This letter of authorization (July 26, 1415) is unusually blunt in stating
the use for which the wine was to be put ("to expedite our affairs"),
although the choice of bribe was
a common one for the Dukes of Burgundy: the famous wine produced by their
principal territory was often the preference on these occasions.
Among other sources, historian Richard Vaughan's comments (and quote from the original letter) are relevant.
Vaughan states: "Other methods used by John the Fearless to protect his interests at Constance seem to have included both bribery and force. The bribery is well attested, and this was not only monetary, for plate and jewels, books and quantities of wine were despatched to Constance by him and distributed to the prelates assembled there. In one order to pay of 26 July 1415 the purpose of this liberality is clearly stated. 'Eight queues [barrels] of Burgundy... delivered to... Pierre Cauchon, vidame of Rheims, who has been and is in embassy for us at Constance, for him to distribute and present this wine on our behalf to several cardinals, archbishops and bishops and other ecclesiastics at the said Council, in order to expedite our affairs there...'" (excerpted from Vaughan's "John the Fearless: The Growth of Burgundian Power", pp. 211 - 212. Note in brackets added by myself).
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