Robert Wenyngton to Thomas Daniel, 25th May 1449

15/16th Century
Location of Original:
British Library

To my Reverend Mayster, Thomas Danyell, Squier for the Kyngs Body, be thys letter delyverd in haste.

Most reverend mayster, I recomaund me on to yowr graceus maystreschup, ever deseryng to her of yowr wurschupfull ustate, the whyche All myghte God mayntayne hyt, and encrese hyt on to hys plesans: Plesyng yow to know of my wellfare, and of all yowr men, at the makyng of thys letter, we wer in gode hele of body i blessyd be God.

Mo over, mayster, I send yow word, by Rauly Pykeryng, of all maters, the whyche I be seche yow yeve hym credens, as he wyll enforme yow of all; so, sur, I beseche yow, in the reverens of God, that ye wyll enforme owr Soverayn Lord the Kyng of all maters that I send yow in thys letter, lyke as I have send a letter to my Lord Chaunseler and to all my Lordys by the sayd Pykeryng; the whyche letter I beseche yow that ye take and delyver to my Lord and all my Lordys by yowr awne handys, and lete the sayd Pykeryng declare all thyngs as he hath sayn and knoweth.

Furst, I send yow word that when we went to see, we toke ij. schyppys of Brast comyng owte of Flaundrys; and then after, ther ys made a grete armyng in Brytayne to mete with me and my felyschyp, that ys to say, the grete schyp of Brast, the grete schyp of the Morleys, the grete schyp of Vanng, with other viij. schyppis, bargys, and balyngers, to the number of iij. mli men; and so we lay in the see to me[te] with them.

And then we mette with a flotte of a c. grete schyppys of Pruse, Lubycke, Campe, Rastocke, Holond, Selond, and Flandres, betwyte Garnyse [_Guernsey_] and Portland; and then I cam abord the Admirall, and bade them stryke in the Kyngys name of Englond, and they bade me skyte in the Kyngs name of Englond; and then I and my feleschyp sayd, but he wyll streke don the sayle, that I wyld over sayle ham by the grace of God, and God wyll send me wynd and wether; and dey bade me do my wurst, by cause I had so fewe schyppys and so smale, that they scornyd with me. And as God wuld, on Fryday last was, we had a gode wynd, and then we armyd to the number of ij. ml. men in my felyschyp, and made us redy for to over sayle them; and then they lonchyd a bote, and sette up a stondert of truesse, and com and spake with me. And ther they were yolded all the hundret schyppys to go with me in what port that me lust and my felawys; but they faothe with me the day before, and schotte atte us a j. ml. gonnys, and quarell owte of number, and have slayn meny of my felyschyp, and meymyd all soo. Wherfor me thyngkyt that they haye forfett bothe schypps and godys at our Soverayn Lord the Kyngys wyll. Besechyng yow that ye do yowr parte in thys mater, for thys I have wrytyn to my Lord Chaunseler and all my Lordys of the Kyngys Counsell; and so I have brofte them, all the c. shyppys, within Wyght, in spyte of them all.

And ye myght gete leve of owr Soverayn Lord the Kyng to com hydder, hyt schall turne yow to grete wurschup and profett, to helpe make owr a poyntement in the Kyngs name, for ye sawe never suche a syght of schyppys take in to Englond this c. wynter; for we ly armyd nyght and day to kepe them, in to the tyme that we have tydengs of our Soverayn and hys counsell. For truly they have do harme to me, and to my feleschyp, and to yowr schyppys more [than] ij. ml. li. worth harme; and therfor I am avesyd, and all my feleschyp, to droune them and slee them, withoute that we hafe tydyngs from owr Soverayn the Kyng and hys counsell. And therfor, in the reverens of God, come ye yowr self, and ye schall have a grete avayle and wurschup of yowr comyng to see a suche syght, for I der well sey that I have her at this tyme all the cheff schyppys of Duchelond, Holond, Selond, and Flaundrys, and now hyt wer tyme for to trete for a fynell pese as for that partyes.

I writ no more to yow at this tyme, but All myghty Jesus have yow in hys kepyng. I writ in hast, within Wyght, on Soneday at nyght after the Ascencion of owr Lord.

By yowr owne Servant,


The privileges of the merchants of the Hanseatic League were withdrawn by Henry VI in 1447, leading to this attack on Hansa ship in 1449. In due course there was an armistice before the fighting of the Anglo-Hanseatic War, 1469 to 1474. The importance of the wool and cloth trade to England required peace.

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