02 February, 2014

February Anniversaries

1 February 1327: Coronation of fourteen-year-old Edward III at Westminster, while his father the former King Edward II was held in captivity at Kenilworth Castle.  Must have been strange for the former king to see his son being crowned in his stead, in his own lifetime.  I'd give a great deal to know what both of them were thinking and feeling.

2 February 1282: Birth of Maud Chaworth, who in or before 1297 married Edward II's first cousin Henry of Lancaster and had seven children with him, including the marvellous Henry of Grosmont, first duke of Lancaster.  Maud was the elder half-sister of Hugh Despenser the Younger and Aline Burnell.

2 February 1286: Birth of Joan Geneville, first countess of March, heiress to lands in England, Wales, Ireland and France, wife of Roger Mortimer (25 April 1287 - 29 November 1330) and mother of twelve children (her daughter Blanche Grandisson and her magnificent tomb in the village of Much Marcle has been much in the news recently).  Joan lived to be seventy and to see her many grandchildren, and is to my mind a far more interesting and worthy person than she's generally made out to be in historical fiction and even non-fiction, where she's far too often painted as a dull, sexless nobody understandably thrown over by her husband for the gorgeous queen.  Yuck.

3 February 1267: Birth of Richard Fitzalan, earl of Arundel, who was Roger Mortimer's first cousin and whose son Earl Edmund was executed by Roger in November 1326.

3 February 1281: Birth of Gilbert de Clare, lord of Thomond, nephew of the earl of Gloucester, a companion of Edward of Caernarfon before he became king, and first husband of Hugh Despenser the Younger's sister Isabel.  More coming on Gilbert very soon, when I write a post about Isabel.

4 February 1316: Wedding at or near Bristol Castle of Edward II's widowed niece Elizabeth de Burgh née de Clare and Theobald de Verdon, whose first wife Maud was Roger Mortimer's sister.  Whether Elizabeth consented to the marriage, I don't know.

5 February 1311: Death of Henry de Lacy, earl of Lincoln, aged around sixty, sometimes a close ally of Edward II and sometimes not, father of Alice.

5 February 1345: Wedding of Eleanor of Lancaster, fifth daughter of Henry of Lancaster and Maud Chaworth, and her second husband Richard Fitzalan, earl of Arundel, son of Edmund executed in 1326.  Richard was probably the richest man in England in the entire fourteenth century, and I can't help but dislike him because of his shabby treatment of his and Isabel Despenser's son Edmund.

6 February 1322: Surrender of Maurice, Lord Berkeley and Hugh Audley the Elder to Edward II during the failed Contrariant rebellion.

7 February 1308: Arrival of Edward II and his new wife Isabella of France in England.

9 February 1250: Death at Mansoura (Egypt) of Robert, count of Artois, brother of Louis IX of France.  Robert's daughter Blanche, queen of Navarre by her first marriage, married Edward II's uncle Edmund of Lancaster and was the mother of Thomas of Lancaster and the maternal grandmother of Isabella of France.

9 February 1321: Wedding of seven-year-old Richard Fitzalan, son and heir of the earl of Arundel, and Hugh Despenser the Younger's eight-year-old daughter Isabel.  The marriage ended disastrously; see link under the entry for 5 February 1345.

10 February 1306: Robert Bruce stabbed his rival John the Red Comyn, lord of Badenoch, to death in the Greyfriars church in Dumfries, and soon afterwards had himself crowned king of Scots.

11 February 1310: Wedding of Edward II's nephew Edouard I, count of Bar, and Marie of Burgundy, two of whose sisters were queens of France. Edouard was then around fifteen.

13 February 1322: Imprisonment of Roger Mortimer and his uncle Roger Mortimer of Chirk in the Tower of London during the Contrariant rebellion.

14 February 1318: Death of Edward II's stepmother Marguerite of France, queen of England, not yet forty years old.  She left two sons Thomas, earl of Norfolk and Edmund, later earl of Kent, then aged seventeen and sixteen.  On 8 March, Edward II sent two pieces of Lucca cloth to Marlborough to lie over her body, and sent six more pieces after it was moved to London shortly afterwards. The king visited his stepmother's remains at St Mary's Church in Southwark on 14 March, and attended her funeral at the Greyfriars Church the following day, purchasing six pieces of Lucca cloth for himself and two pieces each for two other people, his sister Mary the nun and Sir Roger Damory, his current court favourite, to wear.

16 February 1364: Death of Sir John Maltravers, one of Edward of Caernarfon's custodians in 1327.  He must have been at least in his mid-seventies.

19 February 1322: Edward II captured Kenilworth Castle, the great Warwickshire stronghold of his cousin and enemy Thomas, earl of Lancaster, during the Contrariant rebellion.

19 February 1325: Edward II made arrangements for his youngest child Joan of the Tower, aged three (born July 1321), to marry the future King Pedro IV of Aragon, then five (born September 1319).  Joan was to marry David II of Scotland in 1328 instead.

20 February 1312: Churching and purification of Edward II's niece Margaret de Clarecelebration of the birth of her and Piers' daughter Joan Gaveston, paid for by the king.

22 February 1316: First indication that Edward II probably knew that Isabella of France was pregnant with their second child John of Eltham, born on 15 August: he asked the dean and chapter of the church of St Mary in Lincoln to "celebrate divine service daily for the good estate of the king and queen Isabella and Edward of Windsor their first-born son."

22 February 1316: Attack by Hugh Despenser the Younger on Sir John Ros at the parliament of Lincoln.  Hugh repeatedly punched John in the face until he drew blood, and "inflicted other outrages on him in contempt of the lord king," forcing John to draw his sword in self-defence. Hugh claimed after his arrest, with amusing implausibility, that he had merely stretched out his hand to defend himself and accidentally hit John in the face with his fist, after John "heap[ed] outrageous insults on the same Hugh [and] taunted him with insolent words," and rushed at him with a knife.

25 February 1303: Eighteen-year-old Edward of Caernarfon paid four shillings' compensation to his fool Robert Buffard or Bussard, because the two men went swimming together that day at Windsor and Robert was injured in some way by "the trick the Prince [of Wales] played on him in the water."  :-)

25 February 1308: Coronation of Edward II and Isabella of France as king and queen of England.

26 February 1275: Death of Edward's aunt Margaret of England, queen of Scotland, at the age of only thirty-four.  Margaret was the second child of Henry III and Eleanor of Provence, and married Alexander III of Scotland.

26 February 1307: The aging Edward I, who had only four and a half months left to live, ordered Piers Gaveston to leave England.

27 February 1313: Thomas, earl of Lancaster finally returned to Edward II the goods and horses belonging to the king which he had seized at Newcastle the previous May.

28 February 1261: Birth of Edward II's first cousin Margaret of Scotland, queen of Norway, eldest child of Alexander III and Margaret of England.


Sami Parkkonen said...

"25 February 1303: Eighteen-year-old Edward of Caernarfon paid four shillings' compensation to his fool Robert Buffard or Bussard, because the two men went swimming together that day at Windsor and Robert was injured in some way by "the trick the Prince [of Wales] played on him in the water."

Now what was that all about? :-D

Kathryn Warner said...

I would so love to know what Edward was up to there. :-) And the time of year, February, swimming outdoors - the man so many people portray as a court fop!

Anerje said...

Brrr - too cold for swimming - Maybe Robert got hit by some floating ice?! More likely Edward 'ducked' him!

You have to wonder what was going through Edward II's mind when his son was being crowned. I don't think he would have given up any hope of getting his crown back then - the problem was after getting it back, what would happen to his son? I daresay a reconciliation between father and son would have taken place, and Isabella rightly blamed. Edward III had little option but to do his mother's bidding.

Carla said...

'Hugh claimed after his arrest, with amusing implausibility, that he had merely stretched out his hand to defend himself and accidentally hit John in the face with his fist'

"He ran into my fist, your honour" - doesn't sound any more likely in the 14th C than it does now, does it? Do you suppose Hugh knew he could get away with anything, even then, since he didn't bother to pay the fine? Your other post said it was before Hugh was the great favourite, but the incident makes me wonder if there was already some sort of relationship with Edward that Hugh knew he could trade on.

Caroline said...

Oh joy! What a lovely way to start February. Edward of Caernarfon would undoubtedly have loved the rain and the floods here in Somerset.
Poor Margaret of England - if only she had lived to have more children then everything would have been so different and perhaps we wouldn't be having a Scottish referendum this year. Can you be described as somebody's aunt when they weren't even born yet? Sorry to be pedantic.

Keep going Kathryn. I love it.

Crescentia Kalpana David said...

Hi Kathryn, this is a grt blog. i like the research you do. I think the link for Edward and Isabella's Relationship is broken.

Sonetka said...

Anerje -- I was thinking of ducking as well. Not fun, even when the weather is warm!

I'd like to know what both Edwards were thinking as well, though I wouldn't be surprised if they were both thinking "I can't believe this is happening, and I really can't believe it's going to end well for me."

Kasia Ogrodnik said...

Extensive and in-depth research, as always! The entry under 22 February 1316 lead me to conclusion that Hugh must have had a great sense of humour :-) But to be serious, Carla put a very interesting question.

Kathryn Warner said...

Thanks for the great comments, everyone!

Crescentia, welcome, and thanks for letting me know! I'll have a look at the link.

Caroline, haha, true I can't help filtering everything through my love of Edward - so Margaret to me is mostly important as his aunt, even though she died nearly a decade before he was born :-)

Very interesting point about Hugh and when he became Edward's beloved. There's really very little to suggest that Edward had any feelings for him before about 1319 or even 1320, but his behaviour here and elsewhere (such as seizing Tonbridge Castle in 1315 and not being punished for it) definitely does suggest he knew Edward would be indulgent towards him. And he was right. I wonder if he was trading on the fact that his wife and father were close to Edward? Hmmm...;-)

Kathryn Warner said...

Link fixed - it had http:// in it twice ;-)

MRats said...

Kathryn, help! Am I missing something? Or am I just not reading the article correctly?

"The Mystery of . . . a body inside a church memorial has caused amazement in the world of archaeology and surprised experts . . . Michael Eastham, a conservator of sculpture . . . was taken aback when a mysterious coffin was discovered jammed inside the tomb-chest. 'We could not work out what it was when we first took the stone panels from the front of the memorial,' said Michael. 'We thought it might be a layer of slate but as we explored further we realised it was a lead coffin.' . . . It has now been decided that it is almost certainly the coffin and remains of Blanche Mortimer WHOSE MEMORIAL IT IS* . . . wife of Sir Peter Grandison and daughter of the 1st Earl of March, Roger Mortimer."

*Capitals mine.

Quelle surprise!!! Pardon my bluntness, but who and what the h*ll else did they think they would find there? I thought perhaps Roger Mortimer's remains had been discovered, since we aren't certain of their ultimate fate--except that they were never really buried near Isabella at Greyfriars.

The Grandison memorial sounds beautiful! Is there a link to it? Also, I've read that there might be a likeness of Isabella on John of Eltham's tomb. Is there a picture taken at an angle where it can be seen clearly?

A wonderful post, Kathryn!

Kathryn Warner said...

Hi MRats! Great though it is to see Roger's daughter getting attention, I'm baffled by this being 'news'. "We opened Blanche Grandisson's tomb, and found Blanche Grandisson!"

Here's a pic of Blanche's effigy in Much Marcle. She is sooooo beautiful. I could look at it all day. http://muchmarcle.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/blanche-mortimer.jpg


There are a few crowned men and women as weepers on John of Eltham's tomb, and for sure one of them is Isabella (for sure another one is Edward II), but they're not identified in any way so it's impossible to know who is who. Sadly!

See here: http://www.vam.ac.uk/users/sites/default/files/album_images/A.1916-307.jpg


Kathryn Warner said...

A close-up of a female weeper on John's tomb, maybe Isabella, maybe not. http://d28x33bn4x2mjg.cloudfront.net/assets/thumbnail/0019/8353/varieties/bottom.jpeg

MRats said...

Thank you, Kathryn! You're right. Blanche Grandisson's effigy is magnificent. If she resembles her mother, then history has underestimated Joan de Grenville to be sure.

I believe Isabella is the weeper! She's just the way I imagine her. ;-)