Part two of a series which began here, looking at some of the men who were knighted with Edward of Caernarfon at Westminster on 22 May 1306. As well as Piers Gaveston, Roger Mortimer and Hugh Despenser the Younger, they also included Edward II's good friend William Montacute (d. 1319), Edward's fifteen-year-old nephew Gilbert de Clare, future earl of Gloucester, and Gilbert's first cousin Gilbert de Clare, lord of Thomond, born in 1281 (Gilbertus de Clare filius domini Thomae de Clare).
Today, I'm looking at Edmund of Cornwall, Giles Astley, Ralph Camoys, William Trussell and Robert Wateville.
- Edmund of Cornwall (Edmundus de Cornubia)
Edmund was a second cousin of Edward of Caernarfon, being the grandson of Henry III's younger brother Richard, earl of Cornwall and king of Germany (1209-1272), and was frequently acknowledged as kinsman by Edward I and Edward II in the chancery rolls. His father Richard (d. 1296) was one of Earl Richard's illegitimate children and the half-brother of Richard's legitimate son and heir Edmund, earl of Cornwall (d. 1300). Earl Edmund was a first cousin of Edward I on both sides: their fathers were brothers, and their mothers Eleanor and Sanchia of Provence were sisters. Sir Edmund of Cornwall had a younger brother, Geoffrey of Cornwall, and married a woman called Elizabeth, one of the two daughters and co-heirs of Brian de Brompton. Brian died sometime before 28 November 1308, and Elizabeth proved her age, fourteen, in November 1309. (Cal Inq Post Mortem 1307-27, pp. 57-8, 128). She inherited lands in Shropshire and Herefordshire. Sir Edmund of Cornwall lived a long life, and died on 22 March 1354, leaving his widow Elizabeth and a son and heir Edmund of Cornwall, who in 1354 was either aged 'thirty years and more' or 'forty years and more'. (Thanks, Inquisitions Post Mortem!) (Cal Inq Post Mortem 1352-60, pp. 138-9). Richard, earl of Cornwall, Henry III's brother, had no legitimate grandchildren - his sons Henry of Almain and Edmund, earl of Cornwall died childless, and his other legitimate children with Isabella Marshal and Sanchia of Provence all died in infancy - but did have descendants via his illegitimate children.
- Giles Astley (Egidius de Asteley)
Giles was a younger son of Sir Andrew Astley and a woman named Sibyl, and the younger brother of Nicholas Astley, who was twenty-four in 1300 when their father died. Both brothers were taken prisoner by the Scots while fighting for Edward II at the battle of Bannockburn in June 1314, and Nicholas died later that year, apparently of natural causes. Giles married a woman named Alice de Wolvey and died in or before 1316, leaving a young son Thomas Astley, who was heir to his childless uncle Nicholas. Thomas Astley married Elizabeth Beauchamp, one of the daughters of Guy Beauchamp, earl of Warwick (d. 1315) and Alice de Toeni, and they had four children, including William, Lord Astley.
- Ralph Camoys (Radulphus de Kamoys)
Ralph was a long-term adherent of the Despensers, from at least the beginning of the 1300s, and often accompanied Hugh Despenser the Elder abroad in the company of such well-known Despenser retainers as Ingelram Berenger, John Ratinden, Ralph Gorges, John Haudlo and Malcolm Musard. He was the son and heir of Sir John Camoys, who died in 1298, and Margaret Gatesden (d. 1311), the heiress of her father John Gatesden in Sussex. An entry on the Fine Roll of November 1294 relates to Ralph receiving one of his father John's manors for which he had done homage, so he must have been at least twenty-one then, and must have been born in 1273 or earlier.
Ralph married firstly Margaret de Braose, daughter of William de Braose, lord of Gower in South Wales (d. 1291) and half-sister of the William de Braose (d. 1326) who inadvertently kicked off the Despenser War of 1321 when he allowed his son-in-law John, Lord Mowbray to take possession of the Gower peninsula in the autumn of 1320. With Margaret, Ralph had his son and heir Thomas. He married secondly the much younger Elizabeth Despenser, youngest (as far as I can tell) child of Hugh Despenser the Elder and Isabel Beauchamp, probably born in the mid to late 1290s, and one of the four full sisters of Hugh the Younger (two of the others were Aline Burnell and Isabel Hastings). With Elizabeth, Ralph had several more children, including sons Hugh, John and Ralph. Sir Ralph Camoys survived the downfall of his father-in-law and brother-in-law the two Hugh Despensers in 1326 and was pardoned for his long-term adherence to them in early 1327 (Patent Rolls 1327-30, p. 20), and died in 1336. It was believed for many years that his second wife was one Elizabeth Rogate, but Douglas Richardson convincingly demonstrated that this is not the case. Ralph was the great-great-grandfather of Edward IV's close friend William, Lord Hastings, executed in 1483, whose mother was Alice Camoys.
- William Trussell (Willelmus Trussel)
There were several men named Sir William Trussell active in the early fourteenth century. The one knighted with Edward of Caernarfon in May 1306 may be the man of this name who pronounced the death sentence on both Hugh Despensers in October/November 1326. A father/son pair both named William Trussell were active during the Contrariant rebellion of 1321/22, against Edward II; I'm assuming, I hope correctly, that the son was the man knighted in 1306, and also the man present at the trials of both Despensers. He or his father, or both, fled overseas after the Contrariant defeat at the battle of Boroughbridge on 16 March 1322, and spent years in exile on the Continent. With him were John Maltravers, one of the former Edward II's custodians in 1327 who was also knighted on 22 May 1306, and, after his dramatic escape from the Tower of London on 1 August 1323, Roger Mortimer. William Trussell was associated with Mortimer in exile on the Continent for the next few years and with him took part in the invasion of England in September 1326. William Trussell, presumably the son, was appointed as the royal escheator this side Trent after Edward II's downfall, and later as the royal escheator beyond Trent. There's also another William Trussell mentioned in the chancery rolls in Edward II's reign, the son of an Edmund Trussell, and it's really hard to work out who was who. Edward II's squire Oliver de Bordeaux married Maud Trussell in 1317, with Edward himself attending the wedding. Maud was the mother of a William Trussell by her first marriage, and had another son, Warin Trussell. (Patent Rolls 1324-7, p. 214).
- Robert Wateville (Robertus de Watervill)
As with William Trussell, there were two men of this name active in Edward II's reign, and distinguishing them is not easy. One was pardoned in 1313 for involvement in Piers Gaveston's death (as were more than 350 men) and was captured fighting for the Contrariants at Boroughbridge. The Robert Wateville knighted in May 1306 was probably the man of this name who was a household knight of Hugh Despenser the Younger and married Hugh's niece Margaret Hastings in Marlborough in Edward II's presence on 19 May 1326. (An occasion on which Edward gave a pound to a servant of Margaret's mother Isabel, Lady Hastings for "making him laugh very greatly.") Edward showed huge generosity to Wateville in 1326: he gave him gifts of forty marks on two separate occasions and forty pounds another time, visited him at his house in London, and paid his expenses when he was ill for thirteen days. All this generosity availed him nothing, as Wateville went over to Isabella's side soon after she arrived in England with the invasion force in September 1326, and was with her at Bristol in October 1326. (Close Rolls 1323-7, p. 655) One of the Sir Robert Wate(r)villes was the godfather of Giles Badlesmere, born in 1313/14, son and heir of Bartholomew, Lord Badlesmere and Margaret de Clare. (Cal Inq Post Mortem 1327-36, p. 480)