22 October, 2010

Friday Facts 2

Stuff!  Random stuff!  About Edward II!

- I wrote last Friday that Edward twice escaped from fire, in 1306 and 1313.  His parents Edward I and Eleanor of Castile also had a narrow escape in August 1283, when they had to flee from their burning bedchamber.  [1] Note the date of this: it must have been shortly after Edward II, born on 25 April 1284, was conceived.  Talking of which, Edward I and Queen Eleanor were in Caernarfon from 12 to 31 July 1283 and back there on 12-13 and 18-21 August, so it is entirely possible that Edward II was conceived in Caernarfon as well as born there.

- While staying at the priory of Newburgh near York in November 1316, Edward gave five pounds to the violist Robert Daverouns for "making his minstrelsy before the king."  [2]  Daverouns had been sent to England by Philip of Taranto (1278/80-1331), titular emperor of Constantinople, king of Albania, prince of Achaea and Taranto and despot of Epirius, who was Edward's second cousin, grandson of Eleanor of Provence's sister Beatrice.  (Philip's brothers included Charles, king of Hungary, Robert the Wise, king of Jerusalem and Naples and duke of Calabria, and St Louis, bishop of Toulouse.)

- Edward wrote to his brother-in-law Louis X of France and Louis's queen Clemence of Hungary - niece of Philip of Taranto above - on 17 May 1316, less than three weeks before Louis's sudden death at the age of only twenty-six.  He asked them to strive to continue their friendly relationship with him and mentioned the great affection and sincere bond of fraternity between himself and Louis. Edward's clerk, presumably baffled by Clemence's unusual name, addressed her as "The most excellent lady, Lady Elizabeth, by the grace of God queen of France and Navarre."  [3]

- On 3 August 1309, an obviously deeply annoyed Edward wrote to his father-in-law Philip IV of France, having discovered that Philip had acknowledged Robert Bruce as king of Scots in letters sent to Bruce, and had tried to conceal the fact from Edward.  He usually began letters to Philip with "To the very excellent and very noble prince, our very dear and beloved father, Lord Philip, by the grace of God illustrious king of France, greetings and very dear affection."  This one began abruptly "To the king of France, greetings."  [4]

- Isabella of France, in a letter to Walter Reynolds, archbishop of Canterbury, on 5 February 1326 - after her refusal to return to England and Edward - called her husband "our very dear and very sweet lord and friend" (nostre treschier et tresdouche seignur et amy).  Even if you believe that Isabella hated Edward by 1326 - which I certainly don't - and felt "profound revulsion" for him as one writer states as though it's a fact, 'friend' is a very interesting choice of word.  It was entirely conventional for women of this era to refer to their husband as their 'lord' or their 'very dear lord'.  As their 'friend'?  As 'very sweet'?  Definitely not conventional.  In a letter to Edward of 31 March 1325, shortly after she arrived in France to negotiate with her brother Charles IV, Isabella called her husband "my very sweet heart" (mon tresdoutz coer) five times.  [5]

- On 14 December 1308, Edward ordered his sheriffs to pay the imprisoned Knights Templar in England their wages, four pence a day, with arrears from the first day of their imprisonment that January. [6]

- Edward's Household Ordinance of 1318 stated that four of his thirty sergeants-at-arms would sleep outside his chamber (as close to the door as possible) every night, with the usher of the chamber and and a sergeant porter "who will guard the door of there where the king sleeps, so that no-one will enter except those who have the right to do so."  [7]

- The Scalacronica says that Edward in and after 1322, "after his [Hugh Despenser the Younger's] example, did everything that wholly unfitted him for chivalry, delighting himself in avarice and in delights of the flesh [delitz du corps], disinheriting his subjects who had rebelled against him, and enriching himself with their great property in lands." [8] Unfortunately, the 'delights of the flesh' are not specified!


1) John Carmi Parsons, Eleanor of Castile: Queen and Society im Thirteenth-Century England, p. 33.
2) Thomas Stapleton, 'A Brief Summary of the Wardrobe Accounts of the tenth, eleventh, and fourteenth years of King Edward the Second', Archaeologia, 26 (1836), p. 342; Constance Bullock-Davies, A Register of Royal and Baronial Domestic Minstrels 1272-1327, p. 39.
3) Foedera 1307-1327, p. 290.
4) Ibid., p. 79.
5) Seymour Phillips, Edward II, p. 491 (my translation differs slightly from Professor Phillips'); Pierre Chaplais, ed., The War of Saint-Sardos (1323-1325): Gascon Correspondence and Diplomatic Documents, pp. 199-200.
6) Calendar of Close Rolls 1307-1313, p. 90.
7) T.F. Tout, The Place of the Reign of Edward II in English History, pp. 281-282, 297.
8) Herbert Maxwell, ed., Scalacronica: The Reigns of Edward I, Edward II and Edward III as Recorded by Sir Thomas Gray of Heton, knight, p. 70.


Clement Glen said...

I hope the snoring of those four sergeant at arms, outside his door, didn’t keep him awake. LOL

Kathryn Warner said...

Hehe... :-)

Carole said...

All very interesting... poor Clemence having her name completely changed, it's annoying enough having mine mispelled...

And, um, sorry for going AWOL for 2 years - blame Formula 1 and my complete inability to juggle my interests. Anyway, I'm now writing a 14th century story for NaNoWriMo - it starts in late 1331, and I think it'll end in about 1346 because I kind of want to get the Crecy campaign in there, but Ed gets an appearance...

I'm in the middle of reading/re-reading stuff at the moment because I only changed my mind from my previous idea on Thursday night, and while I have the 3 major plot points fixed, I'm still working on fitting in other things that will be important events

Hope you're well :)

Kathryn Warner said...

Carole!!!! How wonderful to see you again, sweetheart! I've often thought about you for the last couple of years and wondered how you were doing. Glad you're well, and wishing you lots of luck with the writing! (Sounds great, and I'm dying to read it!)

Carole said...

My blurb (which is still somewhat vague as I'm still plotting out) is here on my NaNo profile under the Novel Info tab: http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/user/476264

Also, I'm using my hotmail address as my main email now, so I'll send you a note from it to make sure you have it... are you still using the same email addy?

Kathryn Warner said...

It's still mail@edwardthesecond.com (I have a private addy too that would be easier - will let you know via email). Will go and take a look at your page!

Anerje said...

Oh, no Piers mention. Oh well, can't be spoiled all the time:> j/k! It is intersting that Isabella refers to Ed as 'friend'. Hmm, wonder if anyone advised her on that? And I wonder how Ed would feel being referred to as Ed?:>

Gabriele Campbell said...

Lol, Nano brings people back together. :)

That letter to Philippe IV reminded me of some letters I had to type for the dean of the medical department when I worked there. He often was in annyoed mood you could hear through the dictation, and later the letter would come back with some corrections that softened the worst phrases. It amused me every time - esp. the original versions.

Kathryn Warner said...

Sorry, Anerje - I realised after I posted it that I'd made an awful oversight! :-)

Gabriele, I bet the original versions were really funny. (Probably a good idea that he modified them, though! :)