Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 36.djvu/135

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Mare
Mare
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the pope. The old argument about the two swords was used. Mardisley retorted with the text, 'Put up again thy sword into his place,' and denied the pope's claim to any temporal dominion. The next day the papal party yielded. Mardisley about this time became twenty-fifth provincial minister of the English Franciscans, but had ceased to hold the office in 1380. According to Bale, he died in 1386 and was buried at York.

[Tanner's Bibliotheca, p. 509; Monumenta Franciscana, vol. i.; Eulogium Historiarum, iii. 337-8; Engl. Hist. Review, October 1891.]

A. G. L.

MARE, Sir PETER de la (fl. 1370), speaker of the House of Commons. [See De la Mare.]

MARE, THOMAS de la (1309–1396), abbot of St. Albans, was son of Sir John de la Mare, by Johanna, daughter of Sir John de Harpesfeld, and was born in the earlier part of 1309. His family was an honourable one of Hertfordshire, and connected with William Montacute, earl of Salisbury, John Grandison [q. v.], bishop of Exeter, and probably with Sir Peter De la Mare [q. v.], the speaker of the Good parliament. He had three brothers and a sister, who all adopted a religious life at his persuasion. William, the eldest, was abbot of Missenden 1339-40 (Dugdale, Monasticon, vi. 547).

As a child Thomas was of a studious disposition, and of his own accord entered St. Albans when seventeen years old, under Abbot Hugh de Eversden (d. 7 Sept. 1326). His regular profession was made shortly afterwards before Abbot Richard of Wallingford. He was first sent to Wyniondham, a cell of St. Albans, where he was chaplain to John de Hurlee, the prior. Abbot Michael (1335-49) recalled him to St. Albans, and after making him successively kitchener and cellarer, sent him to be prior of Tynemouth, another cell of the abbey, about the end of 1340. This house Thomas ruled with much popularity for nine years. In 1346 he fortified the priory against the Scots. On 12 April 1349 Abbot Michael died, and Thomas was chosen in his place. While on his visit to the papal court at Avignon to procure his confirmation he fell ill, but was miraculously restored by drinking putrid water. The election was confirmed by the king on 22 Nov. 1350.

In September 1351 Thomas presided at a general chapter of the order, and again in 1352, 1355, 1363, performing the duties of his office with lavish profusion of expenditure (Gesta, iii. 418; Hist. Angl. i. 300). His constitutions are printed in the 'Gesta Abbatum,' ii. 418-49. Thomas's skilful administration won the favour of Edward III, who made him a member of his council, and employed him to visit the abbeys of Eynsham, Abingdon, Battle, Reading, and Chester, where he corrected a variety of abuses. Edward, prince of Wales, was also a friend of the abbot, and King John of France during his captivity often stayed at St. Albans. John persuaded Thomas to relinquish an intention to resign the abbacy, because it would be ruinous to the abbey.

Thomas was a strenuous defender of the rights of his office and abbey; a characteristic which involved him in perpetual trouble and litigation. He sought to protect the monastery against papal exaction, by negotiating for a remission of the customary attendance of a new abbot for confirmation by the pope. But after wasting much money on dishonest agents, nothing came of it (Gesta, iii. 145-84). When Henry Despenser [q. v.] attempted to make the prior of Wymondham collector of tithes in his diocese, Thomas defeated him by withdrawing the prior, and obtained a royal decision supporting the privileges of his abbey (ib. iii. 122-134, 281-4, 395; Chron. Anglia, 1328-88, pp. 258-61). Lesser quarrels were with Sir Philip de Lymbury, who put the cellarer, John Moote, in the pillory; John de Chilterne, a recalcitrant tenant, who vexed him six-and- twenty years (Gesta, iii. 3-9, 27); Sir Richard Perrers, and the notorious Alice Perrers [q. v.], whose character has no doubt suffered in consequence at the hands of the St. Albans chroniclers (ib. iii. 200-38; for a list of Thomas's opponents see ib. iii. 379, and cf. Amundesham, Annales, i. 673).

The most serious trouble was, however, with the immediate tenants and villeins of the abbey. There were old-standing grievances, which had been somewhat sternly suppressed by Abbot Richard, but were revived under pressure of the Black Death, the Statute of Labourers, and the strict rule of Abbot Thomas. There had been some disputes as early as 1353 and 1355, when the abbot had successfully maintained a plea of villeinage (Gesta, iii. 39-41). During the peasant rising in 1381 St. Albans was one of the places that suffered most. On 13 June, the day that Wat Tyler entered London, the tenants and townsfolk of St. Albans rose under William Grindcobbe, a burgess. Two days after they broke open the gaol, broke down the fences, and threatened to burn the abbey unless the abbot would surrender the charters extorted by his predecessors, and give up his rights over wood, meadow, and mill.