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5 - The post-medieval history of the chronicle and its use by the heralds

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 May 2022

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Summary

According to William Worcester's incipit, the M 9 chronicle was compiled in 1459, the year Sir John Fastolf died. The next firm date which we have for its existence is 1619 when the chronicle, bound together with a number of sixteenth-century texts, appears in Samson Lennard's handwritten catalogue of the College of Arms collections. The volume is described as ‘a book in fol. concerning the warres of H. 5. in France & also the ceremonies used at the creacion of the prince, with other speciall notes’. The inclusion in Lennard's catalogue indicates that it formed part of the foundation collection of the College. The L and M series are descendants of two pressmarks in the catalogue which represented ‘the collection of the working manuscripts of the Tudor heralds’.

In this chapter we shall consider when and how the chronicle might have come into the possession of the College of Arms. Helpful clues are provided by which later texts were chosen to be bound with it. Also relevant is evidence found in other texts of the sixteenth century of the use of the chronicle by heralds and others. First we shall turn to the immediate aftermath of Fastolf 's death to consider the possible fate of the original chronicle manuscript.

THE IMMEDIATE FATE OFTHE CHRONICLE

Sir John Fastolf died on 5 November 1459. The knight had appointed William Worcester as one of ten executors of his will, but disputes soon arose with John Paston I, who claimed that he had been chosen by Fastolf as his main executor. Worcester experienced repeated difficulties and high costs in not only trying to deal with Fastolf 's affairs but also putting forward his own claims for money due to him for past and present services. Matters dragged on until 1470 when the archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Bourchier, transferred the administration of Fastolf 's will to William Waynflete, bishop of Winchester (1398–1486), who had also been one of the initial executors. On 7 December 1472 Waynflete came to an agreement with Worcester, who was thereby paid for handing over to the bishop relevant Fastolf muniments. Waynflete ended up in control of most of Fastolf 's landed interests, which he put to the endowment of Magdalen College Oxford, the college he had founded in 1458.

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A Soldiers' Chronicle of the Hundred Years War
College of Arms Manuscript M9
, pp. 121 - 138
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2022

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