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at the countess's house at Colyweston. It seems the queen accompanied the king, for whilst at. Latham, there occurs a charge of 6s. 8d. "To the women that songe "before the king and the quene in rewarde1."

Saint John's hospital in Lichfield was refounded in 5 1495 by William Smyth bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, and in the statutes framed by him for its governance he directed that the master and brethren should pray for the good estate of the countess of Richmond during her life and for her soul after death3.


It was probably in the course of the same year that the countess first became acquainted with John Fisher (afterwards her chaplain and confessor and bishop of Rochester). He was at this time senior proctor of Cambridge, and it appears from his accounts that on one 15 occasion, when in London on university business, he dined with the countess3.

Henry the Seventh in the 11th year of his reign granted to his mother and the earl of Derby for their lives the manor of Hunsdon in Hertfordshire*.


In 1496 Dr John Alcock bishop of Ely, having on account of the dissolute conduct of its inmates suppressed the nunnery of St Rhadegund at Cambridge, obtained the king's licence to convert it into an academical college, to which the name of Jesus college was given; 25 it may be inferred that the countess of Richmond was a promoter of this design, as it is expressly provided that her name should be mentioned in the prayers of the master and fellows".

On the last day of the year 1496 the abbot and con- 30 vent of Westminster, in consideration of a sum of money paid them by the countess of Richmond, executed a deed of covenant, by which they engaged to provide a monk to say mass daily at the shrine of St Edward, “while the "world shall endure," for the good estate of the countess 35

1 Excerpta Historica 103, 104, 105.

2 Churton's Lives of Smyth and Sutton 81.

3 MS. Baker (Harl. 7049 f. 266).

MS. Baker XXIV 8.

4 Clutterbuck's Hertfordshire III 179. See Chauncey 1 404. Coke's Entries fol. 561 b.

5 MS. Cole xxvi 46.


during her life and for her soul after death; and they further stipulated that on each of the seven days in every week the monk in question should use a particular mass, viz. on Sunday, the mass of the Holy Trinity, on 5 Monday the mass of requiem, on Tuesday the mass of St Edward, on Wednesday the mass of the Holy Ghost, on Thursday the mass of Corpus Christi, on Friday the mass of the five wounds of Christ, and on Saturday the mass of our Lady1.


About the same time, or not long afterwards, the countess obtained licence from the king to settle lands of the annual value of £10 for the endowment at Winborn (where her father and mother had been buried) of a perpetual chantry of one priest in honour of the Blessed 15 Jesus and the annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and for the health of her soul and the souls of her parents: such priest to teach grammar “frely to all theym that "will come thereunto." This foundation was not perfected till after the countess's death2.


The countess on the 1st March 1496-7 obtained from the king a licence that she or her executors might found a chantry of four chaplains to pray for her soul, the souls of her parents and ancestors and all departed souls in the collegiate chapel of St George within the castle of 25 Windsor, in a place near the east part of the new work there, and on the 18th July following the dean and canons gave permission to the countess to erect such a chantry. It seems somewhat questionable however, if she availed herself of the permission thus given.




On or about the 18th August 1497 the countess of Richmond accompanied the king and queen on a visit to the city of Norwich*.

A poet seems to have been attached to the countess's household at this period, for in the king's privy purse

1 MS. Lansd. 444 f. 1 etc.

2 Hutchins's Dorsetshire 1 80. Nichols's Royal Wills 369.

3 Ashmole's Order of the Garter 150. Pote's Windsor 53.

4 Blomefield's Norfolk, 8vo. edit.

III 180. It is probable this visit to Norwich took place in 1498 and not in 1497. See MS. Addit. in Mus. Brit. 7099 f. 48 and Excerpta Historica 113, 119.

expenses we have £3. 6s. 8d. charged as paid on the 3rd December 1497 " to my lady the kinges moder poete1."

In December 1496 and March 1497 the king granted his mother licences by which she was empowered to found two perpetual readers in holy theology, one in the uni- 5 versity of Cambridge and the other in the university of Oxford, and to grant to each lands not exceeding £20 per annum. Some delay took place in the endowment of these readers (or professors, as they are termed in the phraseology of modern times), but it is probable that 10 persons were shortly afterwards appointed to the office in each of the universities. In Oxford at any rate we find that Edmund Wylford B.D. fellow of Oriel college (who had been recommended to her by the university through cardinal Morton their chancellor) began to read 15 solemnly "the quodlibets of the subtle doctor" in the public divinity schools of that university, as early as Trinity term 14973, and in the accounts of the proctors of the university of Cambridge for 1498-9 are the following items: "Paid to the vice-chancellor and doctors inspecting 20 "the foundation of the lecture of the mother of the king 2d. To master Fawn for expenses towards the mother "of the king with the foundation of the lecture 6s. 8d."

John viscount Welles the countess's uterine brother died on the 9th February 1497-8, and was shortly 25 afterwards buried at Westminster in the lady chapel, where the king intended to be interred. The earl of Derby followed at the funeral. The viscount Welles by his will had directed his body to be buried as the king and queen, the countess of Richmond and Cecily his 30 wife, should think fit.

Under the date of the 1st July 1498 is the following

1 Excerpta Historica 115. Mr Craven Ord imagined Erasmus to have been the countess's poet (MS. Addit. in Mus. Brit. 7099 f. 40).

2 MS. Lansd. 444 f. 3 b and 23 b.

3 Wood's Hist. and Antiq. of Oxford, edit. Gutch 1 654. 11 828.


4 MS. Baker xxiv 16.

5 MS. Arund. 26 f. 34. In Nicolas's Privy Purse Expenses of 35 Elizabeth of York (xxi) viscount Welles is said to have died 9th February 1498-9.

6 Nicolas's Testamenta Vetusta 437. Dugdale's Baronage 11 13. 40


item in the king's privy purse expenses: "To my lady "the kinges moder for cessione money payed for Brekenok, £40" and from the same source it appears the king visited his mother at Colyweston on the 7th September1.


After the translation of Dr Smyth to the see of Lincoln the countess of Richmond obtained from him a licence that she might have masses and other divine offices celebrated in any of her chapels within his very extensive diocese, where she should happen to reside'. Bishop 10 Fisher says that divine service "dayly was kept in her chappell with grete nombre of preests clerckes and "children to her grete charge and cost3."

On the 24th February 1497-8 [query 1498-9] the king's third son was baptised at the church of the Grey 15 friars at Greenwich, at which place he was born on the 21st of the same month. The countess of Richmond was his godmother and held him at the font, where the name of Edmond was given him in memory of the countess's deceased husband, and he was shortly after20 wards created duke of Somerset, a title which had been borne by the countess's father, her uncle, and one if not more of her cousins. The young prince died at a very early age.


1 Excerpta Historica 118, 120. 2 Churton's Lives of Smyth and Sutton 212.

3 Mornyng Remembrance 20.

4 See Nicolas's Synopsis of the Peerage 11 593.

5 Sandford's Genealogical History, edit. Stebbing 477.



Grant to Westminster abbey. Interferes in the election of a fellow of a college at Cambridge. Letters from the university of Cambridge. Kesteven and Holland. War with the Turks. Recommends one Pantry as arts bedell at Oxford. Letter to the king. Suits with the dean of Windsor, the abbots of Peterborough and the prior of Tunbridge. Recommends Wotton as divinity bedell at Oxford. Marriage of Prince Arthur.

THE Countess of Richmond intending to augment the number of chantry monks in the abbey of Westminster and to provide for the observation of a solemn anniversary in that church, obtained the king's letters patent, dated the 10th May 1499, empowering her to settle on 5 the abbot and convent lands of the yearly value of £150, and in part performance of her intention she soon afterwards granted to them the churches of Swineshead and Cheshunt, and at her expense caused them to be appropriated to the convent. The annual value of this dona- 10 tion was estimated at £53. 6s. 8d.1

The respect which attached to the countess as the avowed patroness of men of letters, and her benefactions to the universities, naturally gave her considerable influence in the collegiate bodies there; and as it was 15 then the frequent practice for candidates for fellowships to obtain recommendatory letters from persons of distinction, there is little doubt that the countess occasionally interfered in this manner. We find her about this time soliciting the master and fellows of Corpus Christi college 20

1 MS. Lansd. 444 f. 4 b.

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