Lady of the Isles
In Volume II of the Bulletins of this Society, pp 30-48, an article by H M Godfray entitled Notes et Additions a la serie chronologiques des Gardiens et Seigneurs des lies Normandes will be found.
A translation of his note on Anne Beauchamp runs as follows:I have been able to confirm the fact that Anne held the Lordship of the Isles which had been given to her father, Henry Duke of Warwick. On the death of this Lord the guard of the Isles had been conferred on Viscount Beaumont and Beauchamp succeeded to the Lordship. Sir Ralph Butler, Lord Sudeley, "during the minority of the heir of Lord Warwick" and possession of Jersey was formally given by the Royal Court of Jersey to their agents Jean Morin and Robert Haxby (Hareby) on 14 April 1447. The Captain or Warden of the Isles was at that time Sir John Bernard.
Mrs Elisabeth Yandell, in her researches in the British Museum, noted the document which had supplied H M Godfray with his information, and realising the importance of the original to this Society, had the kindness to prepare the following short article.
- A nos tres honores et nobles Signours Visconte de Beaumont, connestable d'Angleterre et Seigneur de Sudele grant mestre de hostel de nostre souverayn Seigneur le Roy d'Engleterre et France."
- Tres honorable et noble seigneurs, nous nous recommandons tant que faire le povons a voz honnorablez seignouriez. Et vous plese savoir que le Samedy XVme jour du moys de Aprille nous avons recu unez lettrez patentes de nostre Souverain Seigneur Ie Roy d'Engleterre et de France, contenant comme il vous a donne la garde dez islez de Jersey et Guernsey durant le non aage de 1'er de Mon Seigneur de Warwyck, et unez aultrez lettrez a nous directes de par vous presentees de par voz servitours John Morin et Robert Haxby.
- Et pour cause que eulx n'avoyent point de procuracions, ou feisions difficultey, et non obstant a voz ditz servitours a estey deliveree et Baillie la procession de la dicte isle de Jersey, et ont jure et par lours serementez de guarder Ie loys et costumez et enciens usagez de la dicte isle, et nous envoier lettrez soubz les seaulx de voz armez comme voz promettez tenir en fermete ce que eulx ont promis et de ce nous ont bailly plege Sire John Bernard, cappitaine desdictez islez, quer aultrement nous ne lez eussons point receus, comme il apparest par le certificat a eulx par nos donne, quer tous lez seigneurs, guardes, cappitaines, juges, et aultrz officers de audevant de cez houres ont estey guardez et seront en tempz advenir avecquez aide de Dieu, qui vous ayt en sa Sainte guarde.
- escrit en Jersey le XVIeme jour du moys de Aprille. De par lez vostrez lez Baillif (et) Jures l'Isle de Gersey
The paper on which the letter is written is of less than foolscap size and rather thin. Though stained at one end, probably by water, it is, considering its age,in a good state of preservation. It was folded four times lengthwise, the two ends being tucked in, one within the other and not sealed down.
Probably the document was secured with a tape, the ends of which would have been embedded in the seal of green wax, traces of which are still to be seen on the face of the letter.
The original is almost indecipherable, but the camera brings out the writing clearly and sharply and thus makes transcription a matter of no great difficulty.
Of the two noblemen to whom the letter was addressed, John Viscount Beaumont was to lose his life at the battle of Northampton in 1460, while Sir Ralph Butler, Lord Sudeley, afterwards Earl of Wiltshire and Ormonde, was killed at Towton Field in 1461.
NB - The date 1444 in the lower left hand comer of the document is written in a much later hand, possibly by the person who gathered the papers together and bound the folios. 1444 was the year in which Henry VI granted the reversion of the Lordship of the Isles to Henry de Beauchamp Earl of Warwick, the father of the little Lady Anne.