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in the year 1544. The circumstances of Henry Sadleir, their father, were not such as to exempt him from professional labour, and even from personal dependence. Indeed the chain of feudal connexion was still so entire, that the lesser gentry of the period sought not only emolument but protection, and even honour, by occupying, in the domestic establishments of the nobles, those situations, which the nobility themselves contended for in the royal household. The pride of solitary and isolated independence was unknown in a period when the force of the laws was unequal to protect those who enjoyed it, and the closer the fortunes of a private individual were linked with those of some chieftain of rank and power, the greater was the probability of his escaping all mischances, save those flowing from the fall of his patron. It does not, therefore, contradict what has been handed down to us concerning Henry Sadleir's rank and estate, that he seems to have acted in some domestic capacity, probably as steward or surveyor, to a nobleman, proprietor of a manor called Cillney, near Great Hadham, in Essex.

His office, whatever it was, consisted in keeping accounts and receiving money ; so that his son had an early example of accurate habits of business, not very common in that rude military age,

which proved not only the foundation of his fortune, but continued to be the means of his raising it to the highest elevation. Ralph Sadler was fortunate enough to gain a situation in the family of Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, who rose in the favour of the capricious Henry VIII. by facilitating his divorce from Queen Catharine, and who fell by procuring his union with Anne of Cleves. While Cromwell was yet in the ascent of his grandeur, Sadler acquired so much influence with him, as to be able to solicit a place under the crown for his father, whose noble patron had become unable to support the expense of a feudal household. These minute particulars we learn from a letter which the elder Sadler writes to his son.*

* “ Henry Sadleyer to his son Ralph, living with Mr Cromwell, concerning some demands and private concerns. Original from Cilney. Titus, B. I. No. 48, page 153.

Son Raff, I bartely recomaund me unto you, and send you Godd's blessing and myne. I praye you send me woord whether ye have spokyn to hym; yf ye have, I praye you, that I may have knowledge in writynge from you of his answer to you made. I trust he will knowledge, that I doe owe to the kynges grace but iiiili and odde money. Yf it please hym to looke upon my booke which remayneth in his handes, therein he shall feynde a

labell that shall showe the truths, (desyre hym to be good to me.) Son Raff, wheras I shoulde have had of my lorde, now at this audite, above xx markes, I can gett never a peny but fayre wordes, with whyche I cannot lyve. My lorde hathe putt away Ralph Sadler's favour with Lord Cromwell, and the trust which he reposed in him, soon brought him under the eye of Henry VIII. It was emphatically said of that monarch, that Henry loved A MAN; by which we are to understand, that the objects of his favour were distinguished by exter

many of his

yemen at this audite, and dothe intende after Christmas to putt many moe awey, and both his lordeshippe and my ladye wil to the court after Christmas, and kepe a smalle house ; wherefore I praye you that I may be recomanded to your good maister, and desyr hym by your humble sute, to gett me the office in the Towre as in others, so that I shall be nigh London. Good son, doe the best you can for me. . I truste to be at the next terme by Godd's grace.

I assure you



lord and my lady shall be very lothe to depart with me, but with them I can have noe livinge ; if I bad, I wold not depart fro them. I pray you sende for your mother, and rede this letter to her ; and farder, my lorde dothe intend to lye at Cilney all this Christmas, and there to kepe a smalle Christmas, though your mother, my mate, as yet is not come to Cilney; whereof I marvell, for diverse cartts of Great Hadham hath byn at London diverse tymes syns I came from home. I can noe more at this tyme, but the holy Trenytye cummfurt us all to pleasure. Written at Cilney, the xvith day of December, in hast, as apperyth. Your father,

HENRY SADLEYER. “ To Raff Sadleyer, dwelling with Master Cromwell, be thes gevin.

“ I thynke Richard Crumwell to London now at this tyme, and will be at Cilney before; then ye maye send your lettres by hym; if he be not, Mr Antony will be at Cilney before Christmas ; the lettres ye send to me close them surely for openying."

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nal strength, figure, and personal accomplishments, as well as by their temper and talents. In both respects Sadler was fortunate ; for, though of a middling, or rather low stature, he was well skilled in all exercises, remarkable both for strength and activity, and particularly accomplished in horsemanship.* Neither was his address in public business inferior to his feats of horsemanship, hunting, and chivalry. It was probably before he attracted the King's notice, that Mr Sadler became the husband of the widow of one Ralph Barrow, who does not seem to have been a person of high rank, although no good grounds have been discovered for the scandal with which Sanders and other Catholic writers have stigmatized this union. That she was a woman of credit and character, must be admitted ; since Lord Cromwell, to whom she was related, not only countenanced their marriage, but was godfather to two of their children, the first of whom died in infancy.t

This is established by the testimony of his natural son Richard; who, in dedicating a treatise on Horsemanship to his father, Sir Ralph, acknowledges to bave derived from his instructions whatever skill he had attained in the knowledge of that noble animal, the horse.

+“ R. Sadler to Sec. Cromwell. Titus, B. I. p. 343. Ori. ginal.

Syr, after myn humble comendacions, with like request, that According to the inscription on Sadler's tomb, he entered the King's service in or about the 10th year of his reign, that is, in 1518; and there are

it may plese you to gyve me leve to trouble you, amongst your weightie affaires, with these tryffels : it is so, that my wyfe, after long travaile, and as payneful labour as any woman could have, hathe at last brought furth a fayre boy; beseching you to vouchsafe ones agayne to be gossip unto so poore a man as I am, and that he may bear your name. Trusting ye shall have more rejoyse of him than ye had of the other; and yet ther is no cause but of gret rejoyse in the other, for he dyed an innocent, and enjoyeth the joyes of heven. I wold also be right glad to have Mr Richard's wyf, or my Lady Weston, to be the godmother. Ther is a certain supersticious opinion and usage amongst women, which is, that in case a woman go with childe, she may christen no other man's childe as long as she is in that case. And therfor, not knowing whether Mr Richard's wyf be with child or not, I do name my Lady Weston. I desyre to have one of them, because they do lye so near Hackney ; to-morrow in the after none shall be the tyme, and that the holy Trinyte preserve you in long lyf and good helth, with much honour. At Hackney, this Saturday, at iïi of the clocke at after none, with the rude and hastie hand of Your most assured and faithful servante duringe his lyf,

RAFE SADLER. To the right honourable and his singuler good Mr,

Maister Secretarye, be thes geven." Some of the minute intelligence, so dear to modern antiquaries, may be gained from this gossipping business; as, Ist, that Sadler bad a former son, who died an infant; 2dly, we may conclude Lady Weston was either a widow or an old woman ; 3dly, we may observe Sadler's simplicity in plainly telling us, that he knew not whether Mr Richard's wyf were with child or not ;

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