This essay introduces four new life records for John Lydgate, dating from 1425 and 1427. All four are legal records from the Court of Common Pleas produced during his tenure as prior of Hatfield Regis. The most important of these, discussed here in detail, is the first item, a plea ordering Lydgate to enclose fields belonging to his priory. This document, dating from January or February 1425, is the earliest record identifying Lydgate as prior of Hatfield Regis, and it may suggest that he was already in France at this time.

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