The Homage Kiss: Royal Health vs. Ceremony

1439: Petition from Commons to be excused from kissing the king because of the Plague (right end damaged; material in parenthesis supplied from RP)

To The Kyng oure Soueraigne Lord Shewen mekely youre trewe liege people here (by youre Auc)torite riaill in this present parlement for the Comuns of this youre noble Roialme assembled. Howe that a Sekenesse (called the pestilence vniuerselly through this youre Roialme more comunely reyneth than hath bien usuell bifore this tyme the) whiche is an infirmite most infectif. and the presence of suche soonfect most to be eschewed as

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by noble ffisisseanes and wise Philosofors bifore this tyme pleynly it hath (bene determyned And as experience dayly sheweth. Wherfore we youre pore true liege people above all erthly thyng) tenderyng and desiryng the helth and welfare of youre most noble persone. the whiche is to oure most grettest erthly comfort. byseche youre most noble grace in conseruyng of youre (most noble persone And in comfort of vs all and of alle tho that we ben comen hider fore in) esch ewyng of eny suche infeccion to you to fall whiche god defende graciousely to conceyve howe where that eny of youre said Comunes holdyng of you by knyghtes service (oweth in doyng to you homage by youre graciouse sufferance to kysse you to ordeine and graunte) by the auctorite of this present parlement that eueriche of youre said lieges in the doyng of thair said homage may omitte the said kissyng of you (and be excused therof at youre will že homage beyng of the same force as though they kissed you and have thair lettres at doyng of thair homage the kyssyng of you . . . ) not withstondyng

Note: [Printed RP V.31.58]

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