Part 4 out of 5
huntsman with his horn, and in Newland Church one of the free miners of
the Forest of Dean, cap and leather breeches tied below the knee, wooden
mine-hod over shoulder, a small mattock in his right hand, and a
candlestick between his teeth. This kind of historical evidence will
help us with Thomas Paycocke. His family brasses were set in the north
aisle of the parish church of St Peter Ad Vincula. Several of them have
disappeared in the course of the last century and a half, and unluckily
no brass of Thomas himself survives; but in the aisle there still lie
two--the brass of his brother John, who died in 1533, and John's wife,
and that of his nephew, another Thomas, who died in 1580; the merchant's
mark may still be seen thereon.
Lastly, there is the evidence of the Paycocke wills, of which three are
preserved at Somerset House--the will of John Paycocke _(d._ 1505),
Thomas's father and the builder of the house; the will of Thomas
Paycocke himself _(d._ 1518); and the will of his nephew Thomas, the
same whose brass lies in the aisle and who left a long and splendidly
detailed testament, full of information upon local history and the
organization of the cloth industry. For social historians have as yet
hardly, perhaps, made as much use as they might of the evidence of
wills. The enormous amount of miscellaneous information to be derived
therefrom about the life of our forefathers can hardly be believed, save
by those who have turned the pages of such a collection as the great
_Testamenta Eboracensia_. In wills you may see how many daughters a
man could dower and how many he put into a nunnery, and what education
he provided for his sons. You may note which were the most popular
religious houses, and which men had books and what the books were, how
much of their money they thought fit to leave for charitable purposes,
and what they thought of the business capacity of their wives. You may
read long and dazzling lists of family plate, all the favourite cups and
dishes having pet names of their own, and of rings and brooches and
belts and rosaries. There are detailed descriptions of dresses and
furs, sometimes splendid, sometimes ordinary, for people handed on
their rich clothes as carefully as their jewels. There are even more
wonderful descriptions of beds, with all their bedclothes and hangings,
for a bed was a very valuable article of furniture and must often,
judging from the wills, have been a brilliant and beautiful object
indeed; Shakespeare has earned a great deal of unmerited obloquy for
leaving Ann Hathaway his second-best bed, though it is not to be denied
that he might have left her his first-best. Even more beautiful than
dressings and bed or chamber hangings are the brocaded and embroidered
vestments mentioned in wills, and the elaborate arrangements for funeral
ceremonies are extremely interesting. The wills are of all kinds; there
are even villeins' wills, though in theory the villein's possessions
were his lord's, and there are wills of kings and queens, lords and
ladies, bishops and parsons and lawyers and shopkeepers. Here also is
more evidence for the social prosperity of the middle class, details of
their trade, the contents of their shops, the inventories of their
houses, their estates (sometimes) in the country, their house rents
(almost always) in the town, their dressers garnished with plate and
their wives' ornaments, their apprentices and their gilds, their
philanthropy, their intermarriage with the gentry, their religious
opinions. Such a living picture do men's wills give us of their
These, then, are the three sources from which the life and times of
Thomas Paycocke may be drawn. All three--houses, brasses, and
wills--contain much evidence for the increasingly rapid growth during
the last two centuries of the Middle Ages of a large and prosperous
middle class, whose wealth was based not upon landed property but upon
industry and trade. It is a class of whom we have already met typical
examples in Thomas Betson and the anonymous Menagier de Paris, and we
must now see what his house, his will, and his family brasses tell us
about the clothier Thomas Paycocke. First and foremost, they tell us a
great deal about the noble industry which supported him. Paycocke's
house is full of relics of the cloth industry. The merchant mark of the
Paycockes, an ermine tail, looking like a two-stemmed clover leaf, is to
be found on the carved beams of the chimney, on the breastsummers of the
fire-places, and set in the midst of the strip of carving along the
front of the house. Thomas marked his bales of cloth thus, and what
other armorial bearings did he need? The whole house is essentially
middle class-the house of a man who was _nouveau riche_ in an age when
to be _nouveau riche_ was not yet to be vulgar. His prosperity has
blossomed out into exquisitely ornate decoration. A band of carving runs
along the front of the house, and from the curved stem of it branch out
a hundred charming devices--leaves, tendrils, strange flowers, human
heads, Tudor roses, a crowned king and queen lying hand in hand, a baby
diving with a kick of fat legs into the bowl of an arum lily, and in the
midst the merchant's mark upon a shield and the initials of the master
of the house. In the hall is a beautiful ceiling of carved oakwork,
exceedingly elaborate and bearing at intervals the merchant's mark
again. Upstairs in the big bedchamber is a ceiling of beams worked in
bold roll mouldings; and there is an exquisite little parlour, lined
with linen fold panels, with a breastsummer carved with strange animals.
This elaboration is characteristic. It is all of a piece with Coggeshall
Church, and with all those other spacious East Anglian churches,
Lavenham, Long Melford, Thaxted, Saffron Walden, Lynn, Snettisham, lofty
and spacious, which the clothiers built out of their newly won wealth.
The very architecture is characteristic, _nouveau riche_ again, like
those who paid for it, the elaborate ornament and sumptuous detail of
the Perpendicular taking the place of the simple majesty of the Early
English style. It is just the sort of architecture that a merchant with
a fortune would pay for. The middle class liked some show for its money;
but again it was the ostentation without the vulgarity of wealth.
Looking upon his beautiful house, or worshipping beside his family
tombs, with the merchant's mark on the brasses, in St Katherine's aisle,
Thomas Paycocke must often have blessed the noble industry which
The wills of the Paycockes tell the same story. To whom beside his
family does Thomas leave legacies but the good folk of the
neighbourhood, who worked for him. There is the Goodday family of
cheerful name, two of whom were shearmen, or cloth finishers, and had
substantial gifts. 'I bequeth to Thomas Goodday Sherman xx s. and ych of
his childryn iij s. iiij d. apece. Item, I bequeth to Edward Goodday
Sherman xvj s. viij d., and to his child iij s. iiij d. He also left
money to Robert Goodday of Sampford and to Robert's brother John and to
each of Robert's sisters, with something extra for Grace, who was his
goddaughter; and he did not forget Nicholas Goodday of Stisted and
Robert Goodday of Coggeshall and their families, nor their relative
John, who was a priest and had ten shillings for a trental. All these
Gooddays were doubtless bound to Thomas Paycocke by ties of work as well
as of friendship. They belonged to a well-known Coggeshall family, for
generations connected with the cloth industry. Thomas Paycocke's
namesake and grand-nephew, whose will is dated 1580, was still in close
relations with them, and left 'to Edwarde Goodaye my godson Fourtie
shillinges and to every brother and sister the saide Edwarde hath
livinge at the tyme of my decease tenne shillinges a pece,' and 'unto
William Gooday thelder tenne shillinges.' The hurrying, scattering
generation of today can hardly imagine the immovable stability of the
village of past centuries, when generation after generation grew from
cradle to grave in the same houses, on the same cobbled streets, and
folk of the same name were still friends, as their fathers and
grandfathers had been before them.
Other friends and employees of Thomas Paycocke also had their legacies.
He leaves _6s. 8d_. to Humphrey Stonor, 'somtyme my prentis'. We may see
Humphrey Stonor, with sleepy eyes, making his way downstairs on a frosty
morning, from those huge raftered attics, where perhaps the 'prentices
used to sleep. He was on terms of impudent friendship, no doubt, with
the weavers and fullers whom his master set to work; withal a young man
of good family, a relative perchance of those Stonors for whom Thomas
Betson worked, for, as Deloney wrote, 'the yonger sons of knights and
gentlemen, to whom their Fathers would leave no lands, were most
commonly preferred to learn this trade, to the end that thereby they
might live in good estate and drive forth their days in prosperity.' Two
of his friends got substantial legacies; apparently Thomas Paycocke had
lent them money and wished to wipe out the debt upon his death-bed, for,
says the will, 'I bequethe to John Beycham, my weyver, v li and [i.e.
if] there be so moch bitwene vs and ells to make it vp v li, and a gowne
and a doublett.... I bequeth and forgive Robert Taylor, fuller, all that
is betwixt vs, and more I give him iij s. iiij d.' Other legacies show
even more clearly that his operations were on a larger scale. 'I bequeth
to all my wevers, ffullers and shermen that be not afore Rehersed by
name xij d. apece, And will they that have wrought me verey moch wark
have iij s. iiij d. apece. Item, I bequethe to be distributed amonge my
Kembers, Carders and Spynners summa iiij li.' Here are all the
branches of the cloth industry at a glance. It is Thomas Paycocke,
clothier, round whom the whole manufacture revolves. He gives the wool
to the women to comb it and card it and spin it; he receives it from
them again and gives it to the weaver to be woven into cloth; he gives
the cloth to the fuller to be fulled and the dyer to be dyed; and having
received it when finished, he has it made up into dozens and sends it
off to the wholesale dealer, the draper, who sells it; perhaps he has
been wont to send it to that very 'Thomas Perpoint, draper' whom he
calls 'my cosyn' and makes his executor. The whole of Thomas Paycocke's
daily business is implicit in his will. In the year of his death he was
still employing a large number of workers and was on friendly and
benevolent terms with them. The building of his house had not signalized
his retirement from business, as happened when another great clothier,
Thomas Dolman, gave up cloth-making and the weavers of Newbury went
Lord have mercy upon us, miserable sinners.
Thomas Dolman has built a new house and turned away all his
The relations between Paycocke and his employees evinced in his will are
happy ones. Such was not always the case, for if the clothiers of this
age had some of the virtues of capitalists, they also had many of their
vices, and the age-old strife of capital and labour was already well
advanced in the fifteenth century. One detail Paycocke's will does not
give us, which we should be glad to know: did he employ only domestic
weavers, working in their own houses, or did he also keep a certain
number of looms working in his house? It was characteristic of the
period in which he lived that something like a miniature factory system
was establishing itself in the midst of the new outwork system. The
clothiers were beginning to set up looms in their own houses and to work
them by journeymen weavers; as a rule the independent weavers greatly
disliked the practice, for either they were forced from the position of
free masters into that of hired servants, obliged to go and work in the
clothier's loom shop, or else they found their payment forced down by
the competition of the journeymen. Moreover, the clothiers sometimes
owned and let out looms to their work-people, and then also part of the
industrial independence of the weaver was lost. All through the first
half of the sixteenth century the weavers in the cloth districts kept on
petitioning Parliament against this new evil of capitalism. It was as
though, long before it established itself in England they had a
prevision of the factory system and of the worker no longer owning
either his raw material, his tool, his workshop, or the produce of his
industry, but only his labour; the master-weaver dwindled to a hired
hand. Certainly the practice was growing in Essex, where, some twenty
years after Thomas Paycocke's death, the weavers petitioned against the
clothiers, who had their own looms and weavers and fullers in their own
houses, so that the petitioners were rendered destitute; 'for the rich
men, the clothiers, be concluded and agreed among themselves to hold and
pay one price for weaving the said cloths,' a price too small to support
their households, even if they worked day and night, holiday and
work-day, so that many of them lost their independence and were reduced
to become other men's servants. Nevertheless, the outwork system
remained the more common, and without doubt the majority of Paycocke's
workers lived in their own cottages, though it is probable also that he
had some looms in his house, perhaps in the long, low room at the back,
which is traditionally supposed to have been used for weaving, perhaps
in a shed or 'spinning house'.
A highly idyllic picture of work in one of these miniature factories,
which we may amuse ourselves by applying to Thomas Paycocke's, is
contained in Deloney's _Pleasant History of Jack of Newbery._ Jack of
Newbury was an historical character, a very famous clothier named John
Winchcomb who died at Newbury only a year later than Paycocke himself,
and of whom Paycocke must certainly have heard, for his kersies were
famous on the Continent, and old Fuller, who celebrates him among his
_Worthies of England_ calls him 'the most considerable clothier (without
fancy or fiction) England ever beheld'. The tales of how he had led
a hundred of his own 'prentices to Flodden Field, how he had feasted the
King and Queen in his house at Newbury, how he had built part of Newbury
Church, and how he had refused a knighthood, preferring 'to rest in his
russet coat a poor clothier to his dying day,' spread about England,
growing as they spread. In 1597 Thomas Deloney, the forefather of the
novel, enshrined them in a rambling tale, half prose and half verse,
which soon became extremely popular. It is from this tale that we may
take an imaginary picture of work in a clothier's house, being wary to
remember, however, that it is an exaggeration, a legend, and that the
great John Winchcomb certainly never had as many as two hundred looms in
his own house, while our Thomas Paycocke probably had not more than a
dozen. But the poet must have his licence, for, after all, the spirit of
the ballad is the thing, and it is always a pleasant diversion to drop
Within one roome, being large and long
There stood two hundred Loomes full strong.
Two hundred men, the truth is so,
Wrought in these Loomes all in a row.
By every one a pretty boy
Sate making quilts with mickle joy,
And in another place hard by
A hundred women merily
Were carding hard with joy full cheere
Who singing sate with voyces cleere,
And in a chamber close beside
Two hundred maidens did abide,
In petticoats of Stammell red,
And milk white kerchers on their head.
Their smocke-sleeves like to winter snow
That on the Westerne mountaines flow,
And each sleeve with a silken band
Was featly tied at the hand.
These pretty maids did never lin
But in that place all day did spin,
And spinning so with voyces meet
Like nightingales they sang full sweet.
Then to another roome came they
Where children were in poore aray;
And every one sate picking wool
The finest from the course to cull:
The number was sevenscore and ten
The children of poore silly men:
And these their labours to requite
Had every one a penny at night,
Beside their meat and drinke all day,
Which was to them a wondrous stay.
Within another place likewise
Full fifty proper men he spies
And these were sheremen everyone,
Whose skill and cunning there was showne:
And hard by them there did remaine
Full four-score rowers taking paine.
A Dye-house likewise had he then,
Wherein he kept full forty men:
And likewise in his Fulling Mill
Full twenty persons kept he still.
Each weeke ten good fat oxen he
Spent in his house for certaintie,
Beside good butter, cheese and fish
And many another wholesome dish.
He kept a Butcher all the yeere,
A Brewer eke for Ale and Beere;
A Baker for to bake his Bread,
Which stood his hushold in good stead.
Five Cookes within his kitchin great
Were all the yeare to dress his meat.
Six Scullion boyes vnto their hands,
To make clean dishes, pots and pans,
Beside poore children that did stay
To turne the broaches every day.
The old man that did see this sight
Was much amaz'd, as well he might:
This was a gallant Cloathier sure,
Whose fame forever shall endure.
The private life of Thomas Paycocke, no less than his business, can be
made to live again. Of his family the invaluable will tells us a
little. His first wife was that Margaret whose initials, together with
his own, decorate the woodwork of the house, and indeed it is probable
that old John Paycocke built the house for the young couple on their
wedding. Gay, indeed, must have been the sights which it witnessed on
that happy day, for our ancestors knew how to put their hearts into a
wedding, and Merry England was never merrier then when the bridegroom
led home the bride. We may borrow once again from Deloney's idyll, to
recreate the scene:
The Bride being attyred in a gowne of sheepes russet and a
kertle of fine woosted, her head attyred with a billiment of
gold and her haire as yeallow as gold hanging downe behinde
her, which was curiously combed and pleated, according to the
manner in those dayes; shee was led to Church betweene two
sweete boyes, with Bridelaces and Rosemary tied about their
silken sleeves. Then was there a fair Bride-cup of silver and
gilt carried before her, wherein was a goodly branch of
Rosemary gilded very faire, hung about with silken Ribands of
all colours; next was there a noyse of Musicians that played
all the way before her; after her came all the chiefest
maydens of the Country, some bearing great Bride Cakes and
some Garlands of wheate finely gilded and so she past unto
the Church. It is needlesse for mee to make any mention here
of the Bridegroome, who being a man so well beloued, wanted
no company and those of the best sort, beside diuers Marchant
strangers of the Stillyard that came from London to the
wedding. The marriage being solemnized, home they came in
order as before and to dinner they went where was no want of
good cheare, no lack of melody.... The wedding endured ten
dayes, to the great reliefe of the poore that dwelt all
Much dancing the house doubtless saw under the beautiful carved roof of
the hall, with much song, games, kissing, and general abandon. Even when
the bride and groom retired to the bridal chamber with its roll-moulded
beams the merry-making was not done; they must hold a levee to their
nearest friends in the bedchamber itself, enthroned in the great
four-poster bed. There was no false delicacy about our ancestors.
Indeed, as Henry Bullinger says (he was a very different person from
jovial Deloney, but he was a contemporary of Paycocke's, and Coverdale
translated him, so let him speak): 'After supper must they begynne to
pype and daunce agayne of the new. And though the yonge parsones,
beynge weery of the bablyng noyse and inconuenience, come ones towarde
theyer rest, yet can they haue no quietnesse. For a man shall fynd
unmanerly and restlesse people, that will first go to theyr chambre
dore, and there syng vycious and naughtie balates that the deuell maye
haue his triumphe now to the vttermost.' What would we not give for
one of those 'naughty ballads' today?
The bride Margaret, who was somewhat after this merry fashion brought
home to Coggeshall, came from Clare, the ancient home of the Coggeshall
Paycockes. She was the daughter of one Thomas Horrold, for whose memory
Paycocke retained a lively affection and respect, for in founding a
chantry in Coggeshall Church he desired specially that it should be for
the souls of himself and his wife, his mother and father, and his
father-in-law, Thomas Horrold of Clare. He also left five pounds, with
which his executors were 'to purvey an oder stone to be hade to Clare
chirch and layd on my ffader in lawe Thomas Horrold w't his pycture and
his wife and childryn thereon' (i.e. a memorial brass), and also five
cows or else three pounds in money to Clare Church 'to kepe and mayntene
my ffader in lawe Thomas Horrold his obitt'. He also left money to his
wife's brother and sisters. Margaret Paycocke died before her husband
and without children; and the only young folk of his name whom Thomas
ever saw at play in his lofty hall, or climbing upon his dresser to find
the head, as small as a walnut, hidden in the carving of the ceiling,
were his nephews and nieces, Robert and Margaret Uppcher, his sister's
children; John, the son of his brother John; and Thomas, Robert, and
Emma, the children of his brother Robert; perhaps also his little
godchild Grace Goodday. It was perhaps in the hope of a son to whom he
might leave his house and name that Thomas Paycocke married again a girl
called Ann Cotton. She was the wife of his old age, 'Anne my good wif',
and her presence must have made bright the beautiful house, silent and
lonely since Margaret died. Her father, George Cotton, is mentioned in
the will, and her brothers and sister, Richard, William, and Eleanor,
have substantial legacies. But Thomas and Ann enjoyed only a short term
of married life; she brought him his only child, but death overtook him
before it was born. In his will he provides carefully for Ann; she is
to have five hundred marks sterling, and as long as she lives the
beautiful house is to be hers; for to his elaborate arrangements for its
inheritance he adds, 'provided alwey that my wif Ann haue my house that
I dwell in while she lyvyth at hir pleyser and my dof house [dove-house]
with the garden y't stoundeth in.' A gap in the Paycocke records makes
it difficult to say whether Thomas Paycocke's child lived or died; but
it seems probable that it either died or was a girl, for Paycocke had
bequeathed the house, provided that he had no male heirs, to his nephew
John (son of his eldest brother John), and in 1575 we find it in the
hands of this John Paycocke, while the house next door was in the hands
of another Thomas Paycocke, his brother Robert's son. This Thomas died
about 1580, leaving only daughters, and after him, in 1584, died John
Paycocke, sadly commemorated in the parish register as 'the last of his
name in Coxall'. So the beautiful house passed out of the hands of the
great family of clothiers who had held it for nearly a hundred
Of Thomas Paycocke's personal character it is also possible to divine
something from his will. He was obviously a kind and benevolent
employer, as his thought for his work-people and their children shows.
He was often asked to stand godfather to the babies of Coggeshall, for
in his will he directs that at his burial and the ceremonies which were
repeated on the seventh day and 'month mind' after it there were to be
'xxiiij or xij smale childryn in Rochettes with tapers in theire hands
and as many as may be of them lett them be my god childryn and they to
have vj s. viij d. apece and euery oder child iiij d. apece ... and also
euery god chyld besyde vj s. viij d. apece.' All these children were
probably little bread-winners, employed at a very early age in sorting
Thomas Paycocke's wool. 'Poore people,' says Thomas Deloney, 'whom God
lightly blessed with most children, did by meanes of this occupation so
order them, that by the time they were come to be sixe or seven yeeres
of age, they were able to get their owne bread'; and when Defoe rode
from Blackstone Edge to Halifax, observing the cloth manufacture, which
occupied all the villages of the West Riding, it was one of his chief
grounds for admiration that 'all [were] employed from the youngest to
the oldest; scarce any thing above four years old, but its hands were
sufficient for its own support.' The employment of children at what
we should regard as an excessively early age was by no means a new
phenomenon introduced with the Industrial Revolution.
That Thomas Paycocke had many friends, not only in Coggeshall but in the
villages round, the number of his legacies bears witness. His will also
shows that he was a man of deep religious feeling. He was a brother of
the Crutched Friars of Colchester and left them on his death five pounds
to pray 'for me and for them that I am bound to pray fore'. It was
customary in the Middle Ages for monastic houses to give the privilege
of the fraternity of the house to benefactors and persons of
distinction; the reception took place at a long and elaborate ceremony,
during which the _consrater_ received the kiss of peace from all the
brethren. It is a mark of the respect in which Thomas Paycocke was held
in the countryside that he should have been made a brother by the
Crutched Friars. He seems to have had a special kindness for the Order
of Friars; he left the Grey Friars of Colchester and the Friars of
Maldon, Chelmsford, and Sudbury each ten shillings for a trental and 3s.
4d. to repair their houses; and to the Friars of Clare he left twenty
shillings for two trentals, 'and at Lent after my deceste a kade of Red
heryng'. He had great interest in Coggeshall Abbey; it lay less than a
mile from his house, and he must often have dined in state with the
abbot at his guest table on feast days and attended Mass in the abbey
church. He remembered the abbey as he lay dying, and the sound of its
bells ringing for vespers came softly in at his window on the mellow
September air; and he left 'my Lord Abbot and Convent' one of his famous
broadcloths and four pounds in money 'for to have a dirige and Masse and
their belles Ryngyng at my buriall when it is doon at Chirche, lykewyse
the vijth day and mounth day, with iij tryntalls upon the same day yf
they can serve them, orells when they can at more leasur, Summa x li.'
His piety is shown also in his bequests to the churches of Bradwell,
Pattiswick, and Markshall, parishes adjacent to Coggeshall, and to Stoke
Nayland, Clare, Poslingford, Ovington, and Beauchamp St Pauls, over the
Essex order, in the district from which the Paycockes originally came.
But his greatest care was naturally for Coggeshall Church. One of the
Paycockes had probably built the north aisle, where the altar was
dedicated to St Katherine, and all the Paycocke tombs lay there. Thomas
Paycocke left instructions in his will that he should be buried before
St Katherine's altar, and made the following gifts to the church: 'Item,
I bequeth to the high aulter of Coxhall Chirche in recompence of tithes
and all oder thyngs forgoten, Summa iiij li. Item, I bequethe to the
Tabernacle of the Trenyte at the high awlter and an other of Seint
Margarete in seint Katryne Ile, there as the great Lady stands, for
carvyng and gildyng of them summa c. marcs sterlinge. Item, to the
reparacons of the Chirch and bells and for my lying in the Chirche summa
c. nobles.' He founded a chantry there also and left money to be given
weekly to six poor men to attend Mass in his chantry thrice a week.
Of piety and of family pride these legacies to religious houses and to
churches speak clearly. Another series of legacies, which takes a form
characteristic of medieval charity, bears witness perhaps to Thomas
Paycocke's habits. He must often have ridden abroad, to see the folk who
worked for him or to visit his friends in the villages round Coggeshall;
or farther afield to Clare, first to see the home of his ancestors, then
to court Margaret Horrold, his bride, and then, with Margaret beside
him, to visit his well-loved father-in-law. Certainly, whether he walked
to church in Coggeshall, or whether he rode along the country lanes, he
often sighed over the state of the road as he went; often he must have
struggled through torrents of mud in winter or stumbled among holes in
summer; for in the Middle Ages the care of the roads was a matter for
private or ecclesiastical charity, and all except the great highways
were likely to be but indifferently kept. Langland, in his _Piers
Plowman_, mentions the amending of 'wikked wayes' (by which he means not
bad habits but bad roads) as one of those works of charity which rich
merchants must do for the salvation of their souls. Thomas Paycocke's
choice of roads no doubt reflects many a wearisome journey, from which
he returned home splashed and testy, to the ministrations of 'John
Reyner my man' or 'Henry Briggs my servant', and of Margaret, looking
anxiously from her oriel window for his return. In his own town he
leaves no less than forty pounds, of which twenty pounds was to go to
amend a section of West Street (where his house stood), and the other
twenty was 'to be layde on the fowle wayes bitwene Coxhall and
Blackwater where as moost nede ys'; he had doubtless experienced the
evils of this road on his way to the abbey. Farther afield, he leaves
twenty pounds for the 'fowle way' between Clare and Ovington, and
another twenty for the road between Ovington and Beauchamp St Pauls.
As his life drew to its close he doubtless rode less often afield. The
days would pass peacefully for him; his business flourished and he was
everywhere loved and respected. He took pride in his lovely house,
adding bit by bit to its beauties. In the cool of the evening he must
often have stood outside the garden room and seen the monks from the big
abbey fishing in their stewpond across the field, or lifted his eyes to
where the last rays of sun slanted on to the lichened roof of the great
tithebarn, and on to the rows of tenants, carrying their sheaves of corn
along the road; and he reflected, perhaps, that John Mann and Thomas
Spooner, his own tenants, were good, steady friends, and that it was
well to leave them a gown or a pound when he died. Often also, in his
last year or two, he must have sat with his wife in his garden with the
dove-house and watched the white pigeons circling round the apple-trees,
and smiled upon her bed of flowers. And in winter evenings sometimes he
would take his furred cloak and stroll to the Dragon Inn, and Edward
Aylward, mine host, would welcome him with bows; and so he would sit and
drink a tankard of sack with his neighbours, very slow and dignified, as
befitted the greatest clothier of the town, and looking benevolently
upon the company. But at times he would frown, if he saw a truant monk
from the abbey stolen out for a drink in spite of all the prohibitions
of bishop and abbot, shaking his head, perhaps, and complaining that
religion was not what it had been in the good old days; but not meaning
much of it, as his will shows, and never dreaming that twenty years
after his death abbot and monks would be scattered and the King's
servants would be selling at auction the lead from off the roof of
Coggeshall Abbey; never dreaming that after four hundred years his house
would still stand, mellow and lovely, with its carved ceiling and its
proud merchant's mark, when the abbey church was only a shadow on the
surface of a field in hot weather and all the abbey buildings were
shrunk to one ruined ambulatory, ignobly sheltering blue Essex hay
wagons from the rain.
So Thomas Paycocke's days drew to a close amid the peace and beauty of
the most English of counties, 'fatt, frutefull and full of profitable
thinges,' whose little rolling hills, wych elms, and huge clouded
skies Constable loved to paint. There came a day in September when gloom
hung over the streets of Coggeshall, when the spinning-wheels were
silent in the cottages, and spinners and weavers stood in anxious groups
outside the beautiful house in West Street; for upstairs in his bridal
chamber, under its noble ceiling, the great clothier lay dying, and his
wife wept by his bedside, knowing that he would never see his child. A
few days later the cottages were deserted again, and a concourse of
weeping people followed Thomas Paycocke to his last rest. The ceremony
of his burial befitted his dignity: it comprised services, not only on
burial day itself, but on the seventh day after it, and then again after
a month had passed. It is given best in the words of his will, for
Thomas Paycocke followed the custom of his time, in giving his executors
elaborate injunctions for his funeral rites: 'I will myne executors
bestowe vpon my buryng daye, vij day and mounthe daye after this manner:
At my buriall to have a tryntall of prests and to be at dirige, lawdis,
and comendacons as many of them as may be purveyed that day to serve the
tryntall, and yf eny lack to make it vpp the vij'th daye. And at the
Mounthe daye an oder tryntall to be purveyed hoole of myne executors and
to kepe dirige, lawdis and commendacons as is afore reherssed, with iij
high massis be note [by note, i.e. with music], oon of the holy gost, an
other of owre lady, and an other of Requiem, both buriall, seuenth day
and Mounthe daye. And prests beyng at this obseruance iiij d. at euery
tyme and childryn at euery tyme ij d., w't torches at the buriall xij,
and vj at the vij'th day and xij at the mounthe daye, with xxiij'th or
xij smale childryn in Rochettes with tapers in theire honds, and as many
as may be of them lett them be my god Childryn, and they to haue vj s.
viij d. apece; and euery oder child iiij d. apece; and euery man that
holdith torches at euery day he to have ij apece; and euery man, woman
and child that holdeth upp hound [hand] at eny of thes iij days to haue
j d. apece; And also euery god chyld besyde vj s. viij d. apece; and to
the Ryngars for all iij dayes x s.; and for mete, drynke, and for twoo
Semones of a doctor, and also to haue a dirige at home, or I be borne to
the Chirche summa j li.'
Here is something very different from the modest Thomas Betson's
injunction: 'The costes of my burying to be don not outrageously, but
sobrely and discretly and in a meane maner, that it may be unto the
worship and laude of Almyghty God.' The worthy old clothier was not
unmindful of the worship and laud of Thomas Paycocke also, and over L500
in modern money was expended upon his burial ceremonies, over and above
the cost of founding his new chantry. Well indeed it was that his eyes
were closed in death, ere the coming of the Reformation abolished all
the chantries of England, and with them the Paycocke chantry in St
Katherine's aisle, which had provided alms for six poor men weekly.
Thomas Paycocke belonged to the good old days; in a quarter of a century
after his death Essex was already changing. The monks were scattered
from the abbey, which stood roofless; the sonorous Latin tongue no
longer echoed in the church, nor priests prayed there for the souls of
Thomas and his wife and his parents and his father-in-law. Even the
cloth industry was changing, and the county was growing more prosperous
still with the advent of finer kinds of cloth, brought over there by
feat-fingered aliens, the 'new drapery', known as 'Bays and Says'. For
as the adage says:
Hops, reformation, bays and beer
Came into England all in a year,
and Coggeshall was destined to become more famous still for a new sort
of cloth called 'Coxall's Whites', which Thomas Paycocke's nephews made
when he was in his grave. One thing, however, did not change; for
his beautiful house still stood in West Street, opposite the vicarage,
and was the delight of all who saw it. It stands there still, and
looking upon it today, and thinking of Thomas Paycocke who once dwelt in
it, do there not come to mind the famous words of Ecclesiasticus?
Let us now praise famous men and our fathers that begat us.
The Lord hath wrought great glory by them through His great
power from the beginning...
Rich men furnished with ability, living peaceably in their
All these were honoured in their generations and were the
glory of their times.
_Notes and Sources_
* * * * *
THE PEASANT BODO
_A. Raw Material_
1. The Roll of the Abbot Irminon, an estate book of the Abbey of St
Germain des Pres, near Paris, written between 811 and 826. See
_Polyptyque de l'Abbaye de Saint-Germain des Pres_, pub. Auguste
Longnon, t. I, _Introduction_; t. II, _Texte_ (Soc. de l'Hist. de
2. Charlemagne's capitulary, _De Villis_, instructions to his stewards
on the management of his estates. See Guerard, _Explication du
Capitulaire 'de Villis'_ (Acad. des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres,
_Memoires_, t. XXI, 1857), pp. 165-309, containing the text, with a
detailed commentary and a translation into French.
3. _Early Lives of Charlemagne_, ed. A.J. Grant (King's Classics, 1907).
Contains the lives by Einhard and the Monk of St Gall, on which see
Halphen, cited below.
4. Various pieces of information about social life may be gleaned from
the decrees of Church Councils, Old High German and Anglo-Saxon charms
and poems, and Aelfric's _Colloquium_, extracts from which are
translated in Bell's Eng. Hist. Source Books, _The Welding of the Race_,
449-1066, ed. J.E.W. Wallis (1913). For a general sketch of the period
see Lavisse _Hist. de France_, t. II, and for an elaborate critical
study of certain aspects of Charlemagne's reign (including the
_Polyptychum_) see Halphen, _Etudes critiques sur l'Histoire de
Charlemagne_ (1921); also A. Dopsch, _Wirtschaftsentwicklung der
Karolingerzeit, Vornehmlich in Deutschland_, 2 vols. (Weimar, 1912-13),
which Halphen criticizes.
_B. Notes to the Text_
1. 'Habet Bodo colonus et uxor ejus colona, nomine Ermentrudis, homines
sancti Germani, habent secum infantes III. Tenet mansum ingenuilem I,
habentem de terre arabili bunuaria VIII et antsingas II, de vinea
aripennos II, de prato aripennos VII. Solvit ad hostem de argento
solidos II, de vino in pascione modios II; ad tertium annum sundolas C;
de sepe perticas III. Arat ad hibernaticum perticas III, ad tramisem
perticas II. In unaquaque ebdomada corvadas II, manuoperam I. Pullos
III, ova XV; et caropera ibi injungitur. Et habet medietatem de
farinarium, inde solvit de argento solidos II.' Op. cit., II, p. 78.
'Bodo a _colonus_ and his wife Ermentrude a _colona_, tenants of
Saint-Germain, have with them three children. He holds one free manse,
containing eight _bunuaria_ and two _antsinga_ of arable land, two
_aripenni_ of vines and seven _aripenni_ of meadow. He pays two silver
shillings to the army and two hogsheads of wine for the right to pasture
his pigs in the woods. Every third year he pays a hundred planks and
three poles for fences. He ploughs at the winter sowing four perches and
at the spring sowing two perches. Every week he owes two labour services
_(corvees)_ and one handwork. He pays three fowls and fifteen eggs, and
carrying service when it is enjoined upon him. And he owns the half of a
windmill, for which he pays two silver shillings.'
2. _De Villis_, c. 45.
3. Ibid. cc. 43, 49.
4. From 'The Casuistry of Roman Meals,' in _The Collected Writings of
Thomas De Quincey_, ed. D. Masson (1897), VII, p. 13.
5. Aelfric's _Colloquium_ in op. cit. p. 95.
6. The Monk of St Gall's _Life_ in _Early Lives of Charlemagne_, pp.
7. Einhard's _Life_ in op. cit., p. 45.
8. Anglo-Saxon charms translated in Stopford Brook, _English Literature
from the Beginning to the Norman Conquest_ (1899), p. 43.
9. Old High German charm written in a tenth-century hand in a
ninth-century codex containing sermons of St Augustine, now in the
Vatican Library. Brawne, _Althochdeutsches Lesebuch_ (fifth edition,
Halle, 1902), p. 83.
10. Another Old High German charm preserved in a tenth-century codex now
at Vienna. Brawne, op. cit., p. 164.
11. From the ninth-century _Libellus de Ecclesiasticis Disciplinis_,
art. 100, quoted in Ozanam, _La Civilisation Chretienne chez les Francs_
(1849), p. 312. The injunction however, really refers to the recently
conquered and still half-pagan Saxons.
12. _Penitential_ of Haligart, Bishop of Cambrai, quoted ibid. p. 314.
13. _Documents relatifs a l'Histoire de l'Industrie et du Commerce en
France_, ed. G. Faigniez, t. I, pp. 51-2.
14. See references in Chambers, _The Medieval Stage_ (1913), I, pp.
15. For the famous legend of the dancers of Koelbigk, see Gaston Paris,
_Les Danseurs Maudits, Legende Allemande du XIe Siecle_ (Paris 1900,
reprinted from the _Journal des Savants_, Dec., 1899), which is a _conte
rendu_ of Schroeder's study in _Zeitschrift fuer Kirchengeschichte_
(1899). The poem occurs in a version of English origin, in which one of
the dancers, Thierry, is cured of a perpetual trembling in all his limbs
by a miracle of St Edith at the nunnery of Wilton in 1065. See loc.
cit., pp. 10, 14.
16. 'Swete Lamman dhin are,' in the original. The story is told by
Giraldus Cambrensis in _Gemma Ecclesiastica_, pt. I, c. XLII. See
_Selections from Giraldus Cambrensis_, ed. C.A.J. Skeel (S.P.C.K. _Texts
for Students_, No. XI), p. 48.
17. Einhard's _Life_ in op. cit. p. 45. See also ibid., p. 168 (note).
18. The Monk of St Gall's _Life_ in op. cit., pp. 144-7.
19. Einhard's _Life_ in op. cit., p. 39.
20. Ibid., p. 35.
21. Beazley, _Dawn of Modern Geography_ (1897), I, p. 325.
22. The Monk of St Gall's _Life_ in op. cit., pp. 78-9.
23. See the description in Lavisse, _Hist. de France II_, pt. I, p. 321;
also G. Monod, _Les moeurs judiciaires au VIIIe Siecle_, Revue
Historique, t. XXXV (1887).
24. See Faigniez, op. cit., pp. 43-4.
25. See the Monk of St Gall's account of the finery of the Frankish
nobles: 'It was a holiday and they had just come from Pavia, whither the
Venetians had carried all the wealth of the East from their territories
beyond the sea,--others, I say, strutted in robes made of pheasant-skins
and silk; or of the necks, backs and tails of peacocks in their first
plumage. Some were decorated with purple and lemon-coloured ribbons;
some were wrapped round with blankets and some in ermine robes.' Op.
cit., p. 149. The translation is a little loose: the 'phoenix robes' of
the original were more probably made out of the plumage, not of the
pheasant but of the scarlet flamingo, as Hodgson thinks _(Early Hist. of
Venice_, p. 155), or possibly silks woven or embroidered with figures of
birds, as Heyd thinks _(Hist. du Commerce du Levant_, I, p. 111).
26. The Monk of St. Gall's _Life_ in op. cit., pp. 81-2.
27. This little poem was scribbled by an Irish scribe in the margin of a
copy of Priscian in the monastery of St Gall, in Switzerland, the same
from which Charlemagne's highly imaginative biographer came. The
original will be found in Stokes and Strachan, _Thesaurus
Palaeohibernicus_ (1903) II, p. 290. It has often been translated and I
quote the translation by Kuno Meyer, _Ancient Irish Poetry_ (2nd ed.,
1913), p. 99. The quotation from the _Triads of Ireland_ at the head of
this chapter is taken from Kuno Meyer also, ibid. pp. 102-3.
_A. Raw Material_
1. _The Book of Ser Marco Polo the Venetian concerning the Kingdoms and
Marvels of the East_, trans. and ed. with notes by Sir Henry Yule (3rd
edit., revised by Henri Cordier, 2 vols., Hakluyt Soc., 1903). See also
H. Cordier, _Ser Marco Polo: Notes and Addenda_ (1920). The best edition
of the original French text is _Le Livre de Marco Polo_, ed. G. Pauthier
(Paris, 1865), The most convenient and cheap edition of the book for
English readers is a reprint of Marsden's translation (of the Latin
text) and notes (first published, 1818), with an introduction by John
Masefield, _The Travels of Marco Polo the Venetian_ (Everyman's Library,
1908; reprinted, 1911); but some of the notes (identifying places, etc.)
are now out of date, and the great edition by Yule and Cordier should be
consulted where exact and detailed information is required. It is a mine
of information, geographical and historical, about the East. I quote
from the Everyman Edition as Marco Polo, op. cit., and from the Yule
edition as Yule, op. cit.
2. _La Cronique des Veneciens de Maistre Martin da Canal_. In _Archivo
Storico Italiano_, 1st ser., vol. VIII (Florence, 1845). Written in
French and accompanied by a translation into modern Italian. One of the
most charming of medieval chronicles.
_B. Modern Works_
1. For medieval Venice see--
F.C. Hodgson: _The Early History of Venice from the Foundation
to the Conquest of Constantinople_ (1901); and _Venice in the
Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries, A Sketch of Venetian History,
P.G. Molmenti: _Venice, its Growth to the Fall of the Republic_, vols.
I and II (_The Middle Ages_), trans. H.F. Brown (1906); and _La
Vie Privee a Venise_, vol. I (1895).
H.F. Brown: _Studies in the History of Venice_, vol. I (1907).
Mrs Oliphant: _The Makers of Venice_ (1905) is pleasant reading and
contains a chapter on Marco Polo.
2. For medieval China, the Tartars, and European intercourse with the
far East see--
Sir Henry Yule's introduction to his great edition of Marco Polo (above).
_Cathay and the Way Thither: Medieval Notices of China_, trans. and
ed. by Sir Henry Yule, 4 vols. (Hakluyt Soc., 1915-16). Contains
an invaluable introduction and all the best accounts of China left
by medieval European travellers. Above all, Oderic of Pordenone
(d. 1331) should be read as a pendant to Marco Polo.
R. Beazley: _The Dawn of Modern Geography_, vols. II and III
R. Grousset: _Histoire de l'Asie_, t. III (3rd edit., 1922), Chap. I.
A short and charmingly written account of the Mongol Empires
from Genghis Khan to Timour.
H. Howarth: _History of the Mongols_ (1876).
3. For medieval trade with the East the best book is--
W. Heyd: _Histoire du Commerce du Levant au Moyen-Age_, trans.,
F. Raynaud; 2 vols. (Leipzig and Paris, 1885-6, reprinted 1923).
_C. Notes to the Text_
1. To be exact, the Flanders galleys which sailed via Gibraltar to
Southampton and Bruges were first sent out forty years after 1268--in
1308. Throughout the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries they sailed
every year, and Southampton owes its rise to prosperity to the fact that
it was their port of call.
2. The occasion of the speech quoted was when the imperial
representative Longinus was trying to get the help of the Venetians
against the Lombards in 568 and invited them to acknowledge themselves
subjects of the Emperor. The speech is quoted in _Encyclop. Brit._, Art.
_Venice_ (by H.F. Brown), p. 1002. The episode of the loaves of bread
belongs to the attempt of Pipin, son of Charlemagne, to starve out the
Rialto in the winter of 809-10. Compare the tale of Charlemagne casting
his sword into the sea, with the words, 'Truly, even as this brand which
I have cast into the sea shall belong neither to me nor to you nor to
any other man in all the world, even so shall no man in the world have
power to hurt the realm of Venice; and he who would harm it shall feel
the wrath and displeasure of God, even as it has fallen upon me and my
people.'--See Canale, _Cron._, c. VIII. These are, of course,
3. 'Voirs est que la mer Arians est de le ducat de Venise.'--Canale, op.
cit., p. 600. Albertino Mussato calls Venice 'dominatrix Adriaci
maris.'--Molmenti, _Venice_, I, p. 120.
4. See some good contemporary accounts of the ceremony quoted in
Molmenti, _Venice_, I, pp. 212-15.
5. During the fatal war of Chioggia between the two republics of Venice
and Genoa, which ended in 1381, it was said that the Genoese admiral (or
some say Francesco Carrara), when asked by the Doge to receive peace
ambassadors, replied, 'Not before I have bitted the horses on St
Mark's.'--H.F. Brown, _Studies in the Hist. of Venice_, I, p. 130.
6. Canale, op. cit., p. 270.
7. 'The weather was clear and fine ... and when they were at sea, the
mariners let out the sails to the wind, and let the ships run with
spread sails before the wind over the sea'--See, for instance, Canale,
op. cit., pp. 320, 326, and elsewhere.
8. Canale, op. cit., cc. I and II, pp. 268-72. Venice is particularly
fortunate in the descriptions which contemporaries have left of her--not
only her own citizens (such as Canale, Sanudo and the Doge Mocenigo) but
also strangers. Petrarch's famous description of Venetian commerce, as
occasioned by the view which he saw from his window in the fourteenth
century, has often been quoted: 'See the innumerable vessels which set
forth from the Italian shore in the desolate winter, in the most
variable and stormy spring, one turning its prow to the east, the other
to the west; some carrying our wine to foam in British cups, our fruits
to flatter the palates of the Scythians and, still more hard of
credence, the wood of our forests to the Egean and the Achaian isles;
some to Syria, to Armenia, to the Arabs and Persians, carrying oil and
linen and saffron, and bringing back all their diverse goods to us....
Let me persuade you to pass another hour in my company. It was the depth
of night and the heavens were full of storm, and I, already weary and
half asleep, had come to an end of my writing, when suddenly a burst of
shouts from the sailors penetrated my ear. Aware of what these shouts
should mean from former experience, I rose hastily and went up to the
higher windows of this house, which look out upon the port. Oh, what a
spectacle, mingled with feelings of pity, of wonder, of fear and of
delight! Resting on their anchors close to the marble banks which serve
as a mole to the vast palace which this free and liberal city has
conceded to me for my dwelling, several vessels have passed the winter,
exceeding with the height of their masts and spars the two towers which
flank my house. The larger of the two was at this moment--though the
stars were all hidden by the clouds, the winds shaking the walls, and
the roar of the sea filling the air--leaving the quay and setting out
upon its voyage. Jason and Hercules would have been stupefied with
wonder, and Tiphys, seated at the helm, would have been ashamed of the
nothing which won him so much fame. If you had seen it, you would have
said it was no ship but a mountain, swimming upon the sea, although
under the weight of its immense wings a great part of it was hidden in
the waves. The end of the voyage was to be the Don, beyond which nothing
can navigate from our seas; but many of those who were on board, when
they had reached that point, meant to prosecute their journey, never
pausing till they had reached the Ganges or the Caucasus, India and the
Eastern Ocean. So far does love of gain stimulate the human
mind.'--Quoted from Petrarch's _Lettere Senili_ in Oliphant, _Makers of
Venice_ (1905), p. 349; the whole of this charming chapter, 'The Guest
of Venice', should be read. Another famous description of Venice occurs
in a letter written by Pietro Aretino, a guest of Venice during the
years 1527 to 1533, to Titian, quoted in E. Hutton, _Pietro Aretino, the
Scourge of Princes_ (1922), pp. 136-7; compare also his description of
the view from his window on another occasion, quoted ibid., pp. 131-3.
The earliest of all is the famous letter written by Cassiodorus to the
Venetians in the sixth century, which is partly translated in Molmenti,
op. cit., I, pp. 14-15.
9. The account of the march of the gilds occupies cc. CCLXIII-CCLXXXIII
of Canale's Chronicle, op. cit., pp. 602-26. It has often been quoted.
10. Canale, op. cit., c. CCLXI, p. 600.
11. This account of Hangchow is taken partly from Marco Polo, op. cit.,
bk. II, c. LXVIII: 'Of the noble and magnificent city of Kinsai'; and
partly from Odoric of Pordenone, _Cathay and the Way Thither_, ed. Yule,
12. Oderic of Pordenone, who was a man before he was a friar, remarks:
'The Chinese are comely enough, but colourless, having beards of long
straggling hair like mousers, cats I mean. And as for the women, they
are the most beautiful in the world.' Marco Polo likewise never fails to
note when the women of a district are specially lovely, in the same way
that that other traveller Arthur Young always notes the looks of the
chambermaids at the French inns among the other details of the
countryside, and is so much affronted if waited on by a plain girl.
Marco Polo gives the palm for beauty to the women of the Province of
Timochain (or Damaghan) on the north-east border of Persia, of which, he
says, 'The people are in general a handsome race, especially the women,
who, in my opinion, are the most beautiful in the world.'--Marco Polo,
op. cit., p. 73. Of the women of Kinsai he reports thus: 'The courtesans
are accomplished and are perfect in the arts of blandishment and
dalliance, which they accompany with expressions adapted to every
description of person, insomuch that strangers who have once tasted of
their charms, remain in a state of fascination, and become so enchanted
by their meretricious arts, that they can never divest themselves of the
impression. Thus intoxicated with sensual pleasures, when they return to
their homes they report that they have been in Kinsai, or the celestial
city, and pant for the time when they may be enabled to revisit
paradise.' Of the respectable ladies, wives of the master craftsmen he
likewise says: 'They have much beauty and are brought up with languid
and delicate habits. The costliness of their dresses, in silks and
jewellery, can scarcely be imagined.'--op. cit., pp. 296, 297-8.
13. Yule, op. cit., II, p. 184.
14. For Prester John see Sir Henry Yule's article 'Prester John' in the
_Encyclopaedia Britannica_, and Lynn Thorndike, _A History of Magic and
Experimental Science_ (1923), II, pp. 236-45. There is a pleasant
popular account in S. Baring Gould, _Popular Myths of the Middle
15. For their accounts see _The Journal of William of Rubruck to the
Eastern Parts, 1253-5, by himself, with two accounts of the Earlier
Journey of John of Pian da Carpine_, trans. and ed. with notes by W.W.
Rockhill (Hakluyt Soc., 1900). Rubruck especially is a most
16. This, together with the whole account of the first journey of the
elder Polos, the circumstances of the second journey, and of their
subsequent return occurs in the first chapter of Marco Polo's book,
which is a general introduction, after which he proceeds to describe in
order the lands through which he passed. This autobiographical section
is unfortunately all too short.
17. As a matter of fact, William of Rubruck had seen and described it
18. For Marco Polo's account of this custom in the province which he
calls 'Kardandan', see op. cit., p. 250. An illustration of it from an
album belonging to the close of the Ming dynasty is reproduced in S.W.
Bushell, _Chinese Art_ (1910), fig. 134.
19. Marco Polo, _op. cit_., pp. 21-2.
20. A certain _Poh-lo_ was, according to the Chinese annals of the
Mongol dynasty, appointed superintendent of salt mines at Yangchow
shortly after 1282. Professor Parker thinks that he may be identified
with our Polo, but M. Cordier disagrees. See E.H. Parker _Some New Facts
about Marco Polos Book_ in _Imperial and Asiatic Quarterly Review_
(1904), p. 128; and H. Cordier, _Ser Marco Polo_, p. 8. See also Yule,
_Marco Polo_, I, Introd., p. 21.
21. P. Parrenin in _Lett. Edis_., xxiv, 58, quoted in Yule, _op. cit_.,
I, Introd., p. II.
22. On Marco Polo's omissions see Yule, _op. cit_., I, Introd., p. 110.
23. Marco Polo, _op. cit_., p. 288.
24. On Chao Meng-fu see S.W. Bushell, _Chinese Art_ (1910), II, pp.
133--59; H.A. Giles, _Introd. to the History of Chinese Pictorial Art_
(Shanghai, 2nd ed., 1918), pp. 159 ff.; the whole of c. VI of this book
on the art which flourished under the Mongol dynasty is interesting. See
also L. Binyon, _Painting in the Far East_ (1908), pp. 75-7, 146-7. One
of Chao Meng-fu's horse pictures, or rather a copy of it by a Japanese
artist, is reproduced in Giles, _op. cit_., opposite p. 159. See also my
notes on illustrations for an account of the famous landscape roll
painted by him in the style of Wang Wei.
25. Bushell, _op. cit_., p. 135.
26. _Ibid_., pp. 135-6, where the picture is reproduced.
27. For the episode of the mangonels constructed by Nestorian mechanics
under the directions of Nicolo and Maffeo see Marco Polo, _op. cit_.,
28. Marco Polo, _op. cit_., bk. III, c. I, pp. 321-3.
29. Ramusio's preface, containing this account, and also the story of
how Rusticiano came to write the book at Marco Polo's dictation at
Genoa, is translated in Yule, _op. cit_., I, Introd., pp. 4-8.
30. He mentions these in Marco Polo, _op. cit_., pp. 136, 138, 344.
31. Yule, _op. cit_., I, Introd., p. 79.
32. On Rusticiano (who is mistakenly called a Genoese by Ramusio), see
_ibid_., Introd., pp. 56 ff.
33. Paulin Paris, quoted _ibid_., Introd., p. 61.
34. _Ibid_., Introd., pp. 67-73.
35. Extract from Jacopo of Acqui's _Imago Mondi_, quoted _ibid_.,
Introd., p. 54.
36. M. Ch.-V. Langlois in _Hist. Litt. de la France_, XXXV (1921), p.
259. For tributes to Marco Polo's accuracy see Aurel Stein, _Ancient_
_Khotan_ (1907) and _Ruins of Desert Cathay_ (1912); Ellsworth
Huntington, _The Pulse of Asia_ (1910); and Sven Hedin, _Overland to
37. Yule, _op. cit_., I, Introd., pp. 106-7.
38. For these later missions and traders see Yule, _Cathay and the Way
Thither_, Introd., pp. cxxxii-iv, and text, _passim_.
39. _Ibid_., II, p. 292; and App., p. lxv.
40. Concerning the marginal notes by Columbus see Yule, _op. cit_., II,
App. H, p. 558. The book is preserved in the Colombina at Seville. I
must, however, frankly admit that modern research, iconoclastic as ever,
not content with white-washing Lucrezia Borgia and Catherine de Medicis,
and with reducing Catherine of Siena to something near insignificance,
is also making it appear more and more probable that Columbus originally
set sail in 1492 to look for the islands of the Antilles, and that,
although on his return after his great discovery in 1493 he maintained
that his design had always been to reach Cipangu, this was a _post hoc_
story, the idea of searching for Cipangu having probably come from his
partner, Martin Pinzon. It is a pity that we do not know _when_ he made
his notes in the edition (the probable date of publication of which was
1485) of Marco Polo's book, which might settle the matter. On the whole
question see Henry Vignaud, _Etudes critiques sur la vie de Colomb avant
ses decouvertes_ (Paris, 1905) and _Histoire de la Grande Enterprise de
1492_, 2 vols. (Paris, 1910), and the summary and discussion of his
conclusions by Professor A.P. Newton in _History_, VII (1922), pp. 38-42
(_Historical Revisions_ XX.--'Christopher Columbus and his Great
Enterprise.') The idea that a new road to the East was being sought at
this time, primarily because the Turks were blocking the old trade
routes, has also been exploded. See A.H. Lybyer, _The Ottoman Turks and
the Routes of Oriental Trade_ in _Eng. Hist. Review_, XXX (1915),
_A. Raw Material_
1. Chaucer's description of the Prioress in the Prologue to the
2. Miscellaneous visitation reports in episcopal registers. On these
registers, and in particular the visitation documents therein, see R.C.
Fowler, _Episcopal Registers of England and Wales_ (S.P.C.K. Helps for
Students of History, No. 1), G.G. Coulton, _The Interpretation of
Visitation Documents_ (Eng. Hist. Review, 1914), and c. XII of my book,
cited below. A great many registers have been, or are being, published
by learned societies, notably by the Canterbury and York Society, which
exists for this purpose. The most important are the Lincoln visitations,
now in the course of publication, by Dr A. Hamilton Thompson,
_Visitations of Religious Houses in the Diocese of Lincoln_, ed. A.
Hamilton Thompson (Lincoln Rec. Soc. and Canterbury and York Soc., 1915
ff.); two volumes have appeared so far, of which see especially vol. II,
which contains part of Bishop Alnwick's visitations (1436-49); each
volume contains text, translation, and an admirable introduction. See
also the extracts from Winchester visitations trans. in H.G.D. Liveing,
_Records of Romsey Abbey_ (1912). Full extracts from visitation reports
and injunctions are given under the accounts of religious houses in the
different volumes of the Victoria County Histories (cited as V.C.H.).
3. The monastic rules. See _The Rule of St Benedict_, ed. F.A. Gasquet
(Kings Classics, 1909), and F.A. Gasquet, _English Monastic Life_ (4th
4. For a very full study of the whole subject of English convent life at
this period see Eileen Power, _Medieval English Nunneries c. 1275 to
_B. Notes to the Text_
1. _The Register of Walter de Stapeldon, Bishop of Exeter_ (1307-26),
ed. F. Hingeston Randolph (1892), p. 169. The passage about Philippa is
translated in G.G. Coulton, _Chaucer and His England_ (1908), p. 181.
2. See the account of expenses involved in making Elizabeth Sewardby a
nun of Nunmonkton (1468) in _Testamenta Eboracensia_, ed. James Raine
(Surtees Soc., 1886), III, p. 168; and Power, _op. cit_., p. 19.
3. _Year Book of King Richard II_, ed. C.F. Deiser (1904), pp. 71-7; and
Power, _op. cit_., pp. 36-8.
4. G.J. Aungier, _Hist. of Syon_ (1840), p. 385.
5. As at Gracedieu (1440-1), _Alnwick's Visit_, ed. A.H. Thompson, pp.
6. G.J. Aungier, _op. cit_., pp. 405-9.
7. Translated from John de Grandisson's Register in G.G. Coulton, _A
Medieval Garner_ (1910), pp. 312-14.
8. _Rule of St Benedict_, c. 22.
9. _V.C.H. Lincs_., II, p. 131.
10. Translated in G.G. Coulton, _A Medieval Garner_.
11. _Myroure of Oure Ladye_, ed. J.H. Blunt (E.E.T.S., 1873), p. 54. On
Tittivillus see my article in _The Cambridge Magazine_ (1917),
12. _Linc. Visit_., ed. A.H. Thompson, II, pp. 46-52; and Power, _op.
cit._ pp. 82-7.
13. _V.C.H. Oxon_, II. p. 77.
14. _Linc. Visit_., ed. A.H. Thompson, I, p. 67.
15. On these gaieties see Power, _op. cit_. pp. 309-14.
16. _Linc. Visit_., II, pp. 3-4; and see Power, _op. cit_., pp. 75-7,
303-5, on gay clothes in nunneries.
17. _Linc. Visit_., II. p. 175.
18. Power, _op. cit_., p. 307. On pet animals see _ibid_., pp. 305-9,
and Note E ('Convent Pets in Literature'), pp. 588-95.
19. Power, _op. cit_., p. 77.
20. _Ibid_., pp. 351-2; and see Chap. IX _passim_ on the Bull
_Periculoso_ and the wandering of nuns in the world.
21. _Linc. Visit_., II, p. 50.
22. _V.C.H. Yorks_., III, p. 172.
THE MENAGIER'S WIFE
_A. Raw Material_
I. _Le Menagier de Paris, Traite de Morale et d'Economie Domestique,
compose vers_ 1393 _par un Bourgeois Parisien ... publie pour la
premiere fois par la Societe des Bibliophiles Francois_. (Paris, 1846).
2 vols., edited with an introduction by Jerome Pichon. There is a notice
of it by Dr F.J. Furnivall, at the end of his edition of _A Booke of
Precedence_ (Early English Text Soc., 1869 and 1898), pp. 149-54. It was
a book after his own heart, and he observes that it well deserves
translation into English.
2. On the subject of medieval books of deportment for women see A.A.
Hentsch, _De la litterature didactique du moyen age s'addressant
specialement aux femmes_ (Cahors, 1903), an admirably complete
collection of analyses of all the chief works of this sort produced in
western Europe from the time of St Jerome to the eve of the
Renaissance. It is full of plums for adventurous Jack Horners.
3. With the Menagier's cookery book there may profitably be compared
_Two Fifteenth Century Cookery Books_, ed. by Thomas Austin
_B. Notes to the Text_
1. Pp. 1-2.
2. These long moral treatises on the seven deadly sins and the even
deadlier virtues were very popular in the Middle Ages. The best known to
English readers occurs in the _Parson's Tale_ in Chaucer's _Canterbury
Tales,_ and is taken from the _Somme de Vices et de Vertus_ of Frere
Lorens, a thirteenth-century author. The sections on the deadly sins are
usually, however, well worth reading, because of the vivid illustrative
details which they often give about daily life. The Menagier's sections
are full of vigour and colour, as one would expect. Here, for instance,
is his description of the female glutton: 'God commands fasting and the
glutton says: "I will eat". God commands us to get up early and go to
church and the glutton says: "I must sleep. I was drunk yesterday. The
church is not a hare; it will wait for me." When she has with some
difficulty risen, do you know what her hours are? Her matins are: "Ha!
what shall we have to drink? is there nothing left over from last
night?" Afterwards she says her lauds thus: "Ha! we drank good wine
yesterday." Afterwards she says thus her orisons: "My head aches, I
shan't be comfortable until I have had a drink." Certes, such gluttony
putteth a woman to shame, for from it she becomes a ribald, a
disreputable person and a thief. The tavern is the Devil's church, where
his disciples go to do him service and where he works his miracles. For
when folk go there they go upright and well spoken, wise and sensible
and well advised, and when they return they cannot hold themselves
upright nor speak; they are all foolish and all mad, and they return
swearing, beating and giving the lie to each other.'--_Op. cit_., I, pp.
47-8. The section on Avarice is particularly valuable for its picture of
the sins of executors of wills, rack-renting lords, extortionate
shopkeepers, false lawyers, usurers, and gamblers.--See _ibid_., I,
3. _Prudence and Melibeus_ is worth reading once, either in Chaucer's or
in Renault de Louens' version, because of its great popularity in the
Middle Ages, and because of occasional vivid passages. Here, for
instance, is the episode in Chaucer's version, in which Melibeus, the
sages, and the young men discuss going to war, and the sages advise
against it: 'Up stirten thanne the yonge folk at ones, and the mooste
partie of that compaignye scorned the wise olde men, and bigonnen to
make noyse, and seyden that "Right so as, whil that iren is hoot, men
sholden smyte, right so men sholde wreken hir wronges while that they
been fresshe and newe"; and with loud voys they criden, "Werre! werre!"
Up roos tho oon of thise olde wise, and with his hand made contenaunce
that men sholde holden hem stille, and yeven hym audience. "Lordynges,"
quod he, "ther is ful many a man that crieth 'Werre! werre!' that woot
ful litel what werre amounteth. Werre at his bigynnyng hath so greet an
entryng and so large, that every wight may entre whan hym liketh and
lightly fynde werre; but certes, what ende that shal ther-of bifalle it
is nat light to knowe; for soothly, whan that werre is ones bigonne ther
is ful many a child unborn of his mooder that shal sterve yong by cause
of that ilke werre, or elles lyve in sarwe, and dye in wrecchednesse;
and therefore, er that any werre bigynne, men moste have greet conseil
and greet deliberacioun."--Chaucer, _Tale of Melibeus_,Sec. 12; and see the
French version, _op. cit_., I, p. 191.
4. II, p. 72-9.
5. I, pp. 71-2. These medieval games are very difficult to identify. The
learned editor remarks that _bric_, which is mentioned in the thirteenth
century by Rutebeuf was played, seated, with a little stick; _qui fery_
is probably the modern game called by the French _main chaude; pince
merille,_ which is mentioned among the games of Gargantua, was a game in
which you pinched one of the players' arms, crying 'Merille' or
'Morille'. Though the details of these games are vague, there are many
analagous games played by children today, and it is easy to guess the
kind of thing which is meant.
6. I, pp. 13-15.
7. I, 92, 96.
8. The story of Jeanne la Quentine is reproduced in the _Heptameron_ of
Margaret of Navarre (the 38th tale, or the 8th of the 4th day), where it
is attributed to a _bourgeoise_ of Tours, but it is probable that the
Menagier's is the original version, since he says that he had it from
his father; although, knowing the ways of the professional raconteur, I
should be the first to admit that this is not proof positive.
9. I, pp. 125-6.
10. I, p. 139.
11. This was a favourite saying. It occurs in the story of Melibeus,
'Trois choses sont qui gettent homme hors de sa maison, c'est assavoir
la fumee, la goutiere et la femme mauvaise.'--_Ibid_., I, p. 195.
Compare Chaucer's use of it: 'Men seyn that thre thynges dryven a man
out of his hous,--that is to seyn, smoke, droppyng of reyn and wikked
wyves.'--_Tale of Melibeus_, Sec.15; and
'Thou seyst that droppying houses, and eek smoke,
And chidyng wyves, maken men to flee
Out of hir owene hous.'
--_Wife of Bath's Prologue_, LL, 278-80.
12. I, pp. 168-71, 174-6.
13. II, p. 54. The Menagier also warns against running up long bills on
credit. 'Tell your folk to deal with peaceable people and to bargain
always beforehand and to account and pay often, without running up long
bills on credit by tally or on paper, although tally or paper are better
than doing everything by memory, for the creditors always think it more
and the debtors less, and thus are born arguments, hatreds, and
reproaches; and cause your good creditors to be paid willingly and
frequently what is owed to them, and keep them in friendship so that
they depart not from you, for one cannot always get peaceable
14. II, pp. 56-9.
15. It is curious here to note the antiquity of the term 'bloody' as an
expletive. The Menagier says: 'Forbid them ... to use ugly oaths, or
words which are bad or indecent, as do certain evil or ill bred persons
who swear at bad bloody fevers, the bad bloody week, the bad bloody day
('de males sanglantes fievres,' 'de male sanglante sepmaine,' 'de male
sanglante journee'), and they know not, nor should they know, what a
bloody thing is, for honest women know it not, since it is abominable to
them to see the blood but of a lamb or a pigeon, when it is killed
before them.'--_Ibid._, II, p. 59.
16. The section on household management described above occupies sec.
II, art. 2, of the Menagier's book (II, pp. 53-72).
17. I, pp. 171-2.
18. I, pp. 172-3.
19. The cookery book occupies sec. II, arts. 4 and 5 (II, pp. 80-272).
20. II, pp. 222-3. Translated by Dr Furnivall in _A Booke of Precedence_
(E.E.T.S.), pp. 152-3.
21. II, pp. 108-18, 123. The feast was still a thing of the future when
the Menagier thus gathered all the details. He calls it 'L'ordenance de
nopces que fera maistre Helye en May, a un mardy ... l'ordonnance du
souper que fera ce jour.'
22. 'The office of the woman is to make provision of tapestries, to
order and spread them, and in especial to dight the room and the bed
which shall be blessed.... And note that if the bed be covered with
cloth, there is needed a fur coverlet of small vair, but if it be
covered with serge, or broidery, or pinwork of cendal, not.'--II, p.
118. The editor quotes the following ceremony for blessing the wedding
bed: '_Benedictio thalami ad nuptias et als_, Beredic, Domine, thalamum
hunc et omnes habitantes in eo, ut in tua voluntate permaneant,
requiescant et multiplicentur in longitudinem dierum. Per Christum, etc.
_Tunc thurificet thalamum in matrimonio, postea sponsum et sponsam
sedentes vel jacentes in lecto suo. Benedicentur dicendo_: Benedic,
Domine, adolescentulos istos; sicut benedixisti Thobiam et Sarram filiam
Raguelis, ita benedicere eos digneris, Domine, ut in nomine tuo vivant
et senescant, et multiplicentur in longitudinem dierum. Per Christum,
etc. Benedictio Dei omnipotentis, Patris et Filii et Spiritus sancti
descendat super vos et maneat super vobiscum. In nomine Patris,
etc.'--_Ibid._, I, _Introd._, p. lxxxvi.
23. Chaucer, _Tale of Melibeus_, Sec. 15.
_A. Raw Material_
1. _The Stonor Letters and Papers_, 1290-1483, ed. C.L. Kingsford (Royal
Hist. Soc., Camden, 3rd Series), 2 vols., 1919. The Betson
correspondence is in vol. II.
2. _The Cely Papers, selected from the Correspondence and Memoranda of
the Cely Family, Merchants of the Staple_, 1475-88, ed. H.E. Malden
(Royal Hist. Soc., Camden 3rd series), 1900.
I am much beholden to the excellent introductions to these two books,
which are models of what editorial introductions should be.
3. The best introduction to the history of the Company of the Staple is
to be found in Mr Malden's aforesaid introduction to _The Cely Papers_,
which also contains a masterly account of the political relations of
England, France and Burgundy during the period. I have constantly relied
upon Mr Malden's account of the working of the Staple system. Other
useful short accounts of the wool trade and the Stapler's Company may be
found in the following works: Sir C.P. Lucas, _The Beginnings of English
Overseas Enterprise_ (1917), c. II; and A.L. Jenckes, _The Staple of
_B. Notes to the Text_
1. Four interesting contemporary illustrations of Parliament in 1523,
1585, some date during the seventeenth century, and 1742 respectively,
are reproduced in Professor A.F. Pollard's stimulating study of _The
Evolution of Parliament_ (1920).
2. _The Lybelle of Englyshe Polycye_, in _Political Poems and Songs_,
ed. Thos. Wright (Rolls Ser., 1861), II, p. 162. This remarkable poem
was written in 1436 or 1437, in order to exhort the English 'to kepe the
see enviroun and namelye the narowe see' between Dover and Calais, since
in the author's opinion the basis of England's greatness lay in her
trade, for the preservation of which she needed the dominion of the
seas. Its chief value lies in the very complete picture which it gives
of English import and export trade with the various European countries.
There is a convenient edition of it in _The Principal Navigations
Voyages Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation by Richard
Hakluyt_ (Everyman's Lib. Edition, 1907), I, pp. 174-202.
3. G.W. Morris and L.S. Wood, _The Golden Fleece_ (1922), p. 17.
4. For accounts of these brasses see H. Druitt, _A Manual of Costume as
Illustrated by Monumental Brasses_ (1906), pp. 9, 201, 205, 207, 253.
John Fortey's brass and William Greville's brass are conveniently
reproduced in G.W. Morris and L.S. Wood, _op. cit_., pp. 28, 32,
together with several other illustrations, pertinent to the wool trade.
5. Gower, _Mirour de l'Omme_ in _The Works of John Gower_. I. _The
French Works_, ed. G.C. Macaulay (1899), p. 280-1.
6. _The Paston Letters_, ed. J. Gairdner (London, 1872-5); Supplement
1901. See also H.S. Bennett, _The Pastons and their England_ (1922).
7. _Plumpton Correspondence_, ed. T. Stapleton (Camden Soc., 1839).
8. _Cely Papers_, p. 72; and compare below p. 134.
9. _Stonor Letters_, II, p. 2.
10. _Ibid_., II, pp. 2-3.
11. The brasses of his father 'John Lyndewode, woolman', and of his
brother, also 'John Lyndewode, woolman' (_d._ 1421), are still in
Linwood Church. They both have their feet on woolpacks, and on the son's
woolpack is his merchant's mark. See H. Druitt, _op. cit_., pp. 204-5.
12. See _Magna Vita S. Hugonis Episcopi Lincolniensis_, ed. J.F. Dimock
(Rolls Series, 1864), pp. 170-7.
13. For these extracts see a vastly entertaining book, _Child Marriages
and Divorces in the Diocese of Chester_, 1561-6, ed. F.J. Furnivall
(E.E.T.S., 1897), pp. xxii, 6, 45-7.
14. _Stonor Letters_, II, pp. 6-8.
15. _Ibid_., II, pp. 28, 64.
16. _Ibid_., II, p. 64.
17. _Ibid_., II, pp. 42-43.
18. _Ibid_., II, p. 44.
19. _Ibid_., II, pp. 61, 64-5.
20. _Ibid_., II, pp. 46-8.
21. _Ibid_., II, p. 53.
22. _Ibid_., II, p. 28.
23. _Ibid_., II, p. 47.
24. _Ibid_., II, p. 53.
25. _Ibid_., II, pp. 54-5.
26. _Ibid_., II, pp. 56-7.
27. _Ibid_., II, p. 69.
28. _Ibid_., II, pp. 87-8.
29. _Ibid_., II, pp. 88-9.
30. _Ibid_., II, p. 89.
31. _Ibid_., II, pp. 102-3, 117.
32. See Richard Cely's amusing account of the affair in a letter to his
brother George, written on May 13, 1482, _Cely Papers_, pp. 101-4. For
other references to the wool dealer William Midwinter see _ibid_., pp.
11, 21, 28, 30, 32, 64, 87, 89, 90, 105, 124, 128, 157, 158.
33. _Stonor Letters_, II, p. 3.
34. _Ibid_., II, p. 64.
35. _Testamenta Eboracensia_ (Surtees Soc.), II, p. 56. He was a
well-known wool merchant of York, at different times member of the town
council of twelve, sheriff and mayor, who died in 1435. He is constantly
mentioned in the city records; see _York Memorandum Book_, ed. Maud
Sellers (Surtees Soc., 1912 and 1915), vols. I and II, _passim_.
36. _Cely Papers_, pp. 30-1.
37. _Ibid_., p. 64.
38. See his will (1490) in _Test. Ebor._, IV, p. 61, where he is called
'Johannes Barton de Holme juxta Newarke, Stapulae villae Carlisiae
marcator,' and ordains 'Volo quod Thomas filius meus Johannem Tamworth
fieri faciat liberum hominem Stapulae Carlis,' _ibid_., p. 62.
39. _Ibid_., p. 45.
40. _Ibid_., p. 48.
41. _Ibid_., pp. 154-5.
42. _The Lybelle of Englysche Polycye_ in _loc. cit._, pp. 174-7,
_passim_. Compare Gower's account of the machinations of the Lombards,
_op. cit_., pp. 281-2.
43. See the clear account of all these operations in Mr Malden's
introduction to the _Cely Papers_, pp. xi-xiii, xxxviii.
44. _Ibid_., p. vii.
45. _Cely Papers_, pp. 194-6; and see _Introd_., pp. xxxvi-viii.
46. _Ibid_., pp. 71-2.
47. _Ibid_., pp. 174-88, a book entitled on the cover 'The Rekenyng of
the Margett Cely,' and beginning, 'The first viage of the Margaret of
London was to Seland in the yere of our Lord God m iiijciiijxxv. The
secunde to Caleis and the thrid to Burdews ut videt. Md to se the
pursers accomptes of the seide viages. G. Cely.'
48. _Ibid_., p. xxxviii.
49. _Stonor Letters_, II, p. 2.
50. _Ibid_., II, p. 4.
51. _Cely Papers_, pp. 112-13.
52. _Ibid_., p. 106; compare _ibid_., p. 135.
53. 'Sir, the wool ships be come to Calais all save three, whereof two
be in Sandwich haven and one is at Ostend, and he hath cast over all his
wool overboard.'--_Ibid_., p. 129. 'Item, sir, on Friday the 27 day of
February came passage from Dover and they say that on Thursday afore
came forth a passenger from Dover to Calais ward and she was chased with
Frenchmen and driven in to Dunkirk haven.'--_Ibid_., p. 142. (There are
many records of similar chases; see _Introd_., pp. xxxiv-v.)
54. _Ibid_., p. 135.
55. 'Sir, I cannot have your wool yet awarded, for I have do cast out a
sarpler, the which is [ap]pointed by the lieutenant to be casten out
toward the sort by, as the ordinance now is made that the lieutenant
shall [ap]point the [a]warding sarplers of every man's wool, the which
sarpler that I have casten out is No. 24, and therein is found by
William Smith, packer, a 60 middle fleeces and it is a very gruff wool;
and so I have caused William Smith privily to cast out another sarpler
No. 8, and packed up the wool of the first sarpler in the sarpler of No.
8, for this last sarpler is fair wool enough, and therefore I must
understand how many be of that sort and the number of the[m], for they
must be packed again' (12 Sept., 1487).--_Ibid_., p. 160. Item, sir,
your wool is awarded by the sarpler that I cast out last, etc. Item,
sir, this same day your mastership is elected and appointed here by the
Court one of the 28, the which shall assist the Master of the Staple now
at this parliament time.'-_Ibid_., p. 162.
56. Gower, _op. cit_., p. 281.
57. _Cely Papers_, pp. xii, xxiv-v.
58. _Stonor Letters_, II, pp. 62-3; see also _Cely Papers_, pp. 1, 10,
59. _Stonor Letters_, II, p. 4.
60. Chaucer, _Canterbury Tales (Shipman's Tale_) LL, 1243-6.
61. _Stonor Letters_, II, p. 48.
62. _Cely Papers_, p. xxiii.
63. _Lybelle of Englysshe Polycye_ in _loc. cit_., pp. 179-81.
64. With deference, I think that Mr Malden in his introduction to the
_Cely Papers_, App. II, pp. lii-iii, is mistaken in seeking to identify
Synchon Mart with a particular fair at Antwerp on St John's Day, Bammes
mart with the fair at St Remy (a Flemish name for whom is Bamis) on
August 8, and Cold Mart with Cortemarck near Thourout. The names simply
refer to the seasons in which there were fairs in most of the important
centres, though doubtless in one place the winter and in another the
spring, summer, or autumn fair was the more important. That the names
refer to seasons and not to places appears quite clearly in various
letters and regulations relating to the Merchant Adventurers of York.
See _The York Mercers and Merchant Adventurers_, 1356-1917, ed. M.
Sellers (Surtees Soc., 1918), pp. 117, 121-5, 160, 170-1; see Miss
Sellers' note, _ibid_., p. 122, quoting W. Cunningham: 'The ancient
Celtic fairs ... were a widespread primitive institution and appear to
have been fixed for dates marked by the change of seasons.'--_Scottish
Hist. Review_, xiii, p. 168. For instance, a document of 1509 ('For now
att this cold marte last past, holdyn at Barow in Brabond,' _loc. cit_.
p. 121) disposes of the idea that the Cold mart was the mart at
Cortemarck, while another document refers to merchants intending to ship
'to the cold martes' and 'to the synxon martes' in the plural. _Ibid_.,
p. 123. The identification of Balms mart with the fair at St Remy on
August 8 is, moreover, belied by the same document (1510-11), which
runs, 'Whereas this present marte ... we have lycensed and set you at
libertie to shipp your commodities to the balmes marte next coming.
Nevertheless ... we thinke it good ... that upon the recepte of these
our letters ye ... assemble and consult together, and if ye shall thinke
good amongest yourselffs ... discretly to withdraw and with holde your
hands from shippyng to the said balmes marte.... Wryten at Andwarp the
xvij day of August.' _Ibid_., p. 124. The Balms mart was obviously the
autumn fairtide, and Mr Malden is no doubt right in identifying Balms
(Bammys, Bammes) with Bamis, the local Flemish name of St Remy; St
Remy's Day was October 28, and the Balms mart was not the mart held on
August 8 at St Remy, but the mart held on and round about St Remy's
Day. Another document of 1552 gives interesting information about the
shippings for three of the marts: 'The last daye of shippinge unto the
fyrst shippinge beinge for the pasche marte is ordeyned to be the laste
of Marche nexte ensuyinge; and the seconde shippinge which is appointed
for the sinxon marte the laste day to the same, is appoynted the laste
of June then nexte followinge; and unto the colde marte the laste day of
shippinge is appoynted to be the laste of November then nexte
insuyinge.'--_Ibid_., p. 147. The Merchant Adventurers tried sometimes
to restrict merchants to the Cold and the Synxon marts, which were the
65. _Cely Papers_, p. xl, and _passim_.
66. _Ibid_., p. 74. Richard Cely the younger to George: 'I understand
that ye have a fair hawk. I am right glad of her, for I trust to God she
shall make you and me right great sport. If I were sure at what passage
ye would send her I would fetch her at Dover and keep her till ye come.
A great infortune is fallen on your bitch, for she had 14 fair whelps,
and after that she had whelped she would never eat meat, and so she is
dead and all her whelps; but I trust to purvey against your coming as
fair and as good to please that gentleman.'--_Ibid_., p. 74.
67. _Ibid_., p. xlix.
68. _Ibid_., App. I., pp. xlix-lii, a very interesting note on
contemporary coinage, identifying all the coins mentioned in
69. _Ibid_., p. 159.
70. _Ibid_., p. 161.
71. _Stonor Letters_, II, p. 43. So Dame Elizabeth Stonor ends a letter
to her husband: 'Written at Stonor, when I would fain have slept, the
morrow after our Lady day in the morning,'--_Ibid_., p. 77.
72. Chaucer, _Canterbury Tales (Shipman's Tale_), LL, 1265-78, in
_Works_ (Globe Ed., 1903), p. 80.
73. The will is P.C.C. 24 Logge at Somerset House. For this analysis of
its contents and information about the life of Thomas Betson after his
breach with the Stonors see _Stonor Letters_, I, pp. xxviii-ix.
74. They are (1) John Bacon, citizen and woolman, and Joan, his wife
(_d_. 1437); (2) Thomas Gilbert, citizen and draper of London and
merchant of the Staple of Calais (_d_. 1483), and Agnes, his wife (_d_.
1489); (3) Christopher Rawson, mercer of London and merchant of the
Staple of Calais, Junior Warden of the Mercers' Company in 1516 (_d_.
1518), and his two wives. Thomas Betson was doubtless acquainted with
Gilbert and Rawson.
THOMAS PAYCOCKE OF COGGESHALL
_A. Raw Material_
1. The raw material for this chapter consists of Paycocke's House,
presented to the Nation in 1924 by the Right Hon. Noel Buxton, M.P.,
which stands in West Street, Coggeshall, Essex (station, Kelvedon); the
Paycocke brasses, which lie in the North aisle of the parish church of
St Peter ad Vincula at Coggeshall; and the wills of John Paycocke (_d_.
1505), Thomas Paycocke (_d_. 1518), and Thomas Paycocke (_d_. 1580),
which are now preserved at Somerset House (P.C.C. Adeane 5, Ayloffe 14,
and Arundell 50, respectively), and of which that of the first Thomas
has been printed in Mr Beaumont's paper, cited below, while I have
analysed fully the other two in my book, _The Paycockes of Coggeshall_
(1920), which deals at length with the history of the Paycockes and
their house. See also G.F. Beaumont, _Paycocke's House, Coggeshall, with
some Notes on the Families of Paycocke and Buxton_ (reprinted from
Trans. Essex Archaeol. Soc., IX, pt. V) and the same author's _History of
Coggeshall_ (1890). There is a beautifully illustrated article on the
house in _Country Life_ (June 30, 1923), vol. LIII, pp. 920-6.
2. For an apotheosis of the clothiers, see _The Pleasant History of John
Winchcomb, in his younger days called Jack of Newbery, the famous and
worthy Clothier of England_ and _Thomas of Reading, or the Six Worthy
Yeomen of the West_, in _The Works of Thomas Deloney_, ed. F.O. Mann
(1912), nos. II and V. The first of these was published in 1597 and the
other soon afterwards and both went through several editions by 1600.
3. On the cloth industry in general see G. Morris and L. Wood, _The
Golden Fleece_ (1922); E. Lipson, _The Woollen Industry_ (1921); and
W.J. Ashley, _Introd. to English Economic History_ (1909 edit.). For the
East Anglian woollen industry see especially the _Victoria County
Histories_ of Essex and Suffolk. For a charming account of another
famous family of clothiers see B. McClenaghan, _The Springs of Lavenham_
(Harrison, Ipswich, 1924).
_B. Notes to the Text_
1. _Deloney's Works_, ed. F.O. Mann, p. 213.
2. Thomas Fuller, _The Worthies of England_ (1622), p. 318.
3. A convenient introduction to the study of monumental brasses, with
illustrations and a list of all the surviving brasses in England,
arranged according to counties, is W. Macklin, _Monumental Brasses_
(1913). See also H. Druitt, _Costume on Brasses_ (1906). These books
also give details as to the famous early writers on the subject, such as
Weaver, Holman, and A.J. Dunkin.
4. _Testamenta Eboracensia, a selection of wills from the Registry at
York_, ed. James Raine, 6 vols. (Surtees Soc., 1836-1902). The Surtees
Society has also published several other collections of wills from
Durham and elsewhere, relating to the northern counties. A large number
of wills have been printed or abstracted. See, for instance, _Wills and
Inventories from the Registers of Bury St Edmunds_, ed. S. Tymms (Camden
Soc., 1850); _Calendar of Wills Proved and Enrolled in the Court of
Hastings_, _London_, ed. R.R. Sharpe, 2 vols. (1889); _The Fifty
Earliest English Wills in the Court of Probate, London_, ed. F.J.
Furnivall (E.E.T.S., 1882); _Lincoln Wills_, ed. C.W. Foster (Lincoln
Record Soc., 1914); and _Somerset Medieval Wills_, 1383-1558, ed. F.W.
Weaver, 3 vols. (Somerset Record Soc., 1901-5).
5. The will of the other Thomas Paycocke 'cloathemaker', who died in
1580, also refers to the family business. He leaves twenty shillings 'to
William Gyon my weaver'; also 'Item, I doe give seaven poundes tenne
shillinges of Lawful money of Englande to and amongest thirtie of the
poorest Journeymen of the Fullers occupacion in Coggeshall aforesaide,
that is to every one of them fyve shillinges.' William Gyon or Guyon was
related to a very rich clothier, Thomas Guyon, baptized in 1592 and
buried in 1664, who is said to have amassed L100,000 by the trade.
Thomas Paycocke's son-in-law Thomas Tyll also came of a family of
clothiers, for in a certificate under date 1577 of wool bought by
clothiers of Coggeshall during the past year there occur the names of
Thomas Tyll, William Gyon, John Gooddaye (to whose family the first
Thomas Paycocke left legacies), Robert Lytherland (who receives a
considerable legacy under the will of the second Thomas), and Robert
Jegon (who is mentioned incidentally in the will as having a house near
the church and was father of the Bishop of Norwich of that name). See
Power, _The Paycockes of Coggeshall_, pp. 33-4.
6. Quoted in Lipson, _Introd. to the Econ. Hist, of England_ (1905), I,
7. Quoted _ibid_., p. 417.
8. On John Winchcomb see Power, _op. cit_., pp. 17-18; and Lipson, _op.
cit_., p. 419.
9. Deloney's Works, ed. F.C. Mann, pp. 20-1.
10. _Ibid_., p. 22.
11. Quoted in C.L. Powell, _Eng. Domestic Relations_, 1487-1563 (1917),
12. The house subsequently passed, it is not quite clear at what date,
into the hands of another family of clothiers, the Buxtons, who had
intermarried with the Paycockes some time before 1537. William Buxton
(_d_. 1625) describes himself as 'clothyer of Coggeshall' and leaves
'all my Baey Lombs [Looms]' to his son Thomas. Thomas was seventeen when
his father died and lived until 1647, also carrying on business as a
clothier, and the house was certainly in his possession. He or his
father may have bought it from John Paycocke's executors. By him it was
handed down to his son Thomas, also a clothier (_d_. 1713), who passed
it on to his son Isaac, clothier (_d_. 1732). Isaac's two eldest sons
were clothiers likewise, but soon after their father's death they
retired from business. He apparently allowed his third son, John, to
occupy the house as his tenant, and John was still living there in 1740.
But Isaac had left the house by will in 1732 to his youngest son,
Samuel, and Samuel, dying in 1737, left it to his brother Charles, the
fourth son of Isaac. Charles never lived in it, because he spent most of
his life in the pursuit of his business as an oil merchant in London,
though he is buried among his ancestors in Coggeshall Church. In 1746 he
sold the house to Robert Ludgater and it passed completely out of the
Paycocke-Buxton connexion, and in the course of time fell upon evil days
and was turned into two cottages, the beautiful ceilings being plastered
over. It was on the verge of being destroyed some years ago when it was
bought and restored to its present fine condition by Mr Noel Buxton, a
direct lineal descendant of the Charles Buxton who sold it. See Power,
_op. cit_., pp. 38-40.
13. _Deloney's Works_, ed. F.O. Mann, p. 213.
14. Defoe, _Tour through Great Britain_, 1724 (1769 edit.), pp. 144-6.
15. 'This shire is the most fatt, frutefull and full of profitable
thinges, exceeding (as far as I can finde) anie other shire for the
general commodities and the plentie, thowgh Suffolk be more highlie
comended by some (wherewith I am not yet acquainted). But this shire
seemeth to me to deserve the title of the Englishe Goshen, the fattest
of the lande, comparable to Palestina, that flowed with milk and
hunnye.'--Norden, _Description of Essex_ (1594), (Camden Soc.), p. 7.
16. According to Leake, writing about 1577, 'About 1528 began the first
spinning on the distaffe and making of Coxall clothes.... These Coxall
clothes weare first taught by one Bonvise, an Italian.'--Quoted _V.C.H.
Essex_, II, p. 382.
_Notes on Illustrations_
PLATE I. _Bodo at his work_
From an eleventh-century Anglo-Saxon calendar in the British Museum (MS.
Tit., B.V., pt. I), showing the occupations of Bodo, or of his masters,
for each month of the year. The months illustrated are January
(ploughing with oxen), March (breaking clods in a storm), August
(reaping), and December (threshing and winnowing). The other pictures
represent February (pruning), April (Bodo's masters feasting), May
(keeping sheep), June (mowing), July (woodcutting), September (Bodo's
masters boar-hunting), October (Bodo's masters hawking), and November
(making a bonfire).
PLATE II. _Embarkation of the Polos at Venice_
From the magnificent MS. of Marco Polo's book, written early in the
fifteenth century and now preserved at the Bodleian Library, Oxford (MS.
no. 264, f. 218). The artist gives an admirable view of medieval Venice,
with the Piazetta to the left, and the Polos embarking on a rowing boat
to go on board their ship. In the foreground are depicted (after the
medieval fashion of showing several scenes of a story in the same
picture) some of the strange lands through which they passed. Note the
Venetian trading ships.
PLATE III. _Part of a landscape roll by Chao Meng-fu_
This very beautiful scene is taken from a roll painted by Chao Meng-fu
in 1309 in the style of Wang Wei, a poet and artist of the T'ang dynasty
(A.D. 699-759). A fine description of it is given by Mr Laurence Binyon:
'In the British Museum collection is a long roll, over seventeen feet
long, painted almost entirely in blues and greens on the usual warm
brown silk.... It is one continuous landscape, in which the scenes melt
into one another. Such rolls are not meant to be exhibited or looked at
all at once, but enjoyed in small portions at a time, as the painting is
slowly unrolled and the part already seen rolled up again. No small
mastery is requisite, as may be imagined, to contrive that wherever the
spectator pauses an harmonious composition is presented. One has the
sensation, as the roll unfolds, of passing through a delectable country.
In the foreground water winds, narrowing and expanding, among verdant
knolls and lawns, joined here and there by little wooden bridges; and
the water is fed by torrents that plunge down among pine-woods from
crags of fantastic form, glowing with hues of lapis-lazuli and jade;
under towering peaks are luxuriant valleys, groves with glimpses of
scattered deer, walled parks, clumps of delicate bamboo, and the distant
roofs of some nestling village. Here and there is a pavilion by the
water in which poet or sage sits contemplating the beauty round him.
These happy and romantic scenes yield at last to promontory and reed-bed
on the borders of a bay where a fisherman's boat is rocking on the
swell. It is possible that a philosophic idea is intended to be
suggested--the passage of the soul through the pleasant delights of
earth to the contemplation of the infinite.'--Laurence Binyon, _Painting
in the Far East_ (1908), pp. 75-6. The section of the roll which has
been chosen for reproduction here has already been reproduced in S.W.
Bushell, _Chinese Art_ (1910), II, Fig. 127, where it is thus described:
'A lake with a terraced pavilion on an island towards which a visitor is
being ferried in a boat, while fishermen are seen in another boat
pulling in their draw-net; the distant mountains, the pine-clad hills in
the foreground, the clump of willow opposite, and the line of reeds
swaying in the wind along the bank of the water are delightfully
rendered, and skilfully combined to make a characteristic
picture.'--_Ibid_., II, p. 134. Other sections of the same roll are
reproduced in H.A. Giles, _Introd. to the Hist, of Chinese Pictorial
Art_ (2nd ed., 1918) facing p. 56; and in L. Binyon, _op. cit_., plate
III (facing p. 66). It is exceedingly interesting to compare this
landscape roll with the MS of Marco Polo, illuminated about a century
later, from which the scene of the embarkation at Venice has been taken;
the one is so obviously the work of a highly developed and the other of
an almost naive and childish civilization.
PLATE IV. _Madame Eglentyne at home_
This is a page from a fine manuscript of _La Sainte Abbaye_, now in the
British Museum (MS. Add. 39843, f. 6 vo). At the top of the picture a
priest with two acolytes prepares the sacrament; behind them stands the
abbess, holding her staff and a book, and accompanied by her chaplain
and the sacristan, who rings the bell; behind them is a group of four
nuns, including the cellaress with her keys, and nuns are seen at the
windows of the dorter above. At the bottom is a procession of priest,
acolytes and nuns in the choir; notice the big candles carried by the
young nuns (perhaps novices) in front, and the notation of the
PLATE V. _The Menagier's wife has a garden party_
This beautiful scene is taken from a fifteenth-century manuscript of the
_Roman de la Rose_ (Harl. MS. 4425), which is one of the greatest
treasures of the British Museum.
PLATE VI. _The Menagier's wife cooks his supper with the aid of his
From MS. Royal, 15 D. I, f. 18, in the British Museum which is part of a
_petite bible historiale_, or biblical history, by Guyart des Moulins,
expanded by the addition of certain books of the Bible, in French. It
was made at Bruges by the order of Edward IV, King of England by one J.
du Ries and finished in 1470, so that it is about eighty years later
than the Menagier's book. The illustration represents a scene from the
story of Tobias; Tobit, sick and blind, is lying in bed, and his wife
Anna is cooking by the fire, with the help of a book and a serving maid.
The right-hand half of the picture, which is not reproduced here, shows
the outside of the house, with Tobias bringing in the angel Raphael. The
illuminated border of the page from which this scene is taken contains
the arms of Edward IV, with the garter and crown.
PLATE VII. _Calais about the time of Thomas Betson_
This plan of Calais in 1546 is reproduced from a 'Platt of the Lowe
Countrye att Calleys, drawne in October, the 37th Hen. VIII, by Thomas
Pettyt,' now in the British Museum. (Cott. MS. Aug. I, vol. II, no. 70).
There is only room to show the top corner of the plan, with the drawing
of Calais itself, but the whole plan is charming, with its little
villages and great ships riding in the channel.
PLATE VIII. _Thomas Paycocke's house at Coggeshall_
From a photograph of the front of the house, standing on the street.
Note the long carved breastsummer that supports the overhanging upper
story. On the left can be seen, much foreshortened, the archway and
double doors of linen fold panels. The windows are renovations on the
original design, flat sash windows having been put in in the
ABU LUBABAH, 33
Acqui, Jacapo of, 66, 182
Acre, 51, 53
Adrianople, 7, 42
Adriatic, 39, 41, 42, 63, 179
Aegean, 42, 179
Aelfric, _Colloquium_, 174, 175
Agnes, Dame, _see_ Beguine
Alexandria, 40, 42
Alnwick, William, Bishop of Lincoln, 77, 184
Andaman Islands, 69, 70
Anglia, East, 153, 156
Antilha, Antilles, 72, 183
Antwerp, 121, 145, 147
Arab, Arabia, 43, 47, 61, 171
Ararat, Mount, 54
Aretino, Pietro, 180
Arghun, Khan of Persia, 60, 61
Armenia, 42, 49, 53, 179
Arnold, Matthew, 51
Asia: Central, 40, 49, 50, 51, 54, 67, 71, 72;
Attila, 8, 49
Audley, Lady, 91
Augustine, St, 9, 175
Ausonius, 5 ff;
his country estate, 6 ff;
his friends, 6 ff;
and University of Bordeaux, 5
Austin Friars, 93
Auvergne, 5 ff
Bacon, Francis, 122
Badakhshan, 43, 54, 67
Bagdad, 43, 54
Bale: Peter, 131;
Ballard: James, 127;
Balms (_Bammers, Bamis, Bammys_)
Mart, 147, 193
Babarian invasions, 7
Barton, John, of Holme, 138
Base, Jacob van de, 149
Bath, Wife of, 84, 104, 118, 152
_Bays and Says_, 172
Beauchamp St Pauls, 169, 170
_Beguine_, Dame Agnes the, 107, 116, 117
Bellela, _see_ Polo
Benedict, St, 81, 82, 184
Betson: Agnes, Alice, Elizabeth,
John, Thomas (the younger), 150;
Katherine, _see_ Riche
Betson, Thomas; Chap VI _passim_, 158;
children of, 150; death of, 150;
illness of, 133-5;
letters of, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 189;
member of Fishmongers Company, 150;
partnership with Sir W. Stonor, 125, 137;
will of, 134, 150, 194
Bevice, Mistress, 134
Bishops' registers, 74, 75, 76, 78, 183
Black Death, 108, 109
Black Prince, 19
Black Sea, 40, 42, 50, 71
Blakey, Sir Roger, 127
Bodo, Chap _II passim_, 18-38, 174-5, 198
Bokhara, 51, 52
Bolgana, wife of Khan of Persia, 60
Bordeaux, Burdews, 142; University of, 6
Bordelais, the, 6, 7
Brabant, 146, 148
Brad well, 140
Brasses, 123, 136, 151, 155, 156, 157, 159, 190, 195
Braunch, Robert, 156