12 August, 2012

August Anniversaries

1 August 1312: This was the deadline agreed in York in late May for parliament to decide the fate of Piers Gaveston, captured at Scarborough Castle.  Of course, the earls of Warwick, Lancaster and Hereford had taken the decision out of parliament's hands on 19 June.

1 August 1315: Robert Bruce, attempting to capture Carlisle, gave up the siege after ten days and left, thanks to the stout defence of the town by Andrew Harclay, sheriff of Cumberland and later (briefly) earl of Carlisle.  The happy news had not yet reached Edward II at Langley, Hertfordshire on the 8th, on which date he ordered all the sheriffs south of the Trent to send men-at-arms "against the Scotch rebels who are now besieging Carlisle."

1 August 1321: The Marcher rebels entered London to attend the parliament which had been due to begin over two weeks previously - seemingly all that pillaging and chasing people out of their homes had delayed them - and demand the exile of the Despensers.

1 August 1323: Roger Mortimer escaped from the Tower of London, having fed his guards sedatives in their wine, and made his way to the continent. Five days after the escape, Stephen Segrave, constable of the Tower, was still seriously ill from the sedatives.  Edward II, at Kirkham in Yorkshire, heard the news on 6 August, and ordered all the sheriffs and keepers of the peace in England and the bailiffs of fifteen ports to pursue Mortimer with hue and cry and take him dead or alive.  On 26 August, he told his brother Kent that he thought Mortimer had gone to Ireland (he was in the Low Countries).

1 August 1324: Funeral of Edward's kinsman Aymer de Valence, earl of Pembroke, in Westminster Abbey; his tomb still exists.

2 August 1310: Edward II, dragging his feet, finally and reluctantly confirmed the preliminary Ordinances, that is, enforced reforms of his household carried out by a group of earls, bishops and barons, which they had issued on 19 March.

c. 2 August 1320: The mayor and citizens of London "dressed in clothes appropriate to their office" rode out to meet Edward and Isabella on their return from France, where Edward had paid homage to Philippe V for his French lands, and "greeted him in fine style."

3 August 1309: Edward II sent a letter to his father-in-law Philippe IV expressing his annoyance that Philippe addressed Robert Bruce as king of Scotland in letters to Robert, but referred to him as 'earl of Carrick' in letters to Edward.  The letter abruptly begins "To the king of France, greetings."

3 August 1326: Death of Roger Mortimer's uncle Roger Mortimer of Chirk in the Tower of London, aged about seventy.

5 August 1309: Piers Gaveston was re-granted the earldom of Cornwall by parliament in Stamford, following his second exile in Ireland. All the English earls except Lancaster and Arundel witnessed Piers' restoration, even Warwick, and the deed was delivered to Edward II in his chamber at the house of the Dominicans.

6 August 1307: Edward II created Piers Gaveston earl of Cornwall, probably even before Piers had returned to England from exile and possibly even without his prior knowledge, as Edward claimed in a letter to Pope Clement V the following year - though at the time Edward was trying to manipulate Clement into supporting Piers and himself and might have been stretching the truth.  The charter includes the arms of de Clares, showing that Edward was already planning the marriage of Piers and his niece Margaret de Clare, which took place on 1 November that year.  (Several chroniclers comment that Edward called Piers his 'adopted brother', but he had no available sisters for Piers to marry except his little half-sister Eleanor, Edward I's youngest child, who was only fifteen months old in August 1307, so a niece had to suffice instead.)

6 August 1315: Edward II proclaimed that the magnates of the realm should limit the number of courses served at their tables, on account of the "excessive and abundant portions of food" they were accustomed to enjoying, while many of their countrymen starved during the Great Famine.  The proclamation also limited the number of minstrels permitted to go to the houses of great lords to three or four a day, and they were not to go to the houses of "smaller people" at all, "unless requested to do so," the proclamation added helpfully.  Minstrels were also commanded to be satisfied with the amount of food and drink freely offered to them and not to demand more.

6 August 1315 and 1 August 1317: Edward appointed two of his Italian kinsmen, the brothers Federico and Carlo Fieschi, counts of Lavagna, "to be of the king’s household and council and to wear his livery for ever."

7 August 1316: After a delay of more than two years since the death of Clement V in April 1314, the cardinals in Avignon finally elected a new pope: the Gascon-born Jacques Duèse, cardinal-bishop of Porto, who took the name John XXII.  Edward II sent gifts worth a staggering £1604 to "the Lord John, by the grace of God, pope," including a cope "embroidered and studded with large white pearls," several golden ewers, thirteen golden salt-cellars, numerous golden dishes and bowls, a golden basin and a golden chalice. He also paid £300 for an incense boat, a ewer and a "gold buckle set with diverse pearls and other precious stones" to be sent in Queen Isabella's name, and 100 marks for another cope embroidered by Roesia, wife of London merchant John de Bureford, also sent in the queen's name.

7 August 1316: Edward II gave a very generous gift of twenty marks to the messenger who brought him news that his brother-in-law the future Philippe V of France's wife Jeanne of Burgundy had borne a son, Louis, on 24 June.  The boy died a few months later.  In November 1316 Louis X's posthumous son by Queen Clemence, King Jean I, died at five days old, and Philippe became king of France.

8 August 1311: The parliament which Edward knew would demand Piers Gaveston's exile yet again was meant to begin in London on this day; Edward,trying to delay the inevitable, didn't even arrive in London until the 13th.

8 August 1317: Edward passed through Shelford near Nottingham, where he attended masses and distributed five shillings and sixpence in oblations at the conventual church for the soul of his nephew the earl of Gloucester, "whose heart lies there inhumed," although the rest of the young earl's body was buried at Tewkesbury Abbey, Gloucestershire.

10 to 12 August 1315: Edward II stayed in St Albans, and the abbey chronicler reported that even he had difficulty buying bread for his household during the early months of the Great Famine.

12 August 1315: Death of Guy Beauchamp, earl of Warwick, in his early forties; he left as his heir his eighteen-month-old son Thomas, who married Roger Mortimer's daughter Katherine in 1328.  Although I very much doubt Edward II grieved for Warwick, Piers Gaveston's abductor in June 1312, there is absolutely no reason to believe the story of a much later chronicler Thomas Walsingham (died 1422) that Warwick was poisoned on Edward's orders or with his knowledge.  He had been ill since at least 18 July.

12 August 1326: Edward attacked Normandy with a force of about 300 ships, possibly in an attempt to seize his son, said in 1327 to have been "in those parts" – though the king told the archbishops of Canterbury and York and the universities of Oxford and Cambridge that his intention was "to restrain the malice of the men of the king of France in case they wish to enter the realm."  The force was repulsed with heavy losses, precisely the last thing that Edward needed with his wife and Roger Mortimer's invasion imminent.

13 August 1322: Edward II's army arrived at Roxburgh at the start of yet another unsuccessful campaign in Scotland, Edward's last.

14 August 1321: A furious Edward entered the great hall of Westminster where parliament was in session, flanked by his cousins the earls of Pembroke and Richmond, and agreed to exile the Despensers.  At breakfast the following morning, he told the bishop of Rochester that he "would within half a year make such an amend that the whole world would hear of it and tremble."

15 August 1316: Birth of Edward II and Isabella of France's second son John, later earl of Cornwall, at the palace of Eltham in Kent.  Edward was then 250 miles away in Yorkshire, meeting his cousin Thomas of Lancaster, and had heard the news by 24 August, on which date he asked the Dominicans of York to say prayers for himself, "Queen Isabella our very dear consort, Edward of Windsor our eldest son, and John of Eltham our youngest son, especially on account of John."  It's interesting to note that by the convention of the era, the boy would usually have been called Philip after his maternal grandfather Philippe IV of France.  Edward II was hundreds of miles away at the time, so I wonder if it was Isabella's choice, and that she named her son in honour of the new pope John XXII, as the news of his election reached England at about the time of the boy's birth.  Unless it was something the couple had already decided before Edward departed for Yorkshire, John being the name of his eldest brother who had died at the age of five in 1271 and his great-grandfather King John.

15 August 1323: Edward sent a gift of 'coursing dogs' to his brother-in-law Charles IV of France, with whom he would go to war a few months later.

15 August 1324: The Gascon town of Agen fell to the French during the war of Saint-Sardos, but Bordeaux and Bayonne, the most important cities, remained in English hands, as did numerous other towns.

16 August 1312: Edward II gave three shillings to John of Lombardy for "making his minstrelsy with snakes before the king" in Dover.

16 August 1320: Edward wrote to his kinsman the earl of Pembroke telling him that his half-brother the earl of Norfolk had come to him asking advice about his marriage, and that Edward did not wish to proceed further without Pembroke's advice. King Jaime II of Aragon proposed his daughter Maria, widow of Pedro of Castile (Edward's first cousin once removed) as Norfolk's bride, but in August 1321 reported that Maria had decided to take the veil and that he did not think he would be able to change her mind.

17 August 1307: Piers Gaveston, newly returned to England and earl of Cornwall, held a feast for Edward II at Sanquhar in Scotland.  Edward gave a pound each to the Welsh trumpeters, Yevan and Yethel, who performed for them.

17 August 1317: Edward arrived at Lincoln and gave generous alms at the masses celebrated in the cathedral for the repose of the soul of John Montacute, teenage son of his friend and household steward William Montacute, whose funeral had taken place there three days before.  (John's younger brother William became a close friend of Edward III and earl of Salisbury.)  Edward paid forty clerks to pray for the young man's soul and thirteen widows to watch over his body.

18 August 1313: Edward forbade his nephew Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester and Bartholomew Badlesmere from besieging Bristol, part of the very long struggle Badlesmere had with the inhabitants of Bristol.

19 August 1315: Edward II's brother-in-law Louis X of France married his second wife Clemence of Hungary, five days after the death (murder?) of his adulterous first wife Marguerite of Burgundy at
Château Gaillard.  Clemence was crowned queen of France at Rheims on 24 August.

24 August 1325: Edward wrote to Charles IV telling him that he was ill and thus would not be able to travel to Beauvais to pay homage to him for his French lands.  It is unlikely to have been a genuine illness.

27 August 1320: Edward wrote to the king of Cyprus, Henri de Lusignan, asking him to protect three Dominican friars going to preach to the Saracens.  Henri was Edward's third cousin twice removed via common descent from Eleanor of Aquitaine.

27 August 1326: Edward II's son was betrothed to Philippa, daughter of the count of Hainault, by Isabella, much to Edward's fury.

28 August 1311: Edward paid £113 "for the expenses and preparations made for the burial of the body of the Lady Eleanor, the king's sister" at Beaulieu Abbey in Hampshire.  Eleanor was his half-sister and only five (born 4 May 1306) at her death, the youngest child of Edward I and Marguerite of France.

29 August 1321: Deadline for Hugh Despenser father and son to leave England.  

29 August 1325: Date Edward II was meant to perform homage to Charles IV at Beauvais for his French lands.  He sent his son instead and the rest is history.

August 1317, in general: The Sempringham annalist tells us that "there issued from the earth water-mice with long tails, larger than rats, with which the fields and meadows were filled in the summer and in August."


Anerje said...

So much happened in August - and lots relating to Piers. To think he should have been returned to Scarborough then. I saw Amyer de Valance's tomb last time I was in Westminster Abbey - never noticed it before although it is quite prominent. And I'm sure Ed would have 'got' Warwick at some point, just as he did Lancaster.

Kathryn Warner said...

Yes, he might well have joined the rebellion and been executed then, if he'd still been alive.

Paula Lofting said...

Hi Kathryn

When Edward had to enter parliament and agreed to exiling the Despensers it reminded me of how Edward the confessor had to exile Tostig Godwinson, purported to be his favourite,agaisnt his will. Great idea for a post Kathryn, absorbing reading

Kathryn Warner said...

Thank you, Paula - glad you liked it! I think I did a similar one in June, or maybe it was May...;-)