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Letter of the king to viscount Lisle, April 17, 1539.

(MS. Cotton. Calig. E. iv. f. 34.)

[therein) Sussex (the

son after his depar

[Right trusty and right welbeloved cousin and councillor,]

[Whereas by our r] ight entirely belove[d cousin and councillor] the duke of Norfolk, as by [your lettres you have] desired to repayre hether, as w[ell .......] as for certain other causes, and sp[ecially concerning] the ordre of that oure towne and (marches, to make] declaration of the behaviour of su[ch of our officers] and subgietes there, who as it a[ppeareth have] in suche wise forgotten themselfes [and also] their dieutes towardes us as they se[em to pay] no regarde towardes you, being there [as our] principall ministre, wee be nowe [ready to] here your advise therein and to c[onsider and] declare oure mynde and pleasure un [to you in] that behalf. Whereuppon, consider[ing that we] shall have a muche bettre oportunytye [therein] to satisfye bothe oure and your des [ire, tarrying) there oure cousin of Sussex (the ....... Arde remembered) thenne you shu[ld have] of a long season after his departure, [we have) therefore thought mete to desire and [authorise you) and nevertheles to commaunde you d[irectly] uppon the sight hereof to repayre (unto] us, leaving the keyes and charge (of that] towne till your return in the handes of [our said cousin,] to whom we have also written to (tarry and] demoore there for that purpose. Re[quiring] you to communicate these our lettres with the rest of our] commissioners and the rest of oure ordi[narie] counseill there, and to declare to every of Cour said] ordinary counsaill that oure pleasure is [that they be] in your absence as obedient to our said c[ousin in) all cases as they be bounde to be to oure de [puty) or chieftain for the tyme being, under ..... they well aunswere to the contrarye a[t their] perilles ; and these oure lettres shalbe as good .....

[Given at] oure palayse of [Westminster (?) the xvijth day) of Aprill, the xxxjth yere of (our reign].

Directed, To oure right trusty and right welbeloved cousin and counsailour the viscounte Lisle, deputie of our towne and marches of Calays.

After the receipt of the preceding letter from the king, the commissioners replied in the following despatch, which, though imperfect, is sufficient to show the state of affairs at lord Lisle's departure from Calais.

(MS. Harl. 283, p. 89.)

Your highnes' lettres of answere to us addressed, of the xvijth of Aprell, we receyved this Mondaie mornyng, six of clocke. By the contynew wherof wee doo not oonly perceyve your grace's pleasure touching the repaire of my lord deputie to your highnes, the tarying of me the erle of Sussex to take the charge of your grace's saide towne for the tyme of his absence, and me sir John Gage to tarye with the seide erle as your highnes' comyssioner, counsellor, and assistaunt with hym, to supplye and helpe to ease hym in the charge to hym commytted ; the repaire of us the reste of your highnes’ commyssioners to your grace ; but also the devyse of lettres to be wrytten by Phylpot to sir Grigory," which wee intende (as wee doo all other thinges conteyned in your grace's seide lettres) to accomplisshe with all dyligence, according to our moost bownden diewties.

And it fully appereth unto us by the examynacion of oone William Stevins, of whome we have before written unto your highnes, that Adam Damplip mencioned in our former lettres sent to your highnes, whose name (as we credebly bee informed) is George Bowker, and not Adam Damplip, oone of the principall sowers of the dyvysion in your grace's towne of Calys (as we have by our former lettres certified unto your highnes), at his first comyng unto your grace's said towne of Calys, which was aboute the xxvijth daie of Aprеll the xxxth. yere of your moost noble reigne, without Lanterne gate there, upon conversation had betwene the seide Adam Damplip and the seide Stevins, the seide Adam Damplip shewed unto the seide William Stevins that he came frome Roome, and that if he wold have taried in the parties that he came frome, he mought have had a good lyvyng, for cardynall Pole wold have had hym there to have been a reader, and sent monye after hym to bringe hym home withe. And the seide Willyam Stevins, knowyng the seid Adam Damplip to have shewed hym as before, than and there gave hym xijd. in moneye, supposing (as he saide) the same Damplip

So the MS.

CAMD. Soc.

2 B

wolde have taken passage into Englande. And after perceyvyng he tooke no passage, badde the same Damplip goo hoome to his house ; and soo he there lodged alnyghte ; which matere the same Stevins hathe confessed before us. And it is also deposed bifore us that the seide Stevins saide that at the first meetyng with the seide Damplip he fownde hym popysshe. And sithen the writing of our last lettres unto your highnes, being togiders, and my lorde deputie with us as oone of your grace's commyssioners, conferring your highnes' cause among ourselvys, Willyam Stevins was brought to us at owre appointement by your comptroller, who delyvered us a bylle written and subscribed withe the handes of the seide Stevins, whiche bylle we immediately red; whereunto my seide lorde deputie, whan he percyved that parte of the matier therein comprised and redde touched hym, made answere ....... (the rest is deficient.)

I am indebted to Miss Wood's recent work for the following additional information relative to the causes which led to the disgrace of viscount Lisle,* collected from documents in the State Paper Office, where nineteen volumes of his papers are still preserved.

The previous disgrace and capital punishment of some of the inferior officers of the town is mentioned by Turpyn (ante, p. 47). Three of these were priests ; and religious differences still continued to disturb the peace of the community. Besides the person named Adam Damplip, or George Bowker (named in the preceding document), a priest called Ralph Hares, and sir William Smith, were active in dissuading the people against yielding credence to the new doctrines propagated by the king; and so much influence did they acquire, that mass, matins, and evensong were almost forsaken, and of the 1,700 persons who were parishioners of St. Mary's, Calais, not more than ten or twelve frequented the church. (Deputy and council to the bishops of Bath, Chichester, and Norwich, July 27, 1539. Calais commissioners to the king, April 5, 1540.) Though lord Lisle officially professed himself an opponent of the Romish doctrines, he and his lady were suspected of really favouring hem. Lord Lisle was also accused of want of management in his affairs, so that, for the sake of obtaining money, he was often compelled to put offices, &c. to sale,

* Holinshed does not appear to have had any better foundation for his account of “ the occasion of lord Lisle's trouble,” than a popular rumour (natural enough under the circumstances)," that he should be privie to a faction which some of his men had consented unto for the betraying of Calais to the French." On the 4th of August, 1540, shortly after lord Lisle's first committal to the Towre, were hanged at Tybourn (with four other persons who had been attainted by the Parliament), Clement Philpot gentleman, late of Calais, and servant to the lord Lisle, and Edmund Brindholme priest, chapleyne to the saide lorde Lisle.

which should have been bestowed upon merit, and which thus often fell into the hands of improper persons. (Cromwell to lord Lisle ; Cromwell Corresp. bundle i, art. 20.)

In March 1540 the commission already mentioned, consisting of the earl of Sussex, sir John Gage, and others, amongst whom, as a matter of courtesy, lord Lisle's name was inserted, was sent over to examine into the state of laws and religion in Calais. (Instructions to Commissioners, ibid. art. 25 B.) They arrived on the 16th of March, and the result of their inquiries was that Calais had been very carelessly kept, that 200 of the garrison were mere boys, that strangers were permitted free access to the town, and were not restrained from walking on the walls and examining the fortifications ; that lord Lisle had communicated with the pope and cardinal Pole, and that he had presented Damplip with 58. to whom lady Lisle had also given 158. (Depositions on the examination of lord Lisle, ibid. art. 32.) On the pretext that the presence of the commissioners in Calais afforded lord Lisle a proper opportunity for a visit to the king, which he had long desired, he was re-called from his deputyship to England, by the royal letter given in p. 184, and on his arrival immediately sent prisoner to the Tower.

Having remained there nearly two years, his career had the melancholy termination thus described by Holinshed :-“ After that by due triall it was knowen that hee was nothing giltie to the matter, the kyng appointed sir Thomas Wriothsley, his majesties secretarie, to goe unto hym, and to deliver to hym a ring, with a riche diamond, for a token from him, and to tell hym to be of good cheere, for although in that so weightie a matter hee woulde not have done lesse to hym if hee hadde bene his owne sonne, yet nowe upon thorough triall* had, sith it was manifestly proved that hee was voyde of all offence, hee was sory that hee hadde bene occasioned so farre to trie his truth, and, therefore, willed hym to bee of good cheere and comforte, for he should find that he woulde make accompt of him as of hys most true and faithfull kinsman, and not onely restore hym to his former libertie, but otherwise further be ready to pleasure hym in what he could. Master secretary set forth thys message with such effectuall words, as he was an eloquent and well spoken man, that the lord Lisle tooke suche immoderate joy thereof, that, his heart beeing oppressed therewith, hee dyed the night following through too much rejoycing."

After the deputy's departure from Calais, the chronicler tells us (ante, p. 48) that “his goods were seized, his wife kept in one place, his daughter in another, and his [read her] daughters in another place, that none of them might speak with other, and all his servants discharged.” Miss Wood (iii. pp. 140, 141) has given several particulars of these transactions, including some curious extracts from the inventory of the goods seized. The ladies were detained in confinement at Calais, lady Lisle herself under the custody of Francis Hall, “a sad man,"— whose name has occurred at p. 137, nearly at the head of the list of “ speres.” She was allowed the attendance of a gentlewoman, a chamberer, and a groom ; the rest of her lord's household, consisting of fifty men, a lackey, two kitchen boys, two women servants, and a laundress, being summarily dissolved.

* There was no public trial, or the surprise could not have been so great to lord Lisle. All the trial that took place must have been before the privy council, or royal commissioners.

There were no children of the marriage of lord and lady Lisle, but both had daughters of their former marriages, to whom there is no doubt that the passage of Turpyn's chronicle, as above amended, refers, Miss Wood having, in her interesting volumes, fully developed the history of the family. It appears that Arthur Plantagenet viscount Lisle had by his first wife Elizabeth lady Grey, widow of Edmond Dudley, three daughters, Frances, Elizabeth, and Bridget, besides a step-son, sir John Dudley, afterwards the celebrated duke of Northumberland. Honor lady Lisle, who was the third daughter of sir Thomas Grenville by his first wife Isabella daughter of Oates Gilbert esquire, had been the third wife of sir John Basset of Umberleigh, and (besides acquiring step-children by that alliance) she was by him the mother of four daughters, Philippa, Catharine, Anne, and Mary, and of three sons, John, George, and James, of whom the eldest, John, married the lady Frances Plantagenet, lord Lisle's eldest daughter.

Philippa and Mary Basset, together with their mother, underwent a strict examination : lady Lisle was supposed to have destroyed some papers which it was thought might have been prejudicial to her husband ; and Mary Basset was cruelly required to recollect what had been their contents. It can scarcely be supposed, however, that among the vast mass of papers which were seized, the materials necessary for the deputy's crimination would not have been discovered, had the disorders of Calais been found to have really resulted from the individual faults of the deputy, rather than from the defects pervading the several departments of its government.

Sir John Dudley (afterwards duke of Northumberland), as son and heir of lord Lisle's former wife, was created viscount Lisle on the 12th March 1542-3, a few days after his step-father's death.


Ferdinand de San Severino, prince of Salerno, was the son and heir of Robert prince of Salerno, who died in 1508. He died himself without issue in 1572.

The first intimation of the visit of this noble personage was given by sir Thomas Wyatt, in a letter to lord Cromwell, dated from Ghent, 5 April, 1540.

“ Moreover yesternyght, the prince of Salerne sent to me to shew me that he had leve of th’emperor to come see the kynges highnes, wich he had long desird, and that he entended to go within these xiïij. or xv. days, and desird to know off me what ordre he myght best take. He is a man of xxx. or xl. thowsand dukets rent, and byside that, grettly estemed in all Italy, and one of the grettest men of Naples. I suppose he wold tary there to se huntyng and such pastyme for a month. I besech your lordship that I may

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