Pleshey Castle

Pleshey Castle is in Pleshey.

1400 Epiphany Rising

1528 Sweating Sickness Outbreak

In 1324 Eleanor of Woodstock Plantagenet (age 5) was placed into the care of her cousin Eleanor Clare Baroness Zouche Mortimer (age 31). She was subsequently placed into the care of Ralph Monthermer 1st Baron Monthermer (age 54) (he had formerly been married to her aunt Joan of Acre and Isabel Despencer Baroness Hastings and Bergavenny with her younger sister Joan of the Tower (age 2) at Pleshey Castle [Map].

On 06 Apr 1395 William Stafford 4th Earl Stafford (age 19) died at Pleshey Castle [Map]. He was buried at Tonbridge, Kent [Map]. His brother Edmund Stafford 5th Earl Stafford (age 17) succeeded 5th Earl Stafford, 6th Baron Stafford.

Froissart. The king (age 29), under pretence of deer-hunting, went to a palace he had at Havering-at-the-Bower [Map], in Essex: it is about twenty miles from London, and as many from Pleshy [Map], where the duke of Gloucester generally resided. The king set out one afternoon from Havering, without many attendants, for he had left them behind with the queen at Eltham, and arrived at Pleshy [Map] about five o'clock: the weather was very hot; and he came so suddenly to the castle, that no one knew of it, until the porter cried out, "Here is the king!" The duke of Gloucester had already supped, for he was very temperate in his diet, and never sat long at dinner or supper. He immediately went out to meet the king in the court of the castle, and paid him all the respect due to his sovereign, as did the duchess (age 30) and her children.

Froissart. Such were the conversations, as it was afterwards known, between the duke of Gloucester (age 41) and his knight. He had conceived a great hatred to his nephew, the king of England (age 29), and could no way speak well of him; and although he was, with his brother of Lancaster (age 56), the greatest personage in England, and one by whose advice the government ought to have been carried on, he paid not any attention to it. When the king (age 29) sent for him, if it was his pleasure he would come, but more frequently he staid at home; and, when he obeyed, he was always the last to come and the first to depart. On giving his opinion, it must be implicitly followed, for he would not suffer it to be contradicted. He then took leave, mounted his horse, and set off for a handsome castle he had in Essex, thirty miles from London, called Pleshy [Map], where he resided more constantly than anywhere else. This lord Thomas (age 41) was a great lord, and could afford to expend annually, from his income, sixty thousand crowns. He was duke of Gloucester, earl of Essex and Buckingham, and constable of England; and, from his rough manner, was more dreaded by the king (age 29) than any other of his uncles, for, in his speech, he never spared him. The king (age 29) was always submissive to him, and whatever he asked was instantly granted. The duke of Gloucester (age 41) had ordered many severe and hasty executions in England, and, without any title of reason or justice, had caused that prudent and gallant knight sir Simon Burley to be beheaded, with many others of the king's council. This duke (age 41) likewise caused the banishment of the archbishop of York (age 43) and the duke of Ireland from England, notwithstanding the confidence the king (age 29) reposed in them, accusing them of giving evil counsel to the king (age 29), keeping him under their governance, and wasting the revenues of the kingdom on themselves. The duke of Gloucester's (age 41) two brothers of Lancaster (age 56) and York (age 55) resided generally with the king (age 29): he was jealous of them, and said to several (such as Robert1 bishop of London and others) who went to visit him at his castle of Pleshy [Map], that his brothers were too expensive to the king (age 29), and that it would be more decent for them to live at their own houses. The duke (age 41) gained, by every possible means, the love of the Londoners; for he thought, if he acquired popularity with them, the rest of England would follow their example. The duke (age 41) had a nephew, son to his brother Lionel, duke of Clarence, who had married the daughter of Galeas, lord of Milan, and died at Asti in Piedmont. The duke of Gloucester (age 41) would gladly have seen his nephew, called John earl of March2, on the throne of England, and king Richard (age 29) deposed from it, saying he was neither worthy nor capable to hold the government of England; and this opinion he made no secret of to those who were in his confidence. He invited this earl of March to come and see him; and when at Pleshy [Map], he unbosomed himself to him of all the secrets of his heart, telling him that he had been selected for king of England (age 29); that king Richard (age 29) and his queen (age 7) were to be confined, but with ample provision for their maintenance, as long as they lived; and he earnestly besought his nephew to believe all he said, for he should make it a point to put his plans into execution, and that he was already joined by the earl of Arundel, sir John Arundel (age 50), the earl of Warwick, and many prelates and barons of England.

Note 1. Robert Braybook, who succeeded Courtnay, on his translation to Canterbury, 1381, and died 1404, having been chancellor of England scarcely six months.— Gough's Pleshy, note, p. 59.

Note 2. "He was third son of Edward Mortimer earl of March, by Philippa, daughter of Lionel duke of Clarence, and was hanged 3d Henry VI. Sandford, p. 224 — Froissart means Roger (age 22), his elder brother, slain in Ireland, 22d Richard II., whose death Richard went over to avenge, when Henry IV. plotted to dethrone him. Ib. p. 226. This Roger (age 22) was declared heir to the crown by parliament, 9th Rich. II. Leland's Collectanea, vol. i. p. 693. — Froissart took the opportunity of the marriage of Lionel and Violanta to visit Italy, and dwells on the solemnities and festivals of the wedding." — Gough's Pleshy, p. 60.

Froissart. This answer contented some, but not all; for there were among them rebels attached to the duke of Gloucester (age 41), who wanted a more speedy decision of their demands; but the dukes of Lancaster (age 56) and York (age 55) appeased them by gentle words, and they all departed. The matter, however, did not rest here; but at the month's end they again went to the king (age 29) at Westminster, who was surrounded by his nobles and prelates. The duke of Gloucester (age 41) was now present, and leant much to the petitioners; but, in the answer which was made to them, he dissembled his real thoughts, in order that the king (age 29), his brothers, and the members of the council, might not notice them. The duke of Lancaster (age 56) replied for the king, and, addressing himself to the Londoners, as they composed the majority, said, — "Ye citizens of London, it pleases my lord the king that I give an answer to your petition: in obedience to his command, I shall declare to you what the king (age 29) and his council have determined upon. Ye know, that to provide against dangers to the kingdom, ye, as well as the other cities and towns within the realm, agreed, about six years ago, that a tax of thirteen per cent, should be laid on all merchandise that was sold, and for which the. king granted to you many privileges such as he will not take from you, but on the contrary may augment, if ye prove not undeserving of the favour. But since ye seem now to turn rebellious, and draw back from what ye had willingly before agreed to, he recals his former favours: and here are his nobles and prelates, who hare sworn to support him in all his lawful measures to the utmost of their power, and are now willing to continue their aid in maintaining all legal grants. Consider, therefore, calmly, this matter, and that the state of the king (age 29) demands great expense; if his revenue is augmented one way, it is diminished another; besides, his receipts are not so considerable as they were in former times. The war has involved greater costs than were provided for. The expenses of the ambassadors for the peace, on this and on the other side of the sea, have called for large sums; and those for the king's marriage have been very great. Although there is now a truce between England and France, the annual charges for the garrisons of the different towns and castles under the obedience of the king in Gascony, the Bourdelois, Bayonnois, and Bigorre, are very heavy. The fleet which must be maintained to guard our coasts and harbours costs a great deal. The frontiers of Scotland, and of our possessions in Ireland, must not be left defenceless, and they demand large sums. All these articles, and several others relating to the state of the king and country of England, annually absorb great sums, which the nobles and prelates understand and know much better than you can, who attend only to your trades and the disposal of your wares. Give thanks to God that ye have peace, and consider that no one pays that is not liable so to do, and carries on a trade, and that foreigners pay this tax as well as yourselves. Ye are much better off than those of France, Lombardy, or other countries, where it is to be hoped your merchandise is carried; for they are taxed and taxed over again three or four times a-year, while ye only have a moderate duty imposed on your wares." The duke of Lancaster (age 56) addressed them so mildly and calmly, that although they came thither with the worst intentions from the machinations of others, they were satisfied; and the assembly broke up without making any new demand, for the deputies from the majority of the principal towns were contented with the answer. There were some who would have rejoiced to have seen the meeting- end differently, though they did not show it openly. The duke of Gloucester (age 41) returned to his castle of Pleshy [Map], perceiving that this time he was disappointed in his expectations, and was constantly devising means of exciting disturbances in England and causing a rupture with France. In this attempt, he was joined by the uncle of his duchess (age 30), the earl of Arundel (age 50) who was desirous of war above all things; and they had successfully practised with the earl of Warwick (age 58), so that he obeyed their wills.

Froissart. I was informed, that about a month after the departure of the count de Saint Pol (age 26) from England, the king (age 29) became exceedingly unpopular: it was rumoured that the count had come to treat with the king for the restoration of Calais to the French. Nothing could have agitated the English more than such reports; and the people were so uneasy, that the Londoners went even to Pleshy [Map], to consult the duke of Gloucester (age 41) on the occasion. The duke, instead of calming, excited them more by saying, "He could do nothing in the business; for he was sure the French would give all the daughters of their king, if they could recover Calais." This answer made the Londoners very melancholy; and they said they would see the king, and remonstrate with him on the agitation the whole country was in. "Do so," replied the duke of Gloucester: "remonstrate with him firmly, and make him fear you. Mark well the answer he shall give, so that you may repeat it to me the next time I see you; and, when I know his answer, I will then give you my advice how to act. It may be that some iniquitous treaties are on foot, for the earl marshal (age 28), who is governor of Calais, has been twice at Paris, where he remained some time, and he was the most active in concluding the marriage of the king (age 29) with the lady Isabella (age 7). The French are a subtle race, and see far into consequences: they pursue their object by degrees, and are extravagant in their promises and presents to gain their ends."

Froissart. The Londoners pursued the plan they had settled at Pleshy [Map], and went to Eltham [Map] to speak with the king. At that time were with him his two brothers, the earls of Kent (age 46) and Huntingdon (age 44), the earl of Salisbury (age 46), the archbishop of Canterbury, the archbishop of Dublin, his confessor, sir Thomas Percy (age 53), sir William Lisle, sir Richard Credon, sir John Golofre, and several more, all knights of the king's chamber. The citizens remonstrated temperately with the king: told him the cause of their coming, not in a haughty or harsh manner, but with courteous speech, and repeated to him the reports which were so current throughout England. The king was greatly astonished at hearing them, and was much affected, though he dissembled his feelings. He appeased the citizens, by declaring there was not one word of truth in all the rumours that were so industriously circulated: that the count de Saint Pol had come hither to amuse himself, and that the king of France had also sent him, out of his affection to the king and queen of England, to see them; but he swore, as God might help him, and on the faith he owed the crown of England, that no treaty of any sort had ever been mentioned, and he was astonished whence such scandalous reports could have arisen. "When the king had done speaking, the earl of Salisbury (age 46) addressed the citizens: "my good people of London, withdraw to your homes, and be assured that the king and his council wish for nothing more than the honour and profit of England. Those who have busily said the contrary have been ill advised, and plainly show they would with pleasure see the country in trouble, and the people in rebellion against their king. This you ought particularly to dread, for you have before witnessed how near you were to destruction, when a few wicked persons rebelled, but were severely punished for it: depend upon it, that when the people are wicked, neither justice nor truth will be attended to." These speeches appeased the citizens, who were tolerably contented with what they had heard. Having taken leave of the king, they departed, on their return to London.

Froissart. 1397. You have before seen, in the course of this history, that king Richard of England (age 29) would not longer conceal the great hatred he bore his uncle of Gloucester (age 41), but had determined to have him cut off, according to the advice given him, setting it forth to be more advisable to destroy than be destroyed. You have likewise heard how the king (age 29) had rode to the castle of Pleshy [Map], thirty miles from London, and with fair words had cajoled the duke (age 41) out of his castle [Map], and was accompanied by him to a lane that led to the Thames, where they arrived between ten and eleven o'clock at night; and how the earl-marshal (age 28), who there lay in ambush, had arrested him in the king's name, and forced him towards the Thames, in spite of his cries to the king (age 29) to deliver him. He was conscious, that from the moment of his being thus arrested, his end was resolved on, and it was confirmed to him by the king (age 29) turning a deaf ear to his complaints, and riding on full gallop to London, where he lodged that night in the Tower [Map]. The duke of Gloucester (age 41) had other lodgings; for, whether he would or not, he was forced into a boat that carried him to a vessel at anchor on the Thames, into which he was obliged to enter. The earl-marshal (age 28) embarked also with his men, and, having a favourable wind and tide, they fell down the river, and arrived, late on the morrow evening, at Calais [Map], without any one knowing of it except the king's officers. [The earl-marshal (age 28), as governor, could enter Calais [Map] at all hours, without any one thinking it extraordinary: he carried the duke (age 41) to the castle, wherein he confined him.]

Froissart. 1397. The resentments of the citizens began to cool, and they offered to mediate between the king (age 29) and the duke of Lancaster (age 56), who was mightily angered by the murder of his brother (age 41). He bethought himself, however, that as his nephew (age 29) was married to the daughter (age 7) of the king of France (age 28), should he wage war against king Richard (age 29), his two daughters married in Castille and Portugal might suffer for it, from the French carrying a war into those countries. The duke (age 56) was beside forced to change his mind, whether he would or not, from the solicitations of the citizens of London and some of the English prelates, who had been the mediators between the king and his uncles. The king obtained peace, on promising from that day forward to be solely guided by the advice of the duke of Lancaster (age 56), engaging never to do anything without first consulting him. The promise, however, he paid not any regard to, but followed the counsels of the rash and evil-minded, for which hereafter he severely suffered, as shall be related in this history. Thus did the king of England (age 29) gain peace from his uncles for the murder of the duke of Gloucester (age 41), and now governed more fiercely than before. He went with his state to Pleshy [Map] in Essex, which had belonged to his uncle of Gloucester (age 41), and should have descended to his son Humphrey (age 16) as heir to his father; but the king took possession of it, for it is the rule in England for the king to have the wardship of all children who have lost their fathers, and are under twenty-one years of age at which period their estates are restored to them. King Richard (age 29) took his cousin Humphrey of Gloucester (age 16) in ward, appropriating all his possessions to his own profit. He made him live with him, and the duchess (age 31) and her two daughters with the queen (age 7).

Froissart. Around 12 Jul 1397. The duke's (age 42) body was honourably embalmed at Calais, and put into a leaden coffin, with an outward one of wood, and transported in this state by sea to England. The vessel that carried the body landed at Hadleigh Castle [Map] on the Thames, and thence it was conveyed on a car, unattended, to his castle of Pleshy [Map], and placed in the church which the duke had founded in honour of the Holy Trinity, with twelve canons to perform devoutly the divine service. In this church was the duke (age 42) buried. The duchess of Gloucester (age 31), her son Humphrey (age 16), and her two daughters, were sorely grieved when the body of the duke arrived. The duchess (age 31) had double cause of affliction, for the earl of Arundel (age 51), her uncle, had been publicly beheaded in Cheapside [Map] by orders of the king. No baron nor knight dared to interpose, nor advise the king to do otherwise, for he was himself present at the execution, which was performed by the earl's son-in-law, the earl-marshal (age 29), who bandaged his eyes.

Epiphany Rising

On 16 Jan 1400 John Holland 1st Duke Exeter (age 48) was executed at Pleshey Castle [Map]. Duke Exeter forfeit. Joan Fitzalan Countess Essex, Hereford and Northampton (age 53) arranged for the children of her dead brother Richard Fitzalan 9th Earl Surrey 11th Earl Arundel, who had been executed on the orders of John Holland 1st Duke Exeter (age 48) three years before, to witness the execution.

1528 Sweating Sickness Outbreak

Letters and Papers 1528. 23 Jun 1528. 4409. His Highness marvellously commends the French king's religious demeanour on Corpus Christi Day against the damnable behavior of those, worse than Jews, that would do such despite to the blessed images; and he told the gentlemen of his Privy Chamber the whole manner of it, and desired me to read to them the clause concerning it in the Bishop of Bath's letter. When in the Bishop's letter I read the clause, that many noblemen in France were right sorry the king of France had not such a councillor [as Wolsey], the King said, "Yea, by God! I blame them never a deal." He liked the rest of the letter, and the French king's letter to the Pope, and to his ambassador resident in Rome, but thought the latter more effectually worded. He said he would send copies of them to Mistress Ann for her consolation. He likes the French king's letters to the Venetians for Ravenna and Cervia; and thinks, if they are put into the hands of Francis, the Pope will be more compliant, who, he is afraid, is now sticking for fear of the Emperor, by the tarrying of Mr. Stephen's letter. All being read by 11 o'clock at night, he said he would see the news about Spain today; but he has not yet come down. Generally, in going and coming, he turns into my chamber to talk with me about his book.

At this word his Highness came in, asking me how far I had done. Thereupon I put him in mind of the news from Spain, and to sign the king of Scots' letter, which he said he would do soon; and he is gone a-walking. Mr. Cary (deceased), whom I met after he had been with his wife (age 29) at Plashey [Map], is dead of the sweat. Will repair to Wolsey by short stages of ten miles, going by water through London Bridge. No earthly riches could persuade him to travel much now, as nothing causes the sweat more than much travel and the sun. Is worse than he was. Hunsdon, Tuesday, 23 June 1528.

Letters and Papers 1528. 23 Jun 1528. R. O. 4413. R. Lord Fitzwater to Wolsey.

Care (deceased) died on Monday last, leaving vacant the stewardship of the duchy of Lancaster in Essex, the constableship of the Castle of Plashe [Map], the keeping of the two parks, and other offices in the King's gift. Asks Wolsey to obtain those above mentioned for him, as they are near his house. Signed.

Effigy of Geoffrey Mandeville. THIS effigy is perhaps rightly assigned to Geoffrey de Mandeville, Earl of Essex. His grandfather of the same name came over with the Norman William, and was rewarded for his services in the invasion and conquest of England, by the gift of numerous lordships, which descended to William his son, who married Margaret, daughter of Eudo Dapifer, or Steward, to William the First. Geodrey, the supposed subject of this effigy, was their son and heir, and in the 5th of King Stephen fined for the livery of his inheritance. He was hereditary Constable of the Tower of London, and was created by King Stephen, by charter, Earl of Essex. He however took part against Stephen with the Empress Matilda; and she also not only constituted him by charter Earl of Essex, but made him hereditary Sheriff of London, Middlesex, and Hertfordshire; and gave him, moreover, the lands of Eudo Dapifer in Normandy, and his office of High Steward as an hereditary right. King Stephen in 1144 seized his person, and obliged him, as the ransom for his liberty, to yield up possession of the Tower of London, and his castles of Pleshey [Map] and Walden, in Essex; the latter of which was his chief family seat. The warlike Geoffrey having, however, procured his enlargement, associated to himself certain mercenary bands, at the head of which he ravaged the royal demesnes, and plundered the Abbey of Ramsey. For this deed he incurred ecclesiastical excommunication. Laying siege to the Castle of Burwell, in Cambridgeshire, he received a mortal wound in his head from a dart, and finding his fortunes in this world set at rest, began to make what provision he could, at so short a notice, for those of the next. Some Knights Templar coming to him in his last moments, he endowed their fraternity with certain of his lands, and put on the habit of their order as a passport to heaven. Still under sentence of excommunication, they could not give him Christian burial, but they hit upon the notable expedient of wrapping his corpse in lead, and suspending it from a tree in the garden of the Old Temple, in Holborn. After some time his absolution was obtained from Pope Alexander the Third, and his body was taken down and buried in the round or most ancient part of the New Temple Church, which now serves as a porch to the main body of the building. This may account for the style of the effigy on his coffin lid, which does not appear to have been made before the latter end of the twelfth century. The costume of this effigy is exceedingly remarkable. On the head is a cylindrical, or pot like, chapelle de fer. The hauberk of chain-mail envelopes his hands, forming a sort of glove; and it may be here remarked that the most ancient gloves had not fingersa. He wears a long surcoat over his armour; a broad belt, and a very broad-belted sword dependant from the side; a long kite-shaped shield, covered with fretwork. His right arm is crossed upon his breast. The Mandeville Arms was quarterly, Or and Gules. Dugdale says this Geoffrey added a carbuncle to his arms. One, indeed, appears on the shield of the effigy; but at this early period it seems very doubtful that it is really an heraldic distinction. On his legs are chausses, or stockings of mail, and the straps, and heel portion of the pryck-spurs attached to them, remain. The style of the figure has an expression of martial grandeur.

Details. The chapelle de fer, mails of the hauberk covering the neck.

Note a. I have somewhere seen gloves with fingers forbidden to be worn by the members of an ecclesiastical order, as being a luxury.

Froissart. You may suppose, that when news was carried to Pleshy [Map] of the duke of Gloucester's arrest, the duchess and her children were greatly dismayed, and, since such a bold measure had been taken, were much afraid of the consequences. Suspecting the duke's life was in great danger, they consulted sir John Laquingay what would be best for them now to do. The knight advised them to send instantly to the dukes of Lancaster and York, the duke's brothers; for by their mediation, perhaps, the king's choler would be appeased. He saw no other means, as the king would not choose to make them his enemies. The duchess of Gloucester followed this advice of the knight, and instantly despatched messengers to both, for they resided at a distance from each other. They were much enraged at hearing their brother was arrested, and returned answers to the duchess, not to be too much distressed at what had happened, for the king would not dare to treat him otherwise than by fair and legal measures, for it would not be suffered. This answer comforted the duchess and her children.