29 August, 2008

Edward II's Chamber Journal, 1322-1323

The first surviving journal of Edward II's Chamber dates from the year 1322/23. J. C. Davies, in his article 'The First Chamber Journal of Edward II', English Historical Review, volume 30, 1915, gives a few of the Chamber entries, but only in the original French - so here's my translation of some of them. I've kept people's names in the original spelling.

Item, the 8th day of November at Tutbury, paid to Adam Dauid for 16 ells of cloth, price of each ell 17p, to this same for 12 ells of medlar cloth in black and vermilion, price of each ell, 16p, bought to make short jackets for the squires of the king's chamber, 38 shillings and 4p.

Paid to Jak Despaigne, valet of the king's chamber, for his expenses towards the household, 10 shillings.

Item, paid to Thomas Bower, valet of the king's chamber, of the king's gift, for his expenses towards the household, 20 shillings.

The 15th day of November, paid to Johan, nakerer of the king, on the information of Johan Harsik, 20 shillings.

Paid to Roger de Wodeham, valet of the king's chamber, who carries the king's bow, of the king's gift by his command, 5 shillings.

Paid to Wille de Donestaple and Wille Fissher, pages of the king's chamber, to buy themselves shoes, of the king's gift by his command, 9p.

The 20th day of November, paid to 10 fishermen of the said Thorn [near Doncaster] who fished in the king's presence and took great pike, great eels, and a large number of other fish, by the hands of Sir Johan Lesturmy, 20 shillings.

Paid there to Robyn Chaundeller, valet of the king's chamber, for 40 pounds of wax purchased by the said Robyn and the said Sir Johan [Sturmy] at Doncaster, by the king's command, to make torches and candles to serve the household of Sir Hugh le Despenser the son, price of each pound 6p.

The 8th day of October in the present 16th year [1322] at Barnard Castle, paid to Johan fiz Alein, Johan de la More, William de Castre, Richard Borrey, Johan Michel, Hugh de Mordeun, William de Brid, Wautier Phelip, Robert Bernard, Johan Hudde, Wautier Knyght, Phelip Boldyngg, Richard Warde, Henri Bouer and Robert de Kenle, taking each of these 15 men as reapers of wheat in the park of the said castle, each taking 4p per day for their hired labour between the 4th day of October of the present year and this day for 4 weekdays, paid by the hands of John Hert, parker of the said castle, 20 shillings. Item, paid to 10 'diverse women' of Barnard Castle, that is for making and collecting hay together in the park, taking 5 shillings.

Item, the 12th day of October, paid there to [the same 15 men], taking each of these 15 men as mowers of the meadows, working in the park by command of the king in the said park as before, each taking per weekday 4p between the 9th day of October and this day of the same month, for 2 weekdays, 10 shillings.

Item, paid to Johane Bate, Emme Brid, Alys Hayward, Mold Vaderwyf, Mold Pecok, Johane de Stronde, Emme Bernard de Polles, each of the 7 taking 1 and a half pence per weekday for their hired labour, working in the said park, making and collecting hay together, for the said 2 days 21p.

Item, paid by command of the king this day to Richard de Mereworth, valet of the king's chamber, for buying various things at Newcastle-upon-Tyne [Noef Chastel sur Tyne] in the month of September, that is, paid to Adam Stowes for 4 pieces of iron for pans, 4p; paid to William Wyncenselby for 4 pieces of iron for pans, 6p; paid to this same for 4 locks and 12 keys for closing doors of various houses at the said castle that various provisions are placed within, which will come to Neeth in the parts of Scotland [?], 19p.

Paid to the said Richard de Mereworth for 6 [wattled frames?] for the vehicles which were sent to the said Neeth in Scotland for provisions for the king's household and are now lodged at the said Newcastle, 12p.

Item, the 7th day of November at Sandal, paid to William Shirlyngg, king's sailor, for his expenses towards the household, 10 shillings; paid to Sibille, wife of Monde Fissher, for her expenses towards the household, 5 shillings.

The 24th day of November, paid there to Huchoun le Despenser the youngest son [i.e., son of Hugh Despenser the younger, Edward's eldest great-nephew], of the king's gift, to buy himself various necessities, on the information of Johan Harsik, 100s.

Item, paid to Johan de Dalton who aided Master Robert de Baudok at Rievaulx when the Scots pursued [the king] in the month of October of the present year, of the king's gift in his presence, 10 marks.

Paid to Master Piers le Plomer, sergeant of the king's chamber, of the king's gift, for his expenses towards the household, 20s.

The 5th day of December at Cowick, paid to Johan Burnet for a small boat bought from him in the king's presence when he passed from York to Cowick, for the keel of which Hugh Poit is captain, 10s.

The 7th day of December at Hatheleseye, paid to William Brayn, parker of Pontefract [Pounfruit], of the king's gift, 6s and 8p.

Paid to Brother Wautier de Mordon, Carmelite brother, whose mass the king often heard in the chapel of Templehurst, of the king's gift, by the hands of Syme Lawe delivering the money to him, 40s.

Paid to Reynald, cordwainer of Snaith, who made boots for the king, of the king's gift, 3s.

Paid to Master Johan Cole, king's blacksmith, for iron and steel bought by the said Johan at the king's command, for various things, and who this day showed the items to the king himself, paid at the king's command and in his presence in the forge of Templehurst, 7s and 1p.

Item, the 24th day of December, Christmas Eve, paid to Johan de Yhokeshale [Yoxall, Staffordshire], squire of Sir Hugh le Despenser the son, who was taken by the enemies of Scotland [i.e., Edward's Scottish enemies], of the king's gift, to buy himself horses and equipment, 100s.

Item, the 5th day of January at Cowick, paid to Johan Cole, king's blacksmith, of the king's gift, 40s.

The 6th day of January, paid in the presence of the king and Sir Hugh [Despenser] in the king's chapel at the manor of Cowick to Robert de Horsele, son of Sir Robert de Horsele, king's constable of Bamburgh Castle, in part payment of 100 marks which the king owes the said Sir Robert for keeping the said castle in the 15th year just past, and because the said Sir Roger should be paid because he took pains to ensure that Sir Andreu de Hertcla [Andrew Harclay], enemy of the king, was quickly taken, 50 marks.

Item, the 13th day of January at Thorn, paid to Andreu Rosekyn for his expenses towards the household, of the king's gift, 20s.

Paid to Johan de Waltham for 2 salmon which the king took from him at Thorn, by Sir James Daudele paying the money to him, of the king's gift. [amount of money missing]

Paid to Sir William de la Mote, knight of the earl of Kent, who came to the king with a private message from the said earl, of the king's gift, by the hands of Johan Harsik delivering the money to him, 10s.

Item, the 19th day of December, paid to Jack Stillego, valet of my lady the queen, who carried letters to the king from my said lady, of the king's gift, 10s.

Paid to Janekyn, valet of Sir Robert de Kendale, who carried letters to the king from the said Sir Robert that Robert Lewer was taken, of the king's gift, 40s.

Item, the 20th day of January, paid to Brother Johan Ambriz and his fellow friar preachers of France, of the king's gift, by the hands of Richard de Ayremynne, keeper of the privy seal, receiving the money, 40s.

The 13th day of February, paid to Laurentin, piper minstrel of the king, of the king's gift, 20s.

Paid to Monde Smyth, who was at one time blacksmith of the king and is now porter of Windsor, of the king's gift, for his expenses towards the household, 20s.

Paid to Alis, daughter of Alice de Brunne, who came from York to Pontefract with ale as a present for the king from her mother, of the king's gift, 5s.

Item, the 2nd day of March, paid to Esmond de Ramesbury, chaplain of the king, of the king's gift, on the information of Thomas de Useflete, 40s.

Paid to Brother Wautier, formerly associate of Brother Richard de Bliton, king's almoner, of the king's gift, to buy himself a habit, 20s.

Paid to Johan de Dalton who brought news to the king that Sir Andreu de Ercla [Andrew Harclay] was taken, of the king's gift, 20s.

The 7th day of January, paid to 4 clerks of Snaith, playing interludes in the hall at Cowick before the king and Sir Hugh [Despenser], of the king's gift, by the hands of Harsik delivering the money to them, 40s.

Paid to Piers Bernard, usher of the king's chamber, of the king's gift, 20s.

Paid to the king himself for playing at dice, 3s.

Item, paid to Sir Johan Lesturmy, steward of the king's chamber, and other squires of the chamber sent on private business of the king, for their expenses without making other mention, by the king's command, 72s.

Here's the original of the last 4 entries, to give you an idea of what the journal looks like:

Le vij iour de Janyuer paie a iiij clers de Sneyth iuantz entreludies en la sale de Couwyk deuant le Roi et monsire Hugh de doun le Roi par les mayns Harsik liuerant a eux les deniers xL s. paie a Piers Bernard hussher de la chambre le Roi de doun le Roi xx s. paie au Roi mesme pur iewer a dees iij s. Item paie a monsire Johan Lesturmy seneschal de la chambre le Roi et autres esquiers de la chambre mandez priuement es busoignes le Roi pur lor despenses sauntz autre mencion faire par comandement le Roi Lxxij s.

The Household Ordinance of 1318 stated that Edward should have 8 valets of the chamber, but in 1322/23, he had 9: Monde Fissher, Roger de Wodeham, Thomas Bower, Jak Despaigne, Richard de Mereworth, Jack de Cressing, Robyn Chaundeller, Syme Lawe, and Monde Quarrell. ('Monde' was the short form of 'Esmond', or Edmund.) Monde Fissher was married to a woman called Sibille, and on 7 November 1322, Edward gave her 5 shillings for her expenses coming to the household to visit her husband (above). 2 pages of the chamber are also mentioned that year, Wille de Donestaple and Wille Fissher - maybe Monde's brother. Then there were the squires of the chamber - Oliver de Bordeaux and Rhys ap Gruffydd - the steward of the chamber, Sir John Sturmy, the usher of the chamber, Peter Bernard, clerks of the chamber, sergeants of the chamber, and of course the chamberlain himself, Hugh Despenser. Phew!

John Harsik and Peter (or Piers) Bernard were two of the men ordered to be arrested in March 1330, for joining the earl of Kent's conspiracy to free Edward II.

11 comments:

Susan Higginbotham said...

Interesting! I wonder what "various necessities" Hugh the youngest bought?

Lady D. said...

Oh I so love these little details! Thanks for translating them for us Alianore!

I love how the king paid himself for playing dice!

Also - the material bought for the 'short jackets' (how short I wonder?) for the squires- those colours sound wonderful together. I bet they looked the biz!

I also noted the other little bits and pieces that are so 'Ed' - the watching the fishermen, the buying of the boat and his presence in the blacksmith's forge. Wonderful!

Gabriele C. said...

I wish I could find a list like that for a Roman upper class household, or even better, some military provision lists. It would be interesting to see where the money went. :)

Alianore said...

Susan: I know, I wish they'd be more specific! Wonder what 'necessities' a 14-year-old boy had in 1322...

Lady D: some of the entries are just so Edward, aren't they?? :)

Black and red together sounds very smart - and now you've got me imagining lots of fit young men wearing very short jackets. Oh my. :-)

Gabriele: that would really be fascinating, wouldn't it?

Anerje said...

Great insight to Ed's court! Have to ask - what's a nakerer????

Alianore said...

Anerje: a nakerer was a drummer - a naker being a kind of small drum.

Anerje said...

Doh! of course it is! temporary memory lapse. Thanks!

Lady D. said...

n feel a song about naked nakerers coming on... ;-)

Kevin said...

Ahem...well I hate to follow that last comment, but I'll give it a go... (smile)

Would that some of those "private messages" have been recorded for posterity. Such as the letter from the Earl of Kent, etc.

I finished, at long last, my blog on Thomas of Woodstock's murder. I am betting that y'all will find the inventory of his estate fascinating: especially the parts where they go into the duke's boudoir (smile)...

http://plantagenetdynasty.blogspot.com/2008/09/murder-of-thomas-of-woodstock.html

Kevin said...

Oh...the link I pasted was too gigantic to work in the comments block here. Just click on my name and that will get you to the link. Sorry!

Alianore said...

Lady D: what an excellent idea. ;)

Kevin: looks like a really fascinating, informative post! BTW, if you copy and paste the link, it works fine.