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Elizabeth Pickering: the first woman to print law books in England and relations within the community of Tudor London's printers and lawyers *.

Elizabeth Pickering took over Robert Redman's press when he died in 1540, thus becoming the first woman known to print books in England. Her books tell us simply that she was Redman's widow. Wills and other legal documents in the London archives permit us to know much more. The documents examined here illuminate aspects of her personal life, but also reveal connections between a group of law-printers and lawyers that appear to have influenced the printing of law books in Tudor London. The first part of the essay traces this microhistory of family and community relations. The second half examines the books Elizabeth Pickering published.


During the first half-century of printing in England, there are no signs of a wife or a daughter taking over when the owner of a press died or was unable to continue. (1) The first documented notice of a woman running a printing shop in England appears to come from York, where the chamberlains' accounts record a payment of ten shillings in 1527 to a Widow Warwick for "prynting of a thowsand breyffes." Aside from this entry, nothing is known of her printing activity; if she printed books, none seem to have survived. (2) The first extant publication traceable to a woman printing in England is A Lytle treatyse composed by Iohn Sta[n]dysshe ... againste the p[ro]testacion of Robert barnes, a small book issued by Elizabeth Pickering Redman from her shop at the sign of the George in Fleet Street, with a colophon dated 13 December 1540. Elizabeth took over the press of her printer-husband Robert Redman when he died, probably at the end of October 1540, and she continued the work of publishing in her own right for about ten months, issuing ten books that are identifiably hers, and possibly another three that for different reasons present problems of attribution. When or where Elizabeth Pickering was born is unknown, but her family connections in later life emerge from records kept in London at the Guildhall Library, the Corporation of London Record Office, and the Public Record Office.

The only surviving parish record for the years in which Elizabeth and Robert Redman resided at St. Dunstans in the West is the Church Wardens' Account Book. (3) This ledger contains several entries that throw some important light on Robert Redman; two of these are funeral entries that clearly affected Elizabeth's life as well, though she herself is unnamed. The money the parish received for Redman's funeral is recorded for the church year that started at Michaelmas 31 Henry VIII: "Item received for the knell of Robert Redman... iiis iiiid." (4) Three years earlier, the first of the book's funeral entries was for his wife: "Item Receiued for the knylle of the late wyfe of Robert Redman... iiis iiiid." (5) This entry attesting the burial of Robert Redman's wife is the only witness that can now suggest the possible time-limits of Elizabeth's marriage to her printer husband: it indicates not only that Elizabeth was not Robert's first wife, but also that the earliest possible date for their marriage was sometime after 29 September 1536. The exact length of the marriage cannot be known: what the two entries testify is that the very most it could have lasted was four years. (6)

Redman's will gives no instructions that his printing shop, next to the church of St. Dunstans in the West, should go to his wife. Redman seems to have been surprised by his final illness, and in a hurry to make his final dispositions: his will, dated 21 October 1540, was entered for probate two weeks later on 4 November, and does not contain the detailed instructions regarding personal items often left by testators in this period. Redman's dispositions simply observe the divisions into three parts that were in any case obligatory "borough custom" among the freemen of London who had children: (7)
 I will that my goodes be departid in three partes the first part to
 fulfill my bequestes / and ffunerall expenss / the second parte to
 my wif/The thirde parte to my children to be devided amongest them /
 in equall parties / Item I bequeith to the high aulter of Saint
 Dunstones afore said xx d/Item I will that xl s shalbe distributed
 amonge poore people / at the day of my decease / Item I ordeyn and
 make Elizabeth my wif my sole Executrix of this my last will and
 testament / and I do ordeyn and make William Peyghan / and my sonne
 in lawe Henry Smythe overseres of this my last will and testament /
 and they to haue for thair Labours at the discretion of my
 Executrix. (8)

Unlike the wills of some printers who predeceased him (such as those of John Rastell and Richard Pynson), Redman's mentions neither his press nor his apprentices, and in his record of his last wishes he leaves only the customary instructions to his executrix that she should divide and distribute his assets. Elizabeth's decision to carry on appears therefore to be entirely the fruit of her own initiative.

As Robert Redman's executrix, Elizabeth had several duties. After entering his will for probate, she was also obliged to appear before the London Court of Aldermen, which superintended the affairs of orphaned children of freemen. The customary law of London required two steps of a freeman's executor: first, an accurate and honest inventory of the dead man's estate; and second, signed recognizances from three or four men who bound themselves as sureties to guarantee that the orphans should receive their full inheritance when they achieved maturity. (9) Evidence of the Court's attention to the interests of Redman's orphans begins with the Latin entry for 20 January 1541 in Repertory 10. (10) On that date Elizabeth Redman, accompanied by William Peighan (11) (one of the overseers named above in Redman's will), appeared at the Guildhall, where they were both bound in 500 pounds sterling to George Medley, chamberlain of the city, on the condition that they present the Court with the orphans' sureties for the dead man's goods. (12) The next step taken for the orphans' protection occurred on 15 February 1541, when Repertory 10 records that the securities for the Redman orphans were bound:
 Item Will[el]mo Mery grocer John ffen Ironmonger Henry Myller and
 Thomas Norton grocer be bounden by recogn in clx li viii s [160
 [pounds sterling] 8s. 0d.] for the paymt of cxlv li iiid [145
 [pounds sterling] 0s. 3d] for the orphanage of the childern of Robt
 Redman dyseassed. (13)

The Latin entry for the same date in Journal 14 also provides the names--"Mildred, Katherine et Alicia"--of the orphaned girls who would be under the Court's protection "until they shall have reached their full ages or shall have married" ("ad eo[rum] plenas etat[es] p[er]ven[er]int aut maritat[e] fu[er]int"). (14) Charles Carlton affirms in his study of the Court of Orphans that the court fixed the age of majority for boys at twenty-one; girls, he states, could claim their inheritance at eighteen, if they were married to a husband who was of age. (15) What happened in Mildred Redman's case shows that the age for girls could occasionally be less rigid.

The entry in Journal 14 just cited is annotated. In the left margin, the names of the three Redman orphans appear inside a bracket pointing towards the names of Mery, ffen, Myller, and Norton. Over Mildred's name is the note, "pd"; "morta" has been added over Katherine's name, but no date of death is given. Further down is the note that was added on 18 September 1544, that Edwardus Handburye (a.k.a., Hanbury "gentleman") was married to Mildred and recognized himself as content and satisfied with receiving as her portion of the inheritance half of the 145 pounds and three pence (72 [pounds sterling] 10s. 1d.) earmarked for the orphaned Redman girls. (The death of Redman's second daughter Katherine, having occurred sometime between the bonding of the sureties in 1541 and this moment in 1544, released Katherine's share to her two remaining sisters, thus explaining why Mildred's portion should be a half, rather than a third.) (16) This marginal Latin note in the Journal thus laconically wraps up seven months of legal wrangling between Hanbury and the court, more fully documented in Repertory 11.

The entry for 12 February 1544 in Repertory 11 records that Edward Hanbury "gentleman" appeared before the council in the company of Mildred, whom he had married, to claim her inheritance. Since Mildred appeared to be "butt of the age of xii yeres or there about," the council ordered that the girl be remanded to the custody of Robert Redman's brother-in-law "Robert Chastelynge wodmonger" in the parish of St. Clement Danes, "and be saufley kept from the companye of the sayd Hanburie vntyll this court shalbe further informed therin." (17) The council resolved to examine witnesses in an attempt to determine Mildred's age; Hanbury's claim to the inheritance "and also reasonable alowance for her borde and finding [interest] for the tyme he hath been charged for the same unto Robert Chastelyng" was settled by the decision "that he shall have the one or the other." The first witnesses testified on 6 March 1544 that Mildred had been born in September 1532, and a week later, on 13 March, the witnesses confirmed that she "was born iii q[uar]ters of a yeare before the coronacoon of quene Anne, which was butt xi yeres agone at Whytsontyde last past." (18) The council therefore declared that the marriage was "nott good in lawe Wherefore the sayd Myldrede was comytted by the court here to the custodye of Stephen Dobbe and his wyfe vntyll she hath come unto the yeres of dyscrec[i]on and be held to consent to matrymony." The next notes pertaining to Mildred Redman's case were entered on 4 September 1544, (19) when witnesses (including Mildred's aunt, Margaret Chasteling) swore that Mildred was "xiij yeres and more" (testimony clearly at odds with the affirmations recorded in March); the court therefore ordered "art the p[ra]yer of the sayd hanburye that the suertyes for the orphanage of the sayd Myldred shalbe charged to brynge in the same agaynst the next court day." (20) On 11 September the court finally deliberated that, after discharging the expense of Mildred's recent keep and paying "the hole fyne due for the marying of his sayd wyfe wythout lycence," Hanbury could take both Mildred and her inheritance. (21) On 18 September, "Edwarde Hanburye gent and Myldrede his wyfe doughter and orphan of Rob[er]t Redman stacyoner dysceassed . . . knowledged theym selfs fully satysfyed and payed of all the orphan[age] of the same Myldred to her belongyng of her sayd ffathers goodes." (22)

The 145 pounds and three pence of the Redman orphans' inheritance is the only index we have of the value of the estate Redman left to his daughters and to his wife Elizabeth. Funeral expenses and any debts Redman had outstanding would have been deducted from the estate's gross value. Also exonerated by customary law was the value of the apparel and furniture of the "widow's chamber": "All her usuall apparell belonging to her body, both lynnen and wollen and silke, her usuall beds that she and her husband did commonly use during the spousell between them to ly upon, the hangynges of her owne bedchamber, chests wherein she usually kept her said linen and other apparell, and her usual cheyne rings of gold and other Jewells she was wont to wear on high and festive days." (23) With the exception of the widow's chamber, therefore, Elizabeth's share of the inheritance would have been (as guaranteed by customary law) the same as that of the orphans, whose net share (exempt of debts and expenses) had been calculated before the sureties' recognizances were recorded on 15 February 1541. If we add his pious bequests to the sum of Elizabeth's and the orphans' shares, Redman appears to have been worth slightly less than 300 pounds when he died.

Of Redman's financial standing in life, there are various traces. The Church Wardens' Account Book records the costly honor that the parish of St. Dunstans in the West conferred on him and Richard Tong in September 22 Henry VIII (24) when they were named as that year's two Wardens of the Rood Light. At the PRO there is a bond for 500 marks--set at a level clearly meant to dissuade--that obliged him not to sell St. German's The Division of the Spiritualitie and the Temporalitie "nor any other booke to the whiche the kynge hath granted his pryvelege"; (25) there are also some of the records of his tax assessments. Of the latter, the surviving subsidy assessments made on 10 December 1524 and in April 1536 show that Robert Redman was one of those early stationers for whom printing was demonstrably a very lucrative enterprise. In 1524, Redman was located outside London's western limit of Temple Bar, in the Westminster parish of St. Clement Danes, and he was just beginning his career. The assessment of 16 Henry VIII shows that he was not yet a man of substance: men with twenty pounds in goods were assessed at five percent that year, but Redman's goods were valued at ten pounds, for which he was assessed at only half that rate (his tax was 5s.). (26) Redman's move at the end of the 1520s to the parish of St. Dunstans in the West within Temple Bar was an astute business decision for a printer whose output of law books would find ready customers in the lawyers and students of the Inns of Court that lay so close to hand, and his acumen is certainly attested by the subsidy rolls: in 1536, the assessment on him quintupled, his goods now being valued at fifty pounds, and the tax assessed was twenty-five shillings. (27) The assessment the commissioners prepared in 28 Henry VIII for the parish of St. Dunstans in the West names forty-nine parishioners (excluding nobles, who appear in a different roll) whose goods or property income met that year's opening levels of taxation, and in that roll Redman appears as the parish's eleventh man in terms of assessed value. R. G. Lang's study of the London subsidies levied in 1541 and 1582 concerns years that do not directly involve Redman (though the 1541 assessment would affect his orphans), but his caveat about the tax records applies to the entire Tudor-Stuart period: "There is no time at which London valuations for the subsidy can be taken as representing actual worth in goods or income, or even as an index of actual wealth .... [I]n Henry VIII's reign subsidy assessments based on annual income from land were 'tolerably realistic' while those based on valuations of goods were less so." (28) The 1536 assessment might not have been a reliable index of Redman's wealth then, but such was not the case for his children, who were put down for taxation almost to their last penny, after Parliament voted in 1540 that the estate of orphans would also be taxed. (29) The Redman orphans appear in the tax lists of 1541 as worth 145 pounds, for which their overseers were assessed seventy-two shillings and six pence; the tax appears not to have been deducted, however, from the sum that the court finally paid over for the girls' inheritances. (30)

Though the Redman orphans show up in the tax rolls, Elizabeth Redman does not--an absence indicating that she had remarried by the time the second part of the subsidy legislated by Parliament in 1540 was assessed in October 1541. (31) Of the women whose names appear in the subsidy, "well over half" were widows; (32) as a femme covert (married woman), however, Elizabeth would not have had an independent financial identity, and her invisibility in the subsidy rolls corresponds to the disappearance of her name from the colophons of books as a result of her transfer of the press to William Middleton, who began printing in 1541.

Elizabeth's next husband was William Cholmeley, (33) a lawyer from Lincoln's Inn who apparently played a financial role in the future of the press Elizabeth had managed during her widowhood. With the exception of H. J. Byrom, book historians of the last two centuries have reported that her next husband was Randolph Cholmeley, a belief that appears to have originated in Joseph Ames' Typographical Antiquities. (34) The marriage to Randolph (a.k.a., Ranulf, Randle, Ralph, and Randoll) did in fact take place, but this was after his kinsman William died in 1546. Nothing in the sparse marriage records in London covering the 1540s yields any clue as to the exact date when Elizabeth married the first of her Cholmeley husbands, but her absence from the 1541 subsidy rolls implies a date no later than the beginning of November. The will that William Cholmeley made out in November 1544, together with the marginal comments added later to the probate copy, confirms that it was William, and not Randolph, who had married Redman's widow. (35) This will reserves several surprises: for one thing, the revelation that William was not Elizabeth's second husband, but her third. That Elizabeth Pickering had been married at least once before she married Redman is clear from the provisions Cholmeley made for "Luce Jackson and Elizabethe Jackson my wyffes daughters." (36) William's generous bequests of property to the Jackson girls were contingent, however, on there being no more immediate heirs born from their mother's marriage to Cholmeley:
 And ffurther as to the disposicion of my Landes and tenements which
 I maye deuyse whereof Late I and Elizabethe my wyffe did Joyntly
 purchas certeine meassuages cottages and gardyns Situate and lyinge
 in the parishe of Sainte Dunstans in the weste of london to haue and
 holde to hers and the heires of ower bodyes Lawfully begotten the
 Remaynder thereof to my righte heires. Now I will that if I and my
 saide wyffe die without Issue of ower bodyes or thissue of ower
 bodyes die without Issue. Then Luce Jackson and Elizabethe Jackson
 my wyffes daughters shall haue the same meassuage Cottages and
 gardyns without appurtenances to them and theire heires for
 euer. (37)

William Cholmeley's age in 1544 can be roughly estimated from the fact that he was admitted to Lincoln's Inn on 12 May 1528. (38) At the time he made this testament he would probably have been, therefore, between thirty-three and thirty-six years of age. It is evident from this, as well as from the terms of the will itself, that in 1544 Elizabeth was of childbearing age; and it may be that there had already been a child born to the couple. A funeral item in the Church Wardens' Account Book records the burial of "Wm Chomlies sonne" in "33 Henry VIII" (29 September 1542-28 September 1543), and Cholmeley's elevated financial standing is reflected in the funeral expense, which was greater than that for most parishioners: "Item for the knelle and pitte of Wm Chomlies sonne ... x s." (39) Because Tudor records name only a child's father (if the father was living and was married to the mother), there is no way of knowing with certainty whether Elizabeth was the mother of "Wm Chomlies sonne" or whether the boy was born of a prior marriage. On the other hand, the same praxis eliminates Williams fatherhood of the child whose burial was recorded the year before, in "32 Henry VIII": "Item. Receiued for the pytt and knell for the daughter of mastress Cholmeley ... x s." (40) By identifying the daughter as "mastress Cholmeley's," this entry appears to indicate either that the dead girl was born from Elizabeth's union with Redman or else that Elizabeth had had a third daughter by Jackson. (41) Elizabeth's marriage to William, however, produced no children who would live to disappoint the Jacksons of the properties named in the will, since The Court of Husting Rolls (42) contain copies of the deeds (examined later in this essay) by which Elizabeth's daughters disposed of them.

One consequence of the dissolution of the monasteries was a munificent grant recorded to "the King's servant" William Lambe in 34 Henry VIII; and this grant helps to locate William Cholmeley's property holdings on both the north and south sides of Fleet Street, showing them as already in place when Lambe's grant was recorded. The Cholmeley properties on the north side of the street were occupied (by John Phillips and William Beeton), so the grant to Lambe helps to identify the house on the south side (bounded by Fleet street on the north and the Inner Temple wall on the south) as the one probably occupied by William Cholmeley and his wife--apparently one of the best houses on the street, since the four shillings set down in Lambe's grant as its yearly rent is the highest rate recorded (met only by the tenements occupied by Robert Fleetwood and Thomas Holbeck). (43)

Cholmeley's concern for the future of daughters who were not his own was not limited to his desire to provide for the Jackson girls. He also provided for Robert Redman's daughter Alice:
 Item I bequethe to my wyffe all my Leases withoute Temple barre for
 term of her lyffe. And after her decease to Mice Redman all the
 Residue of the terme that then shall fortune to remayne vpon
 condycion that the saide Alice shalbe ruled by my saide wyffe in her
 marriage, if my saide wyffe do so longe lyve that she be able to
 marrye. And if she the said Alice doe refuse to be ordered as afore
 then I will this presente devyse be voyde. (44)

In Williams provisions for Luce and Elizabeth Jackson, he expresses no worries about their making suitable marriages, as he does here about the youngest of Redman's three daughters; since Alice was still a child, this deserves reflection. Cholmeley made this will in November 1544, and given that it was entered for probate in April 1546, it is possible that considerations other than the immediacy of death were on his mind. Mildred Redman is not named in Cholmeley's will; but in the wake of the events that had been protracted in the Court of Aldermen throughout 1544, Cholmeley's concern for her sister's future is evident, and the condition of his bequest appears to be the effort of a responsible man trying to prevent Redman's remaining daughter from also contracting an unfortunate marriage.

In addition to the property arrangements Cholmeley made for Elizabeth and her children, his will specifies that part of his estate involved a debt from William Middleton:
 Item as to all the Resydue of my goodes Catalles and iuelles, I geue
 and bequethe to Elizabeth my wyffe she to distribute in dedes of
 charritie as she shall thinke mete by her descrecion. The whiche
 Elizabethe I ordeyne and make my soole executrix of this my presente
 Laste Will and testameme. Item debtes owynge me William Myddelton
 eight score and tenne poundes. (45)

"William Myddelton" is one of the six men who witnessed William Cholmeley's will. (46)

H. J. Byrom believed that the debt stemmed from legal difficulties that beset Middleton a year and a half after he took over the George: "When he was imprisoned and fined in 1543, along with some other stationers, for printing unlawful books, he borrowed 170 pounds from William Cholmeley which he seems never to have repaid." (47) The incident to which Byrom refers is recorded in several entries in the Acts of the Privy Council during April 1543, a turbulent month for printers and booksellers, who were called before the Council for examination as a result of government attention focused on the dangers of books printed in English (especially those being printed overseas). Middleton was one of eight printers who, on 8 April 1543, were sent to Fleet prison by the Privy Council.

The Council minutes record the names of only five of them as appearing on 22 April when, after being bound in a recognizance of 100 pounds, they were released on the condition that they "do make by writing a trew declaration what nomber off bookes and balletts they have bowght wythin these iij yeres last past and what they have soulde in grosse / and what marchantes they know to have browght in to the realme any engllysse bokes off ill matter / and bring in this sayd writing before the counsall wythin x daies after the date hereoff and pay all suche fynes as shall be sett uponn them pertaining to the proclamations they have printed and sold sythe the tyme off the sayd proclamations." (48) On 25 April, twenty-five booksellers were brought before the Council and bound in an almost identical recognizance. (49) On 26 April "Beddle, Myddleton, Lant, Kele, and Maylor brought in this day theyre certificat in writing according to theyr recognisance taken off them the xxiith day off April." (50)

The minutes of 22 April refer to two different economic measures taken by the Council against the printers, the 100-pound recognizances and the unspecified amount involved in "suche fynes as shall be sett upon them." The recognizances were imposed to insure the printers' prompt compliance, but given that they produced their lists within the specified time, the punitive aspect of the recognizance did not take effect. That there was a fine levied is not to be doubted, but the amount is not recorded here. In the absence of any evidence about the amount of the fine levied on Middleton in 1543 (or, for that matter, that this was the occasion on which Cholmeley came to the printer's financial aid), it is possible that the debt recorded in Cholmeley's will has another explanation than the one Byrom proffered.

Details about how Elizabeth transferred her rights in the press are not known. The city records indicate that William Cholmeley purchased his freedom as one of the stationers on 31 May 1541. (51) As he was a practicing lawyer and councilman of the city, his intentions in making this move can only be surmised, but one inference is that he was preparing at this date to marry Elizabeth who, as a married woman, would not be able to continue printing in her own right. Cholmeley did not act, though, upon his status as a freeman to set up shop himself. When he married Elizabeth, her business was ceded to Middleton.

The orphans' portion of Redman's estate (the 145 [pound sterling] 3d. secured in 1541) has earlier provided an index of Elizabeth's share; comparing this sum with the debt of 170 pounds recorded in 1544 suggests the possibility that Middleton had taken over the press promising to pay off the principal in the future, with interest. Two different archival traces of Middleton's financial state in 1544 help to indicate what means he had available that year for facing his debt to Cholmeley. One is the record of his 1544 tax assessment; the other is the record of a property transaction.

When the parish assessments were prepared for the 1544 lay subsidy (on 4 April 35 Henry VIII), Middleton was valued at only ten pounds in goods (for which he was assessed 6s. 8d.). (52) Hoyle's observations about the reliability of the assessments corroborate Lang's, but he adds a further point: "The individual assessments must be taken not as direct evidence of a person's wealth, but as an indication of how his contemporaries ranked him within his community ... the 1544 lay subsidy is no guide to the total value of a man's movable property, but it does reflect the relative wealth and social status of the top half of the social pyramid." (53) The assessment on Middleton appears to show that he was not reputed by his fellow-parishioners to have much ready wealth.

The property arrangement recorded in Common Pleas in Hilary 36 Henry VIII (February 1545) (54) provides a different perspective on Middleton's financial state in 1544. This record permits us to know, for one thing, that when the tax valuation was made in April, William and Elizabeth Middleton possessed (at the very least) a property in Middelsex, "the manor of Wonstable and premises in 'le Rounde Wonstable' in the city of Westminster"; (55) this same record also shows that when Cholmeley made his will in November, the Middletons had recently (in the octave of Michaelmas 1544) negotiated an arrangement to cede the property (in one of those legal fictions known as a "fine and recovery") to one Richard Castell, alias Cassaler. The final concord for the manor of Wonstable was recorded in the Feet of Fines at the octave of Hilary 36 Henry VIII; according to this record, Richard Castell paid William Middelton and Elizabeth his wife "ducentas sexaginta and quatuordecem libras sterlingo[rum]" (274 [pound sterling]) in February 1545. (56)

As Byrom indicates, no records attest repayment of Middleton's debt (though, indeed, if Middleton repaid Cholmeley, there would be little reason for documentation to that effect to be publicly preserved). What this property alienation shows is that Middleton had a cashflow in the early months of 1545 that would have been sufficient to extinguish his debt to Cholmeley. Whether Middleton in fact used the money for that purpose is not now ascertainable--that there was no correction made to Cholmeley's will by the time it was produced for probate (April 1546) perforce leaves repayment in doubt. Nor do the available documents indicate why Middleton needed Cholmeley's aid to begin with, or why Cholmeley was willing to concede such a large sum. All we can see with certainty is that the man who continued Elizabeth Pickering's printing establishment received a great deal of financial aid from her husband.

Middleton died in 1547. Had he been unable to complete repayment to Cholmeley in his own lifetime, his executrix would have been obliged to attend to it, since then (as now) clearing outstanding debts was the first obligation of executors, before any legacies could be recognized or distributed. (57) Middleton's widow Elizabeth soon married William Powell (one of Middleton's journeymen), who thus became the next owner of the press; and Powell could not have gone on printing undisturbed if Cholmeley's heirs had not been satisfied in some way about repayment of the old debt. On the other hand, there were apparently unresolved matters in the estates of William Cholmeley and Robert Redman that led Randolph Cholmeley to take out letters of administration for both estates one month after his wife Elizabeth, who had been the executrix for these, died in October 1562. (58) Randolph himself died the following spring, on 25 April 1563. Redman's heirs did not immediately take this as their cue to make any legal moves on their father's estate. But that some issue involving Redman's estate was still considered unsettled is indicated by the request for a letter of administration made fortysix years after Redman's death, in 1586, by Alice Redman, who was by then the widow Hilton. (59) The implications of these requests will be considered once we have examined some of the relations in the Redman-Pickering-Cholmeley circle and their connections with the George after Redman died.

There is no evidence that Robert Redman had any business or personal relations with either of the lawyers who were to become his wife's husbands, but his son-in-law Henry Smyth (also a stationer) clearly had a close relationship with both Cholmeleys, since the friendship is particularly noted in the wills of all three men. Both William (d. 1546) and Randolph (d. 1563) remembered Henry with gestures of generosity. For his part, Henry Smyth (d. 1550) bequeathed "onto Elizabeth Cholmeley my mother in Lawe a Ringe of gold with a diamonnt in yt," while to "my most trusted and loving ffrends Randall Cholmeley gentilman Richard Hogge haberdasher, William Rene Talowe Chandler citizens of London and Abraham Metcalf gentilman" he consigned the delicate trust of superintending the futures of his three sons, whom he hoped would be "well honestly and vertuously brought up." (60) Henry Smyth's wife--who may have been Redman's stepdaughter from his prior wife, rather than a daughter of his blood (61)--was, like her husband, one of the people named in William Cholmeley's will in 1544, but her absence from the will Smyth left in 1550 indicates that she had died in the interim. When Randolph Cholmeley made his own will in 1563, he referred to the service he had rendered his dead friend's executors in securing the lease of Smyth's house and shop on Fleet Street for Richard Tottell, who had earlier been one of William Middleton's apprentices. Randolph wished Smyth's children to have the "Twentie Poundes in white money whiche I Receiued of the supervisors of the testament of harry Smithe for the makinge suer admittinge and allowaunce of the Lease of the house wherein the saide Henrie did late inhabit and wherein Richard Tottell stacioner dose now inhabitt next to Temple barre." (62) The terms of Randolph Cholmeley's gift make clear that none of Smyth's children had yet achieved majority, which means that the eldest of them was no more than eight years old when Smyth died.

Henry Smyth's activity as a stationer is documented from 1543 until 1546. Smyth specialized in law texts, most of which were also published by Middleton. (63) Two decades earlier, the rivalry between Richard Pynson and Robert Redman for the publication of legal texts had set off Pynson's vitriolic attack on Redman, a feud that adds color as well as a touch of mystery to studies of the history of the book. (64) In 1545, Henry Smyth and William Middleton both published Littleton's Tenures and Fitzherbert's Natura Brevium,(65) basic and widely-used books of legal reference. But these are exceptions in a publishing record that points to avoidance of direct competition.

Katherine Pantzer's headnote for "Yearbooks" in the STC calls attention to an apparent understanding between the two stationers in this genre of law publication. Observing that Smyth and Middleton were Redman's two major successors in the publishing of yearbooks, she suggests that there may have been "some kind of agreement between them regarding who had the option to print particular groups of years, in order to avoid the ruinous competition of the Pynson/Redman period." (66) Smyth published all of his yearbooks between 1543 and 1545; Middleton published more yearbooks than Smyth did, but those that covered the same years as those put out by Smyth were all printed in 1547--the year after Smyth seems to have ceased publishing. The pattern of apparent collaboration is not limited to yearbooks, though. A check of Henry Smyth's other legal publications shows that, with the exception of the two books noted above, he and Middleton consistently avoided publishing the same works in the same years: it would appear that they synchronized their work. (67) This was an intelligent business tactic, but it may have been nurtured by the influence of Elizabeth and William Cholmeley. The will Cholmeley made in 1544 shows that the Cholmeleys had at that time a financial motive for wanting Middleton's business to thrive, while all of the wills examined testify to the strength of the friendship between Smyth and the Cholmeleys. There were thus excellent incentives for maintaining amity within the Cholmeley circle that could have influenced the publishing practices of Smyth and Middleton.

For the first half of the sixteenth century there were no limits placed on who could print legal treatises, and Middleton and Smyth were only two of those whose output was aimed at lawyers. But in 1553 this liberty came to an abrupt halt when Richard Tottell was granted the valuable patent for the printing of law books. Tottell had been trained by Middleton at the George.

Middleton had instructed his executrix to "cause see and provide that all and every my apprentices be made firemen of the Citie of London Immediately and as sone as any of their severall termes of apprentishode shall happen to be expired and ended of that Arte wherof I am nowe a freman my selfe"; Tottell was made free in 1547, the year of Middleton's death, as Middleton had provided in his will. (68)

Tottell's printing history between his achievement of freedom and the institution of the law patent in 1553 did not provide him with any expertise in this special--and particularly delicate--field. During that interim the STC finds only two books for Tottell (both ascribed to 1550), and though one of these is a law text (an edition of the much-printed Natura Brevium), Tottell's connection with that book is uncertain and noted in the STC with an understandable question mark, since the colophon of the book itself announces that it was "Imprynted at London, / in Paules Churche yarde at / the signe of the mayde[n]s / heed by Thomas / petit." (69) William Herbert provided two other titles not identified as Tottell's work in the STC, one on urines and one decrying dice playing, books which (if they were in fact Tottell's) appear subsequently to have been lost. (70) Only one book, therefore, can now be attributed with certainty to Tottell before 1553, A medicine for the soule, as well for them that are whole of body as for them that be sick (STC 17770.5).

The printers who, unlike Tottell, were regularly producing law books were damaged to different extents by the institution of Tottell's law patent; but the press most severely hit by the new restrictions was that at the sign of the George, by then in the hands of William Powell. Before the monopoly, Powell's output had been prolific, as he printed, one after another, those law books earlier printed by (among others) Pynson, Redman, Smyth, and Middleton. Tottell's grant put an abrupt stop to this, and the STC entries show that from 1553 onward the flood which had earlier issued from Powell's press was effectively reduced to a trickle. After 1553, he produced only two or three books a year, although he stayed on at the George for another fifteen years. (71)

The various kinds of book patents issued in the Tudor period were always granted due to the intervention of influential patrons and, as Byrom pointed out, there is near-contemporary evidence suggesting that the law patent was instigated by the circle of London lawyers and their friends among the judges: "Tottel, at sure of the Judges hath the common law bokes, whereof master Nicasius [Yetsweirt] hath reuersion." (72) Byrom's belief that "the judges" in question were Randolph Cholmeley and his friends gains weight from Randolph's statement in his will that he had helped to establish Tottell in his business at Henry Smyth's house. Byrom suggested that solidarity among believers in the old Roman Catholic faith was an element of the friendship Tottell found in the circle of lawyers who helped procure his patent. (73) That may well be. But the reverse side of the coin is that Powell, the London printer whose output most specialized in law books, clearly did not enjoy such helpful friendship. By 1553 Cholmeley interests no longer appear linked to the fortunes of the George; indeed, the evidence is that Randolph Cholmeley set up and supported a formidable rival.

Why Cholmeley favored Tottell over Powell can only be a matter of surmise. Tottell and Cholmeley seem to have shared religious views, but in the awarding of monopolies finances often (although not always) played a part. Monopolies lay in the royal prerogative, and were expressions of royal largesse. In most cases, as Linda Levy Peck points out, they were also a form "of indirect taxation, since they paid a rent to the Crown." (74) If, in addition to the fees Tottell paid for recording his patent, Tottell also rewarded those who had helped him procure it, that is obviously not recorded.

The letters of administration mentioned earlier raise a different sort of financial question: these applications--made so many years after the deaths of Robert Redman, William Cholmeley, and William Middleton--reopen the issue as to whether Middleton's debt was repaid, and how his debt concerned the George. The requests for administration indicate the survivors' belief that matters in the estates of Robert Redman and William Cholmeley had not been closed by the executrix, Elizabeth Pickering--that outstanding debts owed to their estates were still thought to be uncollected. As a lawyer, Randolph Cholmeley might simply have been reserving a useful legal right, should it prove necessary; but Alice Redman's application for administration of Redman's estate in 1586 cannot be so dismissed. Given that Mice (or, more precisely, her husband) acknowledged receiving her full inheritance from the Redman estate when she reached legal majority, her greatly belated request for administration indicates her conviction that her father's estate had more to yield. The suggestion is that Mice was aware of problems connected with repayment of the debt referred to in Cholmeley's will, and that this debt was connected with the Redman press.

Why Mice Redman harbored her longterm doubts about her father's estate appears particularly puzzling in light of the fact that the Cholmeleys were in a better position than most people in London to take prompt legal measures to defend their financial interests. If the Cholmeleys brought a suit against the Middletons or the Powells, though, it has not been uncovered in the course of this research.

An action for debt has come to light, however, that might have a relationship with the George. Henry Homer discovered a suit brought in Common Pleas in 1553 against William and Humphrey Powell "by a certain William Towley, for the recovery of goods and chattels, to wit, the contents of a printing and dwelling house." (75) The document Plomer found (76) gives the ward (Farringdon Without), but not the parish in which the printing house was located. On the basis of the books inventoried, Plomer was convinced that the printing house in question was Wynkyn de Worde's old establishment, the Sun, which had passed after de Worde's death to Byddle and then to Whitchurch. The Sun was in the ward of Farringdon Without--but so too was the George. Moreover, many of the books in the inventory had not issued uniquely from de Worde's press; indeed, a number of them had never been printed by him. Among the law publications in this inventory were Littleton's Tenures, 400 copies of Natura Brevium in English, 500 in French, plus "centum and quinquaginta alios libros de natura brevium [one hundred and fifty other books of Natura Brevium]." These are books that de Worde and his successors at the Sun are not known to have printed. The numerous yearbooks contained in this inventory are not included in the list of books Homer supplied in his essay (perhaps because de Worde had printed only one of these). Almost all had been printed at the George, mostly by Pynson, Redman, and Middleton (the men who preceded Powell there). Four were also published by Henry Smyth. (Of particular importance for book historians, three of the yearbooks in this inventory--four copies of 3 Edward III, ninety-three copies of 9 Edward III, four copies of 14 Edward III--do not appear in the STC: that they are unknown to the STC editors suggests either that there was a scribal error in the transcription of the inventory, or else these titles indicate editions that have not survived.) (77)

Plomer had no other news about William Towley than that in the Common Pleas roll he had discovered, and he surmised that Towley was simply Whitchurch's agent. (78) The Court Of Husting Roll at the CLRO records, however, a deed dated 22 January 10 Elizabeth, in which "William Tolley" appears--together with William Powell--as one of four men who ceded "a messuage called 'le George,' in par. of St. Dunstan, West." (79) The date at which Towley/Tolley acquired his economic interest in the George has not emerged, and his role in Powell's financial situation is far from clear. What the Common Pleas action does permit us to know is that in 1553 William Powell was sued for debt, in a case that involved a printing house and its contents; that the inventory lists books published by Wynkyn de Worde but also by printers who were either former owners of the George or else had strong links to that press; and that the person who brought the suit shows up in 1568 as sharing with Powell a property interest in the George. The documents that have turned up thus far do not, however, link the Cholmeley name to Powell's.

Whatever motives led Cholmeley to his sponsorship of Tottell's interests in 1553, his legal expertise and influence further intersected with stationers' affairs in an event, apparently several years in planning, that was of seminal importance to the whole company. The first item in Arber's A Transcript of the Registers of the Company of Stationers of London; 1554-1640, dated 1550, concerns Cholmeley's undertaking to be of service to the stationers:
 Anno 1550. The 13 of march Maister Sholmeley of Lincolns inne
 promised to be of counsaile with the companie of Stationers when
 they shuld conuenientlye
 Desyre him.
 Ranulphus Cholmeley
 To be of Councell vt stipulatio (80)

Brief and unspecific as it is, the promise was evidently considered important since, as W. W. Greg notes in A Companion to Arber, particular effort was made to conserve it: "The note is on a slip of paper that would appear to have been cut out of some earlier volume pasted on to the inside of the front cover of Register A." (81) Greg associated this insertion with the company's receipt of its charter in 1557, and to the role Cholmeley played when "in 1558-59 [he] supervised the company's constitutions." (82)

Randolph Cholmeley became the Recorder of London in 1554, a position that made him second only to the Lord Mayor in the Council and Court of Aldermen. (83) The authority of his position was not sufficient, however, to keep Alice Redman under control. In December 1556, still underage, she eloped with a man named William Hilton--thus realizing the very situation William Cholmeley had hoped to avoid years earlier when he made provision for her in his will. Randolph Cholmeley's fury can be deduced from the entry for Tuesday, 15 December in Repertory 13:
 After the Redinge of the bill of Informacon exhibyted to the courte
 heare this day by Mr Recorder for and concernynge the takynge away
 of Alyce Redman his doughter in lawe oute of his house beynge an
 orphan of the Cytye by one Hylton and his sone yt was orderyd that
 the saide Hilton should remayne at his lib[er]ty till the beginnynge
 of the Courte heare agayne after Chrystemas nexte And that his same
 sone for his saide offence shoulde Remayne in ward untyll that tyme
 at the comaundem[ent] of this hole courte forasmoche as he playnely
 co[n]fessid here p[re]sently in the courte that he had takyn away
 the same orphan and maryed her at Stokin Essex w[i]thoute the
 assente or agreame[n]te eyther of this Courte or of her parentes And
 his saide ffather dyd not denye but that he was p[ri]vy to his saide
 sones sute and court[ship] made to the same Alyce and that his sone
 had obtayned her love and that he had receyvyd theym into his howse
 in lothebury since they were maryed and before also. (84)

Alice's chosen husband was a skinner, made free of the Company of Skinners in 1552 (on 24 March 6 Edward VI.) (85) William Hilton's courtship and elopement had been aided by his father Thomas, and for several months Cholmeley did what he could to make life uncomfortable for the Hiltons. The Recorder's considerable weight with the Court of Aldermen accounts for the fact that, week in and week out, William Hilton was obliged to appear personally before the court, and that on none of these occasions did it find the time to take up the matter for which it had called him. Hilton's presence was registered together with his dismissal at the end of each session: "he hathe day on till the nexte courte."

Hilton's continued attendance at the Guildhall is recorded in Repertory 13 from January until the end of April. Finally, on 27 April 1557, the game of cat-and-mouse ended--indicating either that the Cholmeleys had relented, or that Alice had recently reached majority. The first item the Court addressed that day was, finally, the matter of "Willm hylton and Alyce his wif doughter and orphan of Robte Redman stacyoner." (86) The hand of the law both gave and took that day: Alice's orphanage money was paid them "aswell of all the parte and porcon of the orphanage of Katheryn syster of the saide Alyce to them also belongynge by the saide lawes by reason of the deathe of the same Katheryn w[i]thin age and unmaryed"; on the debit side, "the saide hylton payde p[re]sently unto the saide Chamb[er]lyn Lvii s for his fyne for that that he maryed the saide orphan withoute lycense of this courte." The court scribe records here that they did "knowledge themselves fully satisfied." On the same date in Letter Book Q "William Hylton skinner" confirmed that he was paid and content and satisfied that he had received the entire portion that was due to his wife.

The Court's opposition to William Hilton was officially due to the fact that, though he had been a freeman since 1552 (and therefore can be presumed to have been over the age of twenty-one when he eloped with Alice), Alice Redman was legally underage in December of 1556 and therefore needed "lycense of this court" in order to marry. Carlton's statement that married females could claim their inheritance at eighteen (if their husband was of age) helps at this point to identify Alice's relationship to Elizabeth: if Alice had not yet reached her eighteenth year when she eloped, then she was born sometime after 15 December 1538--which would mean that Elizabeth was her mother. This perhaps explains why, notwithstanding the stipulation in William Cholmeley's will that Alice would lose his property provision for her should she marry without Elizabeth's consent, Elizabeth did not cut Alice off.

The Court of Husting Roll records the indenture made on 20 May 3 Elizabeth "Betwene William Wombwell of Lye in the countie of Kent gent and Elizabeth his wif William Hilton and Alice his wif on thone p[ar]tie and William Blakwell and Roger Coyes of london gentelmen on thother p[ar]tie." Elizabeth Jackson Wombwell and Alice Redman Hilton were selling their reversionary interest to "all their moytie of six houses messuages or tenementes with their appurtenaunces sett lyinge and beinge in fletestret and in Chancery Lane within the suburbes of the said citie of london." The properties involved were those mentioned above in William Cholmeley's will, which at this point "Ranulphe Cholmeley S[er]iaunt at lawe and Elizabeth his wife have and holde for and duringe the lif of the same Elizabeth." As required by law, Elizabeth Jackson Wombwell and Alice Redman Hilton were examined by the court out of the hearing of their husbands in order to assure that they truly consented to this sale of their reversions, and the indenture was then sworn by "Ranulphe Cholmeley s. ad legem recordatore civit[at]es london ac Thomas Lodge." (87)

Elizabeth Pickering-Jackson-Redman-Cholmeley was still alive when this transaction took place. She and Randolph were both dead, though, when, two years later to the day itself, her other daughter Luce (Lucy) and Lucy's successful lawyer-husband John Peighen concluded a different sort of pact about these same properties with Randolph's brother, Sir Hewgh Cholmeley, consolidating them in agreements of partition and exchange so that both sides would "from hensforth forever have hold and enjoy [them] in Severaltie." (88)

Elizabeth died in October 1562. Her funeral is recorded in Henry Machyn's Diary though the relevant pages are so badly mutilated that the Camden Society editor has reserved certainty that the funeral being described was hers. (89) Machyn also left a long description of Randolph's elaborate funeral the following April that survives intact, while the continuator of John Stow's Survay of London recorded the epitaph on Randolph's tomb "in the wall" of St. Dunstans in the West, where the Recorder of London was buried next to his wife Elizabeth. (90) The stone, a testament to his love for Elizabeth and to the importance of Randolph's earthly career, survived the Great Fire of 1666, which stopped just a few yards short of the church; but it seems not to have survived the rebuilding of St. Dunstans sanctioned a century-and-a-half later by an act of Parliament (passed in 10 George IV): "An Act for taking down the Parish Church of St. Dunstans in the West, in the City of London, and building a New Church in lieu thereof." (91) The church was dismantled and the face of Fleet Street radically altered by this restructuring. (92)

A number of documents survive that help to reconstruct some of the central components of the family life of Elizabeth Pickering. Most of these are wills and property transactions concerned with the financial interests in which she was closely involved, though a few of these also permit some more personal insights into her life. Elizabeth figures importantly in all of them, but none were written or subscribed by her. Elizabeth was a married woman when she died, and could not therefore leave a will that testified her affections, duties, or family allegiance. The only public documents she herself left were her books.


The question marks and annotations appearing in the STC's entry for "Redman (Pickering), Elizabeth" partially indicate the difficulty in trying to sort out with precision either the titles of her editions or the years in which she published them. Robert Redman's widow printed her name in various ways in the title pages and/or colophons often publications, but in only two of them do we find statements of both date and publisher. If dates are missing from most of her "signed" books, two books signed by her husband are dated 1541. Returna Breuium tells readers that it was published "per me Robertum Redman, An. domini M.CCCCC.xli.die vero mensis" (6 May 1541); but Robert Redman's will was made in October 1540 and was entered for probate on 4 November 1540. Paruus libellus continens formas multarum rerum (one of several re-editions of Carta Feodi) likewise announces that it was "Impressum per me Robertum Redman, 1541." The STC editors add a comment propos of this latter work: "Since Redman died in 1540, either the date is wrong or this was printed by his widow." Another small publication, The abregemente of the statutes of Anno xxxj Henrici viij, appears to have been issued twice by the Redman press, once by Robert and later, possibly, by Elizabeth, but the lack of a date in all extant copies has created bibliographic uncertainty. STC 9542 identifies the first publication as Robert Redman's and attributes to it (with a question mark) the date of 1539. This is distinguished from 9542.3, an edition of these statutes that was published without either name or date; the STC suggests Elizabeth Redman and 1541, indicating both with obligatory question marks. (93)

In her acknowledged books, Elizabeth used several different phrases to identify herself. The one that appears most frequently in the colophons is "Elisabeth late wyfe to Robert Redman" (see the list of titles provided in append. 2), which she varied in her edition of The great Charter ... Magna Carta to "Elysabeth wydow of Robert Redman." But it was as Pykerynge rather than Redman that she presented herself in the first of the books that issued from her press, John Standish's Treatise ... against ... Barnes ("Ex aedibus Elisabethe Pykerynge viduae nuper uxoris spectabilis uiri Roberti Redmani"), a decision repeated in The maner of kepynge a courte baron and a lete, which she signed "per me Elisabeth Pykerynge, viduam R. Redmani," and in her two editions of Fitzherbert (The newe boke of iustices of peas, made by Anthony Fitzherbard iudge, lately translated out of Frenche into Englyshe, which she signed as "Elysabeth Pykerynge late wyfe to R. Redman," and the offyce of sh[y]reffes, bailliffes of liberties, escheatours co[n]stables and coroners, where she gives her name in the colophon as "Elysabeth Pykerynge wydo to Robert Redman"). Yolande Bonhomme, widow of the French printer Kerver, was already printing in Paris under her maiden name; Hugh William Davies cites Bonhomme and two other women, Charlotte Guillard and Claudine Carcand, "respectively the widows of Kerver, Rembolt, Nourry," (94) as "French ladies [who] invariably retained their maiden names" when they printed. Davies (who does not address Elizabeth Pickering's case) suggests that the choice of name reflected class, and he quotes Camden's Remaines for the information that in France and the Netherlands "the 'better sort' of women" used their maiden names. But Davies adds Camden's observation that this was a custom that would probably not be well received in England: "I feare husbands will not like this note, for that some of their dames may bee ambitiously over-pert and too-too forward to imitate it." (95) Whatever led Elizabeth Pickering to publish under her maiden name, her choice was not repeated later in the Tudor-Stuart era by any of the other widows who continued their husband's printing activity.

There is no way of knowing whether Elizabeth was able to read and correct proof, but when it came to printing law books all conscientious printers tried to employ someone from the legal profession for this task. It is probable that she ran the bookselling aspect of the business. And, of course, most important of all for everyone in the shop would have been the economic impact of her decisions concerning what books to print.

All of the books Elizabeth published had already been published by her husband, but the ones she chose suggest that she selected her texts with caution. Redman had specialized to a great extent in law books--a logical choice given that one of the gates to the Inner and Middle Temple lay almost directly across the street from his shop, while Lincoln's Inn lay not too far behind it in the north. But aside from printing works that would find a ready market in the law students so close by, Redman also printed others. There was an Herbal and the much-printed Seynge of Urynes, both books that Elizabeth chose to republish. Robert Redman had also, however, issued a number of books that closely reflected the religious upheaval of the 1530s--small books of prayers in English, a commentary in English on St. Paul's letter to the Ephesians, an edition of Erasmus' translation of the New Testament in English and Latin, and an English version of the Bible which Redman printed together with Thomas Petyt for Thomas Berthelet. Elizabeth republished none of these works. The dangers involved in printing were brought very close to home, indeed, shortly after Redman died; at the end of December 1540 Richard Bankes and Richard Grafton were ordered to appear before the Privy Council for having printed ballads about Thomas Cromwell. (96) In his defense, Bankes said that despite the fact that his name appeared in the colophons not he, but Robert Redman, had printed them. There appear to have been no dire consequences for Bankes, but Grafton was sent to the Fleet for his role in the affair, where he remained for several months. If Elizabeth was interrogated about her husband's role in printing the offensive ballads, there is no record; but the episode must have set her on her guard. The first book Elizabeth issued when she assumed control of the Redman press was the Standish treatise referred to above, which treated the death of the Protestant martyr Robert Barnes, who was burned at Smithfield. It may be significant that, after Bankes and Grafton were ordered before the Privy Council, Elizabeth never again issued books dealing with controversial issues. In a period when Henry VIII's stance on religious writings was far from trustworthy, she issued only the non-polemical books of health mentioned above and the kinds of law books her husband had specialized in: abridgements of the statutes, her two editions of the popular Fitzherbert, her book on local courts, and yet another edition of Magna Carta. This latter work deserves some additional comment. As the STC entry notes, her edition of Magna Carta reprints Redman's 1534 edition, but with omissions and additions. (97) Moreover, though it was not unusual for publishers to seek customers by advertising that their books were "Newly correctyd," Elizabeth's edition appears with an address "To the reder" that goes one step further:
 Here hast thou gentyl reader the lawes of Magna Carta with dyvers
 other olde statutes of this realme conteyned in thys boke / which
 though it were ons imprynted afore / yet what through mystakynge of
 the translator, and what through neglyge[n]ce of the prynter, there
 escaped sundry apparent faultes, whiche nowe in this seconde prynt
 are well weedyd out.

Magna Carta had been issued a number of times before 1540, and Elizabeth's edition does not name the printer accused here of negligence. But the two editions that appeared in English before this edition were printed by Robert Wyer and Robert Redman.

When Randolph Cholmeley died, he bequeathed most of his law books to the institution where both he and William Cholmeley had received their legal training:
 Item to the companie of Linckolns Inne Fitzherbertes abridgment in
 one volume and the calender therto Belonginge to remaine in the
 Librarie there to the com[m]oditie of the studentes of the saide
 howse.... Item I will and devise that all the residewe of my Bookes
 of the Lawes of this Realme shalbe and remaine in the saide Librarie
 to thuse and com[m]moditie of the companie of the saide howse if the
 governers of the same howse doe take such goode and diverse order
 that the same Librarie and Bookes may be saved and preserved in
 good order to the profytt of the saide companye or elce I will that
 this my gifie and deuise touchinge the same Bookes be voide. (98)

Thanks to two catalogues made for Lincoln's Inn in the nineteenth century, the books contained in Randolph Cholmeley's bequest can be traced today at the library. (99) Except for the edition of Fitzherbert that Cholmeley specifically names in his will, these are manuscripts and printed yearbooks (many of these printed by Robert Redman). None of the books in this bequest were printed by his wife.

Thanks largely to her second and her fourth husbands, Elizabeth Pickering had a more-documented life than most of the women who lived and worked in Tudor times: but it is a life that for the historian has to be largely constructed from the writings left by, or about, the men in her life. Her decision to carry on printing after Robert Redman's death shows determination; the books she chose to publish indicate that she also exercised caution. She has a place in the history of printing as the first native-born Englishwoman known to have printed books; but archival material about the people in her circle further suggests that her impact on publishing history was not limited to the books she signed. The documents examined here point to interconnections of finance, friends, and family interests that affected the business of law-printing well after Elizabeth Pickering had ceased printing. Her story is only partially visible here, and leaves many questions (such as her date of birth, education, and language skills) still unanswered. But her story also opens up questions about the books and activities of other printers, and the interrelations between them and the legal community in the Tudor period.


Appendix 1


Husband 1: Jackson (Christian name and date of death unknown). Two daughters: Luce (Lucy) Jackson (marries John Peighan). Elizabeth Jackson (marries William Wombwell).

Husband 2: Robert Redman (d. October 1540). Redman's children from prior marriage: (death of prior wife recorded as occurring during the church year that started on Michaelmas 1536 and ended on Michaelmas 1537): Henry Smyth's wife (?). Mildred Redman (married Edward Hanbury--February 1544). Katherine Redman (?). Mice Redman (?). Redman's children from marriage to Elizabeth: Katherine Redman (?) (dead in childhood). Mice Redman (?) (married William Hylton--December 1556).

Husband 3: William Cholmeley (d. 1546). (E. Picketing and W. Cholmeley married 1541). No children surviving infancy.

Husband 4: Randolph Cholmeley (d. 1563). No children.

Appendix 2


BL or F indicates items checked at the British library or at the Folger Library. ESTC (Electronic Short Title Catalogue) provides page or leaf numbers for other publications.

A. Dated:

1. STC 23210: A lytle treatyse composed by Iohn Sta[n]dysshe ... againste the [pro]testacion of Robert barnes at ye time of his dethe. 1540. ("Elisabeth Pykerynge Viduae ... Roberti Redmani"). [128] p.; 8 [degrees]. (F)

2. STC 10970: The newe Boke of Iustices of peas made by Anthony Fitzherbard iudge.... Title page: 29 Dec. 1540; colophon 1541. ("Elysabeth Pykerynge late wyfe to Robert Redman"). 169 [+1] leaves; 8 [degrees]. (BL)

B. Undated:

1. STC 9535: abregement of the statutes xxiii Henry viii. ("Elisabeth late wyfe to Robert Redman"). [24] p.; 8[degrees].

2. STC 9543: abregement of the statutes of [sic] made xxxii Henry viii. ("Elysabeth late wyfe to Robert Redman"). [28] p.; 8[degrees].

3. STC 7716: The Maner of Kepynge a courte baron and a Lete. ("per me Elisabeth Pykerynge viduam ... Roberti Redmani"). vii, [27] leaves; 8[degrees]. (BL).

4. STC 9275: The Great Charter called in latyn Magna Carta. ("Elisabeth wydow of Robert Redman"). [4], 211, [5] leaves; 8[degrees]. (BL, F; pagination error at 177 [printed as 185] is carried forward).

5. STC 10985: ... the office of sh[y]reffes, bailliffes of liberties, escheatours co[n]stables and coroners. ("Elysabeth Pykerynge wydo to Robert Redman"). [164] p.; 8[degrees].

6. STC 18219: Myrrour or Glasse of Helth. ("Elysabeth late wyfe vnto Robert Redman"). [124] p.; 8[degrees]. (BL)

7. STC 22155: The seynge of urynes of all the couloures that urynes be of. ("Elysabeth late wyfe vnto Robert Redman"). [96] p.; 8[degrees].

8. STC 13175.7: A boke of the propertyes of herbes the whiche is called an Herbal. ("Elisabeth late wyfe to Robert Redman'). [152] p.; 8[degrees].

C. Uncertain:

1. STC 20901: Returna Breuium. Colophon attributes to Robert Redman, 6 May 1541. [24] p.; 8[degrees].

2. STC 15584.7: Paruus libellus continens formas multarum rerum [Carta Feodi]. Colophon attributes to Robert Redman, 1541.42 [+2] p.; 8[degrees]. (BL)

3. STC 9542.3: The abregement of the statutes of Anno xxxj Henrici viij. [16] p.; 8[degrees].

Appendix 3


STC provides numbers and dates; as the editors have indicated, the dates of the yearbooks in particular are conjectural.

A. Smyth and Middleton's yearbooks:

Smyth (1543): 9906.3:1 Richard III 9913.5:1 Richard III 9929.3:1-8 Henry VII

Smyth (1544): 9619(d?): 1 Henry VI 9627(d?): 2 Henry VI 9643(d?): 7 Henry VI 9649(d?): 8 Henry VI 9660(d?): 10 Henry VI 9930.3(d?): 9 Henry VII 9931.3(d?): 12 Henry VII 9934.3(d?): 21 Henry VII 9946.9(d?): 18-19 Henry VIII 9954.7(d?): 26 Henry VIII 9961.7(d?): 27 Henry VIII

Smyth (1545): 9633(d?): 3 Henry VI 9638: 4 Henry VI 9653(d?): 9 Henry VI 9665(d?): 11 Henry VI 9932.5(d?): 14 Henry VII 9933.5(d?): 15 Henry VII 9946.3(d?): 14 Henry VIII

Middleton (1542): 9751(d?): 36 Henry VI 9765(d?): 39 Henry VI 9821(d?): 8 Edward IV

Middleton (1543: no yearbooks) Middleton (1544): 9670(d?): 12 Henry VI 9722(d?): 30-31 Henry VI 9727(d?): 32 Henry VI 9756.5(d?): 37 Henry VI 9773(d?): 1 Edward IV

Middleton (1545): 9676(d?): 14 Henry VI

Middleton (1546: no yearbooks) Middleton (1547): 9620(d?): 1 Henry VI 9626:2 Henry VI 9644(d?): 7-8 Henry VI 9659(d?): 10 Henry VI 9687(d?): 19 Henry VI 9791(d?): 4 Edward IV 9890(d?): 22 Edward IV 9929.5:1-8 Henry VII 9930.5(d?): 9 Henry VII 9931.5(d?): 12 Henry VII 9934.5(d?): 21 Henry VII 9947(d?): 18-19 Henry VIII 9955(d?): 26 Henry VIII 9962(d?): 27 Henry VIII

B. The following are the books, other than Littleton's Tenures, Natura Brevium, and the yearbooks, published by both Smyth and Middleton.

Smyth (1545): 10953: Diversite de courts 19632:....John Perkins

Smyth (1546): 3328: Book of Precedents and evidence 7699:....Exchequer 7718: Maner of kepynge a court baron

7733.3: Modus tenendi vnum hundredum 9293.6: Institutions or principall lawes and statutes of England 15586: Paruus libellus (Carta Feodi) 10952: Middleton (1543) 19631: Middleton (1541)

3327.9: Middleton (1545) 7698: Middleton (1544d?) 7716.5: Middleton (1543); 7717 (1544); 7720.4 (1547) 7731 : Middleton (1544); 7734a (1547) 9292: Middleton (1543); 9293 (1544); 9293.5 (1545); 9293.8 (1547) 15585: Middleton (1543); 15585.5 (1545)

Intrationum liber omnibus legum Anglie (14117) is entered in the STC with the same number for both Smyth and Middleton for 1545 and 1546, and with a note in the addenda and corrigenda (vol. 3): "One copy has cancel slips on tp and in colophon with imprint W. Middilton and colophon dated 1 May 1546."

* I am grateful to the Corporation of London Record Office, Guildhall Library, and the Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn for permission to use the manuscript material I cite here. Of the many people who have so generously provided me with their help and comments, I particularly wish to thank Jim Sewell at the Corporation of London Record Office, Dr. Guy Holborn of the Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn, Peter Blayney, and Betsy Walsh and Heather Wolfe, both at the Folger Shakespeare Library. The following abbreviations are used in this paper: CLRO: Corporation of London Record Office; CP: Court of Common Pleas; GL: Guildhall Library; HR: Court of Husting Roll; Cal HR: Calendar to the Court of Husting Roll; PC: Privy Council; PCC: Prerogative Court of Canterbury; PRO: Public Record Office; and STC: A Short-title Catalogue of Books Printed in England, Scotland, & Ireland and of English Books Printed Abroad, 1475-1640/first compiled by A. W. Pollard and G. R. Redgrave. 1976-1991. 2nd ed., rev. and enl. Ed. W. A. Jackson, F. S. Ferguson, and Katharine F. Pantzer. 3 vols. London.

(1) Caxton's will has not been found, but it is dear that he did not leave the press to his daughter or to her husband Gerald Crop. Caxton did leave his daughter books that he had published, and right to possession of these was contested by her estranged husband, in protracted proceedings that apparently held up the settlement of Caxton's estate until 1496, when a settlement was made in which Crop was to receive "xxti prynted legendes at xiijs iiijd a legend" (Crotch, clxiii). On the dispute between Caxton's daughter and her husband see Nixon, 314-17; Painter, 188-91.

(2) Gee, 2000a, 41; 2000b, 83. I am grateful to Peter Blayney for calling Gee's work to my attention.

(3) The Church Wardens' Account Book is the ledger in which all movements of parish funds (incoming as well as outgoing) are recorded. The earliest extant register for this parish is the "Parish Register General of St. Dunstans in the West, 1558-1631" on microfilm (MS 10342) at Guildhall Library; entries begin with 29 November 1558. A note made in the twentieth century explains the illegibility of the first fifty pages as due to decay and "a mouse, or mice, [that] had nibbled at the projecting edges."

(4) GL MS 2968/1/fol. 98r. The yearly entries of the Church Wardens' Account Book begin at Michaelmas (29 September) and are recorded in regnal years, which in the reign of Henry VIII began on 22 April (his reign began on 22 April 1509). Though Redman's funeral money is entered for the church year Michaelmas 31 Henry VIII-Michaelmas 32 Henry VIII (29 September 1539-29 September 1540), Redman in fact died about a month after Michaelmas 1540. He made his will on 21 October 1540; the probate entry, its date written out in Latin, gives the calendar date on which the will was proved (4 November 1540). This calendar date means that Redman's funeral should have been recorded for the following year (Michaelmas 32 Henry VIII-Michaelmas 33 Henry VIII). The continuities of hand and ink indicate that the entries were not made singly; added to such inconfutable signs of misdating as recording Redman's death under the regnal year that in fact preceded it, the probability is that the annual accounts were entered some time after the end of the fiscal year being reported (with some inexactness of memory consequently slipping into the register). Peter Blayney observes that though the account "claims to coincide with the churchwardens' year in office... many years I have checked include sums that could not possibly have been received before the closing Michaelmas. So the outgoing wardens must have continued to keep the books until they actually got round to compiling their formal account, weeks or even months after leaving office" (letter to author, 29 January 2003).

(5) GL MS 2968/1/fol. 87r. The death of the wife who preceded Elizabeth is registered for the church year Michaelmas 28 Henry VIII-Michaelmas 29 Henry VIII (29 September 1536-29 September 1537).

(6) Four years (instead of the three years separating the two funerals in the church ledger) makes ample allowance for the erroneous entry of Redman's funeral under 31-32 Henry VIII.

(7) On the operations of customary law when freemen died, see Brandon, 1-5.

(8) PRO, PCC wills, Prob 11/28/15. William Herbert says that Joseph Ames saw the will, and reports the amount destined for the poor as "forty-pence"; but the copy made for probate gives the amount not as pence, but shillings. See Ames, 1785-90, 1:385. Either Ames or the earlier scribe was in error, due no doubt to the similarity between "d" and "s" when written in final position. The customary third destined by the dying man in medieval times for the good of his soul in pios usus was not strictly observed by Redman, as it was not by most of his contemporaries; as Swinburne explains, "of this distribution of the residue (in pios usus) there is but small use in these dayes, as well for that the residue is commonly left to the executors, as also for that the executors are afraid that some unknowne debts due by the testator, should afterward arise, and so the executor be compelled to pay the same our of his own purse" (pt. 6:89).

(9) Noorthouck, 539; for a description with illustrating cases see Carlton, 42-55.

(10) The Repertories record the transactions that came to the attention of the London Court of Aldermen, and are conserved at the CLRO.

(11) Peighan's surname is spelled variably in the CLRO documents as Peighan, Peighen, Paine, Payne, Peyne, and Peyghan.

(12) CLRO: Pep. 10, fol. 190r. The inventory does not survive. Records of inventories are conserved in the CLRO Common Sergeant's Books from 1586.

(13) Ibid., fol. 194v.

(14) CLRO: Journal 14, 1536-43, fol. 243v.

(15) Carlton, 14.

(16) CLRO: Journal 14, 1536-43, fol. 243v. This page is reproduced (fig. 1) with permission of the Corporation of London Record Office.

(17) Ibid., Rep. 11, fol. 35v.

(18) Ibid., fol. 46r.

(19) Ibid., fol. 97v.

(20) Ibid., fol. 97v.

(21) Ibid., fol. 100r.

(22) Ibid., fol. 103v.

(23) Ibid., Rep. 16, fol. 114r; quoted in Carlton, 45, who notes that over the years the alderman vacillated about whether jewelry should be excluded.

(24) GL MS 2968/1/fol. 61v.

(25) PRO: E 36/142/8.

(26) PRO: E 179/238/98. Duffs list of the valuations made on London stationers for this subsidy permits useful comparison of Redman's economic position with that of others in the trade; it does not list the taxes Redman was assessed. See Duff, 1908, 261. For explanations of the tax rates levied on moveable goods in 1524-25, see Jurkowski, Smith, and Crook, xliii; Hoyle, 1994a, 46.

(27) PRO: E 179/144/103.

(28) Lang, li-lii.

(29) The assessment that year was made on every man, unmarried woman, and child whose value was considered to be in excess of twenty pounds. This was the entrance level for an English person in the assessment of 1540-41; the level was much lower (1 [pounds sterling]) for aliens. Regarding the liability of children to the 1541 subsidy, Lang notes that "in practice children with living fathers do not seem to have been liable and only the estates of orphans were assessed" (xx).

(30) The names of those guaranteeing the inheritance of Redman's orphan are illegible in the rolls; Lang gives them as "William [ ], grocer, John [ ], [ ]" (313). The names can almost certainly be filled in from the entries for 15 February 1541 in Rep. 10 which, as has been seen above, records the orphans' sureties as William Mery, John Fen, Thomas Norton, and Henry Myller.

(31) Lang explains the fiscal timing: there was "a legal maximum of sixteen days (5 to 20 October) for the assessors to do their valuing and assessing, for the commissioners to hear appeals from those who claimed to be overvalued, and for the estreats for the petty collectors to be drafted. The indentures between the commissioners and the petty collectors were actually dated 24 October 1541" (xxvi). The estreats of the assessment were returned to the Exchequer before 16 November (ibid.).

(32) Ibid., xxxv.

(33) The family name is now most usually spelled "Cholmondeley," but "Cholmeley" is the most frequent spelling in documents referring to William, and is the spelling often--but not always--given for his kinsman Randolph, who later in his life seemed to prefer "Cholmondeley." Variant spellings of the family name are Chumley, Chomlie, Chomley, Cholmely, Cholmeley, Chomlie, Cholmelie, Cholmondley, Cholmondely, and Cholmondeley.

(34) Ames, 1749, 159 and 217.

(35) PRO: Prob 11/31/7.

(36) The lack of a first name has made tracing Jackson impossible. No one named Jackson appears in the extant subsidy rolls for St. Dunstans in the West. Two men named "Jacson" were, however, assessed in 16 Henry VIII in the parish of St. Clement Danes, which was Redman's parish until he moved inside the city limits: "George Jacson" (valued at only 40s. and taxed 12d.) and "Rauffe Jacson" (worth 20 [pounds sterling], and taxed 20s.). Given that there are no records of orphanage sureties for the Jackson girls, Elizabeth's first husband either was not a Londoner, or the estate he left was not large enough to concern the court--a consideration that (if Elizabeth's husband was one of these two men) makes George the likelier contender. See PRO: E 179/238/98.

(37) PRO: Prob 11/31/7. The singular "meassuage" is strange, since the will refers above to "meassuages," and these were undoubtedly the several messuages included in the HR transactions examined later in this essay. "Without" is also probably an error made in the PCC copy, since part of the usual formula in conveyancing is "with appurtenances, etc." (my emphasis).

(38) The Records of the Honorable Society of Lincoln's Inn, 1:43.

(39) GL MS 2968/1/fol. 105v.

(40) Ibid., 101v.

(41) There is no funeral entry in the Church Wardens' Account Book that identifies Katherine Redman by name. We know from the Court of Aldermen's records cited above that Katherine died sometime between February 1541 and September 1544. The St. Dunstans funeral entry fits into this time span, but uncertainty perforce remains whether it was indeed Katherine who was "the daughter of mastress Cholmeley" (see append. 1).

(42) The Court of Husting Rolls are held at the Corporation of London Record Office. As CLRO "Information Sheet 8" explains, the Court of Husting was a civic court which "transacted some administrative business (such as the enrolment of deeds and wills and settling legal disputes). The Court of Aldermen developed from the administrative side of the Court of Husting. The Court of Common Council grew from summonses from the Aldermen for commoners to help them to make decisions."

(43) Letters and Papers Foreign and Domestic of the Reign of Henry VIII. 1509-47, 18:201-02.

(44) PRO: Prob 11/31/7.

(45) Ibid.

(46) The others were Rauffe Rokeby, admitted to Lincoln's Inn in February 1528-29, William Peyghan (the man named in Redman's will, and a kinsman to the lawyer, John Paine [who became Luce Jackson's husband, and was mentioned twice in Randolph Cholmeley's will]), William's kinsman "Randulph Cholmondeley," Mathewe Wryghte, and Richard Tuttye.

(47) Byrom, 202.

(48) PRO: PC 2/1/479. The eight printers sent to prison on 8 April were "Whitchurche, Beddle, Grafton, Middelton, Maylour, Petye, Lant and Keyle." The five who appeared on 22 April were "Beddell, Myddelton, Kele, Lant, and Maylar." (Whitchurch[e], Grafton, and Petyt [Petye] remained in confinement.)

(49) "The boke sellars to the nombre off xxvte appering before the Cownsell wer bounde in recognisance off on hundreth pounde the pece to present in writing on Wednesday next ensuing the date hereoff as well what Englisshe bokes they have bowght within theise iij yeres, as what bokes allso they have solde in grosse wythin the sayde tyme; and what Englisshe bokes off ill matter they have knowen to have been browght in to the Realme and by whome and farther to stande to all suche fynes as shall be unto them appoynted for bying or selling off the sayde bokes ageynst the proclamation" (PRO: PC 2/1/483).

(50) Ibid., 484.

(51) CLRO: Rep. 19, fol. 210r.

(52) PRO: E 179/144/123. William Cholmeley also appears in this list; his value was set at 300 pounds, for which he was assessed ten pounds. (53) Hoyle, 1994a, 15-16.

(54) PRO: CP 25/2/27/187, 36 Hen VIII, Hil.

(55) IND 1/17218/fol. 253r [indexes of notes to fines 25 Henry VIII-Easter 37 Henry VIII]. See also Hardy and Page, 2:62.

(56) PRO: CP 25/2/27/187, 36 Hen VIII, Hil.

(57) On the executor's obligations to creditors, and the executor's liability to legal action for the recovery of debt, see Swinburne, pt. 6, 34, 48, 54; Holdsworth, 3:586-87.

(58) When a testator has left a will and appointed an executor, it may still become necessary to grant administration of the estate if the executor has died or declined to act, leaving a situation of de bonis non administratis (unadministered goods). See "Administration, letters of" in David M. Walker, The Oxford Companion to Law. Jacob's Law Dictionary (s.v. "Administrator") has a two-page entry listing the degrees of family relationship and the nature of creditors' interests that qualified applicants to apply for administration. Randolph Cholmeley's requests for administration are recorded in the margins of Redman's and William Cholmeley's wills (respectively, PRO: Prob 11/28/15 and PRO: Prob 11/31/7).

(59) PRO: Prob 6/3/171. The request for administration by Alice Redman, alias Hilton, is (like Randolph's request) also recorded in the margin of Redman's will (PRO: Prob 11/28/ 15). In the margin of the microfilm copy of her commission of administration (PRO: Prob 6/ 3/171) is a note employing the abbreviations common in legal tracts written in Latin, with the final letter (or letters) illegible: "nulla bona ad mantis ad[minis] tr[ix] p[er]ventl?r]." This would seem to be "perveniuntur," in which case this would read "no goods are to be coming to the hands of the administrix."

(60) PRO: Prob 11/31/28.

(63) Peter Blayney suggests this possibility, since "in-law" also applied to steprelations in early modern English usage; Randolph Cholmeley's reference to his "doughter-in lawe" will appear later in this sense. If a steprelation to Redman was being indicated, we cannot determine whether Smyth's wife or Henry Smyth himself was Redman's stepchild. If Smyth's wife were Redman's daughter, on the other hand, the possibility exists that she had been "advanced" upon marriage to Henry, and had therefore already received her portion, although this would have had to be greater than that which came in the end to her sisters for her not to be named in the city's orphans' accounts.

(62) PRO: Prob 11/46/23.

(63) Many of the books Smyth issued appear to have been printed for him by a Dutch immigrant named Nicholas Hill, creating uncertainty in the STC's entry as to whether to consider Smyth as a printer or as a bookseller: the editors list both activities, therefore, with a question mark.

(64) Pynson's publicly proclaimed lack of respect for the quality of Redman's printing and his attack on him as "Robert Rudeman" make it extremely ironic that Redman not only entered into possession of Pynson's type, but came to occupy the Pynson premises. Redman's colophons leave some doubt whether his move to the George next to St. Dunstans preceded Pynson's death or not, though such a transfer before Pynson's death appears most unlikely. The sale of the type would have been effected by Pynson's heirs (his daughter and her husband John Hawkins), who completed the printing of Palsgrave's Lesclarissement de la Langue Francoyse (for which Pynson had a contract) before abandoning the printing business. For an English translation of the Latin letter in which Pynson attacked Redman (in Pynson's 1525 edition of Littleton's Tenures newly and moost truly correctyd and amended), see Timperley, 246.

(65) Sir Thomas Littleton's Tenures (Smyth-STC 15732.7, Middleton-STC 15733); Natura Brevium (Smyth-STC 18397, Middleton-STC 18396 [1545?]).

(66) STC, 1:437.

(67) To compare Smyth and Middleton's yearbooks and other legal publications see append. 3.

(68) PRO: Prob 11/31/39. Tottell's freedom is transcribed by Welch, 4. Byrom notes that "Middleton's widow (or William Powell) carried out his wishes regarding the making free of his apprentices" (200).

(69) STC 18408. The British Library catalogue has two separate entries for this book. One attributes it without question to Petyt; the other reproduces the information given in the colophon, but inserts "[by R. Tottell?]."

(70) The full tides as given by Herbert are "'Io Vasse his iudgment of Urines, translated by Humpf. Lloyd.' Octavo. 1551" and "'A Manifest detection of the moost vile and detestable vse of Dice play' ... 32 leaves. 'Imprinted--in Flete strete betwyne the two Temple gates, by R. Tottyl. An. 1552.' Octavo. 1552." See Ames, 1785-90, 2:807.

(71) William Powell appears in the rolls of the newly-instituted Court of Augmentations on 14 May 1548 for the purchase of twenty years remaining from the sixty-year lease on "the George" originally granted to Richard Pynson in 1507 (see PRO: E 315/68/47; see also Williams, 2:1821). The Court of Husting Roll indicates that by 1568 Powell shared interest in that property with three other men: a deed dated 22 January 10 Elizabeth (i.e., 1568 n.s.) records that the four men were ceding "a messuage called 'le George,' in par. of St. Dunstan, West" (see CLRO HR 255/123; also Cal HR vol. 6: Deeds and wills 1446-1568, 255/123). The importance of this deed will become clearer when the figure of William Tolley is discussed. In a separate transaction on 14 July 1568 Powell divested himself of "shops with backrooms etc., in Fleet Street, par. of St. Dunstan" (CLRO: Cal HR 255/160). For other property transactions involving Powell towards the end of his career, see also CLRO: 1569: HR 256/48, 70; 1572: HR 257/46; 1573: HR 258/32. The last book issued by Powell is an almanac (STC 511.5) printed in 1570.

(72) Thomas Norton, quoted in Arber, 2:775; Byrom, 220.

(73) It should be recalled that the monarch who granted the patent was a fervent Protestant. The patent, recorded on 12 April 1553 (PRO: C 66/853/12), was granted by Edward VI several months before his death. Some book historians mistakenly report that it was Mary who granted Tottell's patent.

(74) Peck, 138. On monopoly-patents, see Bindoff, 1981, 288-92; Plant, 100-15; Hulme, 141-54.

(75) Plomer, 228.

(76) PRO: CP 40/1156/525.

(77) The yearbooks inventoried in PRO: CP 40/1156/525, given in the order in which they appear there, are aligned here with all their publishers up to 1553, as provided by the STC: 4 Edward IV: Pynson-Middleton; 3 Edward IV: Pynson-Middleton; 11 Edward IV: Pynson-Redman-Powell; 7 Edward IV: Pynson-Redman; 10 Edward IV: de Worde-Pynson-Redman; 22 Edward IV: Pynson(?)-Middleton; 11 Edward IV (a repeat): Pynson-Redman-Powell; 20 Edward IV: Pynson-Redman; 3 Edward IV (a repeat): Pynson-Middleton; 8 Henry IV: Pynson; 9 Edward IV: Pynson-Redman; 7 Edward III: Pynson; 24 Edward III: Redman; 3 Edward III (not in STC); 9 Edward III (not in STC); 14 Edward III (not in STC); 21 Henry VI: Pynson-Redman; 22 Henry VI: Pynson-Redman; 32 Henry VI: Redman-Middleton, 37 Henry VI: Machlin-Pynson-Middleton; 38 Henry VI: Redman; 39 Henry VI: Pynson-Middleton; 36 Henry VI: Machlin-Pynson-Middleton; 30 Edward IV [sic]; 7 Edward IV (a repeat): Pynson-Redman; 21 Edward IV: Pynson-Redman; 2 Edward IV: Pynson-Redman; 12 Henry VII: Redman-Pynson-Smyth-Middleton; 14 Henry VII: Berthelet-Smyth-Powell; 21 Henry VII: Redman-Smyth-Middleton; 14 Henry VIII: Redman-Pynson-Smyth.

(78) Plomer, 229.

(79) CLRO: Cal HR 255/123.

(80) Arber, 1:32.

(81) Greg, 2.

(82) Ibid. Peter Blayney's The Stationers' Company before the Charter, 1403-1557 appeared while this essay was being prepared for press; see 41-42 for the suggestion that Elizabeth's prior husband, William, might have played an even earlier role than Randolph in seeking the company's charter.

(83) Randolph Cholmeley entered Lincoln's Inn in 27 Henry VIII (on 22 June 1535; see The Records of the Honorable Society of Lincoln's Inn, 1:49). Shortly after being called to the bar, he was named the King's Attorney in North Wales in 1543; a member of Parliament from 1547, he was made an Undersheriff of London in March 1553-54, and on 8 October 1554 a letter from Queen Mary was entered in Rep. 13 accepting Randolph Cholmeley in the office of Recorder of London (CLRO: Rep. 13, fol. 210r). Biographical notices of Randolph Cholmeley's career are in Beaven, 1:289, and Bindoff, 1982, 1:642.

(84) CLRO: Rep. 13, fol. 461r.

(85) GL MS 30719/1/87v: "The Worshipful Company of Skinners, Register of Apprentices and Freedoms 1496-1602."

(86) CLRO: Rep. 13, fol. 498v. Before this date Hilton's attendance on the court is registered for 26 January, 28 January, 4 February, 9 February, 11 February, 16 February, 18 February, 23 February, 16 March, 18 March, 23 March, 30 March, 1 April, and 8 April. His presence is not recorded for the sessions of 9 March or 6 April.

(87) CLRO: HR 251/43. "Ranulphe Cholmeley sergeant at law & Recorder of the city of London, and Thomas Lodge."

(88) CLRO: HR 252/44. The indenture recorded here indicates that Randolph's brother, Sir Hugh, had been the purchaser of the reversions to the properties passed two years earlier in the names of Blakwell and Coyes. The interest formerly held by Lucy Peighen's sister Elizabeth in these properties is mentioned, but Alice Hilton's is not: "Witnesseth that wher Elizabeth Cholmeley late wife of Ranulphe Cholmeley late Recorder of London esquier was in her lif tyme by good conveyaunce in Law lawfully seased in her Demeane as of freehold for terme of her naturall lif of and in two ten[eme]nts and four messuages with thappurtenances sett lyinge and being in the parish of St. Dunstons in the west in the ward of ffarringdon without of London The reversion and remaynder therof after her deceasse unto the same Lucy and unto Elizabeth Wymble now the wife of William Wymble gent and sister to the said Lucy by like conveyaunce belonginge and aperteynynge which Elizabeth Cholmeley is now departed out of this lif The Interest title and Estate of the wch Elizabeth Wymble the said Sir Hewghe Cholmeley by good and sufficient conveyaunce and assuraunce in Lawe now hath...."

(89) Machyn, 294, and note on 392.

(90) Ibid., 306-07. The elegy did not appear in any of the editions published in John Stow's lifetime. It was one of A[nthony] M[unday]'s additions in 1618 (742): "Ranulphus Cholmeley clara hic cum conjuge dormit. / Binaque Connubij corpora iuncta fide. / Haec brevis urna tenet veros disiungere amantes / Nec potuit mortis vis truculenta nimis. / Justitia insignis nulli pietate secundus, / Ranulphus clara stirpe creatus erat. / Non deerant Artes Generoso pectore dignae, / Doctus and Anglorum Iure peritus erat. / Ille Recordator Londini huic extitit urbis, / Et miseris semper mite levamen erat. / Huius acerba viri Londinum funera deflet, / Dicens, iustitiae vive perennis honor. Obijt 25 die Aprilis, An. 1563."

(91) GL MS 18675, "New Church Building Act," 1.

(92) Ibid., 36-37: "The several Monuments, Gravestones, and Monumental Inscriptions which shall be removed in taking down the present Church, and in altering the present Burial Grounds, shall be preserved and kept ... and shall be replaced and fixed in the said new Church"; the memorial stone may be underneath the few yards of scaffolding along a portion of one of the chancel walls, but it is not among any of the memorials now visible in the upper sanctuary. The church crypt was converted in the first part of the twentieth century into a "Drill Hall for Physical Exercise for Scholars of St. Dunstans Day Schools and Headquarters" for the parish's Boy Scouts and Girl Guides. See ibid., Crypt papers Bundle (unnumbered loose paper).

(93) The edition Robert Redman "signed" appears in the British Library catalogue with the doubtful attribution of 1540. The edition that the STC tentatively attributes to Elizabeth in 1541 shows up in their catalogue, without question marks, as printed in 1540, but the entry is tentative about its attribution to Robert. The British Library's entries are thus aligned with Cowley's findings, though their catalogue does not indicate the possibility he left open that Elizabeth may have issued the reprint. The STC's uncertainty is understandable. Cowley rightly points out the difficulties of dating reprints in which differences "are often minute" (1931, 140). In the table of all the abridgements which he provides, the two impressions made by the Redman press for 31 Henry VIII are both attributed to Robert Redman (ibid., 147). In the discursive descriptions which follow both are tentatively dated, as "[1540?]"; one of these entries also indicates uncertainty, however, about the publisher, given indecisively as "[R. or E. Redman]" (ibid., 159). Though Katherine Pantzer does not address this particular problem, her study illuminates the rationale for printing, and continuing to reprint, the statutes; she also notes the particular bibliographic difficulties "for statutes after Henry VIII" (95, n. 32). Ross does not address these questions of doubtful attribution.

(94) Davies, 145. The first part of Erdmann's work (see bibliography) concerns women producing books in Belgium, France, Germany, and Italy, but the second part is an extensive bibliography that surveys all areas of women's studies in which England is included.

(95) Ibid.

(96) See Letters and Papers Foreign and Domesric of the Reign of Henry VIII, 1509-47, 16: nos. 349, 366, 422, and 424; Siebert, 29.

(97) Elizabeth Pickering's edition does not contain "The wrytte of consultacion (R. Redman, fol. clix), "Of forstaullers" (R. Redman, fol. clxviii), or "Of weyghts and measures" (R. Redman, fol. clxviii); in place of the latter two she printed "An ordynaunce for bakers, bruers and other Vytallers" (Picketing, fol. clxxiii). Picketing also included "Amortment of lands" (fol. clxxviii) and "Quo warranto the thyrde" (fol. clxxxvi), not in Redman's 1534 edition.

(98) PRO: Prob 11/46/23.

(99) Hunter, 135-37 (Items 11-16); Spilsbury, 127-28. I am very grateful to Mr. Guy Holborn, Librarian of Lincoln's Inn, for his patient help in checking the Cholmondeley bequest, and in particular for calling Spilsbury's account of the yearbooks to my attention.


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Walker, David M. 1980. The Oxford Companion to Law. Oxford.

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"The Worshipful Company of Skinners, Register of Apprentices and Freedoms 1496-1602" (GL MS 30719).
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