14 March, 2011

Private Chambers, Silver Images and Little Domesday

Some rather interesting payments made by Edward II, taken from Frederick Devon, ed., Issues of the Exchequer: Being a Collection of Payments made out of His Majesty's Revenue, from King Henry III to King Henry VI Inclusive (1837).  I love old books and their long titles; incidentally, the full title of Christopher Marlowe's c. 1592 play about Edward is The Troublesome Reign and Lamentable Death of Edward the Second, King of England, with the Tragical Fall of Proud Mortimer.

- 24 October 1307: 500 pounds paid to Piers Gaveston, earl of Cornwall, "for so much money which the same lord the earl lent in the Wardrobe for the lord the king."  The question is, how did Piers get such a huge sum of money to lend to Edward?  From Edward in the first place, almost certainly.

- 4 November 1307: 52 pounds paid to one Richard de la Bayr "for two war-horses purchased from him for the king's use, the one a bay and the other white spotted."  Also, 20 pounds paid to de la Bayr for "a roan coloured palfrey, purchased from him, and given by the king to the countess of Cornwall."  Given the date, this was almost certainly a wedding gift from Edward to his niece Margaret de Clare.

- 13 December 1307: 30 pounds paid to Peter de Sparham "by the hands of Godin, his boy, for diverse tassels of gold, a chaplet and frontal of gold, and for an alb with pearls and silk, and divers other mercery of this sort, purchased from the same Peter by the king's command, and given by him to the countess of Cornwall [Margaret de Clare] and to other ladies and maids of honour then with him."

There are numerous payments relating to Edward II's coronation on 25 February 1308.  Here are a few:
- 40 pounds paid to Nicholas Picot and Nigell Drury, sheriffs of London, for beer.
- 100 pounds paid to Ralph Ratespray and Nicholas Dorman, merchants of London, for "large cattle and boars."
- 20 pounds to John le Discher of London for - well - dishes.
- 70 pounds to Walter le Haken and Henry de Redenhale, fishmongers of London, for "large fish" and "small pike."  (All this food presumably ended up being served at the disastrous banquet.)
- 40 marks paid to Hugh de Bungey for "armour, beds and apparel for the lord the king on the day of his coronation."
- 100 marks to Edward de Lovekyn for "sheep, pigs, large cattle and other things of this kind."
- 20 marks paid to Roger Frowyk for repairing the royal sceptre.

- 29 January 1308, 10 marks paid to the fishmonger Henry de Redenhale "to obtain from Gloucester lampreys for the king."

- 21 October 1310, 20 marks "paid to John Chaucomb, "of the king's gift, for the news which he brought to the same lord the king, respecting the lady Eleanor le Despenser."  This means Edward's eldest niece Eleanor de Clare, who had married Hugh Despenser the Younger in May 1306.  I wonder what the news was - that she had borne a child?  (Their eldest son, the imaginatively-named Hugh, was born in 1308 or 1309.)  Hugh the Younger himself had left England without Edward II's permission at the beginning of the year to take part in a jousting tournament in Mons with Robert d'Enghien; Edward issued an order on 31 December 1309 forbidding any Englishman to leave the country to joust, and seized Hugh's lands nine days later after he disobeyed the order.  Perhaps Hugh impregnated his wife just before leaving the country!

- A sad entry on 28 August 1311: Edward paid 113 pounds for the "expenses and preparation made for the burial of the body" of his five-year-old half-sister Eleanor, Edward I's youngest child and born in May 1306 when he was nearly sixty-seven, at Beaulieu Abbey in Hampshire.  I don't know what the poor little girl died of.

- 14 June 1315: 20 shillings paid to sailors Edmund of Greenwich, Thomas Springet and William Kempe "for their labour in taking a whale, lately caught near London Bridge."

- 16 August 1315: 8 marks paid to William le Clerk of London "for eight pots of brass and one great brass pot, purchased from him for the king's use."

- 26 November 1315: 20 marks given to Roger Frowyk, the London goldsmith who mended the royal sceptre before the coronation, in part payment for making "a crown of gold" for Edward.

- 5 December 1315: Edward paid 70 shillings to 35 Dominicans for "performing divine service at the anniversary of the lady the queen, mother of the present lord the king."  28 November 1315 was the twenty-fifth anniversary of Eleanor of Castile's death.

- a somewhat intriguing payment on 9 December 1315: 20 shillings paid to William Ward, a valet of Edward's chamber, "to keep certain private chambers for the king in the palace of the said lord the king at Westminster."

- 12 February 1316: 60 shillings paid to John Norton, "surveyor of the king's works within the king's palace at Westminster," for purchasing iron, steel and sea coal to "make divers heads for the king's lances."

- 27 March 1316: 20 pounds paid to "Adam de Brugges, farrier to the lady the queen, consort of the lord the king, and to William de Watford, keeper of the palfreys of the same lady the queen, by the hands of John de Salisbury, for a bay horse purchased by them from John Fleg, a horse dealer of London, and delivered to them to carry the litter of the said lady the queen."  Isabella was about four months pregnant at the time with her and Edward's second child John of Eltham.

- 13 April 1317: 20 marks paid to Roger de Gretford, "the king's bailiff at the manor of La Nayte, to complete certain works there begun for the lord the king at his command."  The manor of La Nayte or La Neyte lay in modern-day Pimlico, London.

- 15 April 1317: Edward gave 20 pounds to the Dominicans (his favourite order) of Pamplona for "three days' entertainment...to wit, one day for the lord king himself, the second day for the lady queen his consort, and the third for the Lord Edward their son."

- 6 May 1317: 8 pounds and 4 shillings was paid to a goldsmith called Walter de Spaldingg for "making a silver image, weighing ten marks, for the use of the lord the king, which said image the lord king commanded to be made."  Which image is sadly not recorded.

- 17 May 1317: 50 marks paid to Rose de Bureford - half of what was owed to her - for making an embroidered cope as a present from the queen to the new pope, John XXII.  (Note that Edward, not Isabella, paid for it.)

- 18 May 1317: 4 pounds paid to Hugh de Bungeye for making a bed for Edward.

- 21 May 1317: Edward paid 20 marks for his sister, the nun Mary, and niece Elizabeth de Burgh to go on pilgrimage to Canterbury.  Elizabeth had just married Roger Damory, and apparently wasn't in any great rush to settle down into married life with him.  (Talking of Roger Damory, Hannah Kilpatrick has an excellent new post about the judgement on him in 1322.)

- 5 December 1321: 3 shillings and 4 pence paid to William, bookbinder of London, for "binding and newly repairing the book of Domesday, in which is contained the counties of Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk."  This means Little Domesday, which still exists in the National Archives in Kew.  Nice to see Edward doing his best to preserve an ancient and incredibly valuable document!


Susan Higginbotham said...

Wonderful stuff! I love these accounts.

Anerje said...

All really intersting! How sweet of Edward to give Piers money to lend to him:>

Re his half-sister - it seems odd to think of Edward having a 5 year old sister. She must have only been around a year old when Edward Ist died. Very sad, as you say.

Carla said...

Catching a whale! Those fishermen certainly earned their 20 shillings :-)

Kathryn Warner said...

Susan, they're great, aren't they?

Anerje, it's so weird, isn't it? Little Eleanor was 14 months old when Edward I died. She was more than 40 years younger than her father's oldest child!

Carla, I think so too! :-)

Captain Cook said...

I have just discovered your. It is wonderful!.

Thank you for your work.

Kathryn Warner said...

Thanks so much, Captain Cook! I'm so glad you like the blog.

Gabriele Campbell said...

Ed liked to spend money, it seems. Though he also likes to reward people, and that's a rather nice trait even though his exchequer (or whoever was responsible for holding the money together) may have disagreed with some of these.

Kathryn Warner said...

Agreed, Gabriele! :-)