Page:The History of the Church & Manor of Wigan part 1.djvu/33

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History of the Church and Manor of Wigan.

long been lost, but had never been formally disclaimed. To this deed, which bears date the 20th of May, 1259, there are 16 seals appended. That of John Maunsell bears, on one side, an antique head with an inscription from a Roman Imperial coin, on the other, half of an armed man on a tower, beneath which is a kneeling figure.[1] Perhaps this may have reference to his narrow escape from destruction at the seige of Vérines in 1243.

A few days later, on the 20th of May, 1259, the King of England gives plenary power to Margaret, Queen of France, Richard, Earl of Gloucester, Peter de Savoy, and John Maunsell, or any of them who shall be present at the time, to treat for the proposed marriage between John, son of John, Duke of Brittany, and his daughter Beatrice.[2]

By the convention which ensued, the preliminaries of the said marriage were arranged, and the King undertook to restore to the Duke of Brittany the Earldom of Richmond. The letters of the Duke's proctor directed to the King, and the letters of the King's envoys which they wrote to the King and sealed with their own seals, were left in the hands of Sir John Maunsell, in the presence of the King and his council, in the Queen's chapel at Westminster, on Monday next after the Feast of St Luke the Evangelist (20th October), 1259.[3]

Towards the end of November the King went over to France, and Maunsell probably accompanied him, for we find him attesting his letters at St. Denis on the 18th of January, 1260, and at St. Omer on the 19th of February.[4]

Maunsell's enemies took advantage of his absence to try and poison the mind of the Pope (Alexander IV.) against him by false accusations; and on the i6th of January, 1260, we find Henry writing from St. Denis to the Pope in his defence. In this letter he begs the Pope not to believe the charge they had brought against Maunsell of beating a proctor at York, and

  1. Baauw's Barons' War p. 86.
  2. Rymer's Fœdera vol. i. p. 386.
  3. Ibid, p. 391
  4. Royal Letters, pp. 152, 155.