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Archive for the tag ““Tudor” justice”

The Court of Requests and Thomas Seckford

In 1484, King Richard III created a minor equity court to deal with minor disputes in equity; these are disputes where the harshness of common law would be acknowledged by those appointed by the Crown. Equity courts were mostly seen as the Lord Chancellor’s remit, and the split of the Chancery Courts from the Curia Regis happened in the mid-fourteenth century. By the time of King Richard III, the Chancery Court had become backlogged from cases pleading the harshness of the common law, and the Court of Requests was no doubt and attempt to remove minor equity cases from the backlog and free up court time – Richard’s attempt at reducing bureaucracy and better administration.

So successful was the Court of Requests that it survived Richard’s reign, and was formalised by the Privy Council of Henry “Tudor”, the usurper. It was a popular court, because the cost of cases was relatively low and justice was swifter than the common law courts, which would ultimately prove its undoing.

Two Masters of Requests Ordinary were appointed by Henry VIII, and another two Masters of Requests Extraordinary were appointed by Elizabeth I. One of these was Thomas Seckford, of Woodbridge in Suffolk.

Thomas was an influential man, even before Elizabeth appointed him to the Court of Requests in 1558. He was MP for Ripon in November 1554, just months after his Grey cousins were executed, and was then elected MP for Orford (a fishing village on the Suffolk Coast which had two MPs despite only having a handful of residents) in 1555 and again in 1558. He was MP for Ipswich in 1559 and for Suffolk in 1571. Seckford Hall, (right) near Woodbridge, is known to have hosted Elizabeth’s court as she progressed, and was built in 1530 as the Seckford Family home; it is now a hotel, while a golf club sits within what was once its grounds. The A12 Martlesham bypass sweeps across the Finn Valley in front of the hall, giving wonderful views to motorists but somewhat destroying the character and appearance of the building and grounds. As an interesting side note, the hotel contains furniture from Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, including (allegedly) the chair Henry the Usurper died on.

Thomas Seckford commissioned Christophe Saxton to create the first surveyed atlas of the realm, which Elizabeth granted him a patent for its sole publication for ten years. This made him an even wealthier man and he added to his estates Clerkenwell, endowing the Seckford Almshouses with income from Clerkenwell. His wealth also led to the establishment of a free school, Woodbridge School, which is a minor public school. His wealth still helps young and old in Woodbridge today.

The Court of Requests fell foul of the common law courts at the end of the 16th century. Angry that business deserted them in favour of the more efficient Court of Requests, the common law courts overturned a number of decisions of the Requests Court, and banned them from imprisoning people; ultimately this was to prove their undoing, and the English Civil War, which led to the invalidation of the Privy Seal, was the final death of the Court, set up all those years before by King Richard for the better delivery of justice.

Thomas Seckford (left) died in January 1587, although we are not sure exactly when, whilst in his early seventies. His mother was Margaret Wingfield, relating him to both the de la Pole and Brandon families, and her mother was an Audley. In fact, Thomas could claim double descent from Edward I, through Joan of Acre, as well as many other great mediaeval magnates, including Edmund “Crouchback”. At his death, Thomas Seckford remained without issue, just like his fellow long-term royal servant Henry Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon. I need hardly add that Huntingdon was his cousin.

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Another selection from SHW

Tyndale and More – strange bedfellows….

 

Thomas More

Sir Thomas More

This link takes you to an interesting article about the fates of two great opposites, Sir Thomas More and William Tyndale. And, once again, Henry VIII’s lust for Anne Boleyn was at the heart of it.

 

The sinister secret of the Cornhill, Ipswich

This is about to undergo a little refurbishment. The first picture shows the eastern approach to the Cornhill, where heresy executions took place during the sixteenth century, whilst the others are from the monument in Christchurch Park.

See also: https://murreyandblue.wordpress.com/2016/07/23/a-colchester-mystery/ or https://murreyandblue.wordpress.com/2014/02/04/an-afternoon-in-hadleigh-2006/

Who is this a portrait of?

It is reputed to be Jane, who was executed in February 1554 at the age of about seventeen. She looks a little older than that to us, but teenagers’ dress sense has changed in the space of 460 years and most of her portraits date from at least forty years after her lifetime.

This, by an unknown artist in about 1590 and inscribed “Lady Jayne”, is known as the Streatham Portrait but was purchased in Ipswich between 1890 and 1910 by a regular customer of Green’s, a bookseller and antique dealer based near the Central Library until comparatively recently. It can be viewed at the National Portrait Gallery but has been the subject of controversy since its rediscovery. Leading art dealer Christopher Foley has authenticated it but David Starkey disagrees. Of course, it may not be the original.

So what do you think? Here is a similar case.

A “Tudor” marriage and a contemporary journalist who is the bride’s collateral descendant.

Janet Wertman writes here about Emma Stanhope’s marriage to Edward Seymour, the Lord Protector to Edward VI. Seymour was ousted and executed in January 1552 alongside Emma’s brother, Sir Michael Stanhope. As shown in the last series of “Who do you think you are?”, Sir Michael was the ancestor of the BBC Security Correspondent Frank Gardner.

FrankGardner

I sentence you to death by acquittal?

HenryVIIIArthur Waite, Viscount Lisle was released from the Tower of London in March 1542, having been held on suspicion of high treason for two years. This illegitimate son of Edward IV, as were they all, died of a heart attack the same week.

Sir Geoffrey Pole was arrested with some cousins, his brother and his nephew, both named Henry, in November 1538. His brother and his adult cousins were executed either in December or January, whilst his nephew is unaccounted for after 1542. Sir Geoffrey twice tried to kill himself in custody but gave evidence against Lord Montagu after his servants were threatened with torture. He lived on until November 1558, a broken man.

Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, was betrothed to Anne Boleyn before her marriage service with Henry VIII. In spring 1536, the latter annulled his marriage on the grounds of a Boleyn-Percy pre-contract, before she was executed. Northumberland had been a juror at her trial and died just over a year later.

Would Richard use vellum? Or paper?….

An argument has arisen for and against using vellum for recording our laws, as stored on the amazingly full shelves of the Act Room. Paper is indeed more perishable. Just imagine having the Magna Carta on paper! How insignificant it would appear. Not insignificant in content, of course, but all the same…

I have seen the magnificent charter that Richard III granted to the City of Gloucester. It is quite exquisite, and so vivid and crisp after all this time that it might have been signed and sealed only a few years ago. If it had been on paper, it would certainly not look the same.

So, vellum or paper? In the long run, given that vellum lasts 5,000 years or more, I guess the vellum has my vote. I know there are all sorts of reasons and sensibilities against it, but I’m still in favour of its continued use. It would have been used for the Lindisfarne Gospels, Domesday Book, Magna Carta, Edward I’s Treason Acts, de Heretico Comburendo, Titulus Regius, Richard’s bail laws and Henry VIII’s attainder against the insane Viscountess Rochford.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/12156813/Vellum-should-be-saved-in-a-bid-to-safeguard-our-great-traditions-says-minister.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Act Room, Houses of Parliament

Today’s new special stamps …

Sir Brian Tuke by Hans Holbein

Sir Brian Tuke by Hans Holbein

… are about the history of the Royal Mail and it’s predecessors:
http://shop.royalmail.com/issue-by-issue/royal-mail-500/icat/royalmail500

As you can see, they feature Sir Brian Tuke, who Henry VIII made Master of the King’s Posts in 1512. He occupied other positions, including clerk of the council of Calais, Treasurer of the Household and secretary to Cardinal Wolsey:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Tuke
http://www.oxforddnb.com/index/27/101027803/

One of his principal duties must have been organising the deliveries of the 72,000 death warrants Henry VIII mandated.

Here it is, in black and white …

Many of you will remember this post from before Christmas, about the “Lincoln Roll”, supposedly compiled for the Earl of Lincoln but clearly updated at least twenty-six years after his death, to cover his brother’s execution:
http://www.johnashdownhill.com/johns-blog/2015/12/21/the-henry-tudor-society-death-certificates

In it, you will note that Dr. Ashdown-Hill corrects a troll, who claimed that it showed Edward IV’s elder sons both died in childhood (“iunie“, which means something else), demonstrating that the Roll actually used the term “iuve” (short for “iuventute” or “in his youth”).

So what exactly is meant, in either the classical or late Mediaeval era, by “youth”? According to A Latin-English Dictionary (1868, ed W. Smith) , this is between the ages of twenty and forty, which seems reasonable. Richard of Shrewsbury, Edward IV’s middle son, the sometime Duke of York and (in jure uxoris) of Norfolk, was born on 24 August 1473. “Perkin Warbeck”, who may well have been Richard of Shrewsbury, died on 23 November 1499 at Tyburn, in the presence of several witnesses.

So the Roll, whichever de la Pole it was actually compiled for, which I think we can deduce, is wholly consistent with “Perkin” being who he claimed to be.

Juventus FC, most of whose players are aged between 20 and 40

Juventus FC, most of whose players are aged between 20 and 40

"Perkin Warbeck" who, if he was Richard of Shrewsbury, died at 26.

“Perkin Warbeck” who, if he was Richard of Shrewsbury, died at 26.

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