29 November, 2013

The de Clare Lands

When Edward II's twenty-three-year-old nephew Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester and Hertford, was killed at the battle of Bannockburn on 23 June 1314, he left behind lands in England, Wales and Ireland valued at over £7000 a year.  This figure had made Gilbert the second richest nobleman in England behind his kinsman Thomas, earl of Lancaster, Leicester, Derby, Lincoln and Salisbury (with whom Gilbert, incidentally, had some kind of feud in 1311: a letter written by an anonymous author on 14 April that year said that he feared a great riot when the two men and their followers were in London at the same time, because of the grossour, quarrel or anger, between them).  [1]

Gilbert came from a long line of de Clares: Richard fitz (i.e. son of) Gilbert de Clare came to England in 1066 with William the Conqueror, and his great-grandson Gilbert de Clare was created first earl of Hertford by King Stephen in about 1138.  This Gilbert's great-grandson, also Gilbert, born in 1180, married his third cousin Isabella Marshal, one of the five daughters of William Marshal, earl of Pembroke and his wife Isabella de Clare (from another branch of the de Clare family, who had become earls of Pembroke also by creation of King Stephen in 1138).  Gilbert de Clare and Isabella Marshal were the parents of Richard, earl of Gloucester and Hertford (1222-1262), himself the father of Gilbert 'the Red' born in 1243 and died in 1295, who married Edward I's daughter Joan of Acre in 1290 and was the father of Gilbert born in 1291.  The Gilbert de Clare who lived from 1180 to 1230 and married Isabella Marshall inherited the earldom of Gloucester from his mother Amicia and her sister Isabel (or Hawise or Avisa) of Gloucester, the latter the first wife of John, king of England, granddaughters and heiresses of Henry I's eldest illegitimate son Robert, earl of Gloucester.

Dower was assigned to Gilbert de Clare's widow Maud de Burgh, the customary one-third of his lands and with a value of £2222 a year, on 5 December 1314.  [2]  As Maud continued to claim to be pregnant until at least February 1316, the division of Gilbert's lands among his three sisters Eleanor, Margaret and Elizabeth, his co-heiresses, was delayed, and was delayed still further when some of the juries taking part in the Inquisitions Post Mortem for him held in numerous counties wrongly declared that one of his heirs was named Isabel rather than Elizabeth.  Isabel de Clare was Gilbert's much older half-sister and not his heir.  Edward II finally ordered the partition of the de Clare inheritance among the three sisters in April 1317, and they and their husbands took possession of them that November.  The schedules dividing up the lands still exist in the National Archives in Kew (C 47/9/23, C47/9/24, C 47/9/25).

The eldest sister Eleanor de Clare and her husband Hugh Despenser the Younger had lands in England, Wales and Ireland to the value of £1497 plus a reversion of £946 on the death of Countess Maud in 1320, to a total of £2443.  Eleanor and Hugh's most important possession was the rich lordship of Glamorgan in South Wales.  The second sister Margaret de Clare and her husband Hugh Audley had lands in England, Wales and Ireland to the value of £1384 plus a reversion of £928 in 1320, making a total of £2314.  The third sister Elizabeth de Clare and her husband Roger Damory had lands in England, Wales and Ireland to the value of £1391 plus a reversion of £881 in 1320, to a total of £2274.  This wealth immediately catapulted all three men to the forefront of the nobility.

Eleanor's share passed on her death in June 1337 to her eldest son Sir Hugh Despenser, who was then in his late twenties.  Hugh died childless in 1349, and the lands passed to his nephew Edward, born in 1336, eldest son of Eleanor de Clare's second son Edward, who was killed at the battle of Morlaix in 1342.  On the death in 1375 of the younger Edward - the famous Kneeling Knight of Tewkesbury Abbey - the Despenser lands passed to his son Thomas, born in 1373, who was briefly earl of Gloucester in the late 1390s and summarily beheaded in January 1400 after taking part in the Epiphany Rising to restore the deposed Richard II to the throne.  Thomas's sons died young and his heir was his posthumous daughter Isabel, born on 26 July 1400 six and a half months after Thomas's death, who married two men called Richard Beauchamp.  The second of these was the powerful earl of Warwick (1382-1439), guardian of the young Henry VI in the 1420s.  Isabel Despenser and Richard Beauchamp's ultimate heir (after the death of their son Henry and his young daughter) was their daughter Anne Beauchamp, born in 1426, who took the Despenser lands  and the earldom of Warwick with her on her marriage to Richard Neville, the 'Kingmaker'.  I assume the Despenser lands and thus the third of the de Clare inheritance of 1314 then passed to either George of Clarence or his brother Richard of Gloucester, Anne Beauchamp and Richard Neville's sons-in-law, but I don't know which one.

Margaret's share passed in 1342 to her daughter Margaret Audley, born c. 1320, her only surviving child after the death of Joan Gaveston in January 1325.  Margaret Audley was abducted and forcibly married to Ralph Stafford, later first earl of Stafford, in 1336, and her inheritance of the third of the de Clare lands passed to her eldest surviving son Hugh, second earl of Stafford, born in about 1341, and then through a long line of Staffords in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.  Margaret Audley's great-grandson Humphrey Stafford, born at the beginning of the 1400s, was created first duke of Buckingham; other descendants who inherited the de Clare lands included Duke Henry, executed by Richard III in 1483, and his son Duke Edward, executed by Henry VIII in 1521.

Elizabeth's share: Elizabeth's only son William Donn de Burgh, earl of Ulster, was killed in June 1333 when he wasn't even twenty-one years old, leaving a baby daughter, Elizabeth de Burgh, born in July 1332, who inherited the earldom of Ulster and her paternal grandmother's third of the de Clare lands in 1360.  The great heiress was married to Edward III's second son Lionel, duke of Clarence, and her inheritance passed to her only daughter Philippa, born in 1355, who married Edmund Mortimer, earl of March (great-grandson of Roger Mortimer executed in 1330).  Thus Elizabeth de Clare's inheritance came to the Mortimer family and stayed with them until the death of Edmund Mortimer, grandson of Philippa of Clarence and Edmund Mortimer, in 1425, when it passed to his sister Anne's son Richard, duke of York (1411-1460), who was also the heir of his paternal uncle Edward, duke of York (killed at Agincourt in 1415).  Duke Richard was the father of Edward IV and Richard III.


1) Calendar of Documents Relating to Scotland 1307-1357, p. 41.
2) Calendar of Close Rolls 1313-1318, pp. 131-139; T.B. Pugh, 'The Marcher Lords of Glamorgan and Morgannwg, 1317-1485', Glamorgan County History, III: The Middle Ages, ed. T.B. Pugh (1971), p. 167.

24 November, 2013

Edward II's Nieces and Nephews

Edouard I, count of Bar (1294/95-1336)

Edouard, named presumably after his grandfather Edward I, was the only son of Edward II's eldest sister Eleanor, and succeeded his father Henri III as count of Bar - on the eastern side of France - when Henri died in 1302 (or rather, a few years later when Edouard came of age).  He married Marie of Burgundy, two of whose sisters were queen consorts of France: the disgraced Marguerite, wife of Louis X, and Joan 'the Lame, wife of Philip VI.  In May 1321, Edouard's uncle Edward II gave ten pounds to the messenger who brought him news of the birth of Edouard and Marie's only son, the future Count Henri IV of Bar.  Edouard died off the coast of Cyprus in 1336, when his ship sank.

Joan of Bar, countess of Surrey and Sussex (1295/96-1361)

The other child of Edward's eldest sister Eleanor, who died in 1298 when her children were still very young.  On 25 May 1306 in the presence of her grandfather Edward I, when she was only ten or eleven, Joan married the almost twenty-year-old John de Warenne, earl of Surrey and Sussex.  As I've written before, this marriage proved to be spectacularly disastrous, unfortunately for both of them.  Although John de Warenne (who died in 1347) fathered at least nine children with other women, he had none with Joan.  Joan's first cousin Elizabeth de Clare, below, left her "an image of St John the Baptist" in her will of 1355.  She lived until her mid-sixties, and I hope she found some measure of happiness despite the failure of her forty-year marriage.

Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester and Hertford (May 1291 - June 1314)

Edward I and Eleanor of Castile's eldest grandchild, the first child of Joan of Acre and Gilbert 'the Red' de Clare, earl of Gloucester and Hertford, born a year after their wedding.  Gilbert married the earl of Ulster's daughter Maud de Burgh in Essex in September 1308, with Edward II present, in a double wedding with his sister Elizabeth and Maud's brother John, heir of their father Richard, earl of Ulster.  Maud's many sisters included the queen of Scotland (Robert Bruce's wife Elizabeth de Burgh), the countesses of Kildare, Desmond and Louth, and Eleanor, a companion of Edward of Caernarfon's youth, whose son John Multon was betrothed to Piers Gaveston's daughter Joan in 1317.  Gilbert and Maud are believed to have had a son in 1312 who died soon after birth, and when he was killed at the battle of Bannockburn he left no children.  Maud, however, famously claimed to be pregnant until at least 1316.

Eleanor de Clare, Lady Despenser (Oct/Nov 1292 - June 1337)

Second child and eldest daughter of Joan of Acre and Gilbert 'the Red'.  Eleanor married Hugh Despenser the Younger on 26 May 1306 when she was thirteen and a half, and their first child, Edward I's eldest great-grandchild Hugh the Even Younger, was born in 1308 or 1309.  (Edward I, not, not, NOT Edward II as so many people continue to state, arranged Eleanor and Hugh's marriage.)  Eleanor was extremely close to her uncle Edward II, who was only eight and a half years her senior.  She and her two younger sisters were heirs to their brother's earldom of Gloucester.

Margaret de Clare, countess of Cornwall and Gloucester (1294 - April 1342)

Second daughter of Joan of Acre and Gilbert 'the Red'. Margaret married two of her uncle Edward II's 'favourites': Piers Gaveston, earl of Cornwall, in 1307 when she was about thirteen and a half, and Hugh Audley, later earl of Gloucester, in 1317.  She is often assumed in modern times to have been 'tragic' and 'complaisant', presumably on the grounds that she made no recorded objections to her two marriages, but I don't know about that.  Personally I can't imagine that any child of Joan of Acre and Gilbert 'the Red', of all people, was a shrinking violet.  Margaret was a countess twice over, and until her husband Hugh Audley rebelled against the king in 1321/22, appears to have been on good terms with her uncle Edward II.

Elizabeth de Clare, Lady Burgh (September 1295 - November 1360)

Fourth and youngest child of Joan of Acre and Gilbert 'the Red', and only a few weeks old when her father died.  Elizabeth was married three times and lived almost forty years as a widow, and was a remarkable woman who founded Clare College at Cambridge in 1338.  Many of her household accounts are extant and demonstrate her kindness to her Despenser and Audley nieces and nephews, although events of the 1320s evidently fractured the relationship of the three de Clare sisters.

Mary de Monthermer, countess of Fife (October 1297 - after 1371)

Eldest child of Joan of Acre and her second husband Ralph de Monthermer, and half-sister of the four de Clare siblings.  Mary married Duncan MacDuff, earl of Fife, some time after 4 November 1307 when the pope granted a dispensation for them to marry.  Duncan returned to his native Scotland in November 1314 after the battle of Bannockburn, and thereafter remained loyal to Robert Bruce, despite being Edward II's nephew-in-law.  Countess Mary lived until well into her seventies.  Her and Duncan's only child Isabella MacDuff was countess of Fife in her own right and married four times.

Joan de Monthermer, a nun (1299 - ?)

Joan was the second child of Joan of Acre and Ralph, and followed in the footsteps of her aunt Mary, Edward II's sister, by becoming a nun at Amesbury Priory.  Unfortunately I know nothing about her at all, not even her approximate date of birth.

Thomas de Monthermer (October 1301 - June 1340)

Third child of Joan and Ralph.  Despite being Edward II's nephew, he played little role in the king's reign, and seemingly first became embroiled in politics when he joined the unsuccessful rebellion of his kinsman Henry, earl of Lancaster against Roger Mortimer and Isabella of France in late 1328.  Thomas married a widow named Margaret Tyes; their only child Margaret was born in October 1329, and her son John Montacute became earl of Salisbury in 1397.  Thomas de Monthermer was killed at the naval battle of Sluys in 1340.

Edward de Monthermer (April 1304 - late 1339/early 1340)

Fourth child of Joan and Ralph, and the youngest of Joan of Acre's eight children.  Given that he was a grandson and nephew of kings, Edward is oddly obscure.  One of the few things I know about him is that in 1330 he joined the conspiracy of his uncle Edmund of Woodstock, earl of Kent (Edward I's youngest son) to restore Edward of Caernarfon to the throne.  He appears to have been close to his half-sister Elizabeth de Clare, who arranged and paid for his funeral, and evidently he was living in her household when he died.  Edward never married.

John III, duke of Brabant (1300-1355)

Only child of Edward II's third sister Margaret, born sometime in 1300 and succeeded his father John II as duke of Brabant in 1312.  John married Marie d'Evreux, daughter of Philip IV of France's half-brother Louis, count of Evreux, whose younger sister Jeanne married their first cousin Charles IV of France as his third wife in 1324.  Duke John had six legitimate children with Marie, and at least twenty illegitimate ones.

John de Bohun, earl of Hereford and Essex (November 1306 - January 1336)

Oldest surviving son of Edward II's fifth sister Elizabeth and her second husband Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford and Essex (she had no children with her first husband Count John I of Holland, who died at fifteen).  John married the earl of Arundel's daughter Alice in 1325, but had no children, and died at the age of twenty-nine, to be succeeded by his brother Humphrey.

Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford and Essex (December 1309 - October 1361)

Second surviving son of Elizabeth and Humphrey, and succeeded his brother John as earl.  Humphrey never married, and thus on his death his heir was his nephew, another Humphrey, son of Humphrey's younger brother William, below.  It may be that both John and Humphrey de Bohun suffered from some kind of illness or disability.

William de Bohun, earl of Northampton (1312/13 - September 1360)

Third surviving son of Elizabeth and Humphrey; he had a twin named Edward, who drowned in Scotland in 1334.  William married Elizabeth Badlesmere, whose father Bartholomew was executed in 1322 by Edward II and who was the widow of Roger Mortimer's son and heir Edmund Mortimer.  Edward III created his cousin earl of Northhampton in 1337.  William and Elizabeth's son Humphrey (1341-1373) succeeded his father as earl of Northampton, and his uncle Humphrey as earl of Hereford and Essex.  The younger Humphrey was also, via his mother, a half-brother of Roger Mortimer, second earl of March (1328-1360).

Eleanor de Bohun, countess of Ormond (1304-1363)

Oldest surviving child of Elizabeth and Humphrey, and married James le Botiler or Butler, earl of Ormond, and secondly Thomas Dagworth.  Eleanor had five children with her two husbands.

Margaret de Bohun, countess of Devon (April 1311 - December 1391)

Second surviving daughter of Elizabeth and Humphrey, and married Hugh Courtenay, future earl of Devon in 1325.  They had numerous children, and both lived to a ripe old age: Margaret died at eighty, Hugh at almost seventy-four.  There is a persistent story online that Margaret was married firstly to a distant cousin from Scotland called 'Sir Richard le Bon de Bohun' (?!) and had a son with him called John, but her family had the marriage annulled.  This is pure fiction, an invention of centuries later without a shred of contemporary evidence to back any of it up.

Margaret of Norfolk, duchess of Norfolk (c. 1322-1399)

Eldest child of Edward II's half-brother Thomas of Brotherton, earl of Norfolk, and his heir.  The last survivor of all Edward I's grandchildren, and the first Englishwoman to be made a duchess in her own right.  Her brother Edward died as a child, and her sister Alice was beaten to death by her husband in the early 1350s.

Joan of Kent, princess of Wales and countess of Kent (1328-1385)

Joan was the third of the four children of Edward II's half-brother Edmund of Woodstock, earl of Kent, and Margaret Wake.  Famous for being married to two men at the same time in the 1340s, William Montacute, earl of Salisbury and Thomas Holland, in 1360 she married her first cousin once removed, Edward III's eldest son Edward of Woodstock, prince of Wales.  Joan gave birth to the future King Richard II in early 1367, in her late thirties.  Of her siblings, her elder brother Edmund died as a child; her younger brother John died childless at the age of twenty-two; her elder sister Margaret died childless sometimes before 1352.  Joan was thus the heir of her father, and of her maternal uncle Thomas, Lord Wake (died 1349).  A fourteenth-century chronicler sarcastically called her 'the virgin of Kent', which makes me cackle with laughter. :-)

17 November, 2013

Charles de Valois, Grandfather of Europe

Today I'm looking at Edward II's uncle by marriage, Charles, count of Valois, Alençon, Perche, Chartres, Anjou and Maine, ancestor of the royal house of Valois which ruled France from 1328 to 1589, and some of his numerous descendants.

Charles was born on 12 March 1270 as the fourth of five sons of King Philip III of France and his first wife Isabel of Aragon, daughter of King Jaime I 'el Conquistador'.  He was five and a half months old when his grandfather Louis IX died on 25 August 1270, and his father, then twenty-five, succeeded to the throne of France.  The eldest of Charles' brothers, Louis, was born around 1263 or 1265 and died in or before May 1276; according to Guillaume de Nangis's Gesta Philippi Tertia Francorum Regis (Deeds of Philip III, king of the French), he was poisoned by his stepmother Marie of Brabant, presumably so that her own son could inherit the throne, though I don't see what that would have achieved given that Louis's younger brothers Philip and Charles were still alive.  Philip, the second son, was born probably in the second quarter of 1268 and succeeded their father as Philip IV of France on 4 October 1285, when Philip III died at the age of only forty.  Robert was born in 1269 and died before May 1276, Charles in 1270 was the fourth son, and when Queen Isabel died after she fell from her horse on 28 January 1271, she was pregnant with a fifth son, who did not survive.  Of the five sons of Philip III and Isabel of Aragon - the latter four conceived in a remarkably short space of time - only Philip IV and Charles de Valois survived childhood.

When Charles was four, on 21 August 1274, his father Philip III married his second queen Marie of Brabant, the mother of Charles' three half-siblings: Louis, count of Evreux (3 May 1276 - 19 May 1319), a good friend of Edward of Caernarfon before his accession to the throne; Queen Marguerite of England (1278/79 - 14 February 1318), Edward II's stepmother; and Blanche, duchess of Austria (early 1280s? - 19 March 1305), who was betrothed to Edward of Caernarfon between 1291 and 1294.  Charles can never have known his mother or his grandfather Louis IX, but his grandmother Marguerite of Provence, Louis IX's widow, lived until 1295, and his maternal grandfather Jaime I of Aragon lived till 27 July 1276, when he was succeeded by Charles' uncle Pedro III.  Charles' aunt Violante, the eldest child of Jaime I and Yolande of Hungary, was the queen of Edward II's uncle Alfonso X of Castile and Leon, and his uncle Jaime (died 1311) was king of Mallorca.

As well as all the connections between Charles and Edward II mentioned above, the two men were second cousins via their grandmothers Marguerite and Eleanor of Provence, and Charles was the uncle of Edward's two younger half-brothers Thomas of Brotherton, earl of Norfolk and Edmund of Woodstock, earl of Kent.  (Ah, these tangled royal families.)  Charles put forward his son John and grandson Louis as future husbands of Edward II's daughters Eleanor and Joan in 1324, though nothing came of it.  Charles' brother Philip IV died on 29 November 1314 and was succeeded by Charles' nephews Louis X and Philip V, both of whom Charles also outlived.  He died on 16 December 1325 at the age of fifty-five, about halfway through the reign of his nephew Charles IV.  On 30 December 1325, Edward II gave four pounds to the messenger, Percival Symeon, who brought him news of Charles' death.  King Charles IV died on 1 February 1328.  Exactly two months later his widow Jeanne d'Evreux (who was also his first cousin, daughter of Louis, count of Evreux) gave birth to a daughter, Blanche, and in the absence of any surviving sons of Charles IV and his brothers, Charles de Valois's eldest son thus succeeded to the throne as Philip VI, first of the Valois dynasty which was to rule France until the death of Henry III in 1589.

Charles de Valois was married three times:

- In 1290 to his second cousin Marguerite of Naples and Anjou (1273-1299), one of the many children of Charles 'the Lame' of Salerno, king of Naples and Marie of Hungary.  Marguerite was countess of Anjou in her own right.  Her siblings included the king of Hungary, the king of Sicily and Jerusalem, the king of Albania, the queen of Aragon and Saint Louis of Toulouse.

- In 1301 to another of his second cousins, Catherine de Courtenay (1274-1307), titular empress of Constantinople as the only surviving child and heiress of her father Philip de Courtenay, son of the emperor Baldwin II.

- In 1308 to Mahaut de Châtillon (c. 1293-1358), daughter of Guy, count of St Pol and sister of Marie, countess of Pembroke.  Mahaut was a great-granddaughter of Henry III of England.

Charles had at least fourteen children with his three wives, and countless grandchildren.  Here are some details about a few of them.  It gets a tad confusing as some of his children and grandchildren were the same age.

- Philip VI, king of France (1293-1350), Charles' eldest son with his first wife Marguerite of Naples and Anjou, who succeeded his cousin Charles IV in 1328 as the first of the Valois kings of France.  Philip was succeeded as king by his son Jean II le Bon (John the Good), then his grandson Charles V, great-grandson Charles VI and so on.  Philip's wife was Joan or Jeanne 'the Lame' of Burgundy.

- Philippa of Hainault, queen of England (c. 1314-1369), daughter of Charles' and his first wife Marguerite of Anjou's second daughter Joan, countess of Hainault (c. 1294 - 7 March 1342), one of the full sisters of Philip VI.  Philippa married Edward III of England in early 1328.

- Joan, queen of Naples, Jerusalem, Sicily and Mallorca, princess of Achaea, duchess of Calabria, countess of Provence (c. 1326-1382), daughter of Marie (1309-1332), eldest daughter of Charles de Valois and his third wife Mahaut and her husband Charles, duke of Calabria.  Joan was the heir of her paternal grandfather King Robert the Wise, one of the brothers of Charles de Valois's first wife Marguerite of Anjou, and was married four times.  Queen Joan was acquitted in any complicity in the murder of her first husband Andrew of Hungary in 1345, but was assassinated many years later in 1382 on the orders of Charles of Durazzo in revenge.  Nancy Goldstone has written a biography of Joan.

- Catherine II de Courtenay (c. 1303-1346), eldest daughter and heiress of Charles' second wife Catherine de Courtenay, and also became titular empress of Constantinople in her own right.  Her two younger full sisters were Isabella, who became abbess of Fontevrault, and Joan or Jeanne, who married Robert, count of Artois (one of the main characters in Maurice Druon's Les Rois Maudits series of novels).  Catherine married the much older Philip of Taranto (1278-1331), one of the brothers of her father's first wife Marie of Anjou and Naples, whose first marriage to Thamar Angelina Komnena, great-niece of the Byzantine emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos, was annulled in 1309 when Philip accused her of adultery with no fewer than forty noblemen.

- Blanche, queen of Germany and Holy Roman Empress (c. 1316/17-1348), third daughter of Charles de Valois and his third wife Mahaut.  She is sometimes also called Marguerite.  Her husband Charles or Karl, born Wenzel or Wenceslas (1316-1378), was elected king of Germany in 1346 and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV in 1349.  He was the son of John the Blind, king of Bohemia, who was killed fighting on the French side at the battle of Crécy in 1346, and Blanche was the first of his four wives.  One of Blanche and Charles' daughters was queen of Hungary and Croatia.  Richard II of England's queen Anne of Bohemia (1366-1394) was Charles IV's daughter with his fourth wife Elizabeth of Pomerania.

- Isabella, duchess of Bourbon (c. 1313-1388), second daughter of Charles and his third wife Mahaut.  Isabella was the last survivor of all Charles' children, and his third daughter named Isabel or Isabella after his mother Isabel of Aragon, one with each wife (the other two were Marguerite of Anjou's daughter Isabella, duchess of Brittany, Charles de Valois' eldest child, c. 1292-1309, and Catherine de Courtenay's daughter Isabella, c. 1305-1349, abbess of Fontevrault).  The youngest Isabella married Peter I, duke of Bourbon.  Her daughter Jeanne (1338-1378) became queen consort of France via marriage to Charles V and was the mother of Charles VI (the Mad).  Another of her daughters, Blanche, married King Pedro the Cruel of Castile in 1353 and was imprisoned by him within days of the wedding when he went off with his mistress Maria de Padilla, the mother of his daughters Constanza, duchess of Lancaster and Isabel, duchess of York.

A full list of Charles de Valois's children:

1) Isabella (1292-1309), married John III, duke of Brittany (no children)
2) Philip VI (1293-1350), king of France, married Joan of Burgundy
3) Joan (1294-1342), married William III, count of Hainault
4) Marguerite (1295-1342), married Guy I, count of Blois
5) Charles (1297-1346, killed at the battle of Crécy), count of Alençon, married Jeanne de Joigny and Marie de la Cerda
6) Catherine, born 1299, died young
7) John, count of Chartres (1302-1308)
8) Catherine (1303-1346), titular empress of Constantinople, married Philip of Taranto
9) Joan (1304-1363), married Robert III, count of Artois
10) Isabella (1305-1349), abbess of Fontevrault
11) Marie (1309-1332), married Charles, duke of Calabria
12) Isabella (1313-1388), married Peter I, duke of Bourbon
13) Blanche or Marguerite (1316/17-1348), married Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor
14) Louis, count of Chartres (1318-1328).

08 November, 2013

Interview and Books

My lovely friend Kasia has been running a blog about Henry the Young King (1155-1183), son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, for a year now, and marked the anniversary yesterday by, yay, interviewing me about Edward II!  I'm honoured and privileged!  Here's the interview, and here's the front page of Kasia's blog, and here's her website.  Please do visit - her work is superb.  Henry the Young King, incidentally, was the elder brother of Edward II's great-grandfather King John.

Another lovely friend of mine, the historical novelist Susan Higginbotham (blog; website), has recently published a non-fiction book about the Woodvilles, the infamous family who rose to prominence during the Wars of the Roses when Elizabeth Woodville married Edward IV in 1464.  Susan was kind enough to thank me in the book for helping her with several translations and commenting on her first draft.  Here it is!

Today, 8 November, is the anniversary of the death of Edward II's great-grandmother Berenguela, queen of Castile and Leon, in 1246.  Berenguela was sixty-six at the time of her death, born in 1180.  She was the niece of Henry the Young King, above, being the eldest child of Henry's sister Eleanor, who married Alfonso VIII of Castile.  Berenguela's younger sister Blanche (1188-1252) is very famous as the queen-regent of France and mother of Saint Louis IX; Berenguela's son Fernando III of Castile and Leon, Edward II's grandfather, was also canonised.  There are two books about the great Queen Berenguela which I'm dying to read: one by Miriam Shadis and one by Janna Bianchini.  The daughters and granddaughters of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine fascinate me, and I'd love to read a novel about any or all of them.

Another non-fiction book I'm dying to read is Blood Cries Afar by Sean McGlynn, about Louis of France's invasion of England in 1216 at the end of King John's reign.  Louis was of course the husband of Blanche of Castile, above.  There's also a new biography of Edward II's grandfather Henry III by John Paul Davis, yippee, and Adrian Jobson's The First English Revolution about Simon de Montfort and the baronial rebellion of the 1260s.  All so exciting!

In general, I'd dearly love to read any kind of fiction or non-fiction about al-Andalus.  I'm also interested in historical fiction or non-fiction about or set in the Byzantine Empire, Russia, India, Africa, in any period before c. 1500 - basically I'd love to branch out in my reading and extend my knowledge of the history of other countries and cultures.  If you have any recommendations for me, please do leave a comment, or email me at edwardofcaernarfon(at)yahoo.com if you prefer.

01 November, 2013

My 500th post!

This is the 500th post on the Edward II blog!  Yay to me and Edward!  :-)

Today is 1 November, the feast of All Saints, which is quite an important day here on Planet Edward II, as it happens.  Firstly, there were two weddings.  The later one, which took place on 1 November 1307, was that of Edward's niece Margaret de Clare and his beloved Piers Gaveston, earl of Cornwall.  Margaret was then almost certainly about thirteen and a half, Piers considerably older, at least twenty-four and perhaps as much as thirty (?).  Edward gave jewels worth thirty pounds to the bride and groom, a roan-coloured palfrey worth twenty pounds to Margaret and expensive cloth worked with gold and pearls to her ladies, and provided the generous amount of seven pounds, ten shillings and six pence in pennies to be thrown over the heads of the bride and groom at the door of the chapel.  His almoner collected the money, which would comfortably have fed several families for a year, and distributed it to the poor.  The king spent an enormous twenty pounds on the minstrels, and evidently it was quite a celebration, as Edward had to give a local man five shillings' compensation for "damage done by the king's party" to his property.

Another wedding took place on 1 November, in 1254: that of Edward II's parents.  Fifteen-year-old Lord Edward, elder son and heir of King Henry III of England, and twelve or thirteen-year-old doña Leonor, half-sister of King Alfonso X of Castile and Leon, married in the church of the Cistercian monastery of Las Huelgas in Burgos, northern Spain.  Just under thirty years later on 25 April 1284, their heir Edward of Caernarfon was born, the youngest of their fourteen or more children.

1 November 1311 was the deadline for Piers Gaveston to leave England yet again, for his third exile.  He actually left on the 3rd, or possibly the 4th, and returned little more than two months later.

Another Edward II post coming soon.  And 500 more after that, and 500 more after that...:-)