strength did take them.
I pray you (Maister Cope) what neded the kyng to write this by information, when as he both hymselfe was present at the fact, was the taker of them, and a witnes of the deede? The which and if it be true, that the kyng heard this but by way of information, how will you then defende your Chronicos, and your Epitomas? But herein I will neither greatly sticke with you, nor contend with them: Desiring the reader this onely to beare in mynde the date of this present Cōmission, whē it was geuē, Marginalia(B)(B) which soundeth to be the. x. day of Ianuary, and afterward to cōpare the same with the date of the Inditement here vnder followyng, which I will (the Lorde willyng) also hereunto annexe, leauing nothing out: Yea rather ministryng to the aduersary all maner of helpes, whatsoeuer they can seke or require, for theyr most aduauntage in this matter, to be desired. So sure and confident I am in the innocent cause of these good men, nor fearing whatsoeuer blynde malice can cauill agaynst them.[Back to Top]
Parliamenta coronæ coram domino rege ... inquiratur de terra & catallis suis.
J. Barrie Hall
The parliament of the crown in the presence of the lord king at Westminster in Hilary term, in the first year of the reign of King Henry, the fifth after the Conquest, Roll 7 among the parliaments of the king. Otherwise in the presence of William de Roos, Henry le Scrope, William Crowmere, mayor of the city of London, Hugh Huls and associate justiciars of the lord king, for the enquiring on oath of good and lawful men of the lord king's city of London and the suburbs of the same and of the county of Middlesex both within and without the liberties concerning all and singular treasons and insurrections, rebellions and felonies committed and perpetrated in the aforementioned city, suburbs and county, by very many subjects of the lord king commonly called Lollards, and others in the aforementioned city, suburbs and county, and also concerning all treasons and insurrections, rebellions and felonies committed and perpetrated in the aforementioned city, suburbs and county by whomsoever and in whatsoever way, and to the hearing and determining the same treasons, insurrections, rebellions and felonies according to the law and custom of the realm of the lord king of England, by letters patent of the lord king himself sealed at Westminster (a) on Wednesday next after the Feast of the Epiphany in the first year of the reign of King Henry, the fifth after the Conquest (b), on the oath of twelve sworn men it was presented that John Oldcastle of Couling in the county of Kent and others commonly called Lollards who, contrary to the catholic faith, for long rashly held divers heretical opinions and other manifest errors at variance with catholic law, being able to maintain the aforementioned opinions and errors but by no means to implement them as long as the royal power and both the royal estate of our lord the king and the estate and office of prelatical dignity should persevere in prosperity within the realm of England, falsely and traitorously plotting utterly to destroy both the estate of the realm and the estate and office of the prelates and also the orders of the religious within the aforementioned realm of England, and to kill our lord the king, his brothers, prelates and other magnates of the same realm, and to summon men of religion to abandon their divine worship and religious observances and turn to worldly occupations, and totally to despoil of their relics and other religious goods and utterly raze to the ground both the cathedral churches and other churches and religious houses, (c) and to make John Oldcastle ruler of the same realm and order very many governing posts according to their will within the aforementioned realm (d) as it were a people without a head, to the final destruction both of the catholic faith and clergy and of the estate and majesty of the royal dignity within the same realm, have falsely and traitorously ordained and proposed that when he together with (e) very many unknown rebels of the lord king to the number of twenty thousand men from divers parts of England should arrive in warlike manner (f) they should privily rise up and (g) on the Wednesday next after the Feast of the Epiphany in the aforementioned year of the reign of the aforementioned king in the vill and parish of St Giles without the Bar of the old Temple of London should with one mind gather together there in a certain great field and together stand in opposition for the implementing their nefarious sheme set out in the matter above, on which Wednesday indeed in the aforementioned vill and parish the aforementioned John Oldcastle and others persisting in the traitorous intent of this kind falsely and traitorously proposed and planned the murdering of the aforementioned lord our king, his brothers, namely, Thomas duke of Clarence, John of Lancaster and Humphrey of Lancaster and also the aforementioned prelates and magnates, and also the disinheriting of our lord king himself and his heirs from the aforementioned his realm, and the doing and implementing of all and singular the aforementioned things and very many other evil and intolerable things (i), and there arriving in warlike fashion they rode traitorously contrary to their allegiance in the manner of an insurrection to the aforementioned field to vanquish our lord the aforementioned king, had they not by God's grace been hindered by him with his valiant hand. This indictment indeed the lord king has now for certain causes made to come before him for termination. By which it has been commanded that the sheriff should not omit etc. but that he take the aforementioned John Oldcastle if etc., and saving etc. In such wise that he should present him in person before the king at Westminster on this day, namely, Wednesday next after the octave of St Hilary, this same being the term-day to make reply to the lord king concerning the aforementioned matters etc. On which day and at which place in the presence of the lord king the sheriff returned that the aforementioned John Oldcastle was not found in his bailiwick etc. Because of this it was commanded that the sheriff should have him pursued from county to county until he be outlawed, it not etc. And if etc., he should then take him, and saving etc. In such wise that they should present him in person before the lord king on the octave of St John the Baptist next thereafter following. Wheresoever etc. to make reply to the lord king concerning the treasons and felonies previously charged against him. On which octave of St John the Baptist, in the second year of the reign of King Henry, the fifth after the Conquest, John Sutton and John Michel, sheriffs of Middlesex, in the presence of the lord king returned that in the hundred of Braynford in the county of Middlesex on Thursday next before the Feast of St Barnabas the Apostle, in the second year of King Henry, the fifth after the Conquest. And before the preceding last four sheriffs the aforementioned John Oldcastle was summoned and did not appear. And that before none of the same sheriffs was he outlawed, for which reason let there be enquiry concerning his land and his chattels.[Back to Top]
PArliamenta coronæ coram domino rege apud westm. de termino sancti Hillarij, anno regni Regis Henrici quinti, post conque. primo Rot. vij. inter parliamenta regis. Alias coram Gulielino Roos de Hamlak, Henrico le Scrop, Gulielino Crowemere maiore ciuitatis London, Hugone Huls & focijs suis Iustic. domini regis, ad inquirend per sacram. proborū & legal. hominum de ciuitate domini regis London. & suburbijs eiusdem, ac de Com. Midd tam infra libertates, quam extra, de omnibus & singulis proditionibus & insurrectionibus per quam plures subditos domini regis Lollardos vulgarit. nuncupatos, & alios in ciuitate, suburijs. & com predictis factis & perpetratis, nec non de omnibus proditionibus, insurrectionibus, rebellionibus, & feloniis in ciuitate, suburbiis, & com. predictis per quoscunque & qualitercunq; factis, siue perpetratis, & ad easdem proditiones, insurrectiones, rebelliones, & felonias audiend. & terminand. secundum legem & consuetudinem regni domini regis Angliæ, per literas ipsius domini Regis patentes, assign. apud Westm. die Mercurij Marginalia(A)(A) proximo post festum Epiphaniæ domini anno regni regis Henrici quinti post conquestum primo, Marginalia(B)(B) per sacram. xij. Iur. extitit presentatum: quod Iohannes Oldcastle de Coulyng in Com. Kanc. chr. & alij Lollardi vulgar. nuncupat. qui contra fidem catholicam diuersas opiniones hereticas, & alios errores manifestos legi catholicæ repugnantes a diu temerarie tenuerunt, opiniones & errores prædictos manutenere, at in facto minime perimplere valentes, quandiu regia potestas & tam status regal. domini nostri regis, quam status & officium prelaciæ dignitatis infra regnum Ang. in prosperitate perseuerarent, falso & proditorie machinando, tam statum regni, quam statum & officium prælatorum, necnon ordines religiosorum infra dictum regnum Ang. penitus adnullare: Ac dominum nostrum regem, fratres suos, prelatos, & alios magnates eiusdem regni interficere, necnon viros religiosos, relict. cult. diuinis & religiosis obseruancijs ad occupationes mundanas prouocare, & tam ecclesias cathedrales, quam alias ecclesias & domos religiosas de reliquis & alijs bonis ecclesiasticis totaliter spoliare ac funditus ad terram prosternere, & dictum Iohannem Oldcastell, Marginalia(C)(C) Regentem eiusdem regni constituere, & quam plura regimina secundum eorum voluntatem infra regnum prædictum Marginalia(D)(D) quasi gens sine capite in finalem destructionem, tam fidei catholicæ & cleri quam status & maiestatis dignitatis regal. infra idem regnum ordinare, falso et proditorie ordinauerunt & proposuerunt, quod ipso insimul cum quampluribus rebellibus domini regis Marginalia(E)(E) ignotis ad numerum viginti millium hominum de diuersis partibus regni Angl. modo guerrino ariuat. Marginalia(F)(F) priuatim insurgent. & die Mercurii proximo Marginalia(G)(G) post festum Epiphaniæ domini anno regni regis predicti predicto apud villam & perochiam sancti Egidij Marginalia(H)(H) extra Barram veteris Templi London. in quodam magno campo ibidem vnanimit conuenirent & insimul obuiarent pro nephando proposito suo in premissis perimplend: quo quidē die Mercurij apud villā & perochiā predictas, predicti I. Oldcastel, et alij in huiusmodi proposito proditorio perseuerantes, predictum dominum nostrum regem, fratres, suos videlicet, (H) Thomam ducē Clarenciæ Iohannē de Lācastre, & Humfredum de Lancastre, necnon prelatos & magnates predictos interficere, necnon ipsum dominū nostrum Regē et heredes suos de regno suo predicto exheredare, & premissa omnia & singula, necnon quamplura alia mala & intollerabilia facere & perimplere falso & proditorie pro posuerunt & imaginauerunt (I) & ibidem versus campum predictum modo guerrino arriati. proditorie modo insurrectionis contra ligeancias suas equitauerunt ad debellandum dictū Dominum nostrum Regem, nisi per ipsum manu forti gratiose impediti fuissent. Quod quidem inditamentum Dominus Rex nunc, certis de causis coram eo venire fecit terminandū. Per quod preceptum fuit vic. quod non omitteret. &c. quin caperet prefatum Iohannem Oldcastle, si. &c Et saluo. &c. Ita quod haberet corpus eius, coram Domino Rege, apud VVestmonasteriam. ad hunc diem, scilicet die Mercurii proximo post octauas sancti Hillarii isto eodem termino ad respōdendum Domino Regi de premissis. &c. Ad quos diem & locum, coram domino Rege vic. return. quod predictus Iohannes Oldcastle non fuit inuentus in balliua sua. &c. per quod preceptum fuit vic. quod exigi faceret eum de com. in com. quousque vtlagetur si non. &c. Et si. &c. tunc eum caperet & saluo. &c. Ita quod haberent corpus eius coram Domino Rege in octauas Sancti Iohannis Baptiste ex tunc proximum sequē. vbicunque. &c. ad respondendū domino Regi de proditionibus, et feloniis superius sibi impositis. Ad quas octauas sancti Iohannis Baptiste, an. regni R. Henrici quinti post conquestū secundo, Iohanne Sutton, & Io. Michell vic. Mid. coram domino Rege returnauerunt quod ad com. Midd. centum apud Braynford die Iouis proximo ante festum sancti Barnabe Apostoli, anno regni R. Henrici quinti post cōquestum secundo. Et ad quatuor com. ex tunc proximo precedentes predictus Iohannes Oldcastle exactus fuit, & non comparuit. Et quia ad nullum eorundem com. comparuit. Ideo presentibus coronatoribus com. predicti vtlagatus fuit, per quod inquiratur de terra et catallis suis.[Back to Top]
The first note concerning the date and day both of the Cōmissiō. & of the verdicte of the Iurers concurring on one day.(A) Die Mercurij proximo post festum Epiphaniæ &c ¶ First here is to be noted and considered (good reader) the day and date of geuyng out the Commission, and then of the verdicte presented by the Iurers, which was both in one day, that is, on the Wenesday next after the Epiphanie, in the first yeare of the reigne of King Henry 5. Which was the x. day of the moneth of Ianuary (as the date of þe Commission sayth) an. 1413. after the vse of England, or after þe Romish vse, an. 1414. So þt after þe vse euer we count, whether it be an. 1413. or els an. 1414. the Dominicall letter beginning at þe first day of Ianuarye to chaūge, must needes be G. for þt yeare: and so necessarily make Wenesday next after the Epiphanie, to be the x. day of the sayd moneth of Ianuary. Thus then this present Wenesday, which was the tenth day of the moneth, being well noted and borne in mynde, on the which day both the Commission was directed, and also the verdict presented, let vs now proceede further in the foresayd Inditement. It foloweth.
The second note of the names of the Iurers left out.(B) Per Sacramentum xij. iuratorum extitit præsentatum &c. ¶ If there had bene true dealing in this, the Iurers should haue bene named. But it is not lyke, that there was euer any such Inditement founde by any Iurers, and therfore they did best, not to name the Iurours, least they would haue denied this Inditement to be their Acte: it foloweth more in proces of the Inditement.
The 3. argurment, by making a Regēt, the king being not yet gone ouer.(C) Et dictum Ioan. Oldcastel Regentem Eiusdem regni constituere &c. ¶ If there were no other argument, this were sufficient to disproue the manifest vntruth of this surmised Inditement. When as the king was not yet gone to Fraunce, nor determined to go, how could they conspire thē to make a Regent? For the king went in Iuly folowing, vidz, the second yeare of his raigne, leauing behinde hym the Queene his mother in law, for Regent, whereby it may be gathered, that this matter was vntruely entred and stolen into the Recordes wyth an antedate, or els at the least, there appeareth manifest vntruth, that they should conspire to make a Regent, when a Regent was not thought vpon, vnlesse it were all ready runne into the heades of the Clergie, who shortly after fearing their temporalties (as Caxton sayth) perswaded the King to make warres in Fraunce. Thys word Regent therfore proceedeth of the secrete spirite of the clergy, and maketh the whole matter very suspicious, to be grounded altogether vpon the malice of the clergie, & their vntrue surmises. It foloweth moreouer.
The 5. argument, by cōtrarietie.(D) Quasi gens sine capite in finalem destructionem. &c. ¶ How doth this stand with that goeth before, that they conspired to make a Regent, excepte you will say that to make a Regent is to be a people without an head? It foloweth.
The vi. argument, by the persons vnknowen.(E) Cum quam pluribus rebellibus dicti regis ignotis ad numerum viginti millium hominum. &c. ¶ A straunge matter that they should know of the conspiracy of twenty.