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 Lydgate]

The Canon of John Lydgate Project


The Lives of Ss. Edmund and Fremund: Introduction

Thomas, Baron Audley, of Walden: Sometime Owner of Harley 2278
Thomas, Baron Audley, of Walden; 1488-1544; Lord Chancellor of England under Henry VIII after the resignation of Sir Thomas More (May 1532). Audley conducted much of the less savoury business of king and Cromwell in parliament, including seeing through the Commons and Lords several separate Acts of Succession; personally conducted Anne Boleyn to the Tower; sat in judgment in the trial of Thomas More, and acted as lord steward in the trials of various peers who had crossed the king. For these things, Audley was rewarded with titles and, occasionally, lands and wealth. It appears that Henry VIII also saw fit on some occasion or another (presumably after Audley was created "Baron" in 1538) to give Audley the princely manuscript of the presentation copy of Lydgate's Lives of Ss. Edmund and Fremund, Harley 2278: on the last folio of the manuscript (directly after the last stanza of the text) he wrote his name, "Audelay baro[n]."

According to C. E. Wright's Fontes Harleiani, "[h]is dau[ghter] and heiress, Margaret, was 2nd wife of Thomas Howard, 4th D. of Norfolk, their son being Lord William Howard of Naworth," and Harley 2278 presumably passed along this line of inheritance.

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© 1995 Stephen R. Reimer
English; University of Alberta; Edmonton, Canada
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Last revised: 20 Dec. 1995

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