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Thursday, 8 January 2015
ESAH Archives: S/LIB/9/26
Essex Society for Archaeology and History
This class of books and papers do not relate directly to the history of the Society but have been deposited by members or their beneficiaries. The index is being made publicly available for the first time. We welcome enquiries from members of the Society.
The Will of Christopher Urswick, d. 1522
Complete transcription running to 12 pages
CHRISTOPHER URSWICK (1448-1522), English diplomatist, was born at Furness in Lancashire and was probably educated at Cambridge. He became chaplain to Margaret, countess of Richmond and Derby, and was employed by her to forward the schemes for securing the English throne for her son, Henry of Richmond, afterwards Henry VII. He crossed from Harfleur to Wales with Henry in August 1485, and was present at the battle of Bosworth; then followed for him a series of ecclesiastical preferments, the most important of which was to the deanery of York. He was sent on several weighty embassies, including one to Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain to arrange the marriage between Prince Arthur and Catherine of Aragon, and another to France in 1492, when he signed the treaty of Etaples. In 1495 he became dean of Windsor, later Rector of Hackney, and he died on the 24th of March 1522. Urswick was very friendly with Erasmus and with Sir Thomas More. He did some building at Windsor, and one of the chapels in St George's chapel there is still called the Urswick chapel. Urswick's kinsman, Sir Thomas Urswick, was a Yorkist partisan, who was recorder of London and chief baron of the exchequer.
He requests burial in the chancel of the church of Hackney. He gives 20s to the Priory at Hatfield Peverel for a “dirige and a masse”, and likewise to the Abbot and Convent at Beeleigh. To the Black Friars of Chelmsford he gives 40s.