12 May, 2013

May Anniversaries

Important stuff that happened to Edward II and his family in May. :-)

1 May 1284: Edward, six days old, was baptised in Caernarfon.  Sadly, any record of who his godparents were has not survived.

1 May 1285: Birth of Edmund Fitzalan, earl of Arundel, who was beheaded on 17 November 1326 on the orders of his close kinsman Roger Mortimer, without a trial, for his loyalty to Edward II and Hugh Despenser.  Edmund's mother was the Italian noblewoman Alesia di Saluzzo, and one of his uncles was governor of Sardinia.

2 May 1302: Death of Edward's aunt by marriage Blanche of Artois, queen of Navarre and countess of Champagne and Lancaster, widow of Edward I's brother Edmund of Lancaster (d. 1296).  In a typically confusing royal genealogical tangle, Blanche was also Edward's queen Isabella of France's maternal grandmother.  Blanche's sons were Thomas and Henry; her daughter Jeanne by her first marriage was queen of Navarre in her own right and queen of France by marriage, mother of a queen of England and of three kings of France.

3 May 1276: Birth of Louis, count of Evreux, son of Philip III of France and Marie of Brabant, half-brother of Philip IV, uncle of Edward's queen Isabella.  Edward was on good terms with Louis before his accession, and sent a famous, jokey letter to him in 1305 about 'lazy dogs' and 'a big trotting palfrey'.

3 May 1294: Death of Duke John I of Brabant, father-in-law of Edward's sister Margaret, while jousting.

3 May 1309: Death of Edward II's first cousin once removed Charles 'the Lame', king of Naples and Albania, titular king of Jerusalem, prince of Achaea, Taranto and Salerno, son and heir of Louis IX of France's brother Charles of Anjou, king of Sicily, and Beatrice of Provence.

4 May 1306: Birth of Edward's half-sister Eleanor, youngest child of Edward I (then aged almost sixty-seven) and Marguerite of France.  Eleanor was twenty-two years Edward II's junior and more than forty years younger than Edward I's eldest child.  When the little girl was only four days old, her father arranged her future marriage to the six-year-old Robert of Burgundy, heir to his father Othon IV, count palatine of Burgundy, and to his mother Mahaut, countess of Artois.  Sadly little Eleanor died at the age of five in October or November 1311, and Edward II paid 113 pounds for her funeral at Beaulieu Abbey in Hampshire.  Robert of Burgundy died unmarried and childless in 1315, aged fifteen; his heir was his elder sister Jeanne, queen of Edward II's brother-in-law Philip V of France.

4 May 1321: The 'Contrariants', as Edward II later took to calling them, began a massive assault on the lands of Hugh Despenser the Younger in South Wales, an attack soon extended to his and his father's lands in England as well.  On the very same day, an oblivious Edward II wrote to his ally William Aune, constable of Tickhill Castle, that "we have nothing but good news before us."  Oops.

5 May 1282: Birth of Edward's first cousin Don Juan Manuel, prince of Villena and duke of Peñafiel, one of the greatest Spanish writers of the Middle Ages.

5 May 1312: Edward, Isabella and Piers Gaveston fled from Tynemouth and the rapidly approaching Thomas, earl of Lancaster.  Contrary to popular modern myth, Edward certainly did not 'abandon' his pregnant wife to her fate in the interests of saving Piers.

5 May 1316: Death of Edward's sister Elizabeth, countess of Holland, Hereford and Essex, shortly after giving birth to her youngest child Isabel, who also died.  Elizabeth was thirty-three.

8 May 1319: Death of Haakon V, king of Norway, to whose niece Margaret 'the Maid of Norway', the young queen of Scotland, Edward had been betrothed at the age of five in 1289.  Edward, unaware of Haakon's death, sent him a letter on behalf of a group of Norfolk merchants on 12 June.

10 May 1290: Birth of Edward's eldest nephew, Edward I's first grandchild, Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester and Hertford, child of Joan of Acre and Gilbert 'the Red' de Clare, earl of Gloucester and Hertford and born just over a year after their wedding.

12 May 1321: Edward II wrote to a dozen or so of his officials in Gascony, authorising the sale of a house there called the Earl's Hall (aula comitis), which, Edward said, had become a "brothel of worthless women."

13 May 1254: Birth of Marie of Brabant, second queen of Philip III of France, mother of Louis, count of Evreux (above), of Edward II's stepmother Queen Marguerite, and of Blanche, to whom Edward was betrothed between 1291 and 1294.  Queen Marie lived until 1321 and survived all her children.

14 May 1308: Edward granted the revenues of Ponthieu and Montreuil, his inheritance from his mother Queen Eleanor, to his twelve-year-old queen Isabella.

16 May 1363: Death of Aline, Lady Burnell, sister of Hugh Despenser the Younger, appointed as constable of Conwy Castle by Edward II in January 1326.  Aline had been a widow since 1315, forty-eight years, and must have been in her mid-seventies at the time of her death (I believe she was the eldest child of Hugh Despenser the Elder and Isabel Beauchamp and born about 1287).

17 May 1317: Fifty marks were 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 1279: Death of Afonso III, king of Portugal, who was married to Edward's first cousin Beatriz of Castile.

18 May 1308: Forced to give in after many weeks of refusing to do so, Edward II agreed to banish Piers Gaveston from England (he hit on the idea of making him lord lieutenant of Ireland a few days later): "Edward, by the grace of God king of England, lord of Ireland and duke of Aquitaine, to all those who see or hear these letters, greetings. We make known to you that between this day and the day that Sir Piers Gaveston [monsire Pieres de Gavaston] must leave our realm, that is, the morrow of the Nativity of St John the Baptist next [25 June], we will not do anything, nor suffer anything to be done, as far as within us lies, by which the departure of this same Piers [meisme celui Peres] might be impeded or delayed in any way, according to the counsel given to us by the prelates, earls and barons of our realm, with which we have agreed...".

19 May 1312: After nine days of siege, with few provisions and thus little other choice, Piers Gaveston came out of Scarborough Castle and surrendered to the earls of Pembroke and Surrey and Henry, Lord Percy.  He had exactly a month left to live.

19 May 1326: Edward attended the wedding at Marlborough of his household knight Sir Robert Wateville and Margaret Hastings, niece of Hugh Despenser the Younger.  The king gave a pound to Will Muleward, one of the valets of the bride's mother Isabel, Lady Hastings, who "was with the king for some time and made him laugh very greatly."

20 May 1315: Edward II ordered Hugh Despenser the Younger, not yet his favourite, to surrender Tonbridge Castle in Kent, which he had seized.

21 May 1317: Edward paid twenty marks for his sister, the nun Mary, and their niece Elizabeth de Clare to go on pilgrimage to Canterbury.

21 May 1321: Edward (then aged thirty-seven) gave ten pounds to the messenger who brought him news of the birth of his latest great-nephew, the future Count Henri IV of Bar, son of Edward's nephew Count Edouard I of Bar (only son of his eldest sister Eleanor) and Marie of Burgundy. Three days later, the king paid Robert le Fermor, bootmaker of Fleet Street, thirty shillings for six pairs of boots "with tassels of silk and drops of silver-gilt."

22 May 1306: Knighting of Edward of Caernarfon and almost 300 other young men at Westminster; one of the great events of the age.

23 May 1313: On his way to Paris with Isabella, Edward ordered the constable of Dover Castle to pay "six Saracens" six pence a day each for their expenses "until the king's return from parts beyond sea." Who these people were and what subsequently happened to them, I don't know.

(On or shortly before) 23 May 1318: Birth of Edward's great-niece Elizabeth Damory, only child of Edward's niece Elizabeth de Clare and her third husband Sir Roger Damory, Edward's great favourite at the time.  The king gave a massive twenty pounds to the messenger who brought him news of little Elizabeth's birth.

25 May 1317: Edward II arranged the future marriage of Piers Gaveston's five-year-old daughter and heir, the king's great-niece Joan, to John, son and heir of Thomas Multon, lord of Egremont in Cumberland.  John, born in 1308, was the eldest grandson of Richard de Burgh, earl of Ulster.

26 May 1306: Wedding of Hugh Despenser the Younger and Eleanor de Clare, eldest granddaughter of Edward I, who arranged and attended the wedding.  Eleanor was thirteen and a half, Hugh somewhere between sixteen and nineteen.

28 May 1309: Great jousting tournament at Stepney, at which Sir Giles Argentein held the field against all comers and was crowned 'King of the Greenwood'.

29 May 1332: Death of Edward II's sister Mary, the reluctant nun, at the age of fifty-three.

30 May 1252: Death of Edward II's maternal grandfather King Fernando III of Castile and Leon in his early fifties, conqueror of most of Andalusia, father of fifteen children, canonised as San Fernando in 1671 and the patron saint of Seville.

30 May 1323: Arrest of Edward's kinsman Henry, Lord Beaumont during a meeting of the royal council at Bishopthorpe in Yorkshire.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your Knowledge about Ed II is so amazing and you really deserves a lot of respect for your incredible knowledge about a King who lived 7 centuries ago :)

Kathryn Warner said...

Thank you so much, that's so kind! ;-)

Kasia Ogrodnik said...

12 May 1321- how very interesting :-)
Is there more that we know about this certain house? Why did Edward want it to be sold?

Kathryn Warner said...

Kasia, I love that one too. ;-) I must try to find more info about it (I've only seen the letter from Edward to his officials). I imagine it was a royal building and he found it unbecoming to his dignity that there was a brothel inside it. :)

Kasia Ogrodnik said...

Kathryn, I'm looking forward to that "more" :-) It sounds as if the whole unseemly dealings had been run there without Edward's knowledge. When he found out, he decided to act :-)

Anerje said...

I'm always amazed at the amount of siblings Edward had - and lost.

19th of May - not a great date for either of my history favs - Piers and Anne Boleyn

Kasia Ogrodnik said...

19th of May- not a great date for my history fav either- on that day in 1218, Henry the Young King's nephew, Otto IV of Brunswick, Holy Roman Emperor, died. He was a fascinating, albeit tragic figure. I'm going to write a few words about him on Henry blog on his death anniversary.

Sami Parkkonen said...

"The king gave a pound to Will Muleward, one of the valets of the bride's mother Isabel, Lady Hastings, who "was with the king for some time and made him laugh very greatly.""

Pretty hefty sum of money in those days. That must have been a hell of joke or two which made the king laugh "greatly". I really would like to know did Will have good jokes or was his comedy based on the situation itself. What ever it was, it must have been totally hilarious.

Kathryn Warner said...

Just realised I forgot the best part of the brothel story - the 'King's Hall' was in the town of Condom. :D :D

Yes, Edward I had at least 17 children, maybe more, and only 8 of them lived into adulthood. :/

Hmmm, 19 May is really not a good day for some of our favourite people! :/

Sami, yes, a pound was a huge sum back then! Will must have been a scream :) Sounds to me like the two men had a long and very entertaining conversation.

Sami Parkkonen said...

Town of Condom? If Eddie had only known... He would have fallen from his horse while laughing at that one.

Kasia Ogrodnik said...

The town of Condom- the best part of the story indeed! How could you have missed it, Kathryn? ;-)

Carla said...

'Fifty marks were 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.)'

I hope someone paid her the other half! I take it we don't know why it was only half, and why Edward paid instead of Isabella - was there some dispute?

I envy you, having sources with all these scraps of information, many of which must surely have a story behind them.

(I shall refrain from commenting on the location of the King's Hall :-) Although presumably it wouldn't have been especially funny in Edward's day; the joke works in modern English but wouldn't the word for said item have been something different in medieval French, if it existed at all?)

Kathryn Warner said...

Sadly, I doubt the word with our meaning would have been known to Edward, but I love it anyway :)

There's another record that the cope made for the pope cost 100 marks - Rose was paid for it in two instalments. :) Edward paid for it to be sent in Isabella's name because he basically paid all her expenses - a fact curiously missing in all the whining I see nowadays about what a terrible neglectful cruel husband he was to her.

Carla said...

Thanks for your reply! I'm quite glad to hear she was paid in full :-)
Did Isabella have her own income from lands in her own right while she was Edward's queen?

Kathryn Warner said...

Me too :-)

Yes, she did, although it was a little tricky until February 1318 as Edward's stepmother Queen Marguerite was still alive and held the usual dower lands of the queen, so alternative arrangements had to be made. Edward confiscated Isabella's lands in Sept 1324 when he was at war with her brother Charles IV, which almost certainly was what pushed Isabella into rebellion against him the following year.