Tag Archives: Marie Hartwell

Livery: ‘In charitate mutua fortius copulentur’

If the Marie Hartwell blog piqued your interest in the College livery, read on for a snapshot of the livery provision in her time.

The 22nd Founder’s Statute[1] allows for a clothing allowance, or livery.

The beginning of statute 22 from an early copy (c 1500) of the Founder’s statutes [KCS/54 fo 23v]

The beginning of statute 22 from an early copy (c 1500) of the Founder’s statutes [KCS/54 fo 23v]

The statute declares that ‘With a view to the unanimity of the fellows, and a stronger mutual bond of affection when they see that they are outwardly all the same, and to increase their affection for the College from which they receive so much help, as well as to prevent any defect in garments which may render them notorious with the other Scholars of the University, the members are to have similar garments but cut according to their condition and degree.’ The Provost is to have 12 yards for his (and his household), the Fellows’ and scholars’ portions are also specified. ‘All the cloth for fellows, scholars, chaplains, clerks and choristers is to be well made, 24 yards in length and about 2 yards in breadth, and not to exceed the sum of £87 in toto.’ Multi-coloured or unclerical clothes are forbidden, as are those ‘made in the silly modern fashion with slashes and folds and shoulder pads’.

It is unlikely that individuals in the current College community would ‘wear’ the proposal that a College uniform would improve their mutual affection, let alone the desirability of uniformity itself. And notoriety among other ‘Scholars of the University’ can be achieved by more interesting means than defective garments.

The existing annual accounts (the accounts for years ending 1502, 1505, 1506, 1512–1515, 1517–1518, and 1520–1524 do not survive) show that the Hartwells were typical of our College drapers for that time: when dates of payment are given they are mostly around May and November; the prices per yard for the various qualities of fabric are about the same, and we generally bought about 350–450 yards a year, paying about £60 until the late 1510s when we began to pay everyone (not just the Provost and a couple of others who procured their own livery) their liberata allowance in cash rather than fabric.

Livery expenditure for 1506-07 [KCAR/4/1/1/9 fo 19r]

Livery expenditure for 1506-07 [KCAR/4/1/1/9 fo 19r]

The above image showing the livery expenditure page from the 1506–1507 annual accounts book is typical for the period—and very pretty it is too. After the livery allowances dispensed in cash, the list of livery fabric purchases begins (the sixth item on the list) with a payment to Thomas Hartwell for ‘tawney medley’. There follow a number of lots at a cost per yard of between 2 shillings 4 pence and 5 shillings. It is reasonable to suspect that the same supplier, i.e. the Hartwell firm, supplied all of the cloth listed that year, in the same colour scheme (mixed tans).

Thomas being named at the top suggests, but by no means proves, that he was still alive when it was written, which might have been as early as September 29th 1506, narrowing down his time of death to sometime between September 29th and November 30th, 1506 (see the Marie Hartwell blog post)—but that assumes several things including that the clerk copying down the expenses knew of Thomas’s death when it happened. Not every  sixteenth-century widow would bother to reprint her invoice forms immediately upon being widowed.

The due date on the College’s bond to Marie Hartwell, for 27 pounds 11 shillings 4 pence, fell in this financial year. It is not the case that the first few entries, nor the last few, add to that figure, and the list is in decreasing value of cloth. This suggests that the cloth was bought in mixed lots, at least two tranches every year, with the final reckoning set out at the end of the financial year.

Table: Existing information about the supply of College livery, 1499–1525

YEAR PAYEE EXPENDED (l.s.d) YARDS COLOUR
1499–1500 Mr Hartwell, London draper 59.0.8
1500–1501 Master Bond of Coventry 55.7.5
1502–1503 No name listed 55.19.2 342½, and 12 unknown, and black cotton
1503–1504 Thomas Bonde 51.13.11 318¼
[1504–1505] Thomas Hartwell at least 58.10.15 as paid on two bonds
[1505–1506] Marie Hartwell at least 29.14.0 as paid on a bond
1506–1507 Marie Hartwell 55.1.0 334¼ tawney medley
1507–1508 William Hartwell, citizen and Draper of London 57.13.3 356¼ brown tawny
1508–1509 Marie Hartwell 57.18.8 348½ blue
1509–1510 Marie Hartwell 61.18.3 369 violet
1510–1511 Haddon of Coventry 67.19.6 446¾ tawny
1515–1516 No name listed 76.18.½ 489½
1518–1519 Richard Hal. 74.8.3 444¼ russet
1524–1525 John Smith of Walden 6.9.3 29½ tawny; servants and choristers only

From the financial year 1524–1525 at the latest we bought cloth only for the servants and choristers and gave the Fellows, scholars, chaplains and clerks their livery allowance in cash.

It is interesting to note en passant that the existing College accounts suggest that the livery in the first quarter of the sixteenth century was often tawny but could also be russet, violet or blue.

The Drapers Guild records are online[2] and show that in 1477 one Thomas Hartwell got his Freedom by servitude (under master William Holme). Presuming  that he’s the only Thomas Hartwell, Draper of London (as the online records suggest) and that he’s ‘ours’[3], he had several Apprentices including a Henry Glossop. The two post-1506 entries for Thomas (who we know died in 1506) were for the Freedoms of his son William[4] and his apprentice Henry Glossop.

The only other H(a/e)r(t/d/)(e/)wel(l)s on the Drapers online records are: a Bryan Hartwell who in 1515 got his freedom (by Redemption), a Thomas Hertewell who had some apprentices c 1485 and may in fact be our same Thomas, a Richard Harwell in 1518 having an Apprenticeship, a Robert Hartwell who in 1532 was a new apprentice (to Thomas Pettitt) and so is probably not Thomas’s son, and a ‘(Female) Hartwell’ who got her freedom in 1509. It’s tempting to think that was Marie, but there is no evidence for this in the Drapers online records.

Is it a coincidence that the Draper Thomas’s son is called William, like one of our Kingsmen? It was a common enough name in the early sixteenth century but it is tempting to think that it suggests the Kingsmen Hartwell brothers (William, Thomas and John) are near relations of, but not the same as, the Draper Hartwells (Thomas and William).

To sum up the two blogs on this subject: the College archives show that the early College donor Marie Hartwell was the widow of Thomas Hartwell, Draper, of London. That firm supplied the cloth for the College livery in 1499–1500 (possibly through the agency of a Kingsman related to them) and again from Michaelmas 1505 to Michaelmas 1510; when Thomas died in 1506 his wife, and/or his son William, carried on. Thomas was possibly a near relation to the  Kingsmen William, Thomas and John Hartwell all of London, and probably brothers. The recorded gifts to the Chapel from three Hartwells are from Marie, and possibly others among her near in-laws or sons. The reasons for the donations are not recorded.

PKM

[1] Henry VI is said to have written the King’s College statutes, which were in force until 1862. The archives include a translation of parts of them into English (KCS/69), from which this is taken.

[2] https://www.londonroll.org/search (accessed 1 Sep 2022)

[3] https://www.londonroll.org/about (accessed 1 Sep 2022) says that during this time Citizenship of London (our draper Thomas is usually so described) could only be obtained through membership of a Livery Company.

[4] https://www.londonroll.org/about (accessed 1 Sep 2022) also says that the main routes to becoming a member/Freeman of a Livery Company were servitude (apprenticeship), patrimony (the children of Freemen qualified for membership) and redemption (you could buy your Freedom).

Our earliest female donor

Perhaps our earliest female benefactor was an influencer, Margaret Beaufort, who is said to have convinced her son Henry VII to give the College enough money to finish building the Chapel. But in the early inventories of Chapel treasures, the first female donor listed is one Marie Hartwell. Who could this woman have been, at a time when Kingsmen were not allowed to be married?

Kingsmen Hartwells

The name Hartwell appears several times in the archives of the early years of King’s. First came three Hartwell Kingsmen who were almost surely brothers[1]: William (KC 1498), Thomas (KC 1503) and John (KC 1505), all London boys. We don’t know much about William except that he gave up his Fellowship after three years, once married. He went off to be a country vicar in Northamptonshire. John became a Carthusian friar at Sheen (Sheen Priory was located in what is now Richmond in London) within a year of becoming a Fellow. Thomas was awarded his Doctor of Divinity, was ordained a priest, held the offices of University Preacher 1515–1516 and Deputy Vice-Chancellor 1526–1527, became vicar at the College’s advowson of Wootton Wawen, Warwickshire in 1523 (where he presided for twenty-two years), and was a Fellow from 1506 until 1527. He may have had a stammer, which could explain this odd entry in the College’s early list of members:

The entry for Thomas Hartwell (KC 1503) in the early College register [from KCA/684 fo 76r]

The entry for Thomas Hartwell (KC 1503) in the early College register [from KCA/684 fo 76r]

(our 2019 blog ‘An astonishing transformation’ is about the volume that contains this list). Here is a larger extract, with that entry for Thomas at the top and the entry for John at the bottom:

Extract from the early register, showing Thomas (KC 1503) and John (KC 1503) Hartwell

Extract from the early register, showing Thomas (KC 1503) and John (KC 1505) Hartwell [from KCA/684 fo 76r]

Soon after, Roger Hartwell (KC 1512) came up, also a London boy, of unknown relationship to the others. He was a Fellow until 1526.

Thomas Hartwell the Draper and his wife Marie

But it is a different Thomas Hartwell who brings Marie into the picture, not a Kingsman at all. Three bonds oblige the College to pay (at a date 7 to 12 months after the date the bond was written) to ‘Thomas Hartwell, citizen and Draper of London’:

29 pounds 5 shillings and 8 pence payable on 15 August 1505,

29 pounds 5 shillings and 7 pence payable on 30 November 1505, and

29 pounds 14 shillings payable on 30 November 1506 (this bond was dated 26 April 1506).

A fourth bond, written on 15 January 1506/7[2] is for the College to pay 27 pounds 11 shillings 4 pence to a Marie Hartwell, widow of Thomas Hartwell, deceased, lately a citizen and Draper of London, payable on 8 September 1507.

The College bought cloth for its livery (matching members’ clothing) from the Hartwells. Further information about the livery will appear in a subsequent blog post.

Bond dated 1 January, due 30 November 1505 [KCAR/3/3/1/1/1 fo 195v]

Bond dated 1 January, due 30 November 1505 [KCAR/3/3/1/1/1 fo 195v]

The bonds are of nearly identical format, with the amount and date being the only significant differences. The second bond, shown above, translates roughly as:

Know all men by these presents that we, John Argentein, clerk, Provost of the Royal College of the Blessed Mary and Saint Nicholas in Cambridge and the Scholars of that same College are held and firmly bound to Thomas Hartwell, citizen and draper of London, in the sum of 29 pounds 5 shillings and 7 pence of lawful money of England to be paid to that same Thomas, his heirs, his executors or his true Attorney at the feast of St Andrew the Apostle falling next after the present date [i.e. due 30 November 1505] for which payment well and truly to be made we bind ourselves and our successors by these presents. Testifying in this matter, our common seal [of the College] is hung on these presents. Dated at Cambridge in our aforesaid College on the first day of January in the 20th regnal year of King Henry the Seventh [1504/5].

Bond dated 15 January, due 8 September 1507 [KCAR/3/3/1/1/1 fo 205r]

Bond dated 15 January, due 8 September 1507 [KCAR/3/3/1/1/1 fo 205r]

The fourth bond, shown above, states roughly:

Know all men by these presents that we, John Argentein, clerk, Provost of the Royal College of the Blessed Mary and Saint Nicholas in Cambridge and the Scholars of that same College are held and firmly bound to Marie Hartwell, widow of the late Thomas Hartwell now with God, citizen and Draper of London, in the sum of 27 pounds 11 shillings 4 pence of lawful money of England to be paid to that same Marie, her heirs, her executors or her true Attorney at the feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary falling next after the present date [i.e. 8 September 1507] for which payment well and truly to be made we bind ourselves and our successors by these presents. Testifying in this matter, the common seal [of the College] is hung on these presents. Dated in the aforesaid College the 15th of January in the 22nd regnal year of King Henry the Seventh (after the conquest of England) [1506/7].

The first bond must have been paid because

End of the creditors’ roll for 1505 [from KCA/675]

in the rotulus creditorum (list of College creditors) drawn up at Michaelmas 1505[3], he is listed amongst the new creditors, to the value of the second bond (written by Michaelmas 1505 but not due for another couple of months): Thomas Hartwell Draper, 29 pounds 5 shillings 7 pence (the first line in the image above).

1504–1505 seems to have been a tough year for the College, which had to leave unpaid much of the allowance to each of the Fellows and Scholars for a term. To put it in context, the Hartwell debt accounted for over one-third of the new debts of just over 79 pounds (the middle line in the image above); the new debts that year more than doubled the total debt burden for the College—bringing it to a little over 142½ pounds (the final line).

The second bond must have been paid sometime between 1505 and 1507 because no Hartwells appear on the creditors’ roll of Michaelmas 1507. (Sadly, the annual accounts books don’t survive for 1504–1505 or 1505–1506.) The College annual accounts for 1506–1507 do in fact record (in the ‘restitution to creditors’ section) the payment of the third bond: 29 pounds 14 shillings to the Widow of Thomas Hartwell, ‘in full payment for the livery for the preceding year’ (1505–1506). The entry is undated but if the restitution occurred around the end of November 1506 as promised in the bond, then Thomas probably died between April (when the third bond was drawn up with him as beneficiary) and November of 1506. (This of course is how we know he is not the Kingsman Thomas Hartwell, who was still alive 20 years later.)

Hartwell Donors

Marie Hartwell’s donations were given sometime between 1506 and 1529 (they were later additions to the 1506 inventory, and the next inventory was drawn up in 1529). They were:

  • a woman’s purple velvet gown with black damask fringe which was immediately ‘applied to other uses’ not specified, and
  • a corporal[4] with 2 harts and a cloth-of-gold case.

A Matthew Hartwell gave, again sometime between 1506 and 1529, a banner with Christ and Mary Magdalene.

A Roger Hartwell, also between 1506 and 1529, gave a gilt spoon ‘with a knob’ and his name engraved. The simplest explanation on the evidence available is that he is the Roger who came up in 1512.

And finally there is a Hartwell donation not listed in the Chapel inventories. Apparently the Cambridge University Library at one time had a copy of Solinus’s De memoralibus mundi printed in Paris in 1503, known to have come from the King’s College Library, with the inscription ‘ex dono Joannis Hartwell nuper socius [sic] huius collegii’[5].

In the annual accounts which survive for the years just before 1500, the first payments to the Hartwells for cloth were in 1499–1500. Is it a coincidence that the year after the first Hartwell scholar from London came up, we started buying our cloth from a Hartwell who was a Draper of London? How do the Hartwell Kingsmen of this period (William, Thomas, John and Roger) relate to each other and to the drapers (a different Thomas, and Marie), and do any of them relate to our Hartwell donors (the same Marie, Matthew, possibly the same Roger, and John)? Sadly those facts are not ascertainable from the record at King’s.

PKM

[1] http://incunables.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/record/L-159 (L-159 copy 1) is the best evidence, their brotherhood is certainly how the inscription recorded there was interpreted in the chapter ‘Language Arts & Disciplines in A Companion to the Early Printed Book in Britain, 1476–1558 (Vincent Gillespie and Susan Powell, ed), 2014.

[2] At that time the calendar year began on 25 March, and thus dates between January and March are often given in both systems to avoid confusion as to which system is being used.

[3] The financial year began at Michaelmas, i.e. ran from September 29 to September 28.

[4] A communion cloth, usually of linen, where the consecrated elements are placed during the Eucharist.

[5] p 48 of WDJ Cargill Thompson: ‘Notes on King’s College Library, 1500–1570, in Particular for the Period of the Reformation’ in Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society, Vol. 2, No. 1 (1954), pp 38-54.