Stephane Fraunces 1556

In the name of God amen the xxx [30] daye of november Ano din 1556 I Stephane Fraunces beinge of perfectt mynd and memorie Do make my last will and testament in manner and forme Folowinge Item First I bequethe my soule to almightie god to our blessed Ladie St marie and to all thollye Companye of heaven and my bodie to be buried in the churchyard of Cosgrave Item I bequethe to Robert Booke a calf Item I bequethe dorythe chesse an hecfor Item I do geve to toward the mending of the hey ways ij [2] bushel of barley Item I will that my wyffe shall cause a trentall* to be said for my soule healthe yf she able yf not I will that my gostly Father shall saye certen masses for my soule and for my frendes soules beinge at my wyffes hand for his paynes Item I will that my wyffe shalbe hole executrix of all my goodes moveable and unmoveable not bequeathed before Item I will that my wyffe shall have iijli [£3] that Goodman cuthberd had of me on that condition that I shuld have hold for viij [8] yeres Also ijs [2s] that his sone Robert had of me and halfe an acre of wheat Land he toke from against my will and agaynst ryget I will that my wyffe have all that I have or should have Sir Morrys Pemall preist John chese Jone Ashod with other men


A TRENTAL was an office of thirty masses, three of a sort, which were said for the dead, to deliver their souls from torment, according to Canon Rock on the burisl day; low masses were said in the side chapels, and at all the altars in the church: a trental of masses used to be offered up for almost every one on the burial day. Bequests were frequently made for the saying or singing of trentals.

The masses of the trental appear to have been performed, sometimes all on the one day, sometimes on thirty separate days, one each on three days within the octaves of each of the ten feasts; and to the proper mass for the day might be added the Dirige (or morning service for the dead)*. [Called dirige or dirge, from the beginning of the first anthem at matins, " Dirige Domine Deus meus in conspectu tuo viam meam."—Rock, ii. 503.] and any special prayer or prayers desired. In the poem called St. Gregory's Trental*. [Found in two MSS., Cott. Caligula, A ii. fo. 84 vo. of the fifteenth century, and Lambeth, 306, fo. 110, printed in Furnivall's Political, Religious, and Love Poems, 1866, Early English Text Society, p. 83.] the virtues of this means of saving a departed soul are exalted, particular directions are given, and several additions are specially recommended for greater certainty, One of these additions is the dirige, but the prayer also desired by the Brome writer is not among them. The poem (of 240 lines) tells how his mother's ghost, in torture for her sins, appeared to Pope Gregory, and enjoined him to sing "a trentelle

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