09 September, 2012

September Anniversaries

1 September 1317: Attack by Sir Gilbert Middleton on two cardinals visiting England, Gaucelin D'Eauze and Luca Fieschi, the latter a kinsman of Edward II, while they were on their way to the inauguration of the new bishop of Durham, Louis Beaumont (also a kinsman of Edward II).  Middleton was hanged, drawn and quartered a few months later.

2 September 1325: Edward II made his twelve-year-old son Edward of Windsor count of Ponthieu, which county the king had inherited from his mother Eleanor of Castile on her death in 1290, prior to sending the boy to France to pay homage to Isabella's brother Charles IV for Edward's French possessions.

5 September 1316: Inauguration of the Gascon-born Jacques Duèse, cardinal-bishop of Porto, as Pope John XXII in Avignon. 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 September 1314: With parliament due to start in York on the 9th, the first one since his humiliating defeat at Bannockburn the previous June, Edward II suddenly left the city and took himself off to the village of Oulston seventeen miles away, empowering the earl of Pembroke, Henry Beaumont and the bishop of Exeter to open parliament in his absence.  He claimed that he was "unable to be present on account of some important and special business" concerning himself, though what required his urgent attention in a small Yorkshire village, I can't imagine.  He returned to York on 10 September.

7 September 1319: Edward finally arrived in Berwick-upon-Tweed to begin besieging it in order to recapture it from Robert Bruce.  The campaign should have started on 10 June.  Edward kept himself amused during the siege, and paid his minstrel Rob Withstaff and two musicians sent to him by his brother-in-law Philip V of France for playing before him, ordered hunting dogs sent from Wales, and had two of his falcons brought from London. The siege, needless to say, failed, and Berwick remained in Scottish hands. At some point during it, Edward is meant to have said "I have not forgotten the wrong that was done to my brother Piers," ominous words aimed at his cousin the earl of Lancaster, who had left Berwick in a temper at the failure of the siege.

7 September 1362: Death of Edward II's youngest child Joan of the Tower, queen of Scotland, at the age of forty-one.  She was buried near her mother Isabella at the Greyfriars Church in London.  See Sarah's great post about Joan from a couple of days ago.

9 September 1312: Queen Isabella, seven months pregnant with the future Edward III, was reunited with Edward II at Windsor Castle, the first time they had seen each other since late June.  Edward had kept her safely out of the way in York as the kingdom teetered on the brink of civil war in the aftermath of Piers Gaveston's death.

10 September 1325: Edward's son Edward of Windsor became duke of Aquitaine on this day, before sailing to France two days later to pay homage to his uncle Charles IV.  This appointment changed Edward II's royal style, as he always called himself 'king of England, lord of Ireland and duke of Aquitaine'.

12 September 1319: Battle of Myton following the siege of Berwick.

18 September 1324: Edward took all of Isabella's lands into his own hands and granted her a smaller income in their place, treating his own wife as an enemy alien during his war with her brother Charles IV.

20 September 1312: Edward increased the annual grants of his 1308 foundation of Langley Priory to 500 marks a year.

22 September 1324: Edward's half-brother the earl of Kent signed a six-month truce with his (Kent's) uncle Charles, count of Valois, in Gascony during the war of Saint-Sardos.

24 September 1326: Arrival of Queen Isabella and Roger Mortimer's invasion force in Norfolk.

25 September 1317: Inauguration of Edward's friend William Melton as archbishop of York.  Melton, who held the position until his death in 1340, protested against Edward's abdication in January 1327, and joined the plot of the earl of Kent to free him in 1330 (he wrote the famous Melton Letter which states that 'Edward of Caernarfon is alive', more than two years after the former king's supposed death.

27 September 1316: Edward gave a pound to Isabella's messenger William Galayn, who brought him news of her imminent arrival in York.  Isabella had given birth to their second son John of Eltham only twelve days previously in Kent, but Edward, worried about his cousin the earl of Lancaster's hostility, summoned the queen to him with as speed as possible. 

27 September 1316: Edward gave five pounds to the messenger of Cardinal Arnaud de Pellegrue - nephew of Pope Clement V, who died in 1314 - who brought him news of John XXII's inauguration.

27 September 1326: Date on which Edward II, staying at the Tower of London, heard news of the arrival of the invasion force.

28 September 1324: Edward ordered the arrest of any French people living in England during the war of Saint-Sardos.

29/30 September 1308: Edward attended a double wedding at Waltham Abbey in Essex: his seventeen-year-old nephew Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester, married Maud, daughter of Richard de Burgh, earl of Ulster, and at the same time, Gilbert's sister Elizabeth, just two weeks past her thirteenth birthday, married Ulster's eldest son and heir, John.  The latter was destined to die in 1313 before his father, leaving Elizabeth with a baby son, William, future earl of Ulster.  Maud, countess of Gloucester, is most famous for pretending to be pregnant by her husband years after Gloucester's death at Bannockburn.

30 September 1321: Attack on Southampton by men of Winchelsea. A petition by the people of Southampton claims that Robert Batail, baron of the Cinque Ports, and his men burnt and stole their ships, chattels, merchandise and goods to a loss of £8000 "in conspiracy with Hugh le Despenser the son," who had recently been sent into exile by his Contrariant enemies and who accused the townspeople of supporting the earl of Lancaster against the king. The petition also claims that Edward "sent the community of Southampton to Portchester Castle, and imprisoned them there, and made them swear not to bring any suit against the people of the Cinque Ports, promising to make good their losses; which he did not do." Given that Edward placed Despenser under the care of the men of the Cinque Ports, and that he arrived at Portchester four days after the attack on Southampton, the two men's involvement in this latest piece of lawlessness seems quite possible.

30 September 1322: Burial of Edward II's illegitimate son Adam, then probably in his mid-teens or thereabouts, at Tynemouth Priory. 


Anonymous said...

uHi, Kathryn! I'm reading your post and trying hard to guess what kept Edward so busy in the small Yorkshire village you have mentioned. Perhaps just minor medieval royal leave in order to escape the stuffy and tedious atmosphere of the oncoming parliament session and inevitable questions concerning Bannockburn? Instead open air activities, one or two ditches to dig, and fishing with the villagers. Cartainly there is one conclusion to draw when Edward II is concerned and I have just drawn it: Edward was first of all a human being, then a king, and that's what I do find most alluring about him!

Kasia Ogrodnik

P.S. Gabrielle, I need to create a Google account, only then I will be able to publish a comment on your blog. Still, I did browse the archives and found your article concerning Welsh House Aberffraw. I enjoyed both the text and your wonderful pictures. Thank you.

Kathryn Warner said...

Hi Kasia! Yes, I wondered if Edward was trying to avoid meeting his enemies at parliament after Bannockburn - he must have known it wasn't going to be much fun! :) I wonder where he stayed, if there was someone particular in the village he was visiting? Absolutely agree with you about Edward, and what a lovely way of putting it, thank you!

Anonymous said...

No, no, no, Kathryn! I thank you! For sheding a new light on Edward and his reign. Perhaps I should thank Sharon in the first place:-) Without her I wouldn't have learned about your wonderful blog.


Kathryn Warner said...

Awww, that's lovely, thank you! So glad to have met you, Kasia, and Sharon too.

Anerje said...

Hmm, I think most of us are wondering what went on in that small Yorkshire village! Am shocked to read that Edward sent Isabella away to safety when she was heavily pregnant - I mean, I always thought he just abandonned her;>

Kathryn Warner said...

Oooh, this could become one of our great mysteries! :)

I know, right?? What else have we been told that turns out not be true after all...? ;-)

Anonymous said...

Oulston is only a mile and a half south of Newburgh Priory, a place where Edward had an affinity. He stayed there in October/November 1316. Perhaps he was making an early booking for a discount?

Kathryn Warner said...

Good point, Anon! :) I hadn't realised actually that Oulston was so close to the priory - that may be significant.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Kathryn! I just want to share my latest discovery with you (you have probbaly read the book): I'm in the course of reading a brilliantly written and highly entertaining book entitled The Tower Menagerie. The author, Daniel Hahn is a born storyteller. I think you would like the way he described Edward II.

Kasia Ogrodnik

P.S. I wouldn't be surprised if Mr Hahn turned out to be a friend of yours, just like Mr Mortimer:-)I'd better look for your name on the pages of the book, just in case:-) BTW, thanks for recommending Ian Mortimer's blog. Wonderful and very informative. I love the autobiographical note:-)

Kathryn Warner said...

Hi Kasia! Hope you're well! Yes, I have that one - it's great, isn't it? Though sadly I don't know the author, haha :). Reading it prompted me to check Edward II's accounts, and I found several records of his lion and leopard in the Tower and their keeper. :-)

Really glad you enjoyed Ian's site! Me too! :)