This post was inspired by a PM I received from blog commenter Paul. Cheers, Paul! :) I searched the Patent Rolls for entries that fell on the anniversary of my birth (the Patent Rolls are so full of great historical info, I find them addictive - I can spend hours browsing).
The 700th anniversary of my birthday fell at the end of Henry III's reign. A few days after the actual day, on 18 July 1272, a man with the unfortunate name of Noel le Cuntes, merchant of Amiens, "has licence touching the carrying of wool, until Michaelmas". A few days before, there's this entry, which highlights Henry III's annoyance with the citizens of London, who had sided with his enemy (and brother-in-law) Simon de Montfort in the Barons' Wars:
"Commission to Ellis de Hertford and William de Middelton, setting forth that whereas in the time of the late disturbance in the realm, the king, because those of the city of London were of his enemies, gave all their goods then in Lenn to Edward his son and the said goods have been dispersed by some of that town and others to the loss of the said Edward, he has appointed them to enquire by oath etc. into whose hands these goods have come and who detain them, and to take the goods from the detainer to the use of his son. He has commanded the sheriffs of London to provide jurors."
The 650th anniversary fell in Edward II's reign, 1322. There are several entries on my birthday:
"Mandate to William Bacon to deliver by indenture the castle of Somerton to Thomas de Grey, to whom the king has committed, during pleasure, the custody thereof, so that he be answerable for the issues thereof at the Exchequer."
Somerton Castle in Lincolnshire was given to Edward II in 1309 by Anthony Bek, Bishop of Durham, who had built it. Edward and Queen Isabella stayed there in January/February 1316, while Edward was attending Parliament in Lincoln. Isabella had recently become pregnant with their son John of Eltham.
"The like [mandate to commissioners of array] to John de Britannia, earl of Richmond, to muster his contingent for Richmondshire on the following Sunday at some certain place." (How sweetly vague!)
"Protection with clause volumnis for one year for Richard de Middelton, ' paneter,' king's yeoman." 'Paneter' presumably means pantler, the household official in charge of the pantry - that is, bread, cheese and napery (table linen).
"Pardon to Arnold Michol, merchant of Besatz, an adherent of Thomas, sometime earl of Lancaster." Lancaster, Edward II's first cousin, had been executed on 22 March 1322. I have no idea where 'Besatz' is.
The day after my birthday: "Grant to Hugh le Despenser, the younger, Lord of Glamorgan and Morgannou, reducing the levy to be made from his lordships from 1,000 footmen to 600." Despenser, in the spring and summer of 1322, was beginning his career as Greatest Tyrant and Extortionist of the Fourteenth Century.
The same day: "Mandate to Andrew de Hartcla, earl of Carlisle, warden of the Marches of Scotland, as the king does not wish the said levies to muster at Newcastle upon Tyne, to assemble the levies of Cumberland, Westmoreland and Lancaster for the repulse of the Scots who are about to invade the Marches; he is to warn all the men of the Marches to drive their cattle for safety to the parts of Richemund, Clyveland or other places in the county of York."
The beginning of yet another of Edward II's fruitless campaigns against the Scots. Poor Andrew Harclay (Harcla or Hartcla) was created earl of Carlisle by Edward II on 25 March 1322, in gratitude for his victory over the earl of Lancaster and his allies at the Battle of Boroughbridge on 16 March. But he met Robert Bruce, without permission, to negotiate peace between England and Scotland, which - although his intentions were almost certainly honourable - Edward II saw as treason. It didn't help that Harclay had made an enemy of the younger Despenser. He suffered the traitor's death on 3 March 1323, less than a year after he had been created earl. His head was sent to Edward II at Knaresborough, for inspection. (Ewww!) Harclay's body parts were left hanging in Carlisle, Newcastle, York, Shrewsbury and London until his sister was finally granted permission to collect and bury them - in 1328.
6oo years before I was born fell late in Edward III's reign. There are no entries on my birthday, but this one was close:
"Charter indented between the king and John, king of Castile and Leon, duke of Lancaster, touching lands &c. granted to the latter in exchange for the earldom of Richmond and the honor, castles, manors and lands pertaining thereto. And be it remembered that one part of this indenture remaining with the king was delivered to Richard de Ravensere, clerk, on 19 July."
The John here was John of Gaunt, Edward III's third son, who claimed the thrones of Castile and Leon through his wife Constanza.
And finally, 550 years before my birth, near the end of Henry V's reign:
"The like [commission of oyer and terminer] to William Cheyne, John Martyn and Thomas Broun, on complaint by Thomas Gyfie of Dodebroke, co. Devon, that Henry Fortescue and John Sayer and other evildoers besieged and broke his houses at Dodebroke, searched for him in them to kill him, pursued him to the full market of the town with drawn swords, assaulted, wounded and ill-treated him there, and lie in ambush to kill him so that he dare not approach his houses."
Unlawful breaking and entering, violence, and the threat of murder: a very typical entry in the Patent Rolls! :)