05 November, 2010

Friday Facts 3

More random Edward II stuff...

- Edward's wet-nurse for the first few months of his life in 1284, until she fell ill and had to leave his household, was the Welsh woman Mariota (or Mary) Maunsel.  In November 1307, Edward gave Mariota seventy-three acres of land in Caernarfon rent-free for life (she was then described as a "burgess of Carnarvan") and in March 1312 granted "the king's first nurse" an income of five pounds a year "out of the yearly issues of the king's mill at Karnarvan."  Mariota was replaced as Edward's nurse by an English woman, Alice de Leygrave, who in May 1313 was called "the king's mother...who suckled him in his youth."  [1]

- Edward in 1305/06 spent almost £1270 on minstrels and buying palfreys, which would seem to be a wildly excessive amount of money even by his extravagant standards.  [2]

- Edward owned a barge called La Petite Mariot, and his ships included La Isabele of Westminster, presumably named after the queen, La Alianore la Despensere, named after his niece Eleanor Despenser, La Jonette and La Cristofre. Edward sent John Sturmy to Norfolk in April 1315 to bring the latter two ships into port, as they were "lying outside port on the high sea, not without danger as the king hears."  This was probably a wise precaution: the king's ship La James of Caernarfon was stolen from Holyhead ('Haliheved') by Thomas Dun and "others, the king's enemies and rebels from Scotland," on 12 September 1315 and taken to Scotland.  Edward, at Fen Ditton near Cambridge, ordered John Gray, justice of North Wales, on 1 October to investigate the matter; the subsequent inquisition was held at Beaumaris, as Bertram de Cranemore, captain of La James, "is a burgess of that town."  [3]

- On 25 July 1326, Edward - then at Byfleet in Surrey - paid a messenger five shillings to take his letters to his daughters Eleanor (aged eight) and Joan (aged five) at Marlborough in Wiltshire.  On the same day, he gave a gift of two shillings to John of Waltham, "who sang before the king every time he passed through these parts by water, and today gave him [Edward] a bucket of loach."  [4]

- Piers Gaveston's first cousin Pierre Caillau, whose mother Miramonde was the sister of Piers' mother Claramonde de Marsan, served as mayor of Bordeaux from 1308 to 1310.  Pierre married a woman with the excellent name of Navarre de Podensac, and died in 1335.  He and his brother Bertrand were accused in 1308 of committing various unpleasant crimes against Amanieu and Jean Colomb, in the gorgeous Gascon French of the era: So son los actes, murtres, plaguas, arraubarias feyt par la man de Peyre Calhau, maior de Bordeu, e de Bertran Calhau, son frayre, e deus Soleyrenx e de lor companha e per lor viladors a Namaneu Colom e a Johan Colom e a lur companha e a lurs amies...[5]

- Edward II gave twelve pence to three "small children, brothers" (petitz enfauntz freres), for singing for him in a garden in Surrey on 15 August 1325.  [6]

- 17 October 1325: "Paid to Jack Fisher [Jak Ffissher] for a pike, two barbel and a trout bought from him by the king himself when he passed from Walton to Cippenham on this day, seven shillings."  [7]

- On 23 May 1313, just before he and Isabella travelled to Paris for the knighting of her brothers, Edward ordered the constable of Dover Castle to pay "six Saracens" six pence a day each for their expenses "until the king's return from parts beyond sea."  Who these people were and what subsequently happened to them, I don't know.  [8]


1) Calendar of Patent Rolls 1307-1313, pp. 21, 448; Calendar of Close Rolls 1307-1313, p. 581.
2) Constance Bullock-Davies, A Register of Royal and Baronial Domestic Minstrels 1272-1327, p. 119.
3) For La James, Patent Rolls 1313-1317, p. 421; Calendar of Inquisitions Miscellaneous 1308-1348, p. 61; Calendar of Chancery Warrants 1244-1326, p. 426.  For the other ships, too many sources to list here!
4) Society of Antiquaries Library MS 122, p. 78.
5) G. P. Cuttino and J.-P. Trabut-Cussac, eds., Gascon Register A (Series of 1318-1319), vol. 2, pp. 374-379; Malcolm Vale, The Origins of the Hundred Years War: The Angevin Legacy 1250-1340, p. 280.
6) SAL MS 122, p. 20.
7) Ibid., p. 29.
8) Close Rolls 1307-1313, p. 537.


Clement Glen said...

All that money on minstrels! It would be wonderful to know what he liked listening to.

Susan Higginbotham said...

Love these tidbits!

Anerje said...

Ed seems to have been a very generous king. Thanks for the Piers mention - always welcome:>

Carla said...

Presumably Edward couldn't possibly have had any memories of Mariota at that age. Did she come back into his life later?

Gabriele Campbell said...

Ed obviously loved music.

And yes, it would be great to know what sort of music he prefered.