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Eckenstein, Lina, d. 1931 / Woman under monasticism: chapters on saint-lore and convent life between A.D. 500 and A.D. 1500 (1896)

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Benedictine Convents in the Twelfth Century.

From this general review of the different orders we pass on to the state of nunneries in England during the 12th century, and to those incidents in their history which give some insight into their constitution.

Attention is first claimed by the old Benedictine settlements which still continued in prosperity and independence. Of these houses only those which were in connection with the royal house of Wessex remained at the close of the 10th century; those of the northern and midland districts had disappeared. Some were deserted, others had been laid waste during the Danish invasions; it has been observed that with the return of tranquillity under Danish rule, not one of the houses for women was restored. Secular monks or laymen took possession of them, and   [p. 202]   when they were expelled, the Church claimed the land, or the settlement was restored to the use of monks. Some of the great houses founded and ruled by women in the past were thus appropriated to men. Whitby and Ely rose in renewed splendour under the rule of abbots; Repton, Wimbourne and numerous other nunneries became the property of monks.

Various reasons have been given for the comparatively low ebb at which women's professed religious life remained for a time. Insecurity during times of warfare, and displacement of the centres of authority, supply obvious reasons for desertion and decay. A story is preserved showing how interference from without led to the disbanding of a nunnery. The Danish earl Swegen († 1052), son of Earl Godwin, took away (vi abstractam) the abbess Eadgifu of Leominster in Herefordshire in 1048, and kept her with him for a whole year as his wife. The archbishop of Canterbury and the bishop of Worcester threatened him with excommunication, whereupon he sent her home, avenging himself by seizing lands of the monastery of Worcester. He then fled from England and was outlawed, but at a later period he is said to have wanted the abbess back. The result is not recorded, for Leominster as a women s settlement ceased to exist about this time.[1*] There is no need to imagine a formal dissolution of the settlement. The voluntary or involuntary absence of the abbess in times of warfare supplies quite a sufficient reason for the disbanding of the nuns.

About the same time a similar fate befell the monastery of Berkley-on-Severn, in spite of the heroic behaviour of its abbess. The story is told by Walter Map how it was attacked and plundered at the instigation of Earl Godwin († 1053) and how in spite of the stand made by the abbess, a ' strong and determined' woman, the men who took possession of it turned it into a 'pantheon, a very temple of harlotry.'[2*] Berkley also ceased to exist.[3*]

The monasteries ruled by women, which survived the political changes due to the Danish invasion and the Norman Conquest, had been in connection with women of the house of Cerdic; with hardly an exception they were situated in the province of Wessex   [p. 203]   within the comparatively small area of Dorset, Wilts, and Hampshire. Chief among them were Shaftesbury, Amesbury, Wilton (or Ellandune), Romsey, and St Mary Winchester (or Nunnaminster). With these must be classed Barking in Essex, one of the oldest settlements in the land, which had been deserted at one time but was refounded by King Edgar, and which together with the Wessex nunneries, carried on a line of uninterrupted traditions from the 9th century to the time of the dissolution.

The manors owned by these settlements at the time of the Conquest lay in different shires, often at a considerable distance from the monastery itself.

From the account of survey in the Domesday book we gather that Shaftesbury had possessions in Sussex, Wiltshire, Dorset, and Hampshire,[4*] and that Nunnaminster owned manors in Hampshire, Berkshire, and Wiltshire.[5*] Barking, the chief property of which lay in Essex, also held manors in Surrey, Middlesex, Berkshire, and Bedfordshire.[6*]

These monasteries were abbacies, as indeed were all houses for nuns founded before the Conquest. The abbess, like the abbot, had the power of a bishop within the limits of her own house and bore a crozier as a sign of her rank. Moreover the abbesses of Shaftesbury, Wilton, Barking, and Nunnaminster 'were of such quality that they held of the king by an entire barony,' and by right of tenure had the privilege at a later date of being summoned to parliament, though this lapsed on account of their sex.[7*]

The abbess as well as the abbot had a twofold income; she drew spiritualities from the churches which were in her keeping, and temporalities by means of her position as landlord and landowner. The abbess of Shaftesbury, who went by the title of abbess of St Edward, had in her gift several prebends, or portions of the appropriated tithes or lands for secular priests. In the reign of Henry I she found seven knights for the king's service, and had writs regularly directed to her to send her quota of soldiers into the field in proportion to her knights' fees; she held her own courts for pleas of debts, etc., the perquisites of which belonged to her.[8*]

To look through the cartularies of some of the old monasteries,   [p. 204]   is to realise how complex were the duties which devolved on the ruler of one of these settlements, and they corroborate the truth of the remark that the first requirement for a good abbot was that he should have a head for business. Outlying manors were in the hands of bailiffs who managed them, and the house kept a clerk who looked after its affairs in the spiritual courts; for the management and protection of the rights and privileges of the property claimed unceasing care.

The Benedictine abbesses do not seem to have been wanting in business and managing capacity. At the time of the dissolution the oldest nunneries in the land with few exceptions were also the wealthiest. The wealth of some was notorious. A saying was current in the western provinces that if the abbot of Glastonbury were to marry the abbess of Shaftesbury, their heir would have more land than the king of England.[9*] The reason of this wealth lies partly in the fact that property had been settled on them at a time when land was held as a comparatively cheap commodity; but it speaks well for the managing capacities of those in authority that the high standing was maintained. The rulers prevented their property from being wasted or alienated during the 12th and 13th centuries, when the vigour or decline of an institution so largely depended on the capacity of the individual representing it, and they continued faithful to their traditions by effecting a compromise during the 14th and 15th centuries, when the increased powers of the Church and the consolidation of the monarchical power threatened destruction to institutions of the kind.

It is worthy of attention that while all nunneries founded during Anglo-Saxon times were abbacies, those founded after the Conquest were generally priories. Sixty-four Benedictine nunneries date their foundation from after the Conquest, only three of which were abbacies.[10*] The Benedictine prioress was in many cases subject to an abbot; her authority varied with the conditions of her appointment, but in all cases she was below the abbess in rank. The explanation is to be sought in the system of feudal tenure. Women no longer held property, nunneries were founded and endowed by local barons or by abbots. Where power from the preceding period devolved on the woman in authority, she retained it; but where new appointments were made the current tendency was in favour of curtailing her power.

  [p. 205]  

Similarly all the Cistercian nunneries in England, which numbered thirty-six at the dissolution, were without exception priories. The power of women professing the order abroad and the influence of the Cistercian abbesses in Spain and France have been mentioned--facts which preclude the idea of there being anything in the intrinsic nature of the order contrary to the holding of power by women. The form the settlement took in each country was determined by the prevailing drift of the time, and in England during the 11th and 12th centuries it was in favour of less independence for women.

Various incidents in the history of nunneries illustrate the comparatively dependent position of these settlements after the Conquest. At first Sheppey had been an abbacy. It had been deserted during the viking period; and at the instigation of the archbishop of Canterbury about the year 1130 nuns were brought there from Sittingbourne and the house was restored as a priory.

Amesbury again, one of the oldest and wealthiest abbeys in the land for women, was dissolved and restored as a priory, dependent on the abbess of Fontevraud. This change of constitution presents some interesting features. The lives of the women assembled there in the 12th century were of a highly reprehensible character; the abbess was accused of incontinence and her evil ways were followed by the nuns. There was no way out of the difficulty short of removing the women in a body, and to accomplish this was evidently no easy undertaking. Several charters of the time of King John and bearing his signature are in existence. The abbess, whose name is not on record, retired into private life on a pension of ten marks, and the thirty nuns of her convent were placed in other nunneries. A prioress and twenty-four nuns were then brought over from Fontevraud and established at Amesbury, which became for a time a cell to the foreign house.[11*] This connection with France, at a time when familiarity with French formed part of a polite education, caused Amesbury to become the chosen retreat of royal princesses. During the wars with France under the Edwards, when many priories and cells were cut off from their foreign connection, Amesbury regained its old standing as an abbacy.

Several of the Benedictine nunneries founded after the Conquest   [p. 206]   owed their foundation to abbacies of men. Some were directly dependent cells, like Sopwell in Hertfordshire, a nunnery founded by the abbot of St Albans, who held the privilege of appointing its prioress. So absolute was this power that when the nuns appointed a prioress of their own choice in 1330, she was deposed by the abbot of St Albans, who appointed another person in her stead.[12*] Similarly the nunnery at Kilburn was a cell to Westminster, its prioress being appointed by the abbot of Westminster.[13*] But as a general rule the priories were so constituted that the nuns might appoint a prioress subject to the approval of the patron of their house, and she was then consecrated to her office by the bishop.

Various incidents show how jealously each house guarded its privileges and how needful this was, considering the changes that were apt to occur, for the charters of each religious house were the sole guarantee of its continued existence. From time to time they were renewed and confirmed, and if the representative of the house was not on the alert, he might awake to find his privileges encroached upon. In regard to the changes which were liable to occur the following incident deserves mention. In the year 1192 the archbishop of York formed the plan of subjecting the nunnery of St Clement's at York,[14*] a priory founded by his predecessor Thurstan, to the newly-founded abbacy for women at Godstow. Godstow was one of the few women's abbacies founded after the Conquest, and owed its wealth and influence chiefly to its connection with the family of Fair Rosamond, at one time the mistress of Henry II, who spent the latter part of her life there. But the nuns of St Clement's, who had always been free, would not obey the abbess of Godstow, and they saved themselves from the archbishop's interference by appealing directly to the Court of Rome.

A curious incident occurred during the reign of Henry III in connection with Stanford, a nunnery in Northamptonshire. Stanford was a priory dependent on the abbot of Peterborough who had founded it. It appears that the prioress and her convent, in soliciting confirmation of their privileges from Rome, employed a certain proctor, who, besides the desired confirmation, procured the insertion of several additional articles into the document, one of which was permission for the nuns to choose their own prioress, and another a release from certain payments. When the abbot of   [p. 207]   Peterborough became aware of these facts he threatened to complain to the Pope, whereupon the prioress with the nuns' approval carried all their charters and records of privileges to the archbishop of Canterbury, alleging that the proctor had acted against their order. They renounced all claim to privileges secretly obtained, and besought the primate to represent their conduct favourably to the Pope and to make peace between them and their patrons.[15*]

Both these incidents occurred in connection with Benedictine nunneries. The difficulties which occurred in Cistercian nunneries are less easy to estimate, as they were not daughter-houses to men's Cistercian abbacies, but in many cases held their privileges by a bull obtained directly from the Pope. Thus Sinningthwaite in Yorkshire,[16*] founded in 1160, held a bull from Alexander III which exempted the nuns from paying tithes on the lands they farmed, such exemption being the peculiar privilege of many Cistercian settlements. Other bulls secured by Cistercian nunneries in England are printed by Dugdale.[17*]

A few incidents are recorded in connection with some of the royal princesses, which illustrate the attitude commonly assumed towards professed nuns, and give us an idea of the estimation in which convents were held. Queen Margaret of Scotland we are told desired to become a nun; her mother and her sister Christina both took the veil, and her daughters, the princesses Matilda and Mary, lived at Romsey for some years with their aunt Christina. As Pope Innocent IV canonised (1250) Queen Margaret of Scotland a few words must be devoted to her.

Her father Edward, the son of Edmund Ironside († 1016), had found refuge at the Scottish court when he came from abroad with his wife Agatha and their children, a son and two daughters. Of these daughters, Christina became a nun; but Margaret was either persuaded or constrained to marry King Malcolm in 1070, and having undertaken the duties of so august a station as that of queen, she devoted her energies to introducing reforms into Scotland and to raising the standard of industrial art. We possess a beautiful description of her life, probably written by her chaplain Turgot,[18*] and her zeal and high principles are further   [p. 208]   evidenced by her letters, some of which are addressed to the primate Lanfranc.

Margaret's two daughters, Matilda and Mary, were brought up in the convent, but it is not known when they came to Romsey in Wessex; indeed their connection with Wessex offers some chronological difficulties. Their mother's sister Christina became a professed nun at Romsey in 1086;[19*] she may have lived before in a nunnery in the north of England,[20*] and there advocated her niece Matilda's acceptance of the religious profession as a protection against the Normans. If this is not the case it is difficult to fix the date of King Malcolm's scorn for her proposal that Matilda should become a nun.[21*] King Malcolm was killed fighting against William Rufus in 1093, Queen Margaret died a few days afterwards, and the princesses Matilda and Mary, of whom the former was about thirteen, from that time till 1100 dwelt at Romsey in the south of England. In the year 1100, after the violent death of Rufus, Henry, the younger of his brothers, laid claim to the English crown. A union with a princess, who on the mother's side was of the house of Cerdic. appeared in every way desirable. According to the statement of William of Malmesbury († c. 1142) Henry was persuaded by his friends, and especially by his prelates, to marry Matilda. 'She had worn the veil to avoid ignoble marriages,' says William, who lived close to the locality and was nearly a contemporary, and when the king wished to marry her, witnesses were brought to say she had worn it without profession.'[22*] This is borne out by the historian Orderic Vitalis († 1142), whose information however is derived at second hand, for he enlarges on the princesses' stay with the nuns at Romsey, and on the instruction they received in letters and good manners, but he does not say that they were actually professed.[23*]

The fullest account of the event is given by Eadmer († 1124), who was nearly connected with the primate Anselm, and he naturally puts the most favourable construction on Matilda's conduct. According to him she wished to leave the convent and went before Anselm to plead her cause.

'I do not deny having worn the veil,' the princess said. 'When I was a child my aunt Christina, whom you know to be a deter   [p. 209]   mined woman, in order to protect me against the violence of the Normans, put a piece of black cloth on my head, and when I removed it gave me blows and bad language. So I trembling and indignant wore the veil in her presence. But as soon as I could get out of her sight I snatched it off and trampled it underfoot.'[24*] In a lively way she goes on to describe how her father seeing the veil on her head became angry and tore it off, saying he had no intention other than that she should be married. Anselm, before complying with the wish of the princess, convened a chapter at Lambeth, but after hearing their decision, he declared Matilda free and united her in marriage to the king.

Anselm's behaviour is doubtless faithfully represented by Eadmer. Curiously enough later historians, Robert of Gloucester, Matthew Paris and Rudbone († c. 1234), represent Matilda as unwilling to leave the cloister to be married; and in one of these accounts she is described as growing angry, and pronouncing a curse on the possible offspring of the union. Walter Map goes so far as to say that the king took to wife a veiled and professed nun, Rome neither assenting nor dissenting, but remaining passive.

Perhaps the validity of the union was afterwards for political reasons called in question. At any rate Mary, Matilda's sister, also left the convent to be married to Eustace, Count of Boulogne, without objection being raised.

That Matilda did not object to leaving the cloister, we have conclusive proof in her great and continued affection for Anselm as shown in her letters to him. These letters and the charitable deeds of the queen, throw light on the Latinity of the Romsey pupil and on the tastes she had imbibed there.

We shall have occasion to return to Matilda again in connection with the philanthropic movement of the age, and we shall find her founding the hospital of St Giles in the soke of Aldgate, and bringing the first Austin Canons from France into England.[25*]

All her life she retained a taste for scholarly pursuits, and patronised scholars and men of letters. Her correspondence with the primate Anselm[26*] yields proof of her own studies and the freedom with which she wrote Latin.

In one of these letters, written shortly after her marriage   [p. 210]   (bk 3.55), Matilda urges the primate in strong terms to abstain from the severe fasting he practises, quoting from Cicero 'on Old Age,' and arguing that as the mind needs food and drink, so does the body; she at the same time admits the Scriptures enjoin the duty of fasting, and Pythagoras, Socrates and others urge the need of frugality. Anselm in his answer incidentally mentions having joined her to the king in lawful wedlock.

Matilda's next letters are less fraught with learning, and in unaffected terms express grief at Anselm's voluntary exile, which was the outcome of his quarrel with the king. She is saddened by his absence and longs for his return (3.93); she would act as intercessor between him and her husband (3.96), and she writes to the Pope on Anselm's behalf (3.99). The queen both read and admired Anselm's writings, and compares his style to that of Cicero, Quintilian, Jerome, Gregory and others (3.119) with whom her reading at Romsey may have made her acquainted.

Anselm is not slow in answering that the king's continued bitterness is to him a source of grief, and in expressing the desire that the queen may turn his heart. It is good of her to wish for his return, which, however, does not depend on himself; besides surely she wishes him to act in accordance with his conscience.' In one of these letters he accuses the queen of disposing otherwise than she ought of the churches which are in her keeping (3.57, 81, 97, 107, 120, 128).

Anselm's continued absence from Canterbury, which was due to the quarrel about investiture, was felt to be a national calamity, and many letters passed between him and those among the Church dignitaries who sided with him against the king.

Among Anselm's correspondents were several abbesses of Wessex settlements, who seem to have been in no way prejudiced against him on account of the approval he gave to Matilda's leaving the cloister, He writes in a friendly strain to another Matilda, abbess of St Mary's, Winchester (Winton), thanking her for her prayers, urging her to cultivate purity of heart and beauty of mind as an encouragement to virtue, and begging her to show obedience to Osmund (bishop of Winchester) in affairs temporal and spiritual (3. 30). To Adeliz, also abbess at St Mary's (3. 70), he writes to say she must not be sorry that William Giffard has left his appointment as bishop of Winchester, for his going is a reason for rejoicing among his friends, as it proves his steadfastness in religious matters. He also writes to Eulalia, abbess (of Shaftesbury),   [p. 211]   who was anxious for him to come back, and begs her to pray that his return may prosper (3. 125).

The references to the Benedictine nunneries of Wessex contained in this correspondence are supplemented by information from other sources.

In the early part of the 12th century a girl named Eva was brought up at a convent, but which she left to go to Anjou, since she preferred the life of a recluse there to the career which was open to her in the English nunnery. Her life abroad has been described in verse by Hilarius († c. 1124) who is the earliest known Englishman who wrote religious plays. After studying under Abelard Hilarius had taken up his abode at Angers, near the place where Eva dwelt, and was much impressed by her piety and devotions.[27*]

From his poem we gather that Eva had been given into the care of the nuns at St Mary's, Winchester (Winton), a place which he designates as 'good and renowned.' The girl's progress in learning was the subject of wonder to the abbess and her companions, but when Eva reached the age at which her enrolment as a member of the community was close at hand, 'she turned' in the words of the poet, 'from success as though it had been a sinful trespass,' and left the nunnery to go abroad.

Her admirer Hilarius has celebrated other women who were devoted to religious pursuits. He addresses one of them as 'Bona,' and praises her for caring little for the religious garb unless good works accompany it. The meaning of her name and that of other religious women whom Hilarius also addresses, such as 'Superba,' and 'Rosa,' gives him an opportunity for compliments on the virtues these names suggest. His poems, though insignificant in themselves, add touches to our knowledge of women who adopted the religious profession.

In the wars which ensued after the death of Henry I (1134) the nunneries of Wessex witnessed the climax and the end of the struggle. The Empress Matilda, daughter of Henry I and Queen Matilda, who claimed the crown on the strength of her descent, finding the sympathies of London divided, approached Winchester, and was received by two convents of monks and the convent of nuns who came forth to meet her. The Empress for a time resided at St Mary's Abbey, and there received a visit from Theobald,   [p. 212]   archbishop of Canterbury.[28*] During the fighting which followed the nunnery of Wherwell was burnt,[29*] and perhaps St Mary's Abbey at Winchester was destroyed.[30*] Matilda finally yielded to Stephen, and left England on condition that her son Henry should succeed to the crown.

The nunnery of Romsey continued its connection with royalty, and we find the daughter of Stephen, Mary of Blois, established there as abbess previous to her marriage. Her case again throws curious side-lights on the foundation of convents and the possibilities open to women who adopted the religious profession.

The princess Mary had come over from St Sulpice in France with seven nuns to Stratford at Bow (otherwise St Leonard's, Bromley in Middlesex), when the manor of Lillechurch in Kent was granted to the nunnery there by King Stephen for her own and her companions' maintenance.[31*] But these women, as the charter has it, because of the 'harshness of the rule and their different habits' could not and would not stay at Stratford, and with the convent's approval they left it and removed to Lillechurch, which was constituted by charter a priory for them. Mary removed later to Romsey where she became abbess some time before 1159,[32*] for in that year her brother William, the sole surviving heir of Stephen, died, so that she was left heiress to the county of Boulogne. She was thereupon brought out of the convent at the instigation of Henry II, and married to Matthew, son of the Count of Flanders, who through her became Count of Boulogne. Thomas Beket, who was then chancellor, not primate, was incensed at this unlawful proceeding, and intervened as a protector of monastic rule, but the only result of his interference was to draw on himself the hatred of Count Matthew.[33*] It is said that Mary returned to Romsey twelve years later. Her daughters were, however, legitimised in 1189 and both of them married.

Various letters found here and there in the correspondence of this period show how women vowed to religion retained their connection with the outer world. Among the letters of Thomas Beket there is one in which he tells his 'daughter' Idonea to transcribe the letter he is forwarding, and lay it before the   [p. 213]   archbishop of York in the presence of witnesses.[34*] It has been mentioned that a sister of Thomas Beket was in 1173 abbess at Barking.

Again, among the letters of Peter of Blois († c. 1200), chaplain to Henry II, are several addressed to women who had adopted the religious profession. Anselma 'a virgin' is urged to remain true to her calling; Christina, his 'sister,' is exhorted to virtue, and Adelitia 'a nuns is sent a discourse on the beauties of the unmarried life.[35*]


Notes

[1*] Wessex Freeman, Norman Conquest, 3rd edit. 1877, vol. 2, p. 609.

[2*] Ibid. p. 554; Map, De Nugis Curiolium, 1850, p. 201 (Freeman: Map like other Norman writers speaks very ill of Godwin).

[3*] Dugdale, Monasticon, vol. 6, p. 1618 (p. 1619 he says in connection with the destroyed nunnery Woodchester that the wife of Earl Godwin built it to make amends for her husband's fraud at Berkley).

[4*] Dugdale, Monasticon, 'Shaftesbury,' vol. , p. 470.

[5*] Ibid. 'Nunnaminster,' vol. 2, p. 451.

[6*] Ibid. 'Barking,' vol. I, p. 436.

[7*] Ibid. 'Shaftesbury,' vol. 2, p. 472. The abbess does not even seem to have been represented (as she was at the Diet abroad).

[8*] Ibid. p. 472; and p. 473 footnote.

[9*] Dugdale, Monasticon, vol. I, p. 472.

[10*] They were Godstow, Elstow, Malling.

[11*] Dugdale, Monasticon, 'Amesbury,' vol. 2, p. 333; Freeman, History of the Norman Conquest (3rd edit. 1877), vol. 2, p. 610; the event is dated 1177; perhaps the letters from John of Salisbury, Epist. edit. Giles, nrs 72, 74, are addressed to the abbess of Amsbury, who was deposed.

[12*] Dugdale Monasticon, 'Sopwell,' vol. 3, p. 362.

[13*] Ibid. 'Kilburn,' vol. 3, p. 422.

[14*] Ibid. 'St Clement's,' vol. , p. 323.

[15*] Dugdale, Monasticon, 'Stanford,' vol. 4, p. 257.

[16*] Ibid. 'Sinningthwaite, vol. 5, p. 463.

[17*] Ibid. 'Swine,' vol. 5, p. 494, nr 2; 'Nun-Cotham,' vol. 5, p. 676, nr. 2.

[18*] A. SS. Boll., St Margaret, June 10.

[19*] Dict. of Nat. Biography, Christina.

[20*] Brand, History of Newcastle, vol. I, p. 204.

[21*] Freeman, History of William Rufus, vol. 2, pp. 596, 682.

[22*] Will, of Malmesbury, Gesta Rg. (Rolls Series), pp. 279, 470, 493.

[23*] Orderic Vitalis, Eecles. Hist., transl. by Forester, 1847, vol. 3, p. 12.

[24*] Eadmer, Histaria (Rolls Series), p. 122.

[25*] Comp. below, ch. 8, 2 .

[26*] Anselm of Canterbury, Epistolae (in Migne, Patrol. Cursus completus, vol. 159), the numeration of which is followed in the text.

[27*] Hilarius, Versus et ludi, edit. Champollion-Figeac, 1838, p. 1. (Champollion prints Clinton, which he no doubt misread for Winton.)

[28*] Mimer, J., History of Winchester, 1823, vol. I, p. 212.

[29*] Dugdale, Monasticon, 'Wherwell,' vol. 2, p. 634.

[30*] Ibid. 'St Mary's Abbey,' vol. 2, p. 452.

[31*] Ibid. 'Lillechurch,' vol. 4, p. 378, charter nr 2.

[32*] Ibid. 'Rumsey,' vol. 2, p. 506.

[33*] Norgate, Kate, History of the Angevin Kings, 1887, vol. I, p. 469.

[34*] Beket, Epistolae (in Migne, Patrol. Cursus compl., vol. 190, nr 196.

[35*] Petrus Blesiensis, Epistolae, edit. Giles, letters nrs 35, 36, 55, 239.

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