The Fieschi Letter/La Lettera Fieschi

On this page you can discover the Fieschi Letter and the remarkable story it tells in great detail.

In questa pagine potete scoprire la Lettera Fieschi e il suo racconto straordinario in dettaglio.

King Edward II’s Odyssey – map and observations

L’Odissea di Re Edoardo II – mappa e osservazioni

Full-page photograph of the Fieschi Letter

We wish to thank the staff of the Archives départementales de l’Hérault, Montpellier, for their kind help and permission to use photographs taken of archival material in their possession.

Ringraziamo gli Archives départementales de l’Hérault, Montpellier, per la grande gentilezza che ci hanno mostrato, e di averci concesso di pubblicare questa fotografia della Lettera Fieschi.

The Fieschi Letter G 1123, Archives départementales de l’Hérault (France)
The Fieschi Letter
G 1123, Archives départementales de l’Hérault (France)

 

Complete transcription of the Fieschi Letter

Trascrizione completa della Lettera Fieschi

About this Transcription of the Fieschi Letter

I have created the following transcription using the the various photographs and latest scanned image kindly supplied to me by the Archives de l’Hérault of Montpellier. Of the (very few) existing transcriptions, only that of Cuttino and Lyman(1) (CL) differs from that of Germain, at least as far as I have seen. A copy of this was posted on our site at the beginning, but errors crept in as a result of digitalization, which compounded original printing errors.

I propose this transcription above all for reasons of utility, as the basis for all textual references from now onwards (form, language, content, etc). I employed the following criteria, as a consequence of certain differences also with CL.

1. Uppercase letters and punctuation inserted, as in the previous ‘historical’ transcriptions. 

2. All abbreviations have been expanded in a homogeneous way. Nevertheless, I have maintained the alternation between cum and con where it is evident from the type of abbreviation or explicit, and I have resolved the isolated abbreviation for conjunctions or prepositions (= cum, con, chon, cun) always as ‘cum’

3. I have maintained the oscillation in the desinences of the cases, also when they denote the destination of movement. I have indicated the final m of the accusative indicating the destination of movement only where an abbreviaiton was possible. 

4. All alterations present in the writing out of the text by the scribe, such as cancellations and additions, are indicated in the footnotes. This is not only for the sake of rigor, but also because I believe they lead to interesting observations, to be explored in the analysis. And naturally, if other people wish to make observations, it will be a pleasure.

Elena Corbellini

Premessa a Trascrizione Lettera Fieschi.

L’ho effettuata sulle diverse foto e sull’ultima scansione fornitami cortesemente dagli Archives de l’Hérault di Montpellier. Confrontata con le altre (poche) edite, delle quali solo quella di Cuttino e Lyman (CL) si differenzia dalla prima di Germain, almeno a quanto ho visto. Una copia di questa era stata data qui all’inizio, ma vi erano entrati anche errori e strani refusi di trasferimento a computer e qualche errore di stampa originario che si è riprodotto.

Per quanto io la proponga soprattutto in funzione di utilità, da tenere come base per riferimenti testuali diversi da ora in poi (forma, lingua, contenuto, ecc.) e sia certamente da migliorare, mi sento in dovere di indicare almeno alcuni criteri che ho seguiti, per via di alcune differenze anche con CL.

1. Normalizzate le maiuscole e inserita la punteggiatura, come nelle precedenti trascrizioni ‘storiche’.

2. Ho sciolte tutte le abbreviazioni in maniera omogenea. Tuttavia ho lasciato l’alternanza cum/ con nelle forme evidenti per tipo di abbreviazione o perché esplicite, e risolta l’abbreviazione isolata per congiunzione o preposizione (= cum, con, chon, cun) sempre in cum.

3. Ho mantenuto le oscillazioni nelle desinenze dei casi, anche per i complementi di luogo. Ho indicato la (m) dell’accusativo di moto a luogo solo dove era possibile un’abbreviazione.

4. Ho messo in nota le alterazioni nella scrittura del testo: cancellazioni, aggiunte. Non solo per un minimo di rigore, ma anche perché mi sembra comportino osservazioni interessanti, che intendo proporre presto. E naturalmente se verranno da altri… sarà un piacere.

Elena Corbellini

English translation of the Fieschi Letter

In the name of the Lord, Amen. That which I heard of the confession of your father I wrote by my own hand and afterwards I took care to make it known to your highness.  First he says that feeling England in subversion against him, afterwards on the admonition of your mother, he withdrew from his family in the castle of the Earl Marshal by the sea, which is called Chepstow. Afterwards, driven by fear, he took a barque with lords Hugh Despenser and the Earl of Arundel and several others and made his way by sea to Glamorgan, and there he was captured, together with the said Lord Hugh and Master Robert Baldock; and they were captured by Lord Henry of Lancaster, and they led him to the castle of Kenilworth, and others were kept elsewhere at various places; and there he lost the crown by the insistence of many. Afterwards you were subsequently crowned on the feast of Candlemas next following. Finally they sent him to the castle of Berkeley. Afterwards the servant who was keeping him, after some little time, said to your father: Lord, Lord Thomas Gurney and Lord Simon Bereford, knights, have come with the purpose of killing you. If it pleases, I shall give you my clothes,  that you may better be able to escape. Then with the said clothes, as night was near, he went out of the prison; and when he had reached the last door without resistance, because he was not recognised, he found the porter sleeping, whom he quickly killed; and having got the keys of the door, he opened the door and went out, with his keeper who was keeping him. The said knights who had come to kill him, seeing that he had thus fled, fearing the indignation of the queen, even the danger to their persons, thought to put that aforesaid porter, his heart having been extracted, in a box, and cunningly presented to the queen the heart and body of the aforesaid porter as the body of your father, and as the body of the said king the said porter was buried in Gloucester. And after he had gone out of the prisons of the aforesaid castle, he was received in the castle of Corfe with his companion who was keeping him in the prisons by Lord Thomas, castellan of the said castle, the lord being ignorant, Lord John Maltravers, lord of the said Thomas, in which castle he was secretly for a year and a half.  Afterwards, having heard that the Earl of Kent, because he said he was alive, had been beheaded, he took a ship with his said keeper and with the consent and counsel of the said Thomas, who had received him, crossed into Ireland, where he was for nine months. Afterwards, fearing lest he be recognised there, having taken the habit of a hermit, he came back to England and landed at the port of Sandwich, and in the same habit crossed the sea to Sluys. Afterwards he turned his steps in Normandy and from Normandy, as many, going across through Languedoc, came to Avignon, where, having given a florin to the servant of the pope, sent by the said servant a document to Pope John, which pope had him called to him, and held him secretly and honourably for a further fifteen days. Finally, after various discussions, all things having been considered, permission having been received, he went to Paris, and from Paris to Brabant, from Brabant to Cologne so that out of devotion he might see The Three Kings, and leaving Cologne he crossed over Germany, that is to say, he headed for Milan in Lombardy, and from Milan he entered a certain hermitage of the castle of Milascio, in which hermitage he stayed for two years and a half; and because war overran the said castle, he changed himself to the castle of Cecima in another hermitage of the diocese of Pavia in Lombardy, and he was in this last hermitage for two years or thereabouts, always the recluse, doing penance and praying to God for you and other sinners.

In testimony of which I caused my seal to be affixed for the consideration of Your Highness. Your Manuele de Fieschi, notary the lord pope, your devoted servant.

Traduzione italiana della Lettera Fieschi

In nome di Dio, amen. Le cose che ascoltai dalla confessione di vostro padre scrissi di mia propria mano e quindi procurai di portare a conoscenza della signoria vostra. Prima dice che, venendo a sapere l’Inghilterra in rivolta contro di lui, a seguito della minaccia di vostra madre, si allontanò dai suoi nel castello del Conte Maresciallo (il Conte di Norfolk) sul mare, che si chiama Gesosta (Chepstow). In seguito, spinto dal timore, salì su una barca con i signori Ugo Dispensario (Hugh Despenser) e il conte di Arundel e alcuni altri, e sbarcò a Glomorga (Glamorgan) sul mare, e qui fu catturato, insieme con il suddetto signor Ugo e maestro Roberto di Baldoh (Baldock) e furono presi dal signor Enrico di Longo Castello (Lancaster); e lo condussero nel castello di Chilongurda (Kenilworth) e altri furono (condotti) altrove a luoghi differenti. E qui perse la corona su richiesta di molti. In seguito, di conseguenza, foste incoronato nella vicina festa di santa Maria della Candelora. Infine lo mandarono al castello di Berchelee (Berkeley). In seguito il servo che lo custodiva, dopo qualche tempo, disse a vostro padre: “ Signore, il signor Thomas de Gornay e il signor Symon Desberfort, cavalieri, vennero per uccidervi. Se siete d’accordo, vi darò i miei vestiti, perché possiate fuggire più facilmente. Allora, con i detti vestiti, sul far della notte, fuggì dalla prigione; ed essendo giunto fino all’ultima porta senza opposizione, poiché non lo (ri)conoscevano, trovò il portinaio che dormiva, che senza esitare uccise; e, prese le chiavi della porta, aprì la porta ed uscì, e anche il suo custode, che lo custodiva. Vedendo i detti cavalieri, che erano venuti per ucciderlo, che era così fuggito, temendo  l’indignazione della regina e il pericolo per le persone (loro stessi), decisero di mettere questo detto portinaio, estrattogli il cuore, in una cassa. E il cuore e il corpo del predetto portinaio come (fosse) il corpo di vostro padre astutamente presentarono alla regina, e come corpo del re il detto portinaio fu sepolto a Glocesta (Gloucester). E dopo che uscì dalla prigione del sopraddetto castello, fu accolto nel castello di Corf con il suo amico che lo custodiva nella prigionia, dal signor Thomas, castellano del detto castello, senza che lo sapesse il signor (signor) Johann Maltravers, signore del detto Thomas, nel cui castello stette segretamente per un anno e mezzo. In seguito, sentito che il conte del Canzio (di Kent), poiché aveva detto che lui era vivo, era stato decapitato, si imbarcò su una nave con il suo predetto custode, anche per volontà e consiglio del detto Thomas che lo aveva accolto, e passò in Irlanda, dove fu per nove mesi. In seguito, temendo di essere lì riconosciuto, preso l’abito di un eremita, ritornò in Inghilterra e approdò al porto di Sandvic (Sandwich) e in quello stesso abito passò il mare presso Sclusa (Sluys). In  seguito si spostò in Normandia e dalla Normandia, come molti fanno, passando per la Linguadoca, venne ad Avignone, dove, dato un fiorino a un servo del papa, mandò per il detto servo una missiva al papa Giovanni, il quale papa lo fece chiamare a sé, e lo tenne segretamente con onori per oltre quindici giorni. Infine, dopo varie discussioni, esaminate tutte le questioni, ricevuta licenza, andò a Parisius (Parigi) e da Parisius in Braybantia (Brabante), dalla Braybantia a Colonia per vedere i tre re per motivo di devozione, e partendo da Colonia attraverso la Germania passò ovvero si diresse a Milano in Lombardia, e da Milano entrò in un eremitorio del castello (feudo) di Melazzo (o Mulazzo), nel quale eremitorio rimase per due anni e mezzo; e poiché al detto castello arrivò la guerra, si spostò nel castello (feudo) di Cecima, in un altro eremitaggio della diocesi di Pavia in Lombardia, e fu in questo ultimo rifugio per due anni all’incirca, sempre in ritiro, facendo penitenza, e pregando Dio per voi e gli altri peccatori. In testimonianza di ciò, stabilii si ponesse il sigillo in considerazione della vostra maestà.

Il vostro Manuele Fieschi, notaio del signore papa, devoto vostro servitore.

(traduzione di Elena Corbellini)

 

Word-for-word translation of the part of the Fieschi Letter which recounts the later life of King Edward II

You will find in brackets prepositions, pronouns and other words that are implicit in the case or tense of the Latin word being translated.  We would love you to check the text with your trusty Latin-English dictionary, but you should look for the words NOT in brackets in the English.

et postquam exivit carceres castri antedicti
and after (he) exited (the) prison (of the) castle aforementioned
fuit receptatus in castro de Corf con socio
(he) was received in (the) castle of Corf with friend
suo qui custodiebat ipsum in carceribus per
his which gaurded him in (the) prison by means of
dominum Thomam castellanum dicti castri
sir Thomas (the) castellan (of the) said castle
ignorante domino domino Iohanne
(being) ignorant (the) lord sir John
Maltraverse domino dicti Thome
Maltraverse lord (of) said Thomas
in quo castro secrete fuit per annum cum
in which castle secretly (he) was for (a) year with
dimidio postea audito quod comes Cancii quia
half afterwards heard that (the) count (of) Kent because
dixerat eum vivere fuerat decapitatus ascendit
(he) had said him to live (he) had been decapitated ascended
unam navim cum dicto custode suo et de
a ship with said guardian his and by (the)
voluntate et consilio dicti Thome qui ipsum
will and counsel (of) said Thomas who him
receptaverat et transivit in Yrlandam ubi fuit per
(had) received and crossed to Ireland where (he) was for
viiii menses postea dubitans ne ibi
viiii months afterwards doubting that there
cognosceretur recepto habitu unius heremite
(he) might be recognised received (the) habit (of) a hermit
redivit in Angliam et applicuit ad portum
(he) returned to England and (he) landed at (the) port
de Sandvic et in eodem habitu transivit
of Sandwich and in that same habit (he) crossed
mare apud Sclusam postea diresit gressus
by sea at Sluys afterwards (he) directed steps
suos in Normandiam et de Normandia ut in pluribus
his to Normandy and from Normandy as (-) many
transeundo per Linguam Occitanam venit Avinionem
crossing through Lingua d’Oc (he) came (to) Avignon
ubi dato uno floreno uni servienti pape
where given a floren (to) one servant (of the) Pope
misit per dictum servientem unam cedulam
(he) sent by said servant a note
pape Johanni qui papa eum ad se vocari
(to) Pope John which Pope him to himself call
fecit et ipsum secrete tenuit honorifice ultra xv
(he) made and him secretly held honorably further xv
dies finaliter post tractatus diversos consideratis
days finally after discussions many considered
omnibus recepta licencia ivit Parisius et de
everything received license (he) went (to) Paris and from
Parisius in Braybantiam de Braybantia in Coloniam ut
Paris to Brabant from Brabant to Cologne so as
videret iii reges causa devocionis et recedendo
(he) could see iii kings due to devotion and leaving
de Colonia per Alemaniam transivit sive
from Cologne through Germany (he) crossed or
peresit Mediolanum in Lombardiam et de
(he) came to Milano in Lombardy and from
Mediolano intravit quoddam heremitorium castri
Milan (he) entered a certain hermitage (of) castle
Milasci in quo heremitorio stetit per duos
Milascio in which hermitage (he) stayed for two
annos cum dimidio et quia dicto
years with half and because (to) said
castro guerra supervenit mutavit se
castle war overcame (he) changed himself
in castro Cecime in alio heremitorio diocesis
to castle Cecima in another hermitage (of the) diocese
Papiensis in Lombardiam et fuit in isto ultimo
(of) Pavia in Lombardy and (he) was in this last
heremitorio per duos annos vel circa semper
hermitage for two years or about always
inclusus agendo penitenciam et Deum pro vobis
closed away doing penance and God for you
et aliis peccatoribus orando.
and other sinners praying.
In quorum testimonium sigillum contemplacione
In of which testimony (my) seal (for the) contemplation
vestre dominacionis duxi apponendum.
(of) your lordship (I) ordered attached.
Vester Manuel de Flisco domini pape
Your Manuel of Fieschi (of the) lord Pope
notarius devotus servitor vester
notary devoted servant yours

 

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