01 March, 2010

Two Mauds And Their Marital Misadventures

A post about the marital (mis)adventures of Maud Fitzalan and her daughter Maud Burnell, the younger Maud's frankly rather unpleasant legal manoeuvres which largely disinherited her eldest son in favour of her children by her second husband, and a loyal Despenser adherent who held onto his connections to the family long after 1326.

Maud Fitzalan was the only daughter of John Fitzalan and Isabella Mortimer and the sister of Richard, earl of Arundel, who was born in February 1267 - whether Maud was older or younger than Richard, I don't know, and she might have been born any time between 1264 and 1266 or 1268 and 1272. In 1283 her brother paid 2000 marks for her to marry Philip Burnell, who was born on 1 August 1264. [1] Philip was the son and heir of Sir Hugh Burnell and a woman of unknown parentage called Sybil, but it was his uncle who was the most important member of the family: Robert Burnell, bishop of Bath and Wells and chancellor of England, a close ally and friend of Edward I who dominated the English political scene from Edward's accession in 1272 until his death twenty years later. Edward I tried to persuade the pope to translate Robert from Bath and Wells to Canterbury, but he refused on learning that Robert kept a mistress or mistresses; it is believed that he fathered as many as five illegitimate (well, obviously) children. Not surprisingly, the pope decided that such scandalous behaviour argued against Robert having the moral authority to become primate of all England.

Philip Burnell inherited the lands his enormously wealthy uncle had acquired, a whopping eighty-two manors in nineteen counties, but brilliantly managed to die in debt less than two years after his uncle's death, on 26 June 1294 at the age of only twenty-nine. [2] He and Maud Fitzalan had two surviving children: Maud, born sometime between 1290 and 1294, of whom much more below; and Edward, Lord Burnell, who was born in 1286, married Hugh Despenser the Elder's eldest daughter Aline in 1302 - Despenser paid 1000 marks for the privilege - and died childless on 23 August 1315, also at the age of twenty-nine. [3] Aline never re-married and outlived her husband by a remarkable forty-eight years, dying on 16 May 1363 when she must have been in her mid-seventies. [4] (Edward II appointed Aline constable of the great castle of Conwy in January 1326, presumably at the request of her brother the younger Despenser.)

Genealogist Douglas Richardson discovered several years ago that the widowed Maud Fitzalan - I'm referring to her and her daughter by their maiden names throughout this post, in a possibly futile attempt to avoid confusion - was granted a licence on 19 September 1295 to marry Robert Bruce, which presumably means the one who died in 1304 and whose son of the same name became King Robert I of Scotland in 1306: "Licence for Matilda, late the wife of Philip Burnel, tenant in chief, to marry Robert de Brus, lord of Annandale." A writ of 13 October 1296 confirms that Maud did indeed marry Bruce: "Order to give power to someone to receive the attorneys of Robert de Brus, earl of Carrik and lord of Annandale, and Maud his wife, in a plea of dower..." [5] What's odd about this is that when Bruce died in 1304 he left a widow named Eleanor, but Maud certainly outlived him so he wasn't her widower; yet no references to an annulment have been found that I've read of.

Turning now to Maud's daughter Maud Burnell, she married her first husband sometime before 1312: John, Lord Lovel of Titchmarsh in Northamptonshire, who was born in 1288 or 1289 and was the son of another John, Lord Lovel and Joan, daughter of Robert, Lord Ros of Helmsley. Both John Lovels, father and son, served in the retinue of Edward II's kinsman Aymer de Valence, earl of Pembroke. [6] Maud Burnell and John Lovel had a daughter in 1312, named Joan after John's mother. John was killed at Bannockburn in June 1314, leaving Maud pregnant, and she gave birth in September to a son, inevitably named John after his father. When the little boy was mere weeks old, on 2 October 1314, he was given into the wardship of the earl of Pembroke. Pembroke died in 1324, and in May 1326 Edward II granted young John's wardship to Joan Jermy, sister of his sister-in-law Alice Hales, countess of Norfolk; Joan was appointed mestresse, governess, of the king's daughters Eleanor and Joan around the same time. [7]

The death of Maud's childless brother Edward Burnell the year after she was widowed made her sole heir to his lands and thus an extremely attractive marital prospect. She was still young: Edward Burnell's inquisition post mortem, taken in various counties, says that Maud was between twenty-one and twenty-five in 1315. In 1315/1316, both she and her mother Maud Fitzalan married without Edward II's licence: Maud Burnell had married Sir John Haudlo (or Handlo) by 4 December 1315, and Maud Fitzalan had married her third husband Simon Criketot by 20 June 1316. Both couples were fined £100 for the impertinence of marrying without Edward II's licence, Maud Fitzalan and Criketot at the request of Hugh Despenser the Elder, father of Maud Burnell's sister-in-law Aline Despenser. (There's an entry on the Close Roll of January 1315 recording Maud Burnell's oath not to marry without the king's licence, and it's rather odd that she did in fact do so with the elder Despenser's knowledge, given Despenser's loyalty to the king.) An interesting agreement which survives in the Catalogue of Ancient Deeds, dated the Saturday before Midsummer, 9 Edward II (1316), indicates somewhat mysteriously that Maud Fitzalan had made "certain covenants" with John Haudlo and Hugh Despenser the Elder in exchange for 4000 marks regarding her daughter's marriage to Haudlo, which covenants "in many points have not been carried out," and that Simon Criketot had agreed to bring his new wife to Tenbury by 25 July, the feast of St James, to "perform the said covenants." [8]

Simon Criketot is a hard man to trace - he served in Scotland in 1296 and pops up a couple of times during Edward II's reign appointing attorneys, and that's about all I can find - but fortunately John Haudlo isn't. He was the son of Richard Haudlo of Buckinghamshire and had married the daughter and heir of John FitzNigel of Boarstall, Buckinghamshire by 3 August 1299, and joined Hugh Despenser the Elder's retinue as early as 1294, when he went with Despenser on campaign to Wales. He was knighted with the future Edward II, Hugh Despenser the Younger, Roger Mortimer etc in May 1306, and later that year was one of the knights (with Mortimer, Piers Gaveston and Giles Argentein) who deserted from Edward I's army in Scotland to go jousting on the Continent. [9] His first wife, the heiress Joan FitzNigel, was dead by 1314, leaving him a son, Richard; by a custom called the courtesy of England, Haudlo held all Joan's lands until his death, and received permission from Edward II in September 1312 to crenellate the manor-house of Boarstall, at Despenser the Elder's request. Haudlo proved to be among the most faithful of all Despenser adherents: he went overseas with Despenser the Elder in November 1299, October 1305 (with, among others, Malcolm Musard), June 1313, February 1320 and August 1322, and was even willing to accompany him abroad when the Despensers were permanently exiled in August 1321. His brother Robert was Despenser's attorney in 1320 and 1322 when Haudlo went overseas with him; another brother, a cleric named William, was also in Despenser's service. Haudlo was granted various manors by Despenser the Elder, and as a staunch Despenser adherent saw his lands attacked by the Contrariants in 1321. Roger Damory "by armed force by members of his household" attacked his Buckinghamshire manor of Steeple Claydon, and Roger's sister Katherine and her husband Sir Walter le Poure were among the people who attacked seven of Haudlo's manors in Oxfordshire and five in Buckinghamshire; they broke his gates, doors and windows, stole horses, oxen, cows, sheep, pigs and swans, cut down his trees, hunted in his parks and fished in his stews, and "carried away fish, trees and goods*, deer, hares, coneys and partridges, charters and writings." Haudlo was one of the few men who remained loyal to Edward II in March 1308, when Edward's excessive favouritism towards Piers Gaveston led to the first major crisis of his reign, and was appointed keeper of the strategically important castle of St Briavels on the same day that Despenser the Elder was appointed keeper of Chepstow. [10] He must have been a good bit older than Maud Burnell, as he was old enough to be militarily active in 1294 and she may only have been born that year.

* I love that juxtaposition of 'fish, trees and goods'. I can just imagine a scribe, his quill poised above the parchment, asking "so what did they steal, my lord?" and John Haudlo going "Oh...you know...fish...a few trees, I suppose...some other stuff, lemme think...ermmm...oh yeah, deer and hares, and some of my partridges..."

John Haudlo survived the downfall of Edward II and the Despensers unscathed, which, given that he had served the elder Despenser for at least thirty-two years, probably redounds to the credit of Roger Mortimer and Isabella of France. Haudlo and Maud Burnell went on pilgrimage in 1327 with their household and expected to be away from England for two years - which was probably an attempt, at least in part, to avoid the flurry of lawsuits which followed the Despensers' fall, some of which named Haudlo. [11] It's interesting to note that Haudlo held onto his connections to the Despenser family even after the executions of Hughs the Elder and Younger. In August 1329, he married his eldest son and heir Richard Haudlo to Isabel St Amand and his daughter (or stepdaughter) Joan to Isabel's brother Amaury; Haudlo and John St Amand, their father, acknowledged that they owed each other 1000 marks for the marriages. Through their mother Margaret, Isabel and Amaury were grandchildren of Hugh Despenser the Elder. Despenser the Younger's son Hugh (the Even Younger), lord of Glamorgan, granted Haudlo various manors in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire in November 1337, and acknowledged in May 1340 that he owed 640 marks to Haudlo and Maud Burnell's daughter Elizabeth. On 17 May 1341, shortly after Maud Burnell's death, John Haudlo asked the dean and chapter of Salisbury to pray daily for his good estate in life and his soul after death, and for the souls of Maud, their late son Thomas and two other people: Edward II and Hugh Despenser the Elder. [12]

Unfortunately the date of Maud Fitzalan's (Burnell Bruce Criketot) death is unknown, but was certainly before the execution/murder of her nephew Edmund, earl of Arundel, on 17 November 1326. Her daughter Maud Burnell, as early as July 1316 - only a few months after her second marriage - began legal proceedings to entail many (or even most) of the manors she had inherited from her brother Edward on herself and her new husband John Haudlo jointly, with reversion to their male heirs and only then to John Lovel, her son by her first husband. A few years later, Haudlo and Maud entailed some of her manors on themselves with remainder to their male heirs, their daughters Joan, Elizabeth and Margaret and then to John Lovel, so that Lovel would only inherit these properties if his five or six half-siblings all died before he did and without issue. The unfortunate John Lovel was thus kept out of a large part of his mother's inheritance in favour of his half-siblings, and although he was sole heir to his father Lord Lovel, this was a considerably smaller inheritance, and it's easy to imagine that Lovel was somewhat embittered by these proceedings. [13] His descendant William, Lord Lovel finally claimed the bulk of the Burnell inheritance in 1420, when the male line of Maud and John Haudlo ran out. [14]

Maud Burnell (Lovel Haudlo) died in or shortly before May 1341, in her late forties or early fifties, and her widower John Haudlo on 5 August 1346 when he must have been well into his sixties or older. By the 'courtesy of England', Haudlo held all of Maud's inheritance (as well as the lands of his first wife) until his death, and so kept Maud's son John, Lord Lovel out of those manors she hadn't entailed to his half-brothers as well. John Lovel himself died only a few months after his stepfather, shortly before 10 November 1347 at the age of thirty-three. [15] He left two sons by his wife Isabel la Zouche, both of whom, confusingly, were named John. Sir John Haudlo's eldest son Richard, by Joan FitzNigel, died before his father in December 1342, leaving his widow Isabel St Amand, a three-year-old son Edmund and daughters Margaret and Elizabeth, who ultimately shared the Haudlo/FitzNigel inheritance when Edmund died childless in 1355. Of John Haudlo's children by Maud Burnell, the eldest surviving son, Nicholas, took his mother's name, married a woman named Mary, inherited his mother's entailed lands and lived until January 1382; his brass in the church of Acton Burnell, Shropshire, can be seen here. Nicholas Burnell received more property on the death in 1363 of his uncle's widow, Aline Despenser, who had held it in dower for the last half a century. Thomas, the first-born son of Maud Burnell and John Haudlo, also took their mother's name, and before 26 July 1337 married Joan, daughter of Thomas, Lord Berkeley (her brother Maurice married Hugh Despenser the Younger's daughter Elizabeth), Haudlo and Berkeley having arranged the marriage "in order to put an end to the strife caused by Sir Thomas having sided with Roger de Mortuo Mari [Mortimer], and John de Hantlo with Hugh Despenser." Thomas was dead by 12 July 1339, and his little widow Joan, who can't have been more than ten at the time, married Sir Reginald Cobham in 1343 (he was born in 1295 and was the same age as her father - the lucky, lucky girl!) [16] Reginald's tomb in Lingfield, Surrey can be seen here. John Haudlo's daughter-in-law Isabel St Amand married secondly Sir Richard Hildesley, sheriff of Gloucestershire; according to a book called A Guide to the Architectural Antiquities in the Neighbourhood of Oxford (p. 285), John Haudlo left all his possessions to her.

1) Calendar of Close Rolls 1279-1288, pp. 235, 237.
2) Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
3) Calendar of Patent Rolls 1292-1301, p. 179; Calendar of Fine Rolls 1307-1319, p. 254; A Descriptive Catalogue of Ancient Deeds, ed. H.C. Maxwell Lyte, vol. 4, no. A. 6278.
4) Cal Fine Rolls 1356-1368, p. 277; Chan. Inq. p.m. 37 Edw. III (1st nos.), 14.
5) Cal Pat Rolls 1292-1301, p. 147; Calendar of Chancery Warrants 1244-1326, p. 74.
6) Cal Pat Rolls 1307-1313, pp. 101, 103; Calendar of Inquisitions Miscellaneous 1308-1348, p. 205.
7) Cal Fine Rolls 1307-1319, p. 211; Cal Pat Rolls 1324-1327, p. 267; Society of Antiquaries MS 122, p. 81.
8) Cal Fine Rolls 1307-1319, pp. 268, 271, 283; Cal Close Rolls 1313-1318, p. 208; Catalogue of Ancient Deeds, vol. 4, no. A. 6814.
9) David Simpkin, The English Aristocracy at War: from the Welsh Wars of Edward I to the Battle of Bannockburn, p. 128; Constance Bullock-Davies, Menestrellorum Multitudo: Minstrels at a Royal Feast, p. 186; Cal Pat Rolls 1292-1301, p. 430; Cal Fine Rolls 1272-1307, pp. 543-544; Cal Close Rolls 1302-1307, pp. 481-482.
10) Calendar of Chancery Warrants 1244-1326, p. 104; Cal Pat Rolls 1301-1307, pp. 382, 493; Ibid., 1307-1313, p. 582; Ibid., 1317-1321, pp. 422, 426; Ibid., 1321-1324, pp. 162-163, 168-169, 187, 189, 319-320; Cal Close Rolls 1318-1323, p. 464; Cal Fine Rolls 1307-1319, pp. 17-18; Calendar of Papal Letters 1305-1341, p. 115; The National Archives SC 8/15/722, SC 8/59/2919, E 40/3202, E 40/3204 etc.
11) Cal Close Rolls 1327-1330, pp. 185-186, 219, 228; Cal Pat Rolls 1327-1330, pp, 171, 175, 188; TNA SC 8/15/722;
12) Cal Close Rolls 1327-1330, p. 572; Cal Close Rolls 1337-1339, pp. 271-273; Cal Close Rolls 1339-1341, p. 477; Cal Pat Rolls 1340-1343, p. 194.
13) Cal Pat Rolls 1313-1317, pp. 509, 554-555; Ibid., 1313–1317, p. 612; Ibid., 1330–1334, p. 75; Ibid., 1338–1340, p. 302.
14) K.B. McFarlane, The Nobility of Later Medieval England, p. 67.
15) Cal Fine Rolls 1337-1347, p. 477-478; Cal Fine Rolls 1347-1356, p. 51.
16) Cal Pat Rolls 1334-1338, p. 491; Cal Pat Rolls 1338-1340, p. 302; Papal Letters 1305-1341, p. 541.


Gabriele Campbell said...

Poor Ned, he can't even make the noble women in his realm ask for a proper marriage licence. :)

Kathryn Warner said...

Hehe, yeah. :) To be fair to him, the medieval nobility did have an awful habit of marrying without royal licence, not only in Ned's reign.

Susan Higginbotham said...

Great digging here!

Allison said...

Great research! Do you think that Eleanor Cobham (wife of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester) was related in any way to Reginald Cobham? Just curious.

I'd never heard of the Haudlo family before. Thank you!

Kathryn Warner said...

Thanks, Susan!

Allison: thanks! The name Haudlo in modern spelling is Hadlow, a village near Tonbridge in Kent.

Eleanor Cobham, duchess of Gloucester, was the great-granddaughter of Reginald Cobham (died 1361) and Joan Berkeley (d 1369).

Louis X said...

That poor little Joan! Already a widow at 10. What a life she must have had.

Kathryn Warner said...

I know, that's so hard, isn't it? And then to be fourteen or so and have marry a man in his late forties! :(

Kathryn Warner said...

Oops, have *to* marry - just noticed the mistake there. ;)