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And inasmoche as to our honour and dignitie royall it apperteigneth to bee fournyshed with honourable personages, aswell spirituall as temporall, to geve thair attendaunce upon us at so solempne an act as a this shalbe, for the honour of us and this our reame, wee therfor have appointed you amonges others to attende upon our deerest wife the Quene in this voiage, willing therfor and desiring you, not oonly to put your self in arredinesse with the nombre of ten tall personnages well and conveniently apparailled for this pourpose, to passe with you over the see, but also in such wise to appointe your self in apparaill as to your degree, the honour of us, and this our reame it apperteigneth. So that ye repairing unto our said deerest wife the Quene by the furst day of Maye next commyng, may then geve your attendaunce in her transporting over the see accordingly; ascertaignyng you that, albeit ye bee appointed to the nombre of ten servauntes to passe with you as is abovesaid, that neverthelesse, inasmoche as at your arryvall at Calays ye shall have no greate journey requisite to occupie many horses, ye shall therfor conveye with you over the see, for your owne using and otherwise, not above the nombre of thre horses ; howbeit our mynde is not to [de] parte and restrayne you to the saide precise nombre of servauntes and horses for your commyng unto our said deerest wife, and accompanyng her [to] the see-side, which thing wee [leave] to your arbitrement, but oonly to ascertaigne [you w]hat nombre of servantes and horses (be appoin]ted to you to passe over the see. L[astly it is] ordered all other lordes, [knights, and others,] shall attend upon [our deerest wife the Quene) according to thair (the rest burnt away.) Sir Edward Belknap or Sir Nicholas Vaux b to Cardinal Wolsey.

(MS. Cotton. Calig. D. vii. f. 186.) The MS. is burnt round the edges, but when legible it begins :[Gu]ysnes whiche we have contrived asw[ell ..... instruccions as wer gyven to us, and yt is thought . . . . ste conuenientlye on the grene before the castell gate . . . . yt is ordred that the king shal have iij. large chambres ; there ys not such iij. in noo one howse in Eng• at in MS.

The manuscript is in the hand of a secretary and the signature broken off. The Cottonian Catalogue suggests the name of “Sir Edward Belknap?” but the other letters which follow, written by the same hand, appear to have been sent by Sir Nicholas Vaux.

Bridewchigh xxvijci dyne in, to per and wydexlijti fote in

land, for the greatest chambre shalbe vixx iij. fote in lengeth, xlijti fote in bredeth, and xxxti fote highe, whiche ys bothe longer and wyder than the White halle. The second chambre, to dyne in, to be in lengeth iiij« fote, in widnes xxxiijti, and in high xxvijti fote, whiche ys larger than the greatest chambre in Bridewell. And the iijde chambre, to withdraw his highnes in, shalbe in lengeth lx. fote, in widnes xxxiiijti, and in highe xxvija fote. And the queenes grace shalhave iij. chambres as large or larger.

There shalbe a galerye going owte of the kinges lodging (undre the flore for lake of stuffe) to convey the kyng to the queenes secrete chambre.

There shalbe a hault plase of xl. fote square, sett betwene the kinges lodging and the queenes, and out of that hault plase a galery of lx. fote longe, xxij. fote wide, and xxjti fote highe, goyng to a chapell of c. fote longe, xlij. fote brode, and xxx. fote highe, wherein shalbe ij. closettes, one for the king and the other for the queene. Your grace shalhave iij. other large chambres adjoynyng to the kinges lodging, and the Frenche queene shalhave iij. large chambres, adjoynyng to the queenes lodging; and bitwene your lodging and the Frenche queenes shalbe a large yatehowse of bryke of xxxviij. fote in lengeth and xxxiiijti in bredeth ; and al this buylding, except the chapell and oone galerye, shalbe caste aftyr a square courte. There shalbe an other galerye made owte of the queenes loging to bring the kynge, the queene, and you to the brige of the castell, in the whiche castell your grace shall lye (we truste surely), but not plaisantly. There shalbe also a bankett-howse of ccxxti fote longe, lxx. fote wyde, and to be so highe as tymbre woll serve us, to be sett without the castell wall, and withyn the new made brayes of the castell ; for that howse cannot be conveniently made without the helpe of highe walles. We truste the buyldinges woll please the kinges highnes and you, so that yt might be finisshed by the day appointed. Al the whiche buyldinges be estemed to be more than Bridwell, Grenewiche, or Eltham; whiche causeth us to be in mervelous greate doubte and feare leste it cannot be finisshed by the laste day of Maij, for in thies parties ys litill tymbre to be gotten, and there is not sufficient tymbre fallen nor bordes sawen in London, nor in no part of England at this daye, lieng nigh to the see towardes this coste, to serve the buyldinges whiche the kinges highnes and his counsaill have proposed to us. Wherefor we have sent oon Wilh'm Lylgrave into Holand xviijten dayes paste for provisions of tymbre and dyvers other necessarie thinges whiche muste nedes be shortly hadd, or ellis it shalnot be possible to make thies buyldinges by the day appointed. And at the writing of this lettre we [have] hird nothing of hym, and and albe yt that he may now spede of soche stuffe there, yet it woll aske a greate tyme to provyde ships and to lode them, tarieng the wynde, to unlode at Calais, and to carry it to Guysnes, whiche is ix. Englisshe myles by lande, than . . . to be hewed, sawed, framed, arered, with the garnisshing of the rofes, [&c. must a]ske a greate tyme. And caringe ys very yvell now to be hadd . . . . very bare, and haye ys mervelous escarse. There is not s[ufficient for the] catalles of the countrie. And the kyng cannot be s. ... that yt may please his highnes to tary till new ... The mast]ers carpenters have acertened us that . ..... this busines ml ml vc tonnes . . . And the masons ....... to take the waiges whiche . . . and say they cannot lyve on yt ... .... greater waiges of sir Thomas Lovell.... And also now of late at Tournaye we dare . ...... gyve them more til we shal know your further pleasure [therein, which] hyndreth greatlye the warkes.

· The White hall in the palace of Westminster, lately used for the House of Lords, and now (1845) for the House of Commons.

6 The royal palace near Blackfriars, London,

And the maisters masons acertein us further that cc. masons and briklayers cannot make their partes of the new warkes and amend the walles and towers of the castell, that of necessité muste be done, bifore the kynges commyng, or ellis they woll fawle down, so that no fasyng can serve. And medle not with the kepe, whiche is utterlye decaied and cannot be holpen now. And we cannot yet gete the iiijth parte of the tymbre, stuffe, nor sufficientz artificers to serve us; wherefor we have writen to the king, beseching his highnes to command Henry Comptroroller and Thomas Foster, to (send] over ccl. carpenters, c. joynars,xxxt. couple sawoers, xl. plasterers, and m'. of wainscot, for here is none to bye. Furthermore that yt [may] please his highnes to send over Vertue the kinges maister mason, and he to bringe cl. briklayers with hym, and that they al cum hither with diligence.

And we humblye beseche your grace that we know the kinges further pleasure and yours in this behalfe. And [we] shalbe gladd and redye t'accomplisshe yt as farre as our witte and powers may atteingne, as knoweth

CAMD. Soc.


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Godd oure myndes, who preserve your goode grace. Writon the xxvj. daye of Ma[rch.]

We have no doubte but your grace dothe well consider the busynes, with the circumstances that do belong to this buyld(yng, ] and that the stuffe ys farre from us. And no certeynté of [the] cummyng therof. And the tyme approcheth. Wherfor we (pray] your grace yf it may stonde with your pleasure to be (suitor] to the kinges highnes to take longer day yf it may be pos[sible.]

Sir Nicholas Vaux * to Cardinal Wolsey.

[MS. Cotton. Calig. D. vii. p. 202.] ...... have received latelye ........ .. . . .. .

lettres bering date the laste daye of Marche ...... of the same, and shal endevor us with effect to perfourme [the king's] pleasure and yours committed to our charge asmoche as shal lye in our power; how be yt at this daye we be destitute of all provisions that shuld be provided by William Lilgrave in Holland, and sent unto us, whiche is the substance of tymbre, borde, and other necessaries that we shuld occupie here. And also there is provided vc tonnes of tymbre in Sussex, and in the edge of Kent, and at this daye none therof commen to Calays. And we lacke xl. cowple of saweors, al the whiche thinges hyndre greatlye the warkes. And except the sayd provision cumme verye shortlye yt cannot be possible to finisshe the said warkes by the laste daye of Maye. There ys set up at Guysnes in bryke warke viij. fote above the grownde, the kinges lodging, the quenes lodging, and bothe your lodging and the Frenche qwenes dowagers. And if there be no lacke of stuffe, we truste to make the forsaid lodginges perfaite by the daye. And al be yt that it was ordred by your grace that there shuld be made a large chapell with ij closettes and a fayre galerye to goo to the chapell, and also a fayre bankett howse; and forasmoche as we be not yet furnisshed of tymbre, bryke and other necessaries appointed for the furnisshing of the same, and be in greate doubte of the havyng of yt in convenient tyme, we respite them bothe unto soche tyme as we knowe your further pleasure,

• The Catalogue states this letter to be from “ the Bishop of Ely and others.” What remains of the signature resembles the Ni of sir Nicholas Vaux's signature to the Letter of May 18.

whether the chapell with the circumstances or the bankett howse maye beste be spared. And that yt maye lyke your grace to advertise us in the premisses in brief tyme. And if sufficient stuffe cumme shortlye we shall endevour us to the beste of our powers to accomplisshe your pleasure. And Richarde Gybson who shuld cover the rofes with seared canvas ys not yet commen, and yt is highe tyme hys warkes wer in hande, for yt muste be paynted on the owte syde, and aftir curiouslye be garnisshed under with knottis and batons guyltt and other devises, whiche busynes is committed to John Rastell, Clement Urmeston and other. Thies warkes be of greate and importunate charges, and we be in doubte how they shall overcumme the same by the daye appointed. Wherfor yf it woll please your grace to call them before you, and cause them to make trew reporte howe farfurthe thier warke ys, and whether thei shalbe hable to finisshe thier warkes by the forsaid day or not, to thentent that if they make defaulte, yf we maye have knowlege by tyme, we shall purvew the beste remedye here that ys in us possible. And further that yt woll please your grace to send hither maister Mayuu, who dwelleth with the busshope of Excester, and maistre Barkleyeb the blacke monke and poete, to devise histoires and convenient raisons to florisshe the buildinges and bankett-howse withall. And to gyve your commandement to Gartyr the king of heraudes, that he by th’advise of all other the kinges heraudes, do make a boke in picture of all the armes, .... bestes, fowles, devises, badges and congnisances [of the] kinges highnes, the quenes grace, the Frenche king ... · the dolphin and the princes dothe bere or maye . . . . . . . grace in a bill here . ... .. their doughters into Fraunce . . . . . . . . valiant kynges, as they shall thinke [may conduce to the] kynges honour. The Frenche kyng maketh but lityll prepa(ration] at Arde. And we can sende your grace no newes worthe the [writing.) We pray daily to Godd to sende this busynes well to be accomp[lished ;] who ever preserve your grace. Writon the xth daye of Aprylle,

By . . . . .
Ni . . . . .

* John Voysey, alias Harman, was bishop of Exeter at this time.

• Alexander Barclay, author of “The Ship of Fools." Who his fellow labourer was has not been ascertained.

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