Lot 8: Fastolf (Sir John, soldier and landowner,
December 14, 2012
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: Fastolf (Sir John, soldier and landowner, 1380-1459).- Arundel (John Fitzalan, seventh earl of, soldier, 1408-35) & John Duke of Bedford, Prince, Regent of France, younger brother of Henry V, 1389-1435) Document issued by Arundel and Bedford mentioning Sir John Fastolf, transferring Guybon Barde and his men the guard and control of Alençon, previously held by Sir Robert Harling, knight in the service of Sir John Fastolf, manuscript in French, in brown ink, in a neat lettre batârde and signed at tail by the scribe ?"Bezasse" , on vellum, 23 lines, lacks seal, central fold, some creasing and staining slightly affecting legibility of right hand edge of document, docketed on verso and with incorrect date added in another hand, 220 x 360mm., Alençon, Monday, 4th May 1433. "Although Shakespeare adapted Fastolf's name for his character Sir John Falstaff, the personality he gave him was wholly imaginary. In the original draft of Henry V (1597) the companion of Prince Hal was the historically correct Sir John Oldcastle who had also figured in the Famous Victories of Henry V (1594). Apparently to meet the objection of Oldcastle's descendant, Lord Cobham, Shakespeare changed the name to Falstaff, doubtless suggested by the fact that Fastolf had owned the Boar's Head tavern in Southwark." - Oxford DNB. ***Sir John Fastolf saw extensive service in France under the Duke of Clarence in Aquitaine and later, under Henry V in northern France. In 1415 he fought at the battle of Agincourt. He was made Lieutenant of Normandy in 1422 and made a knight of the Garter in 1426. In 1429, while retreating with Lord Talbot from Beaugency, the rearguard was overwhelmed and only the van under Fastolf were able to escape leading to a charge of cowardice from Talbot. The accusation stuck and for many years his reputation suffered..