Manuscripts and Special Collections

Pa L 2: Extract from bill of complaint of Elizabeth Whitfield (15th century [after 1456], English)


The Compleintz heme of şe full gret Iniuries and of şe vnconciently demenyng of Elizabeth Whitfeld after şe[-]
of Margaret late Wiffe to sir John Gra knyght, auncestre to şe same Elizabeth in şe fourme specified[-]
herto annexed, caused by Rauffe late lord Cromwell, to şe gret disheriticioun and hurt of hir and hir heirs for[-]
without your gode gracez conciently shewed to your said besechers, folowe herafter

¶ First şe same lord . sent oon Herry of Twhayts and other with hym . with wepons of werr vnto Drifeld
on Yorkis wold . şe Friday next after lawe sonday . and ther and şan forcibly toke şe same Elizabeth and fro thens
hir caried agayn hir will, by nyght and brought hir vn to Lincoln afore şe same lorde who şen called his who şen calling hir his ky[-]
and şat he wold help hir to recouer hir Inheritaunce şat with wrong was holden fro hir.

¶ And şen şe same lord Cromwell sent şe same Elizabeth vnto şe Castell of Tatesale, where she was[-]
straungely demeaned and gouerned . and for faute of socour and help by şe sekness of mygrayne she şere by processe of
tyme lost hir eye . and enblemysshid for euer . for faut of help and leechecraft.

¶ Att şe furst commyng of şe said lorde to şe saide Castell he somdele comforted hir . to şe şentent to haue hir livelode a
within şe same weke sent to hir . John Fulneby John Kighhley John Tailbois and William Stanlowe[-]
şey with gentill langage meoved and counsailed hir to be reuled after şentent of şe same lorde and to[-] hir right of hir Inheritaunce of şe manour landez and tenementz in a bill herto annexed . specified . Vnto hym[-]
she shuld haue good Inogh


The complaints of the full great injuries and of the unconsciously demeaning of Elizabeth Whitfield after the [death] of Margaret, late wife of Sir John Gra, knight, ancestor of the same Elizabeth, in the form specified [and] hereto annexed, caused by Ralph, late Lord Cromwell, to the great disinheriting and hurt of her and her heirs for [ever], without your good graces consciously showed to your said beseechers, follow hereafter.

First, the same lord sent one Harry of Twhayts and others with him, with weapons of war, to Driffield on the Yorkshire Wolds on the Friday after Low Sunday [the Sunday after Easter]. And there and then they forcibly took the same Elizabeth, and carried her from there against her will by night, and brought her to Lincoln before the same lord, who then calling her his kin, [said that] he would help her to recover her inheritance that was wrongly held from her.

And then Lord Cromwell sent Elizabeth to the castle of Tattershall, where she was remarkably demeaned and governed and for want of succour and help, by the sickness of migraine, she there by process of time lost her eye and was blemished for ever, because she had no help or leechcraft [medical attention].

When the lord first came to the castle he somewhat comforted her, intending to have her livelihood, and within the week sent to her John Fulneby, John Kighhley, John Tailbois and William Stanlowe. With gentle language they moved and counselled her to be ruled according to the intentions of the same lord, and to [grant] him her right of her inheritance of the manors, lands and tenements in a bill hereto annexed, [and said] she should have good enough [in return].

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