The second part of my post about Henry of Lancaster is coming soon (I hope)! In the meantime, here's a kind of random post about some petitions I've been looking at on the National Archives website lately.
1) There's one presented by Piers Gaveston ('Perrot de Gavastun') and his elder brother Arnaud-Guilhem de Marsan to Edward I in or about 1305. The two men call themselves "sons of Sir Arnaud de Gavastun, late knight of Gascony" (iadis chevaler de Gascoigne; Arnaud had died in 1302), and make various requests of the king, including that "the testament of the lady of Marsan their mother be kept and fulfilled." Claramonde de Marsan died before 4 February 1287 (see J.S. Hamilton, Piers Gaveston, earl of Cornwall 1307-1312: Politics and Patronage in the Reign of Edward II, p. 25), when four castles of her inheritance were taken into Edward I's hands; Piers' and Arnaud-Guilhem's c. 1305 petition also relates to these castles. [TNA SC 8/291/14546]
2) A petition presented sometime during Edward II's reign by "Arnaud Guilhem de Marsans and Fortaner de Lescun, brothers" asking for arrears to be paid to them from the lands of their mother the lady of Marsan, i.e. Claramonde. This is interesting, as J.S. Hamilton (Piers Gaveston, pp. 22, 27-8) identifies Fortaner as Claramonde's brother, not her son. The petition is pretty faded, and I need to go through it more carefully, but there appears to be a reference to "Sir Arnaud de Gavastun father of the aforesaid Arnaud Guilhem...". It doesn't say, as far as I can tell, that Arnaud was Fortaner's father. I'm confused about the Gaveston/Marsan/Lescun family tree. Was Fortaner de Lescun a brother (or half-brother) of Piers, another son of Claramonde? Why does Hamilton say he was Claramonde's brother? Or were there two men called Fortaner de Lescun, one Claramonde de Marsan's brother and the other her son? Who was the 'Bourd de Gavaston' living at Wallingford Castle in 1312 (Close Rolls 1307-13, p. 468)? What happened to the younger brothers Gerard and Raymond-Arnaud which Hamilton (p. 26) says Piers had? Hmmmmm. [TNA SC 8/278/13863]
3) A petition presented by a John Beauchamp of Somerset which must date from the very end of Edward II's reign, as it's presented to "the king and his council" but mentions "my lady the queen and my lord the duke of Aquitaine her son," i.e. the soon-to-be Edward III. The petitioner is clearly of Isabella's allegiance and it is apparent from the entire document that she and her faction are now in charge, which makes the naming in the petition of the powerless, imprisoned and soon-to-be ex-king Edward II rather puzzling - although perhaps it reflects the confusion over Edward's status in the weeks before his deposition and indicates that it was still unclear at this point what would happen to him. Anyway, John Beauchamp complains that John de Toucestre and Richard Broun of Halford led men (eleven are named) from his manor of Shepperton to Bristol to fight against Isabella and her son, against their will (supposedly, but then Beauchamp would say that, wouldn't he?). I don't know who Richard Broun was - though intend to look into it - but John de Toucestre was a staunch supporter of Edward II in 1326 and long afterwards, joining the earl of Kent's plot to free the former king in 1330. I wrote about him a while ago. Fascinating to see what's going on here: Toucestre and Broun take men to fight against a rebel army and for their lawful king and are accused of wrong-doing while he is still their lawful king. [TNA SC 8/32/1572]
4) Another petition addressed to "my lady the queen and my lord the duke [of Aquitaine]," which presumably dates to the same period of December 1326/January 1327, by one John Giffard of Essex. Giffard claims that his manor of Bowers Giffard was attacked by Roger Wodeham and more than fifty armed men (Giffard calls them "rebels") who stole some of Giffard's horses to ride against Isabella and her army, Wodeham supposedly claiming in doing so that Giffard was an enemy of Edward II and Hugh Despenser the Younger and of the queen's faction. Without irony, the petition refers to Wodeham and his men as acting "against the peace of our lord the king" (encontre la pees n're seigneur le Roi). Giffard says that Wodeham and the rest remained in the company of Hugh Despenser until Despenser went overseas - presumably a reference to his and Edward's sailing from Chepstow on 20 October 1326 - and then returned to Essex and attempted to kill Giffard because of his support of Isabella. Roger Wodeham was a valet of Edward II's chamber and constable of Hadleigh Castle in Essex, and was said in March 1327 to have ousted a couple from their lands in Essex on Edward II's orders because they refused to "receive Hugh le Despenser, the younger, at the time of his exile" in 1321/22 (Close Rolls 1327-30, pp. 49-50). As with the previous petition, men fighting on behalf of their king are accused of wrongdoing and named as 'rebels'. [TNA SC 8/307/15309]
And finally, combining support for Edward II in 1326 and Piers Gaveston's family, here's some info about Arnaud Caillau, who may have been Piers' cousin (Piers' aunt Miramonde de Marsan married Pierre Caillau of Bordeaux) and was certainly a close ally of Edward II and Hugh Despenser the Younger, called "very dear friend" by the latter in a letter of February 1325. The Gascon Caillau was in England in 1326, and was preparing to sail from Southampton on 10 September "for the expedition of certain of the king's affairs"; presumably the arrival of Roger Mortimer and Isabella's invasion force shortly afterwards delayed his departure. (Close Rolls 1323-27, p. 615 and Fine Rolls 1319-27, p. 415.) On 22 February 1327, Mortimer and Isabella paid £35, 6 shillings and 6 pence to 158 men in three ships for pursuing Caillau along the coast of Devon and Cornwall between 8 and 20 December 1326; the timing strongly suggests that he had been with Edward until shortly before his capture. (Close Rolls 1327-30, p. 9.) The king was not entirely friendless...
Thanks for that lovely and highly interesting post, Kathryn!
I'll have to search for any information on Lescun I can get now.
Thanks so much, Ashmodiel! Lescun as far as I know is a small village in the Pyrenees, very close to the Spanish border - it looks gorgeous.
The months after Edward's arrest must have been quite a mess, with no one having ad idea who his neighbour supported, and probably a few wrynecks thrown in, too. :)
Maybe Beauchamp wanted to play safe in case the king was freed / his supporters won againt Isabella / whatever.
Good point, Gabriele - it must have been pretty chaotic then! Beauchamp's and Giffard's petitions sound to me like they were sucking up to Isabella. :-)
I'm having to breathe deeply here as I'm so excited about this post! Thank you! Piers and his family can certainly get complicated. It's frustrating Hamilton doesn't always identify his sources. Keep digging away! :>
Thought you'd like this one, Anerje! :-)
I did see one genealogy site that said Fortaner was a son of Claramonde by a previous marriage.She was an important heiress so it should be possible to determine whether she had a previous marriage. All that business about Edward I giving Claramonde's property to Fortaner de Lescun, her "brother" is very confusing, but if he was actually her eldest son it makes more sense. We really need a new biography of Piers!
Thanks for that, Anon! Must check the site out - and yes, we really do need an updated biog of Piers! :)
I found a genealogy site that listed Guillaume Arnaud's birth year as 1284. I don't know where they get their information. (I had always thought of him as being older than Piers - perhaps close in age to Arnaud Guillaume who seems to have been born around 1270) Interestingly, under Piers' "immediate family" they list Edward II as Piers' husband!
1/Gaveston true name is Gabastoun in Gascon. Literally means: little torrential river. Gabaston is a hamlet, established along a river called "Gabas", in the pre roman region of Bearn called Vic Bilh. Gabastoun are recorded since 1040 (roll of Morlaas) as knights serving the viscount of Bearn.
2/As a youngster, Claramonde was married by her powerful father Arnaud Guilhelm,baron of Marsan, to Arnaud of Lescun,another powerful baron of Bearn. She had one son from this first marriage, Fortanier of Lescun, before Arnaud of Lescun passed away. To prevent the young widow from threatening the integrity of Bearn's sovereignty, the viscount of Bearn quickly found her a new husband. Arnaud of Gabaston, a young knight issued from a family loyal to his ancestors for two centuries.Claramonde of Marsan had five children from this marriage: Arnaud-Guilhem was the elder son, and remained close to his half brother Fortanier. Some Gascon experts believe that Arnaud-Guilhem's genitor could have been Arnaud de Lescun prior to his sudden death. Consequently, Arnaud would be given the lordship and title of Lescun, inherited from his father, while Arnaud-Wilhelm would be given the lordship and title of Marsan from her mother. Piers was next, and chosen by his father to inherit the lordship and title of Gabaston - a likely proof that he was considered as the true elder son of Gabaston bloodline . As per the rules of inheritance in Bearn, others children (Gerard, Raimond-Arnaude and Amy) would receive no feudal tenure, but money.
3/The appeals from Arnaud de Lescun & Arnaud-Guilhem de Marsan to the English Kings to respect and fulfill Claramonde's testament are legitimate. Following the death of Arnaud of Gabaston in 1302, loyal towards the English crown until his death, none of the arrangements covered in 2/ were fulfilled. The castles of Lescun, Roquefort-de-Marsan, Montgaillard-des-Landes, Hagetmau, St. Loubouer, Louvigny and Gabaston were taken in charge by Edward’s senechal, while Arnaud’s lands fell under English ruled Gascony regime (duchy of Aquitaine). Arnaud’s son Piers, by then member of the household of the young Prince Edward, received the wardship of Roger Mortimer of Wigmore as compensation. Arnaud de Lescun and Arnaud-Guilhem de Marsan were aloud to keep their title, emptied from any substance. By doing so, Edward I achieved a strategic goal he had set for himself in 1170: to take control of Bearn. Although technically under English suzerainty since 1152, Bearn was not part of the Duchy of Gascony, but a fully independant state, playing French or English according to its own interest. Bearn was the second economic jewel of Gascony beside Bordeaux, as well as a key gateway to Spain, part of the Angevine expansion plan.
The divide & conquer strategy meant for Edward to breach the bonds linking barons of Bearn together, under their vicecount. Having taken 4 barons of Bearn as hostage for their vicecount’s loyalty in 1174, Edward I met each of them individually, offering fortune and lands for their obediance…Arnaud of Gabaston finally accepted. He was not a simple knight, as often read in English speaking litterature, but one of the top four barons of Bearn, by his land and castles, controlling Bearn border with the Duchy of Gascony, and the gateway to Spain via Lescun. But Gabaston was also a direct vassal of Edward I, in the King's capacity of Duke of Aquitaine, for some lands acquired through his marriage (Tursan). Last, Arnaud’s marriage had angered other barons in Bearn, leaving him isolated,and in need for protection.
Lots of people in England wonder why Arnaud of Gabaston, a somewhat modest baron from Gascony, was given such a splendid grave within Winchester’s cathedral. No native from Bearn of this time would. Edward I used Arnaud as a pawn, to ultimately take control of his whole native country. In medieval times, a great burial was an acceptable mean to obtain forgiveness from God for having been Faustian. The fate of Piers and Edward II being put in the balance, you can rationally question its effectiveness.
Moreover, taking profit of the chaotic situation in Gascony triggered by the death of Edward II, the vicecount of Bearn was able to quickly restore his control over Arnaud de Gabaston’s barony, and by doing so nullified Edward I's efforts to seize Bearn. This country escaped the fate of other Edward I's small neighboring kingdoms, Wales or Scotland.
There was another positive outcome from a local perspective. For the following decades, the ruling vicecounts closed Bearn to English influence, while strenghtening its line of bordering castles. Soon after the one hundred year broke out, Edward III came to meet Gaston Phebus, to claim his authority over Bearn and press him to join the war. In return, Gaston invited him to a fastuous stay in his Castle of Orthez, followed by a tour of his castles bordering the South of Aquitaine. At the end of the journey, he informed Edward that Bearn would remain neutral, and its land could only be sought from God, or taken by the sword. As a result, the population of Bearn was spared from the atrocities of a long and ugly war, and remained independant and peaceful for another two centuries.
What are the primary sources that prove Gerard, Raimond-Arnaud and Amy to be children of Claramonde de Marsan and Arnaud de Gabaston, do you know? Amy was Piers' daughter, no?
If Piers named his own daughter Amy, born around december 1311 in England, he may have done it in memory of his younger sister Amy, in fact the youngest child of Arnaud de Gabastoun and Claramonde de Marsan.
Arnaud de Gabastoun and Claramonde de Marsan bloodline (Arnaud-Wilhem de Marsan, Piers de Gabastoun, Gerard de Gabastoun, Raimond-Arnaude de Gabastoun,Amye de Gabastoun),are documented in the appendix of "histoire du Bearn", by Pierre de Marca, published in 1640. Pierre's primary sources were the archives of the vicecounty of Bearn (Pau, Orthez),the religious rolls of the diocese of Morlaas and Oloron,as well as all records from the Cour des Communitas and the Cour Majour. As a significant part of those archives disappeared during the French revolution, Pierre de Marca's publications have become the reference for pre 1300 history of Bearn.
In 1973, another local historian, Pierre Tucoo-Chala, conducted further research on the families of Marsan in the XIII century, and found confirmation, as well as new evidences of Claramonde's children in religious rolls and cour majour archives. The most telling being the record of a donation of 10 sols Morlaàs made in 1285 by Claramonde de Marsan to the diocese of Lescar, to say mass for having been given a daughter, Amye, as the fifth child of Sire de Gabaston.The mass had to be dedicated to St Amye of Assisi (niece of Clare of Assisi,+1252. A famous Saint for noble women of the time, for having refused to marry a rich knight against her family will, to join and develop her aunt's monastic order of the Poor Women).
As a footnote, Pierre de Marca hinted that Arnaud de Gabastoun may have had an illegitimate son, Wilhem-Arnaud de Gabastoun. But Tucoo-Chala found evidence that Wilhem-Arnaud de Gabastoun was in fact Arnaud-Wilhem de Marsan, before his status and name would be "adjusted" to fit his dual and legally ambiguous fatherhood - a decision by the Cour Majour (legal authority in Bearn) confirms the arrangement offered by his mother , making him a de Marsan.
Last, but not least, please accept my sincere congratulations for your very well documented blog, which I discovered accidentally. As a fresh pre-retired Gascon, repairing his family castle, I was looking for unique pebble stones, still produced in the village of... Gabaston, only few miles away from my family birth place. I was directed to your blog. To make things even funnier, I've spent two decades in Winchester-Hampshire, where I kept crossing the path of another Gascon, Arnaud de Gabaston, at the cathedral. This trigerred some personal investigation in my place of origin, which helps me today to bring my little stone to your impressive construction, while using Gabaston pebble stones to restore mine. A challenge of a different nature, but quite insightful when it comes to medieval construction methods....
Anon, thanks sooooo much for all this great info! I'm going to sit down later when I have more time and devour it. :) That's wonderful that you come from so close to Gabaston. I'll write more later when I have more time and have had chance to read all your wonderful information. :) Thanks again!
Hello again, and again, thank you sooooo much for sharing all this wonderful information with me. I've learned so much, and I'm so excited about it. :) I printed out your comments yesterday and read them over and over, and looked up Lescun, Gabaston etc online for more info about them. Lescun is gorgeous. I also really want to read more about the history of Béarn now. It's so fascinating.
I've been thinking for a long time that Fortaner de Lescun must actually have been Piers' brother or half-brother, having seen a petition in the National Archives from Arnaud-Guilhem de Marsan and Fortaner, 'the sons of Claramonde de Marsan', and wondering why Piers' biographer Hamilton says Fortaner was Claramonde's brother. So I really appreciate your confirmation, thank you! Hamilton also says the Caillaus who were so active in Edward II's reign were Piers' nephews, which can't be correct, surely - weren't they the sons of Claramonde's sister Miramonde and her husband Pierre Caillau of Bordeaux, and therefore Piers' first cousins?
The Vita Edwardi Secundi says that Piers' sister (it doesn't name her) was with him when he was besieged at Scarborough Castle in May 1312. I haven't yet found any other refs to her in England, though. Roy Martin Haines' 2003 biography of Edward II mentions Piers' sister in the index, and calls her Amy. I've often wondered where he got the name from! :)
An Amie or Amice de Gavaston is mentioned a couple of times on the Patent Roll in 1332 as a damsel of Queen Philippa's chamber, granted a couple of manors by her. I haven't yet seen it myself, but apparently there is one slightly later document which explicitly names her as Piers' daughter. As she obviously wasn't Margaret de Clare's daughter, she must have been illegitimate (unless, just possibly, she was the child of an unrecorded earlier marriage of Piers, but that doesn't seem likely to me). There was a great deal of debate about Amie on soc.genealogy.medieval a few years ago, with some people declaring she couldn't really have been Piers' daughter, for some bizarre reason. I don't see why there's any reason to think that a document calling her his daughter is wrong, and as Piers' sister was also called Amie/Amye, it seems to me pretty well certain that Amie de Gavaston, damsel of Queen Philippa's chamber, was indeed Piers' daughter. She married an archer named John de Driby and had children.
Thanks too for the confirmation of the existence of Piers' younger brothers Gerard and Raimond-Arnaud. I also loved the part about Claramonde's masses on behalf of her daughter in 1285. As Amye was the fifth child and Piers the second, this presumably means that Piers was rather older than I've always imagined. This puts an interestingly different complexion on his relationship with Edward for me! I'd really love to read the work of de Marca and Tucoo-Chala sometime.
Finally, would just like to tell you about a great statement I once saw in a fourteenth-century chronicle, I think offhand the 'Scalacronica' of Sir Thomas Gray (but am not totally sure - must check). It says that Gascony was the country that Edward II loved best, as Piers Gaveston came from there. :) Oh, and a great quotation from an Englishman in Gascony in 1324, which I found in Pierre Chaplais's collection of documents relating to the war of Saint-Sardos: Nicholas Hugate, a clerk, grumbled in a letter that "in this country, one will find nothing much except wine" (en cest pays homme ne trovera gueres fors que vyn). :) :)
Fascinating stuff! I'm still puzzled that Hamilton could have gotten things so wrong about Piers' family. Anyway, if Piers was the designated heir of Gabaston he never seemed to style himself "Lord of Gabaston" after his father died - which was certainly better than being the "Mr. Nobody" that he is depicted as. Also, there definitely was somebody in England called Guillaume-Arnaud de Gabaston. He turns up several times in official records in cases where he could not be mistaken for A-G de Marsan. I wish we could find out more about him, and also the mysterious Bourd! (Could "Bourd" actually be the nickname of Guillaume-Arnaud?? I know of only two references to Bourd and he apparently doesn't show up in Gascon records or any genealogy sites. How could another actual brother/relative of Piers be so obscure?)
Hello to all. This is a remarkable website. Thanks a lot, Kathryn. Concerning the Gabaston family, I was puzzled by the total disconnect between French- and English-speaking genealogists. The French show the following line: Garcia de Gabaston > Arnau x Clarmonda de Marsan > Pèire (Pierre) x Maria de Coarraza > Arnau Guilhèm > Maria x Guilhèm de Bearn. Compared to the English line, we find two Peter/Pèire/Piers who would evidently be brothers.
Considering the thread in soc.genealogy.medieval, to which participated such luminaries as Messrs Reitwiesner, van de Pas, Harper Finton, etc., I would favor the latters's theory that Piers's father is not Arnau, but another "Pierre", who would, I believe, be Pèire x Coarraza. With this modified line, all dates fall into place:
1. Arnau de Gabaston (b.ca 1230) x Clarmonda de Marsan (b.ca 1235-1287) dau. of Arnau Guilhèm III vescomte de Marsan
2. Pèire de Gabaston (b. ca 1260) x Maria de Coarraza (b. ca 1260), dau. of Pèire de C. (b. ca 1235)
3a. Piers of Gaveston (b. ca 1282/84) x Margaret de Clare (b. 1293)
3b. Arnau Guilhèm (b. ca 1285)
3c. Amica, Guerau, plus Guilhèm Arnau (ill.)
4a. Amy de Gaveston (b. 1312), named after her aunt
4b. Maria de Gabaston (b. ca 1310) x Arnau Guilhèm (ill.) de Bearn
All comments are obviously welcome.
Hi Jacques, welcome to the blog, and thank you for the great comment! I'm going to read through the family tree you've so kindly provided right now, with great excitement - thanks so much!
Hi again! The only problem with that is that there's a petition to Edward I in c. 1305, which I have a copy of (it's in the National Archives in Kew), which begins 'A nostre seignur le roi et a son conseil supplient Arnaud Guilhem de Marsan et Perrot de Gauastun fuiz de mons' Arnaud de Gauastun iadis chevaler de Gascoigne....' So I don't think there can be much doubt that Piers was the son of Arnaud Gaveston/Gabaston.
Arnau de Gabaston died in 1302. He had two sons:
- Pèire de Gabaston b. ca 1260 x Maria de Coarraza
- Arnau Guilhèm IV de Marsan ("Sa mère [Clarmonda de Marsan] le chargea de porter les noms et armes de Marsan, tige des seigneurs de Marsan, barons de Montgaillard, Roquefort, St-Loubouer", quoting Guillaume de Tournemire); died ca 1325.
So it seems to me that this 1305 petition refers to the two brothers (maybe half-brothers as Pèire might be from a previous marriage), sons of the late (jadis) Arnau, dead in 1302, and not to Piers, who would be Pèire's son. Note that Piers cannot be Arnau Guilhèm's son, in which case he would be known as "de Marsan", not "de Gabaston".
I am using the Occitan names, as there is no reason to translate into French. Note that Peter can also be Pey in the Gascon dialect. I am myself proudly but sadly among the last natural Occitan speakers.
Hi again Jacques! Hmmmm, I'm really not sure about this. I need to look into it more. Perrot was Piers Gaveston's nickname; there are other sources which call him that. So I'm going to take quite a lot of convincing that the 'Perrot' in the 1305 petition is his father, not him. But I definitely agree that the Gaveston family tree needs a lot of work and research, and it's fascinating to have your take on it - thank you so much! It's certainly given me plenty to think about, and I'm going to email my friend Anerje (who runs a blog about Piers) to let her know about your posts here! She'll be fascinated too. Interestingly enough, just a few weeks ago I saw a video on Youtube of people speaking Occitan, with French subtitles. I really needed to read the subtitles as I barely understood a word of what they were saying! :) But it was great to hear it, and great to hear that it's your native language. Long may it live!
I am reading and re-reading this post - it's absolutely fascinating- I need time to digest it!
Thanks a lot for your kind words, Anerje and Kathryn. Isn't it great to worry about those very remote ancestors of ours? I look forward to your comments. Adessiatz!
Jacques, I'm having another look at this, and I'm curious about your 4b, Maria Gaveston/de Gabaston. Whose daughter is she? If Piers', she can't be Margaret de Clare's daughter as well. Where is she mentioned, do you know? Piers' and Margaret de Clare's only daughter was Joan, 1312-1325, whose future marriage to the earl of Ulster's eldest grandson John Multon Edward II arranged in 1317. Amie wasn't Margaret's daughter either, and I have no idea where the 1312 date of birth for her comes from. That seems to be confusing her with her half-sister Joan, who definitely was born in early 1312. It is absolutely 100% certain that Piers and Margaret's only child together, or at least only child who survived infancy, was Joan.
Sorry for the confusion. Maria (my ancestor, b. ca 1310) is the daughter of Arnau-Guilhèm de Gabaston (b. ca 1285), himself son of Pèire de Gabaston and Maria de Coarraza (dau. of Pèire de C., gddau. of Arnau de C.). So in the proposed scheme, Maria would be Piers's niece. She was married to Arnau Guilhèm de Bearn, the illegitimate son of Gaston VII viscount of Bearn, Auloron, Marsan and Gabarret.
I did not mention Joan, as she is well-documented, just Piers's other possible and possibly illegitimate daughter Amy/Amicia, the object of "furious and heated debate" (refer to: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/soc.genealogy.medieval/4yWrHxPeVQQ). Amy's name would, in the proposed scheme, be explained by her grand-aunt's. It is not a common name at all, mostly found in a few Anglo-Norman families like the Guader/Gaël, Montbray, and Montfort.
Again, the dates make sense only in the proposed scheme:
1. b. ca 1230: Arnau
2. b. 1255-60: Pèire, Amicia, Gerard, Guilèm Arnau (ill.) de Gabaston and Arnau Guilhèm IV de Marsan
3. b. 1280-85: Piers and Arnau Guilhèm (my ancestor)
4. b. 1310-15: Joan, Amy (?), Maria (my ancestor)
According to the documents quoted by John Watson (above ref.), Amy would have married John son of Thomas de Dryby around 1334 and would have died around 1350.
Now, concerning "Pierrot" as a diminutive for Pierre, it is as common as Jim for James and cannot be deemed characteristic of any given person. Just as an example, my brother was called Pierrot by about everybody when he was young.
Have a good evening.
And by the way, according to the Encyclopédie Larousse, "perroquet" (in English "parrot") derives from "Perrot, diminutif familier de Pierre". Probably the only case of a double diminutive in French, not a diminutive-prone language -- contrary to occitan, in which double hypocoristics are common ("enfantonet, enfantonel, little-little baby)...
I'm afraid I'm still not buying that there was another Piers who was the father of Piers, earl of Cornwall. :/ I need to see some documentary evidence of this. And from what I remember on soc.genealogy.medieval, I wasn't impressed at all by Kenneth Harper Finton's posts - he got a lot of things wrong.
No smoking gun, we are dealing with circumstantial evidence. No need to reach a definite conclusion anyway, just to keep the case open and wait for more. It is also important to reconcile the French and British views about this family, as they seem to have gone different paths. To summarize, what is proposed is (with different mothers for Pèire and Arnau Guilhèm):
1. Arnau de Gabaston, b. ca 1230, d. 1302, prob. son of Garcia
x(a) ca 1255 Ne
x(b) 1272 Clarmonda de Marsan dame de Louvigny b. ca 1240, d. ca 1288
2(a). Pèire de Gabaston b. ca 1255-60
x 1280 Maria de Coarraza b. ca 1260
2(a)1. Piers of Gaveston b. ca 1282
2(a)2. Arnau Guilhèm de Gabaston b. ca 1285 x Ne ca 1305, parents of Maria, my ancestor
2(b). Arnau Guilhèm IV de Marsan
with 2(a) and 2(b) being "Arnaud Guilhem de Marsan et Perrot de Gauastun", sons of the late Arnau mentioned in the 1305 petition to the king you quoted.
Have a nice evening,
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