Letters X to XIX is in Letters of Royal And Illustrious Ladies of Great Britain Volume 1.
1253. Letter XI. The Nuns of St. Maries of Chester to Eleanor of Provence Queen Consort England 1223 1291.
1253. Letter XI. The Nuns of St. Maries of Chester to Eleanor of Provence Queen Consort England 1223-1291 (30).
To the most excellent lady Eleonora, by God's grace queen of England, lady of Ireland, duchess of Normandy and Aquitaine, countess of Anjou, her humble convent of nuns of St. Mary of Chester wishes her, if she pleases, health and happy success to her utmost desires.
When our prioress of happy memory, lady Alicia of Stockport, lately went the way of all flesh, we, having quickly sent a messenger about it to our most excellent lord Henry, by God's grace the illustrious king of England, according to the tenor of his benignant reply/ by a special letter of ratification sent to you on the morrow of St. Lawrence the Martyr's day,** having invoked the aid of the Holy Spirit, without any condition or reclamation^ unanimously and cordially elected the lady Alicia de la Haye our sub-prioress, a woman deserving commendation for her life and conduct, as our prioress, all things thereto appertaining being canonically observed. Therefore it is that, mentally throwing ourselves at the feet of your excellency, since bowels of pity and mercy grow in you, we humbly and devoutly seek that you will deign, by the instinct of Divine compassion, to confirm the said Alicia as our prioress to our miserable convent, amidst its multiplied desolations. For so greatly are we reduced that we are compelled every day to beg abroad our food, slight as it is. The very secret places of our aflSicted hearts cry out therefore to you, expecting the wished-for effect of our pious petition. And we, each one of uS; will, as is fitting, and as we formerly did, now in future much more devoutly, offer prayers to the Lord for you and yours. May your ladyship ever fare well in the Lord!
13 Feb 1254. Letter XII. Eleanor of Provence Queen Consort England 1223 1291 and Richard Cornwall 1st Earl Cornwall 1209 1272 to Henry III King England 1207 1272
13 Feb 1254. Letter XII. Eleanor of Provence Queen Consort England 1223-1291 (31) and Richard Cornwall 1st Earl Cornwall 1209-1272 (45) to Henry III King England 1207-1272 (46).
To their most excellent lord, the lord Henry, by God's grace the illustrious king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and earl of Anjou, his most devoted consort Eleanora, by the same grace queen of England, and his devoted and faithful Richard earl of Cornwall, send health with all reverence and honour.
Be it known to your revered lordship that the lords the earl marshall (45) and John de Bailiol (46), being hindered at sea by a contrary wind during twelve days, came to us in England on the Wednesday after the Purification of Blessed Mary last past.
We had been treating with your prelates and the magnates of your kingdom of England before the advent of the said Earl and John, on the quinzaines of St. Hilary last past about your subsidy, and after the arrival of the said Earl and John, with certain of the aforesaid prelates and magnates, the archbishops and bishops answered us that if the King of Castile (32) should come against you in Gascony each of them would assist you from his own property, so that you would be under perpetual obli gations to them; but with regard to granting you an aid from their clergy, they could do nothing without the assent of the said clergy; nor do they believe that their clergy can be induced to give you any help, unless the tenth of clerical goods granted to you for the first year of the crusade, which should begin in the present year, might be relaxed at once by your letters patent, and the collection of the said tenth for the said crusade, for the two following years, might be put in respite up to the term of two years before your passage to the Holy Land; and they will give diligence and treat with the clergy submitted to them, to induce them to assist you according to that form with a tenth of their benefices, in case the King of Castile should attack you in Gascony; but at the departure of the bearer of these presents no subsidy had as yet been granted by the aforesaid clergy. Moreover, as we have elsewhere signified to you, if the King of Castile should come against you in Gascony, all the earls and barons of your kingdom, who are able to cross the sea, will come to you in Gascony, with all their power; but from the other laymen who do not sail over to you we do not think that we can obtain any help for your use, unless you write to your lieutenants in England firmly to maintain your great charters of liberties, and to let this be distinctly perceived by your letters to each Sheriff of your kingdom, and publicly proclaimed through each county of the said kingdom; since, by this means, they would be more strongly animated cheerfully to grant you aid; for many persons complain that the aforesaid charters are not kept by your sheriffs and other bailiffs as they ought to be kept. Be it known, therefore, to your lordship, that we shall hold a conference with the aforesaid clergy and laity at Westminster, in the quinzaines of Passover next, about the aforesaid aid, and we supplicate your lordship that you will write us your good pleasure concerning these affairs with the utmost possible haste. For you will find us prepared and devoted, according to our power, to solicit the aforesaid aid for your use, and to do and procure all other things . . . .* which can contribute to your convenience and the increase of your honour. Given at Windsor, the 13th of February, in the thirty-eighth year of your reign.
1258. Letter XIII. Matilda Prioress of the Convent of Barking to Henry III
1258. Letter XIII. Matilda Prioress of the Convent of Barking to Henry III (50).
To her most excellent lord Henry, by God's grace illustrious king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and earl of Anjou, Matilda, humble prioress of Barking, and of the convent of the same place, wishes health, with due reverence and honour, and the suflFrages of her prayers.
Since the lady our mother, venerable for her religion, the lady Christina, late abbess of our house, did on the Monday next after the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, in the forty-third year of your reign, of her own good and spontaneous will, yield up the government of the said abbey, on account of the infirmity and debility of her body, and was absolved from it by our venerable father Foulk, bishop of London (69), we now, being destitute of the solace of an abbess, send to you our beloved sisters and fellow-nuns, Roesia de Argentes, Joanna de Wantham, and Agnes Costentin, humbly and de voutly supplicating that the bowels of your compassion may be moved towards us, and that the condescension of your mercy will grant us permission to elect some other as our abbess, so that henceforth you may receive from the highest retributor a worthy reward, and we may be henceforth obligated more specially to ofier up the merited suflfrages of our prayers for you and yours. Given at Barking the Tuesday after the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, in the forty-third year of your reign.
1258. Letter XIV. Lady Havisia de Neville to her Son Hugh de Neville
1258. Letter XIV. Lady Havisia de Neville (38) to her Son, Hugh de Neville.
Havisia de Neville to her very dear son, Hugh de Neville, wishes health and the blessing of God and her own.
Know, dear son that I am well and hearty thanks to Grod, and am much rejoiced at the news that William Fitz Simon brought me of your health. God be thanked for it! Know, dear son, that our necessities of receiving the returns from your lands can avail nothing, on account of the great rule your adversary has in the king's court, unless you yourself were present. Wherefore your father-in-law and I, and all your other friends, agree that you should come to England, and we pray and entreat you, by the faith and love that you owe us, that you will not by any means fail in this; since you ought once again to return. For we know well that it would be a very great dishonour, and we consider it a great sin, to suffer us and ours to be disinherited by your indolence. !Therefore I anxiously pray you, dear son, that you will travel with all possible haste, and also, according to the counsel of all your friends, that you go to the court of Rome, and procure if you can the letter of the pope, express and stringent, to the king of England (50), that he should restore your lands, and have them restored. And that you may make a proper understanding at the court of all our needs, without omitting or concealing anything; that is, how you are placed with the king, and that you are compelled by a writing to hold the obligation (word missing in original), without contradiction and without ever making an acquisition to the contrary. For wise persons have said the acquisition would be worth nothing, unless it made express mention of this, that it was through no fault of yours that you made this the aforesaid obligation when in war, and through fear of prison. And know, good son, that the first acquisition you got at Rome for our lands was not such as you understood, for it was only a loving petition for your rights of the money which you ought to have had of the crusade allowance. The legate, thanks to him, has granted us that he would let us have it if we could espy out where it is, but we have not as yet found any, except what is in the hands of such as themselves would wish to go into the Holy Land; but as much as we may be able to acquire, now or henceforth, between this and St. John's day, we will then send you by the messengers of the Temple, who will bring their own money. And for God's sake, good son, guard against making such an obligation as you have made for Sir Ingelram de Umfranville; for I was grieved that it was proper to have it paid from our own demesne. And good, sweet, dear son, X anxiously pray you that you will send us word how much money you have really had by my command, for the thing is not in my power, for I could never spy a man who went to that part, that I might send you letters, which weighs no little upon me. For if it could be that I could often have good news of you, and comfort you again often by my messages, there would be nothing that could more rejoice me except it were to see and speak to you. And know, dear son, that my heart is grieved and alarmed day and night, since William Fitz Simon brought me news that you were so poorly provided with money; but God who is Almighty, if it please him, give you speedy amendment, and I will do it to my utmost power. Dear son, I pray you not to trust too much to the money of the crusade allowance, for they say that more great lords of England will take the cross; and they will take away as much as shall be raised for the crusade, as certain friends have given me to know. But do not ever cease, as you dearly love me, for no waiting for money, to borrow all the money that you can, and to go to the court of Rome to acquire for our necessities, and to hasten to come to England io accomplish our needs. For I hope, by the help of God, if you could well accomplish what you have to do about the acquisition of our lands, that you will see such change* in England, that never in our time could you have better accomplished your wish, or more to your honour. Wherefore cease not to solicit again about your coming, since you can here best serve God. I con^mend you to the true body of God, who give you life and health. Sir Walter de la Hide, Joanna your sister, and all our household, salute you. And know, dear son, that my counsel is that you obtain the letters of request of the legate of that country, and the letters of the master of the Temple and of the Hospital, to the legate of England and to other rich men, for your needs, and in testimony of your deeds in that country on the occasion of your coming. And ever take care of your house that you have there, if God give you courage to return.
14 Oct 1274. Letter XV. Eleanor of Castile Queen Consort England to Robert Burnell Lord Chancellor
14 Oct 1274. Note. The year could be 1274-1279. Letter XV. Eleanor of Castile Queen Consort England 1241-1290 (33) to Robert Burnell Lord Chancellor (35).
Eleanora, by God's grace qaeen of England, lady of Ireland, and duchess of Aquitaine to lord Robert Burnell, sends loving greeting.
We require and affectionately entreat you to give counsel and assistance to this affair, that the transgression injuriously committed against the bearer of these presents, the servant of the lady Constance1 our cousin, which Master John Painter Clarell will shew you, may be reasonably redressed. For the confidence which we have in your benevolence is the cause why we so often direct to you our prayers on behalf of our friends. And do you for love of us give such diligence in this affair, that we may henceforth be bound to you by special favour. Given at Guildford, xiiij day of October.
1. There is much discussion among historians as to which Constance is being referred to here. Also which Eleanor wrote the letter: Eleanor of Provence or Eleanor of Castile..
1279. Letter XVI. Constance Widow of Henry of Germany the Nephew of Henry III to Edward I
1279. Letter XVI. Constance Widow of Henry of Germany, the Nephew of Henry III to Edward I (39).
To the most serene prince, and, if it please him, her dearest lord, Edward, by God's grace king of England, lord of Ireland, and duke of Aquitaine, his humble and devoted Constance, relict of the late noble man Henry of Germany, wishes health, and commends herself with devoted obsequiousness and honour.
Be it known to your excellency, that for some time last past I have not dared, through fear of you to write to your highness, nor to signify anything to you, whereof of good cause I grieved, and was beyond measure distressed at heart. But now, by the leave and counsel of the Lord Bishop of Bath (40), and Lord Otho de Grandison (41), I have dared to write to you, which gives me all possible joy, supplicating your royal majesty that you will deign diligently to search out and inquire the truth from the said lord bishop and Sir Otho concerning my estate, and about all things which have hitherto been done and at tempted about me; for they, if they choose, can for the most part certify you as to the premises. Yet I much desire, and long above all things, that I could speak face to face with your highness about my estate and other things concerning me. Wherefore I pray your lordship, as affectionately and humbly as I can, by that dear love which by your favour you were wont to bear me, and still bear as I hope, that if it would please you that I might come to your highness, you will command my lord and father (54), when he shall be in England, to send for me by his letters. And I believe he will do it willingly, if you will command or advise it. Please it your highness to give credence to our dear and trusty clerk, Master William R., of Miremont, the present bearer, in reference to the premises and all other things which he will say to you on our behalf. May the Most High long preserve your person and dominions, and give you increase of favour and honour!
1279. Letter XVII. Eleanora Queen Dowager of England to her son Edward I
1279. Letter XVII. Eleanora Queen-Dowager of England (56) to her son Edward I (39).
Eleanora, by God's grace queen of England, to our dear son Edward, by the same grace king of England, health and our blessing.
Know, sweet son, that we have understood that a marriage is in agitation between the son of the King of Sicily (51) and the daughter of the King of Germany (60); and, if this alliance is made, we may well be disturbed in the right that we have to the fourth part of Provence, which thing would be great damage to us, and this damage would be both ours and yours. Where fore we pray and require you, that you will specially write to the aforesaid king, that since Provence is held from the empire, and his dignity demands that he should have right done to us about it, he will regard the right that we have, and cause us to hold it. Of this thing we especially require you, and we commend you to God.
08 Jul 1279. Letter XVIII. Eleanora Princess of Wales to her cousin Edward I
08 Jul 1279. Letter XVIII. Eleanora Princess of Wales (27) to her cousin Edward I (40).
To her excellent lord and well-beloved cousin, the Lord Edward, by the grace of God king of England, lord of Ireland, and dake of Aquitaine, his devoted cousin Eleonora, princess of Wales, lady of Snowdon, with such sincere affection as becometh, sends health to so great and so near a kinsman.
Be it known to your excellency, that we desire to hear good and prosperous news concerning your state and condition : therefore we entreat your excellency, humbly and earnestly, for our love's sake, that you deign to make known to us, as your humble cousin, and one ready to do your good pleasures, your state; and whether you wish any thing within our power which may redound to your honour^ or may please your majesty.
Although, as we have heard, the contrary hereto hath been reported of us to your excellency by some; and we believe, notwithstanding, that you in no wise give credit to any who report unfavourably concerning our lord and ourself, until you learn from ourselves if such speeches contain truth : because you shewed, of your grace, so much honour and so much friendliness to our lord and ourself, when you were at the last time at Worcester.
Wherefore, whatever you shall demand from us in this, or other matters that you wish, we shall ever be ready, according to our ability, to execute and accomplish.
Given at Llanmaes, the 8th day of July.
18 Oct 1280. Letter XIX. Eleanora Princess of Wales to her cousin Edward I
18 Oct 1280. Letter XIX. Eleanora Princess of Wales (28) to her cousin Edward I (41).
To the most excellent prince, and also her very dear cousin, the Lord Edward, by the grace of God king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of Aquitaine, his devoted Eleonora, princess of Wales, lady of Snowdon, sends health, with such sincere affection as becometh to so great a lord and so near a kinsman.
We make it known to your excellency by these presents, that we, blessed be God, enjoy good health and prosperity; which same we not only desire, but long to learn, concerning yourself.
And whereas it has been reported to us bj some that you propose to have it debated, in the present parliament, touching the relieving the condition of our very dear brother, the Lord Amalric (38), therefore, with clasped hands, and with bended knees and tearful groanings, we supplicate your majesty that, reverencing from your inmost soul the Divine mercy (which holds out the hand of pity to all, especially to those who seek Him with their whole heart), yoo would deign mercifully to jbake again to your grace and favour our aforesaid brother and your kinsman, who humbly craveth, as we understand, your kindness.
For if your excellency, as we have often known, mercifully condescends to strangers, with much more reason, as we think, ought you to hold out the hand of pity to one so near to you by the ties of nature.
May you long fare well in the Lord !
Given at Saint Anneir, on the feast of Saint Luke the Evangelist.