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CHAPTER VI A FORGOTTEN WORTHY
I have to speak of a 'worthy' of Southwark who is only now remembered by the curious as the alleged original of Sir John Falstaff. If Shakespeare drew his incomparable knight from a portrait of Sir John Fastolf, then one can only say that the portrait in no single particular resembled the original. Sir John Fastolf was a great and, on the whole, a successful soldier who spent forty years fighting and commanding in France. Shakespeare's knight was unwarlike, even cowardly; fat: a frequenter of taverns and of low company, with no dignity and no authority. The only point that may lend colour to the theory that Fastolf was Falstaff lies in the fact that Fastolf was accused of cowardice at a certain battle, one of the many which he fought: and that on his return from France, the English, exasperated at their losses, laid the blame as they always do upon their most distinguished soldiers. Fastolf was as unpopular in his old age as any defeated general: there is no unpopularity so great: yet Fastolf was never a defeated general.

Shakespeare knew no more about Fastolf than the traditional charge of cowardice. In the First Part of 'Henry VI.' he presents him running away:

Captain. Whither away, Sir John Fastolfe, in haste?

Fast. Whither away? To save myself by flight.
We are like to have the overthrow again.

Captain. What? Will you fly and leave Lord Talbot?

Fast. Ay,
All Talbots in the world to save my life.
{135}

And again in Act IV. Talbot denounces Fastolf:

This dastard, at the Battle of Patay,
When but in all I was six thousand strong,
And that the French were almost ten to one,
Before we met, or that a stroke was given,
Like to a trusty knight, did run away.

And he tears off the Garter which Sir John was wearing.

Sir John Fastolf came of a Norfolk family; his people held the manors of Caister and Rudham. He was born in the year 1378, and became, after the fashion of the times, first a page to the Duke of Norfolk and next to Thomas of Lancaster, Henry the Fourth's second son.

Caxton says that he 'exercised the wars in the royaume of France and other countries by forty yeares enduring.' If so he must have been fighting in France or elsewhere across the seas as early as 1400. Perhaps he went over earlier. He was, at least, successful in getting promotion, and promotion in a time of continuous war cannot be bestowed on a soldier incapable or cowardly. He became Governor of Veires in Germany and of Harfleur. He fought with distinction at Agincourt: at the taking of Caen and at the siege of Rouen: he was Governor of Condé-sur-Noireau and of other places, as they were taken. We find him, for instance, the Governor of the Bastille in Paris. When Henry V. died, in 1422, he became Master of the Household to the Duke of Bedford, Regent of France. He was Lieutenant-Governor of Normandy and Governor of Anjou and Maine. It is remarkable to observe that in spite of his great services he was not knighted until 1417, when he was already forty years of age. In 1426, he was made a Knight of the Garter. In 1429, he won the day at the 'Battle of the Herrings,' when with a small company of archers he put to flight an army.

His record does not lead one to expect a charge of cowardice. Yet the charge was brought. It was after the Battle of Patay, in which Talbot was taken prisoner and the{136} English totally defeated. The reverse was attributed by Talbot to the cowardly defection of Fastolf, rather than to his own incompetence. Fastolf demanded an investigation, which was made, with the result of his acquittal. Probably Lord Talbot persisted in his explanation of defeat. The age, it must be confessed, was not exactly chivalrous. The Wars of the Roses, which were about to begin, brought to light gallant knights without truth or fidelity: perjured princes as well as perjured barons: accusations and recriminations: shameless desertions and changes of front. An evil time. If Lord Talbot simply tried to shift the blame of his own defeat upon Fastolf, it would be what other noble lords were perfectly ready to do in their anxiety to escape responsibility in the loss of France: a disaster, as it was then thought, which brought the greatest humiliation on the people. As for Fastolf, he continued to receive posts of honour and distinction. Yet the common people heard the reports brought home by the soldiers: nothing is more easy than a charge of treachery and cowardice: they knew nothing of the acquittal. To them Fastolf became in common talk the coward who single-handed lost France by always running away.

After the Battle of Patay, Fastolfe became Governor of Caen: he raised the siege of Vaudmont: took prisoner the Duc de Bar: he was twice appointed ambassador: he fought in the army of the Duc de Bretagne against the Duc d'Alen?on: and he was ordered to draw up a report of the war. All this does not show much confidence in Lord Talbot's accusation.

In 1440, then sixty-two years of age, he sheathed his sword, put off his armour and returned to England. Few men could show a longer, or a finer, record of war. In 1441 he received from the Duke of York an annuity of £20 a year, 'pro notabili et laudabili servicio ac bono consilio.' He spent the rest of his life partly in his house at Southwark and partly{138} in his castle of Caister, which he built himself: we may very well understand that he was a man of great wealth when we read that the castle covered five acres of land.
WHITE HART INN, SOUTHWARK WHITE HART INN, SOUTHWARK

These are the achievements of the man. About his private life and character we have a great fund of information in the 'Paston Letters.' His latest biographer ('S. L. L.' in the 'Dictionary of National Biography') concludes from these letters that Fastolf was a 'grasping man of business:' that he spent his old age in 'amassing wealth:' that he was a testy neighbour: that his dependents had much to endure at his hands. All these things may certainly be inferred from the letters. At the same time we must consider, apart from the letters, the manners of the age and the conditions of the age.

Let us take the charges one by one.

First, that his dependents had much to endure from him.

It was not a time when dependents spent their time as they pleased. In a well-ordered household every man had his post and his work. An old Knight who had fought for forty years and commanded armies was not at all likely to be a master of a soft and indulgent kind. There is no greater disciplinarian than the old soldier: no household is more sternly ruled than his. This man had not only commanded armies, he had governed provinces, cities, castles: he had wielded despotic authority: he had found it necessary to master every branch of human activity, including the law and the chicanery of lawyers: as the general in command or the Governor of the Province considered the interests of his master the King before everything, so Fastolf expected his dependents to consider his interests as before everything else. The stern old Captain, I can very well believe, looked to every one of his dependents for his share of work, and I can also very well believe that they feared him as the masterful man is always feared.{139}

One of these dependents calls him 'cruel and vengeful.' But he gives no reasons.
SURREY END OF LONDON BRIDGE, FROM HIGH STREET, SOUTHWARK SURREY END OF LONDON BRIDGE, FROM HIGH STREET, SOUTHWARK

One does not carry on war for forty years in the midst of spies, traitors, robbers, and all the villainy of a camp without becoming stern and hard. As a soldier he had to harden himself: as a governor he had to observe justice rather than pity: as a judge it was his duty to punish criminals. I picture a stern, determined man, grey and worn, with hard eyes and strong mouth, one who looked for a thing to be done as soon as he commanded it, at the coming of whom{140} his servants became instantly absorbed in work, at whose footstep his secretaries dared not lift their heads.

Next we are told that he was a 'testy neighbour.' The letters are full of complaints about trespass, invasion of his rights, and attempts to over-reach him. How could a man choose but prove a 'testy neighbour' at a time when the law was powerless and every man was trying to enlarge his boundaries at the expense of his next neighbour? The land robber was everywhere moving landmarks and claiming what was not his own. Private persons, simple esquires, had to fortify their houses against their neighbours and to prepare for a siege. 'I pray you,' says Margaret Paston, 'to get some crossebows and wyndace to bind them with, and quarrel'—i.e. bolts—'for your house is so low that ther may no man shoot with no long bow though he had never so much mind.' And she goes on to enumerate the warlike preparations made by her neighbour.

Sir John Fastolf himself orders five dozen long bows, and quarrels for his own house in Norfolk. John Paston complains how Robert Hungerford, Knight, and Lord Moleyne and Alianor his wife, entered forcibly upon his house and manor of Gresham with a thousand people at their heels, and robbed and pillaged, turning his wife and servants into the road.

These are things which do sometimes make neighbours testy.

But he is a 'grasping man of business.'

Hear, then, this story. The Duke of Suffolk seizes upon property belonging to Fastolf. The judges are bribed and justice cannot be had. Sir John and his friend, Mr. Justice Yelverton, resolve to address the Duke of Norfolk, and to let him know that the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk 'do stand right wildly. Without a mun may be that justice be hadde.' Is it a surprising thing that an old soldier should resolve to get justice if possible? Is it right to call a man 'grasping' because he stands up in his own defence? Read{141} again the following. 'I pray you sende me worde who darre be so hardy to kick agen you in my ryght. And sey hem on my half that they shall be givyt as ferre as law and reson wolle. And yff they wolle not dredde, ne obey that, then they shall be quyt by Blackberd or Whiteberd: that ys to say by God or the Devyll. And therefor I charge you, send me word whethyr such as hafe be myne adversaries before thys tyme, contynew still yn their wylfullnesse.' I see nothing unworthy or grasping in this letter: only a plain soldier's resolve to get justice or he would know the reason why.

It is further objected that he had long-standing claims against the Crown, and was always setting them forth and pressing them. If his claims were just, why should he not press them? If a man makes a claim and does not press it, what does it mean except that he is afraid of pressing it or that it is an unjust claim?

The estates which he owned, apart from the claims which were never settled, amounted altogether to a very considerable property well worth defending. He had no fewer than ninety-four manors: there were four residences—Caister: Southwark: Castle Scrope, and another: there was a sum of money in the treasure chest of 2,643l. 10s., equivalent to about 50,000l. of our money. There were no banks in those days and no investments: a gentleman bought lands and plate and armour and weapons: he spent, as a rule, the greater part of his income, showing his wealth and his rank by the splendid manner of living. Sir John Fastolf, for instance, had 3,400 oz. of silver plate; and besides, a wardrobe full of costly robes.

His house stood on the banks of the river in Stoney Lane, which now leads from Tooley Street to Pickleherring Street. The Knight had good neighbours. On the east of St. Olave's Church was the ancient house built in the 12th century for the Earl of Warren and Surrey, and given by his successor to the Abbot of St. Augustine's, Canterbury. Next{142} to the Abbot's Inn came, with the Bridge House between, the Abbot of Battle's Inn, a great building on the river bank, with gardens lying on the other side of what is now Tooley Street. The site was long marked by 'The Maze' and 'Maze Pond.' Then came Fastolf's House. There are no means of ascertaining the appearance or the size of the place. It was certainly a building round a quadrangle capable of housing many followers, because he proposed to fill it with a garrison and so to meet Cade's insurgents. Moreover, a man of such great authority and wealth would not be contented with a small house. On the south side of St. Olave's Church, nearly opposite Fastolf's house, was the Inn or House of the Abbot of Lewes. And half a mile across the fields and gardens rose the towers and walls of St. Saviour's Abbey, Bermondsey. Perhaps there were other great houses east of Sir John Fastolf's, but I think not, because as late as 1720 fields begin a little to the east of Stoney Lane. Now, though fields precede houses, houses seldom precede fields. A house often degenerates, but is rarely converted into a meadow. This, however, did happen with Kennington Palace. We know, for example, that the house called Augustin's Inn came to the Sellinger family, and being deserted by them was presently let out in tenements till it was pulled down and replaced by other buildings. According to these indications, then, Fastolf's house was the last of the great houses on the east side of London Bridge. There is another proof that it was a large house. Fastolf kept a fleet of coasting vessels which continually sailed from Caister or Yarmouth to London bringing provisions and supplies of all kinds for his house at Southwark. This fact not only proves that his household was very large, but it illustrates one way in which the great houses, the ecclesiastical houses and the nobles' houses were victualled. If those whose manors lay within easy reach of a port kept ships for the conveyance of provisions from the country to{143} London it is certain that those who lived inland sent up caravans of pack-horses laden with the produce of their estates and sent up to town flocks of cattle and sheep and droves of pigs.
The Site of Sir John Fastolf's House in Tooley Street The Site of Sir John Fastolf's House in Tooley Street

I have spoken of Sir John's intention to make a stand at Southwark against the rebels under Cade. Fortunately for himself and for everybody with him, he was persuaded to retire across the river to the Tower before the rebels reached the gates. The story is one of the most interesting in the whole of the 'Paston Letters,' which, to tell the truth, unless one looks into them for persons we already know, are somewhat dull in the reading.{144}

When the Commons of Kent were reported to be approaching London in the year 1450, Sir John Fastolf filled his house in Southwark with old soldiers from Normandy and 'abyllyments' of war. This rumour reached the rebels and naturally caused them considerable anxiety. So when they caught a spy among them in the shape of one John Payn, a servant of Sir John, they were disposed to make an example of him. And now you shall hear what happened to John Payn in his own words, the spelling being only partly modernised.

'Pleasyth it your gode and gracios maistershipp tendyrly to consedir the grate losses and hurts that your por peticioner haeth, and haeth had evyr seth the comons of Kent come to the Blakheth,[1] and that is at XV. yer passed whereas my maister Syr John Fastolf, Knyght, that is youre testator,[2] commandyt your besecher to take a man, and ij. of the beste orsse that wer in his stabyll, with hym to ryde to the comens of Kent, to gete the articles that they come for. And so I dyd: and al so sone as I come to the Blakheth, the capteyn[3] made the comens to take me. And for the savacion of my maisters horse, I made my fellowe to ryde a way with the ij. horses; and I was brought forth with befor the Capteyn of Kent. And the capteyn demaundit me what was my cause of comyng thedyr, and why that I made my fellowe to stele a wey with the horse. And I seyd that I come thedyr to chere with my wyves brethren, and other that were my alys and gossipps of myn that were present there. And than was there oone there, and seid to the capteyn that I was one of Syr John Fastolfes men, and the ij. horse were Syr John Fastolfes; and then the capteyn lete cry treson upon me thorough all the felde, and brought me at iiij. partes of the feld with a harrawd of the Duke of Exeter[4] before me in the dukes cote{145} of armes, makyng iiij. Oyes at iiij. partes of the feld; proclaymyng opynly by the seid harrawd that I was sent thedyr for to espy theyre pusaunce, and theyre abyllyments of werr, fro the grettyst traytor that was in Yngelond or in Fraunce, as the seyd capteyn made proclaymacion at that tyme, fro oone Syr John Fastolf, Knyght, the whech mynnysshed all the garrisons of Normaundy, and Manns, and Mayn, the whech was the cause of the lesyng of all the Kyngs tytyll and ryght of an herytaunce that he had by yonde see. And morovyr he seid that the seid Sir John Fastolf had furnysshyd his plase with the olde sawdyors of Normaundy and abyllyments of werr, to destroy the comens of Kent whan that they come to Southwerk; and therfor he seyd playnly that I shulde lese my hede.

'And so furthewith I was taken, and led to the capteyns tent, and j. ax and j. blok was brought forth to have smetyn of myn hede; and than my maister Ponyngs, your brodyr,[5] with other of my frendes, come and lettyd the capteyn, and seyd pleynly that there shulde dye a C. or ij. (a hundred or two), that in case be that I dyed; and so by that meane my lyf was savyd at that tyme. And than I was sworen to the capteyn, and to the comens, that I shulde go to Southwerk, and aray me in the best wyse that I coude, and come ageyn to hem to helpe hem; and so I gote th' articles, and brought hem to my maister, and that cost me more emongs the comens that day than xxvijs.

'Wherupon I come to my maister Fastolf, and brought hym th' articles, and enformed hym of all the mater, and counseyled hym to put a wey all his abyllyments of werr and the olde sawdiors; and so he dyd, and went hymself to the{146} Tour, and all his meyny with hym but betts and j. (i.e. one) Mathew Brayn; and had not I ben, the comens wolde have brennyd his plase and all his tennuryes, wher thorough it coste me of my noune propr godes at that tyme more than vj. merks in mate and drynke; and nought withstondyng the capteyn that same tyme lete take me atte Whyte Harte in Suthewerk, and there comandyt Lovelase to dispoyle me oute of myn aray, and so he dyd. And there he toke a fyn gowne of muster dewyllers[6] furryd with fyn bevers, and j. peyr of Bregandyrns[7] kevert with blew fellewet (velvet) and gylt naile, with leg-harneyse, the vallew of the gown and the bregardyns viijli.

'Item, the capteyn sent certeyn of his meyny to my chamber in your rents, and there breke up my chest, and toke awey j. obligacion of myn that was due unto me of xxxvjli. by a prest of Poules, and j. nother obligacion of j. knyght of xli., and my purse with v. ryngs of golde, and xvijs. vjd. of golde and sylver; and j. herneyse (harness) complete of the touche of Milleyn;[8] and j. gowne of fyn perse[9] blewe furryd with martens; and ij. gounes, one furreyd with bogey,[10] and j. nother lyned with fryse;[11] and ther wolde have smetyn of myn hede, whan that they had dyspoyled me atte White Hart. And there my Maister Ponyngs and my frends savyd me, and so I was put up tyll at nyght that the batayle was at London Brygge;[12] and than atte nyght the captyn put me oute into the batayle atte Brygge, and there I was woundyt, and hurt nere hand to deth; and there I was vj. oures in the batayle, and myght nevyr come oute therof; and iiij. tymes before{147} that tyme I was caryd abought thorough Kent and Sousex, and ther they wolde have smetyn of my hede.

'And in Kent there as my wyfe dwellyd, they toke awey all oure godes movabyll that we had, and there wolde have hongyd my wyfe and v. of my chyldren, and lefte her no more gode but her kyrtyll and her smook. And a none aftye that hurlyng, the Bysshop Roffe,[13] apechyd me to the Quene, and so I was arestyd by the Quenes commaundment in to the Marchalsy, and there was in rygt grete durasse, and fere of myn lyf, and was thretenyd to have ben hongyd, drawen, and quarteryd; and so wold have made me to have pechyd my Maister Fastolf of treson. And by cause that I wolde not, they had me up to Westminster, and there wolde have sent me to the gole house at Wyndsor; but my wyves and j. coseyn of myn noune that were yomen of the Croune, they went to the Kyng, and got grase and j. chartyr of pardon.'

Here we see the popular opinion of Fastolf 'the greatest traitor in England or in France:' he who 'mynnyshed all the garrisons of Normandy, and Manns, and Mayn:' he who was the cause of the 'lesyng of all the Kyng's tytyll and rights of an heritaunce that he had by yonde see.'

The whole story is in the highest degree dramatic. Sir John wants to know what the rebellion means. Let one of his men go and find out. Let him take two horses in case of having to run for it: the rebels will most probably kill him if they catch him. Well: it is all in the day's work: what can a man expect? Would the fellow live for ever? What can he look for except to be killed some time or other? So John Payn takes two horses and sets off. As we expected, he does get caught: he is brought before Mortimer as a spy. At this point we are reminded of the false herald in 'Quentin Durward,' but in this case it is a real herald pressed into the service of{148} Mortimer, alias Jack Cade. Now the Captain is by way of being a gentleman: very likely he was: the story about him, that he had been a common soldier, is improbable and supported by no kind of evidence. However, he conducts the affair in a courteous fashion. No moblike running to the nearest tree: no beating along the prisoner to be hanged upon a branch: not at all: the prisoner is conducted with much ceremony to the four quarters of the camp and at each is proclaimed by the herald a spy. Then the axe and the block are brought out. The prisoner feels already the bitterness of death. But his friends interfere: he must be spared or a hundred heads shall fall. He is spared: on condition that he goes back, arrays himself in his best harness and returns to fight on the side of the rebels.

Observe that this faithful person gets the 'articles' that his master wants: he also reports on the strength of the rebellion in-so-much that Sir John breaks up his garrison and retreats across the river to the Tower. But before going he tells the man that he must keep his parole and go back to the rebels to be killed by them or among them. So the poor man puts on his best harness and goes back.

They spoil him of every thing: and then, they put him in the crowd of those who fight on London Bridge.

It was a very fine battle. Jack Cade had already entered London when he murdered Lord Saye, and Sir James Cromer, Sheriff of Kent, and plundered and fined certain merchants. He kept up, however, the appearance of a friend of the people and permitted no plundering of the lower sort. So that one is led to believe that in the fight the merchants, themselves, and the better class held the bridge.

The following account comes from Holinshed. It must be remembered that the battle was fought on the night of Sunday the 5th of July, in midsummer, when there is no night, but a clear soft twilight, and when the sun rises by four in the morning. It was a wild sight that the sun rose upon that morning.{149} The Londoners and the Kentish men, with shouts and cries, alternately beat each other back upon the narrow bridge, attack and defence growing feebler as the night wore on. And all night long the bells rang to call the citizens to arms in readiness to take their place on the bridge. And all night the old and the young and the women lay trembling in their beds lest the men of London should be beaten back by the men of Kent, and these should come in with fire and sword to pillage and destroy. All night long without stopping: the dead were thrown over the bridge: the wounded fell and were trampled upon until they were dead: and beneath their feet the quiet tide ebbed and flowed through the arches.
HOUSES IN HIGH STREET, SOUTHWARK, 1550 HOUSES IN HIGH STREET, SOUTHWARK, 1550

'The maior and other magistrates of London, perceiving themselves neither to be sure of goods nor of life well warranted determined to repell and keepe out of their citie such a mischievous caitife and his wicked companie. And to be the better able so to doo, they made the lord Scales, and that renowned Capteine Matthew Gough privie both of their{150} intent and enterprise, beseeching them of their helpe and furtherance therein. The lord Scales promised them his aid, with shooting off the artillerie in the Tower; and Matthew Gough was by him appointed to assist the maior and Londoners in all that he might, and so he and other capteins, appointed for defense of the citie, tooke upon them in the night to keepe the bridge, and would not suffer the Kentish men once to approach. The rebels, who never soundlie slept for feare of sudden assaults, hearing that the bridge was thus kept, ran with great hast to open that passage where between both parties was a fierce and cruell fight.

'Matthew Gough perceiving the rebels to stand to their tackling more manfullie than he thought they would have done, advised his companie not to advance anie further toward Southwarke, till the daie appeared; that they might see where the place of jeopardie rested, and so to provide for the same; but this little availed. For the rebels with their multitude drave back the citizens from the stoops at the bridge foot to the draw bridge, and began to set fire to diverse houses. Great ruth it was to behold the miserable state, wherein some desiring to eschew the fire died upon their enimies weapon; women with children in their armes lept for feare into the river, other in a deadlie care how to save themselves, betweene fire, water, and sword, were in their houses choked and smothered. Yet the capteins not sparing, fought on the bridge all the night valiantlie, but in conclusion the rebels gat the draw bridge, and drowned manie, and slue John Sutton, alderman, and Robert Heisand, a hardie citizen, with manie other, beside Matthew Gough, a man of great wit and much experience in feats of chivalrie, the which in continuall warres had spent his time in service of the king and his father.

'This sore conflict indured in doubtfull wise on the bridge, till nine of the clocke in the morning; for somtime, the{151} Londoners were beaten backe to saint Magnus corner; and suddenlie againe, the rebels were repelled to the stoops in Southwarke, so that both parts being faint and wearie, agreed to leave off from fighting till the next daie; upon condition that neither Londoners should passe into Southwarke, nor Kentish men into London. Upon this abstinence, this rake-hell capteine for making him more friends, brake up the gaites of the kings Bench and Marshalsie and so were manie mates set at libertie verie meet for his matters in hand.' (Holinshed, iii. p. 226.)

When the rebellion was over they clapped the unlucky Payn into prison and tried to get out of him some admission that might enable them to impeach Sir John of treason. This old soldier was not without some love of letters. One of his household, William Worcester, wrote for him Cicero 'De Senectute,' printed by Caxton a few years later. A MS. also exists in the British Museum called 'The Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers,' said to have been translated for him by Stephen Perope his stepson.

After the Cade rebellion he returned to his house in Southwark but seldom. He went down into Norfolk, employed his ships in carrying stone and built his great castle of Caistor, which covered five acres. He purposed founding a College at Caistor for seven priests and seven poor folk. He assisted the building of philosophy schools at Cambridge: he made gifts to Magdalen College, Oxford. His intentions as to the College were never carried out, the bequest being transferred to Magdalen College, Oxford, for the support of seven poor priests and seven poor scholars. He died at the age of eighty. It was the misfortune of this stout old warrior that the latter half of his fighting career was in a losing cause: it was also his misfortune to incur a great part of the odium that falls upon a general who is on the losing side: at the same time, in his own actions he was,{152} almost without exception, victorious: and there does not seem any reason why he more than any other should bear the blame of the English reverses. It was probably in deference to popular opinion that no honours were paid to the veteran of so many fights. Perhaps he was not a persona grata at Court. Certainly the story of Payn's imprisonment indicates some enemy in high quarters. Why should the Government desire to charge him with treason?{153}

[1] Jack Cade and his followers encamped on Blackheath on June 11, 1450, and again from June 29 to July 1. Payn refers to the latter occasion.

[2] Sir John Fastolf (who is dead at the date of this letter) left Paston his executor, as will be seen hereafter.

[3] Jack Cade.

[4] Henry Holland, Duke of Exeter. During the civil war which followed, he adhered to the House of Lancaster, though he married Edward IV.'s sister. His herald had probably been seized by Cade's followers, and pressed into their service.

[5] Robert Poynings, who, some years before this letter was written, had married Elizabeth, the sister of John Paston, was sword-bearer and carver to Cade, and was accused of creating disturbances on more than one occasion afterwards.

[6] 'A kind of mixed grey woollen cloth, which continued in use to Elizabeth's reign.'—Halliwell.

[7] A brigandine was a coat of leather or quilted linen, with small iron plates sewed on.—See Grose's Antient Armour. The back and breast of this coat were sometimes made separately, and called a pair.—Meyrick.

[8] Milan was famous for its manufacture of arms and armour.

[9] 'Skye or bluish grey. There was a kind of cloth so called.'—Halliwell.

[10] Budge fur.

[11] Frieze. A coarse narrow cloth, formerly much in use.

[12] The battle on London Bridge was on the 5th of July.

[13] Fenn gives this name 'Rosse' with two long s's, but translates it Rochester, from which it is presumed that it was written 'Roffe' for Roffensis. The Bishop of Rochester's name was John Lowe.


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