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Otterbourne
Otterburne
342

other Thomas Otterbourne who was presented to the rectory of Haddiscoe, Norfolk, on 3 Oct. 1383, and a Thomas Otterbourne received the rectory of Chingford on 17 Nov. and was ordained priest on 19 Sept. The rector of Chingford, whose successor, Henry Winslowe, died in 1438, may perhaps have been the historian, and would probably have died about 1421. Hearne conjectured that there had been two writers of the name, one under Edward III, the other under Henry IV and Henry V; he supports his conjecture by the statement that some ancient manuscripts of the history reached no further than the reign of Edward III; there is such a copy in Cotton MS. Julius, A. viii, which ends with 1359, but dates from the latter part of the fifteenth century. Otterbourne the Franciscan was, presumably, like Sir Thomas Gray, a native of Northumberland, and it is natural that any work of his should have been known to his fellow-countryman; but there seems no sufficient ground for connecting him at all with the existing chronicle, which bears no marks of having been written by a Franciscan; such notices of the order as are given by Walsingham and in the 'Eulogium Historiarum' are sometimes omitted and usually shortened. The notices of northern events appear to be most numerous in the first years of the reign of Richard II, at which time the future rector of Chingford may be reasonably conjectured to have been still resident in his native county.

Otterbourne's chronicle begins with the legendary history of Britain, and comes down to 1420. Until the reign of Edward III it is of no great length, and is fullest for the reigns of Richard II and Henry IV. The writer appears to have drawn from the same sources as Walsingham, but in the last eighty years of his narrative he records some facts which are not mentioned elsewhere, and which appear to rest on good authority. The only ancient complete manuscript is Harley 36*43, which dates from the fifteenth century, and was formerly at Eton. Holinshed, in his catalogue of authors, refers to this manuscript as 'compiled by some Northern-man, as some suppose named Otterborne. There is a sixteenth-century transcript of this manu- script in Cotton MS. Vitellius F. ix, which was damaged in the fire of 1731. Hearne edited Otter bourne's chronicle from a copy which he had procured of the Cotton manuscript, and published it with Whet ham stede's 'Chronicle' in two volumes, Oxford, 1732. Pits ascribes to Otterbourne a treatise 'De successione comitum Northumbriæ; 'this, no doubt, refers to some notes in Harleian MS. 3643 F. l. b.

[Monumenta Franciscana, p. 534 (Rolls Ser.); Gray's Scala Chronica, p. 4 (Maitland Club); Hearne's Preface, pp. xxiv-xxxii and lxxxviii-xci. where the statements of Leland, Bale, and others are reprinted; Tanner's Bibl. Brit.-Hib. p. 567; Newcourt's Repertorium, ii. 148; Little's Urey Friars in Oxford, pp. 174-5, Oxf. Hist. Soc The notices given by Wadding andSbaralea contain no independent information.]

C. L. K.

OTTERBURNE, Sir ADAM (d. 1548), king's advocate of Scotland and ambassador, is generally described down to 1533 as 'of Auldhame' (Aldham), a small parish close to Tantallon Castle on the Haddingtonshire coast, now incorporated with that of Whitekirk. It may be presumed that Aldham was his birthplace, or at all events the seat of his family.

Otterburne first appears in 1518 as one of the receivers of Margaret Tudor's jointure rents in Scotland (Letters and Papers, ii. 4677). Three years later he was already a member of the royal council, and by 1525 king's advocate and recorder of Edinburgh, of which city he was lord provost in 1531 and 1544, if not oftener (Hamilton Papers, ii. 106; Acts of Scots. Parl. ii. 332; Fœdera, xiii. 744; State Papers, iv. 376). We ought, perhaps, to assign to the former year his energetic effort as provost to stamp out an outbreak of the plague which the 'Diurnal of Occurrents' (p. 14) places in 1529. Otterburne's diplomatic skill was in constant requisition from 1521 in the critical state of the relations of England and Scotland. Henry VIII was endeavouring, with the aid of his sister [see Margaret Tudor], to break up the Scoto-French alliance during the nonage of his nephew James V and in 1524, while the English commissioners were negotiating for a truce at Berwick with Otterburne, they had reason to believe that 'they had made him a convert. Thomas Magnus [q.v.], Henry VIII's envoy, wrote of him, in November, as 'a sad and one of the wisest men in Edinburgh, well learned, and of good experience and practice, and very favourable and forward in our causes' (State Papers, iv. 232, 236). After Angus had forced his way into the regency early in the next year, Magnus recommended Otterburne to Henry for a pension 'for good service done' (ib. iv. 376). If the advocate had grown up under the shadow of Angus's stronghold at Tantallon, this might help to explain his preference of an English to a French connection. In the truce negotiations during the later months of 1525, Magnus was more pleased with him than with Angus : 'Good Mr. Otter-