Mowbray, Thomas (1366?-1399) (DNB00)

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MOWBRAY, THOMAS (I), twelfth Baron Mowbray and first Duke of Norfolk (1366 ?-1399), born about 1366, was the second son of John (III) de Mowbray, tenth baron Mowbray (d. 1368) [see under Mowbray, John (II) de, d. 1361], by Elizabeth, only daughter and heiress of John, sixth lord Segrave (Doyle, Official Baronage). Mowbray was of the blood royal through his mother, who was daughter of Margaret, the elder daughter of the second surviving son of Edward I, Thomas of Brotherton, earl of Norfolk and earl marshal (1300-1338). Margaret married Lord Segrave before 1338, and succeeded her father as Countess of Norfolk and countess marshal in December of that year.

Mowbray's mother is said to have had him baptised Thomas, a name not previously affected by the family, to mark her special reverence for St. Thomas of Canterbury (Dugdale, Baronage, i. 128). The abbots of Fountains and Sawley were his sponsors. On the death without issue at the early age of nineteen, on 10 Feb. 1383, of his elder brother, John (IV) de Mowbray, eleventh baron, Thomas succeeded as twelfth Baron Mowbray of Axholme. He inherited, in addition to the great Mowbray barony, in which were merged those of Braose (Brewes) and Segrave, the expectation of the still more splendid heritage of the old Bigods, earls of Norfolk, at present enjoyed by Margaret, his grandmother. Richard at once (12 Feb.) revived, in favour of his young cousin, the title of Earl of Nottingham, which his brother had borne (Doyle). Before October he was given the garter vacant by the death of Sir John Burley (Beltz, Memorials of the Order of the Garter, p. 259). As Earl of Nottingham he was summoned to the parliament which met on 26 Oct. of that year (Rep. on the Dignity of a Peer, App. p. 705). Froissart substitutes the Earls of Northumberland and Nottingham for the Duke of Lancaster and the Earl of Buckingham as leaders of the Scottish expedition of March 1384 (cf. Monk of Evesham, p. 51 ; Walsingham, ii. 111). There is no doubt, however, that Nottingham was present in the expedition which Richard in person conducted against the Scots in the summer of the next year. On the eve of their departure (30 June) the king invested the earl for life with the office of earl marshal of England, which had been enjoyed by his great-grandfather, Thomas of Brotherton (Dugdale, i. 128). On the march through Yorkshire he confirmed, on 21 July, with many of the knights of the army as witnesses, his ancestor Roger's charter to Byland Abbey [see under Mowbray, Roger (I) de].

Nottingham, who was barely twenty years of age, does not appear by name among the nobles who carried out the revolution at court against the king of October to December 1386 (cf. Continuatio Eulogii Historiarum, iii. 361). Of nearly the same age as the king, he had been much in his company (Walsingham, ii. 156). But he had married in 1385 a sister of Arundel, who was, next to Gloucester, the chief author of the revolution, and shared with his brother-in-law the glory of his naval victory of 24 March 1387 over the French, Flemings, and Spaniards (Walsingham, ii. 153-6; Chron. Anglic, pp. 374-5). He did not, however, accompany Arundel in the further expedition which he undertook for the relief of Brest (Knighton, col. 2693). Richard received Nottingham very coldly when he presented himself to report his success, and his favourite, the Duke of Ireland, refused even to speak to the two earls. They therefore retired to their estates, 'where they could live more at their ease than with the king' (Walsington, ii. 156). Nottingham was one of those whose destruction the king and the Duke of Ireland plotted after Easter (ib. p. 161 ; Monk of Evesham, p. 84). Yet he does not seem to have taken any open part in the armed demonstration in November by which Gloucester, Arundel, and Warwick, with whom the Earl of Derby, eldest son of John of Gaunt [see Henry IV], had now ranged himself, extorted from Richard a promise that his advisers should be brought to account before parliament. It was not until after the lords in revolt had fled from court, and the Duke of Ireland was approaching with an army raised in Cheshire to relieve the king from the constraint in which he was held, that Nottingham followed Derby's example, and appeared in arms with Derby and the other three lords at Huntingdon on 12 Dec. (Rot. Parl. iii. 376; Monk of Evesham, p. 137). Even now, if we may trust the story which Derby and Nottingham told ten years after, when they were assisting Richard in bringing their old associates to account for these proceedings, they showed themselves more moderate than their elders. They claimed to have secured the rejection of Arundel's plan to capture and depose the king (ib.) The five confederates marched instead into Oxfordshire, to intercept the Duke of Ireland before he could pass the Thames. They divided their forces for the purpose on 20 Dec., and Nottingham, like some of the ot hers, seemingly did not come up in time to take part with Derby and Gloucester in the actual fighting at Radcot Bridge, near Burford, from which the Duke of Ireland only escaped by swimming (Monk of Evesham, p. 95 ; Walsingham, ii. 168 ; Knighton, col. 2703). The victors returned through Oxford, where the chronicler Adam of Usk (p. 5) saw their army pass, with Arun- del and Nottingham bringing up the rear ; after spending Christmas day at St. Albans, they reached London on 26 Dec., and encamped in the fields at Clerkenwell. The London populace siding with the formidable host without, the mayor ordered the gates to be opened to the lords (Walsingham, ii. 171). They insisted on an interview with Richard in the Tower, and entered his presence with linked arms. The helpless young king consented to meet them next day at Westminster, and besought them to sup and stay the night with him, in token of goodwill. Gloucester refused, but Richard succeeded in keeping Derby and Nottingham to supper (Knighton, col. 2704 ; Derby only according to the Monk of Evesham, p. 100, and Walsingham, ii. 172). Next day (27 Dec.) they formally appealed his favourites of treason at Westminster, and Richard was forced to order their arrest (Knighton, col. 2705 ; Evesham, p. 100 ; Walsingham, ii. 172-3 ; Fœdera, vii. 566-8). As one of the five appellants Nottingham joined in the subsequent proscription of the king's friends in the Merciless parliament which met on 3 Feb. 1388 (Rot. Parl. in, 229 seq. ; Knighton, cols. 2713-26). On 10 March he was joined as marshal with Gloucester the constable to hear a suit between Matthew Gournay and Louis de Sancerre, marshal of France (Fœdera, vii. 570). In the early months of 1389 he is said to have been sent against the Scots, who were ravaging Northumberland; but, being entrusted with only five hundred lances, did not venture an encounter with the Scots, who numbered, if we may believe the chroniclers, thirty thousand (Walsingham, ii. 180; Monk of Evesham, p. 107).

When Richard shook off the tutelage of the appellants on 3 May, Nottingham was removed with the others from the privy council (Walsingham, ii. 182, and Monk of Evesham p. 109, mention only Gloucester and Warwick). But once his own master, Richard showed particular anxiety to conciliate the earl-marshal. He gave him the overdue livery of his lands, and a week after his emancipation (11 May) placed him on the commission appointed to negotiate a truce with Scotland (Ord. of Privy Council, i. 27). His great possessions in the north naturally suggested his employment in the defence of the Scottish border, as his grandfather had been employed before him. On 1 June, therefore, he was constituted warden of the east marches, captain of Berwick, and constable of Roxburgh Castle for a term of two years (Dugdale, i. 128 ; Doyle). By the middle of September both he and Derby had been restored to their places at the council board,

which a month later (15 Oct.) was the scene of a hot dispute between the king and his new chancellor, William of Wykeham, who resisted Richard's proposal to grant a large pension to Nottingham (Ord. of Privy Council, i. 11, 12). Whatever may have been Richard's real feelings towards Gloucester and Arundel at this time, it was obviously to his interest to attach the younger and less prominent appellants to himself. Nottin gham alone was continuously employed in the service of the state, and entrusted with the most responsible commands. On 28 June 1390 he was associated with the treasurer, John Gilbert, bishop of St. David's, and others to obtain redress from the Scots for recent infractions of the truce (Fœdera, vii. 678 ; Ord. of Privy Council, i. 27 ; Lowth, Life of Wykeham, p. 228). In 1391 an exchange of posts was effected between Nottingham and the Earl of Northumberland, who returned to his old office of warden of the Scottish marches, while Mowbray took the captaincy of Calais (Dugdale, i. 128 ; Walsingham, ii. 203). In November of the next year, this office was renewed to him for six years, in conjunction with that of lieutenant of the king in Calais and the parts of Picardy, Flanders, and Artois for the same term (Dugdale, i. 128). On 12 Jan. 1394 Richard recognised Nottingham's just and hereditary right to bear for his crest a golden leopard gorged with a silver label (Gloucester's crest), but substituted a crown for the label, on the ground that the latter would appertain to the king's son, if he had any (Fœdera, vii. 763 ; Beltz, p. 298; Doyle). In March 1394 Nottingham was appointed chief justice of North Wales, and two months later chief justice of Chester and Flint (ib. ; Dugdale, i. 128). Nottingham accompanied Richard to Ireland in September 1394, and on his return was commissioned, with the Earl of Rutland, son of Edmund of Langley, duke of York, and others, on 8 July, and again in October and December, to negotiate a long truce with France and a marriage for the king with Isabella, daughter of Charles VI of France (Ann. Ricardi II, p. 172; Fœdera, vii. 802). He was present at the costly wedding festivities at Calais in October 1396 (Ann. Ricardi II, p. 190). Nottingham thus closely identified himself with the French connection, which by its baneful influence upon Richard's character and policy, and its unpopularity in the country contributed more than anything else to hastening his misfortunes. In the parliament of January 1397 Richard gave Nottingham another signal proof of his favour by an express recognition of the earl-marshalship of England as hereditary in his house, and permission to bear a golden truncheon, enamelled in black at each end, and bearing the royal arms on the upper, and his own on the lower (Rot. Parl. iii. 344 ; Wallon, Richard II, i. 404-5). At the same time Nottingham secured a victory in a personal quarrel with one of Gloucester's associates, the Earl of Warwick. Warwick's father in 1352 had obtained legal recognition of his claim to the lordship of Grower, a part of the Mowbray inheritance. This judgment was now reversed in Is ottingham's favour (Dugdale, pp. 236-7 ; Ann. Ricardi II, p. 201).

Nottingham was out of England from the end of February till the latter part of June on a foreign mission : his colleagues were the Earl of Eutland and Bishop Thomas Merke [q.v.], and as late as 16 June they were at Bacharach on the Rhine (Fœdera, vii. 850, 858). But the earl returned in time to serve as one of the instruments of Richard's revenge upon Gloucester, Arundel, and Warwick, his fellow-appellants of 1388. How far his conduct was justifiable is matter of opinion, but it was not unnatural. He was the last to join the appellants and probably the first to be reconciled to the king, and now for eight years he had been loaded by Richard with exceptional favours. He had long drifted apart from his old associates, and with one of them he was at open enmity. It must be confessed too that he was a considerable gainer by the destruction of his old friends. According to the king's story, Nottingham and seven other young courtiers, of whom all but one were related to the royal house, advised Richard to arrest Gloucester, Arundel, and Warwick on 8 and 9 July. At Nottingham on 5 Aug. they agreed to appeal them of treason in the parliament which had been summoned to meet at Westminster on 21 Sept. (Rot. Parl. iii. 374; Fœdera, viii. 7; Ann. Ricardi II, p. 206). Nottingham was present when Richard in person arrested Gloucester at his castle of Pleshy in Essex, and it was to his care as captain of Calais that the duke was consigned (ib. p. 201 ; Monk of Evesham, p. 130). He may have himself conducted his prisoner to Calais, though we have only Froissart's authority for this ; but his presence at Nottingham on 5 Aug. proves that he did not mount guard personally over him throughout his imprisonment. He had for some time in fact been performing his duties at Calais by deputy (cf. Rot. Parl. iii. 377).

On Friday, 21 Sept., Nottingham and his fellow-appellants 'in red silk robes, banded with white silk, and powdered with letters of gold,' renewed in parliament the appeal they had made at Nottingham (ib. ; {sc|Adam of Usk}}, p. 12 ; Monk of Evesham, p. 136). Arundel was forthwith tried, condemned, and beheaded on Tower Hill. A strongly Lancastrian writer asserts that Nottingham, along with Arundel's nephew, the Earl of Kent, led his brother-in-law to execution, and makes Arundel taunt them with ingratitude and prophesy time's speedy revenge (Ann. Ricardi II, pp. 216-17). Froissart adds that the earl-marshal bandaged Arundel's eyes and performed the execution himself.

This seems to have been the popular belief as early as 1399 (Langland, Richard the Redeles, Early Engl. Text Soc., 1873, Pass. iii. 105-6) ; but the official record states that the execution was carried out by Lord Morley, the lieutenant of the earl-marshal (Rot. Parl. iii. 377). Adam of Usk (p. 14) mentions the presence of Kent and others who coveted the condemned earl's lands. Nottingham was at once granted the castle and lordship of Lewes, of which he had been given the custody as early as 26 July, and all the forfeited lands of Arundel in Sussex and Surrey, except Reigate (Dugdale, i. 129). On the day of Arundel's death the king issued a writ, addressed to Nottingham as captain of Calais, or his deputy, to bring up the Duke of Gloucester before parliament to answer the charges of the appellants (Rot. Parl. iii. 377 ; Fcedera, viii. 15). Parliament seems to have adjourned to Monday the 24th, when Nottingham's answer was read, curtly intimating that he could not produce the duke, as he had died in his custody at Calais (Rot. Parl. iii. 377 ; Adam of Usk, E. 15). Next day a confession, purporting to ave been made by Gloucester to Sir William Rickhill [q. v.], justice of the common pleas, on 8 Sept., was read in parliament, and the dead man was found guilty of treason. The whole affair is involved in mystery, and there is a strong suspicion that Richard and Nottingham were responsible for Gloucester's death. [For a full discussion of the death see art. Thomas of Woodstock], After the accession of Henry IV a certain John Hall, a servant of Nottingham, who was by that time dead, being arrested as an accomplice in the murder of Gloucester, deposed in writing to parliament that he had been called from his bed by Nottingham one night in September 1397, had been informed that the king had ordered Gloucester to be murdered, and had been enjoined to be present with other esquires and servants of Nottingham and of the Earl of Rutland. Hall at first refused, but Nottingham struck him on the head, and said he should obey or die. He then took an oath of secrecy with eight other esquires and yeomen, whose names he gave, in the church of Notre-Dame in the presence of his master. Nottingham took them to a hostel called Prince's Inn, and there left them. Gloucester was handed over to them by John Lovetot, who was also a witness to the duke's confession made to Rickhill, and he was suffocated under a feather bed. Hall was at once condemned, without being produced, and executed; and when Serle, one of the others mentioned, was captured in 1404 he met the same fate (Dugdale, ii. 171 ; Ann. Henrici IV, p. 390). This not altogether satisfactory evidence was adopted, with some additions of their own, by the Lancastrian chroniclers (Ann. Ricardi II, p. 221 ; Ann. Henrici IV, p. 309 ; Walsingham, ii. 226, 228, 242 ; Monk of Evesham, pp. 161-2 ; Cont. Eulogii, iii. 373). But Nottingham's guilt is not proved, though the balance of evidence is against him.

Nottingham's services, whatever their extent, were rewarded on 28 Sept. by a grant of the greater part of the Arundel estates in Sussex and Surrey, and of seventeen of the Earl of Warwick's manors in the midlands (Dugdale, i. 129). The commons representing to the king that Derby and Nottingham had been ' innocent of malice ' in their appeal of 1388, Richard vouched for their loyalty (Rot. Parl. iii. 355). On 29 Sept. Nottingham was created Duke of Norfolk, and his grandmother, Margaret, countess of Norfolk, was at the same time created Duchess of Norfolk for life (ib. iii. 355, iv. 273; Monk of Evesham, p. 141 ; Adam of Usk, p. 17). The statement of one authority that Richard at the same time gave him the earldom of Arundel must doubtless be referred to the grant of the estates of that earldom (Cont. Eulogii, iii. 377).

But new wealth and honours did not render Norfolk's position inviolable. The king was vindictive by nature, and had not forgotten that Norfolk was once his enemy; he afterwards declared that the duke had not pursued the appeal of his old friends with such zeal as those who had never turned their coats (Rot. Parl. iii. 383). At the same time the inner circle of the king's confidants the Earl of Kent, now Duke of Surrey, Sir William le Scrope, now Earl of Wiltshire, and the Earl of Salisbury were (Norfolk had reason to suspect) urging the king to rid himself of all who had ever been his enemies. Norfolk is said to have confided his fears to Hereford as they rode from Brentford to London in December 1397 (ib. p. 382). Richard was informed of Norfolk's language ; obtained from Hereford, who probably was jealous of Norfolk's dignities and power, a written account of the interview with Norfolk, and summoned both parties to appear before the adjourned parliament, which was to meet at Shrewsbury on 30 Jan. 1398 (ib. ; Cont. Eulogii, iii. 379). Hereford seems to have accompanied the king on his way to Shrewsbury, for on 25 Jan. Richard at Lilleshallgave him a full pardon for all treasons or other offences of which he might have been guilty in the past (Fœdera, viii. 32). Norfolk did not appear to answer the charges which Hereford, on Wednesday, 30 Jan., presented against him, and on 4 Feb. the king ordered the sheriffs to proclaim that he must appear within fifteen days (ib.) The story, one of several common to Adam of Usk and the French authorities, that Norfolk had laid an ambush for Hereford on his way to Shrewsbury, and which has passed into Holinshed and Shakespeare, if it is not entirely baseless, must be referred to some earlier occasion (Adam of Usk, pp. 22, 129 ; Chronique de la Trahison; Shakespeare, Richard II, act i. sc. i. ; cf. Monk of Evesham, p. 57). Meanwhile it had been settled, on 31 Jan., that the matter should be left to the king, with the advice of the committee appointed by parliament to deal with unfinished business (Rot. Parl. ii. 382). At Oswestry, on 23 Feb., Norfolk was present, and gave a full denial to the charges, and it was settled and confirmed by the king in council at Bristol that unless sufficient proofs of his guilt were discovered in the meantime the matter should be referred to a court of chivalry at Windsor, to be held on Sunday, 28 April (ib. ; Fœdera, viii. 35-6 ; cf. Adam of Usk, p. 23). The court met at Windsor on the date fixed, and next day decided that the matter should be settled by trial of battle at Coventry on 16 Sept. (Rot. Parl. iii. 382). The lists were prepared in a place surrounded by a ditch, outside Coventry, and on the appointed day the combatants duly appeared (Adam of Usk, p. 23). They were both magnificently arrayed, Norfolk, we are told, having secured his armour from Germany, and Hereford's being a present from Gian Galeazzo of Milan (Archæologia, xx. 102 ; Adam of Usk, p. 23). But Hereford was much the more splendid, having seven horses diversely equipped (ib.) Before they had joined issue, however, the king took the battle into his own hands, on the ground that treason was in question, and that it was undesirable that the blood royal should be dishonoured by the defeat of either (Rot. Parl. iii. 383). Richard then decided that inasmuch as Norfolk had confessed at Windsor to some of the charges which he had repelled at Oswestry, and was thus self-convicted of conduct which was likely to have roused great trouble in the kingdom, he should quit the realm before the octaves of St. Edward, to take up his residence in Germany, Bohemia, and Hungary, and 'pass the great sea in pilgrimage.' He was to go nowhere else in Christendom on pain of incurring the penalties of treason. Hereford was banished to France, and communication between them was expressly forbidden (ib. iii. 382). The same veto was laid upon all intercourse with Archbishop Arundel. Norfolk's share of the lands of Arundel and Warwick and all his offices were declared forfeited, because he had resisted the abrogation of the acts of the Merciless parliament, and failed in his duty as an appellant (ib.) The rest of his estates were to be taken into the king's hands, and the revenues, after paying him 1,000l. a year, were devoted to covering the heavy losses in which it was alleged his maladministration of his governorship of Calais had involved the king (ib. ; Monk of Evesham, p. 146). Next day his office of marshal of England was granted for the term of his (Norfolk's) life to the king's nephew, Thomas Holland, duke of Surrey (Fœdera, viii. 44). The captaincy of Calais had already been given by Richard to his half-brother, John Holland, duke of Exeter. Adam of Usk (p. 23) has a story that Richard stopped the battle because he thought Norfolk was likely to be beaten by Hereford, on whose destruction he was bent, and that the king banished Norfolk only as a matter of form, intending to recall him. Mr. Maunde Thompson seems inclined to accept this theory (Adam of Usk, p. 131) ; but it looks rather far-fetched. A Lancastrian writer adds that Norfolk was condemned on the very day on which, a year before, he had had Gloucester suffocated (Ann. Ricardi II, p. 226).

On 3 Oct. the king ordered his admirals to allow free passage to Norfolk from any port between Scarborough and Orwell ; licensed the duke to take with him a suite of forty persons, 1,000l. in money, with jewels, plate, and harness, and issued a general request to all princes and nations to allow him safe-conduct (Fœdera, viii. 47-8, see also p. 51). A few days later (Saturday, 19 Oct.) Norfolk took ship at the port of Kekeleyrode, a little south of Lowestoft, for Dordrecht, in the presence of the officials of Lowestoft and some of the county gentry, who testified to the fact, and added that by sunset he was six leagues and more from that port, and was favoured with ' bon vent et swef ' (Rot. Parl. iii. 384). He perhaps now recalled the words, if they were really spoken, in which Archbishop Arundel had warned him the year before, in the presence of the king, that he and others would speedily follow him into exile (Monk of Evesham, p. 203).

Of the subsequent wanderings of the 'banished Norfolk' we know no more than that he reached Venice, where on 18 Feb. 1399 the senate, at the request of King Richard, granted him (disguised in their minutes as duke of ' Gilforth ' ) the loan of a galley for his intended visit to the Holy Sepulchre (Cal. of State Papers, Venetian, i. 38; Archives de Orient Latin, ii. 243). He induced some private Venetians to ad- vance him money for the expenses of his journey, on the express undertaking, inserted in his will, that their claims should rank before all others (Ellis, Original Letters, 3rd ser. i. 46, 50 ; Cal. of State Papers, Venetian, i. 47). After his death the Doge Steno pressed Henry IV to compel Norfolk's heirs to satisfy these claims (ib.) On the death of Norfolk's grandmother, the old duchess, Richard revoked on 18 March 1399 the letters patent by which he had empowered him to receive inheritances by attorney, and thus kept him from enjoying the revenues of the old Bigod estates (Rot. Parl. iii. 372). It cannot be regarded as certain that he ever made his journey to Palestine, for he died at Venice on 22 Sept. of the same year, 1399 (Ord. of Privy Council, i. 99). The register of Newburgh Priory says, however, that it was after his return from the Holy Land, and that he died of the plague. He was buried in Venice, and though his son John left instructions in his will that his ashes should be brought to England, nothing seems to have been done until his descendant, Thomas Howard, third duke of Norfolk, preferred a request for them to the Venetian authorities in December 1532 through the Venetian ambassador in London (Cal. of State Papers, Venetian, Pref. lxxxiii). Rawdon Brown identified as a part of his tomb a stone with an elaborate heraldic achievement, which was pictured, by one ignorant of the English character of its heraldry, in Casimiro Freschot's 'Li Pregi della Nobilta Veneta abbozzati in un Giuco d'Arme,' 1682. The stone it self Brown discovered after long search in 1839; it was 'conveyed' from its place of concealment in the pavement of the terrace of the ducal palace, and was presented to Mr. Henry Howard of Corby Castle, near Carlisle, where it still remains (ib.; Atlantic Monthly, lxiii. 742). This 'Mowbray stone,' which is figured and described in ' Archæologia ' (xxix. 387) and in Baines's 'Lancashire,' ed. Croston (i. 69), contains the royal banner of England and the badges of Richard II, Mowbray, and Bolingbroke in an association, which Rawdon Brown held to be emblematic of Mowbray triumphing over Bolingbroke with the assistance of Richard. Mr. Wylie, on the other hand, holds that this is a strained interpretation, and is inclined to associate it with Bolingbroke's visit to Venice in 1392-3 (Hist. of England under Henry IV, ii. 29).

Norfolk left lands in most counties of England and Wales, whose mere enumeration, says Mr. Wylie (ii. 29), fills eleven closely printed folio pages in the 'Inquisitiones post Mortem' (cf. Dugdale, i. 130). Mowbray was twice married. His first wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Roger le Strange of Blackmere, died almost immediately, and in 1385 he took for his second wife Elizabeth Fitzalan, daughter of Richard, earl of Arundel, who bore him two sons : Thomas and John, who successively inherited his estates, and are separately noticed ; and two daughters: Isabel, who married Sir James Berkley, and Margaret, who became wife of Sir Robert Howard, created Duke of Norfolk after the extinction of the male line of the Mowbrays (ib. ; Doyle, Official Baronage). His widow, who was allowed a large dowry in the eastern and midland counties, afterwards married Sir Gerard de Usfffete and Sir Robert Goushill successively, and survived until 8 July 1425 (Dugdale, Baronage, i. 130; Nichols, Royal Wills, p. 144).

It is not possible to pronounce a final verdict upon Mowbray's character while we have to suspend our judgment as to the part he had played in the mysterious death of the Duke of Gloucester. But at best he was no better than the rest of the little knot of selfish, ambitious nobles, mostly of the blood royal, into which the older baronage had now shrunk, and whose quarrels already preluded their extinction at each other's hands in the Wars of the Roses. Mowbray had some claim to be considered a benefactor of the church ; for besides confirming his 'ancestors' grants to various monasteries (Monast. Angl. vi. 374), he founded and handsomely endowed in 1396 a Cistercian priory at Epworth in Axholme, dedicated to St. Mary, St. John the Evangelist, and St. Edward the Confessor, and called Domus Visitationis Beatee Mariae Virginis (ib. vi. 25-6 ; Storehouse, Isle of Axholme, p. 135). To the chapel of Our Lady in this Priory-in-the- Wood, as it is sometimes designated (now Melwood Priory), Pope Boniface IX, by a bull dated 1 June 1397, granted the privileges which St. Francis had first procured for the Church of S. Maria de Angelis at Assisi (Monast. Angl. vi. 26).

In Weever's poem, 'The Mirror of Martyrs,' Sir John Oldcastle is said to have been a page of Mowbray, a tradition which Shakespeare transferred to Falstaff.

[Apart from the information supplied by the Rolls of Parliament, Proceedings and Ordinances of the Privy Council, Rymer's Foedera (original edition), the Lords' Report on the Dignity of a Peer, Inquisitions post Mortem, and other printed records, the chief sources for Mowbray's life are chroniclers who wrote with an adverse Lancastrian bias. They accepted Hall's confession as establishing Norfolk's responsibility for the death of Gloucester. Walsingham's Historia Anglicana and the fuller form of its narrative from 1392, edited by Mr. Riley under the title of Annales Ricardi II et Henrici IV, with Trokelowe, are both printed in the Rolls Series. The same account is partly reproduced by the anonymous Monk of Evesham, for whose valuable Life of Richard II we have still to go to Hearne's careless edition. The very full account of the parliament of 1397 given by this authority is almost identical with that in Adam of Usk (ed. Mr. Maunde Thompson for the Royal Society of Literature), who, however, elsewhere supplies information peculiar to his chronicle. The Continuation of the Eulogium (vol. iii.) in the Rolls Series is also of value. Some not very trustworthy details may be derived from Froissart (ed. Kervyn de Lettenhove) and the Chronique de la Trahison et Mort de Richart Deux, ed. B.S. Williams for the English Historical Society. Dugdale in his Baronage (i. 128-30) has summarised the chief authorities known to him. See also his Monasticon Anglicanum ; Stonehouse's History of the Isle of Axholme; Archaeologia, vols. xx. xxix. xxxi.; Boutell's Heraldry; Beltz's Memorials of the Order of the Garter ; Grainge's A 7 ale of Mowbray ; information from J. H. Wylie, esq., respecting the Mowbray Stone; other authorities in the text.]

J. T-t.