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This chapter may well be concluded with the following lines of Daniel, who, after apostrophising the countess of Richmond as the "mother, author, plotter, counsellor of union," thus proceeds

"How much hast thou bound all posterities

In this great work to reverence thy name!
And with thee that religious, faithful, wise
And learned Morton! who contriv'd the same
And first advis'd, and did so well advise,

As that the good success that thereof came,

Shew'd well, that holy hands, clean thoughts, clear hearts
Are only fit to act such glorious parts1."

1 A panegyric congratulatory de

livered to the king's most excellent

majesty at Burleigh Harrington in Rutlandshire.

5

ΙΟ

CHAPTER IV.

1485-1487.

Settlement of the crown on the earl of Richmond. Repeal of the countess's attainder. Her marriage settlement confirmed. Honour of Richmond. Lord Stanley created earl of Derby. The king's coronation. Grant of lands in Dorsetshire and Somersetshire. Earl of Derby made high constable for life. Urswyke and Bray taken into the king's service. Marriages of the king and viscount Welles. Chantry founded at Guildford. Attempt to drain the Bedford Level. Grant of the wardship of the duke of Buckingham's sons. Baptism of prince Arthur. Extensive grant of estates from the king. Letter to her bailiff at Ware. Almshouses at Hatfield and Westminster. King's letter to the earl of Ormond. Lammarsh. The queen's coronation. Christmas 1487.

Grant of Colne Wake and Observation of the feast of

THROUGH the spirit of historical research, which so honorably distinguishes the present age, a fact has been ascertained, of which Henry the Seventh was probably not himself aware; namely, that there is no foundation for 5 one of the most formidable objections, which have been advanced against his claim to the throne by hereditary descent1; and with the exception of the prior claim of his mother (which she relinquished most cheerfully in his favour) it may now perhaps be safely affirmed that his Io title, as the heir of Henry the Sixth, is incontrovertible. This remark is of course made without reference to the superior pretensions of the house of York, as being descended from an elder son of Edward the Third than John of Gaunt, through whom the princes of the Lancastrian 15 line derived their claim.

1 See Excerpta Historica 153. Nicolas's Memoir of Elizabeth of York, lix. ante p. 2 n. 4.

The parliament, which met immediately after the earl of Richmond's assumption of the throne, passed a statute, by which the crown was settled on him and his heirs, and repealed the various acts of attainder, which had been passed in the reign of Richard III, including of course 5 that against the countess of Richmond, with respect to whom the following enactment was added to the act of repeal :

"And furthermore hit be ordeined, enacted and sta"blisshed by the same auctoritee, that the same countesse, 10 "in her name sole, by the name of Margaret countesse of "Richmond, modre of the most Christen prince king "Herrie the VIIth, king of England and of France, maie "fro' henceforth terme of her lyfe sue all manner of "actions reals and personalls and also all actions mixtes, 15 "and plede and be ympleded, for all manner of causes in "all manner of courts spirituells and temporells, ayenst "all persones, as any other persone or persones may or "shall moue doe, in as good, large and beneficiall manner,

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as any other sole persone, not wyfe, ne covert of any 20 "husband, att anie tyme might or maie do. And that "she, as well onely, as with other persones, att her pleasure "may from henceforth, dureinge her lyfe, as well make, "as take and receive, all manner of feoffments, states, 'leases, releases, confirmations, presentations, bargains, 25 "sales, yefts, deeds, wills and writeings, as well of landes "and tennements and all manner of hereditaments, as of "all manner goods, cattells and other thinges, to her owne "use oonly, or to the use of such as shall please her. And "that the same feoffments, states, leases, releases, confir- 30 mations, presentations, wills, seales, yefts, deeds and "writeings, so made or to be made, to or by her onely, be "as good and effectuell in the law, as if the same countesse "at the time of the makeing therof were sole, not covert "of any husband, and be not in anie wise voided ne 35 "voidable by reason of coverture. And that she oonly "maie doo in the premisses, and every thing touching "the same, as lawfully and effectuelly, as any other sole «< persone not covert maie doo. And that the same countesse fro' henceforth terme of her lyfe oonly receive, 40

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"have and enjoy, to her selfe, and onely to her owne 'use, ayenst all manner of persons, lawfull tytle and "propertie to all manner of lands, tennements and heredita"ments, goodes and cattells, and the sole administration 5" and disposition thereof, in as good and beneficiall wise, as anie other sole persone not covert of anie husband may be, without interruption or contradiction of anie "persone, and to make her will thereof from tyme to tyme "at her pleasure, in as large fourme, as anie woman now 10 "may doe within this roialme1."

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In the same session an act passed for confirming the settlement made on the marriage of the countess with lord Stanley; and in a statute, by which the honour of Richmond was vested in the king, a clause was introduced, 15 saving to the countess of Richmond all such right, title and interest, as she had or ought to have had therein3.

What was the particular nature or precise extent of the interest thus reserved, does not distinctly appear*; but at a meeting of the society of antiquaries held a short 20 time since, the Rev. Thomas Rackett, F.S.A., exhibited a seal, on which were the arms of Stanley, impaling those of the countess of Richmond and inscribed Sigillum Dni et Dne libertatis honoris de Richmoundi. The matrix was found amongst the muniments of the earl of Wicklow in 25 Ireland 5.

On the 27th October 1485 lord Stanley, who was continued as high constable, was created earl of Derby, and on the following day he was constituted one of the commissioners for executing the office of high steward at the 30 then approaching coronation o.

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The coronation of Henry the Seventh took place on the 30th October', the earl of Derby officiating as high

1 Rot. Parl. VI 284.

2 Ante p. 20.

3 Rot. Parl. vi 272.

4 See Reports on the Dignity of a Peer vol. II 103-115, where the lords' committee give an elaborate account of the honour of Rich

40 mond and its possessors. Sir

Harris Nicolas observes: "There

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constable; the countess was also present, as we are informed by bishop Fisher, who observes, that "she never "yet was in that prosperity, but the greter it was, the more alwaye she dredde the adversyte. For when the kynge "her son was crowned in all that grete tryumphe and glorye, 5 "she wept mervaylously1."

In the first year of Henry VII the countess obtained from her son a grant for life of the manor of Corfe with the castle there, the town of Poole and the manor of great Canford in the county of Dorset, together with various 10 manors and lands in Somersetshire. These estates, or at least a portion of them, had belonged to her father, who held them as tenant in tail male; on his death they passed to his brother and his descendants, and became vested in the crown by the attainder of Henry Beaufort 15 duke of Somerset in the reign of Edward IV2.

About the same time (viz. on the 5th March 1485-6) the earl of Derby received a further mark of the king's gratitude, by the grant to him for life of the office of high constable of England with the annual fee of £1003.

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The two esteemed servants of the countess, to whose fidelity, activity and talent her son was so deeply indebted for his elevation to the throne, were not left unregarded. Urswyke was appointed chaplain to the king with a grant of the office of great almoner, and after being employed 25 in several most important embassies abroad, was rewarded with valuable and dignified ecclesiastical preferments: declining however the episcopal station. Reginald Bray, who was made a member of the privy council and elected into the order of the garter, faithfully served the king for a 30

1 Mornynge Remembrance 29.

2 Hutchins's Dorsetshire I 277. III 6. The countess had a grant of Canford and Poole 21 Hen. VII. Rot. Pat. 21 Hen. VII p. 1 m. 12. Rymer's Collections (Addit. MS. in Mus. Brit. 4618 f. 473=237).

3 Rymer's Foedera x11 295. The eminent services of the earl of Derby did not operate to prevent Henry the Seventh from exacting from his grandson and successor a

fine of £6000 for a pardon. See Archaeologia xxv 392.

4 For particulars respecting Dr Urswyke (who was sometime master of King's Hall in Cambridge) 35 see Wood's Athenae Oxonienses I 557. Knight's Life of Erasmus 73, 78, 79. Lysons' Environs of London II 475. Lodge's Illustrations of British History, edit. 1838, 1 40 15 n. Weever's Funeral Monuments 538.

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