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 minstrels still on the strength

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whitehound
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PostSubject: minstrels still on the strength   Fri May 09, 2014 7:27 pm

I was looking at a pdf of the Annals of Cambridge (Annals of Cambridge, volume 1) by Charles Henry Cooper, mid 19th C, because Constantia was looking for someone to translate some Latin, and I have a friend of a friend who reads Latin.  At the side on the online copy of the Annals there's a link where you can download it as a pdf, so I did, and had a poke about.

On page 230, I spotted a record of "charges [which] occur in the accounts of Robert Bolton and Thomas Barber treasurers of the town, for the year ending at the Nativity of the Virgin" in 1484.  The Nativity of the Virgin is 8th September so we're basically talking about the modern academic year, September to September.  The charges included a present of fish given to Richard (noteworthy because his bones show he ate a lot of fish) and this:

For the minstrels of the Lord the King, Richard the Third, this year, 7s.; and in rewards to the minstrels of the Lord the Prince, 7s.; and in rewards to the minstrels of the Queen, 6s. 8d.; and in rewards to the minstrels of the Duke of York, 6s. 8d.

Now, the Duke of York was surely still the younger of the two missing boys, and here's a payment to his minstrels made for an academic year which began *after* the traditionalists say he was dead.  Another item to add to the list, along with the payments for footmen and shoes and so on which turn up in the accounts after they're meant to have died.

If there's a payment for minstrels for young Richard but not for his brother that might suggest the older boy had died - or that they had been split up, one in or near Cambridge, the other elsewhere.  OTOH it's ambiguous whether "the Lord the Prince" is Richard's son or his nephew.  If they are grouped as a family in descending order of importance - king, heir, queen, nephew - then it's Edward of Middleham.  But if the grouping is by cost - first the two bills for 7s, then the bills for 6s 8d - then it could be Edward ex-V.  I know he wasn't really a prince by then but he *was* a Lord, and Cambridge might have preserved the title of Prince as a courtesy.
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PostSubject: Re: minstrels still on the strength   Sat May 10, 2014 6:04 pm

That's absolutely fascinating. In my experience writers always listed persons in order of social precedence so the Lord Prince does seem to be Edward of Middleham - besides, the former Edward V was officially referred to after his deposition as the Lord Bastard, and his people surely wouldn't have been given a greater reward than the Queen's.
There's no doubt about it, though, the only possible Duke of York was Richard of Shrewsbury.
Equally interestingly, Peter Hammond mentions this reference in his booklet on Edward of Middleham, but refers to *servants* of the Prince. The relevant endnote states that "'Servants' is here [i.e. in Cooper] mistranslated as minstrels."
So what we apparently have, then, are servants of the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York in Cambridge in 1483-1484, probably at the same time as the King and Queen, i.e. March 1484. A lord's minstrels often did the rounds giving guest appearances on their own, but not his servants. Even so, Hammond dismisses the notion that this shows Prince Edward to have visited Cambridge with his parents, on the grounds that he was "a delicate child", but we surely can't assume he was delicate simply because he died.
So were the Prince of Wales and Richard Duke of York both with the King and Queen when they visited in 1484, or has the university bean counter written Duke of York when he really meant Earl of Warwick? After all, Mancini does tell us that Warwick had been placed in the care of Richard's wife.
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PostSubject: Re: minstrels still on the strength   Sat May 10, 2014 7:07 pm

Could be. Or maybe both boys were with Anne but one was cover for the other. They probably looked a lot alike, so if young York was being spirited away and anyone saw him they could just say ohm that's young Warwick - so long as both boys weren't seen together. Remember the anonymous high-ranking children, plural, who were at one of Richard's castles in the north - maybe all three younger boys went together, while the older Edward was either dead or, because of his age, sent off to do something more adult. Or he was with them but for some reason payments to his servants didn't fall to Cambridge.

I wonder, *would* a clerk in Cambridge mix up York and Warwick? There must have been a lot of noise about York - otoh maybe somebody just said to him "servants of the king's nephew".

So Hammond noticed this bit of text but missed or glossed over the reference to York?
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PostSubject: Re: minstrels still on the strength   Sat May 10, 2014 8:33 pm

A case could be made that the elder boy was dead - but then if we give any credence to the Tyrrell family tradition, it said that *both* boys stayed at Gipping Hall, and were visited there by their mother.

Looking at these faint hints and trails, I can imagine a scenario which goes like this:

During the progress after Richard's coronation, word reaches him that there has been, or may be going to be, either an attack on the boys or an attempt to use them in an uprising. He sends Tyrrell to fetch them from the Tower and keep them at his place at Gipping Hall in Suffolk.

The following March Richard sends the older boy to his aunt in Burgundy (Gipping Hall is close to various ports) but doesn't want to send the younger boy into exile at such a tender age, having been a young exile himself, so he sends for him to join him at Cambridge, 35 miles from Gipping. The young York then travels north with Richard to his castle (was it Barnard Castle or Pontefract?) - although that would mean the boy was with the King's party when his learned that his son had died. The boy then spends a year or so with Warwick at the castle before being sent abroad with Brampton.

Do we know when it was that young Warwick was transferred to the North?

On the pther hand there's that contemporary record which suggests the two boys were at the Tower until around Easter 1484, so maybe they went straight from London to join Richard in Cambridge, or the younger one did, and then they were at Gipping on their way back south in 1485.

Don't know if this is coherent - 3:30am again.
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Thibault

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PostSubject: Re: minstrels still on the strength   Sat May 10, 2014 11:57 pm

I have thought for a long time that there must be a lot of information in 'ordinary' records which would shed light on a lot of the events of this period, however it would probably require a large number of people combing all sorts of stuff for ages before discovering 'that' crucial piece of information.

Sometimes I wonder if it would be effective to set up a group of researchers each of whom would volunteer to sift through a particular set of records to see what could be found - a sort of SETI project for Ricardians.
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PostSubject: Re: minstrels still on the strength   Sun May 11, 2014 12:08 am

Continuing the same theme, I wonder if in the records of the Earldom of Salisbury there is mention of the date and place of death of Edward of Middleham - he was Earl after all and his death left the estates without a lord. This must have been an important matter, with perhaps correspondence with Richard III etc or whoever might be in line to inherit the estates. There might even be mention of his burial place.
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PostSubject: Re: minstrels still on the strength   Sun May 11, 2014 3:18 am

Good point, yes, and it might be something not at all obvious, which had passed people by. In the weeks following an earl's death, for example, you might find a sudden spate of bills being settled to leave a clean slate for the new guy. Or bills for equipping people in a mourning livery for the funeral, or from a monumental mason - anything like that. Young Ned was still young enough to have had tutors and a nanny, so you'd probably find them being paid off.

Most people seem to take it for granted that young Ned was sickly and he might well have been, especially as his parents were so closely related and his mother died not long after. But people forget how easy it was to die, in an age before antibiotics. He could equally have been a robust child who stepped on a thorn and got septicaemia, or been carried off by an outbreak of diptheria or whooping cough. I wonder if anybody's ever checked parish record books to see if there was an increase in child deaths in Yorkshire that summer, which might indicate a local epidemic?
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PostSubject: Re: minstrels still on the strength   Sun May 11, 2014 7:09 pm

It's just occurred to me - anybody know what's the youngest you could be a student at Cambridge? The Latin document my Italian friend translated for Constantia suggested Richard had a special relationship with Cambridge and called him something like "sovereign historian". I wonder if it's possible that during the few years before Richard went to Middleham in his teens, when we don't know where he was, he was studying history at Cambridge - and whether he hid young Shrewsbury by settling him in among a lot of other boys at college.
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PostSubject: Re: minstrels still on the strength   Sun May 11, 2014 11:09 pm

In the Medieval period and for a time afterwards, there are records of students at university aged around 14.
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PostSubject: Re: minstrels still on the strength   Mon May 12, 2014 9:39 am

My great great great grandfather's brother started at Trinity College Dublin in 1792 when he was 1.  But I'm thinking more 11 or 12 in Richard's case.  Would the king's little brother be allowed to attend at that age?

Later I'll re-start this question on the "Richard's relationship with Cambridge" thread.
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