in ancient times. In 1400 25 Philippa duchess of York directed

by her will that a penny should be given to each of 1000 poor people (Dugdale's Baronage 11 157); and

at the funeral of Henry earl of Northumberland in 1489, 13,340 "pore bodys" received twopence apiece (Peck's Desiderata Curiosa lib. VII p. 11).

Henry the seventh gives the following directions in his will for a

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