25 January, 2015

Robert Clifford and Maud de Clare

A post about Robert, Lord Clifford (c. 1 April 1274 - 24 June 1314) and Maud de Clare (c. late 1270s - before 13 March 1327), and their children.

Robert Clifford was born around or a little while before 1 April 1274: the Inquisition Post Mortem of his father taken in Westmorland on 16 January 1283 (Cal Inq Post Mortem 1272-1307, p. 291) says that Robert would be aged nine at Easter in the eleventh regnal year of Edward I, which was 18 April 1283, and Easter Sunday in 1274 fell on 1 April.  His father was Roger Clifford the younger, who drowned in the Menai Strait on 6 November 1282 when Edward I's bridge from the Welsh mainland to Anglesey collapsed, and his mother was Isabel Vipont, one of the two daughters (the other was Idonea) and co-heiresses of Robert Vipont, sheriff and landowner of Westmorland.  The famous Rosamund Clifford, mistress of Henry II in the twelfth century, was the sister of Robert's great-great-grandfather Walter.  The Cliffords had long been a Marcher family, but the Vipont inheritance and grants from Edward II to Robert shifted their centre of power to the north of England.  Edward II gave Robert the North Yorkshire castle of Skipton in 1310, and it remained in the family until 1676.

Robert's father Roger, who drowned in 1282, was the son and heir of Roger Clifford the elder, who outlived his son.  Robert inherited the Clifford lands after his grandfather's death, and had livery of them on 3 May 1295, some weeks after he turned twenty-one.  (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography)  In or before 1295, he married Maud de Clare, niece of Gilbert 'the Red' de Clare, earl of Gloucester and Hertford.  Maud's father Thomas de Clare, lord of Thomond in Ireland, was Gilbert the Red's younger brother; her mother was the Anglo-Irish noblewoman Juliana FitzMaurice.  Maud's sister Margaret married Bartholomew, Lord Badlesmere, who became steward of Edward II's household and was given the traitor's death in April 1322 after joining the Contrariant rebellion against the king.  Their brother Gilbert married Hugh Despenser the Younger's sister Isabel and died in 1307, and their other brother Richard died in 1318.  When Richard's young son Thomas died in 1321, Maud and Margaret were his heirs.  The four de Clare siblings Maud, Margaret, Gilbert and Richard were the first cousins of Edward II's nieces and nephew Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester, Eleanor, Margaret and Elizabeth.  Maud was probably born in the late 1270s or thereabouts, and thus was about five years younger than her husband Robert Clifford and about sixteen when they married.

Robert Clifford was one of the four noblemen who besieged Piers Gaveston at Scarborough Castle between 10 and 19 May 1312 (with Henry Percy and the earls of Pembroke and Surrey), but was generally loyal to Edward II and on good terms with him.  He fought for Edward at Bannockburn and on the first day of the battle led the advance party, with Henry, Lord Beaumont, which sustained heavy losses against the schiltrons of Thomas Randolph.  On the second day of the battle, Robert was killed, the second highest ranking Englishman to die at Bannockburn after Edward II's nephew the earl of Gloucester, who was the first cousin of Robert's wife Maud.  His body was returned to England with full honours, and he was buried at Shap Abbey in Westmorland.  Robert seems to have been, if I may put it colloquially, a bit of a hottie, and intelligent besides: the poet of the Siege of Arms of Caerlaverock wrote in 1300 (when Robert was twenty-six) "If I were a maiden, I would give him my heart and body, So good is his fame," and declared "I well know that I have given him no praise of which he is not worthy. For he exhibits as good proofs of wisdom and prudence as any I see."

Maud was taken prisoner in late 1315 by John 'the Irishman', who took her to Barnard Castle in County Durham.  Edward II sent five knights and thirty-six men-at-arms to rescue her, led by his friend and the later steward of his household, Sir William Montacute.  Romantically, Maud married Sir Robert de Welle or Well or Welles, one of her rescuers, somewhat in haste, as Edward II soon afterwards fined them for marrying without his permission and temporarily confiscated her lands.  Montacute and the other men had returned to Edward at Clipstone in Nottinghamshire by 6 December 1315, after effecting the rescue; the king had heard of Maud and Robert's marriage by the 16th, on which date he seized Maud's lands and goods.  (Fine Rolls 1307-1319, p. 266; Patent Rolls 1313-1317, p. 551; Close Rolls 1313-1318, p. 367; Close Rolls 1318-1323, pp. 84, 269; SC 8/317/E267).  I haven't been able to find an accurate date for Maud's death, but it happened sometime before 13 March 1327, when her castles, lands and manors in Ireland, currently in the king's hands owing to the minority of Maud's son and heir Roger, were granted to her sister Margaret Badlesmere.  (Fine Rolls 1327-1337, p. 35)  It's also tricky to follow the career of her second husband Sir Robert de Welle, as there were several men alive in England during Edward II's reign with that name; one of them, possibly Maud's husband, was sent by Edward as an envoy to Robert Bruce in late August 1326, and thus was obviously still high in the king's favour very near the end of his reign.  (Patent Rolls 1324-1327, p. 315).

I can't quite figure out the order of birth of the de Clare siblings.  Gilbert was certainly born on 3 February 1281, which is demonstrated in his proof of age in 1302, and Richard was born between 1283 and 1285.  I'd long assumed that Maud was the eldest child, born probably in the late 1270s, married in or a little before 1295 and had her first (surviving, at least) son in 1299 or 1300.  I'd also thought that Margaret was the youngest de Clare sibling, born shortly before their father Thomas's death in August 1287.  Margaret's first child Margery Badlesmere was born sometime between 1304 and 1308, though before Margaret married Bartholomew Badlesmere she had been married to Gilbert Umfraville, son of the earl of Angus, who died childless in about 1303.  However, there's a petition in the National Archives, presented by Margaret in 1327, which says that Maud was her younger sister, and an entry on the Fine Roll of 14 March 1324, relating to Margaret and Maud as the heirs of their little nephew Thomas (died 1321), calls Margaret the 'senior heir', i.e. older than Maud.  (SC 8/32/1559; Fine Rolls 1319-1327, p. 269).  Given the pattern of their childbearing, it still seems more likely to me that Maud was a few years older than Margaret, so I'm a tad confused about this.  Anyway, there are two contemporary documents which state that Margaret was the elder sister, so I shall have to accept it, and assume that Margaret was not born in 1287 but ten or so years before that, and that when she gave birth to her youngest child Margaret Badlesmere sometime after 1314 or even as late as 1318, she was forty or thereabouts.

Robert Clifford and Maud de Clare had four children:

- Roger, Lord Clifford (2 February 1299/21 January 1300 - 23 March 1322)

Roger was the elder son of Robert and Maud, and only fourteen or fifteen when his father was killed at the battle of Bannockburn; Robert's Inquisition Post Mortem says Roger was born either on (or shortly before) 2 February 1299 or 21 January 1300.  (Cal. Inq. Post Mortem 1307-1327, pp. 300-307) Edward II granted Roger and his brother-in-law Henry Percy all the lands of their late fathers in 1318 and 1319, although they were both still underage, "for the defence and safety of the said castles against the Scots, the king's enemies."  (Fine Rolls 1307-1319, pp. 370-371, 378, 404)  In 1321 Roger joined the Contrariant rebellion against Edward II, perhaps following the example of his uncle by marriage Bartholomew, Lord Badlesmere.  The Vita Edwardi Secundi (ed. N. Denholm-Young, p. 109) claims that Hugh Despenser the Younger had in some way disinherited Roger's mother, Maud.  I am unaware of any evidence which confirms this, and in fact Maud's husband Robert de Welle seems to have been a close ally of the Despensers, and Hugh's wife Eleanor was Maud's first cousin (not that that would necessarily have stopped him, of course).  Roger surrendered to Sir Andrew Harclay after the battle of Boroughbridge on 16 March 1322, and was hanged in chains a week later at the fortification in York which has borne his name ever since: Clifford's Tower.  He was only in his early twenties at the time of his execution.  He didn't marry, and his heir was his brother Robert.

- Robert, Lord Clifford (c. 7 November 1305 - 20 May 1344)

Younger son of Robert Clifford and Maud de Clare, and heir to his brother Roger executed in 1322.  The IPMs of Robert's mother and his brother Roger taken in Yorkshire on 12 February and 1 May 1327 (CIPM 1327-1336, pp. 29-30, 41-42) say that he had turned twenty-one 'on Friday after All Saints day last past', which I make 7 November 1326 (the feast day of All Saints, 1 November, fell on a Saturday in 1326), putting his date of birth on or about 7 November 1305.  Robert showed his indignation at his brother's execution and at the general state of affairs in England after the Contrariant rebellion by besieging and capturing Tickhill Castle in Staffordshire in April 1326, in company with the fifteen-year-old John Mowbray, whose father John, Lord Mowbray was executed with Robert's brother Roger Clifford in York in March 1322. (Close Rolls 1323-1327, p. 569)  The constable of Tickhill, William Aune, was a friend and ally of Edward II and their capture of the castle was thus intended to cause trouble for the king.  I have to admit I really like the idea of these two hot-headed, angry young men, aged only fifteen and twenty, getting together and deciding to seize a castle - and succeeding, at least for a while.

Robert was restored to his rightful inheritance after Edward II's downfall.  Probably in 1327, he married Isabella Berkeley, sister of Thomas, Lord Berkeley of Gloucestershire, who acted as the former Edward II's custodian at Berkeley Castle in 1327.  Robert and Isabella's second son and heir Roger was born on 10 July 1333; their eldest, Robert, died as a teenager in the 1340s.  Robert, the elder, died on 30 May 1344 (CIPM 1336-1346, pp. 381-385) in his late thirties, when his first son Robert, who was then still alive but died not long afterwards, was said to be 'sixteen and a little more'. Robert, Lord Clifford and Isabella Berkeley were the ancestors of the later Clifford lords; the famous Henry, Lord Clifford, the 'Shepherd Lord' (died 1523), was their great-great-great-great-grandson.

- Idonea (or Idonia or Idoine), Lady Percy (early 1300s - 24 August 1365)

Probably named after her paternal grandmother Isabel Vipont's sister Idonea Vipont, who married Edward II's steward John Cromwell and who lived until 1334.  Idonea Clifford married Henry, Lord Percy, who was born on 1 February 1301 and who was the nephew of Edmund Fitzalan, earl of Arundel, as well as the son of the Henry, Lord Percy who with Robert, Lord Clifford besieged Piers Gaveston at Scarborough in May 1312.  Idonea's date of birth is not recorded, but it seems to me that she was younger than Roger and older than Robert, perhaps born in about 1302 or 1303.

Her eldest son Henry, Lord Percy was born in about 1320 and married Henry of Lancaster's youngest daughter Mary, and she also had at least four daughters, Eleanor, Isabella, Margaret and Maud, and another son Thomas Percy, bishop of Norwich, whose successor on his death in 1369 was Hugh Despenser the Younger and Eleanor de Clare's grandson Henry Despenser.  Idonea was the grandmother of three earls: Northumberland (Henry Percy, born in 1341 and died in 1408), Worcester (Thomas Percy, died 1403) and Westmorland (Ralph Neville, died 1425, son of her daughter Maud Percy).  She was the great-great-grandmother of Edward IV and Richard III.

- Margaret (c. early 1300s - 4 August 1382, married Peter Mauley, lord of Mulgrave)

The longest surviving but most obscure of Robert Clifford and Maud de Clare's children, and there's not too much I can say about her.  I don't know where she fits into the birth order of the Clifford children, and I don't know anything much about the family she married into, the Mauleys, except that they were lords of Mulgrave near Whitby in North Yorkshire.  Their name was often Latinised in contemporary documents as Malo Lacu.  Edward II's steward Sir Edmund Mauley, who was killed at Bannockburn, was presumably a member of the same family.  Margaret's husband Peter came from a long line of Peter Mauleys: he was known in contemporary documents as le quynt, 'the fifth', and their son, yet another Peter Mauley, was le sysme, 'the sixth'.  Her husband died on 18 January 1355 (CIPM 1352-1360, pp. 214-216) leaving their son Peter as his heir; the younger Peter was then said to be twenty-four, so must have been born in about 1330/1331.  Peter the fifth's 1355 IPM states that Margaret "immediately after the death of the deceased, her husband, took the mantle, veil and ring from the suffragan of the archbishop of York and swore and vowed chastity before him and many others, to live chastely without a husband all her life."  (Ibid., p. 216)

According to various websites, Margaret Mauley née Clifford died on 4 August 1382, but I can't confirm this as I don't have any of the chancery rolls or inquisitions post mortem for Richard II's reign.  She must have been pretty elderly when she died, and given the date of her death was probably the youngest of her siblings.

20 January, 2015

Gilbert de Clare, Lord of Thomond

A fairly short post about a man who has often been confused with his first cousin of the same name, Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester. The Gilbert de Clare in question was ten years older than his cousin the earl, and was lord of Thomond in Ireland. It was this Gilbert, of Thomond, who was in the future Edward II's household before his accession and who, with Piers Gaveston, was removed by the king when Edward quarrelled with his father in 1305. Edward sent pleading letters to his stepmother Marguerite and sister Elizabeth, asking them to intervene with his father so that he could have Piers and Gilbert back. (Melodramatically, Edward wrote "If we had those two, along with the others whom we have, we would be much unburdened from the anguish we have endured, and still suffer from one day to the next.") Gilbert de Clare the future earl of Gloucester did not live in his uncle Edward of Caernarfon's household, but in that of his step-grandmother Queen Marguerite.

To clarify, there were three Gilbert de Clares in this period:

- Gilbert 'the Red' de Clare, earl of Gloucester and Hertford (1243-1295), involved in the barons' wars of the 1260s when he was a very young man, married firstly to Henry III's niece Alice de Lusignan and secondly to Edward I's daughter Joan of Acre. He was thus Edward of Caernarfon's brother-in-law, though forty years his senior.

- Gilbert the Red's only son and heir Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester and Hertford (c. 10 May 1291-24 June 1314), eldest grandchild of Edward I, nephew of Edward II though only seven years his junior, killed at the battle of Bannockburn, married to the earl of Ulster's daughter Maud de Burgh.

- Gilbert the Red's nephew Gilbert de Clare, lord of Thomond, the man under discussion here (1281-1307), elder son and heir of Gilbert the Red's younger brother Thomas de Clare, lord of Thomond (c. 1245-1287), married as her first husband Hugh Despenser the Younger's sister Isabel, later Lady Hastings. This Gilbert's father Thomas de Clare is probably best known for helping the future Edward I escape from the custody of his uncle Simon de Montfort, earl of Leicester, in 1265.

Gilbert de Clare, lord of Thomond, was born in Limerick, Ireland on 3 February 1281; he proved that he had come of age, twenty-one, in 1302 (Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem 1300-1307, pp. 54-55, see here). Gilbert was the elder son of Thomas de Clare and the Irish noblewoman Juliana Fitzmaurice. At an uncertain date, perhaps in 1306 when Gilbert's first cousin Eleanor de Clare (eldest daughter of his uncle Earl Gilbert 'the Red') married Hugh Despenser the Younger, Gilbert married Hugh's sister Isabel. Edward I "of his special grace" allowed Gilbert custody of his lands in Ireland on 18 September 1299, even though he was well underage at the time, only eighteen. (Calendar of Close Rolls 1296-1302, pp. 272, 366; Ibid. 1302-1307, p. 17; Calendar of Fine Rolls 1272-1307, p. 427.) In October 1306, Gilbert was, with Piers Gaveston, Sir Giles Argentein and the nineteen-year Roger Mortimer, future earl of March, one of twenty-two young knights whose lands were temporarily seized by Edward I as they had gone jousting overseas without his permission. (Fine Rolls 1272-1307, pp. 543-544; Close Rolls 1302-1307, pp. 481-482.)

As a close friend of Edward of Caernarfon and Piers Gaveston, Gilbert of Thomond was surely delighted when Edward succeeded his father as king in July 1307. Sadly, he did not live long enough to enjoy it. He died at the age of twenty-six shortly before 16 November 1307, only four months into Edward II's reign, when the escheators in Ireland and southern England were ordered to "take into the king's hands the lands late of Gilbert son of Thomas de Clare, deceased, tenant in chief." (Fine Rolls 1307-1319, pp. 8, 10.) His heir was his younger brother Richard, who in Gilbert's Inq. Post Mortem at the beginning of 1308 was said to be either twenty-two or twenty-four years old, placing his date of birth somewhere between 1283 and 1285. (Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem 1307-1327, p. 13;, p. 13.) Their father Thomas died on 29 August 1287 when his children were still all very young. Richard de Clare was killed in Ireland in June 1318, leaving his infant son Thomas as his heir; young Thomas died still a child in 1321, so that Gilbert of Thomond's ultimate heirs were his sisters Maud, Lady Clifford and Margaret, Lady Badlesmere. His first cousin Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester, also died childless, and his heirs were also his sisters: Eleanor Despenser, Margaret Gaveston Audley and Elizabeth de Burgh.

14 January, 2015

A Handy Pronunciation Guide To Names

A friend of mine on Facebook (thanks, Monte!), commenting on a pic I'd posted of Rievaulx Abbey, suggested that I should write a blog post showing readers how certain British place-names, especially ones relating to Edward II, and family names of the fourteenth-century nobility should be pronounced.  If there are any names I've missed and you're unsure about, do feel free to ask in the comments :-)

Berkeley (Castle): barkly.  Absolutely not 'burkly'

Caernarfon: the English pronunciation is 'kuh-nar-vun', with emphasis on the 'nar'; the Welsh pronunciation is a bit different.

Gloucester(shire): gloster(shuh). The word 'shire' on the rare occasions when it's used as a stand-alone word is pronounced with a long I, as it's spelt, but in county names is always pronounced 'shuh' by English people. Yorkshire is thus 'york-shuh', Cheshire is 'cheshuh' and so on.

Worcester(shire): wuster(shuh)

Leicester(shire): lester(shuh)

Warwick(shire): worrik(shuh)

Berkshire: bark-shuh

Hertfordshire: hart-fud-shuh

Hereford: herra-fud

Arundel: ah-run-dul, with the stress on the A at the beginning.

Norwich: norritch

Reading: redding, not as in 'reading a book'

Leominster: lemster

Durham: durrum

Norfolk/Suffolk: the names end with an 'uck' sound, not 'ohk' as in the word 'folk'

Scarborough: scar-buh-ruh or scar-bruh

Marlborough: marl-buh-ruh or marl-bruh

Boroughbridge: buh-ruh-bridge

Windsor: win-zer or wind-zer

Rievaulx (Abbey): ree-voh

Jervaulx (Abbey): jair-voh (I think! Someone please correct me on this if not)

Beaulieu (Abbey): byoo-ly

Tewkesbury: chooks-bree or chooks-buh-ree (with a long oo as in 'woo', not as in 'book')

Derby: darby

Pembroke: pem-bruk

(River) Thames: temz

Thame (town in Oxfordshire): tame

Loughborough: luff-buh-ruh or luff-bruh, emphasis on the 'luff'

Carlisle, or the name Lisle: ly-ul, with a silent S and a long I.

Southampton: pronounced as though it's spelt with two H's: south-hamp-ton. Northampton, however, isn't: north-amp-ton. (Though actually a lot of English people drop their H's and pronounce Southampton as something like 'sarf-am-ton', but let's not get into that discussion.)

Royal Leamington Spa: the second element is 'lemming-ton' not 'leeming-ton'

Toucester: toaster

Knaresborough: nairs-buh-ruh or nairs-bruh, emphasis on the first syllable.

Keighley: keeth-ly

Uttoxeter: you-tox-it-er

High Wycombe: wiccum

Shrewsbury: nowadays mostly pronounced as it's spelt, though you still sometimes hear people pronouncing the first syllable as 'shroze' not 'shrooz'.

Wisbech: wiz-beech

Weobley: web-ly

Plymouth: plimmuth

Bournemouth: born-muth

Salisbury: solz-bree or solz-buh-ree

Southwark: suthuk ('th' as in 'the')

Birmingham/Nottingham/Eltham/Hexham/Cheltenham etc: the last syllable is pronounced 'um', not 'ham' like the meat.  Nottingham when spoken fast by some English people comes out something not far off 'no-ih-num', with the T replaced by a glottal stop.  Cheltenham is often pronounced 'chelt-num'.

Westminster: pronounced with the emphasis on 'west', not on 'min' as I've sometimes heard people say it.

Cinque Ports: sink ports, i.e. with an anglicised pronunciation.

Tintagel: the G is soft as in 'gin' or 'jelly', and it's emphasised on the second syllable, i.e. TinTAJul.

Belvoir (Castle): beaver

Ely: like 'freely' without the 'fr', emphasised on the first syllable, not like the names Eli or Ellie.

Tonbridge: tun-bridge

Greenwich: grennitch

Yeovil: yoh-vill

Alnwick: annick (yes, the L and W are both silent)

Bicester: bister

Cirencester: siren-sester (i.e. one of the few names ending in -cester which is pronounced as spelt)

Manchester/Lancaster: pronounced as spelt

Slough: rhymes with cow

But, Brough: bruff, as is Burgh-by-Sands, where Edward I died in 1307

Cambridge: first syllable is pronounced 'came' not 'cam'

Lewes: like the name Lewis, not 'looz'

Savernake (a forest in Wiltshire): savver-nack

Ouse (a river in Yorkshire): ooze

Cherwell ( a tributary of the River Thames): char-well

Caerphilly: car-filli, emphasis on the 'fil' (English pronunciation)

Berwick: berrik

Edinburgh: edin-bruh or edin-buh-ruh

Dumfries: the second syllable is pronounced 'freess', i.e. with a soft S sound, not like the words 'fries' or 'freeze'

Magdalen College, Oxford/Magdalene College, Cambridge: maudlin

Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge: Caius is pronounced 'keys'

Bohun: boon

Beauchamp: beecham

Despenser: duh-spenser, emphasis on the 'spen'

Interesting facts: Lincoln in fourteenth-century documents was called Nicole, York was Everwyk, and Stirling was Strivelyn. Warwick was spelt Warrewyk or similar.

09 January, 2015

Edward and Isabella, and Other Stuff

Unfortunately I've been ill all week and have been unable to write a proper blog post, but Kyra Kramer kindly hosted me on her own blog a couple of days ago. I wrote a post for her about Edward II and Isabella of France's relationship, which you might find interesting!

Anerje wrote a post this week about Piers Gaveston's funeral. In a few days, it will be the 703rd anniversary of the birth of Piers' and Margaret de Clare's only child Joan Gaveston, who was born in York probably on 12 January 1312.

Today is the 698th anniversary of the coronation of Edward II's brother-in-law Philip V as king of France on 9 January 1317.  Also on this day, in 1310, Edward confiscated the goods of his later favourite Hugh Despenser the Younger, who had gone to take part in a joust in Mons contrary to the king's recent prohibition.

Other anniversaries this week:

On 3 January 1323, Andrew Harclay, earl of Carlisle, met Robert Bruce, king of Scots, at Lochmaben, and told Bruce that Edward II would acknowledge him as king of Scots.  Edward executed Harclay for treason exactly two months later.

On 8 January 1323 or shortly before: Death by peine forte et dure of Robert Lewer, once a close ally of the king who loathed the Despensers and turned against Edward, and frankly was a bit of a thug. Well, more than a bit.

On 11 January 1323 - why are all these anniversaries in 1323? - Maurice, Lord Berkeley and Sir Hugh Audley the Elder nearly escaped from Wallingford Castle.

03 January, 2015

2 or 3 January 1315: Piers Gaveston's Funeral

Today, or perhaps yesterday, is the 700th anniversary of Piers Gaveston's funeral. Here's a post about it.

Piers Gaveston, earl of Cornwall, was killed at Blacklow Hill in Warwickshire on 19 June 1312. A group of Dominican friars from Oxford came across the body - presumably not by accident, as the Dominicans were Edward II's favourite order and the king's fervent supporters, and it would seem a bit of a coincidence if they of all people just happened to find Piers' body - and took it to their house at Oxford. They embalmed Piers' body, and sewed his head back on (he had been murdered by being run through with a sword, then his head was struck off).

This is where things get a bit morbid and strange. The Dominicans were unable to bury Piers in consecrated ground, as he had died excommunicate; following his return to England earlier in 1312, the archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Winchelsey, had "seized his sword and struck Piers with anathema," as the Vita Edwardi Secundi (ed. Denholm-Young, p. 22) puts it. At some point, it is unknown when, the sentence of excommunication was lifted, but Edward II still refused to have Piers buried. His embalmed body continued to lie with the Dominicans in Oxford, who dressed it in cloth-of-gold. Edward paid the friars the staggeringly large sum of eighty pence a day to pray for Piers' remains, and paid for two custodians to watch over the body, also a huge amount; for a mere twenty-eight days in December 1314, for example, the two men received fifteen pounds.

Various chroniclers claim that Edward II had sworn not to have Piers Gaveston buried until he had gained revenge on Piers' killers: the Vita, for example (p. 58) says that Edward vowed "first to avenge Piers, and then consign his body to the grave." This proved impossible, however, and finally, two and a half years after Piers' murder, Edward decided to have him buried. I don't know what motivated him to hold the funeral at this time, but he was at something of a low ebb personally and politically in late 1314, having lost the battle of Bannockburn that June and having also lost control of his own government to his cousin Thomas, earl of Lancaster. The beleaguered king's thoughts turned to his lost love, Piers Gaveston, and on 27 December 1314, Edward gave the chancellor and scholars of Oxford University twenty pounds to pray for Piers' soul. Either on 2 or 3 January 1315*, Piers Gaveston's funeral took place at Langley Priory in Hertfordshire, which Edward II himself had founded in late 1308. Langley was Edward's favourite residence, and he had spent much time there with Piers.

* Piers's biographer Jeff Hamilton gives the date as 3 January, and Edward II's biographer Seymour Phillips as the 2nd. For myself, I'm not entirely sure. Edward stayed at Langley from 1 to 18 January.

Piers Gaveston's funeral must have been a deeply emotional occasion for Edward. He spent a massive £300 on three cloths of gold to dress Piers' body, fifteen pounds on food for the guests, and sixty-four pounds for twenty-three tuns of wine, which is about 22,000 litres if I've worked it out correctly. On Christmas Day 1314, Edward ordered his butler Walter Waldeshef to buy the wine and have it taken to Langley for Piers' funeral (Close Rolls 1313-18, p. 139). Edward also paid for three pavilions to be taken to Langley - for guests to stay in or for various ceremonies to take place in, perhaps? - and several documents now held in the National Archives, which I haven't yet seen, include the details and expenses of conveying Piers' body the approximately fifty miles from Oxford to Langley (The National Archives E 101/375/15 and 16, E 101/376/2).

Among those who attended Piers Gaveston's funeral were: Queen Isabella (how did she feel, I wonder?); the king's fourteen-year-old half-brother Thomas of Brotherton, earl of Norfolk; the king's brother-in-law Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford (very bravely, considering he was one of the men who put Piers to death); I presume Edward's niece Margaret de Clare, Piers' widow, and their daughter Joan, not quite three, but I don't know that for sure; the two Hugh Despensers; Edward's kinsmen Aymer de Valence, earl of Pembroke and Henry, Lord Beaumont; Walter Reynolds, archbishop of Canterbury; Bartholomew, Lord Badlesmere; the mayor of London; four bishops; fourteen abbots; fifty knights; and large numbers of Dominican friars. The list of important non-attendees is far longer, and includes the earls of Lancaster and Warwick, who had had Piers killed.

Piers Gaveston was finally buried, though not, of course, forgotten by Edward II, who for the rest of his reign lavished money on Piers' tomb and on having prayers said regularly for the soul of his lost love.