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"monye; the which thing I had before purposed in my "lord my husband's dayes, then being my ghostly father "the byshop of Rochester Mr Richard Fitz James, and now eftsence I fully confirm it as far as in me lyeth, 'beseeching my Lord God that he will this my poore wyll 5 "accept to the remedye of my wretched lyfe and relief of my sinfull soule and that he will give me his grace to "perform the same. And also for my more meryte and quietness of my soule in doubtful things perteyning to "the same I avowe to you, my lord of Rochester, to whom 10 “I am and have been, sence the first time I see you ad"mitted, verely determined (as to my chiefe trusty councellour) to owe my obedience in all things concerning "the weale and profyte of my soule '.'

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1 MS. Cole XXIV 244 b. The mode by which Mr Cole obtained a copy of this document will appear by the following extract from a letter (dated Milton Easter day March 31 1783) from him to Pennant (cf. Pennant's Journey from Chester to London 408), who had expressed a wish to have a copy in a letter to Cole dated September 21 1781: "At length with some diffi


culty I have procured the lady "Margaret's vow of celibacy. I "had from the first mention of it "personally spoke to the master of "St John's and to Dr Pennington "of that college, who promised to "search the registers for it (as I "had little expectation from the "master's ill health and bad sight "that he would be able to do it). "When I found it not forthcoming, "I had recourse to Dr Farmer re"peatedly to egg on Dr Penning"ton to get it for me, but whether "from inattention, indisposition to 66 a thing out of his way, or want "of time from his profession, it was "not done, and I did not care to "be further importunate. Luckily "George Ashby called here about "10 days ago, when I mentioned

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On the 17th December 1505 the king founded an annual obiit in the collegiate chapel of St George at Windsor, and specially directed that the countess of Richmond's soul should be prayed for thereat1.

5 giate church of St Mary at Warwick, and (p. 654) a commission from John bishop of Coventry and Lichfield for receiving the vow of Margarie widow of Richard MidleIO more. Elizabeth widow of John earl of Kent became a nun at Waverley abbey, but afterwards quitted her profession and privately married a second husband. 15 The penance enjoined her and her husband by the archbishop of Canterbury may be seen in Nichols's

Royal Wills 215-6. In Nichols's
Literary Anecdotes (11 688 n.) is the
vow of chastity taken by the widow
of Wm. Bernard in the church of
the friars minors at Cambridge be-
fore Arundel bishop of Ely in 1385;
and in Blomefield's Norfolk (8vo
edit. I 367) is that of Joan the
widow of Sir John de Shardlowe
kt. before Thomas Percy bishop of
Norwich April 28th 1369.
1 Pote's Windsor 53.



IN the reign of Henry VI William Bingham parson of St John Zachary in London obtained licence to found in the university of Cambridge a college consisting of a proctor and 24 grammar scholars. This college was desiguated God's house and was originally situated in Milne street 5 near Clare hall, with which society it appears to have been in some degree connected. The foundation was hardly completed before its site was required by the king for the buildings of King's college; a new site was therefore selected, in what was then termed Preachers' street 10 near St Andrew's church, by the king; to whom Bingham transferred the honours of a founder, and who granted to the proctor and scholars several estates, principally the forfeited property of alien priories. Edward IV confirmed the charters of this college, and Henry VII gave a licence 15 of mortmain1.

God's house was very far from being a flourishing institution, indeed its revenues were never more than sufficient for the maintenance of a proctor and four fellows. The attention of the countess of Richmond was 20 probably directed to this society by bishop Fisher, who (if tradition may be relied upon) had been a member of it on his first entrance into the university; and it doubtless possessed strong claims on her liberality, as the imperfect foundation of her near relative Henry VI, who from his 25 piety and misfortunes was regarded with the utmost 1605 p. 1313 alias 1442. 2 Nichols's Royal Wills 369.

1 MS. Baker (Harl. 7044 f. 107 and 209). Stow's Annales, edit.

veneration, especially by the adherents of the house of Lancaster.

Under the authority of a licence obtained from the king, dated 1st May in the 20th year of his reign (1505), 5 the countess refounded God's house by the title of Christ's college, for a master, 12 fellows and 47 scholars1; and on the 4th of the same month the king issued letters patent empowering her to settle on the society the advowson of the church of Malton, and authorising the college to hold Io the same appropriated without the endowment of any vicarage or the reservation of any payment to the poor.

John Sycling the proctor of the old house was nominated as the first master of the college, and three of the fellows (probably all there were at the time) were con15 tinued on the new foundation. The technical description of the collegiate body recognises Henry VI as the founder. It is as follows: "The master or keeper, fellows and "scholars of Christ's college in the university of Cam'bridge, by Henry the sixth, king of England, first began, 20" and after his decease augmented, finished and esta"blished by Margaret countess of Richmond and Derby, "mother to king Henry the seventh 3."

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The statutes were framed by the countess in 1506; and in the preamble there occurs the following strange 25 comparison of the officers and members of the society, to the parts of the human body: "Magister sive custos caput est; decani, duo brachia; senescallus et praefectus "cistae communis, manus duae; scholares socii, solida et "potiora corporis ipsius membra; lector, membrum genera30" tioni novae sobolis deputatum; scholares discipuli, se"minarium amplissimum; famuli postremo mercede con“ducti, velut infimi pedes."

1 Nichols's Royal Wills [369], 376, 377. 35 2 Rymer's Collections (Addit. MS. in Mus. Brit. 4618 f. 343). Malton is now esteemed part of Orwell, but was formerly a distinct parish. The manor was purchased 40 by the countess of Richmond of the family of Tyrrell. She gave it to Christ's college. There was for

merly a house at Malton, which was reserved as a place of retirement for the members of the college during seasons of epidemical sickness. Lysons' Cambridgeshire 243. See as to Malton Wall's MS. in Public Library, Cambridge [Mm. v 45 29-47].

3 New Cambridge Guide 1831 p.


The master was required to be a doctor or bachelor of divinity, or a master of arts studying divinity, and was to be chosen from amongst the members of the college, if any were qualified. He was to have the annual stipend of £6 13s. 4d., and, under a dispensation which the countess 5 had previously obtained of Pope Julius II, might hold two benefices. His allowance for commons was twelve pence a week, and for clothing or livery 20s. a year. He was to swear to the observance of the statutes without applying for any dispensation, and to give a bond to the same IO effect to the provost of King's college and the master of Michaelhouse.

The fellows were to be chosen from the scholars, if it might conveniently be done, and were required to take priests' orders within a year of their election. There was 15 to be but one fellow at a time from any one county, and there were always to be six who were natives of the counties of Northumberland, Durham, Westmoreland, Cumberland, York, Richmond (which was not to be considered as part of Yorkshire), Lancaster, Derby and Not- 20 tingham. If a fellow should be a doctor, he might have a chamber to himself. The annual stipends of the fellows varied according to their academical degrees from 13s. 4d. to 16s. 4d, and they were to be allowed the yearly sum of 13s. 4d. for their livery (which was directed to be of 25 cloth of one colour, purchased at Sturbridge fair), with twelve pence a week for commons. No fellowship was to be held with an income of £10 per annum, and the fellows were, amongst other things, forbidden to nourish dogs or rapacious birds in the college, or to play at dice 30 or cards, except in the hall at Christmas for recreation.

The scholars (who were required to understand Latin) could not be bachelors of arts or in orders; twenty-three of them were to be selected from the nine northern counties before specified, and in all elections the poor 35 were to be preferred.

Three of the fellows were to attend especially to the performance of divine service in the college chapel; where in all masses remembrance was to be had of the countess, and prayers offered up. for the souls of Henry VII and 40

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