The second part of my post about Henry of Lancaster is coming soon (I hope)! In the meantime, here's a kind of random post about some petitions I've been looking at on the National Archives website lately.
1) There's one presented by Piers Gaveston ('Perrot de Gavastun') and his elder brother Arnaud-Guilhem de Marsan to Edward I in or about 1305. The two men call themselves "sons of Sir Arnaud de Gavastun, late knight of Gascony" (iadis chevaler de Gascoigne; Arnaud had died in 1302), and make various requests of the king, including that "the testament of the lady of Marsan their mother be kept and fulfilled." Claramonde de Marsan died before 4 February 1287 (see J.S. Hamilton, Piers Gaveston, earl of Cornwall 1307-1312: Politics and Patronage in the Reign of Edward II, p. 25), when four castles of her inheritance were taken into Edward I's hands; Piers' and Arnaud-Guilhem's c. 1305 petition also relates to these castles. [TNA SC 8/291/14546]
2) A petition presented sometime during Edward II's reign by "Arnaud Guilhem de Marsans and Fortaner de Lescun, brothers" asking for arrears to be paid to them from the lands of their mother the lady of Marsan, i.e. Claramonde. This is interesting, as J.S. Hamilton (Piers Gaveston, pp. 22, 27-8) identifies Fortaner as Claramonde's brother, not her son. The petition is pretty faded, and I need to go through it more carefully, but there appears to be a reference to "Sir Arnaud de Gavastun father of the aforesaid Arnaud Guilhem...". It doesn't say, as far as I can tell, that Arnaud was Fortaner's father. I'm confused about the Gaveston/Marsan/Lescun family tree. Was Fortaner de Lescun a brother (or half-brother) of Piers, another son of Claramonde? Why does Hamilton say he was Claramonde's brother? Or were there two men called Fortaner de Lescun, one Claramonde de Marsan's brother and the other her son? Who was the 'Bourd de Gavaston' living at Wallingford Castle in 1312 (Close Rolls 1307-13, p. 468)? What happened to the younger brothers Gerard and Raymond-Arnaud which Hamilton (p. 26) says Piers had? Hmmmmm. [TNA SC 8/278/13863]
3) A petition presented by a John Beauchamp of Somerset which must date from the very end of Edward II's reign, as it's presented to "the king and his council" but mentions "my lady the queen and my lord the duke of Aquitaine her son," i.e. the soon-to-be Edward III. The petitioner is clearly of Isabella's allegiance and it is apparent from the entire document that she and her faction are now in charge, which makes the naming in the petition of the powerless, imprisoned and soon-to-be ex-king Edward II rather puzzling - although perhaps it reflects the confusion over Edward's status in the weeks before his deposition and indicates that it was still unclear at this point what would happen to him. Anyway, John Beauchamp complains that John de Toucestre and Richard Broun of Halford led men (eleven are named) from his manor of Shepperton to Bristol to fight against Isabella and her son, against their will (supposedly, but then Beauchamp would say that, wouldn't he?). I don't know who Richard Broun was - though intend to look into it - but John de Toucestre was a staunch supporter of Edward II in 1326 and long afterwards, joining the earl of Kent's plot to free the former king in 1330. I wrote about him a while ago. Fascinating to see what's going on here: Toucestre and Broun take men to fight against a rebel army and for their lawful king and are accused of wrong-doing while he is still their lawful king. [TNA SC 8/32/1572]
4) Another petition addressed to "my lady the queen and my lord the duke [of Aquitaine]," which presumably dates to the same period of December 1326/January 1327, by one John Giffard of Essex. Giffard claims that his manor of Bowers Giffard was attacked by Roger Wodeham and more than fifty armed men (Giffard calls them "rebels") who stole some of Giffard's horses to ride against Isabella and her army, Wodeham supposedly claiming in doing so that Giffard was an enemy of Edward II and Hugh Despenser the Younger and of the queen's faction. Without irony, the petition refers to Wodeham and his men as acting "against the peace of our lord the king" (encontre la pees n're seigneur le Roi). Giffard says that Wodeham and the rest remained in the company of Hugh Despenser until Despenser went overseas - presumably a reference to his and Edward's sailing from Chepstow on 20 October 1326 - and then returned to Essex and attempted to kill Giffard because of his support of Isabella. Roger Wodeham was a valet of Edward II's chamber and constable of Hadleigh Castle in Essex, and was said in March 1327 to have ousted a couple from their lands in Essex on Edward II's orders because they refused to "receive Hugh le Despenser, the younger, at the time of his exile" in 1321/22 (Close Rolls 1327-30, pp. 49-50). As with the previous petition, men fighting on behalf of their king are accused of wrongdoing and named as 'rebels'. [TNA SC 8/307/15309]
And finally, combining support for Edward II in 1326 and Piers Gaveston's family, here's some info about Arnaud Caillau, who may have been Piers' cousin (Piers' aunt Miramonde de Marsan married Pierre Caillau of Bordeaux) and was certainly a close ally of Edward II and Hugh Despenser the Younger, called "very dear friend" by the latter in a letter of February 1325. The Gascon Caillau was in England in 1326, and was preparing to sail from Southampton on 10 September "for the expedition of certain of the king's affairs"; presumably the arrival of Roger Mortimer and Isabella's invasion force shortly afterwards delayed his departure. (Close Rolls 1323-27, p. 615 and Fine Rolls 1319-27, p. 415.) On 22 February 1327, Mortimer and Isabella paid £35, 6 shillings and 6 pence to 158 men in three ships for pursuing Caillau along the coast of Devon and Cornwall between 8 and 20 December 1326; the timing strongly suggests that he had been with Edward until shortly before his capture. (Close Rolls 1327-30, p. 9.) The king was not entirely friendless...