William Hatteclyffe

HATTECLYFFE, WILLIAM (d. 1480), physician and secretary to Edward IV, was one of the original scholars of King’s College, Cambridge, appointed by Henry VI on 12 Feb. 1440 (Cooper, Annals of Cambridge, i. 189; cf. Rot. Parl. v. 87). He graduated as a doctor of medicine, and was one of the physicians appointed on 6 April 1454 to attend the king professionally (Rymer, Fœdera, orig. ed. xi. 347), and on 12 Nov. was made keeper of the water of Fosse, with 6d. a day (ib. xi. 360). He was exempted from the act of resumption passed in the following year, when he is described as ‘Doctor in Medicyns and Phisicion sworn for the saufte of our person,’ and is stated to have 40l. yearly (Rot. Parl. v. 314). On the accession of Edward IV he transferred his services to that monarch, and in 1464 was exempted from an act of resumption, being then one of the royal physicians (ib. v. 529); he also became one of the royal secretaries—at least, there is little doubt that it was the same William Hatteclyffe—and on 1 Sept. 1464 was sent to treat with Francis, duke of Brittany, for a truce (Fœdera, xi. 531); on 5 Jan. 1468 he was engaged in the negotiations for the marriage of the king’s sister, Margaret, to Charles the Bold (ib. xi. 599); and later in the year he is again mentioned as one of the royal physicians (ib. xi. 635). During the short restoration of Henry VI in October 1470 Hatteclyffe was taken prisoner by the Lancastrians, and was in some danger of being put to death (Paston Letters, ii. 412). On Edward’s return he was restored to his former position, and was also made master of requests and a royal councillor; he was employed in the negotiations for an alliance with James III of Scotland in August 1471 (Fœdera, xi. 717), for commercial intercourse with Burgundy in March 1472 (ib. xi. 738), and with the German Hanse in December 1472 (ib. xi. 765). A paper of instructions, given to him when going to Utrecht as ambassador to the Hanse, is mentioned by Bernard in the ‘Catalogus MSS. Angliæ’ (MSS. Yelverton, p. 105, No. 5407). In 1473 he once more received exemption from an act of resumption (Rot. Parl. vi. 92), and in March was again negotiating with Burgundy at Brussels (Paston Letters, iii. 88). In December 1474 he went to treat with the Emperor Frederick for an alliance against Louis XI, and in July 1476 was ambassador to Christiern of Denmark (Fœdera, xi. 834, xii. 29). He attended Edward IV to France in 1475 (Nicolas, Proc. Privy Council, vi. Preface, p. cxi). Hatteclyffe retained his office of secretary till 1480, when a coadjutor was given him on account of his age; he died later in the same year (ib. vi. p. cvii). According to Tanner some medical prescriptions of his were preserved at Worsley.

Hatteclyffe was possibly a relative of another William Hatteclyffe (fl. 1500), who was appointed under-treasurer of Ireland on 26 April 1495, and who in 1497–8 was one of the commissioners appointed to pardon Warbeck’s adherents in the western counties (Fœdera, xii. 696; Letters and Papers illustrative of Reigns of Richard III and Henry VII, ii. 335, 375). His accounts in the former capacity have been printed (ib. ii. 297–318). He married Isabel, daughter of Agnes Paston, and had issue (Paston Letters, iii. 471). A John Hatteclyffe served under him in Ireland as clerk of the ordnance.

[Rymer’s Fœdera, original edit.; Tanner’s Bibl. Brit. et Hib. p. 384; Paston Letters, ed. Gairdner. Some references to documents connected with Hatteclyffe’s diplomatic missions will be found in Palgrave’s Antient Kalendars and Public Inventories, iii. 11, 17, 23; other authorities as quoted.]

Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 25
Hatteclyffe, William by Charles Lethbridge Kingsford

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