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THE VENERABLE 



SIR ADRIAN FORTESCUE 



KNIGHT OF THE BATH, KNIGHT OF ST. JOHN 



MARTYR 



BY 



FATHER JOHN MORRIS. S.J. 



LONDON 
BURNS AND GATES, Limited 

1887 



THE VENERABLE 



SIR ADRIAN FORTESCUE 



KNIGHT OF THE BATH, KNIGHT OF ST. JOHN 



MARTYR 



BY 



FATHER JOHN MORRIS, S.J, 




LONDON 
BURNS AND GATES, Limited 

1887 



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The Venerable Adrian Fortescue, Martyr. 



Amongst the Martyrs of the time of Henry the Eighth, who 
were not depicted on the walls of the English College Church 
and who are therefore not included in the Decree that gave to 
fifty-four Martyrs the honours of the Blessed, are three Knights 
of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. These are Sir Adrian 
Fortescue and Sir Thomas Dingley, who were beheaded on 
Tower Hill on the 8th or loth of July, 1539, and Sir David 
Gunston, who was hanged, drawn, and quartered at St. Thomas 
Waterings in Southwark on July i, 1541. Of these three 
Martyrs hardly a word has been published by Catholic writers, 
excepting that Fortescue and Dingley were attainted by Act of 
Parliament for denying the King's Supremacy ; and that Gunston 
was tried and found guilty of high treason for the same cause. 
Of Sir Thomas Dingley and Sir David Gunston there is little 
more, as yet, that can be said ; but fortunately modern research, 
and more especially the labours of Thomas (Fortescue) Lord 
Clermont, the historian of his family, have put us in possession 
of a considerable body of information respecting Sir Adrian 
Fortescue. He comes of an interesting family, of which Lord 
Clermont modestly says that it is " a fair example of a knightly 
and noble house of England," and it will be well for us under 
his guidance to learn something, not only of our Martyr, but 
of those who went before him and followed after him of his 
blood and name. 

The family tradition is that amongst the warriors in the host 
of William the Conqueror was the Duke's cup-bearer, Richard le 
Fort, who at the Battle of Hastings, when his master's horse 
was killed under him, saved his life by the shelter of his "strong 
shield." Fort or Forz he is named in the Rolls of Battle Abbey, 
but henceforward he was called Fort-Escu ; and in reference to 
this event his modern descendants have taken for their motto 
Forte saLtuni sahis dncuin, " A strong shield the safety of leaders." 
Richard Fort-Escu returned to Normandy, where his line wa^ 
B 



2 The Venerable Adrian For fescue, Martyr, 

continued through his second son and lasted for seven centuries. 
In England his eldest son, Sir Adam, became the recipient of 
the Conqueror's bounties, having various grants of land made to 
him. His seat was at Wimstone in South Devon, and he is the 
ancestor of all the English Fortescues. His descendants were 
in succession a second and third Adam and then a William ; 
in the next generation the eldest son was Sir John, and the other 
two sons. Sir Richard and Sir Nicholas, Knights of St. John, who 
fought in the Holy Land under Richard Coeur de Lion. The 
line of the eldest sons was continued by a Sir Richard, three 
more Adams, and four Williams. With the last of these, who 
was married in 1394, our interest in the main line of the family 
ceases, for his brother Sir John, who in 1422 was Governor of 
Meaux in France, is the ancestor of the branch of the family 
with which we are concerned. He had three sons : the eldest, 
Sir Henry, was Lord Chief Justice of Common Pleas in Ireland 
in 1426 ; the second was Sir John, the famous Chancellor 
Fortescue, from whom Earl Fortescue and Lord Clermont 
descend ; and the third Sir Richard, who was killed at the 
Battle of St. Alban's in 1455. The youngest of these three 
distinguished men was the grandfather of the Venerable Adrian 
Fortescue. 

We have not paused to mention points of interest connected 
with these ancestors of our Martyr, as that Sir John, his great- 
grandfather, fought at Agincourt. But we cannot pass in silence 
the Chancellor, Sir John Fortescue, Sir Adrian's great-uncle, one 
of whose legal works he has converted into a relic by transcribing 
it with his own hand. The title by which he is best known is 
that of Chancellor, but it was in the office of Lord Chief 
Justice of England, which he held for eighteen years, that his 
high legal reputation was made. To this he was appointed in 
1442, when he was forty-six or forty-eight years old, and he had 
then been King's Serjeant twelve years and a law student some 
sixteen years before that. We may presume from the general 
use of the title that he really was Lord Chancellor of England. 
He certainly had held the title of that office when he was in 
exile with Henry the Sixth, whose fortunes he shared ; but he 
was still Chief Justice when he fought by Henry's side on Palm 
Sunday, 1461. On the utter overthrow of the Lancastrians at 
the bloody Battle of Towton, he withdrew to Durham and 
afterwards to Edinburgh in attendance on King Henry, Queen 
Margaret, and the Prince of Wales. The Chancellor of the 



, The Venerable Adrian Fortescue, Martyr. 3 

Prince he had long been. He was attainted by Edward the 
Fourth's first Parliament, which was not wonderful, seeing that 
at the same time the last three sovereigns were declared to be 
usurpers. Sir John remained in Scotland with King Henry, 
using his pen and his legal intellect in his behalf; and when 
Edward made Henry his prisoner in 1465, the Chancellor accom- 
panied Queen Margaret and the Prince when they fled to the 
Continent. For nearly six years his life was spent in teaching 
the Prince of Wales, and in writing political letters in his fallen 
master's service. Henry the Sixth, who had been freed from 
the Tower by Clarence and Warwick, after six months of 
liberty was made prisoner once more after the Battle of Barnet 
on Easter Sunday, 1471 ; and on that very Easter Sunday the 
Queen and Prince Edward, with the Chancellor, landed at 
Weymouth. The Battle of Tewkesbury followed on the 4th 
of May, and there the Prince was killed, the Queen was taken, 
and among the prisoners was Sir John Fortescue. King Henry 
was murdered in the Tower on the 21st of May, and there was 
no one left but Edward the Fourth to claim the aged lawyer's 
allegiance. In October, 1471, under the Broad Seal, and with 
the assent of Parliament Edward granted Sir John Fortescue a 
pardon, but before his lands were restored to him the King 
required that he should write an answer to his own arguments 
against Edward's title to the realm of England. He did what 
was required of him with much bonhommie, like a man who had 
been accustomed to defend a cause for a fee, and in February, 
1474, when he was eighty years old, he got his answer Soit fait 
come il desire. At this time he wrote his treatise On Absolute 
and Limited Monarchy, the copy of which in the Bodleian, in his 
great-nephew's handwriting, bearing the date of 1532, was 
published in 1714 by Lord Fortescue of Credan ; and he left 
other works, of which the best known is his book in praise of 
the laws of England. The exact date of his death is not 
known. 

We have said that Sir John Fortescue, the Governor of 
Meaux, had three sons, of which the Chancellor was the second. 
We are now concerned with the third. Sir Richard, who was our 
martyr's grandfather, called "of Punsborne," from his estate. 
His life was lost in 1455 at the Battle of St. Alban's, near his 
own residence of Punsborne, the first conflict between Henry the 
Sixth and the Yorkists. Sir Richard, like his brother the 
Chancellor, took King Henry's part in this fratricidal War of 



4 The Venerrble Adrian Fortescue, Martyr. 

the Roses. He had married Alice, daughter of Sir Walter de 
Windsor,^ of Windsor in Devon, and he left three sons ; the 
eldest, another Sir Richard, with whom we are not concerned, 
and two others both of whom were called Sir John. In the case 
of the first^ of the two Sir Johns, there was this singular coin- 
cidence that while he had a brother of his own name, he married 
Alice Montgomery, who had a sister of her own name. Gene- 
alogists would learn with relief that they died without issue. 

The younger Sir John, who was Sir Adrian's father, died on 
July 28, 1500. His wife, Sir Adrian's mother, was Alice, the 
daughter of Sir Geoffrey Boleyn, Lord Mayor of London ; and 
thus Sir Thomas Boleyn, whom Henry the Eighth made Earl 
of Wiltshire, became his brother-in-law, and consequently Anne 
Boleyn and Sir Adrian the Martyr were first cousins. Sir John, 
who was an Esquire of the Body to King Edward the Fourth, 
was sent by him as Sheriff into Cornwall, where he had to 
conduct the siege of St. Michael's Mount, which was defended 
by the Earl of Oxford. This was in 1471 ; in 1481 he was 
Sheriff of Hertfordshire and Essex, and in a year or two the 
King made him "Master Porter" of Calais. King Richard] the 
Third, who had succeeded by the murder of his nephew, sent 
Sir John Fortescue a fresh appointment as Esquire of the Body 
to the King, with a salary of fifty marks, which appointment 
carried with it the title of " Sir ; " but Sir John Fortescue joined 
his old adversary the Earl of Oxford, and they offered their 
services to the Earl of Richmond, who soon after became Henry 
the Seventh. Landing at Milford Haven on August 6, 1485, on 
the 22nd the decisive battle of Bosworth Field was fought, in 
which Sir John, who had been knighted by Henry on his 
landing, took his part. The victory gave the throne without 
a rival to Henry the Seventh, and the King rewarded Sir John 
by making him, within a month of the battle, Chief Butler of 
England, and by many grants of forfeited manors. At the 
coronation he was made Knight banneret. Sir John was much 
at Court henceforward, among other occasions at the festivities 
in 1494, when Prince Henry, afterwards Henry the Eighth, then 
but two years old, was created Duke of York and a Knight of 



^ Sir Adrian Fortescue, July 26, 1533, gave 6^. %d, ^'to the midwife and nurse at 
the christening of Walter, son to Sir Will. Wyndsore, besides a little gilt flagon 
weighing Yzoz. [?] that I gave to my said godson." This godson will have been a 
cousin of his. 

2 The pedigree given by Lord Clermont at p. 234 in error calls him the younger. 



l^he Venerable Adrian Fortescue, Martyr, ^ 

the Bath. At length, crossing over to Calais with the King and 
Queen, in May, 1500, to avoid the plague, of which thirty- 
thousand persons died in London in that year, his own life 
came to a close immediately after a speedy return to England, 
for he died at Punsborne July 28, 1500. 

And now we come to our Sir Adrian. It is disappointing 
when trying to trace a history that ended with a glorious 
martyrdom, to have such very slight indications of the interior 
and spiritual life that preceded it. So it is in our case, but we 
must be thankful to emerge from black ignorance to the know- 
ledge of such detail as Lord Clermont's diligent research has 
been able to collect for us respecting the martyr. The anti- 
quarian gets more than the martyr's client, but the latter is not 
left without some comforting scraps. 

Sir Adrian was born about the year 1476. He is first 
mentioned in 1499, when he was already married to Anne 
Stonor, daughter of Sir William Stonor of Stonor, near Henley- 
upon-Thames. The two families were doubly connected, for in 
1495 his wife's brother, John Stonor, married his sister, Mary 
Fortescue. On the death of her brother John, Lady Fortescue 
inherited Stonor, but her right to it was disputed by her uncle 
Sir Thomas, and after his death, by her cousin Sir Walter. 
Stonor Park was, however, retained by Sir Adrian Fortescue 
till Michaelmas, 1534. Leland describes it as '*a fair park, and 
a warren of conies, and fair woods. The mansion house standeth 
climbing on a hill, and hath two courts builded with timber, 
brick, and flint." The fair woods and park are there still, to 
speak for themselves and, better still, the ancient domestic 
chapel remains, dating from the year 1349, and it, like the 
equally ancient chapel of the Eystons at East Hendred in the 
adjoining county, has never been used for Protestant service. 
The old walls at Stonor speak to us, not only of the Venerable 
Adrian Fortescue, but also of the Blessed Father Campion, 
whose Decern rationes was printed at Dame Cecilia Stonor's 
park near Henley, and who himself stayed there to see his 
book through the press. Blessed Edmund could hardly have 
failed to know that a martyr had lived there before him. 

To return to earlier days. In 1503, when Prince Henry, 
a boy of twelve, was created Prince of Wales and Earl of 
Chester, on the i8th of February, Sir Adrian was created a 
Knight of the Bath. Prince Arthur's marriage to Princess 
Catherine of Spain had been celebrated on November 14, 1501, 



6 The Venerable Adrian Fortescue, Ma7'tyr, 

and his death followed on the 2nd of April. That marriage, so 
eventful in its consequences, and the other Royal marriage of 
the King's daughter Margaret to the King of Scotland, which 
conveyed to the Stuarts the right of succession to the Crown 
of England, were both officially brought before Sir Adrian 
Fortescue, as he was one of the Royal Commissioners for 
levying, from his county of Oxford, aids on those occasions to 
Henry the Seventh. In 15 ii he was put in the Commission of 
the Peace for the county, his name being the first named in the 
Commission. 

Sir Adrian and his elder brother John of Herts — it is curious 
that the names, when mentioned conjointly, come in this order — 
are named together in bonds to pay various sums to the King 
as fines for murder, riot, &c., between 1503, in Henry the 
Seventh's time, and 1511, when Henry the Eighth was King. 
This does not mean that they were personally guilty of these 
offences, but that the fines were laid on their estates when the 
malefactors could not be found. In 15 12 the two brothers were 
amongst those who agreed to send a certain number of men for 
war service abroad, and accordingly, in the following year, they 
took part with the young King, Henry the Eighth, in his 
expedition into France. At that time the King of England 
was in league with his wife's father, Ferdinand King of Aragon, 
with the Emperor Maximilian and with Pope Leo X., and the 
object of his invasion of France was to create a diversion in 
favour of Italy and the Papal States by attacking Louis the 
Twelfth in Flanders. The King crossed the sea with twenty-five 
thousand men, of whom fourteen thousand formed ''the King's 
ward " or division. The Fortescues had received their orders 
on May 18, 15 13, to be shipped, each of them with fifty archers 
and fifty bills, from Dover or Sandwich in the "middle ward," 
but they were afterwards transferred to the King's Ward.^ The 
ship in which they crossed was "the Mawdelen of Pole," or in 
modern spelling, the Magdalen of Poole, of one hundred and 
twenty tons, with eighty-seven men ; Sir Adrian Fortescue is 
called "captain," and the charge for the use of the ship for the 
month was 31/. 15^-. /\d. The Standards borne by the brothers 
are given in a manuscript in the College of Arms. It will be 

' "Ward" is of course the same word as ** guard," and we still speak of the 
advance guard and the rear guard. The latter word in +he old spelling, *' rereward," 
in the Protestant Bible, has puzzled many a reader. It has sometimes been 
pronounced, "And I will be thy re-reward." 



The Venerable Adrian Fortescne, Martyr, 7 

enough to give the bearings of one of Sir Adrian's banners, on 
which of course the crescent appears, to mark that he was the 
second son. " Vert, a heraldic tiger passant argent, maned and 
tufted or, charged on the shoulders with a crescent sable, between 
(in the dexter base and sinister chief) two antique shields argent, 
each charged with the word tfort, and three mullets also argent, 
charged with the crescent as before." Sir Adrian's motto was 
Loyalle Pensce, his brother's Je pense loyalement. The proper 
coat of the Fortescues — I omit the quarterings and escutcheon 
of pretence — vjdiS Azure, on a bend engrailed argent, cottised or. 

The brothers will have been witnesses of the sights of this 
brief campaign. The first and most memorable sight was the 
Emperor Maximilian, "wearing a cross of St. George," and 
serving under the orders of the King of England. Some great 
military sights there were to see. On August 16, 15 13, the 
French were struck by panic at the Battle of the Spurs, so 
called, says Holinshed, "forasmuch as they instead of sword 
and lance used their spurs, with all might and main to prick 
forth their horses to get out of danger." Another was the sad 
sight of the burning of Therouenne ; and a sight of another 
sort was the tournament held by King Henry, in the presence of 
Margaret Duchess of Savoy, in Tournay, when he had taken 
it. The Chronicle of Calais tells us that Sir Adrian Fortescue 
landed at Calais for this campaign on the 21st of June, and 
Sir John with the King on the last day of the month. They 
re-entered Calais on the 19th of October, and returned forth- 
with to England. 

Sir John Fortescue was at a royal banquet at Greenwich just 
a month before his death in 15 17. Sir Adrian was there too, 
and as both were present in a menial capacity, it may be as well 
to describe their positions. The banquet was held on St. 
Thomas's day ; that is to say, the summer feast, the 7th of July. 
There were in all thirty-three people seated at the banquet. 
The King had the centre place at the upper table. Queen 
Catherine was on his right, and Cardinal Wolsey on hers ; on 
the King's left was the French Queen, and the Emperor's 
Ambassador was beside her. Then at the side tables, with 
English peers and peeresses sat the Ambassadors of France, 
Arragon, and Venice. 

To attend on these thirty-three persons no less than 250 
names are given in a paper that was drawn up beforehand, and 
these are almost all lords or knights. How they could avoid 



8 The Venerable Ad^'ian Fo7'tescue, Martyr, 

being in one another's way is the difficulty. For instance : 
Lords Abergavenny, Fitzwalter, Willoughby, and Ferrers, to 
hold torches while the King washes. To bear towels and 
basons : for the King, the Earl of Surrey ; Lords Richard Grey, 
Leonard Grey, and Clinton, Sir Maurice Berkeley, and eight 
other knights. The King's server was Sir William Kingston ; 
and to attend on him, Lord Edmund Howard and fourteen 
knights, the last named of whom is Sir Adrian Fortescue. 
Amongst the directions we find: "All the gentlemen to be 
ready to serve the lords and ladies with drink." Sir Adrian was 
a Gentleman of the King's Privy Chamber, but the date of his 
appointment is not known. 

In the following year, 1518, Sir Adrian lost his first wife. 
The exact date we learn from his own book of accounts, in 
which fortunately he unconsciously tells us much that concerns 
him. " Costes of the beryyng and [what was] done after for the 
Lady Anne Fortescue, which dyyd the xiiij^^day of June A^. D'. 
1518, & Ao. R[egni] R[egis] H[enrici] 8^^- 10, then Monday at 
Stonor." She was buried at Pyrton Church, close to Shirburn, 
and in the account we can trace the progress of the funeral, and 
see most of what was done. The knight begins his record with 
the purchase of his mourning : " for me and my daughter " — he 
had two daughters, but one of them was probably married. 
Then come the ** lyvereys," * for making up which he had 2lbs. 
of thread and needles, for which he paid 2od. Five women 
servants are named, in the inverse order of their importance, 
judging by the money given to them, Janet Andrewe, Dame 
Lewen, Mary Tesdale, Catherine Blackball, and Margaret 
Robinson. After the people, we have four yards of black 
cotton for the pillions, the same for saddles, the same for the 
hearse, six yards of broad cotton for the wall, and six yards 
of narrow cotton for the rails, and two ells of linen for the 
•hearse cross, the making and sewing of which cost ^d. We now 
leave Stonor, with an offering to the priests there of 14^. As 
the payments to the clerk and tailors of Henley were heavy, 
and we have the entry, " bringing the church gear," probably 
Stonor chapel was hung with the black hangings that belonged 
Xo Henley. A still larger sum was paid " to the church of 
Henley for hanging the church stuff ; " and then, " for the costs 
of the Dirige and Mass there ^s. Item, to the stone, for the 
hearse light, that is, for the workings, 14$-. 4^., and for the waste, 
' * Thete can be no object in jcontinuing to give the old spelling. 



-^ The Venerable Adrian Fortescue, Martyr. 9 

gyilbs.y 6s. 4<^., and for four tapers of 6lbs. weight, 4^-. These the 
priest had as a duty to the vicar." So it seems that he only- 
paid for what was consumed of the wax burnt round the coffin, 
but that the four altar candles of six pounds' weight — fine noble 
tapers, so called from their tapering form — went to the vicar. 
The wax was 2d. a pound, which, if we multiply by ten, to bring 
us the modern value, would be not far below our modern price. 

Other things were not at all modern. Sir Adrian gave in 
" alms dole to beggars a penny a piece to 646 persons ; " and his 
gift '' to the preacher of the sermon " at Pyrton, was 10s., or in 
modern money, 5/. '' To a priest singing there half a year, 
46s. Sd., to the clerk of the church there, 3^". 4^., and for wine 
and wax, rod." 

The good Knight then summed up both sides, and it came 
to 38/. ys. 4d., but there were plenty of other expenses after- 
wards to enter. The bellringers at the burying got 2s. 2d., the 
clerk of Shirburn 4d., twenty-four torchbearers, who came 
apparently from Shirburn to the funeral, 4^-., to the parish priest 
.there I2d. But there was a Dirige and Mass at Watlington, and 
payments for the waste of torches from Watlington, Henley, 
Shirburn, and Cupham. There were six ringers at Watlington : 
how many bells are there now ? For the stone in the chancel 
the Vicar's deputy received 6s. 8d. But the great entry is, *' To 
the priests (42), and clerks (4), and children (12) to serve and 
help Mass 23^. 4^., for wine and wax 2s., for Mass pence there 
20d." What were these last ? Not, it would seem, fees to the 
servers ; but perhaps a silver penny given at the Offertory of 
each Low Mass. 

The dinner at the burying cost no less than 10/. 13^-. 6d. 
There were two beeves and nine muttons, seven lambs, four 
calves, ten geese, two capons, twenty-four couple of conies, and 
fifteen pigs. The cream, butter, eggs, salt and coals cost 
ys. id. They sent over from Stonor twenty gallons of wine, 
jcight kilderkins of beer, and a quarter of wheat in bread ; 
but they had to get more than as much again of ale from 
Watlington, and more than six times as much bread. The last 
item of the dinner expenses is 3^-. 8d "to the barber of Wat- 
lington for his labour," though what he had to do with the 
dinner is not said. Besides the 646 poor people who received 
the penny dole, Sir Adrian notes that there were other poor 
persons there '* by estimation 300 and above." A great funeral 
vwas- an event far the neighbourhood, if nearly- a. thousand. po9r 



lo The Venerable Adrian Fortescne, Martyr, 

were benefited by it. The whole expense was 42/. qj. i^., or in 
modern money say 425/. 

Our readers may think that Sir Adrian had done enough, 
but he did not think so. Next comes the month's mind, and 
after that the year's mind. The first item for the month's mind 
is that " the Vicar's deputy had an ambhng nag for the mortuary 
after the month's mind deKvered." The month's mind was kept 
in three places : first his wife's burying-place at Pyrton, the 
Vicar of which parish received 2s., forty-six priests there 24^"., 
the clerks and Mass helpers js. 2d. Benet for dressing altars 
8^. The bellringers there j.2d., the Mass pence amounted to 
3i". Zd.y that is forty-four pence, which nearly corresponds with 
the number of the priests ; so that, probably, that number of 
Masses were said that day on the temporary altars dressed by 
Benet, and the alms for each Low Mass seems to have been 6^., 
which is just our ^s. At Stonor chapel there were six priests 
who received 4^-., a double alms probably in their case ; the 
Mass pence came to 6^., again a penny for each Mass ; and the 
clerk and poor folk there had 6d. Then Sir Adrian adds, 
" Ite^n, at the Savoy, I being there at London, in all fifteen 
Masses that day 5^-.," which would be a lower alms of ^d. 
There was another great dinner at Pyrton, costing about halt 
what the funeral dinner cost. There was a bullock to eat, and 
ten sheep, two calves, ten pigs, and ten geese. Eleven kilder- 
kins of beer from Stonor, and twenty-one dozen of bread from 
Watlington, were sufficient this time. The butter to baste the 
meat cost 8^., and three cooks were content with 2s. The 
forty-six priests, no doubt, had the places of honour at the 
table, but there must have been plenty to spare for the poor. 
The last item after the dinner accounts is 2s. for " singing, wine 
and wax." The comma is probably a mistake. The forty-six 
priests will have done the singing at the Requiem, and as altar- 
breads were commonly called "singing breads" till far into 
Elizabeth's reign, so probably the wine used at the altar is here 
called "singing wine." 

The first year's mind at Pyrton has but one entry, besides 
its cost of 26s. Sd. in one sum. ''Item, for 36 escutcheons 01 
arms both in (12) metal and (24) colours, great and large, to 
give to divers churches in the country 36^." He gave Pyrton 
Church a vestment of black velvet with the appurtenances, but 
he does not say what it cost. Pyrton was not intended by the 
good knight to be his wife's final resting-place, Bisham Priory 



The Ve7terable Adrian Forte sate, Martyr, ii 

on the Thames was the place chosen by him, and he set to work 
to raise a tomb to mark her grave. He gives his orders from 
monuments that he knew and admired, selecting them from the 
cloister of the Black Friars in London. To the Black Friars, 
the Order of St. Dominic, we may gather from a notice fifteen 
years later, he had a special devotion, for in the summer of 
1534 he records, " Given to the Black Friar of Oxford to be in 
the Fraternity i2<^."^ In their London cloister he chose Sir 
Robert Southwell's tomb of marble, and had its like delivered 
to him in London by the marblers of Corfe in Purbeck, for 8/. 
This was the year after his wife's death. He had it taken to 
the Black Friars, and there he left it for some time, for he paid 
" the marbler of the Black Friars for the tomb lying with him 
two years 3^-. 4<^." He paid i2d. " for the carriage of the said 
tomb to Paul's churchyard to the marbler there," and 66s. Sd, 
" to a marbler in Paul's churchyard for the pictures, writings, 
and arms, gilt after the rate of Sir Thomas of Parre's tomb in 
the Black P'riars." The tomb was carried by water to Bisham, 
at a cost of ys. 6d., and the expense of its erection was iSs. /\d. 

On the last day of March, 1525, nearly seven years after her 
death. Sir Adrian transferred his wife's body to Bisham Priory. 
A new coffin was made, and a horse litter to carry it, 26 yards 
of black cotton covered the litter and the horse, and an ell of 
linen cloth made the cross. Six escutcheons of arms were 
made, four of which were for Bisham. There were twelve staff 
torches of wax, and six torch-bearers all the way : five priests 
went with the body, and the clerk of Pyrton carried the cross 
the whole journey, which cross as well as the pall belonged to 
Henley. Seven priests received the body by the way at the 
three resting places, Tyfeld, Marlovv, and Bisham parish church. 
The cortege had had " bread and drink at Pyrton Church first,'.' 
and at Tyfeld Vicarage they dined. It was an abstinence day, 
and they had " 4 salt fishes 2od., a ling i2d., stock fishes lod.y 
one salt salmon i^d., four salt eels [congers] i6d., fifty white 
herrings i2d., forty red herrings 8^., fresh fish 4s!' The mustard, 
salt, and onions cost ^d., and the onions are written and no 
doubt called " ungeons." Three kilderkins of beer, eight casts 
of manchettes [the best kind of white bread], and twenty-six 
casts of household bread made up the meal, and when it was 

^ This is taken, as some other extracts further on will be, from an account-book 
of Sir Adrian's in the Record Office, which has escaped Lord Clermont's notice! 
Calendar J Henry VIII. vol. 7, n. 243. „ . . / 



12" The Venerable Adrian Fortescue, Martyr, 

over, the knight paid M. " for making clean the Vicarage at 
Tyfeld and y^ vvessel " \la vaisselle, the dishes and spoons]. 

Master Prior at Bisham was paid 66s. M. '' for her laystone 
there," and 31^. 8d. was "given to him and his convent for the 
Dirige, the Mass, and other business." " The Vicar of Bisham 
for the claim of a mortuary," the funeral not being in his church, 
received 6s. 8d. Half that sum was paid to each of the churches 
at Pyrton, Tyfeld, and Marlow, and 2s. to Bisham parish church 
for torchwastes and ringings. The bread and drink at Bisham 
Priory at the burial cost 35-. 4d., the torchbearers got 4^. for 
"drinking homeward," the men of Henley I4</. for drinking 
at Henley, " Master Whitton and the priests drinking at 
Marlow," 2s. 

At Bisham, Lady Fortescue rested among her ancestors, 
Lord Clermont tells us, the Montacutes Earls of Salisbury, 
Richard Neville the King-maker, her grandfather's brother and 
her grandfather himself, the Marquis of Montague. But alas ! 
she was not destined to rest there in peace. In August, 1538, 
Sir Adrian records that he has paid for his tomb again " at the 
rasing of Bisham Priory, 20^-." He had to repurchase it, for 
the King had given Bisham away bodily with all that it con- 
tained. So Sir Adrian had to pay for the taking it down and 
for the costs to the water, and for carrying it to Henley, " and 
for the image of the Trinity Sd., and for a new small coffin 4d. 
Twenty years have gone by since her death, and all that remains 
of the wife of his bosom can now go into " a new small coffin ; " 
and he pays Richard Hall "for his labour in the said cause and 
bringing the coffin with the bones to Brightwcll Church, and to 
the clerk for making the grave by the high altar there the nth 
day of August." Sir Adrian Fortescue of Brightwell, Oxon, is 
what our martyr was called in the Act of Parliament that 
attainted him. 

But we must not move on so fast. Before leaving funerals 
we must add that Sir Adrian bought " at the rasing of Abingdon 
monastery church " a high marble tomb, apparently for his own 
resting place some day ; but that, as we shall see, was not to be. 
And he erected a monument to his father at Bishop's Hatfield 
to which his brother contributed a small sum, and this shows 
that Sir Adrian, though the younger brother, was the wealthier 
of the two. He at the same time contributed largely to Hatfield 
Church, giving two great candlesticks for the altar, two " papis 
of bone and glass " (whatever they may be), two tin cruets, a 



The Venerable Adrian Forteseue, Martyr. 13 

table of the crucifix, a table of the '' Oracion," a vestment of 
red camlet, two great forms and then four great forms more, 
two towels for the priests' hands, a new great door (the wood 
and iron work cost 403-., the lock 3J". 4^.), " a great tabernacle 
for the altar, bought at Calais in the war time" for 20s., which 
came to London by ship and then was sent down to Hatfield, 
mended and set up, for 2 u. 4^. more : at Michaelmas, 1526, 
*' a new altar cloth and two curtains of red and green French 
say [serge], lined with buckram and fringed, price in all lu.,'* 
3/^ yards of blue buckram to cover the altar, I7J^<3?. ; and 
lastly, "sent thither at Whitsuntide, 1529, two linen altar cloths 
and a linen corporal after the robbing of the church," 'js. 6d. 
Sir Humphrey, the priest, twice came up from Hatfield to see 
Sir Adrian ; the costs of his journey the first time being 3^-. 4^. 
and the second time 2od. 

We have now done with funerals, and we go back again to 
the gay world, and indeed to the world at its gayest, for early 
in 1520, Sir Adrian received a summons^ from the King to 
accompany the Queen to the Field of the Cloth of Gold. He 
was bidden to take with him "ten tall personages well and 
conveniently apparelled," and he was to appoint himself in 
apparel as to his degree, the honour of the King and of the 
realm, appertained ; but he was to convey with him over the 
sea for his own riding and otherwise not above three horses, and 
he was to repair to the Queen by the ist of May. 

On obeying this mandate. Sir Adrian must have seen 
the landing of the youthful Emperor, who had been elected 
to the Empire the year before. On Saturday, May 26, 
1520, Charles the Fifth "arrived with all his navy of ships 
royal on the coast of Kent, direct to the port of Hythe 
the said day by noon, where he was saluted by the Vice- 
Admiral of England, Sir William Fitzwilliam, with six of the 
King's great ships well furnished, which lay for the safeguard 
of passage betwixt Calais and Dover. Towards evening the 
Emperor departed from his ships, and entered into his boat, 
and coming to the land, was met and received of the Lord 
Cardinal of York with such reverence as to so noble a prince 
appertained. Thus landed the Emperor Charles the Fifth at 
Dover, under his cloth of estate of the black eagle, all spread 

^ Cotton. MSS. Caligula^ D. vii. art. Ii8. It must be owing to the seizure of 
Sir Adrian's property at his attainder that so many documents belonging to him are 
found in the British Museum and the Public Record Office. 



14 The VeneraSte Adrian Fortescue, Martyr, 

on rich cloth of gold. He had with him many noble men and 
many fair ladies of his blood. When he was come on land, the 
Lord Cardinal conducted him to the Castle of Dover, which 
was prepared for him in most royal manner. In the morning 
the King rode with all haste to the Castle of Dover to welcome 
the Emperor, and entering into the Castle alighted. . . . On Whit- 
Sunday, early in the morning, they took their horses and rode to 
the city of Canterbury, the more to keep solemn the feast of 
Pentecost ; but specially to see the Queen of England, his aunt, 
was the Emperor's intent, of whom ye may be sure he was most 
joyfully received and welcomed. . . . The Emperor remained in 
Canterbury till the Thursday, being the last of May, and then 
taking leave of the King and of his aunt, the Queen, departed 
to Sandwich, where he took his ships and sailed into Flanders. 
The same day the King made sail from the port of Dover, and 
landed at Calais about eleven of the clock, and with him the 
Queen and ladies, and many nobles of the realm. . . . The 4th 
of June the King and Queen with all their train removed from 
Calais to his princely lodging newly erected beside the town of 
Guisnes, the most noble and royal lodging that ever before was 
seen." And here we may leave Holinshed,^ our good chronicler, 
or else we shall have to follow him for many a page through all 
the glories of the Field of the Cloth of Gold. With those 
splendours we have no need to trouble ourselves, except to 
notice how completely the nobles and the knighthood and 
gentlefolk of the country were at the King's command, and 
how freely they could be called upon to spend their money. 
It must have cost Sir Adrian not a little to apparel himself and 
his " ten tall personages," so as to be in keeping with the reck- 
less expenditure of Henry the Eighth and Francis the First. 
At the same time it was an honour to be chosen on such an 
occasion, of which no doubt many a knight would be jealous, 
and the choice was in all probability a mark of favour on the 
part of Cardinal Wolsey, by whom all the arrangements were 
made. 

Whether Sir Adrian accompanied King Henry to Gravehnes 
on the loth of July, where the English King had an interview 
with the Emperor, we do not know. As he was in the Queen's 
train it is more likely that he remained with her at Calais, but 
the King and the Emperor came there on the next day, " and 
there continued in great joy and solace, with feasting, banquet- 

^ Vol. 3, p. 645. 



Vl^fVHRSfTY 



The Venerable Adrian Fortescue, Martyr, 15 

ing, dancing and masking until the 14th of July." Sir Adrian 
will have been one of the English lords and gentlemen who 
were "displaced of their lodgings" to entertain the suite of 
Charles. Before the end of the month our good knight was 
back again in England, and probably at home. 

Two years later,^ that is in 1522, when the King was 
expecting another visit from the Emperor, another summons 
came to Sir Adrian, " forasmuch as it is requisite he shall be 
honourably accompanied at that time with our lords and nobles 
both spiritual and temporal, as well for his cheerful and princely 
receiving, as to conduct him from place to place for the fame 
and renown of the realm." The King was then at his manor 
of New Hall in Essex, " otherwise called Beaulieu," as Holinshed 
says, " where the King had lately builded a costly mansion." 
The summons is dated the 4th of April, and Sir Adrian was 
required to be at Canterbury on the 27th of the same month ; 
but counter-orders came, and Sir Adrian was wanted for fighting 
and not for pageantry. On his summons he has written the 
memorandum. " After the preparation herefore, I was com- 
manded to go to the sea under my Lord Admiral, where we were 
and on land twenty-one weeks." 

We have a glimpse of Sir Adrian's preparation on a similar 
occasion in the following year, in a letter addressed to him in 
London by John Haywood,^ who sends him a list of men, partly 
his tenants, who were mustered for July i, 1523, with the 
armour to which they were admitted. One of the men, Thomas 
Hicks, P'ortescue's farmer of Stynchecombe, Haywood could not 
find. He advises Sir Adrian to allow some to " buy their peace 
to bide at home, for ye may have prettier men in Henley than 
there." At Henley they were expecting him to call upon them, 
and are always ready. 

The twenty-one weeks on sea and land, spent as Sir Adrian 
tells us with the Lord High Admiral, Thomas Howard, Earl of 
Surrey, were employed in part in " wafting the Emperor over to 
the coast of Biscay," ^^ in July, 1522, and then "finding the wind 
favourable, according to his instructions, the Admiral made to 
the coast of Brittany, and landing with his people, in number 
seven thousand, about five miles from Morlaix, marched thither, 

^ Lord Clermont has dated this letter two years too soon, not perceiving that Sir 
Adrian had himself endorsed it Anno xiiijto. that is to say 1522. 
^ Calendar, Henry VIII. vol. 3, n. 3148. 
!<> Holinshed, vol. 3, p. 678. 



f6 The Venerable Adrian Fortescue, Martyr. 

and assaulting the town, won it. For the master gunner,' 
Christopher Morris, having there certain falcons, with the shot of 
one of them, struck the lock of the wicket in the gate so that 
it flew open ; and then the same Christopher and other gentle- 
men with their soldiers, in the smoke of the guns pressed to the 
gates, and finding the wicket open entered, and so finally was 
the town of Morlaix won and put to the sack. The soldiers 
gained much by the pillage, for the town was exceeding rich, 
and specially of linen cloth. When they had rifled the town 
thoroughly, and taken their pleasure of all things therein, the 
Earl caused them by sound of trumpet to resort to their 
standards, and after they had set fire to the town and burned 
a great part thereof, the Earl retreated with his army towards 
his ships, burning the villages by the way, and all that night lay 
on land. On the morrow after, they took their ships, and when 
they were bestowed on board, the Earl commanded sixteen or 
seventeen ships, small and great, lying there in the haven to be 
burnt. . . . After this they continued awhile on the coast of 
Brittany, and disquieted the Bretons by entering their havens* 
and sometimes landing and doing divers displeasures to the 
inhabitants about the coast. After that the Earl had lain awhile 
thus on the coast of Brittany, he was countermanded by the 
King's letters, who thereupon brought back his whole fleet into 
a place called the Cow, under the Isle of Wight" — now-a-days 
we call it Cowes — " and then went on land himself, discharging 
the more part of his people, and leaving the residue with certain 
ships under the governance of the Vice-Admiral Sir William 
Fitzwilliam, to keep the seas against the French." 

Even if Sir Adrian was then discharged, he was not able to 
go home, for on the 2nd of September of this same year, 1522, 
the Earl of Surrey with a powerful force — the Chronicle of 
Calais says fourteen thousand men — in which Sir Adrian 
Fortescue had his place, marched into Picardy, aided by *' a great 
power of Burgognians," sent by the Regent of Flanders, Lady 
Margaret of Savoy. Of this expedition Holinshed says, "All 
the towns, villages, and castles in the country through which 
they marched were burned, wasted and destroyed on every side 
of their way." The Earl returned to Calais on the i6th of 
October, bringing " a marvellous great booty of goods out of the 
country," and he landed at Dover on the 24th of October. 
" All the residue of the army came over also with the navy, and 
arrived in the Thames ; and so every man into his country at 
his pleasure." And with this, Sir Adrian's twenty-one weeks of 



The Venerable Adrian Fortescue, Martyr, 17 

active service by sea and land came to an end. He must there- 
fore have gone to sea in May. 

We have already learnt that Sir Adrian was engaged in 
similar warfare on French soil in 1523, and John Haywood's 
letter has survived to tell us of his muster of his tenants for 
military service for the ist of July. 

On August 24, 1523, Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, 
crossed over to Calais with an army which Wolsey said was 
the largest that had been sent out from England for a hundred 
years. Sir Adrian is mentioned by Holinshed as being in his 
train. The Castle of Bell was taken and rased to the ground 
at the end of September, the town of Braye was taken by 
assault on the 20th of October, Montdidier surrendered on the 
27th. " The soldiers, being thus led from place to place, began 
to murmur among themselves and to grudge, because of the 
winter season, being nothing meet for their purpose to keep 
the fields : it grieved them that the Burgognians being provided 
of waggons, made shift to send the spoil and pillage home into 
their country, being at hand, and they to want such means to 
make the best of those things which they got, so that, as they 
took it, they beat the bush and others had the birds. This 
grudge was yet by gentle words ceased for a time. . . . After 
great rains and winds which had chanced in that season, there 
followed a sore frost, which was so extreme that many died 
for cold, and some lost fingers, some lost toes, so extreme was 
the rigour of that frost." The result of the "intemperate 
weather, the lack of victuals, and such other discommodities," 
was that the Duke of Suffolk, led back his army to Valenciennes, 
and so by Flanders to Calais, to the displeasure of the King 
who was preparing to send reinforcements under William Blount, 
Lord Mountjoy. When Sir Adrian got home we do not know, 
but this seems to be the end of his personal experience in the 
French wars. His tenants, however, had not done with them, 
for in a letter under the King's signet from Richmond, dated 
April I, 1528, the King says that he has "determined to send 
a certain crew of men, well elect and chosen " for the defence 
of Guisnes under Lord Sandys, its captain ; to which crew Sir 
Adrian was ordered "to send the number of ten persons, 
footmen, archers, and other, to be well elect and tried," and 
these were to appear at Guildford on the 3rd of May, 
" sufficiently harnessed and appointed for the war," there to be 
viewed by Lord Sandys. 



i8 The Venerable Adrian Fortescue, Martyr, 

And now that we have done with the wars, we turn again to 
our scanty records of Sir Adrian's domestic life. By his first 
wife he had two daughters, Margaret who married Thomas 
Lord Wentworth, and Frances, the wife of Thomas Fitzgerald, 
Earl of Kildare. Thomas, tenth Earl of Kildare, " Silken 
Thomas " he was called from the silken fringe he and his body- 
guard wore on their helmets, had risen against the English 
Government in Ireland, and having given himself up to the Lord 
Deputy on August i8, 1535, was sent to the Tower and there 
imprisoned until February 8, 1537; when he was, with five 
of his uncles, hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn. He 
was only twenty-four years old, so that it would seem that 
his wife must have been considerable older then he. During 
his imprisonment the long suit for the possession of Stonor 
was brought to an end by the Act of Parliament that con- 
firmed the King's award. Stonor Park and one share of 
the estate was adjudged to Sir Walter Stonor, and the other 
share to Sir Adrian and to his two daughters after him. 
And as poor " Silken Thomas " was in the Tower, " a detes- 
table and heinous rebel and traitor to the King's Highness," 
and so could not agree to the award, it was enacted that never- 
theless the Lady Frances should have the benefit of it and that 
she and her husband should be bound by it. The suit between 
the two claimants of Stonor Park was not carried on merely in 
the King's Courts, for Sir Adrian was impoverished and his life 
disturbed by many "riots, assaults, and affrays" between his 
followers and those of his wife's cousin. Sir Walter. The contest 
was practically ended by the King's arbitration in 1534, the date 
of which is determined by two entries in his accounts, first of 
10^. "to the King's Attorney's clerk for writing the King's 
award," and in Trinity Term 26 Henry VHI. (i534) 20^-. 4^. 
"for the seal of the King's arbitrement between me and Sir 
Walter Stonor." 

In a collection of proverbs made by our Sir Adrian, one is, 
" An old man is daft that marries a young woman." A man of 
fifty is not old, and so the proverb did not touch Sir Adrian 
himself, but the disproportion of age was considerable between 
him and his second wife, for at their marriage he was twice 
as old as she was, and half as much again. This was 
about the year 1530, she being twenty years old and he at 
east fifty. His first wife had been dead about twelve years 



The Venerable Adrian Fortescue, Martyr, 19 

when he married another Anne, this time the daughter of 
Sir Wilh'am Rede, of Boarstall, Bucks. 

Little presents to his mother-in-law from time to time figure 
comically in his accounts. " For two pair of knit sleeves to give 
to my Lady Rede 2s, 6d. Item, paid for 40 oranges for my 
Lady Rede 4^. Item, paid for six gallons and a pottle of sack 
5 J". 5^. a firkin Zd. Item, paid for an ell and J^ of canvas to 
truss it in 6d., sent to my Lady Rede of gifts." The accounts 
seem to show that his wife's brother Austin and her sisters 
Bridget and Margaret, became members of his family, for there 
are homely entries of linen for Austins shirts and buckram 
(save the mark) for Margaret's smocks ; and while he was in 
prison he paid for a yard of yellow Briges [Bruges] satin for 
Margaret and Bridget's sleeves. Indeed Austin Rede was 
otherwise called Austin Fortescue. He must have gone to 
Winchester, for three books were sent there to him, and 
Sir Adrian makes a payment in July 1533 to the Warden of 
New College at Winchester 33^. /\d. 

Sir Adrian's second wife bore him three sons, John, who 
became Queen Elizabeth's Privy Councillor, Thomas and 
Anthony, and two daughters Mary and Elizabeth. The birth 
of his second son is entered thus in his manuscript book, now 
in the Bodleian : 

Thomas Fortescue, second son to Sir Adrian Fortescue knight, 
was born at Shirburn in the county of Oxford the Wednesday, being the 
13th day of May in the 26th year of King Henry the Eighth, Anno Dni 
1534, hora secunda post mendiem. Godfathers at the Baptism were 
Thomas Rede, Thomas Whitton ; Godmother the Lady Williams ; God- 
father at the Confirmation the Bishop of Oxon, that was Abbot of 
Thame. 

The latter portion, at all events, of this entry was not written 
by Sir Adrian, for his martyrdom was in 1539, and the see of 
Oxford was not erected by Henry the Eighth before 1541, when 
Robert King, the last Abbot of Osney, was appointed to it. 
Confirmation followed in those days at once upon Baptism, and 
the list of Sponsors in Henry the Eighth's time always concludes 
with the Godfather or Godmother, according to the sex of the 
child, " at the bishopping." 

The children figure very curiously in the accounts. In the 
March and April before the birth of the second son, Sir Adrian 
gave "to Richard Fiord's wife at my seeing my young son 45". 8^. 
Given to Ford's wife the 8th day of April in reward [that is, as a 



lo The Venerable Adrian Fortescue, Martyr. 

gift] at Shirburn 3^". M. For a girdle for Ford's wife 20d. For 
an apron of worsted, wrought with gold, for Ford's wife, given 
her by my wife 2s. Gd!' It would seem as though the eldest boy 
had been sent out to nurse, as undoubtedly the younger children 
were for a time when Stonor was handed over to Sir Walter, 
for we have then in the margin of the account-book "children's 
board" to these entries. "Paid for a month to Thomas Fortescue 
his norise \710urrice, nurse], beginning the 4th day of September 
2s. M. Item, paid for a month for Mary Fortescue to W. 
Thomas, begining the lOth day of September is, ^d. Item, paid 
for Thomas Fortescue's nursing for two months, ending the 27th 

I day of November ^s. Zd, Item, paid to W. Thomas's wife, for 
Mary Fortescue her board, one month ending at Hallow-tide 
3^. 4^. Item, given to her when she carried her to my Lady 

> Rede the — day of October and there delivered her 20^." We 
have other homely entries about the children. " For two pair of 
schone [shoes] to my daughter Mary A^d. A bonnet for John 
Fortescue, bought at Reading Fair M. A bonnet for Thomas 
Fortescue 2s. Zd. For two night bonnets for Thomas my son 
lodr 

We are now close upon the time of what Sir Adrian calls 
his "trobilles," the troubles that came upon him through the 
King's proceedings in religion. Certainly it would not appear 
that Sir Adrian precipitated matters. His name appears amongst 
those to whom lands were assigned out of Wolsey's possessions 
on his disgrace in July, 1530, and this does not seem like being 
in the King's bad books. On the occasion of the Coronation of 
Anne Boleyn, who it will be remembered was Sir Adrian's first 
cousin, his name occurs ^^ more than once. He is among the 
knights and gentlemen appointed to be servitors " to attend upon 
the Queen's grace, the Bishop and the ladies sitting at the 
Queen's board in the Great Hall at Westminster ; " and later 
on, in the same document, he is appointed one of the servitors 

. to the Archbishop, Thomas Cranmer to wit. Still more marked 
is the entry in his accounts '^ of 3s. 4d. " to the King's messenger 
on the 20th of September, 1533, for bringing the Queen's letter 
of the Princess Grace's birth, dated at Greenwich, the 7th" — 
the Princess Grace, who was born at Greenwich on that day, 
.being the future Queen Elizabeth. Surely Anne Boleyn did not 

?. . 

" Calendar, Henry VIII. vol. 6, n. 562. Anne Boleyn was crowned June I, 
' '533' Cranmer had been consecrated on the 30th of March. 
:. . }'^ Calendar, Henry VIII, vol. 7, n. 243, 



The Venerable Adrian For fescue y Martyr, ^ i\ 

send her letters by King's messengers on such an occasion' to 
many knights of Sir Adrian's position. It seems plain that 
though he must have known full well that his cousin's marriage 
with a man whose wife was alive was no marriage, he thought it 
no business of his, in the words ^^ of Sir Thomas More, "to 
murmur at it or dispute upon it." Besides, it must be 
remembered that sentence was not given by the Pope,, 
declaring Queen Catherine's marriage valid, till March 23, 
1534. There is no other indication of vacillation on Sir 
Adrian's part — not even the purchase for lod. of the Ploiv- 
mans Tale and Colyn Cloiute, ^* nor the fancy for the Ploivmans 
Tale that made him transcribe the greater part of it. A man 
may buy and read books that all the world is talking of, and 
yet not agree with all that he reads. Sir Adrian bought 
other books too, but not very many. He gave 3^. " for two 
prognostications,^^ and a book of algrym " [arithmetic] ; " for 
five small English books <^d. ; for a large matins book for 
myself 16^." ''Item, for two psalters i2>d., and for ink 3^^.", 
"The book of the Acts of Parliament anno 25°" cost him 
lod. Another time the entry is ** for filling the ink bottle ^d. ; 
for ten quires of fine paper, ^ a ream 6^/." 

We have seen that Sir Adrian was admitted into the 
fraternity of the Black Friars at Oxford in July, 1533. He 
had previously taken a still more important step than this, 
for in 1532 he was admitted a Knight of St. John of Jerusalem. 
That distinguished military Order had been driven from Rhodes 
in 1522, and had acquired the island of Malta from the 
Emperor in 1530. Sir Adrian will have been received by Sir 
William Weston, at that time Lord Prior of the Knights of 
St. John, whose heart was broken, eight years after Sir Adrian 
joined the Order, by its destruction in England and the confisca- 
tion of its possessions.^^ As Sir Adrian was a married man, he 

" Calendar, Henry VIIL vol. 7. n. 289. 

1* " Hereafter folio weth a little book called Colyn Clout, compiled by Master 
[John] Skelton, Poet Laureate," London. In 8vo, without date. Skelton died 
in 1529. 

^^ Nothing apparently but a kind of barometer. " Prognostications " appear 
more than once in the Privy Purse Expenses of Henry the Seventh, and among the 
efifects of Henry the Eighth was a "Prognostication covered with green velvet" 
(Excerpta Historka, part i. p. 88). 

^^ The Knights did not resign their goods into the King's hands, and they were 
suppressed by Act of Parliament. *'VV^ill. Weston, Knight, Prior of the Hospital 
of St. John of Jerusalem in England, during his life to have an annual rent of looo/. 
and such reasonable portion of the goods and chattels of the said house as the King 
shall appoint him." This Parliament met on the i8th of April, 1540, and "on the 7th 
of May Sir Will. Weston, Knight, Lord Prior of St. John of Jerusalem without Smith-, 



22 The Venerable Adrian Fortescue, Martyr, 

could only have been admitted as a Knight of Devotion ; unlike 
in this respect to his fellow-martyr, Sir Thomas Dingley, a 
Knight of Justice, preceptor of the commandery of Baddysley 
and Mayne at the time of the suppression.^^ 

There is some further knowledge of Sir Adrian Fortescue's 
life during the interval before the storm burst, to be learned from 
this book of accounts. We begin with January, 1534, when he 
received from John Ford the rents of his lands in Devon. His 
bailiff accounts to him for the rents of his manors of Redyng 
and Beneschevys, Watcombe and Watlington, Stonor and 
Rushall. There is mention also of estates in Suffolk and Essex, 
for which his son-in-law. Lord Wentworth, paid him rent. He 
received 100 marks from the executors of the Archbishop of 
Canterbury, William Warham, who died August 23, 1532. He 
took his greyhounds from Stonor to Shirburn at the beginning 
of 1534. On the 23rd of January he rode to London, 
taking in his purse from Shirburn 22/. 6s. Sd ; he stopped 
on the way at Colnbrook, and he took with him Master 
Chamberlayne, whose costs he paid. He probably found 
London in a fog, as his first payment was 6d. for a torch- 
link. His horses were sent home by Robin and Thome 
his servants. His first business in London was to lay in a 
stock of meagre food, which he calls "Lent stuff," on which 
he expended ^^ 4/. 9^-. 2^., and this he sent home by the Thames. 

In London he stayed at "his lodgings," that is to say, a 
house in Blackfriars rented by him, the rent^^ paid for which 

field, died, and never received any part of his pension ; and the King took all the 
lands that belonged to that house and that Order into his hands to the augmentation 
of his Crown, and gave [of] it to every of the challengers above written [at a Jousting 
at Westminster on May Day] for a reward of their valiantness lOO marks and a house 
to dwell in of yearly revenues out of the said lands for ever" (Stowe, Chronicles^ 
PP' 579> 580). " Cade, a barrel of 500 herrings or of 1,000 sprats " {Encyc. Did.). 

^^ Calendar, Henry VI 11. vol. 7. nn. 1 1 38, 1675. 

*8 " A barrel and half of white herrings 2\s. A cade \cadus\ of red herrings 7^. 
3 cades of sprats 4X. (id. 2 couple of beaten stock fishes Zs. ^d. 6 salmon 10s. 
40 salt eels i^s. 4^/. Half a barrel to put them in 6d. 2 baskets and cord 10^/. 
An ell of canvas ^d. for the wharfage and water bailiff 4^. 2 ropes of great onions 
lod. 100 oranges 10^/., and for 24 sweet oranges Sd. For a piece of figs dodes (?) 
containing 30 /^j. 2s. 6d. ^^Ibs. of raisins 2s. 6d. 10 lbs. of almonds 2s. 6d. 6 lbs. 
wine of sugar 2s. ^d. 6 lbs. of prunes 6d. A basket and line 4d. 2 hogsheads of claret 
50J., and costs 8^." " Cade, a barrel of 500 herrings or of 1000 sprats '' {Encyc. Diet. ). 

1* His landlord was Richard Bishop, his tailor, who made his black gown and his 
riding coat for 2s. each, and who was useful to him in other ways, as he paid him for 
the carriage of his wood (making him a present of two loads of billets, besides his 
14J. 8^.), and **for a Malmesey vessel and a pottle [2 quarts] to fill it 16^/." Sir 
Adrian paid ds. ^d "to the parson for the tithe of my house rent at London, after 
at the rate of] iid. of the noble [6s. Sd.], of 10/. 16s. Sd. old rents, and due for 
one year at Easter anno xxvto. RR, Henr. viijti." [1533]. 



The Venerable Adrian Fortescue, Martyr, 23 

the Easter following was j.6s. 8d. He was in London twenty- 
days, and amongst his payments we find i2d. "to the grooms in 
the King's chamber," which seems to mean that he had an 
audience of the King. He had law business in London, and 
some of it seems to have been in the Ecclesiastical Court, for 
in accordance with the custom of the age, he sends a present 
to Cranmer's Chancellor, John Cox, LL.D. ; and a curious 
present it was : " for wyne and orange pyys [pies] sent to 
Doctor Cokkes on Friday 2s. 4d. Sent thither on Saturday, 
at night, Ipocras ^^ [and] wafers 3^-." He bought a bonnet of 
velvet for his wife for 24.S. and two yards of fine holland for 
her ** cresomes " — probably the chrisom cloth for her children's 
christenings. Sir Adrian rode home taking with him his cousin 
Lewis Fortescue, who was afterwards a Baron of the Exchequer, 
whose law services he wanted for the coming Oxford Assizes, in 
some suit of his against one Ambrose Pope. Among the 
expenses of his stay at Oxford for the Assizes, now and again 
later, he mentions "to the friars and crier 8^." What they had 
to do with one another, that they should twice be linked 
together, does not appear. It must not be overlooked that 
our Knight, on the occasion of his visit to London, "gained 
at play 7/. 3^. ^}id." which was a very considerable sum at that 
period. 

Then came another short journey to London for a few days 
in the month of March ; and on his return a journey into 
Gloucestershire, with six servants, to purchase the manor of 
Lasborow, near Tetbury, from William Nevyle, Esq., and to 
take possession of that of Bradeston, which he had previously 
bought. He started on Friday, the 20th of March, dined at 
Abingdon and slept at Faringdon ; the next day, Saturday, 
he dined at Cyrsyter [Cirencester], stopped at Tetbury and 
Lasborow, and slept at Bradeston, where his farmer and the 
Warden of Bradeston entertained him. He reckoned that 
it cost the farmer los. gd. and the Warden 2gs. 2d. He spent 
Saturday night and all Sunday here, and Monday and Tuesday 
he was at Lasborow. He there dined with Mr. Nicholas Wyke, 
of whom he bought 1,500 sheep, and he gave ys. to John 
Boughton and William Cox of Burton who came to view 
them. The next day was Lady Day, on which he heard 

*" Hippocras^ a beverage composed of wine with spices and sugar, strained 
through a cloth. It is said to have taken its name from " Hippocrates' sleeve," the 
term apothecaries gave to a strainer {Halliivell), 



24 The Venerable Adrian Foriescue, Martyr, 

Mass at Faringdon, and the iM. he has entered for it was 
probably his offering at it. He dined that day at Abingdon 
and slept at Fairford " on our Lady Day at night." The next 
day home. 

Poor man ! When he got home he found Swallow, the 
King's messenger, waiting for him, bringing him Mr. Cromwell's 
letters to come to the King's Grace ; and, paying the messenger 
33". 4^., he started for London that day and remained there till 
the 30th of March, " Monday the morrow after Palm Sunday, 
that is five [days] in all on't, 28^-.," which he enters as his 
"costs to and at London in Passion week." What he was 
summoned for we do not know, but the Parliament which 
had passed the Act of Succession was prorogued on the 
same 30th of March, " and there every lord, knight and 
burgess and all other were sworn to the Act of Succes- 
sion and subscribed their hands to a parchment fixed to the 
same." 2^ The oath was imposed by an Act passed on the 
very last day of the session. It was on the 13th of April that 
Blessed John Fisher and Blessed Thomas More refused to take 
the oath of succession, and went into the imprisonment from 
which death set them free more than a year later. It is not 
known that Sir Adrian was called upon to take the oath of 
succession, but he must have returned home with a lively 
consciousness of coming dangers. "During the Parliament 
time every Sunday at Paul's Cross preached a Bishop, 
declaring the Pope not to be supreme head of the Church." *^'^ 
The Act of Supremacy was not passed until the next Parliament 
which met in November, but there was quite enough in these 
sermons and in the Acts of Parliament of 1533-4 which he 
bought and took home with him, and especially in the terms of 
the oath of succession, to make him resolve to be prepared. 

He came home by Assenden, staying at Hochtyde Court, 
and on his return to Shirburn, he gave presents " to the wives " 
of the neighbouring parishes, Salley, Pishull, Pirton and Shir- 
burn "for the church." He also gave "to the bonfires, to 
drink, besides wood, Sd. To the wives to drink on St. Thomas's 
even at the fire 2>d" '^ Again his stay at home was very short, 

21 Holinshed, vol. 3, p. 792. 

^ Holinshed, vol. 3, p. 792. 

2* The eve of the Translation of St. Thomas, July 6, seems to have been thus 
kept. For instance, at Canterbury, in the accounts of the City Chamberlain, we 
have *\l5l7-l8. For lolbs.oi gunpowder against the watch on St. Thomas's even, 
pretium librce Scf. 1521-2. For a staff and a .banner to bear l^efore. t lie mayor's - 



The Venerable Adrian Fortescue^ Martyr, 25 

for on the 29th of April he started once more for London. This 
time his business was the conclusion of his lawsuit with Sir 
Walter Stonor. He was met on reaching London by two 
King's messengers, and he enters in his accounts the names 
of the lawyers^* he employs and the fees he gives them "for 
devising answers to Sir Walter Stonor's articles." His own 
plea was that " by the courtesy of England " he was entitled 
to his wife's property for his life and her children after him. 
He went to Greenwich, where the King probably was, on 
Ascension Day, again on the Friday, and on Sunday, the loth 
of May, paying a couple of shillings boat hire each time. 
Among his various expenses we have the simple entry, " Paid 
for 4 pair of small shoon for my little son John and Mary 11^." 
His costs in London were 4/. Zs. for himself and two servants, 
and he reached home once more on the 22nd of May. During 
this absence his second son Thomas was born. 

On the 9th of June he set out for London again and he 
returned on Sunday the 21st. On the 3rd of July his face was 
turned towards London once more, and in the midst of this 
absence he paid Zd. " for carrying a letter to my wife in haste." 
His business in the Archbishop's Court must now have ended, 
for he enters, " Given to Mr. Chancellor Dr. Cox's servants to 
make merry 4^*. Zd. For writing the two acquittances and 
releases 2s. Given to Mr. Dr. Cox's porter 4^." His return 
home this time was on the nth of July. 

After attending the Assizes at Oxford to carry on his suit 
against Ambrose Pope, he returned to Shirburn, and after the 
entry, " for laces for the maidens 4^.," he quietly records : 
^' MeniorandiLin. Here I was committed to the Knight 
Marshal's ward at Woodstock," on the 29th of August, 1534. 
Vaughan, the groom of the King's chamber, cam.e for him 



pikes and the guns on St. Thomas's eve. 1527-8. For 9 lbs. of corn powder for 
the watch on St. Thomas's even (Dr. Brigstocke Sheppard's report ; Hist. MSS. 
Commission, 9th rep. App. p. 152). The First Vespers were always solemnly kept. 
Thus in 1504 the offerings at *'the Martyrdom" in Canterbury Cathedral were, 
on the eve 7^., and the feast of the Translation 3^-. 4^. {Ibid. p. 126). It was on 
the eve that Blessed Thomas More was martyred. "To-morrow," he wrote to 
his daughter Margaret, **is St. Thomas of Canterbury's eve, and the Utas [octave 
day] of St. Peter ; and therefore to-morrow I long to go to God." 

2^ Given to Mr. Brown and Mr. Chenley and Sir H. Wingfield 20J., and to 
Bradshawe 10s. ^ and to Mr. Baldwyn ^s. for a drawing and devising of the answer 
to Sir Walter Stonor's articles, 35^-. Paid for writing the answer to the articles of 
Stonor 2s. Paid for the copy of the same articles 2od. Given to the Processar to 
stay all the actions 5^. 
C * 



26 The Venerable Adrian Fortescue^ Martyr. 

to Shirburn, and got 5^*. for his fee. They started off by 
Watlington, and there they had to wait for the horses to be 
shod, which cost i^d. Then on to Woodstock, where he paid 
for his servants' dinner and for *' horsemeat " — in another place 
he called it *' horsebread " — \6d. To appear before the 
authorities he had to change his riding dress, so he records, 
** Given for house room at Sygewykes [Sedgwick's] to shift me 
in, 12(1!' He received orders to leave Woodstock, for his costs 
were Zs. " at Thame that Saturday at night," and 6s. ^d. he had 
to pay "to a man who was sent to fetch me again back to 
Woodstock and to Sir Thomas Wentworth's servant ; " and so 
next comes a payment of M. this time **to Sygewyke's wife 
again for room at Woodstock," and then he is at Thame on 
Sunday at night, paying gs. ; and i6d. was " given to the 
priest to say Mass two days at my inn." It is curious to see 
that Mass was said for Sir Adrian "at his inn," both at 
Woodstock and at Thame, for he was not two nights in any 
one place. Was the prisoner not allowed to hear Mass in the 
church } For prisoner he was, travelling in the custody of 
Richard Wentworth, the Knight Marshal's namesake and 
servant, as a gift to whom his wife here gave 2od. Lady 
Fortescue will have come to Thame to meet him, anxious 
to know the result of the examination to which he was 
subjected at Woodstock, and doubly anxious on account of the 
delay caused by his recall there after he had once left it. The 
payments at Thame are heavy because Lady Fortescue was 
there. The gift to the officer in charge of him is in perfect 
keeping with the ways of the time ; and it was always most 
galling to have to pay pursuivants and King's messengers when 
they were most unwelcome. 

On Monday night he was at Uxbridge, and from the double 
cost 4r. it is plain that he paid his warder's expenses, as well as 
his own. On Tuesday, the ist of September, he went from 
Uxbridge to his lodging and Southwark by boat for $d. and his 
"gear," that is his luggage cost id. more than himself. That same 
day then, he was taken to the Marshalsea Prison, which was in 
Southwark. When he got there he had to send out for sixpenny- 
worth of "trussing cord to truss his beds," and he bought ten 
faggots for ^d. and two lbs. of candles for 3^. His dinner was at his 
lodging on Wednesday, and it cost him i2d., and "a quart of wine 
on Wednesday at dinner 2d!' The quart of wine seems to have 
lasted him for three days, if not four ; for his next entry for his 



The Venerable Adrian Fortescue, Martyr, 27 

food IS " wine on Saturday, at night, and pears and beer 6d. ; " 
and then he laid in something of a stock, " wine on Sunday and 
pears 16^." and he gave the same sum to his man, Robin, who 
brought him venison and **a fardell," a parcel of provision for 
his wants, sent by the good wife at home. " Thome," his other 
man, stayed with him all the time of his imprisonment, — Thomas 
Honychirch was his name : and another man, John Hawcliff, 
came from Shirburn through " Wykm " (Wycombe) to London, 
but on the 13th of September he received his year's wages in 
full, "for he shall be shortly married," and he "went clearly 
from me on Wednesday, the 23rd," having been three weeks 
in the prison with his master. Sir Adrian paid the Knight 
Marshal los. a week for his own board, and 3^-. 4</. a week for 
each of his men. On the lOth of September he had Mr. 
Whitton to sup with him, his second boy's godfather, the old 
friend who had accompanied him ten years before, when he 
carried his wife's body to Bisham. That supper cost him 2s. yd.^ 
and he spent 2s. " for wine and nuts on Sunday and Holy Rood 
day [Monday, the 14th] in all, with part thereof given to Mr. 
Prior at my two suppers with him." This was probably Robert 
Strowddyll, Prior of the Dominicans, with whom he will have 
been intimate in consequence of the nearness of his house in 
London to the Convent of the Black Friars.^^ Prior Strowddyll, 
alas, had signed the repudiation of the Pope and the acknow- 
ledgment of the King's Supremacy on the 17th of the pre- 
ceding April. 

Lady Fortescue was at Woodstock " at St. Matthew's-tide in 
September," where the Court was, and Dolphin brought his 
master letters, we may well suppose that they were from her, 
on Michaelmas Day. They were followed by herself on 
Thursday, the ist of October, and 31^. ()}id. were her "costs 
with four servants and three horses at London from Thursday 
afternoon to Monday in the morning, in all, besides her baiting 
at Colnbrook the 5th day of October." It was an awkward time 
for the heads of the family to be absent from home, for Stonor 
was now being given up. Mr. Richard Crispe wrote "the 

2^ Stowe says that the Dominican Friars " sometime had their house in Olde-horne 
[Holborn], where they remained for the space of fifty-five years, and then in the year 
1276 Gregory Rocksley, mayor, and the Barons of this city, granted and gave to 
Robert Kilwarby, Archbishop of Canterbury, two lanes or ways next the street of 
Baynard's Castle and also the Tower of Mountfichet, to be destroyed ; in place of 
which the said Robert builded the late new Church of the Black Friars, and placed 
them therein" [Survey of London ^ 1603, p. 341). 



28 The Venerable Adrian Fortescue, Martyr, 

Inventory indented of the deliverance of Stonor Place," 
divers persons were paid "to help to truss stuff at Stonor," 
the cattle were driven and marked at removing, and carts were 
hired for 28i-. to carry his stuff" and goods from Stonor at 
Michaelmas, "besides gift carts and mine own two carts." 
Lady Fortescue saw to it, but she wanted to be with her 
husband in prison, and so no wonder that her baby was put 
out to nurse and her little Mary sent to the care of her mother, 
Lady Rede. 

On the 1 8th of October Sir Thomas Wentworth rode 
northward, the prisoner having been five weeks and two days 
in his custody. Accounts were settled between them and a 
new arrangement made. '' Thenceforth I boarded myself 
and provided for all manner of necessaries for myself, my 
wife, my servants, and for all other /;/ the house tJiere^ at my 
charge, as it appeareth in the household book there, entered 
and written, at the desire and request of the same Sir Thomas, 
and so continued during the time of my being in his ward 
and custody." Lord Clermont understands this to mean that 
Sir Adrian went to live in his own house, but if that had been 
so, the whole entry was needless. "The house there" was 
evidently the Marshalsea, and " the household book there " 
that kept by the Under-Marshal. At the time of this change 
Sir Adrian gave Richard Wentworth "a lion and a collar" 
that cost \2d,, and he contributed Zd. to Mrs. Under-Marshal 
to her servant's marriage offering. '' Iteniy paid to Sir Thomas 
Wentworth's servants for going three times with me to my house 
\2dr 

His wife then came to live with him at the Marshalsea, and 
he bought "a low turned chair" for her. His servants, Richard 
Gregory and John Horsman had new tawny liveries that 
Michaelmas, and among many domestic entries, we have "a 
lye pot and two pictures of our Lady," and "a holy water 
stoup of pewter with the sprinkler," to give the place a 
Christian look. And there the sad year ran out. The kind- 
hearted old knight "lent to Harry, Sir Thomas Darcy his 
servant, to be repaid by his master or by him, to help him 
out of the King's Bench, in ward for a fray in Southvvark, 
ys.6d" And there are New Year's gifts. "A velvet bonnet 
for to give Mrs. Marshall, lu." and "a dozen gloves to give 
Mr. Marshall, 3^." — more probably, it would seem, Mrs. Under- 
Marshal was the recipient ; and Mr. Mynton had 2od, and two 



The Venerable Adrian Fortesctie, Martyr, 29 

young boys M. — New Year's gifts, be it noted, not Christmas 
boxes. 

An entry respecting Lady Fortescue is significant. *'For 
my wife's boat hire to Greenwich before Christmas, and three 
times in Christmas, and on Sunday after Christmas, lOi*." 
From which we gather that the Court was at Greenwich 
that Christmas, and that Lady Fortescue went there again 
and again to intercede for her husband. 

The account-book now comes to an end, and I hope that 
my readers are as sorry as I am. The last entry is " paid for 
the Acts of this last Parliament 7<^.," and a very bad seven 
pennyworth they were. The 3rd of November the Parliament 
began again," says Holinshed, "in the which was concluded 
the Act of Supremacy, which authorized the King's Highness 
to be Supreme Head of the Church of England, and the 
authority of the Pope abolished out of the realm." It would 
take a higher power than Parliament to do either the one or 
the other, and Sir Adrian Fortescue died for his faith in Him 
whose acts Parliament was not competent to repeal. 

But the end was not quite yet. How long Sir Adrian 
continued in the custody of the Knight Marshal we do not 
know ; but the last date mentioned in his accounts is Shrove 
Sunday, or the Sunday before Lent [Feb. 7], 1535, when he 
paid Richard Hall for ''his costs home." He will probably 
have been no longer a prisoner on the 4th of May, when Blessed 
Richard Reynolds, the three Carthusian priors, and John Hales 
were martyred at Tyburn, or on the igth of June, when three 
other Blessed Carthusian martyrs were executed, and again on 
the 22nd of June and the 6th of July, when Blessed John Fisher 
and Blessed Thomas More were beheaded. Whether he was a 
prisoner in London or a free man at home, he knew what these 
events foreboded. 

The year 1536 came, and on the 7th of January, Catherine 
of Arragon, the ill-used Queen of England, died. On the 19th 
of May Anne Boleyn was beheaded, and on the following day 
Henry married Jane Seymour. 

Sir Adrian Fortescue possessed a Missal, which it is hoped 
yet exists ^^ to be regarded as the relic of a Martyr. It was, of 
course, according to the Sarum rite, a book printed at Rouen in 

-^ When Nichols was compiling his History of Lajicashire, this missal was 
the property of the representative of Sir Adrian's family, Mr, Fortescue Turville, 
of Husbands Bosworth. 



30 The Venerable Adrian Fortescue, Martyr. 

15 10. In it he had entered his father's obity and that of his first 
wife; and it bore the words, in his own handwriting, Liber 
pertinet Adriano Fortescu militi. Tliis Missal serves to record Sir 
Adrian's opposition to the religious pretensions of King Henry 
the Eighth. It has inserted in it, **An order and form of 
bidding of beads by the King's commandment, anno 1536," 
the year after the deaths of our first Blessed Martyrs, the 
year of the deaths of Anne Boleyn and of her victim, Queen 
Catherine of Arragon, the year of Henry's marriage to Jane 
Seymour. Through the words that are printed here in italics 
Sir Adrian Fortescue drew his pen, an act that was high treason 
by King Henry's laws. 

Ye shall pray for the whole congregation of Christ's Church, and 
especially for this Church of England. 

Wherein I first commend to your devout prayers the Kin^s most 
excellent Majesty^ Supreme Head immediately tinder God of the spirituality 
and temporality of the same Church, and the most noble and virtuous 
Lady, Queen Jane, his most lawful wife. 

Secondly, ye shall pray for the Clergy, and Lords temporal and 
Commons of this realm, beseeching Almighty God to give every one 
of them in his degree grace to use themselves in such wise as may be 
to His contentation, the King's honour, and the weal of the realm. 

" Thirdly, ye shall pray for the souls that be departed, abiding the 
mercy of Almighty God, that it may please Him the rather at the con- 
templation of our prayers to grant them the fruition of His presence. 
"God save the King." 

All IS now very nearly told. We have already seen that 
on March 14, 1538, he bought for 295-. 6d. a marble tomb 
and another great laystone at the pulling down of Abingdon 
Abbey Church," and he left it with William Wykes, "dwelling 
in Abingdon, at the sign of the White Hart." Perhaps he meant 
it for his own tomb, but his body was to receive no honour from 
men. 

In February, 1539, he was arrested. On the loth he wrote 
from London a letter to Henry Bourchier, Earl of Essex,^^ 
begging him earnestly to relieve him of a charge of 100/. due 

-'' The Earl had long been on these terms with the Fortescues. "July i, 15 11, 
Henry Bourchier Earl of Essex and John Fortescue of Punsborne in the county of 
Hertford, Esquire [Sir Adrian's father], are bound by an obligation to pay 1,514/. 
within two months" (Henry VIII. accounts, Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 21,480). "Henry 
Earl of Essex to Cromwell. Sir Adrian Fortescue and others who are bound with 
him to the King in 1 00 marks, call extremely upon him to save them harmless," June 
9, 1533 ^Calendar i Henry VI I L vol. 6, n. 611). 



The Venerable Adrian Fortescue^ Martyr, 31 

to the Crown by Lord Essex, for which he was being sued as 
one of his sureties, and he wrote on the same subject to Thomas 
Knyghton, Gent, dwelling at Bayford in Hertfordshire, signing 
it "with the hand of your old loving and acquainted friend, 
Adryan Fortescue, Kt." If April 17, 1539, ^s Sir Harris 
Nicolas gives it, were the correct date for Cromwell's elevation 
to the Earldrom of Essex, his predecessor in the title must have 
died before Sir Adrian. But Stowe and Wriothesley show 
plainly that Lord Essex died in the following year : 

The 1 2th day of March, which was Friday before Passion Sunday, 
this year [1540] the Earl of Essex riding, a young horse by misfortune 
cast him and brake his neck at his place in Essex, which was great pity. 
This year also, the 19th day of March, the good Earl of Oxford [Sir 
John de Vere] died at his manor in Essex, which Earl was High Cham- 
berlain of England. 2^ 

Hence it follows that Cromwell was not made Earl of Essex 

and High Chamberlain in 1539, but in 1540. It might well 

have been thought to have been the earlier year, for it seems 

almost incredible that his Act of Attainder should have been 

passed just two months after his elevation to the peerage. The 

attainder of Cromwell for heresy and treason was unanimously 

passed by Parliament on the 19th of June, and he was beheaded 

on the 28th of July, 1540. 

To return to 1539, and Sir Adrian Fortescue. It must have 

been on the 14th of February that he was sent to the Tower, 

for a letter to Arthur Plantagenet Viscount Lisle, from a 

servant of his, named John Husee, dated ^^ the 17th, says 

that "within these three days Sir Adrian Fortescue has been 

committed to the Tower and shall lose his head." On 

the 1 8th an Inventory was made of all his furniture, as well 

of his house at Brightwell, as of his "lodging beside the 

Black Friars in London." On the 28th of June, that is between 

his attainder and his death, his plate was seized by the King, 

and it is entered by John Williams, Master and Treasurer of his 

Grace's jewels, in the list of plate received for his Majesty's use 

from divers and sundry surrendered monasteries. It consisted 

of two basons and two ewers parcel gilt, weighing 164^^. and 

two pots parcel gilt, weighing 84^^. The family must have 

succeeded in saving the greater part of Sir Adrian's plate and 

other property from confiscation. 

28 Wriothesley's Chronicle, Camden Society, 1875, p. 113. \ 

29 The Calendar^ Henry VIII, vol. 8, n, 231, places this letter in 1535. 



32 The Venerable Adrian Fortescue, Martyr, 

Parliament met at Westminster on Monday, April 28, 1539. 
The work that Henry and Cromwell, his Vicar-General in 
spiritualities, wanted of it was the suppression of the greater 
monasteries, and this work it performed. It was therefore the 
last Parliament in which the Abbots sat as Peers. In this 
Parliament an entirely new proceeding was introduced, by which 
sentence of death might be passed, without any trial of the 
person accused, without evidence or any defence. Sir Thomas 
Gaudy, himself a Judge, told Sir Edward Coke that Cromwell 
sent for the Judges and asked them whether Parliament had the 
power to condemn persons without a hearing ; and that the 
Judges answered that it was a nice and a dangerous question, 
that equity, justice and all laws required that the accused should 
be heard ; that, however, Parliament being the supreme court of 
the realm, from which there could be no appeal, the validity of 
their sentences, of what nature soever they were, could not be 
questioned. This was only saying, in other words, that the 
Parliament would therein commit an injustice for which it could 
not be called to account. 

Of this proceeding Coke wrote: ** Although I question 
not the power of the Parliament, for without doubt the 
attainder stands good in law, yet I say of this manner of 
proceeding, auferat oblivio, si potest ; si noiiy 2itriiinqite silentiii^n 
tegat. For the more high and absolute the jurisdiction of any 
court is, the more just and honourable it ought to be in its 
proceedings, in order to give examples of justice to inferior 
courts." And even Bishop Burnet says that "these and other 
such Acts of Attainder were of a strange and an unheard of 
nature ; it is a blemish never to be washed off, and which can- 
not be enough condemned, and it was a breach of the most 
sacred and unalterable rules of justice never to be excused." 

This Parliament, which suppressed the religious houses and 
passed the Six Articles, the most servile Parliament that ever 
sat in England, adopted at Cromwell's bidding the device by 
which Cromwell himself just a year later was condemned 
unheard. Margaret, Countess of Salisbury, first cousin to the 
King's mother, her son, Reginald Cardinal Pole, styled **one 
Reginald Pole, late Dean of Exeter," Gertrude ^^ the widow of 
the recently executed Marquess of Exeter, Sir Adrian Fortescue 
and Sir Thomas Dingley, were with some others attainted of 
high treason without trial. The accusation against the Blessed 
3' Her attainder was reversed in Mary's first Parliament. 



The Venerable Adrian Fortescue, Martyr. 33. 

Margaret was that certain Bulls from Rome were found at 
Cowdray, Lord Southampton's house, where she had been 
detained as a prisoner ; that she kept up correspondence with 
her son the Cardinal, and that she forbade her tenants to 
have the New Testament in English in their houses. For all 
evidence on the day of the third reading of the Bill of Attainder, 
Cromwell, the Vicar-General stood up in the house and showed 
openly a certain habit, made of white silk, which was found by 
the Lord Admiral in the linen wardrobe of the Countess of 
Salisbury, on the forepart of which was embroidered the arms 
of England, and on the back part of it was the device of the 
Five Wounds of our Saviour, the Blessed Sacrament, and I.H.S. 
in the midst. 

On the Parliamentary Roll is the attainder of Adrian Fortescue 
of Brightwell, Oxon, for sedition,^^ and that of Sir Thomas 
Dingley, Knight of Stjohn of Jerusalem, with Robert Granceter, 
merchant, for going to several foreign princes and persuading 
them to make war with the King. Sir Adrian and Hugh 
Vaughan of Bekener, who is mentioned on the Roll with the 
Countess of Salisbury were condemned as " confederates of the 
above." The " above," besides those mentioned, include Nicholas 
Throgmorton, John Helyard, clerk, Thomas Goldwell, clerk,^^ 
William Peto of West Greenwich, Observant, who have not 
only ** adhered themselves to the Bishop of Rome," but "have 
taken and perceived worldly promotions of the giljt of the same 
Bishop of Rome," which was true certainly of Cardinal Pole, 
" and also stirred up the people against the King," which was 
true of none of them. The Bill of Attainder was brought in 
and read twice on the loth of May, and the third time on the 
day following. 

"The 8th of July," says John Stowe, "Griffith Clark, Vicar 
of Wandsworth, with his chaplain and his servant, and Friar 
Waire, were all four hanged and quartered at St. Thomas 
Waterings. The loth of July Sir Adrian Fortescue and Thomas 
Dingley were beheaded." The Grey Friars Chronicle says that, 
on " the 9th day of July was beheaded at Tower Hill Master 
Foskew and Master Dyngle, Knights ; and that same day was 

3^ The Parliamentary History of Eiigland, London, 1751, vol. 3, p. 141. Cobbett 
in his edition of this book has omitted all mention of Sir Adrian's attainder, but he 
relates it in his State Trials. 

3- I am not aware that it has ever been noticed that Thomas Goldwell, afterwards^ 
Bishop of St. Asaph, was attainted in his absence at this time. I can find no record 
of the reversal of that attainder by Parliament in Queen Mary's reign. 



34 ^^^ Venerable Adrian Fortesctce, Martyr, 

drawn to Tyburn two of their servants, and there hanged and 
quartered for treason." Charles Wriothesley, Windsor Herald, 
in his Chronicle, also gives the day as the 9th of July, and he 
too makes mention of the execution for treason of the two 
serving men. The Knights of St. John give the/8th of July 
as the day of the martyrdom, but Sander gives the same date 
as Stowe. Blessed Margaret Pole, the last of the line and name 
of the Plantagenets, was kept in the Tower for two years more 
by her cruel kinsman, and there her head was hacked off on 
May 27, 1 541. 

That the two Knights should have died by beheading 
instead of the frightful death with which English law punished 
high treason, can have been only by the King's having extended 
to them the " mercy " that he had shown to Sir Thomas More ; 
which had caused Blessed Thomas to answer, " God forbid that 
the King should use any more such mercy unto any of my 
friends, and God bless all my posterity from such pardons." 
However it was a real mercy to be spared the horrors of 
Tyburn, though there was cruelty enough remaining in any 
form of death undeserved. 

A third Knight of the Order of St. John was martyred in 
the same year with Blessed Margaret of Salisbury. '* The ist 
of July" [1541], says Stowe,^^ "Sir David Genson, Knight of 
the Rhodes, was drawn through Southwark to St. Thomas of 
Waterings and there executed for the Supremacy." Charles 
Wriothesley^^ writes as if he knew the Martyr's father, who was 
probably a well-known citizen of London, living on the South- 
wark side of the river. We may adopt his spelling of the name, 
especially as it agrees with that in the indictment. "The 12th 
day of July one of Mr. Gunston's sons, which was a Knight of 
the Rhodes, was drawn from the King's Bench to St. Thomas 
Waterings, and there hanged and quartered for treason." In 
Malta Sir David's name was softened into Gonson, which is the 
origin, no doubt, of the form given by Stowe. In the Council 
Book of the Order in Malta, on the 20th of March, 1533, the 
Grand Master and his Council "ordered that Brother David 
Gonson should have a vote in the English langue, notwith- 
standing the opposition of Brother Thomas Torne." And " on 
the 2nd of September, 1534, Brother David Gonson, Knight of 
the English langue^ obtained licence to depart from the Convent 

83 Chronicle, p. 582. »* Chronicle^ p. 126. 



The Venerable Adrian Fortescue, Martyr, 55 

and go to his native country."^^ The martyr's indictment in 
Trinity Term, 1541, says that David Gunston had been abroad 
from the lOth of July, 1536, to the 20th of August, 1539, and 
that, during that time, at Malta, he had denied that the King 
was the Supreme Head of the Church of England, that he had 
said that his Highness was a heretic and all who maintained 
this title were heretics, and that those who said that no one 
might appeal to the Pope but that it was better to appeal to 
the King, were worse than Turks and Lutherans. The date 
given by Wriothesley for Sir David Gunston's martyrdom, 
July 12, is probably correct. Sir David was a prisoner in the 
Marshalsea ; and St. Thomas Waterings, the first stage on the 
ancient pilgrims' way to Canterbury, was the usual place of 
execution for Southwark. 

The Cause of Sir Adrian Fortescue, Sir Thomas Dingley, 
and Sir David Gunston, has been introduced among the 261 
Martyrs who have lately been honoured with the title of 
Venerable. But it is hoped that at least Sir Adrian may 
soon be held entitled to rank with the 54 who are declared 
Blessed. The Knights of his Order have always held him 
to be a Martyr, and as such they have honoured him. 
There are three pictures of him in the island of Malta, 
two of them in the Church of St. John's at Valletta, amongst 
the Beati, with the emblem of martyrdom, the palm ; the 
third in the Collegio di S. Paolo, at Rabato, with the proper 
glory of a Beato. In a picture that existed at Madrid in 1621, 
of which an official description exists in Malta, he was drawn 
with a knife in his throat, and the inscription called him 
Blessed. This portrait was in the Church of the College of 
St. George in that city, and the Rabato picture is believed to 
be drawn from it. Two English priests, William Numan and 
Edward, Messendin, the Agent of Douay College at Madrid (his 
true name was Madison),^^ who were present when a Public 
Notary described the picture, declared that the history of the 

'^^ I am indebted to my good friend Dr. A. A. Caruana for these interesting 
extracts from the Maltese official books : 

*' Eodem die (xx mensis Martii 1533 ab Inc.) Audita requisitione fratris Davidis 
Gonson, R[everendissi]mus D[ominus] M[agnus] M[agister] et V[enerabile] C[oncilium], 
non obstante contiadictione fratris Thomse Torne, decreverunt quod habeat votum in 
veneranda lingua" {Lib. ConciL 1526 — 35, fol. in). 

"Die 2 mensis Septembris 1534, Frater David Gonson linguse Anglise miles 
obtinuit licentiam recedendi ex Conventu et eundi ad patriam in forma," etc. (Z/^. 
^/^//. 1531—34, fol. 168 t.). 

^ Douay Diary, p. 35. 



36 The Venerable Adrian Fortesme, Martyr, 

aforesaid Knight and Martyr was related by Sander in the 
seventh book of his De Visibili Monarchia. A careful search 
in the book referred to, does not verify their assertion. When 
Nicholas Fortescue, in 1639, niade application to Grand Master 
Lascaris to be received into the Order with the view of re- 
suscitating the English langue^ he supported his petition by 
invoking " the memorials that are read in the chronicles, and 
the holiness of Blessed Adrian Fortescue, Knight of the Order, 
who is numbered amongst the Saints that are revered in the 
Oratory of the great Church of St. John." 

In addition to the Missal that Sir Adrian has left behind 
him, we have already spoken of the other very interesting relic, 
which is now in the Bodleian library — the volume on the flyleaf 
of which is the record of his second son's birth and baptism. 
The whole book is in Sir Adrian's handwriting, as he himself 
notes in it twice over, with the date 1532. This was the year 
of his second marriage, and his wife has written her name 
on it, together with the name of her second husband, " Parry,*' 
showing that she retained possession of it after his execution. 
It passed into the hands of Sir Kenelm Digby, whose name 
is also written upon it. 

Sir Adrian has written these interesting words on the first 
page: 

Jesus. Jesus. 

Iste liber pertinet Adriano Fortescu militi, sua manu propria scriptus 
anno Dni. 1532, et anno R[egni] R[egis] Henr. VIII. xxiiij^^- 
Loyall Pensee. 
Injuriarum remedium — Oblivio. 
Omnium rerum vicissitudo. 
Garde les portes de ta bouche, 
Pour fouyr peryl et reproche. 

The volume consists of the treatise On Absolute and Limited 
Monarchy y by his great-uncle. Chancellor P'ortescue, preceded 
by a large part of the old poem of Piers Plowman, and at the 
end there is an ample collection of proverbs, from which we 
here make a selection. 

A king sekant [seeking] treason shall find it in his land. 
When the fault is in the head, the member is oft sick. 
Many [a] one glosses the law, oft against the poor. 
He, that ruleth well his tongue, is held for wise. 
Money gotten at the dice [en]richeth not the heir. 
A woman, if she be fair, may hap to be good. 



The Venerable Adrian Fortescue, Martyr. ': 37 

It is easy to cry Yule^^ at another man's cost. - - ' 

He shall hunger in frost that in heat will not work. 

Eat and drink by measure, and defy thy leech. 

Men of muckle speech must sometimes lie. 

A man may be of good kin, and himself little worth. 

Thou must trow [trust] some man, or have an ill life. 

He that toucheth pitch and tar cannot long be clean. 

A wound when it is green is best to be healed. 

Unkindness by-past would be forgot. 

For little more or less make no debate. 

He that covets all is able all to tyne [lose]. 

About thine and mine rlseth muckle strife. 

He hath a blessed life that holds him content. 

He that wots [knows] when he is full, is no fool. 

Put many to school, all will not be clerks. 

There is not so Httle a flea but sometime he will nye [annoy]. 

At every dog that barks one ought not to be annoyed. 

He that is well loved, he is not poor. 

A good tale, ill told, is spoilt in the telling. 

He that wots when to leap will sometimes look aback. 

Wherefore serves the lock, and the thief in the house ? 

It makes a wanton mouse, an unhardy cat. 

A swine that is over fat is cause of his own death. 

A few of the proverbs are religious, and we have kept them for 
the last. 

Obey well the good Kirk and thou shalt fare the better. 
Think ay thou shalt die, thou shalt not gladly sin. 
Be blythe at thy meat, devout at thy Mass.^^ 
He that dreads not God shall not fail to fall. 

Lady Fortescue, the martyr's widow, was held in high favour 
by Queen Mary. She attended the Queen as she went in state 
on September 30, 1553, from the Tower to her palace at 
Westminster, and she is the first named of ten ladies ** who rode 
in crimson velvet, their horses trapped with the same." Sir 
Adrian's daughter Margaret, Lady Wentworth, had a place in 
the same procession. In the fifth year of Queen Mary's reign, 
several manors in Gloucestershire were granted by the Crown to 
"Anne Fortescue, widow of Sir Adrian Fortescue, and to the 

*7 "In Yorkshire and our other northern parts, they have an old custom after 
sermon or service on Christmas Day, the people will, even in the churches, cry 
UUy ule, as a token of rejoicing" (Blount, quoted by Halliwell). 

3' This reminds us of the grand old Catholic proverb : Meat and Mass hinder no 



38 The Venerable Adrian Fortescue, Martyr, 

heirs male of Sir Adrian." It is singular that she should be 
called in the grants by the name of Fortescue, for she was 
already married to Sir Thomas Ap-harry, or Parry. Her second 
husband was a Protestant, and was sworn of the Privy Council 
by Queen Elizabeth at the first Council held after her accession. 
He had been " a servant much about her " as Princess Elizabeth, 
and she at once made him Comptroller of her Household. 

Sir Adrian's "little son John" was a boy of eight at the 
time of his father's death, born in the same year as Queen 
Elizabeth. He was brought up a Protestant, and his father's 
attainder was reversed in 1552 in his favour in the reign of 
Edward the Sixth. He was soon after chosen to be preceptor 
to the Princess Elizabeth, and when she became Queen she 
made him Keeper of the Great Wardrobe. In 1591 he was 
made Chancellor of the Exchequer, and when he died in 1607, 
having outlived Elizabeth, he was Chancellor of the Duchy of 
Lancaster. He acquired the manor of Salden, Bucks, from his 
step-father, Sir Thomas Parry, and he was the founder of the 
Salden branch of the P'ortescue family, which became extinct in 
the male line in 1729, but in the female line is now represented 
by the Turvilles and the Amhersts. 

One has but to look at the portrait of Sir John Pbrtescue to 
feel sure that he was a Protestant. And no one would have 
doubted it, if Father Tesimond, in his narrative^^ of his landing 
in England, had not given a circumstantial account of his having 
gone straight to the house of Sir John Fortescue, Keeper of the 
Queen's Wardrobe, at a most inopportune moment, when the 
whole house had been upset the night before by pursuivants in 
search of priests. He further says that two or three priests had 
concealed themselves in hiding-places, that the pursuivants had 
carried away books, pictures, vestments, and altar furniture, and 
that Sir John himself together with his wife and children were 
in custody, among them " two little girls, the fairest in London." 
"They greatly feared that Sir John would lose his office of 
Keeper of the Wardrobe, and in point of fact, some time after, 
he did lose it, though not on that occasion, as he had many 
friends and relations at Court." This was at the end of 1597 or 
early in 1598. 

But it is clear, on a careful examination, that Father 
Tesimond has confused together two John Fortescues, and the 
house to which he went on his arrival in England was that of 
*• Troubles of our Catholic Forefather s^ First Series, p. 174. 



The Venerable Adrian Foriescue, Martyr. 39 

John Fortescue, who was a nephew of Sir John, the Master of 
the Queen's Wardrobe. The younger John Fortescue was the 
son of Sir Anthony, the third son of Sir Adrian and of Catherine 
daughter of Sir Geoffrey Pole, the brother of the Cardinal, 
unattainted because he had turned against and betrayed his 
own flesh and blood. However, John Fortescue was proud that 
" his mother was niece to Cardinal Pole." He lived in London, 
with his wife Helen, and " their house was a receptacle for all 
priests and Religious men without partiality or exception." The 
two daughters, Catherine and Elizabeth, *'the fairest girls in 
London," married, the one Francis Bedingfeld, and had eleven 
daughters who all became nuns, and the other Sir John 
Beaumont of Gracedieu. This John Fortescue had no doubt 
** many friends and relations at Court," of whom his uncle, the 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, was the most powerful. His 
father, Sir Anthony, could not help him, for he was himself 
attainted, if not at that time a prisoner in the Tower for con- 
spiring against the Queen with Arthur and Edward Pole. But 
his grandmother, Anne Lady Parry, could have said a good 
word for him, as she was now as high in the favour of Elizabeth 
as she had been in that of Queen Mary. 

A letter from John Fortescue to the Earl of Essex on the 
occasion of the very arrest described by Father Tesimond is given 
by Lord Clermont from the Hatfield collection of manuscripts. 
In it he tries to exculpate himself by saying, " I crave no favour 
of her Majesty or any peer within this realm, if any unnatural 
or disloyal fact can be proved against me either in harbouring, 
maintaining or abetting either priest or Jesuit, forbidden by her 
Highness' laws." " And in this search at my house," he goes 
on to say, ** myself being then in the country, there was nothing 
found within my command in all my house, but such things as 
my lewd and wretched butler had locked in a desk of his in that 
office, so far from my knowledge (on my salvation) as is heaven 
from earth." He then says that he has served her Majesty 
these twenty-one years and has " never been touched with any 
blot of such disorder," and it was not likely that he would 
deprive himself of that benefit which had maintained himself his 
wife and children these many years. And then he adds this 
curious sentence : " and in which space, if I have retained my 
conscience at all, her Majesty hath been no loser by it, nor 
myself, God knoweth any great gainer." This letter is 
dated March 8, 1597, which being O.S. shows that Father 



40 The Venerable Adrian Fortescue, Martyr. 

Tesimond's arrival was in March, 1598, N.S. The house we 
learn was in Black Friars ; at least so it is said in a paper which 
Lord Clermont has found at Ushaw, in which, after the deaths at 
St Omers of both John Fortescue and his wife Helen, an 
account is given of how Father John Gerard besought Mrs. 
Fortescue to let him have a lodging in her house in which he 
might privately meet Catesby, Percy, Winter, Digby, and others 
who were afterwards implicated in the Gunpowder Plot ; and 
how, after the discovery of the Plot, Father Gerard suddenly 
appeared at Mr. Fortescue's house, disguised by a false beard 
and hair, and asked to be taken in as he knew not where to hide 
his head, on which Mr. Fortescue much grieved, looked at him 
and said, " Have you no one to ruin but me and my family ? " 
This paper was written with an unhappy desire of making the 
Jesuits responsible for the Gunpowder Plot. 

It must have seemed that the main line of the Fortescues 
of Salden was irretrievably lost to the Church. Sir Francis, son 
and heir of Sir John, was made a Knight of the Bath at the corona- 
tion of James I. But yet, during his father's lifetime Francis is 
described by Father John Gerard ^^ as "a Catholic by conviction, 
but conforming externally to the State religion for fear of 
offending his father." His wife, Grace Manners, Father Gerard 
converted, but though her husband Sir Francis " made no 
difficulty of receiving priests, and at last went so far as to be 
fond of dressing the altar with his own hands and of saying the 
breviary, yet with all this he remains outside the ark," wrote 
Father Gerard in 1609, "for he presumes too much on an 
opportunity of doing penance before death." Father Anthony 
Hoskins was their first resident priest, and Salden continued to 
be a Jesuit mission even after it had ceased to belong to the 
Fortescues. It is very singular that no trace of the fact that 
this branch of the family was Catholic should have reached 
Lord Clermont when he was compiling his admirable and most 
painstaking family history. Adrian Fortescue, the great-grand- 
son of our martyr, was a Jesuit, and Sir Francis, the fourth 
baronet, in whom the male line expired, was at one time a 
Novice in the Society. 

*® Life of Father John Gerard^ p. 335. 







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