15 December, 2010

Last Post Of The Year

This will be the last post for three weeks or so, as I'm off on my Christmas holidays (yay!) in a day or two.

I've just realised that I missed the fifth anniversary of the blog a couple of weeks ago.  Yes, 'Edward II' has now been around for half a decade!  Little did I think on 3 December 2005 that I'd still be here at the end of 2010, having written 338 posts, and that so many people would be reading the blog!  Here's to the next five (and more) years of Defending Edward II Against Crapness...;-)

The next post will be about Edward's friend Sir William Montacute (died 1319), but I've decided to put it up when I'm back online in early January, as it's not quite finished.  In the meantime, here's something considerably less informative, though definitely more amusing: the names of some of the valets in Edward II's household...

Tassard de Flamoseles
Erman Poilhaud
Sanx (or Sanche) Garsie
Faydit de Mountbreton
Gumbaud de la Batude
Ottelyn Ferre - probably the same man named elsewhere as 'Ottelinus' and 'Otto the German' (Oto le Alemaund)
John du Chariot
Perot Trumel
Burgeys de Til
Percok Bard
Odet de Milsentz
Lup Burgund (of Bordeaux)
Armand de Polliou
Amaneu de Pelegrue
Frisot de Montclair
Merlin de Sene
Jakinettus de Marigny
Guyllimot Poyntz
Tallifer de Tillio
Bidau de Saviniaco
Blasius Aldebrandini
Paganellus Bonmyn ('of Pistoja')
Sanctius de Aspe
Vitalis de Saurnak
Vannus Forteguerre
Hamo Quarrel
Oudinus Bruaunt
Menandus de Fonte
Gailhard Assalhiti

Women's names I've spotted in the records of Edward's reign:

Laderana, Wymarca, Orangia, Amflusia, Amflesa, Drua, Eufegia, Amicabilia, Sayena, Richera, Dyamanda, Femisia, Juetta.  (But no Briannas or Topaz Plantagenets, hehe. :)

Some contemporary nicknames, as recorded in Edward's chamber accounts and various other places:

Thomas - Thomelyn
Richard - Richardyn, Hick
John - Janyn, Janekyn
Marmaduke - Duket
Edmund ('Esmond' in the spelling of the era) - Monde
Simon - Syme
Walter - Watte or Wat (as in Wat Tyler, a few decades later)
Hugh - Huchon, Hughelyn
Isabella - Sibille
Katherine - Katin or Katine

And, of course, Piers - Perot.

My favourite names among Edward's servants:

Litel Wille (Little Will), Litel Colle (Little Colin) and Grete Hobbe (Big Rob).

My favourite men's names that you seldom if ever hear as given names nowadays:

Anketin, Saer, Pentecost, Lovekyn, Sewal, Walran, Hamo, Icok.  

And finally, the excellent name of a man who sent a petition to Edward II in May 1318: Dominion de France.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you, and see you in 2011!

08 December, 2010

The Earl Of Arundel's Shabby Treatment Of His Eldest Son

Richard Fitzalan, earl of Arundel and Surrey, was the eldest son of Edmund Fitzalan, earl of Arundel (1 May 1285-17 November 1326) and Alice (c. 1287-before 1338), sister of John de Warenne, earl of Surrey.  As Surrey had no children by his wife Jeanne de Bar, Edward II's niece - though he had plenty of illegitimate ones - Richard Fitzalan was his uncle's heir as well as his father's, and was one of the richest men in England.  Richard was probably born in 1313 or at the beginning of 1314: according to a papal letter of 1345, he was seven when he married the eight-year-old Isabel Despenser, eldest daughter of Hugh the Younger, at Havering in Essex on 9 February 1321.  Edward II attended the wedding and paid for a piece of Lucca cloth to make a veil for spreading over the heads of the child-couple during their nuptial mass, and gave two pounds in pennies to be thrown over them at the chapel door.  [1]  Earl Richard was and is known by the nickname 'Copped Hat' (whatever that means).  I'm not a great fan of Richard, to put it mildly, but I can't help but admire him for his actions in the summer of 1330, when he was still only a teenager: he rebelled against the regime of Isabella of France and Roger Mortimer, and, named as 'the king's enemy and rebel', was forced to flee the country.  Edward III, shortly after he overthrew his mother and her favourite a few months later, recalled Richard to England and restored him to his lands and goods. [2]

Richard Fitzalan and Isabel Despenser's only child, Edmund Fitzalan ( I use the name Fitzalan in this post, but the family mostly called themselves 'de Arundel' in the fourteenth century), appears to have been born in 1327 - he was said to be twenty in 1347 [3]- when both his parents were still extremely young, probably only fourteen and fifteen.  1327 must have been a bleak year for the young couple: their fathers and Isabel's grandfather the Elder Despenser had recently been executed as traitors, Isabel's mother Eleanor de Clare and eldest brother Hugh (the Even Younger, 1308/09-1349) were in prison, her great-uncle Edward II had been deposed, and three of her four younger sisters had been forcibly veiled by the supposedly merciful Isabella of France.  (The youngest, Elizabeth, only a baby in 1327, married Roger Mortimer's grandson Maurice, Lord Berkeley.)  Perhaps not surprisingly, Richard and Isabel's marriage was not a happy one, and in December 1344 Richard managed to have it annulled on the grounds that the couple had been "forced by blows to cohabit, so that a son was born" even though they had "expressly renounced" their marital vows at puberty, having been forced in childhood to contract them "by fear of their relatives."  [4]  This may be true, though none of the said relatives were still alive to object, and Richard's affair with the widowed Eleanor of Lancaster no doubt had a great deal to do with his desire for an annulment.  He married her with unseemly haste in February 1345, in the presence of Edward III.  [5]  Eleanor (c. 1318-1372) was the fifth of the six daughters of Henry, earl of Lancaster (d. 1345) and Maud Chaworth (d. c. 1321); sister of the great Henry of Grosmont; and widow of Henry Beaumont's son and heir John, killed jousting in 1342.  To add insult to injury, she was also Isabel Despenser's first cousin (Maud Chaworth was the elder half-sister of Hugh Despenser the Younger).  Richard Fitzalan and Eleanor of Lancaster were to have five children who survived into adulthood: Richard, born c. 1346, Richard's successor as earl of Arundel and beheaded by Richard II in 1397; John (drowned in 1379), marshal of England; Thomas (d. 1414), archbishop of Canterbury; Joan (d. 1419), countess of Hereford and grandmother of Henry V; Alice (d. 1416), countess of Kent.  Isabel Despenser appears not to have re-married, and falls into obscurity after the annulment; she was still alive in 1356 (Note: Douglas Richardson discovered this), but the date of her death is not known.   The date of Edmund Fitzalan's death is not known either, but was between 1376 and 1382.

Edmund Fitzalan, although he sent an indignant petition protesting his treatment to the pope in 1347, was made illegitimate by the annulment of his parents' marriage.  Despite his illegitimacy, he was knighted and made an excellent marriage, sometime before the summer of 1347, to Sybil, one of the daughters of William Montacute, earl of Salisbury (d. 1344) and Katherine Grandisson.  Sybil's siblings included William, earl of Salisbury (1328-1397), Elizabeth, who married Edmund Fitzalan's uncle Hugh, Lord Despenser (died 1349), son and heir of Hugh the Younger, and Philippa, who married Roger Mortimer's namesake grandson and heir, the second earl of March (1328-1360).  Edmund Fitzalan and Sybil Montacute had three daughters: Elizabeth, who married Sir Leonard Carew and has descendants; Philippa, who married Sir Richard Sergeaux and has descendants; and Katherine, who married someone called Deincourt.  (For more info about Edmund, see Susan Higginbotham's excellent post about him.)  I find Richard Fitzalan's willingness to disinherit a male heir puzzling; there was evidently nothing wrong with Edmund, and although Richard was to have three sons by Eleanor of Lancaster and knew before marrying her that she was fertile (she had a son and a daughter by John Beaumont), he couldn't have known for certain beforehand that she would bear him sons, or that they would survive childhood.

Richard Fitzalan, earl of Arundel, wrote his will at Arundel Castle on 5 December 1375, and died on 14 January 1376.  He was buried next to Eleanor of Lancaster, who had died in January 1372; their tomb and effigies still exist in Chichester Cathedral (pic here) and inspired Philip Larkin's great poem 'An Arundel Tomb'.  Richard, although one of the richest men in England, did not leave a single bequest to his eldest son Edmund or to his granddaughters Elizabeth, Philippa and Katherine.  The following were named in the will and left bequests: his and Eleanor's sons Richard, John and Thomas (then bishop of Ely); his daughters Joan and Alice; the eldest daughter (unnamed) of his son John; Henry and Edward, younger sons of his son John; William, another son of his son John; his sister 'Dame Alaine'; his nephews and nieces, Alaine's children by Roger Lestrange; his uncle John Arundel (perhaps an illegitimate son of Richard, earl of Arundel who died in 1302).  Richard asked his executors Hugh Segrave, Guy Brian and Edward St John in the last line of his will "to be good to my children," but evidently didn't include his eldest son Edmund in this...


1) Thomas Stapleton, 'A Brief Summary of the Wardrobe Accounts of the tenth, eleventh, and fourteenth years of King Edward the Second', Archaeologia, 26 (1836), p. 338.
2) Calendar of Fine Rolls 1327-1337, p. 181; Calendar of Patent Rolls 1330-1334, p. 20; Calendar of Close Rolls 1330-1333, p. 81.
3) Calendar of Papal Letters 1342-1262, p. 254.
4) Ibid., p. 164.
5) Ibid., pp. 176, 188.

02 December, 2010

More Fourteenth-Century Proofs Of Age, Or, I Know Your Date Of Birth Because My Son Fled The House With A Greyhound That Day

More extracts from proofs of age (see the last post directly beneath or here), in the Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem 1300-1307 and 1307-1327:

1300, Derbyshire: Richard Daniel (elder brother of John Daniel, killed on the orders of Roger Mortimer in November 1326) is known to have been born in Wexford on 25 April 1274 partly because "Roger de Cheilmardon, aged 70 and more, says that at about the feast of All Saints 26 years ago he came to the house of the said William [Foljaumb], and seeing the said Richard an infant asked who he was, and was answered and told that he was born in Ireland, at which he greatly marvelled."

1301, Northumberland: Margery de Bocland, daughter and heiress of Elias Cusyn, was born on 25 January fifteen years previously:
"Simon de Ruchestre, aged 42, agrees, and remembers because he was then building his hall, 15 years ago.
William Gryse of Matfen West, aged 54, agrees, and remembers because at the feast of Easter next after the said birth, Robert his brother was slain by robbers going to York on the business of Sir John de Herteweyton, 15 years ago, and he loved his brother above all living.
Adam son of Bernard de Ryhill, aged 40, agrees, and remembers because on the day she was born there was a great storm, and he was on his journey from Ryhill to Brynckeburn, and when he had to ride across the Coket he was nearly drowned, and that was 15 years ago."

1302, Ireland: Gilbert de Clare, lord of Thomond (died 1307, nephew of Gilbert 'the Red' de Clare, earl of Gloucester (died 1295), first husband of Hugh Despenser the Younger's sister Isabel, and brother of Margaret, Lady Badlesmere and Maud, Lady Clifford) was proved to have been born in Limerick on 3 February 1281 on the testimony of twelve men, including the following:
"Elias de Cheyne agrees, and recollects because his mother sent to Juliana de Clare the said Gilbert's mother a present by him on the day she was in labour, 21 years ago...
Robert de Inscul agrees, and recollects because he was in a fight at Kyldroyn between the English and Irish on Monday after All Saints, when Robert le Butiller, knight, was wounded whereof he died, and the said Gilbert was born a year after; which fight was 22 years ago...
Maurice Gerveys agrees, and recollects because Walter his brother was wounded in the aforesaid fight so that his life was despaired of.
Stephen Kyvernok agrees, and recollects because he was serving the said Thomas [de Clare] the father at his table, when news came to him of the birth of the said Gilbert."

(Thomas de Clare (d. 1287) helped the future Edward I escape from captivity in 1265, with the aid of Roger Mortimer's grandfather Roger Mortimer (d. 1282); Edward subsequently defeated Simon de Montfort at the battle of Evesham.)

1303, Nottingham: Richard son and heir of Hugh le Heryz was born on the day of Holy Trinity 1282:
"...in that year the king was in the war of Wales, and Llewellyn prince of Wales was taken and slain after the feast of St Martin...
William Torkard of Boneye, aged 50, agrees, and recollects because in Whitsun week before the said Richard's birth, Margery his wife taken with great weakness bore a son scarcely six thumbs in length, who nevertheless lived until he was baptised and then died...
John son of John of Stapelford, aged 41, agrees, and recollects because John his father was in the war of Wales with Sir Peter de la Mare and was drowned with his lord and many others, as well knights as others, in the water of Conewey [Conwy] on the day of St Leonard next after the said Richard's birth 21 years ago."

(That's a reference to the battle of Moel Y Don and the collapse of Edward I's bridge across the Menai Strait on 6 November 1282.)

1305, Gloucester: John son and heir of Robert de Stallinge was born on 8 November 1283:
"William de la Haye, aged 48, agrees, and knows it because on the day that the said Maud [John's mother] purified herself the said Robert [de Stallinge] made a feast to all his neighbours, but did not invite him, at which he was angry."

1307: Richard son and heir of Adam de Stubhuse was born on 1 November 1286:
"John Scarthcroft, aged 50, says the same, and knows it because he was in a certain house on the said day and year."

Well, that's not vague at all, is it?

1308: John son and heir of Simon le Hauekere was born on St Clement's Day 1285:
"William Quynton of Conyton, aged 54, says the same, and knows it because he married his wife Thephania in 12 Edw. I and buried her on the same eve of St Clement, 13 Edw. I, in the cemetery of Conyton, and was almost mad with grief.
Roger de Hiltone, aged 60, says the same, and recollects it because on the same day of St Clement he held a feast in honour of the saint, when, all his neighbours sitting at dinner, his oven and kitchen were burned.
John Pollard of Fendrayton, aged 40, says the same, which he recollects because on that same day of St Clement he was robbed and wounded almost to death by robbers."

1308: Margaret de Harle, daughter and co-heiress of Brian de Brompton, was born on 28 October 1293:
"Hugh de Bolledon, aged 60, says the same, and knows it because he had a son who fled from his house with a greyhound to Huggeford on the said day, and did not return for two days."

1308: John brother and heir of Robert de Derle was born on the Friday after the Purification twenty-two years previously:
"Robert de Dethek, knight, aged 60...knows it because on Saturday after the Epiphany last, twenty-two years ago, Henry de Derle, father of the said John, went with him from Nottingham to Derle, fell ill of the excessive cold, and died within a fortnight after, and Alice his wife bore the said John on the said Friday following.
William de Hopton, aged 50, says the same, and knows it because he begot a daughter Alice of one Edda de Metlak, who was born on the day of the Purification last twenty-three years ago, and was weaned the end of that year, and the said John was born twenty-two years ago, and the same Edda was hired for his nurse."

1309, Suffolk: Bartholomew son and heir of John Davelers was born on 28 September 1287:
"Robert le Vyte, aged 66, says as above, and knows it because on that Friday he came to the hall of Everwarton for 14 shillings due to him for a cloth of russet, and found the lady lying in childbed...
Richard le Warde, aged 55, says as above, and knows it because on that Friday he was repairing the house of Roger le Priur at Everwarton, and fell and broke his right leg."

1310: Elizabeth, younger daughter and co-heiress of Brian de Brompton (and sister of Margaret de Harle above), 'was 14 on Wednesday after St Nicholas last':
"Adam Osberne, aged 60, agrees, and knows it because when building a chamber in his place near the manor of the said Brian, he heard the said Elizabeth wailing...
Richard Faber, aged 60, says the same, and knows it because William de Drayton his servant was slain in Ayston the same day, and in following the felon he saw the said Elizabeth being baptised at the door of the church.
William de Weston, aged 50, Richard de Morton, aged 40, Philip de Castro, aged 50, and Adam Hasard, aged 40, agree, and know it by many evident reasons."

Which would be...?

1312, Cambridge: John son and heir of William Heved was born 'on the day of St Benet, 17 Edw. I':
"William Quynton, aged 52 and more*, says the same, and knows it because he had a wife named Thephania (Thiph'), who died on the day of Holy Trinity, 18 Edw. I**, and was buried on the Sunday following in the graveyard of Conyton; and for the sale of an ox on the same day of St Benet he was excommunicated by the rector in the said church...
William Morel, aged 80, says the same, and knows it because he had a son Henry who the same day and year set out on pilgrimage for Rome, and never returned."

* William was said to be 54 in 1308 in John le Hauekere's proof of age, above.
** He said that Thephania died in 13 Edw. I, not 18 Edw. I, in John le Hauekere's proof of age.  Hmmm.
That last entry about William Morel's son makes me feel sad; how awful never to know what happened to your child.

1314, Lincolnshire: Peter kinsman and one of the heirs of Peter de Campania was born 'on the eve of St Laurence 18 Edw. I' (9 August 1290):
"Lambert ad Ripam of Netelham, aged 50, says the same, and knows it because the men of the township of Netelham built a chapel in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the year of the said Peter's birth, and he with others went on the said day of St Laurence to Saxilby to buy timber for the said chapel, and the men of Saxilby announced the birth of the said Peter to him...
John Luyght of Netelham, aged 45, says the same, and knows it because on the said day of St Laurence he carried hay from Saxilby to Netelham which he bought of one William in the Croft, who announced to him the said Peter's birth, and one of his horses fell and broke its neck."