The more so as a person whom the English Province of the Order had not paid to educate and train for priesthood (that was done locally by the Province of Toulouse), the English Province probably was not too concerned that Bernard was occupied within the royal circles rather than be available fog general Augustinian assignment. The literary work and influence of André in monarchical circles was most likely not seen by the Order as doing it any harm.
Born in about 1450, André entered the Order of St Augustine in Toulouse and, although it has not been proven, it has often been written that he came from a distinguished family. Where André gained his mastership (doctorate) in both civil law and canon law (“doctor utriusque iuris” – “doctor of both laws”) is unknown, but he is listed as such in an Augustinian Register of the year 1514 in Rome. It would appear most likely that he had achieved his doctorate before going to England with Henry VII in 1485 at the age of thirty-five years.
In France at that time there was a re-awakened patriotic sentiment for France that had been prompted in the previous decades by the triumph and unjust execution of Joan of Arc (Jean d’Arc), who had an Augustinian chaplain in the person of Jean Pasquerel O.S.A.. In spite of this mood, André joined the English party of occupiers of French territory.
He probably was won over this cause by Richard Fox, later the Bishop of Winchester, who unceasingly worked for the exiled Henry Tudor and obtained from King Charles VIII of France the 2,000 French mercenaries who accompanied him across to England to win hold of the English throne.
It seems that André first met Henry Tudor (later to be King Henry VII of England) when the latter had been living and studying in France. Possibly Henry became a patron of André the poet and songwriter in his court of musicians and poets at that time; André certainly was one when both of them moved to England.
The partisanship of André for the Tudar cause was so fervent that he followed Henry to England. He did not witness Henry's victorious Battle of Bosworth in 1485, but did take part in the king's subsequent triumphant entry in London as King Henry VII, the beginning of the Tudor monarchy. His pro-English allegiance made his return to his homeland problematic and unwise, if not also impossible, and he never returned there.
In England, André found a teaching position (possibly at Cambridge) and because of his teaching began receiving from Henry VII on 24th November 1486 an annuity of ten marks “until he would be provided otherwise.”
This pension remained in place for at least ten years, for in 1496 the treasurer and chamberlain of the Exchequer was instructed to pay him his ten marks for the current year in a single payment instead of five marks half yearly as usual. But, at length, church preferment came. On 4th April 1498 the bishop of Lincoln conferred upon him the hospital of St Leonard's, Bedford which he resigned the following year.
(Continued on the next page.)