Oxford Chronology 1560s

May 6, 1560: Will of William Hewes.

WILLIAM HEWES [of Castle Hedingham in margin], [no date given]. (962)

All such debts owing to me from Thomas and George my sons with the debt that Mr Kerby oweth me and all other my debts, saving the money that my Lord [John De Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford] doth owe me which is £3 15s. that I bequeath to ‘Ese’ [Esau?] my son, and all other my debts to be given amongst my six sons which ‘drowythe’ to £3 apiece, and the overplus to be given to the poor people. To Henry my son my best featherbed, best brass pot, best kettle, with 4 pieces of my best pewter, and my new cupboard. To ‘Ise’ [sic] my son, over and above his £3 and the money that my Lord doth owe me, my featherbed next the best, my old cupboard, 2nd brass pot, 4 pieces of pewter, my trammel, and all my stools, tables and forms. To Richard my son my best flockbed and my new hutch. To John my son my 3rd featherbed, 4 pieces of pewter, a posnet, and my tawny coat. To Richard my son my worst violet coat. To ‘Ese’ my best coat. To Katherine Hewes, wife of my eldest son, my gown lined with buckram. To Agnes my daughter-in-law a black frock that was my wife’s and my russet night gown. To Thomas my best gown because I would have him good to his brethren. To James Quadwell my cloak, Anne Latymer and {sic} my old frize night gown, Thomas Ive my best frize coat, and old father Richard my other frize coat. The rest of my goods to ‘Ese’. I ordain my executor Mr Aubrey Ver, praying him for God’s sake to see this my Will delivered and paid to my sons as he thinks most meet, not hindering one for the other, and to Mr Vere for his pains 6s. 8d. To Thomas my son 1 flockbed. To Giles Herde my stained russet hose and old Johnson a pair of russet hose.

Witnesses: Mr Aubrey Vere, Thomas West gentleman. Also I will that ‘Ese’ give to every child that Thomas hath 12d.

Proved 6 May 1560

[Thanks to Mick Clarke for text.]

July 28, 1562: Third Will of 16th Earl of Oxford.

JOHN DE VEER, [16th] EARL OF OXFORD [of Hedingham Castle], Lord Great Chamberlain of England, Viscount Bulbeck, 28 July 1562. [P.R.O. PROB 11/46/174]

I will that my sepulchre be made in the body [i.e. nave] of Earls Colne church after such matter and in such place as by the discretion of my executors shall seem most convenient and therein my body to be laid in convenient time after my decease. At the day of my burial I will that they shall give in deeds of charity to the to the relief of the poor or other godly uses £10.

I will that my house wherein I shall have and keep my household at the time of my decease, by the Queen’s Majesty’s clemency and permission, shall be maintained by my executors after my death with my stores of oxen, bullocks, sheep, fowls, fish, malt, wheat and other like as I keep, without diminution of my household servants or any other which dwell in it, save such as will voluntarily depart. To every of my servants his quarter’s wages. I bequeath to the several boxes for the poor in Castle Hedingham, Sible Hedingham, Nether [Great] Yeldham, Tilbury-juxta-Clare, Wivenhoe, Gestingthorpe, Lamarsh, Toppesfield, Cockfield [Suffolfk], Earls Colne, Wakes Colne, White Colne, Colne Engaine, St. Swithin’s parish at London Stone, Lavenham, East Bergholt, Tadingstone, Aldhalm [the last four in Suffolk], and Swaffham Bulbeck [Cambs.] £50 to be divided at my executors’ discretion; and towards the reparation of the highway from Earls Colne to Coggeshall £10.

To my loving and well-beloved wife, the Lady Margery Countess of Oxford, in part of recompense for all such dowry as she may demand out of my lands (except such given in deed of entail), the manors of Tilbury-juxta-Clare, Downham, Easton Hall [in Belchamp Walter], Nether Hall in Gestingthorpe, and Garnons in Tendring, and Brown’s tenement in Toppesfield, the manors of Easton Maudit, Thorpe Malsor and Marston Trussel [all three in Northants.], the manor of Bilton [Warws.], and the lands and tenements called Paynes in Pentlow, all for her life. To my wife for her use all such plate as hath been given to her, either for New Year’s gifts or the christening of any of her children, also 200 ounces of my plate, with all her jewels and apparel belonging to her body, and all such household stuff as is contained in a schedule hereunto annexed.

To my son Edward Lord Bulbeck 1,000 marks to be paid to him by my executors as it may conveniently be levied of the manors and lands hereafter bequeathed; and in case he decease before his age of 21 the 1,000 marks to be equally divided between my wife and my daughter the Lady Mary. To Edward at 21 the rest of my plate with all such other household stuff, armour, artillery and weapons as are not bequeathed to my wife; if he die before to be likewise divided.

To my loving son-in-law the Lord Wyndsor and my daughter the Lady Katherine his loving wife 300 marks. To every of the women which shall attend and be in service with my wife, not amounting above six, £6, 13s. 4d. apiece. To the Lady Mary my daughter 2,000 marks at marriage; if she die, to be divided between my wife and Edward. To the two sons of my brother Aubrey Veer, [i.e. Hugh and John] each £20 at 21. To Anne Veere, Aubrey’s eldest daughter, 100 marks, and to each of his other daughters Bridget and Jane £40 at marriage. To my brother Robert Veere’s daughter £40 at marriage. To each of the two sons [John and Horace] of my brother Jeffery £20 at 21. To every one of my servants named in a schedule annexed such sums as are appointed. To my three loving sisters, the Lady [Elizabeth] Darcy, the Lady [Frances] Surrey and the Lady [Anne] Sheffelde, each one of my cups of silver and gilt that have been given me for New Year’s gifts, for a remembrance of me.

To my very good lord Sir Nicholas Bacon knight, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England, and to my right trusty and loving friend Sir William Cecil knight, each £10 and one of my great horses. I right heartily beseech them to aid my executors. Whereas I have heretofore demised to my servant Robert Christmas the manor of Welbourn [Norfolk] for 21 years, I bequeath to him the same lease.

The residue of my goods, jewels, apparel and debts owing to me to my executors towards the payment of my debts and fulfilling my will, and I heartily require them to pay in as convenient a time as they may such debts as I owe. To them towards the performance of my will the manors of Tadingstone and Aldham, my messuages and lands in Tadlingstone, Aldham and Hadleigh [Suffolk], the manor of Welbourn, my manors of Wivenhoe, Newers [ in ?], Battles Wick [Colchester], Great Canfield, Great Bentley, Doddinghurst, Lamarsh and Wakes Colne, and my lands in Wivenhoe, Newers, Battles Wick, Alresford, Greenstead [by Colchester], East Donyland, Great Canfield, Little Canfield, High Roothing, Hatfield Regis [Broad Oak], Great Bentley, Frating, Doddinghurst, Shenfield, Lamarsh, Great Henny, Alphamstone, and Wakes Colne, for 21 years after my decease, I ordain my executors my wife, Edward, my loving friend Sir John Wentworth knight and to him for his pains £20, and my trusty servants Henry Golding, Robert Christmas and John Turner; and the supervisors I make my singular good lord the Duke of Norfolk and my Lord Robert Dudley and to each for their pains £20 and one of my best horses or geldings.

Witnesses: Harry Walter, Roger Ponder clerk [rector of Great Yeldham], John Ludham, Jasper Jones, John Lovell, Thomas Coo, William Hill, Edmund Freeke. [Signed ‘Oxenford’]

The schedule of certain of my household stuff and other things. A trussing bed, with hangings of crimson velvet, powdered with agates and brodering [embroidering?] flowers, paned with white damask. A trussing bed, hanging of purple tinsel satin, paned with black velvet, powdered with clouds, weeping eyes and drops, with 5 curtains of blue sarcenet. A trussing bed, hanging of blue tinsel satin, paned with red velvet, powdered with pomegranates, with 3 curtains of red and blue sarcenet. A sparver of greed damask, paned with tinsel satin of bridges [Bruges], with curtains of red and yellow sarcenet made fast to the same. A sparver of estate of red satin, powdered with blue boars and letters and my old Lord’s arms. Two counterpoints of Venus and Cupid. One quilt of red sarcenet. A counterpoint of tapestry having St. George in it. A counterpoint of coarse counterfeit arras with a great lion in it. Six pieces of tapestry verdures and beasts. Six pieces of hangings sometime for the Great Chamber at Colne. Featherbeds 12. Cushions 12. Carpets for tables and cupboards 10. Sheets 12 pair. Blankets 10 pair. Two chairs of crimson velvet. One chair of black velvet. [Signed ‘Oxenford’].

The names of my servants to whom I have given several sums ensuing. Gentlemen – Henry Golding esquire £20, Robert Christmas £20, John Turner £20, John Both £20, John Ludham £20, John Lovell £20, Jasper Jones £20, Thomas Jarman £10, Thomas Edon £10, George Tyrell £10, William Hill £20, John Clippesbye £10, Thomas Sholdham £10. Thomas Saintione [St. John] £10, Edward MacWilliam £10, William Brewster £10, Richard Bolande £10, Francis Barnars £10, Roger Clopton £10, Robert Thorpe £10, Edmund Freke £10, Roger Ponder £10, John Carve £10.

Yeomen – John Lynnet, John Smyth, Thurston Fyttes, John Carter, George Massie, Lawrence [Sy?]lkston, John Butcher, John Bridge, Lewis Jegon, John Crabbe, Richard Bull, each £3 6s. 8d., George Warde £10, William Grave, Thomas Bridge, Robert Reade, Geoffrey Lovell, John Pottes, Henry Pullen, Thomas Robinson, William Barret, John Gyver, Thomas Smyth, Robert Williams, John Davye, John Furlonge, Thomas Christmas, Thomas Hughes, Richard Wood, Robert Symon, Edmund Chapman, Henry Wood, Robert Parker, Henry Fawconer, Anthony Denny, John Baude, John Knyghte, Thomas Water, Albon, Bridge, James Gorrell, Adam Pollie, Robert Pollye, Warton Borow, Lewis Hunger, Lawrence Au[er?]ton, each £3, 6s. 8d.

Grooms – Willaim Lyster, Peter Pudney, John Pudney, the boy of the Stable, Robert Woodfen, Thomas Johnson, John Bigg, each 40s., Edward Richards 26s. 8d., John Lyllye, John Fookes, Robert Mortimer, John Stokes, Christopher Metcalf, Thomas Boman, John Grene, John Webbe, Thomas Man, John Roguls, each 40s., Jasper Harvye, Richard Harris, each 26s. 8d., Thomas Chalis, James Fen, each 40s.

Proved 29 May 1563 on the oath of Robert Christmas gentleman, to whom administration granted; power reserved to Margery Countess of Oxford, Edward Lord Bulbeck, Sir John Wentworth and Henry Golding; John Turner gentleman renouncing. 22 July 1563, the Countess renounced.

[Thanks to Mick Clarke for the text.]

August 25/31, 1562: The 16th Earl of Oxford is buried.

[MS. Harl. 897, f.81.]

“This John Vere, erl of Oxford, dysseased at his castell of Hemyngham in Essex on Monday the 3. of August, in the 4. yere of the quene our soveraigne lady Elizabeth, &c. 1562, and was beryed on tewsday the 25. of August next enshewing, at the parishe churche of Hemyngham. He married first Doraty, doughter of Raff erle of Westmerland, and had issue Kateren wyff to Edward lord Wyndesor; secondly, Margery doughter of Golding, syster to sir Thomas Goldinge, and had issue Edward erl of Oxford, and Mary.”

[From The Diary of Henry Machyn]

“The xxxj day of August was bered in Essex the good erle [of Oxford, with] iij haroldes of armes, master Garter, master Lancostur, master Rych[mond, with a st]andard and a grett baner of armes, and viij baner-rolles, [helmet,] crest, targett, and sword, and cott armur, and a herse with velvett [and a] palle of velvett, and a x dosen of skochyons, [and with] mony mornars in blake, and grett mone mad for hym.”

September 3, 1562: The 17th Earl of Oxford rides into London.

[From The Diary of Henry Machyn]

“The iij day of September cam rydyng owt of Essex from [the funeral] of the yerle of Oxford ys father the yonge yerle of Oxford, with vij-skore horse all in blake throughe London and Chepe and Ludgatt, and so to Tempulle bare, and so to (blank), be-twyn v and vj of the cloke at after-none.”

August 19, 1563: Letter to William Cecil in French.

[Alan Nelson has a brief note on this letter.]


Monsieur, j’ai reçu vos lettres plaines d’humanité et courtoisie, et fort resemblantes à votre grand amour et singulier affection envers moi, comme vrais enfants devement procrées d’une telle mère, pour laquelle je me trouve de jour en jour plus tenu à v.h. vos bons admonestements pour l’observation du bon ordre selon vos appointements. Je me délibère (Dieu aidant) de garder en toute diligence comme chose que je cognois et considère tendre especialment à mon propre bien et profit, usant en celà l’advis et authorité de ceux qui sont auprès de moi, la discretion desquels j’estime si grande (s’il me convient parler quelquechose à leur avantage) qui non seulement ils se porteront selon qu’un tel temps le requiert, ains que plus est feront tant que je me gouverne selon que vous avez ordonné et commandé. Quant a l’ordre de mon étude pour ce qu’il requiert un long discours à l’expliquer par le menu, et le temps est court a cette heure, je vous prie affectueusement m’en excuser pour le présent, vous assurant que par le premier passant je le vous ferais savoir bien au long. Cependant je prie à Dieu vous donner santé.



Sir, I have received your letters, full of humanity and courtesy, and strongly resembling your great love and singular affection towards me, like true children duly procreated of such a mother, for whom I find myself from day to day more bound to your honor, to your good admonishments for the observance of good order according to your appointed rules. I am resolved (God aiding) to keep with all diligence as a thing that I may know and to consider to tend especially to my own good and profit, using therein the advice and authority of those who are near me, whose discretion I esteem so great (if it is convenient to me to say something to their advantage) that not only will they comport themselves according as a given time requires it, but will as well do what is more, as long as I govern myself as you have ordered and commanded. As to the order of my study because it requires a long discourse to explain it in detail, and the time is short at this hour, I pray you affectionately to excuse me therefrom for the present, assuring you that by the first passerby I shall make it known to you at full length. Meanwhile I pray to God to give you health.


1563: Arthur Golding’s Petition on behalf of Oxford

PRO SP12/29[/8], ff. 11-12

CSPD 1547-80, p. 225


[Endorsed in Cecil’s hand: “Arth{ur} Goldy{n}g{es} petitio{n} for my L{ord} of oxford”.]

Arthurus Goldyng gener{osus} Avunculus D{omi}ni Edwardi Comit{is} Oxonie et D{omi}ne Marie sororis sue, Intelligens ex relac{i}one nonnulloru{m} D{omi}nam Catherina{m} vxore{m} D{omi}ni Edwardi Windesore Milit{is} Baronis de Stanwell instanter egisse & adhuc instare apud R{everendissi}mu{m} Matheum Canter{buriensis} Archiep{iscop}um quatenus D{i}c{tos} Comitem Oxon’ et D{ominam} Mariam euis sorore{m} citand{os} fore decernat ad vidend’ testes recipi iurari et examinari, si sua putaverint interesse, sup{er} quibusdam Articulis eosdem Comite{m} et eius sorore{m} tangen{tibus} et concernen{dibus} sub p{ro}testacio{n}ib{us} de non consentiendo & nisi &c{etera} Comparet et ad o{m}i{n}em iuris effectu{m} allegat d{i}c{t}e d{omi}ne Catherine petic{i}o{n}em continere grave p{re}iudiciu{m} D{omi}ne Regine, & D{i}c{t}e Comit{is} et eius sororis sanguinisq{ue} legitimitate ac ius hereditariar{um} possessionu{m} conting{er}e. Necnon antedictu{m} D{ominum} Comitem fuisse et esse minore{m} quatuordecem Annoru{m} ac notorie & ex recordo sub warda tutela seu cura D{i}c{t}e D{omi}ne n{ost}re Regine omniaq{ue} et singula terras teneme{n}ta & hereditamenta sua in possessione & Regimine D{i}c{t}e D{omi}ne Regine durante minore etate sua esse et de iure sic esse debere.

Eaq{ue} racio{n}e tam de iure co{mmun}i q{uam} statut{is} huius Regni ac etia{m} p{re}vilegijs curie Wardaru{m} & Liberationu{m} p{re}d{i}c{t}e D{omi}ne n{ost}re Regine nulla{m} litem seu controu{er}sia{m} moveri nec quicq{uam} aliud allegari agi aut intentari cora{m} aliquo ecclesiastico seu seculari Iudice debere nec posse que vel quod directe seu indirecte p{er}sona{m}, statu, res, bona, terras, possessiones, tenementa seu hereditamenta eius quecunq{ue} tangit vel aliquo modo durante eius minore etate tang{er}e potest p{re}terq{uam} in Curia Wardaru{m} & liberationu{m} D{i}c{t}e D{omi}ne Regine cora{m} mag{ist}ro & consilio eiusd{em} Curie Ivdice ad hoc sp{ec}ial{i}t{e}r vigore legu{m} huius Regni deputato. Et insup{er} allegavit, an{te}dict{am} D{omi}nam Maria{m} sorore{m} d{i}c{t}i Comit{is} fuisse et esse minore{m} eti{a}m quatuordece{m} Annis [for Annorum] eiusq{ue} ius & interesse dependere directe a iure & titulo p{re}fat{i} Comit{is}. Quare petit quatenus R{everendissi}mus decernat ex causis p{re}missis sup{er}sedend’ fore, donec licentia in hac parte specialis co{n}tinent{ur}, secundu{m} leges & consuetudines in casubus consimilibus in d{i}c{t}a Curia Wardarum et Liberationu{m} hactenus legitime vsitatas.

[Thanks to Alan Nelson for text.]

1569: Dedication to Lord Oxford in Thomas Underdowne‘s translation of “An Æthiopian Historie” by Heliodorus.



To the Right Honourable Edwarde Deuier
Lord great Chamberlain of England,
Thomas Underdowne wisheth long and blessed life,
with increase of honour.

AS they somewhat be more precise than I, (right honourable Earle) which would have noble men, and such as beare sway and rule in the weale publike, to be in all manner of sciences great Artistes, and altogether bookish: so doe I farre dissent from them that would have them unlettered and flat idiots: for the bookish man busily attending his owne study cannot carefully enough tender the state. For such is the property of knowledge, that it breedeth a contempt of al other things in respect of it selfe. As for the ignorant it is most evident and plaine, that he can have no manner of governance, or skill of regiment in his head. The Greekes in all manner of knowledge and learning, did farre surmount the Romanes, but the Romanes in administring their state, in warlike factes, and in common sense were much their superiours: for the Greekes were wedded to their learning alone, the Romanes content with a mediocritie, applyed themselves to greater things. I do not deny, but that in many matters, I meane matters of learning, a noble man ought to have a sight: but to be too much addicted that way, I think it is not good. Now of al knowledge fit for a noble gentleman, I suppose the knowledge of histories is most seeming. For furthering whereof, I have englished a passing fine and witty historye, written in Greeke by Heliodorus, and for right good cause consecrated the same to your honourable Lordship. For such vertues be in your honour, so hauty courage joyned with great skill, such sufficiencies in learning, so good nature and common sense, that in your honour is, I thinke, expressed the right paterne of a noble gentleman, which in my head I have conceived, it nothing did dismay me, or for that I was not knowen to your honour, neither may it seeme any rash attempt for that cause. For such is the force of vertue, that she maketh us to love, not onely our owne Countreymen by sight unknowen, but also strangers, which by lande and sea be severed from us. Therefore I beseech your honour favourably to accept this my small travel in translating Heliodorus, which I have so well translated as he is woorthy, I am perswaded, that your Honor will lyke very well of. Sure I am that of other translatours he hath been dedicated to mighty Kinges and Princes. Therefore accept my good wil (honouralbe Earle) and if opportunitie shall serve hereafter, there shall greater thinges appeare under your Honours name. Almighty God geve you increase of honour, and keepe and defende you for ever and ever.

Your honours most humble to commaunde