28 October, 2012

Edward And Isabella's Families

Edward II was at least the fourteenth and perhaps the sixteenth child of Edward I, who was almost forty-five at the time of his son's birth on 25 April 1284, and his first queen Eleanor of Castile, who was about forty-two and a half at the time.  Edward was their youngest child; his supposed younger sisters Beatrice and Blanche, who are even today sometimes still added to the long list of Edward and Eleanor's children, are inventions of much later writers.  Only six of Eleanor of Castile's children outlived her: Edward II; Eleanor, countess of Bar; Joan of Acre, countess of Gloucester; Margaret, duchess of Brabant; Mary, a nun; Elizabeth, countess of Holland and Hereford.  Edward II's three elder brothers all died young; they were John (July 1266 - August 1271), Henry (May 1268 - October 1274) and Alfonso (November 1273 - August 1284).  Edward I also had two sons by his second wife Marguerite of France who survived into adulthood, Thomas, earl of Norfolk (1300-1338) and Edmund, earl of Kent (1301-1330).  Edward II's grandparents were: Henry III, king of England (d. 1272); Eleanor of Provence, queen of England (d. 1291); Fernando III, king of Castile and Leon (d. 1252); Jeanne de Dammartin, queen of Castile and countess of Ponthieu in her own right (d. 1279).  For more about his ancestors, see here and here.

Isabella's parents were Philippe IV, king of France (1268 - 29 November 1314) and Jeanne, queen of Navarre and countess of Brie and Champagne in her own right (January 1273 - late March/early April 1305).  Isabella's grandparents were: Philippe III, king of France (d. 1285); Isabel of Aragon, queen of France (d. 1271); Enrique or Henri I, king of Navarre (d. 1274); Blanche of Artois, queen of Navarre and countess of Lancaster (d. 1302).  Isabella and Edward II both lost their mothers at a young age, Edward six, Isabella about nine.  Marguerite of France, in addition to being Edward II's stepmother, was Isabella's aunt, Philippe IV's younger half-sister, while Isabella's grandmother Blanche of Artois was also Edward II's aunt by marriage.  By blood, however, Edward and Isabella were not particularly closely related, at least not by the inbred standards of later European royal families, being second cousins once removed: Edward's grandmother Eleanor of Provence was the younger sister of Isabella's great-grandmother Marguerite, queen of Louis IX.  (Louis, incidentally, was seventy years to the day older than Edward II, being born on 25 April 1214.)  Their son Edward III and his queen Philippa of Hainault were second cousins, both great-grandchildren of Philippe III of France and Isabel of Aragon (Philippe III - Philippe IV - Isabella - Edward III; Philippe III - Charles, count of Valois - Jeanne de Valois - Philippa).

Isabella - who was presumably named after her paternal grandmother Isabel of Aragon - was the sixth of seven siblings, who were all born very close together in time.  Only the date of the eldest brother, Louis X, is known: 4 October 1289, when their father was twenty-one and their mother sixteen.  The next two sons were also kings of France: Philippe V, born probably between 1291 and 1293, and Charles IV, apparently born in 1294.  The youngest child, Robert, was born in 1297, and died in August 1308 at the age of about eleven.  Isabella was born most probably in the second half of 1295 or at the beginning of 1296, so was around eleven and a half years younger than her husband.  She also had two older sisters, Marguerite and Blanche, who died in or shortly after 1294 and are very obscure, only really known from a betrothal to Fernando IV of Castile arranged by their father in 1294.  If either sister had lived, it's possible that she would have married Edward II instead of Isabella.  One of the two sisters may have been older than Louis X and born in 1288, though the date can't really be pushed back any further than that because of Queen Jeanne's youth (born in 1273), or perhaps both girls were born sometime between 1290 and 1293, between Philippe V and Charles IV.  Were any of the siblings multiple births?  I have no idea, but seven children were born between 1288/89 and 1297, and if they were all single births, Queen Jeanne must have been almost perpetually pregnant.

Isabella was the only one of Philippe IV's seven offspring who had sons who lived past childhood, Edward III (1312-1377) and John of Eltham, earl of Cornwall (1316-1336).  Louis X, Philippe V and Charles IV fathered five sons between them who died young.  They were: King Jean I 'the Posthumous' of France, son of Louis and Clemence of Hungary, 15 November - 20 November 1316; Philippe (January 1313 - March 1321) and Louis (June 1316 to January 1317), sons of Philippe V and Jeanne of Burgundy; Philippe (January 1314 - March 1322), son of Charles IV and his first wife Blanche of Burgundy; and Louis, born and died March 1324, son of Charles IV and his second wife Marie of Luxembourg.  The three brothers also had nine daughters between them, but as women could not inherit the throne of France, it passed, on the death of Charles IV in 1328, to his first cousin Philippe VI, the first Valois king of France, son of Philippe IV's brother Charles, count of Valois (1270-1325).  Louis X's daughter, however, inherited the kingdom of Navarre, to which the Valois had no claim, and became Queen Jeanne II.  The last of the Capets, the dynasty which had ruled France since 987, were Philippe V's daughter Marguerite, countess of Burgundy, Artois, Flanders, Nevers and Rethel (d. 9 May 1382), and Charles IV's daughter Blanche, duchess of Orléans (d. 8 February 1382).  In 1314, Philippe IV must have assumed that the future of his dynasty was assured; he had three sons aged between twenty and twenty-five, all of them married, all of them already fathers.  He could hardly have guessed that a mere fourteen years later they would all be dead without surviving male issue and that his brother's descendants would rule in France in their place - or that his daughter's son Edward III of England some years later would claim the throne and begin the Hundred Years War.

I looked once at some distant ancestors of Edward II (see link above), and here are some of Isabella's:

- Isabella was the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Harold Godwinson, the king of England killed at Hastings in 1066.  Harold's daughter Gytha married, probably in the early 1070s or thereabouts, Vladimir Monomakh, grand prince of Kiev, and I can't be the only person fascinated as to how and why that marriage came about - that there was a connection between England and distant Kiev in the eleventh century.  Gytha and Vladimir had five sons together, the eldest, Mstislav, being Isabella's ancestor via his daughter Euphrosyne, who married King Geza II of Hungary.  Isabella's paternal grandmother Isabel of Aragon was the daughter of Yolande or Violante of Hungary, daughter of King Andras II.  And so, with Edward III, the blood of Harold Godwinson returned to the English royal family.

- Via her maternal grandmother Blanche of Artois, queen of Navarre and countess of Lancaster, Isabella was the great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Isaac Angelos, emperor of Byzantium (d. 1204) and of the Holy Roman Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa (d. 1190).

- Via both her parents, Isabella was the great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, both lines descended from Henry and Eleanor's second daughter Eleanor, queen of Castile and her daughter Blanche of Castile, queen of France.

- Isabella was, via their daughter Agnes, the great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Raynald de Châtillon, prince of Antioch (a character in the film Kingdom of Heaven and quite a few novels) and his wife Constance, who had previously been married to Eleanor of Aquitaine's uncle Raymond of Poitiers.  Raynald and Constance's daughter married Bela III of Hungary (son of Geza II and Euphrosyne of Kiev, mentioned above) and was the mother of Andras II.  Bela III married secondly, without issue, Marguerite, daughter of Louis VII of France and Constance of Castile, and widow of Henry the Young King.

To end the post, here are some of Edward II's first cousins:

Sancho IV, king of Castile
Beatriz, queen of Portugal
Margaret, queen of Norway
Arthur, duke of Brittany
Eleanor, abbess of Fontevrault
Marie, countess of St Pol
Beatriz, marchioness of Montferrat
Violante, lady of Biscay
Martin, abbot of Valladolid
Juan Manuel, duke of Peñafiel, one of the greatest medieval Spanish writers
Jean, count of Aumale

And some of Isabella of France's first cousins:

Catherine, titular empress of Constantinople, queen of Albania and princess of Achaea
Philippe VI, king of France
Isabelle, duchess of Brittany
Edward II's half-brothers Thomas of Brotherton, earl of Norfolk and Edmund of Woodstock, earl of Kent
Henry of Grosmont, first duke of Lancaster
Jeanne, countess of Hainault and Holland
Jeanne, countess of Artois
Isabelle, abbess of Fontevrault

23 comments:

Satima Flavell said...

Another well-researched and fascinating post, Kathryn! Many thanks.

Kathryn Warner said...

Thanks, Satima - really glad you liked it!

Anerje said...

Very interesting research, yet again. I'm always amazed to think we could have had a king Alfonso:> Didn't know about the invented younger siblings - do they appear in many books? Does it stem from a mistake in research?

Kathryn Warner said...

Thanks, Anerje! I love the idea of England having a king called Alfonso of Bayonne. :)

The younger 'sisters' appear in Weir's biog of Isabella and in her royal genealogy book, and probably a few others. I'm not sure how they were invented, but a lot of writers past and modern have got into a hopeless muddle with Edward I and Eleanor of Castile's children, giving them children they didn't have and ignoring ones they did have, not to mention insisting that their daughter Margaret died in 1318 when actually she was still alive in 1333.

Anerje said...

Just read the link to Edward's sister Mary - about her being forced to become a num because it was her granndmother's wish. Why was Edward Ist so 'sentimental' to grant that wish? Surely an advantageous marriage could have been found for her? or was providing a dowry for yet another daughter just too expensive? I know as a highborn lady Mary didn't exactly live as a nun - but she was not allowed to marry, and would surely have preferred to be at court? At 12, when she took the veil, she had no choice, but I wonder how much she resented it?

Anerje said...

OMG - Alison Weir - say no more!

Kathryn Warner said...

It seems that Mary would have vastly preferred to lead a secular life, and she was lucky that her brother Edward II allowed her to visit his court often, and sent her gifts. Eleanor of Provence wanted to be accompanied by two of her granddaughters when she retired to Amesbury (the other was her daughter Beatrice's daughter Eleanor of Brittany, later abbess of Fontevrault), and maybe the king felt he couldn't say no to his mother, for some reason. Poor Mary. :/

Anonymous said...

King Alfonso! Sounds so exotic! Speaking of the young Alfonso, I've seen a fascinating BBC production Illuminations: The Private Lives of Medieval Kings in which Dr Janina Ramirez presents, among others, a beautifully illuminated book of prayers created especially and for private use for Alfonso, and never finished due to the boy's untimely death. The sight of the book very poignant and very telling (more than words) in the light of the prince's story.
The whole series simply a must-watch:-)

Thank you Kathryn for yet another fascinating post,

Kasia Ogrodnik

Kathryn Warner said...

Thanks so much, Kasia! I was so glad to be able to get a mention of your Henry in there. ;)

And thanks too for the mention of Alfonso's book of prayers. His death seems to have been very sudden, and must have been a terrible shock to his parents. Poor boy. :( Eleanor of Castile was buried with his heart.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Katherine for smuggling Henry and Marguerite, and Marguerite's second husband and extraordinary man (and ruler) in his own right, Bela III. Bela's court was one of the most cultured in Europe and I do hope he did everything to make Marguerite feel "at home", which must be pretty difficult due to the language itself. BTW, Kathryn, do you speak Hungarian?:-)

Kasia Ogrodnik

Kathryn Warner said...

Ah, thanks, Kasia - I don't know anything about Bela, I have to admit, but he sounds fascinating, and I'd love to do some reading about him. Hehe, sadly not a single word, no - when I've seen Hungarian, I kind of boggle at how utterly unlike any other language it looks. ;) :)

Anonymous said...

Yeah :-) I tried a little Finnish once, but gave up. It never ceases to amaze me how different Hungarian is from, let's say, Slovak, the countries being neighbours and one country for such a long time (before Slovakia won independence).
As for Bela and medieval Hungary, I have begun with The Realm of St Stephen by Pal Engel:-)

Thank you again for Henry:-)

Kasia

Kathryn Warner said...

I know the Finnish word for 'mummy', as used to babysit for the kids of a Finnish woman living in my home town when I was a teenager, but I don't have any idea how to write it, haha. :)

Ooooh, thanks for the tip about the book! I would actually really like to know more about Hungarian history, ever since I read a novel featuring Edward the Exile, an English prince who grew up there in the 11th century. His daughter, Saint Margaret, married Malcolm Canmore, king of Scots.

Most welcome ;)

Anonymous said...

I, in turn, will try to learn more about Edward the Exile:-)

Wish you a beautiful evening, snowy perhaps? :-) We've been snowed in here, in Poland.

Kasia

Kathryn Warner said...

It's an interesting period of history, I think. :)

We don't have any snow here, no, though they got some further south, I heard. We got cold rain instead, hehe. ;) Have a lovely snowy evening! ;)

Lady Domino said...

Thank you for a very interesting and well researched article. Will you be doing a similar one into their decendants?

Kathryn Warner said...

Thanks, Lady Domino! Yes, I might sometime.

Gabriele C. said...

Argh, blogger must have eaten my comment again. Bad blogger, no cookies.

Actually, a marriage between a daughter of Harold Godwinson into the Rurikid line of the princes of Kiev would not have been so strange; that line was as Scandinavian as they get. :) A bit more unusual is the marriage of a woman of that house, Anna of Kiev, to Henry I of France in 1051; there's less of a connection between the Capets and the Rurikids than between the Rurikids and the House of Godwin / the descendants of Canute of Danmark.

Hungarian is the odd one out in the languages of Europe, since it's Finno-Ugrian, not Indo-European, and related to Finnish and Estonian. The other odd one out is Basque and no one knows where THAT one comes from. Some older non Indu-european languages like Etruscan have died out.

Gabriele C. said...

To add to the geneaological fun: Said Anne of Kiev (daughter of Yaroslav the Wise) was a sister of Anastasia of Kiev who married Andrew of Hungary; and the mysterious Agatha, wife of Edward the Exile, may have been another sister, according to some theories. Yaroslav's wife Ingegerd Olafsdotter was the daughter of Olaf Skötkonung which ties back into the Scandinavian lines as well. Vladimir Monomakh was their grandson

Anonymous said...

Gabrielle, not accidentally have I mentioned Finnish when writing about Hungarian:-) Not that linguistics was ever the field of my studies:-):-):-)

Still, I do found the melody of both, Finnish and Hungarian enchanting. I recommend the Finnish band Varttina:-) Do try!

Kasia Ogrodnik

Kathryn Warner said...

Gabriele, thanks for all the great genealogical info! Sorry about stupid Blogger eating your comment though. :(

Ah, thanks for the tip, Kasia! :)

Carla said...

The distance between England and Kiev in the 11th century was not all that great. Harold's mother Gytha was Danish royalty or aristocracy, and the Rus rulers of Kiev claimed descent from the Scandinavian ruler Rurik and profited mightily from Norse trade up and down the Russian river systems between the Baltic and Byzantium. Gytha's Danish family may well have had family, trade or diplomatic connections with Rus Kiev, and marrying a grand-daughter into the Kiev dynasty probably looked quite logical. Your own posts show how Edward II was related to most of the royal families of Europe, and the same no doubt applied a few centuries earlier. Especially perhaps to Scandinavian familes, considering how Norse adventurers got around!

Edit: I see Gabriele has already said this! Never mind.

Kathryn Warner said...

Thanks, Carla! That makes a lot of sense. Fascinating to ponder these connections.