Now, Jenny wondered if Thomas and Agnes were Wesleyans and the short answer is no...John Wesley who founded the Wesleyan movement wasn't born until much later...the 1700's in fact.
Thomas and Agnes would have been described as Church of England or Protestants though the services they attended would have meant little to anyone who wasn't fluent in Latin...and that was a deliberate policy of the Church at the time who resisted using Middle English because they wanted to keep the secrecy of the Church intact...doesn't make much sense to us, but the Church was an extremely powerful presence who were beginning to sense the Royal Courts were almost in competition for the peoples attention and 'worship' for want of a better description.

Because both Thomas and his wife Agnes were highborn people they could probably speak some French, though it's likely they'd have used Middle English between themselves and their family. Because Thomas was a Lawyer, he'd have been literate, and would have used Latin in his Lawyers Chambers...it's extremely unlikely that Agnes could either read or write...it wasn't thought either neccessary or desirable to have educated women in those times...

Around the time of the Peasants Revolt of 1381 there began a general concenus among a few groups of people to have the Bible written in English instead of Latin so it was more easily accessible to ordinary people...but...the Church resisted fiercely. The Lollards...the main group involved, who were also responsible for the Peasants Revolt...began to write the Bible out themselves...painstakingly translating from the Latin to the Middle English. They were discovered eventually and hunted down and hanged. Now you'll be thinking where does Wat Tyler come into the story because it was he who led the peasants and was hanged for his pains from a tree which is still standing...it has a little plaque on it to say so ...so it must be true...

It was the Lollards who muted the idea of the Peasants Revolt and Wat Tyler who actually led them...

When Agnes and Thomas and their twelve chldren attended services in the little local Church it is doubtful whether we would be familiar with their surroundings...plain wooden backless benches right at the front for them because they lived in the big house...the rest of the congretation would have stood behind them in order of social class...so the poor peasants and the house and land servants would have been right at the very back. There'd have been a thick layer of straw on the earthen floor and under that the plain flags which covered the resting places of their ancestors. Only the wealthy were buried inside the Church...and it would have been very cold and draughty...no glass to cover the windows open to the elements, apart from a decorated stained glass at the back of the altar usually depicting a scene from the Old Testament...

It was William, one of Agnes and Thomas's sons, who paid for the making and installation of the stained glass panel depicting his parents...and I daresay it was thought terribly pretentious at the time...

There'd have been the occasional pig wandering in and the inevitable dogs...pigeons and other birds would have nested in the thatched roof and probably flown in and out of the open door during the service...in winter it would have been lit with stinking, smoky rush lights...and the sermon would have been conducted by a zealous man who preached hell-fire and damnation in Latin and made any local lepers stay outside.

I've mentioned Middle English a couple of times...and my source for the explanation of what Middle English was comes from an American student I met who was reading Mediaeval Literature at University.He'd had to learn Middle English as a foreign language before he was allowed anywhere near untranslated Chaucer...he described it as being totally and completely different to the English we are used to speaking and writing...some adjectives have no modern meaning for instance and the construction of a sentence was different also...

Perhaps that would mean we might have some difficulty in speaking with Thomas and Agnes...they'd be as bewildered as ourselves and we'd have to resort to mime...