The existence of Edward II's illegitimate son Adam has been known to historians since 1964, when Professor F. D. Blackley discovered references to the boy in Edward's wardrobe account of 1322: Adam accompanied his father on Edward's disastrous Scottish campaign that year. The lad was openly acknowledged as 'Adam, bastard son of the lord king' (Ade filio domini Regis bastardo) or simply as 'Adam, son of the king' (Ade filio Regis). The account records five payments to Adam, presumably in his mid-teens or thereabouts, old enough to go on military campaign but young enough to have his tutor with him. The payments totalled thirteen pounds and twenty-two pence, and were intended for Adam to purchase 'equipment and other necessaries' (armatura et alia necessaria). The money was paid out to him in five instalments between 6 June and 18 September 1322 by John Sturmy, steward of Edward's chamber, either to Adam himself or to his tutor (magister), Hugh Chastilloun. Adam is usually assumed to have died on the Scottish campaign, perhaps of the dysentery which ravaged the English army, as he never appears again in any known source.
[All this information comes from F. D. Blackley's article ‘Adam, the Bastard Son of Edward II’, Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, 37 (1964), pp. 76-77.]
The identity of Adam's mother is unknown, though presumably Edward had a reasonably serious relationship with her, as I can't imagine that he would have acknowledged her child as his own unless he was certain that he was the father - which of course implies that he knew her well enough and for long enough to be sure that she wasn't having sex with anyone else. Given that 'Adam' is not a name from Edward's family, presumably the unknown mistress was the daughter or sister of a man called Adam, or a man called Adam was the boy's godfather. I haven't a clue as to who this man might be - Edward had several servants with this name, including Adam of Lichfield, his lion-tamer. (?!) As Adam was about in his mid-teens in 1322 and thus born around 1305 to 1308, he must have been conceived when Edward was in his early to mid-twenties.
As Adam The Mysterious Illegitimate Son Of Edward II annoyingly seems destined to remain completely obscure - I can't find any references to him anywhere else at all - I've been trying to trace his magister Hugh Chastilloun, in the hope that his whereabouts before 1322 might give me a clue as to where Adam was, or that I might indirectly learn something about Adam. Equally annoyingly, though, Chastilloun proved a hard man to trace. Such as they are, here are the results of my investigation.
Firstly I found a Hugh Chastillon who was lord of the manor of Leckhampstead in Buckinghamshire, who died sometime between 1316 and 1323 - though obviously he can't have been Adam's tutor if he died before 1322. Hugh was the son of Richard Chastillon, who died in 1279 when Hugh was already of full age, which means he can't have been born any later than 1258. The family is mentioned a couple of times on the Fine Roll of Edward I's reign, with the name spelt Castilun and Chastillun. (There are approximately 342 different ways of spelling the name Chastilloun, which didn't make my quest any easier.) The Hugh Chastillon in question was summoned to a meeting of the king's council in September 1297, served against the Scots in 1298, and was summoned to parliament as a knight of the shire for Buckinghamshire in 1300 and 1301. He had at least two sons: William, rector of Leckhampstead, and Richard, who succeeded his father as lord of the manor. Richard, name spelt Chasteloun and Chastiloun, went overseas with Hugh Despenser the Elder in March 1319, and accompanied Despenser on the Scottish campaign in 1322. Richard and his brother William the rector were accused in May 1327 of stealing the goods of Sir Richard Talbot in Oxfordshire - the man who married Elizabeth Comyn in secret in 1326. If this man was the correct Hugh Chastilloun, I can't find him in any context which might provide a link to Adam, and possibly he was too old anyway - and he's very hard to trace after the beginning of the 1300s.
Secondly, a man called Hugh Castellon was appointed keeper of the manor of Kirkby Malzeard near Ripon in Yorkshire in the autumn of 1323, which had been forfeited to Edward II by John Mowbray (executed March 1322). Edward stayed at Kirkby Malzeard from 18 to 20 September 1323, and appointed Castellon keeper on his last day there. Castellon was still alive in the early 1330s, when he was accused by Mowbray's son and heir of stealing his goods in Kirkby and elsewhere. He may be the same man who was one of the mainpernors of the Contrariant John Mauduit in 1322 as recorded on the Fine Roll, where the name is spelt 'Hugh Castellion'. If he was the man who was Adam's tutor, I can't find any references to him before the early 1320s, and I have no idea who he was or what happened to him after the early 1330s.
And here are a few other possibilities that might provide a clue to Hugh Chastilloun's real identity:
- there' s a French town near Bordeaux, nowadays called Castillon-la-Bataille (Castillon-sur-Dordogne until recently), which in the fourteenth century was within the territory controlled by the kings of England. Maybe the mysterious Hugh Chastilloun came from there; the lord of Castillon was high in Edward II's favour, and accompanied him on his return to England in February 1308 after marrying Isabella: Edward came ashore from his ship in a barge, "Hugh le Despenser [the Elder] and the lord of Castellione of Gascony being in his company."
- the family name of the counts of St Pol in this era was Chatillon, also spelt Castellion or Chastilloun. The count of St Pol who died in 1307 was called Hugh de Chatillon, and his brother and successor Guy, who died in 1317, was married to Edward II's first cousin Marie of Brittany (daughter of Edward I's sister Beatrice).
- there are other French towns called Chatillon - Chatillon-sur-Indre, Chatillon-sur-Marne, Chatillon-sur-Loire, etc.
- and finally, Holt Castle in Denbighshire, Wales was sometimes called Castel Lleon in the fourteenth century, with Chastellyon or Chastellion as alternative spellings. Hugh Chastilloun might have come from one of these places, or none of them, might be one of the men I've named here, or someone else entirely.
So to sum up: have I certainly identified Hugh Chastilloun? Nope, not even close. Have I discovered any new information about Edward II's out-of-wedlock son? Nope, absolutely sod-all. Research is really frustrating sometimes.