19 March, 2010

Edward II Owns A Gold Dragon And Dragon's Blood

Because I'm feeling too lazy at the moment to write a post with a proper narrative, here's another hotch-potchy listy one, with some details of Edward II's possessions, gifts and other things. Oh, and a bit of a rant in the middle. And RIP Edmund of Woodstock, earl of Kent, beheaded on this day in 1330 at the age of only twenty-eight for attempting to free his half-brother Edward II from Corfe Castle. A courageous man who absolutely does not deserve the accusations of stupidity, gullibility and instability thrown at him by various historians who can't make sense of his plot to free a supposedly dead man otherwise.

- Edward borrowed forty pounds from the rich Genoese merchant Antonio di Pessagno - who often lent the king money and enjoyed a lot of influence at court - sometime before 6 June 1312 (when it was recorded on the Close Roll), to buy pearls for Queen Isabella. On his twenty-eighth birthday, 25 April 1312, Edward paid his minstrel King Robert two pounds for "taking large, white pearls to the king," whether the same ones he gave Isabella or not I don't know. Given the timing, the gift to the queen may well have been Edward's reaction to hearing the news of her first pregnancy.

- The King's Bling, Part 1. Edward II owned: a gold cross with two balas rubies, three sapphires and four pearls; an amethyst in gold, a sapphire in gold and a gold bar with relics; seven mounted stones, "of which we don't know the names except jasper and amethyst" (dount nous ne savoms les nons forque jaspre & amatistre); a gold clasp with two emeralds, two rubies, four pearls and a sapphire in the middle; fifteen gold spoons and another twelve gold spoons of a different kind, kept in two silver boxes; a silver chaplet decorated with "diverse jewels"; a gold salt-cellar with a silver pot inside (un saler d'or od un forel d'argent dedentz); a silver ship for incense; and that fabulously tacky-sounding "gold dragon with enamelled wings" I think I've mentioned here before. WANT ONE.

- Edward owned a crystal, said to be "from the daughter of Llywelyn, prince of Wales" (par la fille Leulyn prince de Gales). Presumably this means Gwenllian (June 1282-June 1337), sent to the priory of Sempringham in Lincolnshire as a baby by Edward I, after the death of her father in December 1282.

- On 14 June 1315, Edward gave twenty shillings to the sailors Thomas Springet, Edmund of Greenwich and William Kempe "for their labour in taking a whale," caught near London Bridge. Possibly this was the same whale, supposedly eighty feet long, mentioned with great excitement by the London and Pauline annalists as having been caught in the Thames in mid-February 1309.

- On 1 July 1308, Edward wrote to the chancellor John Langton "As next Sunday, 7 July, will be the anniversary of the king's father*, and the king wishes that the service for his soul on that day shall be done so well and solemnly in all points that nothing shall fail and it shall be to the king's honour; the king prays the chancellor dearly to be at the said service at Westminster both on the Saturday before at placebo and dirige and on the Sunday at mass, and to take pains with the other bishops and the treasurer, who will be there, that the service be well ordered." For Edward I's funeral in Westminster Abbey in October 1307, Edward II paid two pounds to William Attefenne, sumpter-man, "for the great labour he sustained in providing torches and leather for the body of the deceased king."

* The first anniversary of Edward I's death.

- Edward paid thirty-five shillings to seventy Dominicans on 28 November 1315 "for performing divine service at the anniversary of the lady the queen, mother of the present lord the king." That was the twenty-fifth anniversary of Eleanor of Castile's death.

- Part of a letter from Edward I to Pope Clement V regarding Pedro, cardinal-bishop of Santa Sabina, on 3 January 1307: "We thank your holiness for sending such messengers, and especially the cardinal, who should love our son Edward who is of the blood of Spain, his own country."

- On 5 February 1308, Edward II returned £272, ten shillings and four pence to his clerk Richard de Lutheburgh, "for so much money as the same Richard lent to the lord the king at Boulogne, against the festivity of the nuptials of the same lord the king there."

- In Kent in mid-January 1308, before setting off for said wedding, Edward ordered the mayor and sheriffs of London to provide and deliver "a ship for the king's tents" for his retinue to sleep in once they reached France, sent his baker William Hathewy ahead to Boulogne "to make preparations for the reception of the king," and ordered William le Portour to find "300 boards of the longest to be found for making tables."

- Edward told "the very high, very excellent and very noble prince, our very dear lord and father" Philippe IV of France in a letter of 30 December 1307 that with God's help (alaide de DIEU), he would meet Philippe at Boulogne on Sunday 21 January 1308 to pay homage to him for Gascony and Ponthieu and, of course, to marry Philippe's daughter Isabella. The wedding, des esposailles, was scheduled for Wednesday 24 January. In the end, Edward left Dover on 22 January, sailed to Wissant, arrived at Boulogne three days late on the 24th and married Isabella on the 25th. I've seen it suggested, in the usual 'Let's interpret every single little thing that Edward II ever did in the most negative light possible!' way that lots of commentators have, that Edward deliberately arrived late in order to insult Philippe and/or Isabella. This is incredibly unlikely, and it's far more probable that inclement weather conditions and the roughness of the Channel were to blame. It was January, for pete's sake! Journeys by sea back then could take an inordinately long time, even at a warmer time of year: Piers Gaveston's cousin Bertrand Caillau told Hugh Despenser the Younger at the end of May 1325 that it had taken him eleven days to sail from Portsmouth to Bordeaux. I don't see how Isabella could possibly have been offended by the fact that her wedding took place a day later than she'd been expecting; what the heck difference did one day make in the fourteenth century?

- Edward and Isabella arrived back at Dover on 7 February 1308; Piers Gaveston, regent of England in Edward II's absence, had ordered various noblemen and women to be waiting for them there on 4 February (the Sunday after the Purification, as the writs had it), three days before the king and queen actually arrived. It has also been suggested that "Gaveston must have taken great pleasure in issuing the summons himself, deliberately bringing them to Dover at least four days [sic] before the new bride arrived, an uncomfortable sojourn in a bleak channel port..." Yeah, because in those days of instantaneous communication via phone and internet and super-fast reliable transport, obviously Piers knew exactly to the minute when Edward and Isabella would arrive in England but just thought it would be fun to force people to hang around in the depths of winter waiting for them. I suppose Edward just forgot to text his sister and cousin and the others to tell them his real arrival time and all the internet cafes in Boulogne and Wissant were closed because of the wedding festivities. And from the description, I take it we're supposed to assume that the noblemen and women had to huddle together on the docks, even at night, because it's not as though the "bleak channel port" of Dover had an enormous and luxurious royal castle where they could have stayed, is it? Sheesh, some writers really go out of their way to find fault with Edward II and Piers Gaveston.

- The King's Bling, Part 2. Edward II owned: a "small belt of pearls"; a belt of white-silver thread; a belt with bands of silver and gold; two belts of silk covered with pearls, worth ten pounds each; a silver belt with enamelled silver escutcheons; a belt made of lion skin, decorated in gold with a cameo; a belt "decorated with ivory, engraved with a purse hanging from it, with a Saracen face" (une ceynture hernisse d'ivoir entaille od un aloer pendaunt od visage de Saracyn).

- Talking of Saracens, just before he and Isabella left England to visit France on 23 May 1313, Edward II ordered Robert Kendale, constable of Dover Castle, "to pay to six Saracens, whom the king is sending to him to stay in Dover castle, 6d each daily for their expenses." Unfortunately, I haven't (yet) found any more references to them.

- Edward gave his niece Margaret de Clare a roan-coloured palfrey as a present - among others - when she married Piers Gaveston on 1 November 1307. The horse cost twenty pounds. At the same time, Edward bought himself two destriers, "the one a bay and the other white spotted," at fifty-two pounds for both.

- The horses which the earl of Lancaster seized from the king when Edward and Piers Gaveston hurriedly left (OK, 'fled from') Tynemouth in May 1312 included a bay and a black rouncy with stars on their foreheads, an iron-grey destrier, twelve cart-horses and nine pack-horses.

- On 19 March 1320, Edward gave two pounds to John de Brabancia (Brabant, I suppose), "minstrel of the count of Esshe and Doring, coming to the king with news of his son." I haven't been able to figure out who the count of 'Esshe and Doring' was.

- Edward II tried for several years, ultimately unsuccessfully, to found a house of Dominican nuns at Langley in Hertfordshire, where he had founded a priory in 1308 and buried Piers Gaveston in January 1315. On 9 March 1323, Edward wrote to Hervey, master of the Dominican order, asking him to find four devout women from the monasteries of Montargis, Poissy or Rouen who were "prepared to come to this realm at the king’s pleasure." Presumably Hervey was unable to find any, as nothing came of it.

- On 29 July 1326 Edward gave a gift of a pound, by his own hands, to Wille, one of his household purveyors, who had brought crabs and prawns to him. Edward "said that for a long time, nothing had been so much to his liking" (qil dit q' long temps ne vient chose tant au gre).

- The King's Bling, Part 3. Edward II owned: a jewelled gold buckle with a white cameo; a gold buckle with four emeralds, five rubies and four pearls; a piece of gold jewellery with nine emeralds and nine garnets, with a white cameo in the middle, enamelled on the other part; an ivory box decorated with silver, with four feet; a pair of gilded silver basins, another pair of silver basins enamelled inside with escutcheons, six silver basins with escutcheons of the arms of Piers Gaveston on the base (sis bacins d'argent od eschocons des armes le dit Pieres en le fonce), and two silver hand-basins; other silver pots, saucers and dishes far too numerous to count; gold cups far too numerous to count; "a box of gilded silver, for carrying within it a ring around the neck of a man" (une boiste d'argent en d'orre pur porter eynz un anel entour le col de un homme); a large silver pot with three feet for heating water; a silver ship with four gold oars, enamelled on the sides.

- In about February 1311, Edward ordered lots of fish for himself and his household to consume during Lent. Payments made to merchants included four shillings and sixpence to Elye Botoun for cod, two shillings and sixpence to Elye Belle also for cod, seventy-six shillings to Fermin of Pounfreyt (Pontefract) for unspecified piscine provisions, and eleven shillings to Clement the butcher for "lard and grease."

- The King's Bling, Part 4. Among the items which passed from Earl Edmund of Cornwall (died 1300) to his first cousin and heir Edward I, and thereafter presumably to Edward II, were: a thorn from the Crown of Thorns; "the Red Book called 'Textus' on which magnates are wont to swear," and the intriguing-sounding "dragon's blood in dust with a cluttellus," whatever that is. One of the presents Queen Marguerite gave Edward I as his New Year 1302 gift was "two silver platters called 'Lechefrithe'."


Society of Antiquaries MS 122; Calendar of Close Rolls 1307-1313; Calendar of Patent Rolls 1307-1313; Calendar of Chancery Warrants 1244-1326; Calendar of Documents Relating to Scotland 1272-1307; Ibid., 1308-1348; Foedera, II, i; J. S. Hamilton, Piers Gaveston, Earl of Cornwall 1307-1312: Politics and Patronage in the Reign of Edward II; Frederick Devon, Issues of the Exchequer: Being A Collection of Payments Made Out of His Majesty’s Revenue from King Henry III to King Henry VI Inclusive; Richard Rastall, 'Secular Musicians in Late Medieval England' (PhD thesis).


Susan Higginbotham said...

Fascinating stuff! (Dragon's blood?) And good points about all of the fault-finding with Edward.

Rowan said...

RIP, Edmund.
Oh, well...and I have Dragon's Blood here as well.

Anerje said...

Great post Kathryn! And totally approve of the 'fault-finding' by certain writers of Edward and Piers! Couldn't help laughing at this -

' And from the description, I take it we're supposed to assume that the noblemen and women had to huddle together on the docks, even at night, because it's not as though the "bleak channel port" of Dover had an enormous and luxurious royal castle where they could have stayed, is it?'

So funny! I expect as Piers was the 'son of a witch' he organised the weather to be as awful as possible as well, eh? :> And then of course he stole all the treasure!

Anerje said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I just read the Hamilton biography of Gaveston and was surprised to learn that Arnaud de Marsan may have been considerably older than Piers. He seems to have been doing things in the early
1290s that would require "adult" status such as being involved in a lawsuit and acting as head of the family while his father was a hostage in France.That would mean he may have been born in the early 1270s while Piers was born in the early 1280s

Louis X said...

"...and the intriguing-sounding "dragon's blood in dust with a cluttellus," whatever that is."

A clutus is a cloth, so one may presume a cluttellus to be a small piece of cloth.

Monsire Kai desires the dragon, as well, but I told him he would likely have to fight for it. ;)

Kathryn Warner said...

Thanks, Susan!

Ashmodai: Dragon's Blood - I think it's a kind of dye or resin, bright red? Do you keep it in dust with a small cloth?? :-)

Anerje: (your comment posted twice, so I deleted the second one). Thanks! And I expect Piers was wearing the spiffy new Rolex Ed had bought him and arrived at Dover in the brand-new Porsche ditto, before using his dead mum's magic to raise a snowstorm, make the castle disappear and make all the royal treasure of England re-materialise in Gabaston. ;)

Mon cher roi: aha, thanks for clearing up what a cluttellus is! I thought that with your excellent linguistic ability, you'd be bound to know. Oh, and Ed says you'll have to arm-wrestle him if you want to try and win the dragon. :) (And thank you too for your Facebook post about Marguerite of Burgundy; I learned a lot!)

Anon: yes, Piers seems to have had several siblings a good bit older than he was - he had two sisters who married in 1287 and 1291, for example. Piers had an uncle called Fortaner de Lescun, Claramonde de Marsan's brother, but I've seen a petition presented sometime during Ed II's reign where a Fortaner de Lescun - another one, presumably - is said to be the brother of Arnaud-Guillaume de Marsan and the son of Arnaud de Gabaston, and therefore Piers' brother. The family is so confusing: Piers had a full brother called Arnaud-Guillaume de Marsan and a half-brother, his father's illegitimate son, called Guillaume-Arnaud de Gabaston!

Anonymous said...

Any more information on the mysterious Bourd de Gaveston, who is called Piers' brother in the records?

Gabriele Campbell said...

Oh, I totlally want a dragon brooch, too.

Next thing is that Piers is responsible for the global warming as the latest bank crash as well. :)

Kathryn Warner said...

Gabriele, me too! :) I'm sure if writers work hard enough, they'll be able to find a way to blame Piers for the Black Death, the Great Fire of London and the outbreak of both world wars as well as the current economic crisis and global warming. :)

Anon: The only place I've seen Bourd mentioned is on the Close Roll, where he's mentioned as living at Wallingford Castle (which was Piers') with two of his 'fellows' and five horses for four weeks in June/July 1311. No indication of his relationship to Piers, unfortunately.

Louis X said...

Ma belle dame, you are most welcome, on all counts! I thank you for the kind compliment, as well.

Arm wrestling!! Ha! What fun!! I shall have to do it on Kai's behalf, since I am younger and stronger than him. *snickers* Otherwise, there would be no chance at all against our strong English brother!

Clement Glen said...

You say you felt lazy Kathryn, but as usual it was another fascinating post.

I have read before on your blog about Ed's minstrel 'King Robert', he sounds an interesting character, do we know much about him?

Anonymous said...

I remember seeing a reference to Bourd de Gaveston many years ago, probably in a book about Edward II. I have never been able to find that reference again, but I remembered it because the name seemed unusual. I believe it named him as a brother of Piers and stated that Edward gave him money (100 pounds?) for performing some service.

Kathryn Warner said...

Mon trescher et tresredoute seigneur le roi, I speak only the truth when I compliment you! And Edward looks forward to the arm-wrestling with dear Monsire Kai, although you should perhaps warn your friend that Edward is known to be one of the strongest men in all England... ;)

Thank you, Clement! There's actually a surprisingly large amount of info about 'King Robert' (though I don't know his real surname): he'd entered royal service as a minstrel as early as 1277, and was also a soldier who took part in various Scottish campaigns of Ed I and Ed II. Ed II gave Robert 70 shillings and another 40 shillings in 1316/17 when he suffered a long illness, but he recovered, and accompanied Ed to France in 1320 when he paid homage to Philippe V.

Kathryn Warner said...

Anon: I wonder if this was Walter Phelps Dodge's biog of Piers Gaveston, published in the 1890s? Dodge says that Bourd was Piers' brother and was buried at Langley Priory, but doesn't cite a source. I also wonder if 'Bourd' was a nickname; in 1309, for example, Ed II forbade various noblemen "to tourney, make bourds or jousts, seek adventures, or do other feats of arms in England." Brad Verity, who runs the Royal Descent blog linked in my sidebar, knows a lot about the Gaveston family, so is probably a good person to ask.

Gabriele Campbell said...

I need to read some Mediaeval correspondence in order to find some fitting ways to address a king. :)

Louis X said...

Oh, but madame!! We must not let Kai do it, for he has tiny arms of string! He would present our dear brother no challenge at all! What fun would that be? Non, I must insist; this time, I will be Kai's champion. I am not so much bigger than Kai, but I do have muscle, so I could present at least some amount of challenge to Edward! Besides, I have never wrestled him and I want to. XD

Clement Glen said...

Thank you Kathryn,

so 'King Robert' was a Soldier and a Minstrel.What an interesting combination!

Do we know of any ballads or songs that he used to perform before King Edward?

Kathryn Warner said...

Gabriele, the letters addressed to Hugh Despenser are pretty useful for that - obviously he wasn't a king, but he behaved and people treated him as though he was. ;)

Mon cher roi: Doh! Apologies for misreading your previous comment, where of course you made it clear that you, not Monsire Kai, would compete against Edward. I was having a blonde moment. :) Monsire le treshaut et trespuissaunt roy Dengleterre looks forward to his dear brother's challenge, and says it is certain that you will lose. ;)

Clement: yes, Robert's main job, as it were, seems to have been a sergeant-at-arms, and he was also King of Heralds. Sadly, any songs he performed are not recorded, but he was a man of many talents: hr played the trumpet and the tabor at least, maybe other instruments, and in Feb 1312 Ed II gave him a pound to buy himself a sword to use in a sword and shield dance. He organised Ed's banquet entertainment at Amiens in 1320, and that year received livery of four and a half ells each of coloured and striped cloth, and two budge (lambskin) furs for his supertunic.

Clement Glen said...

Thanks Kathryn,

I would have loved to have sat in those medieval halls listening to minstrels like 'King Robert!'

Kathryn Warner said...

Ohhhh, me too!

Louis X said...

heh! I am also fair of hair. Does this predispose one to silliness? I should say it would explain much, for me. ;P

And, I add, HUH! I will lose, eh? I should remind my dear brother that, though I may be small, I am quite strong! I shall at least make him work for his win. ;)

Carla said...

What happens to all the bling? Does it get handed on to Edward III and so on down the generations, or did a lot of it get nicked when Edward II was deposed? He and Piers must have made a colourful pair :-)

Are you going to sell tickets for the arm-wrestling contest? It would give Henry VIII and Francois at the Field of the Cloth of Gold something to live up to :-)

Kathryn Warner said...

Monsire Louis, Edward also has fair hair, so you may well be onto something there. :) He says that, for the sake of entertainment and his dear brother-in-law's pride, he may let the arm-wrestling last a little longer than it would do if he put all his strength into it. :)

Carla, as far as I know, all or at least almost all of Edward's bling (and his precious relics, etc) passed to his son - it was mostly kept in the Tower, with some other items left with the mayor of London in 1326 (which he gave back to Edward III in 1327) and in Caerphilly Castle, where they were inventoried.

Selling tickets for the contest is a great idea, and I'm sure Edward and Louis will be much more entertaining than Henry and Francois. :)

Louis X said...

Ha! For entertainment's sake, I would endure this. But cher Edward should not concern himself with my pride. Vraiment, it has endured une Marie-couche-toi-là for a wife; a river of untimely mud; and the sometime scorn of my father, whose scorn could throw a thousand boiling black clouds into the most perfectly blue sky of my happiness. Non, my pride can take being bested in arm-wrestling. D'ailleurs, who is to say I am above cheating? ;D

Sur ma foi, the ticket-selling sounds like an excellent idea! We are always in need of money. :/

Kathryn Warner said...

Awwww, Louis, mon cher petit! Regarding Marguerite, she was an incredibly stupid girl who didn't realise how lucky she was to have a husband like you. Your river of mud? Well, maybe look on the bright side: at least you didn't have to gallop at full speed away from a battle you'd just humiliatingly lost, then eight years later have to leave all your possessions behind at an abbey and gallop humiliatingly away to avoid being captured by your enemies, over 100 miles inside your own kingdom, as Edward did. And being the eldest son of Philippe le Bel cannot have been easy, to put it mildly. (Edward says it was horrible enough just being Philippe's son-in-law, and as for being Longshanks' son...)

I am sure we shall raise lots of money from the arm-wrestling, which will enable you to lead a gloriously successful campaign against those Flemings. But if you cheat, I'll give it all to Edward. :)

Louis X said...

You are so kind to me, ma chérie Kathryn! I do appreciate it. :)

I suppose being married to a man like me is terribly frustrating for a woman like Marguerite, so used to being able to bat her pretty eyes and cause every weak male in the vicinity to fall prostrate and worship her, to beg to be allowed the high honor of picking dust from the hems of her skirts as she repeatedly kicks his nose, and to become her mindless, eternal slave. Mais, quelle tristesse pour elle, I was not raised to be a slave. I was raised to be a king, and no king ought to allow himself to be enslaved to anyone for any reason. Those Norman idiots would not have suffered so, had they been more like me, and ruled by their heads, instead of something considerably lower and more vulgar.

Poor Edward! I do feel bad for him. All those troubles, and then to have wretched people malign him for hundreds of years! Je trouve ça tellement injuste. I realize my great good fortune in having only the one military fiasco, which was really not so much humiliating at the time as it was frustrating! I had been spoiled on success, I suppose, and on the praise that accompanies it.

Both our fathers were quite strict and difficult, I must say. Though mine would never strike me, and he did love me, in his cool and offhand way. He loved me best, in spite of the fact that I sometimes annoyed him with my occasional emotional turbulence and childishness—or perhaps because of it. I did try hard to please him, because his approval meant a great deal to me. Had he been violent toward me, though, as I have heard my dear brother's father was to him, at times, I doubt I should have much cared to please him. Then, there would have been beaucoup d'ennuis!

Mmm...money to beat that irrepressable count of Flanders! How I would love to smite him a time or three! But have no worries, ma douce dame: my honor will not allow me to cheat, though I cannot help thinking about it. ;)

Kathryn Warner said...

It is very easy to be kind to you, my dearest Louis, when you are so friendly, kind and articulate and such truly excellent company. :)

It sounds as though Madame Marguerite had an excessively high opinion of herself and her physical attractions, and that her nose was well and truly put out of joint by your lack of fawning all over her (although as you rightly say, why should you have done?) It sounds to me a great deal like the grumblings of your royal sister Isabella's fans, who often seem quite enraged that Edward did not instantly and irrevocably fall in love with her 12-year-old self and out of love with Piers Gaveston. Edward, the silly lovestruck boy, did allow himself to be enslaved to Piers, with predictably dire results! He also took great pleasure in deliberately taking a different direction to his violent father (who once tore out handfuls of Ed's hair and kicked him around the room), though in some areas he had no choice, such as continuing the war in Scotland - also with dire results.

I hope the arm-wrestling can go ahead soon; I've sold lots of tickets...;)

Louis X said...

Excellent company? Moi? Vous trouvez? :D Certes, you are stuck with me, now, mon amie! <3

Oui-da, silly Marguerite. You know, many women of extreme beauty are that way, expecting every man to turn to soup in her presence. And when one does not, she is confused, insulted, and angry, and she lashes out against him, for obviously, something is wrong with him. I am certain they get this way because so many men, especially young ones who do not have strong personalities, do fall over in twitters when a pretty lady blinks at them. It was not as if I paid no attention to her; only that it was not the sort of attention she had hoped for. Also, I did love her. I would not still be so disturbed by her actions, had I not loved her. It would not have hurt so much. Perhaps her attitude was not entirely her own fault, but her actions most assuredly were.

*whispers* I will tell you something, too, chère Kathryn, and that is I think my darling little sister has just a touch of this same need for fawning male attention. How could she not, with almost the world entire singing of her great beauty? It is an injustice to do this to a young girl, for, no matter how beautiful she may be, there is some man, somewhere, who will either not find her so or who will be able to resist her charms. Such overdone attention makes them fragile in the heart and in the head, and that, of course, makes them rash in their actions to find the needed attention. Mais, naturellement, I would never say such a thing in my sister's hearing. I doubt she would forgive it! *ahem*

But poor, poor Edward! I could not have done with such a father as his. Likely he would have broken my contentious little neck before I was half grown! The wars, though, we can never help that sort of thing. The problem is there or it is not; if it is, then it must be dealt with, one way or another, and only God may know the ending of it. As for Monsire Gaveston, I am not sure what I think of that situation. Mostly, I think it is none of my business, except that my sister is in the mix. I am quite fond of my brother, but I must say that more discretion would certainly have saved them all some heartbreak. Nobles are particularly petty and jealous and vindictive, when it comes to people of lower birth than their own finding any kind of power, and they cannot abide by those people at all, if they begin to flaunt their power in any way. En effet, I am writing a bit about that very subject for my own journal—though Monsire Kai thinks I am trying my best not to finish it. I am simply waiting for him to stop being pushy about it. ;)

Tickets are in demand? Excellent! I cannot wait for the match! XD

Kathryn Warner said...

Mon cher Louis, that is very good news. :)

It is indeed an injustice for everyone to tell Isabella and Marguerite that all men who see them will fall at their feet in lust. The ladies should know that there are some men on whom feminine beauty and charms will be forever lost. :) I do genuinely feel sorry for Isabella in 1308, though. Edward was endlessly besotted with Piers Gaveston, and a grown woman would probably have struggled to cope in such a situation, let alone a 12-year-old who had apparently been led to believe that her mere existence would result in Piers being sent away from Edward and forgotten. And your lord father, mon cher roi, had his own reasons for loathing Monsire Piers, who with his father and brothers fought against your father's forces in Flanders (Flanders again! ;) in 1297. Piers' father Arnaud escaped from your father's custody, where he was legitimately being held as a hostage, and fled to England. So there was a political dimension to the situation, too, and your lord father funded the English barons' opposition to Piers. Had Edward shown a little discretion and not allowed Piers to become a second king in England, and not been so rude as to refuse to talk to his earls and barons unless Piers was present, the situation would never have become as critical as it did. And had Edward won great victories against Robert Bruce, his barons would have been far more forgiving of his relationship with Piers. Piers' death in June 1312 instantly improved the relations between Edward and Philippe dramatically, though as Isabella was already pregnant at the time, at least Monsire le roi de France knew that Edward's relationship with Piers was no impediment to his performing his marital duty.

Much as I adore Edward, it often happens that I would willingly smack him upside the head for his lack of sense. :-) But of course I can't do that, as I need him in fine fettle for his arm-wrestling match...;)

Louis X said...

I am having trouble writing my next piece, because (as you may have noticed!) I digress terribly and lose my topic and then have to go back through many paragraphs of asides to find what it was that I was talking about before. It must be the fault of the blondeness we spoke of, earlier. I will conveniently blame it on that, anyway. ;) Monsire Kai is frustrated with me, I know he is, because I leave things out that he feels are important, and instead, I put things in that are likely of interest to no one but myself. But if I write everything in one posting, what is left to say about it, later on? What shall happen to my journal, if I run out of things to write about, for having written it all out at once? :/

Yes, Isabella was in quite a different situation than Marguerite's, which is why I would not condemn her for needing and seeking attention—until she was older and capable of dealing with it in an adult fashion. If it is true that she had an adulterous relationship with this Mortimer fellow, then, sister or not, I would have no choice but to find that contemptible and hypocritical. But perhaps it was innocent. I would like to think so, but I do not know, as I was no longer amongst the living at that time! ;) As for my father, he was quite keen on neutralizing his enemies, and most of the time, he was very good at it. Another angle to his feelings on Piers and his influence over Edward most certainly came from his remembrance of his own father, Philippe le Hardi, who also had favorites running his kingdom. En fait, after my grandfather remarried to the young and very beautiful Marie of Brabant, the most powerful favorite, Pierre de la Brosse, got himself tried and hanged by those who had grouped around Marie, with the intention of getting rid of the said Pierre. So there is quite a complex set of reasons for my father's (and my uncles') antagonisms toward Piers Gaveston! I am certain that a little discretion would have made a large difference to everyone.

Haha! As strong as Edward is, he might not be fazed by a smack in the head! Perhaps I can persuade Kai to draw a picture of us in our little combat. That would be a fine amusement!

Kathryn Warner said...

I'm very much looking forward to your next piece, mon cher roi! :)

The thing about Isabella's relationship with Mortimer is that there's surprisingly little evidence that it certainly was sexual, despite the numerous books and articles in modern times which claim that the pair 'flaunted' their affair and that Isa 'openly' took Mort as her lover. (She did no such thing!) A couple of chronicles hint at a liaison but say it's a rumour they're reporting, not a fact, while others say that Mort was merely Isa's chief adviser or even just a member of her faction. Adam Murimuth, a royal clerk who knew them well, says the couple had 'an excessive familiarity', but says exactly the same thing about Ed and Piers. And although a much later Flemish chronicler (Froissart) claims Isa was pregnant in 1330, no English source even hints at that. They certainly had no living children and there's nothing to confirm a pregnancy at any point, which is perhaps odd if they had the passionate 5-year sexual relationship just about every secondary source these days says they had.

Ah, I didn't know that about your grandfather Philippe III having favourites - thanks for the info, Monsire! I must do some reading about that...;)