ANNE, DUCHESS OF BUCKINGHAM (d.1480). Document signed (below turn-up 'anne b'), n.p., 15 January , ratifying the title of Sir William Hastings, Lord Hastings, Sir Ralph Hastings, Master John Morton, clerk, custos rotulorum, Robert Morton and Gregory Marleburgh to the manors of Writtle, Roxwell, 'Newlond' and Shellow in Essex late of Sir John Skrene or his father or grandfather, recovered by the Duchess in last Trinity term at the court of Westminster by writ of ingressu in le post against John Clerke and Christian Colton, but reserving rents, services and customs, anciently owing; with a clause of warranty to the recipients against John, Abbot of Westminster Abbey, in Latin on vellum, in a good quality bastard anglicana script, one membrane, 136 x 330mm, 15th- and 16th-century annotations to verso, fine impression of the seal of Anne, Duchess of Buckingham (the royal arms, with border, impaling the Neville arms) in red wax attached to seal tag, approx. 65 mm diameter (repaired to top and bottom, loss to left side).
Anne, Duchess of Buckingham (d.1480) was sister to the great Yorkist matriarch Cecily Neville, mother of Edward IV and Richard III; she married the soldier and magnate Humphrey Stafford, 1st Duke of Buckingham, before 1424; he was a prominent Lancastrian, and was killed at the battle of Northampton in 1460. The grantees include two of the most important political figures of the late 15th Century, both closely associated with Edward IV: the first is Sir William Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings (c.1430-1483), chamberlain, royal favourite, and prominent English patron of Flemish manuscript illumination in the last decade of his life before his execution during Richard III's coup d'état, the second John Morton (d.1500), a royal advisor and later archbishop of Canterbury and chancellor under Henry VII. Hastings's brother Ralph, also named here, presided over his interests in his lieutenancy of Calais. Another of those named, Morton's nephew, Robert (d.1497), succeeded his uncle as master of the rolls in 1479, and was appointed bishop of Worcester in 1486. A surviving household account book of Anne, Duchess of Buckingham indicates that she had her residence at Writtle in the mid-1460s.