The letter this month is a companion to the letter from Richard senior last month, and was written to George on the same day.

Richard describes his trip to the Cotswolds and his purchase pf fells, although his total his 500 less than the one his father gave, at 2,500. He also gives the prices paid, with £3 per 100 for 1,500 and £3 40d per 100 for the remaining 1,000. From this, and given that the total Richard is paying is £80, the carriage cost £3 4s.

For the payments, we see the typical three installment pattern, with Richard paying £40 at the time, £20 at Bartholomew’s-tide, and a final £20 at Hallow’s-tide. Hallow’s-tide is the one we are still familiar with, neing All Hallow’s day, 1 st November, and for which is embedded in modern culture for 31 st October as All Hallow’s Eve, or colloquially, Halloween.

Bartholomew’s day is the 24 th August, and is probably less familiar to most. However, it is infamous for the Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in Paris, France in 1572, a massacre of Huguenots by Roman Catholics. Post-period it was also the day in 1662 when 2,000 protestant priests in England were ejected from their posts for denying the authoristy of the Established Church.

Richard also relates the receipt of a letter from their brother Robert, containing a bill of payment for £4. It’s worth reiterating that at this time the poiund was not an actual unit of currency as a coin. As such payments of this size would require redeeming a bill of payment with someone at a given date for real currency. Richard does however comment, ‘I pray God send us good payment’. Despite, or perhaps because of, being the eldest brother, Robert was by far the least responsible. He had a history of financial and social misdemeanours which had caused the family numerous headaches. Amongst these issues were his bills not always being worth the paper they were written on.

The final aspect worth drawing out is the update on George’s horses. Throughout these letters, George appears to be attempting to sell horses back in England without much apparent success, matbe because he wasn’t able to drive it himself. We learn that currently George has a black and a gray, no one has bid on them, and that their upkeep is costing him a fair bit.

Malden's Transcription

Jhesu M l iiij c iiij xx

Ryught interly whelbelovyd and my syngeler good brother I recomende me wnto you in as lovyng whys as hartte con thynke plese hyt yow to wndyrstonde at the maky[ng] of thys howr father and mother my godfather Maryon and whe aull wher at London in good heyll thankyd be the good Lorde Syr I have bene in Cottyssowlde and bohut for hus xxv c pelles pryse le c of xv c  iij li and of a m l  hevery c iij li iij s iiij d and I have payd and a mwster pay w t  in thys v days in parte of payment of thes felles and for caryayge xl li and above and I mwste pay to Wylliam Mydwynter at Bartyllmewys tyd xx li. and at Hallowtyd xx li. for the sayd felles Syr I pray yow have theys days in remembrans my powr honeste lyes ther apon and at my comynges hwte of Cottyssowlde apone a schorte pwrpos howr father has schypyd xvij sarpelles of hys wooll that whos packyd at Norlache syn Ester and ther ys vj of theme myddyll and that ys aull the myddyll woll of that sorte I know hyt well ther come not better myddyll woll of howr fathers thys vij zeyr and at the next schyppyng howr father wyll schype the remenand of good whooll of thys sorte and hawlle hys felles and so w[y]ll I howrys and I have resayvyd ij lettyrs from you whon of howr brother Robarde and ther in whos of hys own hande contanyng iiij li starlyng payabull the iiij day of [sic] I pray God send ws good payment and another Edwhard Lenawlles the qweche I do whell wnyrstond I pwrpos to be the gras of God to be at Loutelays Woddyng on Sonday next and my godfather to Syr heyr ys yowr blake hors and yower gray at London thay ar in good plyte ther ys no mane byd no mony for them and they stond you to grete coste dayly as for horsse and hawkys I pwrpos never to have paste whon at onys Syr I ondyrstond be yowr wryting that ze have levyd Thomas Grayngar to be your atornay at Callez Whyll ze go to the marte I do send hym a letter and ther in the schypys namys and the whette of howr fathers and nwmbyr that he schawlle ressave hyt by be the grasse of Jhesu have you in hys blessyd kepyng wrytyn at London the sekund day of June.

Be your brother
Rychard Cely.

Addressed: Wnto my ryught whelbelovyd brother George Cely merchand of the estapell at Calleys or at the marte be thys dellywydd.


Of Jesus 1480

Right eternally wellbeloved and my singular good brother, I recommend myself unto you in as loving-wise as a heart can think. Be pleased to understand that at the writing of this, our father and mother, my godfather Marton, and we all were at London in good health, thanks be to the good Lord. Sir, I have been in the Cotswolds and bought for us 2,500 fells, priced per 100 at £3 for 1,500 and £3 3s 4d for every 100 for 1,000, and I have paid and within these 5 days, inpart payment of these fells, and for carriage, £40 and above, and I must pay to Wylliam Mydwynter at Bartholomew’s-tide £20, and at {All] Hallow’s-tide £20 for the said fells. Sir, I pray you have these days in remembrance that my poor honesty [reputation] lies thereupon, and at my coming out of the Cotswolds upon a short visit, our father has shipped 27 sarplers of his wool that was packed at Northleach since Easter, and there are 6 of them are middle, and that is all the middle wool of that sort. I know it well, that there comes no better middle wool from our father these 7 years; and at the next shipping our father will ship the remainder of good wool of this sort, and all his fells, and so will I ours, and I have received 2 letters from you, obe from our brother Robarde, and therein was, by his own hand, contained £4 sterling payable the 4 th day of <blank>, I pray God send us good payment, and another [from] Edwhard Lenawllys the which I do well understand. I intend, by the grace of God, to be at Lontelay’s wedding on Sunday next, and my godfather too. Sir, your black horse is here, and your grey, at London. They are ib good health. No man has bid any money for them, and they stand you to great cost daily. As for horses and hawks, I intend to never have past one at once. Sir, I understand bu your writing that you have levied Thomas Graynger to be your attorney at Calais while you go to the marte. I send him a letter and therein the ships’ names and the weight of our father’s and number that he shall receive by it. May the grace of Jesus have you in his blessed keeping. Written at London, the second day of June.

By your brother
Rychard Cely.

Addressed: Unto my right wellbeloved brother George Cely, merchant of the Staple at Calais, or at the marte, be this delivered.