11 October 2023

Urgent Business for a sick Prince ... and the Dynasty that was never to be ...

Here is an itinerary for a priest called Barton who was sent from the Court of Elizabeth of York in March 1502 to make offerings at shrines all over Middle England for the life of Prince Arthur her son, who, had he lived, would probably have been the first of a whole list of imperially-minded English Kings of that name. I give, in Old Money, the sums (some of them fractions of the Mark) he was to donate at each shrine (OL=Our Lady of):

OLWindsor, and S George at Windsor, and the Holy Cross there (2/6);

King Henry (2/6);

OLEton (1/8);

The Child of Grace at Reading (2/6);

OLCaversham (2/6);

OLCockthorpe (1/8);

Holy Blood of Hailes (1/8);

Prince Edward (5/-);

OLWorcester (5-);

Holy Rood at Northampton (5/-) and OLGrace there (2/6);

OLWalsingham (6/8);

OLSudbury (2/6);

OLWoolpit (1/8);

OLIpswich 3/4);

OLStoke Clare (1/8) ...

"Prince Edward" ... is a subject to which I plan to return!

I'm sure the erudite Dr Cotton has got all this sussed already!


Jhayes said...

I wondered how they arrived at the amounts and found that they are all multiples of 10p and common fractions of a Mark. Since you said “some of them fractions of the Mark” it would be interesting to know how they are expressed in your source.

⅛ 20p ⅛ mark
2/6 30p. 3/16 mark
¾. 40p. ¼ mark
5/- 60p. 3/8 mark
6/8. 80p. ½ mark

I assume they gave Barton a sack of shillings, sixpences and groats to make the donations.

Once I Was A Clever Boy said...

I look forward to reading your thoughts on the unfortunate Prince Edward, who I got twice as much money offered as his father. Other notable figures visited his grave in these last years before disaster struck such devotions

Once I Was A Clever Boy said...

A further thought is that the different sums of money offered imply a ranking of the importance and efficacy of the various shrines. It is also an indicator of how some of the less important ones were nevertheless known outside their own immediate area.

Simon Cotton said...

In mediaeval wills, it was not uncommon to deal in fractions of a mark, in bequests.

Jhayes said...

Clever Boy, about Edward getting more than his father:

They were both teenagers - Arthur: 15; Edward: 17 when he died at the Battle of Tewkesbury. Elizabeth may have thought that their shared age would make Edward a more effective intercessor.

William said...

I looked at how much these are 'worth' now using the National Archives Historical Currency Converter. Caveats apply. Then sorted them by value. (This assumes that the numbers listed are all shillings and pence, which sometimes equate to 'fractions of a mark'. Note one mark is 6s 8d, so three marks is one pound.)

Donation To Text 2022 GBP USD Notes
OLWalsingham 6s 8d £261 $321 One mark
Prince Edward 5s 0d £196 $205 One crown
OLWorcester 5s 0d £196 $205 One crown
Holy Rood at Northampton 5s 0d £196 $205 One crown
OLIpswich 3s 4d £131 $136 Half a mark
OLWindsor, and S George at Windsor, and the Holy Cross there 2s 6d £98 $102 Half a crown
King Henry 2s 6d £98 $102 Half a crown
The Child of Grace at Reading 2s 6d £98 $102 Half a crown
OLCaversham 2s 6d £98 $102 Half a crown
OL Grace at Northampton 2s 6d £98 $102 Half a crown
OLSudbury 2s 6d £98 $102 Half a crown
OLEton 1s 8d £65 $68 Quarter of a mark
OLCockthorpe 1s 8d £65 $68 Quarter of a mark
Holy Blood of Hailes 1s 8d £65 $68 Quarter of a mark
OLWoolpit 1s 8d £65 $68 Quarter of a mark
OLStoke Clare 1s 8d £65 $68 Quarter of a mark

Jhayes said...

Regarding the value of a Mark, the website of Manuscripts and Special Collections at Nottingham has this:

“A 'mark' was worth two-thirds of a pound, or 13s 4d. This was never a physical amount of money represented by a coin, but was a common amount used for accounting purposes”


Aegidius said...

To clarify, 6s 8d (or 80d) was a noble; 13s 4d (or 160d) was a mark. The suffix "p" had no meaning until 15 February 1971 when it was introduced to represent an aberration called the" new penny" - but that's another story.