Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/202

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Erpingham
Erskine
190

Clarence, 1388?-1421]. He apparently remained in Ireland until Thomas's return in September 1403; in that year he was publicly reconciled with Henry le Despenser [q. v.], the warlike bishop of Norwich, who had loyally stood by Richard II, and he is said to have procured the bishop's release from prison (Wylie, i. 110, 169, 177). In January 1403-4 he appears as a member of Henry's privy council, on 9 July he is styled steward of the royal household, and by the parliament which met at Coventry in that year he was entrusted with the duties of marshal of England. On 8 Aug. 1405 he was granted Framingham and other manors in Norfolk, and on 11 July 1407 he was one of the commissioners selected to treat with France. He started on 25 July, and on the 28th an armistice was agreed upon to last until 8 Sept. He was also nominated to treat with the French envoys to England on 1 Dec. following, and on the 7th a truce was concluded to last for three months (Monstrelet, Chroniques, i. 152; Wylie, iii. 95). On 28 Feb. 1409 Prince Henry was appointed constable of Dover Castle and warden of the cinque ports in Erpingham's stead.

Henry V placed as much confidence in Erpingham as his father had done, and he took a prominent part in the Agincourt campaign. He crossed to Harfleur with twenty men-at-arms and sixty mounted archers in his retinue, and, after assisting at the siege and capture of Harfleur, he marched with Henry towards Calais. At the battle of Agincourt (25 Oct. 1415) Erpingham was put in command of the English archers. According to the 'Chronique de St. Remy,' where he appears as 'messire Thomas Herpinchem,' Erpingham addressed the archers, riding down their ranks and exhorting them to fight bravely : 'apres ce qu'il eult fait les ordonnances, [il] jecta un bastion contremont qu'il tenoit en sa main, et en apres descendi a piet et se mist en la bataille du roy d'Angleterre, qui estait aussi descendu a piet entre ses gens et sa barriere devant luy ' (St. Rémy, i. 253). The precise disposition of the archers on the field is not clear, but it is agreed that they played a decisive part in the battle (Nicolas, Battle of Agincourt; Ramsay, i. 215, 219; Waurin, ii. 211, 212; St. Denys, pp. 555-65).

In July 1416 Erpingham was sent with John Wakering [q. v.], bishop of Norwich, to Calais and Beauvais to treat with the king of France (Monstrelet, iii. 147); but he was now nearly sixty years old, and this seems to have been his last important employment. He died on 27 June 1428. His will, which is now at Lambeth (303a Chichele, p. i), is given in the 'Genealogist' (vi. 24). There is a portrait of him in a window of Norwich Cathedral (Antig. Repertory, i. 342), and his arms are in the chapter-house at Canterbury (Willement, p. 155). He built the so-called 'penal' gate at Norwich, which still survives (it is figured in Britton, vol. ii. plate xxiii, and in English Cities, p. 82), but the word on it, which has been read as ' pena,' is apparently Erpingham's motto, 'yenk,' i.e. 'think' (Wylie, iii. 295). He married, first, Joan, daughter of Sir William Clopton of Clopton, Suffolk; and, secondly, after 1409, Joan, (d. 1425), daughter of Sir Richard Walton, and widow of Sir John Howard. He left issue by neither wife, and his heir was Sir William Phelip, son of his sister Julian by her husband, Sir John Phelip. A curious story of Erpingham and one of his wives appears in Heywood's Γυναικεῖον (ed. 1624, p. 253; cf. Blomefield, Norfolk, vi. 415). Erpingham figures prominently in Drayton's ' Agincourt' and in Shakespeare's 'Henry V.' His nephew, Sir William Phelip, married Joan, daughter of Thomas, fifth baron Bardolf [q. v. Suppl.], was himself created Baron Bardolf on 13 Nov. 1437, and died in 1441.

[Cal. Patent Rolls, 1381–5; Cal. Rot. Pat. (Record Publ.); Rotuli Parliamentorum; Rymer's Fœdera (orig. ed.); Nicolas's Proc. Privy Council; Hardy's Rotuli Normanniæ; Palgrave's Antient Kalendars and Inventories; Devon's Issues of the Exchequer; Beltz's Memorials of the Garter; Anstis's Order of the Garter; English Chron. ed. Davies (Camden Soc.); Chron. de St. Rémy and Monstrelet (Soc. de l'Hist. de France); Chron. du Religieux de St. Denys (Collection de Doc. Inédits); Waurin's Chron. (Rolls Ser.); Froissart, ed. Kervyn de Lettenhove; Nicolas's Battle of Agincourt; Scrope and Grosvenor Controversy, ed. Nicolas, 1832, ii. 175–6; Paston Letters, ed. Gardiner, i. 13–15, 17, 47; Archæologia, xx. 131; F. M. Hueffer's Cinque Ports, 1900; Blomefield's Norfolk, passim; Ramsay's Lancaster and York; Wylie's Henry IV (and other authorities there cited); Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. vii. 88, 7th ser. iii. 309, 398, iv. 14.]

A. F. P.

ERSKINE, WILLIAM (1773–1852), historian and orientalist, born in Edinburgh on 8 Nov. 1773, was seventh child of David Erskine and Jean Melvin. His father was a writer to the signet, and a son of John Erskine (1695–1768) [q. v.] Thomas Erskine (1788–1870) [q. v.] of Linlathen was his half-brother. William was educated at the Royal High School and the Edinburgh University, and was apparently a fellow-student of John Leyden [q. v.] They met again in Calcutta, and Erskine, in his dedication of the translation of 'Babar's Memoirs' to Mountstuart Elphinstone, refers to Ley-