24 June, 2016

24 June

So apparently something important happened in Scotland involving Edward II on this day 702 years ago, on 24 June 1314, but I'm afraid I don't have the faintest idea what it was. ;-)

24 June is the feast of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, one of Edward II's favourite saints. On this day in 1317, 699 years ago, Edward paid a man named Peter de Foresta two pounds for making him "a crown of wax of various colours and of various devices" to celebrate the feast. In 1326, Edward celebrated the day by playing dice with his chamber knight Giles Beauchamp in the Tower of London. At some point, not sure when, the king bought a painting of John the Baptist from John the Painter of Lincoln, which he kept in his chamber, and he also owned relics of the saint (among numerous others). 24 June 1312 was one of Edward's last happy days before he heard of the murder of Piers Gaveston two days later, and in 1313 he and Isabella were staying at Pontoise around the Nativity; it was at about this time that Edward saved Isabella's life from a fire.

Yesterday marked the anniversary of the death of Edward's kinsman Aymer de Valence, earl of Pembroke, who died on his way to Paris on 23 June 1324. Aymer was the son of Henry III's half-brother William de Valence, hence was Edward's half first cousin once removed. Aymer was, according to his mother's Inquisition Post Mortem of 1307, born sometime between 1270 and 1283. So that's helpful.

25 June is the anniversary of the battle of Vega de Granada in 1319, when two of Edward's many Castilian cousins were killed.

Finally, here's one nice fact about something that happened at Dunbar, where Edward had fled after the completely unknown and obscure Scottish thing which happened on 24 June 1314: Edward later granted one William Fraunceys or Franceis an income of fifty marks annually in gratitude for the unspecified "kind service he lately performed for the king in his presence at Dunbar," also called his "great service in the king's presence at Dunbar." William's name means 'Frenchman'. [CPR 1313-7, 273; CPR 1317-21, 111; CCR 1313-8, 298, 497.]

19 June, 2016

19 June 1312: Murder of Piers Gaveston

Today marks the 704th anniversary of the murder of Edward II's beloved Piers Gaveston, earl of Cornwall. Here's a list of my previous posts about it:

Piers' death


Edward's negotiations afterwards

Piers' third exile, 1311/12

What led to his death


Chronicles and fiction

On a much lighter note, today is also the 703rd anniversary of Edward, clearly enjoying himself during his and Isabella's extended visit to her homeland and not in the mood for moping around. paying a group of performers to dance for him naked in Pontoise on the first anniversary of Piers' death. Now that's the way to do it.

18 June, 2016

18 June 1294: Birth of Charles IV of France, the Last Capetian King

Today is the 722nd anniversary of the birth of Edward II's brother-in-law Charles IV, king of France and Navarre (and also the 698th anniversary of Charles' niece, Edward and Isabella's elder daughter Eleanor of Woodstock, on 18 June 1318). Charles was the third son of Philip IV, king of France, and Joan I, queen of Navarre: the first son Louis X was born on 4 October 1289, and the second son Philip V in c. 1291. Charles was about eighteen months older than his sister Isabella, queen of England, who was probably born in late 1295. He was ten years younger than his brother-in-law Edward II, with whom he was not on good terms.

Charles married firstly, in January 1308 just before Isabella married Edward II, Blanche of Burgundy. She was the younger daughter of Othon IV, count palatine of Burgundy, and Mahaut, countess of Artois; her elder sister Jeanne or Joan was married to Charles' brother Philip. Charles and Blanche had two children who both died young, and Blanche was imprisoned in 1314 after the adultery scandal which her sister-in-law Queen Isabella may have exposed to her father. Charles remained shackled to Blanche until 1322, a few months after he succeeded his brother Philip V as king of France and Navarre, at which point it was suddenly and perhaps rather miraculously discovered that Blanche's mother Mahaut of Artois was in fact Charles' godmother, which made their marriage invalid as there had been a pre-existing impediment. Hmmm, you might think someone would have known that before, no? Anyway, within days of the annulment Charles married his second wife Marie of Luxembourg, daughter of Henry of Luxembourg, Holy Roman Emperor, niece of Edward II's brother-in-law Duke John II of Brabant, sister of John 'the Blind', king of Bohemia, and sister-in-law of Karoly, king of Hungary. Queen Marie died in March 1324 after miscarrying a baby boy. Desperate for a son and heir, on 5 July 1324 Charles IV married his first cousin Jeanne of Evreux, whose father Louis, count of Evreux was his father Philip IV's half-brother. Charles and Jeanne had three daughters, of whom two died young; Charles' posthumous daughter Blanche, born on 1 April 1328 exactly two months after his death, married Philip, duke of Orleans. Charles' successor was his first cousin Philip de Valois, King Philip VI.

12 June, 2016

690 Years Ago....

...in the first half of June 1326, according to his chamber journal, Edward II:

- played an unspecified ball game in the park of Saltwood Castle in Kent with his household steward Sir Thomas le Blount, Sir Robert Wateville, and unnamed others. In August 1325, Edward paid twenty-two men for playing a ball game for his benefit, presumably two teams of eleven

- after he left Saltwood, sent pomegranates to two members of his household who'd been forced to remain behind there, ill; pomegranates were extremely expensive

- paid twelve pounds for the expenses of his second son John of Eltham, then aged almost ten (Sire Johan Deltham fuitz le Roi), and his niece Eleanor Despenser née de Clare (Dame Alianore la Despensere niece le Roi), travelling together from the royal palace of Sheen west of London to Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire, where just a few months later, Edward II was forced to abdicate

- gave a gift of ten marks to his chamber squire Garsy Pomit "for what he did in the king's chamber when he [Edward] ate," and because Garsy had brought him some news from Gascony

- paid five pounds to his chamber knight Sir Giles Beauchamp "for what he did when the king went to sleep" (sang him lullabies?). This was also intended for Giles' expenses going home on leave for a little while

- paid five pounds to a squire of his sister-in-law Alice Hales, countess of Norfolk and countess marshal, wife of his half-brother Thomas of Brotherton, for bringing him Alice's letters

- hired a man called Ambrose, son of Will de la Wyk, as one of his chamber valets when he met him on the Thames between Bisham and Sheen

- paid forty shillings for the expenses of Anneis, wife of Roger, one of his trumpeters, travelling from Nottingham to court to visit her husband

- gave a pound to a fiddler called Richard who made music "for the king's pleasure"

- gave money to his valet Edmund 'Monde' Fisher, who was ill, and to Monde's son Litel Wille for bringing him the news a couple of days later that Monde had died (see here)

- gave thirty shillings to eight of his archers to buy themselves cloth, hose and shoes

- borrowed three shillings from his usher Peter Bernard to give to a poor man he met while riding away from Leeds Castle in Kent.

08 June, 2016

Marriage Negotiations For Edward II's Two Unmarried Children, 1329/30

I've written before about Edward II's negotiations for the future marriages of three of his four children, none of which worked out because he was deposed before they came to fruition. (Eleanor of Woodstock would have married Alfonso XI of Castile, Edward of Windsor would have married Alfonso's sister Leonor, and Joan of the Tower would have married the future Pedro IV of Aragon.) Edward's eldest child Edward III in fact married Philippa of Hainault on 25 January 1328, a marriage Edward had been strongly opposed to, and his youngest child Joan of the Tower married the future David II of Scotland on 17 July 1328 just after her seventh birthday (David himself was only four). Edward would have been strongly opposed to that marriage too. Edward's elder daughter Eleanor of Woodstock married Count, late Duke, Reynald II of Guelders in May 1332, the month before her fourteenth birthday, and his younger son John of Eltham died unmarried aged twenty in September 1336. Here's some information about marriage negotiations carried out by Edward III's government for the marriages of the young king's siblings Eleanor and John in 1329/30.

On 16 June 1329, a double marriage was suggested: Eleanor of Woodstock would marry the eldest son of King Philip VI of France, and John of Eltham would marry one of Philip's daughters. This was two days before Eleanor's eleventh birthday; John of Eltham was twelve going on thirteen. Philip VI's eldest son was the future King John II of France, born on 26 April 1319 and ten months Eleanor's junior. This plan for the betrothal of Eleanor of Woodstock and the future John II was repeated on 27 January and on 10 April 1330. [Foedera 1327-44, pp. 766, 777, 785] Philip VI, the first Valois king of France, had succeeded to the throne on 1 April 1328 after his cousin Charles IV's widow Joan of Evreux gave birth to Charles' posthumous daughter Blanche, who was born exactly two months after Charles' death. Had Blanche been a boy, he would have immediately become king of France, and the whole of French history ever since would be entirely different.

On 27 January 1330, as above, arrangements were again made to negotiate for a marriage between John of Eltham and Philip VI's daughter, this time named as Marie; as far as I can tell, Marie was born in about 1326 and died as a child in 1333, having been briefly married to Duke John III of Brabant's son. In the meantime, however, on 24 September 1329, another future betrothal was suggested for John of Eltham: Maria Diaz de Haro II, who was born in about 1318 or 1320 so was slightly younger than John. [Foedera, p. 773] Maria was the daughter and heir of Juan el Tuerto, 'the One-Eyed', lord of Biscay and a kinsman of Edward II: he was the grandson of Edward's uncle Alfonso X of Castile. Maria Diaz de Haro ultimately married her cousin Juan de la Cerda, son of Alfonso X's eldest son Fernando de la Cerda (who died before his father and thus never became king).

In July 1313, the future Philip VI married Jeanne la Boiteuse de Bourgogne, Joan 'the Lame' of Burgundy. Via her mother Agnes, Joan was the granddaughter of Louis IX of France (and was thus a first cousin once removed of her husband, Louis IX's great-grandson), and was a younger sister of Marguerite of Burgundy, adulterous first wife of Louis X of France, who died in prison in 1315. Of Philip VI and Joan of Burgundy's numerous children - something like twelve or fourteen,though it's hard to tell for sure - only two, John II and Philip, duke of Orleans, lived into adulthood. Philip of Orleans was born in 1336 and was seventeen years younger than his brother the king. He married his second cousin Blanche of France, the posthumous daughter of Charles IV and the only one of Charles' children who lived into adulthood, who was eight years his senior; they were childless.

Edward III had still not given up hoping for a marriage alliance with France: in July 1331, he opened negotiations for the future marriage of his son Edward of Woodstock, then just over a year old, with another daughter of Philip VI, this time named as Joan or Jeanne. [Foedera 1327-44, p. 838; CPR 1330-4, pp. 157, 224, 273] I can find references to two daughters of Philip VI with that name, but one was born in 1317 and died shortly after so it can't be her, and the other was born and died in 1337 so it can't be her either. Either Philip VI had three daughters called Joan who died young, or this is an error by English scribes.

The marriage negotiations with England having failed, the future John II of France married Jutta of Bohemia, whose name was changed to Bonne after her marriage, in 1332. She was the daughter of John the Blind, king of Bohemia, and sister of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV. Jutta/Bonne's niece Anne of Bohemia, who wasn't born till 1366, married Edward III's grandson Richard II. Jutta was the mother of John II's many children, including Charles V of France, but died before John succeeded to the throne in 1350, and thus was never queen of France.

01 June, 2016

1 June 1300: Birth of Thomas of Brotherton, Earl of Norfolk

Today marks the 716th anniversary of the birth of Edward II's half-brother Thomas of Brotherton, whom Edward made earl of Norfolk in late 1312 when Thomas was twelve. He was the eldest child of King Edward I and his second queen Marguerite of France, and was born one week short of nine months after their wedding on 8 September 1299. Evidently he was a little early and unexpected, and was born at a manor of the archbishop of York. Thomas was followed only fourteen months later by his brother Edmund of Woodstock, later earl of Kent, born on 5 August 1301.

I'm afraid that Thomas of Brotherton is a perpetual blaaaaahhhhh in my mind, and I really don't have much to say about him that I haven't said before (see here). Sorry, Thomas. I'm sure you were lovely and all that, but just thinking about you makes me eyes glaze over. His daughter and heir Margaret, countess and later duchess of Norfolk in her own right, is a far more interesting personality, and lived until 24 March 1399 when she must have been at least in her mid-seventies. She was the last surviving grandchild of Edward I, and outlived the second last survivor, Margaret Courtenay née de Bohun, countess of Devon, by more than seven years. She also outlived her children and several of her grandchildren, including John Hastings, earl of Pembroke, killed jousting at Christmas 1389. Margaret of Norfolk's elder daughter and co-heir Elizabeth Segrave married John, Lord Mowbray, which is how the dukedom of Norfolk belonged to the Mowbrays for most of the fifteenth century. (Three John Mowbrays, dukes of Norfolk, one after the other. Not confusing at all.) The Mowbray line died out when Anne Mowbray, who had been briefly married to Edward IV's second son Richard, died as a child in 1481. The dukedom of Norfolk then passed to the Howards, because Elizabeth Segrave's granddaughter Margaret Mowbray married Robert Howard and was the mother of John Howard, killed fighting for Richard III at Bosworth. Thomas of Brotherton was the six greats grandfather of Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard via that Howard connection, and he was the great-grandfather of Thomas Mowbray, earl of Nottingham and duke of Norfolk, who was briefly his grandmother Margaret's heir but outlived her by less than six months and died in Venice, having been perpetually exiled from England by Richard II on 19 October 1398. His son John Mowbray, born in 1392, married Katherine Neville at the beginning of 1412. Remarkably, Katherine lived long enough to attend her nephew Richard III's coronation in 1483, and outlived her great-granddaughter Anne Mowbray.